Why I Support Health Care Reform

Again, I’m not much about writing about political issues, but this has been on my mind (and on the news) a lot. I’ve done a lot of homework on this issue; I want to be informed about it. You know, in case I have to defend my position at Easter dinner with the ILs.

1. Extending health care to 32 million Americans without it. This, without a doubt, is the biggest reason I support reform. No one should have to worry about medical care, should have to make a choice between medication and food, should have to debate going to a doctor or an emergency room. And 32 million isn’t even everyone! But it’s way more people than are covered now.

2. The end of denying coverage for a pre-existing condition. The end of canceling coverage if someone gets sick.

3. The options that will be extended to un- and under-insured people. If I lose my job, I will be able to find options that will cover my family. If Dan, as a small business owner, decides to hire someone, he can provide insurance for him/her — with a tax incentive to do so even!

Those are pretty much the big three.

I know it’s a complex issue, and I can appreciate that. My chica Misfit Hausfrau posted a straightforward break-down link on her Facebook page, and I am shamelessly stealing it.

Why do you support or not support reform? I’m willing to talk about this under these conditions: the conversation doesn’t devolve into propaganda, lies, and/or name-calling. Play nice in the comments.

Updated: I am cautiously opening up comments again. Please read carefully through what is there; don’t just react to my title. I closed the comments yesterday because I think everything that needs to be said, on either side, that can still be said without devolving into insults, has been said. I probably won’t be responding to comments, either. I’m unused to this kind of traffic, and it’s been awfully time-consuming to respond to 50, 75 people! I got kids to look after!

If I keep getting comments from people making the same arguments, I’m just going to close comments again. There are people who agree with me and people who don’t. A couple of commenters skate close to the line on what I would call civil debate. Don’t cross it. I’ll toss your comment. This is my personal blog, and I won’t tolerate spewing rudeness. People have differing opinions, and we’re not likely to change each others’ minds. Deal with it.

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168 thoughts on “Why I Support Health Care Reform

  1. The biggest issue is how all of this will be financed. I don’t believe for a second it’s just going to be those making over $250,000 that are responsible. Why weren’t there also limitations placed on medical malpractice, whose astronomical costs to insure against cause a lot of people to get out of/not get into medicine? Why weren’t there incentives for more people to go into primary care? Who is going to see all the newly insured when a lot of offices can’t take on new patients as it is? And how are insurance costs for businesses and employees going to be limited?

    • While I don’t know the answers to all of those questions, I think I will try to look into them. I bet they are out there, or if they are not, then it’s up to us to ask them of the people who can address them.

      I think we’ll find that new patients will find doctors. I hear this one all the time, but I think it will turn into a matter of supply and demand. None of us have a crystal ball, though, so it’s hard to predict.

      Do you think they should have done nothing, though? Or started over? Which we know wasn’t going to happen. Or do you think this is the start down the right path of affordable, quality health care coverage for the majority of Americans? And do think that is important?

      Also, I don’t understand the question about people going into primary care. Where else are they going to go? Why would they need incentives per se?

      • I have a husband who is a primary care provider, but not a doctor. I also have several relatives who are doctors. The doctors have said, numerous times, that they don’t want to get into primary care. It’s too much to master. Instead of being able to specialize in one specific area (like cardiology or neurology) you need to be a “jack of all trades.” My husband will see one person for back pain, the next for mental health, and the next for migraines. That’s a lot of knowledge to master. Additionally, you don’t make a lot of money in primary care in comparison to specialty care. With med school debts easily running in the $100,000 range, it makes more sense to go into a higher paying area. Hence, the subsidy idea.

        I think having adequate access to care is very important. I do not, however, necessarily think the government is the best issuer of health care. The Veterans Hospitals in this country are atrocious. I would have liked to of seen some of these other reforms to bring down costs instead of just saying “We’ll take over everything.” I’m afraid costs will spiral out of control, which isn’t good for anyone involved.

      • @laljoe

        It’s not a government takeover of health care. It’s not. If you think it is, you need to do a little more research. Which is fine, I understand, there’s a lot to look into. The insurance industry will remain private market, and be much more regulated by the government. They will not be in charge of care.

        I thought you were talking about people seeking care going to PCPs; I didn’t realize you were talking about it from the other side (of doctors). I see that point. My brother (a doctor) thought about pediatrics and primary care. Ultimately, he became a dermatologist. But that’s a very good point, incentives for doctors to go into primary care. That’s a good idea, I think.

    • You’re right, some who make as “little” as $200,000 a year will see small tax increases. Medical malpractice’s contribution to the health care system is minimal, and frankly, if I’m harmed by medical negligence I don’t want some arbitrary cap imposed on compensating me for my damages – I want a jury of my peers to decide this, not government officials. There are incentives for people to go into primary care. The reimbursment rates for seeing Medicare and Medicaid patients are increased. The unisured are getting care now – just in the most critical, expensive settings possible – the ER, and you and I are paying for it already. There are tax credits for small businesses and subsidies for moderate income families to help them afford health insurance.

      • The reimbursements for seeing medicare patients are NOT increasing. In fact, starting next week, medicare reimbursements drop by 21.2%. I am a medical student who wants to go into primary care, but something really needs to be done about medicare reimbursement.

  2. to “equality and dignity”:

    I am replying to let you know I am deleting your comment. It was hateful and insulting of me. It had no opinion and no fact.

    I could not be more proud of being a mother.

    What are you proud of?

    Please do not come back to my site. Further comments from you will also be deleted.

  3. Not being from the US, I cannot speak for the pros and cons in detail. However, it seems that the reform does not address the main problem with US health care, namely the insane costs. The explanation for these is likely that the people ordering care are not the people paying for the care (in proportion and with a direct causality, but only through indirect means like monthly insurance payments). How to solve this problem without harming those in need of care, well, that is the tricky part…

    A similar, but to date less severe, problem is present in some other countries, including Germany.

      • I think the President knew exactly what he was getting into. This process of this legislation has been over a year in the making. I think he’s listened to the pros and cons, and he still fought for it. He didn’t do it for his job. He is aware that this may not go over well. He’s not worried about 2012 at this point. I think he is really striving to make a difference.

  4. Um, excuse me. Is this about health care reform? From where I’m sitting it doesn’t really look like it, so I’m not sure what you’re trying to achieve with this comment.

    I also support health care reform, although like Her I’m concerned that costs are spiraling out of control. This bill is a start, but much more needs to be done!! The current situation, even with this bill, is unsustainable.

    There should be pay incentives for medical students to become primary care physicians. Newsweek put out an interesting article a couple of weeks ago on this. There are fewer and fewer “family physicians” and more and more specialists, yet primary care doctors are the gatekeepers to health care. Quality primary/preventive care is one way to keep costs down.

    Medicare payments also need to be reformed. I’m sorry, I know a lot of doctors and I love you all, but they should not be the ones that decide how much they get paid for each procedure. It’s a huge conflict of interest. I also think payment per procedure should be eliminated, its incentive to do more tests and treatments than might be necessary. Atul Garwande wrote about this in the New Yorker (??) recently. Look into how the Mayo Clinic runs things. Doctors there are on salary, not pay per treatment, and they work in teams, which increases coordination among doctors, reducing testing, medication load and best of all, patient stress. Patient care is higher quality and lower cost than almost anywhere in America.

    Much of what needs to be done now is a change in the culture of medicine. Behavior can’t be legislated, but legislation can select for certain behaviors.

  5. Oh good, that insulting comment was taken down. That is the comment I was referencing in the early part of my post. albamaria, if you want, I will re-post without that first paragraph.

      • Thanks so much for removing that bizarre (and wildly inappropriate comment). That commenter posts the exact same rant on any featured blog that has anything to do with motherhood (I suppose your blog was flagged because of the “Red Pen Mama” title.).

        Nice post, by the way.

  6. I like this, clear, cut, and no Bullshit. Good write up. I’m for the reform as well, only I’m getting so angry with people saying, “It’s going to cover Abortions.” It will not. And people saying Obama wants to kill their grandparents, he does not. Ha. I agree 32 million americans that could not afford healthcare before will be covered, it’s a right as a human to have healthcare…I think more so than an army, and no one bitchshit cries over that money being spent.

    • There is a ton of misinformation out there, and it takes time to do the research. It doesn’t help when you have reps like Stupak insisting on the right language or tougher language or whatever. He was part of the problem.

      The HCR doesn’t change the federal gov’t coverage of abortion. No federal dollars will be spent on that (ala the Hyde Amendment). Not many people grasp that point. Thank you for mentioning it.

      I appreciate the comment!

    • Until you have to go through what people in the Army have to go through, you have no room to say what should and shouldn’t be spent. You get to choose where you live. You get to choose what job you work at and whether you can quit that job or not. You get to live your live without worrying EVERY SINGLE DAY about whether or not your husband is going to have to go to a war zone. The Army is there, it’s not going away. After all the soldiers have been through, they deserve to be taken care of a heck of a lot more than people who haven’t been to war–like most, if not all, or the people healthcare is now going to be covering.

      • Ok, so I’m in the Air Force and I completely agree with you that the military should be taken care of. However, the spill about having the choice to live where you want, work where you want, and etc is completely voluntary. No one makes us join the military, we do it bc we want to save out country, but again before entering in, we know the consequences that come with it. In all actually we should all have the say so of what gets spent where, technically it’s our money.

  7. I can only think about this issue from the perspective of what my family has experienced [because this is all I know for sure; it can not be swayed by propaganda = it is what it is]:
    1. Premiums that rise every year or more frequently regardless of our claims or lack of claims.
    2. Having to argue with insurance companies about pre-existing conditions and what constituted one.
    3. Lack of consumer advocacy by insurance companies re: prices charged by doctors and hospitals
    4. Price gouging by hospitals and doctors
    5. Bad billing practices by hospitals and doctors
    6. High cost of malpractice insurance effecting high price of health care service and premiums
    7. Legal fees
    8. Business practices, re: customer service, by hospitals and doctors and insurance companies that no other business does and gets away with
    9. Redundancy of services/over-billing
    10. Inefficient record-keeping and communication by health care providers

    These ten bullets summarize my family’s healthcare experience in the past 5 years alone. I also have gripes with AARP for its lack of real consumer advocacy [again, based on personal experience].
    Every problem we encountered can be framed by ineptitude, apathy, and/or greed. If I ran my business as they do, it would not exist.

    I can not be sure what the new bill [I have not read/understood all of it and I do not trust mainstream media or politicians to explain it] will result in short-term, mid-term or long-term, but its basic tenants make perfect sense to me. It is practical — a healthy nation is a strong nation; it is compassionate; it is considerate of those less fortunate than me [“But for the grace of God, there go I.”]; it is progressive as a nation.
    If it does not work, long-term, it will be because resistence will have resorted to foul play and further greed to assure it does not work. A warning to insurance companies that your pushback will risk shooting yourselves in the foot and folding, at which point you will self-fulfill the prophecy of a national one-payer system. How ironic. Can the government perform efficiently? Its track record is not encouraging, but let us hope. And be informed. And vote every election day.

  8. Although it seems nice from the outside looking in, why not let Americans give on their own free will? It’s unconstitutional to force Americans to take from what they have and distribute it to those that DON’T have.

    What I’m saying is that in America, we’re capitalists. You work, you get. You work hard, you get much. You don’t work, you don’t eat. In a perfect world, we’d give donations to people that don’t have a choice (ie those with disabilities or ones that DID have a job, but were let go–NOT the ones that just don’t work and expect to be taken care of). But in communism, everyone is one and the same… there’s no rich, poor, or middle class.

    It’s sad.. and this health care reform is just part of the long haul through socialism, then communism.

    • I think you are way off base on this one. But as it’s simply a disagreement, it’ll have to stand. Time will tell.

      No one is taking from what others have and redistributing it. Not unconstitutionally anyway — taxes, fortunately or not, are constitutional.

      • “No one is taking from what others have and redistributing it. Not unconstitutionally anyway — taxes, fortunately or not, are constitutional.”

        Well, based on that premise, would it then be justifiable for the government to “tax” someones salary even if they tax it 100%?

        Is it constitutional to force someone to pay for something that they may not want? If this passes through, it will be a law that everyone must buy insurance or face penaltiies. It is not collected as a “tax” but forcing people to out right buy it. You claim that taxes are constitutional but this is not a tax. Is it still constitutional? Would it be constitutional if they passed a law that said everyone must pay for a gym membership? It’s for the good of the people right?

      • They’re taking from ME, and giving it to things I would NOT want to support. I have no say in where my resources are going. Unconstitutional. There’s at least 12 states that have stated for certain that they are filing a lawsuit against the federal government. 36 total have suggested they may file lawsuits as well, however they have not decided 100%, yet. 36 states is a lot, my friend.

      • @pixeldesigns

        So you don’t support care for more Americans? I simply don’t understand that position. I don’t.

        I have healthcare from my employer, and I will not be in the top percentage of people that are taxed to support the plan. My husband and I do not make six figures put together. I am guessing from your reply that you do.

        We will see what comes of the lawsuit, then, won’t we? I still support healthcare reform. I want more people to have better care, and that’s the long and short of it. That’s what I support.

      • I would like to add something as an outsider (Australian) who uses the fairly good health system called Medicare.

        Using Medicare (and having the benefit of not going bankrupt or dieing) hasn’t turned my country into a bunch of lazy communist welfare queens.

        A lot of Americans complain about ‘where is the money coming from?’ and ‘we can’t afford this!’. This strikes me as odd coming from one of the biggest economies in the world. Perhaps if you scaled down your invasion (*cough*, I mean ‘Defense’) spending you could focus a little more on bringing your living standards closer to the rest of the democratic world (Defense budget for 2010 was $663.7 Billion, where as Department of Health and Human Services was $78.7 Billion. Nice).

      • This health care bill was not really about reform but about taking control. I am not against health care reform, but reform that steals liberty, I am totally against.

        The issue is primarily about liberty. The United States was founded upon the idea that the government should have a limited amount of control in our daily lives.

        You wont know how amazing your liberties are until they are lost. The utopia they are trying to create cannot exist. To make the assumption that our government will do the right thing with the additional power we give them is short sighted.

        The military function of our government is one of the few functions that only a government can perform. The bill that just passed is like an invasion (*cough*, I mean ‘Defense’) force on my personal liberty. If you believe that people like Hitler and Stalin are fictional characters, then of course, let’s get rid of our military.

        I urge everyone to find out more about what these people actually say when they think the cameras aren’t rolling.

      • If you believe that people like Hitler and Stalin are fictional characters, then of course, let’s get rid of our military.

        I don’t think people like hitler and stalin are fictional. The militiary is an important part of any nation. I happen to live near a RAAF base, which is first strike should Sydney ever be attacked. I’m always conscious of the fact that its there for a reason.

        I do believe however that American military spending is disproportionate to the needs of their own citizens. Can you really justify the gap between 663 billion and 78 billion? – Especially when your health care is so poor in comparison to other developed nations? Shouldn’t those two figures be a little more even, at the very least?

      • Where were these complaints when actual liberty was being lost due to the excesses of the Patriot Act? (which are too numerous to mention.)

        Perhaps your, ahem, Liberty, was being assaulted by your being forced to buy car insurance? It’s the same deal…

        Without insurance, if you go into an ER and don’t pay… someone else does.

        Without insurance, if you get into a car wreck and don’t pay, someone else does.

        You’re required to buy car insurance. Now we’re required to buy health insurance and steps have been taken to make it more affordable.

        Your “liberty” arguement is as cracked as your “bell”.

      • So can I assume that you were outraged at the Patriot act? That you were against the erosion of liberty that occurred under Bush’s regime? If so, than carry on.

        And the argument that the Military is one of the few functions our government can perform is true…if this were 1780. That hasn’t been true in a long time. From almost day one after passage of the Articles of Confederation we have been finding out that we need our government to take on stronger roles in certain areas. You basically are arguing for a roll back of over 200 years of evolution of our government. Which you are perfectly within your rights to do, but don’t try to pass it off as if this president is the first, or only Democrats have in the past expanded the role of Government. Some Republicans have made some of the biggest expansions in government.

      • @pixel8design –

        Plenty of people’s money contribute to government programs they’d rather not see funded – we’re obviously not entitled to pick and choose where the money goes.

        The on-going billion dollars wars of the last decade would probably are, for me, one example of unnecessary involvement (and therefore spending). And, though it’s presumably not the only political point we diverse – taking a first real crack at reforming a healthcare industry riddled by one-sided bureaucracy to me is certainly worth spending money on.

        I’m especially tired of working people who aren’t even entitled to the benefits of affordable healthcare simply because of loopholes via job status (like part-timers working 35 hours a week, or employees on contracts who still work full-time hours).

    • I believe there is a great deal missing from your perspective. This is not as black and white as you have described. You seem to have left out a huge number of Americans who are self-employed (whether it is a small business of their own or even sub-contractor’s business), who are unable to secure healthcare for themselves or their family members because they have a pre-existing condition. I encourage you to also think about the people who develop disabling conditions who wish they could get treatment, but are denied insurance, and cannot live productive happy lives. Even families with very sick children are denied coverage for their kid’s condition by their insurance company and those parents are forced to reduce their working hours in order to provide care; reducing one’s hours reduces their income, continuing the downward spiral of the inability to afford care for and support their family. Another point you make in your post regarding the validity of the bill under constitutional law. Your defense is that it is uncontitutional to tax individuals to provide for everyone. If that were of sound logic, one would assume you to also oppose having individuals without children be exempt from paying taxes for public education; that those with jobs now should not have to pay into Social Security.
      Well, I guess my point is… be thankful for what you have now, because you never know what could happen in your future and be careful not to judge others because they have experienced misfortunes. It would be very beneficial to anyone who has a cynical or pessimistic point of view to do a bit of introspection and truly evaluate who you are as a person, not what you have materially and superficially, but who you really are as a human being. Does that person still believe that they are somehow superior to any other human being on this planet?

    • I very much agree with this. The people who have spent their whole lives working for what they have are being punished for doing well in a capitalist society. This bill defeates the purpose of capitalism.

      • My dear, such strong verbage you use hard-working Americans are being “punished” by this bill?

    • A funny and completely unreasonable argument to say we are communists. Everybody believes the word “socialism” is the same as the word “communism”. Think about that…

      We have had “socialism” here in the U.S. for decades. Think about the “socialism” projects that have bettered the U.S. in the past decades:
      1. Social Security – we could have used our own “free will” and not “socialized” it decades ago and have granny and grandpa living in a cardboard box.
      2. Medicare – we could have used our own “free will” and not “socialized” so we could refuse treatment to elderly, extremely sick and other people and just let them die.
      3. Agriculture – we could have used our own “free will” and not “socialized” the subsidies to farmers, crops, sugar, etc. and not have any food to eat.
      4. Emergency services – we could have used our own “free will” and not “socialized” emergency services and let people die when they have critical health problems and criminal problems.
      5. Transportation infrastructure – we could have used our own “free will” and not “socialized” the roads, waterways, rail lines, and other transportation models and made everybody stay at home.
      6. The list keeps going on…
      The difference between the “socialism” and the “communism” that the right is preaching is severe, destructive oppression. To place the state of the United States as the same as the U.S.S.R and the iron curtain is ludicrous. The Gulag, death, large scale murder, etc. is the result of communism.

    • Not to be too snide, but I don’t seem to remember “Everyone for Themselves” on the list of America’s national mottoes. I seem to remember “United We Stand” being a popular one after 9/11, but I guess that only goes if we’re protecting the borders. If we have the crazy idea that every citizen deserves a baseline of dignity—including not having to worry whether or not they can afford basic preventive & emergency health care—well, I guess we just a little too dis-United.

      Also, I won’t get into it at the moment, but what’s SO bad about being a socialist that’s it’s being bandied about like it’s a 4-letter word?

      Lastly, I’m a born & raised, 100% prime, fireworks-loving American and I don’t consider myself a “capitalist” or America a “capitalist” nation. I set my goals in life at a higher bar than the mere acquisition of wealth.

      And I’m a part-time freelance writer, which means I truly understand the system of “pay for work.”

      • We can appreciate the limits our government provides, and the sharing constucts that make our communities better for all. It is truly helpful for my children to have safe schools, safe roads (even though speed limits may not be chosen by some…or not drinking while driving)…Having healthy communities, who value each other equally, even those who contribute less financially than we do, That’s the kind of place I want my Grandchildren to grow ip in. Capitalism has propelled us as a community to be able to weigh these philisoshical discussions…That is ,
        those of us who can afford to have computers…let us focus on the poorest of us, and know that the betterment of those lives are the most accurate reflection of the health of our community.

  9. I, too, am for reform. But this monstrosity that just passed the House is not reform-it’s an ideology. It’s 2,700 pages full of language that almost no one that voted on it actually read. Speaker Pelosi herself said, “We have to vote on it so we can see what’s in it.” Yikes. Doctors don’t like it:

    drelainageorge.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/dr-elaina-george-the-healthcare-reform-bill-truth-and-consequences/

    Economists don’t trust it:

    jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell031610.php3

    And on many levels it just plain scares me. Real reform would’ve addressed the actual issues facing the uninsured. If there was such a rush, why won’t we see most of the real benefits of this bill until 2012-ish? This one was rammed through in such a hurry, I think, because shining the light of day on it that the usual legislative process would have exposed it for what it is-political grandstanding.

    I don’t belong to either political party, and I want very much for the uninsured to get coverage. I just don’t think this was the way to do it. Thanks for reading.

    • Many of the benefits kick in within the next six months. More kick in within the next two years, and more two years after that.

      Those are only two opinions from two people who don’t like it. Economist Paul Krugman Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman likes this bill a lot. I’d have to go searching for an opposing doctor’s position, and I can’t right at this second. But I will.

      I am seeing that Nancy Pelosi said they had to pass the bill so “you can see what’s in it.” “You” being we, the people, I presume. Have to look into that more, too.

      Thank you for commenting!

      • I love it! i had to become disabled to get any insurance, after a truck hit me 10 years ago. No insurance company would touch me….no wI have Med -i -gap insurance, which is contracted for 15cents per dollar of my Social Security Benefits to a Private Insurance Company! Plus I pay them for insurance and perscription coverage….this is the fee for service brain child of the Republicans in 2002 0r 2003….All of the personnel I speak with regarding issues of coverage are located in India. Our government pays a private insurance company to manage my disability (at a huge cost to tax payers)..and this company has outsourced the jobs that it takes to manage me!!! This is not efficient, and each year, I pay more…I know that this new bill will permit people such as myself to purchase insurance, in spite of my disability (which was not my fault). I am so grateful that this bill has passed, and hope that we can tweek it to be much more helpful to us all!

  10. I am wondering, how about people who don’t believe in modern medical care? Perhaps they are in the “faith healing” or “alternative medicine”. Whether we agree with them or not, should they be forced to pay for medical insurance or face penalties?
    Seriously, people who don’t drive, don’t have to pay for car insurance.

      • @serenity,

        Go find answers. They are out there. Not just opinions, but answers. On both sides. I encourage everyone to get educated. Some of these comments make it clear that I need to be more educated on it, too.

        But I still come down firmly on the side for more covered Americans.

      • Please remove my e-mail off of your comment. Thank you. (WordPress states that they are not to be displayed.)

        I am simply asking you questions based on your post. I’m sorry, you claimed in your original post that you have “done alot of homework on this issue”.
        I have also been looking into the facts along with many other people. Please don’t assume that we are only asking questions because we don’t know the answers to them. Some simply ask them to see how much “homework” you have actually done.

      • @serenity, No need to apologize. But I don’t have all the answers to your questions. if you want to research them, or if you know, please share. I’m interested. Thanks.

  11. I like what Nancy Pelosi said after health care reform passed. “Being a woman is no longer a pre-existing condition.”

    Anyone that thinks the Dems “rammed this through” should consider the fact that the process took over a year and the final bill, approved by both the house and the senate, had over 200 amendments in it from the minority party. I don’t recall such extended debate and revision of any legislation proposed by the previous administration.

  12. The big problem with this so called health care bill is that it doesn’t kick in for years. Did you see the video of the guy who said this was like Christmas? Ha. He has to wait years before he can get his free doctor visit. Meanwhile, he might be one of the 187 people who die every day from not having health insurance. Seems like this is all about raising taxes and controlling people rather than getting people health care.

  13. It really is the amount of primary care availability that worries me. As a first year medical student, I recently went to an interest meeting for the National Health Service Corps (a program that offers to pay off medical school loans for doctors who go into primary care and, as I understand it, has generous expansion plans under this bill), and out of the entire medical school (around 900 students), only 10-15 showed up. I am one of the very few in my class that has an interest in primary care, and you have to admit that it’s understandable when there are other specialties that are exponentially more lucrative. My belief is that they’re going to need MUCH more than the minimal incentives included in the bill if they’re going to bring in the kind of influx of new GP docs that will be needed to handle the patient load.

    • There was an article about that in the NY Times sometime last year. They listed the highly desired specialties, which I’m sure you’re already aware, are things like dermatology and plastic surgery because that’s where the money is. But when it came to general practice, they found that some students avoided that path because it didn’t offer the glamorous research opportunities that other specialties might.

  14. I see the word “unconstitutional” used in a several comments. This may or may not be the case, but I note that this “unconstitutional” is often a knee-jerk reaction, which is not based on a factual assessment—up to and including children not being happy about being grounded (at least on TV). In effect, we have “I do not like it” -> “unconstitutional” and “I think it should be illegal” -> “unconstitutional”. In reality, however, the actual decision must be made based on the wording and spirit of the constitution.

    • Right. As I am not up on constitutional law, I cannot address those concerns. They may be right; it’s outside the scope of my knowledge. I’m sure it will be decided at some point.

    • Well, what you are saying sounds all warm and fuzzy, but in essence, you are saying that it is okay for the government to force a citizen to purchase something that they do not want. (Definitly not in the wording and spirit of the Constitution that I have studied.) What then stops them from keeping you from buying something that you do want?
      When you get down to it, it doesn’t really sound so knee-jerky now does it?

      • Until now no one in this country has ever been forced to buy a product from a private company. A primary intent of the Constitution is to protect the people from the government and from mob rule. We are not a democracy, but a Republic.

        Rep. Paul Ryan wrote about health care reform in the NY Times today. (The link is below) So far, he seems to be offering the most intelligent analysis and sustainable plan of how to reform health care (in my opinion….) Further entitlements are useless if we run out of money. We are now borrowing money from China and other countries to pay for our Social Security obligations. How much do you think the Chinese will care about whether we have health care when they demand payment that we can’t oblige? That’s a sobering thought.

        You are very brave to write this and allow comments. Thank you. Even people who agree that we should greatly reform this system have come to blows on how it should be designed.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/26/opinion/26ryan.html

      • @Catherine: “Until now no one in this country has ever been forced to buy a product from a private company.”

        Um, Catherine? What would you call car insurance? If you drive a car/bus/truck/motorcycle, you have to buy insurance. It’s required. It’s against the law to not have insurance.

        As I pointed out elsewhere: You can decide not to own or drive a car. You can’t decide not to have health.

        Let’s extend the anology to home insurance. I don’t know the laws on this; home insurance may not be required by law. But it’s certainly a good idea. That way if something does happen to your house, you have someplace to turn to help you absorb the damage or loss. I think health insurance is much the same: Even if you are healthy, if something does happen, it sure would be nice to have a fall back position so you don’t go broke for an unexpected health event: an unplanned pregnancy, a broken bone, strep throat. (well, okay, you probably won’t go broke if you got strep throat. Unless it goes untreated because you don’t have health insurance…).

      • While I am myself mildly in favour of mandatory health insurance, the analogy with car insurance is misleading: If the risks of e.g. a car crash rested solely on the driver, then it would likely be voluntary. The hitch is that a car crash often sees more than one party involved. The mandatory insurance is a way to protect the other party.

      • It’s not the same analogy constitutionally. Car insurance is regulated through the states. This is a federal mandate. Additionally, you can choose not to drive, and therefore not be required to buy car insurance, and you’re only required to buy liability, not comprehensive. Something being a good idea does not make it constitutional.

        Here’s a link discussing constitutionality, citing cases.
        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/21/AR2009082103033.html

      • The car insurance argument is incredibly misleading. People who don’t drive a car don’t have car insurance because they don’t NEED it. It’s not as though they will wake up one morning in a car not realizing how they got there and in a car accident requiring insurance. Health, on the other hand, doesn’t always take planning. If something happens to someone (or even if it doesn’t) people should and deserve to have access to health care.

        But if we’re really stuck on the car analogy, I guess we could say that people who don’t drive (or even own cars) have to pay taxes that go to public works projects that pay for the highways that countless car-owners drive. From what I understand, most of the problems people have with this bill is that fact that it has tax implications. People don’t like taxes. Fine, fair enough, who does? But they exist and ala carte taxes are unrealistic.

        Like many people, I fall into the category of feeling that reform is not only necessary but embarrassingly overdue. I don’t think there’s anyone, president and congress included, who think this bill is the answer to everyone’s problems. Far from it. But it’s one hell of a first step. And I for one feel that perhaps the change I was promised when I voted is actually starting come.

      • Our tax dollars purchase goods and services from private companies all the time (Haliburton anyone?) and also to support things we stand morally opposed to. Last I heard Quakers were not exempt from taxes nor were their taxes separated from the general tax fund that pays for wars. I agree, single payer system with no insurance companies would be preferable, like emergency service providers and many utility providers, but this is what we got.

  15. First off, I’d like to point out that the supposedly 32 million people who don’t have health care is just some random number the liberals threw out there to give the matter some sense of “urgency.” The majority of American’s who don’t have health care fall under either two categories, 1) they choose not to buy it OR 2) They’re covered by medi-cade. Now, I’m not saying that there is not a substantial need for American’s to have coverage- there is, but this bill is THE worst possible solution to the problem. Before applauding this bill for “ensuring health care to the citizens who need it,” think about the alternative solutions.

    The main alternative solution is taking down the state mandates on health insurance. Say, for example, in New Jersey it is mandated that insure companies must cover hair loss treatment, but in New York, that is not mandated. The whole point of abolishing these mandates is this: it would create a National scale of competition among insurance providers. Anyone with half a set of brains knows that competition lowers prices. Before you know it, you have affordable health insurance. The poor people buy it. Problem solved. Even though that is a completely simplified version of the idea, it’s still a viable solution that promotes the economic system that is proven to be most effective, Capitalism.

    That brings me to the point of socialism. I know this is getting pretty long, so I’ll wrap it up in a sec. The main reason that I hate this bill with a passion is the method of funding. The Government is going to tax the well off American’s who worked their asses off for their money, and give their money to the poor American’s who, now that they’re getting all these benefits from the rich Americans, have no incentive to work. This is the fundamental flaw of socialism: taking money from hard working American’s and distributing it to the lazy ones DESTROYS incentive. If you have all your needs (health care, social security ect.) paid for by Government programs, which get their funding from taxing the rich, you have absolutely zero incentive to work for your own needs. This bill, along with all the other socialist legislation is destroying the American dream. You can no longer work hard and get rich, because the Government is just going to tax your ass and give your hard earned money to some lazy stoner.

    • I’d like to add a 3rd reason why American’s don’t have healthcare…….they cannot afford it. In my situation, my husband has a low paying job and I am working part-time so I can complete my BSSW. Neither of us are eligible for coverage through our employer. In recent years it has become difficult to find decent jobs, even with a high school diploma.
      I do agree with your alternative. Competition to lower costs is a really good idea.
      Not all rich Americans have worked their ass off for their money, just like not all poor Americans are lazy who don’t want to work. I realize that their are some people who sit at home, having babies and collecting checks from the government. But all poor people cannot be categorized as welfare recipients.
      There is so much more I could say, but I’m getting off topic. Red Pen Mama-thank you for post. I also support healthcare reform. I don’t think this bill is perfect, but it’s a start, it evens the playing field. Every citizen deserves health insurance.

      • Some people …the insurance companies don’t want! Like me with back and neck injuries, due to an accident. I had always bought insurance, never needed it, except when I did. My insurance kept trippling until it would have been $25,000 per year, for me, who now was disabled, and could not work! I had to sue the car insurance company, of the person who hit me, and recovered a tiny portion of what it has cost me. Think about that, it could be you.

    • Yeah, you missed the hard working Americans who can’t afford it. I own a small business and I cannot afford coverage and I’ll tell you I work my butt off. It in fact is the MIDDLE who aren’t covered. Truly poor Americans are covered by Medicaid already (its waaaay more expensive, btw, to leave ppl uninsured). Its those of us that cannot afford coverage and aren’t provided coverage by employers who are the uninsured.

  16. Great stand and set-up Red Pen Mama (and I like your handle too).
    My only issue is with the “mandatory” provision because it exacts a monetary “penalty” upon the backs of those who least could afford another “tax”. However, I don’t think it is an issue for “lawsuits” or “states rights”, just negotiation and civil common sense alteration.
    Excellent piece; good luck blogging.

  17. I think what is very important to remember about this bill is that it is a beginning. No doubt there will be things that work well and others that don’t work well at all. But we won’t know until we try SOMETHING. I do agree that more incentives are needed for primary care docs… But just because it is not included in this bill doesn’t mean that that it won’t happen. I think a lot remains to be seen.

  18. I stole a poem and tweaked it up to celebrate health care..

    Health’s Bells
    (A co-opted Poe poem to celebrate Health Care Reform / by LEB Jones III)

    Hear the tolling of the bells –
    Glory’s Bells!
    What loud affronts to rampant greed Her joyful chime compels!
    When Health’s bill passed on Sunday night,
    Health-care joined Man’s affirmed rights,
    Water, air, and health all justly, jointly owned.
    This truth that spreads and floats,
    From Greed’s once own country’s throats,
    Makes mammon groan.

    And the people – gluttonous people –
    They that dwell up in the steeple,
    Now more alone.
    Those who wasted eons preaching,
    In that muffled monotone,
    That the Yankee right to conquer’s
    Based on God’s great love of lucre,
    These dark priests, now bright America’s dethroned.
    Citizens! Feel justice rolling!
    To Old Glory’s pride, this flag, to all bestowed.

    Whose in Greed’s tower? not slave nor freeman-
    They are neither “Blue” nor “Red” man-
    They are ghouls:
    And their King these dark lies told.

    But life now rolls, rolls, rolls,
    In the laughter of our Lady’s health-care bells!
    And the certain knowledge swells;
    Liberty has always strained, to freely sooth Her people’s pain,
    For two hundred years, She loudly rang her bells!
    The people’s right perception, now it dances and it yells;

    And every time, time, time,
    That the Prince of Lies did rhyme,
    That Her sanctity required,
    That each Wall Street Knight aspire,
    To rob Her poor sick children to the bone.
    Now every time, time, time,
    That they told this ghoulish rhyme,
    Will become a grade-school teaching on their crime.

  19. I was talking to my BFF about the subject and we both are facing infertility and it’s a joke that Health Reform didn’t include fair help for in-vitro fertilization and other infertility treatments for struggling couples with or without insurance. These procedures have more than 30 years and still “experimental” which means that health insurance companies can’t cover it leaving at the couple’s expense. If contraception are free, why the hell procreation it’s fuckin’ expensive?

  20. Not at all a useful comment, so don’t feel obliged to keep it up — do you mind if I link to this on my Facebook? There are a lot of strong opinions out there (“not that there’s anything wrong with that” heheh) but I think it would be awesome for people to see both sides of the issue being laid out here — especially the facts some of us may not be aware of.

    I’d also like a cookie for that run-on sentence.

    • You absolutely may to link it where ever you see fit. Might I also suggest checking out Dooce’s site (www.dooce.com)? She puts a real face on the struggle that independent business people and those with pre-exisiting conditions have faced until now.

      As to the cookie, well I can put one in the mail if you like. 🙂

  21. I live in Mexico and only get Fox News, which has been slamming this bill every hour of the day. It was great to get a different view on the topic, so thanks for writing.

  22. My worry is that while we have reformed access th healthcare insurance, we seem to be doing little about what clinics and hospitals charge. The insurance money will run out.

  23. Hello and congratulations from Germany!

    I hope things with the reform will work out as well as planned!
    I had the chance to grow up with a functional health care system – never have I or my parents been worrying about how to finance a hospital stay or ANY medical care, treatments, prescriptions, etc.

    People with less income share the same basic benefits of health insurance as wealthy people, and they are able to extend their health insurance contribution in whatever direction you can think of.

    But that does not change the basic conditions for the poor or any other income class.

    Thinking about a life without health insurance that covers everything just makes me feel panicked.
    I have a tumor disease and have to go to hospital often, need medication and physical therapy and other treatments. I am paying around just 12,9 % of my income and everything is covered.
    This gives me such a strong feeling of safeness that I hope people in the US will have also.

    So good luck!

    P.S. Please excuse my limited English…

    • Thank you so much for your perspective from Germany! The preventive care in France and Germany is amazing! Thank you for your reminder to us of how much less stress in our lives we would have, if we know our health, and that of our loved ones were to be taken care of.

    • This is a somewhat optimistic view of the German system. I note in particular the divide between the “privately” and “mandatorily” ensured: After a reaching a certain income level (48K a year?) people can move from the mandatory/public to the private system, receive better care—and pay significantly less! (At least when they are young and healthy; older people are often better off in the mandatory system.) See. e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_in_Germany for a deeper explanation.

      Generally, the German system is often criticized internally; in particular, with the increase of costs and fees that we have seen in the last decade or so.

  24. It seems that one of the big problems in america remains un-addressed when it comes to health care. Our refusal to take care of our bodies juxtaposed against our insistance that someone else foot the bill when we don’t.

    When I was young Phys Ed was part of every school day, as was recess. That has been replaced by more school-work, video games and snack foods. Most kids have no idea what healthy food is or can be.

    Another part that few want to address is our refusal to let people die. We spend hundreds of thousands to keep grandma lingering on a few more months for what? Someone’s paying all those bills. It’s tough when it’s your loved one, but at some point we’re going to have to address what exactly is a human life worth?

    We in America are really good at pointing fingers and say it’s this or that that’s the problem…but really what we all need to do is look at the man in the mirror, because there is where the problem lies.

    Peace

  25. Congratulations for your SS.

    I understand USA citizens are used to the “law of the strongest”. Only the rich and only the strong have the right to live with dignity. Anything related to social benefit, or to the defense of the weak is just seen as something related to comunists (how wrong you are!).

    How could you pay that?, very easy. Or perhaps you think you are inventing the wheel?. For instance, in my country, the companies give SS a quantity equal to 45% of the salary of every employee they have. Furthermore, every employee gives SS the 5% of their salary. That easy. The rest of European countries have similar (or even more generous) percentages. I think you should and must open your eyes and listen to what any regular European citizen gets from the State and the SS in diverse forms of help.

    Solidarity, do you know what is that?.

    Congrats, sincerely.

    • Speaking as a European used to similar systems: They are far from perfect, and the 45 % you mention is ultimately paid by the workforce and consumers through indirect means. Do not naively believe that it goes out of company profits.

      In fact, in many European countries these systems are considered overly costly and wasteful, and potentially severe long-term problems, by large parts of the population and many economists.

      As for solidarity, cf. e.g Wiktionary, where you will see that solidarity is the voluntary helping of others—not involuntary taxation. (Outside of the rhetorik of e.g. Swedish socialists.)

      • Michael, of course, always the citizen is at the end of the consequences. Of course the SS is supported by the individuals at the end of the tail. Otherwise, we should be slaves to the private companies, in a bigger degree than we already are.

        Although it can be chocking for an American person, some other cultures think that the State has to control the markets in certain level, in order to defend the People itself (as a group of persons) from the jungle law of companies and their excessive benefits. But limiting the benefit would put on fire the cons and neocons’ nature. The State would be accused of interference and meddling from the right wing. The State has to be higher than the companies, the State has to be us, the People.

        The SS system is not perfect, but is better than leaving an individual alone against their own illness, without protection. The person is not the only responsible for his/her illness nor his/her personal circumstances (as the neocons think).

        You are right about the meaning of “solidarity”, Michael. But you know, the right wing always want to privatize the profits and socialize loss. One has to be consistent with his own involuntary taxation. And live from his own resources, even when the international crisis arrives. Banks included.

        The European SS systems have one failure: assistance to today’s immigrants (that never contributed to the system) with the money of old native generations. They are breaking the equilibrium. And the money reserves are decreasing. And this is where I drop my final thought: the powerful countries in the Globe, named G8, G20 etc., took (and still take) the natural resources of other peoples. Didn’t these plundered countries payed our SS in the Past and Present?. Who owns the petrol, the gold mines, the copper mines, the aluminium mines and everything in the poor countries?.

        Regards.

  26. Interesting points, but think of it this way. What effect will a government takeover have on our medical system?

    We have the best medical system in the world (by a long shot) when it comes to technology and innovation. Even the wealthy from other countries come here when they’re have serious illnesses.

    Yes we have problems, but fixing those problems doesn’t require a complete takeover by the gov.

    Think about it. What does the gov ever do better than the private sector? NOTHING. We do things better, cheaper, and more efficiently 100% of the time.

    All that’s going to happen with this is that you’re going to create a different class of healthcare for the lower class. Think. It happens every time the gov gets involved. Government housing, gov schools (the failing ones are where? inner city), the same will be true for gov medicine.

    You’re trying to help the less fortunate. I really believe you are. But please stop…what you’re doing isn’t working.

    • In what universe is this a Government takeover of Health Care? The government isn’t running the hospitals, it isn’t even running the insurance companies. Its regulation pure and simple. Anyone who argues for deregulation of anything is either ignorant or willfully ignoring history. Deregulation increases the gap between the top and bottom and hurts our entire economy. Its only good for a few fat cats who just get morbidly obese. And “trying to help the less fortunate” is so condescending. Health Care reform activists are working to create a system whereby Middle America can afford health care, and greedy insurance companies don’t deny anyone coverage b/c they have a preexisting condition. The alternatives are that we let people die just b/c they have treatable conditions like epilepsy, asthma, and diabetes or we pay for the care they cannot afford. Which would you prefer?

  27. Congratulations for posting a calm piece of writing on health care reform. I particularly like your plan to prepare the correct words to explain your point of view to potential opponents.
    As an American living in Europe I am often asked why there are so many Americans opposed to the healthcare reforms. I think that ffrom a distance it is very hard to understand some of the arguments about freedeom of choice and individuality.
    In my personal opinion, as an individual acquires more personal wealth, their spectrum of choice widens. It could be argued that the very poor have a choice between working and not working. Sadly the very poor sometimes do not have the skills to get and retain employment (in my opinion).
    I am in favour of health care reform, but I understand that the potential increase in costs is worrying, and that any change can bring loss. Change and loss are frightening.
    I also know that change is not a one-step process. I sincerely hope that there will be patience.
    Thanks again for your thoughtful and calm post.

  28. Part of me is happy about this health care reform that it would help parents with children, people who rely on health care to get prescription meds and not having the fear of being dropped from their HMO. However, I would love to be able to show my full support some kind of way for this bill. I guess when I know more facts and how this would help/assist me, since I’m not eligible for any kind of gov’t aid. Also, I would have liked if they added vision and dental coverage to this bill. Why are they always forgotten that people need coverage for those as well.

  29. I admit there has been need for health care reform for many years but not in the way this bill has been implemented with bribes , closed-door sessions, back-room deals, questionanable promises to the people, etc. None of those should not be part of the legistlative process but unfortunately that’s the way Washington, (Democrats & Republicans) operates.

    Before a bill was passed there should have been a bi-partisan investigation in ways to cut costs of health care in the first place, i.e., tort reform, fraud by doctors/hospitals/pharmacies/pharmacuetical companies, etc.

    And why haven’t we heard more from the insurance companies and actuaries on the bill? There are legitimate reasons why they are not able to cover people with pre-existing conditions and it’s not because of greed on the part of insurance companies. It has to do with simple math . . . you have to take in more in order to pay out more.

    One more thing . . . the use of illegal drugs in this nation is a disgrace. What would happen if an amendment was added to the health care bill stating that all recipients of welfare and gov’t health care be given a urine test for drugs before receiving benefits? For one thing Pelosi, Obama and the ACLU would be screaming social INjustice!

  30. I really appreciate your post, Red Pen Mama and you’ve taken a lot of heat on it!

    I have wondered if its possible to create an option like the dental world has with discount plans and care credit. These allow you to get a dental plan at a low monthly rate (sometimes less than $10), have reduced fees for dental work (usually cutting the bill in half if not more) and then for things that are still really expensive, people can sign up for care credit and make payments for that work.

    I’m sure its a little oversimplified, but in conjunction with increased competition and some regulation, it seems like it would be a better option than a government mandate.

  31. I think debating just raises your blood pressure and affects your health. Ever think about that? I believe in wellness and exercise. The irony to this country is that we all want freedom but yet we will look to someone else to fix us.

    In the context of health reform, lets make it simple. By the time you see a doctor you have probably had the illness for awhile. This is not wellness in my opinion.

    Anyway, I can’t argue on a blog but I unfortunately don’t think the reform will work unless there is a counter balance of measuring accountability. That’s how I associate politics all together. Lack of accountability. Change takes time.

    I watch two people argue and they can barely come to a decision. Then you have 100s of politicians trying to make a decision in MY best interest?! To understand the complexities of that would take decades to understand.

    I love this country for we do have the ability to complain or state an opinion. In the middle east I would be shot.

    We need an overhaul of our cultural mentality that someone else will fix us and that we can theorize. How do you teach personal responsibility?

    I believe each of us needs to be our own MD’s. You’re unique. You’re body is yours to take care of. I personal go to a doctor for maintenance and if there is something wrong I pretty much know what I did to get myself there. It takes time to heal the body, so it probably had taken time to screw it up.

    I’m pragmatic. And for anyone that complains about what I politicians are doing I ask that you also put up a comprehensible solution. Easy to complain not easy to implement.

    lack of sleep, poor eating habit, poor thinking. You can’t expect our government to regulate your thinking, your lack of thinking or how you abuse yourself. That’s not freedom then is it? That’s enablement.

    I can only do my part. I participate as a citizen and I still take care of myself despite whatever reform will take place in the next 4-8 years. And I take action in my own community. I teach people techniques to alleviate stress. It’s a balance.

    But if you care about this country take care of yourself (body, heart and mind) first.

    Be well!

    • That lacking responsibility (and willingness to buy into the quick fix of medication all too easily) reminds me of a post I read on a blog written by someone who works in community health (where a lot of patients come from a lower socio-economic bracket). She had a patient suffering from high blood pressure. Learning of his high sodium intake from a steady diet of fast food, she offered to set up a nutrition chart for him so he knew what to eat to lower his salt intake. He wanted the meds instead.

      http://lesbonurse.wordpress.com/2010/02/03/nursing-intervention-fail/

      • Well, that’s our culture, in a nutshell. Spare me the hard work, give me some pills. We want pills and quick fixes for everything.

        But I wouldn’t scuttle health care reform over that…

      • He could afford the meds (probably free) and continue his cheap diet of fast food. it’s more expensive to eat and prepare healthy meals.

  32. I support this bill because I am an American who does not have health insurance. I just wrote a blog about my situation the other day. The fact is, I work, always have, never been late on any of my taxes, own my own home, have for years and I am not offered insurance thru my job, never have been. I have used the medicaid system on and off thru my life and I am grateful. But last summer I almost died because I had swine flu which turned into a deadly pneumonia. I survived after over a week in the hospital (I chose to leave then because I knew my bill was going up up up) Today, I have a 17,000.00 dollar hospital bill which is after the hospital’s program for the unisured. Now, I suppose I could sell my house…and go live in the ghetto and maybe qualify for government assistence and not work…that sounds like a great idea for me and my 3 kids…becomming a statistic. Insted, I pray that we all stay healthy, that my 5 dollars a week, which is taken directly out of our grocery money, holds off any proceedings the hospital may want to take against me and that this health care bill kicks in sooner rather than later. Because if I die, which I will if I get any sort of cancer or long term illness, there will be 3 kids orphaned. I try not to take any of the rhetoric personally. But it does really get to me to know that many of my fellow Americans do not believe I have a right to healthcare, which is the same as saying I do not have a right to life because I cannot afford private health insurance. It does hurt.

    I pay for seniors healthcare thru my payroll taxes. I would not mind one bit paying more out of my check to have health insurance. And I make less than what is considered poverty…healthcare is far more than words on a paper…healthcare is me.

  33. I know how we can finance this, we can cut our defense spending by one billion dollars. The United States spends more money on its military than the next 13 countries combined, even if we lower the budget by one billion we would still be the biggest spender in the world. I find it interesting that the so called pro lifers only value the unborn life, yet after it is born they have no problem bombing, shooting, or denying health care from that life, it is a bit hypocritical.

    • This comment is completely ignorant and inappropriate. Coming from a family that has dedicated their lives to the service of this nation, your insinuation that all the military does is “bomb” and “shoot” is beyond offensive and proves your absolute ignorance.
      Do you know anything about history? I’m not only talking about US history, but the history of civilization.. Do you have any idea why we are able to do ANYTHING that we’re able to do now? It’s because of our STRONG MILITARY defending us at home and abroad to protect our freedom. I would rather be “bombing” and “shooting” to prevent another 9/11 or WWII than spending billions of dollars (that we’re borrowing, btw) on a plan with so many backroom deals and loopholes that the people who created it don’t even know what’s in it.
      People need to get beyond their narrow worldview of “utopia” where everyone gets what they want for free. It will never work. Every time it’s been tried, it has failed.

      • @redrosieposie,

        this is a little close to a personal attack. I’m going to leave it here. I think Michael’s point was reasonably made. Don’t insult him by insinuating what he may or may not know about history. I find your response inappropriate.

        No one is trying to construct a utopia. No one is getting anything for free. This HCR law doesn’t change that.

  34. I come from the UK and we have free health care over here, and I have to say it is an excellant idea. Though our NHS is slgihtly diabolical at the moment it is still a pillar in helping to support our society and allows the public to not worry about costs when in a dire emergency.

    Though I do not know the full extent about how the health care in America works or how your politics works, but congrats to Obama on getting this through I think. people can whinge, but when it saves there life or someone close to them then there tune will change.

    Also nice, clear and precise post. 🙂

  35. Although I am not an ardent President Obama fan, in general I support the health bill also. I think President Obama stated it best in his summary of the bill:
    President Obama struck a populist tone, setting up the health insurance industry as his main target.

    “We can’t have a system that works better for the insurance companies than it does for the American people,” he said.

    Citing big rate increases for buyers of individual insurance policies in some states — 40 percent, 60 percent, even 100 percent — Mr. Obama sought to focus attention on provisions in the legislation that he said would protect consumers from the worst excesses of insurers, give people more choice among insurance policies, insure most people who do not have coverage, and put downward pressure on health care costs.

    Boiling down his proposal to a few sentences, Mr. Obama asked, “How many people would like a proposal that holds insurance companies more accountable? How many people would like to give Americans the same insurance choices that members of Congress get? And how many would like a proposal that brings down costs for everyone? That’s our proposal.”

  36. One of my biggest problems with this bill is that it mandates people get insurance, but nowhere does it say it will be affordable. Sure, people with pre-existing conditions will now have the option that they may not have had before, but it may cost them $1,000 a month, or more. And most people cannot afford this kind of insurance. So then they don’t comply with the law, and they get taxed (fined) for not complying with something they can’t afford. That is one of many reasons I am against this bill.

    Other reasons:
    1. Two special groups were excluded from this law… Christian Scientists and Amish.
    2. It’s another government program… if you look at social security, Medicaid, Medicare, Fannie Mae, etc, you can see that government-run programs have a pretty foul track record for success.
    3. The government can now mandate whatever health concerns they wish. For example, they can force people to get the flu vaccine, or fine/imprison them.
    4. The government can now tie health to national security, and force treatments, quarantines, etc.
    5. We will all probably see heftier taxes immediately, but yet overall nothing to come of it until 2014.
    6. The quality of care and wait times for doctors has a great chance of being adversely affected.
    7. It will not be profitable for pharmaceutical companies to invest $500 million to potentially create new drugs, new cures for diseases… we may never know what diseases we may have cured.
    8. The special deals made with certain representatives and states in order to buy votes to get this bill passed.
    9. A majority of America did not want this bill. Yet the politicians forced it through anyway. This is not a government that is representative of the people.

    • Okay, I swear this is the last comprehensive reply I’m giving.

      I would mention subsidies for those who qualify, but that may bring out another round about money. So I’m not going to go there in depth. Let’s just say, the scenario you just described is unlikely. And leave it at that.

      1. They are excluded because of their religious beliefs, right? This would be a good thing, wouldn’t it be? 2. It’s not government-run health care. It’s regulated health care. HUGE difference. 3. This is pure paranoid nonsense. 4. Ditto. 5. This is pure speculation. Negative speculation. We’ll see. Also (and I’ve said it already): a good deal of this law kicks in immediately and in the next year. 6. Negative speculation. We just don’t know. 7. I don’t have enough info for this one. 8. I see your point on this one. But, ultimately, I wouldn’t let it dissuade me. 9. Honestly? It depends who you asked, how you asked, and what you asked. Lies, damn lies, and statistics. Both sides use ’em. At this point, polls are showing 49% in favor of the passed law, 40% against.

  37. I appreciate your opinion, respect it, and respect your right to make it, but there are so many issues with what you have said in this posting…

    1. – The uninsured, of those that really can’t get insurance, are about 12 million. When you take out the illegal immigrants, those that can afford insurance but choose to not have it, etc, it’s about 12 million, and this legislation doesn’t even cover all of them. Secondly, you said no one should have to choose between food and healthcare? Why not? Healthcare isn’t a right. Just like food isn’t a right. I have to have food and shelter to survive, but it’s not anyone’s responsibility but mine to get those things for myself. There is no where in the constitution where healthcare is a right, and furthermore, the legislative arm of the government does not have the power to endue rights, only God does. I believe in individual responsibility.

    2. Pre-existing. So, if my house burns down tonight, and I don’t have insurance, I should be able to buy house insurance tomorrow? That’s exactly what you’re arguing when you want pre-existing clauses taken away. Let someone not have to pay premiums, and then when they get sick, not have to pay full price, but get insurance to pick up part of the bill. No insurance company or healthcare system can make a dime doing that, it’s bad business.

    3. Actually the incentives will be for most businesses to not get insurance for their employees, pay the fines, and let them go on government care… which will have rationing involved and limitations. Don’t believe me? Just look at the VA and Medicare, which both already have rationing and limitations.

    We need Healthcare finance reform for sure, but the free market is the answer, not government involvement. Limiting trial attorneys, and opening up competition, that’s the answer. LESS GOVERNMENT. More freedom.

    And what we need the reform in most is people taking on their personal responsibility for their healthcare just like they should for their food, clothing, etc.

    And just so you know, I can’t afford health insurance and am not covered, but I don’t expect anyone to take care of that but me. That’s one of the responsibilities that comes along with freedom.

    • 1. illegal immigrants aren’t covered. people choose between paying for food and paying (or not) for care all the time. I’m not making a rights argument. I’m making a moral argument.

      2. no, it’s not the same. if one of my daughters were born with a hole in her heart, and couldn’t get insurance, that is pre-existing. actually, do you know PREGNANCY is a pre-existing condition? If a woman doesn’t have insurance when she gets pregnant, she can be denied coverage.

      if you don’t have a house, you don’t need insurance. you can’t not have health. it can be good or bad, but it’s health.

      3. that’s not true. you’re crystal-balling, and that’s deliberately misleading.

      I disagree with all your points.

    • I have to reitterate…I paid for health care for 25 years, never used it…but a truck hit me….insurance canceled, nobody would reinsure me, at any cost…my only alternative was to (thank you for your tax dollars! ) get dis abled (SSI), none of this was my fault..I bought my own insurance because I was self employed…but as soon as I needed help, for back surgery, neck surgery and years of physical therapy and medicine…my insurance cancelled. NOT PAYING FOR ONE CENT! We do need protection from these practices…don’t fool youself into complacency.

  38. Why is it that so many people think that just because someone is poor they are “mediocre”, “lazy”, or an “underachiever”? Despite what some may believe, not everyone in this country starts out on equal footing. It’s alot harder for certain populations to achieve “The American Dream” when they don’t have access to the opportunities of the majority.

    Just curious, has anyone on here heard of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Follow this link and take a look, I think it’s worth reading.
    http://www.udhr.org/UDHR/default.htm

  39. I believe that the present health-care system needs reform. What troubles me deeply is that it seems very much we’ve passed a bill that is irresponsible in many forms. When something needs to be changed, it must be done right – or it is not worth it. In this case, it makes things worse.

    I spent a semester abroad all over Europe, and one of the very first things they told us is that if we ever got seriously ill or injured, we would be flown immediately back to the United States. We have infinitely better health care than anyone in Europe – the same Europe whose model we are about to follow in lieu of our own.

    Obama’s executive order is unconstitutional and therefore worthless, and he knows it. Bart Stupak knows it. It’s a PR ploy. Americans will now pay for abortions with tax money.

    It plunges us another $1 trillion into the gargantuan hole of debt that we find ourselves in. The president’s promises that it will save “x” amount of money in the long run are complete guesswork. History has proven literally millions of times that one cannot predict how much enormous bureaucracies will cost over the long run. Europeans now spend more tax money than anything else on their pathetically mediocre health care system.

    Response times will be slower and the proposed infrastructure gives no incentive to doctors. Quantity of care may increase – it should, actually – but quality will decrease. In my opinion, bad tradeoff.

    This looks to me like a complete disaster. I would rather not dive into another issue altogether, but one could also bring up our increased dependency on the federal government. Double bad. Free, virtuous, self-reliant citizens make free and strong nations. A dependent populace makes for diminishing of personal and communal liberty.

    That’s all for now. Sorry it’s so long.

  40. I agree with this health care bill, and your post. Let me thank you for maintaining a civil conversation on this topic. I know that’s hard because of the staggering amount of misinformation and paranoia being spread by Fox “News” and other monied types.

    This reform is simply the morally and socially the right thing to do. The Free Market is what brought on so much if the health care problem, and if left to the Free Market, decisions will come down on the side of maintaining profits every time. When insurance companies are considering things like acne or acid reflux as grounds for refusal via preexisting conditions, that simply means that they have abandoned any kind of decency or even honesty.

    The insurance industry needs to be regulated as much as the banking industry. Both have inflicted grave damage on the people of this country and have no fall-back but to throw around terms like socialism and government takeover, in order to protect their obscene profits.

  41. Let us review your three main claims and the problems with each. You suggest that the health care reform is welcome because:

    1. It covers 32 Million more people.
    – This is nice in theory, but problematic in practice. First, it must be understood that health care is not inherently a right, and accordingly coverage for the insurance that grants you better health care is also not a right. Second, consider that this group includes some people who don’t want health care, often because they appreciate it as being little more than a means of risk reduction, the value being potentially limited for the young and healthy. Keep in mind that this is not government provided, so that after a staggering tax bill, citizens are still being told to either pay for health care they may not want, or face penalty.

    2. The end of denying coverage for a pre-existing condition. The end of canceling coverage if someone gets sick.
    – Again, this sounds better than it is. As high as our insurance premiums are now, imagine what’ll happen when you cannot drop clients or deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions. Simply put, a massive new financial burden is placed on the insurer, requiring them to raise premiums and/or cut benefits for all customers. This means then that the average customer suffers from this imposition.

    3. Coverage without a job.
    – We started introducing health care as a wartime benefit to incentivize loyalty during an era of salary caps and prohibitions on raises. Now we expect our employers to provide it, creating problems when individuals are laid off. This does little to solve said problem, for various provisions are actually intent on expanding the role played by employers in handling health care.

    It truly is the case that deregulation would have proven a sounder option.

    • It’s the moral thing to do. Protecting the country’s citizens — even from themselves. That’s the bottom line of my argument.

      And, yes, let’s deregulate. That’s been such a boon to the airline and banking industries!

      • Thanks for your comment…the banking industry, insurance industry, Enron, health care…all have done SO well in the ‘free market”….I guess you would agree that mandatory imunizations for small pox and measles have been beneficial for our community as a whole. By the three arguements outlined above, we would never have had these programs…we couldn’t vote as women, or slavery would still be the law of the land. Watch another net work, PLEASE!

    • I’d also like to add that the insurance companies make a profit, HUGE PROFITS in fact. That profit is above and beyond what it takes to pay everyone that works for the company. Where does that profit come from? From the money spent on premiums that does not go to covering medical procedures. Therefore actually covering people’s health care needs is ANTITHETICAL to the real purpose of a for profit insurance company. What if instead of raising premiums, companies reduced their profit. Again, not the money that goes to paying overhead, including executive compensation, but profit.

  42. Holly comments girl. I agree. It will help my mom out greatly….and I’m selfish! It is the difference between 100K for an ER trip and dying

  43. I am a semi retired social worker and for over 20 years I witnessed close to 50% of the people getting social security disability, medicare, medical and medicaid and a myraid of other tax payer funded programs be persons that could have easily worked and at least partially supported themselves. Because of this the people who were truly disabled through no fault of their own did not receive the care they needed and usually were too disabled to take a proactive stand.
    There are people living off of taypayer monies who can work but just don’t want to. They are not too concerned about their standard of living and are feel no sense of guilt that other Americans are forced to take care of them.
    I know a person who has been living on social security disability for his whole life, along with medical. He qualified due to an “anxiety disorder”. When his parent’s died he inherited 3/4 of a million dollars and he was able to put that money into a legally acceptable shelter and continues to lives off of welfare. He uses some of that money to enhance his welfare monthly and has plans of traveling extensively and living very well in his later years. He is more than able to work but just does not want to.
    Americans need to wake up and realize there are many more millions like this gentleman and all that want is to live off of our money.
    We need to demand tighter restrictions for these kind of people but instead we just keep giving them more and more of our money.
    I have worked hard since I was 14 years old at a paying job and have watched people who are living off of my dime living better than I do working full time.
    I guess I should just consider myself lucky for having a job, but most often I just feel overworked and underpaid.
    Now Obama wants to take more of my money to give to others.
    To tell you the truth some days I feel there is not much to live and work for. Thandk God for my grand kids they keep me going, but I worry about what kind of world we are leaving them.

  44. I like that kids/young adults will be able to stay under their parent’s health care until they are 26.

    18 is really too young an age to be stranded without health insurance after having really good coverage through out your childhood.

  45. I’ve watched this puff piece with a bunch of rah! rah! comments for the past 18 hrs. Any comments that might break up the celebratory mood amongst the 35% of readers (and americans by every poll) joyfully posting laudatory comments are quickly removed. You must be careful not to let reality get in the way of your celebrating shoving your ideals down the throats of the majority of the country.

    This will be immediately removed I suspect, but you should know that there are a HUGE number of people that are angry about this and intend to act. You cannot change America from a country where rights are part of being human into a country where rights are handed out by the government and expect us not to react.

    • There are plenty of dissenting comments here, @cicero. Look around. They didn’t resort to propoganda or lies or name-calling. Or whinging. I’ll leave your post here just to make a point. You’ve had your say; move along.

      The laws and system exist to take action. Work well within them. We live in the greatest country in the world, that we can even have dissenting opinions, and agree to disagree. The fact that I could publish this without being censored — the fact that you can start a blog and rant and rail against what you see as a bone-headed move by the government — that’s freedom. I cherish it.

  46. @Marion Miner: Yes, you’d probably have been flown straight to the US if you got very sick in Europe because there are no doctors over here that can help you and all the capable ones are in the US. o.O
    If I would be traveling here in Europe and get very sick I’d get the immediate care I’d need and then sent to my home country where my insurance is. Same for you. Not because we have incompetent doctors and to me it sounds like you people think the rest of the world is full of idiots and dying people because you aren’t helping us.

    What I’m having most trouble understanding is why Americans who are against this bill seem to think the Government, like some evil character in a movie, is going to take over your lives and control EVERYTHING. And the words socialism, Leninism, Marxism and all those -isms are thrown around like the plague. Socialism isn’t the ultimate evil, and this bill is about bringing basic human rights to everyone.

    Now I’m not proposing a system where everyone shares everything regardless of how much you bring to the table.
    I propose opening your eyes to new things and see how it worked in other countries. And no, not everything has gone to hell in Europe like so many of you seem to think. We’re still alive and have very good doctors here as well.

    It sounds sometimes like a lot of Americans are afraid of turning into the USSR…? I’m confused how that bill will do that.

    Now I don’t want to be rude or inappropriate, but a lot of people refuse to listen to more than one newscaster *cough*FoxNews*cough*, don’t read up on what they’re talking about and are so ready to believe that everything The Government does is evil.

    And I get defensive when people start attacking my home when they know nothing about it.

    • Thank you for your thoughts. i go to France each year to visit family…they are all very healthy, and happy. They do pay higher taxes, but if you figure my taxes plus what I pay for insurance, they are getting much more for thier money! In addition, they take care of thier youth and old, with no judgement regarding status in life! All deserve health.

  47. After two days of this, I’m closing comments. There is nothing more to say or add. If you don’t agree with me, that’s fine. If you do agree with me, that’s great. I’m tired of filtering the nastiness, lies, and propaganda. There’s plenty of reasonable (if sometimes misinformed) opinion in these comments. There are plenty of people whose concerns are different than mine, and I understand that.

    We’re done here. Go find another person who supports health care to attack.

  48. Couldn’t agree more! I spent some time on my own blog voicing my frustrations with the whole process and why, in the end, it’s better to have at least SOME type of reform instead of none at all. I’m a sufferer of “pre-existing conditions”, so I’m all for that part. I enjoyed your blog.

  49. I support expanding health care coverage, but my major concern is that expanding coverage does not have anything to do with the quality of health care rendered to patients. I believe every American deserves to have access to see the doctor at an affordable price. However, I know that just because a person has insurance does not mean they will necessarily be covered to see a quality doctor.

    While living in MA, I had friends that were required to buy insurance because of state laws. This insurance only covered basic prescriptions, not doctor visits. This infuriates me.

    Also, I am currently uninsured and the health care reform laws WILL NOT help me gain insurance. It’s hard to celebrate the triumph of health care reform when I am not directly impacted. I fear that people who are deserving of health insurance will still not receive what they need.

  50. It is not opposition to health care being more accessible to American Citizens, who by the way, in TX and in most states, are able to go to designated hospitals for indigent care (http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/cihcp/default.shtm), even if they cannot pay…
    It is opposition to the ideology and mind set that believes certain sectors of society should be punished because they make too much money (or my opinion; are too powerful and could mount opposition to presidents that ignore, defy, and otherwise trample underfoot the Constitution of the United States http://www.usnews.com/blogs/peter-roff/2010/03/16/house-democrats-healthcare-reform-plans-are-unconstitutional.html).

    For instance did you know that under the Obama Healthcare Reform package, by 2014 it ” Penalizes employers with more than 50 workers if any of their workers get coverage through the exchange and receive a tax credit. The penalty is $2,000 times the total number of workers employed at the company. However, employers get to deduct the first 30 workers.” http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_HEALTH_CARE_CONSUMER_TIMELINE?SITE=TXSAE&SECTION=POLITICS&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2010-03-22-13-29-03
    What large company can withstand that type of knock down punishment. If I owned a large company and was facing that bill- I would move my company out of the US…and many will do so, unfortunately.

  51. I have to say that health insurance is important for everyone but its so god damn expensive that many people can’t afford it making min. wage. I have had some family friends die well because they didn’t know they had a illness because they couldn’t afford to go to the doctor. I feel like this reform is great that brings insurance to a large number of ppl….its like philosophy you are bringing more good to people and doing negative things to the other people in this case the rich tax payers. but if this is a federal thing doctors will get paid less to do more and I must say this will most likely bring the service that doctors and people in the medical field will offer. That is my two cents

  52. I believe that the health care system definitely needs some sort of reform. 3/5 of my immediately family members do not have health care. My parents and brother have been put on a “waiting list” for the last year and a half, even though they qualified for a different health care policy. I do not know if I, myself, still have health care. I was notified to send semi-annual reports, and I did, but then they sent another request letter for the reports the following day. They asked that it be sent the next day, which does not make sense, because it takes at least 24 hours for a recipient to receive mail. So, I took the initiative and call them to get a confirmation of whether or not they received my reports. I called every day for a week straight. They either didn’t give me a confirmation, or their rep. was not present.

    If we can’t get Universal health care, I want the gov. to try to at least reform their workers. If there wasn’t a rep. there when I called for one of the days, that would’ve been okay, but for a WEEK straight?

    And, I’m so confused when people call America a socialist now. If having universal health care makes a socialist, then by that definitely, Europe would be a socialist, too, right?

  53. Great blog and I agree with you! Thanks for taking on a tough topic. I’m all for the reform bill and personally feel Obama has done a great job. I’m not buying into all the fear-mongering that the GOP has been doing (and its really bad). I think its a reasonably good bill that will do more good than anything else.

  54. I agree that everyone should be entitled to health care just as Canada has given it to their citizens.
    —I am the government and I am telling you that you must buy health insurance or be fined and I will keep any income tax rebate you have coming to cover the fine!
    Now—I am telling you that you must pay for and get a flu vaccine or be fined!
    Now—I am telling you that you must buy life insurance and have a retirement account or you will be penalized.
    Now—I am telling you that you must leave 25% of your estate to charity when you die or your children will be fined.
    These are just more examples of why we can’t let our government tell us how to spend our personal income on things. Where would it ever end! Communism would be just a step away! Wow that’s scary!
    Bankruptnooption

    • YaY! You said EXACTLY what I believe! Don’t deny healthcare to others but DON’T — by ANY means — let the government tell us what to do.

    • Ok, we ALREADY have to get vaccinated or get fined. You must not have kids if you don’t know that. Its a public health hazard to avoid getting your DPT or smallpox vaccine.
      You already have a national retirement plan, its called social security. Things were so awesome for the elderly before that, what’s say we repeal it? We already pay estate taxes. If you don’t like it, why don’t you give up your police protection, post office, paved roads, public infrastructure, public school, national defense etc. We can argue about which things are worth paying for as a citizenry, but to try to make the argument that this is some big leap from American tradition and the role of government is just plain silly.

  55. Hi there, I commend you albamaria for offering this platform, giving so generously of your time and your polite response to the dissenting viewpoints, and i have to say that I stand firmly in your camp as a global citizen who considers it should be every human being’s right to health care. We do not live in a black and white world and thus no bill on Health Reform is going to please everyone. Ultimately it appears that it is a compromise proposition in order to get anything passed at all. The way most compassionate citizens seem to see this as a start towards a more humanitarian system which to me resonates with the constitutional edict of ‘Government by the people for the people’. Surely health care in a humane society is a basic human right for any functional nation to offer it’s citizens? Thank God it is in my country N.Z. and I enjoyed the comments of my neighbour the Australian goldnsilver. I think you have an amazing leader in Obama who must have one of the most difficult jobs in the world and he deserves all the support you can give him. Reform Health Care and continue to strive to improve it, encourage and incentivise self responsibility, perhaps increase the tax on cigarettes and booze, tax junk food, white flour and white sugar and ads on junk food which all contribute to the decline of a nations health, and give greater focus to the cultivation of wellness, healthy diets and exercise. Some flag wavers seem to consider that these measures might be an intrusion on their rights, but being bombarded by junk food advertising is a far darker intrusion, as it programs people to make unhealthy choices, which lead to diabetes, heart disease and other expensive illnesses.

  56. Hello Momma-
    I’m glad you are getting so much attention to this post and that you are only allowing for decent, mature comments.
    I too support health care reform and have been following it very closely since October.
    I agree with your reasons for supporting reform. I also love the fact that insurance companies are required to spend 85% of our yearly premiums on actual medical costs; anything less has to be reimbursed to the purchaser. I’m hoping this leads to more preventative care.
    I’m disappointed that there is no public option and also disappointed that the fees for denial of coverage is so low (around $30,000 per year for each patient).I think the really sick may still have a hard time getting coverage.
    Overall I’m very happy the bill passed. The costs of medicare and medical were already skyrocketing. This bill is supposed to reduce our federal deficit by $81 billion in the next 10 years.

    • Ok, I’ll bite. So what you and everyone else who brings this up is saying, is that me and my children should not have access to health care (not insurance mind you, but actual care) because there are not enough doctors for us to be included. No, seriously, that is what you are asking. If I get insurance b/c of these reforms you are worried there wont be enough doctors for both you (who presumably already has a doctor and insurance) and me and my family (who do not) to get care. So the logical end of that argument is that all of us, mothers and fathers, babies and children, grandmothers and grandfathers, sons and daughters, we shouldn’t have access to the limited pool of physicians. We can get sick and die? That is what you are saying. You don’t want to share. How about instead you take the attitude of my grandmother, who throughout the depression would welcome in anyone to her table who was hungry, as they had a large garden and chickens. Rather than slam the door on their neighbors they would invite them in and share because “that’s what you do.” You make room at the table and figure out how to make it work. We’re freaking Americans for god’s sake. We put a man on the moon. We ought to be able to figure out a way to ensure babies don’t die because they can’t go to the doctor and kids aren’t left orphaned b/c parents put off their own care to take care of their kids.

  57. After reading your post, which I found naturally on google, I am intrigued more about the thought of health care. I am curious as to the tax incentive that small business owners will get for offering health insurance to their employees. My biggest concern over offering health care to my employees is the overall cost and how much that will go up in the coming years. It’s already out of control in Massachusetts. We are forced to offer insurance if we have 11 full time equivelants or more, so I have to try to keep the size of our company small enough so that I am not forced to offer it. If the cost can be controlled, ie no increases over 10%, then I would consider offering it right away.

    On another note, your doing an awesome job updating your blog with relevant information, that is the key to getting results on the web and that is how I found you naturally. Keep up the great work.

  58. I don’t consider myself Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative – but I am for Social Responsibility – especially with the world population growing as it is. And Capitalism is mostly about speculation, and with that, a lot of social injustice and greed is bound to happen. We live in a moment of me, me, me, me – and our pockets… I agree with Red Pen Mama’s 3 reason, but I also think that by continuing with Health Insurance, we continue the speculation, as insurance is a bet – and health should not be about bets. The reform is very important and daring and it should come with education – people need to better educated instead of allowing the media to dictate the status quo. And Education is also the foundation for the choices we make in life. Thank you for your post – good discussion is always an indication of hope!

  59. I completely agree and i know this is a very big debate with republicans and many other Americans that don’t support Universal Healthcare. As I hear the news and everyone’s negative comments, all I hear is a bunch of selfishness (in my opnion) I think [[ individuals throw so much money at various things, why not help those that have less ]] This is not just a money thing, it’s a moral issue. How can anyone sit there and know that there that a child can’t get coverage because of a special need or pay extremely high premiums because of a preexisting condition. It hits really close to home for me and If i do get taxed extra and know that this will go to those in need, I will pay that tax.

  60. I too am a supporter of health care reform, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for posting. : )

    Eric

  61. Thanks for being so level headed. I’m using your post and refs to help me justify my support of the reform when my in-laws start getting all offensive about the bill/law. Nice blog.

  62. Massage treatment has some hazards too. It should be done by a trained professionally otherwise it may cause more harm than the benefit it can give. Cancer patient should consult their doctors before going for these therapies.

  63. The health coverage is needed for practicing “WELFARE”. Of course, as you said, the bill might have to be amend more, to minimize the side-effect.

  64. Very interesting comments, I would ask, have any of the 155 persons who commented read this bill? I understand you are hearing things in the media and from certain “experts” however if you have not read the bill you are only commenting on what is being said not actual facts.
    Some of the items are true, pre-existing will be removed, Medicare reimbursements will decrease, there will be taxes (guaranteed) and there will be persons in charge of making decisions that are not licensed medical persons (persons over 65 WILL be appointed a Health Care Coordinator to monitor their health).
    While I do not disagree that we need certain areas of health care to be changed, this bill is NOT the answer. This bill give goverment the right to control who you see, when you see them and IF you see them.
    Take a look at Social Security and Medicaid, those institutions are ran and operated by the government, how many of you have actually sit and applied for any type of assistance programs? The people that implement these programs (God Bless their hearts!) are not fully trained, educated and some don’t even care about your well being, are these the types of persons you want telling you that you cannot see a doctor or get a test done? If you want a licensed/educated medical person making those decisions you are going to be very upset in 2012.
    I and four other professionals have read this bill, all of us from various backgrounds and political preferences and believe me, you are not hearing everything in the media. If you are really this interested in knowing what is going on, READ THE BILL

    • @eastlakeinsurance, this bill doesn’t give government control over whom you see, health care wise. that’s a misinterpretation. People over 65 will be able to see whomever they like, and also an end-of-life coordinator to help with with long-term care issues and living wills and the like. The government is regulating the insurance industry, not controlling health care.

  65. I, too, am glad the health bill passed. And in rare fashion. Let them try to repeal health care. It won’t happen. And even if they were successful (not likely) they wouldn’t be able to do anything to repeal until 2013 at the earliest. Dream on anti-health care people. I am glad that fellow Americans will have a chance to receive quality health care. More changes are needed, but this bill is a really great start!

    Great post.

  66. I know i’m not alone on this issue when i oppose it. The governemt has good intentions with heatlh reform, but we all know they will not work as planned. it will be sucessful at the very beginning, then fade away into nothing… I’m worried about the logetivity of this issue….

    • On a similar note, as a foreign observer of parts of the debate, I found the “this-or-nothing” attitude of the pro-side very disturbing. Far too many took the position that even if (arguendo) the suggested implementation was flawed, that implementation should be pushed through because it had the right general idea. The option to reject the implementation for a better based on the same idea seemed to be excluded from the go—even a critical investigation of the implementation was never really on the table in the pro-camp. This can, obviously, come back to bite the US.

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