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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Health Care

Posted Wednesday, February 2, 2011, at 8:10 PM

The Health Care Bill has been a topic of debate since it was originally introduced. It has gained more attention in recent days since a Florida judge ruled it unconstitutional and just today the Senate discussed and voted on repealing the bill. The repeal failed however by a margin of 51-47. There are many arguments for and against the bill, with one of the best known arguments against it being the mandate for all individuals to purchase health care insurance and one of the best arguments for it being that people with pre-existing conditions cannot be turned down for coverage.

I am in the middle on this issue, while I agree the health insurance industry needs something done to it so that more people can afford health insurance, I am not to keen on the fact that the government will be controlling it. The mandate requiring everyone to purchase insurance is an issue for me as well. I have heard many arguments stating things such as "we are required to pay Social Security, "we are required to have auto insurance" or "we are required to have homeowners insurance." My argument back to those statements are for one, you only have to pay Social Security if you have a job and are making an income. Auto insurance is only required if you choose to own an automobile, with liability only being required by law, collision is only required if you owe money on the vehicle and that is required by the lender, not by law. The same is true of homeowners insurance, if you own your home without a lien against it, you are not required to purchase insurance. The mandate in the Health Care Bill however will require all individuals to purchase health insurance regardless. No job, too bad, still required to purchase health insurance, plus you could be fined if you don't purchase it. The way the Health Care Bill is written, this mandate must be present for it to work.Something interesting about the mandate however is that in 2008, when Barack Obama was running for President, he spoke against having such a mandate in the Health Care Bill. He said "the problem isn't that people don't want health insurance, it's that they can't afford it and if the government can mandate everyone to buy health insurance then they could mandate everyone to buy a house and solve homelessness." You can hear more of what he said here http://townhall.com/tipsheet/GregHengler... . I think he makes a great point that if the government starts mandating us to do one thing, they can mandate us to do anything? Obama also stated that he would partially fund the bill by eliminating the so called Bush tax cuts, he has since approved leaving those tax cuts in place but has failed to mention were he intends to get money for the Health Care Bill now.I have been reading through the Health Care Bill, you can as well by going here http://docs.house.gov/rules/health/111_a... . One thing I have noticed is that there are many sections throughout the bill that state "as determined by the secretary," meaning the Secretary of Health and Human Resources. One of those areas is addressing people that would be considered to be in the high-risk pool. These are the people that the Health Care Bill is supposed to help because at present they get turned down for coverage. The section states that "If the Secretary estimates for any fiscal year that the aggregate amounts available for payment of expenses of the high-risk pool will be less than the amount of the expenses, the Secretary shall make such adjustments as are necessary to eliminate such deficit, including reducing benefits, increasing premiums, or establishing waiting list." Another section states "The Secretary shall, with respect to the program establish procedures to protect against fraud, waste, and abuse under the program." We all know how well this has worked with other government run programs.

Whether you are for or against the Health Care Bill it is the law of the land, for now anyway. What are your thoughts?


Comments
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Here is a good one for you.

President Obama took $500,000,000,000 out of the Medicare and put it in his Obama Healthcare Insurance Scam to get it started.

-- Posted by Unique-Lies on Mon, Apr 25, 2011, at 2:28 PM

Did you hear President Obama order the Supreme Court not to deliberate on his Health Care Bill until the lower courts had ruled on it?

That is too much unauthorized power for a President.

-- Posted by Unique-Lies on Mon, Mar 21, 2011, at 12:57 PM

Did everyone see the news when it explained that Supreme Court ruled that the gays have a constitutional right to marry, like I explained they did in Michael Bells blogs?

-- Posted by Unique-Lies on Mon, Mar 7, 2011, at 7:32 PM

Obama's Health Care plan needs a Health Care Plan.

-- Posted by Unique-Lies on Sun, Feb 27, 2011, at 11:19 AM

I suppose Obama Health Care is a good thing!

With the price of gas sky rocketing soon, there will be a lot of people Sick of paying the high price for gas.

-- Posted by Unique-Lies on Fri, Feb 25, 2011, at 10:04 AM

How long do you think Obamanation Health Care will last?

Canada has free Health Care from what I have heard. USA has individual health care for people who can afford it and the taxpayers pay for the poor.

Mexico has free Health Care (if) they can make it across the border into the USA.

Let's take a look at what is coming in the near future.

Canada and Mexico will be united with the USA as the North American Union.

Canada with free Health Care and Mexico with no Health Care and the good ol USA with a forced Health Care program.

Do you think Canada is going to agree with a forced Health Care Plan when they get it free?

Do you think Mexico could just automatically afford to pay for a forced Health Care plan just because the plan is Forced on the USA?

The whole Health Care Debates would have to start all over again with new perimeters.

The Democrats and Republicans can agree on the same thing here in America, so how are the Canadian and Mexican Legislators going to agree with our un-agreeable representatives?

For one thing, Congress won't be the ruling authority nor will the people. We will be under the United Nation Constitution and control.

Obama's Health Care Package - a thing of the past!

-- Posted by Unique-Lies on Thu, Feb 24, 2011, at 12:15 PM

Obama is sticking to it.

In his Budget speech he is planning to borrow money so he can HIRE 21,000 new IRS Agents for the Healthcare Program.

Why in God's name does Obama need 21,000 new IRS Agents, except to force payments to IRS for Healthcare from every US Citizen.

I said Obama would be re-elected as President in 2012, so that is the only way Obama's Healthcare program will continue. It is unconstitutional to force people to pay the fee for Healthcare. Also there is no Law that can force anyone to pay a bill or go to jail. There is no debtors prison.

Well, at least that is what the US Constitution guarantees.

President Obama also said he wants to HIRE (I believe) 30,000 NEW FEMA Employees.

The North American Union will need that many new FEMA warriors to man and control all those citizens in the Relocation Centers. (Every shut down Military Base) Only now, all the Bases have Barbed Wire Fences around them to KEEP people IN not OUT.

I don't think you will have to worry about who is going to pay anyone's Healthcare Insurance in a couple short years.

All these center will be located close to Major Metropolitans where the Federal Government will have Jurisdiction. (Otherwise Known as FEMA) FEMA will have Federal Jurisdiction over everyone in its Centers and Disaster Areas.

Let's see now. Did I say Federal Jurisdiction over everyone in the FEMA Federal Areas.

Yes. You won't come under State protection from Federal Law. You will be under United States FEMA Jurisdiction.

Why you ask? FEMA will be your new Federal Government, not Congress. Congress will be the first group of resisters rounded up when the North American Union (or) the One World Order comes to America.

And according to Wis State Legislation display this past week, it may not be hard to disband the Democrats in Congress, Lol.

I think everyone will try to vote for someone else instead of Obama, However that won't work in 2012. Obama has been appointed to the job of being the last president of the USA before the one World Order takes over.

But, what do I know? I only repeat what I read in the National News.

Take the economy for example. I read where the experts claim that by 2050 the population will be so large that the people will actually run out of Food.

It claimed the Jobs would be better and people would be making more money, so they (the low income) would be buying more Meat and food they couldn't buy before, increasing the Food Shortage even higher. Where is Joseph when you need him?

I also read a news story that states after the economy recovers there won't be a lot of the present jobs available anymore, like Factory Jobs. They confirm that robotic arms will take all the Factory Jobs away.

But then what do the experts know? well for one, they only know what they are taught by man who knows nothing about these things or they wouldn't happen.

Did they claim we would go into an economic recession. Did they know it was going to be a double recession? How did they miss the part about people going hungry when the Leaders of our Country would keep spending money foolishly thinking it would help the economy by giving money to the companies who don't know how to handle their money?

Couldn't the experts see that when the Government kept spending money, they would run out of money for the Government to run itself on?

Didn't they see that it was going to happen World Wide?

No! But the World Bank and Feds did and so did I as well as high up government officials. It is part of the One World Order TAKE OVER.

When we lose everything, the OWO will just walk in and consume the world. Remember it is the Anti-Christ who will have all the answers.

Health Care... Who Care?

Why have Health Care Insurance when everyone is going to wind up in a FEMA Relocation Center because of some natural or man made disaster?

Obama's budget also included more money for Roads and Bridges. Didn't he see that didn't work earlier?

Sure he did, but you have to look at the big picture. The Roads and Bridges aren't our roads and bridges, it is for the NAFTA Super 10 Lane Highways. 3 car lanes and 2 truck lanes in each direction including 5 Rail Road tracks and gas pipe lines.

Obama is persistent on having a High Speed Rail train. Will these be for the 5 tracks I just mentioned or for other locations for transporting people from one FEMA Location to another FEMA Location?

I wouldn't worry about it. It will all come out in the wash!

-- Posted by Unique-Lies on Wed, Feb 23, 2011, at 2:01 PM

Now our present system works for those who can pay.Then you have medicaid quaified for what it's worth,but at least they get some help.Then there are those that can't pay, not poor enough for medicaid ,do not make enough to pay for health care insurance.Alot of them do not qualify through their employer because they have to work 2 or more part time jobs just to have food & shelter.These are the people that will never get anything from our goverenment except more taxes.

-- Posted by jdem on Sun, Feb 13, 2011, at 2:27 PM

There are many common sense ideas out there for reform, but most people in charge don't have any common sense.

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Thu, Feb 10, 2011, at 2:01 PM

You hit the old nail right on the head with that one Sharon. If we allow the politicians in Washington to manage our health care, we are ALL going to become very sick in every sense of the word. Health care reform is needed, but there just has to be a way to take politics out of it. Good health care at a reasonable cost is not a political issue, it's a human issue. Unfortunately our elected officials for the most part, are so far out of touch with main stream America, they are floundering about with no idea how their nonsensical decisions affect everyday hardworking Americans.

Taxpayers can in no way, shape, form or fashion afford to provide everyone with everything they might need from cradle to grave. It is completely irresponsible to believe otherwise.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Sat, Feb 12, 2011, at 11:16 AM

There are many common sense ideas out there for reform, but most people in charge don't have any common sense.

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Thu, Feb 10, 2011, at 2:01 PM

the idea of tort reform is neatly ducked and dodged or avoided like the plague altogether.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Thu, Feb 10, 2011, at 1:14 AM

I had mentioned the same thing about TORT reform (above). I think the main reason this is avoided is because most of our politicians come from the Medical, Legal, and Insurance professions. Therefore, they are unlikely to do anything that diminishes their industry(s, but are likely to use their political power to INCREASE the plundering in those areas.

As I said before, there are many ways to cut costs. If we are not seeing costs being cut, then it must be because they are not interested in cutting healthcare costs, and/or have another agenda instead.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Thu, Feb 10, 2011, at 12:02 PM

Yes Tim that is so true. Like Tim Baker said earlier medicine is part art and part science. There are lots of folks out there that have fogotten the art part of medicine.

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Thu, Feb 10, 2011, at 1:51 AM

Physicians are using more frequent and expensive testing and examinations to the point of overkill for one reason, to avoid lawsuits by increasingly litigious patients awaiting their court approved lottery win. However the idea of tort reform is neatly ducked and dodged or avoided like the plague altogether. It's as if nobody wants to limit the monetary damages awarded or settled for in these lawsuits. I'm just as upset by the rising cost of health care as anyone else and I realize tort reform is not the solution to the problem, but without it, the issue of health care reform has little chance of being a success.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Thu, Feb 10, 2011, at 1:14 AM

Right now we have millions of people learning the hard way what it's like to lose health care, and how it is to not be able to afford it, what it's like to be denied coverage or have it canceled. There has to be an answer that will work that is fair and effective for even those who many would consider not worthy of coverage. I don;t know what it is but I do know what we have now is not working for those not rich enough or no poor enough, that wide gray area where the hard working middle class falls needs to be addressed and dealt with, not just shoved under a rug as not important enough to care about.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Wed, Feb 9, 2011, at 6:50 PM

And yes, Vermont has my best wishes too. Maybe learning the hard way is better than not learning at all.

-- Posted by bjrbrts on Wed, Feb 9, 2011, at 4:37 PM

That's why I put the word "cure" in quotations. I was with her & know what she went thru; she was far from well. Doctors would use a cure if they had one. I find it odd that technology can advance so far in other areas but on diabetes & cancer(and others) there are things being researched but not ready for prime time, just like it was 30 years ago. Other countries are having success; why aren't we? Cortnerkin, you have decided & that is your right. I don't agree; that is my right. I will keep finding things wherever I can. I hope others think about what I've said & start looking too. The information is out there for those who want it.

-- Posted by bjrbrts on Wed, Feb 9, 2011, at 4:35 PM

My statement should have read "it is a treatment".

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Wed, Feb 9, 2011, at 1:07 PM

A transplant is not a "cure" for any disease is is a treatment and requires anti-rejection meds for the rest of the person's life.

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Wed, Feb 9, 2011, at 11:55 AM

Thanks bjrbrts, but I think I'll stick with insulin. For now, transplant would just exchange one set of problems for another. Cures are being researched in this country as well but they are not yet ready for primetime.

I agree with your sentiments on the single payer system. I do believe Vermont should do what Vermont wants to do though. They keep electing Sanders so they should reap what they sow, but they should keep it for themselves.

-- Posted by cortnerkin on Wed, Feb 9, 2011, at 2:42 AM

Cortnerkin,

She had a kidney & pancreas transplant. That's why I put cured in quotations. But you are wrong about a cure. They are being researched in other countries with success. You are right, there is no cure here but they do exist.

Tim,

I love your "rigorous" testing reference. Natural therapies undergo extensive testing too; just as tough & sometimes tougher. I don't like going there because I use tests every day & know how they can be manipulated. And you make my point too; the medical community hates competition & will use any trick to maintain their dominance. And you keep admitting problems with those "rigorous" tests exist. There is a point where the appendix is beyond saving. At that point an appendectomy is needed. But if caught early enough there are proven methods to save it; if you care to do the research. Thanks for the history on appendectomies.

I will say it one last time; "conventional" medicine needs competition. What are you afraid of? If modern medicine can stand up to the competition as you claim, you have nothing to worry about. If it can't, society gets improved healthcare due to the competition. Either way, we win.

All a single payer system will do is degrade healthcare for us; we all seem to agree on that. Lets get the government as far from medicine as we can.

-- Posted by bjrbrts on Wed, Feb 9, 2011, at 12:13 AM

"All Vermonters would receive coverage by virtue of their residency for a good package of health care benefits, coverage would not be linked to employment and most Vermonters would pay into an equitable system for financing this coverage."

This is a loaded statement and one would be wise to weigh each word carefully and be wary especailly of a single payer system for multiple users.

If it seems to good to be true, more than likely it is.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Tue, Feb 8, 2011, at 10:34 PM

Vermont Governor Lays Out Details for Single Payer Pathway!

Vermont is leading the way and Vermont's Senator Sanders is America's Senator. It's just a matter of time before more states get on board, we must demand it!

The Shumlin administration released the legislative details of how to move the state to a single payer health care system, with the first steps beginning this summer.

Vermont's project could serve as a test of something that even the state's conservative counterparts elsewhere are interested in finding out: just how much power states have over their own health care systems.(Credit: Jobs with Justice)"We are committing to reforms that get us as many of the benefits of a single payer as possible under current federal law, and to asking for a waiver from federal law so that we can gain the full benefits of a single payer when that option is available," Anya Rader Wallack, special assistant to Gov. Peter Shumlin for health care, told members of House and Senate panels

"I know you have been anxious to receive this proposal and get to work on the details. I also know you will find flaws in it," Wallack said. "We don't think we have all the answers, but we think we are putting in front of you a solid proposal for moving forward with major, meaningful health reform."

The plan would move the state through three stages in four years to reach the target of a single-payer system.

The Shumlin administration proposes the state take two steps effective July 1: Create a health benefit exchange or marketplace called for under the federal health care law and set up a Vermont Health Reform Board to "develop payment reform and cost containment methodologies that will result in sustainable rates of growth in health care spending," Wallack.

The next phase would begin in 2014 when the health benefit exchange begins operating. "We propose that we include in the exchange, at that time, employer groups with fewer than 100 employees," Wallack said. "We also propose that state and municipal employees become part of the exchange, and that we integrate Medicaid, Medicare and workers' compensation with exchange policy."

The state would move to the final stage if and when the federal government granted Vermont waivers to establish a single, publicly financed exchange.

"At that point, current premium payments by individuals and employers in Vermont would be eliminated unless an employer chose to continue providing health insurance coverage," Wallack said. "All Vermonters would receive coverage by virtue of their residency for a good package of health care benefits, coverage would not be linked to employment and most Vermonters would pay into an equitable system for financing this coverage."

The bill doesn't spell out a financing system for the third stage, but calls for continued research.

(http://current.com/news/92969429_vermont-governor-lays-out-details-for-single-payer-pathway.htm)

This is an interesting articular. I thought may intrest some. It shows there are options out there that can be explored if people are willing to do so. Through exploration answers are often found.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Tue, Feb 8, 2011, at 10:05 PM

Maybe I am missing something. How does the healthcare bill forcing INSURANCE, reduce HEALTHCARE costs? Insurance costs may be reduced, but I would expect healthcare costs would continue to increase because of the increased demand on the healthcare system.

The government, as we can all see by the huge national debt, is terrible at controlling costs.

The drug companies are very good at increasing the demand for their products. Just count the number of drug advertisements on TV. My children, who are perfectly healthy (thank God), will sometimes say "I need that" after watching a commercial highlighting various symptoms and declaring how their product will solve the problem. That may be good marketing, but terrible practice of medicine.

As some have said healthcare is a business, when demand increase so do the prices. There is a plan out there now, put in place by the Bush administration called a "Health Savings Account" (HSA). These allow you to save money for your healthcare, tax deffered, and the funds belong to you (the patient). They require a high deductible insurance policy which can be bought at a fraction of the typical insurance policy. Since the funds in it belong to the patient, the patient is less likely to run to the doctor for every sniffle or perceived symptom they have from a TV commercial. The reduction in demand on the healthcare system will result in more competition between the providers.

Ever been to a doctors office and not seen a waiting room full of people waiting to get in? Any business is unlikely to cut their prices if they have customers waiting in line to pay the high prices, especially if someone else is picking up the tab.

I agree that everyone will need healthcare at some point or another in their life. They also will need food, clothing, and shelter. Surely we don't expect someone else to be forced against their will to pay for what we use!! Where does that end? Because I can't pay for a steak dinner that I see advertised on TV, should I expect everyone to be forced into a pool so I can have what I would otherwise not be able to afford?

I think people need to recognize an injustice for what it is and not continue down that path. Sure the current system has injustices, FIX THAT!! Don't pass another one and say "this is what we need" to correct the problem.

Two wrongs don't make a right. Frediric Bastiat put it best in "The Law". He called it "Plunder".

PLUNDER:

1a : to take the goods of by force (as in war) : pillage, sack b : to take by force or wrongfully : steal, loot

2: to make extensive use of as if by plundering : use or use up wrongfully

intransitive verb

: to commit robbery or looting

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Tue, Feb 8, 2011, at 12:34 PM

Bjrbrts

I do not dismiss alternative or natural medicine. I do not dismiss any legitimate treatment. But in a way you have made my point. I fully acknowledge that conventional medicine has side effects and complications. That's because through rigorous study we know that these occur. The fact that everyone who advocates "natural" medicine never quote the same shows that they tend to lack the in depth study required for widespread acceptance. At the end of the day, physicians are still part scientist-show us the data and be prepared to defend it.

And I have to comment on appendix paragraph too. An inflammed appendix is considered a surgical emergency because of potential untreated complications. It is not treating a symptom, it is the the definitive treatment of the disease. The surgical procedure is quite old, widespread performance of the procedure was not adopted until the mid 19th century when anesthesia became readily available. I still get the willies when I read about the surgeon in the 18th century who performed an appendectomy on himself....sheesh.

-- Posted by Tim Baker on Tue, Feb 8, 2011, at 10:39 AM

If you met someone who has been cured of type 1 diabetes, then you met someone who never had type 1 diabetes.

-- Posted by cortnerkin on Tue, Feb 8, 2011, at 2:24 AM

Tim,

I would consider dismissing modern medicine to be irresponsible at best & criminally negligent at worst. I said earlier & meant it; if I am in a life-threatening situation I want American medical technology working for me. I will happily deal with the side effects later while I enjoy the fact I'm still breathing. I acknowledge the need for modern medicine. But prescription drugs are dangerous - you don't deny that. Funny how you say my "killing & maiming" statement isn't fact yet you admit it happens a couple of lines later. Sounds to me like you think it's a fact too. Modern drugs usually force a reaction from the body; natural medicine tends to work with your immune system. Sometimes one is appropriate, sometimes the other. So, dismissing natural medicine is equally wrong. The same goes for alternative medicine. My chiropractor has helped me correct a couple of conditions a doctor would have recommended surgery for but I have seen chiropractors bashed many times by the medical community & the media. I would love to see them all work together. But face it; medical research from pharmaceutical companies is always geared toward their products & policies & those companies MUST protect the profits of their shareholders if they want to keep working. And, they will use political means to do so if available. Conspiracy? Probably not. Just a big dog keeping his bone from the little dog. Don't tell me my logic is flawed; a cure for a disease they sell products to treat would render their product obsolete & you, as a highly educated person, should quite well know what happens to obsolete products. I'm sure you give your patients the best advice available to you & I hope that advice evolves with new information. I also realize one person can't learn every medical discipline out there - it's too much to process. Modern medicine ain't all there is but neither is alternative. If they all work together, we all benefit; if they fight we all lose. I don't want to get rid of modern medicine, I just don't want to have it as my only choice. Right now, alternatives are very difficult to find & use & I have seen plenty of evidence that the FDA likes it that way. Besides, the competition will force prices down & quality up & the end user - patients - will benefit.

Cortnerkin,

Appendix surgery has been around as long as the polio cure. It would be better to save the appendix; it does have a use, however small. All that surgery did was treat a symptom. Some patients do respond to the treatment of cancer symptoms but until the cause is found & addressed it is not a cure. Congrats to your mom; mine wasn't so lucky. Who told you diabetes had no alternative therapy? I have found much evidence to the contrary & people who swear they have been cured. Open your mind; never know what you might find. I am quite familiar with diabetes & lost someone very close to me to it. She was "cured" for awhile, unfortunately the previous damage to her body proved too much to overcome. Btw, I hate xanax & lortab. The only times I have used painkillers were for my 2 minor surgeries & I decided both times the pain was easier to endure than the drug after the 1st day. "First do no harm?" We should all live by that.

-- Posted by bjrbrts on Mon, Feb 7, 2011, at 10:08 PM

Is Dr. Osler perhaps saying the animals are smarter that man? I had a dog once that broke her pelvis, the vet gave us some pain medicine to give her. We crushed it up and put it with some can food, which was a "treat" for her, within a couple days she didn't ask for any more treats, so didn't recieve the medicine. She had learned the "food" may her not hurt, but when she quit hurting, she didn't need the "food" either. She was for the most part a pretty smart dog. We, as cortnerkin states, are in Lortab and Xanax country, and as such when we legitimately need and receive the medicine, are not smart enough to quit taking it when we are better.

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Mon, Feb 7, 2011, at 9:56 AM

I say Amen to Tim as well. No one disputes there are flaws in healthcare. There are also plenty of anecdotal stories about how egregious physicians are from so and so's cousin that counts the pills at the pharmacy or is a nursing assistant. There are bad doctors and there are bad mechanics and bad teachers and as with anything the notorious ones do get the headlines, when most are working day to day to "first do no harm." Whether we like it or not though, most all of us at one point or another needs healthcare services. I have a daughter with type 1 diabetes which means she requires injectable insulin to stay alive the way most of you need food and water. There is no alternate therapy, nor can she follow a diet that will cure her, neither can her body cure itself. The JDRF's mission statement says they are dedicated to finding a cure for type 1 diabetes yet many of their corporate sponsors are companies that make money from treating diabetes. I am cynical enough to believe these companies may participate as a public affairs policy or as a tax deduction, but I am not cynical enough to believe there is a conspiracy involving the JDRF to stifle a cure or to believe a cure is impossible. I also don't begrudge paying for the excellent insulins we have available. Lantus, a newer form of insulin, was a tremendous breakthrough. Insulin is not a cure but it is a lifeline. There have been cures since polio. My mother was treated for bladder cancer and has been cancer free for over 20 years. She is cured. A friend of mine had appendicitis and it was surgically removed. He is cured. Many people under 30 have never seen measles, mumps or even chicken pox. Many surgeries are done laparoscopically now cutting down on lengths of hospital stays and time out of work. Modern medicine has its faults but it also has some accomplishments it can be proud of. I think Tim would agree that a lot of people are overmedicated, but one could also point out that a lot of people want to be. After all, this here is xanax and lortab country. I, like Tim, mostly just watched this topic mainly for the reasons he stated. I also thought it pointless to dredge it up again because most people already know where they stand on the issue if they care anything about it. He's also right that the discussion has devolved into bashing, anecdotes and generalizations that have little to do the topic at hand.

"The greater the ignorance the greater the dogmatism."

"One of the first duties of the physician is to educate the masses not to take medicine."

"The desire to take medicine is perhaps the greatest feature which distinguishes man from animals."

-William Osler, MD, the father of modern medicine

-- Posted by cortnerkin on Mon, Feb 7, 2011, at 4:27 AM

Amen to Tim!

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Sun, Feb 6, 2011, at 11:49 PM

I would respond by saying your logic is flawed. If medicine is intent on protecting it's turf, my suggestion to you would be to eat 3 cheeseburgers a day, smoke a carton of Camels and memorize the TV listings. That would ensure that we could produce an entire generation of coronary disease, emphysema and completely deconditioned patients solely dependent on the healthcare system for their survival.

But we don't do that. We ask you to take responsibility for your own health. We ask you to follow treatment plans that we feel will work in your situation based on established protocols and our own experience. We ask you to follow up appropriately. We ask you to let us know if there is a change for the worse.

I wasn't bashing you above, I was letting you know that what you were saying just isn't fact. Much like the implication that drugs and procedures "keep killing and maiming people". Yes there are medication mistakes. Yes there are deaths during procedures. Yes there are unpredictable side effects. If you know of a way to make sure none of these things happen I can get in touch with the Nobel committee. On the whole, however, these medications and procedures have not only saved lives they probably save money by early or less invasive intervention.

We do agree that further involvement by the government (especially the mandate) will probably erode the overall healthcare of Americans. Despite assurances to the contrary, this will start a spiral effect that will eventually lead to fewer doctors, longer wait times (that part will happen pretty quickly) and poorer patient outcomes. If you think the wait in the ER is bad now, check back in 5 years. We'll look back at 2011 as the good ol' days.

-- Posted by Tim Baker on Sun, Feb 6, 2011, at 11:09 PM

Oh, and, if double-blind studies are so rigorous, why do prescription drugs & medical procedures keep killing & maiming people? Any test, poll or statistic can be manipulated to give the desired answer.

-- Posted by bjrbrts on Sun, Feb 6, 2011, at 6:23 PM

Tim Baker,

Insurance companies=evil? Yeah, some here have hinted that. I say they're a business, nothing more. I doubt they would even touch medical insurance if the government didn't mandate it; too much risk & not enough profit. They make their money on other things.

Doctors=greedy lowlifes? Yep, some sure are. And some are very good people as I said before.

FDA=Drug company lackies? Probably. Any time the government interferes with business it makes a mess & here we are debating the healthcare mess the FDA presides over.

"But to imply that the medical profession "stifles" cures to hold on to their patients is pure & utter nonsense." Now who's bashing? Simple logic says the industry surrounding cancer(making in the billions yearly) would collapse if a cure came into common use. Do you wish to work yourself out of a job? Bet that industry doesn't either. Not to mention the havoc to the economy from the collapse of an industry of that size.

Yes, natural drugs can have side effects. A natural pain killer I'm familiar with can stop your heart if you take too much. Two natural antibiotic substitutes I know of can damage your heart if taken for too long. But, if they are used correctly, they work quite well & leave no lasting damage to the body. Prescription drugs are often deadly even when used as directed; some studies I've seen say prescription drugs kill more people in the U.S. every year than guns do. I haven't verified that but the fact the two are even compared says something about the pharmaceutical industry. The fruit juice I sometimes drink for my kidneys might hurt me: if I drink a gallon a day for a year or so. But a glass a day works well with no side effects at all.

You even stated the big companies will try to eliminate competition on a local level; I say it happens on a national level too. As I said, there is a place for prescription drugs but it is limited. You are right, medicine is an art; the art of helping each patient heal themselves - not treating a "broad population". The problem with natural "drugs" has nothing to do with them not working & everything to do with the fact they can't be patented so their profitability is limited. When prescription drugs work without harming me I have no problem with using them. But, given my preference, I stay as healthy as possible. Nothing personal to the industry but I don't like giving money to it & don't like to feel bad so I take care of myself. Yes, some people do listen but your semester of nutritional training is probably all you need; people who take responsibility for themselves aren't likely to be good customers for you.

The purpose of this blog was to discuss the healthcare bill. I suggested a solution that would eliminate a need for it; I do agree an individual mandate is wrong & think if it is enacted it will ultimately bring much harm & possibly collapse to the insurance industry and greatly degrade healthcare too. The medical industry needs competition if it is to improve. As is often the case, I see the government at the root of the problem. Feel free to disagree.

-- Posted by bjrbrts on Sun, Feb 6, 2011, at 6:05 PM

Unique,

You put forth 2 situations:

First, the friend witht the stroke. A cat scan will NOT show a stroke for 24-72 hours after the the symptoms appears. Carotid surgery is not based on a cat scan, it is based on a carotid duplex or ultrasound.

Second, pain alone is not an indicator of a heart attack. Did you have a heart cath prior to your surgery? If so, that will show your blockadges in your heart. You also had to sign a consent form for the surgery, no one made you sign it, you could have very easily said no. That responsibility lies with the patient after being explained the risks and benefits. I have had patients say no, or not yet and not ever seen a patient forced to have surgery.

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Sun, Feb 6, 2011, at 5:15 PM

I know a woman who went to the hospital because her vision was blurred and was making her ill. The doctor on call ordered a CT Scan. The scan came back negative for a stroke. He contacted her regular doctor who sent in her supervising doctor who called in another specialist who told her she had a minor stroke and needed a Carotid Artery surgery.

Now why did one doctor say there was no stroke at all, yet another doctor saw that she had insurance and said she needed the Surgery right away?

What am I suppose to believe? I do believe that when you have insurance you are going to be operated on for something.

Why else would I be operated on for a Heart Attack when I had no pain at all anywhere. I just went in for a bypass surgery and came out a new man. (I mean new man, because I couldn't do anything I was used to doing and had to change my whole way of life because of their decision after I was put out).

I even signed a paper saying that if I died to let me remain dead. Why would I want to go thru death all over again!

I had 10 different drugs to take and I didn't see any need to pop pills the rest of my life. I spent all of my life staying off drugs then the doctors wanted to make me a drug addict.

I just said no to drugs. If it kills me, I can live with that.

The thing is it is a crime to do drugs yet most Americans are put on one drug or another. What signals are we suppose to look at?

I honestly believe that with a mandatory insurance it will open the door for doctors to do more illegal operations than ever.

I am not saying all doctors are criminals, but look at history. I know a Pharmacy worker who told me she is always catching prescriptions that would kill or injure the patient more, if she filled them. She calls the doctors and they change it to what it should be.

Without her knowledge, how many people would not survive their ordeal?

Doctors do make mistakes, but some just don't get it and prescribe whatever the pharmaceutical companies leave for them to give out for testing.

There are thousands of deaths each year because of improperly prescribed medicines. Look at Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and Anna Nicole Smith just to mention three victims who were under doctor's prescriptions.

These were the greedy doctors but the point I am making is it happens and with Government forcing insurance on people and making doctors lower their prices, it opens the door to more medical procedures that are not needed except to make up the differences in Doctors' lost expenses.

Not all Doctors are a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but many are and many more will be when they realize they have to do something to keep their lifestyle or quit being doctors.

Time has proven that when there is a demand there is a supplier. A forced Insurance will cause Insurance companies to spring up everywhere to rip off the people.

-- Posted by Unique-Lies on Sun, Feb 6, 2011, at 1:33 PM

One last thing to think about; the last disease cured in this country was polio. That cure destroyed the industry that had developed to treat polio. Look at the industries for cancer & diabetes, to name a couple. They want to survive - I get that - but I don't want to get sick or stay sick to help them survive. Again, sorry I won't be more specific with examples but I wish all who want answers luck in your search. I do believe most doctors truly want to help but are caught in the huge establishment we call healthcare. And, as I said, commonly accepted medical practices do have their place but it should be much more limited than it is.

-- Posted by bjrbrts on Sat, Feb 5, 2011, at 3:55 PM

That is some food for thought. What a shame that the last disease we "cured" occurred so long ago? Unfortunately we as a society have become so obsessed with making a profit that we sometimes prioritize profit over people.

It is no different than the story of the light bulb. From what I hear, basic cheap bulbs lasted years at a time a few decades ago, so what did the lighting industry do in return? They made bulbs that burnt out quicker, used more power and in turn fattened the industries pockets. Now, you have to pay a premium for a CFL bulb that really does the same thing basic cheap bulbs did a few decades ago.

Health care reform is not a one-two punch... it will require the cooperation of EVERY ingredient in the recipe. That includes, doctors, lawmakers, hospitals, insurance companies, and all those who play a part in paying for or providing health care. The most important ingredient to the recipe however, is the end consumer (we the people).

_______________________________________________

Pro or Con with regard to the new health care law, at the end of the day somebody has got to pay for it. Raising taxes and increasing spending while raising the debt ceiling and running to China with our hat in our hands every time we need more money is not a plan by which this "free" country can survive. Democrat or Republican, everyone should understand that there is no way we can continue to attempt to borrow our way out of debt and place it all on the backs of the taxpayers.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Sun, Feb 6, 2011, at 11:37 AM

I agree, we need to stop borrowing our way out of debt... but health care costs alone, will bankrupt us, if we do nothing. Also, China does not own us, or any part of us... our economy is 13 times the size of theirs, and we loan ourselves more money (the Federal Reserve) than any country ever has, or ever will...

However, working together, across the aisle, and across the country, is the only way we can resolve any real problem.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Sun, Feb 6, 2011, at 1:29 PM

Pro or Con with regard to the new health care law, at the end of the day somebody has got to pay for it. Raising taxes and increasing spending while raising the debt ceiling and running to China with our hat in our hands every time we need more money is not a plan by which this "free" country can survive. Democrat or Republican, everyone should understand that there is no way we can continue to attempt to borrow our way out of debt and place it all on the backs of the taxpayers.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Sun, Feb 6, 2011, at 11:37 AM

Tim,

Like you I had been watching from afar to see how this would develop. Darrick has probably the best response and he and I usually don't agree. I have been on both sides of this debate for the last couple years, working on the "inside" for over 20 years and as a family member/cargiver and patient myself the last couple. My elderly parents are on medicare, with my father in and out of the hospital several times before he passed. From this perspective I really got to see what certain charges were and what the insurance companies paid or didn't pay. From the "inside" perspective I get to see up close on a daily basis the abuse of the healthcare system, hearing this statement, "the insurance company or tenn care will pay for it." Really? I would invite any commentors on here to follow me for a night if they don't believe me, if it were not a HIPPA violation.

I have felt for years that one way to solve some of the high cost of healthcare would be to get rid of insurance for all but catastropic insurance, i.e. hospitalization. If we were to look at the history of the cost of healthcare we would find out that as the workplace offered more benefits, including healthcare, coupled with the development of more toys for the MD's (PET scanners, CT's, MRI's, etc.) the price of healthcare increased. We as a developed nation have become extremely spoiled when it comes to healthcare. We have the mentality of "I have a sore finger, I need some Lortab to fix it", visit an ER waiting room for a night and prove me wrong.

Now don't get me wrong, I do love my career and truely enjoy helping people, esp. those who want to get better. I love telling my patients, "I enjoyed taking care of you and hope I don't see you again", cause if I see them again it means they are again ill.

Tim makes some very important points, they only thing I might slightly disagree with is Medicine is an art, but healthcare is a business and they do have to work in tandem with each other.

One more statement and I will quit for a while. My dad said many years ago that when his company started "paying" for his healthcare, he had to pay more when they were "helping" with the presciption drugs than prior. Imagine all the people that would have to find new jobs if the insurance companies didn't have to pay the bill. It is a viscious cycle.

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Sat, Feb 5, 2011, at 11:57 PM

I have intentionally stayed away from this blog for several days just to see what the evolution of the debate would be. Those who know me know my profession.

What I have seen is deevolution. This has degraded into a simplistic bashing.

Insurance companies=Evil

Doctors=Greedy lowlifes

FDA=Drug company lackies

Really. Is this the best we can do? Ever wonder how we got to this point in our history? Reread some of the posts, it's a roadmap.

Here's a concept that's going to be difficult for some to wrap their brains around. Medicine is an art. Medicine is a business. No different than any other but infinitely more difficult to do well. It's like trying to balance a chair on your forehead while standing along the shoreline. It's tough enough to do while standing in your house. Add shifting sand, wind and water pushing at your feet and that's what we get to do every day.

The current law has a few redeeming qualities. It also has huge flaws that more than cancel out any positives. What's worse the whole law is completely unnecessary. Someone earlier brought up the car insurance analogy. This is a flawed analogy but a worthwhile place to start. Because car insurance can be sold across state lines there is a large market for competition. The McCarron-Ferguson Act of 1945 exempts health insurance from federal regulation and puts that burden on the states. This sounds great in principle but, as the old saying goes, all politics are local. Large companies use their leverage and influence on a local level to help limit competition. Also, different states have different requirements for coverage. A basic policy in Kentucky may cost 1700.00 a year. A basic policy in New York would cost nearly 6000.00 a year. This is because New York has been successfully lobbied over the years to include many services not included in Kentucky. Do New Yorkers live three times longer than Kentuckians?

I would agree that health care costs would reduce if people ate better, exercised more and stopped smoking. They would have a better quality of life and live longer. But to imply that the medical profession "stifles" cures to hold on to their patients is complete and utter nonsense. We don't adopt many "natural" approaches for one simple reason, they don't work over a population. They cannot stand up to the rigors of double blind randomized testing. Think about it, would you WANT your doctor to prescribe a treatment that couldn't?

The individual mandate represents a slippery slope. If the commerce clause can be interpreted to mean that you can be compelled by the federal government to by a product merely by your existence, we are indeed in a world of hurt. At some point, there has to be a recognition of the original intent of the Constitution, to protect the people FROM the government.

Just 2 more points:

1) ALL drugs have side effects. There is not one that doesn't. Even natural ones.

2) For the record nutritional training is medical schools is more comprehensive than you think. I had 4 months. If we thought patients would listen, we would use it more. Yes I made an A.

Fire away.

-- Posted by Tim Baker on Sat, Feb 5, 2011, at 10:37 PM

Wonderwhy, the research exists but you won't find it thru "conventional" channels. And, unfortunately, you will have to wade thru some crap to find what you want too. Many health food stores can get you pointed in the right direction but for legal reasons they will only make suggestions; learn to hear what's not said. Nutrition is probably the most important part of taking responsibility for your own health. I won't go to a doctor who won't admit he/she can't heal me: only my own body can heal itself & it needs the right building materials, mindset & exercise to do so. Fortunately, there are doctors who are starting to realize that & quietly do what's best for their patients & not the industry.

-- Posted by bjrbrts on Sat, Feb 5, 2011, at 9:39 PM

Speaking of drug companies and the medical professions ignoring and stifling cures and prevention to expand their hold on patients, I would like to mention the lack of simple nutritional training, I have heard the doctors have something like a mere week of teaching on that, and that research is practically unheard of where nutrition and illness is concerned. That is unacceptable. But it would like mentioned above cut into their profit margin.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Sat, Feb 5, 2011, at 8:57 PM

I too have seen ads of that nature for over-the-counter & alternative drugs but I was referring to prescription drugs needing FDA approval. I'm not aware of any prescription meds not needing their approval; maybe you are. I also believe we as a society are greatly over-medicated & that is causing much of the nation's healthcare issues. Most alternative care revolves around nutrition as Darrick mentioned & using less drugs & surgery; working with the body & not forcing a reaction as most prescription drugs do. Surgery is wonderful for accident victims & has saved many lives. The US can still boast the best trauma care in the world but trauma care is not appropriate for illnesses that are not directly threatening your life. In an emergency, do what is necessary to keep me breathing & I'll be happy to deal with the side effects later. With an illness, you usually have time to work with the body & let it heal itself, which it will do if given what it needs & allowed to do so. Anything that will cause your immune system to attack itself is a poison that you don't need except in emergencies.

I really don't care whether I use natural, alternative or prescription medication if I'm ill; I just want it to work without harming me. As you pointed out though, Unique-Lies, there are too many side effects to many drugs now. There is no financial incentive to heal people either - sick people buy drugs & go to doctors. One ad I saw really stuck out to me. I think it was for Celebrex & it stated that the FDA had decided that even though there was a danger of heart attack from it the benefit outweighed the risk. Sorry, I just don't see the logic in that for a moderate pain medication. Especially when I can find a cheaper alternative that doesn't have side effects if used correctly; but the FDA can't control it so it says it won't work.

-- Posted by bjrbrts on Sat, Feb 5, 2011, at 7:18 PM

I have personally seen ads on my TV set that states the product they are advertising has not been approved by the FDA.

One of the side affects to a lot of new advertised drugs, cures, treatment, female problems and birth control will not allow the body to heal after a major surgery. Others may cause your immune system to start attacking your own body.

How can those drugs possibly be safe for human consumption. The side affects are much more dangerous than any relief they could possibly offer.

These drugs, treatments, and products should never be allowed to be seen in/on the media.

Another draw back to buying medicine is you can't read the side affects or Directions until you buy it and open it at home. Once you open it you can't return it.

I believe humans are being overdosed with drugs already and it's going to get worse.

I went into the hospital for a heart bypass surgery with no pain whatsoever. They kept asking me if I was having any pain and I said NO!

They put a Nitroglycerin pill under my tongue and told my family I was having a massive heart attach.

I came home in more pain than I went in with and have cursed them every since. I stopped taking all their drugs and stick with just my Advil for pain.

-- Posted by Unique-Lies on Sat, Feb 5, 2011, at 5:39 PM

Unique-Lies, you know as well as I do we already have forced inoculations & drugs. Anyone who doubts this should try to enroll a child in school without inoculations. Yet, if you choose not to enroll that child & avoid the shots you will probably go to jail unless you are qualified to home school. And, what is the flouride in our water?; a chemical meant to address a health condition - a drug by almost any definition.

Darrick is the only one I've seen here that even hinted at a real solution; the FDA. How many of us have seen the lawsuit ads for FDA-recalled drugs? They're protecting us from bad drugs, right? Hmmmm, did we forget ALL drugs MUST have FDA testing & approval before they are ever sold to a patient? So, how are they protecting us?

FDA rules require that all diseases be treated in a manner they approve, which virtually eliminates competition from any alternative to highly profitable drugs & surgery. These things absolutely do have their place in healthcare but they are not all that is available. For example, I have seen literature on several cures for cancer tested in other countries that have proven highly effective but the FDA won't approve the use or often even testing of them here. No, I won't give specific examples - that could be construed as practicing medicine without a license & result in jail time. But I can encourage everyone to look; some info is bogus but there is a lot of good info for those who desire it too.

Want to reduce healthcare costs? Muzzle the FDA & start allowing alternatives to compete. Many are cheaper & often work better. When the big industries start losing money & can't use government force to eliminate the competition, they will either adjust accordingly with better, cheaper products or they will fail. Simple & cheap hydrogen peroxide used the right way can cure many things far better than drugs - our own immune systems make & use it to fight infections. There was a peroxide clinic right down the road from Vanderbilt until Vandy's legal action forced it to close. That's one small example; there are many others.

Yes, drugs do need to be tested but the FDA ain't doing it - at least not the way it should. Let private companies take it over & compete in a free market. Bad drugs & medical procedures won't sell if we are free to choose & the FDA has taken that freedom from us. And, don't expect help from the media - many media executives have huge investments in pharmaceuticals. Follow the money & you will get the idea.

One last thing to think about; the last disease cured in this country was polio. That cure destroyed the industry that had developed to treat polio. Look at the industries for cancer & diabetes, to name a couple. They want to survive - I get that - but I don't want to get sick or stay sick to help them survive. Again, sorry I won't be more specific with examples but I wish all who want answers luck in your search. I do believe most doctors truly want to help but are caught in the huge establishment we call healthcare. And, as I said, commonly accepted medical practices do have their place but it should be much more limited than it is.

-- Posted by bjrbrts on Sat, Feb 5, 2011, at 3:55 PM

When you put the government in charge of insurance you will just have another agency that rips off the people and screws up the accounts and doesn't have to explain a damn thing or give reasons why you get nothing for your money.

Can't you even L@@k at the history of the Tenncare Insurance here in Tennessee? How does that help people in Tennessee when they can only get a parttime job or have a cheaper policy elsewhere? Ask the people who were taken off Tenncare when they really needed it the most. Ask the people who paid for years for insurance that could simply refuse to pay claims when people needed them.

I Personally Hate Insurance companies. Take a good look at the AARP. It is just an Insurance company of Insurance companies.

GEICO is an "Government Employee Insurance COmpany".(Volume, the name of the Insurance Profit Game)

What happens when the bottom falls out from under you. First thing you have to let go is Insurance. They get to keep your life savings you put into their company for expanding offices around the country and you get nothing for your investment. Or when you need a claim, conveniently that isn't covered on your policy.

In the near future we will have forced Inoculations and Drugs along with forced relocations or "Quarantines". You won't have any say about anything being forced on you if you don't stand up now and stop it.

What are you going to do when you pay for this new "Miracle" Health Care Plan then lose your job? It happens and when it happens to the rich it hits them harder. No one is immune from disasters!

How will you keep paying for this "Miracle Health Care Plan" that you voted to be forced on you? It won't be a matter of just dropping it. You will have to drop your car payments or mortgage payment, because you will go to prison if you stop paying the IRS on your wonderful new "Miracle Health Care Insurance". You can rest assured IRS won't let you off. But then, you wouldn't want the taxpayers to have to pay for your Insurance.

Businesses and corporation can write off unpaid bills. So, if they write them off then charge more for paying clients, they should be arrested for fraud!

Also, many businesses including Doctors Offices (I presume) can WRITE OFF Debts, but then keep trying to collect after they Write Off the debt.

They get paid by taking it off their taxes. The IRS pays them for this Write Off Debt AMOUNT. Most doctors won't see you again until you bring in the amount you owed for the last visit (which may have already been written off).

So, how do you figure you, the taxpayer, are paying for the poor? This higher rate you pay for Insurance is just so the Doctors can double or even triple their PROFIT.

You OVERPAY the Doctor to work for you. You even OVERPAY your Doctor to MAKE YOU WAIT in his waiting room. What are you getting back for your Time Invested in sitting in his office?

And then your Doctor gives you a free drug from his cabinet of samples designed to be tested on patients for the first time. (You know - the old "9 out of 10 doctors recommend..."). Its free to the doctor because it wasn't USDA Tested yet. You are the guinea pig, but at the cost of an extra fee on top of the cost for Office Call.

We will surely need the death panels cause I have no intentions of paying a mandatory fee for Health Care Ins.. It is unconstitutional to force it on me and I am too damn old to worry about it.

The Hospitals will just wheel me in the emergency doors and out the back doors where the dumpsters are. They aren't going to work on me when they have others who are younger and stronger and not as mean.

-- Posted by Unique-Lies on Sat, Feb 5, 2011, at 2:04 PM

Diana does make a good point, who needs "death panels" when you already have insurance companies deciding who receives treatment and who does not. Like it or not, unless you are making $55,000,000 a year like Rush Limbaugh, you may be told that the costs outweigh the benefits and sent home.

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Sat, Feb 5, 2011, at 11:03 AM

It's different because they're party leaders tell them it is with their fear mongering and manipulation.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Sat, Feb 5, 2011, at 10:46 AM

Tim who do you think is paying for those without insurance and the illegals now? Of course it is us the taxpayer and the insurance holders. This is one of the reasons our cost have increased. Doctors and hospitals charge more to people with insurance to help cover the cost for those who have none...thus my premiums and cost increase.

As far as so called death panels goes, we already have "death panels" by your description, the insurance companies have already decided what is to be covered by your policy and what isn't covered heck they have even decided how long you can stay in the hospital in accordance with what your illness is.. How is that any difference?

?

-- Posted by Dianatn on Sat, Feb 5, 2011, at 10:28 AM

While we're on the subject of this "free" health care, let's say you're someone who has been responsible with you're health all you're life. You never smoked, drank alcohol in excess and ate a pretty healthy diet. You work hard for you're money and don't mind paying you're fair share in taxes. Are you honestly chomping at the bit to become financially responsible for people that have damaged their health with drugs, alcohol, tobacco and other unhealthy life choices? The illegals and those who will not work receive free health care every day under our current system and our government desires to reach into your pocket and grab even more? What about health care rationing? Those on the political left wanted to hang Sarah Palin out to dry for using the term "death panels". As it turns out, under this new health care system, cost control panels that decide who gets health care and how much will be in place. Now what else would you call them? Rationing IS the only way to control costs, like it or not.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Fri, Feb 4, 2011, at 11:45 PM

My retired father was paying over 875.00 a month, he had his co-pays, deductibles and medications on top of that.His income was around 26,000 a year. And it just kept going up each year........Not just after Obama was elected but every year before that too.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Fri, Feb 4, 2011, at 10:41 PM

Whether or not you approve or disagree with the health care bill,one fact is sure all of us will need health care some time in our lifes,and some can't pay for it.I've read that for over 50 years health care reform has been tried and failed.Do we want to wait 50 more?How many of you against the health care bill has ever been sick or had a sick child and not had insurance or the money to pay for a doctor?If you managed to find a doctor that would see you,when you go to fill the prescription only to find it cost more than you can pay.Instead of the republicans trying to do away with the health care bill,they need to work as hard at helping to make it better.

People complain about the cost and the mandates.I read about what the premiums would be in the health care bill,the figures seem very affordable.A family of 4 who were low income $29,327.00 would qualify for medicaid,family of 4 with income $33,000 would pay $1,500 per year,

$55,000($5,000) per year

$77,000($8,000) ''

$99,000($9,000) ''

Thats cheaper than any insurance I've ever paid.My wife had insurance we paid for out of pocket,the premiums went up every birthday.It finnaly got too high to pay and she went several years without insurance.

I hear people complain that they don't want the government to require them to carry insurance,but we are required to buy it If we choose to drive a car or pay a fine .How many of us want to give up our cars.You could choose not to drive,but you can't choose not to get sick.You can also choose not to buy a house but you have to live somewhere.If you rent the insurance will be figured into how much rent you pay.

I don't know who has took the time to read the bill,but I saw on C-Span John McCain said he hadn't read it,he stood on the the sentate floor tore pages out of it & stomped them saying the bill was no good.How did he know if he hadn't read it.He also stated that he read Sara Palin's book while the health care bill was still being debated.I think all the republican senators are just playing politics,as a matter of fact all of our law makers do.I'm talking about from our local elected people ,state elected,and Washington.

-- Posted by jdem on Fri, Feb 4, 2011, at 8:38 PM

I wish they were held accountable when they skew the truth to intentionally mislead people. Lies are not acceptable, yet they know they will never be taken to task when they do.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Fri, Feb 4, 2011, at 8:00 PM

Do you think insurance companies and hospitals do? Really, no matter which way you look at it, the costs are always passed onto the paying consumers. The problem with the Health care part is that it forces paying consumers to pay more than the non-paying.

The health care reform is there to make sure everyone is paying. Hopefully this will result in no more illegal immigrants getting a free ride as well. It seems that the media is looking at everything and making a mountain out of a mole hill. Instead of each of us make a decision for ourselves to see how a situation affects us, we have let the media tell us how it will affect us.

Seriously, think about each so-called "Politocalypse" that the media keeps shoving down our throats. This is clearly an issue that needs to be resolved soon. So called Shock-Jocks get paid to be just that... they don't have listeners unless they find some way of twisting the truth into some strange new freedom ending revelation. Each one has been wrong and they are NEVER called about it.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Fri, Feb 4, 2011, at 5:19 PM

Do you think government does a good job of controlling costs?

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Fri, Feb 4, 2011, at 4:40 PM

"With paychecks shrinking and bills skyrocketing, who has money to buy health care when the Government has its hands in your packet? It is just another government tax to steal from the middle class." Unique-Lies

Do you prefer the insurance companies raping us ? You worry that your cost may go up - well what has it been doing by leaps and bounds for years now? Three years ago my office call was 25.00 for a specialist, now the last time I went it was 170.00 for the nurse practitioner to look in my ear and say I need a prescription. I know my premiums went up, but I have lost a good 3rd of my coverage and had a monthly premium added on.

It is my guess the people here so frantic over health care reform are the ones who have good employer funded coverage and reasonable to low out of pocket cost, or they have not had any real illnesses or injuries and thus really are not aware of the way things are. It's all fine for them because it does not effect their wallet or health. So they are all fine and sassy, they have what they need.

The middle class can not afford the way this has been going the rates keep sky rocketing and the coverage keeps dropping, every time the insurance companies get the excuse they raise the rates and drop the coverage and drop the people who actually use it- they have done this for as long as I can remember, I have to laugh when the republicans say " your rates will go up with reform" UMMMMM COME ON FOOLS, THAT IS WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN DOING ALL ALONG!!!! DO THEY THINK THAT IT WOULD BE ANY DIFFERENT NOW ? THAT WITHOUT ANY REFORM THE RATES WOULD STAY THE SAME OR GO DOWN? YES THE RATES WILL GO UP THEY ALWAYS DO YEAR AFTER YEARS THAT IS WHAT THE REFORM IS TRYING TO GET UNDER CONTROL. There needs to be some control because it has been proven over the years what will happen without it.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Fri, Feb 4, 2011, at 1:52 PM

@johnnyreb: The postal service is required to serve all Americans regardless if it is profitable to do so. The price to mail a letter to the most rural part of Montana is the same as it is to send a letter to Manhattan. UPS and FedEx charge rates that can vary from one house to the next in the same zip code. A private courier can charge whatever price you are willing to pay that will turn a profit and service whatever area they choose to service, the postal service does not have that option.

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Fri, Feb 4, 2011, at 12:14 PM

It amazes me that people seem to equate INSURANCE costs to HEALTHCARE costs.

Insurance companies are a fear based industry that are in place to make money off of their catostrophy fearing clients by studying the statistics and odds of the number of claims and the cost of those claims then billing a large segment of the population enough in premiums to cover all those cost and make a nice profit to boot. They make very high salaries, benefits, bonuses, and perks for doing a good job of taking in more money than they pay out in claims.

IMHO Forcing people into this system and expecting it to save money on HEALTH CARE is ridiculous, almost insane, and doomed to be an even greater failure than our current system.

There are many things that can be done to cut HEALTH CARE costs such as TORT reform to take the jackpot out of lawsuits against healthcare providers and replace "Punitive Damages" with jail time and/or fines to the state as punishment.

These types of lawsuits only feed the monster beacause healthcare providers, fearing huge lawsuits, have to buy very expensive insurance and pass that cost on to the consumer.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Fri, Feb 4, 2011, at 12:12 PM

Egypt has a health care program but L@@k at how many people are starving to death because the government won't step in and take care of the people.

When you can't find work and when nobody can buy from the stores, it comes down to rioting in hopes of getting food and shelter.

What good is a health care program if it doesn't provide people with jobs to pay for it or to buy food to stay healthy?

It is going to happen over here also. Our food prices are climbing higher and higher each week along with everything else and on top of it all, we have an unemployment rate like we had in the early '80s. People in Tennessee were selling their homes and property for anything they could get to move out and settle where they could find work.

With paychecks shrinking and bills skyrocketing, who has money to buy health care when the Government has its hands in your packet? It is just another government tax to steal from the middle class.

Regardless of what anyone thinks, the poor will never be able to pay for Health Care. Will they be rounded up and placed in concentration camps or will it be mandatory for medical facilities to treat them?

If the Government forces health Care payments on everyone, there is no reason why they can't force any thing else on the people.

People, that is what is coming, mark my words.

-- Posted by Unique-Lies on Fri, Feb 4, 2011, at 12:05 PM

Actually Rocket Valentine, I know many people who live a high quality of life and do not drive or own a car.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Fri, Feb 4, 2011, at 11:18 AM

Rodney, I do think of it just like car insurance. Like most people, for me driving is a necessity. I have to drive to work, shop, etc. And I am "required" by law to have insurance. When I was a kid and first got my drivers license that law wasn't in effect yet. If you got hit by an uninsured driver, you were screwed. You paid for it yourself. Much like we all pay now for the uninsured people that use the emergency room and drive up health care prices.I guess you can also look at driving as a choice. I could choose to live in a cardboard box and walk the streets.

But to live a quality life and own my own home, I HAVE to own a car.

I agree that President Obama's healthcare bill can use some tweeking here and there, but it is a great start!

For Republicans to want to just scrap it all when they have no plan of their own, and give total control back to the insurance companies is crazy.

"Obamacare" is basicly the exact same bill that some Republicans pushed, Mitt Romney, John McCain. But since it's something that Obama finally got done, it's not a good idea anymore?

-- Posted by Rocket Valentine on Fri, Feb 4, 2011, at 11:09 AM

darrick,

The FDA works as one unit because it can see both side effects of a certain additive that could possibly conflict with a new drug.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Fri, Feb 4, 2011, at 10:59 AM

wonderwhy - The very first sentence in your first post is 100% correct. We do need health care reform. What we do not need is a government mandated and run health care system that is modeled very closely after the systems in place in both Canada and Great Britain. Why in the world should we place into law a system of health care that has already been proven to be an abysmal failure elsewhere? Do you really want our government to have the power to mandate you either purchase a product or face fines and jail if you choose not to?

darrick - You made some good points, and I am in complete agreement with reform. I cannot for one second stand in agreement with our government deciding our health care options for us.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Fri, Feb 4, 2011, at 1:09 AM

Good post darrick.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Thu, Feb 3, 2011, at 10:26 PM

I, have not read the bill in its entirety... who has? Except the insurance company lawyers, who incidentally helped draw up this bill.

I am all for businesses profiting from their trade, but not at the expense of saving lives. When patients are denied reimbursement because of some small-print clause buried four paragraphs deep into a ten page agreement, then obviously we have let ourselves get out of hand. As with ALL legislation, things can and should be tweaked OR reformed.

The fact still remains, if those who wish to "repeal and replace" REALLY cared about this, they would have done something when they had had SIX uninterrupted years at the helm of every branch of government. Do not, for a second, try to tell me you want to replace the Health Care bill with something more effective, less costly, and better managed, when your record shows, for SIX uninterrupted years, the exact opposite happened under your watch.

I also believe that the foods we eat should be less processed, less saturated with bad fats, sodium, refined carbohydrates and other artificial ingredients.

This earth is filled with many forms of natural foods, both plants and animals that simply do not need all the antibiotics, steroids and chemicals to make them any more delightful. The cost of health care will never decrease a single dime until we take a harsh look at exactly what is the root cause of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and food induced diseases that we, in America are famous for. We all like a salty, greasy, zero nutritional meal, every once in a while... but the reality is, we don't just eat gluttonous proportions of bad-for-you foods every once in a while, we do it almost daily.

I still, to this day, can not comprehend why the FOOD and DRUG administration is one agency... The people who allow companies to advertise the "healthy" part of their otherwise non-nutritional foods, are the exact same people who allow the drug companies to market a pill to "fix" the problem those foods cause. Conflict of interest, IMO.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Thu, Feb 3, 2011, at 8:02 PM

"A SOVEREIGN IS ANSWERABLE ONLY TO GOD AND CONSCIENCE"

The following definition of Sovereignty is from Bouvier's 14th Edition Law Dictionary (Quoting from 4 Wheat, 402)

"It has been justly thought a matter of important to determine from what source the United States

derives its authority...The question here proposed is whether our bond of union is a compact entered

into by the states, or whether the Constitution is an organic law established by the people. To this we answer: "We the people...ordain and establish this Constitution"...The government of the state had only delegated power (from the people) and even if they had an inclination, they had no authority to transfer the authority of the Sovereign People. The people in their capacity as Sovereigns made and adopted the Constitution; and it binds the state governments without the state's consent. The United States, as a whole, therefore, emanates from the People and not from the states, and the Constitution and the laws of the states,whether made before or since the adoption of that Constitution of the United States, are subordinate to the United States Constitution and the laws made in pursuance of it.

The People are the fountain of Sovereignty. The whole was originally with them as their own. The state governments are but trustees acting under a derived authority, and had no power to delegate what is not delegated to them. BUT THE PEOPLE, AS THE ORIGINAL FOUNTAIN, MIGHT TAKE AWAY WHAT THEY HAVE LENT AND INTRUST TO WHOM THEY PLEASE. THEY HAVE THE WHOLE TITLE AND AS ABSOLUTE PROPRIETORS HAVE THE RIGHT OF USING OR ABUSING. -jus utendi et abutendi.. IT IS MAXIM CONSECRATED IN PUBLIC LAW AS WELL AS COMMON SENSE AND THE NECESSITY OF THE CASE THAT A SOVEREIGN IS ANSWERABLE FOR HIS ACTS ONLY TO HIS GOD AND HIS OWN CONSCIENCE...THERE IS NO AUTHORITY ABOVE A SOVEREIGN TO WHICH AN APPEAL CAN BE MADE."

According to the Supreme court, The Federal Government nor the State Governments can force their legislature (or Health care) upon the Sovereign People.

It can force it on the Federal citizens of the Federal Territories and government employees. The 50 States are not the Federal Territories.

It would be up to the individual to either pay it or demand their Inalienable rights under the U.S. Constitution to refuse it.

-- Posted by Unique-Lies on Thu, Feb 3, 2011, at 6:31 PM

One problem is that if you show up a the hospital injured, and without health insurance, from my understanding the law requires that you be treated. Who pays for the uninsured? - those with health insurance (in the form of higher rates), the local governemnt, the federal and state government - which is passed to those of us who can pay in the form of taxes.

Also, if the healthcare bill is completely repealed - the health care inequity does not go away, and I believe there will be a push for single-payer. If the healthcare bill requirement to have health insurance is repealed, and the other requirements remain intact such as no preexisiting condition - this will put pressure on the insurance companies, who are profit motivated - rates will increae or the company goes broke; to prevent this, there will be a push for the government option.

-- Posted by Grit on Thu, Feb 3, 2011, at 5:52 PM

Nice write-up, Rodney.

Does anyone wonder, as I do, if health care insurance could be like car and life (and most other kinds of) insurance - if you are at a higher risk then you pay higher premiums? Then, if you go for a time without any claims, then your premiums go down.

Also, at my work they offer credits against our premiums if we get health evaluations, quit smoking, go to a gym, or other stuff like that.

Of course, there are probably holes in this approach for public health insurance.

Just sayin'

-- Posted by realsimple2000 on Thu, Feb 3, 2011, at 4:10 PM

I agree with Tim and Dianatn we pay now and keep getting fewer coverage and as Tim stated what has the government run that has been succesful? Just look at the Post Office which just moves mail they are lossing money, how can that be with online shopping,EBay,etc.we probably ship more with them now than ever.

What really struck a never the other day I ran into a Deputy that I know and we got to talking about health care in which he bragged on how good his coverage was and he paid hardly anything for a surgery he had, imagine that we the tax payer or paying for his insurance but wait my employer and I pay for mine but yet hardly covers anything.

We don't need gov. health care reform but need limits set on medicine cost, hospital charges and doctor fees. A friend of mine just got out of the hospital they charged $1000.00 per shot just for one medicine.

-- Posted by johnnyreb on Thu, Feb 3, 2011, at 12:39 PM

I have private health care with BCBS = my premiums have increased this year.. again my deductible has increased this year.. my total out of pocket increased this year... my co-pay increased this year.

Explain to me like I am a two year please how a New health care bill will cost me more than I am paying now because I honestly don't see how it could possibly cost me any more for fewer benefits?

It is a shame that I pay thru the nose for health care insurance yet someone with no insurance pays less at the doctors office than my co-pay is...

I am what most would call- insurance poor... I pay and pay and pay yet I still can not afford to go to the doctor. This needs to change somehow, someway. We need reform but I am not pleased with the way the New Health Care Bill reads it has some good points but I am not sure that the bad points don't out weigh the good.

Honestly I think they should be more concerned with reforming health care within the doctors and hospital cost. I wouldn't mind paying health insurance if I still didn't owe a small fortune even after my insurance pays. It feels futile to pay all these insurance cost only to still owe thousands to the hospitals and doctors. I certainly don't like the idea of doctors and hospitals charging less for those with no insurance than they charge for those who do have insurance. This causes me to end up paying more in the end and I am about tired of it.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Thu, Feb 3, 2011, at 12:21 PM

I am 70 and worked at two jobs many years, my attitude was if I didn't work I wouldn't have food,shelter, or a way to go, my faith in God would keep me healthy to do the things I needed to do to live here on this earth,I believe that this is what we need to get back to in these times we live now, faith in our Government will put us on welfare,and control everything we go to do.Government has already gotten to much control.Health Ins. is something every one needs but let me decide that for my self.

-- Posted by libbywh@gmail.com on Thu, Feb 3, 2011, at 12:14 PM

The simple fact is WE NEED health care reform, too many are priced out of it. There are those at a low enough income they are illegible for assistance and then those wealthy enough not to have to worry. Those of us in the middle it can be a make it or break it on our budgets. People like me who have expensive pre-existing conditions are not insurable, if not for my husbands work insurance I would not be able to get any - at any price. I am not alone in that.

That being said , there are many questionable portions in the current bill, but also good ones. In my opinion those on the hill need to put on their big kid pants, stop bickering the party lines and think about the people whom they are there to represent. Take the bill part by part, with an open mind look at the facts, and then fix whats wrong, take whats good and put it to action. The games have gone on too long, people are being harmed because of it.

Questions such as , are we better off throwing money into ER visits for those who need care but can not get it at the office - or taking that money and using it to provide a clinic they can attend at an affordable fee? One ER visit could help several people in a clinic setting. If the parties should pull the party knives out of their oppositions back and actually give a hoot about what they were elected to do, a lot could be accomplished.

It is also interesting to see how a persons opinion changes when their circumstances change, a die hard republican friend who basically disowned me because I favored health care reform was served divorce papers, all of a sudden she is uninsured and sees the reality of health care from ground level rather than her ivory tower - she has a whole new understanding of the need for affordable, obtainable care. She has past problems and will not be able to get her own coverage. We never know when those we look down on for not being able to afford what we take for granted could be us, it is only then that we know or understand the reality of those situations.

In short I say keep the bill, and go through it and refine to be the bill we need.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Thu, Feb 3, 2011, at 10:49 AM

Please bear in mind that this is a more than 2,000 page bill that cannot even be understood by those that wrote it and those that voted it into law didn't even take the time to read it. Leaving that thought aside, I would like for someone, hell anyone to describe just one government funded program, project or department that is managed correctly and efficiently and then explain why it would now be a good idea for the government to manage our health care.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Thu, Feb 3, 2011, at 1:24 AM

New Health care plan? Wise Health Insurance is quite popular in texas.

-- Posted by peggycox on Thu, Feb 3, 2011, at 1:12 AM


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Rodney Simmons is a life long resident of Bedford County. He grew up in the Halls Mill area and graduated from Community High School. Rodney's career has primarily been in the construction industry and he holds a degree in Construction Management. Some of his hobbies include fishing, reading and writing. He presently lives in Shelbyville with his wife and two teenage children.
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