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Your Take: Health Care Reform Bill

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You knew this was coming. :)

On Sunday, the House passed H.R. 3590, the Senate version of the health care bill, along with another bill (H.R. 4872 Reconciliation Act of 2010) to reconcile differences. HR 3590 was signed into law on Tuesday and the reconciliation bill, which the Senate passed yesterday.

Overall my feelings on the bill are mixed but mostly positive. I like the reform elements like preventing rescission and excluding children for coverage for pre-existing conditions. I love that we are moving a little towards preventative care versus prescriptive care, I’d like to see more of that. I’m a little mixed at some of the small business elements where employers are forced to buy insurance, but I think they are palatable because they don’t take into effect unless you have over 50 employees. I’m indifferent to the various Medicare and Medicaid elements that affect doctor payments because I am unfamiliar with how the system actually words (vs. on paper).

A big piece that concerns me are state health exchanges and how they’ll be implemented. It worries me because the bill requires some people to get insurance but doesn’t necessarily make things more affordable. It’s not clear whether insurance companies are required to participate and not everyone is eligible. It’s a bit too much gray area, you know?

Finally, how will insurance companies respond? If the Anthem Blue Cross rate hike in California is any indication, insurance companies know that the death spiral is a very real phenomenon. You don’t raise rates 39% because you think now is a good time to rip people off, you do it because you have no choice. I wonder how insurance companies will respond to the bill before some of its provisions take effect.

As for paying for these changes, we’ll be paying for the changes in the bill by increasing taxes on single filers earning more than $200,000 (about 1 million people) and couples earning more than $250,000 (4 million couples). While some would cry that this is “spreading the wealth around” (and it is) and un-American, remember that the Bush tax cuts slashed the tax bills of the taxpayers who are now seeing their tax bill increase. Pendulums swing two ways in its search for equilibrium.

What do you think about it? I’ve heard all the philosophical arguments from both sides, how this gives millions of Americans hope that their health won’t be denied or how this is the government telling you how to live your life… and I think philosophical arguments are overblown. Everyone talks about how government keeps spending and how it’s the party in power’s fault because of XYZ… which everyone knows is crap because every politician spends like there is no tomorrow (because if they don’t spend on their constituents, there won’t be a tomorrow for them!).

Let’s ignore these overarching arguments that matter only to politicians and let’s talk about the specifics of the bill that you like or dislike. Do you think putting the Medicaid tax on unearned investment income for those earning more than $200k/$250k is bad? What about penalizing employers who have more than 50 employees and don’t offer health care? What specifically do you like and dislike? The point isn’t to try to change someone’s mind about it but understand what people like and dislike about it and how it personally affects them.

Go! :)

{ 187 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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187 Responses to “Your Take: Health Care Reform Bill”

  1. Diane says:

    And for the commenter who asked, “are we all europeans now”? Well, no. My family in France has far, far, FAR better health care than I have.

    I have many exclusions, an enormous monthly payment, and long waits to get into see my doctors (my last GYN appointment was a 4 month wait for the doctor, or 4 weeks for an NP). My family in France has everything covered (vision, dental, etc), day-of or next day visits as a matter of course, health care is not tied to their jobs so it is always available, and excellent high-quality care for both urgent and chronic conditions. I’d trade in a minute. My profession and my business is tied to US companies and wouldn’t work in France, or I would move.

  2. pmulroy says:

    This healthcare “reform” comes down to two changes:

    #1 Health insurance is mandatory.
    #2 Health insurance companies can not deny people coverage.

    Presumably, this will mean people who are young/healthy will buy into the insurance pools and when they get sick they will be covered.

    I don’t understand what democrats are cheering and patting themselves on the backs for. There was nothing stopping people from doing this previously. It would be like a bunch of smokers cheering legislation that made cigarettes illegal because now they could finally be free of their addiction. Did they not realize they could have done it themselves all along?

    The only people this bill helps are those who were irresponsible and did not have insurance prior to needing expensive health care treatment and those who were naive and assumed healthcare insurance that was tied to their employment would never be taken away.

    This bill changes absolutely nothing at a cost of who knows how many trillions of tax dollars and an increase in the entitlement mentality that is so rampant in this country. For now, the “rich” are the only ones being forced to pay for all this, but eventually everyone will “pay” via reduced health care access.

    Oh yah, because the tax increase is listed as a medicare tax increase, the government bureaucrats can point to their charts and say they delayed medicare’s insolvency by a few years. Of course it would take the government to double count tax revenues to show any benefit whatsoever…

  3. Rosa Rugosa says:

    I have to applaud Jim for starting a conversation that was spirited, but not at all vicious, on such a heated topic. Maybe he should run for public office? :)
    This is a real tough one. I’m usually pretty opinionated, and usually an advocate of free-market type solutions, but I agree that our system is way too flawed to feel good about. I can remember when I started working and they didn’t even ask if you wanted the medical insurance. You just got it, and because it only cost $1.59 every two weeks, nobody cared much one way or another. Now that I’m paying $200 per month at the same employer for myself and my spouse, it’s a topic of much more interest. And I’m one of the lucky ones, with a good benefits package and my employer paying 75% of the cost. Where did we go wrong?? I read an article recently about how some hospitals tried a new model that increased efficency, profits, outcomes and patient satisfaction while saving money. Why aren’t we exploring more of that? And I do think Shakepeare might have been right about killing all of the lawyers. I feel like we need to address the fundamental root causes of out-of-control costs, and I have NO confidence in the government’s appetite or ability to tackle that.

    • Jim says:

      Ha, I’m not sure that’s a good idea. :)

      The tenor of the debate here is a testament to the community and not anything I did. I find that commenters and readers are a level headed bunch and I’m glad we’re able to discuss and debate without name calling or other insults (most of the time). I find that we have more in common, regardless of political leanings, than we would expect. :)

    • cubiclegeoff says:

      It sometimes seems that change will only happen when a reformer comes in or someone believes something is broken. But often, this never happens and things don’t get fixed and efficiencies aren’t found.

  4. Andy says:

    I think the health care bill is a step in the right direction, but not the end of the journey by any means. I just wish it would not be treated as a political football and that ALL our congress men and women would treat as the future of American and not a good vs evil fight between the major parties.

    It is early days still, but it has got the ball rolling. It may cost Obama the presidency, but 20 years from now he will be remembered for starting the health care solution that American needed.

  5. Smarty says:

    Here’s one item I’d like to know the purpose:

    *Employers are required to disclose the value of health benefits on employees’ W-2 tax forms.

    So does this mean I am going to get taxed on how much my employer pays towards my medical benefits? (what about dental and vision benefits also?)

    • Jim says:

      That’s the Cadillac tax. In 2018, you’ll be taxed on benefits that exceed $10,200 for single individuals and $27,500 for families. So if you get $10,300 in benefits, you’d be taxed on $100 (the amount that exceeds $10,200) assuming no changes between now and 2018.

      • tom says:

        I think that’s ridiculous.

        So what if a company wants to provide it’s employees with exceptional health insurance?

        I wish I worked for that company!!

        • Jim says:

          If they want to do that, because companies are so benevolent, they could increase your pay to cover the tax.

          • I recall a discussion of certain collective bargaining health insurance agreements being exempted from the “cadillac tax” – does anyone know if this is still true?

          • Jim says:

            They weren’t exempt forever, they were exempt until 2018. The fixit bill adjusted the cadillac tax to start in 2018 for everyone, not just unions.

      • zapeta says:

        Eight years is a lot of time for this to change so we’ll see how this plays out.

  6. Ray says:

    Yes Obama will be remembered as the man who tried to ruin America. It is time for the welfare state to be done and quit trying to enslave a class of people who only wants something for nothing. Let the government take care of them forever. This health care bill has been said it is a great start by Cuba people figure that one out. This country is going broke and we cannot keep taxing the so called rich forever. We are a service country and with out the money to spend things are going to spiral down into a pit. The health care bill is a mess and will take years for anyone to figure out what is really in it and i think you will find more wrong and bad then good if we do not go broke first for we know it will cost this country more then they say it will. Sorry people but things are going up and the cause is not the insurance companies

  7. Garrett says:

    The health care reform doesn’t address the root of the problem – cost. Sure… everyone now can have health insurance, but at what cost? So many fundamental reforms could be made, but weren’t even touched on, such as:

  8. Garrett says:

    1) One of the key reason of bankruptcy due to health care is losing one’s insurance coverage when losing a job. Health insurance should be decoupled from the employer, and should belong to the *individual* so that it is 100% portable as long as one pays the premium. Employer-funded health insurance should be modified such that the employer provide some kind of “health insurance credits” that the employee uses to buy his own *individual* health insurance that is portable even when he leaves the company.

    • zapeta says:

      I agree that this is a huge problem. I know plenty of people who won’t leave their job to start a new business or find a job that they actually like because they’ll lose insurance. I like the health insurance credit idea, it’s the next best thing to a single payer system where everyone is covered regardless.

  9. Garrett says:

    2) Another key reason of why health costs are so high is because of the no-to-low deductible health care plans. First-dollar coverage should encourage people to spend indiscriminately on health care and this is what drives cost up. First-dollar coverage insurance should be banned. A minimum deductible of say $1000 should be introduced. HSAs and HDHP works in lowering health care cost precisely for that reason… but Obamacare is going to kill it! Health insurance was never meant to pay for costs from doctors visit, it was meant to protect one from *major* bills in the five to six digits range!

    • cubiclegeoff says:

      This would require doctors and hospitals to provide the cost of services, and they don’t seem to want to do that.

      • tom says:

        That is something the bill should have addressed. More visibility into true costs of services and care.

  10. Garrett says:

    3) Inclusion of all pre-existing conditions. Great… now we include the sick people and this will drive premiums up! A better way to implement it should be to include all pre-existing conditions up to age of 30. So in this way, you have a choice of getting in when you are young and healthy (as it should be), or stay out and risk being uninsurable (it’s still your choice if you “don’t believe” in insurance).

    • cubiclegeoff says:

      When a pre-existing condition is something treatable, like diabetes, then it isn’t that big of a deal or really increase costs that much. And eventually, if people are not insured, others will have to pay for it anyway.

      • tom says:

        Great point. While I have no problem paying for all the old and sick, because I will eventually end up old and could end up sick (you never know), I do have a major issue with not this bill not strucutring any type of discount system: non smoker, non obese, gym credits, whatever.

        There is 0 incentive for Americans to be healthy and this bill does nothing to change that. Preventative medicine is good, at detecting issues early, but it still puts the burden on the individual to change their behavior, which, again, there is no incentive to do so.

        • saalddin says:

          There is a multiplier for smokers which you can look at as a discount for not smoking.

          But you are right, I don’t know why there is no sort of gym membership credit/deduction etc…

          saladdin

        • cubiclegeoff says:

          I wonder if they were trying to avoid any “discrimination” lawsuits, or if they thought that was too much detail.

  11. Shirley says:

    Because of our age, this reform will affect us the least of any of the comments I have seen so far.

    We are retired and on Medicare, so problems with insurance through an employer is moot. Our HMO (Medicare does not cover preventative measures) premium is actually only one dollar short of being double what it was three years ago, but it is still within our budget… abrasive but not unattainable. Medicare patients are treated respectfully and within reasonable time limits.

    Our tax rate is low because our income is Social Security and a monthly IRA distribution. Our savings account(s) would see us easily through a year or more.

    Other than the age-related physical complaints, I am fairly healthy and take no meds other than vitamins and supplements. My mind is still sharp and I am determined to keep it that way as long as possible.

    Should a catastophic illness be my fate, my ducks are all in a row and I am ready to go quietly because I truly believe that the human body has its limitations and should be allowed to quit with dignity when it’s ready.

    ~~~~ BUT ~~~~
    I applaud the effort to make health insurance available to everyone but find the debt that will be passed on to future generations abhorant and unacceptable.

    I do not agree with the Robin Hood idea of taking from the rich (through additional taxes) to give to the poor, even though I might be a benefiary of that process. In my opinion, that is simply communism at its beginning.

    I believe that each person should have the privilege of PERSONAL choice without retribution in matters that do not physically affect another person.

    I feel that if ADULT illegal immigrants were not afforded the same full benefits as legal residents, we could afford to make healthcare attainable. If they want the same benefits obtainable to legal residents they should become legal, productive, supportive residents. (Yes, I am a Californian.)

    I think that this reform on the whole is only the first foot-in-the-door to a very long trial-and-error road to travel.

    • Yana says:

      Shirley, I don’t believe in punishing the rich (however defined) or the poor. But it should be noted that any such punishment of higher income people via taxation is not transferred to the poor. It goes directly to the medical monstrosity that is the biggest scam ever inflicted on the people. I also don’t discriminate against immigrants of any kind or age, and don’t see a reason to place blame on them that belongs squarely on a system that makes incredibly excessive prices untouchable. If you really think about it, anyone who is not gaining financially from the medical/insurance/pharma system is “the poor”. Poor suckers.

      I do agree with you that this is a “foot-in-the-door”, but the road will only seem long to those who don’t have the time healthwise to survive long enough for true reform. This is being done deceptively instead of in straightforward fashion, and full socialism may replace capitalism as a result. This is extreme.

    • cubiclegeoff says:

      Unfortunately, we’ve been increasing debt for years and this isn’t the only large increase. This issue should have been continued to be dealt with after the Clinton era, but was forgotten. However, I can see an argument being plausible that says health care for all improves the economy since all have access to preventative care and so productivity can go up raising revenues and decreasing debt.

      The “Robin Hood” idea isn’t necessarily all bad. There are a lot of benefits for everyone when we try keep the lowest individuals out of poverty. And it’s easy to forget how much of our lives are actually impacted by these people and help keep the wealthy wealthy.

      I’m not sure how this bill deals with illegal immigrants, but my guess is that it doesn’t matter since they are unaccounted for, and assuming they don’t pay income taxes, they can’t be a part of the system that makes sure everyone buys insurance.

      • tom says:

        Preventative care still rests with the individual and the obesity epidemic proves that prevention is not the answer.

  12. Safeway_Sage says:

    Wow this thread got long fast! I am happy to pay my share for the bill. However, I wish that insurance companies were regulated nationally instead of on a state level. We should have moved beyond this provincialism years ago.

    • billsnider says:

      I am responding to you hopefully to get in the last word on this subject.

      Last Word.

      Bill Snider

  13. Mark says:

    I think some got sold a bill of sale. To call this bill Health Care Reform is a misnomer. It reformed nothing. Costs will still increase.
    You are already seeing employers react. CAT, AT&T, and John Deere have already taken huge hits to their balance sheets. From what I am reading, the stock market should drop about 10% due to forward earnings being hit.
    All these comments about how we now get to see it work….yep, we do.

    The only government program that I am willing to accept as legal is single-payer/total government control via the “general welfare” clause. This clause is meant to extend to everyone and not a particular group. Now, that said, I am against the single payer because our nation is BANKRUPT! We cannot afford it.

    Who is John Galt?

    • tom says:

      Cat, AT&T and JD are just 3 of a huge number:

      http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/atandts-1-billion-charge-connected-to-health-reform-is-just-the/19416371/

      Why can’t we have a single-payer system run by private companies? Eliminate employer sponsored programs, eliminate government run programs (Medicare and such), and have a program simliar to automobile insurance. You can go to any company and you can customize your coverage. The government can regulate this system details and provide subsidies to poor(must offer insurance to everyone regardless of pre-exisiting conditions). Competition will keep cost down. I do not see the downside.

    • cubiclegeoff says:

      These companies are reacting due to one piece of the bill that closes a tax loophole (the government was providing subsidies to these companies and letting them write-off the value of those subsidies even though it wasn’t there money, which is a bit ridiculous).

  14. I do not know much about this bill. I am skeptical of it just because of the people that endorse it tend to be very big government people. These are the same people that developed and implemented policies that lead to the banking crisis in late 2008.
    I am sure there are some good things in it but I would bet there are more bad than good. I just don’t like the idea of the government getting this deep into peoples lives. I do believe that our current health care system is one that has brought the most technologically advance health care to the most people ever in the history of mankind and that this bill will probably destroy that. Yes, there are problems with our current health care system but they need tweaking not a revamping of the whole system.

    • Martha says:

      Oscar,

      I find it hard to believe that it was the implementation of “big government” that led to the banking crisis of late 2008 since most studies show that it was the lack of regulation that led to that crisis.

      Here is a good overview that explains how the subprime mortgage crisis occurred and was not prevented: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subprime_mortgage_crisis

      And here is an article from The Economist (well respected) about how we need better regulation, not just more regulation to help prevent such crises in the future:

      http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2008/09/crisis_roundtable_work_smarter

      But I agree with you that our current health care system has provided excellent care and innovation for those who can afford it.

      • uclalien says:

        @Martha
        While the banking industry should receive its share of the blame for the housing bubble and subsequent banking crisis, the government definitely played a huge part. Consider the implicit (now explicit) guarantee of Freddie and Fannie. Then consider the various programs through which the government pushed banks to give mortgages to high risk borrowers. Then consider the fact that the government didn’t used to tax ANY interest paid on debt, but chose to levy taxes on all debt except mortgages (creating a huge subsidy to the industry). Then top it off with extremely low interest rates set by the Fed. Keep in mind that these examples are only a small sample of how the government has pushed home ownership for the past century. As a result, the various government programs provided ample incentive for banks to take more risks. So while banks were negligent for their lack of lending standards, the government was the catalyst for the much of the debacle.

        • Commonsense says:

          Uclalien is spot on. I can’t explain it better than Peter schiff, so if you don’t believe uclalien, I suggest checking out the schiff report.

        • NateUVM says:

          Agreed. The government, through a mass of deregulation, fostered the situation where business, motivated by the upside, took unnecessary risks, undermining the economy.

          I’m glad that we can all agree that more regulation is needed in the financial sector.

          • uclalien says:

            I’m not sure that “more” regulation necessarily solve the issue. I think we are in need of more effective regulation. In some ways, this would require additional regulation. But in many other ways, it would require less. The system we have now is just a mess no matter how you look at it.

            That said, given what I’ve heard/read that is coming out of Washington, I don’t see any truly effective change on the horizon. Much in the same what I feel about this health care reform, more often than not, politicians pass bills/laws simply to make it appear as if they are doing something, whether or not anyone believes it will be effective.

          • uclalien says:

            I should also add that we are talking about the housing and financial/banking sectors, two industries that experience more regulation and more government intervention than almost any industry that hasn’t been completely taken over by the government.

            Honestly, I don’t see the “mass of deregulation” that so many people blame for the crisis. While deregulation occurred in some ways (Glass-Steagall), the reality is that the government was too big and slow to adapt to the new innovations that became widely used by the financial industry (e.g., CDOs). But it is my belief that government manipulation of the housing market, was the primary driver for the crisis. This manipulation created the incentives for the financial industry, home buyers, and real estate developers to take the risks they took. Absent the government’s manipulation of the housing sector, I’m skeptical that these other issues would have come to fruition.

    • cubiclegeoff says:

      Sure, we have advanced care, but if most people can’t afford that care and it isn’t used, what’s the point? Especially since most of these technological breakthroughs have come at the cost of taxpayers already through federal grants to hospitals and universities.

      And making opinions on a bill just from the individuals that endorse it (and its a large, diverse group that do), is a bit silly.

  15. Diane says:

    @Garrett: I am not sure what world you are referring to, but it is not the world of those of us who buy insurance on the private market in America. Your suggestion of a “high” deductible of $1000 is a dream for many of us. For most of us who are self-meployed, that is a low deductible that most of us cannot even aspire to. My rate for that deductible (per this year’s rate change) will be $700 a month. Obviously that’s more than I can swing. For a deductible of $5000, I will now be paying $300 a month. I have friends who have a deductible of $10,000 for over $400. It’s really bad unless you happen to be covered by an employer.

  16. Rebecca says:

    I have been involved in the healthcare field for over 30 years. The “poor” have always had coverage available through medicaid. They have to apply and follow through the steps of the process and then they are covered.
    The group that are at issue are the working “poor”. They dont have ins through their employer and cant afford the premiums.
    Currently we will all be taxed and forced to buy insurance – even if we can not afford it. The current rates will not be going down. So now you are forcing all of us to purchase something that we could not afford. If you make less than $88,000 you will be put into the medicaid “pool”. Apparently you have NO idea that there are not enough doctors taking Medicaid/welfare currently. They receive approximately $33.00 for a visit that they charge $100.00.The balance has to be written off by the doctors office. In the past this has been considered charity and most doctors will take some patients who have this coverage. Now we will all be on the medicaid/welfare program – that we have to “BUY” and will have our access to doctors restricted (currently is takes an average of 42 days to get an appointment if you have welfare). This time delay will have to increase, as you are adding millions of patients and no more doctors.
    Secondly – with the decrease in reimbursement to the doctor – the quality of care will diminish as they will have to see a larger volume of patients in the same amount of time. The ability of the medical community to continue research and development will be halted. Therefore no more “innovations” in healthcare that we Americans take for granted and the rest of the world wants to copy.
    The insurance companies will become “utilities” of the government. So now this is killing private sector jobs (way to go)
    Medicare has been cut by $500,000 billion dollars. This will impact ALL seniors ability to see their doctors.
    Who wants the IRS to be in charge of deeming insurance coverage amounts and then enforcing the collection of the premium?? They will be checking on all Americans – monthly- to make sure that you are buying ins, paying the amount they say – or you will be SUBJECT TO FINES – which the IRS has the power to collect. Who wants the IRS looking at them monthly???
    Instead of “fixing” the problem for the Americans who need an “affordable” answer to the health insurance problem, we will now have the majority of Americans on a welfare(they are calling it a “state health exchange” -lets call it what it really is WELFARE, which will end up costing the same or higher than your premiums now (look to massachusets to see proof- their costs went up).You will be FORCED to buy ins and stalked by the IRS who will ENFORCE fines if you do not cooperate. You will not be able to see a doctor when you want- care will be rationed(currently is now for welfare)All reasearch and development and private insurance sales force – will no longer have jobs. Medicare has been decreased for the people who need it most.
    AND they have taken over the student loan program – through the healthcare bill “sneaky”
    Please pay attention to this fact – CONGRESS AND THEIR STAFF ARE EXEMPT FROM THIS BILL. They wrote the laws so that it does not apply to them. Think there might be something wrong that we have not even been told yet??
    We need to be aware of this underhanded law that has over promised and will underdeliver and we and our children and their children will suffer for it. We all need to work to get American back to the land of the “FREE” – and get rid of the people in power who are trying to enslave us by making laws that they do not follow and are unconstitutional.

    • Yana says:

      Rebecca, your post is very different from all the others I’ve seen here. I wonder what kind of involvement you’ve had with the health care system, because I don’t see anything in there that is believable. You actually make me love the health care reform bill, even though in itself it is not very lovable.

      • tom says:

        Are you saying Rebecca is not believeable? Because the same can be said for anyone commenting on this post, including you.

        I also don’t follow why her statement makes you love the bill more?

        • Yana says:

          tom, Rebecca’s post sounds angry and alarmist, as though we should be terrified by the legislation. She puts WELFARE in all caps, and makes sure we know she is an authority by her first sentence. My reaction is contrary to her intention. I support honesty, and will do the opposite of what someone using scare tactics tells me to do.

          On the other hand, every other post I’ve read here shows thinking and honest opinion on the part of the writer. I appreciate diverse opinions because I like understanding how others think about this, and it helps me understand the issue better as well.

          • tom says:

            Fair enough, just wanted to clarify.

          • Rebecca says:

            Dear Yana,
            the reason that I wrote the information that I did was so that the majority of Americans who do not know the medical side of the healthcare bill can become more informed. If you have worked at an occupation for as long as I – in management as well as patient care – you have seen the “workings” of the helthcare system as we know it. Are you aware that physicians have been taking cuts on the medicare/medicaid system since the early 90′s? Their in-office costs have gone up and their reimbursement has gone down. Now they are waiting to see if there is an additional 20% cut for 2010. Who will continue working in a field that will be so regulated that they can not treat the patients based on their own judgement – nor get reimbursed at a rate that will sustain their overhead?
            My post is not to scare anyone. Just to give additional information so that you can make a decision based on facts.
            I am currently against this bill as it does not address the concerns of the people,and raises costs that will be passed on to future generations. However, there is a real need for healthcare reform so that we can continue to enjoy the best healthcare system available and I think that congress should listen to the American people and propose a bill that will truly help us in the way that is needed.

  17. tom says:

    **********QUESTIONS TO ALL************

    There has been a lot of great discussion so far, but I’m curious…

    Do you support or oppose the current bill?

    In general, what would have to change in the bill for you to support?

    • tom says:

      I oppose the bill.

      In order to get my support the bill would:

      1. Remove required coverage clause and penalties (but if you do not have insurance and get sick, you should pay at least 20% more for ala-carte care)
      2. Address actual cost of care (malpractice, administrative costs, defensive medicine, preventative care, etc.)
      3. Eliminate Medicare/Medicaid, employer sponsored healthcare (if employers used to offer health care, they must now add that to salary), and federal government program
      4. Setup a the framework for a national heath insurance program (not run by Government), run by private insurers similar to our automotive insurance competition network, where people can chose their coverage, deductibles, and shop around for insurance. Everyone can get insurance through this program.

      I think that’s it.

    • saladdin says:

      Support.

      Macro view: Single payer
      Micro view: Some type of gym credit. Required annual physical exam of some type to qualify initially.

      saladdin.

    • cubiclegeoff says:

      I support the bill, but looking at it as a first step rather than a complete, final package.

      The reason I don’t like the idea of allowing people to choose to be covered or not s because those that can’t afford it, won’t pay for it, and if they get sick, we’ll end up with the tab. If we can get those people to agree that they won’t seek any medical coverage, then fine, but I don’t see that as being realistic.

      I would like to see a better attempt at cutting costs. I think the insurers, hospitals and providers should be non-profits only (similar to France’s system), and workers should be on a salary – some systems already use a salary system, such as the <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=113052504&ft=1&f=1027"Mayo Clinic, one of the most respected health care providers in the country and world. Administrative costs should be cut (through the use of technology and a better medical record system). Med schools need to be more affordable so doctors can work for a reasonable salary and not worry about paying their loans.

      I’d prefer a single-payer system, as I mentioned before, with med school costs kept reasonable with decent scholarships and other aid available, salaries for doctors, combined with tort reform.

  18. Rebecca says:

    Tom,
    I agree with you on all the issues. We all need to research the items mentioned to have a clear idea of the direction healthcare should take.

  19. Jetoun Bell says:

    I LOVE THE HEALTHCARE BILL. I think the tea party is cutting off their nose to spite their face. These poor people do not understand that older people will get $250 this year for help with their prescription drugs. Children cannot be turned away for pre-existing conditions. Lots more. READ!! The TEA PARTY only listens to uneducated people like Sarah Palin, Limbaugh, Beck and the senators. They’d rather listen to lies and ignorant FOX NEWS, than really seek out the truth. No matter, they’ll still benefit from HC Bill.

    • Randy says:

      Guess what, Right now there isn’t anybody turned away because they can’t pay !!!!!!! Pal you have no clue on what is really going on in America !! Just keep on watching ABC,NBC, CBS etc… because they tell you just what you want to hear !!! Oh I for got they are the real news… NOT liberal jerks is what they are !! Lets screw up the whole health care for 32 million people…. Humm lets see 268 million people have health care now with out government being involved! Government has no business running that much of the of the economy !! It looks like I lost part of my comment. I sure hope all shows up.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Look,…..exhale……..keep it simple. What has govt. done so well that would make you give them a vote of confidence for this healthcare. Social Security, Medicare, Public Schools, Poverty- still here, Anything not broken or Bankrupt? Govt to me is sloppy unaccoutable work with a big pension based on a padded last three years salary. Why do you want it bigger?
    Do not rely on Nancy Pelosi or Barak Obama to help you in your life- Look at Nancy’s California (Get your refund yet!). Look at history not only here, but around the world, make your own logical decisions and you will be OK.
    A LOGICAL DECISION DOES NOT INVOLVE HANDING THE BILL TO MY 1 OR 4 YEAR DAUGHTER AND SON! THAT IS NOT RIGHT! NO WAY!

  21. eric says:

    Needless to say, my head is still spinning! So much to dig out and through.

  22. Randy says:

    The government that governs least governs BEST!!There is no way with the government involved in health care that it will be cheaper to run period!!! This is just one more way obama is moving the country to socialism. Our founding fathers will be rolling over in there graves!! obama just upsets me so much the way he is ruining our country !!

  23. Dave says:

    I can’t believe even a democrat would think this is good. With the company I work for I have an HMO and have to pay about $65 a week, but I don’t see a bill. This could be taken away and if we have to pay it could put us in the whole. Our we as a country that stupid or am I missing something. To many egos in Washington with both parties and they need to get a clue before it’s to late. This country needs some serious help


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