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April 09, 2009

Congress will destroy health care, too

Doesn’t the federal government destroy virtually everything it touches? And yet, you want that same government to control your health care? Doesn’t this apply to everything else this administration and a liberal-controlled Congress wants to touch?

What will this nation look like four years from now? Will it look more like the wonderful nation we’ve grown up with or will it look like something far worse?

Glen Averill


Richard Heckler

Our taxes pay to insure city workers,state workers,federal workers and school districts plus ourselves if there is money left over...

Republican elected officials LOVE their taxpayer assisted medical insurance. Shouldn't all taxpayers have an opportunity to LOVE their taxpayer assisted medical insurance?

Congress' own healthcare benefits: membership has its privileges Lawmakers can choose among several plans and get special treatment at federal medical facilities. In 2008, taxpayers spent about $15 billion to insure 8.5 million federal workers and their dependents.

But many Americans think Congress is out of touch. How, they wonder, can lawmakers empathize with the underinsured or those lacking insurance when they receive a benefits package -- heavily subsidized by taxpayers -- that most of us can only envy?

Indeed, a question often surfaces: Why can't everyone enjoy the same benefits as members of Congress? The answer: The country probably couldn't afford it -- not without reforms to bring costs way, way down.

Given their choices, lawmakers can tailor coverage in a way most Americans cannot. If a child has asthma, for instance, a federal employee might opt for coverage that costs a little more but has a bigger doctor network and lower office-visit fees.

The plan most favored by federal workers is Blue Cross Blue Shield, which covers a family for about $1,030 a month. Taxpayers kick in $700, and employees pay the rest. Seeing a doctor costs $20. Generic prescriptions cost $10. Immunizations are free. There is no coverage limit.


Bush/ Cheney had 6 years of complete republican/neoconservative party control and did nothing to bring down the cost medical insurance. The neoconservative party screamed FREE MARKET!!!

What was the primary objective of Obamacare? To provide insurance coverage for at least
39 million more people.

The medical insurance industry has no intentions of reducing the cost without reducing services

And the neoconservative party STILL supports the most expensive medical insurance industry in the world. WHY?


Casady - My questions regarding what if affordable? How is it determined? Who determines? By what formula? Why only certain products and services? Not one liberal can answer those questions because they do not know the answer. Obviously tort suits are one component in the increasing cost associated with health care, to deny that is naive. Apparently consumers do not understand what is involved in starting a medical practice nor the anciallry costs associated with enterprise. They believe what they hear from ignorant non-business owners and tilited left cronies that EVERYTHING in business is a tax write off, which is simply not the case. I want to know why a pair of Nikes cost over $100, that is greed and profit driven, but again that is perfectly justified when making the choice between rent, food and the basics.


Just what are the "proposals being offered"? Do you have a link or links to specific plans? And "offered" to whom?


Casady, I take it from your description that you think doctors make more money than they should and don't work very hard. If that's the case, my thinking is you don't know any doctors outside professionally.

Personally, there's a long list of professions I would suggest for a young person ahead of anything medical related. The cost of the education, both in time and money, is simply not a good economic investment. Those who didn't do it for the love of healing going in, I'm sure, have learned this since graduating. It is an absolutely brutal profession both mentally and by being in demand at all sorts of unusual hours.

That side, I really don't want you to believe me and if I offered a link I would expect you to look beyond that for more information. So, this time let's start with you. The next time you visit your ob-gyn ask how much he or she pays for insurance and to rank it amongst his or her other expenses. Ask about years and cost of schooling and the hours of work done in residency. Then ask yourself if you would do it if you could start all over again.

As it goes for Benz, I couldn't care less who buys them so long as they make the payments.


Whatever, NM. I still don't have an answer to my question.


My point being is we apparently live in a society where people are willing to pay whatever the going rate is for some products or services but then feel entitled and want to pay nothing for others.
How much should say an office visit cost? Who determines the rate or fee scale? Using what formula? There are many components to why costs increase: tort, malpractice insurance premiums, new medical technology, labor, etc.
Can you imagine how much higher health care will be when they are mandated to be unionized? I have a family member that decided NOT to become a physician after reviewing the ROI although it was not 100% money driven, you get sued for being a good samritan in today's gree, entitlement, taking from others for self society.


“Doesn’t this apply to everything else this administration and a liberal-controlled Congress wants to touch?” – Glen Averill

I wouldn’t trust a conservative-controlled Congress on the issue of UHC. They’ve been equally inept at everything they’ve touched.

“I wonder if he even understands the proposals that are being offered.” - Jim

Any of these proposals leave my family, my employer, my taxes and me alone? Any proposals out there free of the word/concept of mandatory? All of these proposals fully funded by their members/users? Frankly our government is a disaster when it comes to service no matter how the proposals started out.


"And yet, you want that same government to control your health care?"

I wonder who Glen is speaking to here. I wonder if he even understands the proposals that are being offered. From his letter, it's pretty obvious he doesn't.


"Casady, what about people that are not doctors that buy multiple Benzos? Say lawyers? Morons that make laws that create a bogus need for their services."

That's not really of a concern here. I am trying to get to the root of the claim that malpractice insurance is the main culprit behind rising health care costs. I am pretty skeptical of this claim but I figure pc would have some good data to support his position.


Casady, what about people that are not doctors that buy multiple Benzos? Say lawyers? Morons that make laws that create a bogus need for their services. What about people that really have no business buying a Benz but get away with it due to the Fair Credit Act of 1978?


Granted there are cases of malpractice, however, the question is WHO deterimines what medical professionals should charge? Using what metric? Can we appply the same metric and formula to scumbag lawyers that really provide little if anything to society? We already have two areas of medicine that are under staffed, pediatrics and Geriatrics, some are reluctant to venture into these arenas in fear of being sued and also because these two specialties actuallt are two of the lowest paying in medicine. I would agree that some services are ridiculously over priced. Some services should have static fees, like office visits and common procedures. We are again falling into consumerism mentality, consumers want cheap, they may just get what they ask for. You have a choice, cheap or quality.


Hey pcmw:

You're typically great when it comes to supporting documentation. Do you have sources indicating what percentage malpractice insurance premiums are in relation to total health care costs? I've heard your position before and I guess my typically response is that I don't exactly see many phyicians compromising extravagant life styles because of the increase in malpractice insurance. I lost my sister at a young age because of flipant medical incompetence so my position is that if your typical medical practice did not treat their practice like a revolving door so they could buy multiple Mercedes Benzes, malpractice may not have been such an issue.


Wrong, the regualtory infrastructure failed with butt clowns like Barney Frank refusing to do their jobs when warned.
Over 90% of us seem to have no issue paying our bills, mortgages and staying employed yet the whiners like GayHawk still blame Bush for anything and everything. Granted Bush is a dipstick in many areas, Obama is no different. Maybe if we would reduce taxation to where middle class folks were not burdened to pay for deadbeats that buy $150 nikes rather than paying their rent, we would be able to afford our own health insurance which is affordable if you take the time to actually go research premiums. If you are talking about someone with pre-existing condition having the false expectation of having insurance with no deductible, $50 a month premium while using $1,000,000 in services, that is not reasonable. So who determines what fair and reasonable fees are for medical services, Obama? Maybe we should regulate what attorneys charge.


"The U.S. does have the best healt(h) care in the world... if you can afford to buy it..."

So we agree, what we need to do is lower the cost. Easy enough, get behind tort reform. If you take the extraordinary high cost of malpractice insurance and ridiculous costs associated with record keeping out of the equation, all the sudden you'll find the balance, that which is paid to medical providers, is very low.

The villains here are the tort lawyers and regulators, not the health care providers.


Glen is an overwrought doof. I will admit that the entire federal regulatory infrastructure under Bush did fail miserably regarding the economy, but what else is Glen so negative about? Glen poses such ridiculous generalities I can only assume that he simply can't supply nuts-and-bolts examples... Conservatives like to criticize the notion of "national health care" while offering a solution found in private insurance—one of the major problems in the first place! The U.S. does have the best healt care in the world... if you can afford to buy it...


During a conversation with a lawyer I said we should nationalize legal care rather than medical care. He said that was already done - if you can't afford an attorney, one will be appointed by the court. Ha, he thought he had me there.

I said while that is true, would you use a court appointed attorney if you were charged falsely with a major crime and believed the state was stacking the deck?

If health care is nationalized we will all be going to "court appointed doctors." Is that where you would want to go for a heart transplant?

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