End the hoaxes, part 1: Health care costs cause bankruptcies


Health care costs, especially coupled with lack of adequate insurance even for insured people, drove our nation to the brink of economic collapse.

We need health care reform now, to help get our economy back on its feet.

“Unless you’re a Warren Buffett or Bill Gates, you’re one illness away from financial ruin in this country,” says lead author Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., of the Harvard Medical School, in Cambridge, Mass. “If an illness is long enough and expensive enough, private insurance offers very little protection against medical bankruptcy, and that’s the major finding in our study.”

Woolhandler and her colleagues surveyed a random sample of 2,314 people who filed for bankruptcy in early 2007, looked at their court records, and then interviewed more than 1,000 of them. Health.com: Expert advice on getting health insurance and affordable care for chronic pain.

They concluded that 62.1 percent of the bankruptcies were medically related because the individuals either had more than $5,000 (or 10 percent of their pretax income) in medical bills, mortgaged their home to pay for medical bills, or lost significant income due to an illness. On average, medically bankrupt families had $17,943 in out-of-pocket expenses, including $26,971 for those who lacked insurance and $17,749 who had insurance at some point.

Overall, three-quarters of the people with a medically-related bankruptcy had health insurance, they say.

“That was actually the predominant problem in patients in our study — 78 percent of them had health insurance, but many of them were bankrupted anyway because there were gaps in their coverage like co-payments and deductibles and uncovered services,” says Woolhandler. “Other people had private insurance but got so sick that they lost their job and lost their insurance.” Health.com: Where the money goes — A breast cancer donation guide.

Personal bankruptcies played a large role in the banking crisis of late last year and early 2009.  Personal bankruptcies played a huge role in the collapse of mortgage securities markets, which prompted the banking crises.

If anything, current proposals do not go far enough in reforming insurance.

“To ignore the fact that medical costs are an underlying problem of the economic meltdown we’ve experienced would be to turn a blind eye to a significant problem that we can solve,” she said [Elizabeth Edwards, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress].

Edwards was joined by Steffie Woolhandler, a co-author of the Harvard study [discussed above] who sharply criticized current reform efforts.

“Private insurance is a defective product that leaves millions of middle-class families vulnerable to financial ruin. Unfortunately, the health reform plan now under consideration in the House would do little to address this grave problem,” Woolhandler said.

Without new legislation along the lines of the Democratic proposals in Congress, our nation faces economic doom.

Phony assertions of “death panels,” phony assertions of “creeping socialism,” phony claims about bad care in England, Canada and France, are all tools that help push our nation to economic failure.

Please do not be hoaxed.

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52 Responses to End the hoaxes, part 1: Health care costs cause bankruptcies

  1. jsojourner says:

    Dear Mr. Wade,

    I am terribly sorry to read your story. You and your wife will be in my prayers. I hope you are able to realize some benefit and help from the Affordable Care Act, though I understand it is not fully implemented. I so wish we had single payer in this country.

    My best regards,

    Jim

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  2. Ed Darrell says:

    So sorry to hear, Dan. I cannot imagine your stress and grief.

    Some people have been able to bargain the drug companies down on some medicine costs — in the end, they prefer to make money from insured people who won’t go broke and so will continue to provide them with an income stream. But in the past year some companies have pulled back on that.

    Good luck. Call the pharmaceutical manufacturer, and ask them if they have some way to help lower the cost. We can’t expect it, but we can hope for miracles.

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  3. Dan Wade says:

    I used to be opposed to health care reform. I was a Republican, and in some senses I still am. That was until my wife came down with cancer, and after the first surgery and whatnot I was left with $15k out of pocket. Okay, not a crippling debt…then her cancer came back. I’m now looking at a total out of pocket cost of $42k **PLUS** $1,100 in ongoing medication, home health care, etc.

    Did I mention that this is with TOP LEVEL private insurance? Without insurance her chemo costs $77k per month. It’s fine to think that malpractice lawsuits is the reason for high health cost. In reality it is that we use Drs. a LOT.

    Oh, I’m going to have to file bankruptcy. So no this isn’t a fallacy or some concocted story. My wife has about 5 months left to live.I suppose in the world of my republican I should just have given her an aspirin and told her to “shake it off”.

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  4. guardian angel…

    […]End the hoaxes, part 1: Health care costs cause bankruptcies « Millard Fillmore's Bathtub[…]…

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  5. Ed Darrell says:

    Hey, Ed – what’s the economics equivalent to the Gish Gallop?

    There are several equivalents, equivalently damaging if not equivalently dishonest:

    1. The call for tax cuts.
    2. The claim anything else is “socialism.”
    3. Trickle down economics
    4. “Reaganomics,” and the assumptions that program cuts translate to an improvement in the private sector economy.
    5. The claim we can’t afford to stimulate the economy. (Wait till you see what a new, Greater Depression costs.)

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  6. Hey, Ed – what’s the economics equivalent to the Gish Gallop?

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  7. chrisbolts says:

    Oh, one other thing, Nick. You said this earlier:

    “Gee, Chris, why should we belive you over Yale and Harvard?”

    Your last President was both Yale and Harvard, but you hardly believed him. What surprises me is that you now suspend all that suspicion of a Republican government and demand obeisance to a Democratic one.

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  8. chrisbolts says:

    Nick Kelsier wrote:

    “Oh you mean like all the Republican bills were in legalese rather then in plain English? Proposed laws tend to be in legalese…simply because it’s the law stupid. When you’re creating a law it tends to be a given that the law is going to be in legalese.”

    So why is the Constitution, from its inception in 1795, to its last amendment in 1992, is only 23 pages and easy to read by all Americans? As I told another commentator, try reading the tax code sometime.

    “Oh and by the way little one, since you took a swipe at lawyers would you care to guess how much lawsuits cost in health care dollars? 1 half of 1 percent. And that number is from both W’s HHS and the CBO.”

    Both you and the other guy think I’m referring to healthcare lawsuits, which I am not. I’m referring to the bill itself and the regulations that are guaranteed to follow. But let’s focus on that number for moment. If healthcare spending is 17% of US GDP, that represents just under $2 trillion. 1% of $2 trillion is $20 billion. .05% of that is $1 billion. So that is at least $1 billion that hits doctors everyday if they settle or file a lawsuit. On top of this, it isn’t the fact that a doctor will be sued, but the fact that most doctors must carry expensive malpractice insurance to guard against losing everything if they get sued. It’s not just what is seen when conservatives talk about tort reform, but it is also what is unseen that matters.

    “Whereas the Republican idea of health care is protecting the health insurance asses because businesses should be allowed to do what they please..even if it costs the rest of us more and sends 50 thousand people a year to their graves.”

    If Republicans cared about health insurance asses then they would support legislation that would reduce competition amongst them. Oh wait, that’s what the Democrats are doing!! By the way, its kinda funny that you say this:

    “The Republicans have become the whores of big business in this country to the detriment of the citizens of this country. To the point now that the Republicans don’t give a damn even if that business or industry is actually killing people on purpose.

    This is revisionist history. I believe it was Obama that cut a deal with Big Pharma, a deal with the insurance companies, and a deal with medical device manufacturers. In fact, the Republicans were getting bowled over after all of this, but it was a revolt among the people that shook up the GOP and told them that they were on the wrong side of history.

    It’s funny that you guys continue to rail against conservatives and Republicans as though they are the ones who are selling you up the creek without a paddle. Many Republicans will get mad when I say this, but at this point there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats as a Republican President is the one who got us started on this mess with the bailout of Bear Stearns, the homeowner programs, TARP, the rebate program an so forth. However, I am even harder on Obama because he ran as a new kind of politician. I knew all that was a bunch of crap, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt. However, he not only continued what Bush started, but amplified it with the nationalization of GM and Chrysler, the failed spending bill that you guys call “stimulus”, the continued pumping of money into the banks, the attempted nationalization of the student loan industry, the attempt to nationalize healthcare, and the attempt to implement cap-and-trade in this country.

    “and if there is a “revolution against socialism” then pray tell why is the Republican approval rating 30 points below the Presidents?”

    Because “conservative” and “Republican” are mutually. I’m conservative, yet I’m not a Republican. I would’ve pulled the lever for Hillary Clinton but NOT for Barack Obama. On top of this, a Gallup poll has independents preferring Republicans to Democrats. Hmm, I wonder why?
    http://www.gallup.com/poll/124226/Republicans-Edge-Ahead-Democrats-2010-Vote.aspx

    “And exactly how do you explain the Republicans losing a seat in New York they held for 150 years?”
    By first showing a link that Republicans DID NOT HOLD this seat for the last 150 years:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NY-23#1823_-_1833:_one_seat

    And second by stating that the critical test for Dems for 2009 was NOT NY-23, which is revisionist history, but New Jersey and Virginia, which both broke for Obama in the 2008 election. Also PA picked up a conservative Supreme Court Justice. So if there was a death of Republicans and conservatism in this country I sure don’t see it.

    “And the only reason Obama’s numbers have gone down lately isn’t because he’s being too liberal…it’s because he’s being too moderate. Oh and by the way…65-70% of the country want health care reform…with a public option. Have fun choking.”

    1) I would LOVE to see Obama be his true self. Oh wait, nationalizing healthcare is his true self. Multilateralism and deference to dictators is his true self.

    2) As far as the public option, that’s funny because most Americans do NOT want to replace our current system with a government run one:
    http://www.gallup.com/poll/124253/Say-Health-Coverage-Not-Gov-Responsibility.aspx

    “Define socialism you twit.”
    This isn’t directed at me, but I’ll answer it anyway. Socialism is a political system whereby the government controls the means of production and distributes the resources equally among the people. It sounds nice in theory, but it has never worked in practice:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism
    It’s a primer, as you should never depend upon Wikipedia for complex matters such as this, but after you read the first few paragraphs ask yourself how what you believe does not fit in the paradigm described at Wikipedia.

    Finally, there is no such thing as “Keynesian capitalism”. There is a branch of economics called “Keynesian economics” (or Keynesianism), but there is no such thing as “Keynesian capitalism”. This is so because Keynesian and capitalism is a contradiction in terms. Please do a search for this term on Google: you will find no serious economic journals or sites that refer to such a thing. Perhaps that is because there is only one definition of capitalism, which is the private ownership of the means of production where the INDIVIDUAL has sole claim to the product of his labor.

    By the way…when you do your Google search please look at the only website that makes reference to the term “Keynesian Capitalism”. It’ll take you to a website called Worker’s Liberty. Read their tagline. At least they are honest about what they are. Democrats and Liberals don’t want us to be honest about what they are nor are they honest with themselves about what they are.

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  9. chrisbolts says:

    “Please read the bill, even if for the first time. H.R. 3200 promised thousands more physicians and nurses (did that stay in the bill, or were the Republicans successful in killing it in the revised bill?). Greater care will probably reduce the number of lawsuits, limiting the number of lawyers in that practice necessarily.”

    First, there is no more H.R. 3200, it has been replaced by H.R. 3962. Second of all, you should probably be aware that we NOW have a shortage of doctors and nurses. Third of all, government cannot mandate the creation of any kind of job. Something about humans wanting to make different kinds of decisions other than what the government wants them to do. Fourth of all, the bill itself will need to be interpreted so that the doctors who must practice under it can understand it. Plus, there will be thousands upon thousands of regulations that follow plus the number of procedures and rulings that will be issued to interpret the regulations. Finally, there must be someone to represent the doctors when they are sued because they did not follow the letter of the law. Since we can’t expect all doctors to be experts in law and would rather them focus on taking care of people, we need lawyers to do that job for them. This is a make work bill for more lawyers than it is doctors.

    Finally, don’t talk about lowering lawsuits when one of the provisions in H.R. 3962 creates a disincentive for states to reform tort law and a huge incentive for those that do have reform to undo it.

    “Government in Social Security practically and pragmatically eliminated senior citizen poverty.”

    No, it didn’t. If anything, Social Security allowed seniors and people who receive to subsist at the poverty line. Take it from someone who used to work for the agency.

    “Government in Medicare and Medicaid provides care to thousands of citizens with one-tenth the administrative cost of even the best and least expensive insurance company.”

    You’re talking about the same Medicare that has almost $60 billion a year in fraud? The same Medicaid that more than 60% of doctors no longer accept? Don’t talk about “administrative costs” because Medicare shifts a lot of its costs to private insurers because Medicare pays the lowest dollar amount to healthcare providers. On top of this, since Medicare only pays, it does not have an incentive like private insurers do to monitor fraud.

    “WIC provides health care savings within 12 months double the cost. The GI bill gave us engineers to build our roads and bridges, and the scientists to send us to the Moon.”

    I am beginning to wonder whether you have ever met anyone who is on welfare. I will agree with the GI bill: if you fight for America, then America should take care of you. However, you really need to talk to someone who is on welfare and see how they like it. In fact, if you want to talk to my brother, parents, or any of my second relatives I’m pretty sure they will tell you that they are happy they are on welfare and not working and getting a steady income and always wanting to depend on the government.

    “I regret you’re so negative on America. I think we have a good nation with a lot of good people, both nation and people worth saving.

    “Please get out of the new road if you won’t lend a hand.”

    Oh, the typical liberal response: because I don’t believe that larger government will make us a better nation I must want the nation to fail? Tell me, how did we get here if we didn’t have a vibrant private sector and a strong economy? If large government worked out so well, why did the Soviet Union blow up and why is China embracing capitalism for its economy? The problem isn’t with me or anyone who believes what I believe. The problem is with people who believe like you and think that what it is that the government is doing will lead us to prosperity. It has never worked throughout the annals of history, but it 200 years America eclipsed all prior civilizations in terms of economic and military strength. Some of it was luck, some of it was due to bad things we did in the past, but most of it was due to the hard work of everyday Americans and NOT because of the government.

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  10. Nick Kelsier says:

    and if there is a “revolution against socialism” then pray tell why is the Republican approval rating 30 points below the Presidents?

    And exactly how do you explain the Republicans losing a seat in New York they held for 150 years?

    You can spout off whatever hyperbole you want but the country isn’t as conservative as you dimwittedly want to pretend. And the only reason Obama’s numbers have gone down lately isn’t because he’s being too liberal…it’s because he’s being too moderate. Oh and by the way…65-70% of the country want health care reform…with a public option. Have fun choking.

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  11. Nick Kelsier says:

    Whoever wrote:
    Gov’t involvement in the auto industry, is socialism,in banking in real estate, in insurance is ALL socialism.

    Wake up and smell the revolution against socialism.

    Define socialism you twit.

    Oh and by the way…do bother to remember that the one who started the bank bailouts was Bush.

    Oh and lastly…that it isn’t socialism you twit. It’s keynisan capitalism. You know…the branch of capitalism that says when the economy and the free market is working fine the government should tend to keep hands off but when the economy isn’t doing well the government does need to step in? Because you have a dimwitted definition of socialism that doesn’t even qualify as socialism. Because your definition of socialism would make the US military a socialist idea. After all…companies like Blackwater can do military ops.

    You wouldn’t recognize actual socialism if it came up to you and french kissed you.

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  12. Nick Kelsier says:

    Whoever wrote:
    So, you’d rather there be more lawyers than doctors? Because that’s what these bills promise you. And let’s not state the bills are in English, but that they are in legal speak, so much so that the bureaucrats will have to hire lawyers to interpret the bills.

    Oh you mean like all the Republican bills were in legalese rather then in plain English? Proposed laws tend to be in legalese…simply because it’s the law stupid. When you’re creating a law it tends to be a given that the law is going to be in legalese.

    Oh and by the way little one, since you took a swipe at lawyers would you care to guess how much lawsuits cost in health care dollars? 1 half of 1 percent. And that number is from both W’s HHS and the CBO.

    Whereas the Republican idea of health care is protecting the health insurance asses because businesses should be allowed to do what they please..even if it costs the rest of us more and sends 50 thousand people a year to their graves. A health insurance company should be allowed to cancel a son’s insurance if he donates a kidney to save his father? Sure! Health insurance premiums should be raised 150% in ten years? Sure! The average family making 48 thousand dollars a year? Sure! That same family paying on average 12 thousand dollars a year on health care? Absolutely. Pregnancy being a preexisting condition and therefor a insurance company should be allowed to cancel said woman’s policy? Great! A woman who was in an abusive relationship 20 years can’t get health insurance now because of said abuse 20 years ago? Absolutely.

    I having to wait until the first of the year (i.e. waiting 6 months now) to have a surgery to fix a problem with one of my legs so my insurance company can charge me for it? Absolutely. My mom’s health insurance company trying to charge my dad 80 grand for a 4 day hospital stay when my mom died a year and a half ago? Perfect! My uncle not being able to get a surgery he needs because the health insurance agent flat out told him that his health insurance company has decided that it would be better if he died?

    Republicans wanting to let a health insurance company in, say, South Dakota sell health insurance in New York but not be subject to New York regulations? Brilliant idea. Because I can guarantee you that the health insurance companies won’t all start selling health insurance that meets the requirements of the state with the bare minimum requirements and only sell that. And all those savings the health insurance company will suddenly have on it’s hand will surely be turned back over to the people with lower rates instead of kept as bigger profits.

    The Republicans have become the whores of big business in this country to the detriment of the citizens of this country. To the point now that the Republicans don’t give a damn even if that business or industry is actually killing people on purpose.

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  13. Ed Darrell says:

    So, you’d rather there be more lawyers than doctors? Because that’s what these bills promise you. And let’s not state the bills are in English, but that they are in legal speak, so much so that the bureaucrats will have to hire lawyers to interpret the bills.

    Please read the bill, even if for the first time. H.R. 3200 promised thousands more physicians and nurses (did that stay in the bill, or were the Republicans successful in killing it in the revised bill?). Greater care will probably reduce the number of lawsuits, limiting the number of lawyers in that practice necessarily.

    A shorter bill won’t renew the physician or nurses training acts (early ones didn’t). A shorter bill leaves more room for lawyers to maneuver.

    Government in Social Security practically and pragmatically eliminated senior citizen poverty. Government in Medicare and Medicaid provides care to thousands of citizens with one-tenth the administrative cost of even the best and least expensive insurance company. WIC provides health care savings within 12 months double the cost. The GI bill gave us engineers to build our roads and bridges, and the scientists to send us to the Moon.

    I regret you’re so negative on America. I think we have a good nation with a lot of good people, both nation and people worth saving.

    Please get out of the new road if you won’t lend a hand.

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  14. chrisbolts says:

    “My recollection is that the Reconciliation Bill that saved Ronald Reagan’s presidency was 6,000 pages. No, length doesn’t tell me anything other than there is a lot of stuff in the bill, usually a lot of good stuff. The Organ Transplant Bill had four pages of definitions. It’s still a great bill.”

    I want you to read the Tax Code. Seriously. Nothing good can come out of legislation that are thousands of pages long.

    “Sometimes laws are complex. Someone who tells you a 2,000-page bill is bad because of length is someone who can’t read a bill. The bills are in English, it’s not difficult. But it does require a reasonable curiosity. It also requires a lack of animosity toward the bill and the people whose lives the bill saves.”

    So, you’d rather there be more lawyers than doctors? Because that’s what these bills promise you. And let’s not state the bills are in English, but that they are in legal speak, so much so that the bureaucrats will have to hire lawyers to interpret the bills. What we need is more transparency between patient and doctor, not less. These bills promise less transparency, not more.

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  15. Ed Darrell says:

    The very fact that both bills clock in at 2000 pages should probably tell you that something ain’t right.

    My recollection is that the Reconciliation Bill that saved Ronald Reagan’s presidency was 6,000 pages. No, length doesn’t tell me anything other than there is a lot of stuff in the bill, usually a lot of good stuff. The Organ Transplant Bill had four pages of definitions. It’s still a great bill.

    Sometimes laws are complex. Someone who tells you a 2,000-page bill is bad because of length is someone who can’t read a bill. The bills are in English, it’s not difficult. But it does require a reasonable curiosity. It also requires a lack of animosity toward the bill and the people whose lives the bill saves.

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  16. chrisbolts says:

    “But you’d rather company mooks only interested in more and more profit runnign health care.”

    Nick, shouldn’t that be the ONLY interest of a company? Besides, apply that logic to yourself. Is it wrong that you get paid for providing your services to a company? If not, then why is it wrong that a company makes a PROFIT for providing you with a service that you demand?

    “The current health care bill may not be perfect…but it’s better then what you propose…that being nothing.”

    Actually, nothing is highly more preferable to the amalgamated mess that Obama and the Dems are going to give us. In fact, you hardly hear talk about “bending the cost curve down” and “increasing the number of the insured” because no one in the right minds believes that either of these bills would do this. By the way, I pose this question in another blog at my site: if these healthcare bills are so good 1) why are there so many side deals to try and get it passed and 2) why is Congress exempting itself and federal employees from its coverage? Those two questions should tell you all you need to know that what is currently going through Congress is NOT about healthcare.

    “Oh and by the way, Chris, it isn’t socialism. You can pretend otherwise all you want, little one, but it’s Keynsian capitalism.”

    Keynesian and capitalism are anathema to one another. Keynesianism is an economic philosophy that believes that when economies go south, the government should step in to spend money to lift it out of the doldrums. Umm, Obama’s spending bill should prove to you once and for all that that is not the case. If anything, Keynesianism is the justification for governments to divert resources from the private sector to itself in the belief that it can make better decisions regarding spending than a private individual can. That is the core tenet of socialism: the nationalization of the mean of production and the distribution of production by the government.

    “Why don’t you worry more about the 50 thousand people that die every year then your precious misbegotten idealogy.”

    So are you now saying that socialized medicine will prevent death? Because I think that a lot of people in countries that practice socialized medicine would beg to differ. Sometimes you have to look at reality and forget about the “research” that others do for confirmation of what is or isn’t real. Besides, I seem to recall that Michael Jackson, Billie Mays, Farrah Fawcett, and many other celebrities that died had health coverage. Of course you’ll probably say that not having health insurance increases the likelihood that you will die, but you can’t prove a negative. Just like the same way you can’t prove that the primary reason a person goes into bankruptcy is because of medical bills, but once you liberals get your talking point you’re sticking to it and there’s no changing your mind.

    To Ed Darrell:
    “But where is that evidence?”

    The evidence are the bills themselves. Take an opportunity to read them, or visit websites that will give you an HONEST assessment of them. The very fact that both bills clock in at 2000 pages should probably tell you that something ain’t right. By the way to your next point:

    “About 25 cents out of every healthcare dollar is spent in denying care to the uninsured. What happens to that health care dollar if we simply stop that private, cost-increasing bureaucracy dead in its tracks? I think it will take a couple of years for the cost savings to shake out, but it will be 25% cheaper than erecting an enormous bureaucracy intended to prevent health care delivery.”

    How do you make the argument that in order to get “cost-savings” we need to eliminate the private industry and go completely to a government bureaucracy? That’s another circular argument I hear from the Left that makes no sense. If you are disgusted with the fact that private insurance denies so much based on cost, then how can you rectify that position by stating you want the government to do it, which, whether you want to admit or not, will HAVE to deny solely on cost?

    “There is no Health Care Police to arrest the sick and take them to doctors for treatment. But we think that most sick people, knowing they will have health care with little out of pocket expense, will seek care on their own. What do you know about human nature that suggests it would be otherwise?”

    I don’t know the thinking of 300 million people, but you guys on the Left pretend that you do. I am typing this entire response to while sick. People tell me to go see the doctor, but I decline to do so. Why? Because people will ALWAYS get sick and in most cases the best medicine for someone who is sick is TIME. But don’t joke about “health care police”: a bill that mandates everyone gets coverage makes a criminal out the person that decides not to get coverage and a criminal out of the person who won’t pay taxes to provide coverage to those that seek out the “public option”.

    I’ll just part with a quote from the esteemed P.J. O’Rourke: “If you think healthcare is expensive now, just wait till its free.”

    In other words: beware politicians who promise you the moon.

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  17. Pointless hair-splitting and pedantry? Check!
    Use of dubious sources? Check!
    Wholesale adoption of other’s opinions? Check!
    Market fetishism? Check!

    Yay, I won! Now I owe myself money.

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  18. chrisbolts says:

    Well, since you won’t go to my page, I’ll post what I posted over there, but you’ll miss the nice links and graph that I use to support my argument:

    One of the favorite arguments that liberals like to make when arguing for socialized medicine is that it would protect the most “vulnerable” of us from bankruptcy. Over at Critical Condition @ NRO, Hans Kuttner posts an interesting graph that shows the trends of the population, uninsured and bankruptcy filing from 1999-2008:

    As you can see from the graph, you can see that both the population and the number of uninsured are moving in upward, but stable, trajectory where as the bankruptcy filings had an erratic trajectory over the same period. This could be due to a variety of factors: the dot com bubble bursting, 9/11, a relative period of prosperity (despite what the Left says, America did pretty well under Bush), and the signing of tougher bankruptcy laws in 2005 by President Bush. Hardly anyone can point to this and say that any of this is due to “medical bills”. Kuttner points to a study conducted by David Himmelstein and comes to a conclusion that I have long stated:

    “Another source of slipperiness comes in tying the evidence together. What most people call “health insurance” is medical-expense insurance, not insurance against the financial consequences of changes in your health. The evidence, including the most recent study by a team lead by David Himmelstein, a long-time advocate of national health insurance, shows that having something go wrong with your health can bring about bad things, including bankruptcy. Why? For most Americans, the income that comes from working is the almost-total source of their income. If something happens that has an impact on their ability to work, they are in big trouble. That would not be true if people had more savings. Among Americans in the lowest quartile of net worth, the median amount of financial assets was $1,100 in 2007.”

    For the most part, this is a true statement. Medical bills themselves do not cause people to go into bankruptcy, but not being able to work does cause people to go into bankruptcy. Let me back up for a moment and categorically state there are only two reasons why people file bankruptcy. The first instance that a person files for bankruptcy is when the amount of his debts exceeds the amount of assets (which includes income) he possesses such that it makes sense that he files for bankruptcy to get a fresh start. I had gone through this and my wife has gone through this. The second instance a person files for bankruptcy is that a person is no longer able to work such that he cannot bring in income to cover the mounting debts he is accruing. I suspect that this is the situation that most people who have medical maladies end up in. No one should expect that socialized medicine will solve this problem. Indeed, there is real world evidence in countries that practice socialized medicine that personal bankruptcy rates are higher than they are here in the U.S. One reason this is so is because in countries that practice socialized medicine people have to wait much longer than their U.S. counterparts to get treatment for maladies that can threaten work time. If you have to wait to get treatment, that of course increases the likelihood that the problem will get worse, causing a person not to work and therefore forcing that person to file bankruptcy.

    A way to help out people who will be hit with unexpected medical bills would be to make the tax code more forgiving of saving money and buying insurance to cover these uncertain events. Another thing that can help out the market is more competition, not less. On a slightly different topic, James Glassman makes the case why competition is important in the biogenerics market:

    “It’s hard to reconcile these three goals (in socialized medicine) — and impossible by government diktat. But there is a mechanism that works in other sectors (think consumer technology, for example) that can achieve broader reach, higher quality, and lower costs. It’s called competition.”

    Does the Obamacare bill being bandied about make it easier for people to save money and buy insurance to cover uncertain events and make the healthcare market more competitive or less competitive?

    That being said, I have always wondered why people find it morally wrong to go into bankruptcy because of their health but it is not morally wrong to go into bankruptcy to save your house. In either situation the only thing lost are some assets and a hit to your creditworthiness. However, you get to start over in each instance. I would think that it would be better to go into bankruptcy to save your health than it is to save your house. After all, if you aren’t going to risk it all to save your life, do you truly value your own life?

    Like

  19. Ed Darrell says:

    Well, I’m new here, but I think there is ample evidence now to show that the bill going through Congress

    1) won’t lower the cost of healthcare
    2) won’t expand coverage
    3) won’t provide more efficient care

    But where is that evidence?

    About 25 cents out of every healthcare dollar is spent in denying care to the uninsured. What happens to that health care dollar if we simply stop that private, cost-increasing bureaucracy dead in its tracks? I think it will take a couple of years for the cost savings to shake out, but it will be 25% cheaper than erecting an enormous bureaucracy intended to prevent health care delivery.

    Coverage is mandated. How does that fail to increase coverage?

    There is no Health Care Police to arrest the sick and take them to doctors for treatment. But we think that most sick people, knowing they will have health care with little out of pocket expense, will seek care on their own. What do you know about human nature that suggests it would be otherwise?

    Like

  20. Nick Kelsier says:

    Oh and by the way, Chris, it isn’t socialism. You can pretend otherwise all you want, little one, but it’s Keynsian capitalism.

    Why don’t you worry more about the 50 thousand people that die every year then your precious misbegotten idealogy.

    Like

  21. Nick Kelsier says:

    Gee, Chris, why should we belive you over Yale and Harvard?

    But you’d rather company mooks only interested in more and more profit runnign health care.

    The current health care bill may not be perfect…but it’s better then what you propose…that being nothing

    Like

  22. chrisbolts says:

    Well, I’m new here, but I think there is ample evidence now to show that the bill going through Congress

    1) won’t lower the cost of healthcare
    2) won’t expand coverage
    3) won’t provide more efficient care

    but it will

    4) give the government greater control over the lives of Americans and their health choices.

    It doesn’t take a lot to sniff out a Socialist rat. By the way, if you want to see a good rebuttal of “healthcare costs lead to bankruptcy” read my blog at chrisbolts.wordpress.com.

    Like

  23. Mike says:

    Oh, come on. The Torygraph as a source? For anything? It’s not quite WingNutDaily, but it lost any credibility as a news source a long time ago. It’s devolved into a far-right rag which exists solely to whip up fear in Tory voters.

    Like

  24. Ed Darrell says:

    Here in Texas Republicans pushed through a law that requires hospitals and doctors to withhold care from patients, in at least one case who were fully aware and semi-ambulatory. The NHS system would be a vast improvement over the U.S. system.

    Like

  25. Nick Kelsier says:

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/healthcare/august_2009/without_public_option_enthusiasm_for_health_care_reform_especially_among_democrats_collapses

    Rasmussen Reports is a center right polling company. Their poll says that the majority of Americans want a public option in health care reform.

    Rocket and the rest of you worried about “socialism” lets have a little lesson for you.

    Since I doubt any of you have read Marx. I have and I am no socialist. I am a liberal Democrat but the two are no more the same thing as socialism then being a Republican means you’re a fascist.

    Socialism, as advocated by marx, may work well on paper but it doesn’t work in reality. But there is something to be learned from Marx. And it’s this:

    What triggers a “socialist revolution” is the excesses of capitalism. The concentration of wealth and power in the few, the stagnation of the middle class, the poverty of the poor. From 1990 to 2000 half of the wealth generated in this country went into the hands of 1% of the population. From 2000 to the current day over two thirds of the wealth generated in this country went into the hands of 1% of the population. This means that the middle class is stagnating and will eventually start to shrink. That will especially accelerate as the income disparity and wealth disparity grows ever larger.

    You don’t think the people are noticing? You don’t think that they’re getting pissed off at it? How long do you think that growing income disparity can keep growing before things start to break down if they haven’t already started to do so?

    Families are going bankrupt due to health care costs, people are dying, 18 thousand a year, due to no health care. How many will have to lose their health insurance before you do something? How many will have to go bankrupt? How many will have to die before you stand up and help?

    If you are so against “Socialism” then why in hell do you seem to be following with such zeal Stalin’s dictum of “One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.”

    As I said once before, if there ever is any actual socialism in this country it won’t be at the hands of the left wing. It will be because of the actions of the right wing and their inability to recognize that things need to be balanced.

    Like

  26. Nick Kelsier says:

    Someone writes:
    I got a better idea, since the health care program called medicare and medicaid (created by the government) is failing, lets just separate medicare and medicaid from supplementing private health care and make it a stand alone plan. Gosh, then you dont need trillions of dollars to start a new one, you could take half a trillion dollars and fix the failing one and offer it to the people. No no no, that simply wont do, people would save money then, and wouldn’t have to fork over even more taxes.

    Except they’re not failing. The reason, child, they’re having financial problems or rather will be is because of the increasing number of baby boomers retiring. The fix can be done if the politicians would have the cajones to do it.

    People would save money under a government run health care option that would compete against private insurance companies, therefor facing them to lower their costs, but no no no..that won’t do. People wouldn’t have to fork over as much to private industry and that simply won’t do.

    Apparently you missed my pointing out that insurance companies are trying to get Congress to let them to keep even more of the health care dollars as profit thereby shifting more of the costs onto the consumers. They want a 15% raise over what consumers now have to pay..and that is on top of insurance premiums.

    And that doesn’t bother you why? Exactly when did whatever deity come down to the planet and say “The health insurance companies are a sacred cow and must never be harmed in any fashion.” And please don’t be asinine enough to say that government doesn’t have the authority.

    Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution:
    Section 8. The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

    Pay attention to the “for the common defense and general welfare” part. By definition, ensuring that everyone has adequate health care in this country is “general welfare of the United States.”

    Sorry, despite your delusion to the contrary, we the people of the United States are under no obligation to be bent over and gang raped by the insurance industry.

    Like

  27. Ed Darrell says:

    I got a better idea, since the health care program called medicare and medicaid (created by the government) is failing, lets just separate medicare and medicaid from supplementing private health care and make it a stand alone plan. Gosh, then you dont need trillions of dollars to start a new one, you could take half a trillion dollars and fix the failing one and offer it to the people. No no no, that simply wont do, people would save money then, and wouldn’t have to fork over even more taxes.

    Even better, you just admit that both Medicare and Medicaid are the smashing successes they are, instead of telling tales out of school, and we get on with making health care better?

    Like

  28. Nick Kelsier says:

    Sorry for the double post, when I posted it the first time the system appeared not to let it go through. Ed, if you could delete one of the double posts please?

    Like

  29. Nick Kelsier says:

    Oh and just to source my statement that health insurance companies are pushing the Senate Finance committee to allow them to make even more profit on health care expenditures and shift more of the cost to the consumers, here it is. It’s on page 5 of the article found at the url I’ll list. But this is the specific paragraph:

    This is good news for UnitedHealth, which benefits when patients pick up more of the tab. In late spring, the Finance Committee was assuming a 76% reimbursement rate on average, meaning consumers would be responsible for paying the remaining 24% of their medical bills, in addition to their insurance premiums. Stevens and his UnitedHealth colleagues urged a more industry-friendly ratio. Subsequently the committee reduced the reimbursement figure to 65%, suggesting a 35% contribution by consumers—more in line with what the big insurer wants. The final figures are still being debated.

    http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/09_33/b4143034820260_page_4.htm

    Oh and Rocket, my degrees are in poli sci. I know what socialism is and isn’t. You’re still an idiot.

    Like

  30. Ed Darrell says:

    Socialism, general term for the political and economic theory that advocates a system of collective or government ownership and management of the means of production and distribution of goods.

    Notice carefully: There is no iota of such a proposal in H.R. 3200. Production and distribution are almost completely unaffected, except as they might be influenced by market decisions made by consumers of health care.

    I know the definition of socialism. What you have failed to show is that there is any such proposal from Obama or the Democrats.

    You label everything a government does as “socialism.” Look: Policemen saving your tail from burglars is not socialism. Firemen saving your house is not socialism. Gas taxes to build the roads that carry our free-enterprise commerce is not socialism.

    Stick to the facts, tell the truth, and even by your definition, your claim of socialism is dead wrong.

    Like

  31. Rocket says:

    Time to school you.

    Socialism, general term for the political and economic theory that advocates a system of collective or government ownership and management of the means of production and distribution of goods. Because of the collective nature of socialism, it is to be contrasted to the doctrine of the sanctity of private property that characterizes capitalism. Where capitalism stresses competition and profit, socialism calls for cooperation and social service.

    In a broader sense, the term socialism is often used loosely to describe economic theories ranging from those that hold that only certain public utilities and natural resources should be owned by the state to those holding that the state should assume responsibility for all economic planning and direction.

    Democratic Socialism

    Democratic socialism took firm root in European politics after World War I. Socialist democratic parties actively participated in government in Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, and other nations. Socialism also became a powerful force in parts of Latin America, Asia, and Africa. To the Indian leader Jawaharlal Nehru and other leaders of independence movements, it was attractive as an alternative to the systems of private enterprise and exploitation established by their foreign rulers.

    After World War II, socialist parties came to power in many nations throughout the world, and much private industry was nationalized. In Africa and Asia where the workers are peasants, not industrial laborers, socialist programs stressed land reform and other agrarian measures. These nations, until recently, have also emphasized government planning for rapid economic development. African socialism has also included the revival of precolonial values and institutions, while modernizing through the centralized apparatus of the one-party state. Recently, the collapse of Eastern European and Soviet Communist states has led socialists throughout the world to discard much of their doctrines regarding centralized planning and nationalization of enterprises.

    Edit and Nick’s entire argument if not just to be argumentative is based in whole on the fact they can’t stand that someone else is making more than them, or that someone is making more money than someone else. Bad evil greed. Lets make sure no one is making too much more than anyone else (socialism). lets make sure no one is at the bottom (socialism), lets make sure that anyone making a profit is penalized because there are people suffering (socialism)

    Look, if you guys can’t accept that we live in a capitalist country, change it or leave. You have that freedom.

    Now, not that this needs correcting, but somehow your liberal minds created something out of nothing, in that, I never said we can’t do anything about anything, ever, let alone health care.

    As a sidebar–
    When interviewed by The Canadian Press this week (spurred by heated debates in the US), the President of the Canadian Medical Association, Anne Doig, is quoted as saying “our country’s public health care system is imploding. Simply put, the Canadian system is not sustainable. There could be a role for ‘private health care delivery’ to save it.”

    Ok, all stupid arguing aside, here is something that can’t be argued, not even by spoiled liberals who can’t stand that someone is making a buck in this country of “choices”, B.O. and his cronies want to take trillions of your tax dollars (and your children’s, and grandchildren’s) and put it into a heath care program created by the government and then have you “pay” for that health care with the money from your pocket. Hmmm…take your money in the form of taxes before you get it, then what is left that you get as a paycheck, you now have to give to the government to get their health care. Take your money from you, then you give them more of the money you got paid from your employer. WOW, if people don’t get THAT one, I feel sorry for you.

    I got a better idea, since the health care program called medicare and medicaid (created by the government) is failing, lets just separate medicare and medicaid from supplementing private health care and make it a stand alone plan. Gosh, then you dont need trillions of dollars to start a new one, you could take half a trillion dollars and fix the failing one and offer it to the people. No no no, that simply wont do, people would save money then, and wouldn’t have to fork over even more taxes.

    We could even cure liberal illness. Hell, with the half a trillion saved, and if the President is still adamant about spending a cool trillion anyway, take the half a trillion saved and throw it into fixing the social security program that has been failing for so many years.

    I’d much rather abolish the IRS completely, let you all take home ALL of your paycheck and implement a fair tax, taxing you only on what you buy. Are you rich enough to buy a yacht? Cool, pay the taxes on it which is your fair share and move on. Are you the type that don’t need big boy toys? Cool, you only pay taxes on what you buy. I see people that budget their money well making a good living, and I see people that are greedy (oh that evil word) and materialistic, paying the fair share of taxes for it.

    It’s so simple it will never happen, and THAT is the problem with out congress and liberals.

    Since I allowed myself to be drug back into this inept, inane and ridiculous argument, I am now saying good-bye.

    Good luck in your life, God Speed, and look forward to seeing what you can do for your country.

    Like

  32. Lady Why says:

    Nick said, “Tell me, Lady and all the rest of you Republicans”

    Nick, I’ve told you multiple times I’m not a Republican. I don’t like them almost as much as I don’t like Democrats.

    Nick said, “when does the “too much greed” line get crossed for you.”

    When Obama and the other Washington cronies attempt to pass a ‘health care’ bill that will do nothing but lower the quality of American medical care while lining the pockets of politicians with my hard earned money.

    Rocket, I didn’t know you were a child. ;-)

    Like

  33. Nick Kelsier says:

    The health insurance companies are trying to push a bill through the Senate that would allow them to make a profit of 35 cents on every dollar spent for health care. That is 10 cents more then the casinos are allowed to make in Vegas and near 20 cents more then the casinos are allowed to make in New Jersey.

    Tell me, Lady and all the rest of you Republicans..when does the “too much greed” line get crossed for you.

    And your claim Rocket about socialism is patently asinine. Remember, child, it was the Republicans who bailed out the banking industry. And oh oops..they were allowed to pay back the government loans. Same with the auto industry. Under your dimwitted definition of socialism, any time a government dares stop a company from doing anything it’s socialism. They could dump toxic waste in your backyard and you’d have no protection against it using your insane definition. Sorry, child, the companies don’t run this country. ANd there is no revolution against socialism going on in this country. What there is going on is a revolution against right wing idiocy like yours.

    Your definition of socialism, Rocket, is stupid childish and out of touch with reality. You are insane.

    Like

  34. Ed Darrell says:

    If the story is in error, Rocket, show us where and how. If it’s not in error, quit spitting into the wind and telling us you think it’s going to rain.

    Like

  35. Rocket says:

    There you have it folks, because the holy grail of knowledge, wisdom, and truth [CNN main stream media] has spoken, you are now the prophet of truth, wisdom, experience, common sense and all that is right.

    Like

  36. Ed Darrell says:

    —See, this is a problem, liberalism is an illness, and because you are struck with this illness, you most definitely need congress to control businesses that charge too much, make too much profit, grow too big, exercise their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (and profits).

    No one has proposed that the government control anything, your mischaracterizations don’t stick.

    Why shouldn’t we save the nation? Notice that the CNN report squarely lays the blame for 60 percent of personal bankruptcies on health care costs. Note that those bankruptcies and accompanying foreclosures pushed the U.S. economy off the brink last year.

    Tell us the truth, Rocket: Who pays you for this stuff? Putin? Ahmedinejad? Chavez? Dembski? Hovind?

    Like

  37. Rocket says:

    “Why in the world should Congress not consider it a mandate to act to control a problem that is bankrupting so many, and which contributed so heavily to our current economic crisis?

    Surely you’re joking.”

    —See, this is a problem, liberalism is an illness, and because you are struck with this illness, you most definitely need congress to control businesses that charge too much, make too much profit, grow too big, exercise their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (and profits).

    I’m sorry Ed, I am not joking. What is a joke is our congress and pork belly projects and marsh mice needing saving and YOU needing saving. Your illness prevents you from understanding that health care is provided by private companies, thousands of companies, and health insurance is provided by at least that many. It’s their right to charge anything they want, if you don’t like it, you have the freedom to leave this country (without getting shot in the back), or just choose the company, hospital, insurance you want and quit complaining about the others making a profit.

    Lets look at this from another angle. Let’s say we allow the insanity to continue to grow and we allow liberals to allow congress to control private industry (in this case health care companies), and congress controls their prices, who they give care to, etc.

    With that done, lets say now you start a company selling widgets, everyone needs widgets, but your prices are too high. Congress steps in, and forces you to change your prices so that everyone can afford your widgets. Sound fair to you? Lets not forget that in the process of building your company, millions of people have to have your product and commence to buying every single you you can produce as fast as you can produce them, and you make a huge profit from it. In steps the government with their “windfall profit tax”. Are you just going to roll over and let them take what they want?

    This liberal thinking is an illness because to you, its unfair if everyone can’t get an iPhone, or a car, or a computer or a nice 3 bedroom house, and you will be damned if you will stand by and let a company sell their product or service at whatever price they choose which might be more than what a lot of people could afford. So you and your congress step in and start forcing the companies to sell and make their product or service affordable to everyone.

    That is socialism. That is whining. That is a spoiled brat. THAT is not what we need in this country.

    I noticed that your entire argument is to have congress do your bidding for you. What are YOU willing to do for our country?

    I am so sick and tired of all the people whining about things they don’t have and crying to the government to give them what they want. Gimme Gimme Gimme.

    Man up and stop asking what your government can do for you, and start asking yourself what you can do for yourself, for us and for your country.

    As for profits, the pursuit of happiness, I say live and let live, bathed in freedom. In case you haven’t noticed, there are many nations of people on this planet that have ZERO health care, Zero health insurance, ZERO creature comforts, Zero cars, Zero water heaters, etc, infinitum.

    Yes, there are atrocities such as that of my friend dying from, and many people die from lack of something, food, lack of health care, accidents, planes crashing into really tall trade centers, bombs exploding in parking decks of really tall trade centers, all manner of things. Its sad, Its ugly, its part of the cycle of life (and death) of humanity on this planet.

    “We the people” will strive to do what we can to ensure our safety, our prosperity, and our freedom.

    As far as government control of our lives, our businesses, I think you should read the Declaration of Independence which specifically outlines that WE WILL NOT STAND FOR THIS ANY MORE.

    I encourage you and everyone to read this http://publicvote.webs.com and take the time to REALLY read our Declaration of Independence http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/index.htm

    The last paragraph states “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

    Again, what are YOU willing to do for your country? not what can your country do for you.

    I am a proud veteran of the Untied States Military and am honored to have served so that so many could have so much, even if its their right to whine and be spoiled. I play no favoritism and accept the bad with the good.

    I also hope that God has granted me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

    This is my last post on this thread. I look forward to serving all Americans in every way I am capable.

    Like

  38. […] End the hoaxes, part 1: Health care costs cause bankruptcies – Health coverage reform is not an idle dream or a “nice-to.” Reluctance because it represents change from “how things were in the old days” (never mind that our system today bears only passing resemblance to the system when I was growing up) is both short-sighted and wrong. There are people being hurt and killed out there, right now, because of the current system, and anyone reading this in the US could be next. […]

    Like

  39. Ed Darrell says:

    When the government decides on their own WITHOUT public initiation or approval, to act on their own for the good of the people, to control private industry and economy, then they are dictating to us “instead” of representing us.

    So, you’re in the 3% of people who have not noticed the increase in health care prices over the past 15 years, who were asleep in 1994, and who haven’t picked up a newspaper in 40 years?

    You’re kidding, right?

    Why in the world should Congress not consider it a mandate to act to control a problem that is bankrupting so many, and which contributed so heavily to our current economic crisis?

    Surely you’re joking.

    Like

  40. Rocket is right. Why bother suing a doctor for killing your family members due to laziness (not sterilizing medical equipment? Yikes)? Maybe if it would have cost them real money, someone would have sterilized the equipment.

    How much is your life, or having your leg cut off when you have appendicitis worth? Apparently $100,000.

    Like

  41. Rocket says:

    I’m a republican? (looks at his registration card….i.d.e.p.e.n.d.e.n.t…..hmmm) anyway.

    Nick. I understand your anger and frustration, even though I am not a democrat, or a republican. There is only one place to put the blame if anyone is to be blamed and that is a corrupt government. I call foul on congress as a whole, not just democrats. However the democrats have a distinction all their own and set them self apart from all others with their one answer to everything “tax the hell out of them” to pay for all of congresses corruption and ill-begotten plans.

    I am not sure where you get your numbers, but I would wager from rumors or main stream media and more “fear mongering” and “shock value” but truly unsupported that many politicians engage in.

    Here are “some” facts stated with references and sources and “estimates” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_cost_of_the_Iraq_War

    Back to health care. So far no one has been able to say what, specifically, “system” we have that governs the whole of health care in America.

    We are a capitalist society. A bunch of privately owned companies and businesses pursuing profits. There is no “system” to speak of unless you want to say there is also a “grocery system” or a “golf resort” system or a “gasoline system”.

    Untold numbers of private businesses provide products and services of the same type. You can group them any way you want, but that does not make them a “system”.

    When the government decides on their own WITHOUT public initiation or approval, to act on their own for the good of the people, to control private industry and economy, then they are dictating to us “instead” of representing us.

    President B.O. wanted first to overhaul the health care system and if he is talking about medicare/medicaid, then fine, thats a government program that needs to be fixed. Again, there is no private health care “system”, leave private industry alone to evolve on its own based on the products and service we American consumers choose to patronize.

    Then he said he is just introducing a new bill to compete with private industry and give Americans a choice of health care. Is it a bill or a program? If its a program then who is funding it? Obviously our tax dollars and us. So B.O. is offering us a program, paid for by us, for us, without our consent, to compete with private industry. Huh, ok…NO! Not only is it governement playing business owner and pushing into the consumer market but that isnt what I want my tax dollars spent on. Put our tax dollars into the already failing programs and fix them. DONT give it to Nazi Pilosi and her $1.8 million dollar marsh mice, or give it to failing corporate giants wrought with greed and corruption like Chrysler and GM, or AGI or Morgan Stanley or any other private company that should have done what anyone else does and file bankruptcy. Which some of them ultimately did and others were bought out buy other companies (like normal).

    I know how VERY much you need the president you elected to do something right, to do something admirable, to make a change so it can give credit to his campaign rhetoric. I hope it works out too, honestly. but we are going down the wrong roads a hell of a lot faster than we have ever done in the past.

    I got 3 words…..STOP THE INSANITY

    Like

  42. Nick Kelsier says:

    And you and your fellow Republicans had congress from 94 to 2006. Had the Presidency from 2000 to 2008 and did you do anything to fix Social Security and Medicare? No. Your idea of “fixing” Social Security was to privatize it because people would be so much better off gambling with the stock market.

    And look how that turned out. Not very well. So guess what, Rocket, when you say that Social Security and Medicare and all the rest are failing…you have noone to blame but you and your fellow Republicans. Because you had all the time in the world to fix the problems…and did nothing. Other then cost us a trillion dollars in the misbegotten war in Iraq.

    Like

  43. Nick Kelsier says:

    And yet Rocket, you are paying far more for the failing health care system in this country. And all to feed an industry that given the chance will screw you six ways to sunday.

    Like

  44. Rocket says:

    What Health Care system? the private companies and business that already offer their various kinds of health care?

    Or are you talking about Medicare and Medicaid which IS a government program that is “Tanking” and will be bankrupt in 10 years, just like social security, another government program, just like the US postal Service, another government program going bankrupt.
    President B.O. said it himself, in his own words “FedEx and UPS are doing Just Fine, We are just offering another choice with the new health care bill”.

    Great..another program by the government which we will pay for with tax dollars that will end up on the pile of other failing govt programs, ya, lets do that one.

    Lets keep repeating this self-destructive cycle and see if something will change. What is the definition of insanity? doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result each time?

    Let’s not and just say we did.

    Like

  45. Rocket says:

    Ed, America doesn’t need saving from anyone but it pork belly congress.

    “What needs to be overhauled? All of our incentives go to discourage people from getting good care, even those with insurance. That needs to change.”

    — What incentives? We need incentives? My incentives aren’t going anywhere. This is standard rhetoric.

    “We spend 50% of our health care money in the last 60 days of life. That needs to change.”

    — We have money specifically designated as health care money? Oh, you mean people spend a lot of their money on health care trying to stay alive in the last 60 days of their life? What kinda garbage is this? I will tell you, its another statistic that can be manipulated to support anything they want. standard political tactics to put the “fear of god” in us. Political “fear mongering” is old hat.

    “We spend $350 billion to prevent people from getting care at all. That money should go to care.”

    — Um, what? we who? money to prevent people from getting care? Money should go to people, to spend how they see fit, on the care providers they like. But instead, you elected a President and congress who gave 3 times that much of OUR tax money to failing, corrupt auto makers (not Ford), Banks, Housing industry, for them to disperse that money in bonuses to their executives instead, and their companies are failing or failed and filed bankruptcy anyway, which is what they should have done to begin with. Has any of that “loan” been paid back? No. Instead it was used to get more people to give MORE money to car makers through the purchase of a new car or truck, to put a profit in the pockets of the car makers who got our tax dollars in the first place. It cost us TWICE to save failing corrupt, automakers.

    “Malpractice used to be about 5% of costs — costs of administration have rocketed so much, it’s down to 1%. If we stopped all malpractice suits and payouts, we’d lose that savings in one month’s inflation of health care costs.”

    — Who does your math for you? Hire a new CPA. Health care providers can set their own prices, its allowed. They are private businesses. If you cant afford to pay their prices because their administration costs are too much, how is that our fault? Go to another provider and let that failing business fail because they couldn’t control their pricing structure for services. And what a horrible comparison. If malpractice suits are only 1% of costs to a health service provider versus the 5% it used to be (going by your numbers, wherever they came from) it COULD be due to the laws in many states that “cap” a medical malpractice suit to $100,000. A friend of mine died from MRSA contracted from unsterilized pins put in a broken ankle, and in the words of White, Sands and Sands, in Orlando Florida (the largest medical law firm in that state), “a law suit against the hospital and doctors are pointless, time consuming and with no payoff in the end because the suit for wrongful death would be capped at $100,000 which wouldn’t even cover the atty fees.” I imagine that caused a huge reduction in suits filed in many states.

    “Pharmaceuticals are about 10% of all health care costs, dramatically down despite new miracle drugs that cost a lot. We can’t make significant inroads there for most people.”

    — More pointless rhetoric that has no foundation.

    “You’re right, this is not about a government program, nor is that what is proposed.”

    — Boy have they got you fooled with all the doubletalk. What IS proposed is a health care system overhaul, then its called a proposal for a stand alone program to compete with and offer a choice to the public for a new kind of health care run by the govt. Then its called a health care reform bill. When are you going to learn there is a reason for all these names that say something different? Its all to snow you and confuse you and that is the democratic way. Keep you confused, off balance and move fast enough to push it through congress so that you dont know what happened until its too late to change it. Hence “Lets get it done before break”, and the congressmen saying they didn’t have time to read the bill. LOL they had time to write it, they damn well better have time to read it. Thats what we pay them for, to TAKE the time to KNOW what they are doing and why. If they dont have time, then we cant be bothered to pay them or re-elect them.

    “Have you read the bill? Did you read my post above?

    It’s not socialism to save America.”

    — no it isn’t socialism to save America, you are correct. there are 3 forms of governing rule:

    Democracy- the people govern them self through representation.

    Socialism- the government governs the people and controls commerce.

    Dictatorship- One man controls the government, commerce, and the people.

    Which one do you think we are living in?

    For more reality checks, and balances, and deciphering of the rhetoric of our political masters, see http://dragontail.wordpress.com and just created today for “hitting home” http://publicvote.webs.com

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  46. Ed Darrell says:

    That’s the problem. We have a proposal which is not a government health program, but you guys either haven’t read the proposal or don’t understand it.

    So you attack the proposal with fantastic falsehoods, and think it’s reasonable.

    Government involvement is not socialism. But then, most conservatives never did really study economic. Socialism is government planning the outputs of traditionally privately-owned businesses. Generally that leads to rationing.

    Our current health care system comes close to qualifying as socialism, limiting outputs to people who don’t please the insurance companies. Except it’s a privately-run sort of socialism. It kills those people just as dead.

    So it’s not a fear of killing people that you worry about, we know.

    The private system keeps people from getting health care even when they don’t die.

    So we know you’re not concerned about delivery of health on an equitable and necessary basis, either.

    I’ll wager you’re more confused about what you want than I am trying to figure out what the rational basis of your position could possibly be.

    Not only do you not recognize socialism, you can’t tell when socialism would be a good idea, and you’re not concerned with the things that drive socialism, like equal opportunity, equal access to resources, and growth of the entire economy.

    Two posts complaining about the health care proposal on this thread, neither one shows any recognition for the economic problems caused or the social ills created, as outlined in the post.

    You’re happy to watch the U.S. economy crater? If not, what do you propose, in health care? Status quo is stupid, and damaging. What change that will work?

    Like

  47. Lady Why says:

    Rocket, I couldn’t have said it better myself! Thank you for being a refreshing voice of reason!!

    Like

  48. […] Health care costs: cause of many bankruptcies. […]

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  49. […] This post was Twitted by hexmode […]

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  50. Ed Darrell says:

    What needs to be overhauled? All of our incentives go to discourage people from getting good care, even those with insurance. That needs to change.

    We spend 50% of our health care money in the last 60 days of life. That needs to change.

    We spend $350 billion to prevent people from getting care at all. That money should go to care.

    Malpractice used to be about 5% of costs — costs of administration have rocketed so much, it’s down to 1%. If we stopped all malpractice suits and payouts, we’d lose that savings in one month’s inflation of health care costs.

    Pharmaceuticals are about 10% of all health care costs, dramatically down despite new miracle drugs that cost a lot. We can’t make significant inroads there for most people.

    You’re right, this is not about a government program, nor is that what is proposed.

    Have you read the bill? Did you read my post above?

    It’s not socialism to save America.

    Like

  51. Rocket says:

    Ya ok, um it IS socialism plain and simple. First of all lets get this “garbage” out of the way. What health care needs to be overhauled? Medicare? Medicaid? Health care is provided by civilian doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, etc. All private, all not run by the gov’t.

    Health care overhaul is BS. Health insurance is also private business. The gov’t doesn’t need to overhaul hospitals or insurance companies. The reason health insurance is so high is because of the number of doctors being sued. Stop suing doctors. Stop suing hospitals. The cost of seeing a doctor is what pays for law suits against them, pays for expensive medical equipment, pays for expensive hospitals and pays for their expensive cars and houses, and obviously pays for their loans they had to get to go to medical schools.

    There are ways to drive the costs down for seeing a doctor, if enough people participated. stop suing a doctor or hospital for every thing that goes wrong in your life or because of a mistake they made. Mistakes happen. Doctors are not God.

    Pharmaceuticals drive up costs of health care. Corrupt Doctors and politicians. The government can’t fix private businesses and shouldn’t be trying. Medicare/Medicaid is bankrupt. Social Security is bankrupt. The United States post office is almost bankrupt. ALL gov’t programs…failing. and you want the gov’t to overhaul private health care?

    The only people that can fix it is you. We need good doctors who don’t have to fear being sued every second. We need medicine that isnt being pushed by a drug company to increase the value of their stock. We don’t need doctors who buy stocks in the drug they prescribe and then prescribe the drugs needlessly just to drive up the value of THEIR stock portfolio.

    This is not about a gov’t program. This is about private health companies. Gov’t involvement in controlling a private business or industry IS socialism.

    Gov’t involvement in the auto industry, is socialism,in banking in real estate, in insurance is ALL socialism.

    Wake up and smell the revolution against socialism.

    Like

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