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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Health Care Reform Debate

health care reform debate
Please share your health care reform opinion below. Comments will be updated three times daily.


Health Care Reform Debate

health care reform debate forum message boardThe nation is divided on the subject of health care reform, as are our political parties. My own opinion has changed over the years. I bought into the Health Care Lobby's bologna in the past. I drank the Kool-Aid, so to speak, that government run health care would be a disaster for most Americans. However, the more I study the subject and get to know very poor people who are not covered, and regular folk you might not consider poor, who some Republicans says choose to "go naked" without coverage, I see the responsibility we have to give our countrymen the basic need of health care.

I myself went against my lifelong Republican Party loyalty to vote for President Obama because of his "hope" message and health care promise. Since then, I've discovered there were many more good reasons to vote for the current President. I'm now proud to call myself an Independent.

We say we are a God fearing nation. Well then, why does the conservative party that claims to be closer to God (mainly because of the abortion issue) seek to stymie free health care and basic services for those who cannot afford it. We feed the poor and heal the sick! The number of people who are not on welfare, but still poor enough to not afford health care, is significant. I've been given an opportunity to see this with my own eyes.

Also, I understand how a major illness can destroy the lives of an entire family whose health insurer may indiscriminately (or at least questionably) decide the sick person does not qualify for specific coverage involving specific illness due to some manufactured (or decided upon) disqualifying reason. Despite having insurance, an entire family can see its quality of life nearly instantly destroyed by such a decision, which I have also seen first hand. We need to take God's work out of the hands of insurance companies.

What do you think? Comment below.

Before you comment, please take a look at this insider's view. This man ran PR for a large insurance company. I like to call his previous position, Chief Liar. He understands the game that is being played by the insurance companies from his experience on the inside. Wendell Potter served as the Head of Corporate Communications at Cigna (NYSE: CI), and his words serve as a wake up call.

Let's call a spade a spade! Not giving Americans the free health care they need is not a proud characteristic of capitalism. It is, rather, inhumane!

health care reform forum message board comment

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree completely with the Greek I too am an independent voter but think something has to change. We need action NOW. And I support Obama's plan.

2:42 PM  
Anonymous Richard Perlman said...

On Health Care Reform:

I congratulate your conversion to rationality and compassion from entitlement and self interest.

Health care is a greed grab in the US. Doctors, insurance companies and lawyers are at the center of the problem. Most MD's, beyond their medical education are narrow minded, self interested pirates who, even if they have good intentions are sucked into the vortex of making money, manipulated and controlled by insurance companies and lawyers.

All one has to do is travel to other countries, mostly third world, to see the truth. While we believe out health care is the best, if you look at most Americans compared to the rest of the world, we Americans are fat slobs, who eat garbage, and are deluded into believing medicine will cure us from what ails us.
We need a wholesale change in attitudes and behavior, and to start with, changing the way health care (nutrition, birthing, consumption of alcohol, carcinogenics, exercise) is seen here in the 'good ole US of A'.

The current recession is just a sympton of all this greed and distorted views of entitlement which constitutes health care, among other things. We have lost our way, if we ever knew it.

I'd say more but it would become a rant.

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why stop at free healthcare?

Why not free food? - isn't that vital for life. And since we should rightfully provide free food, why not good food, prepared by excellent cooks. Surely the government should pay for that, too, if a person cannot provide it for themselves.

Why not free housing, too? I mean, if someone can't afford their own house, they will get stuck in the rain and catch cold!. Shouldn't we be giving everyone a nice place to live, too!

And why not a car? I mean, if someone can't afford a car, how can they get to work?

Hah! This is awesome! Thanks to you I'll soon have free healthcare, food, a house and a car!

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trading security for freedom is not a bargain...I prefer freedom.

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The cancer survival rate in the USA is about 10% higher than any other country. By supporting this garbage healtcare reform bill, you are sentencing 10% of cancer patients to death. Thanks.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous W A Calahan said...

When Rep. Waxman was asked if the generous Congressional Health Plan would be included in the Health Plan being forwarded by the Obama Administration, he replied NO ! Can't blame him, either, but it doesn't speak well for us ordinary citizens trying to survive the financial mess the Government has engineered.

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also went Independent. However, read the Plan - Medical benefits to all including illegals, ACORN and Unions have prominent role in administration, etc. etc. - SOCIALISM at its best ! M. Galgano

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen, Greek. I have terrific and fairly highly subsidized health coverage for me and my family, but I am ready and willing to pay more in taxes on these benefits if it means my when my children get their first (and subsequent) jobs, they don't have to worry about coverage for themselves and their families. I do not villify the insurance companies which are, after all, in business to make profits. I simply insist that there be a viable alternative for that too large percentage of Americans whose lives are far too subject to chance illnesses which can wipe out years of hard work and diligent savings. It is WAY past time...

3:12 PM  
Anonymous The Greek said...

Responding to the Other Side:

Re: the 10% better cancer survival rate

On the contrary, I believe the survival rate difference will increase as we open options up to more Americans, who might otherwise trade their own death for the sake of their family's welfare.

Re: Trading security for freedom

I never once said we should switch from capitalism to communism, but health care should not be a private business where profits take priority over health and welfare, or rather LIVES!

Re: Give free food, housing and a car

You've set a nice trap for me. Of course, subsidized housing is available for the poorest of the poor. The rest of us move out to bad neighborhoods. There are government subsidized food pantries and soup kitchens (with the aid of private grants and donations). What does the poor man do for health care though? What options does he have? He either gets it and sinks his family's future or he doesn't get it and dies, or suffers needlessly.

I think each of these arguments is flawed, and symbolic of the good job the health care lobby has done in convincing Republicans and Americans that this is a bad idea. We need to think for ourselves.

God bless

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to "Why stop at free healthcare?", we do provide free food and subsidized housing to a subset of the population, as well as public transportation. Your snide attitude is so narrow-minded and un-Christian that I wonder where the dictum of "do unto others" got misplaced in your constricted little life.

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've experienced health care in Canada, UK, France and the US. None of these plans are free obviously in that you either pay directly or through taxes.

the UK's is the worst in terms of services etc. and is most abused by end users

Canada's (have not been there in 20yrs) my past experience was good. definately not free as you "premium" is deducted at source each pay check regardless of your income

France, probably the best. definately not free. most people would be paying 20 - 24% social charges (med/welfare) deducted at source regardless of income (ie unemployment checks have an 8% withholding) ~ 15 or 20euro copay each doctor visit, covered perscriptions same. most companies provide suplemental health insurance that would get you brand name perscriptions, private or semi private hospital beds etc. good exmple of co-existing public / private system.

US, expensive inconsistent coverage if you have insurance. Really expensive if you don't. choice limited by insurance companies ie my employer switched plans and we found our existing doctors etc became out of plan therefore more costly etc, etc

what I'd like to see in the US is mandatory health insurance (at least catastrophic health insurance)so that nothing changes for people that have it and those that don't have to get coverage. if they can't afford it then the gov pays some or all of the premium to an existing med insurance company. this could be supported in part by a universal dedicated surtax deducted at source, a fat tax on unhealthy foods, in addition to the usual sin taxes all being earmarked to pay for this.

I'd also like to see insurance reform ie a federal insurance oversight authority rather than individual states. along with the ability to shop for insurance anywhere in the country


3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to listen to your advice, Greek, but now I am SO disappointed that you follow Obama and his controlling tactics. We are losing our freedom because of this man. This universal healthcare is just total control of the people. We won't have any rights to decide our medical care. How in the world can you agree with Obama when you look at the countries that have health care from the government. It is the worst healthcare in the world! Thos e people come to the US to get procedures done that their country won't allow them to have done where they live. Have you read the 1000+ bill? And you still support it?? Let medical people that know the ins and outs of medical practices write up a healthcare reform, NOT congress!! The government has failed at everything they have tried to control: medicare, social security, cars for clunkers, ALL FAILURES!! And you want to trust them for your healthcare??

4:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your belief that Cancer survival rates would increase are not supported by facts.

The stated purpose of Obamacare is to reduce costs. Costs are reduced by reducing services - as in other single payer systems.

Ergo - you are sentencing Cancer sufferers to death.

BTW - you may still think it's worth it, but don't be polyannish. This is not an 'all good' program. It comes at a very high cost - most of them unintended.

10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since when is government providing healtthcare a 'christian'? Having the govt. take control of any sector of the econmy is tyrany, it's not christianity.

Catholics are the biggest providers of healthcare services to the poor. It's done via charity, which is christian.

Why don't all of you people who want to do this as a christian gester donate that money to a hospital and keep your hands out of my pockets.

10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to "we do provide free food and subsidized housing to a subset of the population, as well as public transportation. Your snide attitude is so narrow-minded and un-Christian that I wonder where the dictum of "do unto others" got misplaced in your constricted little life."

As far as govt. programs go, we also already have Madicare, which provides healthcare services to the poor. So using your argument, there is no reason to expand that coverage. THE GOVERNMENT ALREADY PROVIDES A HEALTHCARE SAFETY NET!

Now, we want to make it 'free'? Idiotatic! Lunacy! Let's make everything free, it makes as much sense.

10:15 AM  
Anonymous Greek said...

Regarding already giving Medicare through welfare...

Welfare covers the extreme poor, but leaves out the still struggling to stay alive poor, the can't buy protein poor, the can't ride the subway so I'll walk fifty blocks poor, the we can't afford lunch family poor, and the no way are we going to the emergency room poor. What would you have those people do to heal their illnesses and get access to that top of the world quality health care system you are proud of?

We need to provide basic services to our citizens. Health care is not for profit; it is for life.

6:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Society does provide healtchcare services to everyone.

Is today's system perfect? No, but no system is.

Can it be refored? Yes. Absolutely. But every exonomic example in history proves that - over time - having comptition in service providers produces better results than govt. ownership of a system. I challenge you to name one example to the contrary.

Should we destroy today's system, drag down 90% of the public who are on a good system, to raise the 10% that are in a bad system? No.

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone wants healthcare reform....it's like wanting economic growth. Everyone is for it.

The trick is to devise a system that helps those w/o coverage and reduces the overall costs while not harming those with coverage today. The Obama proposal does not do that. The Obama proposal will costs a lot and will reduce the quality of care available. We need more free market based reforms to maintain quality while reducing the costs.

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Shelter island said...

I too, agree with your current stand.
Comments from Anonymous says and Richard Perlman pretty much sum it up.
Keep up the good reporting.
Shelter island, NY

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Jim Ivey said...

I agree with the Greek and admire his courage and open minded spirit. I have changed how I vote drastically as I've aged. I simply couldn't justify voting my pocket book rather than my beliefs any longer.

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think I'll be reading your comments any more. You are so incredibly nieve in this area that I happen to know a LOT about, it makes me think I shouldn't listen to you about things I know little about.

All of this sappy, "Let's help the poor people that don't get healthcare" is not what this big push for healthcare reform is about at all. Oh sure, it is what is being SAID to get buy-in, but the whole thing is a ploy to create a larger and larger group of pepole who think they are dependent on the government for their very lives.

"Vote for us; we'll take care of you."

In fact a HUGE amount of healthcare is delivered to people who never pay a PENNY for any of it. Specialists see uninsured patients ALL THE TIME and perform the EXACT SAME lab tests, X-rays, operations on them as they do for the best paying insured patients. They prescribe the EXACT SAME medications, give them the EXACT SAME follow-up and care.

All of this while fully well knowing they will never be paid anything, and yet never saying a single word about it to the patients.

No person is denied ANY care based on their inability to pay. It's actually a "feel good" thing we physicians do, charity care.

Of course I can't speak for all physicians and hospitals all over the country, but I truly believe that it is very, very rare for a sick or injured person to be turned away because they don't have an insurance card.

I know this, because I am one.

I'm sure a lot of people think the Canadian system is better. Well, then how do you explain the MONTHS long waiting lists to get surgery for something as dire as cancer? How do you explain the busy American hospitals and clinics along the border where Canadians flock to to get care in a timely fashion?

This "reform" package is truly reform, but it isn't what you think it is. It is a way to let government get control of healthcare in a way that will make RATIONING work. Why is that? Because the Boomers are a-coming, and at current healthcare utilization rates, they will bankrupt the country.

Why not just say, "Let's just pay hospitals and doctors less for delivering it then. That way we can provide all this extra service without an increase in cost." Ok, then. If we do that, are we going to say that all the people who work in healthcare: clerical, technologists, janitors, etc, etc, have to work for less? ... because after all this is such an important thing to do, keeping institutions operating for the purpose of taking care of the sick and injured?

That's obviously not going to work, because nobody will want these jobs. Result: hospitals will go out of business. Many already have, and the rest operate on thin margins. There goes 85% of the healthcare budget.

If the other 15% was completely taken out of the costs, i.e., stop paying doctors, the "problem" would only be 15% better.

So, the answer isn't PAY LESS FOR IT (unless, that is, you actually do want to KILL it.) The answer is DO LESS OF IT (which could also be accomplished by KILLING off a large number of HOSPITALS and discouraging enough DOCTORS.)

The reform sales pitch is just a ploy. It is just a Trojan Horse to give the government more power and more control over who is worthy of receiving care.

Federal Government take-over of entire industries? THAT'S capatilism?

It is not about compassion. Don't be fooled. If that's all it is about, then why not just extend Medicaid to include these low-income people and uninsured? Why not let the insurance industry come up with a catastrophic coverage policy? Why just have Medicaid for people that live below 150% of the Federal Poverty Level?

5:06 PM  
Anonymous fmontyr said...

Markos, "The Greek": You have spoken with the kind of goodness and morality which is inate within our species. I agree with your statement regarding health care.

As for the self-cenetered among us such as "Why stop at free healthcare?" I assume It has a problem with supporting the greatest military in the world for the security of the citizeny; for having public education available to all (even illerates can pick cotton and dig ditches); for having police and fireman for protection; for having diasater relief available in time of need (suspect It would be first in line at FEMA when beachfront property is destroyed in storm). Small selfish people will never go away, but in the end goodness should prevail.

I have followed you for some time and know that you have goodness in your heart. Keep expressing that.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Carlechols said...

I finally see the light with regard to the two national political parties. I had been a Republican since Barry Goldwater but my experiences have taught me that the Republicans used States Rights as a code name for racism and family values as a code name for do as we say and not as we do. I have personal knowledge and familiarity with government run health care. My wife is disabled and on Medicare and we are both on Tricare. I have paid for medical insurance during my working career and can truthfully say that THIS is the best care I have EVER had. Everyone should be eligible for Medicare. The cost could be paid by corporate America at a MUCH less cost than private health insurance currently cost plus the employees would see a huge take home benefit besides. The Democrats were elected to get this done. The Republicans would vote against it no matter what so get 'er done

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I completely support your position on health care.

I am a Canadian having now lived in the US for the last 12 years. While the Canadian health care system no doubt has its issues, all Canadian's are covered and no one individual needs to suffer the financial implications, that we do here in the US, when one has no health care insurance. Many TV advertisements opposing the President's plan misrepresent the Canadian system (and other systems too) taking exceptional situations rather than showing the overall dominant benefits to Canadians. As the richest country (USA) in the world , it is no doubt a "sin" to allow anyone in the US to go without quality health care, even during the financial crisis that we are presently facing as a nation. The Republican party supported by the US "Christian movement" is predominantly politically motivated and completely hypocritical speaking through both sides of their mouths....on one hand we love our brothers and say we will help them while we find reason to do nothing and leave 45 Million Americans without healthcare. There is a solution to the health care challenge (not necessasily the Canadian solution)but this will require a non partisan objective strategy that puts the citizens in this country first before any of the politics of the time. I believe that President Obama, while not right on all of these issues, is trying his best to get this done to the benefit of all Americans.

12:07 PM  
Anonymous SF said...

There is no question that those who HAVE should help those who have NOT

We should all care for the needs of those less fortunate around us

That is not the issue at hand

The issue is whether the central goverment should be the agency through which this help should be administered

The government can mess up a peanut butter sandwich

As an interesting sidebar...those who are most strongly supporting this plan, those who call themselves liberal democrats, as a group do very little in the private sector to help their fellow man. year after year, conservative republicans outgive their colleagues on the other side of the aisle.

somehow they want to push the responsibility on others. they are missing the point...

ask not what your country can do for YOU

9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first comment made - "Obama's Plan". A terrible Idea coming from a man that has "No" business being President.

The main idea of his plan, is to insure that the 38 million Illegal Aliens that are presently living and working in the United States. Will be given the opportunity get in on this health reform and lets not forget the 47 million American Citizens that have no health coverage at all. They will be given this type of reformed coverage too.

Its a disgrace and a joke, now being a Tax-paying Citizen that was born in this country, including both my parents, I don't like the idea of my hardworking tax dollars going to these leeches of society and someone needs to get started with the process of "Impeaching Obama", before this once great country is totally ruined and destroyed by these bleeding heart thugs that seem to think, what is best for us and the country.

10:06 AM  
Blogger Mike48162 said...

Preventive healthcare and medical coverage should be part of the common right all citizens deserve along with fire, police, roads, military etc.

The arguments related to $$$ and 'socialism' seem greedy and unchristian.

You know....if we taxed 'fast food' and used that to pay for the health care program, that would kill two birds with one stone.

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey. Excuse my bad language as my spoken language Are norwegian. I realy dont understand why your country dont have free health care. Why the majorety of us citizen accept a system that only benefit the wealthy and insurance company. My contry norway have "free" health care. Every boddy gets the help they need cerles of sosial satus. Our system will even help tourists free og charge. Of course its not free, we pay tax but its worth it. Good luck to you americans. Hope it turns out wel.

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Wade Foster said...

I am also a lifelong republican who has finally "seen the light" on health care. I have come to believe that it is not a case of whether we provide health care to those without insurance, we usually do, only at a much higher cost at emergency rooms instead of in clinics. It seems so obvious, our social security system works to provide basic retirement benefits, mainly because everyone is required to participate. Social medicine could work just as well. The key is that everyone be required to participate in the basic plan. If you want and can afford more, buy it.

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laughable. Your answer as to why a "National Health Care" system is WRONG!!! Simply look at your precious Greece. BANKRUPT! Next debate please.

8:50 AM  
Blogger Braden said...

"Well then, why does the conservative party that claims to be closer to God (mainly because of the abortion issue) seek to stymie free health care and basic services for those who cannot afford it."

Liberals just don't get it. Closer to God doesn't mean. Closer to the Government. Why don't they get it?

Saying I am close to God and I that I think the government should do "Gods" work is NOT the same thing. So stop trying to make the connection.
Jesus taught to be generous NOT BY FORCE. Don't you get? It's so simple and yet liberals DON'T GET. A program such as "FREE" government health care is FORCED charity. That's NOT Gods plan even in the closest of terms.

11:37 AM  

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