Bush vetoes SCHIP expansion

Yes. Earlier today President Bush vetoed the Democrats' $30 billion expansion of SCHIP, the State Children's Health Insurance Program.

Bush has agreed to increase SCHIP by $5 billion over 5 years, or 20%.

But the Democrat plan would have expanded government health coverage to include children of "poor" families making up to 400% over the federal poverty level, or $83,000. This was simply a backdoor attempt to codify universal health care into federal Americana.

frost.jpgSCHIP was designed in 1997 to cover children from families not qualifying for Medicaid but with annual incomes at or below 200% of the poverty level or 50% above a state's Medicaid eligibility level.

Did any of you liberals wince Saturday when Democrats shamelessly exploited that brain-damaged 12-year-old boy, Graeme Frost, to read their weekly radio address? Worse, the script they had him read was a lie. He got help via SCHIP but insinuated he would not if injured after a presidential veto of the new Democrat plan. False....

One of the best parts of SCHIP is Republicans added "unborn children" as recipients in 2002. Democrats hated that. In fact, they tried to strike that language from the just-vetoed plan to instead cover "pregnant women." Don't say semantics don't matter.

BTW, how were Dems going to pay for their SCHIP expansion? With a $.61 tax increase per pack of cigarettes. They said this tax would on one hand curb smoking and on the other raise funds. But their plan would require 22+ million new smokers in 10 years.

schip.jpg

And since I always come back in on abortion, using the Democrats cigarette tax theory, if they really want to make abortion "rare," wouldn't they tax it rather than subsidize it? This is an analogous comparison, since poor people disproportionately smoke:

smoke2.jpg

[Photo of Frost courtesy of Bloomberg; cartoon by Jerry Holbert courtesy of Townhall.com; chart courtesy of Heritge Foundation ]


Comments:

Did any of you liberals wince Saturday when Democrats shamelessly exploited that brain-damaged 12-year-old boy, Graeme Frost, to read their weekly radio address?

Let's just be happy that they're only exploiting him rather than starving and dehydrating him to death like they've done with other brain-damaged people.

Posted by: Jacqueline at October 3, 2007 5:19 PM


I heard the radio address and thought it was disgusting. There is no level too low for some of these people.

Posted by: Kristen at October 3, 2007 5:27 PM


I wince at Democrats alot these days. I used to be a Democrat, but know consider myself an independent. I haven't seen much evidence from the dems that they really want to make abortion rare. I always thought of the dems as the party of the "little guy". What could be more "little guy" than an unborn baby? I think some dem. politicans have betrayed the principles of their party with their support of abortion rights and with their support of the death penalty.

Posted by: Carrie at October 3, 2007 5:47 PM


Many Republicans supported the bill which is how it got to the president's desk. I have to say I like the SCHIP plan more than Medicare. At least with SCHIP the recipients will eventually age out but with Medicare there simply is no way to really fund it in the future. The baby boomers will bust it.

Did anyone else see the letter to the editor in the WSJ from the blue dog dems about how Bush's tax cut take us from 3 trillion to 8.9 trillion in the hole?

Posted by: hippie at October 3, 2007 6:19 PM


"One of the best parts of SCHIP is Republicans added "unborn children" as recipients in 2002. Democrats hated that. In fact, they tried to strike that language from the just-vetoed plan to instead cover "pregnant women."

typical liberals...

Posted by: jasper at October 3, 2007 6:51 PM


This article has nothing to do with being pro-life. It seems to be out of step with being pro-life. If you support the unborn (which I know you do and I applaud you for that) you should also support the already born children. There is SO much scripture that I could quote to support that which you seem to be opposing.

Posted by: Kirk at October 3, 2007 7:05 PM


I am all for providing health care for children truly in need, but for family incomes of $83,000? Please. Can't parents take some responsibility, especially those who can well afford to?

Posted by: Mary at October 3, 2007 7:15 PM


Kirk, I don't have a big problem with SCHIP. I agree with Hippie that it is at least better than Medicare. I was wincing at their exploitation of the 12 yr. old with brain damage. It is especially ironic considering some Democratic politicans have no problem with the unborn with disabilities being aborted.

Posted by: Carrie at October 3, 2007 7:22 PM


While the Democrats have absolutely failed on several pro-life issues, the Republicans often lag behind on Christian values - particularly in regard to helping the poor. This is a good example.
There is absolutely no way to reconcile the position in the article with Christian values.
On at least a weekly basis Pope Benedict exhorts us to help the poor. Are we supposed to ignore him, or think that it doesn't really apply to us?
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal.” Matthew, 6:19
“Had I put my trust in gold or called fine gold my security; Or had I rejoiced that my wealth was great, or that my hand had acquired abundance -…This too would be a crime for condemnation, for I should have denied God above.” Job, 31: 24-28
“For you say, ‘I am rich and affluent and have no need of anything,’ and yet do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.” Revelation, 3:17
“For the love of money is the root of all evils, and some people in their desire for it, have strayed from the faith…” 1 Timothy 6:10
"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." (1 Tim. 6:6-10)
"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." (Matt. 6:24)

There are many more that I will be happy to add, but I've already come off as being self-righteous and I am sorry for that. My point is that we cannot let the pro-life movement be USED by the Republican party for anything that isn't consistent with Christian values (They do this ALL the time).

Posted by: Kirk at October 3, 2007 7:40 PM


Kirk, you made some good points. I don't think you are coming across as self-righteous at all.

Posted by: Carrie at October 3, 2007 8:07 PM


"There are many more that I will be happy to add, but I've already come off as being self-righteous and I am sorry for that. My point is that we cannot let the pro-life movement be USED by the Republican party for anything that isn't consistent with Christian values (They do this ALL the time)."


Wrong, totally wrong and misguided. Democrats consistantly vote for pro-death side, time after time, and now we have 50,000,00 killed from abortion because of democrats. This poverty thing is a joke, the democrats just want us to move toward an ungodly, socialized europe. And sadly, misguided people who call themselves "christians" continue to vote for them.

Posted by: jasper at October 3, 2007 8:22 PM


Democrat Party, now the the party of death.

Posted by: jasper at October 3, 2007 8:26 PM


Kirk, this is not about helping the poor. Republicans and Democrats agree that the poor need government assistance. This is about essentially putting middle class kids on Welfare, which amounts to socialism.

President Bush will gladly sign into law, and wants to sign into law, a SCHIP bill which will cover more poor children. He will not, however, sign into law a SCHIP bill which covers middle class children. Perhaps you think that middle class kids should be covered - fine. But this nonsense that the debate is over poor kids needs to stop, and it needs to stop yesterday.

Posted by: John Lewandowski at October 3, 2007 8:28 PM


Socialism vs. Capitalism is not a Christian vs. non-Christian issue. Feel free to tell me I'm wrong, but I'm only repeating the Holy Father.
"Capitalism must not be considered as the only valid model of economic organization." Pope Benedict XVI, September 25th.
John and Jasper, what is more important to you - your faith or your politics? It sounds as if you are leading with your politics.

Posted by: kirk at October 3, 2007 8:39 PM


"John and Jasper, what is more important to you - your faith or your politics?"

My faith Kirk. Democrats gave us the "great society" that didn't help poverty at all. The took prayer out of school, gave us artificial contraception, pornography, no fault divorce, abortion. This is not consistant with my faith Kirk.

Posted by: jasper at October 3, 2007 8:43 PM


I'll make this my last post because I'm probably starting to monopolize the Board. Jasper, you are right in some of what you are saying. The Democrats (along with a lot of the Republicans - or perhaps along with an equal share of the Republicans) have not stopped our headlong societal dive into hedonism and consumerism. The point of my first post, however, was to suggest that people not be seduced into believing that one party or the other has "right" on its side. The Democrats have the blood of aborted babies on their hands. The Republicans have the blood of our own soldiers and Iraqis on their hands. (Please remember that John Paul II condemned our invasion) Also feeding the poor (perhaps Christ's most repeated teaching) capital punishment, etc. Do not deceive yourself that Republican politicians do not embrace the consumerism that goes hand in hand with hedonism.
Why is it that anytime someone criticizes one party the defense is that "Well what about the other party?"
THEY ARE BOTH BAD!!!!!!!!!!!
NEITHER DESERVE BLIND SUPPORT.
Sorry for my long-winded posts.
Kirk out.

Posted by: Kirk at October 3, 2007 8:56 PM


"NEITHER DESERVE BLIND SUPPORT."

We'll, I agree Kirk, please visit again- thanks

Posted by: jasper at October 3, 2007 9:08 PM


Kirk, I would be happy if you acknowledge my very true point that this debate is not about the poor. It's about the middle class.

Yes, both JP2 and B16 have spoken out against unrestrained capitalism in which the poor are ignored and culture becomes decadent. I agree with them. We should take care of the poor, not just through private charities, but also through governmental aid. Fortunately, this is one of the few points upon which Democrats and Republicans agree.

If you want middle class kids to be on Welfare, fine. That's your prerogative. I take issue with your continued implication that this debate is about the poor, which it most definitely is not.

Let me put it this way - your complaint about Republican support for the war in Iraq is reasonable. It appears to be based on facts, and is a legitimate criticism. However, your argument about how Republicans are anti-poor makes no sense as it is not based in reality.

Posted by: John Lewandowski at October 3, 2007 9:17 PM


Jasper: Democrats consistantly vote for pro-death side, time after time, and now we have 50,000,00 killed from abortion because of democrats.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Roe Court:
Burger, C.J.(Nixon'69), Douglas (Roosevelt'39), Brennan (Eisenhower'56), Stewart (Eisenhower'58), White (Kennedy'62), Marshall (Johnson'67), Blackmun (Nixon'70), Powell (Nixon'71), Rehnquist (Nixon'71).

Posted by: Laura at October 3, 2007 9:32 PM


Good point Laura, yes, repubs had some bad nominations, especially Nixon.

Posted by: jasper at October 3, 2007 9:48 PM


Jasper,

And let's not forget that Democrat icon Franklin Roosevelt who put American citizens in concentration camps, sent a shipload of Jewish refugees back to Nazi Germany after refusing them admission into the United States, and put a ku klux klansman on the Supreme Court.

Posted by: Mary at October 3, 2007 9:54 PM


I agree with jasper--The democratic party made up the idea of pornography, and to this day, no republican has ever watched porn. Sex shops specifically say "No Republicans Allowed" on their doors.

"This was simply a backdoor attempt to codify universal health care into federal Americana."
OH NO! I can't believe middle class kids are getting federal aided health care! What a horrible horrible thing! And health care for everybody? It's terrible-it's only right that rich people get better everything than anybody else. Bootstraps people bootstraps!

"Democrats shamelessly exploited that brain-damaged 12-year-old boy"
I don't know much about this. But I'm sure shamless exploitation is red paint on both parties' metaphorical fur.

"Don't say semantics don't matter."
It is practially the same thing though--money afforded to unborn children is the same as money afforded to the pregnant mothers' health care. I think it is dumb the Democrats had to make such a big deal about words! But if we are just talking about health care here, same goes regardless.

"BTW, how were Dems going to pay for their SCHIP expansion"
Whoever brought up the point about, how would Bush pay for tax cuts? And then try to justify it when spending for the war? Good point. Doesn't sound economic to me.

"They said this tax would on one hand curb smoking and on the other raise funds. But their plan would require 22+ million new smokers in 10 years."
Then revise it. They had the right idea. If numbers are off we can always fix it. For some reason I don't think this is the problem. The problem is you guys are afraid that people would get health care they need. If you haven't noticed, our system is broke. Any attempt to change it is a step in the right direction!


My family has always been middle class but health care bills are still pretty expensive. If I didn't have really good insurance (which many people don't) my anti-epileptic medication alone would cost me at least $200 a month. And three people in my family have epilepsy. That would be $600 a month, just for one medication. Should we add on to it, neurologist bills (for a checkup, something like 100 bucks a visit), as we all have glasses/contacts, there are optometrist bills and contacts/glasses to pay for, there is other random things to pay for (appendicitis, tonsillectomy, broken bones), dentist bills, other prescription medications (zyrtec for my sister, Metanx and sleep aids for me, an extra antiepileptic med for my brother...)

There are families that have worse problems to deal with than just epilepsy. Their health care bills are much more extensive and may not have as good of insurance as we do (and ours still doesn't cover our neurologist visits).

Acting like families got it made because they are in the middle class is kind of frustrating. Because we don't get the good tax cuts. We don't get as much federal aid as the lower class does (well, obviously), and most families have both parents working to stay middle class.

Ah, well, maybe another 'bootstraps' speech will be thrown my way. Just had to say my piece.

Posted by: prettyinpink at October 3, 2007 9:54 PM


" Their health care bills are much more extensive and may not have as good of insurance as we do (and ours still doesn't cover our neurologist visits)."

I think you know PIP, my son has epilepsy (takes depakote) and his neurologist visits are covered, I'm surprized that your insurance doesn't cover this.

Posted by: jasper at October 3, 2007 10:10 PM


jasper-

I know, it is all politics. Our neurologist shares an office with another one. And they moved floors to save money, but because of competition with insurance companies (or something like that, I don't know the details), his partner insisted on closing a deal to make him some more money. Consequently, they don't take blue cross blue shield anymore, and we have to travel 40 minutes away. But we like this guy and he knows us personally, so we pay it. He himself was frustrated by the whole situation. It really sucks though.

btw, I take lamictal, I'm a big fan.

Posted by: prettyinpink at October 3, 2007 10:15 PM


should have added in, they switched floors and removed spaces at the clinic in our town.

Posted by: prettyinpink at October 3, 2007 10:16 PM


Just a point of interest. A friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton, a wealthy Canadian who is a member of the Canadian government, was advised by her doctor to seek treatment in the United States for her breast cancer. Doesn't Canada have the one payor government controlled system that Hillary wants for us and that we hear praised time and again? Why on earth would this unfortunate woman be advised to come to the United States? By the way, what about the middle class or low income Canadian woman with breast cancer. Does she have the option to come to the United States? Or does she just wait her turn in Canada?
Oh, and while Michael Moore praised Cuba's government sponsored health care, I understand Castro imported Spanish doctors to care for him. Why didn't Castro take advantage of Cuba's marvelous health care system? Apparently what's good enough for the average person under government sponsored health care isn't good enough for the wealthy and powerful of these countries.

Posted by: Mary at October 3, 2007 10:30 PM


Mary,

It's about the greater good. Should we adopt a personalized program so that every citizen can have the health care they need? We could just pretend that our health care system is dandy when statistics say otherwise..

Nobody's saying the system is perfect. But which one is better for the American people? Our current system is good for business. Providing health care for everybody would probably be in the best interest of the people.

Posted by: prettyinpink at October 3, 2007 10:41 PM


No, PIP, I'm not afraid that kids will get the health care they need. Regardless of tax hikes, governments will cut healthcare spending because it's simply too expensive. How will they do this? But restricting clinics and hospitals that will give care to kids- and denying brain-damaged or other disabled children care at all. Therein begins an unholy alliance of hospitals that deny care to kids they don't deem worth the money- it's passive euthanasia already rife in medicaid. Look at Texas. Look at Daniel Cullen Jr. or Emilio Gonzales. I don't think trading some crappy-ass universal healthcare for some children is worth ushering in euthanasia for others.

We agree that the system is broke, but that doens't mean that any change is good change. It can get worse. And Edwards, Clinton and Obama have plans to make it worse. Universal healthcare at any level would make it worse. Look at England. Look at Charlotte Wyatt or Leslie Burke. That's much worse than what we have.

P.S. I was raised upper-class but uninsured. Even we couldn't afford healthcare. My mom, the nurse, sutured our wounds with Mexican-purhased novacaine, prescribed our antibiotics and did most of our healthcare. My father's gallbladder surgery cost him 40k out of pocket over a number of years. So it's not that the upper-classes get medicine and the poor don't. This is not a class thing. I wouldn't have qualified under SCHIP, but I was in exactly the same boat as those other kids.

Posted by: Jacqueline at October 3, 2007 10:51 PM


Bottom line:

Caring for the poor is one thing. It's our moral obligation. But ushering in some soviet-esque institutional commie healthcare system is quite another.

Posted by: Jacq at October 3, 2007 10:53 PM


" I was raised upper-class but uninsured. Even we couldn't afford healthcare. My mom, the nurse, sutured our wounds with Mexican-purhased novacaine, prescribed our antibiotics and did most of our healthcare. My father's gallbladder surgery cost him 40k out of pocket over a number of years. So it's not that the upper-classes get medicine and the poor don't. This is not a class thing. I wouldn't have qualified under SCHIP, but I was in exactly the same boat as those other kids."

"Caring for the poor is one thing. It's our moral obligation. But ushering in some soviet-esque institutional commie healthcare system is quite another."

There are many countries in which a socialized health care system works. It's finding the one that works best for our country. We don't have to just adopt a system from someone else, we are plenty capable of deciding for ourselves how to do it.

Commie healthcare system? Many things in our country are "socialized." It doesn't make our country a socialist country. I think that pro-life includes quality of life. I think everybody has a right to an education, a right to life, and a right to health care services. I think that a child in the US should not have to die because they couldn't afford health care. We can create a system that satisfies our general principles in the US. I think we can do it.

Look, I don't know how feasible the plan under discussion is myself. So I am not sure I can accurately say much about it. Plans should always be revised if things look wrong. But the point of this post was "OH NO! This is a move toward universal health care!" and that is what I was responding to. If we treat health care like every other business I think we have the wrong idea.

Posted by: prettyinpink at October 3, 2007 11:16 PM


PIP,

You are articulate and understanding.

However, I would disagree that universal healthcare is good.

Healthcare IS big business in this country. If we socialize it, it will get much, much worse. Have you heard of the system in Britain? There are waiting times of two weeks or more (probably a lot more) to see a doctor.

In our country, we do have county-supported hospitals that either have sliding-scale fees, or none at all if you are poor enough. They are not as good as private hospitals, but at least they are there. In third-world countries, many people do not have access to a doctor even. Many have to travel great distances by foot, carrying their sick children in their arms. Sometimes the children die enroute.

And we complain about our system.

You know, you can look at photos or films or read articles about how the real poor of this world live, but unless you've actually been there in person, you can never know.

I have not been to a third-world country, but I did live in Poland in 1988-1989, under Communism and during the first free elections there in about 50 years. You cannot imagine what it was like to live in a Communist country. Normal, everyday goods were often very difficult to come by. Yes, even toilet paper, the old cliche, was actually a rare commodity, unless you had 'hard currency' (dollars, deutschmarks, etc.) to purchase items at special stores. The average Pole only earned the equivalent of $20 to $40 a month, with the workers getting the higher salary. Intelligentsia (doctors, professors, etc.) received low salaries.

This was and is Marxist Communism.

That's only the tip of the iceberg.

Please don't vote for any politiician or party that advocates such a thing as 'universal healthcare'. It will be the end of our Republic as we know it and the beginning of the United Socialist States of America.

I'll keep my freedom, thank you.

We need to reform from within. But that has to happen on the heart level, with conversion.

I often wonder, will America survive?

Posted by: Paul at October 4, 2007 2:47 AM


I wonder how many women will choose abortions because they cannot pay for their kids' health care.

Posted by: SoMG at October 4, 2007 4:45 AM


Who needs health insurance anyway? Just rub some dirt on it. Health insurance is for hippie liberals who aren't tough enough to shake it off, they need to *go to the doctor* awwwwww

Posted by: JKeller at October 4, 2007 6:01 AM


JKeller,

Just rub some dirt on it

Or Windex.

Posted by: mk at October 4, 2007 6:17 AM


SoMG,

I wonder how many women will choose abortions because they cannot pay for their kids' health care.

I wonder how many will choose a big screen TV or a cruise and then complain because they can't pay for health care.

Posted by: mk at October 4, 2007 6:18 AM


PIP,

My question is, why do the rich and powerful of the nations with government run health care systems seeks out other forms of healthcare? I just gave two examples.
MK makes an excellent point about priorities. How many people are uninsured because they prefer to spend their money otherwise? Or they poorly manage their money? Yes we hear sad stories of people deeply in debt because of sickness, but we also hear sad stories of people who lose everything in a fire, have major accidents, are the innocent victims of drunk drivers, etc. There isn't a government solution for everything.
There is also the problem of people who don't manage their own lives. They badly abuse their health and bodies, then cry about their health care costs. People badly manage money, then cry they are in debt. When I worked emergency you would be surprised the people that came in for the most trivial of reasons because their care was "free". No, the taxpayer and policyholders were paying for it. This greatly jacked up health care costs when people thought they were getting something for nothing, and led to people being required to pay more.
I can't agree PIP that the government is any solution. Even the pharmacy industry and private business is stepping in to assist with drug costs, and that's how it should be.
By the way, my daughter is one of those young adults who just "can't get around to" calling the insurance agent about a health care policy.

Posted by: Mary at October 4, 2007 6:53 AM


MK and PIP

Speaking of priorities. I live in a midwestern city. Our cosmetic surgeons are not only doing very good business, they're competing with each other. Since the majority of cosmetic procedures are paid out-of-pocket, how can this be?
I'm not talking Beverly Hills here. I'm talking average everyday people who work in every kind of job who are getting facelifts, eye work, tummy tucks, breast enhancements, you name it. Sometimes, the procedures are combined. One woman, a social worker, told me she had all this work done because she got a divorce and has a new man in her life. Go girl!!
Believe me, these procedures don't come cheap, and that doesn't include surgery, anesthesia, and recovery room costs! All out-of-pocket.
We have some kind of "crisis" in health care but our cosmetic surgeons are doing a booming business. Please explain.
How do people manage?
Well, they save money, they take out a loan, they work an extra job, they put off that vacation or new car. Somehow they get the money because they are absolutely determined to.
Somehow they get the procedure they desperately want done.
Just thought I'd throw this out there!

Posted by: Mary at October 4, 2007 7:42 AM


"Healthcare IS big business in this country."
Right now it is. But I think health care should be a right in the US. So I don't like the fact that pharmaceutical companies pay politicians millions of dollars so that they can keep the system the way it is. If education is a right, shouldn't health care be? Are we a communist country because education is "socialized"?

". In third-world countries, many people do not have access to a doctor even. Many have to travel great distances by foot, carrying their sick children in their arms. Sometimes the children die enroute."
I do realize this. However, I feel in a first world country that people shouldn't face a bill of thousands of dollars because they are sick. If they can't pay it, we have got problems. It my not be "as bad" but doesn't mean it is "very good." I think we can do much better than we got.

"You know, you can look at photos or films or read articles about how the real poor of this world live, but unless you've actually been there in person, you can never know."
I can imagine. That is why I donate yearly to Heifer International. It is a great organization. You should check it out.
However, I think "well some people have it worse" is a poor excuse to deny health care in a country that can afford it.

"You cannot imagine what it was like to live in a Communist country."
No, i cannot. However, I think accusing people who want everyone to be able to have health care of being communists is a little paranoid. The Communist system doesn't work. Neither does full-blown socialism. We should not confuse a universal system with "socialism" of the whole country.

"This was and is Marxist Communism. "
My roommate is from China. I really really doubt that we are trying to establish a similar system. It is a large accusation. But, I also have people who want to demolish the department of education. Then education will become a big business, too. Good luck, poor people.

"Please don't vote for any politiician or party that advocates such a thing as 'universal healthcare'. It will be the end of our Republic as we know it and the beginning of the United Socialist States of America."
Haha. Don't you think that is going a little too far? You sound as if you are very afraid. Don't let fear influence you. I have trust that the government is there to help us, and grant us rights like education and health care. I very, very, highly doubt that we would ever become a socialist country. Why? Because a lot of Republicans I know agree with me about health care. True socialists are quite the minority as far as I know. If we make a health care system that both provides pepole with the health care they need and has the qualities that a capitalist society enjoys, then I would not be worried. There is nothing to fear. The water is fine.

"We need to reform from within."
Got any ideas? I am out of them.

"But that has to happen on the heart level, with conversion."
Huh? Do we have to wait until everyone is a Christian to get good health care?

"I often wonder, will America survive?"
I am sure it would.I am not trying to offend you, but I felt I should point out that this post indicates an alarmist philosophy. Socialized one or two things does NOT equal socialized everything. There is quite a difference there.

"My question is, why do the rich and powerful of the nations with government run health care systems seeks out other forms of healthcare?"
Because our health care system caters to the rich?

" sad stories of people who lose everything in a fire, have major accidents, are the innocent victims of drunk drivers, etc."
Wouldn't some of these problems be aided if the people involved had access to health care?

"There is also the problem of people who don't manage their own lives."
Look, there will always be some things wrong with the system; the question is what is the greater good?
Here is another philosophy I have that will ease the burden on the system: why not focus on preventable health care? Nowadays kids don't get practical lessons on how to manage their money (I haven't! It is not required anywhere I've been!) or other life skills. Why don't we implement that and see if that helps anything? Why don't we focus on preventing obesity in both children and adults? Why don't we look at the things that are making health care hard to support and fix those as well as helping all of those that are poor get the help they need. How dare those poor people get cancer! If only they were rich, they would get great health care!
Private health insurance companies aren't helping. They make it pretty hard sometimes. Their goal is to make money. Their goal is to be able to turn you down.

"When I worked emergency you would be surprised the people that came in for the most trivial of reasons because their care was "free"."
I've spent over 100 hours volunteering in the ER this summer. What I have noticed is that a lot of these things they come in for can be prevented from overburdening the ER if they had a primary physician they can afford to go to. I also volunteered at the free clinic. They could only have clinical work on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The common answer is, "if it gets worse in the next couple weeks go to the ER."

"No, the taxpayer and policyholders were paying for it. This greatly jacked up health care costs when people thought they were getting something for nothing, and led to people being required to pay more."
So how would you suggest we fix this problem?

"I can't agree PIP that the government is any solution."
Are you a libertarian? I think there is a lot the government can do to care for its people. That is its job! now we, the people, can decide which services the government should provide and which ones they should leave relatively alone (even those are regulated--there is an FDA and everything...).

"Even the pharmacy industry and private business is stepping in to assist with drug costs, and that's how it should be."
Sometimes. Not enough to cover all the people who need it.

"By the way, my daughter is one of those young adults who just "can't get around to" calling the insurance agent about a health care policy."
Well...I'm sorry about that.

Posted by: prettyinpink at October 4, 2007 9:49 AM


"Since the majority of cosmetic procedures are paid out-of-pocket, how can this be?"
Because people that can afford to pay for cosmetic procedures do. Why do you think those LA cosmetic surgeons do so well?


"I'm talking average everyday people who work in every kind of job who are getting facelifts, eye work, tummy tucks, breast enhancements, you name it. Sometimes, the procedures are combined. One woman, a social worker, told me she had all this work done because she got a divorce and has a new man in her life. Go girl!!"
Haha, so she got the money from her husband? Sounds like new money to me!
Some people buy diamond rings for themselves, some buy new cars, some get cosmetic surgery. And also, surgery doesn't cost nearly as much as ICU bills for someone with a spinal injury, or long term radiation therapy, chemo, or surgery required to battle cancer.

"Believe me, these procedures don't come cheap, and that doesn't include surgery, anesthesia, and recovery room costs! All out-of-pocket."
Really, Mary, I'm not sure where you are going here. Some people can afford gallbladder surgery too. Just because they can doesn't mean everyone can.

"We have some kind of "crisis" in health care but our cosmetic surgeons are doing a booming business. Please explain.
How do people manage?"
Here it comes, the bootstraps mentality.
Looking at prices quickly, I get the highest at 7,810 bucks (lower body lift). Are you really comparing a surgery like that to the real costs of care- the costs that car accidents, subsequent surgery and possibly PT, ICU costs for very sick people, etc? Just because some people afford cars that cost 30,000 bucks, we shouldn't have affordable public transportation?

"Well, they save money, they take out a loan, they work an extra job, they put off that vacation or new car. Somehow they get the money because they are absolutely determined to.
Somehow they get the procedure they desperately want done."
Yup. They usually plan these, save up, etc.. Really sick people often don't say, "I think I'll get cancer today." "I think I'm going to accidently blow my hand off today" or "I think I'll total my car today." I think this is quite a big difference.

Posted by: prettyinpink at October 4, 2007 9:59 AM


There is absolutely no way to reconcile the position in the article with Christian values.

Yes there is. My Christian values extoll helping the POOR. Not the middle class, the poor. The poor are always with us, not the middle class. This is a pathetic attempt to sneak in universal healthcare tacked onto a welfare bill in order to paint those of us that don't want the honors of socialized medicine as heartless bastards.

Moreover, trying to control healthcare given to large volumes of people is an excuse to either delay or deny care to those deemed "unworthy" like the premature, the elderly, the brain injured, the disabled or the developmentally disabled. These are the first people that are denied care to provide care to those that are deemed worthy. I oppose socialized medicine because I know that it will usher in wide-spread passive (and eventually active) euthanasia. This will be used as both a cost-reduction measure, population control and eugenic genocide.

Beyond that, the government simply can't afford to care for everyone- so, like I said, they delay or deny until the patient dies. If we let socialist healthcare in through the back door of "children's programs" pretty soon we'll have no consumer sovereignty and end up like those nations where doctors and courts play God (even moreso than ours do now). I encourage you to look up the cases of Charlotte Wyatt in the UK who was denied antibiotics because she was born premature and suffers disabilities from it---and Leslie Burke who has petitioned the court to keep giving him food and water even after his degenerative disease takes away his ability to communicate. They've denied him, essentially telling him that he will suffer a horrible death from starvation and dehydration after his ability to comminicate ceases (but his brain still functions). Is this what you want?

And by the way, any universal healthcare plan that wiggles its way through to every American will include abortions. You can bet on it.

Posted by: Jacque at October 4, 2007 11:08 AM


There are many countries in which a socialized health care system works.

Show me one! And show me one where abortion and euthanasia aren't prevalent aspects of the "healthcare plan."

We don't have to just adopt a system from someone else, we are plenty capable of deciding for ourselves how to do it.

If universal healthcare has brought misery and death to every country that has it, what makes you think that we can change the nature of the beast? Why should we do the same thing, only slightly modified, and expect a positive result? We can't. And the risks are far too great.

Commie healthcare system? Many things in our country are "socialized." It doesn't make our country a socialist country.

No, but socialized healthcare would count as commie healthcare. And the standard would be low, low, low. Think about the VA and imagine being told "bite on this while we do surgery; it's cheaper than a local anesthetic."

I think that pro-life includes quality of life.

Congratulations, PIP. You've just echoed the death-mongers rationale for killing the poor via abortion and killing the disabled via euthanasia in this new healthcare plan. Quality of life is subjective, but othere project and KILL based on their preferences. Like is Terri's case, "I wouldn't want to live if I were brain injured. Starve and dehydrate her over 14 days till she dies. Quality of life matters."

I think everybody has a right to an education, a right to life, and a right to health care services.

Indeed. But the right to healthcare being fufilled in the way you suggest would inevitably take away the paramount right to life. This is why we shouldn't gamble on a proven failure.

I think that a child in the US should not have to die because they couldn't afford health care.

I agree! But that's what you're going to get with universal health care! Right now, private entities are forced to stabilize poor kids in emergency rooms and save their lives. Right now, private charities like Shriners and St. Jude help children who are unable to pay. But universal healthcare says, "You get you healthcare from the government or not at all." and you are held hostage to a particular hospital or district that denies you care, like in Charlotte Wyatt's case. Right now, poor kids have options. If we go socialized, poor kids will die from delays or denials.

It just won't work, PIP.

Posted by: Jacqueline at October 4, 2007 11:22 AM


Wesley J. Smith articulates perfectly my reasons for opposing universal healthcare in this article.

An excerpt:

As Woodeson explained, the National Health Service established the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (given the creepily inappropriate acronym NICE) to issue "clinical guidelines" that blend efficacy of outcomes, quality of life judgments, and economics:

"An assessment is made of the cost of the treatment per additional year of life which it brings, and per quality adjusted life year (QALY) . . . which takes into consideration the quality of life of the patient during any additional time for which their life will be prolonged. The clinical and cost effectiveness of the treatment under review is then used as the basis for a recommendation as to whether or not . . . the treatment should be provided in the NHS. . . . The Secretary of State believes that . . . clinicians should be able to follow NICE guidelines without being obliged to accede to patient demands. . . . If that principle were undermined, there would be considerable risk of inefficient use of NHS resources."

In other words, medical care is effectively rationed by the National Health Service under guidelines set by bioethicists based on their beliefs about the low quality of life of patients whom they have never met. While the views of patients and families are to be taken into account when deciding whether to provide treatment, they are not determinative.

If this doesn't scare the crap out of you, it should.

Posted by: Jacqueline at October 4, 2007 11:33 AM


"Show me one! And show me one where abortion and euthanasia aren't prevalent aspects of the "healthcare plan.""
National healthcare does not automatically include abortion and euthanasia. That is basically saying that in order to be pro-life you have to be anti-universal health care. You don't have to be either, I just think that doing so is consistent with my ethics.
For starters, Finland is doing pretty well.

"If universal healthcare has brought misery and death to every country that has it, what makes you think that we can change the nature of the beast? Why should we do the same thing, only slightly modified, and expect a positive result? We can't. And the risks are far too great."
Huh? Seems to me they have a greater average life expectancy, a lower infant mortality rate, a comparable amount of physicians and nurses and in the right context can lower health care spending for the country (generally--not all countries but ones within our economic range).

"No, but socialized healthcare would count as commie healthcare. And the standard would be low, low, low. Think about the VA and imagine being told "bite on this while we do surgery; it's cheaper than a local anesthetic.""
Alright, so we can live with a commie education system but not a commie health care system? Who said the standards have to be low?

"You've just echoed the death-mongers rationale for killing the poor via abortion and killing the disabled via euthanasia in this new healthcare plan. "
Huh? In ADDITION to being pro-life in terms of direct life issues, I thinkt hat everyone should get adequate health care. I think that counts as quality of life. I'm not talking about "man this is so inconvenient" kind of quality of life, I mean literally the quality of life. Like, the living part. Free of thinking about how you would pay for your health care bills, free of thinking you need to be at deaths door to see a doctor. I ask that you please don't take what I say out of context.

"Quality of life is subjective, but othere project and KILL based on their preferences."
Notice the inclusion part. Being pro-life also means being pro-quality of life for me. Saving someone from abortion, slapping them on the butt, and telling them to walk it off is not my idea of pro-life :)

"Indeed. But the right to healthcare being fufilled in the way you suggest would inevitably take away the paramount right to life. This is why we shouldn't gamble on a proven failure."
I'm not sure where the proven failure part comes in. Also, someone said up there, "why did castro ask for a physician from spain?" I'm pretty sure they have a universal health care system. And where do you suppose we give everyone the right to good health care comes in without government assistance?

"I agree! But that's what you're going to get with universal health care!"
That seems to not make much sense. People aren't getting good health care now. People in other countries that have a system seem to be doing well in departments like life span and infant mortality rate. How is this problem going to magically transform itself into a provider for all, without help from the government? There will always be problems and we can't save everyone. Again, it is the greater good.

"Right now, private entities are forced to stabilize poor kids in emergency rooms and save their lives. "
ERs are getting pretty maxed out from people that can't pay. Wouldn't it be better to save ERs for real emergencies? I mean, I'm glad that ERs do it for free, but if they are spending time on people that would be taken care of in a primary care facility, there seems to be something wrong here. And they are helping them out with tax dollars anyway.

"Right now, private charities like Shriners and St. Jude help children who are unable to pay."
Private charities can only cover so much, Jacq.

"But universal healthcare says, "You get you healthcare from the government or not at all." "
What about our own personalized system? As I said we can allow for some "wiggle room" so that we can still keep up with technology. Rich people or others that want to pay on their own can have their little way by paying for the most expensive care if they want, but people that need the government would be covered. Then we can also focus on preventative medicine so that there will be fewer health problems that are more prevalent nowadays. Who says we can't choose how we plan it? I say a universal system can be flexible if we want it to be, we can have a capitalist bent if we want to, but we should provide for everybody. I don't understand why people get upset over something like that. We have both private and public schools. You can pay for private schools if you want to, but you can still attend the public schools if you need or want to. Sure we need to work some things around, but the system isn't perfect. It never is. All we can do is reform things until we get it the best we can.

" If we go socialized, poor kids will die from delays or denials."
...denials? Like much more denials than they are already getting? Let's think greater good here.


"In other words, medical care is effectively rationed by the National Health Service under guidelines set by bioethicists based on their beliefs about the low quality of life of patients whom they have never met."
We trust bioethicists too (remember that video?). We try to implement policies that satisfy the quality of life for people and the respect of the right to life for everyone. Also, we are not asking to just adopt another countries' plan. They are all a little different.

"While the views of patients and families are to be taken into account when deciding whether to provide treatment, they are not determinative."
Well, the AMA and the Vatican do state that we can give patients as much pain medication as they need, even if it will shorten their life span. We can stop treatment all together if they want us to. But it is not ethical to assist in suicide or participate in active euthanasia. Therefore, couldn't that statement be true for our point of view as well? Couldn't we still keep these policies if we adopt our own system? Learn from the mistakes of other systems and the successes of them too?

Posted by: prettyinpink at October 4, 2007 12:58 PM


That is basically saying that in order to be pro-life you have to be anti-universal health care.

Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. Even a healthcare plan that excludes abortion/euthanasia can easily be amended at any point to include it, can it not?

Finland is doing pretty well

And what is the population of Finland? Yep, and if we get taxed like the Fins, we'll all need government cheese as well as health care.

in the right context can lower health care spending for the country

Accomplished through delays and denials to the weak and vulnerable.

Alright, so we can live with a commie education system but not a commie health care system? Who said the standards have to be low?

How else can you afford healthcare for the country without cutting corners (or killing people)? And by the way, I effing hate the commie education system so much so that I dropped out. If we didn't have private schools and homeschooling, little could be said for our American compulsory education system. Higher education, yes- Because there is a level of self-pay and consumer sovereignty involved. But when you institutionalize something, expect it to turn to total crap.

I thinkt hat everyone should get adequate health care. I think that counts as quality of life.

And I think the government is inadequate to do so without malignant motives and substantial risks.

People aren't getting good health care now.
And you think it will improve if it's institutionalized? Look at the DMV, the VA, the education system. Universal healthcare might increase access to healthcare, but the quality would inevitably plummet. You get what you pay for in health care- you pay nothing directly, and you can expect nothing.

ERs are getting pretty maxed out from people that can't pay. Wouldn't it be better to save ERs for real emergencies? I mean, I'm glad that ERs do it for free, but if they are spending time on people that would be taken care of in a primary care facility, there seems to be something wrong here. And they are helping them out with tax dollars anyway.

Yes! I agree. So offer services for the poor, not the masses. The poor. Otherwise, let those who can provide for themselves provide for themselves. Do we really want the entire country on welfare?

Private charities can only cover so much, Jacq.

And the government is an endless fount of money? Governments have limits, too. Look at the NICE acronym for the UK's healthcare system. The quality of life times the money, etc. It's about money. And who will they deny care to first? The weak and vulnerable.

What about our own personalized system?

You play with fire, manipulate it as you want, put on a flame-retarded suit- it is still fire. It is still dangerous and has the potential to burn. That's universal healthcare. If we dismantle private insurance and make everything private-pay, costs across the board might become reasonable. But as it is, insurance companies charge huge rates to subscribers but have negotiated small rates with providers (while the insured are charged a significantly marked-up rate like 37.50 for a bandaid!). Make it equitable rather than feeding the insurance beast. That's a start.

...denials? Like much more denials than they are already getting? Let's think greater good here.

You say that something is better than nothing, but you wrongly assume that they are getting nothing. They're not getting denied now. They're exploiting private systems to get care. If you institutionalize healthcare, there would be no other options. A denial or delay is a denial or delay- period.

We trust bioethicists too

I sure as hell don't.

Therefore, couldn't that statement be true for our point of view as well?

No. Because doctors are given the autonomy to decide death against the patients' and families' wishes (such as Leslie Burke). Those decisions are not the doctor's decisions to make. They give patients and families options and the patients and families decide. The catechism clearly states that those decisions belong in the hands of the patient or family.

But keep in mind, in universal health care, you are not paying for any of it. There are no multi-billion dollar HMO's to milk- so the decision rests with the physician whether or not you live or die.

This is the TX Futile Care principle that I've dedicated my life to overturning. If we get universal healthcare, we get the situation we have in Texas on a national scale. Most of our patients that we transfer (to save their lives) are transferred out-of-state. We can kiss that goodbye with socialized medicine. Basically, you're held hostage in your county hospital till you die (or they kill you).

It's just not worth it.

Posted by: Jacqueline at October 4, 2007 1:41 PM


By the way, PIP, I'm enjoying this discussion. I was not trying to twist your words. I simply misunderstood you. Likewise, I detest it when people twist words in arguments for the sake of being an ass. Know that I don't do that and wouldn't do that to you.

I have no solutions for the healthcare crisis, jsut a vested interest in not seeing it become worse. So I don't have a well thought out alternative for socialized medicine, just a conviction condemning that which I beleive will not work (from a moral standpoint). I wish I did have a solution.

I think we should look at why HMO's are so filthy rich and that might be a start.

Posted by: Jacqueline at October 4, 2007 1:49 PM


The toll of illegal aliens of the heathcare system is almost devastating:
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1571/is_7_19/ai_98923512

Posted by: jasper at October 4, 2007 2:03 PM


..Analysis of the latest Census data indicates Texas’s illegal immigrant population is costing the state’s taxpayers more than $4.7 billion per year for education, medical care and incarceration. Even if the estimated tax contributions of illegal immigrant workers are subtracted, net outlays still amount to more than $3.7 billion per year. The annual fiscal burden amounts to about $725 per Texas household headed by a native-born resident.

...Analysis of the latest Census data indicates that California's illegal immigrant population is costing the state's taxpayers more than $10.5 billion per year for education, medical care and incarceration. Even if the estimated tax contributions of illegal immigrant workers are subtracted, net outlays still amount to nearly $9 billion per year. The annual fiscal burden from those three areas of state expenditures amounts to about $1,183 per household headed by a native-born resident.

...Analysis of the latest Census data indicates that Arizona’s illegal immigrant population is costing the state’s taxpayers about $1.3 billion per year for education, medical care and incarceration. Even if the estimated tax contributions of illegal immigrant workers are subtracted, net outlays still amount to about $1.3 billion per year. The annual fiscal burden borne by Arizonans amounts to more than $700 per household headed by a native-born resident.

...The cost of immigration to our society is enormous. The most recent estimate places the net cost of post-1969 immigrants at $61 billion in 2000 alone ($35 billion from legal immigrants and $26 billion from illegal immigrants). This is after immigrants’ contribution in taxes has been subtracted. As high as the cost is now, the rising tide of immigration will lift it even higher in years to come. By the end of 2002, the annual net cost of immigration will have risen $66 billion.

Posted by: jasper at October 4, 2007 2:04 PM


"Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. Even a healthcare plan that excludes abortion/euthanasia can easily be amended at any point to include it, can it not?"
Couldn't anything?? The system right now obviously is at that point!

"And what is the population of Finland? Yep, and if we get taxed like the Fins, we'll all need government cheese as well as health care."
Well, they also are taxed because they offer free college too, I believe. And here I am offering to keep colleges the way they are.
You are using Britain as an example, and their population is much smaller! Wouldn't you think it would be the method, not the idea of the system, that might be working or not working for these countries?

"Accomplished through delays and denials to the weak and vulnerable."
Universal health care is the idea that the weak and vulnerable will get the care they need.

"How else can you afford healthcare for the country without cutting corners (or killing people)?"
Eh? How do we provide for any service of the country?

"If we didn't have private schools and homeschooling, little could be said for our American compulsory education system."
I went to a public school and it turned out well. In other places (like St Louis) it is not so great. But that doesn't mean we should just demolish the education department. It means we have to do some reform, that's all.
Oh, so we have private schools? Why wouldn't we have private hospitals?

"And I think the government is inadequate to do so without malignant motives and substantial risks."
We take risks all the time as a government. This will at least provide help to the people that need it.

"You get what you pay for in health care- you pay nothing directly, and you can expect nothing."
You pay in taxes. We just need to learn how to spend our taxes wisely.

"Yes! I agree. So offer services for the poor, not the masses. The poor. Otherwise, let those who can provide for themselves provide for themselves."
It is really hard even for families within a certain income to pay large bills(as I've stated above). The other people would have a choice whether they want to pay for their care or not. People that make 80,000 bucks a year--when you take out taxes, and then add on any thousands of dollars it takes to get care in a hospital for certain conditions, a "tough it out" is pretty easy to say. Insurance companies and many Pharmaceutical companies equally add on unneccesary charges and payments and denials to make it even tougher. Talkabout denials.

"And the government is an endless fount of money? Governments have limits, too."
They get support via taxation. Of course everything has limits! But trust me, private charities can only do so much, and government has the power of legislation and enforcement.

"Make it equitable rather than feeding the insurance beast. That's a start."
Making health care affordable by dismantling the private insurance companies is quite a start, I agree.

"They're not getting denied now."
If I couldn't afford medication, if I couldn't afford insurance, you bet I'd be denied care I wouldn't be able to pay $1000 amonth for health care.

"I sure as hell don't."
Okay, well, Jill does. That church video did. We agree with the bioethicists we agree with..

"Because doctors are given the autonomy to decide death against the patients' and families' wishes (such as Leslie Burke)."
Then what makes you think we would blindly adopt this policy?

"so the decision rests with the physician whether or not you live or die."
Still not sure I understand this. If we don't keep it the way it is, if we don't provide a semi-universal system at all, we have no patient's rights? Who in the US would vote for that?

" transferred out-of-state"
What are out-of-state hospitals doing better that you need to transfer them there?

Posted by: prettyinpink at October 4, 2007 2:12 PM


The toll of illegal aliens of the heathcare system is almost devastating

The annual fiscal burden from those three areas of state expenditures amounts to about $1,183 per household headed by a native-born resident.

Jasper, I don't have any good solutions, but my feeling is that this will be a HUGE political issue going forward in time. I'd say it will take a severe recession or worse to really get the ball rolling.

Doug

Posted by: Doug at October 4, 2007 2:44 PM



Jacqueline, you wrote

"So offer services for the poor, not the masses. The poor."

Posted by: Jacqueline at October 4, 2007 1:41 PM

The reason the gov't needs everyone to participate is so they feel like they are getting something in return for the $ collected. The rich will still go private because the system will be so far beneath their expectations that they won't be subject to it.

This is similar to public school funding. You can't afford to do it if you only tax those with school aged children, you have to tax everyone. The rich go private, and some middle to lower class homeschool because they feel the system is so far beneath their standards that they can't work within it.

Posted by: hippie at October 4, 2007 2:54 PM


The system right now obviously is at that point!

No it's not. Only medicaid for the poor is that way because it's government-run. You're suggesting everyone be insured by the government. The government can't make a private pay person buy an abortion nor can it make insurance companies cover abortions. You're suggesting everyone be insured by the government.

You are using Britain as an example, and their population is much smaller!

Because that's Hillary's model and a prime example of what can be expected.

Universal health care is the idea that the weak and vulnerable will get the care they need.

It may be the rationale, but it's not the reality.

You pay in taxes. We just need to learn how to spend our taxes wisely.

Let's try an experiment. A doctor is paid to care for you by your tax money. Now, he denies you care. Does his salary decrease by one cent by not caring for you? Hell no! In fact, the more money he saves by not caring for you, the more he might could expect a bump in his salary. In private care, if I choose not to do to a physician, he doesn't get my business (money). Not so with tax services.

Eh? How do we provide for any service of the country?

The postal service is paid for through private-pay (postage). The DMV is paid for through private pay (fees). The education system is NOT private pay, it's property taxes and it sucks...See the trend? And healthcare is so expensive in its current insurance-manipulated state, that even additional taxes couldn't fund it completely.

Why wouldn't we have private hospitals?

Because we'll be taxed out the ass to pay for the subpar county hospitals that we couldn't afford private ones. This is why many families that would prefer a private school education settle for public, because thousands of their dollars a year go to the public school whether they like it or not!

It is really hard even for families within a certain income to pay large bills.

I agree. I came from a well-off family. But if you're saying that even well-off families can't afford to care for themselves, how then do you expect the government to do it (especially when it does a horrible job caring for the poor as it is)?

They get support via taxation. Of course everything has limits!

And those limits make care for all people impossible. Like public schools, we'll all be taxed into substandard healthcare.

Making health care affordable by dismantling the private insurance companies is quite a start, I agree.

I'd just be for offering the uninsured the same prices that the insurance companies are charged.

If I couldn't afford medication, if I couldn't afford insurance, you bet I'd be denied care I wouldn't be able to pay $1000 amonth for health care.

Take the kid to the ER. He'll get treated. Is that a good, cost-effective solution? NO! But it's not a denial.

Okay, well, Jill does. That church video did. We agree with the bioethicists we agree with..

I would love to find a trustworthy bioethicist. I've yet to find one.

Then what makes you think we would blindly adopt this policy?

We almost did in Clinton's first term. Hillary suggests we do now. In Texas, we have this policy. That's why I think we'd blindly accept it.

Still not sure I understand this. If we don't keep it the way it is, if we don't provide a semi-universal system at all, we have no patient's rights? Who in the US would vote for that?

We already have no patient's rights. But what we have now are OPTIONS. The option to leave a hospital is the doctors deny care. We'd lose that under Hillary's plan. And who is the US would vote for that- apparently those that are giving Hillary money.

What are out-of-state hospitals doing better that you need to transfer them there?

Texas law says that doctors can remove life-saving care after 10 days, in which time we have to transfer the patient. The 10 day rule is invoked because of money (the hospital doesn't want to keep paying for that patient's care) so it's hard to find a Texas hospital that will take a patient they'll have to pay for and who can be trusted not to invoke the law themselves. Also, hospitals back eachother up to keep the integrity of the law (or lack thereof). So we transfer them out-of-state for their safety and because no in-state facilities exist.

Posted by: Jacque at October 4, 2007 2:55 PM


This is similar to public school funding.

I agree. I don't agree with vouchers, because that invites the government into our private schools (and then, they'll pretty much be like public school after all the mandates). But I think people value what they pay for, not what they're extorted into paying.

Posted by: Jacqueline at October 4, 2007 2:58 PM


You could fund the whole thing for the cost of two more weeks of quagmire in Iraq.

Posted by: Hal at October 4, 2007 3:14 PM


Article for those interested in Texas futility care law.

This article in the New England Journal of Medicine.

http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/357/1/1?query=TOC

"Although futility cases may seem like an obvious target for cost cutting, the evidence suggests otherwise. Even if life support were consistently denied to patients whose situations met common definitions of futility, the monetary savings would be trivial.3,4"

Posted by: hippie at October 4, 2007 4:06 PM


Hippie,

I've read that article. This is where bigotry comes into play. Those doctors felt a moral obligation to kill the disabled rather than see them have a low "quality of life" because they've been imbued such power.

It's the same rationale that compells people to abort disabled/ill kids that leads doctors to deny care for born disabled/ill people.

It's corrupt power (and money) as well as other factors (misplaced compassion) that compell doctors to kill via neglect.

By the way, in the case studies, the costs to the hospitals were substantial. In the article, he's talking about theoretical savings compared to healthcare across the board.

Posted by: Jacqueline at October 4, 2007 4:21 PM


Federal laws provide states incentives to provide Medicaid coverage to illegal immigrants. All state Medicaid programs offer an endless list of services, with some states, such as Florida, literally including the kitchen sink if home repairs and maintenance are needed. Only four states check for citizenship before awarding Medicaid. California escalated – in one year – from 450,000 illegal aliens on Medi-Cal (California's version of Medicaid) in 2002 to 750,000 in 2003.

Medi-Cal covers well-baby maternity care, delivery expenses and long-term care that are incurred for children born to illegal immigrants. Thus "anchor babies" become medical insurance policies.

Noted medical lawyer Madeleine Cosman, J.D., Ph.D., wrote in her online journal on August 27, 2005, "Promoters of open borders and elevating the status of Illegal Aliens brilliantly use Americans' medical compassion against ourselves. For the fear of being called bigoted or racist"

Posted by: jasper at October 4, 2007 4:41 PM


PIP,

The point I was trying to make with my cosmetic surgery post is that people can come up with the money for what they want. Why can't they come up with the money for a health insurance policy?
Priorities, that's what I'm trying to get across.
When people want something, they will stop at nothing to get the money for it. If they want adequate health coverage, this may mean prioritizing to pay for it. If average working people have thousands to pay for cosmetic body work, why don't they have money for a health insurance policy and why should I pay for their care and their children's care?
Its the government's job to care for people? The less the government "cares" about me the better. The only time the government "cares" about any of us is on April 15th.
What about some personal responsibility? What about better eating habits so you and your kids don't get fat and develop health problems? What about not driving under the influence? What about not abusing drugs and alcohol? What about curbing sexual promiscuity? Give up the cigarettes. Get off your butt and move. We have a friend with such severe COPD he can hardly breathe. He has money to spend on cigarettes and pot, but can't pay his electric bill. Oh, and you and I are paying for his health care, which as you can imagine, involves frequent hospital visits, breathing treatments, inhalers, and the collection of disability. You notice he hasn't given up the pot or cigarettes.
I have no problem helping people legitimately in need of help, though I have far more faith in our local charities, free clinic, health department, and city and county hospitals than I do the government.
PIP, I remember when the AIDS epidemic started. The rampant sexual promiscuity of gays in San Francisco especially was incredible. Some admitted to more partners than they could count, others admitted to 500-1,000! Talk about spreading disease! Who's fault was the AIDS epidemic? Why, the government's, the Catholic Church's. Only when gays began taking more personal responsibility, like closing down bathhouses and keeping their flys zipped, and after costing the health care system billions, did the epidemic slow down.
About the emergency room situation I mentioned.
PIP, I remember mother's bringing 5 kids into the ER in the dead of night for head colds. It was "free", so why not. They could have just as easily talked to a pharmacist for a recommendation for cold medicine, which would have been free. You'd be surprised the people who honestly thought they were "owed" something. 30 years ago rescue squad service was "free" in our city. It was so badly abused by people who treated it like a taxi service that the city had to start charging.
That's the problem when people think they're getting something for nothing, the costs skyrocket. Also, when money is shelled out in frivulous medical and non-medical lawsuits, who do you think the cost is passed on to? Bingo! People can't afford a family doctor? How about people who would rather spend their money otherwise, or simply don't care enough to see a doctor? How about checking with social services? There is medicare and medicaid.
There is likely assistance of some kind if the person truly is in need and doctors willing to see low income patients at minimal cost or for free. In one low income area near us a doctor volunteered his services for prenatal care. The women didn't come in! The doctor was concerned because he knew many of these women smoked, drank, abused drugs, and were poorly nourished and at risk for gestational diabetes, but he couldn't hogtie and drag them in. Personal and prenatal care was obviously of no importance to these women, and I'm sure there's plenty more like them out everywhere else. Face it PIP, there are just people out there who don't give two hoots in hell about their health.
In our city there's the free clinic, private doctors see medicare and medicaid patients, and the care they receive in our ERs is equal to those that are private pay or insurance. I worked ER and work the OR PIP and I never once saw patients denied the care they needed. Payment plans, sometimes $10.00 a month, are also set up for low income patients if necessary. Even then you'd be surprised the people who don't feel any obligation to pay, but they have money for their cigarettes and beer. Guess who the cost is passed on to. Bingo!
The county health dept. dispenses free vaccinations. We have city and county hospitals that care for the poor. Lest you think they are second rate, one of them is famous for the survival rate of gunshot wounds to the heart.
When Michael Moore develops his myriad of health problems because of his morbid obesity, about which he seems to be taking no personal responsiblity, let's see if he goes to Cuba or Canada for treatment. Otherwise PIP, you and I may be paying for it.

Doug and Jasper,

Excellent points about illegal immigrants overloading our health care system. But what can you expect, its "free", i.e. you're paying for it.

Posted by: Mary at October 4, 2007 4:56 PM


"No it's not."
You were talking about abortion and euthanasia. We are already at the brink of this. So it is a totally separate issue.

"In fact, the more money he saves by not caring for you, the more he might could expect a bump in his salary. "
No, no no no no. Why would we reward doctors who aren't good? We would reward good doctors, and give them a little extra when they do something good like get a patient to stop smoking.

"It may be the rationale, but it's not the reality."
That doesn't have to be true.


The postal service is paid for through private-pay (postage). The DMV is paid for through private pay (fees). The education system is NOT private pay, it's property taxes and it sucks...See the trend? And healthcare is so expensive in its current insurance-manipulated state, that even additional taxes couldn't fund it completely.
That's why we fund it so that the private pay for something above and beyond, similar to private schools. We can also incorporate elements and ideas to leave a lesser burden ont he national economy.

"Because we'll be taxed out the ass to pay for the subpar county hospitals that we couldn't afford private ones. This is why many families that would prefer a private school education settle for public, because thousands of their dollars a year go to the public school whether they like it or not!"
Private schools still seem to do well.


"I agree. I came from a well-off family. But if you're saying that even well-off families can't afford to care for themselves, how then do you expect the government to do it (especially when it does a horrible job caring for the poor as it is)?"
Well if you make an allowance for what they can pay and then use the public insurance systems to help them pay the rest of it, the government won't be paying for everything.

"And those limits make care for all people impossible. Like public schools, we'll all be taxed into substandard healthcare."
I know many public schools who are generally doing okay. There are many more that need help. We need to fix that. Again, would you rather have a reformed public school system or no public education at all?

"I'd just be for offering the uninsured the same prices that the insurance companies are charged."
It's definately a good start.

"Take the kid to the ER. He'll get treated. Is that a good, cost-effective solution? NO! But it's not a denial."
Take an epileptic to an ER after every seizure? Take a diabetic to the ER every time there are complications? Take an asthmatic kid to the ER just once he stops breathing?
Okay, yeah, they won't be denied in the ER, but that would be denying them long term care that they need.

"We almost did in Clinton's first term. Hillary suggests we do now. In Texas, we have this policy. That's why I think we'd blindly accept it."
We should let the politicians know our concerns. But, it doesn't make the whole system a bad one.

"We already have no patient's rights. But what we have now are OPTIONS. The option to leave a hospital is the doctors deny care. We'd lose that under Hillary's plan. And who is the US would vote for that- apparently those that are giving Hillary money."
I'm not giving Hillary money. Patients have plenty of rights.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patients'_Bill_of_Rights

"So we transfer them out-of-state for their safety and because no in-state facilities exist."
Aww. Well they should!

"Why can't they come up with the money for a health insurance policy?"
Sometimes they are denied health insurance. And most of the uninsured people I know can't pay for plastic surgery.

"The only time the government "cares" about any of us is on April 15th.
What about some personal responsibility?"
Why should'nt the government promost personal responsibility while at the same time caring about what happens to those who CAN'T AFFORD IT.

"Also, when money is shelled out in frivulous medical and non-medical lawsuits, who do you think the cost is passed on to?"
I HATE frivolous lawsuits. It is really taking its toll.

"How about people who would rather spend their money otherwise, or simply don't care enough to see a doctor? "
If they don't care enough to see the doctor, they won't go. There is a difference between those that just don't want to go and those that want to have a regular doctor but the costs would be too high.

"There is medicare and medicaid."
Yes, but the high cost of health care cripples people above the poverty line, as well.

"Face it PIP, there are just people out there who don't give two hoots in hell about their health."
I do realize the difference. Again, we are willing to help those people who actually want and need the care but can't.

Just a question Mary. You say we are paying for the people getting the care they need, so our tax dollars are already 'going' to the hospital.
We want a systematic way of giving health care to those who need it, although details can be a problem. What makes you think that the right system will fail us? Do you deny that health care is in need of reform? Extending medicaid and medicare seems to be going against all of you guys' moral ethics and I honestly wonder why. I never said that we should just arbitrarily adopt a system from another country, I just want to work out a plan where we can still have the capitalist nature the people want and the assistance that people need.
What part of this is threatening to you? Would you keep the system like it is, if you aren't interested in what I have to say, what is your plan?

Posted by: prettyinpink at October 4, 2007 5:58 PM


The place to go if you need medical care, where I will go if I should need chemo or some other big-ticket item, is Denmark.

Posted by: SoMG at October 4, 2007 5:58 PM


PIP,

I don't think its health care that needs reform as much as it is people who must take more responsibility for their health. PIP, I have a very dear friend who is morbidly obese and has been so for several years. This woman is highly educated and intelligent. She sees absolutely no connection between her morbid obesity and her severe arthritis and recent onset of type2 diabetes. Autoimmune diseases run in her family is the reason she is afflicted, according to her. Yes, people are denied health insurance but this can be for problems they have brought on themselves such as smoking and obesity. Are you aware doctors have been taken to task for telling obese patients they should lose weight? One woman actually saw a lawyer! One nurse I know who is morbidly obese was told by her doctor to lose weight. Rather than take his excellent advise which she obviously took offense at, she went crying to some women's health commune,or whatever it was called, where they pat her on the head and tell her what a beautiful person she is. Fie on that nasty doctor! How insenstive. She remains morbidly obese and at risk for serious health problems. Yes I know people can be denied for other reasons not of their doing such as diabetes and epilepsy, in situations like this people may have to pay more. I have seen advertisements for low cost health insurance for people who have been denied.
Again, a social service agency may be of some help in finding doctors who will treat uninsured patients at minimal cost.
Maybe insurance wouldn't cost so much if people didn't think they were getting "free" care, weren't ready to sue at the drop of a hat, and like I said, simply took better care of themselves. I have seen how insurance has been abused over the years PIP, and I'm not at all surprised at the increased costs resulting from it. Unfortunately, there are people who have to pay the price for this, and yes it is unfair. What makes you think a government program would be any less abused?
Why shouldn't the government promote responsiblity? Because it wouldn't do a damned bit of good and the government isn't our nanny. We are responsible for ourselves or we're not, period. No one is going to make anyone who doesn't give a hoot personally responsible. The government does provide for those who can't afford it. Its called medicaid. Its my opinion that one way people above the poverty line who cannot afford insurance might be able to obtain medicaid is by paying what they can into it in monthly premiums. Personally, I think this is a way we could go. At least we wouldn't have another bloated government program.
There are ways to handle this problem without creating another bloated government bureacracy.
We already have plenty of those.
As I told you PIP, I have never seen anyone denied care. I gave examples in my previous post of how people can see doctors if they want to badly enough. I also pointed out how hospitals help the indigent with financial arrangements, or just eat the cost.
Medicare and Medicaid? They have also been grossly abused PIP as people think they're getting something for nothing.
I'm glad we agree about frivolous lawsuits. They have taken a huge toll and continue to do so. Again people who think they're getting something for nothing.

Posted by: Mary at October 4, 2007 7:28 PM


SOMG,

So that Danish taxpayers can pay for your care?

Posted by: Mary at October 4, 2007 7:30 PM


SoMG,

The place to go if you need medical care, where I will go if I should need chemo or some other big-ticket item, is Denmark.


Really? Let me know if you need any help paying for your ticket?

Posted by: mk at October 4, 2007 8:41 PM


Mary: Exactly.

Posted by: SoMG at October 4, 2007 10:55 PM


SOMG 10:55PM Exactly

I rest my case.

Posted by: Mary at October 5, 2007 5:52 AM


Doug and Jasper, Excellent points about illegal immigrants overloading our health care system. But what can you expect, its "free", i.e. you're paying for it.

Mary, there are lots of people who aren't illegals who are a net cost to the system as well, and I am oh-so-pessimistic about the future as far as health care and standard of living for most Americans.

Simplified, I see it as vote-buying by politicians, mortgaging the future to an incredible extent, for the sake of short-term political gain. Senators and Congresspersons have a separate retirement system and aren't faced with the reality that many/most Americans will be, IMO.

Heck, former House Ways and Means chairman Dan Rostenkowski from Illinois was getting roughly $125,000 per year, even while in prison for mail fraud. Good grief.....

Heck, I could rant about many things.... New York is becoming the ninth state to give illegal immigrants driver's licenses.

Ay yi yi.....


Doug


Posted by: Doug at October 5, 2007 8:19 AM


Doug,

On this we definitely agree. Excellent post.

Posted by: Mary at October 5, 2007 12:48 PM


Just a point of interest. A friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton, a wealthy Canadian who is a member of the Canadian government, was advised by her doctor to seek treatment in the United States for her breast cancer. Doesn't Canada have the one payor government controlled system that Hillary wants for us and that we hear praised time and again? Why on earth would this unfortunate woman be advised to come to the United States? By the way, what about the middle class or low income Canadian woman with breast cancer. Does she have the option to come to the United States? Or does she just wait her turn in Canada?
Oh, and while Michael Moore praised Cuba's government sponsored health care, I understand Castro imported Spanish doctors to care for him. Why didn't Castro take advantage of Cuba's marvelous health care system? Apparently what's good enough for the average person under government sponsored health care isn't good enough for the wealthy and powerful of these countries.

Posted by: Mary at October 3, 2007 10:30 PM
..............................................

Reminds me of when I worked for Wal-Mart. The insurance wouldn't cover the yearly PAP that discovered stage 1 cervical cancer or my follow up PAPs after surgery. But Sam was diagnosed with cancer at the same time and managed to get interferon treatments. Guess his own insurance wasn't good enough for him. Interferon was most definately not covered.

Posted by: Sally at October 5, 2007 6:52 PM


MK and PIP

Speaking of priorities. I live in a midwestern city. Our cosmetic surgeons are not only doing very good business, they're competing with each other. Since the majority of cosmetic procedures are paid out-of-pocket, how can this be?
I'm not talking Beverly Hills here. I'm talking average everyday people who work in every kind of job who are getting facelifts, eye work, tummy tucks, breast enhancements, you name it. Sometimes, the procedures are combined. One woman, a social worker, told me she had all this work done because she got a divorce and has a new man in her life. Go girl!!
Believe me, these procedures don't come cheap, and that doesn't include surgery, anesthesia, and recovery room costs! All out-of-pocket.
We have some kind of "crisis" in health care but our cosmetic surgeons are doing a booming business. Please explain.
How do people manage?
Well, they save money, they take out a loan, they work an extra job, they put off that vacation or new car. Somehow they get the money because they are absolutely determined to.
Somehow they get the procedure they desperately want done.
Just thought I'd throw this out there!

Posted by: Mary at October 4, 2007 7:42 AM
...................................
Credit cards Mary. Credit cards. I almost always had to use one for those trips with the kids to the urgent care and the co-pays. That 20 dollar co-pay could quickly become a 100 dollar co-pay with interest and all that.
How many folks are throwing cosmetic surgery onto credit cards do you suppose?

Posted by: Sally at October 5, 2007 6:59 PM


Sally,

You make an excellent point about credit cards. I didn't think about that. Even they come due sometime and the money to finance this surgery will have to be found, be it taking out loans, saving it up ahead of time, or taking a second job. I don't know how the payment plans works with our various cosmetic surgeons, if its cash up front, or whatever. I have heard of people maxing out credit cards on cosmetic surgery and getting into astronomical debt.
Come to think of it, I had a lot of damage under my eyes from 30 years of wearing contact lenses. I paid for that office procedure, as well as laser vision correction, with my credit card. Had to work some overtime but by far one of the best decisions I could have made. I'm certainly saving a bundle on contact lens solutions and eye exams, and I love not having to stick something on my eyeballs just to see one foot ahead of me.
I was just trying to point out that while there's a supposed crisis of health care, people have thousands to spend on cosmetic work, or as you well point out, may be getting themselves deeply in debt to obtain it. Not exactly prioritizing.

I'm very sorry to hear of your cervical cancer and hope it was caught and cured. I wish you a full recovery and good health. But at least you were able to get the care you needed when you needed it. In government run systems, you would be waiting in line. The wealthy will always have access to what the rest of us don't. Always has been, always will be. I mean, I would love a complete cosmetic overhaul! Fat chance. I'm sure our cosmetic surgeon looks at me and sees a gold mine with feet.
My point about the Canadian woman and Castro was that if government run health is so wonderful, why are the rich and powerful of these countries either coming to the United States or importing their own doctors? The Canadian middle or low income woman with breast cancer would just have to wait her turn and I'm sure the average Cuban can't afford to import Spanish doctors.
And yes, I am still on my daughter's case to get some health insurance!!

Posted by: Mary at October 5, 2007 8:26 PM