Letters to the Editor

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MEDICARE: Expand program to everyone

Letter by Susan M. Eidenschink, Tacoma on July 30, 2010 at 12:30 pm with 44 Comments »
July 30, 2010 12:30 pm

Today (July 30) is Medicare’s 45th birthday. After President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law in 1965, millions of Americans age 65 and older had coverage for health care opened to them. Many of these people had not seen a doctor in years. Now they were able to get the care they needed. They didn’t have to worry about medical debt for themselves or about passing this debt onto their children.

Medicare dramatically reduced poverty among those 65 and older and also for those severely disabled.

Medicare is a government-sponsored program that today covers and is appreciated by over 45 million Americans. Medicare has been a huge success.

Today skyrocketing health care costs are a challenge to Medicare and to private health care coverage. One way to reduce these costs and to include health care coverage for everyone is to replace the inefficient system of private health insurers with a streamlined, publicly financed system like Medicare.

Yes, expand Medicare to everyone. This change would save about $400 billion annually by reducing excess bureaucracy.

Leave a comment Comments → 44
  1. What can you say about this letter except that it does not bear any sense of reality..

  2. tubbythetuba says:

    Yes, and soon health care will run as good as the Post Office……

  3. artsandcrafts says:

    2 factual posts.

  4. stetsonwalker says:

    Medicare is heading for broke on a fast downhill run. I don’t want my healthcare to be on that sled!

  5. Uh, pass the kool aid along with that “free” health care.

  6. nonstopjoe says:

    I assume “everyone” includes anybody present in the U.S. – if so, it’d take the entire military (acive, reserve, retired, national guard, etc.) to defend the borders from people wishing to get on the gravy train.

  7. Sumner401 says:

    Yeah, koolaid is right, republican media, hate radio koolaid.

  8. artsandcrafts says:

    Publico, I think you are the only one who reads Sumn.

  9. artsandcrafts says:

    This letter is only the tip of the iceberg when dealing with the ignorance and entitlement attitude of the leftwing nuts.
    If you really get down to their true feelings, you would wonder what century you were in.

  10. LuckyCharm says:

    One reason Medicare is so expensive to us nationally is that it insures only a high-risk group — old folks who typically have more severe health problems and require more expensive treatments. By expanding the pool to include all ages, we could spread the risks and the associated costs.

    Medicare is not a “gravy train.” It does involve premiums and co-pays, just like any insurance program. What it DOESN’T involve are high profit margins that must be skimmed off the top before a dime is spent. All Medicare has to do to be successful is break even — there are no executive contracts to honor or shareholders to satisfy. If the billions of $$ that were going toward profit in the private health insurance industry were instead going toward actual health costs, the price of premiums could be lowered (one reason the health care reform bill stipulates that, for exchange participants, 85% of all premium dollars be spent on health care) and we wouldn’t be having such a crisis in the first place.

  11. artsandcrafts says:

    That’s all well and good LC, except all those projections are meaningless when contrasted with the projections of the original costs of S.S.I., Medicare, heck, even Barak’s unemployment projections failed miserably.
    Fact is, we don’t “believe’ much of what he or his tax cheat czars and advisors tell us.

  12. LuckyCharm says:

    a&c, that’s not a “projection” — it’s a recognition of how insurance works. Any private company that only insured old folks would set premiums beyond the reach of all but the very wealthy, because they are all considered high risk on account of their age. But Medicare premiums are meant to be affordable even by people on a fixed retirement income, and there’s the rub. If those premiums were being paid not only by old folks, but by teenagers and young adults too, the risk — and costs — would be much more evenly spread, and the program could remain both affordable and comprehensive.

  13. Sumner401 says:

    LC, I’m not sure but I think you would have a better chance teaching a cat to drive than trying to get arts&roncella to understand or to even think about something that doesn’t come from an approved GOP media outlet.

  14. donjames says:

    If you ike Medicare so much, Susan, just wait about four years.

    Obamacare is still in its infancy, it won’t be fully implemented for years, but it is already off to one hell of a start. This is as good as it gets, it is all downhill from here. It is only a matter of time before small businesses begin to drop healthcare benefits, choosing to save money by a relatively small fine instead of offering healthcare benefits. And individual policies will be a thing of the past – mandated out of existence by 0bamacare. But this was all part of 0bama’s plan from the beginning – as democrats have stated– the ultimate goal of this legislation is to move towards a single-payer (government run) healthcare system. And the move is well underway.

    Unless we act soon – starting this November – we will all soon be enrolled in 0bamacare, or, in essence, Medicare.


  15. LuckyCharm says:

    So, dj, even taking your assumptions at face value as if they were true, what’s to love so much about employer-based health insurance rather than a portable policy that goes with you wherever you go? Why should your choice of an employer be based on the benefit package he can offer you rather than advancement opportunities or simply the fact that you enjoy the work more, have an easier commute, etc.? (Of course you know that nothing will prohibit employers from offering extras, like policies that cover cosmetic surgery or what-have-you, to continue to attract top talent.)

    And what’s to love about an individual policy that not only costs, both in premiums and copays, much more than a Medicare-type system would, but from which the insurer is free to drop you any time they decide your bills are getting out of line? I have a friend in the hospital right now, needing a triple bypass after having a massive coronary. He’s been in the hospital for 3 weeks now due to complications. If he is not able to go back to work after this ordeal (he is near retirement age), his employer-based insurance will probably stall the claim until he’s dropped from the rolls. Will Medicare cover this huge bill, since he was not enrolled at the time services were rendered? Most likely not. This guy doesn’t know what a rude awakening he’s in for once he gets out and the bills start rolling in. No private insurer will ever take him on after this, and he’s going to need services like physical therapy, maybe a home health nurse, maybe even social work for a while to get back on his feet, literally. He may lose everything he’s worked for all his life. Only in America, gotta love it — but at least he’s free, right? At least he doesn’t have that bad old Obamacare making him dependent on the federal gov’t!

  16. Great letter Susan and it is coming. When everyone sees how well the recently passed legislation works, and realizes that doing even more along the lines of Medicare is better still, they will back Medicare for everyone 100%.
    It’s called single-payer.

  17. donjames says:

    @ Lucky Charm:

    “Why should your choice of an employer be based on the benefit package… ”

    Choice… what a great word, ‘eh Cheryl? Almost rhymes with freedom.

    “And what’s to love about an individual policy that not only costs, both in premiums and copays, much more than a Medicare-type system… ”

    Of course you are in sole possession of the facts and statistics to back that absurd claim, right? Because even the CBO no longer agrees with that assessment now that it isn’t so politically expedient for them to do so.

    “So, dj, even taking your assumptions at face value as if they were true… ”

    Polago says:

    “… doing even more along the lines of Medicare is better still, they will back Medicare for everyone 100%.
    It’s called single-payer.”

    Sounds like you have a bigger disagreement with P, LC, I still have confidence enough in the American voting public – with its conservative majority – that I believe the whole 0… er, abomination called healthcare reform can be undone by… say, January 20, 2013.

  18. Susan, If we expanded medicare to everyone, it may limit our ability to wage war on other countries. And that would be simply un american according to those on the right.

  19. LuckyCharm says:

    dj, exactly how would a health care plan that was tied to you individually leave you with less choice than one tied to an employer? And when’s the last time you priced an individual policy and compared it with Medicare rates? You’re not making a lot of sense here, I’m afraid.

  20. donjames says:

    LC, even you must be aware that in many cases an employee can have several differnt medical plans fromwhich to choose. As for me, I have a high-deductible individual policy, and a catastrophic plan – both of which, combined, surely cost a bit more than Medicare at present. But the key phrase here is “at present”. From what I have seen, my rates will be going up once 0bamacare takes effect, and the minute any change in coverage is mandated or otherwise effected, POOF… I’m on 0bamacare.

    But back to that “at present” thing for a minute. When/ if everyone is forced onto 0bamacare (Medicare), kindly explain how my premiums will be less – even than they are now – considering I will be amongst the 50% of the population who will likely be expected to foot the bill.

    So the result is I am forced to accept (at risk of monetary penalty and/ or jail time) inferior and rationed coverage, at higher cost to me, without any other choices. Welcome to LC’s version of “freedom”.

    But then, I should be happy to share what I’ve worked hard for with illegals, gang-bangers, and PWT. Share the wealth, right?

  21. the3rdpigshouse says:

    Susan – You can go ahead and fund Medicare for everyone, that would be very generous of you – the U.S. Gov’t can’t afford to!!!

  22. the3rdpigshouse says:

    I sure do hope the majority of voters in November are smarter than the leftist ideologues that permeate this site!! OH Please – everyone else carry my water – I’m just too lazy to get off my dependent socialist couch and find a paying job to support my needs!!! I know all the rest of you good folks feel soo bad for my plight that you won’t mind paying my bills!!!!

  23. LuckyCharm says:

    dj, why do you believe your rates will be going up? Rising rates were, in fact, one of the driving forces behind the push for reform — rates were going up anyway, at a double-digit pace, and many families and small businesses were being priced right out of the market.

    Your employer might currently offer you any of several packages from which to choose, depending on who they’ve contracted with. But if you like your policy and decide to switch to an employer that offers a set of packages that don’t meet your needs as well, too bad — you either pay the entire premium yourself, or accept a different policy that you don’t want.

    “Obamacare” is not an insurance company. The legislation that was finally signed into law provides for insurance exchanges, and any company that wants to get into the exchange market will have to abide by certain regulations, among them being that 85% of their premium revenues go to health care, rather than the current system in which 30-40% go to executive salaries, administrative costs, marketing, etc. This will force prices down, because 85 cents of every dollar they charge you will have to be spent on your medical needs rather than their stockholders’ wishes, or you’ll get the excess back at the end of the year. So let’s say you do wind up on “Obamacare” at some point — you will be able to choose from various packages offered by, let’s say Aetna, Regence, and Blue Cross, which will all meet minimum coverage requirements for each class of policy and be competitively priced. Once you get that policy, they can’t dump you when you get sick. Losing your job won’t mean losing your health coverage. You can keep your kids on your coverage until they’re 26 if you want. And so on. What’s not to like?

    And where are you getting this “jail time” baloney? Is Glenn Beck still spreading that lie? Dear Lord, nothing in the law mentions anything about throwing anybody in jail….

    You’re worried that you might get stuck with “inferior coverage.” Hey, if you want to shop outside the exchange for a plan not covered by the new regulations, nothing’s going to stop you. “Obamacare” doesn’t force anybody to purchase from an exchange — it simply says you must carry health insurance of some type. This is to KEEP taxpayers from footing the bill for people like my friend who suffered a massive heart attack 3 weeks ago, was airlifted to a hospital, and is still there awaiting a triple bypass. Hoo-wee! I can imagine what THAT bill’s gonna come to! And this guy is not rich — I doubt he could even afford the wages of the emergency response and airlift teams, to say nothing of his hospital care and surgery. Fortunately he has insurance, but it undoubtedly carries a deductible and copays, and probably has limits for length of hospital stays — if he can’t pay his part, guess what? The hospital writes it off of their TAXES, meaning YOU PAY anyhow! But, if he were in an exchange plan, with limits on what the coverage can exclude (God forbid they comb his records and find evidence that his condition was pre-existing), the burden is negligible if not nonexistent.

  24. I didn’t say that, donjames, Publico did.

    Your copier and paster is broken.

  25. Sumner401 says:

    Susan, If we expanded medicare to everyone, it may limit our ability to wage war on other countries. And that would be simply un american according to those on the right.

    Sadly, I think this is the closest to the truth anyone has gotten when it comes to healthcare and the right wing.
    If we cut 30% of our defense budget, single payer is paid for.
    The republicans will have no part of it for some reason.

  26. donjames says:

    Sorry, wrong P, P.


    The so-called benefits of 0bamacare don’t start until 2014, but the tax
    increases, misallocated resources and federal regulations start now. We all begin paying 0bamacare taxes this year. So when I add the four years of additional taxes I will be paying – on top of my present insurance premiums – before any sort of transition takes place, what does that do to my yearly premiums now and thereafter? What sort of new math can you use to justify that fact, LC?

    The law includes at least 19 new taxes, among which are the following:
    0bamacare imposes a 3.8 percent tax on investment income for individuals making $200,000 or more and on families making $250,000 or more. The investment tax is not indexed for inflation, so as time passes more people will be expected to pay. Seniors on fixed incomes and pensioners with IRAs and 401(k) plans will be hit hardest.
    On the subject of Medicare, the bill requires single people earning $200,000 or more and couples earning $250,000 or more to pay an additional 0.9 percent in Medicare taxes.
    There are new taxes on home sales tacked on the bill. 0bamacare imposes a 3.8% tax on home sales and other real estate transactions (think 50% of what you currently pay a real estate agency – 100% of what you pay an agent). Almost every homeowner will qualify as “rich” for one day, the day they sell their house.
    Taxes on medical devices will also be going up to 2.9 percent under 0bamacare.
    And we can’t forget the new 10 percent tax on tanning.

    0bamacare dramatically alters the already-overregulated health insurance market. The federal government will now manage my health care
    decisions. In addition to the above-described new taxes, the law creates a maze of mandates, federal directives, price controls, tax increases and subsidies.

    Individuals such as myself will be forced to pay an annual penalty of 2.5% of my annual income, if I don’t purchase an approved health insurance plan. Penalties on families include an annual penalty of $347 per child, up to $2,250 per family, if parents don’t purchase an approved policy. Business owners must buy a government-approved health plan or pay a penalty of $2,000 per employee if they have 50 employees or more. And if I purchase a supplemental plan, or a plan more to my liking, 0bamacare imposes the so-called “Tax on ‘Cadillac’ health plans” – a 40 percent tax on health care plans with a total (in my case, combined) vaue of $10,200 for individuals and $27,500 for families. (Using that definition, I already have a “Cadillac plan.”)

    And if we don’t pay the penalties? 0bamacare empowers the IRS for enforcement. (The IRS is hiring 16,500 new enforcement officials.) The IRS will confiscate tax refunds, place liens on property and seek jail time if healthcare penalties are not paid.

    These are the facts, LC, the pig does not like her lipstick and the graveyard is getting really tired of that tune you are whistling.

    So, as I said, higher premiums (without even factoring-in the share for those whose premiums I will ultimately pay do to exemption), inferior and rationed coverage, fewer, or no, choices.


  27. Sumner401 says:

    The federal government will now manage my health care

    That and 99.99% of the rest of your so called ‘facts’ are out right lies.
    The really sad part, you know they are lies yet you spew them anyway.

  28. larsman says:

    We can always borrow drakma’s from Greece to pretend to pay to Cathay Bank.

    poppies…lovely poppies…

  29. nwcolorist says:

    The magic spell that Obamacare has over so many is truly amazing. The European plans, which are the model for our current plan, are all bankrupt or teetering on the edge. There are no government run health plans anywhere in the world that are financially viable.

    Yes, the medicare plans are cheaper than the private plans. But it’s because the majority of the cost is paid by the taxpayer. When those costs are added in, the total costs are far higher than the private sector can provide the product or service.

    Government involvement is the kiss of death.

  30. LuckyCharm says:

    Aw, dj…. You really went and pasted from a wing-nut website, didn’t you? Tsk tsk tsk….

    The 3.8% Medicare tax isn’t a new tax, but simply an increase from the current rate of 2.9%. The investment tax only applies to those earning over $200-250K, so to say that “seniors on fixed incomes… will be hit hardest” is misleading, to put it mildly. We’re not talking about Grandma shuffling about her leaky hovel eating cat food to survive, here. And many wealthy people purposely receive a good portion of their earnings in the form of investments such as stock options, precisely to avoid a tax liability, so why is this unfair? It simply levels the playing field a bit and eliminates another tax shelter.

    Your “real estate tax” is simply a lie.

    The medical device tax only applies to certain specific devices, is not a consumer tax, and was not in the House version of the bill (the one I by far preferred). And it’s not a set percentage — it’s intended to levy $4 billion/year from device manufacturers, domestic AND foreign, depending on their US sales percentage.

    The “Cadillac plan” tax isn’t a tax to you, but to the insurer.

    As far as the tax penalties for not having health insurance (not much different from the tax “penalty” for not having a mortgage, if you think about it), wouldn’t you be inclined to just go ahead and take out a policy if you’re going to be paying money anyway? That’s the whole point — get everybody covered. Otherwise, if you’re like my friend who collapsed on the golf course with a massive heart attack, had to be airlifted to a hospital, and is still awaiting a triple bypass, guess who picks up the tab if that patient is uninsured? The taxpayer!

    Wouldn’t you rather go ahead and have insurance, which you say you do anyway, so no problem, and make sure everybody else does too, so that these incidents’ costs don’t get passed on to you?

    Geez, sometimes I wonder why righties so delight in voting against their own interests, unless perhaps it’s that they don’t mind doing so as long as it means voting against the interests of those they deem “less deserving.”

  31. LuckyCharm says:

    nwc, which European plan (and they’re all different, BTW) is even remotely similar to our new healthcare law? Please do be specific.

  32. donjames says:

    Cheryl, in your usual bait-and-switch manner, you have completely deflected the discussion away from your original claim that 0bamacare will not cause a net increase in effective insurance premiums to me.

    But first the rebuttal:

    Did you miss the part where I clearly stated the Medicare tax is a .9 increase, or were you simply playing to the peanut gallery here?

    RE the investment tax, do you not understand the consequences of not indexing a tax for inflation? (Homework assignment: Read up on the Alternative Minimum Tax.) A combined income of 200-250k may seem huge to you, but a combined income of 100-150k in 1995 likely also turned you green.
    “And many wealthy people purposely receive a good portion of their earnings in the form of investments… ” Yeah, that is a real big problem, right? Those greedy retirees who never had to work a day or pay a penny in taxes in their whole life! Ahh, when all else fails, insert class warfare or race card.

    According to the NAR, the real estate tax scenario I presented is not entirely accurate, but neither is it a lie. Hyperbole much, Cheryl?

    So the medical device tax is not a consumer tax? Neither is the B&O. Are you saying that cost is not passed along to the consumer. Geez, how can you loony lefties put this tripe into writing? Do you think everyone lacks the business sense of the average liberal?

    Ditto the Cadillac tax. When health care costs to my company go up – whether by taxation, inflation, or greed of evil insurance companies and doctors, guess what happens to the employee share. And anyway, again you divert. Since the value of my policies will exceed the threshold, my premiums will go up by 40% in the form of a new tax. (Again, your original claim was that my premiums would not increase under 0bamacare, remember?)

    And your next paragraph is a rather un-artful dodge of the fact I proved jail time is among the punitive resources available in the prosecution of 0bamacare. (That was in response to your first imputation of lying.)

    Cheryl, I have a great idea; instead of persisting with the mindless parroting of democrat talking points, why don’t you just put this topic to rest until… say, 2013. I mean, you were by far the loudest honk for 0bama, here, in the lead-up to the election, perhaps by now even you realize how… disingenuous his rhetoric was – right along with that of reid and pelosi. I think come 2013 there will be even more than the current 60% clamoring for the repeal of this debacle as more Americans begin to realize that the net affect of 0bamacare will be higher premiums (for those who currently have, and pay for, health insurance), inferior and rationed coverage, and fewer (or no) choices.

    In the mean time I will keep adding its costs and taxes – that I am now paying – to the cost of my current healthcare premiums.

  33. Sumner401 says:

    The European plans, which are the model for our current plan

    Statements like this prove you know nothing about the issue or the reform that was passed.
    You instead only parrot what the GOP propaganda has told you to parrot.
    You are a tool.

  34. Sumner401 says:

    donjames, I have a great idea; instead of persisting with the mindless parroting of republican talking points, why don’t you just put this topic to rest until… say, 2013.

    Your lies are coming to bite today, just think of how bad it will be for you in 2013.

  35. theogsters says:

    Letter writer, Susan Eidenschink, has reached the logical conclusion to fixing our outrageously expensive, tangled health care system — Medicare (or “single-payer”) for all. Canada and Western Europe provide good, universal health care for all their people at half the cost per capita that we spend. But the US is hopelessly bogged down by special interests and political ideologs. Will we ever get there? Probably not, we’re not that smart.

  36. LuckyCharm says:

    dj, just a few points here:

    1. Taxes on investment income will not apply to retirement plans or IRA’s.

    2. The medical device tax is a tax on manufacturers based on revenue, is graduated, and is deductible from corporate taxes, so it’s not gonna be quite the bombshell righties like to claim it is. (Interestingly, two of the Senate’s most progressive members, Klobuchar & Franken, opposed this provision but were overruled by Baucus’ committee.)

    3. When health insurance costs go up for your employer, do you really think they will take it out of your wages? Or might they not shop around for a more affordable plan offering the same benefits such as those that would be found on the then-functioning exchanges? The idea here is, I believe, to eventually get all health plans competing in an exchange market to lower costs overall, for basic as well as deluxe plans.

    4. Lastly, about the thresholds not being inflation-indexed, I can only guess why that was written that way. But even assuming that the provision is never amended (which is ridiculous — tax laws and structures have changed countless times over the course of our nation’s history in response to varied conditions), remember that even $30K looks like a lot to many people today. At an average annual 3% inflation rate, someone making that salary today, assuming the salary increases at precisely the rate of inflation over time and no more (no promotions, etc.), the same salary would only be $176K over 60 years. In other words, even if that person lived long enough to get in the record books, they wouldn’t be making near enough to incur the tax liability. If you’re making $100K today, under the same conditions, you’ll have to wait another 24 years before that tax will kick in for you. If you’re age 41 or older today, you’ll be retired by that time, covered by Medicare, and your retirement income will not be subject to the tax. Does that ease your mind a bit? Of course, like I said, this assumes that the provision will never be amended over the next few decades, which is so unlikely as to be virtually impossible.

  37. donjames says:

    Seniors on fixed incomes and pensioners with IRAs and 401(k) plans will be hit hardest.
    1. Taxes on investment income will not apply to retirement plans or IRA’s.
    I stand corrected.

    2. The medical device tax is a tax on manufacturers based on revenue…
    And these costs will be passed-on to the consumer, as always.

    3. When health insurance costs go up for your employer, do you really think they will take it out of your wages? Or might they not shop around…
    Maybe, but the likely outcome is usually pretty much the same in terms of cost – take it from me… been down that road many times over the last 30 years.

    4. Lastly, about the thresholds not being inflation-indexed…
    Her is where you are still waaay off base.
    First, if the notion of never indexing thresholds just seems to be an oversight to you, and will certainly be corrected, then kindly explain why the Alternative Minimum Tax has never been indexed in the over forty years it has been on the books. Unlikey? LMAO!
    Second, according to the SSA , the average annual individual income – for 2008 – was $41,335 – significantly higher that the 30k you used. And that figure does not include spouses. But perhaps more telling, scroll down the SSA index you will notice that individual incomes increase by approximately 60% every 10 years. This means that a 25 year old individual in the work force today making an average wage, will be making approximately 275k by the time they are 65 – more than enough to trip the threshold. And, again, this is for an individual only, and does not factor in a spouse.

  38. I’m sure you all remember when nancy pelosi suggested we all sit tight and we’d be able to find out what was in the bill once it was passed?

    To that end, Rep. Kevin Brady set his staff to work on an in-depth exploration and issued a report on July 28. Among other things, they found that

    “…the health system is complex, yes, but also ornate. The new law creates 68 grant programs, 47 bureaucratic entities, 29 demonstration or pilot programs, six regulatory systems, six compliance standards and two entitlements.

    Getting that massive enterprise up and running will be next to impossible. So Democrats streamlined the process by granting Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius the authority to make judgments that can’t be challenged either administratively or through the courts.”

    LC likes specifics so details about this report can be found by googling Rep Kevin Brady.

    How many times do we have to witness a federal system getting tied into knots before we realize what a mistake it is for gov’t to insinuate itself into the private sector.

    Our tax dollars will pay for all the thngs and much more before it’s over, to say nothing of the fact that it just depersonalizes the health care system. Good luck to your friend with the heart issues LC when he encounters the demon bureacracy with his claims.

  39. About those wonderful utopian European health care systems, did you all read the paper this morning about the Swedish patient who got so tired of waiting to be seen in the ER that he just sewed up his own wound?

    Now he’s in trouble with the law for using government medical supplies without permission!

    I’m so excited about what we have to look forward to, aren’t you?

  40. LuckyCharm says:

    sozo, I found nothing of the sort on Brady’s website. What I did find, right in the first sentence, was the statement, “the new bill is still a government takeover of health care.” Immediately I could see that what followed would be all lies, because the gov’t has not and will not take over the healthcare industry. The reform law is all about regulating INSURANCE COMPANIES, not controlling healthcare delivery. (Hint: if you want to point people to something specific, URLs are your friend. Not everybody uses the same search engine.)

    Neither could I find anything from Brady about all those scary numbers you cite, such as what those agencies and programs are for. That really doesn’t matter to people like you, though — it’s the numbers themselves that are scary. “The bill is 2,000 pages long! There are 68 new grants! Make it 3 pages and then maybe we’ll like it!” No substance, just fear of numbers. I wonder if that phobia will be included in the basic mental health package under the new law.

    Also, the “demon bureacracy” [sic] you refer to is a private insurance company. I can hardly wait for them to tell him that his care occurred “out of network” or that airlift services aren’t covered or that the attending surgeon wasn’t on their approved list or something, and he’ll be stuck with the whole monstrous bill. Yee-haw, good times!

    And no, I couldn’t find the story about the Swedish patient, even though I searched the TNT website for both “Sweden” and “Swedish” (links are your friend!). But even if it’s true, it doesn’t apply at all to our health care reform law, because medical supplies will not be government property. Only in military and VA medical centers could that happen — you know, those evil, socialistic, liberty-squelching, baby-killing, horror chambers. Remember the hue & cry that went up from veterans when it was rumored that the VA might start asking vets to use private insurance? Yeah, but they’re all just people who never learned personal responsibility and have become inured to sucking off the gov’t teat, right? Let ‘em all go hold up signs on the street corners if they can’t afford private healthcare, like everybody else!

  41. Get back to me on how government won’t be in charge of our health care if this thing actually gets put into practice. I’m willling to wait and see, though I hope something happens to get it jettisoned before we have a chance to find out how it works (or doesn’t work).

  42. What? No comments on the message Missourians sent to President Obama and his crew yesterday?

  43. LuckyCharm says:

    You talking about the move to illegitimize the health care reform? Fine, I say — then don’t let any of their ERs write off uncompensated ER care, and maybe pull their Medicaid funding too, if they’re so self-sufficient. Let the rest of us have it.

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