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No Quick Fix on Health Care

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President Trump and Speaker Ryan failed to notch a GOP victory by repealing and replacing Obamacare, but the defeat of The American Health Care Act did highlight an important conservative principle. Conservatism has always emphasized incremental, pragmatic change, based on the will of a majority; it’s progressives who favor sweeping, radical, top-down decrees that ignore the popular will.

That was the core problem with Obamacare: trying to  remake our entire health care system in one ridiculously complicated, widely unpopular piece of legislation, that garnered no Republican support in Congress.

But now that Obamacare has been the law for seven years, Republicans shouldn’t repeat these mistakes – again, trying to reshape the whole system in a single bill, with no support from the opposition party. In the future, Republicans must erase Obamacare step by step, building broad popular and bipartisan support for a series of desperately needed reforms, not attempt another over-hyped, and hyper partisan, quick fix.

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  1. Harvey Homan  •  Apr 1, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Amen, Obama had eight years to institutionalize this aberration (ACA) and foist it off on working Americans. Those who vote for a paycheck love it and will scream bloody murder at any change that threatens their free ride. Lets get the IRS our of health care and allow completion over state lines. I also feel welfare programs need to be much less generous, but first there has to be jobs, jobs, and more jobs. Slashing Medicare before people have fair prospects for a decent job will only invite mainstream media backlash and play into the hands of liberals, who live to paint conservatives as evil meanies.

    • Ty  •  Apr 3, 2017 at 4:30 am

      Plenty of Insurance companies already offer coverage across state lines Harvey, that does not lower costs. Conservative hosts and callers bringing that point up as a cost saver are wrong about it being a meaningful factor. Further, insurance companies still have to contract with local hospitals and doctors, and those are extremely local terrain with local cost issues.

      As for jobs jobs jobs, I will wait with baited breath for Ryans 4% growth economy that will magically materialize after he slashes tax rates for high earners and businesses. Worked wonders for Kansas with Brownback didn't it? And republicans there voted him in again and they still have those great results!

      /s

      I expect Trumps administration and Price to further sabotage obamacare from his position and control of healthcare rules that are independent of congress. Earlier republicans were already successful in blocking a cost control and stabilizing aspect of obamacare that reimbursed insurance companies that had pools of people that were less healthy. This was a redistribution mechanism to make sure insurance companies were not disincentivized from offering coverage to places just because the people that sign up might be less healthy.

      It's not ideal, I'd rather us just have a universal national pool and healthcare model, but that will have to wait until we get conservatives out of power. They don't want to subsidize and socialize healthcare costs, they want everything, even access to quality care to be based on ability to pay. Can't pay? Wither and die. We can't make a deal or compromise with that attitude.

      • Rizzo  •  Apr 9, 2017 at 11:05 am

        Ty… If you want to be taken seriously, you have to stop the mischaracterizations of conservative positions on healthcare. Wither and die, if you can't pay? Really?
        Are you that uniformed or just a simple-minded hack?

      • Ty  •  Apr 19, 2017 at 3:55 pm

        You're right, the actual response is go to the emergency room.

        How does that help people afford cancer drugs with a high chance to cure the cancer if they can't afford them? It doesn't, but who said conservatives gave a damn about that.

        They like to toss out quick answers like tort reform and buying across state lines that won't do jack for people on the ground as a credible solution.

        Not everything can be handled via emergency room.

      • Rizzo  •  Apr 21, 2017 at 11:06 am

        Not everything can be handled by Emergency Rooms? That's great, because not everything is.
        And not every aspect of American Healthcare needs to be destroyed because 15% of U.S. inhabitants (citizens and otherwise) need cradle to grave babysitters.

  2. Don't Tweet on Me  •  Apr 5, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    Conservatives talk about health care like its auto insurance or home insurance where repair costs are more ascertainable and even then you may have to fight with the insurance company or face rate increases if you file a claim. The average person with a sudden health crisis is ill-equipped to analyze the cost of the highly-specialized technological medical treatment the person is receiving to make any kind of informed cost comparison. The insurance company can always decide to engage in "denialcare", refusing to pay for a certain type of treatment that wasn't specifically defined, which boosts the profit margins. 20-30% of a private health insurance company costs cover general overhead and bonuses for the well-paid executives. The Heritage foundation, hardly a liberal organization, rated 16 countries ahead of the U.S. in overall health care. Even Sarah Palin admits when she was a kid her family would cross the border into Canada to get medical treatment that was unaffordable in the U.S. In Canada, certain specialized procedures do require being on a waiting list, (rationing care by time and severity priority) and those that can afford it can pay extra to have it done in the U.S. more quickly (sometimes Canada reimburses the patient for the plane fare). If you have the time, you can receive excellent medical surgery with English-speaking medical staff in places like Thailand for 20% of the cost in the U.S.

    Conservative media propaganda have created a false image of European health care. Even highly-nationalized Swedish health care has privatized some aspects of its system. France and Germany have a "mix" of public and private which doesn't cover routine minor ailments like seeing a doctor for a common cold focusing instead on more important care. Taiwan & Japan rank high in country ratings. These countries spend less money and often have healthier outcomes.

    Sadly, Medved himself has added to the distortions. About a month ago he claimed Bernie Sanders was lying about Republicans ending coverage for pre-existing conditions. For all practical purposes it's Medved who is lying. Republicans will maybe cover it for a year or so, then dump a person on a state exchange where policies will cost $15,000 yearly; or a cancer patient will be able to find a cheaper policy BUT IT WON'T COVER CANCER TREATMENT. MEDVED also said you can still get emergency treatment in an emergency room. Unless you are covered by Medicaid and/or Medicare part A, you will get a bill for THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS with a good chance of going bankrupt (the #1 cause of filing for bankruptcy in U.S.A. is a serious illness). You might also pick up a contagious disease from an undocumented alien; if you have to be hospitalized, your bill will be even higher and an even greater chance of picking up another communicable disease (doctors don't like to talk about how often this happens in U.S. hospitals).

    Oh, if you do face bankruptcy?…..you might want to be aware of something that Medved probably doesn't even know: since Republicans regained control of Congress they have changed the law making it harder to file for medical reasons! Since a serious illness and the resulting financial strain increases the chance of divorce, it might be wise to buy that "Don't Divorce" book Medved keeps hawking….just as a preventative measure.

  3. Rizzo  •  Apr 9, 2017 at 10:47 pm

    Wow… Sarah Palin, once, as a child, was taken to Canada, by her parents, for healthcare.
    Well that settles it, Don't Tweet on Me has figured it out… Canada healthcare is the best.
    Quick, somebody tell our leaders, we need government Utopian Messiahs to dole out healthcare and keep us from bankruptcy.
    Thanks Tweet… You're a GENIUS!!!

  4. Don't Tweet On Me  •  Apr 13, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    "Hack"? "Messiah"? "Genius"? No one will ever categorize Rizzo with the phrase "Canadian Nice" or even "Minnesota Nice".

    Sarah Palin spoke in Calgary, Alberta several years ago at the Fraser Institute (it's kind of a Canadian version of the Heritage Foundation in the U.S.). She said in the 1960's "we used to hustle over the border for health care that we would receive in Whitehorse, Yukon" which was the nearest town with a hospital. Her brother later confirmed that it was more than just once. And what her parents paid was less than what they would have paid in the U.S.

    I myself grew up near the Canadian border and have American friends & Canadian acquaintances. One American friend who had a child with a chronic medical condition treated in New York had to become a resident of Canada for a few years when her husband took a job there. That meant her child was eligible for Canadian health care treatment in Toronto. She said the treatment was just as good, much cheaper and the follow-up care was better. One Canadian said he paid $54 month (this was back in 2010) for the basic care which included ambulance, specialists referrals, and all lab work (a family would pay about twice that). He also paid for a separate private policy things the gov't didn't cover, like dental work. Other Canadians mentioned a serious illness would not cause you to go bankrupt and lose your home as in the U.S. Polls in Canada repeatedly show that most members of the Conservative party do not want to get rid of their healthcare system.

    One criticism that conservatives make that has validity is that Canada & other countries don't spend as much on defense as the U.S., which allows more money to be spent on healthcare. Israel is able to have national healthcare partly thanks to the large amount of foreign aid the U.S. provides. I didn't say Canada has the best system — I think Germany, France, Switzerland, and a few other countries are worth looking at. What Canada doesn't have are overpaid Health Care executives spending money on expensive private jets. And many more Americans go to Canada for health care than vice-versa. A lot of the Canadians who come to the U.S. are coming for medically unnecessary plastic surgery which is one category the U.S. excels in.

    I also worked for some years in a financial area of health care and keep up with the proposed changes; so you'll have to wait and see if what I said about pre-existing conditions comes true. In my opinion, on that specific point, Medved is not well-informed and is just repeating a Republican talking point.

  5. Rizzo  •  Apr 13, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    Oh Tweety-Bird… if only you knew half as much as you think you do.
    Canucks ain't coming to America for plastic surgery, they are coming here for serious medical procedures to be performed by serious medical professionals.
    U.S. Healthcare costs have very little to do with high-paid execs., flying around on jets… you jealous, class-envious fool.
    Get educated. Here's an article that's a little more relevant than a flippant comment made by Sarah Palin regarding her parent's healthcare choices from the 1960's.

    Crossing the Border for Care
    Frustrated by long waits, some Canadians are heading to the U.S. for medical treatment.

    https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2016-08-03/canadians-increasingly-come-to-us-for-health-care

  6. Don't Tweet On Me  •  Apr 24, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    I finally found some time to "get educated" by clicking on the link you provided. In the article a U.S. think-tank ranks Canada 10th of 11 wealthy countries overall for health care…the U.S. is ranked last! The U.K. is ranked 1st for timeliness! The think-tank, like me, wants to look at "hybrid" public-private systems in some other countries, not Canada's.

    Of the 52,513 Canadians coming to the U.S. for treatment, the article mentions one person who died before treatment was available. In the U.S. more than one person a year dies from not having insurance or funds for treatment, there's no waiting at all. The stem-cell therapy treatment occurring in the U.S. mentioned in the article is an "interim solution" until Ontario has additional infrastructure and funding in place. According to the De Loitte Center For Health Solutions ( a Canadian thinktank) far more than 50,000 a year come from the U.S. to Canada for healthcare. Because it's cheaper for some treatments! That was the main point of bringing up Sarah Palin's comment.

    Lots of Canadians come to the U.S. for cosmetic surgery because most of it is not covered by gov't insurance and also because after-surgery healing is quicker in a warmer climate. Lots of Canadian "snowbirds" who visit Arizona for the winter fit it into their schedules. It's called "Medical Tourism". In fact, one hospital in Thailand treated 50,000+ Americans for various health care problems last year, which is a nice way of avoiding bankruptcy if you do have some funds to spend.

    As far as "class warfare" blah blah blah: even noted conservative economist F.A.Hayek (author of The Road To Serfdom) said health care was one area where a government role was needed to actually preserve individual freedom. Private Insurance requires a lot more overhead (20-25% of expenses) and an additional profit % (so it's not just the excessive salaries & private jet costs); which explains why the cost of treating a medical claim is at least $30 for a private insurance company and only $3 per claim for Medicare. Famous investor Warren Buffet put it frankly: "There's class warfare, alright, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning". Of course, there's always an exception: one Trump supporter who managed to travel to the inauguration in January had his father dying of cancer and no way to get treatment. Trump heard about this and gave him $10,000 to pay for it and saved his father's life……

  7. Rizzo  •  Apr 24, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    Wow Tweety… What the hell link did you click on and read?
    None of what you stated was in there?!? Just another liberal, random rant I suppose.

    -"In citing those numbers in its 2015 report, "Leaving Canada for Medical Care," the organization said difficulties in obtaining timely medical care at home is, increasingly, leading Canadians to seek it abroad. "It is possible [they] may have left the country to avoid some of the adverse medical consequences of waiting for care, such as worsening of their condition, poorer outcomes following treatment, disability, or death," the report says. "Some may leave simply to avoid delay and to make a quicker return to normal life."

    Canadians could expect to wait 9.8 weeks for medically necessary treatment after seeing a specialist in 2014, the researchers found, three weeks more than the time physicians considered to be clinically "reasonable."

    Hello?

  8. Rizzo  •  Apr 24, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    Canada, approximately 1/10th. the U.S. population, 2 to 3 times the wait-time for "medically necessary treatment."
    Wow! Where do I sign-up?

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