Results tagged “Healthcare” from Bill's Words

Denial or not, there are some pretty enlightening tidbits in this article.

Among them:

Neither Waxman or Stupak—who betrayed the pro-life community by negotiating for more than a week with the White House to ensure his vote on the health care bill—had anything more than a cursory understanding of how the many sections of the bill would impact business or even individual citizens before they voted on the bill, says House Energy Democrat staff. “We had memos on these issues, but none of our people, we think, looked at them,” says a staffer. “When they saw the stories last week about the charges some of the companies were taking, they were genuinely surprised and assumed that the companies were just doing this to embarrass them. They really believed this bill would immediately lower costs. They just didn’t understand what they were voting on.”

No clues, just as I suspected. But then, I haven’t read the 2,000 pages of legislation, either. And even if I did, could I possibly understand its implications? I say, if you can’t understand what you’re voting on, should you be voting at all?

(Thanks again, John!)

Choice quote—the article lead:

Nearly two-thirds of Americans say the health care overhaul signed into law last week costs too much and expands the government’s role in health care too far, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, underscoring an uphill selling job ahead for President Obama and congressional Democrats.

My question to President Obama and the Congress: Why are you having to sell us legislation you already passed?! Are you so blind to the desires of the American people that you can’t see that we didn’t want it in the first place?

Or are you just trying to make yourselves feel better?

Oh, no, wait. I get it. November is coming and you have to put enough spin on this train wreck so that the American people will forget just how how much we didn’t want this legislation in the first place.

Oh, So Good

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If only…

ramit.JPG

Or… Up! Up! and Away!

(via ALA)

This poll shows that Americans are warming to the health care plan. But they’re still not overwhelmingly in favor of it. Heck, we’re not even regular ol’ in favor of it yet.

(Insert cartoon sound of double-take here.)

I don’t get it. Congress voted to pass legislation that American’s didn’t want in the first place? Yeah, I knew that all along, too, but Pelosi and Obama want to go down in history for… for what? Working against their electorate?

Who put them in charge?

Oh, right. You. Some of you, anyway. But I’m pretty sure that you didn’t vote Obama in because of his stated position on healthcare as much as you voted a Republican out.

Again, change isn’t running on your strengths, it’s running on your opponent’s weakness. And hope can’t be legislated.

You fools.

Let’s hope you can change your ways in November, shall we?

What’s good for the Goose, isn’t good enough for the Gander. Or, to put it another way, you should be very, very angry.

And you should let Congress know of your displeasure. Click here. And here. You will get an answer. It will be canned. But someone will have read your opinion and tallied it.

Do it.

Now.

Stop being so damned conservative!

(Thanks, Steve!)

So he asks, “If not now, when?”

To which I say, “When you understand the problem, which you clearly don’t.”

I feel vindicated. The Wall Street Journal gets it.

Some notable quotes:

…the Senate bill does everything the experts recommend to “get at the underlying drivers of health-care costs.” — Peter Orszag, Obama’s budget director

…there is “no master plan for dealing with the problem of soaring medical costs.”— Atul Gawande in a 5,000 word essay published in The New Yorker arguing in favor of ObamaCare

What they’re finally admitting is that all the grandiose talk about “bending the curve” used for months to sell ObamaCare really comes down to their hope that bureaucratic improvisation will make a difference over the long term.

And, as I’ve said before, hope is impossible to legislate.

Politics at its best.

Way to stick to your principles, Representative Kucinich.

Obama and most Americans want one thing but are demanding another:

They say they want affordable healthcare and then demand insurance regulation.

But until the cost of healthcare is reduced, then there’s no way to reduce the cost of insurance. The insurance companies won’t operate at a loss, that’s guaranteed. And if the government picks up the slack, then it’s you and me who will suck up the difference. That will only go so far and last so long before the country collapses.

Simply: if you want lower priced insurance, you’ll have to find ways to reduce the cost of healthcare.

Congress should take the “retreat” as an opportunity to do what I said a long time ago: fix the root cause of the problem, and not the symptoms. Examine why healthcare is so expensive and fix that. Then insurance costs can be reduced, or if necessary, regulated.

I’m taking a break from reading the enormous, 1000-page healthcare reform bill in favor of watching The Fog of War. So far, so good.

“Obama Rejects Race as Lead Cause of Criticism”, and in doing so, he proves that he’s not above playing the race card.

I can’t figure out who the idiots are who Obama thinks mistake his ruination of the country’s healthcare system for an issue of his race. Talk about narcissism.

It dawned on me that I’ve made some very general statements about “the healthcare bill,” but (a) I don’t know jack about what it’s really called or “where” it is in the legislative process and (b) I haven’t read the 1000+ pages of the bill myself.

So, for your and my reading pleasure this weekend, I give you:

H.R.3200 - America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009.

If you want to see it in a slightly more interesting format, check out the bill at OpenCongress.org, which has some really interesting features, including the ability to comment on each line of the darned thing.

I’ll have some thoughts on Monday, I’m sure, after I plow my way through this thing.

After I published this rather lengthy entry on so-called healthcare “reform”, I expected the usual comments, i.e., none.

However, I got two comments back, one from my dad, one from my mom. And Mom was disappointed in some of my choice of language. Sigh.

Between them, though, they had some really good ideas. But while Dad, ever the engineer, focused on solutions and root causes, Mom, ever the Dean of Students, focused on how to deliver my opinions to my elected representatives, in person.

I had never thought of that. No, really, I had never thought to try to convey my opinion to my elected officials, face-to-face. And why not? Why should “big business” get all the face time? Why should only the rich and famous be heard? Aren’t my opinions (and yours) just as valid, just as important as anybody else’s?

Why, yes, they are!

So with this entry, I begin a new series entitled, appropriately enough, Mr. Bill Goes to Washington. I’ll chronicle every step of the way from figuring out whom I wish to see to making contact to making travel arrangements.

I hope.

Now, remember that this isn’t a full-time job for me. I have one of those “full-time job” things, and it’s not quite enough to pay all the bills as it is. So don’t get impatient. Don’t expect to see a new posting every day (two per week might be all I can get out on the matter). Hang in there with me, and know that I’m very passionate about this issue, and whether you agree or disagree with my opinion, I hope to entertain you, at the very least, and enlighten you as an added bonus.

So, until the next entry, insert clever tagline here.

I need more than just a clue. I need several clues.

First, I need to know who my representatives are. Second, I need to know what is in that monstrous piece of heathcare legislation.

And being a webslinger extraordinaire, I thought the best place to start would be Google.

But… that’s too easy. And I’m too much of a geek just to let… In order for me to be able to plow through The Monster, I’d have to have it with me 24/7, and that meant iPhone.

http://www.sunlightlabs.com/contests/appsforamerica/apps/

I know a pediatrician who employs five full-time people and one part-timer. The pediatrician, a woman, offers health insurance to anybody who wants it because she’s very nice that way. For the one lady whose family takes her up on it, she pays—the owner, that is—pays $30,000 per year. The employee pays a reasonable $750 per month or so (I think it is). Doctor or not, that pediatrician can’t afford to do that for everybody, though she would work twice as hard and bend over backwards to do so if she had to. She’s just that nice.

At least, I think so, because I married her.

So when you talk about health care and insurance costs, I do know something about them. And when you start talking about controlling the insurance companies, recognize that they are controlled by math, pure and simple. They are in the business to make money, but they can’t make money if they have to insure every Tom, Dick and Barak for peanuts for premiums. The figures just don’t work out.

But is Obama’s solution the right one? No way in hell. He, and everybody else on Capitol Hill, are missing the elephant in the room: They don’t understand the problem. They understand the symptoms, but not the problem.

I think everybody is missing the point because nobody has studied the root causes of high health care costs. Think about it for a moment. All you hear is how the government has to step in to offer a new form of taxpayer-subsidized insurance, when that won’t do anything to control costs—it’ll just shift them around a bit.

So why are costs so high? Here’s one idea: have you priced medical malpractice insurance recently? For pediatrics, it might be only $25,000 per year. OBGYN? $100,000+ isn’t uncommon, and in ten states at least, it was over $200,000 in 2005 (see this report). If an OBGYN sees 20 patients per day (that’s a 20 minute visit, more or less), five days per week, 52 weeks per year (no vacation), each patient already owes $38 just to cover that doc’s malpractice insurance. God help the OBGYNs (and their patients) who have been sued…

Wonder why malpractice costs are so high? So do I.

Frankly, any healthcare bill that doesn’t mention tort reform is a load of Band-Aids when the patient has cancer…

Solution? Caps are low-hanging fruit, and probably not a good idea. More likely eliminating or limiting contingency fees would be a better start. Limit the lawyer’s take to that of the public defender unless he or she wins. Make the plaintiff take a financial risk. I’m not sure.

But I’m sure that’s only one of the causes. And I’ll say it again, nobody is looking at the root causes for high costs. Not anywhere in that 1000+ page bill is controlling the costs that hospitals, doctors, nurses—everybody—have to pay to merely be a business (adequately protected from lawsuits, frivolous and deserved alike, among other things) mentioned.

Patent reform is part of it, too, I think. Think drug companies charge all they do because they need more money for marketing? Well, yes, they do. It’s because they have to make their money in the very short time left of the life of a 17-year patent after “first offered” (which is before clinical trials, and which starts the 17-year clock) to FDA approval. Since it takes years to bring a drug to market, there’s not a whole lot of time to recoup those costs, hence higher prices for you and me. Ick.

Then let’s also take a look at medical school costs. Guess which medical school in the whoooole country costs the most? Harvard? Yale? Baylor? Duke? Mayo?

Nope. That’d be the Medical University of South Carolina—a public institution—at $70K+, all inclusive for those of you not already paying taxes to the state of South Carolina. (Well-deserving of a “WTF?!” Be sure to look at both public and private schools if you look at the list, and it is worth the look, believe you, me.)

I’m an engineer. We look for the root cause of the problem and fix that cause instead of treating the symptoms. (That sounds vaguely medical!) I’m partial to fixing the problems of our healthcare system with major invasive surgery if necessary instead of telling the patient to take two aspirin and call me in the morning. Or, as the Obama administration proposes it, tell your neighbor to give you the aspirin and call your doctor as many times as you want, whenever you want, because you won’t worry about paying for those calls, now, will you?

Anyway, wonder how those medical school costs get paid? And did you ever wonder why those costs are so damned high? (I still wonder. I really have no clue.) Guess where those costs go? Yup. They eventually get passed on to the patients, seven to ten years after everybody else started earning money if they so chose. Think it’s possible for a UPS driver to earn more in a lifetime than a doctor? No? Think again. (I have checked his numbers. They’re right.)

Again, I’m sure I’ve only identified a few of what I perceive to be the real causes of the problem. And I wish I could do something about it. But our politicians are too short-sighted—all of them, party lines notwithstanding—to see beyond the ends of their noses and past the lobbyists and into the real world where, no, my wife wouldn’t be able to afford to put five families on her health insurance, thereby spoiling it for everybody…

Oh, one other thing: Why do we put so much into the end-of-life care and not into the beginning-of-life care? Who gets paid the most? Yup. Those responsible for fixing wrecks, self-induced and otherwise, instead of those responsible for preventing the wrecks in the first place. It’s the family practitioners and pediatricians who are the least paid, most-worked practitioners. It’s the heart surgeons who take Wednesdays off for a game of golf at the Club with Buffy and Mitch. Go figure. Seven figures, that is.

I hope that if we disagree, we disagree rationally. And I hope that where we agree, we will… will what? Suggestions, anyone? Letters to our representatives? Facebook posts?

And now I’m off to bed. I am going to head to the gym at 6am to exercise to remove some of this excess weight and do my own preventative healthcare.

At my expense, I might add. Obama? You got a grant for that?

;-)

At a recent Town Hall meeting, Our Dear Leader said he wouldn’t sign healthcare reform legislation that raised the national debt a dime over the coming decade.

And he means it!

Good.

So let’s take him up on his word (he means it!) and demand that Congress add a “revoke if this has added a dime to the national deficit” clause into their massive piece-of-crap healthcare reform bill.*

And if Our Dear Leader had the cojones to do it himself, we wouldn’t have to tell our Congress to do it for him.

Click here to contact your Representative.

Click here to contact your Senator.

(I am left wondering how he’ll ensure that the costs are delayed by ten years…)


*Any healthcare reform bill that doesn’t even mention tort reform is 100% crap. Be sure to mention that in your letter.

If only…

Dilbert.com

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