General Question

SuperMouse's avatar

Do you want Obama care?

Asked by SuperMouse (30738 points ) January 4th, 2012

I just heard Mitt Romney on Morning Joe saying that if he is elected president, the first thing he will do is repeal President Obama’s healthcare plan. His main argument for doing so is that people don’t want it. I know I would really love to have a health insurance without having to give up eating. Do you want Obamacare? Why or why not? If you don’t, do you support other, maybe better ideas for everyone to have access to appropriate healthcare?

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154 Answers

KoleraHeliko's avatar

I think when he said ‘people’, he meant ‘people with an income over $100K per annum’.

Blackberry's avatar

I don’t need it, but other people do, and there are already reports of it helping people. Checkmate, GOP.

Aethelflaed's avatar

For the purposes of this question, hell yeah. There are some things I’d like to tweak and modify, but I’d rather have the PPACA in its current form than no healthcare reform at all. And it disappoints me to hear Mitt talking this way; the reason I liked him a bit as a Republican was because he did stuff like have Romneycare and be more of a moderate. Though, I doubt he has the votes to repeal it, so it’s all huffing and puffing.

fizzbanger's avatar

I don’t support it. One downside.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

No, I don’t want any improvements in our healthcare. I just love paying $6996 a year for my insurance, plus copays and deductibles.

filmfann's avatar

I make less than $100K, but I have the kind of job that gives me medical coverage, so Obamacare will effect me negatively. That said, I understand the need for it, and hope we can adjust it in a way that gives everyone some kind of coverage.

TexasDude's avatar

My stepmother works with health insurance and my dad is soon to be a medical professional, and they both are reporting a massive unfolding logistical clusterfuck in their respective spheres, which has made me skeptical.

janbb's avatar

I am for a single payer universal health care system but failing that, I believe the new health care program is a step in the right direction. What is Romney ‘s suggestion for improving health care for all?

marinelife's avatar

I want it. I wish it went further to a single-payer system (for people and penguins).

laureth's avatar

I think that the Affordable Care Act could have been done better (as @janbb says, single-payer instead of the sort of mandate that the Heritage Foundation advocated and which Republicans largely wanted before a Democrat got around to enacting it as an attempt at bipartisan compromise), but that said, I think it’s the best we’ve done so far for people like this.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
CaptainHarley's avatar

No! ObamaCare will further drain the treasury of dollars we don’t have. There’s a way to provide affordable healthcare for everyone without destroying the Country.

jrpowell's avatar

“There’s a way to provide affordable healthcare for everyone without destroying the Country.”

Is this like McCain saying he knows how to get Osama Bin Laden but he isn’t willing to share until he gets elected? If you know the answer to our healthcare problems I am all ears.

Mariah's avatar

I want it so much. I will be so sad if it gets repealed.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@johnpowell

I would think virtually anything would be better than the disaster that is Obamacare. Perhaps a combination of wellness programs and major medical coverage? I don’t claim to have the answers, Senor Powell, I just don’t want us to bankrupt the Country trying to take care of people’s medical needs.

janbb's avatar

@CaptainHarley I ‘m not going to get into a polemic but the existing health system is bankrupting the country – among other things.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@CaptainHarley Here’s a money saving idea so we don’t bankrupt the system. We end veteran’s medical benefits and use that money to reduce the deficit.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@janbb

Some proof of that would be nice.

thorninmud's avatar

It’s a pathetic, half-assed excuse for a national healthcare plan, but it sure as hell beats nothing. Letting “the market” take care of our healthcare system has given us the least cost-effective system in the developed world. The Affordable Care Act is, unfortunately, probably the best solution we can expect to get from the “just say ‘no’” congress.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe

Very funny, but go ahead. At a personal level, I couldn’t care less. I’m dying anyway, so perhaps sooner is better. ObamaCare terminates cancer coverage after 75 anyway, and I turn 70 in May of 2013. Should I live to 75, they’re just going to end my coverage.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

No. I want to have a patient doctor relationship without having an over reaching authority controlling how decisions are made as to treatment.
We need to get rid of insurance companies as we know them and create localized insurance directly with doctors.
With the amount of power that the federal government has been granting itself over the years, the last thing I want is for them to monopolize health care. If the government is going to be in charge of health care, that will give them permission to be in charge of our health, and allow them to monitor what we are putting into or doing with our bodies.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@SquirrelEStuff

You are exactly correct!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@CaptainHarley My apologies. I know your condition. I just got a little pissed off and made a personal attack on you. I was out of line. I really think the veterans deserve better care than they’re getting.

dkranzberg's avatar

The only reason for the existence of government is the protection of our natural rights. For this reason, the Constitution limits the powers of the federal government in matters that may be used by politicians (even with good intent) to abridge those rights. In the Constitution, there is no government power to compel the private citizen to economic consumption or to purchase a commodity against their will. This actually has nothing to do with arguing the merits of the legislation, i.e.: will it help people who need help getting medical care, etc. Perhaps it should be our goal to help the helpless. However, we must live by the terms of our social contract (the Constitution) or amend it.

People will argue that the Constitution stands in the way of social justice and progress and will cite the existence of many a New Deal (FDR) or Great Society (LBJ) federal law or program. They’d be correct. However, just because extra-Constitutional programs have become law in the past does not nullify the correctness of abiding by the Constitution now. The aforementioned New Deal and Great Society legislation has created a situation in which we have multiple, extra-Constitutional, unwritten social contracts. One more extra-Constitutional social contract is one too many, especially considering how these have changed the fundamental world-view of the American people. We are at a tipping point in the history of the Republic. Shall it be established upon liberty and independence or upon security and dependence?

Liberty is scary to many people because free people are free to fail, free to get sick, free to lose their homes, free to be attacked etc. They’d rather have a government powerful enough to guarantee a minimum standard in all facets of life. But, please remember, any government that is powerful enough to do all of this is also powerful enough to take away your rights. There is no escaping this fact.

jrpowell's avatar

“Very funny, but go ahead. At a personal level, I couldn’t care less. I’m dying anyway, so perhaps sooner is better. ObamaCare terminates cancer coverage after 75 anyway, and I turn 70 in May of 2013. Should I live to 75, they’re just going to end my coverage.”

Is there any proof of this? A quick google search only turned up this. And I’m not really going to trust that.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe

No offense taken, bro. This is a hot topic and people’s opinions are strongly held. No apology necessary, but if you feel compelled to offer one, consider it accepted. : ))

CaptainHarley's avatar

@johnpowell

Oh, come on, John. I’m not going to spend an hour searching for that bit of information. If you don’t want to believe it, then don’t.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@CaptainHarley Thank you sir. Appreciate what you did for our country. You deserved better. I’ll file that lesson away and move on.

jrpowell's avatar

So are you saying it is bullshit and you are passing along stuff that you don’t know to be true? That is a pretty big damn statement you made and and it shouldn’t take a hour to find proof that it is correct. So I am just going to assume that it isn’t true and you are passing along made-up stuff you got in a e-mail as a fact when it isn’t.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@CaptainHarley I understand that everyone says stuff from time to time that they aren’t that invested in, that they don’t have the evidence for right on hand (which isn’t to say there isn’t evidence). I get that there’s always a bit of a “is this worth my time, to go find that evidence” struggle. But if you aren’t going to even try to back that up with any kind of evidence, there’s no reason for me to believe a word of it.

tedd's avatar

@CaptainHarley Your claim of “Obamacare” bankrupting us seems to forget the fact that it replaces a system that costs us around 100 billion dollars a year more than Obamacare does. Under the system in place now anyone can go to a hospital ER and will be served, and if they can’t pay later the government foots the bill. Obamacare basically has the government spending less money (in subsidies that get paid to privately owned health insurance companies mind you) to give a huge chunk of the people (whom we would otherwise be covering via ER bills) basic health insurance, which actually affords them better care anyways. Since your typical doctors visit is 6x cheaper than an ER visit… it costs our government less money to do the job better…. It’s common sense, that’s why Mitt Romney did it as governor, and the Republicans suggested it back in the 90’s when Clinton was pushing the Public Option.

Furthermore, your belief that somehow Obamacare would cut your cancer coverage…. is just plain stupid. For starters, the only way Obamacare would have any effect is if you were given subsidies under it due to your income being low enough to qualify. And the only time Obamacare stops covering you, is when Medicare or Medicaid start to cover you. Please, for the love of god, stop believing all this BS you’re hearing.

As to the OP… I would much rather a single payer, and I cringe at the fact private health insurance companies are going to make more money from this plan… But it saves our government money, and ensures a boatload more people… so I fully support it.

janbb's avatar

With all due respect @CaptainHarley, here ‘s a source for mine. And since I am a librarian and critical thinker, it is from a government report. Now since the pot called the kettle black, can you show me a reliable source for your statement?

Seaofclouds's avatar

@SquirrelEStuff You said, “I want to have a patient doctor relationship without having an over reaching authority controlling how decisions are made as to treatment. ”

Do you realize that the insurance companies that already exist have been doing this for years? I hear so many people complain that they don’t want the government deciding what they can and can’t get for medical care, but they seem to forget/ignore the fact that their insurance company has been doing this for years.

Personally, I’m all for something because the system we had before this just wasn’t cutting it. Yes, there are good things and bad things, but I think this is a step in the right direction to fixing our healthcare in our country.

willbrawn's avatar

I do not want it. I honestly don’t want the government involved in my life in general.

tedd's avatar

@willbrawn I would rather it be the government, than some mega-corporate health insurance company with the primary goal of making money, rather than keeping me healthy.

willbrawn's avatar

@tedd you have a good point. I just have a bad feeling about where the government is headed at times.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Seriously, guys and gals, if you can show me that Obamacare won’t just drive the Nation further into debt, I’ll change my mind a bit on it. But from where I sit, it looks like this enormous, prohibitively expensive, dictatorial boondoggle.

tedd's avatar

@CaptainHarley You do understand the system it replaces, and how it is more expensive…. right? We’re already paying the healthcare bill of millions of poor people in this country… and the care they’re getting is crap. This move is cheaper and gives them better care… It’s a no brainer.

But thanks for calling a Republican idea enormous, prohibitively expensive, and a dictorial boondoggle.

Rock2's avatar

No, I don’t want Obamacare for a lot of reasons. The main reason is that the country can’t afford it. Our government expenses exceed government revenue. We have no money. We would have to pay off our 15T debt to come up to broke.

willbrawn's avatar

@rock2 100% agree

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

@Seaofclouds
I agree 100% with you about the insurance companies doing it for years, which is exactly why I dont want the government to step in and be able to do that even more. The insurance companies have done a great job at leaving people powerless and with government mandates, they can persue it even more.

The system is broken and I am against having the government step in to solve the problem that they helped create. Why do we need insurance companies? Why cant we have a free market of medicine run by doctors, not insurance companies and bureaucrats? There are millions of doctors, but only a handful of insurance companies. The doctors should do the treating, not the insurance companies.

Im sick of people willing to settle for something better than what we have now, but allowing the same people creating these problems, to fix them.

This is the same government that we are allowing to tap our phones, control our internet, detain us indefinitely, and bomb countries without thinking twice.

They dont care about us. They care about money and control. And we are handing it over to them like it is nothing.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Maybe Romney wants to repeal Obama’s health care bill so that he can pass an actual single-payer system. He can build on what he did in Massachusetts.

Also, who taught some of you guys economics? Without ObamaCare, the US paid twice as much for half the results compared to other wealthy nations. In what way does that count as fiscally responsible? I’m not saying I like the specific bill we ended up with under Obama, but it’s crazy to think things were okay the way they were before even if you think that ObamaCare isn’t an improvement.

@dkranzberg In the words of Jeremy Bentham: “Natural rights is simple nonsense: natural and imprescriptible rights, rhetorical nonsense—nonsense upon stilts.” Government is a cooperative endeavor in which people come together for mutual benefit. The invention of things like rights is part of that effort. Since rights are inventions, which ones we have are up to us. Whether or not there is a right to health care is currently up for debate. It is interesting to note, however, that if there were such things as natural rights, a right to health care might be on the list. That there would be follows from most of the popular theories about natural rights.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@SquirrelEStuff When I worked at a doctor’s office, I had to get authorizations for things for my patients. I had an easier time getting authorization through Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare than I did with private health insurance companies. I had a lot more denials from private insurance than I did the 3 I mentioned above.

I understand what you are saying about doing away with insurance companies all together, but they do provide some good to all of it (such as trying to help control the costs for our treatments). If we didn’t have something doing that for us, the doctors, labs, pharmacies, etc could charge whatever they wanted and we would have to deal with it if we wanted to be taken care of.

ragingloli's avatar

I do not, because Germany’s system is already vastly superior.

willbrawn's avatar

@ragingoli a lot of countries are vastly superior when it comes to taking care of their people the right way.

tedd's avatar

@Rock2 Did you just not read any of the other posts? Obamacare is cheaper than the existing federal government healthcare policy… to the tune of 100 billion dollars a year.

Also, you are wrong about us being broke. Yes we have 15 trillion dollars in debt. But here’s some facts you didn’t know 1) Roughly 7 trillion of that debt is owned by the US government itself via intra-agency holdings… 2) The founding fathers established the national debt because it’s actually good for the economy, the only argument is how much debt vs GDP (ours is currently slightly over 1 in ratio format).... and 3) We have over 80 trillion dollars in assets to counter the 15 trillion in debt… So I’d say we’re ok.

dappled_leaves's avatar

I think when he said ‘people’, he meant ‘insurance companies’.

Jaxk's avatar

The propaganda on Obamacare is rampant. First there are no cost savings merely a redistribution of the cost to taxpayers. Emergency room visits in Mass. are up not down, so there is no savings there. The control of our health care is shifted to the Secretary of Health who defines minimum coverage, what will be or won’t be covered. Doctors are dropping Medicare patients due to the reduction of medicare payments so even if you have coverage, you don’t have a doctor. I guess you go to the emergency room.

There have been several proposals to reduce medical costs (health savings accounts, tort reform, interstate competition) but Obama is not concerned with reducing costs but rather government control. Wake up, this is not a solution but rather another costly government entitlement that will drive us further into bankruptcy.

“I’m from the government and I’m here to help”. Yeah, right!!!

augustlan's avatar

Yes, absolutely. Like others, I would much prefer a single payer system, but barring that… “Obamacare” is the only way I can even get health insurance, at ANY cost. I’m 44, and have several pre-existing conditions that have allowed insurance companies to deny me any coverage for years. When I was unemployed and self-employed, they wouldn’t touch me with a 10 foot pole.

Even when I had jobs that provided benefits, the insurance companies would jack up the rates so high to insure me, that the small businesses I worked for couldn’t afford it. In order for them to stay afloat, I couldn’t sign on to their insurance plans.

NOTE: I still can’t afford health insurance, but at least I could get it if I could.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I have good health insurance from my work, but I have two adult sons who do not have any health insurance. It doesn’t make a difference to us whether they repeal it or not, because even though it is supposed to be law, I continue to have two adult sons who have no health insurance. Where is Obamacare for us? Is it only in certain states?

tedd's avatar

@Jaxk Right, you’re aware that the vast majority of Obamacare, including the part that will lower ER visits and costs… doesn’t go into effect until 2014 .. and hence would have no current effect… right?

This is common sense man, and as a guy who was this close to becoming a doctor and is very familiar with the system. The Federal Government right now will cover the bill of anyone who goes to a hospital and can’t pay their bill… this is to prevent hospitals from turning people away. The problem is they can only go to an ER, and they will only be helped with life threatening situations if it is life threatening immediately.. Oh and btw, this care costs 6x more than your regular doctors appointment that they could make instead….. So why not use that same money we’re already spending on their ER bills, and give them health insurance plans that will let them stop using the ER and go to a regular doctor. They get better care, and we spend less money… And to top that off, in Obamacare they subsidize private companies… you and your free market buddies win!

Also… minimum coverage? Are you that stupid that you bought that BS line? The only thing the bill did was require certain coverages, like no pre-existing conditions or kids being able to stay on their parents plans til 26. Basic protections to keep big business health insurance from screwing you over like they’ve been doing for years.

Seriously, your ignorance astounds me.

tedd's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt See my last post… parts of it aren’t enacted yet and won’t be until 2014. However I believe the requirement that you can keep your adult sons on your plan is out there already. I believe the cut off age is 26…. You should call your insurance company. They’re not going to do it for you and they’re definitely not going to broadcast your ability to do it.

Jaxk's avatar

@tedd

And your ignorance astounds me. RomneyCare is what I referenced in regard to emergency room visits and it has been around since 2006. Emergency room visits have not declined. Obamacare has made the claim that emergency room visits will decline but they apparently haven’t looked at the data (nor have you).

tedd's avatar

@Jaxk Ok, please, show me the data.

(internet chain mail, and rumor blogs written by right wing nut jobs don’t count)

I’ll wait.

King_Pariah's avatar

No. Government monopolizing ANYTHING besides protecting our natural rights is a big NO in my book

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

My sons are over age 26. And to answer the original question, YES, I want Obamacare. I want my sons to have health insurance. And I want my daughter, who had lymphoma in 2008, be able to continue to be covered. By the way, her illness cost her about $10,000, and that was WITH health insurance. Something’s got to give here – right now if you have one major illness or accident, you can lose everything you worked your entire life for. I don’t care if Obamacare has flaws – we have to do something and we have to start somewhere. What is Mitt Romney’s alternative plan? To do nothing, right? I thought so.

Jaxk's avatar

@tedd

I find it almost amusing that you don’t have the data yet call me ignorant. Maybe a little research of your own claims would be in order before you call others ignorant. This stream of propaganda is exactly what I was referring to.

Nonetheless, let me help you out. According to the Beacon Hill Institute in Mass.: “The promise of cost‐containment rested on a vague hope that the newly insured would
seek preventive care, access their primary care physicians earlier in their illness and
avoid costly emergency room visits. Yet, the number of emergency room visits rose
from 2.351 million in 2006 to 2.521 million in 2009, or by 7.2% over the period. The total
cost of emergency visits has soared by 36% over the period, or by $943 million.”

There’s a lot of data concerning the cost myths associated with Obamacare and Romneycare. You may want to familiarize yourself with it.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Jaxk If you were really talking about RomneyCare in your original post, it would have been a good idea to mention that. You started by yelling about ObamaCare and then went on a little rant about Massachusetts. It is not at all unreasonable to think you hadn’t changed topics given that you made no indication otherwise.

@King_Pariah What natural rights? No such thing exists.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] This is our Question of the Day!

Jaxk's avatar

@SavoirFaire

Since Mass. was the template for Obamacare, I don’t think it is unreasonable to expect those that are pretending to be knowledgeable to know that.

King_Pariah's avatar

@SavoirFaire lol valid point, I suppose I should have said protecting civil liberties and rights rather than natural rights.

syz's avatar

I don’t know that much about health insurance, except to think that the current system is largely a scam (you get sick, and your insurance company can drop you?!?), and to feel very strongly that the current system sucks donkey balls.

as the number of Americans without health insurance grew to nearly 51 million—the five largest for-profit insurers (Aetna, CIGNA, Humana, UnitedHealth and WellPoint) had combined profits of $11.7 billion.

Will Obama’s reforms be everything we need it to be? I doubt it. But I notice that all of those fuckers screaming that it needs to be repealed aren’t suggesting any real reforms of their own. If you don’t have a (demonstrably) better option, then shut up and give it a chance. If it doesn’t work, we can always repeal or reform it in the future.

I freakin’ hate politicians.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Thanks, @syz . Very well put.

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laureth's avatar

As published in the American Journal of medicine, 62.1% of bankruptcies in 2007 were caused by medical expenses. (This is up from 46.2% in 2001.) Among that group, 75% had health insurance yet were bankrupted by medical debt. Link.

Forbes Magazine, normally hostile to Democrats, said: “The problem of health care spending growing faster than incomes is also a problem that plagues the private sector, which explains why total spending on health care in the economy has doubled over the last 30 years to a current level of about 16% of GDP. CBO estimates that this percentage will double again over the next 25 years to 31% of GDP.” Link.

Myths about health care in other countries. Link. From the article: “U.S. health insurance companies have the highest administrative costs in the world; they spend roughly 20 cents of every dollar for nonmedical costs, such as paperwork, reviewing claims and marketing. France’s health insurance industry, in contrast, covers everybody and spends about 4 percent on administration. Canada’s universal insurance system, run by government bureaucrats, spends 6 percent on administration. In Taiwan, a leaner version of the Canadian model has administrative costs of 1.5 percent; one year, this figure ballooned to 2 percent, and the opposition parties savaged the government for wasting money.” So it doesn’t necessarily follow that a single payer U.S. system would “bankrupt” the country any more than the system we’ve had for years, and might even save a lot of the overhead that comes from competing systems and all the paperwork bloat.

I’ll close with another quotation from that article: “In many ways, foreign health-care models are not really “foreign” to America, because our crazy-quilt health-care system uses elements of all of them. For Native Americans or veterans, we’re Britain: The government provides health care, funding it through general taxes, and patients get no bills. For people who get insurance through their jobs, we’re Germany: Premiums are split between workers and employers, and private insurance plans pay private doctors and hospitals. For people over 65, we’re Canada: Everyone pays premiums for an insurance plan run by the government, and the public plan pays private doctors and hospitals according to a set fee schedule. And for the tens of millions without insurance coverage, we’re Burundi or Burma: In the world’s poor nations, sick people pay out of pocket for medical care; those who can’t pay stay sick or die.

This fragmentation is another reason that we spend more than anybody else and still leave millions without coverage. All the other developed countries have settled on one model for health-care delivery and finance; we’ve blended them all into a costly, confusing bureaucratic mess.”

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Jaxk My point is that the way you present the example suggests you’re still discussing ObamaCare. Even someone who knows about RomneyCare’s putative relation to ObamaCare could think that you hadn’t changed subjects. A little clarity never goes amiss.

tranquilsea's avatar

Any time a political party tries to privatize more of our state-run health care people get politically active like they rarely do for any other issue.

You see, we’ve lived with this system for 40 years and we like the fact that it doesn’t matter whether you are living in poverty or making $1,000,000 a year: we all get treated the same. If I have a broken leg, I’m going to be treated and I’ll still be able to eat and pay my bills.

jerv's avatar

Let me put it like this; private insurance has yet to offer anything better. If you don’t like Obamacare then don’t bitch at government; bitch at the companies who put us in a position where the government had to step in to make sure people outside of the top economic tiers had medical care.

Jaxk's avatar

@SavoirFaire

Actually I was talking about Obamacare by using Mass. as the example. I’ll assume your point about clarity is valid so let me restate my point so that it doesn’t get lost in this back and forth.

Mass. passed what has been called Romneycare back in 2006. It was the template for Obamacare. It was also sold as a way to reduce emergency room visits by insuring everyone. If they were insured, it was expected that they would not need the emergency room as often. Obamacare was sold with the exact same intent. We have six years of experience with Mass. and it has not reduced emergency room visits but rather increased them. This is a good example of what will happen under Obamacare (same system can expect the same results). So if you expect Obamacare to reduce spending on emergency room visits, it ain’t gonna happen. And if you think Obamacare will reduce health care costs, it ain’t gonna happen. In fact if you read the link I posted, health care costs will be going up. From that article: “Premiums for plans covering a single person rose by $284 per year by 2009 and increased family plan premiums by $2,504 per year.

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SavoirFaire's avatar

Oh, and thank you for the clarification, @Jaxk. Very helpful. Sorry to have been a pain about it.

tranquilsea's avatar

The reason the ER visits went up was probably because so many people were dangerously avoiding the ER because they couldn’t pay.

Jaxk's avatar

@dkranzberg

Thanks for that (I think). Now I’m really scared.

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CaptainHarley's avatar

In Greensboro, North Carolina, there is a hospital named Cone Hospital. They have an iron-clad mandate imposed upon them by their primary benefactor, a member of Greensboro’s Cone family. This mandate states that the hospital cannot refuse to treat anyone based on inability to pay. My older son worked there for a few months as an RN in the Emergency Room. According to him, the crush was incredible, especially on the weekends, and included druggies looking to score some drugs, alcoholics suffering from the side-effects of alcoholism, people with minor ailments that could easily have been cured at home, and dozens of illegal immigrants. Most of these cases could quite accurately be referred to as “unwarranted use” of the ER. This is what happens when you open the floodgates to anyone with any sort of “medical condition” to get free ER care. Try to imagine this on a nationwide scale. Then try to imagine the cost.

I have great sympathy for those with real medical problems who have no easy way to pay the bills, but Obamacare is not, in my opinion, the answer. What IS the answer? Damned if I know!

Ron_C's avatar

I want a single payer health system. It makes no sense whatever for 20% of all of our health care money goes to insurance companies. Drug companies make even a higher profit. That is just stupid.

Nullo's avatar

I don’t want Obamacare. I don’t like the compulsory aspect of it, and I don’t trust politicians to put together anything that will work well. I am not opposed to reform, as long as it’s good reform.

Ron_C's avatar

@CaptainHarley the cure for unwarranted emergency room visits is very clear and works well in our community. We have Urgent Care clinics run by PA’s. They do two things very well, the divert people with minor injuries and illness away from emergency rooms and act as a triage to sent people that belong in the Emergency room.

I have used them several times, mostly to avoid becoming hospitalized. It works about 50% of the time. The price is about 30 dollars for a visit, plus medicine and supplies.

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SavoirFaire's avatar

@Nullo We are in complete agreement about the compulsory element of ObamaCare. The government should not be able to require me to buy health insurance.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@CaptainHarley But if these people had access to regular health care, could see a GP without breaking the bank, if preventative care were a normal way of life, then you wouldn’t see that kind of pressure on every ER. Anyway, that is not what you see in countries outside of the US, where national healthcare systems are quite normal.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I have a sneaking suspicion that what many refer to as “other countries” are largely homogenous places where almost everyone shares the same culture. This is not the USA.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@CaptainHarley It is not Canada, either, but that is what I am describing.

Bellatrix's avatar

The United Kingdom and Australia can hardly be referred to as ‘homogenous’ communities with almost everyone sharing the same culture. They both have publicly funded health systems.

jerv's avatar

@CaptainHarley Try telling someone from Quebec that they are Canadian :p

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ETpro's avatar

I wanted a lot more in a healthcare reform bill, but compared to what we were stuck with before, the Affordable Health Care Act is a dream. You can keep your kids on your policy till they are 26. You can’t have your insurance suddenly cancelled after years of paying premiums just because you become ill and are going to finally collect instead of just pay in. You can’t be denied coverage die to preexisting conditions. 30 million Americans who had no coverage now do. What’s not to like?

Remember that prior to this, we had the worst rated healthcare system in the developed world and were paying nearly two times as much as the top-rated developed nations pay per capita. I have no interest in going back to premiums going to all that with premiums spiraling up at 3 to 5 times the rate of inflation decade after decade.

mattbrowne's avatar

We have “Obama care” in Germany since the 50s and no sane conservative or liberal has ever complained about it over here. 99% of all Germans don’t understand this strange discussion in America. Everyone is puzzled. We can understand that poor countries on our planet can’t offer high-quality health care and health insurance to all its citizens. But one of the richest country?

What’s going on in America, a country that most Germans have greatly admired for the past 65 years? There’s science denial. There’s climate change denial. There’s phantom wealth denial. There’s health care denial. Now there’s even a serious risk that the most powerful country in this world will be run by a science-denying lunatic like Rick Sanatorium.

Please, stop using terms like “Obama care”. They are hurtful and cruel to people who still don’t have health insurance.

bkcunningham's avatar

If I understand Germany’s system, @mattbrowne, an employee and an employer equally share the cost of paying into a sick fund by paying a tax which is about 15 percent of the employee’s gross wages, which is shared with the employer. There is a cap on the amount paid, so if someone makes $62,781 annually, they pay the same amount that another employee would pay who makes $250,000 annually.

There is another 2 percent tax shared by employee/employer for nursing care.

Everyone pays a co-pay for doctor visits and prescriptions. When and why did this happen in the German system?

Who makes treatment decisions in Germany to hold down costs of procedures and treatments?

If Americans adapted this plan, then we must change our education system. What do students pay to become physicians in Germany?

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes, that’s a pretty accurate rough description of our system, @bkcunningham. In the details it’s a bit more complicated and there’s also an option to buy private health insurance. There are incentives not to go to the doctor unnecessarily or get prescriptions that are not absolutely needed or waste pills of a too large package size as every patient picks up an additional small share of these costs. The same applies to hospital stays. Unproven medication is not covered by public health insurance. Same for treating common ills such as mild head aches or mild allergies, but ibuprofen and cetirizine are inexpensive. There’s also a cap for these additional patient contributions (2% of total income).

Students are covered by the health insurance of their parents. An unemployed or homeless person would be treated for leukemia even if this costs tens of thousands of euros.

Of course no health system is without weaknesses. And there’s always stuff that can be improved. Political debates are ongoing. But the fundamental principle of solidarity is never in question. It’s what defines us as a human race. Even the neanderthals cared for their sick and injured and one would think that modern tea partiers have evolved beyond the capabilities of the neanderthals.

I’m so saddened by the fact that the American right succeeded in undermining or destroying Barack Obama’s long-term universal health care plans.

bkcunningham's avatar

The problem I have with trying to talk to some liberals about different issues regarding changing a nation’s health care system is that is seems to always turn into bashing political parties and a personal attack on those with different viewpoints because they aren’t as civilized and caring.

janbb's avatar

@mattbrowne I agree with your dismay and lack of understanding. (and I hate the term Obamacare – it is used to denigrate him.)

laureth's avatar

Some points:

1. The German system is different from “Obamacare” because, as I understand it, German health insurance companies are non-profit. Thus, more resources go to care, and less into profit. (That is why the Republican plan that was largely adopted as “Obamacare” is seen as a huge windfall giveaway to insurance companies.)

2. Forbes, a magazine that usually leans friendly to Wall Street, printed an article about how well ‘Obamacare’ is working.

3. Even under “Obamacare,” you are not compelled to buy insurance. You can, instead, pay the fine.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Just a side note – I have lived in two foreign countries where there was government health care (South Africa and Canada). It was wonderful! I had my first baby in South Africa and got excellent care – plus my baby got excellent after-care. I had two babies in Canada, the first one was high-risk. I wound up in the hospital, flat on my back, on two separate occasions because I almost lost him. I got excellent, professional care with no expense barred. It didn’t cost me a cent. Also, whenever I or the kids were sick, we could go to the doctor without having to dip into the rent or food money. It works in other countries – I don’t pretent to know how.

janbb's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt I have some experience with maternal care in France and it is great there too.

mattbrowne's avatar

@bkcunningham – Conservatives or liberals who tolerate any system in a developed country that leaves millions of people without health insurance do not care enough for fellow human beings in my opinion. Sorry, that’s how I feel. They should in fact act in a more civilized way. Because civilization has shown how it can be done. Germany is only one of many examples. This is the reason why Bill Clinton wanted to change the system and his plans were thwarted, and this is the reason why Barack Obama wants to change it and his plans are being thwarted too.

mattbrowne's avatar

@laureth – There are both non-profit and for-profit health care organizations in Germany.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I agree, @mattbrowne . I think we are the only civilized country in the world where the people can’t afford or receive health care. But then, what do the politicians care? They have lifetime excellent health insurance after serving 4 years.

mattbrowne's avatar

I read both books written by Barack Obama, @Skaggfacemutt. My instincts tell me this man does care. He is a politician who cares. After he got his Harvard degree he chose to care for people in Chicago instead of joining a Wall Street company and get rich. Not all politicians have a rotten character. It’s so hard to see him fail in a deeply divided country.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Ron_C's avatar

@mattbrowne I completely agree Conservatives or liberals who tolerate any system in a developed country that leaves millions of people without health insurance do not care enough for fellow human beings”. I understand that in addition to an excellent health system, employment in Germany is at a 20 year high. It must drive the right wingers mad that Germany has excellent wages, health care, employee involvement in company management, and billions of dollars profit. All of the things that the Right tell us are impossible if we want to save out economy.

I hope our rich eat well, some day they will be the only meat that us commoners can afford.

bkcunningham's avatar

Why do people oppose the term Obamacare? It would seem to me to be something to be touted and such a wonderful thing you’d be proud to have your name associated with.

Jaxk's avatar

@Ron_C

Germany is having problems of thier own. Not exactly the panacea your portray. We’ll see how well they do in bailing out the rest of Europe. Or do they simply use Europe as meat for their table.

And Germany has a history of Cannabalism.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk Many places (including the US) have a history of all sorts of fucked up shit. Marrying girls that would nowadays be considered a few years shy of jailbait used to be common on this side of the pond. Remember the Salem Witch Trials?

Sorry, but that is a straw man if ever I saw one. By your logic, there are no good examples of anything anywhere!

Brian1946's avatar

@Jaxk

“We’ll see how well they do in bailing out the rest of Europe. Or do they simply use Europe as meat for their table.

And Germany has a history of Cannabalism.”

Are you asserting that the Neolithic cannibalism that occurred in what is now Germany, means that the Germans of today will literally eat other Europeans, rather than help bail out their countries? ;-)

Are you furthermore suggesting that the Germans will be too busy eating other Europeans to provide health care for those that need it, or that they’ll eat their sick and/or injured residents rather than help them get well? ;-o

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk As the world’s largest debtor nation, we probably are not the ones to critique Germany for its economic decisions. It is, after all, the wprld’s largest lender nation. And it is able to bail out the EEC in its time of need.

jerv's avatar

@ETpro Does that mean that it is possible that Germany’s current economic woes are largely because the US can’t pay it’s bills?

laureth's avatar

@bkcunningham re: “Why do people oppose the term Obamacare?”

“Obamacare” was made-up by the opposition as a kind of mockery. As such, many of us understand it’s an insult, and it’s why I favor the actual name of the law, the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (or “Affordable Care Act” for short), which tells us more about what it’s meant to be than does the insulting term. While I can think of other mocking-names that the Right has put on the Left, though, I can’t think of a similar one that the Left has put on the Right to show you as a counter-example. (I’d use “Contragate” – a comparison of Ollie North/Reagan’s actions being compared to Watergate – if you thought North and Reagan were heroes for that, but comparing “Contragate” to “Obamacare” would imply that Obama had ill intent.)

bkcunningham's avatar

@laureth you put such a spin on that it made me dizzy. LOL Seriously? You can’t think of a similar one that the Left has put on the Right. Honestly, what does name calling and throwing out little jabs at ghosts from the past accomplish? That was my point above to @mattbrowne when he said negative things about the Tea Party movement and conservatives. Great discussion though. Keep patting yourselves on the backs for supporting Obamacare (which I don’t use nor do I think is a negative title for the program). Let’s hope it turns out better than expected.

laureth's avatar

You’re right BK, I wasn’t thinking of “Teabaggers.” I wonder if they’d be proud of that title?

ragingloli's avatar

The teabaggers gave themselves that name and only discovered its other meaning later.
Do not blame others for their stupidity.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@laureth and @bkcunningham I’m not sure if @bkcunningham was referring to the term “teabaggers” in her post, but it should be pointed out that “teabaggers” is the name the tea partiers chose for themselves. They just didn’t realize the connotations already attached to the term. I find it bizarre that they now loudly shout down anyone who uses the term.

bkcunningham's avatar

If you honestly believe that saying Obamacare and Teabagger are the same @laureth, I’m really shocked and sorry that I’ve been giving you credit in the areas of fairness and commonsense. Come on now. Be serious. Plus, shame on me for getting roped into a discussion thaqt allows people an opportunity to play the game of insults and name calling instead of really looking at the issue of health care in America. Beautiful.

marinelife's avatar

This Forbes article says that Obamacare is working already:

“Recent data provided by the nation’s largest health insurance companies reveals that a provision of the Affordable Care Act – or Obamacare – is bringing big numbers of the uninsured into the health care insurance system.

And they are precisely the uninsured that we want– the young people who tend not to get sick.

The provision of the law that permits young adults under 26, long the largest uninsured demographic in the country, to remain on their parents’ health insurance program resulted in at least 600,000 newly insured Americans during the first quarter of 2011.”

bkcunningham's avatar

Can some of the healthcare reform advocates explain why Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius declared the CLASS Act program unsustainable?

jerv's avatar

@bkcunningham Possibly for the same reason everything else about our economy is unsustainable. Things like companies investing more in their executives than in expansion or in their workers, the resulting decline in median income and rise in unemployment, increasing government spending on many things (including unemployment) by far more than we increase revenue… basically, anything involving dollars and how we treat them these days.

Social Security is unsustainable. Defense spending is unsustainable (though better since leaving Iraq). Everything is unsustainable!

ETpro's avatar

@jerv No, Germany has a very strong economy, but is burdened with saving their less fiscally responsible neighbors in the EU. We have never missed a payment on our debt, and would not have even lost our top ranking as a credit risk except for the bonehead Tea Party Republicans and their games with threatening to default by decision.

We are closing in on a debt that is 100% of our GDP. At the end of WWII, it was 120%. We paid it down then, and we can do so now. Consider that most homeowners carry debt on their home, their student loans, and their credit cards that is up to 300% or more of their annual income. Most Americans are comfortable carrying far more debt than the federal government has. This whole Republican “Debt Crisis” drama is laughable, because they ran up most of that debt with don’t tax, just spend giveaways to stay in office.

GoldieAV16's avatar

@bkcunningham You can read a letter from Sebelius herself explaining the problems with CLASS here.

I think it’s a fine example of how well parts of the health care act were written. The act had to meet three criteria in order to implement: be self-sustaining, financially sound for 75 years, and be affordable to consumers. It didn’t pass the litmus test – and has been put on ice while other options are explored.

Because the program was voluntary, it was found that not enough participants were willing to fund a plan for their own long term care needs, and those who were willing were those already practically in need. Long term care is already a crisis, and it’s just going to get worse as the baby boomers enter that demographic. We currently deal with the crisis with Medicaid, but it’s not adequate to address the additional burden that our increasingly elderly population is about to place on it. To me that is an untenable Sophie’s choice: either care for our elderly, or care for children in poverty. What a mess.

janbb's avatar

@GoldieAV16 What a great answer!

bkcunningham's avatar

It is a mess, @GoldieAV16. Thank you very much for the link and information. So what does this do to the remaindor of the health care reform package? My understanding is that this program was to provide about 40 percent of the savings for the remainder of the plan.

jerv's avatar

Note that simple biology states that humans already live longer than we should. Left to nature, our natural lifespan is closer to what you see in Africa or in history books. The reason senior citizens account for so much of our medical costs compared to what percentage of the population they make up is proof. Sad but true.

King_Pariah's avatar

@jerv and then biological immortality is apparently right around the corner, YAY!!!!!

SavoirFaire's avatar

@jerv I’m not quite sure what you mean by “living longer than we should.” Height is determined by a combination of genetics and nutrition. Am I taller than I “should” be because I had access to better nutrition than my ancestors? Natural lifespan is again relative to conditions. How do we determine which conditions constitute what “should” be the case?

If we want to talk about harsh realities, the thing to point out seems to be that end-of-life care is exorbitantly expensive. The amount we pay to put off having to accept that someone is dying is ridiculous. Mention this aloud, of course, and you are likely to be accused of trying to create “death panels,” but it’s a serious economic issue that needs to be addressed.

jerv's avatar

@SavoirFaire Look at the lifespans of most other animals around our size and you can see how much we alter nature already.

But for purposes of this discussion, let us limit ourselves to the fact that having access to what it takes to exceed nature (things like good nutrition and access to medical care) is considered by many to be a luxury. If you lost your job recently and can’t get another, you deserve to die young for being too lazy to have become rich enough to afford good food and regular doctors visits. (Note obesity rates among the lower economic classes here.) If you are rich, then be as bad as you want to be since you are entitled to a long life.

It seems that what conditions “should be” is sharply divided among class lines.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@jerv Other animals our size have different kinds of bodies than we do or operate in very different ways even taking technology off the table, so I’m not sure the comparison works. And the popular myth about historical lifespans tends to miss that averages can be misleading. Look at the actual causes of death and the fact that all the people who lived to an old age are being lumped in with all the people who died at birth or in infancy and it becomes a lot clearer that humans tend to be fairly long-lived so long as they make it past childhood.

My point, then, is that it doesn’t really make sense to talk about exceeding nature and that the question of how long anyone should live is only sensible within the context of actuarial tables (that is, understanding “should” predictively rather than normatively). There is no denying, however, that you are quite correct about how some people seem to think that class is normatively relevant here (even if that is not how they would phrase the matter). I would suggest that this is equally, or even more mistaken than talking about natural lifespans as anything more than statistical norms.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Obamacare places corporations in the prime profit position as the middle man which only adds to the cost to the end-user without any added benefit to the consumer, in this case the taxpayer. Single-payer insurance is the most efficient and cost-effective form of national health insurance. When that was taken off the table at the very beginning of the debate in 2008, it became clear for whom our president was working for – Wall Street, the one consolidated group that paid for his presidential campaign. Although individual donations made a large part of his campaign funds, Wall Street, as an entity, could demand and measure payback and with a much better memory than the average individual voter.

Like those nations in western Europe, such as the Scandinavian countries, that have had cost-effective and efficient national health care systems for the past fifty years—single-payer health care systems—the only way national health care will work is through a single-payer system. They have eliminated the middlemen corporations from the equation of health care delivery and use their national populations in collective bargaining when it comes to the price of medications. But this idea was thrown out in the very beginning of our national debate for good reason – it is much more profitable to corporations to be involved in every phase of health care right up to the retail level of meds and procedures. We need to get the stockholder out of our health care delivery system. The stockholder serves only as an added expense and contributes nothing to the delivery process.

jerv's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus I thought they just limited insurance companies so that they had to spend at least 80% of their revenue on benefits, thus limiting their overhead costs like executive compensation.

Jaxk's avatar

@jerv

I know you would like to believe that life expectancy breaks down by economic status but that isn’t the case. It breaks down by race and gender. Surprisingly the longest life spans are enjoyed by Hispanic Women. The break down goes like this:

Hispanic female – 83.4
Non Hispanic white female – 80.6
Hispanic Male – 78.2
Non Hispanic Black Female – 76.5
Non Hispanic While Male – 75.8
Non Hispanic Black Male – 69.2

The Asian numbers look even better but to say this is an economic issue, simply doesn’t hold up. You may want to revise your assumptions.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk Last I checked, the US was not the only place on Earth with humans though. Compare the worldwide figures.

You are partially correct in that race and gender also play a role, but so does access to medical care. Note the life expectancies where there are few doctors, or where people can’t afford healthy food. (A little tricky since most places don’t have so much fast/processed food for less than healthier food as we do.)

A healthy diet and seeing doctors helps one live longer. In the US, that takes more money than a bad diet and using using medical money to pay rent.

mattbrowne's avatar

Don’t get me wrong. Every country on the planet has got problems. Germany has problems where the United States does not. But when it comes to health care the US is far behind of Germany, the rest of Western Europe and Canada.

One of the American Right’s problems, especially for the people who have never visited a foreign country, is the inability to imagine that there are things that work better in other countries, that there are things that can be learned from other countries. They simply cannot grasp this. The term “best in the world” is used very frequently. For almost everything. Here’s an example: “the best farmers in the world”. I’ve heard this repeatedly on CNN International when some Republican candidate wants to attract voters. How does he know? Has he investigated how farmers in the UK or Sweden or Germany work?

I’ll give you another example. About 12 years ago or so while traveling the US I got serious tooth ache and had to see a dentist. When I entered the dentist’s office it reminded me of an office in Germany in the late 60s. The dentist was very nice and able to help me and we chatted a bit. He liked the opportunity to talk to a German tourists. When he learned that I was from Germany he pointed to some dental equipment from Germany and remarked: “They still make it over there.”

I tried to hide my surprise. Still? The dentist couldn’t imagine that Germany was perhaps ahead of the US when it comes to medical equipment. And even if this were so, to him it was only a matter of time. Progress happens in the US much faster. Of course the best equipment would soon be made in the US.

Europeans are very willing to learn from the great stuff that’s going on in America. And America still got this image of the sky is the limit. A lot of great American ideas are being adopted readily. So Europeans take their best own ideas and combine them with ideas from elsewhere. Observing world news is the norm. Many Americans are reluctant to admit that Europeans got good ideas too, let alone copy them. So we learn from America, but America doesn’t learn from Europe. Now who will be better off long term if this doesn’t change?

Ron_C's avatar

@mattbrowne a large number of Americans, especially ones that preach “American Exceptional-ism” have not been out of their small country towns let alone travel to a foreign country. I am ashamed to say that about half of the people I know (Americans) are very narrow minded and wound never consider that any country had anything better than here.

Since those people have no perspective or hope for a better life they prefer to drag down others that insist that things could be better. It is all very sad.

jerv's avatar

@Ron_C You ought to see the looks I get when I say the people from the Middle East are nice. Apparently, the fact that I have actually been there means less than what they hear from Fox News anchors who never have.

bkcunningham's avatar

@jerv, I’m sure you already know this since you are so familiar with Fox News, but Fox has two correspondents who are Middle Eastern that I can think of off the top of my head. Reena Ninan and Dominic Di Natale. You guys need to get out and meet some brighter people. Geez.

Ron_C's avatar

@jerv I know what you mean. @bkcunningham you can always find the people you need if you have enough money. They have black people that actually run for office as republicans.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@bkcunningham I would also point out that neither of those correspondents is actually from the Middle East. Reena Ninan was born in Florida, and I think Di Natale is from Portugal (though I could be wrong about that).

Ron_C's avatar

It’s like Clarence Thomas who grew up to develop a prejudice against his ancestry. I see those people as financially successful but never happy.

jerv's avatar

@bkcunningham Does that mean that the entire staff is knowledgeable about the Middle East? By your logic, the fact that my aunt is an RN means that I know all sorts of medical knowledge.
Or does it merely mean that you cannot properly parse a sentence. Even if @dappled_leaves is totally wrong, that would make them Fox correspondents that have been there and thus not included in that statement anyways. Geez!

bkcunningham's avatar

I guess it means I can’t properly parse a sentence, @jerv.

sethm's avatar

You should oppose Obamacare because it is an immoral money pit. This bill mandates that all individuals will have to subscribe to this program, regardless if they want to stay on their own plan. This individual mandate is stripping the individual’s freedom, take for instance, on long term care, to choose what is best for him or her.

jerv's avatar

@sethm That isn’t how I read the plan. However, it is an excuse for employers to cut costs by dropping insurance from the benefit package, thereby allowing them to increase profit at the expense of taxpayers.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@sethm The bill does not mandate that everyone take part in one program, it mandates that everyone must be part of some program, whether it is through their employer, through private insurance, or through a government program.

Ron_C's avatar

@sethm “You should oppose Obamacare because it is an immoral money pit” What is more moral a company that makes 20% on all of your medical needs plus additional profit generated by reducing drugs available on your policy or a single payer system where everybody gets medical care regardless of their job and employment benefits?

Additionally, how is it moral to tie a person to a job by the availability of medical care? In a free country you wouldn’t graduate college with a debt burden so big that you become involuntarily in servitude to an employer to pay off you debt burden. Further that employer shouldn’t hold the keys to your health and future prosperity.

I think that for profit medical insurance and facilities is immoral, un-American, and unjust.

Bellatrix's avatar

Can I ask a question about the way the US health system works? If your health insurance is tied to your employer, what happens when you retire?

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Bellatrix Some employers have health insurance for their retirees, some don’t. If you work for a company that does not have health insurance for it’s retirees, you either get private insurance or get Medicare (the government insurance for people over the age of 65).

Bellatrix's avatar

Thank you for explaining @Seaofclouds.

GracieT's avatar

I’m on Medicare now- I’m disabled. If I could have it another way I would. Medicare is cut rate care at extreme costs, but it’s all I can get.

ETpro's avatar

@GracieT From a fellow Medicare recipient, I’d like it improved too. But the care to cost ration for Medicare si so far better than private, for-profit insurers deliver, careful what you wish for. Ask for a price quote from a private insurer given your condition. Medicare covers the most expensive segment of the population at a time when their income is near zero. If private insurers were to cover us, we would go without any care at all.

laureth's avatar

When it comes down to it, Medicare is the government’s way of taking the biggest liability off of the private market, so all insurance companies can make more money.

Sure sounds like a kind of corporate welfare – but it wouldn’t be fixed by dropping Medicare. @ETpro nailed it.

bkcunningham's avatar

Just to clarify. Medicare is paid for through payroll taxes and is primarily for people 65 and older. It is entirely a federal program.

Medicaid is a administered through the various states and is overseen by the feds. Some states subcontract to private health insurance companies for Medicaid. Poverty is the major requirement to be eligible for Medicaid. There are also other criteria and categories to be eligible for Medicaid like disability and pregnancy.

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