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      11-07-2009, 11:48 PM   #1
BKsBimmer
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US House Passes Health Care Bill

David Espo

The Associated Press Published on Saturday, Nov. 07, 2009 1:18PM EST Last updated on Saturday, Nov. 07, 2009 11:37PM EST

In a victory for President Barack Obama, the Democratic-controlled House narrowly passed landmark health care legislation Saturday night to expand coverage to tens of millions who lack it and place tough new restrictions on the insurance industry. Republican opposition was nearly unanimous.

The 220-215 vote cleared the way for the Senate to begin debate on the issue that has come to overshadow all others in Congress.

A triumphant Speaker Nancy Pelosi likened the legislation to the passage of Social Security in 1935 and Medicare 30 years later.

“It provides coverage for 96 percent of Americans. It offers everyone, regardless of health or income, the peace of mind that comes from knowing they will have access to affordable health care when they need it,” said Rep. John Dingell, the 83-year-old Michigan lawmaker who has introduced national health insurance in every Congress since succeeding his father in 1955.

In the run-up to a final vote, conservatives from the two political parties joined forces to impose tough new restrictions on abortion coverage in insurance policies to be sold to many individuals and small groups. They prevailed on a roll call of 240-194.

Ironically, that only solidified support for the legislation, clearing the way for conservative Democrats to vote for it.

The legislation would require most Americans to carry insurance and provide federal subsidies to those who otherwise could not afford it. Large companies would have to offer coverage to their employees. Both consumers and companies would be slapped with penalties if they defied the government’s mandates.

Insurance industry practices such as denying coverage on the basis of pre-existing medical conditions would be banned, and insurers would no longer be able to charge higher premiums on the basis of gender or medical history. In a further slap, the industry would lose its exemption from federal antitrust restrictions on price gouging, bid rigging and market allocation.

A cheer went up from the Democratic side of the House when the bill gained 218 votes, a majority. Moments later, Democrats counted down the final seconds of the voting period in unison, and and let loose an even louder roar when Ms. Pelosi grabbed the gavel and declared, “the bill is passed.’

From the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada issued a statement saying, “We realize the strong will for reform that exists, and we are energized that we stand closer than ever to reforming our broken health insurance system.”

The bill drew the votes of 219 Democrats and Rep. Joseph Cao, a first-term Republican who holds an overwhelmingly Democratic seat in New Orleans. Opposed were 176 Republicans and 39 Democrats.

Nearly unanimous in their opposition, minority Republicans cataloged their objections across hours of debate on the 1,990-page, $1.2-trillion legislation.
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      11-08-2009, 01:27 AM   #2
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David Espo

“It provides coverage for 96 percent of Americans. It offers everyone, regardless of health or income, the peace of mind that comes from knowing they will have access to affordable health care when they need it,” said Rep. John Dingell
Which is how healthcare should be. But the government needs to get its crap in gear if it's going to do it correctly; how can they run healthcare well if they can't even get profit out of AmTrak? Though, that's a terrible comparison considering airlines kinda killed the train for the most part in America. I'd say a government reform would be in order before healthcare. Our current system is too greedy - people give a shit more about if they'll be re-elected than what the citizens need.
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      11-08-2009, 11:33 AM   #3
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So much for bipartisanship. A large number of the Democratic caucus voted against this bill, too.

I think we all agree that health care reform needs to happen. If the House worked on something more reasonable and targeted, say somewhere in between the $1,200,000,000,000.00 Pelosi/Obama plan and the $61 billion plan that Republicans offered (which CBO said would reduce premiums, cut the deficit by $68 billion over years and cover 84% of the population), I would feel a lot better about this situation.

I think this thing is going to have a much tougher time in the Senate, though.
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      11-08-2009, 03:26 PM   #4
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If the House worked on something more reasonable and targeted, say somewhere in between the $1,200,000,000,000.00 Pelosi/Obama plan and the $61 billion plan that Republicans offered (which CBO said would reduce premiums, cut the deficit by $68 billion over years and cover 84% of the population), I would feel a lot better about this situation.
The CBO also said that the republican plan won't prevent health-insurance companies from denying sick people health insurance. Isn't that was one of the main reasons why healthcare reform is being undertaken.
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      11-08-2009, 05:44 PM   #5
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If you don't work you don't deserve anything.

..and this will never pass the senate
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      11-08-2009, 08:49 PM   #6
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The CBO also said that the republican plan won't prevent health-insurance companies from denying sick people health insurance. Isn't that was one of the main reasons why healthcare reform is being undertaken.
Yup, you're absolutely right.

Here's a compromise - add that in. But I still don't think that would cost $1.13 trillion.
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      11-11-2009, 12:09 AM   #7
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Something that is conveniently omitted from the conversations - the cost is around $1.2 trillion over 10 years......but care is only provided for 7 of the 10 years. The taxes, fees, revenue generation start almost immediately, but the money doesn't flow for 3 years.

Simple math says if it takes 10 years of revenue to pay for 7 years of benefits....we're screwed in year 11.

Second, why does no one seem to give a shit that the bill from the House does NOTHING to control costs. It does just the opposite - it maintains the status quo for CYA medicine, and adds millions of new customers. How exactly does this solve the problem of health care gobbling up too much of the GDP?

And to the next person that wants to bring up the US medical expenditures to outcomes - try learning a little about our couch potato, fast food, video game, quick fix diet pill, non-exercising litigious culture. No shit we spend a lot of money. Doctors, by the admission of the AMA, spend BILLIONS of dollars on tests and procedures they know are generally useless, but they'll be sued if they don't.
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      11-11-2009, 12:25 AM   #8
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Second, why does no one seem to give a shit that the bill from the House does NOTHING to control costs.
People give a shit, but anytime someone mentions that and suggests we actually pass something that solves the problems everyone else jumps on them claiming they don't want ANY reform and simply want everyone to "die quickly."
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      11-11-2009, 07:31 AM   #9
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People give a shit, but anytime someone mentions that and suggests we actually pass something that solves the problems everyone else jumps on them claiming they don't want ANY reform and simply want everyone to "die quickly."
Anyone that opposes health care reform is a racist bigot, period. Or you hate old people, women and children.
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      11-11-2009, 10:03 AM   #10
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Anyone that opposes health care reform is a racist bigot, period. Or you hate old people, women and children.
That is either an extremely ignorant post, or I am missing the humor.
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      11-11-2009, 12:02 PM   #11
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Anyone that opposes health care reform is a racist bigot, period. Or you hate old people, women and children.
I oppose the health care reform, and I love our Senior Citizens. I actually make a living by keeping them happy and properly covered. I manage a sales team for a Medicare Advantage plan and see how this healthcare reform is taking away from supple benefits that the seniors have access to currently. What I am against is people getting something for nothing, there are way to many lazy people in this country who are way to comfortable sitting and waiting for hand outs.
And the whole employer groups being forced to offer benefits, isn't really going to be too effective. A simple way out is for the large employer group to utlizing temporary staffing for most of their lower pay grade jobs, which most already do in the first place. Using this process means no benefits have to be offered to that temp employee.
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      11-11-2009, 02:08 PM   #12
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That is either an extremely ignorant post, or I am missing the humor.
Missing the humor, sorry.

I'm just sick of hearing that being thrown around. You can't respectfully disagree, and if you do - you branded either a completely naive idiot or a bigot. I was having dinner with some friends the other night and one of them actually said "I don't know why anyone would choose to be a Republican."
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      11-11-2009, 03:23 PM   #13
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Missing the humor, sorry.

I'm just sick of hearing that being thrown around. You can't respectfully disagree, and if you do - you branded either a completely naive idiot or a bigot. I was having dinner with some friends the other night and one of them actually said "I don't know why anyone would choose to be a Republican."
No worries.

I am very much against the proposed legislation, but I would love to see a TOTAL overhaul on how we deliver medical care in this country. From the payer to the provider to the recipient. Just trash the entire existing sets of rules and start over.

The legislation passed by the House will be an anchor around the neck of this country for decades to come. We will drown in a sea of our own debt. $1.2T is just the tip of the iceberg. That number will double by years 21-30 but the funds will not be there to maintain the benefits as they are currently being defined.

Until we address the real costs of providing medical care, mandatory insurance will produce runaway costs for medical care.
Articles on defensive medicine
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/170077.php
http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2009/09/...sive-medicine/

The WSJ article make an interesting point beyond defensive medicine - patients sometimes DEMAND added tests or procedures. What it doesn't mention, but any doctor can tell you, is that insurance covers much of it. People suddenly stop demanding things when they have to pay cash, write a check, or throw down a credit card.

Spending on medical malpractice litigation seems to amount to around anywhere from $30 billion to over $50 billion per year. That's not including the cost of malpractice policies, which are figured into the reimbursement formula.

So add up costs of medical malpractice, costs for defensive medical care, costs for demanded procedures and tests, and then look to see how this is addressed in the House bill. Let me help you there - it's not. It maintains the status quo, except you may have a government appointed bureaucrat deciding which treatment you might get.

Consider this - teaching hospitals for DECADES have had medical residents work on Standards of Care. These standards exist in every hospital, are presented at numerous conferences, debated and rewarded everyday in the medical community, and are largely ignored by tort law and lawmakers in general. Make these standards the Legal Standard of Care, and start evaluating future law suits against these standards. Let a panel of docs in the field evaluate cases against the standard, provide them with the patient file, and let them see if there is any merit to the law suit. Its' black and white, quite simple, and would reduce costs across the board. But Democrats, backed by the very powerful American Bar Association, won't hear of such a concept.

Next, old folks have more medical costs, but the system proposed by the House Democrats removes an insurance company's ability to price risk into the system. Older sicker patients cost more to treat - why shouldn't they pay more? Also consider that huge sums of money are spent in the last two years of a patients life - some estimates say $50B - and produce no discernible improvement in outcomes. http://www.newamerica.net/blog/new-h...ding-life-3181. We need to be realistic in our treatments of ALL age groups, and realize that we can be compassionate and fiscally responsible at the same time.

Lastly, when evaluating the dollars we spend on health care as a country, and comparing those results to other countries, it's faulty logic to compare results one for one. Obama made a speech back in June criticizing the performance of the medical industry against the money spent on medical care (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/...n5090277.shtml). What he and so many politicians fail to mention is that we are one of the most obese, personally irresponsible developed nations on the planet. We like our fast food, we like our processed food, we like to smoke, drink and not exercise. Of course we have higher costs!!
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Last edited by TurboFan; 11-11-2009 at 03:51 PM.
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