Las Vegas Sun

January 29, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

‘Obamacare’ is set to be a disaster

Regarding the letter, “What takes the place of ‘Obamacare?’”

What we have seen from “Obamacare” is the following: First, the cost of it has been adjusted to twice the original projection when the bill was passed. The current cost of Medicare is 10 times the originally estimated cost when it was passed about 45 years ago. That means “Obamacare” has a very good chance to bankrupt this nation if it is not stopped. Second, “Obamacare” claimed that if you liked your insurance, you could keep it. The Congressional Budget Office now says 4 million or more Americans will have their employer health care dropped because of the program. Finally, when “Obamacare” was passed, we were told it would cause premiums to go down. They have risen dramatically due to mandates in the bill.

But here is the aspect of the letter that I find exasperating. The argument seems to be unless you can produce something better, we need to stick with a program that is almost assuredly going to be a disaster. Is this the argument of the left — that higher costs, potential bankruptcy and worse access are better than nothing? I find it incredible that anyone would listen to that sort of argument, but indeed it seems to be the hard-and-fast position of some on the left.

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  1. The big problem with health care in the United States is our insistance on clinging to a private insurance model to deliver it. We spend 18% of our GDP on health care. That cost is passed on to consumers of anything we manufacture, services we provide, and makes our exports that much more expensive. All other industrialized countries use a single payer system and spend 11% or less of their GDP on health care. To add insult to injury, they outlive us by 2-4 years.

    Healthcare costs will crater the U. S. economy way before our National Debt does if we don't get wise to this soon.

  2. To Joseph and Re Freeman I say the following:

    Our present health care insurance system badly needs to be addressed because it really doesn't work very well. Costs rise much too quickly. Many Americans can't afford health insurance and use emergency rooms for their care. Insurance overhead adds too much cost. True competition is minimal. The model of care where the more you do, the more money you make is one where costs are bound to sky rocket, as they have. As a small business owner I pay nearly $ 500 a month for mediocre insurance and a friend of mine pays over $ 800 a month due to a pre-existing condition. Nobody should define the system we have as 'great' because it just isn't.

    To the supporters of the affordable health care act, I say the following: This is poor legislation that doesn't make medical care 'affordable' as the title suggests. Instead, it cost shifts and does little to affect rising costs. If you provide coverage to the millions who now go to emergency rooms and compel everyone to purchase insurance, but the extra revenue generated isn't enough to pay for what the program costs (analysis says it won't), either you have to ration care or raise insurance premiums.

    I say this to all Americans: D's and R's in Congress have left the messed up system in place for a long time. When they finally act they create poor legislation (the affordable care act) that doesn't really address the problem and, as usual, does the bidding of the powerful drug, medical equipment, hospital and doctor lobbies.

    It is time to call these people on the poor job they have and are doing instead of arguing over what is worse, the present system or the affordable care act. They both stink and so do members of Congress.


  3. There are parts of Obamacare that most of us appreciate--the elimination of preexisting conditions rerstrictions, extension of age limits for the young to 26, restrictions on premium hikes---but the major part of this legislation is filled with expensive poisen pill cost/tax hikes that will be crippling. Furthermore, who in their right minds thinks that the millions who cannot afford healthcare will run out and buy mandated insurance--regardless of the number of IRS agents employed to enforce the mandate. In the final word, these uninsured, many or most of them, will remain uninsured.Mandating the purchase of insurance does not assure that it wil;l happen. Obamacare is a mess. Nevertheless, we should create a healthcar law that achieves the best things in Obamacare, and pass it. Also, the restriction against purchase of insurance across state lines must be lifted. Expansion of competition is vital to reducing healthcare insurance costs. Obamacare may not survive the current Supreme Court case. Nevertheless, healthcare reform is vital.

  4. The cost estimate is complete bull. A congressman made it up and fox ran with it. Read the CBO report. It is on line.
    Medicare costs have exploded because health costs have been rising at 2 to 3 times aggregate inflation for decades.. Costs have risen much faster than estimates all over the world. A projection that came out several days ago reflect family costs exceeding 20K per family this year and medical at 50% of the economy in the next few years. Over 40K per family per year.

  5. The writer never states whether or not he sees any problem with health care before the Affordable Care Act and, if so, what changes he might support to solve those problems.

    Nearly all of the hundreds of things the GOP has said about the law have been complete fabrications. Utter BS. The above lists them ALL. I put together some of the nations first ERISA medical trusts and worked on cost containment issue for years when I belonged to the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.
    There is NOTHING harmful about the law. A lot more cost containment needs to be built in but it dramitically increases coverage for those who need it. Mainly those uninsured with chronic illness as well as the young. Millions have already signed up.
    Employees are losing employer coverage by the millions. Employers are cutting back on quality coverage and millions are going broke.
    If the GOP gets it's way they will presiding over the only country where people spend more money at Walgreens than they do on food and housing.

    One of our local attorneys.
    Mr Reid...I read the CBO report. Did you?

    Read the latest from the CBO. It reflects a $48 billion savings from previous estimates due to improved economic conditions.

    Employer based coverage has been on the decline for years. The days are over when we can expect our employers to pay the $150 trillion in med bills coming due over the next few decades.
    When people figure out they will be covering much of the cost without Obamacare out of their own pockets the GOP will get hit with a crap storm the likes of which the party has never seen.
    60% of BKs currently have a medical component. 80% of those are insured. Even with insurance millions go bust. Wait until half the economy is medical bills. The above Vegas bankruptcy lawyer is in a growth industry.

  10. While we're at it, why not nationalize the farms and food industry, as well? After all, we all have to eat and farmers, food processors and manufacturers are all making "profits" and are "greedy." Yep, everyone is greedy except for those such as dipstick who delights in the fact that he has a hundred bucks a month more at the expense of others. Let's turn a blind eye to the fact that we are bankrupting the country and spending our kids & grandkids money and are unconcerned about their future. Let's just all be selfish like dipstick and his fellow travelers. We'll all be dead when the bills actually come due so what does it matter?

  11. lvfacts101 - "While we're at it, why not nationalize the farms and food industry, as well?"

    Why do you think Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry received millions in susidies for their farms?

    PISCES41(Jim Weber) - "The big problem with health care in the United States is our insistance on clinging to a private insurance model to deliver it. We spend 18% of our GDP on health care." "Healthcare costs will crater the U. S. economy way before our National Debt does if we don't get wise to this soon."

    PISCES41 made the smartest comment on the subject of health care. Health care costs are running away, not because of Obama, but because the system is run for profit.

    "In his testimony, Potter outlined specific techniques insurers employ to "dump the sick" and protect stock price at all costs. His testimony was logical, specific and convincing, but that's only part of what makes Wendell Potter a perfect turncoat in the eyes of the pro-reform movement."

  12. Comment removed by moderator. refers to removed comment.

  13. I have said a number of times now that before any real change or solution can be designed the whole question of universal health care needs to be put on a solid footing in relation to properly being a service that is provided by the government.

    Here are the concluding thoughts of one person who I think has put forth a starting point for such a debate:

    "On the larger question of whether the United States ought to be actively involved in healthcare delivery, it is worth noting that John Locke sometimes included "health" alongside "life, liberty, and property" as the most important natural rights of a free people. Locke provides a touchstone when seeking to understand the Founders' philosophy of government. One of the Founders was also a physician. He was a man named Benjamin Rush, and he warned us, "Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution the time will come when medicine will organize itself into an undercover dictatorship " [allowing this to happen would be] un-American and despotic.""

    You can find the full blog post (well worth the read for both conservatives and progressives) here: http://www.newindependentwhig.blogspot.c...

  14. Health care costs will stabilize and retreat when users pay their way, or part of it thru serious copays. Free "lunch" for those who are not entitled but receive Medicaid etal will keep the costs skyrocketing. So we need to encourage ER's to NOT provide care to those who are not having emergencies including those who don't take care of their ongoing health but run to an ER when they get a bit scared. Laws say ER's must treat, regardless of ability to pay, if there is a real emergency. I see where State legislators are considering copays for Medicaid since even the "poor" have some discretionary income--TANF is cash assistance for families, mothers, kids. Social Security income is available even to those so poor they qualify for Medicaid. Every one must be expected to prioritize their spending leaving room (emergency funds) for unexpected expenses.

  15. Ace...If you look at the link provided by the writer Mr Koenig it is the same as my 0722 post. Go to the bottom of the report. When all the gross cost and net cost variables are factored in the cost will be 1.1 trillion. A 48 billion savings from the last estimate. All do respect to Koenig he really should read the entire report.
    Just look at the last couple of lines.
    If these reports were correct it would reflect a 900 plus billion increase. It does NOT.
    It's stunning the way so called journalists write about these things with no due diligence whatsoever. Absolutely amazing.

  16. Victor,

    It seems there could be some very interesting debates on Full Faith and Credit there, as well.

  17. Roberta...absolutely correct. Currently people pay about 15% out of pocket. The vast majority comes from insurance. But, every year people pay more and more. In Texas they passed a law that folks have to pay for emergency room care. Visits have dropped like a rock. Let these deadbeats go to a Walmart quick care center for a sore toe and pay few bucks.
    As people have to pick up more of the tab prices will drop.
    The combination of over use and for profIt medicine will come to an end sooner rather than later. There isn't one special interest group in the country that believes healthcare is even remotely affordable.

  18. A few people here are advocating for means-testing for Social Security. I haven't formed a conclusion on that yet, but I can see co-pays for medical services in a universal care setting being based on ability to pay.

    While reading about system in other countries I have seen that co-pays are one of the main tools in use to help prevent over-utilization and control costs.

    One thing that should be kept in mind when talking about health care in other countries. In most cases it is a mix of basic services being provided by the government, with people having some way of adding additional private coverage. That necessarily implies rationing of services (meaning what is provided and what isn't) by the government involved as a cost control, too.

  19. Victor, you said this: "...millions of people lost their health insurance when their employers dropped coverage."

    Okay, so under the ACA those people are expected to go to the state exchange and get a replacement policy, right? The question is this: is there any reason to think that the money saved by employers would be returned as higher wages so those people could afford a replacement policy?

    It is presumed that employers dropped coverage while trying to remain in business. If that is the case, why would they give out pay raises?

  20. Victor,

    The NRA efforts are centered on FFC so far as I know, and your comparison to that brought that to mind.

    Here's thought (possibly not much of one.) Say for sake of discussion that the feds opened up insurance across state borders. Since that is undeniably interstate commerce, could the feds take over all regulation functions, eliminating the need, or possibly even the jurisdiction of current state agencies in that area?

  21. Hey Gogo: Houses are 10 times what they were 45 years ago. Gasoline is 14 times what it cost 45 years ago. Your comparisons demonstrate nothing. Stop wasting everyone's time.

  22. Silly libs, why can't you just understand this? Providing health insurance is a BUSINESS, and the entire point of operating a business is to make money.

    I can't get over these muddle-headed "libs" and "socialists", who seem to expect that American business should bend over backwards for them and actually give up profits so that they can pay for their health claims -- talk about "the entitlement society"!!

    I understand this from a personal perspective: I have a relative who is with a health insurance company that provides affordable coverage. Their typical customer is, you know, the sort of loser who got laid off from his job, has a family to support, and can't afford to pay $1000 plus a month for COBRA coverage. Or maybe the sort of loser who works for a small business that doesn't provide health insurance benefits for employees, so he has to buy his own coverage. Or maybe some sick loser with a "preexisting condition" and nobody will cover him. You know the type -- probably "libs", right?

    Well, this company has a great business model: they get these kinds of desperate losers to sign up with them so that they only have to pay, say $300 a month for the privilege (and it is indeed a privilege, and not a right) of owning an attractively-designed health insurance card. Now, would you think that these losers appreciate the fact that they have affordable coverage? Think again -- read what some of these ungrateful socialists have to say:

    Do you want to see a prime example of some bellyaching lib loser? Check this out:

    They just don't get it!! Hello libs, this company has a BUSINESS to run, understand?? They are in business to collect premiums and make money; they cannot be burdened with your health problems!! This is America, and this is not some "entitlement society". If you can't afford the coverage and you have a health problem, remember: it's YOUR PROBLEM, NOT MINE!! Go move to some socialist country if you don't like it, but don't rag on American business!!

    For all of you on this board who do understand and know what I'm talking about, see you at the next Tea Party rally!!

  23. Doug...we have an employer based healthcare model. Thats where people get coverage. Only 8 million buy insurance themselves. This didn't use to be a problem when insurance was affordable. Currently many businesses can no longer afford the benefit. That's why the model is breaking down.

  24. Gerry - Surely you're not implying that Wendell Potter may be RIGHT, are you?

  25. 500 billion is spent on the old out of 2.7 trillion in expenditures. That's less than 20%. What is true is that 80% is spent on 20% of the population of all ages

  26. <<Social Security income is available even to those so poor they qualify for Medicaid>>

    I disagree with this statement. If a senior is SO POOR as to quaify for Medicaid, their Social Security benefit is so low,, there is NO extra income available.

    Roselenda - YOU try living on $500-600 a month and also pay for medical care. (Don't forget - that Medicare premium is also deducted every month from Social Securit benefits)

  27. <<Their typical customer is, you know, the sort of loser who got laid off from his job, has a family to support, and can't afford to pay $1000 plus a month for COBRA coverage. Or maybe the sort of loser who works for a small business that doesn't provide health insurance benefits for employees, so he has to buy his own coverage. Or maybe some sick loser with a "preexisting condition" and nobody will cover him. You know the type -- probably "libs", right?>>

    @Douglas Day - I think the LOSER here is YOU. You must be such a "winner" (or you THINK you are a winner) to believe you can categorize more than half the population as "losers". Or are you just referring to "libs"?

  28. "Obamacare' is set to be a disaster"

    The title should read; Obamacare is a disaster.

    Obamacare is just another program enabling the liberal gene pool freebies at the expense of others. They don't want their followers to think or do anything for themselves, they want the system to donate and think for them so they don't have to act or think the normal way of life.