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Quote: I really don't see this as a battle between the public (Joe and Jane on the street) and the health care giants. Sure there is a battle going on there. However, I see a mighty struggle between government (public) and big business (private). I also guess I see this as much less of political issue too (i.e. feather in the cap of Obama comment). I think if the bill wasn't so radical, instead enacting measured changes, there wouldn't be as much of a hullabaloo. Looking at it from a partisan view (which seems to be a recurring theme), I laud the Dems for initiating the process. I certainly can get behind the effort to repeal the McCarran-Ferguson Act. Enacting other mandates such as eliminating obstacles for those preexisting illnesses, retroactively canceling policies, and likely a few more are also favorable in my opinion. However, I believe much of the bill is too vast at this time and I don't believe their underlying intentions are genuine. I think my opinion could be supported by the fact that the health care reform bill (whether it be H.R. 3200 or the recently passed H.R. 3962) has few co-sponsors given the fact that it is such important legislation. That tells me that either folks in the House don't believe it in, or are afraid to put their name to it fearing that it would be somehow destructive to their political careers. Perhaps the answer lies somewhere in the middle.
Agree with you mostly. But I don't equate the government with the public, it's always going to be a three or four part system, the health care providers, the insurance companies, the government, and us, the "clients". Don't see a way to just pass a law that would demand that pre-existing illnesses be covered, prevent retroactiving cancelling policies, etc, wouldn't do the job it would be designed to do, they'd just find new loopholes, raise premiums again, cry "Socialism!", all in a way to protect and even increase their profits. I think the better idea is to create competition, so that people would have a choice, if they do have the option of getting covered for a lower price, that will force the HC industry to respond by lowering their prices, or risk losing their policy-holders and much of their profits altogether
and I do also observe that there are signs that the recently passed bills are not being taken that seriously, getting them also passed in the Senate, is no sure thing (step 2 of 3)
I took a look at some health industry mutual fund prices on the Monday following the passing of H.R. 3962, I figured if that bill was making investors in the industry nervous, we'd see some selling on that day, but no, the prices actually went UP instead
Quote: The healthcare bill may not be specifically aimed at Veterans, however the first sentence in the bill reads "To provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans and reduce the growth in health care spending, and for other purposes." It occurs to me that Veterans would fall under the "all Americans" umbrella. I'm also left scratching my head if these legislators took time to craft a near 2,000 page document, but found no room or time to address the healthcare of Veterans. Also, I'm all for anything that benefits those who serve or served our country (regarding combating homelessness among veterans). This is somehow shocking though seeing that the President's Homeland Security Secretary issued a memo a while back that all servicemen returning from Iraq and Afghanistan should be suspected of domestic terror activities. Way to marginalize those that serve our country.
Personally, I think you are interpreting that too far to say that the memo says that "all servicemen returning from Iraq and Afghanistan should be suspected of domestic terror activities." This is likely the relevant quote from it, where they assess that a potential exists:
U//FOUO) DHS/I&A assesses that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat. These skills and knowledge have the potential to boost the capabilities of extremists—including lone wolves or small terrorist cells—to carry out violence. The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today.
Quote: However, neither the initiative of which you speak or this memo have little, if anything, to do with this healthcare reform. I'm not sure why that Congressman brought the subject up if it is a non-issue.
Robert Andrews brought it up because that is one of the rumors floating around, that the health care reform might change the benefits that veterans receive today, to state that it wasn't true, the reform will not affect their benefits unless they choose it
I think we'd agree that at this stage in time, the veterans in this country have earned and do in fact have better health care available to them than the almost 46 million of uninsured people in the US, so I think that's where our primary attention should be, not to say that the veteran's care shouldn't improve. I posted that link just to show that progress is being made for veterans now, even outside of the health care reform bills
Quote: Regarding the illegal aliens and healthcare. There's a significant difference between a tourist/visitor to this country receiving temporary, ambulatory care versus those that enter the country, taking up permanent residence, expecting free health care and clogging up Emergency Rooms to obtain it. I wouldn't have a problem including the cost of care for tourists in dire need (as I really don't think those who vacation here have intentions of falling ill). Illegal immigrant clearly aren't tourists. I don't know if other citizens share this opinion. There was quite some coverage locally about Grady hospital and what would happen to the illegal immigrants receiving free dialysis care Grady Dialysis. While I don't want to see anyone suffer, there is no reason that these folks can't return to Mexico to get the care they need. The hospital has even offered to return them to Mexico. Personally, what perplexes me is why ICE isn't all over this making sure that they are back in Mexico. Perhaps another government agency failing to adequately execute their mission? Back to health care.
My main point is, that someone from this country visiting another country, such as the UK or Portugal, who falls sick, will receive FREE health care when visiting that country, even though they may not get that in their home country of the U.S., here they'd get stuck with the a bill for an emergency room visit. Remember, our laws here demand that a hospital cannot refuse a person to the emergency room, they still get sent an outrageous bill, which they often have no way of paying, that's where we taxpayers get stung
and that CNN article points out why they don't want to return to Mexico, they claim that the treatment isn't as good there, that it's a "death sentence"
and I know what you are going to say to that, that the reason why the quality of treatment is better here is because it's a for-profit system, so therefore we have better facilities and better doctors...and I agree, no one said this is easy problem to tackle!
I do share your opinion on this basically. The illegal immigrants are an economic problem, they will strain our system, as they do now.
Quote: Regarding the IRS agents. Yes. They do carry guns. Do all IRS employees. Probably not. I hope the unhelpful old bat I spoke to when the IRS failed to process my payment a few years ago didn't carry. All IRS agents? I don't know. However, my father remarked that the neighbor down the street who works for the IRS and carried a gun. I said, oh, yes, some of these agents do carry firearms. I then relayed a story of my friend's father (who currently owns and has owned multiple small businesses) decided, for a month(?) or whatever period of time, that it was (temporarily) more important to pay his employees than it was to pay the feds. The revenue agent he was required to meet about the issue was armed. Yes, it's true, some of them do a little more than "the paperwork, send out notices of delinquent tax payments, put the ball in motion that can lead to a court date, and due process."
This just didn't make sense to me at first, couldn't figure out why they would do that. As I pondered, normally it's the IRS agent who may report that someone hasn't paid their taxes, they notify the person or business, and if the payment isn't made, a court date is set, and if not resolved, it would be the local sheriff or other branch of law enforcement that makes the arrest, or seizes the assets.
But now I see some scenarios where they might do that, there are times when the IRS has to go to the site, when they are looking for evidence of fraud, to examine the accounting books of a business or individual, and I found links and stories where it is true, some IRS agents do carry guns
So point taken!
Quote: I'm not worried about that (earning $500,000 or more any time ever) either. However, I do have concerns about not potentially being able to afford health insurance and having some goon show up to apprehend me because of it. That is a huge flaw I see in this healthcare bill. What might be more disturbing is that they now have the power to tell you that you must have health insurance or else.
Agreed there, at least mostly. Except for the severity of the punishment of not paying the penalty for not buying health care, which is designed as an incentive to get everyone to be covered, not as a instrument to scare people. I wish they could do away with that. And there will be a hardship clause, as stated, so that people who can't simply can't afford it at all, would have a way out of it. But we have to have SOME way of paying for it, and I like this idea better than an across-the-board massive tax increase. But, above all else, the most important thing is to use the collective bargaining power of the over 300 million people in this country, to get the health care industry to compete with lower prices!!!