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Obama challenges critics on health care

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Thanks for the info, OldGeezer.

So all this fuss and bother, this massive entitlement program, all for the sake (excuse) of 2.87% of the population? Where's this crisis I've been hearing about non-stop from the leftists?

The title of this thread is "Obama challenges critics on health care". Baloney. He's not challenging, he's trying to intimidate while hiding behind his teleprompter. If he were challenging them, he would answer Senator DeMint's questions:

1. If the major provisions of the health care bills will not kick in until 2013, four years from now, why the rush to pass a thousand-page bill before the August recess, a bill you admit that you haven’t fully read yourself?

2. You have said your health care bill will cut costs and not increase the deficit. But, independent analysis by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office contradicts both claims, saying it will raise costs and increase the deficit by $240 billion in the first ten years. What independent analysis will you provide that supports your claims and refutes CBO’s?

3. You have repeatedly said that your health care bill allows any American who likes their current employer-based plan to keep it. But the most comprehensive independent analysis available, by the Lewin Group, contradicts your claim and found your bill will force over 80 million Americans to lose their current coverage. Will you provide independent analysis to refute this study?

4. Your own record in the Senate reveals you spent years voting against nearly every reform to make health care more affordable and accessible, but this week you said that opponents of your plan are “content to perpetuate the status quo, [and] are, in fact, fighting reform on behalf of powerful special interests.” Which specific elected officials will you cite that have proposed to keep the status quo, and is that how you characterize the opposition of the 52 Blue Dog Democrats in the House and the moderate Democrats in the Senate?

5. Yes or no question: Will you guarantee pro-life Americans that, under your plan, they will not be forced to subsidize elective abortions?

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In April 2008, the National Institute for Health Care Management published a brief on the uninsured in the United States. This is the same brief that proponents of Universal Health Care cite. However, they do not talk about the specifics in it. Using U.S. Census data, the NIHCM found that 15.7% (!) were in the upper 20% of income earners. 27.5% were in the two middle income quintiles. 31.0% were in the bottom 20% income quintile. (Of those in the bottom quintile, 38.9% were "undocumented immigrants" / illegal aliens.) If illegal aliens are excluded from eligibility, it means that only 8.8 million, 18.9% of the uninsured would pass means-testing (unable to afford private insurance).

In effect, that means the UHC bill, a bill that would effectively eliminate most forms of private coverage, is really giving health care to just 2.87% of the U.S. population at the expense of the vast majority of citizen taxpayers. UHC would dwarf Medicare and Medicaid, two giant government health care programs. Note what the Congressional Budget Office had to say about those two existing programs:

"Measured relative to GDP, almost all of the projected growth in federal spending other than interest payments on the debt comes from growth in spending on the three largest entitlement programs—Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. For decades, spending on the federal government’s major health care programs, Medicare and Medicaid, has been growing faster than the economy (as has health care spending in the private sector). CBO projects that if current laws do not change, federal spending on Medicare and Medicaid combined will grow from roughly 5 percent of GDP today to almost 10 percent by 2035 and to more than 17 percent by 2080. That projection means that in 2080, without changes in policy, the federal government would be spending almost as much, as a share of the economy, on just its two major health care programs as it has spent on all of its programs and services in recent years."

The proposed UHC program is both unnecessary and unwise. In terms of cost/benefits, it will cost far too much for what it will provide. Moreover, regardless of any promised "savings", it will accelerate the already incredible accumulation of government debt. The only thing that it is really good for is for government to to gain yet more power at the literal expense of citizens and private industry.

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The economy is turning around after it nearly died last year.

Turning around? Where? Unemployment keeps increasing, for one thing.

Y'all complain about repeating talking points, while repeating Rahm Emanuel's unsubstantiated talking point about the economy. Funny stuff! Reminds me of Al Gore claiming that the debate on global warming was over and it was time for (panicked, unproductive) action. Why? Because he said so, of course!

The difference is that unecessary malpractice suits (and the insurance costs doctors and hospitals pay) are a factor in the rising cost of healthcare. That's a fact.

Another thing about the economy: Several economic experts (the ones who don't work in the Obama administration) have said that the economy would have already started recovering on its own, but the "stimulus" spending and the projected increases in taxation have delayed the recovery and weakened what recovery we will see. Which is common sense, considering the "stimulus" was nothing more than a huge backlog of pork with a little sprinkling of private sector job growth on the side.

Bush ponied up nearly a trillion on his own, republicans always forget that.

We don't forget it, we just remember that he was against bailouts at first, but was persuaded by congress. And who held congress then?

That was just after bush and mccain and the rest of the republicans denied the economy was tanking. That was a good one. How many times did bush say the economy was great, everything was great until it was too late.

Uh-huh. And you repeat Emanuel's claim...

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zurcronium:The economy is turning around after it nearly died last year

Bingo! I KNEW that I wasn't the only one who can see through the smoke and mirrors routine that the right wing media in America is pulling AGAIN!

Methinks the health care reform WILL pass,if Obama can get a chance to address ALL Americans with his incredibly eloqent views on it.But sadly,I fear the media is determined to silence him.

I myself am fortunate enough to have been born in a country where quality medical care is available to ALL people, not just the top 1 percent who are working for Goldman Sachs or faux News.My appendix burst last year and treatment was free.Said treatment really aroused some very patriotic feeling in me, the strongest I have felt in a LONG time!

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proxy is right. whitehawk is just repeating the republicans taking points, that is lies.

The economy is turning around after it nearly died last year. Bush ponied up nearly a trillion on his own, republicans always forget that. That was just after bush and mccain and the rest of the republicans denied the economy was tanking. That was a good one. How many times did bush say the economy was great, everything was great until it was too late. Bunch of losers and failures, and part-time hikers in Argentina are what the old and tired repubulicans are today. Just say no to republicans who always say no.

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Whitehawk, the cost of litigation in the us is about 0.5% of total health care spending. There are more claims than in other countries, mind you, 0.18/1000 in the US VS. 0.12 in the UK but the average payout in the US is very low, even lower than in Canada. The average payout in the US is $265 000 VS. $411 000 in the UK.

The biggest difference between the US system and national systems that I have found is administration costs; administration costs are really out of control in the US.

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Does Obama have an honest bone in his body?

He's a politician, is there any politician with an honest bone? Reagan lied, Bush lied, Clinton Lied, Bush lied, Obama lies. Do you see a trend?

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Healthcare is bankrupting the USA right now.

Healthcare wasn't always this expensive. How did it get this way? For one major thing, Democrats have always fought against tort reform. Anybody here priced malpractice insurance lately? If Japan-style health care is what the U.S. needs, then why can't we have Japan-style tort reform first? And how about a Japan-style welfare system while we're at it?

The republicants only know how to say no on this issue, as with every major issue they face.

That's not correct. They also know how to say "read the bill before you vote on it", something no Democrat -not even the president- is willing to do. Oh, he's got time to go out and make all sorts of promises about what you can and can't do under this legislation, but has he actually read it to make sure his promises are worth anything? No.

Not unlike his "stimulus" bill, which he didn't read either, but it was critical that it get passed ASAP. Once it was passed , as we all know, he went on holiday before signing it. And now he says it's working as expected. Except he promised that unemployment wouldn't rise past 8% if the "stimulus" was passed and it's now 9.4%. Oh, and it's not supposed to work until 2010 or so.

Does Obama have an honest bone in his body?

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Healthcare is bankrupting the USA right now. If future liabilities were included in government and business budgets for healthcare every one of those organizations would be bankrupt. Somewhere from 1/3 to 1/2 of the US 16% of GDP spent on healthcare is wasted. These are GAO and independent agency figures, like consumer reports. If that waste can be reduced by half as Obama proposes then universal healthcare will be a net plus for the USA. There is a reason why Japan can take care of everyone in the country and spend 8% while the USA spends double and leaves 1 in 5 without coverage.

The republicans only know how to say no on this issue, as with every major issue they face. The Sotomayor hearings again proved how out of touch, backward and clueless they are. Republicans need to get out of the way if they cannot add value, and so far that is just not happening.

The only way Obama can get the reform through is by pushing it now. The insurance industry is spending millions a day to defeat change so they can continue to line their pockets and deny coverage to their customers once they get sick. Like they did back in the 90s when clinton tried to reform healthcare. Now of course things are much worse, and only getting more terrible day by day.

Real americans need to contact their reps and push for this reform. Future american business and the welfare of the country depend on it. Do not let the republicants win and by doing so defeat the country, just like in Iraq.

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"We can’t afford the politics of delay and defeat when it comes to health care."

The delay is necessary for proper debate of the options. Ramming a package this big through without due consideration would be a nightmare - sort of like the stimulus package. If the health care plan has problems it should be defeated. Or at least sent back to the drawing board.

I've never seen anybody in such a rush to spend money before in my life...

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Saw Obama say in a speech last week: "Make no mistake: Health care reform IS deficit reform."

He's proposed a US$1trillion spending program with no idea how to pay for it (force others to pay for it), while claiming it will stop the growth of the deficit and provide a better system than we have now. Who would be stupid enough to believe him?

The only thing this new system will do better or more efficiently is scare people into voting Democrat. I guess Social Security and welfare aren't pulling their weight in the voting booth like they used to.

If this proposed system is so great, why aren't the people selling it to you willing to live under it themselves?

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Kennedy-Lets-Ration-Health-Care-51145997.html

Same reason so many in Obama's administration don't pay their taxes: "We know what's best for you, but it's not good enough for us."

And why do we need it? Because "47 million" people don't have insurance? (Notice how that number hasn't risen in spite of the rise in unemployment this year? Because it's bull.) Even if half of them aren't illegal aliens, how many of them really need insurance? I'm not wealthy, but when I had to have surgery earlier this year, I didn't panic or ask Obama for help. I'm paying on it without interest. I'll pay for it myself; I don't need to force some wealthy person (who also has rights) like Rev. Jesse Jackson to pay for my surgery, and I don't need a $1trillion government boondoggle rationed by Teddy Kennedy.

Why don't we determine who doesn't have health insurance, which of those don't need it (because they're wealthy), which of those are legal citizens, and then give them $1million -no, make it $10million- each in a medical savings account, and call it a day! The taxpayers are out less than a billion, instead of over a trillion, and the "crisis" is over.

Why not? Because it's not about health care. It never was. It's all about control and scaring up votes. No, the Left aren't fascists... ;)

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I would have liked to see this health care program piloted as a program in Hawaii or even better Alaska first (isolated areas). -And I think it would have worked.

Health in General: Better diagnostics (technology at a cheaper price) are needed in the hands of GPs in order to get people the specialized care they (may) need. -That is where we fail now and Drs to not want to be GPs and Lawyers do not want tote reform = this plan will fail, however people willing to pay should still be able to get great health care = This Obama program will change little. We need to start at the GP level and change the laws some.

Just like the Tarp program and Obama himself: Transparency is needed if they expect change, otherwise just let the market work it out (e.g. Walk-In Clinics are cheaper). Health Care is an area where Marxism doesn't work so well = Blindly Go forward and forget the past.

Money would be much better spent by using technology to reduce costs and put new tools in the hands of GPs. =You want cheaper diagnosis and a market to compare rates and feedback on Drs.

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Obama: "This isn't about me..."

Pffft! It's all about him.

Obama: "...It is about a health care system that is breaking American families"

It isn't breaking the vast majority of American families. Heck, my family in the States is far from rich, and it's not breaking them.

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skip: "smith: most the countries we compare this to have had health care systems for a long time. So, yes, the US screwed up not putting one in place when we could."

And 10 years down the road (or less) if this does not go through people will be saying the EXACT same thing. And 20 years down the road people would be saying the same thing, and 'why didn't we start it before' and 'we should have started it back when Obama was pushing for it', etc. (assuming it didn't work out this time). The fact is you have to start at some point, so it may as well be now.

"I think there are going to be a lot of disappointed people once this thing gets going, except for those un-insured, which are about 17% of the population. At the very least, wouldn't it have been better to start off piece by piece?"

I think there are going to be a lot of people upset, too, but again. And anyway, if you COULD do it piece by piece, what pieces would you start with? As it is it's going to be VERY complex, painful, and troublesome, but the system needs to be reformed and as much as possible if not ALL needs to be done ASAP to avoid even MORE pain in the future.

"since 30% of the tax revenues go to human resources for the government, how about firing half of them, as they are not that badly needed, cut out half the military spending, and then maybe we can ride this out."

Suits me. Imagine if the wars the US were not in right now had never been started -- you would have enough money for health insurance for EVERYONE for probably a decade.... for free!! That's another issue, but you get my point.

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since 30% of the tax revenues go to human resources for the government, how about firing half of them, as they are not that badly needed, cut out half the military spending, and then maybe we can ride this out.

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smith: most the countries we compare this to have had health care systems for a long time. So, yes, the US screwed up not putting one in place when we could. I think there are going to be a lot of disappointed people once this thing gets going, except for those un-insured, which are about 17% of the population. At the very least, wouldn't it have been better to start off piece by piece?

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TheQuestion: I actually agree with a lot of your assessment, except the 'waste of money' part. I think it's going to COST massive amounts of money, and there will be a lot of it misused at first, and the system will be in chaos, but keeping things the way they are -- with so many millions uninsured -- is not a good alternative.

skip: "Do you think comparing other countries national health care, when they have populations much less than half the US, is fair?"

I think it most certainly is, especially when you're talking about per capita. If the population of B place is smaller, so is the tax revenue collected. The bigger the country, the more the uninsured (in the US), and the more tax revenue.

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Do you think comparing other countries national health care, when they have populations much less than half the US, is fair?

I myself and 50/50 on this health care. I think the way it is going to be run, of course by politicians, it is going to fail and be costly.

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If the insurance companies go bust, so be it. I'm not American, but I certainly wouldn't mind paying a little higher tax to make sure everyone could receive free, top-notch health care!

But there's the rub. If it's free than chances are it probably won’t be anything close to top notch. There's a million different factors ranging from what prescriptions will and won't be available, what hospitals will and won't accept government insurance, and the requirements needed to see a specialist. Then theres the deductibles and a slew of other crap like priority waitlists and people who will go straight to the emergency room because they don't feel like making an appointment.

If the thing does go through it's going to be a disaster, not necessarily because government run healthcare can't work but simply because the U.S government’s handling of things like this ranges from poor to idiotic. Why? Because the men and women on capitol hill are not doctors and they are not insurance specialists (though many may fancy themselves as such.

All in all I think this will be a huge waste of money initially and a monolithic waste in the coming years that will set a new bar for how terrifically the government can fail at an industry that the private sector has been handling for years (if with questionable morality).

Even other democrats are skeptical of the idea, having the other party against you is one thing but to have conflict in your own turf is an infinitely more serious problem.

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leaving about 50 million of America’s 300 million people without health insurance." didn't realize that many had insurance. I for a long time just didn't get any until I started a business. Why aren't many of these 50 million on medicaid if they really can't afford to get insurance. These numbers do no give me confidence.

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+1

ARGH! SOCIALISED MEDICINE!!! SCARY!!!!!! Can you imagine the outrage if someone were NOT to lose their house if they got cancer?

If the insurance companies go bust, so be it. I'm not American, but I certainly wouldn't mind paying a little higher tax to make sure everyone could receive free, top-notch health care!

Steele is merely part of a bunch of right-wing bigots.

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"The United States is the only developed nation that does not have a comprehensive national health care plan for all its citizens, leaving about 50 million of America’s 300 million people without health insurance."

Exactly, but as long as the rich have it, who are the decision-makers, what do they care?

The Republicans, as Obama touched on, aren't going against the proposals, they are simply trying to fight against Obama because they are bitter and jaded, and falling apart. This kind of brazenly obvious attack is the only way in which they can become somewhat more unified, so they're milking it for all it's worth.

'Asked if Obama’s health care plan represented socialism, Steele responded: “Yes. Next question.”'

OH NO! THE COMMIES ARE SPILLING IN FROM RUSSIA! Steele is an outright moron, and is simply using big 'red' words that were successful in getting Republican voters to panic and point fingers during the election to try and bring about the same sentiment here. And like most Republicans, Steele probably doesn't even know what the word 'Socialism' means.

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