Oh, and while we're at it, what percentage of the country does the vote against healthcare reform actually represent?
Oh, and while we're at it, what percentage of the country does the vote against healthcare reform actually represent?
one of the highest principles of America is that we're a nation of people from different backgrounds living in equal dignity and mutual loyalty - Eboo Patel.
The inflation rate actually fell last year, but the average price employers paid for a family health-insurance premium rose 5 percent. Wages rose 3.1 percent.
That continued a long-term trend, as increases in health-insurance costs have far outstripped inflation and wages for years, according to an annual report on employee health benefits released yesterday by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research & Educational Trust, an affiliate of the American Hospital Association.
Premium prices have risen 131 percent since 1999, compared with increases of 38 percent in wages and 28 percent in inflation, according to the report, based on a survey earlier this year of almost 3,200 U.S. companies with three or more employees. That does not take into account increases in other kinds of employee cost-sharing, such as deductibles and co-payments for medical care and drugs. Those also have gone up.
"It speaks to the pain level that people feel out in the real world," said Drew Altman, Kaiser's president and chief executive officer.
Such disproportionate increases have played a big role in the push for health-care reform and have transformed it into an "economic pocketbook issue," he said.
Responses to a separate telephone survey of 1,250 adults that was conducted in July showed slightly more people were worried about not being able to afford needed medical care than about paying their mortgages or losing their jobs.
The benefits survey found that the average cost of a family premium is now $13,375, with employers contributing $9,860 of that and employees $3,515. Individual policies now average $4,824, essentially unchanged from last year.
If the price of family insurance continues growing 6 percent a year, it would reach $24,180 in 10 years; Altman said an average of 8.7 percent was "very plausible." That scenario would put a family policy above $30,000 by 2019.
Increases likely were relatively modest last year because of the recession and the reform debate, Altman said. "I've never seen the industry raise its rates significantly in the face of pending national health-care legislation," he said.
A NYT article that anyone who has any interests in this debate must read.
Last edited by Titan76; 09-16-2009 at 12:07 PM.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller Interview
Here's a few questions and answers:
Can you support the Finance Committee bill in its current form?
There are a number of big things. The Children's Health Insurance Program is put into the exchange. That's like putting it into a farmer's market. It loses its defined benefits. And children need defined benefits.
Obviously the public option. I feel very strongly about that as a discipline on the private health insurance market. The public health insurance option doesn't have to make a dime. It doesn't have to make Wall Street happy or shareholders happy. It just has to sell a product at cost. That will put pressure on private insurance companies to bring down their premiums. What's the alternative? My staff has done extensive research on co-ops and everyone says they can't do health insurance. The best health care co-op exists in the state of Washington, and both of Washington's senators are adamantly for a public option. That ought to tell you something.
Another issue is that 46 percent of the American people have health insurance from fairly large companies that self-insure. And they're not included in the regulations. They have to have protection from preexisting conditions and lifetime caps and rescissions too. People hear that the regulations in the bill don't apply to these companies and they think it's not possible. But it's true. And it's almost half of the insurance market!
Another piece is the MedPAC proposal. if you really want to be honest about it, eight to 10 percent of the members of Congress understand health care. At maximum. I chaired the intelligence committee, and health care makes it look like riding on a tricycle it's so complicated. So what you have is lobbyists picking on congressmen who don't know health-care reform, and they say, you know what, you could get a lot more jobs in your state if you only put more money into oxygen or a certain medical device. If you're going to do Medicare right, understanding that the trust fund is going to go downhill in 2016, you can't have Congress making these decisions. You need professionals.
That's why I have well over 25 amendments ready for Tuesday.What's the mood in the Democratic Caucus like right now ?
There's very hot discussion. At the second-to-last meeting with Baucus, Democrats really let loose at Baucus. When you're getting close to the time you need to vote, public policy takes on a new type of intensity. Baucus, to his credit, had another meeting last night, and it was the best meeting we've ever had with the chairman. He told me they'd make sure CHIP is preserved. He knows he needs our votes. That's why I said I wouldn't vote for the bill. Democrats need leverage.What about Olympia Snowe?
I think the world of Olympia Snowe. She's got incredible courage, and the Republican leadership is brutal in the way they apply pressure. Much more so than the Democrats.
For example, when Clinton was elected president, and George Mitchell was majority leader, [Clinton] came to our Democratic Caucus, because he thought it would be nice to break bread with us. Mitchell told him he had to leave. They were part of different branches of government. And so Clinton and his Secret Service had to turn around and walk out. It was a historic moment. On the other side, there were very few caucuses that Dick Cheney didn't attend himself. That's why whether it's intelligence or environment or elsewhere, they bring the hammer down in a way Democrats aren't good at, which I'm sort of glad about.
Religious leaders seek healthcare for illegal immigrants
Calling access to healthcare a moral and spiritual imperative, Los Angeles faith leaders held a religious service and launched a phone bank Friday to urge congressional leaders to include illegal immigrants in any healthcare reform plan.
The question of whether illegal immigrants should have access to a government-sponsored health insurance marketplace has provoked heated debate and criticism of President Obama’s proposals from both the left and right. Obama’s position that his plans do not include illegal immigrants has been attacked as dishonest by some conservatives and as a betrayal by some liberals.
“If we were politicians, this would be definitely political suicide to come out for healthcare reform for those who are undocumented,” said Father Roland Lozano, pastor of Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church, known as La Placita, near Olvera Street. “But we’re doing it because we believe ... it’s what God wants us to do.”
Father Richard Estrada, who heads an immigrant services organization known as Jovenes Inc., said inclusion of all immigrants was consistent with biblical teachings that all people are children of God who must care for society’s most vulnerable.
And the Rev. Will Wauters, vicar of the Church of the Epiphany, an Episcopal church in Lincoln Heights, said inclusion of all immigrants would benefit the proposed health insurance marketplace by expanding it with those who numerous studies have shown are younger and healthier than native-born Americans.
According to a July 2009 study in the American Journal of Public Health, even immigrants with health insurance use less medical care than U.S.-born citizens and are less likely to suffer from arthritis, diabetes, coronary heart disease and other chronic health conditions.
GOP using economy to recruit followers to push back health care reform
WASHINGTON — Hello, fiery populism. Goodbye, fire and brimstone. One by one, before an annual gathering Friday of the religious right and other "values voters," conservative leaders blistered President Barack Obama's health care plan as socialism, warned of expanded government and derided bailouts of private industry as grossly unfair to taxpayers.
"Our trust remains in God, not government," said Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, who criticized an "ongoing effort of this administration and the liberal majority in Congress to take over our health care."
Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., predicted an "an avalanche of socialism" under Democrats and claimed they were "putting runaway federal spending on steroids."
And Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., declared, "We cannot let a crippling debt or an ever-expanding government stifle the American dream."
Republicans, and particularly the GOP's right, are harnessing anger by using age-old us-vs.-them appeals and embracing issues like the economy, health care and big government to counter Obama in hopes of finding a winning strategy after consecutive losses in national elections.
By doing so, the party may have found a broader context within which it can fit cultural, religious and social topics that keep hard-core GOP voters happy but sometimes turn off moderates and independents.
During George W. Bush's tenure, Republicans heavily promoted issues such as those dealing with God, gays and guns, and they got traction with religious conservatives. Speakers at gatherings like the Values Voters Summit, which got under way Friday, spent much of their time denouncing abortion, same-sex marriage and firearm restrictions.
But the narrow strategy had its limits because most Americans aren't single-issue voters.
These days, such issues aren't emphasized so much, though conservatives use the health care debate to fight abortion and government-mandated counseling in end-of-life decisions.
Enter the wider political opportunity created by a country that's going through an acrimonious period in which people's intense anger is motivated, perhaps, by fear of the economic recession, of the country's uncertain future, of a new president who doesn't look like others before him.
Reflecting the despair, 57 percent in a recent Associated Press-GfK poll said the country is heading in the wrong direction.
Despite evidence the recession is abating, many people aren't sensing the economy turning around because job losses continue. Skeptical of both the public and private sectors, they are infuriated by government bailouts of the automotive, insurance and banking industries. At a time of huge budget deficits, they also have sticker shock over the president's pursuit of health care and energy overhauls.
And, even though the nation elected Obama, many people still aren't comfortable with the president who is biracial, who has a foreign-sounding name and who is trying to bring sweeping change to a country that instinctively cringes from it.
The anger has reached a boiling point. Consider Rep. Joe Wilson's shout of "You lie!" as the president addressed Congress, the tens of thousands who marched on Washington to protest Obama policies and the hostile questioning of lawmakers during health care events.
It's under such conditions that populist arguments tend to resonate because they tug at a universal belief among Americans that government should be working for the people in a democracy.
Since the 1800s, populism has been a powerful political weapon — particularly for out-of-power movements — during periods when the public, correctly or not, believes the elites are taking away that ideal.
"There's always a suspicion of the concentration of power out there, and the question is who can mobilize that fear best politically," said Michael Kazin of Georgetown University, who wrote "The Populist Persuasion: An American History."
Democrats generally, and the left in particular, did it in 2006 and 2008, embracing the public's anger over Bush's policies in Iraq, his handling of Hurricane Katrina and the economic collapse. These days, Republicans, and the right specifically, are wielding the power of populist arguments.
Three health care bills that I have found. Each bill has two links, the first goes to thomas.gov and the other to wikipedia.
America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009
The Healthy Americans Act
United States National Health Care Act
McKinsey did a report back in 2007 that looked at the reasons healthcare is more expensive in the US than in other developed countries.
Some points: Doctors in the US are paid $56 billion a year more than they would if medical wages were the same multiple of the average wage as in the rest of the developed world. That's net income AFTER expenses such as malpractice insurance are deducted.
Doctors who are investors in medical testing companies prescribe up to 8 (!) times as many tests as other US doctors.
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Republican Health care bills(Note-If any of the bills has a star in front of it, its because its more then one page long):Rep. Tom Price, the Georgia Republican who heads the House GOP Study Committee, came to President Obama’s Sept. 9 speech to a joint session of Congress itching to make a point. Price, who also happens to be an orthopedic surgeon, has often heard the president accuse Republicans of criticizing Democratic healthcare proposals while having no plans of their own. He expected Obama to do the same Wednesday night.
“We knew the president would at some point say something like, ‘And the other side has no ideas,’” Price says. So Price and his Republican colleagues brought with them copies of the more than 30 healthcare-reform bills they have proposed in the House this year.
Obama didn’t directly accuse Republicans of not having a plan. But he did say he would welcome “serious” healthcare proposals. “My door is always open,” Obama said.
That’s when Price held up the sheaf of papers he was carrying — a copy of HR 3400, the Empowering Patients First Act, which Price and the Republican Study Committee proposed in July. Other GOP lawmakers held up their own bills. Some raised a list of all the healthcare bills — there are more than 30 — proposed by members of the Study Committee.
Why use the props? “To say in a quiet and respectful way, ‘Here are our ideas,’ “ Price says. “To say to the president, ‘You’re not being honest with the American people when you say that there haven’t been ideas put forward, and that you’ve listened to them, because you haven’t.’”
The small Republican protest got a bit of coverage, although it was overshadowed by the hubbub over GOP Rep. Joe Wilson’s “You lie!” outburst during the president’s speech. But the larger problem remains. Republicans have authored a number of healthcare bills — serious legislation addressing portability, pre-existing conditions, cost and other issues that trouble American consumers — and hardly anyone has noticed.
Republicans don’t really blame Nancy Pelosi. The speaker is as partisan a Democrat as they come, and no one is surprised that she has used her power to stifle Republican efforts.
But they do blame the Obama administration. “The White House, in spite of saying they look forward to meeting with anyone who wants to solve these challenges, has rebuffed us at every turn,” Price says.
They also blame the media. Somewhere in this extended healthcare debate, Republicans believe, reporters might have noticed that there are real, substantive GOP proposals out there. So far, though, it hasn’t happened.
As this is written, a search of the LexisNexis database of newspapers, magazines, television programs and major blogs finds about 3,000 mentions of the major House Democratic bill, HR 3200, in the past six months. (Those are just the stories that refer to the bill by its House number; there have been thousands more stories referring generally to the Democratic legislation.) A similar search found 60 mentions of HR 3400, the Price bill.
HR 77-Health Care Incentive Act
HR 109-America's Affordable Health Care Act of 2009
HR 198-Health Care Tax Deduction Act of 2009
HR 270-TRICARE Continuity of Coverage for National Guard and Reserve Families Act of 2009
I don't think HR 270 is a health care bill.
HR 321-SCHIP Plus Act of 2009
*HR 464-More Children, More Choices Act of 2009
HR 502-Health Care Freedom of Choice Act
HR 544-Flexible Health Savings Act of 2009
HR 917-To increase the health benefits of dependents of members of the Armed Forces who die because of a combat-related injury
*HR 1086-Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act of 2009
HR 1118-Health Care Choices for Seniors Act
HR 1441-Ryan Dant Health Care Opportunity Act of 2009
HR 1458-Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act of 2009
HR 1468-Medical Justice Act of 2009
HR 1658-Veterans Healthcare Commitment Act of 2009
HR 1891-Sunset of Life Protection Act of 2009
*HR 2520-Patients' Choice Act
*HR 2607-To amend title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to improve access and choice for entrepreneurs with small businesses with respect to medical care for their employees
HR 2692-CAH Designation Waiver Authority Act of 2009
HR 2784-Partnership to Improve Seniors Access to Medicare Act
HR 2785-Health Care Paperwork Reduction and Fraud Prevention Act of 2009
HR 2786-Patient Fairness and Indigent Care Promotion Act of 2009
HR 2787-Medical Liability Procedural Reform Act of 2009
HR 3141-Strengthening the Health Care Safety Net Act of 2009
*HR 3217-Health Care Choice Act of 2009
*HR 3218-Improving Health Care for All Americans Act
HR 3356-Medicare Beneficiary Freedom to Choose Act of 2009
HR 3372-Health Care OverUse Reform Today Act (HealthCOURT Act) of 2009
*HR 3400-Empowering Patients First Act
HR 3438-Access to Insurance for all Americans Act
HR 3454-Medicare Hospice Reform and Savings Act of 2009
*HR 3478-Patient-Controlled Healthcare Protection Act of 2009
I found this one as I was getting links to the other bills. The bill was introduce by Congressman (D)Mike Ross.
HR 3108-Medication Therapy Management Benefits Act of 2009
Edit: The stupid site keeps the page up for so long until it expires, for things like updates, so I can't link each bill. There's a link on top of the first bill that will take you to the site to look at each bill. Just type in HR ___(whatever number it is) in the search box and it will give you a link to click on to the bill you are looking for.
Last edited by Titan76; 09-19-2009 at 10:53 AM.
What about the doctors, won't anybody think about the doctors.
Oh yeah, I have a poll of doctors.
So a super majority of doctors favor a public option or something stronger.
Flying is the second greatest thrill. Landing is the first.
So it seems there are some Republicans in the House who are at least trying to help reform health-care but are not being heard. Since the Democratics have such a huge majority in the House I can see why this is happening, but I think the Democratics should hear them out because they may have good ideas.
Then Senate Republicans on the other hand.....:rolleyes: