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26 July 2009


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I work part time in the financial field. At this point, mostly to service my existing client base who are people in the lower middle and middle middle class, but also to have access to the opinions of the "rich" conservatives that tend to flock to this industry ('cause I gotta keep an eye on them). Funny thing about this group of people is that most of those who are rich now did not come from old money. They "pulled themselves up by their boot straps" and thus, having worked so hard (and they really did) they somehow believe that ALL of society should also work hard or STFU.

That's pretty much the attitude of the new money rich. And because of Reaganomics and being Bushwacked, there are more of the new rich living across the nation, but they're staying in the nicer homes of the same towns in which they grew up back when they were not rich. Now, because of their new wealth, they have influence in their own communities and churches. But, they really don't have influence with the old rich until they can bring a flock of their neighborhood voting age followers along. And NOW that they have all this new money, and because they believe you either have to work hard to get it or STFU, they acquire this level of arrogance that says to all those around them, "I worked hard, you didn't, so suffer the consequences of your own self imposed poverty, I'm not giving you anything. So STFU about it already."

The exception to this desire NOT to give (i.e. through taxation) is the desire to maintain their flocks. So the new money rich will give plenty to their churches where it's easy to influence a captive audience. They will give some to their communities, because they do like where they live, or they would live there, and it's good to invest back into your own backyard.

And that's how you get conservative, yet not that rich, people going along with the rich people to say NO to taxes and NO to helping out your society (they just got bamboozled by the influential newly rich person in their community that doles out money periodically, especially if you go to the new church they just paid to build. So, STFU already...heh.


I wonder if all the people who can pay for insurance but can't get a decent price or plan, banded together to create their own 'non-profit group'. Everyone would pay dues to pay the folks that would be in charge of getting the most for the least in health coverage for the members of the group. Those positions would be hired or voted in by the members and the dues would pay wages.

I know that technically this sounds like the federal government but the members of the group would have more control over the people and process. Plans could be voted on by the members so that no one could benefit by kickbacks or lobbyists.


Cheryl, I know you have a good intention there but I don't think people will bite on it because the financial background is weak. There will be no financial support... that's what I mean. Or, there may be a support, but I don't think it will last for long like forever.

Donna F.

Amen. As an uninsurable, I pay so much for my health insurance that I cannot afford to go to the doctor for preventive care. I cannot afford the deductible to get necessary tests done or the deductible for durable medical equipment, like a CPAP.

Rich conservatives like to bemoan the fact that "everybody" already has access to "free" health care by going to the ER. They don't seem to realize that there is a subclass of working poor, who DO have to pay and often get sent into bankruptcy by a health crisis. It's very convenient for them not to recognize that.


The concerns I read here refer to access to health care in the form of insurance, rather than a problem with the health care itself. The quality of American health care is good.

If we accept the figure of 47 million uninsured, and the population of the U.S. is about 304 million meaning about 85 percent have insurance (and by polling data, are satisfied with their coverage and treatment), why put such a large portion of the nation's economy under direct government control? Why not just work to fix the access part? I've often thought health insurance should be uncoupled from employment and put instead into a sort of consortium of groups (maybe what Cheryl said) -- what scares a lot of people is the thought of losing coverage when a job ends. There could be a high-risk group, as there is now for auto coverage.

Congressional Budget Office says the House plan would increase the deficit by about $240 billion over 10 years, even factoring in the end of President Bush's tax cuts. And that number will likely continue to rise over the long term. Entitlement bills in the past, including Medicare, have scored way lower than their actual eventual cost. Medicare is broke; Social Security is heading for bankruptcy, TARP, the auto bailout and the stimulus bill have emptied the treasury and tax receipts have declined 18 percent this year. The proposed plan as set out in the House bill cannot be paid for by miraculously stemming waste and fraud in Medicare and Medicaid, or by taxing the rich -- not even close. We are already into really awful deficit spending.

Medical care is something that seems to put all of us in a state of hypnotic helplessness -- we don't even consider paying for any of it ourselves, maybe in the way of an insurance policy that would pay for the big things but leave us to deal with the daily stuff like office visits. Our auto insurance doesn't pay a portion of oil and fan belts, for instance, and we manage. Premiums would go down and if we shopped for price, chances are those would become lower too. Lasik eye surgery has decreased in cost and increased in innovation over the past 20 years; most people pay for that out-of-pocket.

So if the problem is cost of insurance, then what is a good reason to take over the whole industry -- to place health care under federal control?


No. The CBO scoring was incomplete and did not take a number of factors into account. President Obama has said he wants a plan that pays for itself, and that's what people are working to craft.

As for paying our own bills and shopping for care... are you living on a different planet? Really, are you? I pay EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS A MONTH for my insurance, plus a fifty dollar co-pay every time I see my doc. I can't shop for another policy because I'm considered UNINSURABLE because my BMI is too high and I'm in menopause. And you think the problem is I've never considered paying for my own health care? I think about it every month, writing that check. Believe me.

Your solution has only one problem: It solves nothing.

Go read this now:



I didn't suggest you shop around for insurance.

Health insurance outside of large group plans is frighteningly difficult to keep and pay for. I'm hearing politicians referring to the health bills as "health insurance reform" now -- including President Obama, yesterday. The health savings plans are an excellent idea, and maybe we can discuss the possibility of vouchers for people who have difficulty paying for health insurance. I really like the idea of removing health insurance from employment and allowing health insurers to write policies across state lines.

The insurance industry and the pharmaceutical companies (made a deal already) seem to be in favor of most of the proposed plans -- to the extent that we can tell what they really are at this point. They oppose the public option because it will eventually put them out of business. But they've been working with the administration for months helping to craft changes.

John Marttila (Democratic strategist, advisor to Joe Biden) found large majorities of polled voters saying they are generally satisfied with their health insurance coverage and consider their own insurance affordable; he found that 88 percent had insurance coverage and 85 percent were satisfied with it.

My question remains. The American health care system is generally good. Why get the federal government involved in running health care itself? Why not just tweak access to it for a small group of Americans?


Catherine, who are you and what planet are you from? Or more to the point, who do you work for?

This is the biggest load of spin bullshit I've ever read. Seriously.

Health care in America is a national disgrace. It's HORRIBLE. It's a nightmare. It should be thrown in the crapper and replaced with a single payer system tomorrow.

The next best thing, and the only realistic option in this country, is a robust public option.

TWEEKING? The system needs TWEEKING? When 50 percent of the people who make a serious claim get their insurance canceled on a technicality?

Health care cannot and should not be a commodity or a profit center. It's just a basic service like roads and education. "Insurance" is for acts of god and things that are unavoidable and/or catastrophic. Everyone gets sick. Everyone needs health care.

Whether it's you or a family member or someone in your "group" whose medical bills impact your own premium, we all suffer from the irrationality and capriciousness of a for-profit based insurance system that is based on the idea that every dollar paid out is a loss that has to be explained to the stockholders or the CEO.

You can silkily mention all the cherry-picked "surveys" you want, but the vast majority of people in this country loathe the health insurance industry and want a viable public option.

Get used to it.

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