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Letter: A fair warning

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  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    April 7, 2014 12:24 a.m.

    "Do not assume purchasing health insurance through the exchanges is the same thing as being happy with the law or supporting of those who passed it." True enough, but it's safe to say that those who have gotten health coverage expressly because of Obamacare are pretty happy with it, at least for the time being.

  • Bob K portland, OR
    April 7, 2014 3:57 a.m.

    The ACA is meant to unite Americans in better and less wasteful health coverage.

    Although millions of Americans enjoy the lies of Fox News and the hostile attitude toward anything this President does, shown by most republicans....

    Isn't America about all being on the same side, even when we disagree?

    I think the "us vs them" mentality is quite un-American.

  • embarrassed Utahn! Salt Lake City, UT
    April 7, 2014 5:13 a.m.

    I don't assume. I'm very happy with it and with the job performance of my President Obama!

    Just came home from D.C. and witnessed a lot of national pride. Ready for more whining and complaining now that I'm back home.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 7, 2014 6:17 a.m.

    Healthcare is on course to bankrupt this country. Does the ACA fix it? I am not optimistic.

    But, at least the Democrats recognized that the current system was unsustainable.

    The GOP has yet to admit there was even a problem. Hence they had no desire to work to construct a bipartisan solution. Why work to fix a problem that you don't even think exists?

    Obstruction, as usual, was their strategy.

    Until us Americans and our congress put America ahead of partisan politics, we will get poorly constructed solutions.

    To this day, after all these years of complaining, the GOP has only put forth one actual plan. And they couldn't get the votes to even support that?

    When will the GOP put forth a better plan than the ACA that addresses the problems?

    WHEN?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    April 7, 2014 7:00 a.m.

    A fair warning to Republicans who spent 4 years preening over the "failure" of Obama: Do not assume trashing the President 24/7 for 8 years without any viable plans will win future elections.

    "I hate Obama" is not a good campaign slogan,
    even with unlimited Corporate money.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    April 7, 2014 7:14 a.m.

    "Do not assume purchasing STARTING offensive wars and Occupying Foreign countries is the same thing as being happy with BUSH or supporting of the Republicans who passed it."

    BTW -- I'll take National Healthcare for the poor and the sick over stupid wars ANY day.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    April 7, 2014 7:51 a.m.

    Don't you just love the warnings from the far, far, far right?

    Have you fallen off the edge of the Earth yet?

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    April 7, 2014 8:52 a.m.

    Look, it's bee4n four years since the passage of the bill. Just be personally responsible and get your insurance policy. The whining is tiresome.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    April 7, 2014 9:13 a.m.

    Couldn't we use this letter writer's logic and give a "fair warning" to repubs that just because people are signing up it's not necessarily because they're forced to? Maybe folks are beginning to find affordable insurance plans? Maybe people are realizing the benefits of health care? Maybe folks have become smarter and are wise to the GOP's pro rich/anti-middle class ways?

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    April 7, 2014 9:27 a.m.

    A fair warning? Preening? I'm disappointed, not preening, that we have been prevented from achieving a proper single payer system that would have addressed some of the problems the ACA left in place.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 7, 2014 10:26 a.m.

    JoeBlow,
    I agree with you. ACA did nothing about the COST of healthcare. It just deflected the cost (for SOME people). It got more people on insurance (so they don't have to WORRY about how much it costs). But it still costs the same. It's still bankrupting this country. We are still in huge debt. And that shows no signs or possibilities of changing.

    Even if we dedicated 100% of our GDP towards our debt... we could never pay it off.

    That's a sobering thought (for me).

    The fact is... we will never get out of debt. This generation seems to be OK with debt. But debt CAN BE a harsh task master. That's what my generation was taught. This generation is taught that debt is a magic tool... a magic tool that will give you anything you want without having to pay for it (till later).

    It's not a magic tool... it's an evil trap.

    If you can't afford it... don't buy it. Same goes for me and my family, and the Government.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 7, 2014 11:08 a.m.

    "If you can't afford it... don't buy it. Same goes for me and my family, and the Government."

    But is that really reasonable when we are talking about healthcare? We are not a country that will let a kid die because their parents cant afford to get their appendix taken out.

    Even Reagan signed EMTALA. Today, insurance premiums have skyrocketed. There ARE fixes. But, in reality, neither party really wants to fix it. They are paid to allow the medical system to make more and more profits.

    In some ways we have the best medical care in the world. That is if you have enough money and an unusual medical issue. But childbirth? $30,000? That is ludicrous.

    How do some defend that? Look at a hospital bill and try to make logical sense out of the charges.

    It can not be done. Logic can not explain it.

    Neither R or D would embrace any good solution that came from the other side. How sad is that?
    We have become so partisan that we would rather forgo any good ideas that the other side can come up with.

    We need to wake up. Unfortunately, we are going the wrong way.

  • embarrassed Utahn! Salt Lake City, UT
    April 7, 2014 11:43 a.m.

    In the Smithsonian American History Museum in the American Presidents exhibit there is a kiosk where visitors can vote for the "most effective President." Guess who came in second after the great Democrat FDR? Go ahead, guess?

    As sad as it will be to see President Obama leave office; I'm excited for 2016 and the continuation of America's Comeback from the destructive, divisive Republican administrations of the past.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 7, 2014 11:46 a.m.

    My oldest brother's birth cost $89.00 (I saw the hospital bill). That was for the doctor, anesthesiologist, meds, and 7 days in the hospital.

    That was back when the system was more privatized (1949), and we didn't have the government, or insurance paying for everything. Now we have insurance to pay for everything.. so who CARES what it costs? That's why we are where we are. As well as inflation.

    It was still a struggle to find $89.00 back then. But they did it.

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    April 7, 2014 12:09 p.m.

    To "JoeBlow" but what good has come out of the ACA? Less than 10% of the uninsured were able to get insurance. The cost of insurance has gone up, and the amount of coverage has gone down.

    The problem isn't that we need more regulations and mandates to make things cheaper. What we need is to cut regulations and mandates. That is the only way to make it cheaper and affordable.

  • GZE SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    April 7, 2014 12:13 p.m.

    2 bits says If you can't afford it... don't buy it.

    We are talking about health care. If you child became ill and needed hospitalization, you would be okay with letting him die because you can't afford to pay the bill?

    I didn't think so.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    April 7, 2014 12:35 p.m.

    Obama is not the
    foreign born, socialist, giving away free healthcare --

    That would be Jesus.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 7, 2014 12:38 p.m.

    Red,

    I have no doubt that we can find a lot of regulations that add to the cost of healthcare. Like Reagan forcing hospitals to treat emergencies regardless of an ability to pay.

    Or the regulation removing preexisting conditions. Or the one allowing a kid to stay on dads healthcare until 26.

    And we can find some that most of us disagree with.

    But, I have to believe that left alone, business will do what business does best. And that is to maximize profits.

    I just cannot logically believe that healthcare would be better and cheaper if we removed all of the healthcare regulations.

    And after removing the regulations, the next step is to do tort reform.

    Let me see. Let doctors, hospitals and insurance companies do what they want, charge what they want and then protect them from lawsuits. Talk about a moneymaking scheme.

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    April 7, 2014 1:04 p.m.

    To "GZE" does it make it easier to watch a loved one die due to lack of care when it is the Government telling you that they don't have the money to either treat them or to be able to treat them quickly?

    How do you propose we ration the limited resources in healthcare? There is currently no system that can provide everything to everybody in a timely manner for a decent price. So, how to ration, that is the question?

    To "JoeBlow" I know you can't believe it, but it is true. Cut regulations and mandates and you can make insurance cheaper and probably cover more people. There are various studies out there showing that 20% to 50% of the cost of insurance is the mandates that government has put on insurance companies. As for the "uninsurable", that was also less of a problem when there was less regulation. In fact according the the NIH, the "uninsurable" problem has only grown since the late 1980's, which amazingly corresponds with an increase in mandates and regulations.

    So the question is why keep looking for solutions from the very people that have created the problems?

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    April 7, 2014 1:08 p.m.

    Everybody loves to tout tort reform. Until they or their family member is injured or killed due to negligence. Then, suddenly, it's not such a great idea.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 7, 2014 1:56 p.m.

    We all want something we can't afford... does nobody see a problem?

    So we say... let somebody else pay for it... does that SOLVE the problem?

    ===

    I wasn't actually thinking of healthcare specifically when I said that. I was talking about how I make decisions, how families make decisions, vs how GOVERNMENT makes decisions.

    But it applies to healthcare in some ways. We can't expect insurance to pay every dollar of our healthcare (and us none). We need to be more invested in reducing the COST of our healthcare (like the high deductble plans). We need to have some skin in how much we decide to use.

    There are some tough situations when there's no decision (you are sick). And you can't afford it. That's what the high deductibe is for (if you have something huge you get help). But for the small stuff like routine office visits... you have to pay for it.

    Doctors may be encouraged to reduce office visit prices if we started going to the doctor who charges less... but we don't care and are happy paying whatever they decide to charge (because it costs us nothing).

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 7, 2014 2:23 p.m.

    "We need to be more invested in reducing the COST of our healthcare "

    I completely agree with you. But... that would take some regulations.

    Hospitals do not give you enough information to make informed decisions. They will not give you the necessary information to allow you to shop around.

    The last routine outpatient procedure that I had, I was given a "good faith estimate". But it was anything but "good faith". The actual bill came in over 30% higher.

    When I asked about it, I was told "Oh, those estimates dont mean anything"

    And it was no easy matter to get an itemized bill. It was very obvious that the hospital did not want to do that.

    The way most insurance is structured, the patient will quickly reach their max out of pocket and once that happens, someone else is footing the bill.

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    April 7, 2014 3:50 p.m.

    To "JoeBlow" it sounds like you have dealt with a bad hospital. Regulations won't fix that.

    I too have called to get estimates for medical procedures. Each time they have been quite accurate.

    Maybe the problem isn't the system, but the providers that you like.

    How does adding regulations help lower the cost? Each regulation that you add only makes insurance cost more and can also increase the cost of that visit to the healthcare provider.

    Why do you want to get rid of our system that has historically provide good care to nearly everybody? If you look at the socialized systems, they often have to deny care becuase of costs or have even been known to shut down due to lack of funding. Does it make it easier to not get treatment if it is a government official telling you that there isn't money available for you?

    How does making the price of care go up reduce cost?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 7, 2014 4:14 p.m.

    JoeBlow
    Regulations would help. But they don't have to be GOVERNMENT regulations. They could be Industry regulations. Like the "Acceptable Maximums" we currently have through insurance companies. They say what the max they will pay is... and the doctor has to decide IF he will accept people on their insurance or not.

    That could work too. I'd rather have the regular and expected rates for procedures determined by somebody in the medical industry (insurance professionals, etc)... instead of a beurocrat somebody appointed to oversee healthcare requlations (who usually know NOTHING about healthcare or what it costs to do an MRI).

    Everything doesn't need to be done by the Government. They actually don't have a great track record on stuff like healthcare. It's not their area of expertese.

    They tend to work by arbitrary mandates.... set a rediculus price for something and don't care. Then doctors stop accepting people with the government as their payor...

    If REASONABLE rates were set... I think Doctors would be OK with it. They really aren't gready evil people (most of them).

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    April 7, 2014 4:34 p.m.

    We ALL have our horror stories in dealing with insurance co.'s and even the actual health providers, but Obamacare doesn't solve any of that. In fact, it adds another layer of possible angst - the government.

    Over the last 20-30 yrs. the consumer (us)has gotten put at the bottom of the food chain regarding healthcare. We have made sure HMO's, hospitals, and insurance companies have gotten THEIR share of our dollars, but how much further would those dollars have gone if we had been paying cash for most of our healthcare?

    We ALL have been working on the model that "doctors and my insurance company" will take care of me - no matter the cost.
    Which brings up a whole other set of medical ethics questions. Namely, how much of a "blank check" are we willing to give health providers? IF they invent some new procedure or device, are we willing to pay for it? For everyone, no matter their individual circumstances?
    We BADLY need a way for providers (doctors)to be paid without so many "middle-men" who add NOTHING to our health.

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    April 7, 2014 9:23 p.m.

    Bits says: "This generation seems ok with debt." Check the history books, there has never been a time in the history of the Country was out of debt and in the black. When neither Democrats or Republicans (including Paul Ryan) can even conceive of a way to balance the budget in shorter than 10 years it means not one penny will go toward paying off the national debt before that time (if ever).

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    April 7, 2014 9:26 p.m.

    @JoeBlow:
    "Healthcare is on course to bankrupt this country. Does the ACA fix it? I am not optimistic."

    Here's the deal...

    7.1 million have signed up under the ACA but over 7 million lost their insurance due to ACA. Whatever happened to the 40-45 million uninsured that the ACA was created to cover?

    Mostly older folks with serious healthcare needs are the signer-uppers. Young folks with fewer healthcare needs were needed to provide the premiums but are not signing up. Not to worry, though. The government will using its taxing authority to make up any differences.

    Since the government is now in charge of America's healthcare, you can count on the government deciding who will get what healthcare. Obama hisself told us that older folks needing serious healthcare (such as a hip replacement) may wish to just go home and take a pain pill.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    April 7, 2014 10:32 p.m.

    Recommended reading for all: "Why Medical Bills are Killing Us" in Time magazine

    Re:2bits
    "I'd rather have the regular and expected rates for procedures determined by somebody in the medical industry (insurance professionals"

    #1 Here's how insurance companies work. Their main goal is to make as much money as possible while paying out as little as possible. In the past when you bought health insurance they were hoping to collect as much money as possible and never have to pay a claim. If you got cancer they would go through your records and find something you didn't disclose--and drop you like a brick. You really want these guys deciding what they will pay for medical procedures?

    #2 Have you ever actually read the history of health insurance companies?

    #3 you do realize medicine has advanced significantly over the past 100+ yrs?

    re:Wonder
    True
    Example: here in CA non-economic damages are capped at $250,000 which is about what you would get if you filed suit against a negligent Dr. for killing your (non-wage earning) 8 yr old son.
    Furthermore, the CBO estimated tort reform would save $54 billion over 10 yrs while a public option would've saved $115 billion over 10 yrs.

  • anotherview SLO, CA
    April 8, 2014 10:33 a.m.

    So DN won't post my comment (unknown reason) I will try again.

    Re:Redshirt
    "Cut regulations and mandates and you can make insurance cheaper and probably cover more people"

    Cheaper for whom?

    Wendell Potter was once a Cigna executive, until he visited a mobile health unit serving the uninsured in the U.S. He then became a "whistleblower" against the industry he once worked for because he saw more and more his own company (and the industry as a whole) moving toward selling essentially "junk" health insurance policies, charging people premiums with few benefits. He also talked about Cigna marketing a policy to mid-size employers requiring that the business have no employees over the age of 40, no more than 65% of the employees female, and the business had to have an employee turnover rate higher than 70%. (A high turnover rates enables Cigna to collect premiums but decreases the chances they will have to pay a claim).

  • ugottabkidn Sandy, UT
    April 8, 2014 11:59 a.m.

    Whine some more about Obamacare, a cross between Heritage and Romneycare but on a national scale. Even those cons that previously supported it still voted against it because it was more about who was going to get credit rather than improving the system. It should be called Obstruction-care because it passed despite. Until we move into the 21st century like the rest of the industrialized world we will be whining about it for another generation. HR676, Medicare for all could take us there but then Orrin would get his kickbacks.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    April 9, 2014 7:17 a.m.

    Drew Allen

    You didn't need to give the Democrats/liberals a fair warning. From the anger seen in these posts from them it is obvious they see the light at the end of the tunnel of liberalism. It is a train headed their way at 60 MPH, and they are too far in to back up now.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    April 9, 2014 11:16 a.m.

    Get over it! How long are people going to complain about Obama! It has never been as bad as some of you say it has! The negative stuff is getting old.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    April 9, 2014 12:11 p.m.

    RFLASH

    We get the same 8 years to complain about Obama that you guys got with Bush.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    April 9, 2014 12:48 p.m.

    To "happy2bhere" what do you mean 8 years? We are going on 14 years of complaining about Bush. I have yet to hear the end of liberals complaining about Bush.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    April 9, 2014 1:37 p.m.

    RedShirt
    USS Enterprise, UT
    To "happy2bhere" what do you mean 8 years? We are going on 14 years of complaining about Bush. I have yet to hear the end of liberals complaining about Bush.

    12:48 p.m. April 9, 2014

    =========

    Yes,
    It started when he was SELECTED and not Elected into office,
    and it was all down-hilll from there...

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    April 9, 2014 2:07 p.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" and my point is proven. Here we are 14 years later, and liberals still can't accept the Supre Court ruling. To quote so many of your ilk, "Get over it, its the law. The Supreme Court ruled on it, there is nothing you can do now."

    You do realize that even with all of the analysis that was done in the years after that election that Bush still won the election no matter how you classified the votes.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    April 9, 2014 11:00 p.m.

    @Bob K:
    "I think the "us vs them" mentality is quite un-American."

    Speaking of 'un-American,' pushing Obamacare through without allowing Republican input is un-American.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    April 10, 2014 8:32 a.m.

    Red Shirt
    My mistake, but you are quite correct. In fact it reminds me that when the Bushs' leave the White House, (both father and son) they rarely if ever said anything negative about their successors, who were both Democrats.

    LDS Liberal
    I understand how galling it must have been to have Gore get more popular vote (some 500 thousand) yet lose the election due to about 300 votes in one state (Florida). I actually agree. But I agree because I despise the electoral college system and how it can make something like that happen. We as American have only one political office which we all vote for and it is the President. I understand the reason the founders wanted the electoral college, to allow small states some influence, but these days with mass commununications, it is not needed. And, as it is, Presidential elections come down to a few swing states, so the purpose of the electoral college is undermined anyway. I say get rid of it and make Presidential elections a pure populist vote nationwide. That way, your Utah vote for President would count as much as mine, or anyone else in America.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    April 10, 2014 10:40 a.m.

    Oh, so your'e not happy with those who passed the Obamacare?

    Are you happy with your Republican representatives who had the opportunity to help design that law and refused to do so?

    EVERYTHING you don't like about ObamaCare could have been addressed and most likely modified through compromise if your Republican representatives had actually done their job and participated in designing the law as Obama requested.

    But they refused. Lazy, arrogant, and incompetent Republican representatives in Congress REFUSED to represent the people who voted for them back home.

    How do you feel about the fact that your representatives absolutely IGNORED you and your best interests?

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    April 10, 2014 3:15 p.m.

    Gary O
    You forget that the ACA was not a bill that was drafted, debated, and presented to everyone, Republican or Democrat to read and amend and ultimately vote on. Pelosi herself said that "we need to pass it to see what is in it." No, this ACA was a 2500 page bill already written that had been sitting in someones desk drawer, (probably Ted Kennedys) and dusted off. The Democrats then proceeded to push it through as fast as they could in order to pass it before Scott Brown got to the Senate. It was a total partisan play, and that is why, more than any other huge piece of legislation, it is the TOTAL responsiblity of Democrats and Democrats alone. Can't blame Republicans for any of that. You pass it you own it.

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    April 10, 2014 4:59 p.m.

    Happy: Ok we own it! Now what is your alternative? It is closing in on 4 years since it was signed into law and we are still waiting for the Republican House majority to pass anything that looks like a plan of their own. They have voted to repeal over 40 times...great use of the public time.

    Idea: There are things that even Republicans know they cannot oppose as the sake of looking foolish i.e. No lifetime limit, no preexisting conditions, kids on parents policy till 26). Now all they have to do is take a part they hate (there are plenty) and tell us how they would improve or change it. Is it that you are still on the "greatest healthcare in the world" trope?

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    April 10, 2014 6:16 p.m.

    Happy2bhere –

    I’m sure you would prefer to believe your claims, but reality disagrees.

    Obama wanted to be the kind of President that would transcend parties, and he went far out of his way reaching out to Republicans. But they snubbed him. And even though he met with resistance, he was still optimistic that a bipartisan ACA could be passed.

    “I want to consult closely with our Republican colleagues . . . What I want to do is to ask them to put their ideas on the table. . . . I want to come back and have a large meeting, Republicans and Democrats, to go through, systematically, all the best ideas that are out there and move it forward." – Barack Hussein Obama

    That’s right, the mighty Republicans in Congress sneered at this upstart President and his naïve optimism. And they demanded that he just scrap the law.

    In other words, your Republican representatives CHEATED YOU out your right to be represented.

    That’s not Obama’s fault, and that is not the Democrats fault.

    YOU voted for lazy, arrogant, incompetent Republican representation.

    Think about that before you vote again next November.