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Rank health care bill priorities

By Jodi Westrick  |  March 19, 2010; 4:35 PM ET  | Category:  National Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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I'm always surprised how many people want the government to take care of them. Far from a nation of rugged individualists, we're now more a nation of quaking dependents in decline. It seems increasing numbers would trade freedom for promises of security.

Posted by: hit4cycle | March 20, 2010 8:42 AM

Ummm, that's what a government is for, HIT.

Posted by: topwriter | March 20, 2010 9:15 AM

Americans overwhelmingly want a public option similar to Medicare that is available to all. But it's not in the bill. Why not?

Simple... look at the home page of the Post today under "How is Congress Voting?" Pay close attention to the column labeled "Contributions from the Health Industry."

That was easy, wasn't it?

Posted by: ancient_mariner | March 20, 2010 3:18 PM

Typical useless poll from the "Orweillian Post," leaving out what are most important need reforms.

My priorities are:

1) Reforms within three months of a bill being passed, not nearly four years

2) A ban on discrimination based on preexisting conditions

3) A ban on lifetime or annual limits for physical and mental health treatment

4) No reductions in Medicare spending

5) A public option

6) Either no individual mandate or subsidies for all people in the middle class residing in this country legally

7) The reforms to be financed by increasing taxes on the top ten percent of households and reducing military spending by $ 100 billion a year

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | March 20, 2010 6:52 PM

Wow, talk about an "implied consent" closing technique.
How about just allowing interstate commerce and establishing a federal minimum level of coverages that all state regulatory boards have to comply with (14th Amendment style)?
Eliminate the individual mandate. That's not acceptable. If you want the public to fund your plan, have the testicular fortitude to tax them, and then see if they approve.

Posted by: OttoDog | March 20, 2010 8:03 PM

Open up competition selling insurance across state lines. Limit malpractice awards to reasonable sums, which would lower Dr. fees to cover themselves, which would lower rates.
Don't cover illegals that are here-send them home. If you deliver a child that you can't pay for, you get a Norplant device inserted so you don't get pregnant again, we pay for 1 of your children, not 6!
If you manage to waddle over the border to have your pups, after you deliver we send you back on a bus, you don't win the lottery for life, where I pay for you forever.

Posted by: steveiev | March 21, 2010 8:10 AM

Healthcare is a Moral Issue

I put up a site about the morality of healthecare to discuss this point.
http://christiansagainsthealthcare.com/

Posted by: bestbobleonard | March 21, 2010 8:13 AM

How long is it going to take companies like Caterpillar to move to places like India? Costa Rica? Panama? Even China? Obama, Pelosi & Reid are removing the incentives and reasons why businesses should do business in the USA. We were already #2 in corporate taxes ..... IN THE WORLD! Now we have the likes of Pelosi, Obama and Reid -- who have never struck a lick -- KILLING JOBS!

Just remember in November folks, or get work visas in some free countries overseas!

Posted by: wheeljc | March 21, 2010 8:49 AM

'm always surprised how many people want the government to take care of them. Far from a nation of rugged individualists, we're now more a nation of quaking dependents in decline. It seems increasing numbers would trade freedom for promises of security.

Posted by: hit4cycle
-----------------------------------------

No, you don't understand at all. It's not about the government taking care of you, it's about you taking care of you instead of big companies deciding what you get based on what profits them the most.

In the US today, unless you are covered by Medicare, the VA, or the DoD, employers, insurance companies and their administrative intermediaries, hospitals, drug companies, and medical device companies decide what health care you get, from whom, under what conditions, and for what price -- and even have a great deal of control over your physicians and other health care providers. None of those entities is accountable to you at all and believe me, they all have well paid lobbyists to drown out your voice.

Every other developed democracy has a national health care system. Some are very centralized while others are essentially regulated national private insurance systems, somewhat like the system the bill now before the House would put into effect.

This isn't perfect but it begins to tip the scales in favor of a health system that is accountable to the individuals who are paying for it. It's not being dependent. On the contrary, it's the people exerting control over a very important matter in their lives. We should have done it a long time ago. A lot of people have taken a great deal of money out of the US health care system over the years without adding any value or efficiency at all -- rather they're just there to take your money and shove their terms down your throat.

No, the Obama solution isn't ideal, but at least you can vote for or against members of Congress. You can't vote for or against the CEOs of health insurance companies and believe me, they know it.

Posted by: Bob22003 | March 21, 2010 9:15 AM

The wingnuts in this country never cease to amaze me. They call trashing the Constitution patriotism, and using government for exactly the purpose it was intended – to do what we can't individually do for ourselves – as dependency.

So, oh rugged individualist dickwad, I assume you dug your own sewer and eschew all those government dependency inducing roads.

Posted by: Clarkpark | March 21, 2010 9:20 AM

So now I need the government to tell me I need health insurance? That I need to subsidize the entitlement hounds? That the IRS will be knocking on my door and I will have to pay a fine if I choose not buy health insurance? Any of my elected officials who votes for this travisity, I will be working for the other guy and my vote goes with it.

Posted by: zendrell | March 21, 2010 10:10 AM

I think the first thing the Republicans should do when they take over in November is amend this bill to take out all the corruption. No Cornhusker kickback, no Louisiana Purchase -- all of it gone. And best of all: deem that all provisions apply equally, meaning that the unions get their cadillac plans taxed. Immediately. Then send that to the President's desk.

If he vetoes it, it's because it was all about corruption, right? The liberals feeding at the trough? Because he says he never asked for any of that stuff.

Wouldn't that be hilarious? The liberals lose their jobs AND their bribes?

Posted by: diesel_skins_ | March 21, 2010 11:16 AM

Lots of people opposed to this bill think Medicare, Social Security and the VA are great, but guaranteeing health care to those other people is socialism.

Social programs like the GI bill built the enormous middle class we have today by offering education to the masses. Was that socialism too? Go ask your parents what their lives would be like if they hadn't been able to go to state universities at a low cost. How about civil rights? Look back at what a viciously racist country we were just 40 years ago. All brought to you by the "socialists" in the Democratic party.

Thank goodness for them.

Posted by: CCCinNaptown | March 21, 2010 11:17 AM

When a health insurance company raises its rates by 30%, 40% or even more, and the amount of their revenue that goes to the insured is only 60-70 percent, your premium is a tax---a private tax imposed by a corporation. Similarly, when a drug company sells a drug that wholesales at 10 cents each for 12 dollars each, that is a tax---a private corporation tax on the individual. I am for lowering the private taxation by letting the Government do a better job at a lower cost!

Posted by: billaldridge | March 21, 2010 11:47 AM

Which policies of the Soviet Union were the most valuable?
- Redistribution of wealth
- Sending dissidents to Siberia
- Starving the Ukrainians while taking their food
- Imposing the Iron Curtain on Eastern Europe
- The attempted blockade of Berlin
- Training athletes from childhood to win Olympic gold

Some questions just are not worth answering.

Posted by: kentx6 | March 21, 2010 12:38 PM

"I'm always surprised how many people want the government to take care of them"

That's a nice straw man you've got there.

Posted by: bc54321 | March 21, 2010 12:54 PM

Bob 22003 wrote"In the US today, unless you are covered by Medicare, the VA, or the DoD, employers, insurance companies and their administrative intermediaries, hospitals, drug companies, and medical device companies decide what health care you get, from whom, under what conditions, and for what price -- and even have a great deal of control over your physicians and other health care providers."

That simply is NOT true in our family's case. We have a son with a chronic disability. We budget about $400 a month for his medical supplies and over the counter medications that we buy through local and online providers. We pay cash and do not go through any insurance companies at all for these supplies. We get exactly what we want within a day or two of ordering the supplies. When we find a cheaper provider or a better product, we buy it. The system works great.

Yes, we have to spend about $400 a month of our OWN money; but we have a sense of pride in knowing that we are providing for our son's needs by purchasing these products.

Posted by: GPFR | March 21, 2010 2:37 PM

HIT, what sort of rugged individualist are you talking about? Daniel Boone and Davey Crockett died a long time ago. If your idea of rugged individualism is struggling to keep your job and your house and your family's health insurance by doing more work for less pay, while corporate insurance companies, banks, and big pharma line their pockets with the fruits of your labors, you can keep it. It's time for people like you to quit talking in slogans and at least engage in some meaningful and constructive debate about how to solve our collective problems. Today will be a step in the right direction.

Posted by: timothywayne | March 21, 2010 4:23 PM

Congrats to the Dems! They just voted against the majority of Americans, and have turned an enraged public, who doesn't even trust the government on smallest of matters, against them. One would think they would have learned by how badly the bailout of bankers went that the public would not want to likewise bail out bad actors in the health insurance industry -- the ones who created the run-away health costs to begin with. As if Americans are jumping up and down to give a huge subsidy to these evil health insurers. I regettably voted for Obama, but will never vote for a Dem again.

Posted by: bastanow | March 21, 2010 6:03 PM

Bastanow, where's that enraged public again? Are you referring to the few thousand deranged, old white racists on the Capitol lawn hurling racial slurs at civil rights heroes? If that's your enraged public, Democrats will do pretty well in November at the polls, I would think. I for one will not forget or forgive that John Lewis, after all his years of service to this country, had to be called the N-word again, in his own country, in 2010, and I will be there to meet your "enraged public" at the polls, at protest rallies, and wherever, and will work tirelessly to see that Obama is re-elected and that the Republican Party, the party of racism, hate, and diviseness, continues to be voted out in every election from here forward.

Posted by: timothywayne | March 21, 2010 6:11 PM

Timothyne:

You are a fool to support coporate welfare on this scale, and by mandate of law. We all have to pay into cofers of health care CEOs who have been gouging us all along, and you are okay with this? Obama is as corrupt as Bush was in pandering to big business. I, with higher morals than you obviously have, cannot support this high level corruption. I could have supported a public option or some real check on the power of the health insurance monopolies, but not the Obama give-away or Obomacare. The polls indicate that more are with me than are with you -- go check them out.

Posted by: bastanow | March 21, 2010 6:24 PM

bastanow, we probably agree more than we disagree, if you are for the public option. I understand and agree that this bill does not do nearly enough, but you have to start somewhere. The insurance and pharma corporations are robbing us blind right now and ahve been for some time. Maybe you could explain how this bill could possibly be worse or more corrupt than the current situation?

Posted by: timothywayne | March 21, 2010 6:37 PM

The bill is not perfect, but it's a starting point for legislative action that's sorely needed to remedy the problems in our current health care industry. As most advanced nations on this planet determined a long time ago, health care is far too important to leave in the hands of private insurance companies. It's inherently contrary to their capitalist principles to provide health insurance to those who need it the most. Only an all-encompassing, non-profit government controlled entity can deliver health care to everyone, including those who need it the most (the sickest among us).

Posted by: Caliguy55 | March 21, 2010 6:40 PM

"As most advanced nations on this planet determined a long time ago, health care is far too important to leave in the hands of private insurance companies."

Like... Cuba?

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | March 21, 2010 6:43 PM

Not only does this bill leave all the power in the hands of the health care monopolies, with no real check on their gouging, but it multiplies their profits by mandating ~30 milliion new clients buy into their racket by force of law -- if only the mafia could have gotten away with schemes like this. We are worse off because we will now be taxed and give up Medicare to finance the ever increasing costs that are now multiplied by more customers. Single payer would be the most cost erffective way to cover the poor, because it would eliminate entirely the blatant greed of health insurers. As is, the bill is like the massive bailouts taxpayers were forced to pay to Wall Street -- it is another rip off of the American public.

Posted by: bastanow | March 21, 2010 6:53 PM

This is an incredibly bad poll. The most important parts of this bill are provisions that eliminate the ability of insurers to deny insurance to people with pre-existing conditions and to stop them from dropping coverage for sick individuals.

You are taking a poll with the goal of emphasizing differences in an attempt to stir controversy.

Posted by: bkvam | March 21, 2010 7:19 PM

Too many Democrats are way too uninformed and apparently were easily played on this one, just as too many Republicans were led along and duped by Bush in his pandering to powerful corporations. Like people making $40k per annum out protesting for tax cuts for billionaires. Americans as a whole better start wising up fast, or it is game over for our once-great nation (if not already over) -- what is the saying, fool us once, shame on them, fool us over and over again, and shame on who?

Posted by: bastanow | March 21, 2010 7:21 PM

Bastanow, you keep telling us what's wrong with this bill, but I don't think you've made a case at all for how its worse than the status quo. Let's be honest - we are all paying for all those uninsured people now, in a very inequitable way. There is so much waste and fraud in the system right now, I fail to see how this bill could make things worse. You are not making your case. It's as bad as the bailouts - again, where would be without the bailouts? I expect many more of us would have lost our jobs and our homes by now, even more than already have. You can't have it both ways.

Posted by: timothywayne | March 21, 2010 7:56 PM

Here is an excerpt of the email that I sent to my Bolsheviki overloards:

Dear Congressman/Senators ____:

Your Party's radical leftist ideology, as evidenced by its relentless campaign to impose socialism on a reluctant populace screaming for your restraint, poses a grave threat to this country's liberty, prosperity, and wellbeing. You have all, therefore, forfeited my trust and confidence irrevocably.

You fail at any pretense of honest representation according to our Constitution, culture, traditions and values, and accordingly, I strongly urge your resignation, en mass, immediately.

Have a wonderful retirement. Take any reasonable taxpayer plunder necessary to make it worth your while. Go home, sip Chardonnay and commune wistfully with fellow travelers over shared dreams of Communist utopia never to be. Comrade Nancy can introduce Dear Leader Comrade President Obama at inspiring evenings of Chopin and Marxist oratory spiced with proverbs from Mao, “special brownies” optional. I ask only that you all be happy somewhere far from power that you can abuse to inflict harm on this country's economy, institutions, and Constitutional foundations.

Having been born at night, but not last night, I naturally have little expectation of a vestige of moral conscience among you; so, I assure you, therefore, that I will do my part to vote you all out of office beginning at the earliest opportunity.

[huggs and kisses, etc., Me]

Posted by: cwejohnson | March 21, 2010 8:07 PM

CWE, you have one recourse - go to the polls and vote in November. But be assured that I will be there to vote too, and will happily cancel you out every time. You can talk your nonsense all you want about socialism, lack of honest representation, blah blah blah, but there are lots of us who felt the same way during the entire 8 years of the Cheney-Rove administration. I'm happy with the representation I'm getting from this administration, which properly elected trhough the popular vote and the Electoral College. Sorry that democracy doesn't agree with you. See you at the polls....

Posted by: timothywayne | March 21, 2010 9:06 PM

timothywayne:

It is worse in that currently we, true, do pay through extra taxes for the uninsured to be covered, but at much lower Medicaid rates, which is only going to increase after this bill passes much higher to cover these same uninsured at the much higher health insurance rates, with their 30% overhead tacked on. Just wait and see, with the greed of the health insurers factored into the equation it can only get much more expensive for us as tax payers. You haven't been paying attention, or you would know this is why the health insurers in closed-door meetings almost a year ago made secret deals (which leaked out) with Obama that the public option would not be in any final legislation (this is why Obama has done all he could to fight the public option, while pretending to be for it in limited public statements -- knowing the public wants it). Why would the health insurers use their influence and bribes to merely keep the status quo? This bill is a great deal for them, increasing their profits by many multiples, even with realatively minor demands like actually covering the relatively rare people when they really get sick -- this is why they use subterfuge with the public running advertisements portending to be against the bill (a bill that greatly benefits them financially) because they know they are essentially hated by the public (their gouging and chicanery has caught up to them). It is a patently phoney campaign, only $1 million dollars, when they have proven they can spend much, much more in the past and run a very effective campaign when they really want to dictate the outcome (Thelma and Louise comes to mind). It is like Burr Rabit telling his captors to not throw him in the briar patch, so they would throw him there, exactly where he really wanted to go -- into the thickets. As proof, check out the stocks on these health insurers, and any time health care reform looked like it was passing, the stocks shoot up. Better yet compare their reported earnings before this bill passes and after it goes into effect. That should be proof enough, albeit far too late -- Americans should be wiser by now, seeing these scams coming from miles away, given the continuous scams propogated on us. On the Wall Street bailout, just throwing taxpayer money at bankers is a far cry from the banking holiday that FDR implemented, actually holding the evil banks of his day accountable and then implementing sound reforms thereafter -- contrast that to Obama's and Bush's plan which is a mere give-away to these Wall Street thugs, rewarding the bad actors richly for nearly sinking the world economy, and it is not over yet.

Posted by: bastanow | March 21, 2010 9:06 PM

How long is it going to take companies like Caterpillar to move to places like India? Costa Rica? Panama? Even China? Obama, Pelosi & Reid are removing the incentives and reasons why businesses should do business in the USA. We were already #2 in corporate taxes ..... IN THE WORLD! Now we have the likes of Pelosi, Obama and Reid -- who have never struck a lick -- KILLING JOBS!
Just remember in November folks, or get work visas in some free countries overseas!
Posted by: wheeljc
---------------------------
Firstly....when you say get work visas in some free countries overseas will it be communist China you're talking about? Or how about a developing country who's head of state wins 'elections' with an unbelievable 90 or more % of votes. Or how about Europe with its socialist programs (health care included) that conservatives rail against. India, Costa Rica, Panama, and China are the nations you evidently feel are now better than 'socialist' America. I suggest you actually move to one of those nations and experience the paradise you seemingly believe exists there. Just a few days ago Google announced it was pulling out of China due to government cencorship and policing of the internet but of course this doesn't bother you. India has a very small population of well to do while a majority of its citizens live in squalor. The poor in the US would be considered middle class in most parts over there. Please. By all means move to one of your paradise on Earth.

Posted by: 6thsense79 | March 22, 2010 7:05 AM

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