Democrats in the House of the Representatives this week introduced their long-anticipated plan to reform the nation’s health care system. Simply put, it is worse than anyone could have imagined.
Euphemistically titled "America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009," the 1,018-page bill is filled with massive tax hikes to be levied against individuals and small businesses. It expands on and creates brand new federal bureaucracies empowered with overseeing your family’s health care decisions – if not charged with making those decisions for you. And, according to Investor Business Daily, “[r]ight there on Page 16 is a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal” if you leave your current plan and wish to buy private individual insurance for yourself and your family.
That’s before factoring in that nearly 120 million people will be forced off their private insurance and into a government-run plan while still leaving 34 million Americans uninsured. Or the fact that the legislation comes with a $1 trillion to $2 trillion price tag.
For months, President Obama has stressed the need for reform, rightly arguing that the current system is economically unsustainable. Reform must drive down – or bend the curve on – rising health care costs, he argues. But there is only one problem. The House Democrat plan fails miserably at reducing costs. In fact, if passed, it will exponentially raise health care costs in this country while reducing quality of care.
According to Doug Elmendorf, Director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the proposed health care reform measures being offered by Congressional Democrats would actually increase public spending on health care. During testimony this week before the Senate Budget Committee, Elmendorf said "the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health-care costs," and would not "bend the cost curve" downward. Rather, "[t]he curve is being raised," he said.
Higher taxes, increased health care costs and reduced quality of care in the name of “reform” should be more than enough to seriously disturb most Americans. But if you are really wondering what your health care will look like under the government-run plan offered by President Obama and Congressional Democrats, take a look at the chart below produced by Republicans on the Joint Economic Committee of Congress:
Think your family’s health care decisions should be made between you and your doctor rather than a morass of bureaucracy making them for you?
It’s been said that a picture speaks a thousand words. Need we say more?
Posted by Brenda, a resident of the Bordeaux Estates neighborhood, on Jul 23, 2009 at 1:37 pm
Not a penny will be 'saved'. MediCare is bankrupt.Uninsured 'Americans" is tossed around like fact. But,Anywhere in the 1200 pages is anything mentioned about a foolproof Fingerprint ID card....for illegals. NOPE...it's OPEN the all people of the WORLD. I can't afford that, can U ?? Last week we'd have to tax earnings of people earning over $250,000. Last night I learned we have plenty...we only need to tax earnings over $1million,,,so guess it's going to be piece of cake. Actually it's all just sales spin...a fantasy of guesstimates from a dartboard. Without any new plan at all. IF, any of the 600 POLITICIANS wanted to save money they would have outlawed drug company ads on TV....like the booze ban on TV. But since they are all OWNED BY the drug co, nobody has the integrity to suggest that. The drug co $$$ saved would be small change compared to the $$ saved by tax supported Medicare. WE can't order our own prescriptions, so WHY advertise to us? Hypocondriacs & seniors pester their doctors...many of who cave in and we the taxpayers provide NEEDLESS Medicare $$$$. NO reason for TV ads for new drugs. Best to table this whole issue for the moment. Obama needs to FOCUS on the economy. Pelosi's ALL DEM Congress was in charge of the economy for 2 years before the election & it's still not worked out. Obama needs to get the economy stabilized before taking on this medical campaign promise. It's part of his campaign AGENDA, but it needs to wait until the economy gets straightened out and we all know WHERE we stand. Do know the costs, doctor shortage, and a variety of parts makeup med insurance...and until we all have a better idea of reality, we really should not ram thru hastily written, political legialation.....without full debate of illegals, the world, costs, WHO pays, is it7 or 9 years before private system has all crumpled into one GIANT, COSTLY, GOVERNMENT 'state run' medical coverage....all because he promised coverage to those who currently get treatment thru tax supported public hospitals !! THEN, we'll ALL get out treatment in PUBLIC hospitals!!!!!!! Once it happens, what's a politician to say, "Oh, gee, SORRY " We were a little OFF !!
Posted by Brenda, a resident of the Bordeaux Estates neighborhood, on Jul 23, 2009 at 2:23 pm
To ??? who is Obviously part of the free-lunch crowd & who doesn't grasp the concept of paying taxes.... we would expect ??? to believe in the possibility of a " free " lunch. We on the paying end KNOW SOMEBODY ALWAYS PAYS !!! and it isn't the tooth fairy. ...and commenting 1 min after reading my very long comment...so we KNOW you're not out there on the job, towing the line. Oh, you probably did NOT read..not bothering with facts....just see if is a negative, & quickly shoot back with a smart-a*s flip incorrect comment. YOu must be VERY dense... or a REAL leech...even the new socialized government plan..productive workers will have to foot the bill for you.
Posted by Ghetto Residetn, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 24, 2009 at 6:43 am
The government did such a bang up job with the medicare system (NOT), why would we give them the reigns on our own private insurance? STUPID. Leave my insurance alone, I do pay for my insurance through my employer and choose the doctors that my family sees, pay my co pay and deductibles, so leave me alone! I don't want to pay for someone else's insurance!
Posted by Vienna, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 24, 2009 at 12:17 pm
The problem is not what the bill contains, but how corrupt the entire medical system has become. The medical insurance companies operate just like a casino – there may be a few payouts but the house ALWAYS comes out ahead. And people like Ghetto are helping fuel their corruption by buying into the idea that he/she is “choosing” their own medical care. Yea right!! Wait until you or one in your family faces a large medical problem and your insurance company comes and “closes down your table” for some obscure reason. People like Ghetto think that leaving their insurance alone will insulate them from the true horrors of a corrupt system – WRONG! The system is bad and change needs to start somewhere!!
Posted by Susan, a resident of the Stoneridge neighborhood, on Jul 24, 2009 at 4:17 pm
I for one would be happy to pay the additional tax to insure, that myself and anyone in my family or a neighbor for that matter would get the care that they need. I also believe it will give the doctors freedom to treat their patients without bureaucratic insurance company, tying their hands and limiting them to what they can and cannot do for a patient. The Drug and Insurance Companies do not want you to do this as they will lose millions of dollars and we will have saved millions of lives. They will will do all in their power to shut it down, just as they did successfully a few years ago when Hillary Clinton attempted to reform our nations insurance.To be ever so humble, what ever happened to love thy neighbor?? Our world today has changed since I was a child, it seems that it's all about To Each His Own. Truth is we have needed this change for sometime, and I will support Obama in his efforts to make it happen and I hope you will too.
Posted by hsr0601, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Jul 27, 2009 at 8:00 am
Let's put aside some distractions caused by the health industry-sponsored Democrats, and the controversial analysis of CBO on the economic effect of the proposed independent advisory council and how to empower it substantively, get back to focus on how to meet the goal of deficit-neutral.
The House leaders reached a deal on Medicare payments: A "Pay for Value" reimbursement system that rewards doctors and hospitals that achieve the best outcomes at the lowest cost.
As a result, The House gained a lot of votes, a lot of people who were withholding support.
The federal Medicare program insures some 44 million elderly and disabled Americans at an annual cost of $450 billion, almost one-fifth of total U.S. health care spending.
Supporters of the agreement say it could save the Medicare System more than $100 billion a year and improve care, that means $1trillian over a decade. (Please visit Web Link for detailed infos)
The Times in a July 7 editorial argued ¡°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.
No one can disagree with this best outcome / evidence-based system, and private insurance, too, will be greatly influenced by this change with the focus on value over volume. !
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."
Posted by Paulette, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on Jul 30, 2009 at 8:44 am
Single Payer healthcare would save Americans money by cutting out the huge administrative costs involved in using a zillion different middlemen, known as insurers. Eliminated would be huge profit for shareholders and obscene salaries for insurance CEO's. We currently have healthcare run by insurance clerks, not doctors. They can prevent you from getting needed medications, important hospital or physical therapy visits. And, in fact, the 7th highest cause of death in America is lack of health insurance. A single payer health care system simply means that one provider acts as a middleman; and, that provider isn't there to maximize profits for shareholders. The government middleman is there to make sure that the patient gets the care they need. With single payer, we would get a full array of treatments that many of us with insurance still find too high. When we had insurance, I could not afford the treatments that I needed for the intensely painful disease that I have. Physical therapy would have probably cured me; but, I could never afford it. I could never afford that other treatments either, when they changed our policy so that I could only receive 3 visits a year. When I found out how to do it at home, they changed the policy so that the brand drugs in the cocktail I was to administer to myself now was unaffordable. It's crazy! In countries with single payer, I have no doubt that this disease I have would be treated properly and I would be able to function better than I am now. If we had a single payer system, we would also receive free dental and vision. This is something I didn't have for years until our last policy. When you see people smile without teeth, you are seeing someone who never got the privilege of having dental insurance. I've lucked out so far. Still have my teeth.
On August 1st, this Saturday, at the IBEW Hall; 6250 Village Parkway in Dublin, they will be showing a film called "Damaged Care," about a doctor who testified before congress against an HMO she once worked for. This is her story. Either after or before the film, (I think it's before), they will show a 14 minute documentary about Mark Leno's bill that would create Single Payer healthcare in California. Garamendi speaks in this film along with many others about what Single payer healthcare would look like in California. Also, the documentary, "Sick Around the World" made by frontline, gives you a more educated view of what single payer healthcare looks like in other countries. We have higher infant mortality rate than any other country in the civilized world, we die younger than anyone in any other country in the civilize world. And, it's quite possible that I will die soon without the care that I need. It's as simple as that. I know alot of you out there aren't cold blooded; but, I do think that many people have this misbegotten notion that this could never happen to them. You think that the people this would help are "throwaway people." You don't say so; but, it's an undercurrent of racism and classism that is holding this back in our country. What you don't get is that your own healthcare would improve. If you want super deluxe care, all those countries that provide single payer all have insurances that are available; and, their insurance carriers still make a living. But, most people are content with what they have. You can't say that here. I could recite case after case of people I know who either have died or have suffered greatly due to being underinsured. My sister in law died because they didn't want to test her for an aneurism that ran in her family when she came in with massive chest pains, 10 days after giving birth to her first child. She's dead now. This is what our healthcare system really looks like. This is us. We can do better.
Posted by Paulette, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on Jul 30, 2009 at 9:00 am
I want to add something to what I said. My sister in law who died from an aneurism in her aorta. She wasn't some sort of slouch. In fact, all the people I know who've died due to lack of or their insurance denying care, were topdrawer people. She worked hard to make it through dental hygienist school and worked in a dental office. She was so beloved by her community that over 300 people showed up to her funeral. She died because she was denied the treatment she deserved. Her newborn baby who never got to know his mom is 8 years old now; and, there isn't a day that goes by that her dear husband doesn't miss her. It's a sin, the way we treat people's health in this country.
I also forgot to tell you the time that the film is being shown at the IBEW Hall this Saturday. The short film about Calfornia Onecare proposed by Mark Leno will be at 7 PM at the IBEW Hall; 6250 Village Parkway, Dublin. If you want to know more about California's version of Single Payer, come and watch this short film. I believe they'll be doing another healthcare film next month there too.
This is a big deal for the millions of us who are either uninsured or underinsured.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jul 30, 2009 at 9:14 am Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
I think only those who have personally experienced the problems of the current system truly understand why reform needs to occur.
It is common for the typical citizen to not understand because the problem lies outside of their realm of experience. The problem always happens to "other people" and those "other people" must be different in some way from ourselves. But given time, we come to learn that those "other people" are in fact ourselves and suddenly we become the "other people" who apparently can't afford the proper care we need (not want).
Posted by Haica, a resident of the Ridgeview Commons neighborhood, on Dec 28, 2009 at 6:54 am
Hey, My brother put a passcode on my iPhone through the Settings/General/Restrictions and now I dont have safari anymore. This brings up some big problems since I can't access most Wi-fi hotspots because they require me to log in and I dont have Safari to do so. So please please please help! either on how to bypass restrictions or how to access log into Wifi hotspots without the safari icon.