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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 1:29 pm
  

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Arlo Fanatic

Joined: Feb 26, 2009
Posts: 1200
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the TRULY poor, not those who chose cable TV, SUV's, and other "luxuries", but whine because they can't afford health insurance.


So your approach to universal coverage is inspection of the homes of the insured to verify they are impoverished and not profligate? If they agree to sell that property and give you the money, would you want to be the insurance parole officer? Outstanding. :P

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As costs escalate due to new technology, which is very expensive,


That interests me. I manage a team that last week fielded the first CDC certified direct and cascade alert system for public health. It's taken two years and it cost six million to develop for the Department of Health in Puerto Rico. These systems enable early detection of epidemics as well as more effective application of the local health resources. The biggest benefactors are the local clinics that can go online with their encounter record keeping that enables better diagnosis faster. Those are your tax dollars at work. It will not raise the cost of your insurance. If it does not reduce it, then your insurance underwriters are fudging.

Care to figure out what the costs are for keeping that in paper?

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why pay twice?


If you don't get to choose the type of health care you get, why choose once? If the ration of services delivered for costs paid are less as with private insurance, why choose the private plan? Maybe your employer would like a better deal than that.

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Did we learn nothing in the recent mortgage crisis


Health care is not condos. I think it morally indefensible to treat a person as if they were a risk for fire, burglary and default on a loan.

Certainly debate the bill, but do it realistically as you say. :!:


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 2:48 pm
  

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Arlo Fanatic

Joined: Nov 11, 2004
Posts: 2010
Location: Left-of-center
vkotarski wrote:
The rhetoric surrounding "you'll be able to keep your own insurance policy if you want" is also complete crap. Sure, you can keep it, but why would you (or your employer) continue to pay an insurance company when the "public option" is available at no additional costs. You're already paying the taxes to support that plan, why pay twice?


Hey! That sounds like a good reason to support a single payer program!

vkotarski wrote:
Another issue with the reform bill is that it would require insurance companies to provide coverage without regard to pre-existing conditions.

The reform bill is froth with unrealistic expectations and needs to be massaged in a sensible fashion.


I don't consider insuring a person with a pre-existing condition unrealistic. Rather it is more like the right thing to do.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 11:35 pm
  

BlunderVirgin

Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 1
Arlo - just read your August 13, 2009 message. I agree!! Can't tell you how much I appreciate hearing my own beliefs being stated. thank you.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 5:06 am
  

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The Folkslinger

Joined: Nov 23, 1999
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Location: Housatonic, MA
Quote:
The rhetoric surrounding "you'll be able to keep your own insurance policy if you want" is also complete crap. Sure, you can keep it, but why would you (or your employer) continue to pay an insurance company when the "public option" is available at no additional costs. You're already paying the taxes to support that plan, why pay twice?


Hahaha... well you don't hear FedEx and UPS complaining about the Post Office! No one in their right mind would change to a system that doesn't work as well just because it's cheaper... Oh wait - There's Walmart. Okay some would. But there's enough business out there to keep everyone happy and profitable. In addition, you are paying for everyone's healthcare any way you slice it. Hospitals charge insurance companies more for your care so they can cover the costs of serving those without it. So you end up not only paying for your neighbors health care, and on top of that you pay additional profit to the insurance companies who are now asking for 35 cents out of every dollar in profit! Even Las Vegas casinos keep their profit generally below 20%.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:50 pm
  

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ArloNetizen

Joined: Aug 20, 2008
Posts: 33
Location: New York NY
Hi—I’m new to the forum here, but I have been reading “over your shoulders” for a long time now. I’m injecting my thoughts here because health care is something I care deeply about. I have way more experience with the so-called health care community than I wish to have. Briefly, my husband has suffered two massive blood clots and has had three hiatal hernia surgeries with LOTS of complications. He is on all kinds of medications that interact with each other and cause all kinds of additional problems. His medical file is many hundreds of pages long and I won’t bore you with the gory details. Before all of this happened he was a weight lifter, a biker, a lover of the outdoors—generally a healthy person. That’s just one part of our story. In the beginning of this year, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I have had two surgeries, and have just completed radiation treatments. It’s not fun.
However, through all of this we have been fortunate to have health insurance. And still we have had problems. It’s a full time job to keep up with all of the authorizations, explanations of benefits and all of the other crap that comes with health insurance. But if we didn’t have it, we probably wouldn’t be around to tell the story.
I believe with the late Senator Kennedy, that every American has the right to health care. It’s a moral issue. Every time someone has to decide whether to have cancer treatments or feed their family, we lose a little more of our humanity. And lately we don’t have a lot to spare.
I also agree that there are two separate issues here—one is about caring for people who are already sick. The other is about staying healthy by rethinking how we live and eat. I agree, Arlo, that it requires a paradigm shift. Most people roll their eyes and walk away when I get going about the loss of family farms, GMOs, “Round-up Ready” crops, corn syrup etc. but the discussion should be ongoing because we are killing ourselves slowly, with cheez product and grape flavored soda.
Both issues are complicated and both require us to do better. I don’t know the answer, but I do think that the current reform act is a step in the right direction. A baby step, but I’ll take it.
hrg
PS--Arlo, in your 2Cents thread, someone commented that your pop would be spinning to find out that you are a republican. I respectfully disagree. To me it seems like exactly the kind of thing that Woody would appreciate. I guess it's true that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree...


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:01 pm
  

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Arlo Fanatic

Joined: Sep 13, 2000
Posts: 8523
Location: Pixley-- Actually An Hr South of Richmond, VA
Welcome to the site. Prayers just said for you & your hubby. I would like to see all americans get healthcare. It's just I'm afraid Obama is not gonna get it right & we'll have where you have to wait for months for help or get denied because you have a chronic disease and they'd rather help the healthy ones first. So when ya do it Obama, do it right. I don't want to die cuz I had to wait months to get help or was denied it cuz I have a chronic disease...


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:25 am
  

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Arlo Fanatic

Joined: Nov 11, 2004
Posts: 2010
Location: Left-of-center
My better half works in a doctor's office. For the record, she says that there are fewer hassles processing the Medicare claims than there are with the for-profit insurance companies. And, surprise! They usually get the government (Medicare) payments sooner than the for-profits as well. It seems to me that everybody who had their panties in a bunch are more worried about the "what if's" than looking forward to the "what can be's". I saw on the news tonight that there are an estimated 50,000,000 (Yeah! That's fifty million!) Americans without health insurance! Cut the crap and just do it!!! Otherwise, as in the past, nothing is going to get done!!!


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:54 pm
  

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Arlo Fanatic

Joined: Feb 26, 2009
Posts: 1200
Here is an insider look at health care rationing from the point of view of an oncologist working for the insurance company. It ain't pretty but it seems to be honest. Notice how 'generally acceptable practice' can squeeze out Arlo's point of view regarding alternatives. If the alternative providers don't have a chair at this table, their alternatives are never considered.

http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2009/08/confessions-of-a-health-care-rationer


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 8:17 pm
  

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ArloNetizen

Joined: Aug 20, 2008
Posts: 33
Location: New York NY
Thanks for the wishes Cheryl. All things considered, we are in a pretty good place. We are kind of "let go and let God" people (whomever he or she may be :D ). But I think that we are among the lucky ones really. Especially when I see what other people have to live with and through. I also hope that Obama does it right...For what it's worth, I do believe that he has good intentions. And that is the first time I have felt that way about a public official in quite awhile.
I think for most people some coverage will be better than what they have now, nothing. And I also think that regarding the whole healthy living/eating concept, well that is something everyone can change in little ways (a la Pete), until the government catches up.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 1:08 am
  

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Arlo Fanatic

Joined: Sep 13, 2000
Posts: 8523
Location: Pixley-- Actually An Hr South of Richmond, VA
I think Obama means well. But I'm afraid he won't do it right & we'll suffer because of it...


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:08 pm
  

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Arlo Fanatic

Joined: Nov 11, 2004
Posts: 2010
Location: Left-of-center
A little long but informative. This is a letter (email) I received from Representaive John Larson (Dem. CT) in response to my signing a petition to push for health care reform. As follows:

Quote:
Thank you for contacting me about health care reform. This is one of the most important issues facing our country. At this critical time I am working hard to ensure that every American has access to quality affordable health care and to reduce the costs of health care for families and the federal government.



On July 14, 2009, America's Affordable Health Choices Act (H.R. 3200) was introduced and referred to the three committees of jurisdiction in the House of Representatives: the Committee on Ways and Means, the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and the Committee on Education and Labor. Since that time all three Committees have held hearings and markup sessions and have reported their versions of the bill to the full House. Congress has spent a tremendous amount of time considering this issue. In just two years there have been 79 congressional hearings, 550 town hall meetings, and more than 45 hours of debate on amendments in the committees. In addition, as Chairman of the Democratic Caucus I recently organized a five hour meeting of all the Democratic members where we went through the bill section by section to answer any and all questions or concerns about the bill.



While this legislation continues to be a work in progress, the bill that was introduced would put us on a path to containing costs, increasing access, and improving quality in our health care system. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has indicated that the House bill would not increase the federal deficit and will result in 97 percent of Americans having access to affordable health insurance. For the First Congressional District, H.R. 3200 would mean that 42,000 additional residents would gain access to health insurance coverage, 15,800 small businesses would be eligible for a tax credit to defray the costs of providing insurance coverage to employees, and nearly 1,000 families would not face a bankruptcy filing because of burdensome health costs. In addition, almost 10,000 seniors in the District would avoid the so-called "doughnut-hole" for prescription drugs in Medicare Part D, saving them thousands of dollars each year. This bill is truly comprehensive and while I will address some of its components in this letter I would invite you to read the attached information and to visit my website (Larson.house.gov) to learn more.


Insurance market reforms



Over 200 million Americans have private health insurance plans, and the majority of these plans are accessed through the workplace. H.R. 3200 builds on the principle that if you like the plan that you have you can keep it. However despite having coverage, many families have found that when a family member becomes sick and needs care for treating a catastrophic condition like cancer, their policy does not provide adequate coverage leading them to financial debt and in many cases bankruptcy. For those who do not have insurance coverage, finding a policy on the individual market can be nearly impossible because of pre-existing health condition exclusions and rating practices that make insurance coverage unaffordable. This has become an especially difficult problem during this economic downturn as millions of Americans have lost their jobs and their health benefits with it.



H.R. 3200 seeks to address these problems in several ways. First, it would end the practices of pre-existing condition exclusions and recissions, which have left millions of Americans without coverage simply because they became ill. Recissions in particular have left families in dire situations as they had paid into an insurance plan only to have it taken away when they became ill. Under this bill, insurance companies would no longer be allowed to continue this policy. Second, it would ensure that insurance companies accept every application for coverage and limit some of the industry practices that have made coverage unaffordable for those seeking a policy after they've lost or changed their job. Finally, it would require that every plan has a minimum standard of benefits, including a limitation on the amount of out-of-pocket expenses an individual or family would have to pay each year and no annual or lifetime limitations on coverage.



In addition, America's Affordable Health Choices Act would create a new marketplace for families to purchase health insurance coverage. The "Health Insurance Exchange" would provide a transparent market where consumers can choose from a range of private health insurance options, along with a public option. Within the Exchange consumers are empowered to choose the best plan for their family and will not be forced by their employer or the government to choose a particular plan. To help offset costs of purchasing a policy within the exchange, individuals may receive a subsidy on a sliding scale. However, everyone (even those on the lowest end of the income scale) would have to pay something toward premiums and copayments.



Small business



Small businesses would benefit in a number of ways from H.R. 3200. First, the bill provides tax credits to employers who offer health care coverage. This would not only help businesses currently offering coverage to their employees but would create an incentive for additional small businesses to offer a health plan. Currently only 45 percent of businesses with less than 10 employees offer coverage, mainly because of the high costs.



The bill also provides small businesses with an additional option to allow their employees to purchase coverage through the Exchange. Based on the size of their business, the employer could opt to pay a small fee and his/her employees would then be free to purchase a policy of their choice through the Exchange. Recognizing that the fee may be unaffordable to some businesses, the legislation would exempt many small businesses from the fee depending on the size of their payroll. In addition to increased options for providing coverage to employees, because of the insurance market reforms contained in the bill, small businesses would no longer be subject to the large year-to-year premium increases that occur all too often because of a sick employee or aging workforce.



Coverage for every American



This legislation is projected to result in 97 percent of Americans having health insurance coverage. As the bill creates new incentives for employers to offer coverage, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has predicted that employer-sponsored coverage will not just remain stable, but would in fact increase over time. The Health Insurance Exchange would simply provide an additional option for individuals and small businesses. CBO projects that by 2019, 30 million individuals will be enrolled in a health care plan through the health insurance exchange, with 10 million electing to enroll in the public option.



Medicare



Medicare beneficiaries would immediately see a difference from this bill. Starting immediately, preventive services like cancer screenings in Medicare will no longer require a copayment. The bill would also eliminate over time the "doughnut hole" in Medicare Part D, which has left millions of seniors vulnerable to unaffordable prescription drug costs. Finally, the bill would reduce inefficiencies, fraud, and abuse in Medicare and would begin new programs to better coordinate care for patients.



A final point on the Medicare changes. Despite erroneous reports, this legislation would not require end of life consultations or forced euthanasia. The bill simply allows Medicare to reimburse a doctor when a patient voluntarily chooses to consult him/her about end of life planning. This would allow for greater access to conversations with doctors about advance directives, living wills, and other end of life decisions. This provision promotes patient choice, so that patients can have access to these services should they choose to seek them, but are in no way required to do so.



The process of moving a momentous bill such as health reform through Congress is certainly not an easy task and requires a great deal of negotiation. Some have expressed concern that this legislation would be "forced through the Senate" in a process called "reconciliation," which would simply require a majority vote. With an issue as important as health reform, please know that we are committed to carefully considering the legislation and taking all viewpoints into account.



In sum, this legislation would not only provide access to coverage to the 46 million uninsured in our country, but would provide reforms that will reach every family, insured or uninsured. No longer will a family have to worry that they will not have health insurance coverage because they lose their job. No longer will we allow families to go bankrupt because their insurance policy did not provide adequate coverage when their child was born with a medical condition or got cancer. No longer will we allow insurance companies to take back a policy because you get sick.


As we continue to make progress in this historic effort to reform health care I look forward to your continued input. Thank you again for writing and please do not hesitate to contact my office in the future on this or any other issue.




Sincerely,

JOHN B.LARSON
Member of Congress


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 5:21 pm
  

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Arlo Fanatic

Joined: Feb 26, 2009
Posts: 1200
Do you think the folks on the chicken run across America heading for DC actually know what "teabagger" means?

Where is Owsley when needed... (somewhere in Oz we're told.. no, not dorothyville; rooville).


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:53 pm
  

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Arlo Fanatic

Joined: Nov 11, 2004
Posts: 2010
Location: Left-of-center
len wrote:
Do you think the folks on the chicken run across America heading for DC actually know what "teabagger" means?

Ha, ha!! Definitely no!
len wrote:
Where is Owsley when needed... (somewhere in Oz we're told.. no, not dorothyville; rooville).

Where's anybody when you need 'em?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:10 pm
  

Senior ArloNetizen

Joined: Jul 30, 2008
Posts: 374
Location: Washington, DC
Wow. A Congressional representative who both has a vote and treats his constituents as if they had a brain apiece.

If the teabaggers would just stay home and drink their tea, we might be able to have a rational discussion in this country.

I loved this piece by Jacob Weisberg in Slate -- "The Republican Death Machine" -- http://www.slate.com/id/2226518/ -- it shows how numerous other legislative decisions (these by Republicans) can be turned, by arguing to the extreme, into "they're going to kill Grandpa" nonsense:

"It was Sen. Grassley himself who rammed the GOP's most astonishing pro-death policy through the Senate in 2001. The estate-tax revision he championed reduces the estate tax to zero next year. But when the law expires at year's end, the tax will jump back up to its previous level of 55 percent. Grassley's exploding offer has an entirely foreseen if unintended consequence: It's going to encourage those whose parents and grandparents are worth anything more than a million bucks to get them dead by midnight on Dec. 31, 2010. This would be a great plot for a P.D. James novel if it weren't an actual piece of legislation."

I do find it amazing that they only went after the rich elderly...


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:32 pm
  

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Senior ArloNetizen

Joined: Feb 19, 2008
Posts: 560
HRG, I hope you are doing ok with your treatments. My mother in-law is currently having radiation treatments for breast cancer as well. You are getting a double whammy with your husbands problems. I wish you both good health.

Zap - nice info. Your congressman sounds well informed.


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