Thursday, November 11, 2010

THE Article

I posted this article on Facebook:
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http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_16569466?utm_medium=facebook
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The main purpose I posted the article is due to the overall premise that blaming health insurance premium hikes on the new Health Care Bill is untrue. Please feel free to read the article- it is not too long.
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I believe there are a million lies/untruths/misinformation out there about the health care bill.
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First and foremost, people should STOP calling it "Obamacare." It is not Obamacare. A much more accurate term is "Health Care For All." Not Health Care for Obama. So please stop using the term. It is absolutely, completely, 100% FALSE.
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Second, we need to stop calling it socialized medicine. It is NOT socialized medicine. The government does not own the hospitals. The government does not own the doctors. The government does not make any decisions about your health care. Compare these reforms to Europe, and there are little to no comparisons to be made. That is yet another falsehood. (In fact, if you are a Republican, compare this bill to your beloved voucher program that uses government money to pay for private schools and you should immediately fall in love with this bill- the two concepts are quite similar)
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Another falsehood is what this article stipulates, hence the reason I posted the article. The idea that the Health Care bill is causing premiums to skyrocket.
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The fact of the matter is that premiums were skyrocketing every year well before health care reform was passed.
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My dad owns a small company. He spends about $1500.00/month per employee on health care for his employess. For years he has been saying he would either go under or have to stop offering health care to his employees.
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Now that health care reform has passed, he continues to say the same thing. However, from what I understand, now if he opts to not offer insurance, they will be able to still get insurance and still be covered, for the small fee of 900.00/year. That is WAY cheaper than what he is currently paying, so he will be able to stay in business.
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I am not saying the Health Care Reform bill is perfect. It is a work in progress. But I am saying let's stop using scare tactics and lies to convince people it is a bad bill. This is a bill that affects everyone, and virtually every American agrees something has to be done to fix the health care crisis in America. Let's take this bill and tweak it, fix it, and give it a chance to succeed. For ALL Americans.
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Can't both sides at least agree on that?

11 comments:

curtis.noble said...

this is a great post. The Denver Post is spot on. The health reform bill is NOT causing the rising costs in premiums. I think everyone knows this. Republicans know it as well. They tried to get items included in the bill that would have addressed the REAL ISSUES that cause premiums to rise. Defensive medicine, increasing costs of hospital services (specifically emergency room services) just to mention a couple. BTW...these were mentioned in the article as contributing factors.

Your dad probably doesn't know for sure how the bill will affect his business because much of it doesn't go into effect for a few more years. I wonder if he is holding off on hiring new employees until he has a clearer picture of that. Also...if he drops the coverage at $1,500 a month, the alternative he'll be paying (I don't know the number, but you mentioned $900) is likely a penalty or fine....NOT coverage for the workers under a govt. plan. So yes, it's cheaper for HIM to pay the fine and NOT provide health insurance options. But then the employees will be required to purchase it on their own which will be more expensive for them as the employer will no longer be sharing costs. So all of a sudden, their disposable income drops pretty drastically. All the while, the devaluing of the dollar is driving up the costs of not only insurance, but Bread, Milk, Sugar, and Cereal. And the economy continues to spiral down.

The article just points out the obvious....that the Obama sponsored health reform does NOT address the real causes of rising healthcare premiums. All it does is provide healthcare for all as you say. In fact, it "mandates" healthcare for all whether they choose to purchase it or not.

I think when most folks(including companies) blame the health reform bill for rising premiums, they should re-state that and state the truth...the health reform bill was sold to us on the premise that it would provide affordable healthcare to all, and it's obviously not doing that. It doesn't address ANY of the factors that are driving healthcare costs up. Yes....I agree, it needs to be fixed. Whether that includes a repeal and re-write, or just re-writes...I don't care.

Christina said...

I completely disagree with repealing. Changes? Of course. Like every bill that ever gets passed. Yes- a bipartisan commision to work on that is needed (is there one now? I can't keep up)

But if we repeal we put ourselves back a hundred years. It took a hundred years to FINALLY get something passed! If we repeal it, we ALL know it will get put on the back burner (like immigration reform) and nothing will ever get done.

I do agree with you on the devaluing of the dollar- I think that should be something we are all concerned about, and I am planning on doing a post in the near future about the defecit- so stay tuned:)

Christina said...

Oh, and you are right- the 900 wouldn't provide them with insurance. However, doesn't it offset the cost of their private insurance? I believe that is what the gov't is doing- collecting that money to be used for people to get their own insurance. Anybody have further info on that???

My best friend has to get her own insurance, and she said she felt like the real benefits of the law don't kick in until 2014- right now it's tough, but by 2014 it should be a much better deal. That's what she said, but I don't know much else.

Curt said...

yes, you're right...the $900 will be collected and "hopefully" used to help subsidize individual plans. You're friend is right, the full plan doesn't go into effect until 2014. That doesn't mean it will be more affordable by then though. The fact remains that the bill does NOTHING to address the real causes of rising healthcare costs. Hopefully they'll be able to modify it to address those concerns. The good news now is that anyone CAN purchase insurance if they want to. In 2014 everyone will HAVE to purchase.

My mom was not able to afford the high risk pool that is available to folks w/ pre-existing conditions now. And even if she was, the condition is still not covered for a 12 month waiting period.

Kartch said...

The solution that is never discussed or addressed is personal responsibility and accountability. I routinely (meaning on a daily basis) admit people to the hospital for the same problem they were admitted for only a few months or weeks prior having spent hours working with case managers to get them follow up in free clinics, free medication and giving instructions on what to avoid so they the problem does not happen again, only to find out they did none of this and just decided to show up to the ED again be admitted again because it's easier. The cost of one of those admissions could pay for primary care services and generic hypertension, cholesterol and diabetic medications for the same patient and his/her family for a year plus. unfortunately the public seems to think that giving insurance to people is going to solve the health care crisis in this country when in fact it may make it indirectly worse while costing our children billions of dollars in the process.

Lula O said...

Really??? Every single day stupid sick people are returning to clinics with health problems that they can't afford to take proper care of so they end up getting sicker? I don't care who you are, until you've walked in their shoes, quit making holier than though judgements. EVERY SINGLE DAY? Wow poor people shure 're dumb. How could allowing people with pre-existing conditions access to some affordable health help the health care crisis! Holy cow! Is this what all doctors think? Then we really ARE screwed..

curtis.noble said...

Lula...you are right! This is the first time I've seen "Kartch" post in here. @Kartch....I'm a conservative (no really, I am you can read my comments on other posts in here, Lula and I routinely go back and forth!) BUT...your solution is theory only and is impossible to implement. How would you ensure people learn and practice "responsibility and accountability?" You won't get them to teach it in school, right?!

I agree with Lula...allowing people to buy insurance while having a pre-existing condition will not stop the problem you mention. They'll still go to the ER when they're sick because the people you are talking about probably STILL can't afford the insurance available to them RIGHT NOW under the High Risk pool. I'm not just talking about "poor people" I'm talking about retired middle class folks still cannot afford the coverage for pre-existing conditions.

What you have to do is allow ER administrators to deny care for routine illnesses....coughs, colds, scrapes and bruises. Uninsured folks go to ER's now as though it's a regular dr visit because the law says they cannot be turned away if unable to pay. This policy should be modified SLIGHTLY! I'm in no way saying people should die or even risk death because they cannot afford to pay in an ER. But if your kid has the sniffles...don't take him to the ER to see a doc and get a Rx.

But Kartch, you are way off base on your comment. I don't know if you're conservative or liberal...because the solution to your concern seems to be legislation to prohibit unhealthy lifestyles (and that's a liberal mentality you know, ban happy meals and tax sugary drinks).

In my opinion ALL LEGAL RESIDENTS (notice I say residents not citizens...workers on sponsorship or visa program should be included) should have access to "affordable" health insurance AND healthcare. Pre-existing conditions should be covered reasonably, but the "risk" should be born primarily by those who have the conditions...but not completely. I'm okay w/ govt. subsidized insurance for folks w/ pre-existing conditions. As long as my premium is based on my health and not my neighbors, I'm good. But I also believe that under NO circumstance should the govt. require us to purchase anything or face fines and/or imprisonment. If we set the precedent that the Federal Govt. can mandate we purchase health insurance, we open up the doors for them to mandate us to purchase ONLY organic foods, etc. It opens up the door for the govt. to legislate healthy behavior.

Anyway...Lula, I agree with you on this. Kartch, you're off base. But boy it sure sounds nice "responsibility and accountability"....kind of like "hope and change."

Christina said...

This might be the first time, but I have to document: I agree with Lula AND Curt on the same issue! Wow, now that's a miracle.

Kartch- I would agree that what you say is A problem, but certainly not THE problem! We all know, for example, that obesity is a huge problem. The best we can do, however, is educate- we can't force people to do what they should. But that says nothing of the problems of people who do everything right but still end up sick.

Which is why while I agreed with most of what Curt said, the one part I disagreed with is that medical costs should not be spread out. Kind of like mission funds- missions cost different amounts of money, but then every missionary pays the same to help those sent to the more expensive places. Medical issues are the one place we are not created equal. If healthy people are "forced" (what a silly term- we have to force people to have medical care? People want health care- the only reason people say they don't is because they think they are healthy- then all of a sudden they get sick and have no care- oops! Who gets stuck with the bill then? Either they go bankrupt, or if they are lucky they might qualify for tax payer help- it would be MUCH better for them to have health insurance to begin with, so the taxpayers don't get stuck with the ER costs) to get health care, it would balance out the cost. Like car insurance- everybody has to have it, even if they never in their life get in an accident. Why? Because if you get in one, you have to have it or you are SCREWED financially.

As usual, we can go back and forth forever. Hopefully there will be a better giving of information of what this health care bill entails and hopefully tweaks will be figured out as well.

And hopefully, nobody in my family will get sick to the point of disability so that we have to declare bankruptcy even though we have insurance.

Christina said...

I was thinking about this last night...

One thing I LOVE and am SO EXCITED about for the new health care bill is that restaurants will be required to put the calories of their menu items on the menu. This is already law in Washington, and I LOVE it!!!! I feel like I am way more educated and making healthier choices- if I am choosing between 2 menu items, and one is 700 calories less, I will make the healthier choice!!!

That's one HUGE bonus of the bill for me!

Curt said...

Christina two things...you cannot compare govt. mandated healthcare with either car insurance OR missionary service. BOTH of those are voluntary. There are no financial penalties for not owning or driving a car or for serving a mission. Shared costs are not the same as shared risks. Furthermore, car insurance premiums are not an example of shared risk. Your premium is based off of several "risk factors" such as driving history, age, sex, vehicle type, and even your credit history. Look at that list...age and sex. Young males pay more for insurance because they are a riskier group. This is what I was talking about. Smokers should pay higher premiums for health insurance. Alcoholics should pay more for health insurance. I stand by this.

And with regards to missionary service...no comparison at all. In fact there is absolutely NO resemblance to the shared costs of risk factors. It's a completely selfless program and it's volunteer based. The payment structure is necessary in order to provide the Church leaders the flexibility to send Missionaries where ever they're needed, and not where they can afford. ALSO, the monthly mission fee hasn't changed in 10 years. This tells me that those fees do not cover the full costs of the missionary program. It's highly subsidized.

Likewise, I support subsidizing the folks with riskier health profiles by the government if they are low income, homeless, unemployed, etc. These subsidies should come from the taxes collected on Alcohol, Tobacco, and even unhealthy foods. Don't see how any democrat or liberal could argue with that. Don't make me pay to insure your lung cancer bills because you've been a chain smoker for 65 years. Sorry, seems a little heartless...but subsidize them from other funds, not my pocket. Can you really disagree that point???? I'm not saying they should pay more. I'm saying I should not pay for it.

curtis.noble said...

Wait, I guess I was saying the smokers and alcoholics should pay more. We tax the heck out of these things anyway, so we already expect them to pay more for these unhealthy "choices."

oh...and requiring restaurants to print calorie counts on the menu? seriously? They're already required to provide it if requested. Do you currently request to know the calorie count of food on the menu when you go out? If you don't do it now, you won't pay any attention to it when they print it. I know you probably think "hey that will make eating out healthier and easier on me." I promise you it won't.

McDonalds for example prints calorie counts ON THE PACKAGING of their food. Yet their sales of french fries continued to skyrocket and the apple slices and side salads continued to slide.

Also, I like to think that I'm like most Americans....when I go to Applebees or Chilis I don't want the health(ier) meal! It doesn't sound good. I go there (Applebees) for the riblet basket and fries. Printing the calories on the menu aren't going to make me "not want" those things or opt for a salad I could make myself at home instead.

All this accomplishes is making it easier for the very small pct of people who DO WANT to eat healthier at McDonalds, Outback, Red Robin, etc to get access to the information that is already available to them if they ask.