The First Year of the Obama Administration: Facts, Opinions and Discussions

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by J-Rod, Aug 9, 2009.

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  1. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    I think McCain would've done the same thing Obama is doing. And probably would've done much worse. See, McCain was a total lobbyist whore like the rest of everyone in congress?complements of his years of 'experience' in raping the US coffers. I warn people not to believe the hype about him; he may talk a nice game about being against corporate influence, but he's just as bad as the rest. Lest we forget he was a part of the Keating five.
  2. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2000
    star 6
    One reason I started questioning what McCain would have done is that when the Durgan Amendment was put on the floor, McCain voted "yes." Obama, who co-sponsored the Durgan Amendment as a senator, made a deal with Big Pharma not to allow importation of Canadian drugs. [face_plain] That would have cut costs for the consumer, which I thought was the purpose behind the bill.

    But--on the campaign trail he talked about taxing employer-provided health care plans as income, which would have been great for the insurance companies because they can charge more for personal plans than group plans, but would have been horrible for the consumer.

    And then Palin told a group of Canadians, in not these exact words, that they need to go to our system. [face_laugh] [face_laugh] Um...are you kidding, Sarah? :oops: I've never heard of anyone from any other country wanting our system; I've only heard of rich people from other countries coming here and paying out of pocket for non-emergency procedures because they are impatient and they have the dough. Somehow I don't think those people represent the average Canadian.
  3. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    They don't. I know there are Canadians on this board who can give us more specific details; however, given that my wife is Canadian and my mother-in-law works in the accounts department for a hospital in BC, I can say with fair certainty that, while no one claims Canadian health care is perfect, it beats our hands down when it comes to who can get care, when, and for what.

    It's also a fun story to relate that my Canadian-born daughter was ours free of charge with my wife's health coverage, whereas it took us two and a half years to pay off my American-born son on my company-issued health coverage. Way to go American Health Care! Oh yeah, and my American grandfather, while visiting said Canadian-born grandchild, was bitten by a brown recluse. Guess how much his emergency doctor's visit cost him, an American citizen without the benefit of "socialized" coverage... $10 CAD. Oh the horror!

    "The Canadian system sucks!"
    Whatever.[face_talk_hand]
  4. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    One of the things that discredits those that compare the systems unfavorably is that they can't agree or be consistent on what the weak points are.

    There's far too many who simply say the Canadian system is just flat-out worse. They use the long waiting line as thier primary argument. But they don't even know or bother to find out what the long lines are for.

    There's a pundit-style of debate between Christopher Hitchens and David Frum from circa 1996 which reveals this point precisely. Hitchens was not overly concerned with the health care debate at the time and even less so with the Canadian system, but laid out the flaws with the American system that many of us know so well. His point of comparison was primarily the UK.

    Frum wanted to keep coming back to the Canadian comparison. This was understandable: both men were either, I think, dual or full citizens of other countries at the time (Frum to Canada, Hitchens to the UK). However Frum conceeded that the entire issue with the long lines in the Canadian system is ONLY if you, essentially "get sick". He conceeds very readily that for emergency care for accidents and the like, there essentially IS no waiting line issue of major concern.

    Is this waiting line for those who "get sick" a reason to reject the Canadian system on all levels in favor of the American? Let's say that it is. Then why do I have to go all the way back to a debate from 1996 to hear this distinction? Why was this the first time I ever heard of the point of emergency care in Canada squared with reality by someone arguing the point from the position on the right?

    In other words, even if many of these people arguing on the right for the American system vs. the Canadian model are correct, it's only by accident thier points would happen to have substance. By simply shouting out the argument of long waiting lines they're clearly not familiar with the Canadian reality but use it for thier own ends.
  5. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2000
    star 6
    I've heard that argument that "it can take 8 weeks to start chemo in a UHC system." Yeah? How exactly is that better than not being able to get chemo at all because you can't afford it?

    I think the US system is better for people who have money and can afford a good insurance plan. But most any system is better for people who have money. That should never be the determining factor. The determining factor should be how well the poorest person in the country can access good medical care. And for those who say that they should have to "work" for that good medical care--a healthy poor person is much more capable of "earning his keep" than a sick one is.
  6. anidanami124 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 24, 2002
    star 6
    I'm sorry but that's the biggest lie ever. health insurance does not = health care. Any one can go get medical care they need in the USA no matter how rich or poor you are. There are many many many and I do mean many places that will help you with chemo and other things.

    There are many many doctors and Hospitals that will go out of there way to help people who have very little money get the best healthcare. Fact is we have the best healthcare in the world based on the fact that we have many more hospitals and doctors that go out of there way to help people.
  7. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    So much....it burns...anyone care to pluck the inanity out of this one?
  8. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    What.

    Care to provide evidence?

    Once again, do you care to provide evidence of these places or do you just tell this to yourself so that you can justify your ignorant views?
  9. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    I'd just toss this out there, but an employee for my dad, even though he's provided with health care, is instead going to free clinics so he doesn't have to pay co-pays. Which sort of highlights that there's health care options outside of health insurance. Though I couldn't comment as to the scope of them.
  10. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    Actually health insurance = health care. Otherwise you're kinda screwed royally. Sure, maybe you can find a free clinic that doesn't mind the burden. And maybe they're using medicine that's obsolete from 10 years ago. But hey, it's free, right? Really ani. Views like yours disgust me in the highest. It's not even because in your fantasy world that people would be SOL if they were poor. Or that you have a very authoritarian bent when it comes to this issue. No, the part that disgusts me is this blind obedience to the status-quo as if it's this perfect monolithic thing that should never be questioned or challenged. Yeah, that's pretty disgusting on a human level along with the, "Gotta get mine," and, "**** the poor," attitude.

    However, I think the blind obedience is the more disgusting bit. Like chewing on chunks of sour milk or watching a Jonathan Taylor Thomas movie. Yeah, that level of digust. And if you thought about this issue even a tiny bit you'd see that it's flawed. That it favors the rich. That not everyone can get healthcare--even when they have insurance.

    Link

    Remote Area Medical goes to third world countries, ani. If you haven't been paying attention before now: they were at the Forum in Los Angeles during the summer. Get it? They go to poor countries. Not the United States. Yet they came to a city in the US. What does that tell you?
  11. DVCPRO-HDeditor Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 24, 2006
    star 4
    The Mayo Clinic, which has been praised by President Obama as an exemplar for the healthcare industry, will no longer accept new Medicare patients at a primary-care clinic in Glendale, AZ, a Phoenix suburb. Mayo is going in this direction because it lost $840 million last year on Medicare. Even at the current payment rates, the Medicare Trust Fund, which covers inpatient care, is expected to go bankrupt in 2017.

    While I do like the idea of Canadian-styled health coverage in the United States, let's face it: the United States can't sustain what its doing now in terms of public health care. So, as much as I'd like to see it happen, it seems more likely to me that forcing this change quickly and with typical government inefficiency will only cause more economic problems for the country than it will solve. The intention is excellent, but the execution (pardon the term) is god-awful.

    It tells me that there are poor people everywhere, not just in Ethiopia. There are skyscrapers in South Africa, too, you know - location does not automatically equate wealth or status. Also, if you were a little more attentive, you would notice that the mission of Remote Area Medical is as follows: "The Remote Area Medical (RAM) Volunteer Corps is a non-profit, volunteer, airborne relief corps dedicated to serving mankind by providing free health care, dental care, eye care, veterinary services, and technical and educational assistance to people in remote areas of the United States and the world."

    Also, as Lowie pointed out, there are most certainly health care options outside of health insurance. Sometimes its just a matter of actually preparing ahead of time, already being registered in those systems, so that you can get free or low-cost care, rather than rushing in with some "emergency" situation that could have been prevented by taking better advantage of the existing system. For instance, a certain medication that I take costs, on average, $50 for a 30-day supply. By doing one page of paperwork and providing proof of income, I get a 100-day supply for $5. I have to re-submit that paperwork each time I need to refill the prescription, and it takes 2-4 weeks to process, but its worth it, don't you think? I just have to turn the paperwork in a few weeks before I actually run out. Oh, and the co-pay for that same medication under my company's insurance policy? $10 for a 30-day supply.

    Existing solutions, to ongoing problems, that required no government intervention. Gotta love 'em. :p
  12. anidanami124 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 24, 2002
    star 6
    FiD you are in for a very long wait for any kind of answer from me because I refuse to get into anything with you.
  13. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    Ah, good to know when someone realizes they have no argument. Thanks for confirming it. Saves me the trouble of having to bash my head against my desk.
  14. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    The Canadian healthcare system doesn't sound so great to me. And that's not to mention that even if Canada has it right (they don't) America can't even afford to support the people the government covers now! We can't afford to cover more. One plus one will always equal two.

    That's why the bills being considered now (which have no previsions for not covering illegals...seems Joe Wilson was right) begin taxation 3 years before providing benifits. How is this fair and comassionate? So because of this taxation policy the bills are said to be "deficit nutral" over ten years.

    Now, even if we ignore the fact that no health bill has ever even come close to being on budget (and this bill will be no exception), has anyone considred that the following ten years will require at least 3 years of taxation without benifits to remain "deficit nutral?"

    And then Joe Wilson may have a comment about Obama now refusing to have C-SPAN cover health care negociations.

    And it seems that Obama finally admitted that we are at war with Muslim Terrorists. You'll note that he wore a tie this time.
  15. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    So you are complaining about what needs to be done to keep something deficit-neutral?

    And you pick the weirdest things to be concerned about. Let Obama walk around nude in the White House as long as he gets the job done.

    And Obama never said we weren't at War with Al-Qaeda.



    And it seems like the conservative thinktank, the American Enterprise Institute, says the stimulus package is working.
  16. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    It's been policy now to downplay the whole 'War on Ter'rah' schtick.

    And I don't get J-Rod's tie fetish. Maybe he doesn't have anything better reason to hate Obama. I don't know. Well, actually I do since he explained the tie fetish earlier in this thread. It has to do with Obama's 'respect' for the office or some such. Or to show how serious he is. It was some warped 1950's logic, I know that. George W. Bush, Big Dick Cheney, and Karl Rove wore ties and no one outside of Bush apologists says they respected the office. So, I'm happy with our no tie wearing Messiah.
  17. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2000
    star 6
    Your link listed the same problems that people always list when slamming universal health care: long waits, people die from waiting so long, etc.

    That happens in this country as well. Sometimes people don't wait for treatment. They just don't get treated, because they are uninsured.

    The example in the first paragraph was from some woman who went to Buffalo for treatment and tried to get Canadian health care to cover it. I don't even want to think about what would happen if I went to a Toronto hospital for treatment and tried to get Blue Cross/Blue Shield of North Carolina to cover it. I doubt I'd have better results. I'd be lucky not to get laughed at.

    As far as the hospital in Winnipeg, there are crappy hospitals with long waits in the United States as well.

    Joe Wilson very well might have a comment about Obama refusing to allow C-SPAN to cover the negotiations. I have a few comments of my own on that, but I'd get banned for posting them. The only civil comment I have is "What are you idiots trying to hide??? All the special interest group sellouts?"

    I don't support the bill in its current form, but if our system were so great, there would not be such effort to reform it in the first place. And no one would be declaring bankruptcy over health care bills. That doesn't happen in Canada.

    Now there's a nice image. [face_mischief] Thanks.
  18. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    The Canadian healthcare system doesn't sound so great to me. And that's not to mention that even if Canada has it right (they don't) America can't even afford to support the people the government covers now! We can't afford to cover more. One plus one will always equal two.

    J-Rod, I've BEEN in a Canadian Emergemcy room. And unlike that guy's claim, I was there for actual care with a fractured nose and much lost blood. On top of that the province was poorer than Manitoba, the one the author would have lived in.

    My wait to see an actual doctor was on the order of 15-20 minutes. My total stay was approximately 3 hours. It would have been 2 if not for a miscommunication with an orderly.
  19. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    Remember, Gonk, that anecdotal evidence is only and thusly applicable if it proves J-Rod's point.
  20. Faces of Silas Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 1999
    star 2
    "Today we made significant progress in bridging the remaining gaps between the two health insurance reform bills. We're encouraged and energized, and we're resolved to deliver reform legislation that provides more stability and security for those with insurance, extends coverage to those who don't have coverage, and lowers costs for families, businesses, and governments."

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/01/marathon-white-house-health-care-meeting-covered-all-aspects-but-no-deal-yet.php

    More of the famed and promised transparency into a new age of government ? the kind afforded a viewer at a window with drapes drawn and Venetian blinds closed. The ?statement? doesn?t say anything. It?s nothing but empty words. Those really paying attention are not fooled.
  21. LtNOWIS Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 4
    So you are complaining about what needs to be done to keep something deficit-neutral?
    [/quote]
    The complaint is that over the long term, it won't be deficit neutral, because there's three extra years of taxes added on for the given window of study. I suppose it'd be deficit neutral if it didn't provide coverage in the first three years of a given decade, but that's not what's in the bill.
  22. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    That reasoning is hugely faulty. It assumes that all costs are recurring. In fact, a number of the costs would be one time events, related to setting up the new system. Since you don't have to set up the new system from scratch every time, subsequent decades would logically be cheaper than the first.
  23. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    Of course the vast majority of the costs are recurring. Why wouldn't they be? It's not like they are gonna build new buildings and pave new roads. They are going to expand the buracracy as needed. It's not like they are going to need to hire 13 new people and then have a 3 person reduction in force after a year. Those people will have jobs (whether needed or not...look at the post office) that they can almost never be fired from.

    And what is this? How can the government not tax someone else the exact same taxes that they are taxing me? Fair and equal representation? No taxation without representation? This deal cannot stand.

    Could the government tax your cell phone bill less than my cell phone bill if we both pay the same bill and make the same money?
  24. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    Quite simple, J-Rod. For instance, you only transition from paper to electronic medical records once. The new community health centers that are going to be established will only be established one time. The lag between the changes in pay structure and the adjustments hospitals make in their practices to maintain their revenues in the new system will only take a limited amount of time to realize (thus meaning there will be more transfer payments needed to help them maintain solvency initially than in the future). The cost-benefit studies they are funding won't run indefinitely. The savings from greater compliance to evidence-based medicine will not come automatically, but eventually, as more doctors and hospitals get onboard. The cost savings form the cadillac insurance tax works the same way, as people won't necessarily have changed their behavior the first time they pay, but over time you'll see more people shift to plans that avoid the tax.

    Et cetera

    There are plenty of ways in which we should expect costs not to recur and savings to emerge later, such that the bill's cost in the first decade is not representative of it's cost for all of time.

    EDIT: As for the proposed deal, union contracts are negotiated in a fashion that's slower and more unwieldy than individual contracts, because so many people have to agree to the terms. Insofar as it's harder for them to adjust to new environment, I don't necessarily see their being a problem with giving them more time to do so.
  25. JediSmuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 1999
    star 5
    Meanwhile, it looks as if Scott Brown has taken the lead in Massachusetts.

    As was the case in the 2009 elections, independents are apparently running, not walking, away from Obama and the Democrats.
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