MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, a paid technical consultant, (claims have been made he was paid $400,000.00 for his work on the Obamacare bill), and a major architect of the Affordable Care Act is recorded at a recent conference making these statements;
He says the bill was purposely worded so the CBO, (Congressional Budget Office), would not score the Individual Mandate as a tax - because it would not pass if the public knew.
He says the plan was for the healthy folks to pay in to cover the sick folks, but the bill was purposely worded to obfuscate this fact - because it would not pass if the public knew.
He essentially says the Democrats purposely played to the "stupidity of the American voter" because they knew better than us what is good for us.
Of course the Right is calling this purposeful deception, as would be expected. Are they wrong?
It seems hard to deny the Right's accusations of deception, so the next question is "Does it matter to Obamacare supporters?"
It matters to me. And I bet we will hear from a lot of other like-minded folks, but what about Obama supporters... is this apparent purposeful deception a problem for you?
Doesn't this complete the circle back to Pelosi and her “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.” quote? It appears she was right, there was a fog around the bill - just not the one she implied.
What say you?
I always love the Lewis Black quote about how congress does things. You can reverse the roles and it plays the same way.
"The Republicans in Congress say we have a really s#!ty idea for a bill. The Democrats counter with, Oh yeah, we can make it s#!tier".
As you said Pelosi and the slime on the hill knew how bad this thing was and sold us the compromise including the health insurance industry inclusion. It should have always of been single payer as a payroll check deduction.
Right! That's the ticket! Another payroll check tax.
People should be responsible for their own healthcare. Without insurance the taxpayer pays the bill. How else could you aleviate that expence?
Have the taxpayer pay for the insurance PLUS profit to insurance companies. That WAS the solution given, wasn't it?
You are correct. And that is where the costs were overlooked in favor of the insurance companies. The middle man is where we went wrong.
If I remember correctly, the insurance companies were guaranteed they would not lose even a penny. If the consumers didn't pay, or if they actually had to pay some claims, they would be fully reimbursed by the Federal Government with taxpayer dollars.
I would call this a sweet deal for the insurance companies.
Which is a primary reason for not having a 1 payer system. Don't include those companies in the riches, shutting them down instead, and Obama loses a major part of his support. I don't think for a minute he could have pushed it through that way; even Pelosi would have dug in, having read the plan or not.
Your logic escapes me. Single payer is the only fair solution combined with whatever other supplementary coverage the purchaser (payroll tax contributor) should wish to add. This would cover any other payouts required for office visits and the like.
I disagree - the only "fair" system is for everyone to pay for their own health care. Should they wish to do so by purchasing an insurance policy, spreading the cost of care over a large number that all pay the "average" cost that is up to them.
But the logic is that if government picks up all the costs of health care it will shut down the insurance companies, or if they pick up the majority and leave only crumbs for the companies those companies will not support the bill. BUT, if government mandates that everyone pay for insurance, even if government pays the insurance companies on the insured's behalf, the companies are happy. Very happy, in fact, as they just picked up another 10 million (or whatever) customers, and every customer is additional profit.
Your solution brings right back to the same problem. People who cannot get insurance either because of preconditions or costs based on that precondition have to opt out relying on stufing the hospital who is reimbursed by the taxpayer. It also does not address the youth who neglect healthcare who in turn stiff the hospital as well. More people in the pool will reduce the costs. The high costs are too much for most who cannot be on a group plan.
You are presuming that society somehow owes health care to anyone that wants it. It doesn't.
I knew you would say that. Unfortunately while society does not owe the uninsured healthcare, ignoring the problem is both running up the costs for both the insured and the taxpayer. You are battling windmills if you think it is just going away without figuring how to insure the lesser fortunate. They are not going to just stay home and die.
Even the uninsured and persons in this country illegally have received free care at any hospital ER for many years now. The story of those not receiving care is pure BS. A large part of the cost of medical care is due to those who can't pay and receive free care.
I'm not sure what Obamacare will do to change this. Those with no money for whatever reason will still receive free care at the expense of others. Nothing has changed except that it costs more now and many people have been cut back to 30 hours or less per week so the employer is exempt from Obamacare.
Some may call this progress but I see it as a huge step backward.
Correct. Society has decided it will pay for health care for everyone - let it happen. No need to involve insurance companies if it's all coming out of the tax base anyway. Just raise taxes the 5 or 10% needed and have doctors and hospitals submit a bill to the federal government. Problem solved.
What do you do about folks that can't, (not won't), pay for their medical care?
A decent indigent guy sitting under a tree. He is hit by a huge tree branch snapped off by a freak wind gust. His injuries are severe and life threatening. Luckily, he reaches a hospital and is saved by extensive and expensive medical treatment.
Who pays for his medical care? He wants to but can't. Does the hospital eat the costs?
I see your point about personal responsibility, and mostly agree with it - when the need is not immediately life threatening, and there is a capability or possibility of repayment, but what about the above example?
Of course this is leading to the real dilemma that overwhelmed ERs are facing now. (with the caveat that it is probable that a very large number of users could make some sort of payment) Which is the stick pro-national healthcare advocates are beating us about the head with.
Still, the reality of the above example still needs an answer.
*I recall past public outrages over stories of hospital ERs refusing or redirecting ambulances if the patient they were carrying wasn't insured. Is "no-pay no-care" really the standard we want as a society?
Hospitals are forced to absorb some of the costs for patients who cannot afford to pay. The government makes up some of the difference. Do you think the hospitals rates are not affected? My wife works in such a hospital that is not a teaching hospital but is non profit and they are forced to raise their rates continually to meet the difference between the paying patients and the poor patients who cannot pay.
My point exactly. Much of the losses are passed on to those who can pay. If the medical facilities didn't do that they couldn't even pay their power bills. Although humane it is just another way of redistribution of wealth. All Obamacare did was change how this happens plus adding more non-healthcare related taxes onto we taxpayers under the cover of this bill.
Yes, medical care certainly needed some changes but this was not the way to do it. The entire process leading up to Obamacare was filled with sweetheart contracts that made many companies very wealthy. I would go so far as to guess that there were some giant monetary kickbacks awarded to some who issued these no-bid contracts.
I am aware of that point. And it is that situation that has been a strong force behind the rationalization for national healthcare. But the question illustrates the dilemma that I, (and I think perhaps, Wilderness too), face. My/our human compassion doesn't allow for the coldness that is in the decision to decide if someone lives or dies based on their wallet. Just as my/our sense of the need for personal responsibility doesn't accept a rationalization that anyone should be forced to be responsible for someone else's needs.
How would you answer the question posed above?
Can clinics handle the numbers in need of healthcare? What is their capacity as far as specialty sciences and diagnostic capabilities? To what extent can they provide adequate follow up on many serious or terminal cases? What kind of short stay or in and out procedures can they handle? Are there enough doctors and or nurse practitioners to handle increasing cases of diabetes and heart disease? What about cancer treatments and chemo and radiology services? What would it cost to set these services and facilities up? Why not use what we have now instead of creating a whole new system and support the old system as well?
In my part of the country ER's are now the primary care facilities for many, including some who are in this country illegally. Fortunately we in this country don't just let people die in the streets because they are ill or injured. And that is the way it should be. However besides the soaring medical costs due to those who can't or won't pay, the ER's are horribly overcrowded and the wait times to see a doctor can be well over eight or more hours.
Would it not be better to set up free clinics paid for by the government for those unable to pay and just leave everything else alone? Why screw it up for the majority when there are other solutions available?
The free clinics idea is a good one. And they are happening in a lot of places - but mostly through the efforts of charities and other NGOs, (non-government organizations)
Which I think is how it should be. I am all for letting the government assist/facilitate these efforts - but keep the government itself out of the program! Keep their hands off a working solution. Just let them help that solution expand.
Already done. Every city of any size has clinics for the indigent.
But my suggestion would be to put a 24 hour clinic next door to every emergency room. Enter and go through triage, where you will be pointed to either the ER or the clinic.
I agree that people should be responsible for their own healthcare. If the cost of that healthcare was bearable. Unfortunately the current cost structure of our healthcare system makes that a very financially unbearable option.
I think we need two major reforms. One being the reform of the unrealistic expectations of too many people; life saving care - sure, care to make life livable, (pain management) - sure, Viagra and $3000 scooters - forget you. Then of course there is the slippery consideration of "quality of life" care. Hmm...
The other reform needed is our healthcare system cost structure - and that is a huge issue that is above my pay grade. And a topic worthy of its own thread.
....The other reform needed is our healthcare system cost structure ...
Are you talking tier structures or reducing costs? The litigious nature of our society also has to be looked at as not a gold mine for the lawyers and their clients. That is a whole other industry in addition to the medical insurance companies that suck the affordability out of it.
And an industry that is bleeding the country for every dime it can get. It is a major part of what is wrong with American health care.
And here is an example of your point recently in the news - generic drug prices skyrocket.
"In their separate letter to the HHS secretary, Cummings and Sanders cited examples of dramatic price increases for generic drugs like the asthma medication, Albuterol Sulfate, which went from $11 to $424 in less than a year. The price for a bottle of antibiotic pills, Doxycycline Hyclate, shot up to $1,849 from only $20 last fall, they added. “These huge price increases are affecting the pocketbooks and health of millions of Americans,” they wrote."
In some cases the number of generic drug makers decreased, but not to the point of making lack of supply a reason for the increase, more likely it is just the seizing of opportunity provided by reduced competition.
They can do this because many of these outrageously priced drugs are the last hope for many seriously ill patients. They took the stance that if people want to live a little longer they will pay however much we decide they should cost. So it is take it or leave it in their book. This is so greedy it is pure evil. The people who are deciding on these prices should be publicly whipped and then hung. I'll bet we could get donations to buy the ropes.
Although never a supporter of Obamacare (and less of one after seeing what I am forced to purchase), I can find no fault with Gruber's statements or with your conclusion.
There is zero doubt that the people on the hill didn't understand this, particularly about well people paying for the sick. That was actually well shown to be true as soon as it became apparent that everyone (including young healthy adults) were forced to pay premiums. While the popular idea was always that everyone would have health care it was never true - just that they would have health insurance.
And now we're seeing more and more people, (with official recognition of their problem) that have insurance but still can't pay for the care they need. Just the premiums (with help from the government) to pad the pockets of the insurance companies.
Say it ain't so. I thought it was the Repubs that favored Big Business?
Your point should have been obvious to all when the Healthcare industry added its support to promoting and passing Obamacare.
Typical trick of used car salesmen. Promise them a race horse and deliver a plow horse. But based on some of the man-in-the-street interviews I have seen many of our voters really do qualify as low information types.
It is just too bad that if Obamacare is such a wonderful program they had to use lies to sell it to the people.
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