The Biggest Threat to Obama's Health Care "Reform" - Reality

Posted:
in PoliticalOutsider edited February 2014
Politico.com



Quote:

Earlier this week, CBO released preliminary estimates suggesting that the health care proposals ? the most ambitious currently under discussion ? from the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee would cost $1 trillion and trim the number of uninsured by only 16 million.



With a few more reports like this, CBO could quickly prove more damaging to the administration?s health care efforts than could Republican attacks about ?socialized medicine.?



That darn CBO might have to report on the cost of the bill and that would of course not be propaganda so it would damage the Obama plan.



The solution...



Quote:

The most profound challenge to President Barack Obama?s health care plan

that CBO represents is its reputation for nonpartisan economic analysis. Once a figure is floated, it can be difficult for the administration to counteract politically. Trying to dispute technical details from CBO can quickly make voters? eyes glaze over.



Obama can?t get trapped into a dry debate that is just about the numbers. Whatever form his final proposal takes, his best bet will be to keep public attention focused on the major objectives behind health care reform and the vital changes that will result from overhauling the system. This is what presidents can do well: shape the agenda and define a bill, rather than engage in an econometric numbers game with the experts huddled in CBO.



We don't need to know the numbers. If we do know the numbers... well we might be informed and that would be very bad for public attention. What the president needs to do is what he has been doing. He can smile, go on some date nights, talk about platitudes like "fiscal responsibility" while doubling the spending and national debt or maybe talk about how our allies like us and the apologies while they all sharpen their sabers.



Pretty pictures, funny jokes, but anything that represents numbers, policies, reality, those are threats. Send out the clowns to deal with them. Make sure HuffPo knows who was "blasted", "schooled", "slammed" so we don't have to think about those messy things like... the cost and benefit.
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Comments

  • hands sandonhands sandon Posts: 5,268member
    HuffPo knows a good example when they see one as studies relating to health have shown.



    "Dads have the power to make the whole family healthy, according to a new study.



    Researchers at the University of Newcastle have found that kids copy their father??s diets and exercise regimes.



    They will conduct the world-first study - Healthy Dads, Healthy Kids - funded by the Hunter Medical Research Institute.



    The six-month study has shown that kids mimic their fathers over their mothers when it comes to healthy eating and exercise.



    Associate Professor Philip Morgan, who heads the new program, saw surprising results in a previous trial involving 165 overweight children.



    He found kids who lost the most weight had fathers who were engaged in the new eating and exercise plan.



    In another trial, involving 65 men in an online weight loss program, he found that the children of men involved - and even their wives - also shed kilos."

    ~ http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/..._10085591.html



    Obama is setting a good example (except for the smoking, has he quit?). This from HuffPo -

    "The President of the United States is an important job, but nothing comes close to being a dad. When Barack Obama isn't meeting with politicians or courting the press, or slipping away for the occasional date night, he's hanging out with his daughters Malia, 10, and Sasha, 8. To celebrate this Father's Day, we've assembled an album of Obama's cutest dad moments. From rollerskating to vacationing in Hawaii to running after Bo, this looks like one family we'd like to be adopted into."

    ~ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/0..._n_217097.html



    Healthcare is worth paying for. The problem is it's bankrupting American's and leaving lots of people sick in the US.



    Here's some truly shocking figures published by the BBC-



    "Americans live shorter lives than citizens of almost every other developed nation, according to a report from several US charities.



    More US babies die in their first year than in most other rich countries.

    If the US infant mortality rate were equal to first-ranked Sweden, more than 20,000 babies would survive beyond their first year of life."

    ~ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7511426.stm



    "75 million American adults ? representing 42 percent of people under 65 ? had either no insurance or inadequate insurance coverage in 2007.

    All other major industrialized nations provide some form of health coverage for all their citizens. Most of these systems offer a broad range of benefits at no cost to the patients. In comparison, the U.S. spends more than twice as much per person as these other nations but ranks near the bottom in quality and access to care.



    The World Health Organization last ranked health system performance in 2000 using major health indicators such as life expectancy, infant mortality and immunization rates. Among its 191 member nations, the U.S. ranked 37. How could we be left so far behind, and why has this problem been allowed to persist?"

    ~ http://www.citizen.org/prezview/articles.cfm?ID=18509



    Obama needs to get things moving. Stir things up a bit. It's worth it.
  • hands sandonhands sandon Posts: 5,268member
    More stupidity-



    "Almost half of all private sector workers, 57 million, do not have a single paid sick day.



    We looked at 22 affluent countries -- the 22 that are the top 22 ranked in terms of the human development index -- except for the United States, every single other one has some form of paid sick days or paid sick leave and the majority have both,"

    "presenteeism" -- when sick workers show up for work instead of staying home -- costs the national economy $180 billion annually in lost productivity, or $225 per employee per year."

    ~ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/0..._n_204937.html



    BTW Trumptman, please don't take the title of this post personally. I just thought it made a good title and besides you believe in a public healthcare system for all, right?
  • trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,255member
    No offense taken Hands, but I'm a bit confused. Fathers are tossed out of families by family courts. I don't see how national health care will change that. Sick leave legislation is again, completely seperate from health care and can be addressed as such. I appreciate the sentiments and the links but help me by tying it into the discussion.
  • hands sandonhands sandon Posts: 5,268member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trumptman View Post


    No offense taken Hands, but I'm a bit confused. Fathers are tossed out of families by family courts. I don't see how national health care will change that. Sick leave legislation is again, completely seperate from health care and can be addressed as such. I appreciate the sentiments and the links but help me by tying it into the discussion.



    A public healthcare system wouldn't necessarily effect laws governing custody laws etc or sick leave for private businesses. Though in Europe I believe there are some mandatory rules governing sick leave time and maternity leave which certainly the people I speak to here in the UK, value as part of what they see as the healthcare system.



    Obviously there are many pro's and con's to following different models and as things stand in the US everything is very divided up into very distinct groups. That's partly why it's difficult to change and partly how those who are happy with the status quo fight to keep things roughly speaking the same. But as you know that leaves a lot of people denied care or put off from seeking care until their conditions have worsened.



    As far as what's happening now in D.C. I just haven't been following it closely yet, but I will start to keep an eye on it. No doubt America is a long way from having a system that isn't heavily biased to those with the money, no matter what kicking and screaming seems to be happening.



    If I read up on some of the details in your post and form a view, I'll chip in with a response.



    I should add that developed nations , except the US, haven't let getting bogged down in financial bogey men figures, put them off enacting system's their citizens want. The way I look at is, it's one of the few arguments left for those who are opposed to universal healthcare to create false road blocks. But hey, no surprise there at all.
  • talon8472talon8472 Posts: 149member
    @ trumptman



    You have pointed out a problem with the system and what will happen once Obama is done with the system (even worse). However, you did not propose an alternative solution that people could rally behind. Without that, I fear that this will quickly break down into a senseless debate of Liberal vs Conservative or Democrat vs Republican argument - which does everyone little good as compared to debating and talking about solutions.



    I'll go ahead and suggest an alternative to get the ball rolling.



    For those of you who have statistical knowledge; you should appreciate what I'm about to say. Let's create a distribution of the cost of health care for citizens in this country provided by business (not subsidized by government). Naturally, from this, you'll derive a mean cost. If you have government take care of (subsidize) the cost of the top 10 % to 15 % of the highest cost individuals, you will have eliminated them from the distribution, which will lead to a new distribution. One with a significantly lower mean cost for everyone.



    For those of you who do not have basic statistical knowledge, I'll re-state what I said above in a way that may be more comprehensible.



    Have government subsidize the top 10 to 15 percent of people in America who have the highest health care costs. By doing this, all the outliers and the rest of the significantly above normal people with health care costs are taken care of and therefore, do not factor into the business cost of providing health care for the general population. By lowering the business cost so dramatically, they can provide cheaper, superior health care services to the general populace. [Edit Add: Expanding reach and richness - Blown to Bits - good book]



    Right now, we currently have a system which is mostly business based. This is inefficient as businesses cannot effectively take care of the whole population, and regulations in this regard are quite stifling - further worsening the situation. By increasing the cost of business overhead; everyone ends up paying significantly higher premiums for health care services.



    What Obama and his liberally controlled Congress is proposing to is shift away from business provided health care to entirely governmental system of health care (Socialized Health Care). This is even more inefficient than the business provided health care and therefore more costly. Also, this further reduces the quality of health care as its being used to further extend coverage across America. In attempting to increase reach, you lose richness (Blown to Bits - good book).



    With the proposed hybrid type solution, you've effectively made it manageable for businesses to cost-effectively provide health care for America while having coverage across America. It also has the side benefit of reducing the amount of governmental interference (which is always inefficient) but using government where it can be best applied (taking care of small populations). This is cheaper for both the government and businesses to adopt this; without requiring more tax revenue.
  • trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,255member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Talon8472 View Post


    @ trumptman



    You have pointed out a problem with the system and what will happen once Obama is done with the system (even worse). However, you did not propose an alternative solution that people could rally behind. Without that, I fear that this will quickly break down into a senseless debate of Liberal vs Conservative or Democrat vs Republican argument - which does everyone little good as compared to debating and talking about solutions.



    I would suggest that this is because the real solution is to get government out of health care period. Having the government "reform" health care again is really an attempt to have the solve the health care problem they created.



    Quote:

    I'll go ahead and suggest an alternative to get the ball rolling.



    For those of you who have statistical knowledge; you should appreciate what I'm about to say. Let's create a distribution of the cost of health care for citizens in this country provided by business (not subsidized by government). Naturally, from this, you'll derive a mean cost. If you have government take care of (subsidize) the cost of the top 10 % to 15 % of the highest cost individuals, you will have eliminated them from the distribution, which will lead to a new distribution. One with a significantly lower mean cost for everyone.



    For those of you who do not have basic statistical knowledge, I'll re-state what I said above in a way that may be more comprehensible.



    Have government subsidize the top 10 to 15 percent of people in America who have the highest health care costs. By doing this, all the outliers and the rest of the significantly above normal people with health care costs are taken care of and therefore, do not factor into the business cost of providing health care for the general population. By lowering the business cost so dramatically, they can provide cheaper, superior health care services to the general populace. [Edit Add: Expanding reach and richness - Blown to Bits - good book]



    We essentially already do this now. We have Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security Disability. These take care of all the outliers and highest risk health concerns from the general population pool. The reason they do not dramatically lower the cost of health care, but instead increase it well beyond the rate of inflation.



    Quote:

    Right now, we currently have a system which is mostly business based. This is inefficient as businesses cannot effectively take care of the whole population, and regulations in this regard are quite stifling - further worsening the situation. By increasing the cost of business overhead; everyone ends up paying significantly higher premiums for health care services.



    Right now we do not have a system which is at all business based. We have one where the largest single influence is government. If you would like to look at a purely business based medical model, look at the cost of elective medicine and compare the costs there for procedures over time compared with government influenced medical care.



    The work based insurance model has not dealt with costs as well as it could because the consumer has been removed from the equation. You don't buy health insurance, you get it with your job and have very little choice or control over the matter. This is a result of government as well as this came about during WWII when government imposed wage freezes and companies wanted to retain workers.



    So in terms of what we have, we have an older government model competing against a complete government coverage model.



    Quote:

    What Obama and his liberally controlled Congress is proposing to is shift away from business provided health care to entirely governmental system of health care (Socialized Health Care). This is even more inefficient than the business provided health care and therefore more costly. Also, this further reduces the quality of health care as its being used to further extend coverage across America. In attempting to increase reach, you lose richness (Blown to Bits - good book).



    If you mean by loss of richness, loss of your life, autonomy to make medical decisions, etc. then that would be correct.



    Quote:

    With the proposed hybrid type solution, you've effectively made it manageable for businesses to cost-effectively provide health care for America while having coverage across America. It also has the side benefit of reducing the amount of governmental interference (which is always inefficient) but using government where it can be best applied (taking care of small populations). This is cheaper for both the government and businesses to adopt this; without requiring more tax revenue.



    The problem is that we don't end up with cheaper and we don't end up with magical savings and finally it operates more like a half-breed rather than a hybrid.



    We already have this model in our health care now. We also have it in high education and housing. You look at any area of the economy where this model is applied and you see the same problems. Billing and overhead grows as groups have to deal with government regulations and business matters (double the cost, not half), resources become radically misallocated as government policy drives the agenda rather than market forces, (double the cost to cover what we need vs. what we have) and finally all the costs continue to rise well above the rate of inflation.
  • talon8472talon8472 Posts: 149member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trumptman View Post


    I would suggest that this is because the real solution is to get government out of health care period.



    If people could function without government; we'd be angels. There is a reason why government exists in the first place. Government sucks, but at the very least, the type of government we've chosen (Democratic) is the least sucky of the other choices.



    Also, as much as I'm an advocate for less government, government still needs to perform at a certain level of competency. You'll never get excellence out of government; but we do need competency. Currently, we have neither unfortunately. If we look at Reagan, we see a government that is run competently, heck, pretty damn well. Made a few mistakes, but it sure as hell beat the hell out of everyone else's leaders.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trumptman View Post


    Having the government "reform" health care again is really an attempt to have the solve the health care problem they created.



    Precisely. Unfortunately, it'll take governmental action to fix a mess started by the government. While their at it, they can at least create a new basic framework for which businesses can profitable operate with significantly lower overhead. Too much to ask? Probable, but the alternative of not demanding it year after year, decade after decade, is - Obama.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trumptman View Post


    We essentially already do this now. We have Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security Disability. These take care of all the outliers and highest risk health concerns from the general population pool. The reason they do not dramatically lower the cost of health care, but instead increase it well beyond the rate of inflation.



    I think you missed the underlying nuance I had proposed. Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security itself would be destroyed. There would be no special "tax" system for the general population to fund this, and it would be an as-funded program. In effect, a nationalized bank or corporation. Specifically funded in real time to handle this, but not competing directly with the non-subsidized private sector of health care. They'd be taking care of two different segments in the market in effect. One of which cannot be feasible covered by business, hence where government can step in to be effective at that point.



    And of course, no taxed health care. Something Obama blasted during the campaign and then went back on and is now considering as part of his health care reform. This is a mistake because it is too hard to build a system of equity - which the government is not particularly good at anyways in complex systems.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trumptman View Post


    Right now we do not have a system which is at all business based. We have one where the largest single influence is government. If you would like to look at a purely business based medical model, look at the cost of elective medicine and compare the costs there for procedures over time compared with government influenced medical care.



    No, we aren't with an entirely business based model - I argued from such a point to create something that would be easier to grasp for others and to further help underline my proposition's point in its effectiveness. We both agree that the current system is not good enough, and that what Obama is proposing is much worse. The question is of how to let businesses operate in this sector of the market efficiently enough to provide competitive & good health care for the American masses.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trumptman View Post


    The work based insurance model has not dealt with costs as well as it could because the consumer has been removed from the equation. You don't buy health insurance, you get it with your job and have very little choice or control over the matter. This is a result of government as well as this came about during WWII when government imposed wage freezes and companies wanted to retain workers.



    I agree - the current model does not work, and the regulation and current structure is not cost effective enough to provide for future generations. I also agree with the historical context in which you present this.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trumptman View Post


    So in terms of what we have, we have an older government model competing against a complete government coverage model.



    I agree, both are insufficient. Hence my proposition which would setup a market that could be based around consumers while government takes care of the inherently cost-ineffective niche of the health care sector. Either those people won't be covered, or businesses will suffer tremendously by being mandated to cover them which drastically raises the costs for all consumers.



    Think of this in the context of lowering business taxes. You've just given business an incentive to do more and to prosper faster - its about government allowing a situation where business overhead is not exceedingly high in the health care sector. Allowing for a competitive market based around the consumer.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trumptman View Post


    If you mean by loss of richness, loss of your life, autonomy to make medical decisions, etc. then that would be correct.



    Actually, when I talked about reach and richness, I was directly referring to some terms used in the book "Blown to Bits." Very good book on business. By richness I mean the quality of care - which you could say could translate into saved lives. By richness, I mean consumer choice.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trumptman View Post


    The problem is that we don't end up with cheaper and we don't end up with magical savings and finally it operates more like a half-breed rather than a hybrid.



    We've never had a system that was ever envisioned as I outlined, nor has it been proposed to my knowledge in Congress. An underlying concept is that you need to reduce the operating costs of business - which by doing so, allows for more competition and lower costs directly for the consumer. Businesses already create consumer cost distribution models to figure out how to charge (the mean price to consumers). Government need only directly serve the people in the upper 10 - 15 percent to significantly reduce overhead and costs for businesses in this regard.



    Also, we may very well start with my proposed solution getting passed and over the years, it evolves into a half-breed solution (which is bad). Just as the Democrats have been able to slowly swing America into a much more Socialistic system (bad). We can always start with good and end up with bad. It's up to the American public to make their demands known and be strong enough to stand up to politicians who may slowly corrupt and twist the system.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trumptman View Post


    We already have this model in our health care now. We also have it in high education and housing.



    I can sorta see how you see it in higher education - which also needs reform, especially the lower tiers. Housing - I don't see what you mean. But lets contain those discussions in separate threads - need to stay closely on topic otherwise people will hijack the thread and turn it into a meaningless back-for rant rave.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trumptman View Post


    You look at any area of the economy where this model is applied and you see the same problems.



    The model I suggested is specifically crafted and uniquely suited for the medical sector. And from above, I think you missed what I was suggesting.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trumptman View Post


    Billing and overhead grows as groups have to deal with government regulations and business matters (double the cost, not half), resources become radically misallocated as government policy drives the agenda rather than market forces, (double the cost to cover what we need vs. what we have) and finally all the costs continue to rise well above the rate of inflation.



    The fact that there are people in America who *cannot* be covered by a completely efficient business model is why government needs to take care of that 10 - 15 percent upper niche. Otherwise, what you have is mandate to cover them, and that raises the cost for everyone - very inefficient. You know the Democrats will play to "X millions not covered" and the best - most cost effective way to deal with that concern is the model I proposed. Liberal Democrats won't be happy that the government doesn't control it in the form of socialist universal health care, but we can also deny them the numbers they seek to post with a superior solution.



    You can bet good money on the fact that if my proposal went through, people would defend it vigorously against anyone who might try to threaten it - as it threatens themselves - the American people. Take for instance Seniors who were concerned that John McCain would tax their health care - not legitimate however - see how they turned out to vote for Obama who vigorously opposed any tax on health care with the media's help? My system would be hard to de-rail; but not impossible once implemented. Of course; this suddenly makes health care a non-issue every election cycle for both Republicans and Democrats and so its not likely that it would pass.
  • talon8472talon8472 Posts: 149member
    @ trumptman



    Excellent link. When my few liberal friends talks about said greatness of <insert socialist country here> health care, I talk to them about some of the facts noted in the above article. I bookmarked it so now when the topic comes up, I can simply forward the link to them. Thank you, you saved me quite a bit of time on future health care discussions!
  • trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,255member
  • talon8472talon8472 Posts: 149member
    That was a good video. It is sad to see some of the comments below his video show the desperation and ignorance of people though. People almost never see the big picture when they're the ones on the short end of the stick and their complaints are amplified under the current administration to the detriment of everyone - ironically - including those who complained in the first place.
  • jazzgurujazzguru Posts: 6,435member
    Lots of good info at http://www.onthefencefilms.com



    I suggest watching "Dead Meat", as well as the other films.
  • hands sandonhands sandon Posts: 5,268member
    Trumptman, I don't like having you on ignore, when you post things that are constructive to an informed debate without the near hysteria and obsessions that have been too often the case recently. Hopefully, things will get back to more productive posts.



    Anyway,



    I haven't had time to go through all the links in this thread yet, but I was saddened to see the UK being so far behind the US, Germany, France etc with it's 5 year survival rates of cancer. Not being bankrupt or debt ridden, isn't that important when your dead.



    I want to look into it further, when I have time, but I did a quick a google of cancer deaths per 100,000 of the population and found that in the whole of the UK and the whole of the US, the cancer deaths respectively are UK- 177/100,000 (2007) and the US 181/100,000 (2006)



    The cancer rates are dropping in the US and UK. In 2005 the US rate was 184 and may have dropped as low as UK's rate by 2007.



    Just thought I throw this into the mix of info here.

    http://www.newsmax.com/us/cancer_dea...27/218456.html - US cancer rate per 100,000

    http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/can...ty/timetrends/ UK cancer rate per 100,000
  • trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,255member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post


    Trumptman, I don't like having you on ignore, when you post things that are constructive to an informed debate without the near hysteria and obsessions that have been too often the case recently. Hopefully, things will get back to more productive posts.



    Sorry if you are so easily influenced. I post as I always have and the naysayers occasionally pitch fits. I would suggest a trial where you ignore their complaints and you will note my posting style doesn't change.





    Anyway,



    Quote:

    I haven't had time to go through all the links in this thread yet, but I was saddened to see the UK being so far behind the US, Germany, France etc with it's 5 year survival rates of cancer. Not being bankrupt or debt ridden, isn't that important when your dead.



    I want to look into it further, when I have time, but I did a quick a google of cancer deaths per 100,000 of the population and found that in the whole of the UK and the whole of the US, the cancer deaths respectively are UK- 177/100,000 (2007) and the US 181/100,000 (2006)



    The cancer rates are dropping in the US and UK. In 2005 the US rate was 184 and may have dropped as low as UK's rate by 2007.



    Just thought I throw this into the mix of info here.

    http://www.newsmax.com/us/cancer_dea...27/218456.html - US cancer rate per 100,000

    http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/can...ty/timetrends/ UK cancer rate per 100,000



    Anyway....



    When trying to look up some info to add to this, several different articles basically noted that there a multitude of ways people use to calculate survival rates. End of life appears to be especially nebulous with this matter and perhaps that is why some folks prefer the five year rate as a measure.



    I'm sure we could pick any number of points to illustrate one system being better than the other. The core of the matter though should be choice. In a purely public system you do not have any choice. We occasionally read horror stories about a person or family having to lobby a care provider or insurance company about what is perceived as mistreatment. Changing this equation to lobbying a number of federal and state agencies doesn't inspire any more confidence in most people.



    You add to this the fact that many of these public system are both under fire and under pressure and finally the exclamation point with regard to reasoning is the fact that story after story notes the only thing releasing most of this pressure is the U.S. medical system and people become scared.



    When stories note a lack of neonatal beds in Canada for example and that the government pays to bring the patients over the border to the U.S. to be treated because there are beds here. A rational person asks themselves what will happen when the system that provides the extra beds switches to the system that has no extra beds. A smart secondary consideration would be to ask what happens within that earlier system that now has the full lack of capacity exposed. Does it bend or break?



    The social safety net costs in many European nations are rather large and unsustainable. Ask yourself how much more quickly this problem would come to the fore if the U.S. stopped being the cop for the world and if the E.U. nations actually had to spend billions more on defense as well.



    I'm by no means saying the U.S. is perfect. I'm noting that people do use it to solve a lot of problems though and it is important to note what would happen when it can no longer do that due to adopting the Euro-model.



    Let all Americans have health care and take an extra weeks vacation while telling Europe they can worry about Russia and China, I assure you this sounds most appealing. Sadly the world appears not to work that way.
  • jazzgurujazzguru Posts: 6,435member
    Are You Feeling Lucky, Punk?



    Quote:

    President Obama and his liberal counterparts in the Congress continue to falsely promise that their health care plan wouldn’t affect Americans who don’t crave change. However, all conventional wisdom points the opposite direction. In fact, the Lewin Group has estimated that if a public plan was made available at Medicare payment levels, approximately 119 million Americans would be forced into the government plan. Currently, there are roughly 160 million Americans who have private health insurance. So this figure represents more than two out of three privately insured Americans. Are you going to be the lucky one out of three?



    Yep. Some competition, there. Not to mention the fact that nobody will be able to sign up for private insurance once this bill goes into effect.



    This is not healthcare "reform". It is healthcare "deform".
  • formerlurkerformerlurker Posts: 2,686member
    Very interesting - "ObamaCare" is being endorsed by the AMA!







    Quote:



    July 16, 2009



    The Honorable Charles B. Rangel

    Chairman, Committee on Ways and Means

    U.S. House of Representatives

    1102 Longworth House Office Building

    Washington, DC 20515



    Dear Chairman Rangel:



    On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the American Medical Association, I am writing to

    express our appreciation and support for H.R. 3200, the "America?s Affordable Health

    Choices Act of 2009." This legislation includes a broad range of provisions that are key to

    effective, comprehensive health system reform. We urge members of the House Education

    and Labor, Energy and Commerce, and Ways and Means Committees to favorably report

    H.R. 3200 for consideration by the full House.



    In particular, we are pleased that the bill:



    ? Promises to extend coverage to all Americans through health insurance market

    reforms;

    ? Provides consumers with a choice of plans through a health insurance exchange;

    ? Includes essential health insurance reforms such as eliminating coverage denials

    based on pre-existing conditions;

    ? Recognizes that fundamental Medicare reforms, including repeal of the sustainable growth rate formula, are essential to the success of broader health system reforms;

    ? Encourages chronic disease management and care coordination through additional funding for primary care services, without imposing offsetting payment reductions on specialty care;

    ? Addresses growing physician workforce concerns;

    ? Strengthens the Medicaid program;

    ? Requires individuals to have health insurance, and provides premium assistance to those who cannot afford it;

    ? Includes prevention and wellness initiatives designed to keep Americans healthy;

    ? Makes needed improvements to the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative that will enable greater participation by physicians; and

    ? Initiates significant payment and delivery reforms by encouraging participation in

    new models such as accountable care organizations and the patient-centered medical home.



    The AMA looks forward to further constructive dialogue during the committee mark-up

    process. We pledge to work with the House committees and leadership to build support for

    passage of health reform legislation to expand access to high quality, affordable health care

    for all Americans.



    This year, the AMA wants the debate in Washington to conclude with real, long overdue

    results that will improve the health of America?s patients.



    Sincerely,



    Michael D. Maves, MD, MBA



  • jazzgurujazzguru Posts: 6,435member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FormerLurker View Post


    Very interesting - "ObamaCare" is being endorsed by the AMA!





    Interesting indeed, considering the AMA has caused its fair share of the trouble we're seeing in the U.S. health care industry in today.
  • northgatenorthgate Posts: 4,459member
    Can we just fix the fucking problem without this political theater and protectionism of the status quo?



    Can we finally spend some money on fucking Americans rather than on Banks and Iraqis?
  • hands sandonhands sandon Posts: 5,268member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trumptman View Post


    Sorry if you are so easily influenced. I post as I always have and the naysayers occasionally pitch fits. I would suggest a trial where you ignore their complaints and you will note my posting style doesn't change.





    Anyway,





    Anyway....



    When trying to look up some info to add to this, several different articles basically noted that there a multitude of ways people use to calculate survival rates. End of life appears to be especially nebulous with this matter and perhaps that is why some folks prefer the five year rate as a measure.



    I'm sure we could pick any number of points to illustrate one system being better than the other. The core of the matter though should be choice. In a purely public system you do not have any choice. We occasionally read horror stories about a person or family having to lobby a care provider or insurance company about what is perceived as mistreatment. Changing this equation to lobbying a number of federal and state agencies doesn't inspire any more confidence in most people.



    You add to this the fact that many of these public system are both under fire and under pressure and finally the exclamation point with regard to reasoning is the fact that story after story notes the only thing releasing most of this pressure is the U.S. medical system and people become scared.



    When stories note a lack of neonatal beds in Canada for example and that the government pays to bring the patients over the border to the U.S. to be treated because there are beds here. A rational person asks themselves what will happen when the system that provides the extra beds switches to the system that has no extra beds. A smart secondary consideration would be to ask what happens within that earlier system that now has the full lack of capacity exposed. Does it bend or break?



    The social safety net costs in many European nations are rather large and unsustainable. Ask yourself how much more quickly this problem would come to the fore if the U.S. stopped being the cop for the world and if the E.U. nations actually had to spend billions more on defense as well.



    I'm by no means saying the U.S. is perfect. I'm noting that people do use it to solve a lot of problems though and it is important to note what would happen when it can no longer do that due to adopting the Euro-model.



    Let all Americans have health care and take an extra weeks vacation while telling Europe they can worry about Russia and China, I assure you this sounds most appealing. Sadly the world appears not to work that way.



    This explains a big problem in simple terms-



    "Lieberman: How do companies manipulate the medical loss ratio?

    Potter: They look at expensive claims of workers in small businesses who are insured by the company, and the claims of people in the individual market. If an employer-customer has an employee or two who has a chronic illness or needs expensive care, the claims for the employee will likely trigger a review. Common industry practice is to increase premiums so high that when such accounts come up for renewal, the employer has no choice but to reduce benefits, shop for another carrier, or stop offering benefits entirely. More and more have opted for the last alternative.



    Lieberman: What tactics do they use in the individual market?

    Potter: They rescind policies when a review indicates that an individual has filed a lot of expensive claims. They will look for conditions that were not disclosed on the application. Often the policy likely will be canceled and the individual left without coverage. Sometimes people aren?t aware that they have a pre-existing condition. It might be listed in the doctor?s notes but not discussed with the patient.



    Lieberman: One way to end this practice might be to regulate it out of existence. Can we count on the industry to submit to more stringent regulation?

    Potter: The industry says it will accept more regulation, but the evidence is that it flaunts regulation on the books now. Insurers are often cited for violations of many state regulations, and they usually agree to settle with insurance commissioners or the attorney general and pay a fine. Fines are the cost of doing business, and even if the fine is several million dollars, it is inconsequential compared to profits insurers make."



    ~ http://www.thehealthcareblog.com/the...yone-care.html



    The US is spending way too much on military spending, but most Americans want that. So I've got limited sympathy for them when they have regular shootings on their nightly news, the worst early education system in the developed world and an infra-structure and general decay no European can even imagine without seeing it with their own eyes. Britain spends a lot on defense but it's half the percentage of GDP that the US spends. If the rest of Europe spent as much as a percentage of their GDP on defense as the UK that would be a substantial amount, but wouldn't mean a wide scale slaughtering of programs that Europeans citizens, for the most part, demand.



    Like you I believe in choice. If people want to pay for private insurance they should be able to have it. They can in the UK but can't in Canada. I think there should even be some type of system that you get some money back if you don't cost the system much money. Whilst that might encourage some to foolishly not use the doctors and endanger their health (though hospitals are the most dangerous places most people will ever be in) it's likely it would encourage far more people to stay healthy. I don't see why tax payers who pay for private insurance should pay the same amount to an NHS system as everybody else, maybe they could get some money back, maybe say a third back.



    When it comes to free hospital beds in the US, I bet there wouldn't be so many available in a private system that actually covered everybody so those beds where utilized by the under insured, the not insured and the denied claims. I read somewhere but I don't know how accurate it is, that 54% of the total conditions requiring treatment in the US never receive treatment. I suppose one factor contributing to that, minus the ones just mentioned, might include people who just don't think the benefit of the treatment warrants the out of pocket costs and choose to save a few bucks instead.
  • northgatenorthgate Posts: 4,459member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post


    This explains a big problem in simple terms-



    "Lieberman: How do companies manipulate the medical loss ratio?

    Potter: They look at expensive claims of workers in small businesses who are insured by the company, and the claims of people in the individual market. If an employer-customer has an employee or two who has a chronic illness or needs expensive care, the claims for the employee will likely trigger a review. Common industry practice is to increase premiums so high that when such accounts come up for renewal, the employer has no choice but to reduce benefits, shop for another carrier, or stop offering benefits entirely. More and more have opted for the last alternative.



    Lieberman: What tactics do they use in the individual market?

    Potter: They rescind policies when a review indicates that an individual has filed a lot of expensive claims. They will look for conditions that were not disclosed on the application. Often the policy likely will be canceled and the individual left without coverage. Sometimes people aren?t aware that they have a pre-existing condition. It might be listed in the doctor?s notes but not discussed with the patient.



    Lieberman: One way to end this practice might be to regulate it out of existence. Can we count on the industry to submit to more stringent regulation?

    Potter: The industry says it will accept more regulation, but the evidence is that it flaunts regulation on the books now. Insurers are often cited for violations of many state regulations, and they usually agree to settle with insurance commissioners or the attorney general and pay a fine. Fines are the cost of doing business, and even if the fine is several million dollars, it is inconsequential compared to profits insurers make."



    Wow. So I wonder. If I were a Republican and my sole and only purpose is to stall and obfuscate the Obama administration at all turns, how do I spin this into being a good thing for Americans? I'm a Republican. I can't support health care reform. That's commie shit.



    Oh, I know. Scare, scare, scare and cry about the expense. That's the ticket.



    Oh, and mock and ridicule proponents of single-payer as not living in the "reality based community". That always works well.
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