Congress is so obsessed with doing nothing so that they can have clean hands
next election, that yes, they had abdicated their role to the President. Power
can not tolerate a vacuum. If someone refuses to take control, then someone
else will take that control from them.Obamacare is a great example.
We hear weeping and wailing from one side of the isle. The vote 40 times that
they don't like what has been done. It was up to them in the first place
to fix the problems that everyone acknowledged. But they choose inaction as the
"safe" way out. When they didn't act, someone else did. And of
course it ended up in an unbalanced one sided legislation. Leadership through abdication doesn't work. Voting no solves nothing.
An active congress can be the engine for a leaner, more efficient, and more
customer focused government. But they need to act, rather than grandstand and
vote against everything.Just my opinion.
"I am not defending Obamacare. I voted against it. I believe it will make
our health care situation worse, not better. I would be delighted to see it
replaced by something that makes more sense."And yet, as of this
day, the GOP has STILL not penned replacement legislation. Yes, they have
thrown out a tidbit here or there, but no actual proposed legislation. Big
Difference.I think most people believe that the GOP would like to
kill Obamacare and keep the status quo.
JoeBlow. Maybe its because given its track record, the government has no
business in the healthcare industry, the automobile industry, the post office
industry or any other business. The government should mind its own business and
keep its corrupt, inefficient and inept hands out of private businesses!
Mtnman,Post office? That is provided for in the constitution."The government should mind its own business and keep its corrupt,
inefficient and inept hands out of private businesses!"That
would be very doable if businesses were not allowed to bribe our govt officials.
And if business leaders went to jail for their corruption.If
business would consistently act in an honorable, fair, and responsible way we
would not need so many regulations. Do you think chemical plants
would not dump toxic waste in rivers if the govt was not involved?Would hospitals allow people without insurance to die untreated if the govt
(reagan) had not stepped in?Would bank act responsibly, or would
they take our economy to its knees in pursuit of maximum profits?Leaving Business alone to do as it pleases would be disastrous. Certainly govt oversteps its bounds often. And it is just as likely to be an
R as it is a D.Balance is the key.
Joe Blow, If you want the government to have its hands in everything, you would
And N.Korea. now there is a government run paradise!
This is the GOP's problemI like the FDA. Not everything about
it. Not every regulation is good. But without it, business would kill lots of
people to save a penny or to make another buck.I like the EPA. They
do lots of good things. I don't agree with everything they do, but
lots.How about we look to have SOME government intervention without
screaming Communism or Socialism or even becoming Cuba?We can look
to reform some of these agencies and strive to take advantage of what they do
good and reduce the not so good. But alas, that is not todays GOP.
They want to shut down all govt agencies without contemplating the consequences.
It is that knee-jerk, all-or-nothing solution that scares off many
people from that party of Reagan.
Mr. Bennett, I too would be delighted to see ACA replaced by something that
makes more sense. You had 18 years in Washington to accomplish that and did
nothing. And that is the Republican answer: do nothing, while millions go
uninsured, millions are bankrupted by the voracious insurance/healthcare
industrial complex, and millions wait in ER's to get help for their crying
children. If Republicans had an answer to all that, I imagine we would've
heard more about it by now. But they don't. And you don't.
"How about we look to have SOME government intervention without screaming
Communism or Socialism or even becoming Cuba."Where is the line
between government abuses and intervention? Now that is a discussion isn't
M-man is trying to distract by ignoring JB's legitimate questions and
flying off into fantasy. No, we are NOT Cuba or North Korea, but neither are we
Somalia, where business heroes are actually just the top suppliers of bribes.It's also a little surprising to see Bennett contradict the GOP
plan of amassing executive branch power that was one of Cheney's proudest
achievements. This was less than ten years ago. But the flip flop is easy to
explain. The president is a (D), and so NOW Bennett pulls for Congressional
power even though it is hopelessly split and incapable of meaningful action.
Have to defend Bennett on one point. He and D-Senator Wyden did develop a
healthcare plan. An article at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities,
"An Examination of the Wyden-Bennett Health Reform Plan," lays it out.
However, it didn't gain traction in Congress (or with the public), but it
was a good faith effort.Bennett is also right about earmarks. I
think most people thought earmarks were additional spending in and of
themselves--not just directions on where the spending would go. Earmarks got a
bad rap-- but in some cases they deserved it. For many years they served as
tools which could be used to persuade legislators to vote for a bill that
otherwise was distasteful. Rightly or wrongly they were often the grease that
made the system work.
Actualy the power behind the power are the lobbyists....they are retired
senators, and retired representatives, who now head the lobby political game in
D.C. to revel in power and money - a lot of power and a lot of money.
@Irony Guy:"And that is the Republican answer: do nothing..."The Republicans tried their best to help construct the ACA but got
overruled time and time again by the Democrats who, at the time, controlled both
houses of Congress and, of course, the White House."...while
millions go uninsured..."Medicaid is available to the millions
you claim go uninsured... provided they meet the income level. And if they have
the dough, they can get health insurance but, for some reason, but choose not
to."...millions are bankrupted by the voracious
insurance/healthcare industrial complex..."Bankruptcy is a
function of where you wanna put your resources. If you'd rather have cable
TV, an ipad, cell phone, eat out five nights a week, go on a vacation every
year, etc., instead of purchasing health insurance then you can't blame
others for your bankruptcy."...and millions wait in ER's to
get help for their crying children."There's plenty of free
or reduced-cost health care facilities if you'd just bother to search."If Republicans had an answer to all that, I imagine we
would've heard more about it by now."You just did.
Re:NeanderthalAlthough Medicaid covers some low-income adults, parent
eligibility levels are below poverty in 34 states and childless adults are
excluded from the program under federal rules. Eliminating the categorical
exclusion of childless adults, increasing income eligibility levels and
enhancing the federal financing available to support coverage for adults could
enable Medicaid to cover more of the low-income uninsured and help establish a
strong floor of coverage upon which additional expansion efforts could build."Bankruptcy is a function of where you wanna put your resources. If
you'd rather have cable TV, an ipad, cell phone, eat out five nights a
week, go on a vacation every year, etc., instead of purchasing health insurance
then you can't blame others for your bankruptcy."Does that
describe the typical bankruptcy in UT, which ranks high in the U.S. in number of
I agree Congress should reclaim it's powers, but not only on budgetary
issues. They have become irrelevant for the most part. Because everybody of
the President's party is a rubber-stamp for whatever he wants, and the
other party is almost an automatic vote against whatever the President wants.
They tend to give almost no thought to designing and considering good
legislation. Their every move, their every thought, from the day after they
are elected is only on 2 things:1. "How can I support my party"
(not America or the people in the State they represent)2. "What can I
do to get RE-Elected".Congress has no business holding hearings
on steroids in baseball, bringing comedians to testify to them, etc. They need
to stick to their business (supporting the Constitution and writing legislation
that does that).They also need to be able to cross partisan lines
more often. THEN they will become relevant again.
Neanderthal, I agree with you on most of what you say but our health system
prior to Obamacare was broken. Millions of working poor could not get health
insurance because it was too expensive and they couldn't even afford hdhp
plans in case of a catastrophe because it costs them more than a car loan each
month. These costs did cause them to make decisions but paying bills (not
eating out or cable tv or whatever else you imagine) trumped that. Most plans for the working poor cost between $400-$600 even with the subsidy
tax break to the employer. The working poor can’t afford these plans
didn't qualify for any Medicaid in most states and couldn't afford any
health coverage because of how outrageous the cost is. With health costs
rising higher each year and most people having limited access to healthcare it
was becoming a terrible burden on young families and working poor who were
having children or got a serious health problem. Republicans could
have and should have solved this problem when they had power but they chose not
to and hence they lost power because they failed to lead on the issue.
A former Republican operative in Georgia who was diagnosed with cancer revealed
last week that his medical struggles have made him a supporter of the new
federal health care law known as "Obamacare."Clint Murphy,
who worked on John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign and Karen
Handel's 2010 Georgia gubernatorial bid, wrote that opponents to Obamacare
are taking a position that's at odds with his best interest.When you say you're against it, you're saying that you don't
want people like me to have health insurance," he wrote, according to The
Atlanta Journal-Constitution.Murphy was diagnosed with testicular
cancer in 2000 but, after four rounds of chemotherapy (covered by his
insurance), it had gone into remission by 2004. He wasn't in the clear
quite though. Because his sleep apnea qualifies as a "pre-existing
condition," Murphy currently has no insurance. Murphy said he
will enter Georgia's health insurance exchange when it opens in 2014. He
doesn't think Obamacare is perfect, but said that Republicans "are not
even participating in the process" to suggest improvements.We
have people treating government like a Broadway play, like it is some sort of
entertainment, he told the Journal-Constitution.
To those of you who think we just need to re-tool the ACA, you are wrong. We
need to dump the ACA, and eliminate many of the mandates imposed on health
insruance companies. In other words, the problems that people have with
insurance companies have to do primarily with government mandates.Those of you who are worried about the pre-existing conditions that some
people have, that used to be handled by the companies having waiting periods
before those conditions would be covered. People were not denied insurance, the
waiting periods were often waived for people that had previously carried
insurance.The government is the problem, and getting the government
more involved will not fix it either.
"Those of you who are worried about the pre-existing conditions that some
people have, that used to be handled by the companies having waiting periods
before those conditions would be covered. People were not denied insurance, the
waiting periods were often waived for people that had previously carried
insurance."This statement is just plain false. There are many
insurance carries that if your spouse has had breast cancer... they are
disqualified. We had a young lady in our ward, who moved to Utah and was
actually featured in an article by the Deseret News that has Cystic fibrosis -
who when she was married was disqualified from getting her own insurance. They
had to become poor enough to be covered by Medicaid in order to get coverage.
The ADA helps... it has many valid parts to it.Fine, ripe it up....
burn it... throw it away.... but before you do that.... tell us what will
REPLACE it. Nothing is not an answer.
To "UtahBlueDevil" that is a lie. In Utah, that young lady would have
qualified for the HIPUtah program, which is a private insurance exchange
supplemented by the state for the poor and more importantly it covers people who
are deemed uninsurable. There are similar programs in Colorado, Texas, Indiana,
and many other states.She could have obtained insurance, but
apparently didn't look very hard for it.The ACA did nothing for
people with uninsurable conditions other than to make insurance cost more for
everybody else.The ACA should be replaced with a deregulation bill
that would stop the fascism set up by the ACA.
Questions for Mr. Bennett:I think most people would agree that Congress is
simply not functioning. I would like to know how your schedule as
Senator evolved from when you first were elected until your last term in office?
How much of your time was spent developing, debating, amending and passing
bills then and now? How much time did you spend in Washington--how long was the
work week? How much time did you spend tied to fund raising? How much time did
you spend with members of the opposing party either conducting business or
socially? re:RedShirt"The Commonwealth Fund reported that
in a survey of individuals who tried to buy such coverage between 2004-2007, 47%
of those with health problems said they were either denied coverage, charged a
higher premium or had some coverage excluded because of preexisting conditions.
26% of those without a health problem reported the same thing."In most states, it’s really challenging to get a policy if you have
any kind of preexisting condition," says Sara Collins, a V.P. at The
Commonwealth Fund. Even a minor ailment like asthma can cause someone on the
individual market to be denied.(Factcheck)
The ACA is poorly conceived but when libertarians like yourself don’t come
up with a plan to change how the health insurance industry is regulated to solve
the problems that exist, the people will vote you out of power and you lose the
legislative power to correct the problem.What sad is that you
don’t want to admit there was and is a problem for the working poor in
affording healthcare. Currently every group in the US receives some form of
subsidy from the government (union, Corporate, small business groups, disabled,
destitute, seniors) except the working poor, and people with preexisting
conditions. Please see my post above as it explains the reality of their
IMO Congress should re-assert themselves as a CO-equal branch of government
(EQUAL to the Executive Branch, not subservient to the Executive Branch). The
way the founding fathers wanted it to be.The founding fathers really
really really didn't want one man (a king), or one party, to be able to
control everything. They abhorred that. That was the reason for Congress.
But now our modern Congress is just loyal to their party, and their Potus, not
to the people, or the States they were elected to represent in Washington.
They only represent their PARTY now (both sides).If Congress is
going to make a move back towards relevance... they need to go back to the
fundamental intent of the Constitution (and there is about 50% of the population
out there today that doesn't want that to happen).
Reshirt.... HIPutah is a government plea. Just like ACA. It is not private
insurance. :"...the state established the Utah Comprehensive
Health Insurance Pool (HIPUtah) to specifically address the problem of people
with serious medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and
other chronic illnesses, that made them unable to obtain health insurance at any
price."You claimed "companies" Those of you who are
worried about the pre-existing conditions that some people have, that used to be
handled by the companies having waiting periods before those conditions would be
covered. The above HIPAUtah statement clearly states that there was a
population that could not "obtain insurance at any price".1)
it is clear that private insurers were not covering everyone - or the State of
Utah lied in the above quote2) the only way people could get
coverage was through government programs - like the one you quote.... which
"Effective July 1, 2013, operation of the Pre-existing Condition Insurance
Plan (PCIP), known in Utah as Federal-HIPUtah, will transition to the federal
PCIP program as determined by the Department of Health and Human Services. "
To "Truthseeker" since you don't want to look at the HIPUtah
program, or other similar programs among the states, here is what HIPUtah
claims:"HIPUtah's mission is to provide a health insurance
program for uninsurable individuals that provides access to quality healthcare
and is to be administered on a fiscally sound basis."It gets
better, they state that the only people disqualified from HIPUtah "If an
applicant is eligible for coverage in the private market, the applicant is not
eligible for HIPUtah unless the applicant is HIPAA eligible." In other
words, the uninsured are the main body of people to be accepted for HIPUtah.Yes some people cannot get into the standard insurance pools, but again,
I have given you solid proof and examples of how prior to the ACA thse that were
uninsurable had access to an insurance program.So again, why did we
need the ACA? Were insurance prices too low before? Were insurance companies
trying to figure out how to destroy their own businesses by entering a fascist
pact with the Federal Government?
To "UtahBlueDevil" the HIPUtah plan was run by a private insurance
company, not by the state. If people who were deemed uninsurable by the regular
means were able to buy insurance through HIPUtah, doesn't that mean that
they could buy insurance?So do you agree that the ACA did nothing
more than destroy an already functioning insurance pool? Isn't it great to
see the Feds taking something that was already working for Utah and make it so
cumbersome that even the state government gave up trying to maintain it?
Sorry to say, Mr. Bennett, but you were part of the problem you describe. The
Congress has been giving up power for years. So, you were there when it
happened.You mention earmarks... All elements of appropriations
passed by Congress should be earmarked. Otherwise the Executive Branch
(President) can decide where to apply appropriated funds.
The problem Red Shirt is that only 27 states have high risk pools. Good on Utah
for having one..however, the rates were very high, and the private insurers used
it as a dumping ground for any risk, not just high risk. I know two people that
were forced into the pool. One for a single melanoma that was cut out and gone,
and another for indigestion..yes indigestion. Both had no other health issues
at all. So to say that insurance companies need to cover everyone and all
risks, which is what the ACA does, is actually pretty reasonable for a society.
It's also a pretty decent business model for an industry that provides for
life and death. Now rather than having risks separated and spread all over the
economic map including some completely unaccounted for, it's all in one
place, and with that done rates are actually increasing slower than anytime in
recent history. Wow Baracks a pretty good businessman.
To "pragmatistferlife" how is it reasonable that the ACA mandates that
all companies cover everybody? The ACA was sold to us with the understanding
that it would lower the cost of health insurance, yet just this mandate. See
"The Free-Market Approach to Pre-Existing Conditions is Better Than
Obamacare's" in Forbes where they explain that thanks to the mandate to
cover everybody regardless of health history, the non-group premiums will rise
19% to 30%. However, that is just a side track.According to the
1996 HIPAA law insurers could not deny anybody in a group policy because of
pre-existing conditions or health history. So, if you didn't have
insurance, you just had to get a job that offered insurance and you were
guaranteed coverage. The HIPAA law also required ALL states to create high risk
pools. So, while 27 had a pool that you found, all states were required to have
one, and most likely did have one to be in compliance with the 1996 HIPAA law.
(On a side note most of the state run high risk pools were established before
the federal mandate)
Redshirt..first of all no one but the detractors believed that lowering the cost
of health care actually meant rates would across the board go down. Lowering
rates always meant lowering the rate of increases thereby lowering actual rates.
Secondly, the Forbes prediction is absolutely meaningless without
context. In New York where they had a high risk program that was very good,
rates have actually come down by 50%. In Indiana that had virtually no state
program, rates are going to go up 50%. However the new Indiana rates will still
be the same as rates in other states that have had programs. Once again the ACA
levels the playing field. Lastly, I don't believe you are
correct when you say HIPPA required all states to have high risk pools. HIPPA
regulated pre-existing conditions. Even amongst the states that had high risk
pools eligibility varied, costs varied, and subsidies varied making some
enormously expensive and some worthless. BTW, it's the law,
and it's here to stay.
To "pragmatistferlife" but the true cost of insurance has not dropped.
Accoding to the CBO estimates to the impact on insurance companies, they find
that the overall cost of an insurance policy increases under the ACA. This
increase in cost is hidden by subsidies that lower the price a person pays, but
does not lower the actual cost of the insurance.The requirement for
there to be established high risk pools, that is a program that states could
control or else they could give control over to the Feds. Per Section 1101 of
PL 111-148 the states or federal government had to implement "Immediate
access to insurance for uninsured individuals with a preexisting
condition."Believe it or not, but that was the law. The ACA
just made it prohibitive for states to efficiently run their own.So,
why did we need the ACA since we already had laws on the books covering people
with pre-existing conditions?Laws can be changed, so while it is
here we will see suffering at the hands of the fascist policies that the ACA
puts on insurance companies.
Redshirt, again, the lowering of costs is actually the lowering of cost
increases which has occurred. Most states are seeing group plan increases at
their lowest level in decades. The cost increase or decrease in high risk pools
depends on the level of coverage you opt for and the previous circumstances.
"why did we need the ACA since we already had laws on the books
covering people with pre-existing conditions?" Simply put because of the
massive inconsistencies in the coverage and the costs. Even in Utah the cost
for pretty basic catastrophic insurance was horrendous. It was way out of the
reach of common folk. Laws can be changed, so while it is here
(It's here to stay sir, so there's no while it's here) we will
see suffering at the hands of the fascist policies that the ACA puts on
insurance. companies. Fascist policies..really, and here I thought you were
going to make it..nope.
To "pragmatistferlife" so you agree with me that the ACA has done
nothing to make insurance more affordable. You realize that the idea of making
insurance more affordable was the key in all of the arguments.You
may not think the system if fascist, but it is. You have to realize that
fascism is a system where the government controls businesses to the point where
businesses are essentially run by the government.The ACA creates
Risk Equalization Funds which are used by the government to take money from one
insurance company and give it to another to make it so that the second company
can co-exist in the insurance market.What I am confused about is why
you keep saying the ACA is so great when you agree that it has done nothing to
Joe Blow,No one is saying there should be no regulation. But when
regulation becomes stifling, we all suffer--witness the current fiasco of the
coal industry, or the increased regulation of the trucking industry. Both of
these cost consumers millions of dollars per year, with negligible effects on
our quality of life.Regulation smothers economic growth. A little
regulation protects society; a lot of regulation destroys it.