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Joined: Oct 2001
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Chris,

You are right that this is a political hot potato that has been on the table for years. I know we can go at least as far back as George Bush the First and see that every president since then has said they were going to finally reform healthcare, but not one of them had the guts to see it through. Clinton made the most noise, actually going so far as to carry on a dog and pony show at one of his State of the Union addresses where he held up a model of the healthcare card that would be issued to every American. Yeah, well, we can only have the card Bill if you don't chicken out and drop the matter about a month after that speech.

Because it is such a hot-button and absolutely contentious issue, I am actually surprised that Obama appears poised to actually carry out his promise to reform the healthcare system. I kind of figured that while he might try harder than any of his predecessors to get a reform bill passed, that in the end, he would realize trying to achieve just that would cost him far too high a political price and make him a one-term president. Now, it appears I was wrong about that. It certainly looks like Obama is willing to sacrifice any chance of winning a second term by going all the way with his promises on healthcare. I say he'll be sacrificing his chances because I totally believe that no matter what version of the bill gets passed, it will anger one side or the other enough that he will never be able to recover and build any kind of consensus for the next time. If that turns out to be the case, then frankly I feel that even those who hate Obama and ardently oppose him should at least respect him for that. After all, what politician has had the guts in recent history to be the champion of an important issue that is so divisive, and so unpopular among a good-sized part of the electorate wants no part of it? None that I can think of, and I can also think of few issues that are as divisive as modern healthcare reform. Seeing as every politician I've ever known takes action 90 percent of the time solely to do something that will ensure his/her reelection, it is kind of stunning to see someone willing to ride such an unpopular horse all the way to the finish line (if, in fact, that does end up happening--we're still only at the quarter-mile post, I'd say, so a lot can happen).

Just my opinion, and I do realize that there are many out there who dislike Obama too much to concede respect or any other positive recognition, and I respect those feelings. If the issue in question wasn't healthcare, something that is of the utmost importance to every person in this forum, I wouldn't have even remotely considered commenting on it like this, and I still hope that people understand that I am not using this post to praise Obama for his political views or liberal ideology. As I said, I just think that ANY politician, Republican or Democrat, who is willing to risk his political life in this manner because he thinks an issue is essentially important to the long-term well-being of the country, at least deserves a little grudging respect for the willingness to champion that issue.

If somehow this attempt at healthcare reform falls through at the last minute and nothing ends up being done--at least nothing of note--then I am afraid that all we've done is postpone the inevitable. The industry absolutely MUST be reformed so that fewer people are left to fall through the cracks, and so that those who DO have insurance can get some relief from ever-rising premiums. If not this president, then the next, and if it doesn't even get done at that point, then I fear the system will experience some kind of collapse that will instantly force the issue and lead to reforms that are far less pleasant than anything proposed now because they will happen on the fly and in crisis mode.

Brad

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I think you have summed up the whole deal Brad. Good, Bad or Indifferent it will have to be dealt with at some point.

And I have to applaud each and every person that has posted to this point for tip toeing through this political mine field without drawing any blood. I know that as a mod I have been waiting for the shoe to drop...


Keep Kickin'AS
Chris

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Note to self:


For want of insurance, the patient was lost.
For want of universal health insurance the entire kingdom was lost.

To fix one problem, let us give it to the very same people who have engineered the worst financial crisis since John Law helped precipitate the French Revolution. There will be another reign of terror when the public awakens to just how much has been swindled from them by the politicians who are really lawyers refusing to admit that the system is broken mostly because they continue to condemn any mention of tort reform.

They protect their own and especially the big groups who put them into office. Big business is gone and it is now big unions who need the government option for their retired members because their leaders squandered the pension funds and could not make up the differences on the risky investments that have failed. It’s all about the UNIONS: GM bailout, universal healthcare, tariff protectionism that will guarantee China and Russia will never cooperate in the proper diplomatic subjugation of Iran and N. Korea, and the financial sector. Lehman Brothers was allowed to fail because very few union dollars were invested, but AIG has not only big union money, but also constitutes a major part of union insurances.

Organized unions, organized government and all other forms of organized crime do not actually create jobs, but only stifle industry and send entire economic sectors either underground or offshore. Trust in this country is gone and will not return for more than a generation, since anti-business policies prevail, there will be no real jobs created and the death spiral will continue, fueled by the absolute worst economic decisions possible. If we want healthcare for everybody, we should be creating jobs for everybody and first regulate the physicians’ liability insurance system and then pool a portion of the resources so that insurance companies can cover every person, even the indigent, based upon their ability to pay. The key is the economy; no money means no healthcare for anyone.

I strongly believe in helping the poor and providing free schooling to children even if their parents came here illegally, and I have been in my own healthcare situation in the past, where I just did not want the extra expense (with AS I probably protected myself without knowing it) and traveling all over the world meant I was in places where I would not be covered. Good thing medical care in other countries is quite reasonable. So I do believe that some level of medical care should be free for anyone really needing it.

Now here is just one dilemma: Arthritis drugs that seem to work well for AS cost about $2000 per month but I know that AS can and should be treated for about $50 per month, but only with enough active participation by the patient. My treatments will avoid future hip replacements and will avoid future shoulder surgeries, and will avoid osteotomies like I went through, being unaware of the proper treatment for so many years. The treatments will keep people with AS from becoming disabled—another cost savings story altogether. AND some of these treatments can be VERIFIED for compliance.

Physicians and pharmaceutical companies do not want these treatments, and certainly neither do the ambulance chasers! But when the government starts running healthcare, THEY might be very interested in such a cost savings and, in estimable nanny-state fashion, also become interested in which patients are in compliance, and which are not.

When they tax sugar drinks, alcohol, and tobacco perhaps it is not such a stretch to tax what they think is wrong with foods—like the cholesterols—the fatty fast foods and what about starch for a person with AS? What will we say to Big Brother! It’s MY BODY and MY CHOICE? My choice to become disabled if I want to do so? All the hypocrisy has absolutely no limits.

And did anyone consider who in the heck would ever run an insurance company where 10% (AS, RA, PsA, etc) of the patients were costing it $2000 per month whenever they are not having their $50K hip replacements and just how many people need to pay into that system to keep it afloat? How much will the plan administration cost (60% in the case of the Federal government) so premiums are well over $300 per month per client. Ok, that is the rheumatic chronic illness side of the costs, what about cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and the host of other ailments that are the plague of our peoples? What will the real premium become? $600.00…$1600…$2200 per person? Mark Twain said that a “consultant” was a person who borrows your watch to tell you what time it is—but I say the government steals our money through legislation and they hire PR firms to make us believe it is in our best interest; “they” know better what to do with our money. Like fight wars but not ever win, and pay deadbeats to clog the streets and bum cigarette and booze money off people with jobs.

NO THANKS!
I have “Plan B:” My wife is a Filipina and we will both pursue dual citizenship, so I will be conveniently a Filipino citizen when it comes time for me to pay premiums, because I will have my next procedure(s) done in Philippines for 15% of the cost here in US. Out of pocket is then reasonable, due to the incremental savings.

Insuring every person in the US will not be the only cause of hyperinflation, but healthcare burdens will serve to really accelerate our economic decline, just as punitive taxation, excessive trade imbalances, the next (commercial this time) real estate bust, and the flight, en masse, of capital business interests and IP (Intellectual Property).

Get used to less and less costing more and more; when everybody gets on the merry-go-round at once, it eventually…stops.

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Grimm Offline OP
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Chris- very well put, I agree with you about Obama and politicans. And you know what, I didn't agree with the government getting involved in banking but I think it has forced some changes that needed to be done. Maybe that will happen in healthcare.

Thank you also for posting about your friend and his situation, I know that was probably not easy for you on several levels but it is good to put a "face" on the situations we hear about. My heart goes out to them- when ever I think my own situation is bad, I hear of someone's that is worse. A reality check for me but very sad to hear about others who suffer.

Thank you!

Anna


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Good Plan B, John! I was considering getting sponsored by my Canadian family members for dual citizenship.. but still am not sure the Canadian economy is any better than ours.... So my plan B is to take care of our health at home as much as possible and teach the kids to be self-sufficient too. Stay small & hidden.


~ Trudi: homeschooling mom to 6: 16,14,11,9,7, 6 mos


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Of course with a wide majority in favor of health care reform (the same majority that voted for Obama last year, and then some), the chances for re-election are very good, especially if he gets health care reform passed (hardly a requirement though).

But Brad, you nailed it when you said that Pres. Obama doesn't do things soley for political reasons; he does things he believes in and takes the consequences come what may (his vote against the war in Iraq for instance when nearly everyone else in Congress voted for it, way before he decided to run for president).

No, his chances for re-election are very good: he promised a middle-class tax cut and delivered in the first month of his first term; he promised health care reform and is very close to accomplishing it; he promised to lead the country's economy to recovery and signs are everywhere that this has begun (with a lot of work to do yet); he promised to restore America's standing in the world and that has begun in a major way; he promised to end the war in Iraq and troops are drawing down every day (not as fast as I'd like but I guess it can't be done overnight); he promised to take the fight to the real terrorists in Afghanistan and is in the process of doing just that; he promised to close Gitmo and has already signed the executive order to do so (and now if those in Congress would allow him to complete the action it'd be great).

We as a country have a long way to go, but think of where we were just a year ago -- how far we've come in such a short time; and now imagine 3 more years of this same, disciplined, responsible, intelligent, non-dogmatic leadership (but of course not perfect -- who could be?) and it's not hard to imagine and actually easy to expect a second term for Obama (obviously, not if you listen to the critics, but that's why they're called critics).

Politics is/are politics, and there will always be critics, no matter who's in office and no matter how effective that president is (Lincoln was hated by so many during the Civil War, Reagan was seen as the anti-christ, lol, by many liberals; even FDR was not exempt from partisan politics, and yet each of these is considered to be a great president).

But first thing's first: I need healthcare! Let's go Congress; get the job done, both parties; it's time.

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OK folks, we're on the borderline of this thread sailing straight into the general political discussion that, as Chris pointed out, we really cannot have. Let's try to stick solely with the healthcare reform question. It would be a shame to close this thread, as it has led to a very good discussion on healthcare, but if it continues to slide away from that topic, closing it will become a very likely option. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that's where we stand right now. Everyone has done a good job so far, and maybe we've just reached the point where the discussion can't move forward without devolving into a general political thread, but we will wait and give it a chance.

Brad

Joined: Mar 2007
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Quote:

For want of insurance, the patient was lost.
For want of universal health insurance the entire kingdom was lost.




This is if we don't see dissolution of the union first.


Kind Regards,
Jay

Almost all of us long for peace and freedom; but very few of us have much enthusiasm for the thoughts, feelings, and actions that make for peace and freedom. - Aldous Huxley

Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now. - Thomas Jefferson
Joined: Feb 2002
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Hi all,

I just wanted to add my current situation into the mix. Right now, I'm unemployed due to downsizing and I've run out of COBRA since my last employer didn't offer insurance. Under the law I'm entitled to join a HIPAA plan and my agent found a decent one. Its a low premium with a huge deductable, but once I pay that it has good coverage. Given the circumstance, its not too bad.

The problem is that its taken more than two weeks to get the proper paperwork from the last insurance company to the new insurance company. I'm still waiting to hear if the last form I turned in is what they need. They have all the info they need, but there is one specific form they want before they will start my coverage.

As of right now, I'm still within my time limit, but if I wasn't calling the old company every few days, I don't know if I would have gotten the correct forms I needed on time. I may be cinicle(sp), but it almost feels like they want me to fail and lose my insurance, even though the new plan isn't even theirs!

While a public option would be good, I think they need to at least insure that the insurance companies play fair and give people the coverage they should be getting.

Jeff

Joined: May 2008
Posts: 285
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Last night I saw Chris Matthews on Bill Maher. He said the way to get *anything* done in Washington is to take out your computer, write a letter to your Congressmen and Senators, sign your name and send it by mail.

He recognized that this might seem outdated or old fashioned, but he said that is the only thing that these guys really respond to, knowing something is important enough to the voting public to take the time.

Just thought I'd pass it along to be taken, or leaven.... Jess


Dx'd AS (seronegative spondylarthopathy), Fibromyalgia 8/2007
Be happy for this moment... This moment is your life.




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