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HEALTH CARE: Suspend congressional coverage

Letter by Jeff Hibbard, Tacoma on Nov. 30, 2010 at 11:51 am with 53 Comments »
December 1, 2010 9:06 am

Over the last decade my wife and I have paid upwards of $75,000 in health care premiums without once reaching our annual deductible. Recently, our provider notified us that due to rising costs they must raise our premiums by 25 percent and our deductible by nearly 40 percent. That’s insane.

Now, tea partiers and Republicans in Congress have vowed to repeal new health care legislation, while they also enjoy taxpayer-funded health coverage.

I suggest that repeal of health care should also void government-provided coverage for members of Congress and withhold it until they figure out to get us the same coverage that they receive.

Providing taxpayer-funded health coverage to a group of people who are making it hard for us to get affordable coverage is absurd.

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Leave a comment Comments → 53
  1. drxtreme says:

    100% AGREED!!!!

  2. It’s surprising more people are not demanding this from our “leaders”

  3. I agree with you too. They obviously need an incentive and making them pay for their own health care might help them a little.

  4. I’ve been paying double digit increases each year for over 4 years. This year I’ll pay over $20,000 out of pocket for insurance, deductible and co-pays.

    Next year will be the first time in four years that I will not see an increase in premiums, co-pays and deductibles. Part of the reason is the federal money in the new health care package given to companies that offer retirement health coverage.

    Anyhow, I can’t blame national care since it didn’t exist before the middle of this year. Plus it looks like I benefit next year from the Obama health care package.

    Unfortunately, the bottom line is that as you get older the more likely it is you are going to use expensive health care, cancer treatment, heart surgery, joint replacement and so on.

    Look at the cost of cancer drugs and you can see why health care is so expensive.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2006-07-10-cancer-costs_x.htm

  5. JudasEscargot says:

    Great Letter, Senor Hibbard!

    If the citizens don’t get it, the elected officials shouldn’t.

    The compromise on The Affordable Health Care Act served only the insurance companies and our Democratic representation were protecting their jobs – a lot of good that did, as the ones who sided the most with the insurance companies got bit the worst at election time.

    The GOP and TEA are crowing about repeal and Obama’s loss in popularity polls, but they still don’t understand that many who seek repeal want single payer and not the left overs. Obama hosed himself by being a nice guy.

  6. This, my friends, is called indirect taxation.
    The money travels in a circle from you to congress to subjectively selected university R & D grants to big Pharma to detail distributors to the Stock Market and back through the lobbyists to congress promising special tax advantages in return for earmark bill-attachments as promises for re-election slogans.
    And then you have the rising co-pay (tax) and the rising deductible (tax) and the rising price of the treatment or drug (R&D tax).
    But we’re not gonna raise “Taxes” on anyone makin under (insert sliding # here).

    Obamakare

  7. old_benjamin says:

    You were warned that Obamacare would raise the cost of health care insurance. Did you listen or did you just go ahead and vote Patty and the Democrats back in?

  8. ItalianSpring says:

    ROFL. You libs are hilarious. Obomba is the best you’ve ever had.

  9. sumner402 says:

    Health care more than any other issue clearly illustrates the rights hypocrisy and it’s absolute, stead fast refusal to do anything that helps the middle class and the poor in this country.

    Those that can not see it are the same that blindly vote the R.

  10. First_Lefty says:

    “old_benjamin says:
    November 30, 2010 at 4:54 pm
    You were warned that Obamacare would raise the cost of health care insurance. Did you listen or did you just go ahead and vote Patty and the Democrats back in? “

    Pay attention, OB. The letter writer is talking about 10 years of business with an insurance provider. Obama has only been in office a little less than 2 years.

    What is your excuse for the other 8 years of increases that Mr. Hibbard and his mate have absorbed – along with the rest of us and our employers.

    You are so blinded by the rhetoric, that you can’t see the reality.

  11. Most of you seem to be completely missing the point. Has health care been in an unregulated, free market for the last ten years?

    No. No, it has not.

    Once Obamacare gets passed, Mr. Hibbard’s premiums increase even more than usual.

    Just maybe, increased regulation, taxes and “mandates” are ineffective and counterproductive in controlling costs.

    Think on that, if your ideology will let you.

  12. The Republicans were able to convince the electorate that the public option was socialism or worse. The final bill is a gift to the insurance industry. If it was not a gift, the Republicans would not have passed it. The insurance companies are allowed to charge premiums to reflect the new risks and mandates. The insurance companies must pay out a whooping 80% of the premiums costs for benefits. Where does the other 20% go?

    As to the plan the members of Congress get, most of them and federal employees and retirees opt for the basic Blue Cross 105 plan. The 2010 premium total between the employer/government share and the employee share are $1,215.72 per month. There is ample drug coverage. There are reasonable deductibles. There are no unreasonable lifetime or annual caps. The insurance premiums over the period from 2008 to 2011 rose 37.2%.

    So, to those of you that did not want to have a public option, to basically join a plan such as the Blue Cross/Blue Shield 105 plan don’t complain. You’re getting what the Republican Party wanted you to get. It will be a profit generator for the insurance companies.

    Slightly off topic, but, what would the consequences be if health care was not run by insurance companies? What would the cost of American made products and services be, if health insurance was not factored into the cost of American made products? At no time during the health care debate was this ever discussed. All that was espoused was ‘socialism.’

    It is interesting that those with health insurance, even with rising costs, are quick to deny health care to the middle class. The poor have medicaid. The elderly and disabled have medicare. The rich can afford it. Corporate and government employees are covered. Veterans have VA hospitals and clinics. The rest just pray they do not get sick.

  13. A321196:

    How many Republicans voted for the final bill?

    In what way can it be said that Republicans are in any way responsible for the passage of the bill? To attempt to paint the Republicans as bearing sole responsibility for this bill and ignore the Democratic party’s influence is dishonest. Senator Baucus alone received over $2M in “contributions” from the health care insurance industry. He is a Democrat.

    During the period prior to passage of the bill it was reported in the Washington Post that there were 32,000 health-care industry lobbyists in Washington, DC. Do you really expect us to believe that they only talked to Republicans, the party that was outnumbered over 2 to 1 in Congress?

    You are asking some of the right questions in the rest of your post, though. It’s a pity Congress did not debate those questions prior to the bill’s passage.

  14. sumner402 says:

    Great post A321196!
    The republicans did everything they could to screw the HCR bill up, lies, misinformation more lies and their usual fear mongering. Not to mention the tea whiners being used by the GOP to stir up even more lies and to deliver the message for the GOP.

    The bottom line on this and every issue is the GOP will stop at nothing to bring down the Obama administration, and by nothing I mean nothing.
    They will and have done great harm to the people of the nation and the country itself in their thirst for power.
    They are now using the last round of rate increases to further fool the lemmings into thinking the HCR ’caused’ their rates to go up and they are just stupid and brain washed enough to swallow it.
    It make one wonder what they do or say next, how low will they go and how much damage will be too much even for their brain dead followers?

    “Think on that, if your ideology will let you.”

  15. A321196 says:

    The final bill is what the Republicans in the Senate would vote for. It has no public option and the contents of the bill are nothing more than extending basic benefits to all policy holders. If you check the federal plans, you’ll see the bill reflects the content of the federal plans. Again, it is a case of “I got mine, you can’t have anything of mine.” It was interesting to see how so many politicians think it is too expensive to allow the citizens to have similar health care.

  16. Flanagan says:

    How bout let’s all stop buying health insurance…congress mandated that they must cover all with preexisting condidtions…wait til you need it and buy it. Course that might just put all the companies out of business, but what the heck, that might also be a good thing. When people expect insurance to cover birthcontrol pills, viagra, support stockings and an ordidnary office call, along with end of life procedures that cost a fortune and add very little quality and only a short more time to life, we are all in trouble.

  17. Roncella says:

    Sumner, The Republicans had no input in the ObamaCare Bankrupt Bill.

    The Dems. and Obama created and passed the bill without any Republican involvement or Votes.

    sumner, as for being Brain Dead, Anyone who can have much respect and admiration, and agreement with the likes of Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Al Franklin, so many other Dems. is as you stated Really Brain Dead.

  18. sumner402 says:

    Roncella, your first two sentences are outright lies and even you know it.

    You do make me laugh with your talking points not because they are far fetched and ludicrous but because you really do think they have merit.
    Your constant listing of names, your spoon fed ‘enemies list’ brings a smile to my face 30 times a day with every post you make.

    Can you at least one time post something original, something that has an actual thought behind it…..please….just I know you are in fact a real person.

  19. Roncella says:

    A321196, How about you and all the Liberals and Progressives, and Statists, open your wallets and purses and give to those less fortunate, especially at this time of the year.

    Don’t force everyone to pay for all the free services and all the other Government programs you want paid for, its easy you just need to write a check each month to the Federal Government to help pay for all these services.

    Think about re-locating to Countries like France, or Greece where the Government pays for almost everything that would make you very happy.

  20. First_Lefty says:

    “Roncella says:
    December 1, 2010 at 8:27 am
    A321196, How about you and all the Liberals and Progressives, and Statists, open your wallets and purses and give to those less fortunate, especially at this time of the year. ”

    We already do. I’ll match my charitable giving with you anyday, Roncella. Let’s meet for coffee and pull out the IRS forms. Here’s a warning to you. I serve on the Board of Directors for a non-profit and raised money as Development Director for another for over 3 years.

    You talk, I walk.

  21. First_Lefty says:

    “Think about re-locating to Countries like France, or Greece where the Government pays for almost everything that would make you very happy.”

    Wrong again. The people pay via taxation so that all can enjoy good health, not just those lucky enough to have been born by the right family.

    That same system is what is kicking the American Auto Maker’s keester. They compete against manufacturers that don’t have to pay incredible health care benefits for their employees.

  22. ratujack says:

    Roncella …great comments.

  23. ratujack says:

    Jeff Hibbard……..I agree with you 100%

  24. First_Lefty says:

    “During the period prior to passage of the bill it was reported in the Washington Post that there were 32,000 health-care industry lobbyists in Washington, DC. Do you really expect us to believe that they only talked to Republicans, the party that was outnumbered over 2 to 1 in Congress?”

    Let’s take this in pieces.

    1. 32,000 lobbyists????? What does that tell you about the industry? They are making money and taking it to the bank in wheelbarrows, all because people get sick and injured. Vultures have a better reputation. So do used car salespeople.

    2. Nope, they spoke with Democrats – known as Blue Dogs. Their reward for going against their party? 2/3 of them were voted out of office. NIce move, huh?

  25. ratujack says:

    First_lefty………….being born into the right family means being elected to congress. …….or going to work for GOVERNMENT where you can steal from the taxpayers by voting in your salary and benefits etc.. Check the salaries of all those in the City Managers office. More than just Anderson. Educate yourself about your local gov……………the over bloted City Managers regime. GET BUSY AND REPORT BACK TO US.

  26. First_Lefty says:

    ratujack:

    This is not about the City of Tacoma, it’s about the Federal government – in particular the Congress, who enjoy nice health care benefits, but begrudge the citizens of the same

    Read the man’s letter.

    You are barking up the wrong tree.

  27. First_Lefty says:

    ratujack:

    Try decaf.

  28. old_benjamin says:

    “Recently, our provider notified us that due to rising costs they must raise our premiums by 25 percent and our deductible by nearly 40 percent.”

    “‘Recently'” doesn’t mean over the past ten years. Recently what happened was that Obamacare was passed.

    See if you can get that past YOUR ideological filters, Lefty.

  29. First_Lefty says:

    Try the ENTIRE paragraph for CONTEXT, OB:

    “Over the last decade my wife and I have paid upwards of $75,000 in health care premiums without once reaching our annual deductible. Recently, our provider notified us that due to rising costs they must raise our premiums by 25 percent and our deductible by nearly 40 percent. That’s insane.”

    Your ideology filtered out the first sentence, which is amazing because Conservatives rarely read past four words.

  30. First_Lefty says:

    Oh wait….I get it. You think that their insurance only increased when Obama took office and that from 2000 to 2009 the premiums never increased.

    You know that big bridge on the west side of Tacoma? I can sell you that bridge and you’ll make a ton of money. There are already ticket sellers in place.

  31. sumner402 says:

    “‘Recently'” doesn’t mean over the past ten years. Recently what happened was that Obamacare was passed.

    OK then, what caused the double digit rise the previous 9 years?
    Can you show the actual language in the HCR bill that brought about this rise in cost?
    Cause and effect, without you’ve got roncella like talking points.

  32. chris3dog says:

    Did the rightwing cheerleaders that are patting each other on the back, all fall off of the same turnip truck?

  33. jiminycricket says:

    Right on, Jeff! We all know of the “do as I say, not as I do” mentality that exist in government. Until we hold Congress accountable, they’ll continue to write checks that we cannot afford to cash. Even if it means bestowing healthcare coverage on themselves that they will not afford the rest of us.

  34. It’s really interesting so many of the comments always make health care a liberal v conservative issue. Again, this bill deals with the health and well being of the middle class under insured or those lacking any health care insurance. I dare any of you to go up to your neighbor and chastise him or her for having an employer that does not provide any insurance. God, help you if you lose your job and you or your dependents get seriously ill. You’ll be in the same boat as those that do not have health insurance now. The only issue that seems to be somewhat valid is whether or not the government can require all citizens to buy insurance. The federal health plans’ premiums reflect the fact that younger employees are covering the older employees, who may have more health issues. Males are covering female, who may become pregnant.

    Does your home mortgage lender not require you to have hazard insurance as a condition of the loan? Do you pay in for thirty plus years like me without a claim? Do you want your house to burn down? Do you want to get sick?

    Does your lender require auto insurance to as a condition of the loan? Do you want to get in an accident so you can collect? Do you want to get ill?

    I have to buy uninsured motorist protection in case somebody without insurance hits my vehicle, which has happened. Maybe, just maybe Congress should require health care providers to state on your bill and health insurance premiums how much you are paying to subsidize the uninsured who bet they will not get ill. Just maybe you would not be so opposed requiring health insurance. Yes, you and I can continue to subsidize freeloaders when it comes to health care. The alternative is to provide routine health care to reduce the costs of chronic conditions that develop for lack thereof.

    Let’s hope you do not lose your health care. BTW, I and my spouse have ours. We are covered through an employer/retiree plans, both veterans entitled to care, and, in a few years will be paying medicare premiums. And, I am willing to shoulder some of the costs through taxes to provide the same basic benefits to my neighbor.

  35. old_benjamin says:

    What I think is what Jeff said, that his pemiums “recently increased by 25 percent.” He didn’t say his premiums increased over the past ten years, though they may have. My premiums increased by 42 percent over last year. That I attribute to Obamacare, regardless of how you lefties try to spin Jeff’s letter. Sell your bridge and your BS somewhere else.

  36. ob

    1998 10%
    1999 11%
    2000 11% deductible 0.00
    2001 12% deductible 500.00
    2002 28% deductible 500.00
    2003 23% deductible 500.00
    2004 27% deductible 500.00
    2006 33% deductible 1000.00
    2007 22% deductible 750.00
    2008 24% deductible 750.00
    2009 22% deductible 750.00
    2010 23% deductible 750.00

    I will attribute these increases to whom??? I think the insurance companies
    each year the coverage changes so you can say all you want but the insurance companies are controlling these increases, not the HCP so I think you need to go and buy that bridge By the way these figures are correct

  37. fbergford says:

    Wasn’t Obamacare suppose to force the 30 million people who are uninsured?

  38. old_benjamin says:

    Omm, when you get double the increase you’ve been getting over the past eight years, you might suspect something is at work other than normal corporate greed. Ask yourself why 111 corporations have gotten waivers on Obamacare. It ain’t because the cost of the coverage they offer under Obamacare is going down.

  39. I spring -The progressives get to claim both Teddy Roosevelt and Ike since the conservatives have written both off as RINOs

  40. sumner402 says:

    My premiums increased by 42 percent over last year. That I attribute to Obamacare,

    Of course you do, fox propaganda told you to. Now, what does fox tell you caused your rates to go up the previous 9 years?

  41. A321196 says:

    I checked my increase for 2011 over 2010. The increase is 7.6% which is the smallest increase in the last decade. If somebody has a 42% increase I suspect it is due to the new law requiring certain requirements that are already reflected in the Blue Cross/Blue Shield basic option (105) plans. Maybe one needs to review the policy from one year to another to find out the limits and exclusions. My increases in premiums were 13.4% (2009), 12.4% (2010) and 7.6% (2011). Also under the basic plan the family enrollment is without a limit on dependents. The same premium will insure two to infinity. The requirement to be insured does not occur until later years. So, yes the premiums are going up because the coverage and restrictions are changing. Of course, you will be prone to complain if persons with pre-existing conditions are now eligible to be covered and cannot be denied. Of course, if you had a pre-existing condition you wouldn’t qualify for coverage. I would recommend everybody check your coverage under the old plan with the new plan. You may be surprised how health insurance insecure you actually were. Face it, the insurance companies are in it to make a profit. No matter what the law requires or an employer wants to cover, the insurance company will price it to make money.

  42. old_benjamin says:

    Samener, I’m sure you must have heard that ad hominems don’t substitute for argument. That’s all you’ve got though, isn’t it. Poor thing.

  43. beerBoy says:

    Poor thing

    Condescending ad hominem.

  44. beerBoy says:

    Samener

    Screen name modification ad hominem.

  45. sumner402 says:

    Samener, I’m sure you must have heard that ad hominems don’t substitute for argument. That’s all you’ve got though, isn’t it. Poor thing.

    Too many ad hominems (sic) in that one post to count!
    LOL!!
    Sozo owns the hypocrite label here ben, don’t try and horn into her gig.
    And stealing valmaks childish name changing….weak.

  46. old_benjamin says:

    “One of the largest union-administered health-insurance funds in New York is dropping coverage for the children of more than 30,000 low-wage home attendants, union officials said. The union blamed financial problems it said were caused by the state’s health department and new national health-insurance requirements.”

    http://www.newmediajournal.us/fifth_column/1129.htm

    Seems the union that yelled the loudest for Obama now can’t afford Obamacare. Stupidity will out.

  47. Roncella says:

    A321196 and others who drink too much Obama Koolaid.
    This is not brain surgery, You Cannot Cover another 30 to 40 million people, some with pre-existing conditions and not eventually have everyone currently covered not notice a surge in their premiums.

    Some one has to pay for this coverage. ObamaCare passes the cost for all the additional folks on to those of us who have to pay for our insurance coverage.

    Some of these increases will occur in a few years, but Insurance Companies and doctors and hospitals see whats coming and are reacting to the title wave of expenses about to bankrupt most of us.

    Aother simple fact that Obama and Dems. never discuss is the coming shortage of Doctors, nurses, Medical professionals in all areas of Medicine.

    My Heart Specialist is retiring early, my family doctor’s office is losing doctors remotely close to retirement age. Many doctors are already limiting Medicare Patients they are willing to accept.

    If the ObamaCare Plan is so Great then all the Dems. and Republs. currently serving in the Congress should automaticly be enrolled into it and their current plan (which is paid for by the taxpayers) be stopped immediately.

  48. A321196 says:

    Sometimes I just have to return to an old posting to see the latest comments. Roncella, et al continue to throw labels around when they are not applicable. I can assure you A321196 does not drink Koolaid- too much sugar and no nutrients. If you read my comments, you’ll notice I stated the costs of premiums had to go up to cover the new risks. If you’re insurance premiums are now going through the roof, it is probably the insurance company did not insure the sick and tossed off those that became sick. No difference than auto insurance and home owner insurance when you file too many claims. So, Rocella, instead of taking Koolaid shots, what do you want society to do to the uninsured middle class and the sick. Again, the poor are covered by medicaid. The disabled and elderly by medicare. Any suggestions! Let me hear it. Again, if you read my postings you’ll see I’m sitting pretty. I may expire from a disease or injury, but, I will not be expiring from lack of health insurance and health care. I am willing to extend that care o my fellow citizens.

  49. Roncella, Very Interesting. In 2008 there were 6 people in my office who had planned got retire in 2009. Four of the six are still working because the ‘private retirement’ accounts got wiped out by the Bush Crash. The other two were on the old company based retirement system and were able to retire.

  50. beerBoy says:

    I’m thinking that if all these doctors are going into early retirement they must have been making lots of money over the years. So much so that the, still, very high income they will be receiving under “Obamacare” will seem somehow onerous to them.

  51. beerBoy says:

    Over the last decade my wife and I have paid upwards of $75,000 in health care premiums without once reaching our annual deductible.

    That would mean your individual deductible would be somewhere around $3K to $4K a year each?

    And that’s great, that means you have had pretty good health for the past decade.

    If you aren’t satisfied with your provider – go shopping.

  52. Roncella says:

    A321196, We need a do over on the ObamaBankrupt healthcare plan.

    This time lets not do it behind closed doors wheeling and dealing to get enough votes to pass a new bill.

    There are somewhere between 30 or 40 million without decent healthcare coverage. Its not necessary to destroy everyone’s coverage that already have coverage and were satisfied with their coverage and their doctors.

    You and other liberals are always willing to take from tax paying, hard working sector of society and give their hard earned benefits away.

    Millions of the folks without any coverage are illegal Mexicans and others.
    We need to close our borders and stop the invasion or America will become no better than a third World Country.

  53. beerBoy says:

    Millions of the folks without any coverage are illegal Mexicans and others.
    We need to close our borders and stop the invasion or America will become no better than a third World Country.

    too late ron – America’s white population will stop being a majority (becoming a plurality) soon. The “Mexicans” and the Asians and the Blacks will be more than the Whites. And stopping illegal immigration won’t stop that. I bet that is scary for you.

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