Health care reform passes House with 219 votes

Discuss

225 Responses to “Health care reform passes House with 219 votes”

  1. adammtlx says:

    As for allowing health insurance companies to compete across state lines, what is guaranteed to happen is that one or a few states would make themselves into havens for those companies, just as Delaware became the Happiest Place In The World for credit card corporations.

    So why get credit cards from companies holing up in a deregulated state? What’s the reason?

    2. Health care cost affects the nation’s economy, so it seems entirely appropriate, if not necessary, for the federal government to handle.

    I don’t follow your logic. Appropriate, necessary, etc. I don’t mean to be rude, but I don’t see how you’re drawing this conclusion.

    3. The CBO’s preliminary analysis of the bill says that Medicare and Medicaid spending will be reduced, extending their solvency. It will also reduce the deficit by starting to change the US health care system, which currently is 18% of the GDP, and projected to be 34% of the GDP by 2040.

    Weren’t the numbers that costs would be cut by around 150 bn and increased by about a trillion, over the next 10 years? So a net 900 bn increase in spending. I don’t see one single thing in all of this to suggest the government will do anything other than take on a larger deficit.

    • grimc says:

      So why get credit cards from companies holing up in a deregulated state?

      Fair question. You’re right, people should choose better. But they don’t, and it’s turned into the weeping sore of the US economy. So we could either blame people for not being more responsible and suffer the consequences (which we are, as far as personal credit goes), or do something about it. In the case of health care, we’re not even giving what’s obviously a problem a chance to start.

      I don’t follow your logic. Appropriate, necessary, etc. I don’t mean to be rude, but I don’t see how you’re drawing this conclusion.

      National issue calls for national action. Isn’t that what a national government is for?

      Weren’t the numbers that costs would be cut by around 150 bn and increased by about a trillion, over the next 10 years?

      Yes, I’ve read it as $940 bn to $130 bn. But in the following 10 years, the deficit is reduced by $1.2 trillion because “[i]n subsequent years, the effects of the provisions of the two bills combined that would tend to decrease the federal budgetary commitment to health care would grow faster than the effects of the provisions that would increase it.”

      We “spend” now to save even more later. Without the bill, we’d just spend more and more, and the ballooning costs would continue to be hidden in the economy.

      • adammtlx says:

        Fair question. You’re right, people should choose better. But they don’t, and it’s turned into the weeping sore of the US economy. So we could either blame people for not being more responsible and suffer the consequences (which we are, as far as personal credit goes), or do something about it. In the case of health care, we’re not even giving what’s obviously a problem a chance to start.

        I guess I have a hard time being sympathetic to the notion of people making egregiously bad decisions time and time again and expecting the government to bail them out. Doesn’t that seem like it creates a negative cycle of dependency? Is that really what we need? Less responsibility instead of more? Sometimes people need to be allowed to punish themselves. Anyway, I agree with you. People need health care. I am compassionate in that regard. I’m questioning the methodology. I’m questioning that this is the best we can do.

        National issue calls for national action. Isn’t that what a national government is for?

        Well, to me this is a matter of words. The federal government could provide incentives to states to provide health care programs to their citizenry. Is a takeover of 1/6th of our economy and increased taxes and compulsory behaviors (forcing docs/companies to take patients, forcing Americans to buy health care) and further meddling in our lives REALLY what we need right now? That, I question.

        Yes, I’ve read it as $940 bn to $130 bn. But in the following 10 years, the deficit is reduced by $1.2 trillion because “[i]n subsequent years, the effects of the provisions of the two bills combined that would tend to decrease the federal budgetary commitment to health care would grow faster than the effects of the provisions that would increase it.”
        We “spend” now to save even more later. Without the bill, we’d just spend more and more, and the ballooning costs would continue to be hidden in the economy.

        Can you link where you got those numbers from? I’m really interested in the details. I can’t think of a large government program that has saved money on the kind of scale we’re talking about. They always seem to end up costing far more than we ever anticipate.

  2. Antinous / Moderator says:

    If you replied to the troll, your comments are now orphaned.

  3. Anonymous says:

    For those with questions about why they made conscessions at all when they had enough democrats to pass it – just ignore the republicans in the house.

    Right now they are a minority. As Glenn Beck would say ‘they are under my grandmother’s kitchen sink’

    The objections that the speaker of the house or Harry Reid paid attention to came from democrats. The concessions and vote courting had to be made to the democrats. Stupak and the anti-abortion block was one huge block of opposition, and was actually the final block that was needed to get the final votes as the president finally agreed to issue an executive order assuring there would be no federal funding of abortion in the bill and upholding the Hyde amendment, and so Stupak’s block switched their votes to yes.

    Many other democrat groups were also opposed for various reasons – whether they thought the bill went too far or not far enough. A lot of the democrats who are in states where their reelection is not secure were also more wary about about voting for it, as it is an extreme political risk for them with so many constituents calling in telling them to vote no on the bill.

  4. 'berto says:

    “‘This is the civil rights act of the 21st century,’ said Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, the No. 3 Democrat in the House.”

    http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2010/03/house-approves-hcr-by-7-votes.html

    ~~~~~

    Congressman Clyburn Reacts to President’s Support of a Constitutional Amendment Banning Gay Marriages: “I believe in the sanctity of marriage and its religious-based definition as a union between a man and a woman…”

    http://clyburn.house.gov/press/040224gaymarriage.html

    Yeah, he’s right. Civil rights are now looked after for the 21st century; it’s done, and everybody’s equal. Let’s all go get drunk, and congratulate ourselves.

    :: rolly-eyes ::

  5. Stefan Jones says:

    Context for Posterity: Said troll was ranting about the death of freedom and loss of choice and evil government doctors implanting you with Mark of the Beast microchips.

    • Felton says:

      Thank you, Stefan, for providing nutritious context for my poor, hungry, orphaned comments. Hopefully they’ll have health care soon. :-)

  6. Tom Hale says:

    Wow, if this article by the New York Times is true, this really doesn’t sound that bad.
    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/03/21/us/health-care-reform.html
    Sure, my insurance premiums will go up, but I’ll qualify for tax credits that is supposed to help pay for the increased premiums.
    I work for the City of Memphis -recently they announced a 30%-ish increase for active employees and a 40% increase for retirees on our insurance premiums. The labor unions are negotiating for a 10% increase in 2010 and a 11% increase in 2011. This is ridiculous, the city’s costs have only gone up 13% since the last premium increase. We’ve only had a 3% raise in pay over the last 5 years and definitely wont be getting one this year.
    Something had to be done about healthcare costs -I hope this bill will be the answer, otherwise I’ll probably have to get a second job just to stay at the income level I’m at now.

  7. ADavies says:

    I think this vote is a good move. I doubt it fixes everything. In fact, I’m sure it doesn’t.

    It does show that our democracy is still functioning. We had a rigorous debate, and in the end made a positive step forward.

    Probably we’ll come back and tweak it next year. Maybe by then we can get some Republicans who are willing to actually participate, rather than blanket stonewall.

  8. djn says:

    To some degree I agree that there is a degree of overmedication and needless drug replacement going on (significantly less of it here in socialist Norway, but that’s beside the point).

    However. As a cancer researcher by association (I’m a programmer at a mostly government-funded research faculty): Most cancers wouldn’t be held back much by your strategy there, since they have an annoying tendency to just grab whatever glucose they can get: You’d either starve to death or it’d keep growing.

    There are effective chemicals from natural sources, definitely (taxol is made from tree bark, after all) – but you’re exceedingly unlikely to hit one that matches your form of cancer and in the right dosage. Sorry, but they’re a large and diverse family of diseases that respond to different things (if any) – and getting the dosage high enough to wipe it out permanently with minimal harm to you is nontrivial even when you can precisely control the amounts administered.

    Oh, and 4-6 weeks from detection is a while. It might metastasize or grow enough to be inoperable in that time.

    So, err. Cancers don’t respond well to home remedies, and the chance of actually surviving increases if you just immediately get full-on treatment with the relevant drugs. It’d be nice if it weren’t so, but those are the unpleasant facts. Get to a doctor ASAP if you have one.


    It should be unnecessary to say this, but if Big Pharma are paying me to say this, they’re stingy bastards.

  9. djn says:

    My last post was in reply to zyodei@131 when I started typing it. Odd.

  10. gandalf23 says:

    umm…this bill was something like 2000+ pages long. They didn’t release the text of the bill till Thursday. No one who voted on it read it. No one could’ve read it. How the hell is this a victory for anything other than secrecy? It sure isn’t the most transparent and least corrupt congress ever, as we were promised.

  11. Daemon says:

    Well, I suppose this tells you which 212 congressmen don’t care about human life.

  12. ADavies says:

    gandalf23 – I don’t think we can call the health insurance reform debate “secret”. The bill has been available. I doubt there were any shocking bits in there we didn’t hear about.

    If there were, we can always go back and tweak it.

    Since I didn’t read the bill, and I’m guessing you didn’t, here’s some of the top line changes…

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1914020220100319

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/22/your-money/health-insurance/22consumer.html

    And if, like me, you’re psyked to see Congress getting off it’s ass and doing something big, you should send your reps a note saying it.

    Or you can “co-sign” the bill here…

    http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/hccosign

  13. Thebes says:

    So, a pack of crooks voted to force me (at gun point and with prison if needed) to buy the corporate product of their #1 backers?

    And this is cause for celebration???
    More like revolution if you ask me…

    • Cowicide says:

      So, a pack of crooks voted to force me (at gun point and with prison if needed) to buy the corporate product of their #1 backers?

      Where were you buying your insurance before? From Canada? ;D

      And this is cause for celebration??? More like revolution if you ask me…

      For those who can’t afford insurance there are hardship clauses. Little tidbits like that are easy to miss especially if you watch Fox News.

      I don’t see very many progressives celebrating the mandate. I’d say most are disappointed with that aspect. But you are also missing the bigger picture of how that won’t matter if we can push forward with a public option before the mandate goes into effect in 2014.

      I don’t think you’re seeing the bigger picture here and you are focusing on only the negatives.

      Revolution called… it wonders where you were during the Bush administration?

  14. AirPillo says:

    Great news, but unless we get a public option during reconciliation a lot of people are only trading one problem for an incrementally improved problem.

    Progress, yes, but… meh, can’t we do better?

  15. floraldeoderant says:

    I liked the original proposition, but haven’t been keeping up with just how watered-down this one is. Maybe I won’t like it at all… But all the same, I’m going to say, “Woot” just because all that TeaBagger intimidation crap didn’t work.

    Woot.

  16. Anonymous says:

    America! Fuck Yeah!

  17. GoDownMoses says:

    America, Fuck Yeah!

  18. Terry says:

    Could be better, but I think this one goes into the American people’s ‘Win’ column.

  19. inkfumes says:

    Is Fox News shitting a brick right about now? Can’t wait to see what they’ll say next.

  20. Stefan Jones says:

    OH NOES WE ARE IN A FASCIST MARXIST DICTATORSHIP!

    PLLEZE DONT DEATH PANEL MY AGED MOTHER BY SOCIALIZING HER MEDICARE!

    [/snark]

    Yes, we can.

  21. johnnyaction says:

    Yay!

    A friend of mine said, “If you don’t like this healthcare move to Canada!”

  22. Adjamo says:

    Oooh its gonna be a fiiine Daily Show!!! :D

  23. Anonymous says:

    I’m moving to Costa Rica with Rush Limbaugh.

  24. Dean Putney says:

    It occurs to me that I don’t even really know what this means anymore. What’s in the bill anyway? Time to look it up I guess.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Can someone who doesn’t like this reform explain to me the problems you have with it?
    I live in a country where we have a system of universal health care mostly financed by the government and I don’t understand how it can be ‘bad’
    Is it too pricey? You don’t want to pay for other people?

  26. hug h says:

    “Halle friggin luja”!

    My rather conservative septuagenarian father was recently bemoaning health care reform and in the very same conversation without a hint of irony he said “medicare is a great program.” Had to bite my lip hard on that one.

    I put money on this being weep worthy for GBeck…

  27. Anonymous says:

    I’m from Costa Rica, we have had universal health care for about 60 years now… I guess Rush Limbaugh will need to move somewhere else.

  28. Capissen says:

    Without a public option, it’s really just health insurance reform, but hey, anything that pisses off the teabaggers makes me sleep that much better at night :-)

  29. Will says:

    I would also love to read the astroturf, and where it emerged from.

    It’s important to read what the talking points are, and where they come from– knowledge is power.

  30. Snig says:

    Now we just have to scour the Shire, kick a little half-orc ass and then hang around a while and wait for the Grey Havens.

  31. PapayaSF says:

    A vast new entitlement that will reduce the deficit, making health care more affordable by taxing medical devices and banning low-cost insurance plans… what could possibly go wrong?

    • Anonymous says:

      well I suppose there will be increased astroturfing on boingboing, does that count as something going wrong?

  32. Snig says:

    The orphaned comments remind me of Garfield without Garfield.

    • Tdawwg says:

      Brilliant! And just like Gw/oG depicts Jon Arbuckle to be absolutely nuts, so our orphaned comments present us as so many crazees talking to themselves. I don’t know about you, but my comment actually reads better, more in character, this way.

  33. joeposts says:

    Cool, so does this mean middle class America gets to be forced to buy overpriced, high deductible insurance or face tax penalties for refusing to pay a corporation? Sounds like a sweet deal to me!*

    *full disclosure: joeposts is wholly owned and operated by a large insurance company.

  34. zenkat says:

    @DeanPutney — Thanx for the informative CBS link, very helpful.

    Looks like a win to me. Forbids denying care for pre-existing conditions, creates exchanges for purchasing insurance (eg no more screwing the individually insured), essentially requires companies to provide health care for their workers.

    Team Obama FTW!

  35. Freddybear says:

    Don’t forget the increase in the interest rates on student loans. Oh, well, that’s what those students get for voting for Obama.

  36. Stefan Jones says:

    The Daily Show and Colbert are on break this coming week.

    I’m hoping that Glenn Beck has some kind of massive tear duct seizure. Something like those imaginary diseases that the Victorian doctors claimed would happen to you if you masturbated too much.

  37. apoxia says:

    I’m so happy for you guys in the US. Now you can enjoy health care that many other western nations have enjoyed for so long. It’s like you’ve stepped into the 20th or perhaps even 21st century!

    That reads as sarcastic, but I really mean it. I’m typing it with a big smile on my face!

  38. Yamara says:

    A matter of right, and not of privilege.

    Ted Kennedy On Health Care 1978

  39. JetPackTuxedo says:

    I dunno, guys, I’m pretty up in the air on this one… I mean, on the whole it looks pretty good, but the whole “In 2014, everyone must purchase health insurance or face a $695 annual fine. There are some exceptions for low-income people.” bit kinda pisses me off.

    I mean, until this summer I hadn’t been to the doctor in two years, and I don’t plan on going again until I absolutely have too. I don’t see I should be required to pay for a service that I don’t really want and probably won’t use.

    • Avram / Moderator says:

      Hey, JetPackTuxedo, what happens if you get hit by a car, or turn out to have cancer?

      • joeposts says:

        Paying for insurance is no guarantee you’ll get decent health care. As far as I know there’s nothing in the bill that will change that fact – no guarantees of affordable premiums or adequate coverage. Pre-existing conditions won’t disqualify people like they used to, but that change means higher premiums the older you get because the insurance companies can’t afford to lose any money. Drug prices will remain high because the government promised not to cut into those profits by bargaining for or importing cheaper drugs. Every concession made by insurance and pharmaceutical companies has been balanced by a giveaway to them.

        I know it’s unrealistic to expect the American political system to produce an accessible, cost-effective health care plan, especially since Obama got elected by promising that sort of thing (election promises.. feh), but the very fact that the corporations that control health care in America support Obama’s plan makes me very uneasy. To say this is better than ‘nothing’… I don’t know if it is. This ‘reform’ locks in the insurance companies as primary providers of health care ($) when other much cheaper alternatives exist, and then gives them tax dollars ($$). And then taxpayers buy insurance from them ($$$) or get fined at tax time.

        I was seriously floored when I heard that the plan was to essentially force people to buy insurance. It’s just so fucking stupid. Can people hate taxes so much that they prefer to pay more to get less?

        • Strabo says:

          “I was seriously floored when I heard that the plan was to essentially force people to buy insurance. It’s just so fucking stupid. Can people hate taxes so much that they prefer to pay more to get less? ”

          In short: yes. Socialnambulism is so scary that Single Payer (Medicare) or a Public Option were off the table from the start. Instead, we’re left with the only option: increase the pool of people participating to drive down costs.

          Hopefully we’ll be able to fix many of the shortcomings of this bill in the next decade or so. Like I said above, we have four years to get a Public Option or Medicare buy-in bill to pass before the mandate goes into effect.

        • Snig says:

          The corporations have been fighting the bill tooth and nail, even the lite version. Some public statements of support, but tremendous amounts of money lobbying congress and the public against it. Don’t disagree with anything you thought should be in the bill, but the companies own enough of congress to dilute it. I’m wondering if people wake up tomorrow and realize we’re not all being forced into re-education camps that it’ll eventually garner enough public support to make more effective changes.

          • joeposts says:

            “The corporations have been fighting the bill tooth and nail, even the lite version.”

            No, they haven’t. That’s a popular myth that has certainly helped Obama’s image. The pharm and biotech industry even funded an ad campaign in favour of the bill. And the bill was negotiated in secret with help from industry representatives.

            If the corporations had been fighting this bill tooth and nail it would have died long ago.

        • Avram / Moderator says:

          Joeposts, I hear you. This is not the system I’d create if I were God-Emperor of the United States.

          But nobody’s God-Emperor of the US. We’ve got a democratic republic where corporations exert more force than they ought to be allowed, and insurance companies buy almost everyone off. It’s a wonder we got what we got.

          A friend of mine pointed out that all big social programs in US history have started out kind of crappy and gotten better over time. That’s how things work here. If this bill hadn’t passed, I think it would’ve been another two or three decades before we got another chance.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      I think the point is that, if you get hit by a car, we’ll all be paying for you. The idea of “I won’t pay anything into the system, but it will still be there when I need it” is…quaint.

      • zyodei says:

        And what if I ONLY want to buy protection against accidents and other catastrophes (you know, what insurance is all about), but don’t want any coverage for disease care that I wouldn’t go to a hospital for treatment from even if it were free?

        Oh, right, that would be “unacceptable coverage.”

        • futbol789 says:

          Insurance is sort of a misnomer for healthcare, I think. I mean, everyday that I *don’t* need health insurance for a major issue my probability creeps closer to what will ultimately become 1 for my lifetime. The probability that my house will burn down doesn’t ever approach anywhere near one, so I pool risk with others and insure against the potential for fire. Health insurance, private or public based, is more like creating a pool of money among a distributed population to subsidize the current healthcare needs of some and to be there for your healthcare needs when the time comes.

          Not having healthy individuals in that pool weakens it’s ability to do it’s job. There’s plenty of debate on the *right* way to resolve these issues, or other cost related issue in health care. But health insurance shouldn’t really be thought of as insurance in the classical sense.

          • zyodei says:

            There is one fallacy in your argument: that the number will approach one. Some people who lead very clean, healthy, careful lives just go on and on without any major medical incidents, and then just die in an unavoidable manner. Who knows what the rate of this is, but rate of needing major medical intervention is NOT 1.

            Optimally, major health incidents should have a relatively high cost, but not a crippling cost. High enough to disincentivize risky behavior, but not high enough to bankrupt anybody. There IS a value in having people pay for their medical care, although I certainly think these $100,000+ bills for relatively routine things are madness.

            The thing is..most people shouldn’t use the medical establishment as their first line of defense. It’s been one of the great marketing coups of the last 100 years, convincing everyone that they need to go to the doctor for everything. Hell, the side effects of the mindless prescribing most doctors rival the original conditions. Dietary/lifestyle changes or home remedies are successful for a lot (of course not all) of the things people go to the doctors for, and should be the first line of defense.

            The thing is..what is required for people to not be dependent on MDs is information. The Internet has made information so easily available, that for many simple conditions it is a perfectly good replacement for the doctor. I suspect that this is one of the reasons that there has been such a push for this now, to get people back into the comforting folds of the medical industry.

            But for me, I devote a significant amount of my paycheck to taking care of my health. Buying high quality food, gym memberships, etc. I practically live on spirulina :P This is because I want to avoid the very high cost of health problems. I’m only 28, so who knows the long term effectiveness of this, but thus far it has worked quite well – I haven’t gone to the doctor for anything other than injuries in ten years, and my health is fantastic.

            The thing is, we must consider the economic incentives of any action – when people live with government policies in place for decades, they can have unpredictable effects on behavior. Certainly, bankrupting people for lifesaving surgery is barbaric. But we should also be careful not to incentivize bad health.

          • futbol789 says:

            I’ve added looking up the actual numbers to my to do list for the day. I would say that whether the number approaches one or reaches one, it is fundamentally a different concept than the likelihood of other traditional insurance protections. A serious medical issue is more likely an eventuality for most people where things like fire insurance are not.

            “Optimally, major health incidents should have a relatively high cost, but not a crippling cost. High enough to disincentivize risky behavior, but not high enough to bankrupt anybody.”

            I don’t agree with the word optimally, but I agree that it isn’t surprising that serious care carries a serious cost. The knowledge and training behind the care required for such things is expensive. Should it have a high cost? I’m not sure that’s a disincentive for risky behavior. Optimally, the disincentive for risky behavior should be poor health and/or death.

            But, that doesn’t account for illnesses unrelated to risky behavior. Cancer, injuries and other such things are not, anywhere near, one hundred percent associated with poor decision making. Or, necessarily, at all. It certainly isn’t risky behavior for the pedestrian crossing the street at a light to be struck by a driver too focused on his next text message.

            I try and make intelligent decisions for myself. But, as far as things like WebMD go I think unless you have an MD yourself they provide you just enough information to be dangerous. Philosophical difference there, I suppose.

            I commend your choice to live smart and take care of yourself. And I do agree that health care starts at home, as they say. But, given that the cost of health care is what it is I don’t think it’s enough for individuals to bank on youth and smart living. For a quirk of events outside of your control you could find yourself bankrupted, or unable to secure the treatment you need.

            Requiring health insurance, requiring employers to provide it, and creating means to make that feasible doesn’t alter your behavior in that instance. But it would allow you the treatment. And I do think a lot of this conversation on the nationl scene has been peppered with the advice to take care of your health as best you can.

            None of this really addresses the cost of health care. And for this bill, I suppose it’s mostly a “I think health insurance is a pretty good idea” or a “I don’t really think health insurance makes all that much sense” sort of debate. I think, for the health care system we have, health insurance is a pretty good idea.

          • Avram / Moderator says:

            Optimally, major health incidents should have a relatively high cost, but not a crippling cost. High enough to disincentivize risky behavior, but not high enough to bankrupt anybody.

            I would think that a major health incident is it’s own disincentive, even without a monetary penalty on top.

        • Cigarsam says:

          I would like to point out that I didn’t hear a peep about the astounding amounts of money spent on commercials for prescription drugs creating a “demand” for said drug. Then those same companies lobby doctors to push those drugs on anyone who has a problem.

          Seems that might be a place to reduce costs.

          Hmmmmmm, why didn’t I hear that from CNN, NBC, CBS, or FOX?

    • Snig says:

      So if you get cancer, should we let you die? If you’re in a car accident, should we not take you to the ER? Almost no one in the hospital planned on getting sick, having car accidents or cancer. Not going to a doctor regularly may end up costing society a big chunk of change, if it means catching something early in a routine checkup, vs. having an acute attack and showing up at the ER. I’m not wishing something bad on you, but really really think you should rethink the not seeing the doctor thing. A lot of medical things sneak up on really smart people, and catching stuff early can save you lots of time/money/pain/years of life.

    • Neon Tooth says:

      I don’t see I should be required to pay for a service that I don’t really want and probably won’t use.

      Everyone doesn’t want to have to go to the doctor and probably hopes they won’t have to eh? I personally have never needed the fire department, but you know: Public good, notions of civility, being part of the human race…..

      FWIW, I think the reform is weak. We need universal care.

    • AirPillo says:

      Furthering Avram’s comment, if you do, say, get hit by a car, you likely go to a county hospital, where a large (more than $695) chunk of your care is paid for by the government already. Most hospitals in the United States today are not-for-profit organizations, paid for by philanthropies and the government.

      Strangely conservatives are incapable of seeing the irony in complaining about the costs of socialized medicine and complaining about helping to pay for pre-existing socialized medicine in the same breath.

      “I hate you for making new costs! I also hate you for paying old costs! What I mean to say is I’ll hate you for everything! I LIKE TO YELL AT PEOPLE!”

    • Anonymous says:

      …becuz you live in a world with other people!

  40. Tom Hale says:

    Yaaay! Democrats win – America loses – hopefully this will be thrown out soon after November elections.
    Ok, according to what I’ve been told this is how this will work – I have a job and pay taxes – the healthcare changes will be bad for me because my taxes will be raised to pay for all the folks that don’t pay taxes. –Is what I’ve been told right or wrong?

    • Stefan Jones says:

      You’re paying for uninsured people now because hospitals are required to pick up the tab for indigents. Those cases are why an aspirin there costs you more than a whole bottle at Walgreen’s.

  41. adammtlx says:

    I really want to understand why we need this enormous piece of legislation, particularly in its current state. Here are some of the major issues as I understand them. Please help me understand where I’m wrong:

    1. Rising costs of health care — Yes. And doesn’t tort reform take a big chunk out of this? What about allowing insurance companies to compete across state lines? Why can’t we combat rising health care costs with these two measures, among others? What makes us so sure massive overhaul, deficit spending and government expansion will work better than more conservative approaches we’ve yet to try?

    2. Those without health care who can’t afford it — See above. Assuming the measures above don’t bring affordable health care to those without it, why can’t states pass their own health care legislation to address these issues? Why does the federal government need to grow and be involved so directly? Can’t the government provide incentives to state governments who take care of their citizens?

    3. The impending bankruptcy of Medicare and Medicaid — Setting aside the fact that these programs are pretty flawed to begin with, can’t we limit our reform to them alone? Why does our reform have to involve people who don’t need or aren’t currently benefiting from the two programs? And for the life of me, I can’t understand why we want to essentially EXPAND two programs which are suffering so terribly. It seems like fighting fire with fire, to me. What am I missing here? The money’s got to come from somewhere, right?

    I’m really struggling to understand it. I’m not trying to be sarcastic or condescending. I really just don’t understand why we’d want to keep throwing money at a federal government that has all but proven incapable of fixing its own problems, especially on this kind of scale. When the question is “how are we going to fix the problems we’ve created?” I don’t know why the answer has to be “more money, more reform, more government.” Aren’t those the major reasons we’re having those problems in the first place?

    I’m just asking. Help me out.

    • Cowicide says:

      I really want to understand why we need this enormous piece of legislation, particularly in its current state. Here are some of the major issues as I understand them. Please help me understand where I’m wrong

      Ok, I’ll try.

      Rising costs of health care … doesn’t tort reform take a big chunk out of this?

      No. Not at all, that’s just another corporatist republican lie.

      Annual jury awards and legal settlements involving doctors amounts to “a drop in the bucket” in a country that spends $2.3 trillion annually on health care, Amitabh Chandra, a Harvard University economist, recently told Bloomberg News. Insurer WellPoint Inc. has also said that liability awards are not what’s driving premiums.

      A 2004 report by the Congressional Budget Office said medical malpractice makes up only 2 percent of U.S. health spending. Even “significant reductions” would do little to curb health-care expenses, it concluded.

      A study by Bloomberg also found that the proportion of medical malpractice verdicts among the top jury awards in the U.S. declined over the last 20 years. “Of the top 25 awards so far this year, only one was a malpractice case.” Moreover, at least 30 states now cap damages in medical lawsuits.

      Tort reform is basically a bullshit distraction from the larger issues. That’s why republicans love it so much.

      What about allowing insurance companies to compete across state lines?

      This is exactly what happened in the credit-card industry, which is regulated in accordance with conservative wishes….Citibank wrote an absurdly pro–credit card law, the legislature passed it, and soon all the credit-card companies were heading to South Dakota.

      That’s exactly what would happen with health-care insurance. … As it happens, the Congressional Budget Office looked at a bill along these lines back in 2005. They found that the legislation wouldn’t change the number of the uninsured and would save the federal government very little in the aggregate.

      But here’s the true cost… the legislation “would reduce the price of individual health-insurance coverage for people expected to have relatively low health-care costs, while increasing the price of coverage for those expected to have relatively high health-care costs,” CBO said. “Therefore, CBO expects that there would be an increase in the number of relatively healthy individuals, and a decrease in the number of individuals expected to have relatively high cost, who buy individual coverage.”

      This sort of policy makes insurers want to cluster places where they can offer the most profitable plans, that is, minimal coverage and high deductibles (or put another way, covering less and charging more.) After all, they’re businesses and they’re motivated by their bottom line, not a commitment to the collective good.

      The state things sounds great on the surface, but is horrible in practice when it comes to health care. It’s yet another great distraction from the larger issues, which is, once again, a reason republicans love it so much.

      What makes us so sure massive overhaul, deficit spending and government expansion will work better than more conservative approaches we’ve yet to try?

      What country do you live in? Here in the USA we tried the conservative approach to nearly everything for 8 solid years and the results have been an unmitigated disaster for our economy, our health, our environment and our standing in the world.

      The conservatives had their shot. It’s time to let the adults drive for a while.

      The impending bankruptcy of Medicare and Medicaid … What am I missing here?

      You’re missing a lot. For one thing the corporatist republicans tend to lie… a lot. While Medicare definetely needs tending to, the corporatist talking points of its inevitable, swift demise have been throughly debunked once you look at facts and throw out the republican hyperbole & fear mongering:

      http://www.newsweek.com/id/216886/page/2

      • Notary Sojac says:

        Time will tell. This fall’s elections will be the referendum – I’ll accept the results as the voice of Americans.

        At least there is one good thing (per Ms. Pelosi) – now that the bill has been passed, we’ll get to see what’s in it.

    • grimc says:

      I’ll give it a shot, too:

      1. According to a the 2006 CBO report “The Effects of Medical Malpractice Tort Limits on Health Care Spending”:

      “…Although this analysis provides some evidence of links between tort limits and health care spending, the results are inconsistent and depend on the particular relationships and specifications tested. The mixed results also demonstrate the difficulty of disentangling any effects of tort limits from other factors that affect levels of spending for health care.” (p.35)

      But I’d ask, what do you think one of your hands is worth?

      As for allowing health insurance companies to compete across state lines, what is guaranteed to happen is that one or a few states would make themselves into havens for those companies, just as Delaware became the Happiest Place In The World for credit card corporations.

      2. Health care cost affects the nation’s economy, so it seems entirely appropriate, if not necessary, for the federal government to handle.

      3. The projected to be 34% of the GDP by 2040.

      This LA Times chart may be helpful in understanding how you, personally, will be affected based on age and income.

  42. ogvor says:

    I don’t like the idea of a mandate and fines for not buying healthcare as much as the next liberal, but we need them if we are going to ban ‘pre-existing conditions’ and ‘recision’. Otherwise, you could just wait until you get sick and then buy insurance. And if we made doing that against the law, we would just be punishing a lot of sick people. Unscrupulous people yes, but sick people, like we do now.

    The big idea of this bill is getting a wider pool of insured in order to ban these practices, while using subsidies for those who can’t afford it. (also lots of other nice things, like staying on a parents plan until age 26, more funding for community health centers, and increased funding to train more doctors.)

    And if it makes the Teabaggers foam at the mouth, all the better.

  43. valdis says:

    @airpillo: Sorry, public option won’t happen during reconciliation – what the House sent over to the Senate on the third vote tonight *is* the reconciliation, and the Senate basically gets to pass it as written. However, there’s nothing preventing the public option being passed as separate legislation in the days ahead.

    @JetPackTuxedo: Well.. OK. I suppose if you want to have the right to end up bankrupt and homeless because you hit an unexpected medical issue like a car crash or a severe illness, that’s your right. And you’re free to be one of the 45,000 that die each year because they’re uninsured and can’t afford treatment. But most of the civilized world thinks we should do better than that as a society.

  44. Notary Sojac says:

    I work for one of those non-profit hospitals, and we’ve already been working on what service lines we are going to cut back/employees we are going to lay off in order to deal with this “reform” which reduces our Medicare reimbursement by eight figures per year starting next year, while any additional revenue from newly insured patients doesn’t kick in until 2014.

    Now many BB’ers may actually like that. “About time those bloodsucking hospitals take one to the kneecaps!!”

    Like it or not, it is coming.

    “Medicare for all” would bring more of it, even faster.

    • blueelm says:

      I have actually been thinking the same thing. This will be hard on hospitals.

      Then again maybe it’s a good time to go school in medicine. A lot of people will be thinking it’s a terrible idea and by the time I’d get out things might be different.

      See… now that’s chronic American optimism for you.

  45. jes5199 says:

    It seems like the mandate is one of the biggest points of contention, but a lawyer friend explained here ( http://hazenhammel.livejournal.com/143970.html ) that there are beneficial side-effects when a service is “mandatory”. He’s actually litigated cases involving several different kinds of insurance (health, auto, etc)

  46. Tom Hale says:

    I know I’m getting one sided info here but I was also told that I will have to have the same insurance as peoplethat don’t work or pay taxes – and that if I choose to have different insurance, I’ll have to pay even more taxes. Is this true?

    • Cigarsam says:

      “I know I’m getting one sided info here…”

      Well only you can solve that problem, or are you asking unknown people on the intertubes to set you straight?

      Either way it seems to me that ignorance is the issue.

    • Snig says:

      You’re also paying now for health insurance that may be worthless when you really need it. Plenty of people think they have great catastrophic insurance until they actually have a catastrophe. Once they do, the insurance company finds ways to not pay, and will plan on dropping you as soon as you become a liablity. I’ve seen this numerous times.

  47. demidan says:

    “They will have destroyed their party much as Lyndon Johnson shattered the Democratic Party for 40 years” by passing civil rights legislation.- Newt (I should be burning in Hell) Gingrich.

    Thank you Repuglicans for this insight into the madness.

  48. Avram / Moderator says:

    I’m not thrilled with the mandate either, especially without a public option.

    But this is a big step. I’m hoping that the system we’ve got ten or twenty years down the road is better than the one passed today.

  49. Joe says:

    Tom Hale: your taxes won’t be raised. You already pay for emergency room care for the uninsured under the existing system; the hospitals just add it on to everyone else’s bills, so if you get insurance through your work, it costs them more.

    As for “hopefully this will be thrown out after November elections”, what do you propose to throw out? You want to re-allow insurance companies to refuse to cover people with pre-existing conditions? You want to re-open the Medicare donut hole? You want to take away the tax credits to small business to help them buy insurance? You probably didn’t know about any of that anyway, because Rush and Glenn didn’t tell you about all that.

    Besides, if Republicans gain control of both houses, Senate Democrats can filibuster and Obama can veto.

  50. Anonymous says:

    Every decade of life increases the likelihood of health problems, including death. You as an individual are practically guaranteed to have more health problems at 30 than at 20, at 40 than at 30, and so on. This dynamic prevents the ‘insurance’ math from working.

    American insurance companies are allowed to deny claims, drop customers and then blackball them. They no longer ‘insure’ anyone against anything, in their zeal to maximise profits by minimising payouts on any technicality they can find. They aren’t selling insurance anymore, they’re selling lottery tickets.

    And even if you win (get a payout) you lose in the end with increased premiums, blackballing, etc. Never mind the actual normal claim history of 1 or 2 per individual.

  51. Anonymous says:

    Is it possible the ‘Tea Party’ is the Republican party escape pod? If the health care bill gives great results the tea party is their back up. if it fails they keep their name.

  52. Anonymous says:

    At least congress has, for the first time since the Reagan Administration, passed real legislation on real issues that real people care about! That, in and of itself is change!! Major Change!

    Let’s see the particulars of the bill, and how it actually implements, and then we’ll know what the legislative agenda needs to be going forward.

    Now that we have seen ourselves do it, we can do it again. Let’s get to work on immigration reform.

    Part of it is just picturing ourselv3es succeeding!

  53. sam1148 says:

    Any bets on how long it will be before some teabagger makes an attempt at a violent act against the Government or population at large?

    • Freddybear says:

      It’s so touching, these wonderful displays of faith in Big Government The same government which has given us TARP and the Wall Street and Government Motors bailouts.

      The bill which only passed because of shady dealis like the Cornhusker Kickback and the Louisiana Purchase is now going to dictate how much insurance you buy and who is allowed to sell it to you. What could *possibly* go wrong?

    • Cigarsam says:

      The only bet I would make is that a little Beckie is renting a Ryder right now.

  54. delt664 says:

    I believe this means Rush Limbaugh will soon be moving to Costa Rica. Awesome.

    • Stefan Jones says:

      I think everyone on Boing Boing should start drafting their apology letters to the people of Costa Rica now. Maybe take donations so his future neighbors can build a berm and teach their kids about “bad touching” and being wary of strange Americans with candy.

      • Cigarsam says:

        “I think everyone on Boing Boing should start drafting their apology letters to the people of Costa Rica now.”

        Right after we all donate to buy a one way first class ticket to Costa Rica and make sure to give a tip that someone might be carrying illegal Viagra/Oxycontin on said flight.

  55. tobergill says:

    Jetpack, the whole point of insurance is to spread the risk, thereby averaging out the cost over the pool. Everybody pays a little so that some people don’t die or go bankrupt – someone who could be you. The scary word in your post is “probably”. You probably won’t need it – but what if you do?

  56. Tom Hale says:

    Thx Joe – no, I don’t listen ton political crap – this is from my father in law that watches Fox news all day and listens to Rush and his ilk.
    I know the info I’m getting is very one sided and I don’t accept it as truth, but it’s been sounding really bad for middle class folks like myself. And yes, I know something needs to be done about our healthcare. I worked at a hospital for several years and I work on ambulances a lot and I see a lot of people that don’t have any sort of health insurance. It ticks me off that I pay so much for my insurance but they see the same doctors I would if I were to go to the emergency room. That sounds ugly, yes the poor needs medical care also – honestly I have no idea what should be done about this problem
    Hopefully I’ve just been given a lot of crap info about Obama’s healthcare plan.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      It ticks me off that I pay so much for my insurance but they see the same doctors I would if I were to go to the emergency room.

      I don’t think that poverty is generally what you would call a lifestyle choice. If you can’t afford insurance, you have to get your care in the ER. Besides the fact that your chance of death or other complications skyrockets without preventive care, it costs a fortune and the taxpayers foot the bill.

  57. abstract_reg says:

    First World countries left without public health care: 0

  58. Strabo says:

    I’m a Progressive who supports Single Payer, or at least the Public Option, so I’ve had some qualms about supporting this bill, particularly with the mandate to buy private insurance. However, there is one thing that weighed heavily in favor of supporting it as-is for me. The mandate doesn’t go into effect until 2014. The insurance reform stuff goes into effect immediately. That gives us nearly four years to get a Public Option or Medicare buy-in bill passed to provide an alternative to private insurance. I think we can still do that.

  59. dragonfrog says:

    But there was socialized medicine in Germany under Hitler.

    Thank you, you may all go home now.

  60. Jason G. says:

    hopefully this solves that whole problem where, people drop health insurance, rates go up, because rates go up, more people drop heath insurance, rates go up, because rates go up, more people drop heath insurance, rates go up, because rates go up, more people drop heath insurance, rates go up, because rates go up, more people drop heath insurance, rates go up…

  61. Will says:

    An insurance mandate is the best thing that could happen to the American people; just as going to war is a decision which should only happen in the context of universal service, so too should health care reform occur in the context of universal coverage of some sort.

    Forcing everyone in the pool means that costs which were previously distributed unevenly and obscured through many channels are now shared much more directly and visibly. It always affected everyone, but now, there will be palpable political pressure to adjust the system so it serves the majority.

    • brucethehoon says:

      If the House and Senate were required to have the same insurance as the rest of us, this argument would make sense.

  62. MrJM says:

    Congratulations America!

    You are now well on your way to becoming a First World Nation!

  63. Tom Hale says:

    Snig – Yeah, that’s why I pay an extra $120.00/paycheck for Aflac. My insurance sucks -United Healthcare. I doubt that Obama’s plan will screw me over anymore than I am now. fingers crossed

    • Snig says:

      If you’re making over 250k, they’ll start taxing some of your gains earned, but only stock earnings, not your income from your job. If your insurance cost more that 27k or so per year, and you got it as a free job benefit, not counting dental, you’d get taxed. (UHC insurance that sucks likely doesn’t cost nearly that much. AFLAC doesn’t count towards that, as it’s not health insurance, and you’re paying for it) If you use tanning beds, they’re being taxed.

      Otherwise, you’re not being directly taxed for the plan.

      When you go to the ER, it may be less of a wait as it’ll be less full of the working and nonworking poor using the place for primary care.

      No crystal ball here, but not that that worried about what I’ve read about the plan.

  64. azriphale says:

    As one of the aforementioned “tea-baggers”, I’d like to get my two cents in.

    What upsets me the most about this bill is it seems to only half address the issue. Yes, the insurance companies are heartless at times. Truly heartless. I don’t think you’ll be able to walk up to a single person and say “Do you think that insurance companies should be able to drop you when you get sick or deny you because of a preexisting condition?” and expect a yes. However, insurance is not health care. It is a means of protecting yourself from going destitute should the unforeseen happen. Again, health insurance is health care in about as much as car insurance is driving. So, what this really does, is force everybody to purchase the same product, without really addressing the prices of health care itself. The hospitals can still charge $40 for a cotton ball after this if they want to. This doesn’t change that.

    What irks me about the situation, is that most of the inflated cost of insurance comes from individual state mandates about what coverage they have to have.

    From: http://healthinsuranceinfo.net/getinsured/nebraska/individual-health-plans/individual-health-insurance-sold-by-private-insurers/

    “However, Nebraska does require all health plans to cover certain benefits-such as mammograms and diabetes care.”

    So what this means is, I HAVE to pay for coverage for diabetes and mammograms. I am not a diabetic (thankfully) and I am definitely not a female. But the cost of my (and every nebraskans) coverage is inflated to cover those and other mandated benefits.

    There are also federal level benefits that inflate the cost of your coverage:

    “A few of these mandates are required by federal law (Health Insurance Portability and
    Accountability Act of 1996) such as the requirement to cover costs of re-constructive surgery for
    mastectomies.”

    (Source: http://www.doi.ne.gov/brochure/lb1217.pdf)

    What I wish had been done, if I’m going to be required to purchase health insurance, was to let me purchase a plan tailored to me, a healthy 27 year old male. I.E. disaster coverage and maybe one or two annual check-ups. I’d imagine my premiums would be much lower with that than what I currently pay.

    This bill was maligned, not well thought-out and that is why most of us “tea-baggers” are upset.

    (And by the way, my mother taught me it was not polite to call other children names. So be civil BBers ^__^ )

    • Strabo says:

      You’re still thinking of JUST yourself. The whole point of insurance is to _spread_ the risk over as wide a base as possible. You may not be a diabetic or have boobs now, but can you definitely say that will always be the case? You specifically mention Nebraska, so I assume you live there in middle Amurka, right? Are you overweight? Do you eat a lot of food-like products that contain HFCS? Given that about 25% of Nebraskans are obese (and that number has, of course, risen drastically over the last 15 years, just like in every other state) I’m willing to make a bet that if you aren’t obese now, you probably will be in a few decades! What happens if you develop type II diabetes and man boobs then (yes, I know having man boobs doesn’t mean you’re susceptible to breast cancer, it’s a joke/hyperbole)? Will it be ok for your premium, and the premium paid by every other Amurkan, to cover diabetes then? And hey, since you haven’t paid for diabetes coverage for the last few decades, you wouldn’t mind a catch-up premium either, would you?

      • azriphale says:

        The emphasis from my previous comment is that even if the insurance is spread over a wider base, the cost are being unnecessarily inflated. By allowing me to purchase a tailored insurance plan, it’s not reducing the allotted pool of the insured, but lowering my individual premium as I won’t have unnecessary coverage.

        Its akin to not buying flood insurance if you live in the Arizona desert. I’m not reducing the pool for home insurers, but I’m also not paying for an unnecessary product.

        I exercise five days a week and do my best to eat healthy. I quit smoking 5 years ago and have cut caffeine from my daily life. There is indeed the possibility I could always gain weight or type II diabetes, but for now, I would not need the coverage.

        Being frugal and a good economist doesn’t always equate to not loving thy neighbor.

        However, you do raise a good point. American obesity rates are rising. Because of this, there will be a large number of preventable diseases and doctor visits. So, the question then becomes, what is being done to curb the unnecessary burden on our health care system?

        Do we demand individual higher premiums for the obese? What about for smokers?

        I’m not advocating either way, but maybe it is a discussion that needs to be had. At what point does individual responsibility commence for some of the nations current health care woes?

        • AirPillo says:

          Do you really think you’re being charged more for your individual coverage to cover conditions you’re not at risk of? It’s kind of quaint if you believe you’re paying more to be covered for type I diabetes or breast cancer. It unfortunately also shows a distinct lack of knowing what the hell you’re talking about.

          Those mandates don’t alter your health insurance premiums any more than a mandatory kangaroo-damage coverage policy on home insurance would raise home insurance rates in Oregon.

          If the risk isn’t there, their assessors are perfectly free not to bill you for covering it, and a competitive insurer will do just that: not charge you for it.

          Or do you think they’re incapable of using the army of risk assessment experts that they are continually hiring every day to realize that, hey, it costs nothing to cover you for diabetes, so they can afford to charge you nothing?

          I think someone from the industry just threw out that half-assed excuse for why they were charging you so much and you swallowed it hook, line, and sinker. It’s bullshit. Risk assessment is the most important part of the insurance industry and it’s what they do best.

          You might as well claim an airline charges so much for tickets because they don’t know how to land planes safely and need to save up to buy replacements.

          • azriphale says:

            If that was indeed the case, then health insurance premiums as a whole should be far, far lower than they are now. If the price was all about risk assessment, then everyone should be able to get low-cost health insurance for, as a whole, the risk for disease is low in our general population.

            Those coverages do add costs. It’s not the majority cost by any means, but it does add to the policy, whether you are at risk or not. I may be low risk, but the chance is still there, hence, the charge.

            The health insurance industry is a for-profit business. They are offering you stability from financial meltdown in case of the unforeseen. The health insurance industry isn’t there to grant you the right for health care. Just protection from financial ruin. Therefore, any service or coverage they are going to extend you, whether low risk or not, is going to carry a charge.

          • Freddybear says:

            So if I’m not at risk for certain conditions, why do I have to have the coverage on my policy?

          • AirPillo says:

            So that people who were at risk wouldn’t be stuck in a position where they couldn’t get that particular coverage?

            It may seem silly to have to be covered for type I diabetes, for example. It would seem less silly if you were a diabetic trying to get health insurance and nobody would let you buy a policy that included diabetes. The ban on denying coverage based on pre-existing coverage may now make that requirement obsolete but at the time this is likely the intended purpose.

            @Azriphale, they are also a competing business where the business who can offer a customer the best rates is likely to be the one who wins the customer. You may be billed according to the cost of covering you as a fraction of a statistical population, or they may elect to compete more strongly and tailor it more closely to your individual health profile. Whether or not they choose to do so is not the fault of requiring coverage, it’s the fault of the business deciding to do so or not. The idea of the public option was that if administrated well it would have forced an increase in competition. That didn’t make it in, so you’re stuck with the competition as it exists today. With more customers on the line, maybe companies will now compete more for their share of them. Maybe not. Time will tell.

            Regardless, the point here seems to be that you’re unintentionally asking for a system that’s tailor-made to benefit azriphale without regards to those in dissimilar situations. You can have a system that works for everyone and gives you problems once in a while, or you can have a system that works for you and gives everyone else problems once in a while. If you have a problem with a system that cannot provide for everyone while fitting your needs like a glove, I posit that you have a problem with being born in this reality.

            Maybe you can propose an alternative solution that carries the same benefits and protections to citizens?

          • azriphale says:

            The difference of opinion here is that I automatically become detrimental to society or somehow dispassionate when I point out some shortcomings of the current system that aren’t being addressed.

            A similar situation would be, after the horrible flooding in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina, the fed mandated that all states must now require homeowners insurance to carry flood damage as well.

            Prices would inflate as a lot of individuals who may have had flood damage without insurance before would now fall under coverage. In essence, everyone’s insurance would go up. Now, you may live in a dry state like New Mexico or Arizona where the chances of flooding are very remote. Should you then, as a homeowner, be forced into higher premiums for coverage you aren’t going to need?

            There are intelligent ways to analyze the current system and there are ways to improve it.

            I will say I like some things out of the bill that was passed. (No preexisting conditions, exchanges, etc…) I just don’t think it addresses the real issues at heart.

            The argument you’re making is a broke system that covers everyone, or a broke system that covers only me. I would be remiss if I believed those were the only two options, but I choose to be the optimistic and believe in a happy medium:

            A system that caters to the many while allowing for the freedom to choose a custom plan that makes sense for my individual needs. Ala homeowners insurance, auto insurance etc…

          • Freddybear says:

            “So that people who were at risk wouldn’t be stuck in a position where they couldn’t get that particular coverage?”

            So then I am put into the same risk group with those people, and then I am paying for that risk. They can’t charge me a different rate. “Community rating” rules that out.

        • Freddybear says:

          Now that Democrats have their claws into health care, they will be able to dictate all sorts of “lifestyle choices”. Look at the arguments that food nazis already make in states like California and New York for regulations on everything from trans fats to sugar and salt.
          Welcome to the Nanny State. Now all you kiddies get in like for your blankies and pacifiers, it’s for your own good.

          • failix says:

            It’s not for your own good… I think it’s more about blocking companies from making money out of your self-inflicted malnutrition. If you’re really that big on the freedom to kill yourself with food, you can still do it DIY style (aka cooking and baking crap on your own).

    • Anonymous says:

      Azriphale, maybe the IRS should let you purchase a legal system perfectly tailored to you too. You are law abiding, right? so there’s a discount for that. Oh, but wait you re in a prime risk group because of your age to commit a crime…. Hmmm Oh well that lady across the street is far less likely to commit a crime because she’s female. Too bad for you being born a man and all.

      It’s about spreading out the risks over a population. But you won’t like that because that’s socialism.

    • Snig says:

      Do you promise to never never get diabetes? If you do, are you ok with paying all out of pocket expenses for it, since you didn’t feel like kicking in for the other diabetics at the time? Those shots/insulin/pills/amputation surgeries add up. Do you have a: sister, mother, female significant other, wife? At some point do you plan to procreate? Should you suddenly find a girlfriend/wife pregnant, and yourself suddenly out of a job, is that the point you want the safety net to be there? Do you have a female relative who might find herself with cancer and without a job? Do you think your savings on insurance premiums would be enough to pay for chemo/surgery for her? Should you (god forbid) get testicular/prostate cancer, should money for the women not go your way? Should you suddenly find you’ve a kid with autism, you gonna hold a bakesale to pay for treatment, or are you going to be a little glad there was an insurance mandate to pay something for it?

      • azriphale says:

        I appreciate your rebuttal as it further illustrates my original argument.

        “Those shots/insulin/pills/amputation surgeries add up”

        Again, the point is that health care costs themselves are too high and this bill does nothing to address that. It only mandates you get health care insurance, which was never meant to and should not be equated to health care.

        “Do you think your savings on insurance premiums would be enough to pay for chemo/surgery for her?”

        I guess I do not understand how not mandating my individual coverage would prevent her from getting the coverage she needs. Please provide further elaboration.

        “Should you (god forbid) get testicular/prostate cancer, should money for the women not go your way?”

        As I mentioned earlier though, I would purchase some type of disaster coverage (that may include cancers, unknown hospital visits, etc…) it really depended on what choices are out there. Most likely, being male, I would purchase coverage for known issues like prostate cancer etc… along with other males who would share in that pool.

        I guess it goes back to doing things with an intelligent system or methodology as opposed to trying to have a catch-all coverage.

        A good example was a recent report I heard on the evening news about a Californian city’s fight against repeat emergency room offenders. Rather than extending them health care coverage and calling it done, they started to look at individual situations and found there were a large number of homeless and mentally challenged people frequenting their emergency rooms. So, they started finding them housing and appropriate treatments and their visits dropped 40% saving them somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 million annually.

        Our friends and neighbors got the help they needed, and the ER cleared out a bit. Intelligent assessment and solution to a problem. Why couldn’t that be done with insurance as opposed to blanket coverage?

        • Artimus Mangilord says:

          Thank you, azriphale. Everyone should spend a few minutes considering the difference between “insurance” and “coverage”. If the debate were truly about fixing the system, this would be at the heart of cost control.

          @ Zyodei #131: Ugh…

  65. Suds says:

    Wait, If the bill passed with unanimous republican opposition, WHY did they water it down? Why make concessions to obstructionists? and What about the Dems who voted nay? WTF?

    • Strabo says:

      There are lots of conservative Democrats too, sadly, who aren’t that different from their colleagues on the other side of the aisle.

  66. Bill Albertson says:

    Dennis Kucinich was adamant about voting NO because there was no Universal Care option in the bill. A private meeting with the President and Pelosi, and he is voting yes. Now, here is the rub- he is fast tracking a bill to extend MediCare to all, effectively creating Public Universal Health Care. My best guess is that they got his vote on a promise to facilitate fast-tracking his bill.

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/03/17/health.care.kucinich.lkl/index.html

  67. rebdav says:

    I have moved to a place with real socialized medicine. I used to be in health care in the US, it is socialized in a weird Chenney Halliburton way, the uninsured are considered a pool and you pay triple to cover the others who dine and dash.

    I don’t trust this so called fix as far as I can throw it, I am also curious where the money is coming from, and what is being raided.

    Call me sceptical but I don’t think the one ring has been destroyed quite yet.

  68. deckard68 says:

    Unfortunately many provisions don’t take effect immediately. For example, health insurance companies have six more months (after the signing of the law on Tuesday) during which time they remain free to drop you if you dare to get sick.

  69. Day Vexx says:

    I think I understand where Tom Hale is coming from, actually. I do my best to keep up with this stuff, but it’s damned complicated! I know I’m being spun on pretty much all sides– let’s face it, the Daily Show is probably a more reliable source of information at the point than most news shows!

    So here’s my question– as a person already enjoying (if that’s the word for being broke enough to have it) an Illinois Dept. of Public Aid medical card for my family of four, what does this reform mean to me? I’d love to just ask a social worker point blank, but if you think that’s even an option, then you’ve never been to the Public Aid office, haha. Help me, Mutants!

  70. Anonymous says:

    1933. 1964. 1965. 2010. ‘Nuff said.

  71. joeposts says:

    The public option was a distraction. They’ve been tried and they barely make a dent in the amount of people covered, nor do they cause insurance companies to reform themselves because only a sliver of their bottom line is affected. Private insurers make money by insuring healthy people – a public insurer would have to insure all the sick and disabled people, and wouldn’t be particularly successful. Unless they had loads of government subsidies, which means more tax money. At best, it was adding another insurance company to the mix.

    But it kept progressive people supporting Obama long enough for him to come up with a more insurance and pharma friendly bill. And then it was quietly dropped.

    Reform will happen when Americans stop looking to the free market as a solution to all of life’s big problems (like cancer and getting hit by cars).

    btw, the vitriol directed at people who don’t want, or can’t afford, health insurance is an entirely predictable outcome of a bill that makes it a crime* to not be insured.

    *(yeah that’s hyperbole get over it)

  72. Tom Hale says:

    I don’t get that part – people Have to be insured – I know good and well that the people that don’t pay for insurance now will Not Pay for insurance after this healthcare change starts. Us working people will still have to pay.

  73. thanatomaton says:

    “Reform will happen when Americans stop looking to the free market as a solution to all of life’s big problems (like cancer and getting hit by cars).”

    That’s the trouble, though. Our economy is built on who can sell what to who for the most money. Hospitals don’t charge $35 per aspirin based on how many uninsured people’s tabs they have to pick up; they charge that much because they can. Hospitals are, at their core, money-making operations, and this bill doesn’t change that.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Hospitals are, at their core, money-making operations

      That’s not true. Many hospitals are non-profit institutions. Kaiser is non-profit. County hospitals are non-profit. VA hospitals are non-profit. University hospitals generally aren’t primarily profit-motivated.

      • AirPillo says:

        And when Antinous says “most”, the figure being referred to is nearly 3/4 of all hospitals in the country.

        Hospitals are not money-making operations. They are primarily charities attempting to make sure they don’t run out of money to keep performing charitable services.

        The amount of people who do not know this is really quite surprising.

        • AirPillo says:

          The wikipedia article on nonprofit hospitals has this bit to include, for those of you who unfortunately don’t know a thing about how hospitals in your own country operate yet insist upon having an opinion about them anyways:

          In 2003, of the roughly 3,900 nonfederal, short-term, acute care general hospitals in the United States, the majority—about 62 percent—were nonprofit. The rest included government hospitals (20 percent) and for-profit hospitals (18 percent).[1]

          Let me digest that: less than one-fifth of all of the hospitals in the country operate for a profit. a full 82% of the country’s hospitals in 2003 were either charities or government-operated hospitals.

          Here I’ll provide a convenient link to the source cited, which is a transcript of testimony given before congress:
          http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d05743t.pdf

          If people can’t be arsed to inform themselves, they shouldn’t expect others to be arsed to take them seriously when they speak about the things they don’t care to learn about.

          The US isn’t nearly as much about raw capitalism as people seem to think, and it is far from traditional to not give a f*** about the working poor.

          • Anonymous says:

            Any statistics on the percentage of care that is provided by “specialists”? The hospitals themselves may be non-profit, but I assure you the specialists are not. I recently had the misfortune of needing to visit the emergency room for what turned out to be kidney stones. From the time I walked in to the time i was seen was just over four hours; moaning, writhing, and sweating the entire time. I’ve been out of work for a long time now, eventually going back to school as a way forward while continuing to look, and I was deathly afraid of my bills from this whole thing. Nearly eight thousand from the hospital and almost two grand from the specialists. Basically the way it stacks up is that the specialists ran all of the tests and scans and the hospital gave me a bed, an assless gown, and a bunch of drugs. After following up, and being persistent, with the hospital I was accepted into the financial assistance program and my balance was reduced to zero (more than I ever dreamed to be possible, much less expected) whereas the specialists aren’t budging a bit. They were gracious (no sarcasm) enough to offer me a payment plan, but then they tacked a fee (sad face) on to the payments for the privilege. I am extremely grateful to the hospital for zeroing me out, I fear what would have happened to me if I had a minimum wage job. As far as the tests from the specialists, I had two recursive tests and an EKG for the hell of it. If I don’t start making payments by the beginning of this month I’ll be sent to collections. With no job and no money I was lucky to have received medical care in the first place, but the specialist are really sticking it to me (especially since what they did was either redundant, unnecessary, or could have been done by hospital staff).

    • joeposts says:

      “Our economy is built on who can sell what to who for the most money. ”

      Well, then you knock it down and build something else! Back to the sixties, baby! Collapse the system! Start by voting republican. heh. kidding. maybe. ;-P

      I don’t know what it will take – it’s undeniable Americans are wasting ridiculous amounts of money so that a bunch of insurance executives can get rich and have conferences with other rich executives at expensive luxury resorts. That’s where the money is going, that’s why they have to raise premiums. And with Obama’s reforms, more money will flow to them now that they have their much sought-after mandate, and a half trillion dollars worth of tax credits. Then they will use that new money to fund campaigns to fight against the meaningful reforms that could actually hurt their bottom line.

      Meanwhile, people continue to raise hell about government waste, ignoring the skyrocketing private-sector salaries and premiums that have increased by as much as 39% in recent months. I’d laugh if it weren’t so sad, and so incredibly dumb.

  74. lewis stoole says:

    what in the world
    acid is free

  75. Rindan says:

    I am more or less for the bill. That said, I don’t think this bill does what many people think it does. If you work, make a salary, and have insurance through your employer and don’t have catastrophic health issues, this is going to hurt you. More sick are about to jump into the pool, and more people are going to start taking advantage of health services resulting in, at least temporary, higher prices. I think it is a good thing in that I really believe that it is criminal for a first world democracy to be bankrupting citizens at random for health issues, but it isn’t going to be all roses.

    The other thing this bill doesn’t do is make the US like fill-in-the-name-of-a-socialist-leaning-democracy. You can’t just be sick and walk into a doctors office and expect treatment like in some place in the world. You will still get a bill and futz around with the insurance companies to get them to pay for it.

    I think it is political dangerous for the Dems because after all is said and done, nothing is going to change for the vast majority of people. The people who stuff will change for in a positive way already vote Democrat. The only differences I think most people will notice is that Republicans get to jump up and down frothing at the mouth about the debt and can blame this, regardless if it is true, and without feeling even a tiny sense of irony that Republicans made the bureaucratic mess that is the DHS and managed to spend a crap ton of money making a mostly dysfunctional democracy in Iraq. Shit, for the amount of money we paid to fight the Iraq war we could have just bribed everyone in the Middle East to chill the fuck out with change left over for a round on the house.

  76. Mindpowered says:

    ROL,

    Go to bed. You’ll wake up tomorrow and find nothing has changed. The deep fear and loathing you feel towards your fellow countrypeople(the great unwashed?), and you’re fear of a Stalinist dictator ship is as groundless as the fear that your PAP smear will be audited.

    ” A micro-chip injected by doctors (who will soon be forced to Follow The Rules) ”

    Where is this coming from? What will they do with this microchip?

  77. dhalgren says:

    If we decided as a nation we are going to do Universal Health Care for all Americans, then let’s do it right. But this is just a band-aid on an amputation. We needed to blow up the current model, tell the insurance and pharmaceutical companies to sit down and take a seat with the rest of America because we are going to start from scratch. So what if it takes time. If it takes four years, five years, ten years, let’s get it right the first time so all Americans can benefit yet all Americans also pitch in their fair share. Instead what do we get? Rhetoric from Democrats and Republicans was so loud that no one could hear themselves think coherently. The President who has the speaking pulpit could have done wonders to explain to the American people each step of the way what was unfolding, what was actually going to be in this ‘plan’, how it was going to be implemented if passed, the options if any. Instead he let Pelosi the shrill voice of unreason take the baton or was that her 3 ft. long gavel, and run with it. So you had Pelosi saying one thing, Obama saying another,and Reid…I’m not sure what he does if anything.

    So all of you ripping on ‘Tea-baggers’ and Americans who were against this bill, I have a question for you. What do you expect when you have Pelosi, Obama, and the rest of the gang saying something different each day about what is or isn’t going to be in the Health Care bill? Of course people are going to go nuts. You expect Americans to trust their government with a bill this size just on their word, “Trust us. It’s Health Care Reform. Once we pass it we will fill in the blanks to make sure it works.”

    Thank you Republicans and Democrats. Don’t hurt yourselves patting yourselves on the back.

    We’re all screwed either way.

    • Cigarsam says:

      “What do you expect when you have Pelosi, Obama, and the rest of the gang saying something different each day about what is or isn’t going to be in the Health Care bill?”

      The Teabaggers were honking about it before there ever was a bill. It was an industry tactic to muddy the waters, same as ’93.

  78. Anonymous says:

    I have a snark-free question to those who are on the republican side of the aisle. (It might seem snarky, but I promise it comes from genuine curiousity.) One of the many arguments I’m perceiving from the right is that Obama has,by regulating health insurance, overstepped the bounds between politics and people’s private lives.
    Okay, I can see that argument.
    However, I also know that many on the right also feel it is their duty to police what I do with my body and who I marry. This brings me to my question…
    What’s the difference here?

  79. lewis stoole says:

    curse you conservatives and corporations for screwing up my “socialized medicine”. single payer was the best ticket out there as it had the largest pooled asset–the entire friggin country–with the lowest overhead. way to go.

  80. MasterSauce says:

    Nothing more to add except, Hurray!
    I’m glad we took a step forward in the right direction.
    Yay USA!

    Now, let’s have something else in the news for awhile.

    ~Sauce

    PS: Here is a list of Dems who voted no, in case you were wondering: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/22/democrats-who-voted-again_n_508484.html

  81. Ernunnos says:

    Huzzah! The Democrats have essentially passed a poll tax: a levy on the privilege of drawing breath, and the most regressive type of taxation there is. Becoming… Thatcherites. And doing Thatcher one better, as it’s collected by and benefits the medical-industrial complex. It’s straight up mercantilism, law to benefit privileged business interests. The irony has me laughing out loud.

  82. attheelephant says:

    Tom: The first thing you need to do is realize that this is not about “us working people” versus the specter of imagined welfare queens and freeloaders. Tons of people who work don’t have health insurance–especially people who work for small businesses, and people who work multiple jobs. My current employer (a very large corporation) doesn’t offer me insurance (or consistent hours, but that’s another rant). My last two employers (wonderful small businesses) didn’t offer insurance to any of the staff because, well, they were too small.

    If (IF) you’re taxes are being raised, it’s largely not to cover people who don’t work, it’s to cover people who don’t work union jobs or other well-benefited positions–the people who mop your floors, the people who stock and sell your groceries, and the people who work in new businesses and new fields that form the innovation of which America is so proud. We work, too.

  83. dragonfrog says:

    ROL, maybe you should refer the text of the bill – you know, what actually passed – rather than strange conspiracy theories about government microchips.

    I can’t watch the video you linked from here, but the top comment on that page says Do you know that in Canada animals have better health care than people do? So, after I stopped laughing, I wondered – do Americans really think that’s so?

    I’m a Canadian, living in Canada, so feel free to ask any questions you like about our healthcare system. (Incidentally, I was at the hospital on the weekend so my experience of our health care system is even recent. Turned out to be nothing serious…)

    • Felton says:

      I wonder if Canadian animals have better health care than humans in the US do. I wrote an essay back in 2001 comparing the US and Canadian health care systems at the time. I have to admit, it did make me think about moving to Canada. I hope you guys have kept up the good work. And I’m glad it was nothing serious. :-)

  84. futbol789 says:

    For mr. Hale and one or two others indicating they would like to know more: I don’t mean this as a flame, but you do understand that with the internets machine you can, in fact do more than comment on BoingBoing, right?

    You’re saying your an American and you’d like to know more about how this works for you. Well, use some of the American ingenuity and the Internet machine at your finger tips and do some of that new fangled reading the kids are so into these days.

    It’s advanced citizenship and you have as much a duty to vote as you do to inform yourself. Brushing off your lack of knowledge due to the single news channel and the information your father in law passes to you second hand just isn’t an acceptable excuse.

    Go to some websites and read. Look at their sources. Go find those sources and read them. Look at their sources. Repeat until satisfied. Read op ed pieces. Read scholarly journals. Read university studies. Read. Form an opinion. Any opinion. Advocate for it.

    Accepting that it’s all quite complicated and electing not inform yourself just isn’t cricket, baby. Because that type of attitude is basically why we spent six or eight months talking seriously in a fair and balanced way about the validity of death panels.

  85. Brainspore says:

    I think this is an overall win, but I still feel uncomfortable about being legally required to buy services from a private, for-profit corporation. I know this is currently the situation with car insurance (at least in my state) but then again, nobody is forcing me to drive.

    The dems dropped the ball on the public option, here’s hoping they pick it up again soon.

    • grimc says:

      I feel the same way. There was a period where I thought mandates without a public option was a non-starter, but got to the place where I think this is a good beginning. We got elimination of rescission and pre-existing condition exclusions, millions of uninsured now will be, and we’re on the road to actually getting what we pay insurance companies for.

  86. zyodei says:

    Yes! We will force everyone in America to buy the product of sleazy, corrupt corporations!

    It is a great win for the people and a great defeat for the corporations!

    Right?

  87. Anonymous says:

    I’m with JetPackTuxedo. Look, I haven’t had a fire at my house in over two years and have no plans for one any time soon. Why should I have to pay taxes to support the local firefighters? If I don’t pay taxes, the man is going to fine me and send me to jail. W.T.F.?

  88. adammtlx says:

    I’m not sure why I’m replying. You’re really not worth arguing with.

    Shame on you for disseminating it for whatever your reasons.

    I never disseminated anything. I asked if it would do any good. Then you started acting like I was a moron for not having come to the exact same conclusions as you about it already.

    Ok…. er, what does that have to do with me? Sorry, presenting facts does not equal coming after your dads money. Good luck with your dads money.

    I said that healthcare professionals will leave their professions, or will not enter the field to begin with. Fewer people = less innovation. You told me that’s untrue. I disagreed and gave my father as an example of someone who may leave his profession so avoid having it unceremoniously gutted by the government. Do you have the numbers to prove it either way? I don’t, but I’d be willing to bet actual money what I said will happen. I had every intention of following and going to med school, like my father. So there is at least one less physician in the industry because of this type of government policy–me.

    Of course you do. Note that I put you back in context. Feel free to play with semantics once again. I’ll just put you back in proper context again and probably infuriate you even further. You should stop.

    And “fuck everyone else”? When did I say that? You seem like very angry person. You’re the one trying to make it out like I’m an idiot. You’re condescending, patronizing, superior, haughty and presumptuous, even trying to put words in my mouth. That’s pretty immature. I’m not angry at all, but it seems like you are. It’s clear you claim some major injustices against yourself or someone you care about. And I’ll take your advice. I will stop. After I try to understand why you seem to hate me so much after all I’ve done is ask questions and present my viewpoint, open to more understanding.

    I know this will hurt your ego. But as much as it pains you, go look and see who creates more job growth from JFK to Bush. Democrats or Republicans. Oh, and to really stomp your ego… don’t include government jobs. Ouch.

    Well, this is off the subject. I was talking specifically about the stimulus bills. But fine. I can accept that Democrats have created more jobs. I’m not a Republican, what the hell do I care? What does who created more jobs have to do with my ego?

    Well, of course you disagreed. Because in your eyes, Bush was a progressive.

    No. Saying that Bush wasn’t a true conservative doesn’t make him a progressive. But, you know, whatever you say.

    You obviously haven’t been keeping up with conservatives for the last 15-20 years.

    Yes, I have. I haven’t been on board with Republicans. You’re equating the two.

    You do show some interest, but not much commitment to it.

    And all you’ve shown is a unpleasant proclivity for aggressive debate. You’re rude and obnoxious. I really doubt you’re like this in your real life, because in real life people wouldn’t tolerate it. I know I wouldn’t. I’m glad the internet allows you to be who you really are inside, though. Some people need that outlet. Have a nice life. I’m going to avoid you in the future. You make it really, really hard for me to want to see “your” side, and I really, really wanted to.

    • Cowicide says:

      I never disseminated anything. I asked if it would do any good.

      Semantics. You’re arguing them again. NEXT.

      I said that healthcare professionals will leave their professions, or will not enter the field to begin with. Fewer people = less innovation.

      Nah, you pretty much just whined about your Dad’s money without presenting any facts whatsoever. And, you still don’t present any evidence whatsoever that we won’t have less doctors if there’s health care reform. NEXT.

      And “fuck everyone else”? When did I say that?

      Semantics. You’re arguing them again. I don’t fall for that shit. NEXT.

      Well, this is off the subject. I was talking specifically about the stimulus bills. But fine. I can accept that Democrats have created more jobs. I’m not a Republican, what the hell do I care? What does who created more jobs have to do with my ego?

      Nice try. This is YOU, “Remember the stimulus bills our last two presidents have pushed that were supposed to create tons of jobs?”.

      I was very much on the subject YOU went off topic with, no me. I was just ansering your off-topic drivel. NEXT.

      No. Saying that Bush wasn’t a true conservative doesn’t make him a progressive.

      You are rewording what you said.

      Semantics. You’re arguing them (yet) again. NEXT.

      Yes, I have. I haven’t been on board with Republicans. You’re equating the two.

      Yeah, crazy me. Equating republicans with conservatism. No one else in the world aside from me does that.

      I really doubt you’re like this in your real life, because in real life people wouldn’t tolerate it.

      I can assure if anyone comes at me like you did and started arguing trite semantics, they’d get the very same treatment IRL whether they could “tolerate” it or not. Strangely enough, no one ever does that to me IRL though.

      You make it really, really hard for me to want to see “your” side, and I really, really wanted to.

      If you base your decisions on cult of personality instead of facts; it’s fruitless anyway. Good luck.

      • Cowicide says:

        Nah, you pretty much just whined about your Dad’s money without presenting any facts whatsoever. And, you still don’t present any evidence whatsoever that we won’t have less doctors if there’s health care reform. NEXT.

        Correction: …. we will have less doctors …

  89. Clemoh says:

    “During a recession, is it better to go out and blow all your credit on luxuries, or hunker down and take care of the essentials? No response necessary.”
    If you feel basic health care for all is a ‘luxury’, I encourage you to research what is considered ‘basic health care’ in other G8 nations. You might be disappointed.

  90. Mindpowered says:

    ROL,

    Your hysterical rapture based theology, is the last thing America needs. The rest of the world is sailing merrily on by as your crowd obsesses over a mythical “Freedom” that never did and never will exist.

    To worry about the “mark of the beast” while millions of your fellow citizens remain trapped in a real healthcare hell, and the US slowly sails off into obscurity is the worse sort abrogation of citizen responsibility. It’s our job to build a better and more just society NOW, not to give play to myths and groundless fear.

  91. craniac says:

    Anything that pisses off millions of self-absorbed twenty-something libertarians is good, in my book.

  92. futbol789 says:

    Stupid internet boxes being difficult. I had quoted your mark of the beast reference. I swear it. The bogeyman ate the post. The infopocalypse has begun.

    • Felton says:

      The bogeyman ate the post.

      Maybe the devil issued a takedown notice to boingboing, as “mark of the beast” is probably trademarked.

      • futbol789 says:

        Just because it’s the end of the world doesn’t mean the devil shouldn’t defend his intellectual property.

  93. zyodei says:

    This represents a great triumph of economic ignorance.

    Special condemnation is deserved by the Republicans. They are too heavily invested in protecting their important and high bank account contributors among the ranks of the pharmaceutical executives, hospitals administrators, insurance executives, and MDs to point out how government intervention has massively ballooned the cost of health care over the last 30 years.

    Because they are the supposed “free market” party, that left exactly nobody to point out this blatantly obvious fact on TV.

    So, this atrocious, frankenstein monster solution to a problem they themselves created has come to pass.

    The Republicans were reduced to the ridiculous charade of claiming that the medical industry, whose vast wealth is based almost entirely on the difficulties to entry put up by the government, were some sort of exemplars of the free market.

    A sordid affair, all around.

    The great tragedy is this will only perpetuate the lie that pharmaceuticals are a good default first answer when we have health problems.

  94. Ceronomus says:

    I just laugh, every time I hear a Republican rail against the fact that people will be required to carry insurance. I chortle as they work on making it illegal to require it. Why? Because that requirement is the protection that prevents insurance companies from failing and putting us into a single-payer system.

    As someone who’s wife is owed $17,000 from an insurance company that will never pay up, as someone who cannot get insurance DESPITE perfect health and no pre-existing conditions?

    I hope the Republicans get their way and kill the insurance companies so I can get REAL health coverage.

  95. Antinous / Moderator says:

    I have removed some astroturf.

    • Cigarsam says:

      Thanks.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        I should clarify. I removed some comments that I traced to a PR firm that specializes in online spin and includes large health care business interests among its clients.

        • Cowicide says:

          I removed some comments that I traced to a PR firm that specializes in online spin and includes large health care business interests among its clients.

          Details, please. Name of PR firm (or just their IP address will do). Also, is there some way we can read what they were posting? It’d be very instructive to know what kind of turds these monkeys are flinging at this point.

          The next battle is for a public option until we go for the gold and get a true single payer system in this country and quit being the laughing stock of the western world.

        • Snig says:

          Thank you guys for weeding out the astroturf. Can you please do the rest of the interweb?

        • Cigarsam says:

          Even better!

  96. zyodei says:

    This might sound goofy, but this is my medical system. I get sick, or a friend gets sick. I either rest/do nothing, or go on the Internet. I browse various sites for “folk cures.” Generally, these cures are something like “drink two cups of fresh lemon juice a day.” Cures which may or may not work, but almost certainly have no side effect. I spend $3 on lemons and try it. If it works, great. Or follow advice like “eat more fresh greens to do blah blah.” If it doesn’t, oh well. At least I don’t waste any money and don’t have to worry about any side effects, and have eaten some nutritious foods. This method has worked for me really, really well.

    For instance, oil of oregano: last three times i was sick, even really dog shit sick, I took twenty drops twice a day..and all three times felt like a million bucks within 8-12 hours. I had a friend recently who got H1N1..I gave her a bunch of that, and she was well within about five days, which is not bad. Also combined with a $15 bottle of “Wellness Formula.”

    Is it a placebo? maybe, I don’t know. But the risk is side effects is low, it’s cheap, what’s the harm?

    This strategy can be scaled up to even the worst ailments. Let’s say cancer. If I get cancer, my first response would be to go on a long fast – about 4 weeks. I would eat only concord grapes and a few herbs, like cat’s claw.

    Would it work? Would the tumor have shrunk? Great. No? Still there? Well, I’ve only let it grow a relatively short 4 or 6 weeks, and then I would go to the doctor.

    Maybe it’s crazy, but it works for me, and I would absolutely use this strategy for ANY illness first, and only go to the doctor if my own efforts were not successful.

    Personally, I feel there is a concerted, long term effort to inflate the cost of medical care, to cast doubts about non-pharmaceutical cures, and to make us think that major medical procedures are always necessary. It’s all marketing, really.

    Here’s a question to ask yourself: has your doctor, or the medical establishment, ever suggested any herbs or foods as a treatment for any condition? The answer is very nearly no, very, very rarely. So does this mean that pharmaceuticals are the only effective treatment for every possible condition, or that is a strong bias built into the whole system?

    Now, let’s look at pharmaceuticals. Probably the single most effective and important pharmaceutical ever produced, penicillin, costs like $1 to produce 1000 pills or something. Almost any ailment you cant think of has a pharmaceutical already researched that can reduce the symptoms. So who are they so damned expensive? Why do they continue their feverish research? Why do they make even more money than the oil guys? To answer these questions succintly, The answer is obvious. The primary drive of pharmaceutical companies is to market new expensive pills, rather than treat actual conditions. So why do we continue to value this “research” and pay top dollar for it?

    “Uhoh, our patents are expiring. Let’s convince everyone they need ziprobafeen, even though it’s less effective, more expensive, and more dangerous – or else our stock price will crash.”

    Or, “sales of our mind numbingly strong antipsychotic drug are sluggish. i know! let’s sell it to kids.” (the story of Zyprexa/Seroquel).

    We just don’t need the vast majority of these fancy new pharmaceuticals, it’s a joke. The fact that people actually pay money for them, and that the government is buying them in bulk, is a cruel joke.

    I dunno. Of course, there are needs for serious, high tech medical care – America’s accident care and diagnostic imaging is amazing. And some pharmaceuticals are crucial. There is a need for pooling the collective cost of these. But the underlying situation is that we use entirely too many unnecessary medical services, and partly as a result of this (and partly as a result of the myriad “barrier to entry” laws), all our medical services are vastly, vastly overpriced.

    My concern is that this law will cement into place our over-consumption of useless/harmful medical services, cement into place the inflated pricing structure (dropping the whole thing on Uncle Sam’s platinum card), and set back for decades the unspoken, fundamental reforms in our whole idea of medicine that is so sorely needed.

    Except that, you know…the cat’s already out of the bag about the fraudulent nature of this whole establishment. Time will tell whether this newest gambit actually works.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      zyodei,

      Your ramblings are off-topic.

    • zyodei says:

      I want to clarify, that this is just what works for me thus far – I am not necessarily suggesting it for anyone else. If I got cancer, I don’t know what I would do. But my first stop would not be my local hospital…

      My point is basically this: some people reject this bill because we don’t really have a lot of faith in western medicine in terms of disease care. For trauma, it’s great. You might think that is wacky, unscientific, or stupid – but I argue that it is my right to have wacky, unscientific, and stupid ideas.

      If I want nothing to do with the modern medical system, and sign and oath that I would not use it in my whole life time (except for injury/trauma care, which I am happy to buy insurance for)..why should I be forced to buy into it, through taxes or other means?

      That is the core of my opposition to this bill, and for me it’s a dealbreaker.

  97. nategri says:

    I have a theory that the average length of comments on political posts scales as log(N), where N is the number of comments.

  98. tomrigid says:

    The American tradition of independence and self-reliance is a source of pride for us, and one of the few consistent pillars of a relatively recent and still rapidly-developing culture.

    In our reductionist politics, however, it’s all too easy for that prideful self-reliance to be subverted into an “I’ve got mine, you get yours” form of greed, without recognizing the fundamental interdependence from which we all benefit.

    We’re a big country, a physically huge country, and it’s easy to go your entire life here without ever coming close to a place with universal health care. Traveling to Canada, one could get the sense that frontier independence is compatible with an other-regarding social safety net.

    It’s just easy to fall for a nativist, American-exceptional narrative here. I’m glad, for now, we’re able to make progress against our less admirable tendencies.

  99. Stefan Jones says:

    I wrote my House Rep to thank him for his “yes” vote, and volunteered to be on a death panel.

  100. adammtlx says:

    No. Not at all, that’s just another corporatist republican lie.
    Annual jury awards and legal settlements involving doctors amounts to “a drop in the bucket” in a country that spends $2.3 trillion annually on health care, Amitabh Chandra, a Harvard University economist, recently told Bloomberg News. Insurer WellPoint Inc. has also said that liability awards are not what’s driving premiums.
    A 2004 report by the Congressional Budget Office said medical malpractice makes up only 2 percent of U.S. health spending. Even “significant reductions” would do little to curb health-care expenses, it concluded.
    A study by Bloomberg also found that the proportion of medical malpractice verdicts among the top jury awards in the U.S. declined over the last 20 years. “Of the top 25 awards so far this year, only one was a malpractice case.” Moreover, at least 30 states now cap damages in medical lawsuits.
    Tort reform is basically a bullshit distraction from the larger issues. That’s why republicans love it so much.

    Fair enough, I can accept that tort reform would be a drop in the bucket. I can also accept, as you say later, that insurance companies are driven by the bottom line, not by the collective good. The problem I have with that line of reasoning is that I don’t believe they should be driven by the collective good because that kind of motivation is flaccid and useless when it comes to innovation. I’m not saying this out of some kind of allegiance to Ayn Rand. It’s just a simple fact that in our society if you remove the motivation of “getting ahead” and making bundles of money, you remove the motivation for the kinds of products that lead you to “getting ahead.” And, of course, I understand that with that good comes a lot of bad. I guess I’m not yet convinced of the idea that we can’t mediate the bad enough that the good is still a worthwhile result. I realize that there’s no easy way to quantify “innovation,” and that there are a lot of definitions of what constitutes “good” or “high quality” health care. I can’t see down the road in ten, fifteen or twenty years to say exactly what Obamacare will give and take in those terms. But I can say that dulling the incentive to be selfish at the expense of and benefit to other people is a very dangerous proposition.

    I’m not sure I see how credit card reform is the same as health care reform would be. I read what you wrote and I’m simply not drawing the parallels nor am I clear on exactly what makes you so sure that allowing insurance companies to compete would have the same result as credit card companies competing. They’re completely different industries. As far as it increasing the number of uninsured, well, that wouldn’t be the idea. The idea would be to drive costs down and quality up, and there’s nothing I’ve seen to conclude that absolutely wouldn’t happen. Yes, insurance companies would behave predictably to maximize profits and minimize costs, just as they do now, but the beautiful thing about it would be the fact that offering more costly (to the insurance companies) plans to more people would be a benefit to that all-important bottom line. I don’t think you can just conclude that it would have no or a negative effect.

    You said the state thing sounds great but is a disaster in practice, but you can’t say the same about the federal thing? State governments are hardly perfect, but at least they’re close by, at least they’re familiar with the problems of their own citizenry, at least they’re pulled from the ranks of that citizenry instead of that from every other state in addition to their own. I guess this is where I have my biggest problem with this legislation. Expanding an inept federal government to untold size with immense amounts of money out of the pockets of US citizens to combat an extremely complex and difficult problem. How many times does the government (liberal or conservative) have to mess up before we learn our lesson?

    What country do you live in? Here in the USA we tried the conservative approach to nearly everything for 8 solid years and the results have been an unmitigated disaster for our economy, our health, our environment and our standing in the world.

    Well, this is sort of off the subject. At any rate, many of the “conservative approaches” you refer to were actually very liberal policies in terms of government spending and expansion, not to mention fiscal policy. Many, though not all. So for me there’s no way to just conclude that it was “conservative policy” that led us to where we are, just that an ostensibly “conservative” government and administration did a wonderful job of screwing things up. That much I agree with. The rest, not so much.

    • Cowicide says:

      It’s doesn’t appear that you properly hit reply, so to aid in clarity, here’s a link to my post that you’re referring to:
      http://www.boingboing.net/2010/03/21/health-care-reform-p.html#comment-741277

      Now, on to your reply…

      Fair enough, I can accept that tort reform would be a drop in the bucket. I can also accept, as you say later, that insurance companies are driven by the bottom line, not by the collective good.

      I’m not trying to get you to accept my opinion. I presented facts. Whether or not you accept facts outside of your belief system is pretty much irrelevant to the validity of the facts. Kind of how facts work. If you dispute the facts, please present your own.

      The problem I have with that line of reasoning is that I don’t believe they should be driven by the collective good because that kind of motivation is flaccid and useless when it comes to innovation.

      Once again. It’s not my “line of reasoning”. It’s facts. If the facts showed that tort reform would have a huge financial windfall on health care affordability without killing/harming a bunch of people… I’d be first in line to support it. The facts don’t support that, so ne’er-do-I.

      Also, please show evidence where the motivation for collective good is “flaccid” and thwarts innovation? I think most of society, even most conservatives in private at least, would strongly disagree with you there.

      Then again, I think we’re getting away from facts and heading into belief systems. Your belief system doesn’t take away from the fact that tort reform will have a very small impact on health care costs. When it comes to the health of our nation’s people, I’d rather just stick with the facts, thank you very much.

      I’m not saying this out of some kind of allegiance to Ayn Rand. It’s just a simple fact that in our society if you remove the motivation of “getting ahead” and making bundles of money, you remove the motivation for the kinds of products that lead you to “getting ahead.”

      The problem is we tried that for 8 years and it didn’t work. Sure, the rich got richer… but fuck everyone else. You call that “getting ahead”? Hahahahaha…. right…

      Remember all those conservative Bush admin tax cuts to the rich that were supposed to create tons of jobs? Didn’t work. At all. It’s been a disaster.

      Why keep beating yourself in the head? It’s not getting you anywhere.

      I can say that dulling the incentive to be selfish at the expense of and benefit to other people is a very dangerous proposition.

      You can say all kinds of silly shit; and you now have. ;D

      I’m not sure I see how credit card reform is the same as health care reform would be. I read what you wrote …

      Sigh… trite semantics. I’m sorry you can’t see the comparison in dynamics of certain aspects of one business with another without blowing it out of porportion. Never said it was the “exact same thing” or anything, it was just one parallel presented (what have you got anyway?). Anyway, that’s why I went on to show how the CBO looked at opening up insurance statewide directly. But I guess you aren’t going to focus on that part and focus on trite semantics instead.

      Sorry, that tactic doesn’t work on me. NEXT.

      You said the state thing sounds great but is a disaster in practice, but you can’t say the same about the federal thing?

      I didn’t say that, the CBO did. I’m just summarizing what they said. Once again, arguing trite semantics will get you nowhere with me. NEXT.

      Expanding an inept federal government to untold size with immense amounts of money out of the pockets of US citizens to combat an extremely complex and difficult problem. How many times does the government (liberal or conservative) have to mess up before we learn our lesson?

      It’s not an “untold size”. It’s very specific and the “immense amounts of money” out of the pockets of U.S. citizens is bullshit if you actually look at the bill’s overall effect instead of Fox “News”.

      Well, this is sort of off the subject. At any rate, many of the “conservative approaches” you refer to were actually very liberal policies

      Ok, I’ll just stop here. You obviously live in bizarro-land where up is down and down is up. Bush was not a progressive. That is laughable. I don’t think there’s enough crack rock to smoke for me to believe that Bush was a progressive liberal.

      Sigh…

      • adammtlx says:

        It’s doesn’t appear that you properly hit reply, so to aid in clarity, here’s a link to my post that you’re referring to:
        http://www.boingboing.net/2010/03/21/health-care-reform-p.html#comment-741277
        Now, on to your reply…

        Setting the tone for the aggressive and condescending demeanor you adopt throughout your response…

        I’m not trying to get you to accept my opinion. I presented facts. Whether or not you accept facts outside of your belief system is pretty much irrelevant to the validity of the facts. Kind of how facts work. If you dispute the facts, please present your own.

        I wasn’t even arguing with you and you’re treating me as though I’m a child. This is why I have a hard time siding with liberals and intellectual elitists. They do their very best to make it as unpalatable as possible for me, even when I WANT to agree with them.

        Once again. It’s not my “line of reasoning”. It’s facts. If the facts showed that tort reform would have a huge financial windfall on health care affordability without killing/harming a bunch of people… I’d be first in line to support it. The facts don’t support that, so ne’er-do-I.

        You aren’t presenting facts. You’re presenting research on a topic relating to policy which has never been enacted. You’re presenting conjecture. The “facts” you speak of are in the form of “this is what we think will likely happen based off of this research,” not “this is what we know will happen because it has been proven to be so.” That’s a pretty big distinction. You can belittle my opinions and pretend your conclusions are based in irrefutable fact all you want, but it doesn’t MAKE it true. I’m asking questions and you’re lecturing me for not having already come to the same conclusions you have. Grow up.

        Also, please show evidence where the motivation for collective good is “flaccid” and thwarts innovation? I think most of society, even most conservatives in private at least, would strongly disagree with you there.

        My father is a physician, and a really damn good one. He stands to lose a lot of money. You don’t think that’s been a motivation for him to reconsider his choice in profession? And you think he’s the only one? He got into medicine first to make money. Everything else was secondary. Condemn him all you want, but don’t complain if the government finds its impending dearth of health care professionals a reason to subsidize medical school and thrust sup-par individuals into practicing medicine. I really hope that doesn’t happen, but to not see it as a distinct possibility at this point is simply naive.

        Then again, I think we’re getting away from facts and heading into belief systems. Your belief system doesn’t take away from the fact that tort reform will have a very small impact on health care costs. When it comes to the health of our nation’s people, I’d rather just stick with the facts, thank you very much.

        I never disagreed with you. It’s clear you’ve decided who I am and what I believe before I’ve even had a chance to represent myself.

        The problem is we tried that for 8 years and it didn’t work. Sure, the rich got richer… but fuck everyone else. You call that “getting ahead”? Hahahahaha…. right…
        Remember all those conservative Bush admin tax cuts to the rich that were supposed to create tons of jobs? Didn’t work. At all. It’s been a disaster.
        Why keep beating yourself in the head? It’s not getting you anywhere.

        Tax cuts? That’s one thing among a great many. And yes, I do call the rich getting richer getting ahead. Remember the stimulus bills our last two presidents have pushed that were supposed to create tons of jobs? Yeah.

        Sigh… trite semantics. I’m sorry you can’t see the comparison in dynamics of certain aspects of one business with another without blowing it out of porportion. Never said it was the “exact same thing” or anything, it was just one parallel presented (what have you got anyway?). Anyway, that’s why I went on to show how the CBO looked at opening up insurance statewide directly. But I guess you aren’t going to focus on that part and focus on trite semantics instead.
        Sorry, that tactic doesn’t work on me. NEXT.

        Semantics? I’m not arguing semantics. I’m telling you that deciding to allow competition between insurance companies is not the same as deciding to allow competition between credit card companies. Sure, many companies will flock to states where they can operate with minimal regulatory oversight, but people can simply choose to buy insurance elsewhere, and rest assured if there’s a market for it, a business will be there. That’s how these things work. “The CBO expects…” is not a fact. And it’s not convincing enough for me to dismiss a viable option in favor of Obama’s vision of health care. That’s a pretty large leap.

        It’s not an “untold size”. It’s very specific and the “immense amounts of money” out of the pockets of U.S. citizens is bullshit if you actually look at the bill’s overall effect instead of Fox “News”.

        It’s very specific? No it’s not. It’s very specific on how much has been officially allocated. It’s very unspecific on the exact costs. Don’t be naive. You know how these things work. Government is bloat. The bill’s overall effect is one of more government and more spending. Oh, and I enjoy your assumptions, but I haven’t read a single article on Fox News about this. Just thought you might like to know. Not that it matters, since you’re under the mistaken assumption that Fox News’ actual news coverage is biased. It isn’t. Not any more so than any other media outlet.

        Ok, I’ll just stop here. You obviously live in bizarro-land where up is down and down is up. Bush was not a progressive. That is laughable. I don’t think there’s enough crack rock to smoke for me to believe that Bush was a progressive liberal.
        Sigh…

        Wait, when did I say Bush was a progressive? I said that Bush pushed policies that resulted in more government and more spending–policies bearing the hallmark of liberal and Democratic practices. You implied that it was a conservative agenda that got us into the mess we’re in, and I disagreed. True conservative policy would have done things like phasing out the IRS in favor of a flat tax, or eliminating Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. True conservative policy never would have insisted that every American, regardless of socioeconomic status or ability, own a home–an insistence that contributed to reckless lending and the housing market collapse. Do you really believe the Patriot Act is rooted in conservative ideals? The stimulus bills? Not that conservative policy is angelic. Failure to enforce existing regulation at the SEC or Treasury or anywhere else, for that matter, was a huge problem. Irresponsibly low interest rates, also. The point is you’re trying to simplify the blame so you feel good about your ideology. I’m simply interested in the truth.

        • Cowicide says:

          This is why I have a hard time siding with liberals and intellectual elitists. They do their very best to make it as unpalatable as possible for me, even when I WANT to agree with them.

          You know what I find unpalatable? The dissemination of conservatives distortions and/or ignorance for whatever the reason. For instance, the untruth that tort reform will have a “huge” impact on health care costs. It’s a lie and it’s a lie with a despicable agenda that cheats average Americans. Shame on you for disseminating it for whatever your reasons.

          You aren’t presenting facts.

          Sigh… once again…

          FACT: Tort reform will not significantly affect health care costs. It’s a diversion. Deal with it. Or, please… prove me wrong with your own facts. Or, you can just continue to bore me to death, it’s up to you.

          My father is a physician, and a really damn good one. He stands to lose a lot of money. I really hope that doesn’t happen, but to not see it as a distinct possibility at this point is simply naive.

          Ok…. er, what does that have to do with me? Sorry, presenting facts does not equal coming after your dads money. Good luck with your dads money.

          I do call the rich getting richer getting ahead [and fuck everyone else.]

          Of course you do. Note that I put you back in context. Feel free to play with semantics once again. I’ll just put you back in proper context again and probably infuriate you even further. You should stop.

          Remember the stimulus bills our last two presidents have pushed that were supposed to create tons of jobs? Yeah.

          I know this will hurt your ego. But as much as it pains you, go look and see who creates more job growth from JFK to Bush. Democrats or Republicans. Oh, and to really stomp your ego… don’t include government jobs. Ouch……………………

          Semantics? I’m not arguing semantics.

          Hahahahaha….. good one.

          It’s very specific? No it’s not. It’s very specific on how much has been officially allocated.

          You’re a laugh riot, you know that?

          You know how these things work. Government is bloat.

          Me speak in simple talk. Me say government is bloat. Government bad.

          you’re under the mistaken assumption that Fox News’ actual news coverage is biased. It isn’t.

          O_o

          Wait, when did I say Bush was a progressive? I said that Bush … bear[ed] the hallmark[s] of liberal and Democratic practices.

          Semantics. You’re arguing them again.

          NEXT.

          You implied that it was a conservative agenda that got us into the mess we’re in, and I disagreed.

          Well, of course you disagreed. Because in your eyes, Bush was a progressive.

          O_o

          True conservative policy would have done things like phasing out the IRS in favor of a flat tax, or eliminating Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. True conservative policy never would have insisted that every American, regardless of socioeconomic status or ability, own a home–an insistence that contributed to reckless lending and the housing market collapse.

          You obviously haven’t been keeping up with conservatives for the last 15-20 years.

          Do you really believe the Patriot Act is rooted in conservative ideals?

          See above.

          The point is you’re trying to simplify the blame so you feel good about your ideology.

          See above.

          I’m simply interested in the truth.

          You do show some interest, but not much commitment to it.

  101. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Simmer down.

  102. Jason Rizos says:

    This is probably the most erudite, well-informed opinion-thread on the subject I’ve come across. Kudos to you, Boingboingers. I have little to add but “yep….”

  103. gwailo_joe says:

    I’ve always had health insurance (Kaiser). . .from my Dad who was an IT guy for the Feds in the 70′s-early ’90s; until I got a Public Safety career and continued on. I KNOW how lucky I am (even though about 30% of the time my doctor(s) prescribe antibiotics for Scarlett Fever when it’s really poison oak. . .).

    I drove an ambulance in San Francisco from ’03-’05, and I saw many, many interesting things: but the calls I remember that make me consider this health care bill were the young healthy 20 somethings who suddenly found themselves in the back of the box with some form of traumatic injury. I remember a gal who got knocked off her bike Crying and Screaming -not because of her dislocated kneecap- but because ‘I don’t have Insurance!’ (I think I fudged the paperwork in that instance. . .)

    But I had calls like that every week. (Of course I went on runs for the chronic drunks, addicts and regular poor folks that used the ER as primary care about two dozen times a day). I don’t know if this bill will help all that, but I hope it helps more people get better care.

  104. Yamara says:

    Avram’s right. Social Security began as a (somewhat racist) program just for railroad workers. The near-toothless Civil Rights bill of 1957 got people steamed to push for what passed in 1965.

    This really is a Republican Waterloo: Workers are no longer tied to one employer for their health care when all employers have to provide basic coverage. As Americans begin to shake of this fear, they’ll fight for more and better and what took so long. Meanwhile, the Republicans offered only opposition, and crazies in the streets to boot. They’re left with nothing to build from, except their corporate insurer friends, who are now facing the front lines of an angry people and the scrutiny of real deliverables.

    So for House Minority Leader John “Bonaparte” Boehner (R-St. Helena), I have this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gu1q17rUkVU

    Only follow the link if you’re a Republican. It features freaky hippy socialists already enjoying their health care in the 1970s, and the torture is just for you.

    • Cigarsam says:

      “Only follow the link if you’re a Republican. It features freaky hippy socialists already enjoying their health care in the 1970s, and the torture is just for you.”

      Hey! Aren’t they from one of those socialist countries that never worked with the highest standard of living in the world?

      You PINKO!

  105. KronA says:

    All these posts are very interesting, as someone from the UK. Our healthcare system is far from perfect, it would have killed Stephen Hawking *if* he were British doncha know? (sarcasm) I just can’t help thinking that a lot of these costs that people want brought down are through the complexity of the system. People go on about choice, but as many others have pointed out you can’t really choose your health and really if you do get ill and are not covered someone else will end up paying anyway.

    No, in terms of financing an obligatory contribution for all workers is the only way to go. The problems you don’t want to get (and probably never will) that we have are not do with with the financing but the waste. The government focuses on targets instead of auditing and targeting efficiency. The NHS employees are unionised which encourages complacency and lack of productiveness. I’m not a conservative but I’m not sure how taxpayer funded employees should be unionised, I can understand certain private sector industries needing to barter with the corporations.

    My girlfriend works for the NHS, she had only ever worked in the private sector previously. Her tales of inefficiency and complacency are definitely worrying.

  106. ahankinson says:

    You’re a brave soul, admitting to belonging to a movement that seems to attract the looniest of the loonies. I think you make some good points, but I don’t think associating yourself with the “tea baggers” is making you any more credible.

    Case in point: look at all the concessions the Dems made, just to try and get “across the aisle” support. And they were still stonewalled by the Republicans, thanks mostly to ignorant comments from prominent tea-baggers, like Palin’s “Death Squads” claims.

    You’re not a diabetic *now,* but without mandating that coverage, who’s to say that your insurance company can’t weasel out of covering you for this if you do manage to contract diabetes. “Pre-existing conditions” and all that. By mandating it across the state, they’re effectively saying to the insurance companies “If you want to operate here, these are the conditions you must cover in every insurance policy.” You can substitute diabetes for any other chronic illness, it’s the same story.

    Health care isn’t something you can “design” for yourself, simply because you don’t know what you will need. Sure, fine. Get a plan that covers very specific terms at a low price. And when something big happens *outside* of those specific terms, guess who’s stuck footing extremely high bills that the insurance wouldn’t cover: You, for years to come, or, if you declare bankruptcy due to medical bills and can’t work, the taxpayer.

    Can you say with 100% certainty that you know what medical issues you’ll have in the next month? The next 6 months? The next year? I can’t. I live in a country where I don’t have to worry about that though. I can have a minor injury, like a broken bone, or I can come down with cancer, or a mental illness, or a chronic condition, and not have to worry that my “plan” doesn’t cover enough to keep me alive and somewhat comfortable.

    Yes, in my country we pay for the people that *do* have these illnesses, regardless of whether we have those illnesses ourself, or even care about those illnesses. However, without a blanket, universal social safety net we’re stuck in a world of conditional logic, where coverage looks like a big flow chart of “your covered if you can work your way through these specific conditions.”

    • azriphale says:

      Like any group, it has it’s extremes. A few bad seeds who spoil the fun for the rest of us. I’d rather stay focused on the current discussion and we can debate political ideologies at another juncture.

      With any system, there are always areas for improvement. If you read my first comment, I state the the bill isn’t addressing the issues of health care costs, but insurance coverage, which are two separate entities. I proffered some examples of why health insurance prices are being inflated and how they aren’t being addressed.

      Yes, there may be unfortunate and unforeseen maladies in my life. It is my responsibility to purchase a plan that has coverage for that unforeseen. That is why it’s insurance after all. However, there are some things I will definitely never need coverage for. I had an appendectomy when I was much younger. Should I be forced to purchase coverage for an appendectomy when I no longer have an appendix? I stated previously that I was male. I would never need a host of procedures or coverage associated with being a female. Should I be forced to purchase coverage for a hysterectomy when I don’t have a uterus? Why can’t the states and the fed mandate coverage on a gender basis?

      The propensity of much of this discussion is to revert back to the argument of the costs falling onto the tax payer. Ultimately, its akin to saying my health care costs are going to impact your bottom line. Therefore the argument is still one of a selfish nature as no one wants to incur the costs for someone else. I’m trying to illustrate how further savings can be gained without affecting anyone’s coverage.

      Again, the real issue is the astronomical cost of health care itself. Thousands of dollars for medical procedures and medicine that doesn’t have any type of industry standards for pricing or competition. That side of the issue was wholly ignored by this bill and is still left unchecked.

      I agree, there are some decent regulations coming out of this bill. But it doesn’t begin to address the fundamental issues with our system. Health insurance is not health care. It’s time to fix health care.

    • Steve says:

      I don’t think associating yourself with the “tea baggers” is making you any more credible.

      I hope you don’t think that calling them tea-baggers is scoring you any points.

      • Cowicide says:

        I hope you don’t think that calling them tea-baggers is scoring you any points.

        [cow smacks forehead]

        Agreed! Bad nomenclature, dude…

        I prefer that one refers to them as “Tea bags” instead!

        [cow wipes forehead of tea bag residue]

    • Freddybear says:

      “without a blanket, universal social safety net…”
      Because the left thinks you’re too stupid to make the right decisions for yourself, and too immature to deal with the consequences of your decisions when you are allowed to make them.

  107. Anonymous says:

    At any rate, many of the “conservative approaches” you refer to were actually very liberal policies in terms of government spending and expansion, not to mention fiscal policy.

    Government spending and expansion that goes through private companies may not be traditionally conservative, but it definitely isn’t liberal, either.

  108. Anonymous says:

    applaud President Obama for his effort to get healthcare reform passed. This legislation has many much needed fixes for our current system. However, being the independent voter and healthcare professional I am I do believe that we still fall far short of addressing the core of this nation’s healthcare crisis. And this would be – an unhealthy America.

    Michelle Obama is the one fighting the bigger more important fight with her campaign to reduce obesity in children. This needs to be expanded to everyone in America. Because if you still have 2/3 of Americans who are overweight and sick you still have a healthcare crisis regardless of the legislative fixes you put in place. To learn more and to find specific resources we can all use to make an even bigger impact on our nation’s healthcare system please read my article on healthcare reform below. It turns out that we all individually have much more control over what happens about this issue than we think.

    A healthcare professional’s view on health care reform – http://bit.ly/9QLV8

  109. benher says:

    Why is it that the “healthcare = socialism” crowd never cry “Commie!” when it comes to things like roads, police, fire, and any other number of services that they may or may not take advantage of (but pay for regularly)?

    • AirPillo says:

      People only hate social services until they’re used to them. Then you become even more evil for removing them than you were for granting them.

      Try taking medicare today away from the people who opposed it when it was new.

      This is something reporters have been pointing out recently. People only hate socialism until they’re benefiting from it. Then, suddenly you’re still a horrible person for giving it to them, but they’re not letting go of it, ever.

  110. Cowicide says:

    Welp, time to get my old, rusty death panel out of the shed and start shining ‘er up. Now I just need to find some sweet little old ladies to kill with it.

  111. Felton says:

    Hmmmm. Maybe you should lie down and tell us about your parents.

  112. futbol789 says:

    It’s true, f-tards lie in a lot of columns on this subject. So, go to a journal database and find some medical journals and start there. Or, search for health reform terms that interest you and only follow links to studies at first. Run by public institutions, schools government studies.

    Some f-tards do lie. And sometimes to the only way to start figure out what is noise and what is signal is to pick up a thread and start following. The problem with saying that people lie is that at some point you just have to wade in anyway. And, before you know it you’ve made a series of small decisions based on “people lie” that has led to you not really digging into the heart of any matter that interests you politically or however.

    And that may be a problem with just starting with columns or op ed pieces. Some of those are just entirely made up. But, you know with the entirely imaginary death panels, a lot of the folks kept citing pages from the particular bill. Go to Congress website, or just Google for sites with the text and read the original text.

    A lot of people who are lying tend to cite specifically because they know the act of saying “citation” cows a lot of people’s curiousity. If no where else to start, start with the reporters’ and opiners’ citations.

    Or, you can start by scanning a lot quickly. Keep an eye out for recurring subjects and terminology. Make a list. Then start checking items off that list by researching in a more in depth format. It’s hard to start whn you aren’t even sure you can speak the language of the problem. But, I’ve found that’s a good way to go. It isn’t easy, at all. And sorting out bullshit is a pain. But, you know, that’s life. And your boots will, and probably should, be a little shit covered at the end of the day.

  113. Felton says:

    Sorry to be snide, but you basically came in ranting about Obama stealing your liberty, and I’d appreciate some more specific points, if you care to make a debatable argument, as opposed to scare tactics.

  114. Tdawwg says:

    The freedom to die ill and in poverty =/= freedom.

    The freedom to be financially abused to the point of poverty by insurance corporations =/= freedom.

    Shall I continue, or do you get the point? Too bad with all of that Washington visiting and WWII wound-showing, your family didn’t have you read some Jefferson et al. Anyhoo, enjoy your higher taxes and self-pity, ’cause it’s a done deal: YOU LOST, and Americans everywhere are richer for your small contribution to the general good. Cf. “Brother’s keeper,” etc. :D

    USA USA USA USA

  115. futbol789 says:

    But, if your flag is eating dirt it’s because your country is dead now, right? your country is dead now, what makes you think you have the right to tell us where to go? Because, as you noted, you lost…and ve vill be asking ze questions und doing ze giving of orders frum now on.

    Seriously, I hadn’t seen the joke name Bajerka before. And your parenthetical s after BASTARD was priceless. Like, it’s not possible to know at this moment if this was a conspiracy of one or many. Also, loved the (lower case intended) note.

    Priceless. This is satire, right?

  116. Notary Sojac says:

    I don’t like the bill that passed yesterday. Not at all. But on a zero-to-Glenn Beck scale of apoplexy, my needle’s barely off the bottom peg.

    You see, the impact of this bill is a flea bite compared to the Medicare/Social Security demographic crash that has been resolutely ignored by both parties.

    Once the rest of the world decides to stop lending America money to fund its deficits, most of the things I do not like about rule by the Demopublican Perpetual Incumbency Party will start to self correct.

  117. ElleTopo says:

    Where in the bill does it say that? I’m not saying that to challenge you–I honestly want to know, but I am hesistant to trust a random internet commenter more than my own eyes.

  118. Felton says:

    I’m glad your husband was able to find a doctor that could help, and that he’s doing okay. But why do you think that this bill is taking away a choice that you had before? Where are you seeing that?

  119. Felton says:

    your own personal bar code

    What, you mean that wasn’t already in the Patriot Act?

  120. futbol789 says:

    No, you wise up, wise guy wise lady. Don’t you see, your nonsense about your country being dead is killing people? You think you’re freer if the government doesn’t regulate just how far over a barrel a private company can get you? All this pomp and circumstance and inflated hyperbole.

    I don’t have to guess how much she’ll have to pay. Go find me the line in the bill that says your friend doesn’t get any money any more and the government can stamp her with a bar code and put her on a conveyor belt to the hellish execution reserved for poor people by democrats.

    All these things that are ‘next’. Oooh. The bogeyman will get you my kiddies. Check your apples for razorblades kids. Where’s my tinfoil hat, I’m off to defend the universe by doing battle with a tollboth operator from another dimension hanging out in New Jersey. You’ll see. You’ll see. I told you so I told you so. End of the world I said.

    You’re embarassing yourselves. And it makes me uncomfortable for you.

  121. Felton says:

    I meant “show me what part of the bill says that,” not “show me a commentary from an opposing right-wing ideologue.”

    Also…”Mark of the beast?!”

  122. futbol789 says:

    And let that be a lesson to Remnant. I’ll just blankly quote your material back at you. Hah! Fail.

    Seriously though, how much of this is satire?

  123. Felton says:

    Ever have an accident and are in a coma longer than necessary, your doctor will pull your plug or lose his license.

    Well, I’d love for you to show me the part of the bill that says that, but it’s become painfully obvious that you haven’t, nor do you intend to, get any of your information from the actual content of this bill, or from any statement made from its proponents, so I’ll leave you to go make yourself a tinfoil fedora.

  124. Felton says:

    Seriously though, how much of this is satire?

    Well, I thought the “mark of the beast” part was hilarious, but that doesn’t mean it was intended as satire. :-)

  125. Cowicide says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G44NCvNDLfc&feature=player_embedded#

    To save everyone else time, RoL just linked to a video of Rep. Mike Rogers (republican, of course) who basically says healthcare reform will punish the already-insured.

    Mike Rogers has had more than $800,000 pumped up his ass from health lobbies since just 2006 alone.

    Mr. Rogers gets throughly debunked here:
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/7/21/755904/-Rep.-Mike-Rogers:-Healthcare-Reform-Will-Punish-the-Already-Insured

    NEXT.

Leave a Reply