Author Topic: Obama Care...now with mint flavoring!  (Read 14608 times)

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Offline Nubbins

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Re: Obama Care...now with mint flavoring!
« Reply #60 on: September 11, 2009, 10:58:39 AM »
if we killed everyone who didn't know one simple fact, namely, that Obama has not presented a bill and that there are multiple bills with varying degrees of reform in congress right now, how many people would be left in America?  10 million?  50 million?  i'm sure it wouldn't reach the triple digits.  also...can we kill those people?


I actually turned my back on my roommate and walked off mid-conversation last night because he was being such an idiot about all this shit.  He said he gave Obama's speech a "B" and then launched into how he's starting socialist health care, facism, world bank blah blah blahhh... for someone who actually watched the speech, I couldn't believe how much he missed.
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Offline Reginald McGraw

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Re: Obama Care...now with mint flavoring!
« Reply #61 on: September 11, 2009, 11:00:58 AM »
A Neo-Confederate is not the same as a Klansman.

According to this disputed wikipedia article anyway.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-Confederate

Offline Reginald McGraw

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Re: Obama Care...now with mint flavoring!
« Reply #62 on: September 11, 2009, 11:01:49 AM »
Guys, I don't think genocide is the right answer.

What are you NEONAZI'S OR SOMETHING!?!?

Offline nacho

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Re: Obama Care...now with mint flavoring!
« Reply #63 on: September 11, 2009, 11:13:32 AM »
That whole fascism thing is what I had to sit through for 45 minutes with a bitch on Friday.  Psychologists are flipping out about the Obama health care thing....because....they'll have to stop charging individuals (or the system) $300 an hour.

Offline Nubbins

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Re: Obama Care...now with mint flavoring!
« Reply #64 on: September 11, 2009, 11:55:06 AM »
People need to realize that if they're having a debate with me, words like "fascism" and "socialism" pretty much immediately make me quit paying attention to them, no matter what point they're trying to make.
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Offline Cassander

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Re: Obama Care...now with mint flavoring!
« Reply #65 on: September 11, 2009, 01:28:03 PM »
watched the speech last night.  it was pretty damn good.  i even found some new reasons to believe in a plan.  he sold me on the idea that we all deserve adequate care, which is definitely an idea that has been missing from this debate from the start.  From the people I talk to who aren't batshit insane but are still against a public option I get the sense that they're really just bristling at the idea of providing everyone with insurance with taxpayer's money.  as one guy put it, "At a certain point, people have a limit to how much they're willing to give up to pay for someone else's shortcomings."  The old conservative idea that  "I have what I have because I earned it through hard work and you're not going to take it from me" has never really made me angry.  To a certain point, that's true.  But to conflate being poor with being unworthy of adequate healthcare....that's just evil.  It doesn't make any sense at all to say that it's your own damn fault for not going to college and getting a high-enough paying job so that you can have insurance for your family. 

so behind that mask of "hard work bears fruit blah blah" is really this racist or classist fear everywhere I look.  These people aren't arguing ideology, they're just glossing over their belief that people who are unlike them should STAY that way because that's how the world works.  nevermind the fact that this bill is not just for people in poverty or people living in ghettos, but for all the lower-middle-class twenty year olds who are cut loose after college and find themselves in the part-time world where they have to buy their own insurance.  and for all the forty or fifty year olds who get laid off or have to quit their jobs to take on other family responsibilities and no longer get easy access through an employer.  I mean, there's a hundred different faces to this, but the conservative always comes back to the illegal immigrant or the stereotypical black welfare mama. 
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Offline nacho

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Re: Obama Care...now with mint flavoring!
« Reply #66 on: September 11, 2009, 01:44:52 PM »
We live in a disgusting country.  I don't think there's anyway to change that, either.

Offline Reginald McGraw

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Re: Obama Care...now with mint flavoring!
« Reply #67 on: September 11, 2009, 01:58:40 PM »
I have a problem in general with the federal government getting to involved with things like health care (and education, and commerce, and on and on), but I will set that issue aside for now.

So, everyone should have health care, and just the guy to make it happen is Uncle Sam!  Fine.  How will you pay for this?  Will you borrow lots of money?  Will you tax people more?  Will you just print money and give it out?  Will you cut spending in other areas?

What is most likely?  Borrow lots of money.  If everyone wants it, fine.  Just pay for it: EITHER by raising taxes OR by cutting spending.  Stop flushing money down the crapper and just pretending that it's no problem.

I'm appalled that after all the turmoil and economic hand wringing that has occurred (and will yet occur) due to risky economic practices (bad mortgages) NO ONE is stepping forward to say that we need to deal with our risky economic practice of out-of-control deficit spending.  I know, the past 30 years have been this way (with the odd exception of Billy Boy), but when are we going to grow up?  When are we going to stop passing the buck?

Offline Nubbins

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Re: Obama Care...now with mint flavoring!
« Reply #68 on: September 11, 2009, 02:06:34 PM »
I enjoyed the speech too.  I thought he positioned himself nicely in the center with his ideas and is making honest attempts to incorporate some conservative ideas into his plan.

From the people I talk to who aren't batshit insane but are still against a public option I get the sense that they're really just bristling at the idea of providing everyone with insurance with taxpayer's money.  as one guy put it, "At a certain point, people have a limit to how much they're willing to give up to pay for someone else's shortcomings."  

The thing I don't get about this point of view is that under the current system, if an illegal immigrant goes to an ER with a critical injury, we'll still spend the money required to save their life.  Do they expect us to leave people bleeding to death in a ditch because they're uninsured aliens?  If not, then where do they think the money for the health care we provide those immigrants comes from?  We are already providing health care to illegal immigrants, and those of us with insurance (rich OR poor) are the ones paying for that health care... so arguing that a new bill would unfairly provide them health care is dumb.


Quote
So, everyone should have health care, and just the guy to make it happen is Uncle Sam!  Fine.  How will you pay for this?  Will you borrow lots of money?  Will you tax people more?  Will you just print money and give it out?  Will you cut spending in other areas?

What is most likely?  Borrow lots of money.  If everyone wants it, fine.  Just pay for it: EITHER by raising taxes OR by cutting spending.  Stop flushing money down the crapper and just pretending that it's no problem.


Quote
Finally, let me discuss an issue that is a great concern to me, to members of this chamber, and to the public – and that is how we pay for this plan.

Here's what you need to know. First, I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits – either now or in the future. Period. And to prove that I'm serious, there will be a provision in this plan that requires us to come forward with more spending cuts if the savings we promised don't materialize. Part of the reason I faced a trillion dollar deficit when I walked in the door of the White House is because too many initiatives over the last decade were not paid for – from the Iraq War to tax breaks for the wealthy. I will not make that same mistake with health care.

Second, we've estimated that most of this plan can be paid for by finding savings within the existing health care system – a system that is currently full of waste and abuse. Right now, too much of the hard-earned savings and tax dollars we spend on health care doesn't make us healthier. That's not my judgment – it's the judgment of medical professionals across this country. And this is also true when it comes to Medicare and Medicaid.

...

Reducing the waste and inefficiency in Medicare and Medicaid will pay for most of this plan. Much of the rest would be paid for with revenues from the very same drug and insurance companies that stand to benefit from tens of millions of new customers. This reform will charge insurance companies a fee for their most expensive policies, which will encourage them to provide greater value for the money – an idea which has the support of Democratic and Republican experts. And according to these same experts, this modest change could help hold down the cost of health care for all of us in the long-run.
 
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Offline Reginald McGraw

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Re: Obama Care...now with mint flavoring!
« Reply #69 on: September 11, 2009, 02:11:52 PM »
Quote
So, everyone should have health care, and just the guy to make it happen is Uncle Sam!  Fine.  How will you pay for this?  Will you borrow lots of money?  Will you tax people more?  Will you just print money and give it out?  Will you cut spending in other areas?

What is most likely?  Borrow lots of money.  If everyone wants it, fine.  Just pay for it: EITHER by raising taxes OR by cutting spending.  Stop flushing money down the crapper and just pretending that it's no problem.


Quote
Finally, let me discuss an issue that is a great concern to me, to members of this chamber, and to the public – and that is how we pay for this plan.

Here's what you need to know. First, I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits – either now or in the future. Period. And to prove that I'm serious, there will be a provision in this plan that requires us to come forward with more spending cuts if the savings we promised don't materialize. Part of the reason I faced a trillion dollar deficit when I walked in the door of the White House is because too many initiatives over the last decade were not paid for – from the Iraq War to tax breaks for the wealthy. I will not make that same mistake with health care.

Second, we've estimated that most of this plan can be paid for by finding savings within the existing health care system – a system that is currently full of waste and abuse. Right now, too much of the hard-earned savings and tax dollars we spend on health care doesn't make us healthier. That's not my judgment – it's the judgment of medical professionals across this country. And this is also true when it comes to Medicare and Medicaid.

...

Reducing the waste and inefficiency in Medicare and Medicaid will pay for most of this plan. Much of the rest would be paid for with revenues from the very same drug and insurance companies that stand to benefit from tens of millions of new customers. This reform will charge insurance companies a fee for their most expensive policies, which will encourage them to provide greater value for the money – an idea which has the support of Democratic and Republican experts. And according to these same experts, this modest change could help hold down the cost of health care for all of us in the long-run.


Dang,

 icevern! all over me.

I (obviously) didn't watch the speech, but it sounds like I should.

Offline Cassander

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Re: Obama Care...now with mint flavoring!
« Reply #70 on: September 11, 2009, 02:23:28 PM »
reggie, i agree with you in theory about a lot of things, and i feel like the Federal government doesn't need to be involved in a lot of trifling things in our life, but there are some issues that--for better or worse--only the leverage of the Federal government can tackle.  To me, the real fix would be to strip away the antiquated "health care through your employer" model or even the insurance model.  They're both outdated, but getting THAT bill through congress would be like asking them to fund a NASA mission to the moon to take the American flag down.  So we need to tackle the issues that are realistic. 
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Offline Reginald McGraw

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Re: Obama Care...now with mint flavoring!
« Reply #71 on: September 11, 2009, 03:12:40 PM »
I agree that the government is the only entity able to handle certain (big) things.  If the long-term solution does not involve the government taking control, I'm okay with that.

Offline Nubbins

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Re: Obama Care...now with mint flavoring!
« Reply #72 on: September 18, 2009, 12:52:15 PM »
My brain is screaming and trying to claw its way out of my skull....

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/17/bill-oreilly-backs-public_n_290658.html

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Bombastic Fox News host Bill O'Reilly made a rather notable policy pronouncement on Wednesday's show: he supports the creation of a government-managed health care plan if it provides working Americans with an affordable option to other private insurance plans.

In other words, he supports the public option now being hotly debated in Congress.

As noted by DailyKos' Jed Lewison, O'Reilly had the following exchange with the Heritage Foundation's Nina Owcharenko:

Quote
O'REILLY: The public option now is done. We discussed this, it's not going to happen. But you say that this little marketplace that they're going to set up, whereby the federal government would subsidize insurance for some Americans, that is, in your opinion, a public option?

OWCHARENKO: Well, it has massive new federal regulation. So you don't necessarily need a public option if the federal government is going to control and regulate the type of health insurance that Americans can buy.

O'REILLY: But you know, I want that, Ms. Owcharenko. I want that. I want, not for personally for me, but for working Americans, to have a option, that if they don't like their health insurance, if it's too expensive, they can't afford it, if the government can cobble together a cheaper insurance policy that gives the same benefits, I see that as a plus for the folks.

Indeed, supporters of the public option do so for the very reasons O'Reilly notes. A study by the nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund found that "a public coverage program similar to Medicare would reduce projected health care costs by about $2 trillion over 11 years, and reduce premiums by about 20% on average. Within about a decade, 105 million people would be enrolled in the public plan, and about 107 million would have private insurance, according to the Commonwealth Fund."
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Offline Cassander

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Re: Obama Care...now with mint flavoring!
« Reply #73 on: September 18, 2009, 12:55:41 PM »
Quote


You've heard the refrain: If the government ran healthcare, it would be just like the U.S. Postal Service. And nobody wants that.

Or do we? The USPS, an independent government agency, is the convenient butt of jokes regarding poor service, rude employees, and occasional government mangling of personal property. It routinely borrows from the government to cover operating losses and endures disruptive political meddling in basic management decisions.

Despite the disparaging clichés, however, the Postal Service has some attributes that might make it a strong model for healthcare. It provides a basic service that's not available from the private sector. To people without health coverage, postal-style healthcare might be a lot better than none at all. If service in a government healthcare plan turned out to be surly, that might even be a good thing: It would ensure a healthy market for better-run private plans, reducing fears of a government takeover. Oh, yeah, there's one other thing: In customer satisfaction surveys, the Postal Service already scores higher than health insurers.

Postal put-downs imply that private-sector businesses are more prompt, courteous, and efficient than anything run by the government. But that's not always true. Some companies prioritize quality and service, but others have a habit of cutting corners to reduce costs and increase profits. That's why shoppers struggle at the self-checkout line in grocery and home-improvement stores, and it takes forever to get a live human on the customer-support hotline. Microsoft is one of the most profitable companies in the world, but when was the last time a friendly employee came on the line to help you solve a problem with Windows or Excel? Instead, Microsoft shunts you off to its help and support Web site to hunt around for solutions. (Maybe that's one reason it's so profitable.)

The Postal Service may not seem all that efficient, but it does one important thing pretty well: Transport a letter between any two addresses in the United States for less than a dollar, usually in three days or less. It's such a mundane task that we take it for granted. But if a private-sector firm wanted to compete across-the-board with the Postal Service, it would have to build a humongous infrastructure able to reach every household in America, six days a week. No company wants to do that.

Firms like FedEx and UPS compete with some of the services the Postal Service offers. That's because they've targeted parts of the delivery business that can be profitable if run efficiently. But they want nothing to do with universal mail delivery, which would be a guaranteed money-loser. Gee, that sounds a lot like insurance companies that want to cherry-pick the profitable parts of the healthcare business, offering care to healthy people with employers who can help pay the premiums while steering clear of people with costly problems or less money to spend.

In the mail business, the Postal Service is the deliverer of last resort, required by law to provide a "fundamental service" to the American people "at fair and reasonable rates." But our healthcare system doesn't have a last-resort provider offering basic service at reasonable rates. As a nation, we support universal mail delivery but not universal healthcare.

Amtrak, another favored target of government-bashers, is also a dark-horse model for a federal healthcare plan. Sure, critics deride the government-run railroad for indifferent staff, creaky equipment, and weak financial performance. Yet the only thing worse than Amtrak is—every other mode of mass transportation. On many of its routes, Amtrak competes directly with the airlines, which prove their private-sector superiority every day through negligible meal service, surprise fees, packed planes, and seats designed for supermodels. Even with spartan service, the airlines struggle to earn a profit. A ride on Amtrak, with its cushy seats and unhurried ambience, makes you wonder if maybe the government should start an airline.

It's legitimate to ask whether taxpayer dollars should support rail service or mail delivery (or healthcare). But if you're the customer, who cares? Does anybody look up the company's annual report before choosing a cable provider or deciding where to buy a phone? Or choosing a doctor or health insurance plan? Nope. What we care about is service and quality, which often conflicts with profitability because it's expensive.

Let's just assume that if there ever is a federal healthcare option, it will be as inefficient as we consider the post office to be. So what? If service were poor, plan participants would have an incentive to look elsewhere for care, the way most businesses requiring quick package delivery choose FedEx or UPS over the Postal Service. Since private plans would presumably be more efficient, they'd have a built-in competitive advantage and would still appeal to employers and individuals who can afford their own coverage. The postal-style plan, meanwhile, would provide basic service to a lot of people who couldn't get it anywhere else—while providing fresh fodder, valid or not, for the late-night comedians.
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Offline nacho

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Re: Obama Care...now with mint flavoring!
« Reply #74 on: October 13, 2009, 06:30:56 PM »
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In a major victory for Democrats, the Senate Finance Committee voted 14 to 9 to pass its version of health care reform Tuesday afternoon. All Democrats on the committee and Maine Republican Olympia Snowe voted in favor of the bill, while the remaining nine Republicans voted against it. In explaining her vote, Snowe said the bill "bolsters what works in the system," adding, "Is this bill all that I would want? Far from it. But when history calls, history calls."

Snowe's support for the bill marks the first committee-level Republican vote in favor of health care reform this year and gives a crucial edge to Democrats as they push forward on their plans to reform the health care system. With 60 votes in the Senate, Democrats can theoretically defeat a Republican filibuster on health care. But the frail health of Sen. Robert Byrd and the moderate impulses of several conservative Democrats have left Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid with no room for absence or dissent in his caucus.

The Maine senator's vote today gives Reid some hope he'll be able to maneuver in the event of either. News of a possible defection came Tuesday morning, when Sen. Joe Lieberman, the independent Democrat from Connecticut, said on "Imus in the Morning" that he will not vote for the Finance committee's bill in its current form.

The measure passed by the committee today would extend health insurance coverage to 29 million Americans by establishing a mandate requiring individuals to buy health care insurance and by providing subsidies to make coverage affordable. The legislation also prevents insurance companies from denying or dropping coverage based on illness, pre-existing conditions or coverage limits and creates non-profits "co-ops" as an alternative source to private companies for purchasing insurance.

To pay for the expanded coverage, the committee's measure charges hefty fees on insurance companies and levies penalties on large employers that do not cover their workers, as well as individuals who do not cover themselves. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the bill would cost $830 billion over 10 years, and would cut the estimated growth in federal health care spending by $81 billion over the same period.

A mini-scandal erupted over the weekend when representatives for the insurance industry took aim at the bill after months of quietly working with Democrats to craft reform measures. The industry had been counting on the bill's tough individual mandate penalties to move millions of new customers onto their rolls, but when the committee reduced the penalties, and thus the likelihood those people would buy insurance, the industry released an 11th-hour report undercutting Democrats' statements that insurance premiums for most Americans will fall, not rise, as a result of reform.

The industry's last-minute maneuver heightened the drama during the hours before today's vote, as Democrats spoke out forcefully to defend their plan, while Republicans generally argued that the bill will only worsen an already broken system.

The committee's chairman, Max Baucus (D-Mont.), began the session by touting the bill's expansion of coverage and its overall potential to reduce the federal deficit by slowing the growth of health care spending. "Ours is a balanced plan that can pass the Senate," Baucus said. "Our bill should win the support of Republicans and Democrats alike."

Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), once considered a possible no vote, said the measure is not perfect, but it "builds on what works in health care, makes it better, and also works to create greater efficiencies."

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) called for the full Senate to add the public option, but said the committee bill "goes a long way in the right direction." Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) also advocated for a public option and blasted the insurance industry for its last-minute attacks. "The misleading and harmful claims are . . . politicking for corporate gain at its worst," he said.

Although Republicans senators had kind words for Chairman Baucus, most harshly criticized the measure itself. The top Republican on the committee, Charles Grassley of Iowa, called the bill "a slippery slope to more and more government control of health care," while Sen. Orin Hatch (R-Utah) said it is "another example of Washington talking from both sides of its mouth."

Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) said the bill will take money from Medicare and "leave doctors on the hook," and Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) complained that even with 29 million more Americans covered by the bill, 25 million more will remain uninsured. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) described the bill as so deeply flawed, it is "something like riding your pickup over a whole tangle of barbed wire."

During a question-and-answer session before the vote, senators peppered the directors of the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation with questions about the costs and effects of specific portions of the bill. Neither representative could predict the bill's effect on individual health insurance premiums, while both said planned tax increases on insurance companies and medical device makers would likely affect consumers' cost of care. "We did assume there would be an effect on prices," said Thomas Barthold, the chief of staff for the tax committee.

With today's vote complete, further decisions about the details of reform will be made at two junctures in the future. First, top Democrats, including Sens. Baucus, Harry Reid and Chris Dodd, will huddle behind closed doors with senior White House staff to combine the two bills that have been passed by Senate committees.

After a debate and vote in the full House and Senate, a conference committee between leaders of the two chambers will take up the difficult matter of consolidating the two versions of the bill, which now have vast areas of significant difference. Though House members have passed measures with a public option, an income tax on top-bracket earners and a significant mandate on businesses to cover their employees, the Senate will likely come to the table with a weak public option or co-op, no employer mandate and no income tax increases.

As Snowe discussed her decision-making process, she urged her Republican colleagues "to resist the temptation to retreat into partisanship," but warned Democrats that her vote should be interpreted only as an effort to move forward, not as a final approval of health care reform, saying, "My vote today does not forecast what my vote will be tomorrow."

Snowe said she would watch carefully as Democrats meld the competing versions of the bill and would not vote for a final measure that does not hold up under budgetary scrutiny by the CBO. In closing, she quoted fellow Mainer Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, saying, "Great is the art of the beginning, but greater is the art of the ending."