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  • Obama Moves the Goal Posts on Health Care

    In his July 25 Radio Address, President Obama offered a new goal to health care reform—“And we’ll limit the amount your insurance company can force you to pay out of your own pocket.” By laying this out as one of the goals of reform, he contradicts the major theme of the Address.

    The Address began with a quote from a small businessman from New Jersey—“I am not looking for free health care, I would just like to get my premiums reduced enough to be able to afford it.” Here are the conflicts between what the small businessman knows and what the President proposes:

    • The less a person pays out-of-pocket, the more it appears to be “free.”
    • The small businessman intuitively knows that when something is “free,” utilization will go up. He understands that if he offered his product or service for free, he certainly would have more customers in the short-term but he might not survive financially until the end of the day.
    • Premiums are based, in part, on how much out-of-pocket spending is expected. When out-of-pocket spending goes down, premiums go up. Insurance is supposed to be protection against an unforeseen, future event. First dollar coverage (the absence of out-of-pocket spending) means insurance is no longer insurance.

    The President attempts to construct an argument that the insurance companies are forcing you or me to pay more out-of-pocket, so we need reform to save us. Nonsense.

    • Out-of-pocket spending as a source of health care expenditures has been falling for decades, which may be part of our problem in health care financing. In 1970, out-of-pocket spending accounted for one-third of all national health care expenditures. In 2000, out-of-pocket spending accounted for 14 percent of total spending. By 2018, only one in ten dollars spent on health care will be out-of-pocket. So out-of-pocket spending as a share of total spending will continue to decline without reform.
    • Compared to last year, out-of-pocket spending grew just 1.4 percent compared to the 8.0 percent increase in Medicare and 9.6 percent increase in Medicaid. Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned here.
    • A person may choose to buy a policy that has greater cost-sharing but a lower premium, because he believes his total cost will be less. Apparently, taking away this option is now one of the goals of health care reform.
    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    13 Responses to Obama Moves the Goal Posts on Health Care

    1. jacksmith says:

      LEAD, FOLLOW, OR GET OUT OF THE WAY. (Thomas Paine)

      We have the 37th worst quality of healthcare in the developed world. Conservative estimates are that over 120,000 of you dies each year in America from treatable illness that people in other developed countries don't die from. Rich, middle class, and poor a like. Insured and uninsured. Men, women, children, and babies. This is what being 37th in quality of healthcare means.

      I know that many of you are angry and frustrated that REPUBLICANS! In congress are dragging their feet and trying to block TRUE healthcare reform. What republicans want is just a taxpayer bailout of the DISGRACEFUL GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT health insurance industry, and the DISGRACEFUL GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT healthcare industry. A trillion dollar taxpayer funded private health insurance bailout is all you really get without a robust government-run public option available on day one. Co-OP's ARE NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR A GOVERNMENT-RUN PUBLIC OPTION. They are a fraud being pushed by the GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT health insurance industry that is KILLING YOU!

      YOU CANT HAVE AN INSURANCE MANDATE WITHOUT A ROBUST PUBLIC OPTION. MANDATING PRIVATE FOR PROFIT HEALTH INSURANCE AS YOUR ONLY CHOICE WOULD BE UNETHICAL, CORRUPT, AND MORALLY REPUGNANT. AND PROBABLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL AS WELL.

      These industries have been slaughtering you and your loved ones like cattle for decades for profit. Including members of congress and their families. These REPUBLICANS are FOOLS!

      Republicans and their traitorous allies have been trying to make it look like it's President Obama's fault for the delays, and foot dragging. But I think you all know better than that. President Obama inherited one of the worst government catastrophes in American history from these REPUBLICANS! And President Obama has done a brilliant job of turning things around, and working his heart out for all of us.

      But Republicans think you are just a bunch of stupid, idiot, cash cows with short memories. Just like they did under the Bush administration when they helped Bush and Cheney rape America and the rest of the World.

      But you don't have to put up with that. And this is what you can do. The Republicans below will be up for reelection on November 2, 2010. Just a little over 13 months from now. And many of you will be able to vote early. So pick some names and tell their voters that their representatives (by name) are obstructing TRUE healthcare reform. And are sellouts to the insurance and medical lobbyist.

      Ask them to contact their representatives and tell them that they are going to work to throw them out of office on November 2, 2010, if not before by impeachment, or recall elections. Doing this will give you something more to do to make things better in America. And it will help you feel better too.

      There are many resources on the internet that can help you find people to call and contact. For example, many social networking sites can be searched by state, city, or University. Be inventive and creative. I can think of many ways to do this. But be nice. These are your neighbors. And most will want to help.

      I know there are a few democrats that have been trying to obstruct TRUE healthcare reform too. But the main problem is the Bush Republicans. Removing them is the best thing tactically to do. On the other hand. If you can easily replace a democrat obstructionist with a supportive democrat, DO IT!

      You have been AMAZING!!! my people. Don't loose heart. You knew it wasn't going to be easy saving the World. :-)

      God Bless You

      jacksmith — Working Class

      I REST MY CASE (http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/25/why-markets-cant-cure-healthcare/)

      Republican Senators up for re-election in 2010.

      * Richard Shelby of Alabama

      * Lisa Murkowski of Alaska

      * John McCain of Arizona

      * Mel Martinez of Florida

      * Johnny Isakson of Georgia

      * Mike Crapo of Idaho

      * Chuck Grassley of Iowa

      * Sam Brownback of Kansas

      * Jim Bunning of Kentucky

      * David Vitter of Louisiana

      * Kit Bond of Missouri

      * Judd Gregg of New Hampshire

      * Richard Burr of North Carolina

      * George Voinovich of Ohio

      * Tom Coburn of Oklahoma

      * Jim DeMint of South Carolina

      * John Thune of South Dakota

      * Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas

      * Bob Bennett of Utah

    2. HSR0601 says:

      A pay for outcome / value payment system, key to the deficit-neutral, might be capable of bringing all groups together.

      Supporters of the agreement say it could save the Medicare System more than $100 billion a year and 'improve' care, that means more than $1trillian over a decade, and virtually needs no other resources including tax on the wealthiest. (Please visit http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?stor… for detailed infos).

      As much as 30 percent of all health-care spending in the U.S. -some $700 billion a year- may be wasted on tests and treatments that do not improve the health of the recipients,” Thus the remaining $239 billions over a decade do not matter.

      Dr. Armadio at Mayo clinic says, "If we got rid of that stuff, we save a third of all that we spend and that is 2.5 trillion dollars on health care. A third of that and that is 700 billion dollars a year. That covers a lot of uninsured people."

      1. There is no need for infighting and class conflict.

      2. It can satisfy revenue-neutral raised by the Republicans.

      3. It is able to resolve the regional disparity.

      4. It may bring the private insurers to competition, innovation.

      5. The focus on 'outcome' over volume can make the practitioners more accurate and creative based on IT SYSTEM and evidence, while eliminating the additional, unnecessary care that is increasing patients' pains, frustrations, and possible side-effects.

      6. It undoubtedly allows for massive medical job creation.

      7. The desperate people will get back American dream.

      THANK YOU !

    3. Janet Brown, Arizona says:

      The private sector and competitive market forces, not the federal government, are the best means to meeting our country’s rapidly expanding health care needs. One of the things I think we can do to help make that happen is support American businesses and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (http://bit.ly/oanAT). They’re doing things to reach out and show people that they can get involved, too.

    4. Mike, Tucson says:

      jacksmith, are you for real? What a diatribe! Once again, the left (you) gets it all wrong.

      In order to have quality health care you MUST have competition, and you must encourage innovation. Whether you like it or not, it is dollar driven. This IS the incentive. By bringing the government into the picture, you will kill any competition. Anything that is backed/run by government will have an "unfair" advantage over private options, as they can run on deficits. Private business cannot do this, they will go out of business. This is a good thing. If it doesn't work, get rid of it.

      By the way, what is disgraceful about being "greed driven?" You use term "greed," which has a negative connotation. But the fact is that people are driven by profit. This is what makes capitalism such a powerful force.

    5. Donna says:

      Has this administration lost it's mind? This healthcare "reform" will bankrupt the nation. Those who back it don't KNOW. We have the BEST healthcare — why do you think Canadians come here? Obama is TRYING to kill this economy. How do you explain his attempt at getting this healthcare through when the economy is what needs fixing! Put people back to work instead of bailing out banks and auto companies (which WE – well, government, now owns). This is a complete fiasco and Obama is causing it!

    6. EricV says:

      JackSmith…Democrats have the votes in the House and Senate to pass WHATEVER THEY CHOOSE. Why don't they do it? I'll tell you why, because they know both of these bills will be the death of the Democrat party. They don't want, no way in hell, to own another FAILED government entitlement program that will bankrupt this country. You can try to push the blame to Republicans all you want but the problem with your side of the isle is that they won't even enroll in their own plan. When the Congressmen and Senators who force this plan down our throats are willing to anounce their "Mercedes Bens" heathcare plan and enroll in this disaster…come back and talk to me. Until then, you're nothing more than a lame excuse for a partisan hack. You want healthcare, go get a job and pay for it yourself like we do.

    7. Cathy Amelio, New Je says:

      Name calling is not admirable in a free society, but you still do have freedom of speech thus far. I am an independent with no political affiliation, but I take offense to your comment as it relates to the Republican and those trying to make sense of the debt this Health Care Bill will procure. Have you read the bill? Has anyone with comments in favor of the bill read it well not even the President has read it, but I have. Beware if you are 60 years of age or older, you will get death counseling;

      There will be cuts in Medicare and of course that will trigger tax hikes.

      Seniors will be pleased to know that there will be a reduction in replacements of hips, knee surgeries, no more bypass surgery or heart surgery as the bill states there is no viability in citizens over 60 (read the bill, it is all there folks); elimination of patient/doctor privacy as patient care will be overseen by White House Czars; Also stated time and again that the elderly should have less care or no care as this age group can't contribute to society. Nice huh? No more specialists Seniors!

      This is only part of this bill. You are required to give your checking account number to the government so that you will be charged for extraordinary care (that's if you get any care)

      As a younger citizen and if you have children the state will monitor you as they are given money from the feds to do so and the more parents and children they monitor, the more money the state gets. Now if you are pregnant you will be monitored by the feds.

      If you want free health care I would suggest you move to Canada and see how the health care system operates there and then decide.

      It seems to me that the liberals of this country seem to blame everyone but themselves for their own ignorance for not reading and understanding what is before the elected official that will cause great hardship to this country!

      God help you all!

    8. neilwied says:

      I normally only rag on politicians, but jacksmith has gotten my attention with his rant on the "DISGRACEFUL GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT health insurance industry…"

      This is a subject about which he is clearly absolutely ignorant. I was a health care consultant to both large and small organizations for over 30 years. I dealt with dozens of health insurance companies and I can tell you that they do pretty much what their customers (employers mostly) want. Most organizations with over 100 employees are SELF-INSURED. They use insurance companies as claim administrators. The employers decide what gets covered and what does not. They also decide what the copayments will be. There's no underwriting profit there, just administrative fees.

      Furthermore, over 100 million people are covered by Blue Cross/Blue Shield organizations under both insured and self-insured plans. Most BC/BS organizations are non-profits, although a number would like to go for profit in order to be able to access capital markets.

      For smaller groups that ARE insured and individuals, the competition is fierce and the regulation is tight. Many smaller employers change insurance companies almost every year to avoid rate increases. In a number of states (e.g., New Jersey) the legislature has required the companies to add so many bells and whistles to their policies that they are just about unaffordable. Now the Messiah wants to require all plans to offer abortion coverage, another expense that will drive up costs.

      Insurance companies make good whipping boys. The Congressional Democrats keep adding fuel to the fire. So, nitwits like jack pick up on this and it becomes a mantra.

      If jack or anyone else wants some government bureaucrat to decide if he can have a hip replacement or a kidney transplant or any other major procedure, that's fine with me. Get in line. I expect the government agency handling health care to be just as competent as, say, the FCC in handling the Bernie Madoff case. I know that my employer will cover mine and my insurance company will pay for it.

    9. Rich, Arizona says:

      Picture this. It is now 2012 and Obama is running for reelection. "Yes, the economy has collapsed and the country is bankrupt. Healthcare reform has been a complete failure. But this is what I inherited from George Bush". How much longer will the libs continue to blame others? When will they take responsibility for their own actions?

      Our country is in trouble. We need a strong leader to reunite us and not play the race card. We need a strong leader who will take responsiblity and not blame others. We need a strong leader who will keep the United States a sovereign nation and not allow other countries to dictate what we do. We need a strong leader who will uphold the constitution and not try to destroy it.

      America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves – Abe Lincoln

    10. exceller says:

      jacksmith, where did you get that from, your last workers of the world unite meeting? Greed, for lack of a better word, is good, to quote a famous movie line. I would much rather go to a private doctor who was making a nice profit and providing good healthcare, than to a government controlled establishment.

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    13. Sharon, California says:

      I am very unhappy with the Obama Administration who have deceived the public. I am 66 years old and yearn for our country to be the way it was when I was in my teens. We were more patriotic then, even Hollywood was patriotic. We knew the patriotic songs by heart and that instilled in us a loyalty to this country. We were not told what we could do by our state or federal country. This Administration has no loyalty or patriotism to the US;their loyalty is to their own agenda. I think about Pres. Kennedy "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what can you do for your country"

      It's very upsetting to me, when I see the younger people following the diatribe of Hollywood, the leftist educators and whatever they think looks cool. Heaven help us and our Grandchildren. They will not be living in the America I grew up in….and sadly they will not know the difference because most of the citizens have become complacent. The more this administration gets their hands on, the more we loose. I have no faith in this "change".

      The government doesn't care what happens to you, people get that straight… the only one who cares about you is you. Don't be so naive. Whatever they say, do the opposite. They will take your property, stop the water from flowing to your crops, take your money to use for some foolish project which will be working against you.

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