ObamaCare...coming soon

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Submitted by meadandale on July 16, 2009 - 11:48am

Seems like modeling our system after the Canadians should be a great idea...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2jijuj1ysw

Submitted by sd_matt on September 13, 2009 - 2:44pm.

Anyone listen to the speech Obama gave a couple days ago? You know, the one where he got heckled? "You Lie!"

Funny coincidence, Wilson was correct about the "Lie" The enforcement (SAVE) mechanism was voted out in a committee.

With little snags like this is it any wonder we cant get get stuff done in Congress? And that little catch is not discussed in the mainstream media,well maybe Fox, I don't watch tv very much. But everyone else is sayin stuff like "Obama struggles to pass health care...", "The Dems working hard to reform..." and on and on.

Submitted by KSMountain on September 13, 2009 - 11:32pm.

sd_matt wrote:

Wilson was correct about the "Lie" The enforcement (SAVE) mechanism was voted out in a committee.

And that little catch is not discussed in the mainstream media,well maybe Fox, I don't watch tv very much. But everyone else is sayin stuff like "Obama struggles to pass health care...", "The Dems working hard to reform..." and on and on.

Right sd_matt. Isn't it amazing how you can phrase a sentence that at first blush seems innocuous and neutral but in reality it biases the reader before they're even halfway through it? There's a lot of that in the media if you look for it, and then once you know how to look for it gets really disappointing after awhile.

Regarding the "catch", it's somewhat of a moot point whether illegals can get the new insurance, cuz they can already go to the e-room for free.

Other than the moral aspects, does the extreme left ever look at the big picture and think about the implications of free medical care on demand combined with open borders? We'd effectively be saying we'll pay for the entire world's healthcare if only they can here.

Are we really so wealthy that we afford that? Further the costs go disproportionally to california and californians if I understand corectly.

I'd be interested to hear the opinions of NavyDoc on this...

Is there a way to have both compassion and solvency?

Submitted by Dukehorn on September 14, 2009 - 12:36pm.

The 2nd "retelling" of Nikki White and how an educated 32 year old could die in the US from lupus complications due to the difficulty of getting healthcare.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/opinio...

Any easy way to analyze her missteps?

As for France, here's a commonly quoted stat:

France spends 11 percent of its gross domestic product on health care and insures everyone and the United States spends 16.5 percent of G.D.P. and leaves 20 percent of adults under 65 uninsured.

Now let's match it with longevity:

France is 80.98
US is 78.11

Less GDP for more longevity that includes both private and public options? Why not take a look at it?

Now to accomplish what France does, we'll probably need tort reform to reduce the insurance premiums that doctors face.

Submitted by ucodegen on September 14, 2009 - 12:46pm.

yeah, lets have the french system...

http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1S1-9199...
http://partners.nytimes.com/library/nati...

and a court result....

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/...
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2003/jun200...

They were delivering known AIDS tainted blood to transfusions.. because they didn't want the cost of destroying their blood supply... nice!

It took them more than 10 years to finally bring these people to justice (maybe).. you can't sue the state in France.

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on September 14, 2009 - 12:47pm.

Duke: Did you happen to watch the "60 Minutes" segment featuring President Obama? He did address the tort reform issue, after Steve Kroft brought it up, but then seemed to backtrack in terms of how to deal with it.

I think there are several good European models, including the French, Swiss and British, that are worth looking at.

However, until we're truly ready to address the specter of "defensive medicine" (doctors performing needless tests and procedures due to a fear of litigation), I think we lose a major means of both controlling the system (in terms of directing truly necessary treatment) and controlling the costs (establishing caps and fundamentally reforming how risks/exposures/liabilities are handled).

Further, I believe as long as we allow cretins like Rep. Wilson to heckle a President addressing a joint session of Congress and then claim victim status, we lose the ability to engage in a meaningful, FACT based, dialogue.

I'm as conservative as they come, but that outburst was unconscionable and perfectly illustrates that we're allowing the yahoos, ideologues and dolts to control the discourse and thus the system. Enough is enough.

Submitted by Dukehorn on September 14, 2009 - 12:54pm.

So one case and you're willing to lose 2 years of life expectancy and add 5% of GDP?

Meanwhile 18,000 uninsured Americans are dying every year.

How do you propose handling the type of tort cases you linked? That's not a healthcare issue per se, it's a legal issue.

PS Boy, your compassion is pencil thin..... Did you have any suggestions on how Ms. White could get healthcare under her pre-existing condition or did she deserve to die?

Submitted by Dukehorn on September 14, 2009 - 12:56pm.

Hi Allan,

I think tort reform is the big problem. As a lawyer practicing at a biotech, I don't see the plaintiff industry giving in to it.

Uco's point reflects the difficulty. Folks hate how our legal system impact costs, but then will point out cases in less litigious societies where it's harder to bring "justice".

Frankly, we can't have it both ways. We can't use our legal system to hold folks accountable and then complain when it spawns higher costs.

I'm willing to fall on the side of limiting verdicts and lowering costs in order to get universal healthcare in place (so yeah, call me a socialist but it's actually quite the conservative pro-business viewpoint isn't it? (tort reform that is)). We need the centrists to get into action....

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on September 14, 2009 - 1:24pm.

Hey, Duke,

I found it interesting that Obama admitted on "60 Minutes" that the Democratic Party had been traditionally resistant to tort reform, but was somewhat mum when Steve Kroft asked if that was due to the large contributions from the Trial Lawyers Association. As a conservative, I would definitely concur that, as a matter of policy, caps on punitive and exemplary damages would be a boon, but I also recognize that the GOP is just as dirty as the Dems when it comes to contributions from the big class actions shops (like Motley).

I work in blast engineering for the government and they recently put a piece of legislation into place called the Safety Act. This Act allows the government to extend full liability protection to firms working on Force Protection and anti-terrorism. The reason for the Act? Too many firms averred from doing anti-terrorism and Force Protection work out of fear of litigation.

Regardless of industry, litigation and the attendant premiums for E&O, Professional Liability and General Liability, are all now a "cost of doing business".

Submitted by afx114 on September 14, 2009 - 2:40pm.

The tort reform faction seems to be making quite a fuss about 1%-2% of the problem:

“If you were to eliminate medical malpractice liability, even forgetting the negative consequences that would have for safety, accountability, and responsiveness, maybe we’d be talking about 1.5 percent of health care costs. So we’re not talking about real money. It’s small relative to the out-of-control cost of health care.”

http://washingtonindependent.com/55535/tort-reform-unlikely-to-cut-health-care-costs

All the evidence available shows that the liability "crisis" is a myth. Malpractice payments account for less than 1% of the nation's health care costs each year. Since 1987 medical malpractice insurance costs have risen just 52% despite the fact that medical costs have increased 113%. The size of malpractice damage awards has remained steady since 1991. Adjusted for inflation, the average malpractice payment has actually decreased since then. The number of payments for malpractice judgments of $1 million or more has never exceeded one-half of one percent of the annual total number of malpractice payments dating back to 1991.

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/08/tort-reform-wont-fix-healthcare-ctd-1.html

Check out this 4-part series titled The Truth About Health Care and Tort Reform:

However, we also find, in state after state, that the passage of tort reform laws does nothing to reduce overall health care costs. Health care costs and patient insurance premiums continue to increase at the same rate as before, if not faster. And the promised cost reductions from less “defensive medicine” never materialize.

Submitted by CA renter on September 14, 2009 - 2:44pm.

afx114 wrote:
The tort reform faction seems to be making quite a fuss about 1%-2% of the problem:

“If you were to eliminate medical malpractice liability, even forgetting the negative consequences that would have for safety, accountability, and responsiveness, maybe we’d be talking about 1.5 percent of health care costs. So we’re not talking about real money. It’s small relative to the out-of-control cost of health care.”

http://washingtonindependent.com/55535/tort-reform-unlikely-to-cut-health-care-costs

All the evidence available shows that the liability "crisis" is a myth. Malpractice payments account for less than 1% of the nation's health care costs each year. Since 1987 medical malpractice insurance costs have risen just 52% despite the fact that medical costs have increased 113%. The size of malpractice damage awards has remained steady since 1991. Adjusted for inflation, the average malpractice payment has actually decreased since then. The number of payments for malpractice judgments of $1 million or more has never exceeded one-half of one percent of the annual total number of malpractice payments dating back to 1991.

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/08/tort-reform-wont-fix-healthcare-ctd-1.html

Check out this 4-part series titled The Truth About Health Care and Tort Reform:

However, we also find, in state after state, that the passage of tort reform laws does nothing to reduce overall health care costs. Health care costs and patient insurance premiums continue to increase at the same rate as before, if not faster. And the promised cost reductions from less “defensive medicine” never materialize.

Thanks for the links, afx. This is what I've read elsewhere, too. Quite frankly, if they want to eliminate malpractice lawsuits, it would be more effective if they just tried to avoid making mistakes in the first place. Yes, mistakes happen, but in the medical field, processes should be put in place that reduce these mistakes so they become extremely rare. After all, why can they build and maintain large aircraft (among other things) that have a very miniscule failure rate, but for some reason, we can't manage to do that with healthcare?

Submitted by patb on September 14, 2009 - 7:00pm.

ucodegen wrote:
yeah, lets have the french system...

http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1S1-9199...
http://partners.nytimes.com/library/nati...

and a court result....

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/...
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2003/jun200...

They were delivering known AIDS tainted blood to transfusions.. because they didn't want the cost of destroying their blood supply... nice!

It took them more than 10 years to finally bring these people to justice (maybe).. you can't sue the state in France.

American Red Cross was selling tainted Blood and factor 7
for 3 years during the Aids crisis. Until they came up with a
fast test, they just accepted contaminated blod.

Submitted by surveyor on September 14, 2009 - 7:57pm.

CA renter wrote:
After all, why can they build and maintain large aircraft (among other things) that have a very miniscule failure rate, but for some reason, we can't manage to do that with healthcare?

Maybe because the human body is a totally different and much more complex system than an airplane? And that's why you can't even compare the two?

Submitted by CA renter on September 15, 2009 - 12:31am.

surveyor wrote:
CA renter wrote:
After all, why can they build and maintain large aircraft (among other things) that have a very miniscule failure rate, but for some reason, we can't manage to do that with healthcare?

Maybe because the human body is a totally different and much more complex system than an airplane? And that's why you can't even compare the two?

True, but only to a certain extent. Airplanes are extremely complex, and any number of issues -- some easy and some difficult to diagnose -- can cause a plane to crash or malfunction.

From the medical malpractice situations I'm familiar with, the biggest problems/complaints usually involved total negligence on the part of a doctor or hospital. There is NO excuse for some of the things I've seen WRT medical malpractice (personal stories...I am not an attorney).

I'd bet the majority of high-cost malpractice cases involve "accidents" that were entirely preventable.

Submitted by surveyor on September 15, 2009 - 7:02am.

oversimplificatiousness

Unfortunately CA the human body is much more different than an airplane. A model of a plane is built the same way. There are minute differences, but if there is a design flaw or some other issue, it is generally repeatable.

Not only are most human beings very different on an individual basis, but their behavior is very difficult to anticipate and to model in the first place. There are an infinite amount of variations that a doctor has to be able to account for.

There is just no comparison.

Submitted by blahblahblah on September 15, 2009 - 7:51am.

After all, why can they build and maintain large aircraft (among other things) that have a very miniscule failure rate, but for some reason, we can't manage to do that with healthcare?

Because there is someone on the planet somewhere that can tell you exactly how anything on an airplane works, why it was designed that way, and how to fix it. Not so much for people.

I love the way people get distracted on tort reform when they talk about the medical system. It's obvious where all the money is going -- to the insurance companies! But hey let's ignore that and just focus on something that is 1-2% of the overall cost instead. This place is f***ing hopeless, nothing will ever change here because people are just too f***ing stupid.

But hey at least the weather's nice here in SD! Gonna be a good one today I think :-)

Submitted by ucodegen on September 15, 2009 - 8:14am.

American Red Cross was selling tainted Blood and factor 7
for 3 years during the Aids crisis. Until they came up with a
fast test, they just accepted contaminated blod.

The problem was that the French system was still doing it after the tests were available. The use of AIDS tainted blood was effectively done 'knowingly' vs 'unknowingly' because a test was not available. There is a big difference between the two. That is why the criminal prosecution. Look at the timescale.. three years vs over 10 years.

Submitted by outtamojo on September 15, 2009 - 8:18am.

Amen to that. You roll up a line of 20 747's and all the nuts and bolts are in the same place and the same size and a good mechanic can find their way around blindfolded. Line up 20 people and ask a nurse or phlebotomist or surgeon to do what they do and they will have to spend a certain amount of time getting acquainted-often with someone who is forgetful or fudges what they say.

Submitted by ucodegen on September 15, 2009 - 8:39am.

It's obvious where all the money is going -- to the insurance companies!

There is some truth to malpractice insurance driving out doctors..

From CNN.
http://money.cnn.com/2009/09/14/news/eco...

That said, there is also the problem of the AMA not disciplining some of their doctors who 'serial malpractice suit' recipients. You also have some doctors that order excessive tests, or tests that are effectively duplicates (same but different) because of kickbacks, because they want to find a way to justify surgery when not needed. Add in a bit of crazy tort awards and the attempts of insurance companies to 'increase their bottom line' and the result is that everyone else gets hosed.

Now we want to make insurance mandatory?.. didn't anybody learn from the mandatory auto insurance in California? It was touted as a way to reduce insurance costs.. but it didn't. Why were people surprised that it didn't? Create a captive demand in a market and only one thing happens - prices go up. California voters got so annoyed that they even created another bureaucracy - Insurance commissioner.. which really hasn't done anything anyway.

What really needs to happen is that people need to get more involved in their health and decisions related to their health. There needs to be reform in how doctors are disciplined, as well as tort reform. Throwing it 'over the wall' to insurance will not achieve this. Insurance will only pass on the cost to the customer with their management fees added - The money that insurance companies use to pay the claims - comes from their insured.

Submitted by ucodegen on September 15, 2009 - 8:51am.

Amen to that. You roll up a line of 20 747's and all the nuts and bolts are in the same place and the same size and a good mechanic can find their way around blindfolded. Line up 20 people and ask a nurse or phlebotomist or surgeon to do what they do and they will have to spend a certain amount of time getting acquainted-often with someone who is forgetful or fudges what they say.

Actually, this is a partial truth. Humans of different races are largely the same. All the parts in the same places doing basically the same functions - down to our mitochondria. Where it gets interesting is in 'system response'. This goes to drug response, drug interactions, immune system response. Two nearly identical people can have very different responses to some drugs, ie Warfarin or Coumadin.

The problem with patents fudging what they say can be similar to poor tracking history on 747 repairs. Different patient histories on health behavior can be similar to different maintenance qualities on 747s (which in the US has been mandated to a specific airframe maintenance schedule - something that would not 'fly' with people).

Submitted by KSMountain on September 15, 2009 - 11:35am.

I'm gonna backup CA Renter a little bit. Not only are airplanes complex, but after all they *contain* human beings inside them (the pilots) with all *their* complexity. Further, there is the complexity of interactions of the pilots with other humans, such as other pilots and air traffic controllers. Further there is the small matter of weather...

One thing that the FAA/NTSB seems to do a little differently, is that when there is an accident, they try to determine root cause and ensure that that kind of accident can't happen again. Not always possible to do that (e.g. pilot stupidity), but they try.

So remember the case of Dennis Quaid's kids that were given a huge OD?

http://blog.taragana.com/e/2009/06/20/de...

According to the article, the *parents* are now going to go on a campaign to prevent this from happening again. The parents? How lame that they should have to do that.

This accidednt should have *already* been made almost impossible to occur due to previous accidents of that type. And I think that is part of CA Renter's point.

Now is tort reform the best way to "encourage learning"? Not sure.

Submitted by KSMountain on September 15, 2009 - 11:37am.

Correction:

Where I said "tort reform" above I meant to say "the tort system".

Submitted by Veritas on September 18, 2009 - 12:09am.

"When I see a bird that walks like a duck and swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck."

Obama Used Faulty Anecdote in Speech to Congress
By JONATHAN WEISMAN

"WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama, seeking to make a case for health-insurance regulation, told a poignant story to a joint session of Congress last week. An Illinois man getting chemotherapy was dropped from his insurance plan when his insurer discovered an unreported gallstone the patient hadn't known about."

"'They delayed his treatment, and he died because of it,' the president said in the nationally televised address."

"In fact, the man, Otto S. Raddatz, didn't die because the insurance company rescinded his coverage once he became ill, an act known as recission. The efforts of his sister and the office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan got Mr. Raddatz's policy reinstated within three weeks of his April 2005 rescission and secured a life-extending stem-cell transplant for him. Mr. Raddatz died this year, nearly four years after the insurance showdown."

"Obama aides say the president got the essence of the story correct. Mr. Raddatz was dropped from his insurance plan weeks before a scheduled stem-cell transplant."

OJT?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB12531489...

Submitted by Zeitgeist on September 18, 2009 - 11:06am.

"The words “condoms” and “Q-tips” appear nowhere in the Senate Finance Committee’s preview of its bill being released as early as Tuesday. But they’re part of a fierce behind-the-scenes lobbying battle over the proposal already under way."

"The medical-device industry is organizing companies that make everything from CT scans to contact lenses to fight a proposed $4 billion annual fee on device makers, arguing that companies across the board could get hit with the fees. And the industry is trying to rally companies that make even mundane items like condoms and Q-tips to fight the fee, as well."
http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?u...
Tax you can believe in.

Submitted by dbapig on September 18, 2009 - 2:06pm.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32897230/ns/...

Of the 10 countries, including US, only US and Mexico don't have Universal Coverage.

Surely all the European nations and Japan aren't Communist countries?

Submitted by Arraya on September 18, 2009 - 3:56pm.

delete

Submitted by Zeitgeist on September 21, 2009 - 10:39am.

More from the Ministry of Misinformation:

"Mr. Milloy believes the study will give Mr. Obama more specific numbers to use in order to ramp up public support for his plan."

"They are trying to create these factoids that they can beat opponents over the head with," Mr. Milloy said. "They interviewed 9,000 people between 1988 and 1994 and asked, 'Do you have health insurance?' and if you die at some point in the future, they assume your death was caused by the fact you didn’t have insurance during that time you were interviewed."

"That kind of stuff is classic junk science," Mr. Milloy added.

John C. Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, agreed that the study was flawed. “The subjects were interviewed only once and the study tries to link their insurance status at that time to mortality a decade later. Yet over the period, the authors have no idea whether subjects were insured or uninsured, what kind of medical care they received, or even cause of death,” he said in a statement.

NPCA noted that a “more careful study” completed by the Congressional Budget Office found that low-income people without insurance had a 3 percent higher chance of death, but found no difference among higher income earners.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblogs/b...

Submitted by Zeitgeist on October 8, 2009 - 12:47pm.

Health Care Speechwriter for Edwards, Obama & Clinton Without Insurance Now

Throughout my life, I have been very lucky because my insurance has always been there whenever I had a crisis. When my 10-speed hit a patch of leftover winter sand, and I went flying into a telephone pole, it covered the x-rays and stitches and concussion diagnosis. When a half a ton of sheet rock fell on me, my insurance paid for the cast on my foot. When my depression kicked in and I was hospitalized and painting ceramic pieces in art therapy to boost my self-esteem (sheesh), it made sure that when I got home my medical bills didn't make me reach for a razor. And when there were growths in my uterus, it covered that medical procedure and every regular check-up, lab test, broken bone, sports injury, and antibiotic prescription in between.

Since I care more about my country than my personal pride, here's how I lost my insurance: I moved. That's right, I moved from Washington, D.C., back to Massachusetts, a state with universal health care.

In D.C., I had a policy with a national company, an HMO, and surprisingly I was very happy with it. I had a fantastic primary care doctor at Georgetown University Hospital. As a self-employed writer, my premium was $225 a month, plus $10 for a dental discount.

In Massachusetts, the cost for a similar plan is around $550, give or take a few dollars. My risk factors haven't changed. I didn't stop writing and become a stunt double. I don't smoke. I drink a little and every once in a while a little more than I should. I have a Newfoundland dog. I am only 41. There has been no change in the way I live my life except my zip code -- to a state with universal health care.

http://www.politicsdaily.com/2009/10/08/...

Submitted by CA renter on October 12, 2009 - 3:12pm.

WASHINGTON -Insurance companies aren't playing nice any more.
Their dire message that health care legislation will drive up premiums for people who already have coverage comes as a warning shot at a crucial point in the debate, and threatens President Barack Obama's top domestic priority.

Democrats and their allies scrambled on Monday to knock down a new industry-funded study forecasting that Senate legislation, over time, will add thousands of dollars to the cost of a typical policy. "Distorted and flawed," said White House spokeswoman Linda Douglass. "Fundamentally dishonest," said AARP's senior policy strategist, John Rother. "A hatchet job," said a spokesman for Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont.

But the health insurance industry's top lobbyist in Washington stood her ground. In a call with reporters, Karen Ignagni, president of America's Health Insurance Plans, pointedly refused to rule out attack ads on TV featuring the study, though she said she believed the industry's concerns could be amicably addressed.

At the heart of the industry's complaint is a decision by lawmakers to weaken the requirement that millions more Americans get coverage. Since the legislation would ban insurance companies from denying coverage on account of poor health, many people will wait to sign up until they get sick, the industry says. And that will drive up costs for everybody else.

http://news.aol.com/article/insurers-war...

Proof that the govt ALREADY covers the most expensive patients, while leaving the profitable patients to the private insurance companies. Can we stop already with privatizing profits while socializing the losses? The insurance companies are salivating at the idea of forced insurance. This needs to stop.

This is exactly why I'd like to see a single-payer system with private insurance available for supplemental upgrades and extras.

Submitted by Veritas on August 30, 2011 - 10:10am.

"Americans' opinion of Obamacare has reached an all-time post-passage low according to the Kaiser Health Tracking poll: only 39% of those surveyed have a favorable view of the law, two points below the previous nadir of 41% first set in May 2010. Forty-four percent of Americans have an unfavorable view."
http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.c...

Submitted by Aecetia on August 30, 2011 - 10:17am.

Maybe it is Hillary's turn in 2012...
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2...

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