Can Obamacare Ever Work?

By Lloyd Graff

Over the last ten years I’ve had a dozen surgeries and dealt with heart disease, prostate cancer and detached or damaged retinas in both eyes.

I am a relatively wealthy guy in America, top one or per cent in savings and earnings, but without health insurance I would have been wiped out financially, and possibly dead or blind.

I understand the disappointment and anger everybody feels toward the early phases of the Affordable Healthcare Act. it’s totally mismanaged, people on the left and right of the political spectrum agree. But so was Medicare at the beginning and George W. Bush’s Medicare Part D was a fiasco at its inception.

Obamacare could end up as a long term failure. At its outset it will cost us millions of hires and cause a lot of firings. But must we business people, machinists or writers be rooting for it to flop? There should be a place in America for young people, waitresses, epileptics or hemophiliacs to find medical care without the inefficiency of sweating out the emergency room.

Call me names and hate on me, but I think America can afford to make healthcare available for its people. Maybe Obamacare will have to be scrapped, but I strongly doubt it will happen at this point. I believe it will evolve like Medicare has. Quite painfully, like a knee replacement or chemo.

We have a great country, with amazing wealth and resources. If we try as a country to make healthcare available to almost everybody, smart people, even those representing competing interests, can compromise and create something workable.

We can get something at least as good as Medicare. Do you know many people who want to scrap that expensive Federal program?

Question: Should we terminate Medicare?

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54 thoughts on “Can Obamacare Ever Work?

  1. AvatarJim Owens

    What is wrong with personal responsibility? Why do people think the Federal Government should provide money, food, healthcare, and a home with my hard earned money? I understand those with true disabilities need help. I am tired of paying for the lazy who will not help themselves.

     
    +35
    1. AvatarJosh

      Because it’s not about being lazy. Do some darn research. Health care is COMPLETELY unaffordable for the average person. Employer based healthcare skews everyone’s view on this because they don’t see the cost involved. I went to the ER the other day for 2 hours to have a boil lanced. It was $1,700 dollars. That’s RIDICULOUS. I have a solid job and am lucky to have insurance but I couldn’t afford to pay that without insurance. Not everyone has the luxury of wealth and a fine career and NO that is NOT all based on personal responsibility. There are other factors in this world we have to consider.

       
      +32
      1. AvatarOldjarhead84

        Josh, you are part of the problem and youi don’t even know it. A boil is not an emergency procedure. Go to you Dr.’s office and pay $100. Socilaized medicine fails everywhere, just like socialism. I have A friend in England whose morther was diagnosed with breast cancer. She DIED before ever seeing a Dr. I have a friend here whose moterh was diagnosed with lung cancer. Within 3 days she was on treatment, surgery within 1 week, she was on Medicare with a Blue Cross supplimental policy at $99/mth. My insurance went up 9% next year, because of obamadoesntcare we were told, and I have a Cadillac policy as the king would say. Stay the hell out of my pocket and my families medical care. My Dr. is laying off two staff and switching to 9-5 period. If you are in the waiting room at 5pm, you go home. He and his accountant calculated obamadoesntcare will cost his pratice $175K per year. He sees over 4500 older people and receives $11 for a Medicare visit. How do you run a business on $44/hr income? You don’t, and obamadoesntcare will be the final nail in the coffin of America. P.S. the hidden taxes and associated charges of obamadoesntcare are estimated to cost the middle class family $6000.00/yr extra, for what? I can’t afford that, can you, for less care, rationed care, no care? This whole mess was created to finally bankrupt the middle class and make us servants of the fed.

         
        +36
      2. Avatarnewjarhead

        Baloney. My insurance premiums have been going up for the past 30 years I’ve been in business. Don’t blame that on the ACA. Some years 5%, some 32%, but EVERY year it’s gone up. NEVER DOWN. It’s what the healthcare industry is all about – fat and largess in the system with all the medical folks sucking it dry daily.

        In my city EVERY hospital (about12 of them) are building new buildings costings millions of dollars. Where’s that money coming from? It comes from what you pay them to use their facilities. They don’t HAVE to build, but they choose to build. Millions of dollars.

        Yea, we all have friends in other places – mine’s in Canada and had triple bypass followed by stents, wife had cancer. No waiting for any of their treatments, no paying for any of their treatments either. AND their MD makes HOUSE CALLS.

        Nephew traveling in Italy last month, got in a car accident, went to the hospital, some procedures done, NO CHARGE.

        The ACA requires insurance companies to use 80% of their premium dollars for patient care. Two years ago, United Health Care’s CEO made $100,000,000 in ONE YEAR. Ridiculous don’t you think? Not any more with the ACA.

        If you don’t like your doctor’s hours go somewhere else. Mine’s been that way for years. Don’t blame it on the ACA. President Bush’s plan was to go to the emergency room. People have been using the emergency rooms of the USA for their doctors because they don’t have insurance and they know the hospital will cover the costs. WHO pays for all of that? YOU AND ME.

        Quit complaining, you apparently are healthy and have enough money to go to the doctor and pay for it yourself. MANY people can’t.

         
        +10
      3. AvatarJosh

        Don’t you judge me based on no knowledge at all. My case WAS an emergency. I was on business for work that required me to drive from Michigan to Houston. On the day I left the pain started and I thought it was just a hemorrhoid. By the 3rd day I was in excruciating pain but had to finish up the business at hand. I drove back in a straight shot, over 20 hours drive and got back at 5AM. Couldn’t sleep more than 4 hours due to pain and was basically incapacitated. Called my doctor who had no free appointments. Did I mention this boil was directly on my private area? The pain was shooting through my entire body and I could NOT function.

        Tell me what I did wrong? By accidentally getting sick on a business trip 1800 miles from home? My anecdote was only meant to provide an irrefutable measure of the cost of medical care. It’s impossible to pay for without insurance. If you don’t have some insurance coverage your are absolutely screwed. That’s unreasonable. You can continue on with platitudes about obamadoesn’tcare but that’s just childish name calling. Why didn’t your friend in England have supplemental insurance or pursue private healthcare? WE WILL STILL HAVE THAT OPTION AS DO THEY. No it won’t be the final nail in the coffin, but it might prevent a few other coffins from needing nails at all. COMPASSION. EMPATHY. Get some.

         
        +5
      4. AvatarOldJarHead84

        Comapssion and empathy, don’t even start, spent 10 years of my life in the USMC providing comapssion and empathy. Now I have the comapssion and empathy to have 60% of my income stolen in taxes for generational welfare. We have plenty for those who need, not for those who want. 22 million illegals sucking off the system, 50% receiving gov’t checks, which come from us taxpayers.
        Did the system need adjustment, yes, cross state shopping, torte reform, etc. I have lived and worked in socialized medicine countries over my entire career, socialized medicine is not good. I lived in Canada for 6 months, my Canadian friends drove to Buffalo, NY for medical care many times. Why do the rich of the world come here for medical care, because it is the best.
        As far as being sick overseas, I have seen it a lot, every comapny I have worked fro provided MedJet coverage while overseas, check it out.
        Newjarhead, keep drinking the communist kool-aide. When does it stop, when do I get to quit paying for you and everyone else. Where is personal responsibility. We have plenty to help those who can’t help themselves, I am all for that. They rest who won’t, get on the public work truck like they did in the 30’s every day or starve.
        What should you care how much Unted Health Care’s CEO made, don’t like it, don’t buy their product, that is the classic communist mantra, although in utopia, the ruling class is rich while you are enslaved by the state.. Socilaized medicine will bankrupt the middle class and cause a one payer system which obama wants, all communists what the state to control all. It doesn’t work, it didn’t work in the USSR and it won’t work here. the US gov’t has failed at everything social it has ever tried except the military. Quit thinking the gov’t is your savior, it is not. Look at your lifestyle vs your parents, it is worse, you have less money, why because you accept that it your responsibility to pay for everyone else when it is not. Please feel free to donate your entire income to the cause, but you can’t have any more of mine. And I will not accept the gov’t telling me what I need for healthcare.

         
        +1
      5. AvatarJosh

        Because it was an emergency. The doctor had no available slots and I was in excruciating pain unable to even walk around the house or sit down. I couldn’t get it treated before it got so bad because I was 1800 miles from home on business. The boil was an infected hemorrhoid. That’s an emergency.

         
        +2
    2. AvatarJan

      Granted there are a lot of people out there that need an affordable health care plan. I am all for one that will provide on a personal/individual basis and not governmentally pushing towards Socialized Medicine. However many of the less than moderate income households will not be able to afford an additional monthly bill? At the end of the day many families (even with two or three part time incomes) have less money in their pocket, than the people ridding the government assistance train, receiving Welfare, SSI, free healthcare and other Governmental giveaway programs. Many of which are third/fourth generation recipients and others are possibly not even US citizens. They have not paid a dime into the system and will probably find a way to continue to get free handouts. Teach people and help them to become self sufficient, so they can pay your dues like the rest of the working class and we will give something back to them later! Save the assistance for the people who are really disabled and/or the older generations that are unable to work, when there is no other choice to be able to provide for themselves. Stop stepping all over my rights to give someone else the rights they have not earned or not entitled to as a visitor or non contributor.
      I/we that have paid our own way (taxes, social security, insurance, etc) will see higher premiums, lesser coverage and Doctors that will change their way of practicing. By not accepting us as new patients, not accepting our insurance or by making us pay upfront then we will have to collect from our insurance ourselves, plus many will just quit/retire to get out of the mess.
      Where will this country be in a short time when employers stop filling fulltime positions so they do not have to provide/offer health insurance. More people will end up working multiple part time jobs to be able to provide for our families and pay for a lesser health care plan.
      Stop spending/giving away all of our tax money on &#!+ that do not benefit the masses. Straighten up and run this great country like a business not a soup kitchen/food pantry! Quit funding worthless research projects and meaningless programs that are irrelevant to our people.

       
      +9
  2. AvatarJosh

    No, we shouldn’t. Neither program is ideal, but the fact of the matter is we NEED desperate change to the healthcare system in this country. Anyone who argues different better provide a damn good argument as to why instead of just shouting anti-socialist platitudes. I, like you, believe that this nation can afford to provide healthcare to its citizens. The Affordable Care Act is certainly not a magic bullet and it is deeply flawed but gosh darnit people it’s a step. People with pre-existing conditions can no longer be turned away. If you don’t have the human compassion to view that as a good thing or are the kind of person that would yell out “LET HIM DIE” at a convention then God or whatever deity you believe in help you. How it could be possible for some to be so lacking of empathy or compassion and full of vitriol is just beyond me. There’s a lot to be disappointed in with the Affordable Care Act, but at least he tried and the opposition was completely obstructionist the entire time. If they had argued for DIFFERENT health reform instead of NONE AT ALL, maybe we’d have a better law with bi-partisan support but that didn’t happen and now the best idea they present is complete repeal. Well that’s absurd. We needed reform, we got an un-ideal reform but it’s not going anywhere. If you think it sucks, great, then find a way to fix it instead of rabble rousing about wiping it out completely. That won’t happen and you lack compassion if you want it to.

     
    +10
    1. AvatarAlex

      Forcing us to pay for insurance shows how blind our politicians really are. If you want to get to the root of the problem, don’t force people to buy something that’s little more than a lottery ticket. Go right to the source, and have a government run healthcare, as in, the government runs the hospitals, and we all pay a healthcare tax. If you’re a business owner, I doubt you want the government telling you how you have to spend your profits, but that’s what’s happening here. Besides, there are people who would risk not paying 6k a year in premiums, and just foot the $1700 bill every now and then when they have an emergency, which could easily be negotiated down to $1200 or less.

       
      +1
      1. AvatarJosh

        Alex, I agree that this plan is flawed and I said as much. I’m not too keen on forcing people to buy into a corporate system, and I think employer based healthcare needs to be eliminated altogether and replaced with the same compensation in wages. We should either all be private consumers of insurance, or pay taxes for our healthcare. The system as it is remains broken, however it is improved.

        The alternative of a government run program or medicare for all would be ideal, but look at the political climate. The right wing of this country cried on and on about socialism for a program based after one created by the right wing! Oh but that one was okay, because it was limited to one state. Bollocks. And what was their solution to fix the problem because they hated the idea of the ACA so much? TO DO NOTHING. To sit there and whine about socialism while presenting absolutely NO reasonable solution! You can’t sit on your ass with no ideas while you take a dump on what others are putting forward to try and get something done. Healthcare reform was doomed from the outset when half of your government things that the ER is an acceptable solution. So now we have a pile of crap law that gets some things right, it’s a start and it’s not going anywhere. So we either have to work together with legitimate ideas on how people in this country are going to get healthcare or piss on and on about socialism while we get NOTHING done.

        And if you’re an employer right now not providing insurance? You suck. Your employees rely on you and you rely on them day in and day out. Take care of them. Walmart could easily afford insurance, but then they’d have to stop relying on medicaid to pay their health coverage for them and we might have to pay 3 cents more for a crappy pair of shoes.

         
        +2
      2. AvatarOldJarHead84

        Josh, if this obamacare is so wonderful than ask yourself this.
        1. Why is the President not subject to it?
        2. Why is Congress not subject to it?
        3. Why are big unions not subject to it?
        4. Why are we paying 75% of the gov’t employees bill when they earn on average 20% more than the private sector who pays all the bills?
        5. Why is it only those of us in the middle are forced into this? You think George Soros is buying this crap! LOL no way.

         
        +3
  3. AvatarRay Frattone

    If you think we need universal healthcare, you join in and help pay for it. I want to purchase my own and do not want the government anywhere near my private affairs.
    They have shown over and over and over again that they can NOT do anything even close to right.

     
    +26
  4. AvatarEmily Halgrimson Post author

    In general, Americans believe that everyone has equal opportunity for monetary success and if you aren’t successful it’s your own fault, you’re just lazy or stupid. One of my current favorite authors, Alain de Button, points out that in centuries past this attitude was unusual. Roman philosopher, Seneca, spoke of the goddess of fortune: “This goddess can scatter gifts and then, with terrifying speed, watch a fifty-year-old company disintegrate into a worthless asset.” Of course it’s not true that our situation in life is completely out of our control, but even the most successful of us must acknowledge the role of luck.

     
    +16
  5. Avatarpro

    In order for a health care program to work, or any program, the ones that WE have elected to do this have to be covered by the SAME programs, not some all inclusive coverage, that we pay for and do not get.

    p

     
    +22
  6. AvatarJim

    I think the on going creation of programs for the governed but the not governed needs to end. Social Security, not good enough for Policitians at all levels, government employees, teachers, firemen, policemen, etc. ObamaCare, not good enough for Congress, government employees, teachers, firemen, policemen, etc.

    I agree that health care must be changed to a new and more affordable model for all. I own a small 12 person business and I for one resent that I have to mangage and provide health insurance to my employees. Why am I saddled with a mind numbing task that never has a good outcome. It only gets more and more expensive well beyond inflation for the last 10, 20 years. Even though medical advances are financed by government researches and grants, private parties wring all the economic benefits out of the equation, with the bulk of profits ever falling upward to the wealthiest few.

    We need to strip back the layers of government. No Farm Subsidies, No Ethanol Subsidies, No Sugar Subsidies, No Home Loan Subidies, No Loans, No Grants, No Tax Rebats, No Incentives for Industry, on and on and on. The government should protect the poor from the infringements of government and the wealthy. I would say the Health of our country has to be at least as important as say the Military Defense of our country, wouldn’t you? There is certainly enough money floating around so that everyone could have great health care.

     
    +9
  7. AvatarKelly Hagberg

    “George W. Bush’s Medicare Part D was a fiasco at its inception”.
    A true RINO GW actually got this passed without funding (Kind of see how good old GW drove up the debt).
    Sounds like what Obama has planned for AHA. The more things change the more they stay the same.
    Josh your right we need to take care of everyone that’s why I see a 2 tiered system developing. I personally have gone the route of having a Concierge Doctor so when AHA is fully implemented I will still have access to a doctor outside the AHA system.
    Its the future with people with means.
    Medicare beyond all doubt needs to be means tested but our politicians have no stomach for solving problems. Unfortunately my kids and more importantly my grand children will be saddled with our debt.
    How utterly sad we are.

     
    +2
  8. AvatarMilt

    Absolutely it should be scrapped!!! I also do not want the government anywhere near anything of mine. If you are for ACA, then you clearly do not understand the details and the cost of this program. Also, who do you figure is going to pay the premiums for the many, many people that won’t be paying? I have a friend who’s premium has been raised an additional $650 per month because of this. I believe that when you supporters of this ACA (obamacare) find out the details, you will regret your support. Privatization of the healthcare system would be a far better solution. One more thing. Do you supporters see this being crammed down your throat? Do you supporters know the real reason for this program and the depth of it and it’s consequences? I think not.

     
    +8
      1. AvatarEmily Halgrimson Post author

        I buy insurance independently and it’s gone up about $30/month, from $180 with a $7500 deductible to $210 with the same deductible. The increase doesn’t bother me much though because I know now I can go shopping elsewhere for insurance without worrying about being denied.

         
    1. AvatarBill

      Mitt,
      I always find it amusing when I hear or read ” a freind had his rates go up” is this the best battle cry the hard right can come up with?
      . The ACA needs some adjusting, no doubt about it. But finaly we can crawl out from under the boot heels of the insurance companys and their lobbyists and begin to move forward.

       
      +5
    2. AvatarJosh

      An additional $650? What, for the whole company he has on that policy? Or his whole family with dental and vision coverage? If he could afford a plan that expensive to begin with that it can go UP $650 MONTHLY I don’t think he has to worry and honestly, I don’t feel bad for him. He’s doing fine on his own if he can afford that kind of coverage.

       
      +1
  9. AvatarEric

    I’m young so I am already paying a higher premium for my car insurance because of my age. The one thing I had going for me is my health and my low health insurance premium but now I have to pay more for that also just to cover wealthy baby boomers who spent their youth smoking and their middle age overeating and their old age being terminally unhealthy and going to the doctor to try to get a couple more months to try to make up for a lifetime of poor health choices. Look at the debt to equity ratio of the average 20 or 30 year old saddled with student debt and a crappy paycheck and no pension or retirement plan and compare that to the average 50 to 60 year old with a huge amount of wealth through an overpaid job that outgrew there abilities years ago, whose portfolio has been built up through lucrative pension plans and by capitalizing on the best run the economy has ever had. Also I already have to pay a huge social security tax on every paycheck that I know I will never see a dime of it when I get up to retirement age. This seems fair. The reality is that probably in my life time I will be forced to immigrate to another county with better opportunities just like my ancestors did. Not yet but I think its coming.

     
    +4
    1. AvatarMike

      Eric, I’m not sure how old you are or what your situation is, but if you are paying more for car insurance I’m guessing you are under the age of 25. (Insurance rates drop significantly for good drivers at the age of 25) Do you know that you can still be covered under your parents policy up to the age of 26?

       
  10. AvatarJerry Wilson

    I am just completing a 50-year career with my employer next month and Jan.1st I will be a retiree. When I came to work here in 1963 out of the military, it was supposed to be a temporary job. So much for that! The healthcare benefit was ‘zero deductible’, zero co-pay and 100% of whatever the bill came to. How times change! Now I am looking forward to Social Security and Medicare. Two programs for which my employer and I have dutifully paid taxes to support for the last half-century. Even at that, I’m learning that Medicare is not free. There is a monthly premium for parts ‘B’ and ‘D’ and the independent ‘gap’ coverage for my wife and I looks to be astronomical. Maybe I’ve just been spoiled by the group coverage provided by my employer (medical,dental and RX) even though it is now 80/20 with a reasonable monthly premium as a payroll deduction. I have heard it rumored that the initial phase of “Obumble-Care” resulted in my employer providing a health reimbursement account (HRA) to help with the cost of premiums for those of us age 65+ when we actually retire. Methinks I may have protested too loudly. I guess the lesson is we will all judge the results of the law based on the perspective we view it from and our demographic at this point in time. I agree with Josh that we need to have some compassion for those among us who are not as fortunate as I consider myself to be. At age 71, I’m fully aware that being born in the right place at the right time can have a great impact on what we’re given to ‘run’ with later in life. We are still responsible for how we use it.

     
    +4
  11. AvatarSkip Westmaas

    Something has to change, but after how many years (starting with the serious push from Hillary) the mess of Obamacare is the best they could come up with? I have friends that have had their insurance policies cancelled due to Obamacare mandates. There are many universal care models that are being used throughout the world, with many noted flaws. If many of those flaws were addressed, along with our own flaws within our medical/legal system, we could have a very workable (but not perfect) system.
    First of all, Employers need to be removed from the entire model. Sticking employers in the middle of health insurance creates more problems than it solves.
    There are good points from both sides of the isle. It is hard to watch as a 20 something that pays $200 for a smartphone, $79/month for service, a $100/month cable/internet package, has a dog (costs an estimate $100/month for a medium dog), eats out, drinks and possibly smokes, but claims to have no money to purchase health insurance. On the other hand, they need affordable options that make sense. A 20 something that is divorced with kids, could be trying to survive on a $1,000/month take home or less. 20 somethings don’t yet comprehend that without their health, they have very little.
    I wish both sides of the isle were actually working to create the best solution instead of always trying to defeat whatever the other side proposes. People need affordable health insurance, but Obamacare is a very poor way to go about it.

     
    +5
  12. AvatarSam

    There were issues that definitely needed to be addressed but ACA was not the right solution. Why does the government have a right to come into my life and tell me that my $5000 deductible plan with 100% coverage after, no prescription coverage is not a “good enough” policy for me? I have had this policy for 10 years and have been very happy with it. I will be 60 years old next year and my premium is around $300 per month. I could have chosen and afforded a lower deductible, higher premium but I did not – it was my choice. Under ACA as I understand it I am not allowed to have a $5000 deductible plan, it is too high, not a good enough plan for me – wait a minute, I chose it and it is not too high for me – but the government knows better? I am sorry, but they don’t. I have been told that under ACA I will have a “better” plan with a lower deductible and prescription coverage(that I don’t want), and it will “only” cost me around $600-700 per month. That is the governments idea of better not mine.

    I understand I am blessed to be healthy, but I also understand that for many people when “everything” is paid for there is no incentive to develop or maintain a healthy lifestyle. I also understand that a healthy lifestyle does not guarantee anything, but studies show it does help.

    There needed to be something done for the “uninsurable/pre existing” cases, but ACA was not the right answer.

     
    +7
  13. AvatarGreg Knox

    Like Social “Security”, “WELfare”, Medicaid and Medicare, the “AFFORDABLE” Health Care Act (notice all the Orwellian think speak) is just another of the final acts in a play called “The Last Days of the Republic” , or “The Emperors WERE Naked”, or “The Coffers Were Empty”…or…

    Call it what you want – what we are witnessing is the unwinding of the largest scale Ponzi scheme ever perpetrated since this orb began spinning.

    These debts will have to be paid back…

    Printing trillions of dollars of paper money is just quick morphine into the blood stream…it won’t cure the cancer…and there will be a heavy price to pay.

    As those Canadian philosophers once said, “you can’t get something for nothing, you can’t have your freedom for free”…

    Strap on your seat belts, kids – it’s gonna be a wild ride…

    PS

    Why stop at cell phones and condoms, I mean for God’s sake – these people need to get around…I think it is UNCONSCIONABLE that we live in a country where people are not given free cars…C’mon, I mean, REALLY…

     
    +7
  14. AvatarTerry

    I suggest all respondents read T.R Reid’s book The Healing of America for its appeal to reason on this important topic.

     
  15. AvatarTony

    My wife and I have had coverage since we were both 18 and have always paid our premiums to have better coverage. Low deductible and low max out of pocket. Now I am being kicked off her insurance and forced to take my companies crappy insurance with large premiums, large deductible, and large max out of pocket.
    Her company is also changing her low deductible and low max out of pocket to a large deductible, and large max out of pocket with no other choice.
    Our family deductible and max out of pocket could go as high as $6000 – $10,000. This is devastating to the point of losing our home if anything were to happen.
    As for the “young” people who want to blame people’s lifestyle for all our healthcare woes and the unfairness of it all, I hope you never get breast cancer as we experienced this year. Nothing we did could have prevented this from happening. All is well as of now but if this had happened next year we would be devastated financially.
    Please taste your words before you speak.

    I also don’t trust a government run program when their track record on managing, medicare-welfare-social security, are all just money sucking, mis-managed flops that are dragging this country down financially. (I am in my early 40’s and I don’t expect any of my monies to be there when I need them. I would have done better investing that money myself).

    I don’t believe that we shouldn’t take care of our sick and elderly but I see this latest flop crushing the middle class and turning this country into a 3-world country in the future.

    My pockets don’t go any deeper. Get your hand out of them!

     
    +5
    1. AvatarJosh

      Good thing you had the health coverage to take care of that insurance. What about those who don’t? Why not address the flaws in the program rather than advocating repeal? I see you’ve had the luxury of working for employers that provide good health coverage. What about those who don’t? What then? How do we fix that? The healthcare costs in this country have been skyrocketing for 40 years and that’s not because of the government, it’s an industry run amok. Something had to be done.

       
      1. AvatarOldJarHead84

        Again Josh, why is it our responsibility to provide for those who won’t do for themselves. We have plenty to help those who really need help. 22 million illegals getting free healthcare, food, housing, education, etc, all on welfare getting free health care, the county health departments sees million of people in this country each month for free or a few dollars. Socialized medicine is not the answer, correcting a few of the major issues with the current system was. Do your realize there is a healthcare tax on sporting goods buried in this mess?

         
        +1
  16. AvatarJake

    Whether it’s Obamacare, Medicare, Social Security – whatever government program you want to call out – it is all Socialism, and it IS destined to fail.

    Now those of you “pro-Obamacare” individuals, that are telling of hospital horror stories of exceedingly high costs, and claiming “we must have these costs reigned in…” let me ask you a question. When did Medical costs start rising to these astronomical numbers? That’s right, they started rising the second the government started taking over. Whether it was “mandates” that Doctors had to attend so many hours of training each year, or “mandates” that hospitals must have a certain inspection performed quarterly.

    All of these mandates, rules, and regulations are what started driving up Medical costs – in the same way that the government is telling automakers what the mileage must be on a vehicle, or what safety features must be on equipment. And if you think that these parties that are being told what to do and how to do it by the government, are not going to pass those costs along to their consumers, then you’re smoking crack.

    I’ve quoted jobs for the government that had such stringent packaging requirements, that the packaging was worth more than the part itself. (Thus the $600 hammers and $1200 toilet seats). This is because the government does not operate in a free market system… they simply state, “we want this, and we don’t care what it costs.” Whereas in the private sector, that mentality will sink your business in minutes.

    So why, can’t you Socialists for Obamacare get that through your head? All I hear is “we want health care coverage for poor people” – who are the poor people? At what value are you defining poor? A person making $10K/year is “rich” in Cambodia… And if you do set a standard, how long before that standard is changed – which is typical for bureaucrats to try to garner more votes.

    I’m just sorry that I can’t verbalize the pure evilness of Socialism, to try to enlighten some of you pro-Obamacare people. Even a “little Socialism” is wrong – end ALL of the entitlement programs, kill the regulations that drove up our costs to begin with, and you will be shocked how “affordable” everything will become. Until then, keep cheering for Obamacare, because everything else the government has operated, has turned out so wonderful… Social Security, Medicare, Postal Service, $600 hammers, $1200 toilets seats, and now Obamacare… (sigh)

     
    +12
  17. Avatardave rawson

    We have failed to implement the reforms that could have resolved many of the health care issues in this country, primarily because of the absolute requirement of the left in this country to go to a single payer ( government) system, which is all about control and not about health care.
    Some of these changes could have been
    1. Too many people uninsured? Why have we never allowed health insurance premiums to be tax deductible for individuals as they are for businesses?
    2. Transparency in pricing – impossible for a consumer to price shop – true pricing for health care is a closely guarded secret. I was billed $543 for blood tests ( doctor didn’t code it properly for the insurance) once the error was corrected, insurance paid it. True cost? $47.00
    3. The government saves money on their health care expenditures by underpaying for medicare and medicaid services, doctors and hospitals raise the price to their other customers.( cost shifting) Another hidden tax nobody voted for.
    4. Medical liability reform- standardize liability for health care so doctors don’t have to practice “defensive medicine” ordering tests to minimize their liability from lawsuits.
    5. Health savings accounts- why is the unused money lost at the end of the year? Drastically limits the use of HSA’s.
    6. Why do we allow the AMA to limit the supply of doctors by limiting the number of schools of medicine and their enrollment? Limit the supply, increase the price.
    7. Why can’t Americans buy their health insurance anywhere in the country instead of being forced to buy what is offered and controlled by the bureaucrats in their state?

    There are more free market solutions to the problem, but the health care fascists refuse to allow them, because fixing the problem in the free market would keep them from achieving the control of the populace they seek.

     
    +4
    1. AvatarBill

      Dave,

      You are wrong. The left has been compromising to bring the right on board. A non single payer system costs more, period, That is how the left wanted it. They got it now they whine.

       
      1. AvatarOldJarHead84

        Bill, you are delusional, single payer system will cost 10 times as much. They hired 16,000 IRS agents for this, who pays for that? The taxpayer. What happens when 1/6th of the economy loses their private taxpaying jobs to socialized medicine? No one paying the bill Bill. Wake up, this is a route to cimmunism where the haves will always have and the middle class will be taxed out of existance and become wards of the state. Average cost to a family will go up $6000.00/year do to hidden taxes and fee increase under obamacare, look it up. http://moneymorning.com/ob-article/obamacare-taxes.php
        How is that cheaper.

         
        +1
    2. AvatarSam

      Dave,

      A couple of things –

      regarding your point number 2, when everything is paid for there is no reason for the consumer to shop. Yes it is a little trouble to call and compare prices, but when people buy a new TV or car people will run all over and spend hours price shopping to save a few bucks because people are spending THEIR money. On an insurance claim where there is little or no out of pocket expense no one bothers to shop. There are very real differences in prices in the market, I know I have shopped around when I wanted a non-emergency procedure, MRI, cat scan, etc.. If my deductible has been satisfied then I don’t bother shopping – who cares it is “not my money” being spent. (not really but this is the attitude of many people)

      In your point number 5 an HSA is not a use it or lose it account. It is a private Health Savings Account that belongs to you no matter where or who you work for and carries over from year to year. A use it or lose it account is and HRA, which is company sponsored.

       
  18. AvatarJim Goerges

    Nothing will work if we don’t realize how to create and manage a system and properly plan and account for all money being spent. All was done under the precept of “Affordable Health Care”. Lloyd, what would you have said if GW did this and created this huge American problem? An enormous amount of money was given to an “OBAMA” approved supplier, 95 million dollars. They not only failed with what they were given, they are now over budget 400 million on just the COMPUTER SYSTEM. Obama and crew with there infinite wisdom appear to allow this get more out of hand to the tune of 600 million more! Lloyd, your talking ideology which OBAMA LOVES as continues to steal from the AMERICAN PUBLIC, NEWSFLASH, this money is going out of the COUNTRY!!! Is there any real accounting going on??

    This will blow up and will be a hornets nest for a very long time, HE IS TAKING MONEY OUT OF THE COUNTRY!!! WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE PEOPLE!!!!!

     
    +1
    1. AvatarOldJarHead84

      Three kids at Stanford wrote a program in two weeks that works 1000 times better and actually shows you insurance plans based on your input without all the privacy invasion questions. FOR FREE LOL, of course they wern’t moochelles college buddies.

       
      +1
  19. AvatarJim Goerges

    This just in from Manufacturing NET…

    PARIS (AP) — The 17-country eurozone risks falling into a “severe recession,” the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned on Tuesday, as it called on governments and Europe’s central bank to act quickly to keep the slowdown from dragging down the global economy.

    OECD Chief Economist Pier Carlo Padoan warned the eurozone economy could contract by as much as 2 percent this year, a figure that the Paris-based think tank had laid out as its worst-case scenario in November.

    In its twice-yearly global economic outlook, the OECD — which comprises the world’s most developed economies — said its average forecast was for the eurozone economy to shrink 0.1 percent this year and grow a mere 0.9 percent in 2013.

    “Today we see the situation in the euro area close to the possible downside scenario” in the OECD’s November report, “which if materializing could lead to a severe recession in the euro area and with spillovers in the rest of the world,” Padoan told reporters before the report’s release.

    The report forecasts Europe falling further behind other countries, particularly the United States, whose economy is expected to grow 2.4 percent this year and 2.6 percent next.

    “There is now a diverging trend between the euro area and the U.S., where the U.S. is picking up more strongly while the euro area is lagging behind,” Padoan said.

    Europe itself is increasingly split between a wealthier north continuing to grow and a southern rim that is sliding deeper into recession, the OECD figures show.

    Germany, Europe’s largest economy, will accelerate to 2 percent growth next year after 1.2 percent growth in 2012, while France, the eurozone’s second-largest economy, will expand 1.2 percent next year after 0.6 percent growth this year, the OECD said.

    Italy’s economy, by contrast, will shrink 1.7 percent this year and 0.4 percent in 2013, the OECD forecast. Spain is also set to remain mired in recession, with contraction of 1.6 percent this year and 0.8 percent next.

    Padoan called on eurozone leaders to adopt a “growth compact” to promote growth even while reducing deficits. French President Francois Hollande has made securing such a pact the focus of his European diplomacy in the first weeks of his administration.

    So-called eurobonds — debt issued jointly by countries in the currency bloc — could be used to recapitalize banks, Padoan said. He also reiterated his call of six months ago for the ECB to do more to stem Europe’s crisis.

    The ECB has an “essential” role to play in solving Europe’s crisis, Padoan said, both by using its balance sheet firepower to shore up banks and by lowering interest rates. The ECB should also consider renewing the “unconventional measures” it used last year such as buying up government bonds, “if there is need to cope with contagion problems,” Padoan said.

    Asian economies will also do better than Europe, the OECD predicted. Japan is forecast to grow 2 percent this year and slow down to 1.5 percent in 2013, while China is expected to accelerate from 8.2 percent to 9.3 percent.

    Despite their growth downgrades for Europe, the OECD’s figures are more optimistic than those of the International Monetary Fund. Last month the IMF predicted Europe’s economy would shrink 0.3 percent this year, with the U.S. expanding 2.1 percent.

     
    +1
  20. AvatarJem

    ‘Socialist’ medicine means that the doctors work for the government, like in the U.K. ACA isn’t socialist medicine.
    Second, as the alternative to government-regulated healthcare, I don’t know that I want ‘for-profit’ healthcare either. I’ve worked in many for-profit companies for over 30 years and have not seen one that ever competed on ‘price’ to the consumer, and the same happens in our current healthcare environment. I’ve shopped for healthcare insurance and you can’t compare policies because they are all different in what or how they cover. The elderly would be subject to scammers, just like scam roofers, if they had to shop for insurance every year.
    Third, it doesn’t make sense for companies to provide healthcare either. We have four full-time people and many part-timers involved in making insurance decisions in our company . . . 100’s of thousands of dollars in overhead costs – why? Because someone wants ME to give them insurance?
    Fourth. If we had a more secure healthcare process, which ACA is a start in that direction, you would find many MORE people starting their own companies. If you are 40 years old, a few normal health conditions, and two kids, there is no way that you are thinking of going it alone in business because of the problem of lacking healthcare insurance if they leave their jobs. A secure healthcare process, man you wouldn’t believe the number of people that would try it on their own. No matter how people argue, ACA will be a jobs creator if it is allowed to work properly.
    I think we could have very effective government run system. There are many countries out there that have very good, non-socialist, government sponsored systems – if we could just get through this rhetoric of ‘socialism’ we would all be a lot better off and making more money in the end.

     
    +1
  21. AvatarMike

    Insurance companies are feeding off the fear of Obamacare to rip off their customers.
    The way it works is private insurance companies send out a letter telling their customers that their policy has been canceled because of the ACA’s new requirements. They then offer a new policy at much higher rate, than what that person would pay if they went through the ACA marketplace. Most of the time the insurance companies do not let their customers know what options are available. Some companies even pressured their customers into signing up for a new policy by a certain date, if not they will lose their coverage.

    Example:
    Diane Barrette of Florida claimed that her $54 health insurance policy was going to cost $591 a month because of Obamacare. Blue Cross Blue Shield sent her a letter stating that her old policy was canceled and was being replaced with a new policy at the cost of 10X the cost of her old policy.

    As it turns out her $54 policy, was determined to be junk that provided almost no real coverage. (These junk policies are going to be a thing of the past, thanks to ACA!) Consumer reports easily found her a new policy in the marketplace for $165.

    Shopping the free market for the most affordable insurance is hardly what I would consider socialism. ACA is here to stay, so we need to work on making it better!

     
    +2
    1. AvatarOldJarHead84

      Yep, so just a little over a 300% increase for her, what a bargin. What if that extra $111 was her grocery money or medicine money?

       
      +1
  22. AvatarNSam

    The idea of affordable health insurance with so many American people being unhealthy is a wishful thinking idea. Fat and unfit is the new normal in America and rarely does anyone publically address that the reason health care cost has exploded over the last two decades is that the waistlines of the American people has also exploded along with the other obesity related health consequences such as diabetes, hypertension, fat liver disease, heart disease, osteoarthritis and sleep apneas to name a few. The facts cannot be more in your face. A staggering two thirds of you are overweight with 35.7 percent now obese according to the latest CDC data. Fat and unfit Americans = high cost health care. You’re all blinded by the real problem. Obamacare will never work nor fix the problem. Step on the scale and you’ll see the REAL problem!! Look at your meals and you’ll see the REAL problem.

     
    +1
    1. AvatarJem

      Again, the ACA process may not be perfect, but it does address health, not just healthcare. Understand the law. There are provisions that pay for results — that is better health — not for more treatments. Already there are many hundreds of private companies that are taking advantage of these provisions to improve health. Some of this is good stuff and is in the right direction if we can get past the emotional, but unreal, tag of ‘socialism’. Healthcare is already changing . . . fast . . . what you think you understand is old history. Look up “accountable care organizations”, and read about companies like “Caremore”, one of the private companies that is already making an impact.

       
      +1
  23. AvatarGreg Knox

    I will repeat – stopping at free paychecks, cell phones and health care is unconscionable…
    Free cars
    Govt. (taxpayer) funded vacations (why should only the Obama’s get to spend billions of our taxpayer dollars galavanting around the globe on our dime – shouldn’t those who are not working also get to enjoy the sands of Maui?!?)
    Free wine and beer (hell, if we are already on the hook for the free condoms and female contraception don’t we owe them the rest of the “full romantic experience?!?)
    Free trips to the moon (OK – I know this sounds outlandish, but really, why does Elon Musk have any more of a right to lunar roadtrips than the unemployed or non working…is he “BETTER”?!?)
    Let’s stop inhibiting the lifestyles of the non working by providing just the bare minimum, like cell phones and other similar essentials that humans cannot exist without, and lets grow a collective conscience and give every citizen everything they want
    “Imagine all the people”, as that self loathing multi-millionaire capitalist pig who hated capitalist pigs once stated so well…
    Gotta go – off to Galt’s Gulch
    Enjoy the ride down – it’s gonna be a wild one

     
    +3
  24. AvatarBob

    The question was, should we scrap Medicare. Why would we want to do that? I do not pretend to know the ins and outs of medicare, or the new affordable care for that matter. Medicare for the retired and truly disabled is a great thing, hope it is there in 7 years when I am ready to retire. So no, do not scrap it.
    Want to make it less expensive? Cut the red tape, fix the malpractice insurance mess, doctors costs will come down. Currently doctors order many tests to cover themselves from the lawsuit happy people, more costs to medicare and insurance companys. I could go on, but you get the idea.
    And lastly, I agree with small goverment and balanced budgets, keeping people on welfare honest. But if the goverment is going to spend billions in foreign aid, perhaps we should re-think giving money to corrupt regimes and take care of our own here at home?
    Thanks for listening

     
  25. AvatarDon

    What if they tried this: Tort reform-in Canada virtually all malpractice claims go to arbitration. Why-because the loser in a full trial is responsible for the other party’s legal costs. Also, no contingencies allowed.
    Competition across state lines-can’t hurt, it will drive techological advancement and hold prices down just like competition always had.
    Govt. involvement.-if the govt. assumed the risk for claims exceeding a given amount, say !, 000,000. , the insurance companies would not have to charge premiums based on the possibilities of the multi million dollar claims.
    These steps would all serve to reduce premiums and thereby draw more people in by lowering the bar. That’s the ultimate goal. The govt. then can look at the going premiums and decide whether assistance is still requires for those who still can’t afford it.
    All these ideas were left out of the Obama mess due to special interests in bed with the democrats.
    The idea of a mandate is ridiculous. Winning an election by 4-5% is not a mandate. Passing a law purely on party lines is not following a mandate-it’s jamming something down the throat of a substantial minority-the very thing our constitution was written to prevent.

     
    +1

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