Thank you, Senator Hatch. I watched CSPAN coverage of the committee today, and
was disappointed (to say the least) that Republicans are actually criticized for
having targeted ideas that are not 1000 pages long. I would think such an array
of ideas would make bi-partisan negotiations easier, and would be applauded.I have always used health care sparingly, and had only catastrophic
coverage until a couple of years ago. The more I see in the current debate, the
more I think the government opposes that approach. I could not imagine
graduating from college in a time where such expensive insurance is required by
the government and actually being able to pay off student loans. I suppose I
should be grateful that the country I grew up in allowed me to spend so little
for barebones insurance when I first struck out on my own, but instead I am sad
that future generations will have such a hard time making ends meet. Future
generations of Americans should have a better life than I did.
It would be wonderful if everyone had affordable, quality health care coverage.
Unfortunately, the long term financial consequences of a government run system
will eventually lead to a much, much larger problem.
Corrupt View.Middle class Americans do not make $250,000 a year.We are not Joe the Plumber who is making $250,000 a year.Truth.Those making over $250,000 a year did not want to give back
to the middle class and the poor in the form of a tax on the rich that Obama
recommended!The Greedy Rich who do not thing of others except their
OK Senator Hatch, you continue to bash Obama's health care reform plan, and I'm
not saying I am 100% for it, but you have yet to state what your plan for
healthcare reform would be. You say it is necessary, but you haven't given us
specifics about how to reform it. All I hear from Republicans(and I am a
Republican) is how to "tweak" the current system. Healthcare needs a major
reform in this country. So whining Republican congressman, what is
your plan for reform. Like I said, I don't agree 100% with Obama's plan, but it
has got to be better than what we have now. The World Health Organization has
ranked us #39 globally in overall health care by country, right in between Costa
Rica and Slovenia. Costa Rica and Slovenia? That is pathetic! And we spend more
per capita on healthcare than any other country. I'm not for socialized
medicine, but a major overhaul in the healthcare system is needed? So tell me
your ideas please!!! I am open ears!
Orrin, what type of reform would you support? Have you ever supported any type
of serious healthcare reform? How much do insurance companies pay you/bribe
you/donate to your campaign?
Sen. Hatch, With all due respect, I believe you stopped
participating in the Senate negotiations because you are part of the
establishment, and you have no real interest in changing anything. You talk
about a new tax burden on the middle class, but even if this is true, doesn't
this "burden" pale in comparison to the much larger problem of the millions of
uninsured and the unfathomable runaway costs of health care in America today?
You don't think the current system already punishes the middle class? Shame on
you for ceasing "to participate" in reform. Get off your cushion and do
something about the problems everyone agrees on - runaway costs, to name one.
You have a more Corrupt View.Thinking rich = greed.Thinking taxation will make rich people less greedy. Thinking
that taking other's money because they have more is not greed.
Senator Hatch, The fact that during the eight years your party held the
presidency you did nothing to make health care affordable to middle Americans
leads me to believe that your party really doesn't care about our predicament.
If you are trying to empty a bathtub, you can pull the plug, you can bail and
bail, but the first thing you should probably do is turn off the faucet. Most of
our medical expenses are the results of a few common diseases that might be
cured with enough focus and energy put on them. If we doubled, tripled, our
investment and emphasis on curing these diseases, did whatever it took, the
investment would pay off handsomely. Medical costs would go down, suffering
would go down, productivity would go up. In my opinion, any health plan should
focus first on prevention, second on cure, third on treatment. Pull the plug.
Stop the diseases. (Yes, I know, easier said than done, but worth trying.)
I take it that you all LIKE what is being proposed? Do you really WANT that? I
hear no one disputing the facts that Sen. Hatch put forth, so I assume you are
in favor of the increased taxes and believe that they will be worth it. In my
mind the dems are not going to stop pushing the abomination that they are
working on until it has been killed. First item on the agenda is drive a stake
through the heart of the dem proposal. Then maybe we can have a real
discussion. As it is there are no rep proposals that see the light of day
either in Congress or the state run media.
With wet finger clearly in the air to judge the political winds, Sen. Hatch has
calculated that saying "everyone is for reform, but this isn't it" gets him off
the hook without needing to support anything (and risk angering his base). If
the debate goes on for about another month, the pro change forces will get a
huge boost in the form of "annual enrollment" for employer based health plans.
For at least the last ten years, enrollment has meant substantial increases in
premiums, lower benefits or higher copays, or both. Those sitting on their hands
cannot seem to grasp the concept that the status quo is unsustainable and change
will happen whether or not they help shape it.
Your true colors are scary. Division and opposition is all your about, class
envy is the worst political game in town and you have been duped right into the
middle of it.
Moreover, senator, the Baucus proposal is a crazy quilt because your party won't
do the sensible thing - single payer.
Hatch was correct in saying that Obama is just making things more expensive.On Wednesday, there was the article "Governors oppose $40B
medical-device tax" It layed out how the Federal Government is going to tax
medical device companies at a higher rate. So, if medical devices now cost
more, who pays for it?Next, Congress wants to mandate coverage for
Pre-Existing conditions they also want to remove the possibility of a company
rejecting somebody. Both of these will also increase premiums. Pre-existing
condition mandated coverage will add 20% to 40% to a policy.Lets
begin to lower costs by eliminating many of the unnecessary state mandated
insurance benefits. Currently 25% of the uninsured cannot afford insurance
because of state mandated benefits.Focus on solutions that work.
The free market has made health insurace more affordable with the creation of
the HSAs. 1/3 of HSA holders previously did not have insurance.
Hatch says, “The so-called individual mandate requires everyone to obtain
health-care coverage or pay an extra tax. If you don't, and you are making, say,
$66,000, the tax is $1,900 per year. Some may say this is simply a penalty for
not doing what Uncle Sam wants you to do, but let's face it – it's nothing
more than a new tax.” Ironically, that is EXACTLY what Mitt
Romney championed in Massachusetts, which turned out to be one of the most
successful state-level healthcare reforms in the U.S. Romney was in favor of
this approach because it promotes fairness and lowers costs. Because of this
mandate, more people have insurance, so fewer people show up at hospitals who
can’t pay. This results in the hospitals lowering prices, because the
responsible people with health insurance no longer have to subsidize those
without it.The individual mandate for health insurance is based on
the same principle as the individual mandate that drivers have auto insurance.
It lowers the cost responsible people play because they stop subsidizing the
irresponsible. Criticizing this Republican, free-market idea as "nothing more
than a new tax" is disingenous.
Why not pass a series of small bills that change HC one step at a time?Step 1) Tort reform. We know it works - look at Missouri and TX.Step 2)
Make catastrophic HC insurance the default.Step 3) Allow competition for
plans over state lines.Step 4) Improve health savings plans.And so
forth.@ AnonymousGet off the couch and do something that
contributes to society. Your "I hate the rich", "I want something for nothing",
"I'm lazy and on welfare so give me your money" attitude tells me everything I
need to know about you. You actually covet that which isn't yours. Wow! Talk
Health insurance does not equal auto insurance. Auto insurance is needed to
cover injuries or damage inflicted on another through the use of their vehicle.
Health insurance covers the insured only - one person's policy includes no
reparations to another who may catch their cold or illness. You cannot equate
them as President Obama attempted to do. Take a serious look at the suggestions
@ baby steps - I think there may be common ground to work with there.
To "Anonymous | 8:07 a.m." who are listening to? According to Rassmussen
Reports, only 26% of the people in Massachusetts consider it successful. Since
its implementation, ER visits have increased by 7%.If what Romney
did was so good, why did the Boston Globe report "Bay State health insurance
premiums highest in country" In that article, they said "The increase [in
Massachusetts premiums] is attributed to an increase in charges by physicians
and hospitals" So apparently what Romney did was counterproductive.
You are right. The program in MA is a mess but to be fair, Romney's replacement
is responsible for much of the current disaster. With a very liberal state
congress, Romney had the choice of either getting involved in writing the HC
plan or letting the MA congress make a complete mess of the system. He chose to
try and influence it by including some modicum of personal responsibility. I
suggest that if he were still Governor, it wouldn't be quite the mess as it is
The Republican "plan" consists of: Health Savings Accounts (think:
Help Save the Affluent)Buying health insurance across state lines (think:
more complexity/paperwork for already burdened Drs. and mergers/consolidation of
companies is the rule not the exception).Tort Reform (think: 33 states
already have tort reform and studies done by researchers at Princeton and Johns
Hopkins School of Public Health show malpractice suits do not play a significant
role in healthcare costs). Republicans aren't going to vote for any
plan they haven't controlled. The party of authoritarian followers can't get
used to the fact that they lost the last 2 elections. They've no one to blame
but themselves, yet it appears they've learned nothing.
I would argue that health insurance is a lot like auto insurance. An uninsured
friend of mine was recently told that if he didn't have by-pass surgery, he
would die. Even though he couldn't pay for it, they did the surgery anyway.
Those costs were passed onto the rest of us.Just as uninsured
drivers cause our uninsured motorist premiums to go up, people without health
insurance cause our healthcare costs to go up because the cost of their care is
passed on to us.
You are stuck in the paradigm that the two parties are different. Take a good,
close look at the two political parties and you will see that they are
identical. Its all about votes and power and corruption. (think bigger
centralized government). The exact opposite of what the inspired fouders had in
I agree with the premise that there should be no changes that increase the
burden on the taxpayer.I think that anyone in government that voted for
any bailout whatsoever of the banks or the auto industry should be canned by the
electorate.@rw Some very good points. I don't think that
throwing public money on curing diseases is so helpful, however, as simply
stressing and re-stressing that most of our ills have to do with intemperance
in eating, drinking, inhaling and sniffing, over-exercising and under-exercising
and the like.
The radical (root) cause of poor health is not only our stupidly unhealthy
lifestyles, though that is the main problem, but also the impositions of the
medical profession upon the public.No health care plan is needed so
much as reform of the medical profession itself.Why is it that that
profession is willing to perform life-threatening operations such as cutting out
part of the stomach or stapling the stomach of an obese person, but is not
willing to perform the relatively safe and cheap operation of inserting a
balloon into the stomach of the obese patient. This does essentially the same
thing and it's an operation you can get outside of the USA but the American
surgeon won't do it.Private medecine, good private medicine, is
cheaper and often more intelligent outside the USA. Some of the best research
and development comes out of foreign nations first. For example notice how many
times new discoveries are pubicised in 'The Lancet" the British medical journal,
rather than JAMA.
Your tone says you're the one crying. You covet the affluence of successful,
industrious people and you criticize tort reform without doing any real research
- quoting one article headline doesn't count. Take a look at the Perryman
Group Report that says the following about Texas tort reform:1. In
August 2004, the Texas Hospital Association reported a 70% reduction in the
number of lawsuits filed against the state’s hospitals.2. Medical
liability insurance rates declined. Many doctors saw average rate reductions of
over 21%, with some doctors seeing almost 50% decreases. (Recent information
provided to The Perryman Group during the course of this study suggests that
premiums are declining even further in 2008.)3. Beginning in 2003,
physicians started returning to Texas. The Texas Medical Board reports licensing
10,878 new physicians since 2003, up from 8,391 in the prior four years.
Perryman has determined that at least 1,887 of those physicians are specifically
the result of lawsuit reform.4. In May 2006, the AMA removed Texas from
its list of states experiencing a liability crisis, marking the first time it
has removed any state from the list.
To "Cry babies | 9:14 a.m." you are very wrong about the Health Savings
Accounts. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, in their
report "The Uninsured and the Health Care Safety Net" 1/3 of the HSAs are
purchased by people that were previously uninsured.If tort reform is
so bad, why is it that, according to Emergency Physicians Monthly, doctors are
leaving states that have high malpractice insurance rates? Why are some states
closing their ERs or else having a hard time getting specialists? Those doctors
are reporting that they cannot afford the insurance, and are moving to places
where the insurance is cheaper, thus reducing costs further in areas where there
are more doctors.Lets think about it, if a OB/GYN has to pay
$300,000/year for insurance alone, don't you think it would cost less to deliver
a baby if that amount was cut in half?To address buying insurance
across state lines, proposals have been made to standardize insurance forms to
significantly reduce the paperwork. The other option is for a doctor to
contract with a processing center to take care of paperwork.
Well Orin, you're so smart, you come up with a healthcare (or any bill) that
actually benefits the middle class. Hasn't happened in a long time & won't in
the near future. I agree that OTC should be able to be used out of
the HSA. Better idea would be to move the medical expenses to a for AGI
deduction with no floor with OTC deductable. Won't happen because the HSA
benefits the wealthy & the current med deduction doesn't hurt them. Why do I
care about the limits, I can't afford a plan that allows a HSA anyway, & I
couldn't contribute anyway. If the government thinks this is a solution, they
should throw some money in the Kitty to get things started.Get rid
of the mandates that don't make sense. If it is mandated that they offer it,
make it an option for each individual plan that is paid for by the individual.
Great idea RedShirt.Big savings for Meidcare/Medicaid/Congress
Healthplans - do away with paying for Viagra. Stupid things like that are
costing the taxpayers too much money for something not nescessary.
Yes, it's true, tis the season for cost of living raises and raises in Congress,
so Hatch and anyone else there will tell you anything, to cover up this fact,
and let you rant on about other thing's like this. It's a fact. And with the
majority in the House of GOP it starts here. House passed the measure by a
217-190 vote. It would keep the government running for another month and also
patches over problems in the financially struggling Postal Service and funds
soon-to-expire highway programs for another month as well. You elected then and
have no one to blame but yourselves, yet it appears you still learned nothing.
It's time to wake up. They have YOU controlled, even on this smoke screen
healthcare thing. It's called "Mind Control". Has not Glenn Beck ever told you
Many other countries can deliver quality affordable healthcare to all its
people. Why can't we?
It is far better to not change anything than to impose socialized medicine on us
as proposed by the obama/democrat machine in Washington who exempt themselves
from such "health care."
@crybabies: What is your problem with HSA accounts? The individual pays their
own way and is benefited by having a lower premium on their major medical
account. "Help Save the Affluent?" What a crock, this program is good for any
family. In the end, they are in charge of their health care. Is that what you
resent so much? People having freedom. Many on these posts remind me of the
Mao worshippers of China. Class envy. Chop down the tall poppies, make the
society homogeneous. Why not just kill the ones with a higher IQ and a better
genetic lottery ticket? That is really what is the burr under your blanket.
I have the perfect Heath Care reform that if followed will lower health care
costs drastically. Exercise 1 hr 5X a week, eat quality whole foods, get enough
rest, don't use tobacco and don't drink alcohol (if you choose to do it in
moderation). Don't have sexual relations with anyone other than the person you
are married to. Man, if everyone did this there would be less heart disease,
cancers, STD's, abortions and many other health problems (I do realize there
will be some diseases and accident but on a whole health care costs would be
greatly reduced.) Am I the only one who thinks this debate is just fixing the
problem with a bandaid when we should be focusing on the cause. It is said that
we are an unhealthy nation, well we can fix it. As our beloved President Obama
said: "Yes WE Can!"
ToHatchBashers7:54-"I hear no one disputing the facts that Sen. Hatch put
forth...."Well, some of his "facts" sound pretty badly "spun" to
me.Limit on Health Savings Accounts? Please! Each
company sets its own limit on these now. I've worked where the limit has been
$0, $1500, $3000, and $5000. At worst, we'd have a uniform Federal limit instead
of the present patchwork. this would probably benefit the majority of taxpayers
since, as far as I know, most companies don't have HSAs. Doctor's
note for dual use items? Please! That's current policy now. 55% federal tax on a bottle of aspirin? Please! Marginal tax
rate on taxable income of $250K is 33%. Calling the difference between
before-tax and after-tax cost a "federal tax" is intellectually dishonest, but
in the worst case it couldn't be 55%. THB:-"First item on the agenda
is drive a stake through the heart of the dem proposal."There
isn't a "dem proposal." There are drafts to be marked up and combined into a
bill that will only be a "dem proposal" if the Republics play scorched-earth.
Because it really isn't affordable. Do a little traveling. Want to live in
some nasty pied a'terre?
Based on some of the numbers I have seen floating around, the average cost for
these bills to cover one uninsured person is just under $30,000 per year! That's
a very poor way to spend money when private insurance companies can do it for
much less. So tell me, how is spending twice as much going to improve health
care?! Let's stop focusing on symptoms and start identifying and addressing
problems!* Execute real Tort reform to reduce doctor overhead*
With reduced liability risk, doctors can practice real medicine, not 'defensive'
medicine, thus reducing unnecessary test and expenses* Continue to
encourage personal responsibility through promotion of HSAs and other
high-deductible options* Remove 'business' mandates and let the markets
operate* Then focus on safety nets for exceptions and extreme
circumstancesOne size fits all is not the answer, and the Government
is not qualified to run a large-scale healthcare organization!
I for one appreciate the stance Senator Hatch has taken on this issue. We are
headed down the wrong road at an astonishing rate. Government take-over of
health care will be a nail in the coffin of the freedoms we have enjoyed as
Americans since the beginning of our country. Reform is needed, yes, but NOT a
complete government take-over, especially not in the form currently presented.
And yes, I DO think things could be worse, much worse, than they are currently.
I'm glad you stepped in to debunk the comparison between health insurance and
auto insurance.As you suggest auto insurance has to do with
protecting the good driver largely against other motorists. If I have an
accident and someone else is at fault the other motorist's insurance, not mine,
pays.If I have an accident and I am at fault then my insurance pays, my
premiums go up markedly or I may become uninsurable. I may be banned from
driving, fined or even be sent to jail.In health insurance most of
the claims have nothing to do with accidents but largely with the results of my
own actions or inaction. There are similarities but very
significant dissimilarities so arguments for mandatory health insurance cannot
be made on the same basis.
if you're really, really rich, vote for republicans. they'll keep your taxes
low.middle and lower-income citizens now paying for health insurance
would see a savings under the baucus plan and would not be declined insurance
coverage because of pre-existing conditions. low income citizens who
cannot afford insurance will have medical treatment available to them, many for
the first time ever without utilizing expensive emergency rooms that we all pay
for in increased hospital costs.echo lew jeppson's statement: during
many years of a working majority, the gop failed to facilitate health care
reform. the gop failed. to now imply that "liberal commies" won't engage
in bipartisan rform that "everyone wants" is disengenuous.take a hike,
In testimony before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee's Subcommittee on Health
in 2006, Commonwealth Fund Assistant Vice President Sara R. Collins, Ph.D., said
that all evidence to date shows that health savings accounts and high-deductible
health plans worsen, rather than improve, the U.S. health system's problems.In 2006, a Government Accountability Office report concluded:
"HSA-eligible plan enrollees who participated in GAO's focus groups generally
reported positive experiences, but most would not recommend the plans to all
consumers. Few participants reported researching cost before obtaining health
care services, although many researched the cost of prescription drugs. Most
participants were satisfied with their HSA-eligible plans and would recommend
them to healthy consumers, but not to those who use maintenance medication, have
a chronic condition, have children, or may not have the funds to meet the high
deductible." Bottom line: HSA's are for the wealthy and healthy.
To "bluecollar | 11:39 a.m." it's true, the Democrats are pushing a plan that
few people want. According to Gallup, only 37% of people in the US support the
plans that have been put out there by the Democrats.What that means
is that there is 63% that do not support it, and of those 39% are adamently
against it.So, your arguement against HSAs is based on people not
researching the cost of their medications. So, your solution to people not
making the best decision is to remove that freedom from those people?You also seem to have glossed over the fact that 1/3 of HSAs were picked up by
people who were uninsured. Doesn't that mean that there is something right
about it? Since it is cheaper than standard insurance, would that make it a
good alternative for young, healthy people to invest in so that when they are
older they have the medical funds they need?You say that "HSA's are
for the wealthy and healthy" but Medicare/Medicaid/SCHIP/HIPUtah are for the
poor and sick. So far, the two extreams are covered. Now what do you have to
RE: Cry Babies | 11:44 a.m. Sept. 25, 2009 So get wealthy and
healthy. This is America a land that has proven time and again that people can
start from nothing and get wealthy and being healthy is attainable too. Somehow
there is a paradigm that says that it is immoral to be rich that being middle
class is where the "good" citizens are. Guess what that paradigm is false. I've
never wanted to be middle in anything. I wanted to excel in sports, in school
and I want to excel in life. If there is a higher quality of life whether it
physically, financially, socially or spiritually I will seek that path. As the
saying goes "If great is available good is not enough." There is no reason
anyone cannot have the health and wealth they want in this country.
You presebt some good ideas.It is very frustrating to have to fight
for the basic concept of a free system that the government keeps out of, except
in writing and implementation of a few basic rules of conduct.Democrats are right in their assertions that past administrations have not
done anything to solve the problems. Republicans are right in saying that a
government system is basically unfree and un-American.My greatest
wish would be that it should be agreed that health care should remain private
and then that there be a free, open and bi-partisan discussion to establish the
guidlines of fair practice. The ideas you cite are not new but
just need to be embodied in good and understandable laws and carried out.
Doctors free from frivolous law suits and exaggerated awards for 'damages' with
the public able to seek fair redress for incompetence, overcharging and
malpractice. The publishing of prices, broken down, and the requirement that
medical practitioners be up front and public about charges for tests, doctor
visits, an end to going half-or totally-blind into the doctor's surgery.
Again, more ramblings and self-congradulatory comments form yourself to
yourself.The medical term for that is "Schizophrenia"On
this thread ALONE - you've written:Richard | 12:54 a.m.Wouldn't it be nice? | 1:02 a.m.To Hatch Bashers | 7:54 a.m.Baby
steps | 8:26 a.m.@ anon 8:07 | 8:54 a.m.@ anon 8:07 | 8:54 a.m.@ cry babies 9:14 | 10:01 a.m.HSA | 10:38 a.m.And my all
time favorite-of-the-day: (written to yourself)@Mike Richards | 1:26
p.m. Sept. 25, 2009 You present some good ideas.--HaHaHA
--- keep it up buddy, you're a hoot!
hey, I wrote HSA 10:38. The phantom poster.
To "to Mike Richards | 2:54 p.m." um...I think that you may need to go visit
those happy people with that nice white coat that lets you hug yourself.Mike Richards has not identified himself on any post. If you look at
the posts here today, and compare them with Mike's normal writing style, they
are different. Even between the posts that you attribute to him there is a
difference from post to post.Maybe the "Mike | 11:26 a.m." was him,
but I doubt that.I was supprised to see that I was not called Mike
Richards again.But the big question is, why does it matter if he is
wrote all of those? If he is that lonely or has issues where he feels compelled
to write to himself under different names, doesn't he deserve pitty? Why are you attacking somebody, I thought you were a bleeding heart liberal
that cannot stand by while somebody suffers? Where is the compassion that claim
liberals are full of?
A recent Harvard study showed that 25% of legitimate (ie the Dr. was at fault)
malpractice claims are found in favor of the Dr. and the plaintiff didn't
receive any compensation. Likewise, in 25% of cases where the Dr. was not at
fault, plaintiffs prevailed (yet received smaller compensation.) Overall, the
legal system tended to favor Drs. Tort reform isn't going to make a
significant difference. One problem is the way Drs. are compensated. Rather
than being paid a salary, Drs. are paid for services--which results in an
incentive for more services.
Hatch has received more money from the pharmaceutical industry than any other
group, raking in $1.25 million since 1998. He obviously has the peoples best
interest in mind.Take away the bribery and FREE health care from
these (self) representativesto help them think. Not to mention these old
men aren't going to be aroundin 10-20 years. So 50% of your children's
income going into insurance for profit on wall street won't effect them
anyway.Right now we pay the most for 37th place in the world for
health care.Gotta be proud
Americans bear the brunt of the most medical errors, according to a survey
covering the USA, Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and the United
Kingdom. Almost 7,000 patients were consulted.The survey supported
by The Commonwealth Fund finds that one-third of U.S. patients with health
problems reported experiencing medical mistakes, medication errors, or
inaccurate or delayed lab results -- the highest rate of any of the six nations
Where do these health-care lobbyists get their money (to bribe our elected
representatives). Pretty obvious isn't it; and I have heard that these same
lobbyists dole out something on the order of a million dollars a day to our
federal congressmen and congresswomen. Senator Hatch, I suggest you have
an heart-to-heart talk with Senator Harkin of Iowa such that he can bring you up
to speed in what is going on and needs to be done.
Thank you, Senator Hatch. I would like health care reform also, but I would like
it done right.
Orrin can present problems. Not solutions.
What best serves the American people? The Republican view is to criticize and
berate the Obama administration. And Hatch talks about the Administration
offering a bipartison package. It is not possible! The Republican would not
recognize a good idea if they saw one.