Jul 13, 2009

ER doctor advocates for universal single payer health care

BRIGHTON -- More than 50 people sacrificed a sunny Saturday morning to jam into the Livingston County Democratic Party’s headquarters for a town hall meeting on health care reform.

With more than 46 million Americans without health care, it is a hot issue. The U.S. Senate is currently debating HR 676 that would establish a universal health insurance program.

“We should leave here with a new resolve, and be able to use the info we glean here,” said Donna Anderson, the vie-chair of the LCDP. “Don’t be afraid to call Senators from other states. Call the White House; President Obama made some promises.”

Unfortunately, the bill is in trouble. Although the majority of Americans favor a single payer, universal system like Medicare, some Republicans are fighting against it, and insurance companies are spending $1.4 million a day on lobbying Congress against it.

“There has been a lot of debate on what the bill should look like,” said Callie Fox, the Mid-Michigan Regional Manager for Sen. Debbie Stabenow. “There has to be a strong public option.”

The cost of health insurance is skyrocketing. Insurance rates have increased 73 percent since 2000, and the annual cost is almost $12,000 a year. People without health coverage fail to treat routine problems, and they grow even more serious, forcing them to Emergency Rooms, driving up the cost of health care even further.

“Health care needs to be a right, not a privilege,” Fox said. “There is always the ER, but that is by far the most expensive option.”

Robert Sisler, President of UAW Retirees Local 6000, had horror stories of people being treated in the ER when a routine check up could have caught a minor ailment and treated it before it became life-threatening.

He also had harsh words for the country’s 1,200 for profit health insurance providers where the number one goal is to avoid paying for anything. The current system is extremely wasteful, and 30 cents of every health care dollar goes toward paperwork, marketing and profit. The rules confuse patients, doctors and administrators.

“You know that when you fight for everything your policy allows, you have spent more time with clerks than the doctor,” Sisler said.

As an emergency physician at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor and president of the Washtenaw County Medical Society, Dr. James C. Mitchiner is on the front line of health care. He has been a long-time advocate for single-payer, universal heath care, and he is distressed over where the debate on HR 676 is headed.

“I am very dismayed that we are moving so fast just to get something done for political compromise,” he said. “That means we will have health care reform in name only.”

Mitchiner said people who believe single payer would never work in the U.S .just need to consider that the most popular health insurance program in the U.S., based on patient surveys, is a single-payer, government-run, tax-financed, administratively lean, non-means-tested, universal access program called Medicare. The program operates with less than 3 percent overhead compared to 15-30 percent by for profit provides.

“As an ER physician, I don’t understand why people lose their health insurance when they lose their job,” Mitchiner said. “You don’t lose your car insurance, life insurance or home insurance.”

Mitchiner debunked some of the myths and Republican talking points on health care, such as the alleged long lines and waits in Canada. Mitchiner said that is a myth, and so is the myth that people from Canada cross the border to gain access to U.S. health care. However, many Americans travel the world to get health care elsewhere. The U.S. is the only advanced country in the world that does not have universal health care. The U.S. is also ranked 37th among all countries in health system performance, according to the World Health Organization.

“The first thing to keep in mind about Canada: get this if you do not get anything else: they only spend a fraction of what we spend on health care,” Mitchiner said. “In my years as a physician I have only seen three Canadians in all that time, and one was in a car accident.”

The U.S. spends about 16 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on health care, more than any other industrialized nation in the world. Canada spends about 10 percent. Mitchiner said the waits in Canada are no greater than in the U.S., and the Canadian system is simply under funded.

“Who has a longer wait than in the U.S.,” he said.” We have 46 million Americans waiting for health care. That’s a headline you will not see in Canada.”

He said the talking point that a government bureaucrat will get between a doctor and the patients is simply not true. Anyone who has had to fight an insurance company has had a bureaucrat get between the doctor and patients.

He said single payer is not “socialized medicine” because the doctors are not government employees. He also debunked the myth that single payer will hurt innovation. The fact is most of the medical breakthroughs have occurred in other countries, like heart transplants in South Africa. Plus, 90 percent of the drug research is done with tax dollars at research universities, yet the drug companies get the patent and can charge you outrageous prices for the research we paid for.

“There is absolutely no evidence innovation will be stifled,” he said. “Incredibly, most of the medical research is done with tax dollars.”

As for the cost, Mitchiner said we can’t afford not to go with single payer. He favors a phased in approach so the system is not disrupted. The Government Accountability Office has estimated that administrative savings from a single-payer system would be in excess of $200 billion annually, more than enough to cover those who are presently uninsured. Businesses that provide health care will be relieved of that burden, and they will be able to compete globally.

“We don’t need to spend one dollar more if we just prioritize what we spend on administration,” he said. “You wouldn’t have to tax health care benefits, soda pop or cigarettes.”


kevins said...

I think this guy makes a lot of sense, but you do fall for generalizations and state things as myths without doing homework.

His best point is that there is already money in the system to pay for better delivery of health care. We should have the best health care...in terms of quality and access...in the world. But we don't for a myriad of reasons.

While Republicans and others overplay the Canadian issues, you are wrong to say that Canadians don't face long waits for health care, and that they don't cross into America for health care.

Even Canadian defenders of their system concede there can be long waits and that sometimes people pay out of pocket in America for procedures they would have to wait for in Canada. Don't be afraid of facts. They can be quite helpful.

The question in Canada is a matter of priorities. The disagreement can be the estimates of how long you have to wait, and how serious the procedure is that you have to wait for.

Defenders say that life-threatening procedures get top priority. Critics point to the woman who was going to lose her voice to cancer had she not come to America with $100,000 of borrowed money to pay for an operation that was months away in Canada. The question: Was that an aberration or was that normal. Factual discussion can reveal that.

The big plus in Canada is that all have access to health care. That is a big plus. I believe we are the only advanced, Western nation without such a system in place.

The idea of 47 million americans without health care is a red herring of sorts. It may be true but the information is misued. It does NOT mean that 47 million have no access to health care. It means they carry no health care insurance. That's a huge difference. If I'm 23, single and carry no health care insurance, odds are I'm in ok shape. I might get the flu and pay for the dr's visit out of pocket, but I'm still ahead.

But...it's a big risk. What if I get some expensive disease. Or, what if I'm poor and delay seeing a doctor because it costs money. By the time I drag myself to ER (where they must give me care, regardless of my ability to pay), my treatment will likely be much more costly and my condition might be much worse.

On the other hand, I'm much older and, although I have health insurance, I've had no health care for quite awhile. That's good for me even though it has cost me money. I'm glad I haven't needed a doctor, although I'm stupid for not getting a physical.

This health care debate is way too important for empty voices like you to reduce it to a Republican-Democrat argument.

Communications guru said...

Canadians wait no longer than Americans for health care, and they do not cross into the U.S. for health care. You do fall for generalizations and state things as myths without doing homework. Like Dr. Mitchiner said, the only problem with the health care system in Canada is it is under funded.

“The idea of 47 million Americans without health care is a red herring?” Hardly. Having no health care insurance and having no access to health care is the same thing. The Emergency Room is no option, It drives the cost of health care up, and costs people more money and by the time it reaches the ER stage a routine problem is life threatening.

For such an empty voice I noticed there were a lot of facts you can’t refute. It’s not me reducing it to a “Republican-Democrat argument” it’s your party of no that is doing that.

Not Anonymous said...

Dying in Queues
In 1999, Dr. Richard F. Davies, a cardiologist at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and professor of medicine at the University of Ottawa, described in remarks for the Canadian Institute for Health Information how delays affected Ontario heart patients scheduled for coronary artery bypass graft surgery. In a single year, for this one operation, the doctor said, "71 Ontario patients died before surgery, 121 were removed from the list permanently because they had become medically unfit for surgery," and 44 left the province to have the surgery, many having gone to the United States for the operation. (According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, 33 Canadian hospitals performed approximately 22,500 bypass surgeries in 1998-99.)
In other words, 192 people either died or became too sick to have surgery before they could work their way to the front of the line.

kevins said...

Your mistakes are so obvious.

1. One of the biggest, if not the biggest, complaints about the Canadian health care is the long waits. Don't take my word for it. Ask the Canadian federal government which has spent $5.5 BILLION since 2002 to address the issue. That's a lot of money for a little nation to spend on a non-problem. According to the OECD, waits in Canada are unacceptably long for diagnostic tests, access to specialists, and some surgeries.

2. Of course, Canadians come to U.S. for health care. It's fair to argue whether the numbers are significant, but to argue they don't exist is beyond stupid.
For one thing, it is illegal to seek private medical care in Canada for a procedure paid for by the government...even if you have to wait years for that treatment. (NYTimes, Feb. 28, 2006). So when Liberal MP Belinda Stronach needed breast cancer surgery, she crossed into the US to get it because, as her spokesman said, the treatment was better in the USA. Prior to that, she was against two-tiered health plan, a position she quickly dropped when her own health was on the line.

Then there is the story about the Canadian skating champion Audrey Williams who endured years of pain while on a 2-year waiting list for hip replacement. Finally, she scrounged up the $25k and got the surgery in the USA. (I'm hesitant to use this one because the first source I found was Fox...but I did find another reference although I am unfamiliar with the source)

The Toronto Globe and Mail reported that since 2006 at least 150 critically ill patients...many with life threatening cerebral hemorrhages -- were rushed to US hospitals becasue there were not enough intensive care beds in Canada.

Obviously, Canadians do come to America for health care. A sign of a stupid and incompetent person is one who can't concede an error and you are exceptional in this category. I can't wait to see your spin. I'm betting on: I stand by my statements (even though they are incredibly and clearly wrong.)

3. You don't realize it, but your own arguments point to failings in the Canadian system. You say the only thing it needs is more money. That implies there must be something lacking, or else why does it need more money? It also shows your belief that the answer to everything is more government spending.

(More to come on next post)

kevins said...

(Continued listings of guru's health care mistakes)

For whatever reason, Canada also has a shortage of doctors and nurses. On a per capital basis, USA has 14 percent more doctors and 20 percent more nurses. Both countries are below the recommended number for doctors; US is slightly above the preferred level for nurses.

But that's just part of the story. Unlike you, I want to look at the entire picture. There are stats that greatly favor Canada. Infant mortality, for instance, is far lower in Canada..for a variety of reasons, which likely include better care for pregnant mothers since they have access to government paid doctor visits.

Per capita spending on health care is MUCH lower in Canada than it is in U.S. That's a big problem here, but it's also a great opportunity because, as I've said before, the money is already in play...we just have to spend it more wisely.

And part of that wisdom comes from an educated discussion and not from your partisan rants.

For instance, you still fail to acknowledge that health care (or access to health care) is not the same as health care insurance. The two are related...a person not having insurance could affect the quality of his health care...but they are not the same thing.

I'm typing slowly again so maybe you can understand. I don't have "furnace" insurance, but I won't freeze if my furnace quits working this winter. I'll pay for a repairman.

When I was much younger, I went a few years without health insurance, but I always had access to health care. I just paid for it out of my own pocket. (Now, I was lucky that I didn't face any huge bills, but I still had access to health care.)

You say you don't have insurance. If you get a sore throat, a high fever and a headache, will you just lie in bed and hope it goes away? Or would you perhaps go to an urgent care, pay the office visit fee and then pay the pharmacist for the pills that were prescribed? If it's the latter, you have access to health care, even though you don't have health insurance. (And, as was pointed out elsewhere, your lack of insurance is a personal choice.)

It's incredible how you butcher logic and the English language. The ER isn't an option, you say. Of course it is. And you admit it when you talk about the pitfalls of ER ... higher cost, delayed treatment, etc. It's often a bad option. But it IS an option. There is a reason that people torture the language. When they want to wrongly imply that 47 million uninsured is the same as 47 million without health care, then you know there is a hidden agenda.

Not Anonymous said...

From your first paragraph:
"BRIGHTON -- More than 50 people sacrificed a sunny Saturday morning to jam into the Livingston County Democratic Party’s headquarters for a town hall meeting on health care reform."

As of July 2008, the population of Livingston County was 182,575. If 50 people is a good turn out and "Jam"ming into the Democrat Party's Headquarters, then your headquarters must be a locker at one of the schools. Not a locker room, just the locker.

Judy said...

At least we have an office, unlike say, the Livingston County Republicans.

Not Anonymous said...

Judy makes a excellent point. The Socialist Democrats in Livingston County do have their own office that they can "jam" 50 people into. Congratulations.

But as we're often reminded on this blog, Livingston County is run by the Republicans, including, I believe an all Republican County Board.

So how's that locker working for you?

bluzie said...

Single payer is not even on the table and it is unfortunately a waste of time (in my opinion) having a discusion on this plan. We need to ensure there will be a public option with the health plan. It is unfortunate that Dems will fight among themselves over this, while the republicans will hold firm in support of the insurance companies blocking the public option.
The American people will be the loser.
Work for the a plan with the public option and we will have a chance of health care that is affordable and accessible for all Americans.

Communications guru said...

Seriously? You’re using a five-year-old opinion piece from a rightwing think tank as evidence that Canadians are crossing the border into the U.S. for health care? Please. I agree with Dr. Mitchiner; It’s myth and a GOP talking point that people from Canada cross the border to gain access to U.S. health care.

Communications guru said...

No, One of the biggest, if not the biggest, complaints about the Canadian health care is not the long waits. It certainly is the biggest GOP talking point. I’m not taking your word for it, brett, but I notice you offer nothing but your opinion, as usual. It was a problem, but like Dr. Mitchiner said, it was woefully under funded, but that has been corrected. You should watch “Sicko.” The woman who went to the Canadian clinic - Adrian Campbell Montgomery- is from right here in Livingston County. In fact, she ran for county commissioner last year. Like Dr. Mitchiner said, who has a longer wait than in the U.S for health care? We have more than 46 million Americans waiting for health care.

Dr. Mitchiner is correct; Canadians are not crossing into the U.S. for treatment. The opposite is true. Belinda Stronach traveled to California for an operation that was recommended as part of her treatment. Prior to that she had had surgery and treatment in Toronto. California probably has the best plastic surgeons in the world, but not many people have access to that treatment.
It must be nice to have $25,000 to spend on elective surgery, but a lot of people simply do not have that kind of money. The wait for specialists and major elective surgery isn’t much different in the U.S That is if your insurance company - if you are lucky enough to still be covered - doesn’t deny it.

Communications guru said...

Not having heath care insurance is the same as not having access to health care. That is correct, brett, the ER is not an option, not a violable one at least. There’s a reason U.S. hospitals are in trouble.

Communications guru said...

That is correct; More than 50 people sacrificed a sunny Saturday morning to jam into the Livingston County Democratic Party’s headquarters for a town hall meeting on health care reform. You should come up from Ohio and visit our headquarters. It consists of a couple of individual offices, a kitchen, a small conference room and numbers desks and phones in a central area. Sitting that many people in the central area was a squeeze, and getting more than 50 people to listen to a health care town hall at 10 a.m. on a beautiful summer morning is an accomplishment.

Like Judy said, at least we have an office. There is no such thing as a “socialist” Democrat is this country, let alone Livingston County, and that is just a fascist Republican talking point.

Livingston County is controlled by Republicans, but our numbers are growing. It makes you wonder why the Grand Oil Party doesn’t have a local office.

But thank you, the office is working great for us. In fact, it’s helping us increase our numbers.

kevins said...

Well, it shows why the Democrats do so well in Livingston County. They think it means something to have an office. Republicans apparently are satisfied to win the elections in Livingston County.

Tell me, how did Adrian do in that election. Oh, yeah. She got clobbered. Well, at least her party has an office. Well done.

You just ignore facts. The Canadians have spent $5.5 billion trying to reduce waiting times, and you say it isn't a problem. Well, I surely want to follow the example of a country that spends billions of dollars fixing a problem that doesn't exist.

You say black is white and then you feel you've made a point. Canadians do come to this country for medical treatment. For you to say that doesn't happen means that you don't have an answer, so you resort to gibberish.

Your problem is that you won't look at facts. You just want taxes to go up. I'm all for health care reform. But I'm not for mindlessly increasing taxes. The money is in the system. Let's deal with that rather than just raising taxes and paying for health care that won't improve our health system. At least bluzie will try to discuss the matter rationally.

For god's sake, you won't even deal with clear English. Not having health insurance is not the same as not having health care. They are related..one can affect the other. But they are not the same. If I'm not sick and don't have health insurance, how am I being denied health care? If I don't have health insurance, but can afford the health care I need, how am I being denied health care?

You are so dense that you won't accept a clear fact. Accepting that clear distinction does NOTHING to alter the argument for the need for health care reform. But it does help clarify the issue...something you don't want to see happen.

ER is not a "violable" option? What the hell does that mean? Really. Are you speaking in tongues now?

bluzie said...

Why are we discussing single payer? Why?

It isn't relevant to the Democrat's Health Care Bill and this has been clear for quite some time now.

We are muddling the message in my opinion.

kevins said...

Good point, bluzie.

You have to know the priorities of people who are making the arguments. Of those who contribute to GOP, many make good money off the current inefficient system. That includes insurance companies, health systems and the like. On the other side, there are Democrats who rub their hands with glee at the thought of raising taxes even higher.

As long as those two polar ends control the debate, nothing will be done...or, anything that does occur may be worse than what we already have.

Here's what I don't get. It's clear this nation already spends far more per capital than other western nations for health care without better outcomes. We know it's highly inefficient and expensive to have 47 million people without insurance. So why, then, will it require a gigantic tax increase to address these issues? If insuring people improves health and cuts down expensive ER visits, for instance, why is more money needed?

If we address the issue from that vantage point...and also from bluzie's perspective...we have a chance at improving health care and managing the gigantic spending problem. If not, we just provide more money for lawyers, lobbyists, insurance companies and the like...without any meaningful improvement in health care delivery.

Communications guru said...

Single payer should be on the table because it’s the best option, Bluzie. It makes no sense to me to back off from asking for the best option. If later you want to compromise for less, fine, but ask for the best first. Democrats will disagree because we have a big tent.

I missed seeing you Saturday.

kevins said...

So, tell me again, why is it that you get angry at the term "socialist" when you favor socialist programs?

bluzie said...

Single payer was only endorsed by one Democratic candidate, Dennis Kucinich.
It has people talking about single payer, when having the public option will bring the ethics, affordability, competition and cover those with pre-exising conditions which is so very needed and people can still keep the insurance they already have if they so desire.

By constantly putting single payer in the mix it confuses the discussion with something we have now, a real possible solution with pie in the sky.
We don't have all the time in the world, and single payer is NOT on the table.
It is very frustrating to those of s wh would like to see the current Democratic bill passed.

bluzie said...

The best reason NOT to discuss single payer is that it is irrelevant to the discussion today's health care plan and it doesn't arm people with information that is topical on the national health care discussion. Does Livingston County think they can go it alone? I know John Conyer's bill has fallen on deaf ears, no one wants it but a few people, so in our country that means "that dog don't hunt".
I like real discussions not fantasy discussions. Single payer is a fantasy at this time and is being used in the argument against this bill that would solve so many of our health care system. Republicans say that public option is just the first step to single payer and uses it to frighten people. I don't wish to be a part of that, no matter how ideal it may sound.

bluzie said...

With news this week that the federal deficit will reach $1 trilion for the first time, this NYTimes investigative article is important to re-post ... Obama is responsible for only a sliver of the deficits, despite what many Republican critics are saying ... The roughly $2 trillion swing from $800 million surplus when Bill Clinton left office to the present day $1.2 trillion deficit has come from four broad categories: the two recessions (37%), President George W. Bush’s policies (33%), policies from the Bush years like middle class tax cuts that are scheduled to expire but that Mr. Obama has chosen to extend (20%), and new policies proposed by Mr. Obama (7% from the stimulus bill & 3% from health care, energy, and education policies).
We need to look at our budget in perspective and see where health care reform is not an option, it is as necessary as spending money on defense. It is the defense of American's health now and in the future. It would be a reckless decision not to reform health care.

Communications guru said...

There are simply more Republicans in Livingston County right now, and they do not have to, and don’t, work hard at elections. The county has a reputation as a closed-minded county for a reason. The office certainly helps with recruitment, and as people continue to bail on the grand oil party our numbers will grow.

Yes, there was a problem with wait times in Canada seven years ago, and they took care of it. Canadians simply do not cross the border into the U.S. to seek treatment, unless it‘s for cosmetic or other elective surgery. You have zero evidence to back up your claim that they do come to the U.S.

Your problem is that you won't look at facts, and you make claims without a single fact to back it up. “I just want taxes to go up?” Get real. I pay taxes, too. Dr. Mitchiner said the 16 percent of GDP we are spending already is enough. Even if it isn’t, it will only take a small payroll tax, but taking the burden off of employer provided health care will allow them to compete globally with every other advanced country with universal health care

You must be joking, brett. “At least bluzie will try to discuss the matter rationally?” You have smeared me time after time, and then you have the nerve to make a statement like that? Unbelievable.
Not having health insurance is the same as not having health care. The ER is not a viable option.

Not Anonymous said...


Sick with ovarian cancer, Sylvia de Vires, an Ontario woman afflicted with a 13-inch, fluid-filled tumor weighing 40 pounds, was unable to get timely care in Canada. She crossed the American border to Pontiac, Mich., where a surgeon removed the tumor, estimating she could not have lived longer than a few weeks more.
The Canadian government pays for U.S. medical care in some circumstances, but it declined to do so in de Vires' case for a bureaucratically perfect, but inhumane, reason: She hadn't properly filled out a form. At death's door, de Vires should have done her paperwork better.
De Vires is far from unusual in seeking medical treatment in the U.S. Even Canadian government officials send patients across the border, increasingly looking to American medicine to deal with their overload of patients and chronic shortage of care.
Since the spring of 2006, Ontario's government has sent at least 164 patients to New York and Michigan for neurosurgery emergencies — defined by the Globe and Mail newspaper as "broken necks, burst aneurysms and other types of bleeding in or around the brain." Other provinces have followed Ontario's example.
Canada isn't the only country facing a government health care crisis. Britain's system, once the postwar inspiration for many Western countries, is similarly plagued. Both countries trail the U.S. in five-year cancer survival rates, transplantation outcomes and other measures.
The problem is that government bureaucrats simply can't centrally plan their way to better health care.
However the candidates choose to proceed, Americans should know that one of the founding fathers of Canada's government-run health care system has turned against his own creation. If Claude Castonguay is abandoning ship, why should Americans bother climbing on board?

bluzie said...

This is what the Democrats want and we should have all our oars in the water and rowing together to get it!
I am sick of fighting the Republicans about health care and I sure as hell don't want to fight the Democrats.
We have worked hard as hell to elect a majority in Congress. I say we do it alone!
A Health Insurance Exchange providing individuals and small business with choices for coverage, including a government-funded public option.
-- No more coverage exclusion for pre-existing conditions.
-- Affordability credits for low- and moderate-income individuals and families, available to those with incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level, or $43,000 for individuals and $88,000 for a family of four.
-- Limits on annual out-of-pocket spending.
-- Expanded Medicaid coverage to individuals and families with incomes at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty level.
-- Required participation by individuals, with a penalty of 2.5 percent of adjusted gross income for non-compliance.
-- Requirement that businesses with payrolls exceeding $250,000 provide their employees with health coverage or contribute up to 8 percent of their payroll on their behalf.
-- A series of measures intended to reduce costs of Medicaid, Medicare and other existing systems.

This plan will pay for itself, and we need to work together to make it happen.

bluzie said...

Well no one is planning on incorporating the Canadian system here so it is a mute point.
Keep the insurance you have or take the public option all the same docs as you have now.
We cannot keep cutting people out for pre-existing conditions and have such a huge amount of people uninsured.
Times are a changing and we voted for this change, not keeping the same broken system we have.

Not Anonymous said...

Oh, I wouldn't worry about Republicans being a part of it. This will be a Democrat plan. It won't pay for itself. They've already decided that. It's going to cost $1.5 Trillion according to the Socialist Democrats. They are adding a 5.4% surtax on anyone making $1 million or more. They are going to add a tax on for anyone making more than $350,000 per year.

The deadbeats, those that won't work to get their own health care (like the guy that writes this blog and prefers to spend his money on a book rather than the health care he needs for his wife) will be provided health care by the people he hates the most. The rich.

This will cause people with the money to take their money and put it into tax free bonds to lower their income. They will take their money out of the country so that they aren't taxed here and not included in that excessive tax. They will move their companies to other countries to avoid having to pay the excess taxes.

They will lay people off because they will have to increase their taxes. Those taxes will be paid through higher prices on goods and services.

If they don't provide health care for their employees, they will be penalized up to 8% of their income (another tax). If you don't buy health insurance, you'll be penalized by a couple of thousand dollars.

There is a reason that insurance companies charge more for people with pre-existing conditions. They have to pay more in claims. There is a reason that they won't insure people with pre-existing conditions. They would have to take money from the healthy people to pay for the sick, and then wouldn't have the funds needed for those that might at sometime need care.

If you want to see how government run health care works, take a look at Medicare. Government health insurance. It's now operating in the red and will be bankrupt by 2017.

The government doesn't not earn money. It confiscates money. They are taking the confiscated money and goign to apply it to the health insurance. When they find that they can't pay, they'll have to get more money. Since government has no earnings, they'll have to confiscate more. That means higher taxes.

The socialist Democrats ought to be congratulated. They are proving that they can force others to take care of them. But it won't last long. This system too will break and fall apart. It will take the dollar with it, and eventually will ruin the country. You'll do it without Republicans. It will be the Socialist Democrats that destroy this country and turn us into a third world nation.

Even then, these socialist Democrats will just not get it. They'll be too happy living off other people. Those the work, and build things in this country. Those that are innovative and create jobs. You hate corporations and rich people, well, you are to be congratulated. You'll have chased them out and then you'll be wondering who it is that will give you a job. Poor people don't hire others.

bluzie said...

We are not talking about a huge percent of their money you know. You act as if 5.2% is going to break the bank for millionaires!
Cry me a river, this is peanuts and it will make our country healthier and stronger.
It is coming!There is no turning back. Bet on it.

Not Anonymous said...

5.2% of $1 million is $52,000. Right, it's not a huge percentage. But it's still more than the median income of Michigan.

But even if it was 10 cents. What right do you have to someone elses money? You didn't work for it. You didn't earn it. The guy that has it for an income earned it. Not you. So what gives you the right to take another persons hard earned dollars?

bluzie said...

My husband and I pay our taxes as well. My children are out of public schools, I have never once needed the police, the fire department and I don't use the public library or senior center. But I pay for them all. I didn't not apporove of invading Iraq and I pay or that as well.
Our taxes go for the good of the whole, not individuals. This is not even the tax rate of Ronald Reagan era, yet you complain. Taxes are what we pay to be a part of a civilized society and people's health is a priorty of Democrats and we will get this done with or without Republicans, count on it.

Not Anonymous said...

Health care you can purchase yourself tailored to your needs. You can't do that with a fire department. Nor a police department. The library is not a need. It's a desire. The senior center is not a need, it's a desire. You can't purchse your own military. You may disagree with that there was a threat to national security but the group in charge said there was and they run the military.

What you're advocating is taking other peoples money, and using it for your own benefit. You haven't earned their money. You're taking their money and buying what you want.

You are advocating socialism. You're right, the Socialist Democrats will do this alone. You have just answered whether or not there are socialist Democrats and for that, I thank you for proving guru wrong about it just being a Republican talking point.

Socialism is anti-American and you have just admitted you are and Gurue is a socialist and you have admitted that Democrats, who will go this alone to get it done are Socialist Democrats.

bluzie said...

BTW, I do have great health insurance, my husband is a Ford Motor Company retiree. My son however, has a chronic illness and when he is off our policy, (out of college or 25 years old) there is no insurance he can purchase. None. He is perfectly able to work, very intelligent and hopes to become a doctor like my oldest son. He is one of millions. I have seen people over the years where one parent has to quit their job, so they can quailify for SCHIP so their child can get ongoing medical treatment. We are the ONLY industrialized country in the world that has such an utterly broken system. Life is too precious, my son is too precious and not lazy. Nor am I or my husband lazy. You are a heartless self centered person in my opinion, I am not a socialist and if that is what you want to call me fine, but you sir are far worse, you are a heartless slug. You care little about the future of this country and have not taken the time to educate yourself on how completely necessary for all our citizens to be insured.You rely on an outdated and silly notion of health care.

bluzie said...

And further more, people's money is no longer their money once it is taxed. The money I send into the government, is not my money it now belongs to the United States government to do with as they (elected officials) see fit. So we all give our money to benefit someone else.
If you read the plan, this is not a single payer plan. Why the Livingston County Dems made this their agenda item for a health care townhall will always baffle me. Look at the time you discussed it with Guru as if it was a viable option, and it was not. The health care bill is not socialism in my book, people pay for their plans, it is just more regulated and has the public option for those who want to have it. Not insuring the sick, is not insurance. We can do better and we must.

Communications guru said...

“There are Democrats who rub their hands with glee at the thought of raising taxes even higher.” That is one of the most ridiculous thing you have ever said, and you have said many, brett. No one likes paying taxes, including me. But, I understand it’s my duty as an American, and in the end it benefits society as a whole instead of just one person.

It simply will not require “a gigantic tax increase.”

Not Anonymous said...

Since you address everyone that you disagree with as brett rather than using their names here, it's hard to know to whom you are speaking. I did not say that Democrats are rubbing their hands with glee at the thought of raising taxes. But, I should have. They aren't called Tax and Spend Democrats for nothing.

Bluizy is wrong. There is insurance out there that her son will be able to get. But, I don't really care about personal anecdotes. Health care is a personal choice...at least for now. You pick and choose the things you need in your health care and buy accordingly. You won't get that option under the government health care system.

By the way, there will only be a public (socialist) option for a short time. Part of the bill is that private insurance is to be illegal. But even with that information, I'll bet you still blindly follow the government takeover of health care. I don't care if you call it a single payer or not.

You still have not answered the question about how you deserve to take money from another to pay for your wants.

The money confiscated by the government is not the governments money. It's the peoples money and the government is supposed to hold the public trust and spend wisely for the security of this country. Over many years, it's been used to pay for social programs. Social security. Medicare. Welfare. Abortions for the poor whether I believe in abortion or not.

The duty of the government is not to care for the American people from cradle to grave. It's to protect the people from foriegn and domestic attacks on our soveriegnty.

Thank God, the founding fathers put a line in the Declaration of Independence that says it's the right of the people to rise up against tyranny. We're getting closer and closer to that every day.

Not Anonymous said...


CBO Chief: Health Bills To Increase Federal Costs

Not Anonymous said...

Centrist Dem Leader: Has Committee Votes To Block Health Bill


WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- U.S. Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark., a leader of fiscally conservative House Democrats, said Wednesday a House plan to overhaul the U.S. health-care system is losing support and will be stuck in committee without changes.

"Last time I checked, it takes seven Democrats to stop a bill in the Energy and Commerce Committee," Ross told reporters after a House vote. "We had seven against it last Friday; we have 10 today."


bluzie said...

I cannot get a policy that covers his needs. Oh, I can get one that is 60/40 hospitalization and doctor's visits, no prescription coverage though and his drugs are over $3,000 per month.
I hate to name call but you are one heartless SOB and you have so little knowledge, you should be ashamed of yourself.
Go read another Ayn Rand novel and do what people like you do to feel good about themselves.
There is nothing single payer about this bill, and GURU this is why discussion about it is so very confusing to the republicans who cannot seem to read or educate themselves on topical issues of the day.

bluzie said...

The American Medical Association just came out in support of the Democratic health care reform bill. This isn't a socialist group, yet they have taken the time to understand it and not CONFUSE it with single payer. They know we need to pass this bill, they are very aware of how people who are sick cannot get ENOUGH coverage. They know, they are in the business.

Not Anonymous said...

Saying you don't like to name call doesn't make it true. You do it alot. You must enjoy it. But I don't care. A supposed insult from a socialist democrat is a badge of honor to me. It just shows the lack of ability to argue your position in an intelligent way with an open mind.

But still you have not said how you are entitled to someone elses hard earned money. I realize it's one of those questions that just can't be answered by the looney left.

bluzie said...

Well N/A you are right. After being called a socialist over and over by the likes of you I get a kick out of telling you what I think about you. It goes against how I like to conduct myself on blogs, but I am tired of sitting back and taking your name calling. I have a few more descriptive words but I will settle with heartless SOB for now.
I am sorry you are having a tough time taxing those who have had the greatest expanse in wealth over the past 8 years, but I guess I will quote what those people like you often say about the sick or the poor, life's not fair.
So if you think it is unfair, oh well.

Not Anonymous said...

Why do you take offense to being called a socialist? You advocate taking other peoples money to benefit you. You're not even asking them to give it to you. You're ordering them to with the policies you advocate.

I've looked back and can't see one place where I said "life's not fair". It's not fair, but I've never said it as an excuse for anyone. What you and your socialist buddies fail to see and understand is that in this country, up until six months ago, you had the opportunity to better yourself through hard work. Too many squander the opportunities they have by not taking care of their own first, then satisfying their desires. Guru is a prime example of this as he fails to provide health care for his wife, but has the time, day and night to play on this blog.

The rich didn't get rich just over the past eight years. In fact, the tax rates came down at every level. The socialist Democrats whine about the tax breaks for the rich, but they ignore that the Bush tax cuts were on every level, not just the rich.

Oh, and by the way, Obama's tax increases on the rich, will actually be on the poor. The rich are the business owners. They will increase the price of a loaf of bread to cover that tax increase. So his attempt at taxing the rich will fail. He will in fact, be taxing the poor.

I'm really surprised that you're not going after Obama for his comments. You attributed "life's not fair" to me incorrectly. Even saying people like me. You don't know what I'm like. We've never met. But you don't seem to have a problem with Obama telling people that they have to embrace death rather than drag it out and cost the system more money to keep them alive. I don't know your sons maladies, but if they are as serious as you make them sound, Obama could very well be talking about your son being a drain on the system. Why are you not pissed off at him? I'm assuming that your son is in his 20's. Obama is giving up on people, even your sons age because they are inconvenient to the economy? What's he going to do next? Offer your son 72 virgins if he'll just give up being a burden on his new system?

You still haven't explained, despite my asking at each point, what right you have to another's money when they earned it and not you.

I happen to believe that your son has a shot under the current system. He can get his education. He can get his income from becoming a doctor, and he may even be able to find a cure for what ails him. But not under Obama's plan. He'll be considered a burden to the system.

While you're railing on the rich, didn't you say that your other son is a doctor? That would seem to make him a rich man. What do you have against your other son?

By the way, it's not cold hearted SOB. I'm a cold hearted bastard. I believe that people can create their own opportunities and make their own success and that government only holds them back from being the best that they can be. So that makes me a cold hearted bastard. But it still surprises me that I have more faith in your son, his abilities and his future opportunities than you do.

bluzie said...

The American Medical Association endorses the Democrats Health Care Bill and they know that without this reform, hospitals will go bankrupt. This is serious and you are acting as if it is a big give away program. It is not. One of my earlier posts I put a summary of the program.
My son, has had the best care possible due to our insurance. It is impossible to purchase such a plan with a pre-existing condition. No one is asking for a hand out,it is just we would go broke in a hurry paying out of pocket for all his meds ($3,000)per month and even 40% of his hospital stays and we are not poor. This doesn't include the huge cost of crappy coverage for a person like my son and millions of others. The fct that you make it sound like I am some dead beat is flat wrong.
Why do you think the American Medical Association supports this bill, are they now some socialist group? I am not a socialist, period. You are stuck in some old time wrarp and cannot see what is happening in health care.
Do you know that Howard Baker also supports this reform? It is not for those who don't work, our economy depends on it.

Not Anonymous said...

Let me be perfectly clear here. I did not call you a deadbeat. I did call Guru a deadbeat because he chooses not to do what's necessary to get health care for his wife.

I tend not to believe personal anecdotes. If your son is in fact sick, or has an ailment, then I am truly sorry. However, if your son does have an ailment, I would not concern myself with the cost. There is no cost that is too high when it comes to the care of my children. If I'm going to be wiped out financially, then I'm going to keep working or I'm going to find other employment to be able to pay for my child's care and not worry about it.

You are wrong. It is possible to buy insurance with a pre-existing condition. You may not be able to buy it with "his" pre-existing condition. Since I don't know your son, I don't know if what you say is true or not. Which is why I tend to not pay attention to personal anecdotes when discussing issues.

There always solutions to problems, but taking other peoples hard earned money without them offering it, is not one of those options to me. The only difference between taking ones money away from them and robbing them on the street is that the government allows one of those so a mask and gun aren't needed.

A week ago, I saw where the AMA didn't endorse the plan, along with many other groups. So if they have changed their minds, I haven't seen it. But, I don't care if they are endorsing it or not. It is wrong for government to get in the health care business. It was wrong for them to take over GM, wrong to take over Chrysler, wrong to dictate to private business how they practice their business with bonuses and lavish trips. But I find it interesting that FAnnie and Freddie paid out bonuses and now Social Security has been discoverd to be spending $700,000 on their trip to phoenix.

Throughout history, 233 years worth, government has failed at every business. They do not have even one success story. The only thing they have ever managed successfully, is not a business. It's the military. Luckily, that is the one thing that they are charged with doing in the Constitution.

In all ventures, someone gets left behind. You have repeatedly ignored my question of why you think you are entitled to someone elses hard earned money for your own purposes.

You cite the AMA and Howard Baker. I don't care what doctors say, they are going to benefit from care being paid for. I don't care what Howard Baker says. He's a former politician. I do find it interesting that you quote Republicans when it suits you, but you despise them the rest of the time.

What I do care about is that the American people are rejecting this Health plan according to the polls thus far, and I don't even like polls.

This plan will destroy the economy. They will be spending more than they spend now and without replacing that expense despite the increased taxes. That does not help the economy. You're just repeating Obama's talking points. I cited the CBO as one of my proofs.

You also didn't address my question about Obama saying that those that are a burden to the system should embrace death. You're apparently too close to the situation and can't be objective or you're too ingrained to believe a Democrat because he's a Democrat.

Communications guru said...

“So, tell me again, why is it that you get angry at the term "socialist" when you favor socialist programs?”

First, I’m not angry, brett. You are jumping to a false conclusion, and that is that I am angry just because I am correcting a falsehood. It makes me no angrier to correct any other falsehoods you continually try to pass off here.

Second, I don’t favor “socialist programs.” Medicare and Medicaid are not “socialist programs.” Socialism is a system where there is government or collective ownership. That’s not the case with those programs.

bluzie said...

You also didn't address my question about Obama saying that those that are a burden to the system should embrace death. You're apparently too close to the situation and can't be objective or you're too ingrained to believe a Democrat because he's a Democrat.

I don't know when or why he said that, but I do know my son (the oldest) is very concerned about keeping people alive when they are for the most part unconcious and already dead.
There are so many people he has had to keep people on ventilators and feeding tubes who have almost no brain function, it costs so much money and is wrong in his opinion.
You are right, we will not let our youngest son go without medical treatment. We like many others are prepared to lose everything to keep him healthy. I would never lie about my son's condition. He was diagnosed at 3 and has been going to the U of M ever since. I doubt they would let him fall in through the cracks after treating him for so long, but this is why hospitals are having so many financial problems.
Yesterday the American Medical Association endorsed this plan; however, it does have some kinks to be worked out so that it does not cost more money than it brings in. Obama does not want to tax health plans and they now have to work on the financing. So when you hear some Dems such as Bart Stupak don't support the bill, it is that he will not vote for it until he sees where is doesn't cost more money.
As for your tax issues, I see where having a better health care system helps every American and really it is an economic and well as a national safety issue. We see where H1R1 has now affected over 1 million Americans in a very short time. This virus, since it came from animals can change quickly and become lethal. Health care is where we are vulnerable as a country, disease spreads to everyone, you can't have a whole group of people not getting treatment and think we are safe.
I watch the anti-health care ads on t.v. and they are arguing against a single payer system. Having people call in to just say no to a system that has been confused with something else. This is why I believe Guru and the local Dems were so wrong in the forum. It fed right into the right wing smears and confused the issue.
Single payer like Canada has never been a seriously considered as an option by mainstream Democrats. I understand why some find it appealing, I do too, but it won't happen.
As for taxes, we spend money for space programs, international economic development, national parks, and a whole host of things. Health care is important to everyone and the future of our country. It should be a right, not a privelege of those like me and you who can afford and have been blessed with a good career path.
A country cannot be vital or strong without healthy and educated children.
It is our duty.

bluzie said...

The United States Postal Service is one of the most efficent systems in the world. People get their Social Security checks like clock work. Medicare has saved lives of seniors. Our military is the best in the world.
I think our government does a good job and I have no idea what you are talking about when you say they are not efficeint

Not Anonymous said...

Guru, First of all, I didn't ask you why you were angry. I don't care why you're angry. Anyone that would play online rather than do everything he can to get his wife the health care she should have, is really a worthless person.

Blusie, if you and I were walking through the same grocery store, both of us looking at something else and we plowed into each other, we'd both be apologizing to the other over our own clumsiness and lack of paying attention to what we were doing. We would never know that we were going back and forth over issues on here. That's what I mean by personal anecdotes. I have no doubts your son has a health problem. But to deal with one problem, when it's personal to someone isn't goign to accomplish anything. It loses objectiveness. Hence, my cold hearted bastardness.

I looked up the AMA support story. You're right. They did. Not because they believe in it though. They are backing it because they believe something is going to come and they want to be at the table to get their input in and hopefully protect their incomes. You can find this at the guardian.uk.co or at freerepublic. Those are the two that I read on it.

So it's not that they agree. They just want a place at the table. Politics.

We have an excellent health care system in this country. It only needs to be taken advantage of. The best way to reduce costs is through competition. If you put government in there, they take away competition, decide on the rates, use up taxpayer money (more than they now spend) and then start deciding who is and isn't worthy of getting care.

It doesn't matter to me if it's single payer system or not. That's a worthless argument with me. If the government is involved in health care, it's wrong.

We have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Life. I guess we've gotten rid of that with abortion. Liberty. Those are being eroded every day. Pursuit of happiness is not a guarantee of happiness, just the guarantee that you can pursue what makes you happy. There is no right to health care, nor a car, nor a home. If you're born without the ability to have a child, and the government says everyone has a right to bear a child, that does the men no good and it doesn't do any good for the woman that is physically unable to have children.

Not Anonymous said...

You mention the post office, medicare and medicaid as success stories of the government. The post office is constantly losing mail, and constantly losing money. Social security checks arrive like clockwork for one reason only. Direct deposit. It's not the mail.

By the way, I received my social security report yesterday. On the right hand side about two paragraphs down it tells us that in 2017 it will be taking in less money than it is sending out. In 2037 it will be broke. That's not success.

Medicare/medicaid (government health care) is operating in the red. They are spending money they don't have and don't replace. If your income is $3,000 per month and your expenses are $3,500 per month, can you continue to pay that $3,500 per month? Medicare does. How long before that ends?

It very nearly ended last September. We were that close to losing our economy on Sept. 18, last year. It's attributed to Fannie and Freddie from years of abuse. Not years as in this party or that party, but years as in, back up through Bush 43, Clinton, Bush 41, Reagan, Carter.

Not one thing you mentioned justifies taking money from another person to pay for a third person. When the guy with the money starts out in life, do you think he's thinking about making as much money as he can so that he can pay for his neighbors health care in addition to his own, his wife's, his kids? Are you going to allow that guy who's money you're taking to claim you as a deduction on his income taxes? After all, you are dependent on him.

My point is, you don't solve a problem by screwing one person just because he has a little more than the next guy. That is socialism when you start equaling out people's incomes just because the government says so. What incentive does the rich guy have to continue to be productive? He'd be better off sitting on his duff and doing nothing and collecting.

Imagine if that rich guy actually knew your son and set up a trust fund for people that have your sons particular problem. Now imagine him wanting to when you're advocating taking $50,000 per year from him without him having a choice. There is a reason that charitable giving drops when taxes increase. There is a reason that businesses move overseas when taxes are increased in a state or in a country. There is a reason that people with money will invest differently to avoid taxes, or to bring their taxes down by hiding money.

You'd be much better off in the long run working for more competition than to depend on government to solve your problems. When you depend on government to do for you, there is a catch. You are expected to do something in return. By advocating for competition, you are already doing something for the business. You're creating a market for people to earn more money, provide better services, and create more innovative ideas that help not only those in need, but those in the future who may have the need.

I'm blessed. I have good health and everyone in my family has good health, so far. I'm able to contribute to others and maybe help make a difference for others. But I won't be able, nor willing if my taxes increase. My family comes first. Once my family is taken care of, then I look to help others with any extra that I have. But take away what I have, and I will do what I can to reduce what's taken from me and protect what's needed for my family first. So who does that hurt? It hurts those that I may have been able and willing to help up to the point that my income was attacked.

I will pray for the best for your son, but the best is not through a government system. The best is through your sons hard work, his family's hard work, and hopefully some new and innovative ways to fund his particular malady. Because I know that if government gets involved in his health care, he's screwed.

Communications guru said...

I really don’t care if only Dennis Kucinich endorsed single payer. From what I have seen, it’s the best option. As good Democrats, we will have to agree to disagree. I certainly don’t see it as “pie in the sky” when other countries are using it effectively. We also have a model in the U.S. where it is working: Medicare.

It seems to me that if we are going to compromise in the end, then why not start by asking for the top of the line model? I will settle for a public option, but I’m going to ask for the best option first.

Communications guru said...

You finally said something that is true, “I wouldn't worry about Republicans being a part of it. This will be a Democrat plan.” The Grand Oil Party is the party of no, and they have no solutions; even for the problems they caused.

Once again, there is no such thing as “socialist” Democrats in this country, and that is just a fascist Republican talking point. I am far from a deadbeat, and like many of the working people who do not have health care who are working more than one job.

You can’t honesty believe the rich will try to avoid paying taxes just because of health care reform? You really believe they haven’t been doing it for years? Apparently, you have never heard of offshoring. In the end, employers will be able to compete globally without the burden of providing health care for their employers just like employers in other countries. Medicare is not “operating in the red,” but you are correct it will run out of funds by 2017 without attention. The problem is everyone in Medicaid is less healthy. Expanding that pool to include more healthy people will make it more solvent. That’s how insurance pools work.

Taxes are far from confiscating money. It’s pooling your money to benefit the entire group.

I don’t hate rich people or corporations. I pay my fair share, and so should they. “Those that work, and build things in this country?” You mean like the union members you hate that build cars and other goods and structures?

Communications guru said...

You’re joking, right? “Since you address everyone that you disagree with as brett rather than using their names here, it's hard to know to whom you are speaking?” This is from someone who uses deceit to post as different people.

“I did not say that Democrats are rubbing their hands with glee at the thought of raising taxes. But, I should have.” Well, you just did, and since I pay taxes too that is just ridiculous. Calling Democrats “tax and spend” is a Grand Oil Party taking point. Are you really saying Republicans don’t levy taxes, and that Republicans don’t spend tax revenue? Stop playing dumb.

Bluzie is correct, the health care she can get is prohibitive expensive, and they will decline to pay for anything that remotely has anything to do with the pre-existing condition.

Health care is a personal choice, and it will remain that way. You pick and choose the things you need in your health care and buy accordingly, and that will not change.

First, it’s not a “socialist option” because the doctors are not government employees. Your sentence makes no sense. “…there will only be a public (socialist) option for a short time. Part of the bill is that private insurance is to be illegal.” How can it an option for only a short time if private insurance is illegal? By the way, that is simply not true. But for-profit health care insurance companies has simply not worked.

Taxes do not take money from another to pay for my wants. It’s the price of living in a civilized society. The paying of taxes is simply pooling resources to benefit society as a whole, and even if it doesn’t appear to benefit one directly, the benefit to society does benefit all. I’m sure you use something provided by taxes everyday, from roads and bridges to parks and clean air and water.

The government does hold the public trust and spends wisely for the security of this country. If we don’t think that's the case, then we can vote them out. Social security, Medicare and Welfare are part of the safety net than we have banned together to build. Tax money does not pay for abortions.

The duty and purpose of government, at least according to the Founding Fathers, is to protect life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness.” Health care certainly falls under that; after all, if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.

“We're getting closer and closer to tyranny every day?” That’s ridiculous. You need to find out what the word means.

bluzie said...

Maybe I am just lucky, but I don't remember any of my mail ever getting lost. And most importantly it hasn't put Fed EX or UPS out of business like you think the public option would do to our insurance companies.
For some reason you seem to not have any experience with a doctor saying you need this procedure or test and your insurance company saying no. That is what amazes me!
I am quite sure we could bump into each other or be neighbors and have a very harmonious conversation. I do make a point of not discussing health care with friends who disagree. I feel way too strongly about it. I can discuss immigration reform, pros and cons of stimulus money, but health care strikes too close to home, and more importantly my husbands says I get a very fierce look on my face even when I control my volume and words that scares people and is not becoming. So I don't do it.
I have googled AMA endorses the health care bill and have not heard exactly what you read, but I believe you, they are very worried about doctor's incomes as is my son who has a $250,000 loan for medical school to pay back!
We really aren't talking health care, we are talking taxes and that I believe is our duty to our country. We all pay takes and we have certainly paid our fair share. I would believe the same way I do now, even if I had three healthy kids instead on 2 healthy and one with a chronic illness.
Most doctors agree that something needs to be done; however, not at the expense of their income, they work very long hours and the work is very stressful. So everyone is looking out for their pocketbook.
I much prefer my taxes going towards health care than bombs any time any day.
I don't like to pay taxes anymore than anyone else, and I don't like waste. I get a really upset to think my tax dollars have supported Black Water and though they have since changed their name, they have a private air force, and ships on my tax dollar, if that doesn't tick people off well I don't understand them.
I don't want to finace private armies and I don't want to blow countries up, just so we can rebuild them.
You and I just have different priorities of where the money should go, but taxes and death are unavoidable and we elect those with whom we share our national priorities.
Health care and education are a big priority for me.
They arethe future of our country.
My Aunt Mildred used to say, if you want to know what direction Jesus would want you to take, do what is right for the children, not just your own, but all children, there you will find the right path.
I live by that and miss her terribly. Ha! Another personal antedote! Sorry, I just thought of it as I often do.

bluzie said...

I have not one thing against single payer except it isn't an option and it confuses the issue at hand.

For N/A
I know Guru and he is far from being a dead beat, he is a dedicated family man who contributes much to his community as well and is a very intelligent and thoughtful person. I am very happy he has this Blog where we can dicsuss issues. I think it is useful for me to hear other sides and have a venue to express my opinions.

Not Anonymous said...


I don't care about guru. I have been in the same position as he and instead of wasting my time on blogs, I went to work at a second job and paid for health care for my family. Now, I'm with a company that provides access to health care, but don't care for the plan. So I didn't participate. Instead, I went out and got it on my own. I got a health savings account (which will be illegal under the Obama socialized medical plan). I now pay a very low amount for my insurance, and additional money to it for the future when I may need doctors and hospitals more. It covers health, eye and teeth including the braces that one of my kids needs. I'm using some of the savings portion to cover my deductible each year, but I earn a return on my savings which has been pretty good, even during the recent downslide in the markets.

That won't be the case when the socialized health plan kicks in. Once that's in, I'll be carrying illegal health care.

The notion that this plan will be temporary that Obama is forcing everyone into is a joke.

I don't mind paying taxes, provided I'm paying them for things that are useful. Like the military. That is the one charge of the government.

You may not like bombs, but they are a necessary evil. We have been attacked. Not because we have bombs, but because we're Americans. There are people that want to kill you. Not because you're a blonde, or a brunet, or because you have a few dollars more or less than your neighbor, but because you're an American. If you don't go abroad, they will come here to do it and they have done it and they continue to try and they will succeed again, probably very soon. If we don't fight them back, they will come here with even more force and attempt to wipe us out. Just because we're Americans.

I go further than Bush went. I would have turned the middle east into cat litter had I been in his shoes when we were attacked. But I'll never be a politician.

We are not safe and we will be made less safe with lesser of a military. Then you will see private militias and army's arise because the American people will not cower like this current President will do.

As for Guru, I have no use for a guy that would allow his family to go without health care. He spends his time online, talking about buying books, sitting in a position of a legislative assistant instead of getting a real job where he could actually earn some money to pay for health care for his wife. It's even more apparent that he's a deadbeat because he admitted that he can get his care through the VA. So he could go and get a cheaper plan for just his wife so that she is protected from the expense of a serious injury or illness, but he chooses to wait to be given health care by a government. His butt is covered, but he's leaving his wifes out there to dangle in the wind. That's not a man. A man doesn't use his wife as a sacrifice to make a political point.

You may think he's intelligent, and that's perfectly fine, but there is no excuse for treating his wife like that. I consider it spousal abuse and he should be punished for abusing his wife like that.

bluzie said...

I don't know if your plan will be illegal or not, the beauty of thi plan is that you can keep the insurance you have if you like it.
I would be very careful if you are tailoring your plan for healthy people. You have no warning when the fickle finger of fate will strike you or one of your children. My youngest had no problems and never so much as an ear infection when he came down with his problem. He woke up from a nap and his face and eyes were swollen. By morning his belly was very swollen and he was vomiting. After a trip to the ped we went straight to Mott hospital. His first stay was only $22,000. That year he had stays that cost over $100,000. Be prepared, crap can happen to anyone. I never dreamed it would happen to one of my healthy kids.

Not Anonymous said...

My plan isn't tailored for healthy people. It covers everything and the maximum I'll pay out in any given year is $2,000. The insurance kicks in after that. I put $5200 per year into it, the cost is only $1900 for the year, the rest is savings. By the time I get done with braces, teeth cleaning, eye doctors and physicals for the year of five of us, I've spent close to $2800. $2,000 comes from the savings portion, the rest is covered by insurance. Whatever I spend from my pocket is deductible, the savings I put in is deductible and I end up a little ahead at the end of the year. But the savings grew last year, in a bad year when most were losing 35%, I gained 4%.

All private insurance will be illegal under the plan proposed by the Obama people. We will all be under government health care until after the Democrats lose the elections in the next two cycles, then the hopefully, the Republicans will repeal all of this government insurance and send the economy into a boom even better than 2004 wheh in one quarter it grew at 8.2% for just one quarter. 8% could be a years growth in the economy if it's repealed. It always works. REmove the opppressiveness the Democrats put on and the economy improves. Cut spending, the economy improves, lower taxes, the economy improves. Then, the one thing that no party has been able to do, is to keep spending under control. That will sustain the economy for years.

There is no beauty to the government plan. It wipes out private insurance and puts everyone under the thumb of government bureaucrats who decide if you're worthy of having the care. In other words, rationed care.

Research Canada, Germany, Britain. You'll see that their systems are falling apart. You don't have to admit it to me. Just look for yourself. They are all failing. Even the Canadian Supreme court ruled against the Canadian system last month. Britain is warning us not to take their plan. They are failing and Obama thinks he can do it correctly where everyone else has failed.

bluzie said...

It is important that you understand, everyone who has insurance can keep their insurance. My husband and I will most certainly keep our insurance. I have no idea why you believe private insurance will be illegal. That simply is not sure and I know for a fact I am correct. Really.
Single payer is when there is only the government insurance. This is why it ticks me off that the local Dems are even talking about single payer!
We have talked and talked and still what people take if they think of single payer is that they cannot keep their insurance, they can and I most likely will.

bluzie said...


The link to our President speaking about this bill and how American's wil have choices and why it has to happen.
I am planning on keeping my insurance and you can too!

bluzie said...

Wednesday evening 9:00 P.M. President Obama will speak about health care. I urge you all to watch. The absolute lies about this health care bill have to stop! We all can disagree and I respect that, but we muct be armed with the facts.
The President said very clearly today:
Obama pledged not to “sign on to any health plan that adds to our deficits over the next decade.”
He said: “Our proposals cut hundreds of billions of dollars in unnecessary spending and unwarranted giveaways to insurance companies in Medicare and Medicaid. They change incentives so providers will give patients the best care, not just the most expensive care, which will mean big savings over time.”
Regarding the assertion that a Democratic health care bill would mean Americans couldn’t choose their own doctor or coverage, Obama was blunt.

“Michelle and I don’t want anyone telling us who our family’s doctor should be – and no one should decide that for you either,” he said. “Under our proposals, if you like your doctor, you keep your doctor. If you like your current insurance, you keep that insurance. Period, end of story.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/25103.html#ixzz0LehvzTW5

Laurie said...

Nobel prize-winning economist Milton Friedman said that if we had a free market in health care, we would pay about half of what we do now. LASIK and plastic surgery prices have gone down—these are real surgical procedures with the risk of death, complications, and lawsuits, but the majority are paid for by the people using the service instead of third party payers including the government, so costs have fallen.

The government programs Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP, are not paying for themselves and are not satisfactory to many on them. Three-quarters of those on Medicare have to shell out $5K or more a year in out-of-pocket expenses. One-third of doctors won’t take them; and about two-thirds won’t treat Medicaid patients.

There is a legitimate solution. It puts those three government programs at the state level into one State Medical plan that is open to all legal residents. The plan is means-tested. It is catastrophic care, which is the most cost-effective and best insurance because it inherently rewards healthy behaviors. The prevention focus provides enrollees with a physical with follow-up visit each year so that problems can be found early and treated for less which is compassionate and cost-effective. One ER visit if needed per year and you’ve taken care of all the health care needs of the majority of the public. Then, unless and until, a person hits HIS catastrophic expense level, he pays his own way. The plan also gets a price reduction on prescription medications through bulk buying and negotiations because pharmaceutical companies need to earn a profit to continue.

Every provider is automatically on the plan. The plan will operate a State Medical Insurance database listing all providers (doctors, hospitals, etc.) and listing every service offered and what the fee is for that service. People will be able to compare costs and competition will lower prices (see Friedman and LASIK). Patients will see infection rates and successful malpractice suits. Funding (no new taxes for people or employers who are not mandated to provide insurance) and reimbursement is addressed. The State plan, however, is to be PHASED OUT in favor of private insurance, which is also reformed.

Unnecessary regulations for private plans are removed—plans must do what they say but may be as bare bones as the market will allow. Insurance companies that provide plans for the poor (means-tested) or the sick (pre-existing conditions) will receive TAX CREDITS. This is money they would have had to pay, but now can use to provide for the poor/ill. The government saves because the people on the private plan would have been on a government program or uninsured and possibly using the ER unnecessarily.

We will increase the number of doctors and nurses substantially with no loss of quality and without bankrupting states or students in the process.

Malpractice suits are reformed by limiting what attorneys can make, just as Social Security attorneys fees are capped. The “provider discount” is eliminated so there is no unfairness to those who choose to remain uninsured and so that smaller insurers can afford to compete against larger ones. There are fraud penalties as well and more to see.

webgiant said...

kevins says that the ER is an option for the uninsured. This is not completely true. The ER is not actually required to treat your condition, merely to stabilize your condition.

The distinction between treatment and stabilization is a major distinction. For example, a man arrives at the ER with an infected abcessed tooth. A cure for his condition would require a dentist and either an extraction or a root-canal and cap operation, but the ER is not required to cure the condition, merely stabilize the patient. Stabilization is accomplished with a prescription for antibiotics to cure the current infection, without curing the underlying tooth problem.

The tooth will likely become infected once again, requiring multiple expensive visits to the ER, but in each instance the ER need only provide stabilization, not a cure.

The irony of the "let them eat cake" suggestion of ERs as "an option for the uninsured" is that the man in this example is most likely not paying his hospital ER bills, but the hospital is still required to stabilize him when he comes to the ER. Since the money for his hospital bills has to come from somewhere, patients who can afford to pay for their care will see their costs rise for that hospital (or all hospitals under the same parent company).

Thus "the ER is an option" is effectively a badly-managed NHS: everyone pays for the care of the poor, but they don't get the value for their money that a real NHS provides. Under a real NHS, the man gets his tooth pulled the first time around, and the shared costs stop right there.

Communications guru said...

Great post, Webgiant. I’m reading the book “Sick” by Jonathon Cohn, and he talks about patients dying because ERs are so crowded that patients have to be diverted to other hospitals farther away. He also documents cases of ambulances waiting by the side of the road while they try to find an available ER.

Marcia said...


Communications guru said...

Wow. Thanks for that link. That is a blog post on its own.