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Old 05-18-2009, 09:25 PM  
Ultra Peanut Ultra Peanut is offline
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The Health Care Cave-In

This is why you should be pissed at Obama.

http://robertreich.blogspot.com/2009...e-cave-in.html

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The Health Care Cave-In

"Don't make the perfect the enemy of the better" is a favorite slogan in Washington because compromise is necessary to get anything done. But the way things are going with health care, a better admonition would be: "Don't give away the store."

Many experts have long agreed that a so-called "single-payer" plan is the ideal, because competition among private insurers who pay health-care bills inevitably causes them to spend big bucks trying to find and market policies to healthy and younger people at relatively low risk of health problems while avoiding sicker and older people with higher risks (and rejecting those with pre-existing conditions altogether), and also contesting and litigating many claims. A single payer saves all this money and focuses on caring for sick people and preventing the healthy from becoming sick. The other advantage of a single payer is it can use its vast bargaining power to negotiate lower prices from pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and suppliers.

Not surprisingly, insurance and drug companies have been dead-set against a single payer for years. And they've so frightened the public into thinking that "single payer" means loss of choice of doctor (that's wrong -- many single payer plans in other nations allow choices of medical deliverers) that politicians no longer even mention it.

On the campaign trail, Barack Obama pushed a compromise -- a universal health plan that would include a "public insurance option" resembling Medicare, which individual members of the public and their families could choose if they wished. This Medicare-like option would at least be able to negotiate low rates and impose some discipline on private insurers.

But now the Medicare-like option is being taken off the table. Insurance and drug companies have thrown their weight around the Senate. And, sadly, the White House -- eager to get a bill enacted in 2009 rather than risk it during the mid-term election year of 2010 -- is signaling it's open to other approaches. What other approaches? One would create a public insurance plan run by multiple regional third-party administrators. In other words, the putative "public plan" would be broken into little pieces, none of which could exert much bargaining leverage on Big Pharma and Big Insurance. These pieces would also be so decentralized that the drug companies and private insurers could easily bully (or bribe) regional third-party administrators.

Another approach now being considered in the Senate would have states create their own insurance plans. That's even worse: Big Pharma and Big Insurance are used to buying off state legislators and officials. They'd just continue their current practices.

A third option is to create a public plan that pays for itself and, according to the office of Senator Charles Schumer, who came up with it, "adheres to private-insurance rules." But adhering to private insurance rules is exactly what the public plan is not supposed to do. How can it possibly discipline private insurers and get good deals from drug companies and medical providers if it adheres to the same rules that private insurers have wangled?

It's still possible that the House could come up with a real Medicare-like public option and that Senate Dems could pass it under a reconciliation bill needing just 51 votes. But it won't happen without a great deal of pressure from the White House and the public. Big Pharma, Big Insurance, and the rest of Big Med are pushing hard in the opposite direction. And Democrats are now giving away the store. As things are now going, we'll end up with a universal health-care bill this year that politicians, including our President, will claim as a big step forward when it's really a step sideways.
And he didn't even mention what seems to be Obama's current pet plan: mandated private insurance with penalties up to 75% of the "average" for those who can't obtain or afford coverage. **** YEAH, BARRY!
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:41 PM   #2
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I don't know why you're so suprised. It sounds like a government solution if ever I heard one.
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:50 PM   #3
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Until they actually start controlling malpractice suits, hospital billing practices and the insane drug prices, they will never fix the insurance side of it.
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:05 PM   #4
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:11 PM   #5
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Despite UP's histrionics....whatever plan Obama ends up pushing, will more than likely decrease costs (and profits of medical middle-men, heh) of healthcare into the next few years. We'll see if it is enough.

However, a single-payer socialized approach to medicine, similar to those of Britain or Canada, are not a desirable alternative. Decreasing costs and prodding the current system toward a more inclusive and affordable model, for everyone, while at the same time preserving "choice" for those who can afford and are willing to shell out money for extraordinary medical procedures...is, ultimately, the only plan that will prevail.

Obama seems to understand that and, to his credit, is working toward that.
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:42 PM   #6
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why is one persons opinion/blog considered "news" and worthy of a new thread?
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:55 PM   #7
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Nothing the government does reduces costs.
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SBK View Post
Nothing the government does reduces costs.
I worked for the industry in 1990. Sales Rep, Baxter Healthcare (Scientific Products Division) out of the Dallas office. The industry's response to calls for "change" was...."We WILL reduce costs over the next 10-15 years. We promise. No need for government intervention. We PROMISE!" Hence, when Clinton's Healthcare proposal came along in 1993...given the industry's claim....and general distrust toward government solutions, which you, rightly... point out... the public bought the whole Harry and Louise ads from the industry, that struck a quick and fatal blow to the Clinton healthcare proposal. And I applauded it. Yup, I did.

However, here we are 18-19 years later...and, guess what? The industry lied their fuggin' asses off. They did next to NOTHING to "reduce costs." Far too much money is spent on bloated salaries and "perks" for middle-men...in the healthcare industry, who are not vital to the delivery of healthcare--and serve no vital role, who...with a more "centralized" plan....can be eliminated. And SHOULD be eliminated.

So sorry, the bastards will have to get real jobs now I guess....instead of starting their weeks on Tuesday, and ending them with golf on Friday (I still know several still in the industry--so don't bullshit me,) I guess they'll actually have to work a full 50-55 hour week like the rest of us dumb bastards. Gosh, that's a real shame. You should really expect most average Americans to feel real sorry for them....

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Old 05-18-2009, 11:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Kotter View Post
So sorry, the bastards will have to get real jobs now I guess....instead of starting their weeks on Tuesday, and ending them with golf on Friday (I still know several still in the industry--so don't bullshit me,) I guess they'll actually have to work a full 50-55 hour week like the rest of us dumb bastards.

It's funny you mention this... This is something that I'm working towards. Light and breezy Monday, with golf at 2pm on Friday. We'll see how it goes, but it's not out of the realm of possibility.
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigRedChief View Post
why is one persons opinion/blog considered "news" and worthy of a new thread?
When the blogger was a US Secretary of Labor and incredibly smart guy?

The news isn't that Reich wrote a blog post, it's that Obama and Congress (particularly the Senate) are in bed with the insurance industry and completely cutting off any chance we have for successful, meaningful reform at the pass. Single-payer advocates are literally not even being given seats at the table, all while Obama asks for donations to "stand up to" the lobbyists he's working with.
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taco John View Post
It's funny you mention this... This is something that I'm working towards. Light and breezy Monday, with golf at 2pm on Friday. We'll see how it goes, but it's not out of the realm of possibility.
Nothing at all wrong with dreaming about it. Not a dang thing. More power to you, Isaac. Really.

The problem with this in the healthcare industry though.... is sustained double and triple the rate of inflation....increases in costs of the industry's "products" over a 20 year plus cycle.

That is ASKING for trouble--in this case, in the form of government intervention. IMHO, the industry has brought it on themselves, and have no one to blame but themselves and their unmitigated greed.
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:12 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Mr. Kotter View Post
Nothing at all wrong with dreaming about it. Not a dang thing. More power to you, Isaac. Really.

The problem with this in the healthcare industry though.... is sustained double and triple the rate of inflation....increases in costs of the industry's "products" over a 20 year plus cycle.

That is ASKING for trouble--in this case, in the form of government intervention. IMHO, the industry has brought it on themselves, and have no one to blame but themselves and their unmitigated greed.
The greed in this equation comes on the side where able bodied people want their healthcare insurance paid for by other people.
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:22 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Ultra Peanut View Post
This is why you should be pissed at Obama.
Why - because he isn't going to nationalize 17% of the US economy?
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Kotter View Post
That is ASKING for trouble--in this case, in the form of government intervention. IMHO, the industry has brought it on themselves, and have no one to blame but themselves and their unmitigated greed.
Agreed.
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:35 AM   #15
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The greed in this equation comes on the side where able bodied people want their healthcare insurance paid for by other people.
No, the real greed is an industry that thinks they can support lavish lifestyles for insurance executives, hospital and industry "middle-men," and administrators....on the backs of average Americans with double-to-triple the rate of inflation "cost increases" sustained over a 20-30 year period in which they knew the industry was under intense scrutiny.

The hubris and arrogance involved in that exercise would make Donald Trump blush.
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