ObamaCare ~ Should the New Healthcare Law be Repealed?

It’s perfectly okay to have an opinion. However, if you’ve made up your mind about healthcare based only on what politicians and their pundits have claimed, then you’re allowing yourself and your vote to be manipulated.

October 9, 2010  —  Many Americans, without even knowing what’s in this new law, have already made up their minds one way or the other about it.

It’s complicated, yes, with over a thousand pages in it. But the problems with healthcare in this country are many and complicated; it stands to reason then that whatever is done to address these problems needs to be comprehensive and, therefore, complicated too. Visit Healthcare.gov for details on how this new law affects you and your family.

The new law is not a popular one, largely I think because of what Democrats in Congress had to resort to in the face of Republican opposition to get it passed. Why were the Republicans so uniformly opposed to it? One word: power.

Recall Senator (R) Jim DeMint’s words, “If we’re able to stop Obama on this it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.”

According to the Rasmussen Reports, 50 percent of Americans think it should be repealed while only 44 percent are opposed to the idea of repeal. It’s a major factor in the likely outcome of the upcoming mid-term elections.

If you haven’t already made up your mind about how you feel on this matter, or even if you have, you are likely to find the following video both interesting and informative. I did.

Some have made up their minds about the new healthcare law based on what others have said about it. Perhaps you believe, as does television pundit and Republican strategist, Nancy Pfotenhauer, that the new healthcare law will raise everyone’s premiums and boot hundreds of millions from their current policies. Read here what PolitiFact.com has to say about this.

Perhaps you believe that the new law includes “death panels” to make end-of-life decisions for seniors. Perhaps you believe that Medicare benefits will be slashed, or that illegal immigrants’ care will be paid for, or that abortions will be paid for. Read here what FactCheck.org has to say about the seven biggest myths associated with the new healthcare law.

It’s perfectly okay to have an opinion. However, if you’ve made up your mind about healthcare based only on what politicians and there pundits have claimed, then you’re allowing yourself and your vote to be manipulated.

Feel free to post a comment but, please, before doing so, watch the video clip and read what the unbiased sources have to say about the misinformation that perpetuates among voters.

Published in: on October 9, 2010 at 8:47 am  Comments (11)  

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11 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I think that as we look back at the year old data from factcheck.org, we should remember that opening this pandora’s box leaves it in the governments hands to change later. Remember that the original income tax in 1913 was 4 pages. At the same time, less than 1 percent of the population owed any federal income tax and paid at a rate of only 1 percent of net income, according to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). A single filer who made any more than $3,000 dollars in net income was subject to the 1 percent income tax. Today, the instructions for the basic 1040 tax form total 101 pages, and there are 76 lines that taxpayers must fill-in with information. Once you let the government begin regulating items, they only get more expensive, less usable, and more complicated. Let’s repeal this thing and put this matter back between the patient, his or her doctor, and the person paying the bill, either the patient or their insurance.

  2. Your point is duly noted, Bob. Government never gets smaller. It has grown under every administration whether Democrat or Republican http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/19/opinion/lweb19brooks.html. But so has the economy, so has the population, and so have the many problems facing our nation. The world today is very different and much more complex than it was when the Founders laid the foundation for our Republic.

    Scraping what has already been accomplished would likely mean that we will never get anything done. Six previous presidents have attempted to get comprehensive healthcare legislation passed, two of them Republican http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Which_Presidents_tried_to_pass_health_care_reform, and all failed.

  3. Let’s use more accurate terminology as well in this discussion. This was never “healthcare” legislation. You could pass laws requiring doctors and hospitals to provide coverage, or pass laws allowing only an increase in healthcare costs of inflation if that was what was wanted. This was health insurance reform. Reform normally means “make changes for improvement”. I don’t see any improvement here. If the government wanted to make people covered, they could have simply decided to cover every American with Medicare based on economic level. Instead, by attempting to direct the insurance industry into coverage, they have begun the slide into Americans losing their coverage. Doctors and others who do not believe that Medicare will cover their fees are dropping it in increasing numbers. 3 M, the first of many I believe, has decided, starting with their retirees, to stop providing health insurance and simply pass some of the reduction in cost to their people. More companies will follow this in my opinion, and retirees with be the first, with active employees to follow, in this loss of coverage. Eventually the government will become the de facto single payer. That is why I think that the government needs to be out of this now, before this snowball gets any bigger.

  4. I agree with you, Bob… at least to the extent that the new law, in Phase I anyway, is primarily about reforming the medical insurance industry, the middlemen between patients and their doctors and hospitals. Those of us who worked so hard to get something done this year about the millions of Americans who still have no access to health care and won’t before provisions of the law go into effect have always understood that how we pay for it is the biggest problem with health care in this country.

    I would have preferred to see a single-payer system adopted, much like our friends in Canada have, taking the rice-bowl completely away from private insurance companies. I may be in the minority of opinion on this, but I think it’s been inhumane to deny the poor and the sick from quality care and unscrupulous in the extreme to profit from the margins between cost and need. And now you know, if you didn’t already suspect, I am a “Social” Democrat.

    Having a single payer system would clamp down soonest on the rising costs of health care in this county. But the president rightly determined that this would be too drastic of a change all at once for America. Too many would have considered it to be socialism. Funny though… Canadians don’t think their single payer system is socialistic at all.

    The fact that doctors are dropping more and more Medicare patients who don’t have Medigap insurance is nothing new. It’s been going on for years and has little or nothing to do with the new law. Existing Medicare rules calculate reimbursement levels according to the health of the economy. This is what needs to be fixed.

    Yes, I understand that 3M has decided to drop retirees from private insurance plans. But they could have been making this cost cutting decision whether healthcare reform had been signed into law or not. It’s all about the bottom line after all. Most corporations in this country are sacrificing people for profit, which, in the long run is cutting off our aggregate nose to spite our face. It will probably be cheaper for qualified retirees to take the Medicare benefit and buy Medigap coverage to pay the difference. Doctors are more likely to accept new Medicare patients so long as they carry this additional coverage.

  5. 10/10/10


    I will watch the video as you suggest, but I will put forth some thoughts on health care “reform” anyway, since I’ve followed the subject fairly closely throughout the process. As a disclaimer, if nothing else, I’ve worked in the field of health care fraud investigations in Medicare and Medicaid for the last 17 years. Creating this new entitlement will only create a third well for thieves to go to for a living.

    I guess what irks me the most about this “reform,” is that the democratically controlled Congress (not a single Republican voted for it) is taking half of the cost of the new program from funds specifically dedicated from tax revenue to fund Medicare. By cutting funding for Medicare “Advantage” plans, Congress is forcing thousands of beneficiaries to revert back to traditional Medicare coverage – so much for Obama’s “pledge” that if you like your coverage now you’ll get to keep it. Probably like you, I’ve been paying payroll taxes into Medicare for all of my working life, counting on the program to be there when I become eligible for it. Now, even if I wanted to choose a Medicare Advantage plan, I probably won’t be able to when my time comes.

    I don’t recall the exact figures, but there’s also a provision that if employers don’t provide health care insurance for employees, they’ll have to pay a fine per employee. A lot of major companies have done the math and calculated that even if they had to pay the fines, it would be cheaper than providing the employee coverage – and they may opt for the fines. Again, if such occurs, so much for the “pledge” that if you like your present coverage you can keep it.

    I also believe that the requirement to purchase health insurance coverage (to generate funds to pay for coverage for those who can’t/won’t pay for it themselves) is unconstitutional. Never before has the U.S. government mandated that a citizen purchase ANY product or service. If this is successful, what’s next? Everyone must buy a Chevrolet from Government Motors?

    There may be some good points to this “reform,” such as coverage for dependents until age 26, no exclusion for pre-existing conditions, etc. but the Congress didn’t have to create such a monster program, and jam it down all American’s throats, to get those things enacted. I haven’t read the 2,000+ page bill cover to cover – I have other demands on my time, but this law also gives Ms. Sebilius more power than most folks imagine to generate rules, regulations, etc. That’s too much to expect one person to do, or be responsible for.

    I did see your comment on a single-payer system, such as Canada’s. Why is it that Canadian’s come to the U.S. for treatment on major problems, and pay for it out of their own pockets, because the Canadian system takes such a long time to work people in to getting the care that they need, which in some cases at least, only results in the person’s medical condition worsening? But don’t lose heart, Dr. Berwick may figure out a way to stick us with that aspect, too.

    Thanks for the forum on this important topic. I could cite more stuff, but my expanding file of documents on this law is back at my office, so this will have to do for now.


  6. Opa, as usual I enjoyed your blog on Healthcare Reform and of course if you have never been in a situation needing good health care, I guess one would not understand all the ups & downs when it comes to Medicare, personal insurance, etc. I was involved in a Health Fair on Saturday at the VA and to hear some of the stories was very enlightening. Even though the Health Fair was at the VA, it was open to the community, and that is where you hear the various tales of individual health concerns.
    It seems that people are blaming our President for everything including the “kitchen sink” and I am beginning to get suspicious about that. I got a big laugh about 3M and what they are doing. It has been in the making for a long time; GM has also been planning the same thing or so I am told by retirees.
    Oh well, thanks for your insight. It is always an enlightment to read your blogs.

  7. Thank you for your lengthy comment, Curtis. But I do wish you had read the whole post to include the comment string and watched the video before posting.

    Regarding the issue of fraud, it is the bane of all providers, not just Medicare and Medicaid. So every provider is a potential “well” for the unscrupulous. But the new law does not create a new well. It merely extends current “private” insurance coverage to those who are currently excluded. I would have preferred that the new law had established a single payer system or at the least, that there would be a public option to compete with private plans. But, alas… See my comment response on this above.

    Yes, it bothers me greatly too that no Republicans in Congress felt free to vote their conscience on this, much to their discredit. There seems to be no room left in the GOP for moderates and mavericks. See my comment response on this above.

    Government dollars going to private insurers for Medicare “Advantage” plans were a waste of public resources, Craig. Nothing can make me believe otherwise. Outcomes for the care provided through Advantage plans were no better than provided through standard Medicare. The dollars will therefore be much better spent reducing the cost of expanded coverage millions of Americans. Your money will be better spent too when you retire for a Medigap plan paying the difference between Medicare reimbursement and actual costs. Providers will be more inclined to accept you as a patient.

    I don’t believe that the cost of fines for companies choosing not insure employees will be less than the returns for tax subsidies and healthier, happier employees. Not for a minute. Your fears about this are unfounded. See my comment response on this above concerning 3M’s decision to drop retirees’ coverage.

    The Constitutionality of the requirement for all Americans to have insurance will be decided. You are certainly welcome to your belief on this. However, it is unlikely that the courts will agree. All Americans must pay taxes on their income. All Americans must contribute to Social Security (depending on their income) and Medicare. To rule against this new mandate which is in the best interests of the nation’s health as a whole, would bring these longstanding mandates into question too.

    You’re right, there are many good things for Americans in this law, i.e., coverage for dependents until age 26, no exclusion for pre-existing conditions, and no lifetime limits. But you’re wrong, Craig; Congress did have to create a comprehensive program to make possible all the benefits. Throwing out the bathwater now, repealing the law, will result in throwing out all the babies too. And if Republicans succeed in repealing this law, chances are nil to none that we ever will see healthcare reform in this country. Six previous presidents have tried to do what President Obama has accomplished, two of them Republican, and all have failed.
    It is amazing to me how this myth about Canadians flocking to the U.S. for treatment persists. Yes, some Canadians do come to the U.S. for treatment. But then, some Americans go to India and other countries for treatment too. The facts are that Canadians pay much less per capita for their health care and get better outcomes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_the_health_care_systems_in_Canada_and_the_United_States
    Read what a Canadian citizen living in the U.S. has written about this:

    “Most patients who come from Canada to the U.S. for health care are those whose costs are covered by the Canadian governments. If a Canadian goes outside of the country to get services that are deemed medically necessary, not experimental, and are not available at home for whatever reason (e.g., shortage or absence of high tech medical equipment; a longer wait for service than is medically prudent; or lack of physician expertise), the provincial government where you live fully funds your care. Those patients who do come to the U.S. for care and pay out of pocket are those who perceive their care to be more urgent than it likely is.”

    Read more on debunking Canadian health care claims at http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_12523427

  8. Kent, (posted per your request)

    I appreciate your responses but if you don’ mind, I’ll continue to be scared, VERY SCARED, about the long term effects of this law on health care itself, and the costs to provide it. Income taxes are imposed on everyone, to some degree, but everyone knows what it goes for. I thought that my Medicare contributions were going to that program, but now we are faced with $500 billion of DEDICATED Medicare funds to go to pay for care for persons who never paid into the program – that to me is theft, pure and simple. Can you imagine the uproar if the democrats tried pulling $500 billion from Social Security to pay for this monstrosity??? Congressmen would be swinging from lampposts. President Obama (your man in the White House) said repeatedly that the mandate to buy health insurance was not a TAX. Yet government lawyers went to court recently to defend the law claiming that this requirement was indeed a tax and that made it legal. Which is it? The Dems can’t have it both ways. I also find it offensive that lawmakers, of both parties, did not read the bill from cover to cover. Maybe more Dems would have been against it. And how do you know that Republicans DIDN’T vote their conscience on this bill? I haven’t heard of one instance where a Republican stated that he/she voted against it just to go along with his/her party…. have there been? Are you also saying that the the dems that voted against the bill were not voting their conscience either? And finally, as I think I may have mentioned to you previously, the fact that “leader” Pelosi said we’d have to pass the bill to find out what is in it is the most idiotic statement, completely without logic, that I’ve ever heard come from a lawmaker’s mouth. I’m sure that the lefty’s out in San Francisco will keep re-electing her, though, just like the Mass. voters kept Ted Kennedy in office far longer than he should have been. But that’s another story.

    As for the fraud, if there’s another payor source created by this law, whether its exchanges, or whatever, there will be another well to dip from for thieves. In Medicare and Medicaid, there are providers who submit fraudulent claims to both programs and get paid twice for the same false claim. Reason? Because neither of the claims processing systems “talk” to each other – neither knows what claims are being filed with the other system. Add a third claims payment system to that and now you have three places to submit false claims.

    As for Canadians, I met a man yesterday who has friends who live there. They were talking about this health care bill and the Canadian said he was amazed that the U.S. would want to have a health care system like Canada’s. So not all Canadians think as your sources do.

    Thanks again for your time!

    CURTIS (not Craig – but maybe I need to meet this Craig!)

  9. I’m sorry Curtis about getting your name wrong. I apologize and do respect your comments. Please believe that. But we do see these issues from different orientations… obviously.

    Be scared. Go ahead, be very scared. America is losing our competitive edge in the world. But deregulating everything and relying only on market forces to fix everything is absolutely the wrong approach. We a literally killing the goose who lays the golden eggs; I’m speaking of the middle class. Not since 1928 was the disparity in distribution of wealth in this country worse than it is today. That’s what scares me, no that government is trying to figure out ways to stem the trend.

    Say what you want about government and the cost thereof. Americans pay less in taxes as a percent of GDP and get more for it owing to our predilection for deficit spending than any other industrialized country in the world http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_rates_around_the_world. This can’t continue forever. At some point China’s going to say, “Whoa, we no longer trust the full faith and credit of Uncle Sam.”

    The definition of a tax is a fee levied on a product, income or an activity. Requiring everyone to have insurance, whether provided by an employer or purchased individually with or without subsidy by the government does not constitute a tax anymore than the so-called “indirect” tax that consumers currently pay for healthcare services because providers have to jack-up prices to compensate for providing the uninsured with care. Either way, you and I have to pay. I’d rather pay it through the front door than trough the back.

    I truly believe that legislators like Olympia Snow in the Senate and Hank Johnson in the House, among others, would have voted for the healthcare reform legislation had their caucuses not threatened them with excommunication from the party. It’s all about power and control, Curtis.

    Yes, Pelosi seriously misspoke with her “We have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it…,” statement. But politicians stick their feet in their mouths all the time. Consider Joe Biden’s many gaffs. I give her the benefit of doubt; she’s not really that stupid. What she meant was that there was so much talk about process (in Congress) that people had lost sight of what’s actually in the bill. I think she was actually saying that once it got passed, government would be able to clarify for the people all the good things that are in it. Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked out that way owing to all the misinformation about it and the fealty that conservatives feel toward the GOP. Many would rather believe the lies about it like the non-existent death panels and support of illegal immigrants than trust anything Democrats or non-partisan sources say.

    Your comment about a man you only just met saying that he has friends in Canada who are “amazed that the U.S. would want to have a health care system like Canada’s” is hearsay, Curtis. Why can’t you believe what Canadians are really saying? They are amazed that Americans don’t want a system like they have, not the other way around. See my earlier post on this: https://kgarry.wordpress.com/2009/07/23/how-canadians-really-feel-about-their-health-care-system-should-we-care/.

  10. Opa,

    From one of your preferred sources of news and other information, the AP, today, please see this: Medicare official doubts health care law savings http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hCT4GhKaleCpy570YTLr9p7nq54Q?docId=7a1abd4a6937454f90aa34acf72c9870.

    Mr. Foster is not some pundit – he’s the Medicare actuary. He’s also not limited by criteria Congress would put on him to reach his conclusions, as is the CBO.

    I haven’t seen the whole program, but I’m currently watching a replay of a House committee hearing on the health care “reform” law and some small business owners are testifying as to how the new law will adversely affect their businesses, and their abilities to hire new employees, or keep current employees, or reduce full time employees to part-time employees. You might want to pull that up on the internet for some additional interesting information.

  11. This copyrighted article makes my point, I think, Curtis. The so-called “liberal” media does report the whole truth, even the opinions of out-spoken critics of progressive legislation like this Mr. Foster. Since it is a copyrighted article with all rights reserved, I’ve published your comment with a URL link to the original rather than block copying the whole thing. As the article points out, Foster, currently the darling of the political right, was a thorn in the side the Bush administration too during the debate that led to creation of the Medicare prescription drug benefit. The White House disputes his views and predicts that he will be proven wrong about the health care law. Meanwhile, Republicans hang on his every word.

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