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Health Care-Some thoughts

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by GBatch_25, Jul 27, 2009.

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  1. GBatch_25

    GBatch_25 Active Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    If any of you haven't seen the chart at the above URL, I suggest you take a look. It's an attempt to condense over 1000 pages of legislative language on to a single piece of paper; it represents what the current House bill would look like if enacted. Yes, I know that the current House bill seems to be stalled, however that does not mean it can't be resurrected.

    I'm 62 and have had my share of health problems recently. The last thing I can conceive of is having to jump through hoops so some bureaucrat somewhere can meet their goal, while I wither in the wind waiting for either treatment or care.

    I know this is not a political forum, but please call your Congressman and Senators and tell them not to mess up the medical treatment system we have - yea, it's costly, but it's also the best there is.

    Please look at the chart at the URL above.

    Gene Batchelar
    Wheaton, IL
  2. The Stive

    The Stive Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    We all need to do what we can to stop this!! John
  3. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Green Bay Wisconsin
    It's not about health care, it's about control. This is just the wrapper.

    We already have the best health care in the world, as you can see by the number of people from other countries coming here for it.

    What we need to get rid of is the Problems with the high cost of insurance, excessive damage awards, and no limit malpractice setlements.

    Another high cost item is the free care for illegals. A number of southwestern hospitals are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy because of it.

    Tort reform is anathema to the lawyers, but it's the beginning of a solution.

    Every 3 million dollars awarded puts a million or more in the lawyer's pocket.

    With Washington DC full of lawyers, and most of the politicians being lawyers you can expect that it will not be fixed until the mobs hit the streets.

    Be sure and include these concerns in your communication to your elected representatives.

  4. Bisi

    Bisi TS Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    A week or so ago someone put that chart up on this website and I thought it was a joke. It looked like a schematic that only Rube Goldberg could have devised. I found out this weekend that IT IS NOT A JOKE. I was watching Glen Beck and he had the same thing on his show. It’s insanity at it’s worst!! Only a bunch of nitwits from the government could come up with this crap!!

    Look at some of the departments - “Office of Civil Rights”, “Office of Minority Health”. It is a cluster ****!!

    They don’t give a dam about your health, they want to own you.

    Stop the insanity!
  5. bigdogtx

    bigdogtx Well-Known Member

    Aug 5, 2006
    Pelosi et. al stopped the Repubs from sending out that chart to their constituents....guess she forgot about "open" government, AGAIN!!!!
  6. dverna

    dverna Active Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    It can only be stopped by moderate Democrats. They are the key.

    Those guys will be taking a lot of heat directly from Obama if they do not follow the party line. I doubt many will be able to vote as they believe.

    Once this gets enacted, it will be near impossible to reverse the damage. We are in such deep trouble.

    Don Verna
  7. GBatch_25

    GBatch_25 Active Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    If the chart isn't concerning enough, here's more.

    Shawn Tully, Editor at Large, Fortune Magazine
    July 24, 2009: 10:17 AM ET


    5 freedoms you'd lose in health care reform
    If you read the fine print in the Congressional plans, you'll find that a lot of cherished aspects of the current system would disappear.

    NEW YORK (Fortune) -- In promoting his health-care agenda, President
    Obama has repeatedly reassured Americans that they can keep their
    existing health plans -- and that the benefits and access they prize
    will be enhanced through reform.

    A close reading of the two main bills, one backed by Democrats in the
    House and the other issued by Sen. Edward Kennedy's Health committee,
    contradict the President's assurances. To be sure, it isn't easy to comb
    through their 2,000 pages of tortured legal language. But page by page,
    the bills reveal a web of restrictions, fines, and mandates that would
    radically change your health-care coverage.

    If you prize choosing your own cardiologist or urologist under your
    company's Preferred Provider Organization plan (PPO), if your employer
    rewards your non-smoking, healthy lifestyle with reduced premiums, if
    you love the bargain Health Savings Account (HSA) that insures you just
    for the essentials, or if you simply take comfort in the freedom to
    spend your own money for a policy that covers the newest drugs and
    diagnostic tests -- you may be shocked to learn that you could lose all
    of those good things under the rules proposed in the two bills that
    herald a health-care revolution.

    In short, the Obama platform would mandate extremely full, expensive,
    and highly subsidized coverage -- including a lot of benefits people
    would never pay for with their own money -- but deliver it through a
    highly restrictive, HMO-style plan that will determine what care and
    tests you can and can't have. It's a revolution, all right, but in the
    wrong direction.

    Let's explore the five freedoms that Americans would lose under

    1. Freedom to choose what's in your plan

    The bills in both houses require that Americans purchase insurance
    through "qualified" plans offered by health-care "exchanges" that would
    be set up in each state. The rub is that the plans can't really compete
    based on what they offer. The reason: The federal government will impose
    a minimum list of benefits that each plan is required to offer.

    Today, many states require these "standard benefits packages" -- and
    they're a major cause for the rise in health-care costs. Every group,
    from chiropractors to alcohol-abuse counselors, do lobbying to get
    included. Connecticut, for example, requires reimbursement for hair
    transplants, hearing aids, and in vitro fertilization.

    The Senate bill would require coverage for prescription drugs,
    mental-health benefits, and substance-abuse services. It also requires
    policies to insure "children" until the age of 26. That's just the
    starting list. The bills would allow the Department of Health and Human
    Services to add to the list of required benefits, based on
    recommendations from a committee of experts. Americans, therefore,
    wouldn't even know what's in their plans and what they're required to
    pay for, directly or indirectly, until after the bills become law.

    2. Freedom to be rewarded for healthy living, or pay your real costs

    As with the previous example, the Obama plan enshrines into federal law
    one of the worst features of state legislation: community rating. Eleven
    states, ranging from New York to Oregon, have some form of community
    rating. In its purest form, community rating requires that all patients
    pay the same rates for their level of coverage regardless of their age
    or medical condition.

    Americans with pre-existing conditions need subsidies under any plan,
    but community rating is a dubious way to bring fairness to health care.
    The reason is twofold: First, it forces young people, who typically have
    lower incomes than older workers, to pay far more than their actual
    cost, and gives older workers, who can afford to pay more, a big
    discount. The state laws gouging the young are a major reason so many of
    them have joined the ranks of uninsured.

    Under the Senate plan, insurers would be barred from charging any more
    than twice as much for one patient vs. any other patient with the same
    coverage. So if a 20-year-old who costs just $800 a year to insure is
    forced to pay $2,500, a 62-year-old who costs $7,500 would pay no more
    than $5,000.

    Second, the bills would ban insurers from charging differing premiums
    based on the health of their customers. Again, that's understandable for
    folks with diabetes or cancer. But the bills would bar rewarding people
    who pursue a healthy lifestyle of exercise or a cholesterol-conscious
    diet. That's hardly a formula for lower costs. It's as if car insurers
    had to charge the same rates to safe drivers as to chronic speeders with
    a history of accidents.

    3. Freedom to choose high-deductible coverage

    The bills threaten to eliminate the one part of the market truly driven
    by consumers spending their own money. That's what makes a market, and
    health care needs more of it, not less.

    Hundreds of companies now offer Health Savings Accounts to about 5
    million employees. Those workers deposit tax-free money in the accounts
    and get a matching contribution from their employer. They can use the
    funds to buy a high-deductible plan -- say for major medical costs over
    $12,000. Preventive care is reimbursed, but patients pay all other
    routine doctor visits and tests with their own money from the HSA
    account. As a result, HSA users are far more cost-conscious than
    customers who are reimbursed for the majority of their care.

    The bills seriously endanger the trend toward consumer-driven care in
    general. By requiring minimum packages, they would prevent patients from
    choosing stripped-down plans that cover only major medical expenses.
    "The government could set extremely low deductibles that would eliminate
    HSAs," says John Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis, a
    free-market research group. "And they could do it after the bills are

    4. Freedom to keep your existing plan

    This is the freedom that the President keeps emphasizing. Yet the bills
    appear to say otherwise. It's worth diving into the weeds -- the
    territory where most pundits and politicians don't seem to have

    The legislation divides the insured into two main groups, and those two
    groups are treated differently with respect to their current plans. The
    first are employees covered by the Employee Retirement Security Act of
    1974. ERISA regulates companies that are self-insured, meaning they pay
    claims out of their cash flow, and don't have real insurance. Those are
    the GEs (GE, Fortune 500) and Time Warners (TWX, Fortune 500) and most
    other big companies.

    The House bill states that employees covered by ERISA plans are
    "grandfathered." Under ERISA, the plans can do pretty much what they
    want -- they're exempt from standard packages and community rating and
    can reward employees for healthy lifestyles even in restrictive states.

    But read on.

    The bill gives ERISA employers a five-year grace period when they can
    keep offering plans free from the restrictions of the "qualified"
    policies offered on the exchanges. But after five years, they would have
    to offer only approved plans, with the myriad rules we've already
    discussed. So for Americans in large corporations, "keeping your own
    plan" has a strict deadline. In five years, like it or not, you'll get
    dumped into the exchange. As we'll see, it could happen a lot earlier.

    The outlook is worse for the second group. It encompasses employees who
    aren't under ERISA but get actual insurance either on their own or
    through small businesses. After the legislation passes, all insurers
    that offer a wide range of plans to these employees will be forced to
    offer only "qualified" plans to new customers, via the exchanges.

    The employees who got their coverage before the law goes into effect can
    keep their plans, but once again, there's a catch. If the plan changes
    in any way -- by altering co-pays, deductibles, or even switching
    coverage for this or that drug -- the employee must drop out and shop
    through the exchange. Since these plans generally change their policies
    every year, it's likely that millions of employees will lose their plans
    in 12 months.

    5. Freedom to choose your doctor.

    The Senate bill requires that Americans buying through the exchanges --
    and as we've seen, that will soon be most Americans -- must get their
    care through something called "medical home." Medical home is similar to
    an HMO. You're assigned a primary care doctor, and the doctor controls
    your access to specialists. The primary care physicians will decide
    which services, like MRIs and other diagnostic scans, are best for you,
    and will decide when you really need to see a cardiologists or

    Under the proposals, the gatekeepers would theoretically guide patients
    to tests and treatments that have proved most cost-effective. The danger
    is that doctors will be financially rewarded for denying care, as were
    HMO physicians more than a decade ago. It was consumer outrage over
    despotic gatekeepers that made the HMOs so unpopular, and killed what
    was billed as the solution to America's health-care cost explosion.

    The bills do not specifically rule out fee-for-service plans as options
    to be offered through the exchanges. But remember, those plans -- if
    they exist -- would be barred from charging sick or elderly patients
    more than young and healthy ones. So patients would be inclined to game
    the system, staying in the HMO while they're healthy and switching to
    fee-for-service when they become seriously ill. "That would kill
    fee-for-service in a hurry," says Goodman.

    In reality, the flexible, employer-based plans that now dominate the
    landscape, and that Americans so cherish, could disappear far faster
    than the 5 year "grace period" that's barely being discussed.

    Companies would have the option of paying an 8% payroll tax into a fund
    that pays for coverage for Americans who aren't covered by their
    employers. It won't happen right away -- large companies must wait a
    couple of years before they opt out. But it will happen, since it's
    likely that the tax will rise a lot more slowly than corporate
    health-care costs, especially since they'll be lobbying Washington to
    keep the tax under control in the righteous name of job creation.

    The best solution is to move to a let-freedom-ring regime of high
    deductibles, no community rating, no standard benefits, and cross-state
    shopping for bargains (another market-based reform that's strictly taboo
    in the bills). I'll propose my own solution in another piece soon on
    Fortune.com. For now, we suffer with a flawed health-care system, but we
    still have our Five Freedoms. Call them the Five Endangered Freedoms.

    Gene Batchelar
    Wheaton, IL
  8. KenC

    KenC Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Boy, it seemed like when I hit 60, the wheels fell off, health wise. What I'm afraid of is the rationing/denial of essential care/treatment/equipment to us Baby-Boomers.

    But in so doing, the Obama administration kills two birds w/one stone: As we Babyboomers perish from this would be legislative genocide, the healthcare problem gradually gets smaller AND so does the Social Security problem; they won't have to pay us as much or as long!
  9. ricks1

    ricks1 TS Member

    May 7, 2007
    Ken that what its all about. I think many of the dumbocraps up there are hereing the samething
  10. recurvyarcher

    recurvyarcher Well-Known Member

    Apr 26, 2006
    bigdogtx, the democrats can block the mailings from going out, but they cannot block us from emailing it around, now can they? While they mess around trying to delay the mailings, it is reaching people via the internet in various ways. We can do our part to get it to the people that we know.

    I liked your post. It shows just where we are headed in terms of censorship.
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