Archive for the ‘Healthcare’ category

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Romneycare = Obamacare (Both Good)

March 16th, 2012

Romney passed a successful healthcare program in Massachusetts. He has said that this program was an asset to him in the 2008 presidential race. But now that the Affordable Care Act (AKA, “Obamacare”) has passed, with the Republican Party having successfully demonized this groundbreaking legislation, Romney’s successful healthcare program has become a liability to his campaign. So Romney’s was bragging about his successful healthcare plan during the 2008 race, and even wrote an op-ed in USA Today urging Obama to follow his lead, but now is making “repeal of Obamacare” a major part of his campaign message.

Check out this very interesting clip from the Rachel Maddow Show from last night. I had no idea that some of the same people who crafted Romney’s plan helped create Obama’s plan (see the clip below). Bottom line: Both plans can be successful, and people need to give the Affordable Care Act a chance.


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Why Businesses Should Support Socialized Healthcare

June 23rd, 2011

Why does business align itself with conservatives in supporting the status quo of our failed healthcare system? If I am a conservative businessman, why would I choose a system that discourages personal responsibility? Why would I choose to bear the burden of my employees’ healthcare? Why would I support an anti-market system that forces many to stay in a dead-end job solely for their insurance benefits? If I support the free market, don’t I want market forces—such as performance, ability, and individual choice—to prevail? Do I really want to compete again foreign companies who have universal healthcare and therefore much lower overhead costs? (see this case study) There are historical reasons behind these questions, but I don’t understand why the fear of taxes drives business to get behind such a poorly structured system.

As candidates gear up for the 2012 presidential election, most Republicans are running on a platform that includes the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (AKA, “ObamaCare”). This law gets rid of some of the more harmful elements of the system such as denial of care based on a preexisting condition, the use of annual limits, insurance company monopolies that lead to abusive premium increases, and numerous inefficiencies in the system. Yet, Republicans want to get rid of it, and potentially replace it with the Paul Ryan voucher system. The Affordable Care Act is not perfect, but it is a step in the right direction. A public option would be a better way to control costs and efficiencies. But Democrats could not get it done. Republicans have successfully demonized the new law, and will make a futile attempt to repeal it (which is interesting because Republicans support almost every element in the bill when asked—in fact, many of the ideas in the bill were first proposed by Republicans. This is not about the American people!). Beside the cynical answers of trying to use the issue to spook voters, what is driving Republicans to take this position?

I want to ask my Republican friends, “Exactly which aspects of the law do you want to eliminate? Is it the market-based exchange that you are against? Do you hate the idea of guaranteeing children with chronic illness the opportunity to purchase life-saving insurance? Are you against the mandate that people take personal responsibility by participate in the system to bring down costs for all (which is how insurance is supposed to work)?” But I can hear the response now: “Well, these are all good things, but how are you going to pay for it?” This is their response to any social program. The answer, of course, is to raise taxes. We have one of the lowest taxes rates in the industrial world. Taxes are an investment into the infrastructure of freedom that allows businesses to succeed and thrive. Most businessmen would agree that a better educated workforce is preferable to one that is not. And many would agree that the public education system—in spite of its flaws—is a low-cost, efficient, and effective way to provide it. Business does not want to be shackled with the responsibility to provide all training and education for its workers. So it welcomes a public education system that turns out a qualified workforce that allows them to succeed. Their tax dollars contribute to this system—this “socialized” education system. Well, the same logic holds true for a healthy workforce. A universal, government-insured healthcare system is what will help America thrive and compete globally in the twenty-first century.

See also:

Facts about the Affordability Care Act

Current system slows entrepreneurship

Coalition to Advance Healthcare Reform

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First Order of Business: Healthcare Repeal?

January 7th, 2011

House Republicans have made repeal of the healthcare bill their number one priority. Politico reported: “The House on Friday cleared a key procedural hurdle in repealing the landmark health care law, voting 236-181 largely along party lines to move ahead to next week’s final vote on repeal.”

Republicans say they care about the deficit. They don’t. The care about staying in power. Their are major contradictions in their approach to healthcare.

First, these two things can’t both be true:

  1. The bipartisan Congressional Budget Office says repealing healthcare would cost the country $230 billion over ten years (in other words, the new healthcare law will save the country that amount over ten years
  2. Republicans say that “the healthcare bill does nothing to rein in costs.”

In their eyes, the reason it does not rein in costs is because Obama and the Democrats got it done. If Republicans had passed the same bill, they would embrace the CBO assessment about cutting costs.

Second, they say, “Let’s start from scratch,” but their “Pledge to American” says their version of a new healthcare bill has most of the same points as the one that passed. Why does their alternative plan have many of the same ideas? Because many elements in the bill poll very well as stand-alone items, even though the bill as a whole has been effectively demonized and is polling poorly. So which is it? Are these things a disaster for our system, as Speaker Boehner alleges, or are most aspects of the law good for America, as their Pledge to America would have a us believe?

Bottom-line,  it is not going to get repealed…ever. The fact say it is, by and large, a good thing for America. And Republicans have dig themselves into a whole, and they have to stay the course for the sake of power, and they are not looking out for the American people. Period.

See this:

About the bill: I am glad there will be fewer bankruptcies now (good for the economy and lending in general), fewer uninsured young adults who are in start-up jobs with no benefits (they can now stay on their parent’s insurance longer, and not go to the ER when problems hit—and it allows their employer to keep their costs low for these positions); no child will be uninsured as a result of circumstance beyond their control, and we will get better economies of scale to lower costs when another 30 million newly-insured citizens are force to cover themselves (and lessen the ER approach to doctor visits). I am glad the government is not going into the healthcare business, just expanding regulation of the private healthcare thieves insurance industry. I absolutely love that insurance companies now have to spend a certain percentage of their revenue on direct care (pushing them into a velocity-quantity financial strategy, rather than a “denial-of-care” profit strategy that harms individuals).

Still…we still have not fixed long-term Medicare cost projections; the law probably requires too much paper work from small businesses; and we need to force doctors/clinics/hospitals to publish their costs for consumers, with insurer incentives, to involve consumers in cost control.

At the end of the day, however, the healthcare reform bill is a great thing for Americans. One has to wonder, though, given their agenda, if  Republican leadership is good for America. I, for one, seriously doubt it.

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Healthcare Reform: Still Confused?

September 23rd, 2010

Are you still confused about what is in the new healthcare bill? Join the club.

This is an excellent short video that explains the new law(i.e., the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act)

Views on Health Reform Back to an Even Split – Kaiser Slides.

Other great links and resources: