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Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege

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Author Topic: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege  (Read 1271 times)
Qoais
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« Reply #90 on: July 25, 2009, 10:01:28 am »

People there that are spooked should do a little research instead of listening to all the big mouths who lead them around like sheep. 

Years and years ago, the province of Saskatchewan was the first province to instigate health care.  The doctors all banded together and said find, if you bring in health care, we'll all leave the province.  They did.  (A few stayed and really worked with the new system).  Actually, there was a documentary about it not long ago, and one of the doctor's that stayed was interviewed.  Anyway, most of the doctors left, and guess what the province did?  Ran ads in other countries for doctors.  This allowed doctors with excellent qualifications to emmigrate here, it gave the people doctors that were super qualified, and it most of all, it allowed everyone to have affordable health care.  Now, the doctors that left, wanted to come back when they saw how well the imported doctors were doing under the new system.  Let me assure you, our doctors are still doing just fine and driving Beamers!!
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An open-minded view of the past allows for an unprejudiced glimpse into the future.

Logic rules.

"Intellectual brilliance is no guarantee against being dead wrong."
Jessica Hamler
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« Reply #91 on: July 26, 2009, 04:02:08 am »

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senator from New York
Posted: July 23, 2009 02:38 PM

Help Me Fight for a Public Option

There is a historic effort underway in Washington right now to finally address the health care crisis in this country, and I need your help.

As I've written over at DailyKos and as I told Howard Dean last week, I believe that a robust not-for-profit public option must be a part of the health care reform package Congress passes this year. I feel that opening up a Medicare For All type system to everyone would lower costs and increase efficiency by injecting some much needed competition into the market.

I was very pleased to see the Senate HELP committee pass a bill out of committee last week that included a public option, and I assure you, I am going to do everything in my power to ensure that a public option remains in the final bill. I feel that not only must the public option be national and accountable to Congress, but it must be made available to all Americans right away. We've kicked health care reform down the road for far too long already. As others have said -- I think rightly -- a public option has already been triggered.

As you know, we are at a critical time in the health care reform debate, which means we must keep the pressure on. That's where you come in. The online community has done so much already -- and trust me, those of us fighting for real reform feel encouraged by your advocacy and those who are opposed to it are feeling the pressure. Will you help me keep the pressure on? Please join me in advocating for a public option by signing my petition today. I truly believe that health care is a right, not a privilege, and that the time for real reform -- including a public option -- is now. As the President said last night, the status quo is not an option and with you by my side, I intend to continue to fight for the real reform that Americans deserve.

Thanks for all your hard work.
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Jessica Hamler
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« Reply #92 on: July 26, 2009, 04:03:59 am »

I really like the Canadian system, Qoais.  I actually looked into moving there, but they have a waiting list to accept Americans from south of the border!  That sounds familiar.
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Qoais
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« Reply #93 on: July 27, 2009, 12:33:12 am »

We do?  Interesting.  Perhaps you should move to India first and try from there Roll Eyes
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An open-minded view of the past allows for an unprejudiced glimpse into the future.

Logic rules.

"Intellectual brilliance is no guarantee against being dead wrong."
Spirit of Vengeance
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« Reply #94 on: July 27, 2009, 01:09:41 pm »

I would think that the culture shock from America to Canada is not quite the same as that from America to India, which is very poor, has lots of terrorist violence and still a third world nation.   Sad
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Spirit of Vengeance
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« Reply #95 on: July 27, 2009, 01:10:11 pm »

HORROR STORIES
Woman Refused Breast Cancer Surgery Because She Had Acne... Man's Policy Rescinded Because He Was Inaccurately Weighed



The Baseline Scenario
What happened to the global economy and what we can do about it
Health Insurance “Innovation”
with 61 comments
The This American Life crew, once again proving that they can cover any topic they want better than anyone else in the media,* has a segment in this weekend’s episode on rescission of health insurance policies – insurers’ established practice of looking for ways to invalidate policies once it turns out that the insured actually needs significant medical care. (The segment is around the 30-minute mark; audio should be available on that page sometime on Monday.) The story describes a couple of particularly egregious cases, such as a woman who was denied breast cancer surgery because she had been treated for acne in the past, and a person whose policy was rescinded because his insurance agent had incorrectly entered his weight on the application form.
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Spirit of Vengeance
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« Reply #96 on: July 27, 2009, 01:11:10 pm »


The legal basis for rescission is that when you sign an insurance application, you are warranting that the information on the application is true; if it turns out not to be true, the insurer can get out of your insurance contract. It’s particularly nasty in practice because the insurer does not immediately investigate your application to determine if it is accurate before selling you the policy (that would be impractically expensive); instead, the insurer waits – years, in many cases – until you actually need expensive health care, and then does the investigation, which at that point is worth it because of the payments the insurer could potentially avoid. Also, you can lose your coverage for innocent mistakes, which are easy to make since the application form asks you if you have ever seen a doctor for any one of a long list of medical conditions that you are certain not to recognize or understand. (In a Congressional hearing, the CEO of a health insurer admitted that he did not know what several of the conditions listed on his company’s application were.)
This reminded me of nothing so much as all of those “innovations” created by credit card companies, such as universal default, penalty rates, and double-cycle billing, which are really just ways to generate fees that you are unlikely to accurately estimate at the time you sign up for the card. It’s legal; it makes more money for the insurer (or credit card issuer); once one company does it, other companies have to, or they won’t be able to compete; it’s disclosed in such a way that customers don’t understand what they are getting into; it nails you when can least afford it; and it even has a plausible economic justification. Credit card issuers claim that their arsenal of hidden fees makes the cost of credit more closely reflect the riskiness of the borrower, and without the fees they would have to charge higher interest to everyone; health insurers claim that rescission is necessary to deter fraudulent applications, and presumably without it they would have to charge higher premiums to everyone.
Also, it’s definitely an innovation. I’m sure health insurers have always had fraud investigation units, which looked for red flags on new insurance applications to identify suspicious customers. But the idea that you should (a) target customers precisely because they get sick and need health care and (b) go after them for innocent mistakes is not an inherent part of the insurance business, and is something that some clever person came up with as a way to make more money – not a way to provide more coverage or better service to customers at lower cost.
And it’s terrible. Basically, anyone who had to fill out a medical underwriting application to get health insurance (this is basically the individual market, not the group market that people are in if they get insurance through their employers) is at risk of finding out that that insurance doesn’t actually exist precisely when he or she needs it most. The insurers claim that rescission is very rare; at the Congressional hearing, two of three industry representatives said it happens to less than 0.5% of policies per year. But that is a deeply misleading number. That means that if you are in the individual market for twenty years, you have a 10% chance of your policy being rescinded; 30 years, and it goes up to 14%. There is a big difference between health insurance and a 90% chance of having health insurance. And remember, insurers only try to rescind policies if you turn out to need them; so the percentage of people who lose their policies when they need them is even higher. (The denominator should exclude all those people who never need expensive medical care, at least not before 65 when they go onto the single-payer system.)
I know that rescission does not logically prove that some private health insurance system cannot work. For one thing, Congress could simply pass a law banning the practice except in cases of intentional misrepresentation (although the free marketers would complain about increasing government interference in the “free market”). But it is evidence that the private health insurance system we have does not work. Yes, it’s just the individual market, but it’s the individual market that’s growing, not the employer-based market. And the system we’ve got, like the credit card industry, is one where the name of the game is finding ways to make the product you sell worth less to the customer than the customer thinks it is worth. (The more common way this is done is by burying exclusions and limits in the fine print.)
This is the system that the politicians who are dug in against health care reform – and everyone knows who they are – are defending. I’d like to see them try to defend it openly, instead of hiding behind the tattered banner of fiscal responsibility.
* OK, that may be a bit of an exaggeration. I am really a huge fan, so I get carried away sometimes.

 http://baselinescenario.com/2009/07/27/health-insurance-innovation/
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Spirit of Vengeance
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« Reply #97 on: July 27, 2009, 01:12:14 pm »

Proof again that the entire insurance industry is peopled with the lowest form of reptilean life; coldblooded, ruthless, creepy, and bent entirely on selfpreservation and engorging the beast. Health insurance must be nationalized, or socialized. Insurance companies need to disappear, or more accurately be dismantled. Health insurance companies are evil in the purest sense, depriving the people who need them most in the most dire circumstance and raping everyone else with exhorbidant unnecessary and abusive fee’s and costs in the process, that falsely drive up the cost of healthcare in every arena for every individual. Eliminate these vulchers, leeches, and vampires, and provide universal insurance for every single American from the moment of birth to death. Subtract insurance costs from healthcare, – and America’s longterm health commitments are solved. Insurance companies are evil!!!
http://baselinescenario.com/2009/07/27/health-insurance-innovation/

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Qoais
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« Reply #98 on: July 28, 2009, 12:12:47 am »

I would think that the culture shock from America to Canada is not quite the same as that from America to India, which is very poor, has lots of terrorist violence and still a third world nation.   Sad
I think you missed the point!!
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Logic rules.

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Mandy Esser
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« Reply #99 on: July 28, 2009, 01:22:05 pm »

What point are you trying to make?
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Mandy Esser
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« Reply #100 on: July 28, 2009, 01:22:39 pm »


AP sources: Senators near bipartisan health deal
DAVID ESPO and ERICA WERNER | 07/28/09 11:15 AM

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of senators is closing in on a health care compromise that omits key Democratic priorities but seeks to hold down costs, as lawmakers on both sides of the Capitol struggled Tuesday to deliver sweeping health legislation to President Barack Obama.
In the House, Democratic leaders continued to negotiate with conservative and moderate rank-and-file party members with time running out for a vote before lawmakers leave Friday for a monthlong vacation.
The fiscally conservative Blue Dogs were at odds with the leadership over how to pay providers in a government-run health plan that would compete with private insurance. The House bill models the payments based on Medicare, but the so-called Blue Dogs want a negotiated rate similar to private insurance. Other issues remain sticking points for the Democrats.
"We're not ready to support a bill yet," said Rep. Baron Hill, D-Ind., a member of the Blue Dog group, who added: "We'll get there. We are going to pass a health care bill, whether it's now or in the fall remains to be seen."
Without the backing of the 52-member Blue Dogs, it would be difficult for Democratic leaders to pass a bill, especially since no Republican supports the legislation.
"I think there's still a bit of daylight between the positions," said Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D. "I think the bottom line of Blue Dogs has not been met as of this time."
Democratic leaders are still holding out hope of floor passage before the summer break, and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is looking at keeping the House in session some days past its scheduled Friday adjournment date.
After weeks of secretive talks, three Democrats and three Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee were edging closer to a compromise that excludes a requirement many congressional Democrats seek for large businesses to offer coverage to their workers. Nor would there be a provision for a government insurance option, despite Obama's support for such a plan, officials said.
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Mandy Esser
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« Reply #101 on: July 28, 2009, 01:22:55 pm »

The Finance senators were considering a tax of as much as 35 percent on very high-cost insurance policies, part of an attempt to rein in rapid escalation of costs. Also likely to be included in any deal was creation of a commission charged with slowing the growth of Medicare.
"We're going to get agreement here," Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., the Finance Committee chairman, said Monday. "The group of six really wants to get to 'yes.'"
Obama has outlined two broad goals for legislation he is struggling to win from Congress: expansion of health insurance coverage to millions who lack it, and reining in increases in costs. The president is participating in an AARP town-hall meeting on health care Tuesday.
The president's top domestic priority has suffered numerous setbacks in recent weeks and a Senate vote has been postponed until September. Administration and Democratic leaders hope to show significant progress before lawmakers begin their monthlong August recess.
In the House, seven fiscally conservative House Democrats who have held up action in the Energy and Commerce Committee by demanding more cost savings and other changes negotiated late into the night Monday with the committee's chairman, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif. Waxman's is the only one of three House panels with jurisdiction on the health bill that has yet to act.
The Blue Dogs have enough votes in the Energy and Commerce Committee to potentially block passage there, but time is running out for their negotiations with Waxman. A voting session in Waxman's committee that has been on hold for a week must resume quickly, probably by Wednesday at latest, if there's any chance for the committee to pass a bill and send it to the full House for action before the summer recess.
In the Senate, officials stressed that no agreement has been reached on a bipartisan measure, and said there is no guarantee of one, with numerous key issues remaining to be settled.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to discuss matters under private negotiations.
They said any legislation that emerges from the talks is expected to provide for a nonprofit cooperative to sell insurance in competition with private industry, rather than giving the federal government a role in the marketplace.
Obama and numerous Democrats in Congress have called for a government option to provide competition to private companies and hold down costs, and the House bill includes one – another concern for the Blue Dogs.
Officials also said a bipartisan compromise in the Senate would not subject large companies to a penalty if they declined to offer coverage to their workers. Instead, these businesses would be required to reimburse the government for part or all of any federal subsidies designed to help lower-income employees obtain insurance on their own.
The legislation in the House includes both a penalty and a requirement for large companies to share in the cost of covering employees.
___
Associated Press writer Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar contributed to this report.

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Dalbeck
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« Reply #102 on: July 29, 2009, 03:27:08 pm »

Sam Stein
stein@huffingtonpost.com | HuffPost Reporting

/feeds/reporting/sam-stein/news.xml /feeds/reporting/sam-stein/news.xml
Obama's Doctor: President's Vision For Health Care Bound To Fail


First Posted: 07-29-09 09:58 AM | Updated: 07-29-09 12:59 PM


The man Barack Obama consulted on medical matters for over two decades said on Tuesday that the president's vision for health care reform is bound for failure.
Dr. David Scheiner, a 70-year Chicago-based physician who treated Obama for more than 20 years, said he was disheartened by the health care legislation his former patient is championing, calling it piecemeal and ineffectual.
"I look at his program and I can't see how it's going to work," Scheiner told the Huffington Post. "He has no cost control. There would be no effective cost control in his program. The [Congressional Budget Office] said it's going be incredibly expensive ... and the thing that I really am worried about is, if it is the failure that I think it would be, then health reform will be set back a long, long time."
Scheiner, who prefers a more progressive approach to reform, was hesitant about trying to divine the president's motives, although he said he believed that "in his heart of hearts" Obama "may well like a single-payer program."
"His pragmatism is what is overwhelming him." Scheiner added: "I think he's afraid that he can't get anything through if he doesn't go through this incredibly compromised program."
Admitting that he was not a political practitioner, Scheiner said he felt compelled to speak out because of his unique relationship with the president and this critical moment in the health care debate. A champion of a single-payer health care system, Scheiner noted repeatedly that he came to the debate from the perspective of having dealt with the hassles and pitfalls of the current system. His speaking out is part of a larger effort, launched by Physicians for a National Health Program, to push Congress to consider single-payer as an alternative to current reform proposals.
As Scheiner sees it, all alternatives simply fall short. Keeping private insurers in the market, he warns, would simply maintain burdensome administrative costs. He argued further that the pharmaceutical industry is not being asked to make "any kind of significant sacrifices" in the current round of reform negotiations. As for a public health care option, Scheiner insists that the proposal remains vague and inadequate.
"First of all, they haven't really gone into great detail about the public option," he said. "How much is it going to cost, are they going to really undercut private health insurance by a considerable amount? Will there be any restriction that you can get for public option?"
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Dalbeck
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« Reply #103 on: July 29, 2009, 03:28:06 pm »

Despite his policy critiques, Scheiner's affection for his long-time patient is quite obvious. He recalled the president as being "gracious" and "never pulling rank" when he came to his office. "Part of my shtick, is I sing songs and I love humor," Scheiner said. "I remember last time I saw him I told him a joke, he said, 'Doc, you told me that joke before.' I was so impressed he can remember my bad jokes -- this guy has to be really bright."
During the course of the campaign, Scheiner became one of the many mini-celebrities in Obama's orbit. When the then-Senator released a one-page summary documenting his health, criticism for its brevity was laid on the doc's doorstep.
"The guy was healthy, you know," Scheiner recalled. "What can you say? His only problem was that he smoked ... But there wasn't that much to say. If I had added anything it would have been pure drivel. There wasn't anything serious in his record. He'd never had anything. The guy is built like a rock, he could probably bench-press me...
"I think my most impressive time was when Jon Stewart actually mocked my report," he added. "I thought that was wonderful."
All of which makes his current criticism of Obama's health care policies all the more difficult. While Scheiner raved about the president's intellectual curiosity, he was at loss for words as to why Obama had consulted with private industry executives more than primary care physicians. And while he spoke glowingly about the president's oratorical talents, he expressed disappointment that Obama had not done more to explain the benefits of single-payer coverage to the American public.
The White House has said that the president moved away from a single-payer approach both because of philosophical objections (consumers should be allowed to keep their coverage) as well as political realities (limited support for the proposal in Congress). The administration's position increasingly resembles the maxim, Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
"It's a good question," Scheiner said, when asked if having watered-down reform become law was better than getting a single-payer system stalled in Congress. "Is something better than nothing? That is a hard one for me. That is a difficult one, because, in the end, I think [Obama's] program is going to fail."

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Dalbeck
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« Reply #104 on: July 29, 2009, 03:28:50 pm »

Health care progress seen on Capitol Hill
LIZ SIDOTI | 07/29/09 02:14 PM | 

President Barack Obama holds a town hall on health care reform, Wednesday, July 29, 2009, at Broughton High School in Raleigh, N.C. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)

RALEIGH, N.C. — Congress reported progress on legislation to overhaul the nation's health care Wednesday as President Barack Obama introduced a retooled message asserting his plan would protect Americans and limit insurers' power.
"We have a system today that works well for the insurance industry, but it doesn't always work well for you," Obama told more than 2,000 people in a North Carolina high school gymnasium. "What we need, and what we will have when we pass these reforms, are health insurance consumer protections to make sure that those who have insurance are treated fairly and insurance companies are held accountable."
Obama also acknowledged a setback in the drive to enact his top domestic priority, saying he doesn't expect Congress to vote on legislation until the fall because bills aren't even out of committees. The White House had pressed for passage before the House and Senate left for their August break.
"We did give them a deadline, and sort of we missed that deadline. But that's OK," Obama said.
"We don't want to just do it quickly, we want to do it right," he added. But he also signaled that he won't be patient if negotiations continue to drag, saying: "The American people can't wait any longer. They want action this year. I want action this year."
Back in Washington, there were signs of significant movement after a period of stalemate.
House lawmakers indicated they were moving ahead on their version of the health care legislation after leaders and fiscally conservative Democrats worked out a deal.
Four of the seven so-called Blue Dog Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee said they resolved their differences with Chairman Henry Waxman of California and have agreed that the full House would not vote on the legislation until September so lawmakers can read the bill and listen to constituents. The lawmakers also had been meeting with White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.
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