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July 01, 2009

Questions about health-care reform

Here are three questions that our representatives in Congress should answer before they vote on national health care:

1. The Congressional Budget Office has said the proposed government takeover of health care could cost $1.6 trillion. Other estimates put the cost much higher. Various officials have proposed raising taxes on soda and alcohol, a higher payroll tax, taxing current employer-provided health plans and even a new national sales tax to fund this massive government program. Do you support any of these middle-class tax hikes to fund government-run health care? If not, how would you pay for it?

2. Under President Obama’s plan, can you guarantee that I would get to keep my current health-care plan and doctor?

3. Provisions in the Obama plan call for “comparative effectiveness research” to be used to decrease costs. “Savings” are achieved by denying treatments based on criteria such as cost, a patient’s health or a patient’s age. Treatment would be decided by a national health-care board appointed by the president. Can you guarantee that a new government plan will not deny care to individuals in order to control costs?

David Losey
Olathe


Folks, there is no “Obama Health Care Plan.” There are cobbled-together pieces of plans being tossed at the Congressional Budget Office to determine which combinations will end up costing a trillion or more. In theory, we’ll have Medicare for all. Sounds good. Private insurers will offer various supplemental plans. Seems fair.

Will this really result in “more health care” or be “less expensive?” Ask yourself, “Of all the federal entitlement programs, which one is hurtling fastest toward bankruptcy?” OK. Fine. Let’s change what the vast majority are currently happy or satisfied with. Let’s hope it works.

“Hope” and “change” — that’s what 53 percent voted for last November.

Bill Muir
Kansas City

Comments

JoCo

Nothin more tender or sweet than beef tongue. Ever see those cows in the field.... chewing on their tongues all day?

Boiled in the skin, it used to crack me up counting the warts and tastebuds. But deep inside? Try it.

JoCo

NY Deli, Scimeca's retail, Johnny's west side.

My eye-watering is outdone only by my mouthwatering!

Goodbye, old friends of the palate.

GCYL

“There is much to like about the High-Performance Plan. First, in contrast to many proposals that I have read, the Commonwealth Fund does not fudge the numbers. Nor does it pretend that comprehensive universal health insurance would somehow magically make the whole system more efficient and less prone to inflation. As a result, this report makes it clear than any reformer must face some extraordinarily difficult tradeoffs.”

“Secondly, the plan recognizes that health care reform will not pay for itself. At the outset, we will have to find funds:”

“Finally, and most importantly, the Commonwealth report is very candid in acknowledging that unless a low-coast public sector insurance plan is available as part of the mix, we just cannot afford universal coverage.”

“The report is both clear and candid on this point: “The modeling estimates that premiums for the public plan would be at least 20 percent below a comparable benefit package for those insured through fee-for-service insurance plans in private individual and group markets. This advantage comes from a lower share of the premium for administrative overhead and the effect of lower provider payments."

There’s the rub. As the chart below illustrates, the Commonwealth High Performance Plan creates a two-tier system, with premiums significantly lower in the public sector plan. Patients in the public sector plan would be guaranteed “a minimum level of benefits,” but in many cases, the doctors who treat them would be paid less. As a result, patients who choose the public sector plan might well have a hard time finding physicians willing to take their insurance.”

//Parts removed from Taking Note, The Commonwealth Fund’s Plan for Universal Coverage//

“Under the Medicare-like plan along with private insurance, all U.S. residents would be required to obtain health coverage.” - Posted by: hsr0601

What is up with this incessant need for mandatory this and mandatory that? Leave me, my family, my employer and my tax money alone. By all means build a better mouse trap without us.

Account Deleted

The independently-funded healthcare policy research organization, The Commonwealth Fund, compared possible savings 'a health insurance exchange' could bring under three different scenarios. One would include a Medicare-like plan along with private insurance. Another would instead offer only a government-run plan with rates somewhat higher than Medicare. The final one would be private insurance with no government plan at all.
Commonwealth's study found cumulative health system savings between 2010 and 2020, compared with projected trends for that period, would range from $3.0 trillion under a Medicare-like plan along with private insurance paying providers at Medicare rates in competition with private plans, to $2.0 trillion for a public plan paying providers at rates between Medicare and private plan rates, to $1.2 trillion in the private plan-only scenario. All three options would help insure nearly all Americans, it said, with the number of uninsured dropping to about 4 million people by 2012. 'Such an exchange' would offer a central point for consumers to shop for and compare health plans.

Under the Medicare-like plan along with private insurance, all U.S. residents would be required to obtain health coverage. The plan would establish a new government-sponsored health program for people younger than age 65 who are not eligible for Medicare. More than 40 million people would be expected to enroll in the program, according to Cathy Schoen of the Commonwealth Fund.

The government-operated insurance exchange would be similar to an existing program in Massachusetts and would allow people to compare coverage offered by private insurers and the new public program. In addition, the plan supports wide adoption of health information technology, better disease prevention efforts and 'changes to the insurance payment system' that promote efficiency. Health spending would continue to increase under the plan, but at a slower rate than current projections over the next 10 years. The Commonwealth Fund said the plan would reduce annual health care spending growth from a projected 6.7% to 5.5% and save a cumulative total of about '$3 trillion' by 2020, adding a national health insurance exchange program that includes a federally managed health insurance option could potentially save $1.8 trillion more than a plan consisting only of private plans.
The group's analysis assumed other changes would also be made to the U.S. healthcare market. These include an expansion of existing government coverage and new regulations that would require insurers to cover a wider range of consumers. Hospitals and doctors would also see their revenues grow with any of the three exchanges but at a slower rate, the report said.

The proposal's advocates have argued that a government-sponsored insurance plan would offer the 46 million uninsured Americans an affordable alternative to costly private insurance, adding that It would provide a strong incentive for private plans to strealine, innovate and compete.

solomon

Me too EL, but after 1,384,385,009 of them I'm stuffed.....

EL

i like mosquito tongue, fried, with gravy

Gary

Finally a line of comments that everyone can support.

Scimecca's closed its Independence Blvd. retail supermarket several years ago. The location is now a Mid-Eastern restaurant. Scimecca's does still have a wholesale sausage operation at 10th and Woodland. NY Deli is gone as well.

I don't know of a single deli that stocks tongue these days, but you might try LaSala's or one of the Italian places at City Market.

Tongue is easy to prepare (low temperature, long time), but one is too much for a single or two persons. Fortunately, lengua is on the menu at many Mexican restaurants.

solomon

NE,

Two hard working parents and six kids in parochial schools...did not matter what neighborhood, our housekeeper was a part of our family for a dozen years once Mom went back to work after having all of us...

kdog,

called them this morning, they only have it raw. i just picked one up at the grocer and am going to do it myself tonight.

Kee,

i've had copperhead prepared by Mr Dawson at summer camp in Swope Park, rattlesnake, alligator, some big rodent in New Orleans and stuff in asia that i don't know the origin of. beef tongue is one of the most delectable cuts of meat of beef there is. NY deli's are famous for it and every nation on earth that eats cows has a dish serving it. BTW, last you reported, you don't drink.

Kee

Now I have found out of the originators of those LRRP rations! Affectionately known as "freeze dried monkey puke"! (tongue for god's sake!)

I mean I have eaten snake and lizard, but tongue???

Race Card it will cost you a case of Johnny Walker Blue or I will release your name to the guys to deal with you accordingly! lol...

Kansasdog

Sol - have you tried McGonigals (sic)?

jeanette

JoCo - New York deli on Troost closed a few months ago. Broke my heart. My family had been going there for 40 years.

NoMoreMrNiceGuy

Damn Sol, we never had a housekeeper, it must have been the neighborhood.

solomon

NE,
Growing up our housekeeper used to boil tongue in a style i imagine you'd call southern style, as she was from the south. In the 70s I experienced NY deli style tongue, which I enjoy more. Some people are turned off by the cut but to me it makes a great sandwich, probably my favorite.

To the letter....gov't run health care is and will continue to be a bad idea. We are in the proverbial rock/hard place situation.

NoMoreMrNiceGuy

Oh indeed we should always trust lawyers, big wigs executives and the government. They always do what they promise.
We definitely need to make changes to make health insurance portable so indivuals can carry their own policies. Something needs to be worked out to allow reasonable coverage for pre-existing. If someone already has say AIDS, they should not be able to sign up for a $49 health plan and get 100% coverage, that would INCREASE costs. One thing I do not want are lawyers deciding what is in my or my families best interests, we already have that in place in other areas of our lives and it is a failure. As for beef tongue....recalled.

JoCo

Sol,
Looks like Scimecas has moved north to Gladstone, opposite direction, I guess, from the lake.

solomon

its harder to find than you'd think......thanks, I'll call those places this morning

JoCo

I'm sure you meant Some, Sol. Still NY deli south of 63rd on Troost? Scimecas, NE area, Independence ave/Paseo? Johnny's market,SW Blvd?

Pick me up some.

solomon

more of the same.......

HEY GUYS

Anybody know a deli where I can find come good beef tongue?

 
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