Author Topic: Obama signs new health bill into law.  (Read 6650 times)

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Offline Kobuk

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Obama signs new health bill into law.
« on: March 23, 2010, 11:34:00 pm »
Been awhile since we had and discussed a new topic. Anyway, you knew this was gonna be unavoidable as someone was bound to post about it sooner or later. Anyway, time for Round 2! *ding, ding*
What are your thoughts on the new health care bill that was signed into law?


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US President Barack Obama has signed his landmark healthcare bill into law in a ceremony at the White House.

The new law will eventually extend health insurance cover to about 32 million Americans who currently do not have any.

Mr Obama said he was signing the bill for people like his mother "who argued with insurance companies even as she battled cancer in her final days".

The bill is strongly opposed by the Republicans, who say it is too costly.

Immediately after the signing, attorneys general from 13 states - 12 Republicans and one Democrat - began legal proceedings against the federal government seeking to stop the reforms on the grounds that they are unconstitutional.

Mr Obama was joined at the White House signing ceremony by healthcare reform supporters including Democrats from both Houses of Congress who supported the measure.

He said the bill's provisions were "desperately needed", adding: "The bill I'm signing will set in motion reforms that generations of Americans have fought for and marched for and hungered to see."

He hailed the "historic leadership and uncommon courage" of the Democratic leadership in Congress that secured the bill's passage, singling out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for particular praise.

He concluded: "Today after almost a century of trial, today after over a year of debate, today after all the votes have been tallied, health insurance reform becomes law in the United States of America. Today.

"All of the overheated rhetoric over reform will finally confront the reality of reform."

Mr Obama now has to sell the reforms to a divided American public before November's mid-term elections.

On Thursday, he will go to the state of Iowa to talk about how the new law will help to lower healthcare costs for small businesses and families.

After a heated debate, the House of Representatives voted 219-212 late on Sunday to send the 10-year, $938bn bill to Mr Obama. Not one Republican voted for the bill, and some Democrats also voted against it.

The measure, which the Senate passed in December, is expected to expand health insurance coverage to about 95% of eligible Americans, compared with the 83% covered today.

It will ban insurance company practices such as denying coverage to people with existing medical problems.

Correspondents say the bill represents the biggest expansion of the federal government's social safety net since President Lyndon Johnson enacted the Medicare and Medicaid government-funded healthcare programmes for the elderly and poor in the 1960s.

Mr Obama's campaign to overhaul US healthcare seemed stalled in January, when a Republican won a special election to fill the late Edward Kennedy's Massachusetts Senate seat, and with it, enough Republican votes to prevent the bill from coming to a final vote in the Senate.

But Democrats came up with a plan that required the House to approve the Senate-passed measure - despite its opposition to many of its provisions - and then have both chambers pass a measure incorporating numerous changes after the president signed it into law.

Provisions of the new bill:
* Cost: $940bn over 10 years; would reduce deficit by $143bn
* Coverage: Expanded to 32m currently uninsured Americans
* Medicare: Prescription drug coverage gap closed; affected over-65s receive rebate and discount on brand name drugs
* Medicaid: Expanded to include families under 65 with gross income of up to 133% of federal poverty level and childless adults
* Insurance reforms: Insurers can no longer deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions
* Insurance exchanges: Uninsured and self-employed able to purchase insurance through state-based exchanges
* Subsidies: Low-income individuals and families wanting to purchase own health insurance eligible for subsidies
* Individual Mandate: Those not covered by Medicaid or Medicare must be insured or face fine
* High-cost insurance: Employers offering workers pricier plans subject to tax on excess premium
« Last Edit: March 23, 2010, 11:36:44 pm by Kobuk »
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Offline CiceroKit

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Re: Obama signs new health bill into law.
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2010, 09:04:32 am »
There are some good things in the bill, but it doesn't go far enough. On the news yesterday, it sounded like the uninsured would not be fined (although if that were the case, how would this be enforced?). I know that the whole thing about "everyone must have insurance" is what has stirred up a hornet's nest, but what we all pay dearly for now is the uninsured. One thing I wonder about is the role of various non-profit foundations that fund programs such as Ministry Healthcare's Community Care (in Wisconsin) that alleviate medical costs for the uninsured. Will these organizations fill a new role in offering assistance with getting low cost insurance for low wage earners that don't qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford other insurance? Right now, Marshfield Clinic offers an insurance program that provides basic coverage for somewhat less than some large insurance companies, so I think that this might be the direction such non-profits are going. Some of the dollars that went to cover costs of the uninsured, I am certain, could be funneled into further medical research as well.

I know, thinking about the role of non-profits devoted to healthcare hardly seems to be what is on most people's minds, but that is me. There will, undoubtedly, be a role for several agencies in delivering information about what will essentially be health insurance cooperatives to uninsured individuals.

I look forward to seeing how this all plays out, and am very pleased to see the legislation regarding preventive care and preexisting conditions takes effect within the year. In my opinion, these were the two most important pieces to this.
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Offline Fenny the Fox

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Re: Obama signs new health bill into law.
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2010, 09:31:53 am »
While there is much in the bill that I do not agree with or support, I must say that parts of it are very good.

The pre-existing condition coverage is very good to see. Speaking as someone who has a pre-existing condition, I am very happy to see children can no longer be turned down by insurance companies. This was always a sore topic for me, so to speak.
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Offline Alexandre

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Re: Obama signs new health bill into law.
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2010, 12:18:42 pm »
The pre-existing condition coverage is very good to see. Speaking as someone who has a pre-existing condition, I am very happy to see children can no longer be turned down by insurance companies. This was always a sore topic for me, so to speak.
I agree with this, as well.

For me, I think this bill is overall going in a good direction.  Simply put, I know that I can benefit from this.  I don't have insurance, and while there are some clinics around here that are free, I have a hard time trusting them (based on several visits various friends had there).  One hospital here claims to cover the costs of students; my roommate went there because of a large bump on his face (he was referred by the university clinic), got treated, then discovered he had $2000 he had to pay.  And for a student, that's quite a bit.  As far as I understand, he didn't have any of the costs alleviated by the promised insurance.

I have no clue how everything's gonna work out right now; I think I'll personally benefit, but I'll have to wait and see.
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Offline Drake Blackpaw

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Re: Obama signs new health bill into law.
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2010, 01:36:11 pm »
I am glad that it passed, but there is much more to be done.

 
I know that the whole thing about "everyone must have insurance" is what has stirred up a hornet's nest, but what we all pay dearly for now is the uninsured.

The fine will be $695 if I remember correctly, but wouldn't kick in until the state health insurance exchanges are up and running and the mandate starts, which is in 2014.  That is also the time where insurers can no longer deny someone coverage for preexisting conditions.

Personally I don't think the fine is high enough as it is low enough that many may opt to pay the fine instead of getting insurance.

I know there are many who don't like the mandate that everyone needs to get insurance, but health insurance can only be affordable if there is a large group of healthy people in the insurance pool.  That is why insurance you buy through your employer, where they pretty much have everybody who works there get it is much cheaper than trying to get an individual policy.  Without the mandate, insurers cannot afford to sell individual policies to people with preexisting conditions.  There wouldn't be enough healthy people getting insurance to balance them out.  I was licensed to sell health insurance for a period of time and to have a pool that balances out risk between healthy and non-healthy people is basic concept you learn during the licensing process.

There is definitely more to do for healthcare, but I feel that rest of the stuff can be done incrementally.  The big thing in my mind that needs to be focused on now is reducing the cost of care.  This will include a lot of things, including tort reform so the cost of malpractice insurance goes down for health practitioners, figuring out how to move from a pay the doctor for each test run or service, which gives them an incentive to do procedures that are unnecessary, to something that rewards quality of care, and incentives to get people to move to generic drugs where possible and perhaps even changing patent law for drugs so generic versions of drugs can come out sooner.

Offline Alsek

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Re: Obama signs new health bill into law.
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2010, 06:00:35 pm »
I think it's important to learn from the mistakes of other countries.

I know a person in Canada that was told he had 3 months before he would die from cancer,  yet,  was unable to get surgery in Canada for 6 months.  (he went to the USA and was unable to get followup care in Canada when he returned)

I know someone in England who had a hemorrhage and was also put on a list for several months.  He doesn't have the money to leave the UK.

I,  on the other hand,  had to have neurosurgery as an infant.   A surgery my parents could not possibly have payed for.  It was payed for by the united states government,  and i was able to get some of the best surgeons in the country when i needed it.  Not a moment too late.


So...  i guess I'm an example of someone who went through the health care system as it was in 1992 and got exactly what i needed...


Also,   buying health insurance as a law enforced by the IRS?

How is that even legal?

Why are congressman "exempt" from it?
« Last Edit: March 24, 2010, 06:03:15 pm by Alsek »

Offline Sky Striker

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Re: Obama signs new health bill into law.
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2010, 06:41:31 pm »
Also,   buying health insurance as a law enforced by the IRS?

How is that even legal?

Why are congressman "exempt" from it?

Well car insurance is required by law. I understand that car insurance is a bit more necessary because it pays damage you may have done to someone else but I believe that the main reason that health insurance is mandatory is because otherwise with the pre-existing condition denial being illegal (which is great by the way) people would just get sick, buy insurance, get better and get rid of their health insurance. That would greatly hurt the health insurance companies and they would loose a lot of money.

Although I do find it odd that congressmen are exempt from it. I don't think that should be the case but that may have been to win over some of the republicans.
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Offline Alsek

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Re: Obama signs new health bill into law.
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2010, 06:49:06 pm »
Also,   buying health insurance as a law enforced by the IRS?

How is that even legal?

Why are congressman "exempt" from it?

Well car insurance is required by law. I understand that car insurance is a bit more necessary because it pays damage you may have done to someone else but I believe that the main reason that health insurance is mandatory is because otherwise with the pre-existing condition denial being illegal (which is great by the way) people would just get sick, buy insurance, get better and get rid of their health insurance. That would greatly hurt the health insurance companies and they would loose a lot of money.

Although I do find it odd that congressmen are exempt from it. I don't think that should be the case but that may have been to win over some of the republicans.

You can self insure with a car insurance if you want to drive,  and you don't /have/ to drive.

You /have/ to live.  You are /forced/ to pay for this service.

Offline Fenny the Fox

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Re: Obama signs new health bill into law.
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2010, 07:41:30 pm »
Although I do find it odd that congressmen are exempt from it. I don't think that should be the case but that may have been to win over some of the republicans.

If it was added to win over Republicans...they failed. Epically. No reps voted for it.
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Offline Foxpup

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Re: Obama signs new health bill into law.
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2010, 01:01:16 am »
You can self insure with a car insurance if you want to drive,  and you don't /have/ to drive.

You /have/ to live.  You are /forced/ to pay for this service.

It's still a better deal than being /forced/ to choose between death and bankruptcy if you get a life-threatening illness, though.
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Offline Alsek

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Re: Obama signs new health bill into law.
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2010, 01:49:28 am »
It's still a better deal than being /forced/ to choose between death and bankruptcy if you get a life-threatening illness, though.


I,  on the other hand,  had to have neurosurgery as an infant.   A surgery my parents could not possibly have payed for.  It was payed for by the united states government,  and i was able to get some of the best surgeons in the country when i needed it.  Not a moment too late.


So...  i guess I'm an example of someone who went through the health care system as it was in 1992 and got exactly what i needed...

Meh,  not my experience with it.  At least no one's going on a 6 month waiting list for things like cancer.

Offline Narei Mooncatt

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Re: Obama signs new health bill into law.
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2010, 04:38:08 am »
I'll keep this simple for now. Show me where this law is constitutional. Until then, all the discussions on it don't mean much to me and it has me worried that this bill that is supposed to make things cheaper for us is going to raise my rates too high for me to afford. Yes, I currently pay for my own private insurance (not through my company), and if there's a national 40% increase in premiums do to all the extra people on the under-paying medicare doles like what happened in California, i will not be able to afford it any more. How is that supposed to be better? The last thing I want to do is go to the government and say "Please sir, may I have some more (health care)?" My hat is off to the 38 states that filed lawsuits and/or inacted their own laws to try and stop the feds from forcing this on their citizens.

Well car insurance is required by law. I understand that car insurance is a bit more necessary because it pays damage you may have done to someone else

This is an often and nearly always misguided point. Car insurance isn't a federal law. It's a state law, and also varies state to state. Most states only require liability and un-insured motorist (only banks with a lein on it require full coverage by their contract terms to protect their investment from your actions, not a law). You are right in what part of the purpose of car insurance is. The main issue is too many people make the compairison between what they think is a federal issue with health care and what is a definately a state issue with car insurance and how the two types of insurance requirements are different in purpose.
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Offline Foxpup

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Re: Obama signs new health bill into law.
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2010, 10:49:31 pm »
Meh,  not my experience with it.  At least no one's going on a 6 month waiting list for things like cancer.
The reason for the waiting lists is not socialised health care in and of itself, but rather that there simply aren't enough doctors and hospitals to treat everyone at once. What socialised health care does is make it possible for poor people to add their names to the waiting list, so that everyone else has to wait longer. <sarcasm>How dare they!</sarcasm>
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Offline Alsek

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Re: Obama signs new health bill into law.
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2010, 11:36:56 pm »
What socialised health care does is make it possible for poor people to add their names to the waiting list, so that everyone else has to wait longer. <sarcasm>How dare they!</sarcasm>

Again,  not my experience with it when i got a hundred thousand dollar neurosurgery with no insurance.

Most people love socialized health care until they actually /really/ need it for something...

Keep in mind that there's also a lot of people who will go in when they don't really need it,  because they can,  because it's free anyways.  At the VERY least,  there needs to be some level of priority on things.  I KNOW people who have had extremely serious medical issues put off for MONTHS.  In one case,  all my friend was given was pain pills until he was able to get a real surgery far later.

Even if our government didn't already help people with medical (and i am living proof that they do),  i would rather be hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt than dead or paralyzed permanently.

Also,  please tell me I'm mistaken...  Is plastic surgery going to be covered in this?  (i keep hearing that it is but i'm not finding a whole lot on it.)

Edit:  For those curious, i was born with tethered spinal cord syndrome and very soft skin (which makes surgery on anything very hard)
« Last Edit: March 25, 2010, 11:45:37 pm by Alsek »

Offline Foxpup

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Re: Obama signs new health bill into law.
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2010, 03:23:09 am »
I'll keep this simple for now. Show me where this law is constitutional.

I think it's Article 1 Section 7 of the Constitution. That's the one about making laws and such, isn't it? Or is it Section 8? Regardless, I don't think it contravenes the Constitution in any way, so what's the problem?

Until then, all the discussions on it don't mean much to me and it has me worried that this bill that is supposed to make things cheaper for us is going to raise my rates too high for me to afford. Yes, I currently pay for my own private insurance (not through my company), and if there's a national 40% increase in premiums do to all the extra people on the under-paying medicare doles like what happened in California, i will not be able to afford it any more. How is that supposed to be better? The last thing I want to do is go to the government and say "Please sir, may I have some more (health care)?"

So, you're worried about paying more so that poor people can get health insurance?

My hat is off to the 38 states that filed lawsuits and/or inacted their own laws to try and stop the feds from forcing this on their citizens.

They inacted their own laws? Don't you mean enacted? Although it wouldn't surprise me, United States lawmakers are internationally renowned for their inaction in such matters.

Well car insurance is required by law. I understand that car insurance is a bit more necessary because it pays damage you may have done to someone else

This is an often and nearly always misguided point. Car insurance isn't a federal law. It's a state law, and also varies state to state. Most states only require liability and un-insured motorist (only banks with a lein on it require full coverage by their contract terms to protect their investment from your actions, not a law). You are right in what part of the purpose of car insurance is. The main issue is too many people make the compairison between what they think is a federal issue with health care and what is a definately a state issue with car insurance and how the two types of insurance requirements are different in purpose.

Actually, the two types of insurance (indeed, all types of insurance) are for exactly the same purpose: so that you don't go bankrupt when something unexpected happens. It doesn't matter whether it's a state issue or a federal issue, the point is the government has grown tired of watching bad things happen to good people, and decided to act. Finally.


What socialised health care does is make it possible for poor people to add their names to the waiting list, so that everyone else has to wait longer. <sarcasm>How dare they!</sarcasm>

Again,  not my experience with it when i got a hundred thousand dollar neurosurgery with no insurance.

Most people love socialized health care until they actually /really/ need it for something...

Keep in mind that there's also a lot of people who will go in when they don't really need it,  because they can,  because it's free anyways.  At the VERY least,  there needs to be some level of priority on things.  I KNOW people who have had extremely serious medical issues put off for MONTHS.  In one case,  all my friend was given was pain pills until he was able to get a real surgery far later.

Even if our government didn't already help people with medical (and i am living proof that they do),  i would rather be hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt than dead or paralyzed permanently.

Also,  please tell me I'm mistaken...  Is plastic surgery going to be covered in this?  (i keep hearing that it is but i'm not finding a whole lot on it.)

Edit:  For those curious, i was born with tethered spinal cord syndrome and very soft skin (which makes surgery on anything very hard)

Agreed, but you seem to have missed my point entirely. Under the old system, a lot of sick people in need treatment aren't seeking it because they can't afford it. But with socialised health care, they can, and they do. Now, if there aren't enough hospitals to treat all these extra people, some people are just going to have to wait. As for deciding who has to wait, the definately needs to be priority system (and in most if not all countries with socialised health care, there is), but the your wealth or your ability to get health insurance should not be a factor (which it is, under the old system).
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Offline Narei Mooncatt

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Re: Obama signs new health bill into law.
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2010, 07:39:58 am »
Foxpup:

You're likely thinking Article I Section 8, powers granted to Congress and also including the commerce clause. This is one of the points of contention in the lawsuits, the arguement being that while Congress may be able to regulate interstate commerce that exists, it still doesn't give them the power to actually force people to buy anything (health insurance in this case). To carry that point on, the states are claiming their 10th Amendment rights that:

Quote
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

I'm also guessing they are going to argue against any claim that the health care bill/law is covered under the general welfare clause, since welfare in terms of the constitution doesn't mean public assistance programs (which is another topic all together).


I'm not worried about paying more so that poorer people can get coverage. I'm worried that given all the ineffeciencies and shady dealings of our government, the higher taxes imposed, the addition of more people to a program that is already going under and then cutting the program's funding even more, along with a societal trend towards people over using any government support when they don't need it will cause a spike in everyones premiums when doctors have to pass on more and more costs. Every state that has tried anything like this has only suffered for it. For those of us in the middle, it risks us becoming one of those poor people needing to rely on government to have coverage. I for one don't want to become a domesticated sheep. I believe that by claiming to fix a problem, the government is only going to make it worse as usual. On a side note, it seems the government is trying to do everything in their power to gain more power and make people believe that everyone will have success here when it's the exact opposite. Face it, some people will succeed, others will not, no matter how hard it is to accept that fact. It's not the job of the government to mitigate success.

I don't think car and health insurances are the same as far as what is required by most state laws. Yes both cover for the unexpected, but car insurance either covers what you do to someone else to insure THEY are taken care of, or to cover you if someone else causes the accident and can't pay up. States don't require you to cover against yourself. It also doesn't matter if government is tired of watching people fail and matters greatly if anything is a state or federal issue. The ends don't justify the means. Even if the majority of the people did want this, it still doesn't give the feds the right to do it this way.

To be fair, let's say there was a state out there that found the elusive program that in reality did cut medical costs for all and improved access to care through greater regulation and resulted in increased economic prosperity for most everyone. A total win win if you will. I still wouldn't support it on a federal level.
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Offline Drake Blackpaw

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Re: Obama signs new health bill into law.
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2010, 12:45:21 pm »
What socialised health care does is make it possible for poor people to add their names to the waiting list, so that everyone else has to wait longer. <sarcasm>How dare they!</sarcasm>

Again,  not my experience with it when i got a hundred thousand dollar neurosurgery with no insurance.

Most people love socialized health care until they actually /really/ need it for something...

Keep in mind that there's also a lot of people who will go in when they don't really need it,  because they can,  because it's free anyways.  At the VERY least,  there needs to be some level of priority on things.  I KNOW people who have had extremely serious medical issues put off for MONTHS.  In one case,  all my friend was given was pain pills until he was able to get a real surgery far later.

Even if our government didn't already help people with medical (and i am living proof that they do),  i would rather be hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt than dead or paralyzed permanently.

Also,  please tell me I'm mistaken...  Is plastic surgery going to be covered in this?  (i keep hearing that it is but i'm not finding a whole lot on it.)

Edit:  For those curious, i was born with tethered spinal cord syndrome and very soft skin (which makes surgery on anything very hard)

Alsek, I think you are confusing the changes this bill makes to the US healthcare system to they type of system that is used in Canada and many European countries.  In these countries they have a single payer system where the government is the insurance provider.  The healthcare bill doesn't proscribe a single payer plan.  It eventually requires everyone to buy health insurance from the private insurance marketplace.  So, you won't be getting insurance from the government, but from Aetna, Blue Cross, Kaiser Permenante, UnitedHealthcare, ..etc.  The bill also sets a ground floor on what coverage the insurance policies must offer.  Insurance companies can offer plans that provide more coverage than what is in the healthcare bill, but not less. 

The horror stories of waiting lists comes from countries that have a single payer plan, not the few that have a system based on private insurance like in the healthcare bill.   

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Re: Obama signs new health bill into law.
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2010, 11:14:33 pm »
They claim it's unconstitutional because it should be handled on a state level. But the problem is universal health care can't really work on a state by state basis.  The only state that's came close to that to my knowledge is Hawaii. And that's probably largely because it's isolation from the rest of the states; businesses can't easily move out of state to avoid having to pay, and individuals can't easily move into the state to take advantage of the health care.

Incidentally, after universal health care is available for a while, there will likely be less people that need to use it. Why? Because people in general will be healthier.


I for one don't want to become a domesticated sheep.
You've already beaten that horse to death in the other thread. Let's not go down that road here.

Quote
States don't require you to cover against yourself.
Right, and of course it's always your own fault when you need medical attention.  It's not like anyone ever gets sick or hurt through the fault of no-one. [/sarcasm]

Offline Alsek

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Re: Obama signs new health bill into law.
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2010, 04:49:00 pm »
Once the government is in control of our health,  my guess is that,  at that point,  my health and my actions will become public interest.

e.g.  No you can't do that,  it's too risky,  we might have to pay for your medical bills afterward...

How far does that go?

(and i don't mind being told i'm wrong here.)
« Last Edit: March 27, 2010, 04:51:05 pm by Alsek »

Offline Drake Blackpaw

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Re: Obama signs new health bill into law.
« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2010, 08:42:00 pm »
Once the government is in control of our health,  my guess is that,  at that point,  my health and my actions will become public interest.

e.g.  No you can't do that,  it's too risky,  we might have to pay for your medical bills afterward...

How far does that go?

(and i don't mind being told i'm wrong here.)

The healthcare bill doesn't put government in control of our health, it just mandates that we get health insurance or we will eventually have to pay a fine.  The government isn't paying for your heathcare, you are through buying insurance.  Whether we go to the doctor or not, eat bad or not and do other things is still up to you.  In fact, heath insurers won't be allowed to turn you down.  Today, they can based on your behavior, or write into a policy that they won't cover any medical expenses from certain activities. 


Offline Narei Mooncatt

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Re: Obama signs new health bill into law.
« Reply #20 on: March 27, 2010, 09:06:40 pm »
The current bill may not be putting the government may not be in direct control of your actions, but it is opening up the slope more to restricting your actions. Probably the most popular example of it actually happening in the current bill is with the additional tax on tanning salons. Sure, they're not telling you not to go, but they are taxing it in case they have to pay for your cancer later on. So the question of "how far will it go" is something that they need to answer. Even if they did say what is and isn't bad for you today, it could change tomorrow. Especially when they start going bankrupt and needing more money.

*Edit* Other examples on a more local scale is some of the sin taxes on sodas and junk foods that are cropping up around the country, and NYC is trying to ban salt in restaurant cooking (only allowing table salt).
« Last Edit: March 27, 2010, 09:08:41 pm by Narei Mooncatt »
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Offline Drake Blackpaw

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Re: Obama signs new health bill into law.
« Reply #21 on: March 27, 2010, 10:20:44 pm »
The current bill may not be putting the government may not be in direct control of your actions, but it is opening up the slope more to restricting your actions. Probably the most popular example of it actually happening in the current bill is with the additional tax on tanning salons. Sure, they're not telling you not to go, but they are taxing it in case they have to pay for your cancer later on. So the question of "how far will it go" is something that they need to answer. Even if they did say what is and isn't bad for you today, it could change tomorrow. Especially when they start going bankrupt and needing more money.

*Edit* Other examples on a more local scale is some of the sin taxes on sodas and junk foods that are cropping up around the country, and NYC is trying to ban salt in restaurant cooking (only allowing table salt).

Sin taxes are popular with the government, I will give you that Narie and they definitely have a component of trying to steer behavior.  However, I think in many cases sin taxes get used because people are less unhappy about something that is suppose to be "bad" being taxed than to have the tax spread out as a general tax over everyone.  Few people complain about upping taxes on liquor or cigarettes.

Neither of us can prove or disprove if the healthcare bill starts a slippery slope of behavior modification taxes.  Places have been trying to tax soda and junk food before the healthcare bill and they will being trying stuff like that in the future, with or without it. 




Offline Alsek

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Re: Obama signs new health bill into law.
« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2010, 03:03:38 am »
Neither of us can prove or disprove if the healthcare bill starts a slippery slope of behavior modification taxes.  Places have been trying to tax soda and junk food before the healthcare bill and they will being trying stuff like that in the future, with or without it.

The taxes are nothing more than an example,  not the whole point...

The thing is,  when someone thinks it's a good idea to go do something stupid,  the government will have to pay for it.  Naturally,  preventing me from hurting myself by preventing me from doing anything risky is the logical way to fix this problem in the eyes of many.

It's actually common sense that if you're going to pay for someone's health,  you try to prevent them from hurting themselves...  That's why so many insurance providers don't allow people to have trampolines without nets on the side.

Perhaps i personally can't disprove that i will go that way,   but i think that it looks rather likely.  Nothing ever happens overnight.

Offline Yip

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Re: Obama signs new health bill into law.
« Reply #23 on: March 30, 2010, 12:30:52 am »
Perhaps i personally can't disprove that i will go that way,  but i think that it looks rather likely.  Nothing ever happens overnight.
There are lots of places that have had government sponsored health care for quite some time. Are those trends occurring there? Honestly, I think if they want to help keep people healthy, the best way is through education, not taxation.

[edit to fix typos]
« Last Edit: March 30, 2010, 02:08:32 am by Vararam »

Offline CiceroKit

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Re: Obama signs new health bill into law.
« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2010, 04:17:24 pm »
There are a few points being confused here. The bill that was passed is health insurance reform. It is not single payer. Not socialized medicine. Will we be paying more? Maybe initially, but over the long haul, we will actually be paying less as we will not be paying for uninsured individuals the way we do now.

As of right now, if someone does not have health insurance and they rack up a big medical bill, what happens? Assuming that the person does not have Medicaid, Medicare, or a state-run health insurance option, I can tell you what is likely to happen. If the bill is from a state-run hospital or clinic (as in through the University system) or is affiliated with a religious organization, chances are that there is a program offered through the hospital or clinic to help alleviate some or all of the debt or work out whatever would be a manageable payment (which often includes a deduction from the total bill, leaving a remainder that can be paid over time, by using foundation dollars-which are earned in part by charging the people with insurance more). If the clinic or hospital is not affiliated with the state or a religious organization, the billing department will often be more emboldened about retrieving debt. Seldom are hardship programs offered through such a medical institution. What is likely to happen in that scenario is that the medical establishment will decide what is a reasonable payment each month even if it is beyond what the patient can afford. When the patient fails at being able to keep up with said payments, then the patient will be referred to a collections agency. If something cannot be worked out with the collections agency, the matter of the outstanding bill can result in a court case. Anyone who is familiar with public court records should be aware that once this happens, there is yet another cost for taxpayers, and often, even if the case is decided in the favor of the clinic (which means that someone from the clinic needs to show up in court, which is unlikely to happen most of the time), the bill will remain outstanding for a long while, perhaps, indefinitely, and without real consequence.

Now, I know, this may be an example of where government really isn't working. How do you get people who are delinquent in paying their bills to ever actually pay when there is so little enforcement? However, that is not my key point. My point is that we, as patients, we, as taxpayers, we, as insured individuals, are already paying for the uninsured. We have been for nearly 40 years.

To begin to solve the problem, carrying health insurance has to be mandatory.

Alsek, what I get from all your posts is that the taxpayers paid your medical bill. May I ask, were you under the age of 18 when you required surgery? I ask this, because there have been programs in place over the past several decades that covered the children of the uninsured, and sometimes parents as well.

I have taken issue with such programs as they essentially make children into cheap commodities. I've known people who have had children with the intent of receiving government support. I do not wish to condemn such people, because when times are tough, you do what you have to do. But as someone who has been an advocate for single and/or childless individuals, I have always deemed such programs as unfair. As someone who can never have children (not that I ever wanted to) and as someone who has had to go without insurance at times due to economic hardship, I can tell you how upset it made me, knowing that I was paying for health insurance for people who were better off than I was. I am very pleased that this bill extends programs such as Medicaid to childless adults. We are one of the most discriminated against groups out there. I have been passed over for promotions, and for jobs, all based on the fact that I do not have children. "We're giving the job to so and so because he/she needs more money to support his/her family." Do you realize how crappy that is when you are more qualified? Oh, and if you do get sick as a childless adult, expect no sympathy from your employer. Have to take short-term disability? Don't expect having a job to return to. That happened to me in 2007. Yet if you are expecting a child, you can take the full term of short-term disability for your maternity leave, no hassle, no questions asked.

All of that said, everyone knows how I feel about all of this. I am for it. I wish the bill went farther than it does. But I am still skeptical about how it will all play out. When I hear things like "oh, they won't really fine the uninsured" or that the fine will be a mere $695, I have doubts as to the enforcement. That is where government always fails. You can pass a law, but if it is not properly enforced with strict enough penalties, it will not work. It is that way with everything.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2010, 04:23:37 pm by CiceroKit »
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