Finding the Bottom of the Well

Everyone’s talking about healthcare right now, largely because Obama has been pushing a national healthcare system since his campaign. Now we have HR 3200, the 1,018-page whopper of a bill that will enforce sweeping healthcare reform. We don’t realize just how dangerous this game is even though we have the evidence staring us in the collective face.

Take a good, long look at Massachusetts. They rolled out government healthcare a few years ago and the program is already in serious trouble. Right now, lawmakers are about to approve a law cutting somewhere in the neighborhood of 30,000 legal immigrants–people who came here through the front door and have been entirely honest about their time here in the US–from the state government’s plan. One man told the AP that his bills for his prostate cancer treatment will be far too expensive for him to even begin to pay. A spokeswoman from Health Care for All is lambasting the government for making that decision, saying that it will only lead to overburdened emergency rooms and hospitals having to foot the bill.

The problem is simple: the money isn’t there. The state cannot pay for it anymore.

You can yell and scream at your state all you want, but the fact remains that nobody stopped to think about what the cost might be and now you can’t afford it. When the money runs out, guess what? You have to find ways to adapt. This is the only way to do that–cut a certain group from the benefits. They won’t be the first. Those 30,000 people will save the state $130 million a year.

And Boston Medical Center just sued the state for shortchanging them at a rate of around $181 million a year. The state is responsible for medicaid, Commonwealth Care and a certain number of uninsured, but BMC is barely getting more than half of what the state owes.

America may be the greatest nation in the world, and indeed one of the wealthiest, but what people do not grasp is that money is never in unlimited supply. It can run out, no matter how much you have, because when you’re spending more than you’re taking in, eventually you can find the bottom of that well. Massachusetts is already learning how painful that can be.

The plan that is about to bankrupt Massachusetts is what is being held up as the model for national healthcare. But the national bill goes far and beyond being an “option.” Here’s the exact wording, quoted verbatim, that proves Obama and the Democrats are not offering anything that resembles an option:

(a) Grandfathered Health Insurance Coverage Defined- Subject to the succeeding provisions of this section, for purposes of establishing acceptable coverage under this division, the term `grandfathered health insurance coverage’ means individual health insurance coverage that is offered and in force and effect before the first day of Y1 if the following conditions are met:

(1) LIMITATION ON NEW ENROLLMENT-

(A) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day of Y1.

So, as you can see, once this behemoth takes over, the private choices we now have will quickly go the way of the dinosaur.

And how are we going to pay for it all? It’s already estimated to put us more than one trillion smackers in the hole (that’s on top of the debt Barkey has incurred via the Generational Theft Act and the Porkulus). Where is the money going to come from to support this thing when we can’t even pay all the other bills?

If we allow a national healthcare system to be established now, the way it’s written, with no provision for new private insurance to be bought, we will never be able to un-do it. We will be stuck with it and whatever problems it comes with. We have plenty of examples to learn from and we’re ignoring them completely. We cannot, under any circumstances, give up our right to decide how we go about finding healthcare. That is exactly what the bottom of the well will teach us, and it’s a lesson that will kill us.

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29 thoughts on “Finding the Bottom of the Well

  1. This is where I tell you that you (and the makers of this ridiculous video) are hysterical.

    The law requires that all people be treated in hospitals. If you walk into a hospital, and you say you’re sick or suicidal, regardless of what is seen and experienced, they have to treat you. That video and the claims made therein are absolute nonsense.

    Insurance is what we’re talking about here.

  2. Yeah, it wasn’t meant to be taken literally. The point is, after you receive treatment, you still owe the money, making the situation pretty dire for those who can’t afford $4,000 hospital visits, leaving them with the choice of either ignoring their health problems and letting them kill, or being buried under a mountain of debt. That’s not a choice that anyone should have to make. That obviously isn’t the case if your house catches fire. You don’t get a bill from the fire dept.

    The video makes its case well, and shows that while it’s perfectly natural to want to protect our homes from the harm of fire, we (meaning you, mostly) have a problem with wanting to protect our bodies from harm. Why is it acceptable to expect our homes to be safe from harm, and unacceptable to be taken care of if we get into an auto accident without the fortune of being well off? It doesn’t make sense to me, and neither does the argument that I can see coming a mile away about personal responsibility, and not putting ourselves in the position where we can be shot or taking care of ourselves to avoid a heart attack. The next logical step is to wonder why we can’t be smarter about fire proofing our homes, and the next step after that is suggesting that we arm ourselves to the teeth so we don’t need the police. It’s ridiculous. I fully believe that health care should be a right, not a privilege. If we don’t have our health, then we’re not truly free.

    And I guarantee you that any rise in tax to pay for it would more than counteract how much premiums astronomically go up year after year. I just talked to a guy who has seen his premiums go up over 400% since 2001. That needs to stop. People are being bled dry by insurance companies, and your main argument against health care reform is that insurance companies will go out of business? No one in their right mind gives a shit about them going our of business. They’ve gotten fat by ripping people off for too long. Only 4% of the public trusts insurance companies, so I’m pretty sure no one will be sad to see them go.

  3. Being free means you have the choice.

    This legislation doesn’t give you one. Yes, people have bad experiences with insurance companies. I’ve had bad experiences with banks, police officers, and clothing stores. I’ve also had bad experiences with insurance companies, but I’d be in far greater debt without them.

    Another point you missed: eventually, it will get to the point that medics like me are calling to find a hospital able to care for a critical patient. We’ll also end up with the government system rationing healthcare–if you don’t stand a damn good chance of surviving, they will let you die.

    That is NOT freedom.

  4. If want to know how national health care will impact our nation, then take a look at what happens when an ice cream store gives away a free one scoop cone to everyone who wants one.

    What you will see is a long line of people lining up to get something they can afford. Why? People love free stuff. They love it even when they don’t need it.

    I am all in favor of people going to the doctor when they need to go. A sore wrist is not a reason to go the doctor unless it lasts for 3 days with no improvement.

    So, how many people will run to the doctor with every minor ache, pain, fever and other symptoms because it is free?

  5. “You can yell and scream at your state all you want, but the fact remains that nobody stopped to think about what the cost might be and now you can’t afford it….”

    This is why we have the budget problem we have here in CA. The Democrats love new governmetn programs. But, they don’t sit down and figure how to pay for them over the long haul. Good economic times never last forever.

    Republicans here in CA want certain things too. Being tough on crime and keeping prisons open is a big war cry for CA Republicans. Prisons cost money to oprerate. How does one pay for this when taxes cannot be raised?

    Before we fix healthcare, I think fixing government is the first issues Obama needs to tackle. It’s great being an elected leader. You can make decisions that win you short term glory and leave the mess those decions bring for the poor fools who hold office 20 or 30 years from now. That’s wrong.

    Every new law carries the potential of unintended consequences. Our governments at all levels do a rotten job of assessing the unintended consequences. They do a worse job of correcting these consequences when they occur.

    That to me is the big problem that really needs change.

  6. @robert – the difference between “fire protection” and health care is very simple and this video tries to ignore that distinction. Frankly everyone WILL die at some point. That is a statistical certainty. And most likely everyone WILL have a health problem. Everyone will not however have a fire and that’s why we can have fire stations, etc. for exceptional cases. However even in those cases, we don’t expect the government to cover the cost of rebuilding your house if it’s destroyed by fire. For that you buy FIRE INSURANCE, which is priced based on risk.

    Health on the other hand is something that is managed and health “insurance” is more on the order of a warranty on a car. We know the car will depreciate, and we know the car will need repairs. You don’t call your car insurance company just because your alternator goes out; you call your mechanic (car doctor) and he fixes it. If the alternator is covered by warranty then the warranty service pays for the fix.

    Mandating a public health insurance is like mandating that everyone must have a car warranty and that everyone else must pay for it, including people who take really good care of their cars and don’t need the warranty. They get to pay for the people who trash their cars and are always taking them in for a fix.

  7. “Mandating a public health insurance is like mandating that everyone must have a car warranty and that everyone else must pay for it, including people who take really good care of their cars and don’t need the warranty. They get to pay for the people who trash their cars and are always taking them in for a fix.”

    I live in California. All car drivers must carry a minimum amount of liability insurance. If someone is a licensed driver and has a deficient driving record, then that person gets assigned to an insurance company whether the company wants them or not. Every company has to carry its share of high risk drivers that have managed to keep their licenses.

    I pay for the exposure of these people whether I like it or not.

    One could argue doing the same thing with health insurance is exactly the same thing as what happens in CA with auto insurance.

  8. @john – I understand your point, which is why I was careful to use the word warranty instead of insurance.

    Now certainly it is possible to maintain health insurance coverage, but if the government insist on setting all the terms and offering coverage at a cute rate, tax payer subsidized rate, then they would be doing the exact opposite of what happens with auto insurance. To wit:

    Mandatory auto insurance coverage is defined by minimum coverages and is paid for by the client. No one’s coverage is paid for by the state, and high risk drivers pay higher premiums and often only have the minimum coverage the law permits.

    If the government were willing to mandate health insurance coverage and a “high risk” pool that all insurance companies would have to pay into, it could possible work as long as the mandated minimum coverages were not 1) prohibitively expensive to offer, 2) not paid for from the public purse, and 3) not offered by the government.

    In other words, the medical equivalent of 15/30/10 liability coverage on auto insurance paid out of pocket by the insured with the government (preferably by state) playing the role of referee rather than administrator or insurance company. This would create an actual free market in medical insurance and people (rather than companies) would be the ones to shop for the insurance, purchasing what coverages they needed or wanted at the price they could afford.

    Unfortunately people have come to believe that everyone is entitled to Cadillac style benefits at very very low costs to the insured and want to force insurance companies to provide an overweight smoking 60 year old diabetic male with a family history of cancer the best possible insurance at the same price as that being offered to a 25 year old, non smoking, healthy woman. It is the economic equivalent of charging the same premium to a newly licensed teenaged boy with 3 speeding tickets and a 30 year old never cited woman with a spotless driving record. It is economically unfeasible.

  9. sorry “maintain health insurance” should be “mandate health insurance” and “cute rate” should be cut rate”. “Possible” = “possibly”

    Typing too fast.

  10. “Unfortunately people have come to believe that everyone is entitled to Cadillac style benefits at very very low costs to the insured and want to force insurance companies to provide an overweight smoking 60 year old diabetic male with a family history of cancer the best possible insurance at the same price as that being offered to a 25 year old, non smoking, healthy woman. ”

    There is no disagreement there. About three weeks ago on the evening news I saw a news piece about a woman in the U.K. For her entire life she never paid out of pocket for medical care.

    When she was diagnosed with colon cancer, the health care continued. So far so good and no complaints.

    Then she wanted to try a drug because her cancer had spread into her lungs. It was a very expensive drug. The British health system said no because the cost of the drug compared to life expectancy did not make the treatment fiscally viable. This woman opted to pay for the drug along with the supportive care herself.

    Our government is going to have to make similar decisions like the above. We Americans are not ready to hear the word No. We won’t stand for it. America did not rise to where she is by accepting No for an answer.

  11. “We Americans are not ready to hear the word No. We won’t stand for it. America did not rise to where she is by accepting No for an answer.”

    EXACTLY.

  12. “Being free means you have the choice”

    The choice to die or become bankrupted by a serious illness? That is not freedom by any logical person’s definition. It’s not freedom to be beholden to the whims of insurance companies, who everyday pick and choose who will get a life saving procedure and who will likely die as a result of not getting one. You try to fear monger with the prospect of rationing, when it is indeed taking place already. Health care is rationed everyday in board rooms and CEO offices. You know, Phil could afford that third C-class if he just denied this claim for chemotherapy. I’m sorry, but trying to instill fear of some government rationing or lottery is completely bogus. We as Americans need to break free from the control that we’re under that says it’s not in the hands of us or any other caring individual whether or not we’re healthy. And as soon as one of you people see it happen to one of your children or loved ones (God forbid), you won’t take this position any more. You can have the best health insurance your mind can convince you you can get, but in the end, someone will be on the other end of your claim, trying to find a way to deny you the right to live. That’s okay with you because your ideology tells you some bullshit about the strong surviving, but at some point, hopefully your human instincts will kick in and tell you to be a decent person. I’m still waiting for that…

  13. “Everyone will not however have a fire and that’s why we can have fire stations, etc. for exceptional cases.”

    Is it really your contention that the only reasons fire protection is a right is because it will seldom be used? That’s ludicrous. If that’s true, the Los Angeles Fire Dept. got the short end of the stick because Malibu going up in flames is a yearly tradition.

    “we don’t expect the government to cover the cost of rebuilding your house if it’s destroyed by fire. For that you buy FIRE INSURANCE, which is priced based on risk.”

    Apples and Oranges. Houses can be replaced, lives cannot. And let’s use your example the way you intended. No insurance company that I know makes you sit around while your house on fire deciding whether or not they’re going to approve the fire dept. to go in and put out the fire. No insurance company I know of will tell you that your house catching fire was a pre-existing condition, and therefore will not be covered.

    “Health on the other hand is something that is managed and health “insurance” is more on the order of a warranty on a car”

    No, it’s not. Health insurance is just insurance applied to a different aspect of life. The very reason for insurance’s existence is to spread the risk over as wide a pool as possible, thus preventing the instance that one person could be wiped out by a catastrophic event. Believe it or not, insurance was devised to help people. Its original intent has of course been lost, turning what was a principle of shared risk into a money making factory. This is the very problem, not the notion of insurance itself, the fact that it now revolves around profit, where as before, it did not. This is precisely why H.R. 676 is a superior choice to the H.R. 3200 which is currently floating around, although the amendment to the bill authored by Dennis Kucinich giving the states the right to go single payer is a great first step, providing it survives the Senate, as it already passed the House.

    “Mandating a public health insurance is like mandating that everyone must have a car warranty and that everyone else must pay for it, including people who take really good care of their cars and don’t need the warranty. They get to pay for the people who trash their cars and are always taking them in for a fix.”

    How do you think it works right now, seeing as how your comments belie the desire to maintain the status quo? If you have health insurance, you are already paying for everyone else. Your premiums go up when someone actually has a claim paid out for something big like heart surgery. You’re paying for those of us who can’t afford health insurance and are forced to use the ER as primary care. You’re paying for illegal immigrants who use the ER but have no way of being made to pay the bill. This all goes into the price of insurance, so you advocating that we don’t reform this system to make sure we all have affordable health insurance is tantamount to you supporting all those things I know you complain about, but don’t want to fix. You really can’t have it both ways.

  14. @Robert — I stand firmly by my words and I know a bit about insurance having worked in the field.

    Fire protection is a public service, not a “right.” It is in the public interest to contain fires so that whole cities don’t burn down. That is why fire protection is maintained. Fire protection is NOT the same as fire INSURANCE, which is priced based on risk, just as other insurances are. Someone who lives in a hurricane prone area, or fire prone area, or earthquake prone area pays higher premiums for their insurance due to higher risk. Insurance companies make decisions all the time to either not insure someone’s property or charge them very high premiums. Building a house in an area with no fire coverage (akin to a pre-existing condition if you will) may certainly lead an insurance company to deny coverage.

    The original purpose of insurance was to make money. And while insurance does work on the principal of spreading risk, profitability and manageability is assured through managing the risk pool. i.e Everyone’s house is not likely to catch afire at the same time. It isn’t altruism; it is business, and there’s nothing wrong with earning a profit. Everyone has an alternative to purchasing insurance which is to self insure. Most people choose not to do this because it is very expensive.

    Unlike fire insurance however, health insurance really is a misnomer. It actually is a health warranty since as you say a life cannot be replaced unlike a house, and no health insurance can mitigate against catastrophic loss i.e. the loss of life. A warranty service covers the cost of certain agreed upon repairs or maintenance. If it isn’t under warranty, no matter the cost, it will not be covered.

    You actually don’t know if I complain about things or not. I don’t think I’ve ever complained about health insurance in my life. And of course there are costs built into my health insurance premiums just as there are costs built into my auto insurance based on where I live and the kind of car I drive.

    The real problem of our health system is not accessibility, nor even insurance, but cost. Actual costs are hidden from ultimate consumer in many cases, since it is usually companies that are the customer. Because of this people do not shop for the best value as they would with say purchasing eyeglasses (which is often not covered by insurance and which therefore has a lively and competitive market which has driven costs way down to the point where folks buy eyeglasses at Walmart).

    “Well Grandma might not have that surgery and die if she knew how much it cost. She wouldn’t want to burden the family.” That is the sentiment we hear, and then get angry when the insurance company decides not pay for Grandma’s surgery because it isn’t profitable for them. Well if the decision has to be made, I would rather Grandma make it than the government.

  15. “Fire protection is a public service, not a “right.”

    Technically it’s both. Fire departments are paid for through taxation, and as such, the use of it becomes a right. What exactly do you think would happen if the fire dept. just decided it didn’t feel like battling the blaze that was consuming your house, leaving you and your family to fend for themselves? Do you think they would get a free pass because you didn’t have a right to use what you’ve already paid for? No, I’m sure heads would roll at that fire dept., and rightly so. That’s like you arguing that you don’t have a right to use police protection, that it’s merely a privilege. And this is where you attempt to win the debate, by claiming that things like police and fire protection are not rights, because it makes it that much easier to say that health care is not a right. I really fail to see how someone can look at the sole industrialized country on the planet that cannot take care of its people and see that as a good thing.

    “The original purpose of insurance was to make money.”

    Not health insurance. When it was first devised and implemented, every health insurance company in the country was not for profit. In many countries throughout the world, it is illegal for a for profit company to provide any individual with health insurance. I think that’s a fine thing, because the instant you bring profit to a system designed to benefit people’s very lives, you get what we have had since the 1980’s, a system that puts the dollar above life. That is not the reason for its creation.

    “The real problem of our health system is not accessibility, nor even insurance, but cost”

    It is accessibility and cost. The level of care is not the issue, and any doctor will tell you that. Multiple tiers have been built to limit what kind of care people can get based on payment. That may a profitable way to run a company, but that entire notion ought to be tossed out the window when dealing with real people whose lives often depend on their insurance.

    “That is the sentiment we hear, and then get angry when the insurance company decides not pay for Grandma’s surgery because it isn’t profitable for them. Well if the decision has to be made, I would rather Grandma make it than the government.”

    I don’t think you understand the decision is currently not being made by grandma, but by some company man whose bonus hinges on whether or not claims are paid on. And if the decision has to be made, I’d rather it be made by the government who is accountable to We the People instead of by an insurance giant who is accountable to stock holders.

  16. “The real problem of our health system is not accessibility, nor even insurance, but cost.”

    I respectfully disagree. When I am in ill health or injured I go to an urgent care clinic unless my situation is an emergency. The ER is for emergencies. Urgent care clinics are for problems that are not emergencies.

    I am fortunate because I have the means to cover my office visit fee. There are people who do not have that kind of money. They go to the ER because the ER has to take them. The urgent care clinic can turn people away.

    Accessibility is a problem. It is a huge problem.

    Cost is also a problem in some respects. Medicine should be practiced based on clincal knowledge not malpractice fears. Unnecessary tests and procedures are a drain on our system.

    Speaking of malpractice, I don’t blame jury awards for the cost of premiums because less than 2% of all lawsuits ever get to a jury. If malpractice insurance payouts are an issue, then they are because the insurance companies settle on winnable cases. To paraphrase Robert, they drive the car into the ditch and then complain about the cost of a tow truck.

    All in all I see access to the system and defensive medicine as the biggest problems in our health system.

  17. “It’s not freedom to be beholden to the whims of insurance companies, who everyday pick and choose who will get a life saving procedure and who will likely die as a result of not getting one.”

    But giving that power to the government suddenly makes it freedom? Come on, Robert.

  18. “Is it really your contention that the only reasons fire protection is a right is because it will seldom be used?”

    That isn’t anybody’s contention. Firefighting is as vital as law enforcement because millions of lives can be put in immediate jeopardy if a fire gets out of control. And there ARE private fire departments, one of the largest being Rural/Metro (which also owns Southwest Ambulance). They are typically contracted by local government to provide public safety services that are vital to the public interest.

    If I am diagnosed with cancer and I ignore it, I’m killing myself. If I see a brush fire and I ignore it, I can kill my whole neighborhood. Big difference.

  19. @john in Ca — I think we’re in agreement here. The high cost of health care can make it “inaccessible” for some, which is what I think you’re saying. I was just saying that strictly speaking it is the rare person who cannot access any health care, that is they live somewhere where there is no clinic, hospital, etc. I agree with you thought that high costs make even available care “inaccessible”

    As far as Grandma is concerned… she is making the decision. She can go ahead with a surgery that her insurance company doesn’t cover and pay for it herself, or she can chose to go home, take some aspirin, and drop dead at her own convenience. What Grandma cannot do is force someone else to pay for her choice when she has not contracted for them to do so. However in your scenario, Grandma does not get a say. Whether she has money or not, the government gets to decide that Grandma must go home and die. And the government is “accountable” to the people? Yeah, right.

  20. “@john in Ca — I think we’re in agreement here. The high cost of health care can make it “inaccessible” for some, which is what I think you’re saying.”

    Well sort of. If you are ill or hurt then you seek the care you can get. The ER is a guarantee. As long as people keep doing that, then I don’t see any medical cost savings.

    As a nation we have an entire culture that compels people to go the ER because they can’t be turned away. It will cost big money to change that mindset. It’s been around for far too long.

  21. “But giving that power to the government suddenly makes it freedom? Come on, Robert.”

    Yeah, because insurance companies are not accountable to We the People. So, given the choice, I’m picking the government over a CEO every time…

  22. “Yeah, because insurance companies are not accountable to We the People. So, given the choice, I’m picking the government over a CEO every time…”

    Well, the Democrats in the Senate have already chickened out “until the fall” because they have to attempt to run for re-election next year.

    I’m guessing it might have something to do with the possibility that they read the polls which reveals that six out of ten Americans want no government intervention with healthcare.

    So, for the time being, I guess that’s that.

  23. I’ll pick the CEO over the government because you know what? The CEO can’t put you in jail. The CEO can’t force you to sit through “Grandma is it time to get out on the iceberg” sessions.

    CEO’s compete with other CEO to sell you their products and keep your business.

    The government competes with no one, requires you to do business with them, and jails you if you don’t

  24. “I’ll pick the CEO over the government because you know what? The CEO can’t put you in jail”

    Yeah, they can just choose a profit over your life.

    “CEO’s compete with other CEO to sell you their products and keep your business.”

    Health care is not supposed to be a business. CEO’s aren’t elected by us, so we have no recourse when they walk away with 1.6 billion of our health care dollars.

    “The government competes with no one, requires you to do business with them, and jails you if you don’t”

    Talk about paranoid. No one is going to jail you for choosing the public option.

  25. “Yeah, they can just choose a profit over your life.”

    And enough Americans are tired to be willing to send a message to those companies, just not willing to go the route that Obama is trying to force us down.

    “Health care is not supposed to be a business. CEO’s aren’t elected by us, so we have no recourse when they walk away with 1.6 billion of our health care dollars.”

    Oh, really? Then why does the City of Phoenix bill people after one of our rescues (ambulances) has to transport you to a hospital? If it’s not supposed to be a business, then why does every other city in our Valley have contracts with private EMS companies such as PMT, Southwest and/or Rural/Metro Fire? Are you going to say that’s wrong? The competition created by those businesses has resulted in better service and care for the people in those cities; the companies that provide that service for those cities compete with each other to make it better. I personally know people from each of those companies and they’re all good, hard-working folks who want to do something worthwhile.

    The insurance industry won’t change until we actually do something about it. I’m sorry, but bitching about it while begrudgingly paying those insurance companies because you have no other option isn’t gonna hack it. You’re going to have to be willing to STOP paying them so that they feel it in their wallet, otherwise nothing is going to change.

    And you still have not answered the challenge that the bill, as written, would forbid you from buying new private insurance if you lose the coverage you had on day one of year one of this ludicrous policy.

    “Talk about paranoid. No one is going to jail you for choosing the public option.”

    No, they’re just planning to tax anyone who doesn’t have government-approved health insurance at a starting rate of 6.5%.

    “Yeah, because insurance companies are not accountable to We the People. So, given the choice, I’m picking the government over a CEO every time…”

    Oh, my good Lord…if you could only hear me laughing. This from the man whose favorite phrase is “the last eight years.” If the government was so horrible in your estimation and shat on the Constitution so much, then I’d really like to know what makes you think things can’t go back to the way they were and the government won’t muck it up just as much as you say they did previously. Suddenly you trust the government?

    Oh, please.

  26. “If it’s not supposed to be a business, then why does every other city in our Valley have contracts with private EMS companies such as PMT, Southwest and/or Rural/Metro Fire? Are you going to say that’s wrong?”

    What I meant by my remark is that the concept of health insurance and yes, health care in general was not one centered around profits, it was centered around the well being of people, much like the advent of medicine itself was centered around the well being of people. When health insurance was first introduced to the public, it was a not for profit system, as it should have remained. What we have seen over the last few decades has been a system overtaken by greed, to the detriment and many deaths of private citizens. Is it really so bad that we have a system that gets back to its roots? And that’s just a general question, those provisions are not in HR 3200, as they are in HR 676.

    “And you still have not answered the challenge that the bill, as written, would forbid you from buying new private insurance if you lose the coverage you had on day one of year one of this ludicrous policy.”

    I didn’t realize that was an actual challenge, seeing as how you included the section about grandfathered coverage, which essentially negated your entire argument. Section 102 is laying out the requirements for Grandfathered Health Care Coverage. This means that the text refers to what an Insurance Provider must comply with in order to keep current plans from falling under the bill’s requirements for Insurance. Your current insurance will not be required to meet the bill’s policies as long as they don’t enroll new people, start charging you a lot more or change any of its terms or conditions. If for some reason you change insurance providers or re-work your insurance, the New Insurance Policy will have to comply with the policies and requirements of the bill.

    Again, “does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day of Y1.” refers ONLY to keeping a policy’s status as “Grandfathered” or Immune to the requirements of the Bill.  It does NOT apply to New Policies. I understand that this section you’ve posted is floating all over conservative blogs like it’s gospel or something. Apparently, they’re hoping people won’t actually read anything…

    “No, they’re just planning to tax anyone who doesn’t have government-approved health insurance at a starting rate of 6.5%.”

    No, not anyone, employers who refuse to offer insurance to their employees.

    “If the government was so horrible in your estimation and shat on the Constitution so much, then I’d really like to know what makes you think things can’t go back to the way they were and the government won’t muck it up just as much as you say they did previously”

    Well, I’m glad you used the word was. Kind of deflates my argument before I even make it.

    “Suddenly you trust the government?”

    Yup. Kind of funny how that happens when you have a president who was elected legitimately and actually listens to what the citizens of the country have to say…

  27. “Is it really so bad that we have a system that gets back to its roots?”

    No, but that’s not what the purpose of HR 3200 is. It’s the government’s complete takeover of healthcare.

    “If for some reason you change insurance providers or re-work your insurance, the New Insurance Policy will have to comply with the policies and requirements of the bill.”

    Even if that were the case according to the wording of the bill, it would drive up health care costs for private insurers because the government requires that insurance cover all manner of things. In New Jersey, it is mandated in state law that alternative therapies be covered–not just basic healthcare, EVERYTHING has to be covered. That’s why it costs so much to have private insurance there. I think you also missed the point that Massachusetts is going into major financial strains because of it’s “public option”, the same one that HR3200 is modeled after.

    “It does NOT apply to New Policies.”

    I beg to differ. I don’t see anything in this bill that makes all new policies immune.

    “No, not anyone, employers who refuse to offer insurance to their employees.”

    Think again. That tax is for private citizens who refuse to buy health insurance. What’s more, Democrats in committee struck down provisions that would have barred illegal immigrants from receiving benefits under HR 3200.

    “Yup. Kind of funny how that happens when you have a president who was elected legitimately and actually listens to what the citizens of the country have to say…”

    Wow. That’s hilarious. Robert, you’re shooting your own argument to pieces. You say you trust the government NOW, since we supposedly have a president who was legitimately elected. In order to make the argument that the previous C in C was illegally placed in office, you would have to allow the belief that the government was involved in both the supposed scandal and the resultant claims of coverup. How can you still say you trust the government when THAT is what you’re essentially saying?

    The government hasn’t changed, it’s just being led by people following a different ideology who are willing to really destroy our personal freedoms even more. I loathe the idea of my medical information being stored by the government. If you wanna trust them with that kind of power, you go right ahead, but it’ll only happen to me over my dead body.

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