Archive for Thursday, November 11, 2010

Kansas Governor-elect Sam Brownback vows fight against health care reform

November 11, 2010

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Gov.-elect Sam Brownback went on Fox News television Wednesday night to criticize federal health reform.

Appearing on “On The Record with Greta Van Susteren,” Brownback, a Republican, said state government in Kansas will do what is required under the health care law, but added, “We are going to push back on its implementation every chance we get.”

He said opposition to the law was the “centerpiece issue” in the attorney general’s race, which was won by Republican Derek Schmidt over incumbent Democrat Steve Six.

Brownback said when the Republican Governors Association meets next week, one of the main topics of discussion will be how to fight the health care law.

Comments

grammaddy 4 years, 8 months ago

Here's a clue Brownback. An appearance on Faux Noise will not garner any respect from the people you were elected by.But I expected this since Faux's parent company gave a million dollars to the Republican Governor's Association during your campaign. Good luck fighting health care reform. Even Boehner is backing away from that one. I want to watch you tell the parents of the kids with pre-existing conditions that you're revoking their health insurance.

gogogirl 4 years, 8 months ago

I think we should consider repealing Brownbag. After all what does he care if people don't have health care? He has made his Pile.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

So, ya' think that 9 days after defeating his opponent 63% to 32%, there'd be a real big change in the results, gogo?

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 8 months ago

No, that will take awhile. He won't even take office until January and then it will take awhile before half the state gets butt hurt over money or sick of having religion shoved down there throats.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Keep dreaming, cait.

Hey, weren't you the one predicting the Republicans wouldn't take back the house, too?

Even after the whooping you libs got last week, you still haven't figured out that other folks just don't think like you whacky loons, have you? It would be pathetic if not for the comedic value.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Speaking of pathetic and not having a life, "jstthefacts" [chuckle], how long did it take you to count all my posts and check the timestamps?

BTW, did you have anything that actually disputes the facts I posted? You know, something that says Brownback, as a U.S. Senator, got some special health care benefits not available to other federal employees?

Didn't think so. As usual, little one, thanks for playing.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

So, you have time to reply, just not with any facts or anything else that disputes my post. Just, as usual, the three-year-old response of covering your eyes and saying "Nuh-uh" over and over and over.

Come back when you have something, "jstthefacts" [snicker].

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Here's a clue grammady. He already had the respect of the people he was elected by. Pretty sure he can do without yours.

"Good luck fighting health care reform."

That's magnanimous of you. I wish him the same.

WHY 4 years, 8 months ago

If we want to fight it just don't use it. Then it won't cost a dime and we can die sick and rich.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

The eligibility for children is much higher than for adults. And there are some circumstances where a child can qualify even if the family's income is too high. Then there's S-CHIP, where a child can qualify if their family earns 2-3 times the poverty level.

equalaccessprivacy 4 years, 8 months ago

That dang charmer was certainly not elected by an enlightened citizenry.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 8 months ago

Call the waaaambulance nota. Or would you rather have a little cheese with that whine?

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Oh, but my dear cait, I'm not the one crying. I'm perfectly happy with the election results. I can understand your whining, though, seems things didn't turn out as you hoped.

whats_going_on 4 years, 8 months ago

eh, I don't know if thats true. The people who voted for him already watched Faux, I suspect.

usnsnp 4 years, 8 months ago

Is it not funny that a person who has been on the government dole for more than 20 years is against health insurance for those that do not have it, or are underinsured. As a person in Congress the tax payers payed 75% of his and his family's health insurance, while in Congress thers were Doctors, Medical Tec. and Nurses standing by for instant medical emergancies, and for an extra 300 a month he could get basic medical examinations, X-rays etc. at his office without taking off time from his job. Of course he had to have these benifits, he could not handle his medical expenses on his 175,000 wages a year.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Uh, yeah. Except he gets his because it's part of the compensation he receives for his job, the same as any other government employee.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 8 months ago

Umm not the same as "every other government employee". Don't know where you got *that" little piece of smoke you just farted out.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

"Umm not the same as "every other government employee". Don't know where you got *that" little piece of smoke you just farted out."

http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/uscongress/a/congresspay.htm

"Members of Congress receive retirement and health benefits under the same plans available to other federal employees."

Same plan, cait, same premiums, cait, same terms, cait. Of course, you could have looked it up for yourself before you made such a fool of yourself, but I'm glad you didn't.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 8 months ago

That's members of Congress, not "every other government employee". Frickin' liar.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Did you happen to read the part that said "Members of Congress receive retirement and health benefits under the same plans available to other federal employees." Here, let me repeat that: "same plans available to other federal employees". Maybe once more, since you seem to be having trouble: "other federal employees". Got it yet? Do you need assistance with basic reading, cait? There's help available.

Since I'm a "Frickin' liar", cait (of course, anyone that disagrees with what your libtard propaganda sites tell you to believe is a "frickin' liar"), you should have no trouble coming up with some evidence to show that Brownback received health benefits not available to "other federal employees".

I'll wait.

[crickets]

whats_going_on 4 years, 8 months ago

wow, calm down, is THAT point really such a huge deal?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 8 months ago

So I take it that means you would support a system like Canada's, in which medical care is, in fact, generally not provided by the government, but rather by independent medical practitioners and clinics?

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Seriously, boohoozo.

When only one party can pay for the services you provide, you work for them. They're not "independent" providers when the government signs their paychecks.

Lindsey Buscher 4 years, 8 months ago

Agreed, which is why the government is not running health care.

The "health care reform" is really just health insurance reform, and if not the government, then who is going to step in and stop insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions? Or to ensure that the premiums that private citizens pay actually go toward health care and not administrative costs, marketing and overhead?

Seriously, who?

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

"Or to ensure that the premiums that private citizens pay actually go toward health care and not administrative costs, marketing and overhead?"

You really don't understand the concept of the loss-limit provisions in the legislation, or what their result is going to be, do you?

Lindsey Buscher 4 years, 8 months ago

You really don't understand the concept of my post, do you?

Without that provision, insurance companies could essentially spend my premium on whatever they want, including marketing, administrative costs, and bonuses. That's right, not only can insurance companies profit from punting people off insurance, but they get to keep premiums at a level that will ensure that they can give out maximum bonuses.

So the point is that who is going to ensure that my premiums go toward actual health care? Where is the accountability? I am the consumer and I want the money I spend on premiums to go toward treatment, yet I have absolutely no control over how insurance companies spend my money. So if I can't hold them accountable and shareholders will not hold them accountable because they just want more profits/bonues, then who?

Seriously, who?

Puggy - 1, NAJ - 0

Lindsey Buscher 4 years, 8 months ago

So the solution is to take personal responsibility by calling my insurance company and asking them politely to modify my "contract" so they do not spend less than 80% of my premium on health care costs?

My mommy always said to be polite, so I think this might work.

You libertardians are so smart and good at finding solutions.

Or you could answer my serious question seriously.

Insurance companies are for-profit entities, which means that they are accountable to the shareholders, so if I am not a shareholder then who is representing my voice in that corporation?

whats_going_on 4 years, 8 months ago

except that pretty much ALL of the insurance companies are singing the same tune. Mine is full of a bunch of jacka**es. I have spent hours with them on the phone because I caught them lying to me 3 times in the span of like 10 minutes (3 different people). I had to fight with them until they pulled phone records and couldn't deny that they had lied. Plus, I got a letter stating that I was denied coverage because I had been to some mysterious oncologist (never seen one in my life AND the "doctor" doesn't even exist) and because I have a thyroid problem (that, I might add, I get checked ONCE a year, take a 10 dollar per month medication for it, and I have had since I was 12). They are shady...and it's not as easy as just "switching" from one to another because of time restrictions. Sometimes you have to be with them 6 months or a year to get coverage on certain things and sometimes you get rejected flat out because of pre-existing conditions. My dad got denied once from a company because he had a deviated septum....thats how effing ridiculous they are.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

"You really don't understand the concept of my post, do you? "

Um, yes. You were referring to the loss-ratio provision, which you a) obviously didn't read and b) much more obviously do not understand.

"That's right, not only can insurance companies profit from punting people off insurance, but they get to keep premiums at a level that will ensure that they can give out maximum bonuses."

They still can, junior. As I said, enforcing a loss-ratio provision in the absence of a cap makes things worse, not better.

[sigh] It's so tiresome explaining things to children.

1) Something I'd bet dollars-to-donuts you didn't know, pugs, is that the loss-ratio specified in the legislation is the one that most insurance companies already have. In other words, nothing changed.

NAJ 1, Pugs 0 (as usual).

2) There is nothing in the legislation that prevents insurance companies from raising premiums. They just have to pay more out in claims in order to do so. This raises overall health care costs.

NAJ 2, Pugs 0 (as usual).

3) With a loss-ratio limit absent a cap on premiums, the only way insurance companies can increase profits now is to do exactly that - inflate overall health care costs.

NAJ 3, Pugs 0 (as usual).

4) The only mechanism that prevented insurance companies from doing exactly that in the past was market forces - i.e., if premiums went too high, more people would forgo buying insurance. The legislation removed that option, forcing people to pay whatever the insurance companies want to charge.

NAJ 4, Pugs 0 (as usual).

Come back when you actually know something about the issue you're trying to discuss, little one.

Lindsey Buscher 4 years, 8 months ago

1) Something I'd bet dollars-to-donuts you didn't know, NAJ, is that the loss-ratio specified in the legislation is still up in the air as to what it will actually be; it was left vague intentionally so we don't know if the ratio is 50% or 80%.

You can't refute that fact.

Puggy 2, NAJ 0 (as usual).

2) There is nothing in the legislation that prevents insurance companies from raising premiums. They just have to pay more out in claims in order to do so. This raises overall health care costs. So health care cost might be high either way, which isn't really an argument against the legislation.

Puggy 3, NAJ 0 (as usual).

3) One way insurance companies can increase profits now is to inflate overall health care costs, which is another argument for health insurance reform.

Puggy 4, NAJ 0 (as usual).

4) The only mechanism that prevented insurance companies from doing exactly that in the past was market forces - i.e., if premiums went too high, more people would forgo buying insurance. The legislation actually allows for competition across state lines and there are subsidies now available to low-income individuals so people can purchase insurance in many different ways.

Puggy 5, NAJ 0 (as usual).

Come back when you actually learn how to stop arguing against health insurance reform by arguing for health insurance reform, little one.

Oh, and

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

"...the loss-ratio specified in the legislation is still up in the air as to what it will actually be; it was left vague intentionally so we don't know if the ratio is 50% or 80%. "

"You can't refute that fact."

Um, yes, I can. Thank you for proving you never actually read the bill. I'd like to know what orifice you produced that garbage from, skippy, but this is the reality:

"Medical Loss Ratio Rebates: Starting this January, this provision requires insurers to spend 85% of the premiums collected from large employers on healthcare services or healthcare quality programs. This mandate also requires insurers to spend 80% of the premiums collected from individual and small employers on healthcare services or healthcare quality programs. If insurers don't meet these ratios, then they must give their customers a rebate. "

http://healthcarereformmagazine.com/article/affordable-care-act-s-effect-on-agents.html

Can't even give you a 'zero' for that one, skippy, that was an epic 'fail', gonna' have to take points off for trying to BS with made-up numbers.

"So health care cost might be high either way, which isn't really an argument against the legislation."

Other than it's called the 'Affordable Care Act' and it does nothing to keep costs from rising:

Um, skippy? Maybe you don't understand how insurance works. See, a company collects money - call that "premiums" - and pays out money - call that "benefits". When it pays out less in benefits than it takes in from premiums, it makes money - call that "profit". Under the current system, if they can hold down what they pay out - you know, "benefits" - they have more left over for profit. Under the legislation, they have no incentive to hold down their benefit payouts because they'd have to give that money back to the policy holders. Understand? (That was a rhetorical question - of course you don't.)

"One way insurance companies can increase profits now is to inflate overall health care costs, which is another argument for health insurance reform."

Um, refer to the answer above. See if you can figure out what happens to "profits" when the payouts in "benefits" increase, skippy.

"The legislation actually allows for competition across state lines and there are subsidies now available to low-income individuals so people can purchase insurance in many different ways."

It allows that only if the states involved agree. There is nothing in the legislation that says states have to do so. Guess what: Again, that's no different than what we already had. And, um, skippy? Who's paying those subsidies? Is it coming from Obama's "stash"?

Seriously, I can't tell if I'm trying to educate someone that's deliberately obtuse or is five years old. Please stop making yourself look so uninformed. It's painful to watch.

"Oh, and "

Mommy catch you on the computer when you weren't supposed to be? The mind boggles at what could have followed that interrupted addition.

gogogirl 4 years, 8 months ago

Then where the heck do you suggest people get health care insurance? Oh, I forgot the insurance companies are anxious to oblige the poor (and take away what little money they have). Blood suckers

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 8 months ago

So I guess they shouldn't run the military either then.

topflight 4 years, 8 months ago

Thanks Sam. That is why most of Kansas voted for you. Guess the rest of you will just have to move on.

Liberty275 4 years, 8 months ago

"those who make enormous amounts of money and can afford the premiums"

LOL. We are typically middle class on the lower middle range of the scale and we have great insurance through my wife's work and great insurance through my work too. WE and our employers pay for it. I don't want you to pay for it. Only bums want things they didn't work for.

Liberty275 4 years, 8 months ago

I work for a guy that employs less than 20 people in two locations. Granted, I think it's a corporation, but not in the derogatory way you intend the word to be. OTOH, my wife works for a hugemungous corporation.

I'm no fan of the clone-world of large corporations so you need not whine to me about them. However, they provide jobs and good benefits to less skilled people so I don't hate them.

As for startups, they can offer benefits.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Psssst - hey jack - LMH doesn't get tax dollars.

Liberty275 4 years, 8 months ago

Are you implying that LMH doesn't send a bill to me and the insurance company and I get my prescriptions for free? Are those the things you are trying to imply?

I spent a night in LMH for pain in my arms and was tested for heart problems. One night, $15,000. No definitive answer or treatment. Do you think that is the definition of free?

My prescriptions are all generic, so they are cheap. However they are made by corporations, not universities.

Flu shots? No. They are a waste of money and resources for me. They are better left to people that actually need them.

xclusive85 4 years, 8 months ago

"And curious, you aren't out there as an individual buying insurance but doing it through a group, sort of like taxpayers are a group."

There is a problem with this. With Obamacare the taxpayer group, of which I am a part, also pays for the insurance of people who are not part of the group. People who do not pay taxes. Buying insurance through a group such as an employer, everyone is paying for the insurance that covers them.

Liberty275 4 years, 8 months ago

Part of the compensation we get for working is partial payment of our health care plans. That's part of our payment for getting up every morning and going off to do stuff we'd rather not have to do.

Why should we give up a benefit we work for because bums won't work for the same benefit?

Nothing is free. Also, the corporation knows enough to let me mooch, or replace me. It's really up to them.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

"Maybe what we really need to do is end all employer provided insurance and let individuals, strong rugged ones like liberty and tom, buy their own so everyone gets a real taste of what it costs instead of hiding behind their corporations."

Maybe what we really need to do is end ALL insurance, period. Then maybe moochers like jackie would get a real taste of what health CARE costs and figure out that's where the problem lies, instead of trying to get someone else to pay for his.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Sorry to burst your bubble, jackie (actually, who'm I kiddin', I love bursting your bubble), I don't carry insurance. I pay my own way. You should try it some time.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Since "smart" in your opinion seems to mean finding a way to get someone else to pay your bills for you, I guess I understand why to you it's such an alien concept.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Oh, yeah, we knew jackie would throw in one of his 'the government killed my choo-choos' rants, as usual.

"Too bad you can't see the big picture. "

Too bad you can't, jackie. The problem is health care costs too much. We can not afford to keep paying over $7000 (and rising) per person per year for health care, not out-of-pocket, not in taxes, not through insurance premiums. The "big picture" you just don't grasp, jackie, is that your health care costs more than your insurance premiums and co-pays. But as long as everyone gets insurance, nobody has to pay attention to that little detail, let alone do anything to actually address the costs.

Liberty275 4 years, 8 months ago

LOL. When they put a train station 6 feet from my front door I'll think about riding them. I won't because I don't give control to other drivers, but I'll at least think about it.

Me: self reliance and going where I want when I want. You: relying on someone else to decide where you need to go and when you should get there.

It's hard to believe people are so willing to give up what little bit of freedom we still have to fit into the collective.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

"When they put a train station 6 feet from my front door I'll think about riding them."

AND six feet from your destination's front door.

whynaut 4 years, 8 months ago

little bit of freedom? Have some respect. We have tons of freedoms. I exercise them daily, as I'm sure you do too.

whats_going_on 4 years, 8 months ago

if you had to get private insurance, you also would be singing a different tune.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

I could have purchased a private family plan for approximately half of what my last employer charged, because I get to pick and choose what coverage I want, what level of co-pays and deductibles, etc.

grammaddy 4 years, 8 months ago

I didn't say the world owes me anything.":..stop expecting everyone else to foot your bills"..I pay my own bills, but thats hilarious coming from someone supported by his wife.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

"I pay my own bills"

Then what do you need insurance for?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 8 months ago

"Actually there are studies which show that government spending in science hinders scientific research more than it helps."

And I'm sure that the researchers who conducted these "studies" all looked to Ayn Rand as their spiritual guides.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 8 months ago

Heh, you post an assertion about "studies" and then complain about strawmen.

That's funny.

whynaut 4 years, 8 months ago

Productive does not equate Profitable.

Private industry may be able to conduct good research, but only if it ends (or is intended to end) in a profit for that industry. Why? Because the only concern of a private industry is it's own survival, which by definition, is turning a profit.

But what happens when there is a demand for new knowledge that isn't necessarily immediately profitable for any one private industry? That's where government funding comes in. It provides a means to conduct helpful research without requiring immediate profitability.

whynaut 4 years, 8 months ago

I'm not saying private industry does not invest in long term projects. But they are still profit motivated. Even if it's a long term project, it is aimed at long term profits.

And government funding does not shoot arrows in the dark. At least not most of the time. Occasionally perhaps. But private industry can be accused of the occasional misguided investment as well. I know this first hand as a former employee of more than one misguided bosses in charge of the direction of their own private sector businesses.

Tell me how many federal research grants you've applied for, before you claim that "government funding is shooting an arrow in the dark". If you got one, I'd love to hear what it was for, and why your proposal was chosen over the competition. If you got denied, I'd like to know what criteria you didn't meet.

If you've never applied for government funding, then I'd like to see you stop making over generalized statements about a process you've never participated in.

tomatogrower 4 years, 8 months ago

"Private industry invests in long-term projects all the time" Yes, in the past, but now industry's main goal is to make lots of money in the here and now at any cost. They also love to ask for subsidies from governments, because they don't want to risk their own money.

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 8 months ago

Brownback also told Fox News that suing over the health care lawsuit was "symbolic".

Nothing like spending taxpayer dollars on symbolism. Always funny to see people who like to talk about government waste while at the same time begging for more symbolic gestures.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 8 months ago

Of course, he'll do absolutely nothing to fix the problems of the healthcare system. That would actually requiring giving a damn about anyone but the Koch Brothers, et al.

Butterflies 4 years, 8 months ago

When the last of the grandmas and grandpas tip over, Obamacare will be able to afford the 30 or 40 million extra people that so desperately need medical attention funded by others.

Lindsey Buscher 4 years, 8 months ago

That is true, because the Baby Boomers will not live forever.

Of course if the implication is that the new health insurance reform law will be responsible for killing Grandma and Grandpa, then where did you come up with the screen name 'Butterflies', Mrs. Palin???

cowboy 4 years, 8 months ago

293,000 Kansans are uninsured , you're a heck of a guy Sam !

Fighting health care reform will guarantee this number will only grow should you succeed. While the bill will not insure all , the reforms will get many of the uninsured on coverage soften the blow to state coffers currently getting hit with an average 0f 4.2 billion in un-recovered health care costs by getting a portion of this population into programs. It doesn't insure everyone and is not free . In Kansas the state high risk pool is about a $1000 per month for an individual and the federal pool about 5-600 .

And Sam , I'm confident that once sworn in you will relinquish all federal benefits you are receiving , stop receiving any farm subsidies in your family , return all campaign contributions from special interests , turn down any corporate trips or money , and be the man of the people and double dipping is just plain socialist.

Because we all know you are as pure as the driven snow.....yeah right.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

"Fighting health care reform will guarantee this number will only grow should you succeed."

Good. The more people that don't have insurance, the more likely it is that somebody will actually do something about the cost of health care, which the Democrats' "reform" package did nothing about (except to provide an incentive to inflate those costs even more).

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

The ideal would be for nobody to have third-party coverage (with the exception of those who are truly in need). Barring that, any undertaking to minimize the incredible amount of waste caused by unnecessary treatment and/or defensive medicine would at the least get things moving back in the right direction.

Scott Drummond 4 years, 8 months ago

Interesting. So, you'd like fewer people to have coverage, I take it,so that medical bills were a cost that people had to actually pay and they would therefore exert downward pressure on medical costs. I don't agree with the reasoning because I don't think people shop for medical services like they shop for orange juice or soda pop, but at least you are willing to start laying out your reasoning.
On the waste issue, how do you quantify the amount of waste and what steps need be taken to eliminate it?

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

"I don't think people shop for medical services like they shop for orange juice or soda pop"

Most people don't. They have no reason to. Some people do - I do. Because I pay for it myself. If you had to go to the ER for something that truly was an emergency (in that it couldn't wait until you could schedule a doctor's appointment) but not life threatening, would you drive the extra few miles to Olathe or Topeka instead of LMH if you knew it was going to save you three or four thousand dollars? You might if you were paying out of pocket, but if you have insurance and your co-pay is the same either way, why bother? If you don't have insurance, you're also much more likely to ask if that MRI is really necessary or if an x-ray or ultrasound would do, or whether there's a generic alternative on Wal-mart's $4 formulary rather than that $200 med he just prescribed.

It's not true that medical care is a necessity that isn't subject to market forces. It's a partial necessity, that is, when you have to have it you have to have it, in the same sense as food or gasoline. But just like food or gasoline, for the most part we don't need all that we use, and we have choices on what kind and where to buy it. But if you paid a flat rate in premiums and co-pays for food and gas, well, wouldn't you shop at Dillons instead of Aldi's? Have fillet instead of hamburger? And wouldn't the cart be overflowing when you walked out?

[continued]

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

[continued]

"On the waste issue, how do you quantify the amount of waste and what steps need be taken to eliminate it? "

Some studies have shown that as much as 40% of some areas of medical care do absolutely nothing to improve health. Part of that is because of defensive medicine, although doctors deny that (of course they deny that - they can't say they're preforming and ordering unnecessary tests, procedures, etc.). Tort reform would help. It wouldn't solve the problem, no - but it would at least move things in the right direction, even if a little bit, and there's nothing in the 'reform' package that is claimed to do anything more than slow the rate of advance. We rely on specialists way too much, just as we do with expensive diagnostic tests and procedures. It seems like most GP's and ER docs these days don't know how to do anything but call in a specialist while you're there, and refer you to another one when they've left. If all I wanted was a referral I'd call a physician's referral line.

Part of it is changing the mindset of physicians and other providers. They all have the idea that more is better. Do everything we can think of, just to be sure. I'm not saying that a lot of that isn't helpful. But at least start with the cheaper alternatives. Do an x-ray instead of immediately calling for a CT or MRI. Maybe the x-ray won't be sufficient and you'll end up doing the latter anyway, but most of the time you won't.

And they should talk to the patients. I mentioned elsewhere that pediatrician that writes all the LTE's, how his website says to talk to the doctor about cheaper alternatives if you don't have insurance - why don't the doctors and other providers discuss those alternatives with everyone?

Scott Drummond 4 years, 8 months ago

OK, thank you. I tend to think tort reform only gets the savings you are after by denying justice to people harmed by doctors, but some common sense reform should probably be debated. As I recall, President Obama angered many of his supporters by expressing willingness to examine the issue. What ultimately passed as health care reform was a product of a messy legislative process and apparently there was not support for tort reform at the end of the day. My guess is the republican will now pursue efforts to enact something in the way of tort reform, so we will see.

As for the rest of your points, I fail to see how the restrictions you are suggesting are not exactly the sort of government takeover of medicine that right wingers have been screaming about for the last year. Your answer seems to be arbitrary and imposed restrictions on specialists and a delivery system that tries cheapest approaches first. These moves would likely save money, but I don't think they are going to be accepted by citizens as a better approach.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

I understand what you're saying, and sorry if I gave you the wrong impression. I wasn't talking about the government imposing any restrictions. As a matter of fact, I think a lot of the waste would be cut out naturally if market-based forces were more in play. More patients would decline referrals to specialists, leading to less incentive for med students to pursue specialties that at present are financially lucrative. More patients would question the necessity for expensive diagnostic testing, so there'd be less incentive for hospitals to have the latest and most expensive piece of equipment, which then has to pay for itself by excessive use.

I think you're wrong about the acceptance factor, and about people shopping around. How do you explain the medical tourism industry? A friend of mine just had surgery in Mexico. They could have gotten it here, but it saved them a lot of money by waiting a little longer and traveling a lot farther.

The barrier to acceptance now is that there's no incentive. There is a disconnect between cause and effect, i.e. over-using medical care and increased costs. If people get a huge increase in their insurance premium, they just don't connect it to those 6 ER visits they used last winter when they had the flu. And it's easy to blame on everyone else using too much.

For any modification to behavior, the reinforcement (positive or negative) has to be both immediate and connected to the behavior to be effective. Would you have any incentive to, say, cut down on your drinking if the hangover didn't show up until next year, and there was a chance you'd still get one because someone else was drinking?

I'm talking about changing mindsets, both the providers' and the patients', not more regulation or control. But I believe that when people have the responsibility for making their own choices, get immediate feedback, and are the ones who have to live with the consequences, they tend to make better decisions.

Scott Drummond 4 years, 8 months ago

Well, I agree with pretty much everything you've said in this last post, but still have no idea of how this would be accomplished. We'll see what the current group of politicians comes up with. Given the inherent need for money to fund reelections, I am not hopeful and expect the right wingers will finish the work of President Obama's betrayal of the citizenry to the insurance companies by gutting whatever the insurance companies want gutted and leaving us forced to buy lousy coverage.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

"but still have no idea of how this would be accomplished"

That's the part I have a problem with, too. Never said I had an answer for that part. BUT, if people having insurance contributes in such a way to the increasing costs, then everyone having insurance will make things worse, not better. That's why I think the legislation as passed should be scrapped - I believe it will make things worse. Not that I'm in favor of the status quo, but I am definitely not in favor of making it worse.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

(Did we just have a reasonable conversation? Remind me to buy a PowerBall ticket!)

Scott Drummond 4 years, 8 months ago

Yeah, pretty reasonable. Who'd of thunk it? Trying to make an effort to be more so. Otherwise these things just become insult-fests and pretty boring.

Anyway, I can't support scrapping the current reform because I am too suspicious of it being another generation before anything would ever be enacted to replace it. I say let's repeal only upon passing reform that would replace the current law. If the current law is a bad deal for the majority of the public, the public force a new law soon enough. If not, then let the burden lie with the insurance companies to accomplish the repeal they want only after it is agreed what the replacement will be.

Thus endth this exchange (I won't be back.)

Adrienne Sanders 4 years, 8 months ago

I don't know how you can look at actual people who are suffering and tell them no, I do not want you to have health care. It's just astonishing. If you don't like Obama's plan, come up with a better one, but do something productive, not destructive.

Liberty275 4 years, 8 months ago

Better solution? Bachelor of Science degrees for associate doctors that can handle 95% of all cases, prescribe medicine and work for $50k/yr. A doctors visit goes from $300 to $50 cash for 30 minutes of consultation. There is no reason my dr needs a 9 year degree and $300 to listen to me tell him which medications to prescribe for me.

Anything not handled by an associate dr would be paid for by high deductible catastrophic insurance if the person values life enough to pay the paltry sum it costs. Otherwise, they die sooner than later. Of course, if you can afford better insurance and want to see the MD for your sniffles, you pony up the $1200/ month per couple for the insurance.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

"And of course someone's worth is only derived by their worth"

Um - yeah.

Liberty275 4 years, 8 months ago

It should have made sense from the start. Regardless of what you were taught, we are not all the same except under the protection of the constitution which has specific words that, no, you cannot redefine to fit your socialist agenda.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

"I don't know how you can look at actual people who are suffering and tell them no, I do not want you to have health care."

I don't know how people can be so narrow-minded and think in such black-and-white terms as to say that repealing that monstrosity Congress forced through against the will of a majority of Americans means we don't want people to have health care.

MyName 4 years, 8 months ago

Great, let's just go back to the status quo where these same people do get medical care: in emergency rooms and at costs that are passed onto the people with health insurance so that Hospitals can remain solvent.

If you go through the actual reforms line by line most of them are supported by 60-70% of Americans. It's only in the reality distortion PR battle that this gets tipped off into crazy land.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

"Great, let's just go back to the status quo where these same people do get medical care: in emergency rooms and at costs that are passed onto the people ... "

It's amazing how much this urban myth gets perpetuated. The uninsured use a smaller share of ER resources (in terms of number of visits and dollars of treatment) than their share of the population. They are the only group that does so. The group that uses the most ER resources in relation to their share of the population is Medicaid recipients. And, um, MyName? We're already paying for them.

"If you go through the actual reforms line by line most of them are supported by 60-70% of Americans."

Patently false, because you can't have just the pieces everyone likes without the whole package. E.g., you can't make insurance companies cover people with pre-existing conditions without being able to charge higher premiums unless you have the insurance mandate in place, and people are decidedly not in favor of the insurance mandate.

whats_going_on 4 years, 8 months ago

people who say this assume that anyone who is suffering is a bum who doesn't work. Seriously miguided.

amesn 4 years, 8 months ago

Tom-not everyone who is not insured or underinsured sits back and says 'I'm gonna just let Tom take care of it for me' oh wait-do you pay income taxes? Anyways...I have found that in life at some point everyone needs a little help no matter what. Should we not have federal grants for financial aide to go to college because 'everyone needs to pay their own way.' I am sick of the complete lack of compassion from people like Sam Brownback and observing them be more focused on opposing anything the Obama administration does then actually have to come up with better solutions on their own. Many of the repubs entire campaigns this year consisted only of them putting down Obama, rather than formulating ideas for better solutions. A few years ago I quit my job to take care of my grandma who was on hospice and dying of cancer. I of course could not afford COBRA so I was left uninsured for awhile. My husband-a stay at home dad, has also found himself uninsured from time to time when we have been unable to afford 'affordablue' for him or the policy offered through my job. He works hard too and I feel deserves to have healthcare, unfortunately a basic health care plan can still be quite pricey.

MyName 4 years, 8 months ago

WTF do you mean "compromise back"? The Republican leadership offered nothing that would actually cover the uninsured and would not vote for a proposal put forward by the Democrats under any circumstances.

It takes two sides to compromise.

whynaut 4 years, 8 months ago

36 (D) to 29 (R). Not too lopsided it it?

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Is it glasses you need, maybe? What he wrote in his comment was 36 (D) to 161 (R). Please do try to keep up.

texburgh 4 years, 8 months ago

Terrific! If he is successful we can get my working 23 year old off my plan and make sure he gets his health care by visiting emergency rooms since his employer offers no health insurance. Give those insuance bureaucrats back the right to refuse coverage for pre-mature infants and their "pre-existing conditions." Give them back the right to cap my coverage so I can declare bankruptcy or lose my house should my spouse or I contract a devastating illness such as cancer. We can restore the Medicare donut whole so we can drive up costs for seniors. This is what I love about our compassionate conservatives!

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

"If he is successful we can get my working 23 year old off my plan and make sure he gets his health care by visiting emergency rooms since his employer offers no health insurance."

The uninsured are the only group that uses a smaller share of ER resources than their share of the population. But keep listening to Madkow and Herr Olbermann.

whynaut 4 years, 8 months ago

That must mean that the uninsured get sick less. Brilliant deduction. You're so smart.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

And I said that where, genius? I wouldn't question anyone else's education given your level of reading comprehension.

No, genius, it means the uninsured spend less on unnecessary care. Some studies have shown that as much as 40% of care that's provided does absolutely nothing to improve health. Just as an example, the OECD found that Americans, far and away, get more MRI's than people in any other country, despite no significantly higher prevalence of pathology to account for that. In other words, they're looking more (at significant cost) for stuff that isn't there.

There's a pediatrician in Lawrence who writes a lot of LTE's to this paper urging universal coverage. On his website, he has a section addressed to those without insurance. The first piece of advice he gives, of course, is to urge the government to provide coverage for everyone - which, of course, props up his fee structure. Then he goes on to say that if you have limited means, you should discuss that with your doctor up front and there might be some lower-cost alternatives available as far as procedures, tests, and medications. (And if you still can't afford him, he'll be happy to refer you to HCA.) Now, why isn't that discussed with every patient? Because there's no incentive. Who cares when someone else is paying the bill? When all it's going to cost you is that $50 co-pay, who cares whether all the stuff the doctor orders is really necessary?

The point is, genius, that people paying out of pocket are much more likely to put off that visit to the ER for a little cough that might turn out to be nothing. Because guess what - more often than not, it IS nothing.

tomatogrower 4 years, 8 months ago

So why are you against textburgh from keeping his son on his health plan his health plan? You didn't really address the issue. Keep changing the subject. It's all smoke screen. No real answers. If his son gets sick and can't afford health care, then he should just go away and die, because if he doesn't have any money, he is worthless. You have already established your moral, or rather immoral stance of conservatives.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

"So why are you against textburgh from keeping his son on his health plan his health plan? You didn't really address the issue. Keep changing the subject."

Well, let's see: First of all, nowhere in my post did I say anything about whether texburgh's son should be allowed to stay on his insurance. Perhaps if you'd read my post before trying to reply to it, you would have seen that all I was referring to was texburgh's contention that if his son didn't have insurance he would be getting his care at the emergency room.

But since you asked so nicely, why are you so in favor of his son getting to stay on someone else's policy? Maybe at 23 years old it's time for him to start taking a little responsibility for his own welfare. If mommy and daddy want to keep supporting him, by all means, that's their right and their decision. But why should the other policyholders have to eat the difference because the son doesn't want to pay for his own policy?

But then, you have already established your stance as a liberal, consisting of a sense of entitlement, lack of personal responsibility, and willingness to live off someone else paying your way.

tomatogrower 4 years, 8 months ago

You seem to be willing to eat the cost of people who aren't insured. By the way, if you had read my posts, you would know that I am a business owner, who certainly doesn't have the time to post much on this forum, unlike the conservatives who claim to be independently wealthy, like yourself. I least I earn my living producing something.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

"By the way, if you had read my posts, you would know that I am a business owner, who certainly doesn't have the time to post much on this forum"

Sooooo, you being such a big business mogul and all, you don't post much, but I should be familiar enough with them to know that.

Mmm, OK.

"unlike the conservatives who claim to be independently wealthy, like yourself."

Ah. See, if you had read any of MY posts, which there seem to be a lot more of, many of which you've responded to (or at least attempted to), you'd know I'm pretty far from the "wealthy" end of the spectrum. And yet, lo and behold, I'm not the one asking someone else to foot the bill for me.

"You seem to be willing to eat the cost of people who aren't insured."

Which costs would those be, tomato? You going to throw out that old party-line propaganda about the uninsured using up all those ER resources?

I keep wondering this, I ask frequently, and none of you seem to be able to answer what should be a simple question: Why is it that the liberals find the concept, even the possibility, that someone might actually pay their own bills such an alien and utterly unfathomable idea?

tomatogrower 4 years, 8 months ago

Let's see. I wonder how many people have delayed going to the doctor, because they have no insurance. Then what would have been a minor cold or sinus infection, turns into pneumonia. Then lets say he/she has waited too long and dies from the pneumonia, and that person has been the main bread winner of a family. Now this family has to get by on his social security survivor benefits and probably welfare, because if he/she couldn't afford health care, there was probably no life insurance. Then, as you conservatives point out, children don't grow up properly without a mother and a father, 1 of the kids becomes a criminal, and we all know that cost to society. So if this person had been able to get medical care, then he/she would have survived and continued being a productive member of society. Of course he isn't a fetus and conservatives tend to view workers as deficits that cut into their profits, so I'm sure you wouldn't understand or care, and would just rather the family get buried along with the breadwinner, like some backwards society. Maybe send them all off on a burning boat to be burned alive. Then they wouldn't bother you, and you can always hire another minion to lick your boots. The cost of the boat would be less than helping a fellow human being after all.

tomatogrower 4 years, 8 months ago

Oh, and by cost, I am talking money. You know, your "god". The almighty dollar. We wouldn't want you to give up your movie channels on cable TV, and we wouldn't want to deprive your kids of every toy and piece of clothing demanded. And I certainly wouldn't want you to start driving a fuel efficient car, instead of that SUV with the DVD player in the back. I mean, you might have to talk to your kids instead. And you can't be expected to live without your Mcmansions. I mean your kids might have to share a room and you all might have to use the same bathroom. And there might be only 1 living area, and you might have to watch TV together. Again, having to talk to your kids. Horrors. How dare anyone suggest you give up all your luxuries for someone's health care.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Waaaaaaaah.

How do you manage to type with that chip on your shoulder, tomato? Class jealousy is such an ugly thing, you should really seek some help.

And it's too bad you can't read very well, either. None of your little tirade against the rich applies to me, tomato. But it's waaaaay too much to wrap your little head around that not everyone that struggles financially is asking everyone else to pick up the tab for them.

tomatogrower 4 years, 8 months ago

So if you get too sick to work, you're just going to put yourself out on the ice?

tomatogrower 4 years, 8 months ago

And by the way, it's not class envy. I can afford all those things, but choose to live modestly, partly, because I like hanging out with my kids and being a parent to them, and partly because I never felt the need to keep up with the Jones. In fact if I would ever become a billionaire, I would follow the lead of Bill Gates and start a foundation. I would also use it to help start small businesses that would create jobs. In fact, if I get enough money saved, I am going to try and buy some of the downtown property and rent it out to small local businesses for just enough to cover taxes and upkeep. Do you think any of the developers who own there now would do that? No they just let it sit empty and fall apart.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Wow, Saint Tomato. I'm blessed to be conversing with such a pure and noble spirit.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

If I get too sick to work, tomato, I'll do what I do every time I'm too sick to work - go to the doctor. The difference is that I'll pay for it myself. You should try it some time, it's always good to learn new concepts.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

I see you've bought into all the propaganda.

I assume the point you were trying to make, if there was actually a point to your little rant, is that the costs are greater for waiting until a minor health problem turns into something serious. Unfortunately, that isn't true any more than the myth about the uninsured flocking to emergency rooms.

Did you know that women used to pay more for health insurance? That was precisely because women went to the doctor more often for minor problems than men did. According to your logic, women should have been cheaper to insure because they had minor issues addressed before they turned into serious problems.

But that isn't the case. For an individual, yes, it's obviously cheaper to have that little cough taken care of before it's pneumonia. The problem is that not every cough turns into pneumonia. And if everyone that has a cough goes to the doctor immediately, it costs one whole heck of a lot more than treating the few cases that do turn into pneumonia.

Everyone having insurance makes this problem worse, not better. Especially in our overly litigious society where doctors have to practice defensive medicine, especially when our health care system has been overspecialized, especially when every major physician's group, let alone hospitals, have millions of dollars invested in fancy equipment that has to be paid for by using it (the tail wagging the dog). Doctors don't listen to a cough and say 'take two aspirins and call me in the morning' anymore. They do MRI's and a battery of blood tests and refer the person to an ENT specialist, who, if he doesn't find anything, sends them to a pulmonary specialist (who repeats the MRI, and throws in a CT for good measure), who, when they don't find anything, refers them to an immunologist. And half of all that takes place after the cough has gone away, because it turns out it was just a little cold.

Get over yourself, tomato. Stop pretending your standing up for all those hard-working poor people who are about to orphan their children. What would be good for all those people, tomato, is bringing the cost of medical treatment under control, not getting someone else to pay for it. You're just another liberal with a sense of entitlement that wants someone else to cut down your costs.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Given the confusing nature of the nested threads, I hope you could figure out this post was addressed to your 10:24, "I wonder how many people have delayed going to the doctor, because they have no insurance. "

Liberty275 4 years, 8 months ago

Correcting someone's spelling in a forum is cheesy unless you do it with a modicum of humor. It demonstrates a lack of creativitie.

LOL, go ahead.

whynaut 4 years, 8 months ago

Seriously. I'm sorry, I don't like to be the grammar police, but when you're posts would fail a 3rd grade spelling test, you not only lose credibility, you loose it as well.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Seriously, I don't like to be the grammar police, but that should read "when your posts", not "when you're posts".

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

And BTW, my daughter's in third grade. SHE knows the difference between "you're" and "your".

Butterflies 4 years, 8 months ago

I feel so sad that there are so many out of the healthcare loop. Here take my money. I'm not Islamic or Christian but I feel so sad for you. Here take my money. I want to take care of all of you if I can.

I hope that Obama spreads China's wealth while in South Korea today. It will help pay for everybody's healthcare here.

Lindsey Buscher 4 years, 8 months ago

psst, psst, Mrs. Palin, if you have health insurance, then you are paying a premium. I don't want to be the one to break this to you, but your premium goes toward covering sick people with hereditary diseases, with lung disease from smoking, heart disease from obesity, and any number of ailments that you yourself will likely never suffer from.

I hope the sadness of this realization does not overwhelm you...should we put you on suicide watch?

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

She has the choice of paying her premium or not, if that's a concern. She does not have that option with taxes or with an insurance mandate.

Butterflies 4 years, 8 months ago

I donate money all the time to health insurance to help others that need help. Doesn't donating money to help others make you feel good? Obama will spread some of China's wealth which will help. He can finagle money from the Chinese. I just know he will. He has them in his hip pocket.

whynaut 4 years, 8 months ago

indisputable evidence that China is certainly in Obama's pocket. Good investigative linking.

http://bit.ly/HzDmx

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

And - again - you get no points for reading comprehension, naut. Um, the United States strengthening its military cooperation with countries in that half of the world, as a response to an increasingly aggressive China, kinda' implies exactly the opposite, dontcha' think? Or should I say DO ya' think?

lounger 4 years, 8 months ago

Oy! Here we go. Scary Sammy is not going to fix anything just oppose Obama. Lame, Tired and Old!

llama726 4 years, 8 months ago

All of those people walk more than us.

somemisfits 4 years, 8 months ago

And we vow to fight against Sam Brownback!

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Good luck with that.

How'd your fight go last week, by the way?

Lindsey Buscher 4 years, 8 months ago

No worries, NAJ, the fight is not over yet, just wait till Americans realize (again) that retardlicans only care about political gains and not about employment gains.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Have another big glass of "Waaaaaaaah" there, pugs.

tomatogrower 4 years, 8 months ago

Hey, notajayhawk, haven't your heard there's a lot of voter fraud in Kansas? Maybe that's why he won.

voevoda 4 years, 8 months ago

Brownback needs to talk with Sandy Praeger, our Kansas Insurance Commissioner, before doing anything about the Federal health insurance reform. She was quoted in the LJW saying something to the effect that the reform benefited a lot of Kansas, even though it isn't perfect. Why would Brownback want to spend a lot of money the state doesn't have to fight a Federal program that's helps thousands upon thousands of ordinary people right here? Does he care more about the mega-rich Koch types than he does about the rest of us?

amesn 4 years, 8 months ago

Easy answer-Yes! Poor people, and by Sam Brownback standards meaning an annual income of less than $250,000, scare the heck out of him. How can people live like that? Driving 10 year old cars, shopping for clothes at JcPenney or Old Navy, treating themselves a couple times a month to a nice meal at Applebees or Chili's, living in their 3br 2ba houses....uggghh...how do they stand it? Incomprehensible!

beatrice 4 years, 8 months ago

I want to see Republicans running on an anti-health care platform.

Are you ill? Too bad! Got a sick kid? Tough! Got a pre-existing condition and can't get insurance? So what! Want to keep your children on your family health plan beyond age 18? We don't care -- we're Republicans! We already have our own coverage, and screw you if you don't! We're Republicans!

kansanbygrace 4 years, 8 months ago

Uh, Libby, health care is a state-by-state issue. It's a state's rights argument from the beginning through the present. The federal government does not have the authority to overpower the individual states' responsibility to regulate this "Non-interstate-commerce industry." If the insurers were to re-formulate their business into interstate or national markets, then you would be the first to scream, because then the federal government would be able to regulate the industry directly.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

"Keep fear alive, Brownback!"

The fear-mongers are those who say if this piece of worthless legislation is repealed then poor sick children and poor old gramma' will die in agony freezing on the sideewalk tomorrow.

"We all know that everyone should have access to whatever healthcare they require, and should be able to afford it."

That's the problem. Nothing is being done to make it affordable. They're just trying to shift the ever-increasing cost onto someone else, and that is not a sustainable solution.

"Just dismissing what has already been done does not help the situation."

Since what's been done already will make things worse, then yes, dismissing it will make things better.

MyName 4 years, 8 months ago

It's a good thing that the Insurance commissioner is the only one who can really do anything to gum up the works. And Kansas has a good one who is a separately elected official.

pfunk81 4 years, 8 months ago

I hate you all and hope bad things happen to you.

ylime3499 4 years, 8 months ago

Why do people feel they're entitled to health insurance? Good jobs? Money? Get over it! It's only life no one makes it out alive, and even if you work as hard as you can and still don't acquire whatever your goal was ... tough! Sure get upset/bummed when things don’t go your way, but again it’s life!

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Obama served where, again? Oh, yeah, he was a community organizer.

So if being 'bothered' to serve in the military is all that matters to you, dpl, I guess you voted for McCain then, right?

kansanbygrace 4 years, 8 months ago

I think the article was about Brownback, wasn't it?

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Well, dpl, if we're sticking to the subject, you brought up the subject of military service (which is what I responded to, since you obviously were incapable of figuring that out) why, again?

sweatybutcher 4 years, 8 months ago

Sam Brownback now has government health care.

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 8 months ago

Please - Sam Brownback has never had anything BUT government healthcare.

He's never had a job that wasn't on the taxpayer dime. Because he's a Republican, though, that makes him a dedicated public servant.

Lucky for him he's not a Democrat, because then he would be a career politician sucking off the taxpayer teet.

pace 4 years, 8 months ago

Republican party of change, less government, richer insurance companies. We should trust the insurance companies. They have a heart, they would never keep you from the health care you need. They would never take your home and savings and then still leave you up the creek. They have a heart. It is a small child's heart and they keep it in a jar in the boardroom.

Brendon Allen 4 years, 8 months ago

This is what gets me about politicians in general. What is your alternative??? What is YOUR plan??? It is very easy to blast the president for trying to fix a broke system but what is your option? More of the same thing that has seen healthcare cost blow out and will soon account for 1/4 of the GDP? Is the legislation flawed? You betcha, it does not look at the cost side of things and does not look at things like tort reform etc. Is it a comprise that was the only thing that would pass? yes. But this is not an entirely bad thing. The ONE good thing congress does is take a bill that has things broken and fix it over time. Yeah it might not be the radical reform we need but it will get there and somebody had to start it.

The problem was the president did not sell it well and to get some consensus, even with the dems, had to lose some of the things that would help reign costs in. But before you repeal things you better have alternatives and keep the parts they got right. So you don't like being required to purchase insurance? Great then you also have to get rid of the non-exclusion on pre-existing conditions or else you have a real moral hazard from people being free riders. Why would I get insurance until I got cancer? They can't exclude me when I get so why not wait??? All those on this forum that say they don't have insurance because they pay for themselves, good for you until you get anything more serious than bronchitis.

I have had insurance for all but two weeks of my life. I had it through my parents, through school, and through work. I went overseas and had it there (public and private). I had just returned home from 4 years overseas and had a US doctor look at what was diagnosed overseas as a tendon pull on my right ankle right before I left to move back to the US. I had not started my job in the US so I was not covered (even if I had been it would not have kicked in for 90 days) but I thought hey this will not be much so who cares. That tendon pull was osteosarcoma (bone cancer). I had never had any hospital stay in my life and here I was finally needing to use all I paid into insurance and I had none. No one should have to feel as helpless as I felt. Over the next few months I racked up almost 200K in hospital and oncology bills. fortunately at that time Kansas High Risk Insurance kicked in (if you are denied by 3 insurance companies, which with cancer as pre-existing was easy, they state had to cover you albeit at a very high rate). I thank god for this program it saved me from bankruptcy. Kansas is in the minority of the states to have it (Seibielus did it). Fortunately I was in a position to have a family that could pay the almost 85K in bills before the insurance kicked in (it is amazing how much you can talk the bills down if you can actually pay) but I would have to think I am the exception.

Brendon Allen 4 years, 8 months ago

Part 2

I don't tell this story to elicit sympathy I tell it to show you why the system is broke. The other issue for me now is I am very entrepreneurial and had started a couple companies before I was diagnosed with cancer. However due to my preexisting condition my ability to take risk and possibly start another business is severely constrained. I basically have to go from insurance to insurance with no gaps or I will be denied (yes there is Cobra but still). If I try and get private insurance I will be denied. So I am captive. I cannot easily do what I want to do which seems very uncapitalistic for you republicans out there (I am independent but republicans always talk about how the current system provides choice, it does not for someone like me). Before you reply (if you even made it this far) that there is x and y way, yeah maybe there is but it is not easy and not guaranteed.

I don't know the true answer to all of this. I like the idea of out of pocket (cash only) for small and routine visits but required catastrophic coverage to do what insurance was made to do, spread risk across a diverse population, something it does not do with pre-existing clauses. A lot like car insurance. If I get into something small I pay for it out of pocket but If I get totaled I submit it to insurance. This would help limit the frequency of people who take advantage of insurance for non-necessary visits but cover situations like mine. And yes yes I know it is not a right to drive a car and the two are different but I think the same model would work.

to close after all my rambling, Brownback should not waste tax payer money fighting this unless he has alternatives which I have never seen him elaborate on. Reforming something that is flawed, but the best chance at a start of real reform in decades, is a better option that going backwards as Brownback would like us to do.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 8 months ago

The losers if Sam Brownback gets his way will be those with pre-existing conditions and parents who want to keep their children covered until age 26.

All other insured consumers lose because the medical insurance industry saw fit to increase the cost of premiums EVEN MORE using those two situations.

The medical insurance industry would have increased the rates no matter what because that is what they do best.

Yes the medical insurance industry has important items to maintain such as $73 million retirement bonus aka golden parachutes for the CIGNA CEO. Not great use of medical insurance dollars.

Then the medical insurance industry must support their fraud clause not written into their policies it's just understood: Thursday, June 25, 2009

Health insurers have forced consumers to pay billions of dollars in medical bills that the insurers themselves should have paid, according to a report released yesterday by the staff of the Senate Commerce Committee.

Insurers make paperwork confusing because "they realize that people will just simply give up and not pursue it" if they think they have been shortchanged, Potter said.

More on this story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/24/AR2009062401636.html

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

"The losers if Sam Brownback gets his way will be those with pre-existing conditions and parents who want to keep their children covered until age 26. "

Gee, nice emotional appeal - should be tough getting people to agree with you here in a college town, merrill.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

It doesn't have to be repealed.

It doesn't have to be funded, either.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 8 months ago

How to reduce the cost of healthcare? Get rid of the medical insurance industry!

Why? Because they do not provide health care but they are a whopping expense item!

Improved Medicare Insurance for All would provide real medical insurance reform!

The United States spends twice as much as other industrialized nations on healthcare – $8160 per capita – yet performs poorly in comparison and leaves over 46 million people without health coverage and millions more inadequately covered.

Expanded and Improved Medicare for All is the solution.

  • Easy to Implement: Medicare has been in existence since 1966, it provides healthcare to those 65 and older, and satisfaction levels are high. The structure is already in place and can be easily expanded to cover everyone.

  • Simple: One entity – established by the government – would handle billing and payment at a cost significantly lower than private insurance companies. Private insurance companies spend about 31% of every healthcare dollar on administration. Medicare now spends about 3%.

  • Real Choice: An expanded and improved Medicare for All would provide personal choice of doctors and other healthcare providers. While financing would be public, providers would remain private. As with Medicare, you chose your doctor, your hospital, and other healthcare providers.

  • State and Local Tax Relief: Medicare for All would assume the costs of healthcare delivery, thus relieving the states and local governments of the cost of healthcare, including Medicaid, and as a result reduce State and local tax burdens.

  • Expanded coverage: Would cover all medically necessary healthcare services – no more rationing by private insurance companies. There would be no limits on coverage, no co-pays or deductibles, and services would include not only primary and specialized care but also prescription drugs, dental, vision, mental health services, and long-term care.

  • Everyone In, Nobody Out: Everyone would be eligible and covered. No longer would doctors ask what insurance you have before they treat you.

  • No More Overpriced Private Health Insurance: Medicare for All would eliminate the need for private health insurance companies who put profit before healthcare, unfairly limit choice, restrict who gets coverage, and force people into bankruptcy.

  • Lower Costs: Most people will pay significantly less for healthcare. Savings will be achieved in reduced administrative costs and in negotiated prices for prescription drugs.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 8 months ago

Searching on "Improved Medicare insurance for all" + merrill got 342 hits. Just so you know.....

Kontum1972 4 years, 8 months ago

yeah what does he care about health-care....he gets his for free from us....the state tax payers....he could care less about our health...

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

He participates in the same health benefits plan that all other federal employees have access to.

But if you want to save the taxpayers a few bucks and eliminate that expenditure by not offering it to any of them, that's fine, too. Of course, you're adding another 10% of the population to the uninsured, but what the hey.

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 8 months ago

The marketplace will provide insurance to elected officials.

They aren't really employees anyway.

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 8 months ago

If there are really 50 million uninsured Americans, why don't they get together and march on Washington?

Perhaps they should find a better way to represent their views if there are so many of them. Sounds like they need to organize instead of letting the Democrats take all the heat.

Isn't that the American way. Start an association and donate a couple of dollars toward health care reform and when the Republicans start sniffing money they will jump on board as well.

Just a thought.

llama726 4 years, 8 months ago

If you're uninsured, you're probably unemployed, underemployed, or working at a job which isn't very rewarding, unfortunately. The uninsured aren't the people with comfy careers, they're the people who already lack the resources and time necessary to organize. They're students, they're part time employees who can't find other work, they're the homeless, etc...

pace 4 years, 8 months ago

A lot of them have jobs and can't afford the babysitter. Great plan, is it a tea party special Where instead of legislation we form mobs and march. Couldn't we just get some legislation passed?Oh we did. I hope the credit of health care reform sticks to the democrat's back. They started it, and they deserve the credit. I hope the republicans don't kill health care reform. We need health care reform. You can hate it, you can lie about it , but we need health care reform. this country needed social security, we need roads, bridges, sewers, and we need health care reform.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

"Couldn't we just get some legislation passed?Oh we did. I hope the credit of health care reform sticks to the democrat's back. They started it, and they deserve the credit."

Oh, don't worry, we'll remember who the blame falls on.

pace 4 years, 8 months ago

Oh yes, I hope you do remember, but the chances are if you are a republican , your memory will lapse. You say support the troops but the democrats push GI bill. The yellow ribbon sticker so many bought and slapped on the SUV, that money went to corporate coffers not DAV. Get real, we need health care reform. The only plan I hear from Brownback is he will defeat health care reform. that is a great plan, It isn't the stimulus bill that is hurting the economy, it is short sighted unregulated greed, fraud and war.

whats_going_on 4 years, 8 months ago

Here's an idea:

ALL republicans do not NOT want people to have health insurance. It's a silly generalization. Also, just because republicans are against the reform that was passed doesn't mean they are necessarily against reform at ALL. If they are, they are lying to themselves, probably gaining something from the insurance companies, and just plain greedy.

and

ALL democrats are not lazy bums who want to mooch off of the rich...and ALL democrats do not think that everyone, including bums, should get a free ride. For example, myself (although I consider myself dem-moderate)...I hate it when people mooch off of the system. HOWEVER, people are suffering, at no fault of their own sometimes, especially since the recession. They deserve help.

People who work their butts off doing jobs that don't pay well, but are necessary to the country, also deserve assistance. Most likely they aren't going to be able to afford private insurance, especially now that the companies are completely out of control. Just because they don't hold CEO offices or management jobs doesn't mean they don't work hard.

Sensationalism is focked up.

benfongturez 4 years, 8 months ago

I work part time in Lawrence while I go to school, they only offer health insurance to full timers. I make too much money to be counted as a dependent and have to file seperately from my mom on taxes, so she can not cover me on her health insurance policy through her employer. Yet my tiny salary does not qualify for assisted healthcare, or any sort of government assistance. I am not considered an independent on the FAFSA and eligible for discounted tuition because I'm not 24. I work/ go to school 14 hour days, and my personal health insurance premium is 1/3 of my income. How many college kids do you know that can afford to do that for two years now? I am the face of the person you claim wants healthcare for free.

It's a big pile of crock. There are so many people in my position. I just want to pay the same price as everyone else, or be allowed to stay on my mom's policy like the rich kids in college that don't support theirselves. I have to work while in school, while they play. AND I have to pay health insurance and they don't? This is madness, NO THIS IS RICH AMERICA!

I cry for price equality, and a governor and all his ignorant Kansas supporters take to the forums to call me "a bum" wanting something for nothing. I have worked harder through college than anyone supported by their parents, yet you would deny me the "luxury" (sad I literally consider healthcare this) of staying on my parents insurance plan while putting myself through school? I can't wait to graduate and leave this ignorant state.

jafs 4 years, 8 months ago

Can't you get health care from the school?

I seem to recall that used to be available.

llama726 4 years, 8 months ago

You can, it's $1000 a year if you're a KU student: https://www.uhcsr.com/SelfServiceSupport/Students/CollegeHome.aspx

Works out to about $85 a month. That's a lot of money to a college student who works part time, but it's probably a little better than the private market rate.

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

"I can't wait to graduate and leave this ignorant state."

Buh-bye, we'll miss you.

Oh, wait, you're not gone yet. Anything we can do to help hasten that process? That may be something you can get the rest of us 'ignorant' folks to pay for.

I feel for you, though. You really do need some kind of coverage. You're going to strain something really bad, twisting into such contortions, patting yourself on the back with one hand for 'supporting yourself' while the other one's sticking out asking your mother's employer and co-workers to pay for your insurance. All the while balancing that huge chip on your shoulders.

BTW, your mother can claim you as a dependent on her taxes if she's providing more than half your support. Sounds like if she paid your insurance, you'd be almost there.

Alceste 4 years, 8 months ago

I hope Brownback is able to deliver on each and every one of his crackpot ideas. The working people of Kansas will, finally, understand just how stupid they are, have been, and most probably shall continue to be as they all go flat, dead dog a** broke! It is going to be ever so amusing to watch......how I love a train wreck with all kinds of mutilation and loss: It's on the horizon....wait and see! hahahahahaahhahahaaaa

jafs 4 years, 8 months ago

That's a bit harsh.

Also, there is the very real possibility that even if the policies are a drastic failure, that somehow people will not be able to see and acknowledge that.

Alceste 4 years, 8 months ago

Nah....not harsh....just the Kansas way. Their collective inability to verbalize and/or "acknowledge" their pain will be evident in their speech patterns and facial expresisons. Get out your cameras as we're heading for many a photo op as these duffus, hillbilly Redneck hick Kansans are about to get just what they asked for. It's gonna be fun.....nothing else to do but make lemonade out of lemons, per good ole Forest Gump, right?!

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

"Their collective inability to verbalize and/or "acknowledge" their pain will be evident in their speech patterns and facial expresisons. Get out your cameras as we're heading for many a photo op as these duffus"

Why, I know exactly what you're talking about!

I've seen it all over Lawrence for, oh, the past 11 days or so!

And it's been the worst right here on these message boards, coming from people like - well, YOU!!!

notajayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

(Oh, and btw, Al - was your daddy's name "In", by any chance?)

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