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The Fight Over Obamacare

With John Harwood in for Tom Ashbrook.

Obamacare supporters and opponents are taking their battle stations. Digging in. We’ll check in on the clash.

In this May 16, 2013 file photo, House Speaker, Republican John Boehner of Ohio, points toward the tall stack of paper, representing 20,000 pages of Affordable Care Act regulations, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. The health care law has been a political prop for two election seasons already, but next year will be different. if the rollout of the law works reasonably well, particularly in states that have embraced it, there is an risk for Republicans, who have touted it as such a disaster that enraged voters will reward the GOP with undisputed control of Congress in next year's elections. (Molly Riley/AP File)

In this May 16, 2013 file photo, House Speaker, Republican John Boehner of Ohio, points toward the tall stack of paper, representing 20,000 pages of Affordable Care Act regulations, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Molly Riley/AP File)

You’ve heard the political rhetoric — for five years.

But now we are just five months away from the reality of Obamacare. With Republicans still fighting, can the administration make it work? Will young people sign up? Will states cooperate? Will “rate shock” hurt businesses and destroy jobs?

This hour, On Point: implementing the biggest domestic policy change in a generation.


Chris Jennings, White House Coordinator of Health Reform Implementation. He served as Senior Health Care Advisor to President Bill Clinton at the Domestic Policy and National Economic Councils from 1993 to 2001. 

Julie Rovner, health policy correspondent for NPR, specializing in the politics of healthcare. Author of “Health Care Policy and Politics A-Z.” (@jrovner)

Gail Wilensky, economist and senior fellow at Project Hope (@projecthopeorg), an international health education foundation. She was Administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration, directing the Medicare and Medicaid programs under President George H.W. Bush.

Kevin Counihan, chief executive officer at Access Health CT (@AccessHealthCT), Connecticut’s state agency created to implement the federal Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

From The Reading List

The New York Times: 10 Questions For Obama’s Chief Technology Officer: “Todd Park, a former Silicon Valley entrepreneur, serves as President Obama’s chief technology officer. His role has taken on heightened importance after several recent developments, including the implementation of the new health care law, efforts to reduce the backlog in Department of Veterans Affairs claims processing, and privacy issues raised by disclosures about data collection by the National Security Agency.”

Reuters: Republicans Prepare For ‘Obamacare’ Showdown, With Eye To 2014 Elections: “With the Obama administration poised for a huge public education campaign on healthcare reform, Republicans and their allies are mobilizing a counter-offensive including town hall meetings, protests and media promotions to dissuade uninsured Americans from obtaining health coverage.”

The Washington Post: Inside The Obamacare Resistance: “Dean Clancy is a vice president at FreedomWorks, where he has spent years fighting President Obama’s health-care law. But now, with a Supreme Court case and presidential election both lost, he and his allies are banking on a last-ditch campaign to undermine Obamacare: convince Americans to ignore it altogether.”


On July 18, 2013, President Obama spoke on the Affordable Care Act:

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  • Adam Bray

    While Obamacare may need to be adjusted based on how the implementation goes, at least it is a step in the right direction. While the mandates may be something people don’t like, there are many parts of the act that will help lots of Americans. I for one would like to see Obamacare implemented and adjusted as things come up. The healthcare policies we had before were unsustainable and were leading to many Americans losing everything when they got sick. This law is intended to make sure people never go bankrupt because they get sick. If that means making them purchase insurance at a reasonable rate, then that’s what it means.

    • brettearle

      The issues, for me, are:

      How long will it take to implement Obamacare so that it functions smoothly?

      How many years will it take until Obamacare demonstrates that it is significantly helping to increase the solvency of the Economy?

      How patient will the American people be and how patient will their politicians be–until that happens?

      What if Obamacare is erroneously blamed for other variables in the Economy that may go sour, or may continue to be sour?

      • pete18


        1. 100 years.
        2. never
        3. Since they’ll all be dead by that time I guess they’ll have to be very patient.
        4. The real question here is what if enough democrats correctly realize that Obama Care is making the economy sour, raising health costs and isn’t living up to any of the promises it was sold on?

        • John Cedar

          Not bad…you only missed the first one…which is also “never”.

          • pete18

            No, it will take 100 years to operate smoothly “as planned,” when it does operate as planned it will continue to be an unmitigated disaster, since the idea was so terrible to begin with. In the meantime, it will operate in a piecemeal, haphazard fashion as they try desperately to hide its disfunction for as long as possible (IE, Obama delaying the employer mandate).

    • HonestDebate1

      “Reasonable rate”?!

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    My employer just switched to a different insurance provider. The old provider sent us all a letter that they would have to reimburse my employer, 0.6 %, that is 6 tenths of one percent, of premium due to upcoming Obama Care requirements ! Not much of a savings, is it ? Under our new plan my yearly out of pocket goes from $2500.00 to $4000.00, ( $8000.00 for a family). So let’s see, all of the companies that I have worked for these last 40 years have probably paid in a quarter of a million dollars in premium ( actually, probably more) in real dollars, while I have been to the doctors twice, for stitches and once for Xrays on my back ! And yet if I loose my job or quit I will have no insurance coverage despite the fact that all of this money was paid in!

    Obama-Care just like the insurance before it, is one big con job, A Simple Modified Single Payer Plan is the only way to stop this madness. For every hour you work, some dollar amount should be paid in and you carry your credit wherever you go, no exclusions. If you want more, your new employer pays in or you do. This is the path to maximize your economic freedom. Obama AND Republicans don’t have a clue as to how create an economic environment that will put our economy on a correct and positive path.

    Note 1: by the way: the Xrays on my back were for back pain due to damage done while working. Over the years I have used Chiropractors and my OWN MONEY to fix my back problems. And once I had to quit my job, due to back problems, so that I could get the problems fixed, via a chiropractor. I received ZERO income during this time. My employer took me back, when I was better but I lost all of my vacation time and seniority. Also, the nutty doctors wanted to cut here and cut there, in other words put me in a wheelchair! Shows you what they know, as I have been working now for some 40 years, now.

    Note 2: Dental and eye is NOT covered by the plans I spoke of above . I have always paid, my own cash.

    • Don_B1

      Actually, President Obama does have a clue, as he indicated in a speech where he said something like, “if we were starting from scratch, a single-payer system would be the way to go.” But President Obama is a practical man and choose to go with a plan that, in a less obstructionist political environment, would have drawn support from both parties, and put the country on the path to better health care delivery.

      It is true that some people who have been able to get insurance at low rates (typically for policies that provide low coverages, high deductibles, or other aspects that may not meet a “standard” set of coverages) will now have to buy policies that will perform better for more people, but will cost more. How that might affect your case, where I assume (for lack of knowledge of your specifics) that the amounts you cite are the difference between the full cost of your policies and the amount your employer covered. But has your employer also changed the amount/percentage of its contribution?

      Whether this speculation applies in your case or not, I ask it here because it does apply in many other cases and people need to think about that when they consider what is going on more broadly than in just a few examples, each of which is valid but not necessarily the same as a lot of other people’s and thus only a small part of the total picture.

  • John Cedar

    I realize that Obamcare is the worst peace of law ever passed in the history of laws. But I want it implemented because I want the idiots that voted for Obama to pay through the nose. Specifically the union thugs with their “Cadillac plans”.

    I know that Presidents and governors have always held the power to pardon but this new executive privilege waiver crap has got to end. The “three branches” is an abandoned concept.

    Obamacare is so bad that it only passed because of the Louisiana purchase & cornhusker kickbacks, amongst other bribes. (Ha! I got that from Fox news and they are…as always…dead on.)

    Hillary would have come up with a plan way better than Obamcare. But the racist misogynist party would not have her for their POTUS.

    Even our communist Canadian friends to the north are bright enough to divide their socialized providers up into palatable province units, rather than create a single payer system. To apply that concept in proportion to the US that would mean a state like California should have as many provinces as Canada.
    My deductibles and premiums have skyrocketed even faster than they were doing before. We have fewer doctors providing service in our area like in the rest of the country and more people using the system for bogus reasons because it’s free.

    And to top it off, hospitals are still one of the most dangerous places to go in the world, where unionized nurses are more apt to kill you than anything else an American might encounter.

    • Don_B1

      WOW! you are really outdoing yourself!

      1) You need to learn the definition of “Cadillac Healthcare Plans”; see:


      and check out how, by lowering the costs of such “Cadillac Plans,” some people with real health problems will be hurt:


      2) As for the Politico story on Congress’s problem with Obamacare, which I assume is what you are referencing with the “executive privilege” comment, is just not true, as shown here:


      3) The Cornhusker Kickback was a despicable provision that was never going to be part of the PPACA, as the House Democrats only agreed to pass the Senate-passed PPACA version with the agreement that a subsequent bill, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act would remove that provision. What you call the Louisiana purchase, was the inclusion of a provision of a part of the funding for Louisiana’s recovery from Katrina that had been long agreed on but not passed as a part of the PPACA, and thus NOT what you would like to imply. See the Health care debate, 2008-2010, particularly the House section of the Wikipedia section on the PPACA:


      3) it is truly astounding how conservatives are willing to throw the race card around for their own uses and then falsely accuse Democrats of playing race issues. A President Hillary Clinton might have come up with a different bill, and maybe, though I doubt it, the Republicans would have provided some support for Romneycare, but without Senator Lieberman not opposing the public option, there would not have been that much difference.

      4) I think you need to compare the coverages that you are getting with the new policies; otherwise you may have been one who was getting a better than average deal in the past, which will end with Obamacare.

      5) My understanding is that it is unwashed hands going from hospital room to hospital room that is the biggest source of danger in a hospital, with operating room errors a major second source. And it seems that doctors are more likely than nurses to be lackadaisical in that (or both) regard. As for unionization, non-unionized nurses are probably under more pressure to cut corners which can expose patients to disease than unionized ones.

      You are just full of myths and false understandings of what the facts are. You need to spend some time reading better sources for your information. They are not that hard to find, but you will have to go outside your ideological boundaries.

      • John Cedar

        “The Cornhusker Kickback was a despicable provision…”

        Yeah…we agree.

        “…which I assume is what you are referencing with the “executive privilege” comment…”

        No, I am referring to his delay of his signature healthcare law, amongst other things such as waivers.

        “I think you need to compare the coverages that you are getting with the
        new policies; otherwise you may have been one who was getting a better
        than average deal in the past, which will end with Obamacare.”
        You’re on crack. I was already paying too much because my premiums go toward people who don’t contribute (AKA democrats), and now my premiums are even higher and my deductible is in the thousands. All so that Fluke can still enjoy her Star Bucks now that I am paying for her BC with no co-pay. (another Obama direct order).

        Blame the doctors for what the nurses union does, I don’t care. I hope it gives you solace when one of the low seniority night shift nurses gives your loved one the wrong medicine, or wrong dose, or skips it altogether, or doesn’t alert higher ups to changes in patient condition or uses the same mop on the floor as the wall or…

  • Donald Sutherland

    The Affordable Care Act side steps the main issue of rising healthcare costs in the US by not establishing a national benchmark for pricing healthcare services, ie like Medicare does.

    Price gouging by Hospital Chargemasters is legal under the ACA and not one politician from either party even addresses the topic.
    Please see

    Financially, state healthcare costs are 43% of Massachusetts budget and rising. And the average household costs for family coverage is $15.7k while the average family income is about $50k which is over 31% of household income.

    Without price controls there is no affordable healthcare in the US.

    Donald Sutherland
    Hopkinton, Ma

    • John Cedar

      You are on to something there. But price controls do not work well at all. They lead to doctors/providers going out of business.
      Nothing controls price better than 15 or 20 competitors competing on even footing with transparent price posted in real time to the payer. But when the customer has someone else paying the bill, price in not controlled.

      Many small cities only have a few hospitals or perhaps just one and there is little ability or willingness to control costs effectively in this type setting.

      • Don_B1

        Agreed on price controls, but it is just about impossible for the patient to evaluate what procedures are needed or who will do the best for the best price. Thus it is hard for the competition model to deliver low-cost quality health care, as demonstrated by the U.S. system’s failure compared to ALL other developed countries which beat the U.S. in just about every category for around half the cost on a country by country basis.

        So now you are going to duplicate services in small cities/towns and still provide better care for less?

        • John Cedar

          If health care is going to be so intertwined with the government, as it is and has been, then yes I would absolutely duplicate services. Government is the one organization that has an inverse scale of economy which industry does not encounter until it grows to the size of a GM.

          The new age feel good MBA six sigma Lean theory guys could codify why and when it becomes true, but sensible people would just observe it and react to it.

      • Donald Sutherland

        Hey John, the Canadians seem to be doing better than us containing healthcare costs without compromising service and they have price controls. You touched the real problem, transparent prices posted in real time. That doesn’t exist under the current unregulated, no transparent, price gouging hospital chargemasters used today.

  • Shag_Wevera

    Here’s a crazy idea. The affordable care act was was created and passed by the lawfully elected government of the United States. Let’s let it go into effect and see what happens. Maybe it’ll be great, maybe it’ll be a disaster, or likely it will be something in between. It truly can’t be much worse than what we already had. If it doesn’t work well enough, we can change it or replace it. Opponents are also welcome to change it ONCE THEY HAVE CONTROL OF THE GOVERNMENT. A government minority trying dozens of times to repeal it seems like the pinnacle of time wasting obstructionism.
    By the way, I don’t care for the law. Insurance companies being given a seat at the table was ridiculous. We’ll either eventually have national healthcare or just affordable healthcare for a few of us. I’m hoping that the majority of Americans aren’t interested in being shut out of healthcare.

    • HonestDebate1

      Well you better tell Obama because he is delaying the implementation created and passed by the lawfully elected government of the United States. It was also approved by the SCOTUS. Obama is doing this by decree with no authority whatsoever. At least Republicans are doing it through the legislative process.

      • Shag_Wevera

        I can’t agree when you say the president is doing this by decree without authority. If he were doing something truly extra-legal or illegal, Fox and the political opposition would highlight any real illegality and beat it to death.

        • HonestDebate1

          What authority does he have to change the law?

      • Ray in VT

        Care to provide some analysis for your claim that the administration does not have the authority to make this delay? The administration says that it has the authority under section 7805(a) of the Internal Revenue Code. Care to provide something from a judicial decision or a law publication to support your position, as it is well known that I care little for your interpretations.

        • Shag_Wevera

          You and your damned facts, Ray! ;)

          • Ray in VT

            Well, that is the position, so let us talk about the history and use of such a position, rather than degenerating to some “there goes Obama, ruling by decree” nonsense. I loved a while ago when his use of executive orders was questioned, and it turned out that Obama is averaging less than Bush.

          • HonestDebate1

            He’s done it before with immigration deportations. He swore he had no authority but did it anyway.

          • Ray in VT

            I do believe that he laid out how such targeted prioritizations of deportations could be done, but that probably didn’t make it onto Rush or Beck.

            Well, he was the guy who preceded Obama, and he was a “true conservative” or something. It’s okay, though, Reagan issued more executive orders per year as well. Better?

          • HonestDebate1

            What’s Rush or Beck got to do with squat? I prefer the horses mouth.


            No one is complaining about EO’s. They can be legit or abused.

          • Ray in VT

            They just seem to be the source of much of the stuff that you spout, and I prefer the case that he laid out some six months later in an interview where he specifically detailed how the administration could prioritize deportations in such a way.

            Also, the comment regarding Executive Orders was a response to the ruling by decree comment.

          • HonestDebate1

            So was he lying to Univision? Or did he just honestly not know? Then again by your definition it’s still a lie.

            To the best of my knowledge the delay was a decree and there was no EO. Please correct me. Add to that, the House tried to delay the mandate through legislation and he threatened a veto.

          • Ray in VT

            Perhaps he was unaware of the potential uses of prioritization options. By my definition it need not be a lie, but I guess that by your definition it can only be a lie if he knew that he was lying and intended to deceive. Seeing as how Bush never did that, then surely Obama doesn’t either, unless you can prove his exact thought process.

            Again, my Executive Order comment was relating to the “Obama ruling by decree” nonsense that some are so fond of pushing. The Bush administration used the same justification for implementing regulations several times. Was that administration also ruling by decree and operating outside of the rule of law, and if so, then how could a true conservative like George Bush do that?

          • HonestDebate1

            Yes, by any definition it impossible to lie without knowing you are lying.

            EO’s are legal and subject to review. For instance, Obama’s gun control EO’s did not hold up.

          • Ray in VT

            That is a lie. You are aware of other definitions, yet you choose to continue to attempt to spread a falsehood. Care to know what I, and the dictionary, call someone who does such a thing?

            The President has issued a number of orders regarding guns. Have all of them been held to not be legal? That would really be something.

          • HonestDebate1

            What is the difference between a lie and and being wrong? You can’t and won’t answer because the answer is intent. All the dictionaries are consistent.

            And that’s my point about EO’s, they can be legit or abused, as I said. Ruling by decree is entirely different.

          • Ray in VT

            I have addressed it at some length in previous posts, I am feel no need to repeat myself, as it is a waste of time with you. Tell me where in the definitions that I have cited the word intent, or some synonym of it, exists without you inferring it.

            I agree with your EO point, and ruling by decree would be a bad thing. It’s a good thing, then, that we don’t have a President that’s doing that.

          • HonestDebate1

            You can’t answer it.

            2nd and third definitions imply, I don’t have to infer. If the first definition says: “to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive” and the second says : to create a false or misleading impression” then it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand what “to create” means.

            Your position is absurd, why are you clinging to it? If you insist on digging in then just say it, “there is no such thing as a factual error, they’re all lies”. Be consistent, there is not third option.

          • Ray in VT

            I can and have. Perhaps you chose not to read that posts, just as you choose to ignore or alter existing definitions in order to fit them into your worldview. My position cites the definitions, no alterations, implying or inferring required. It’s is truly not rocket science.

          • HonestDebate1

            What’s the difference?

          • Ray in VT

            Check my older posts that you probably didn’t read. The history is all there.

          • HonestDebate1

            I quit going back after a week or two. I don’t want to be that guy, so yea, I probably didn’t read them. Now I wouldn’t know where to look. A lie cannot be an accident. It’s absurd on it’s face. You even said as much yourself. If Bill and Hillary, Algore, Albright, Pelosi, Reid and the rest were not lying about WMD then how could Bush have been lying? You were the one that said he knew better and had an intent to deceive. I would write you off as just ignorant (not stupid) if you would just say either they all lied or none did. But to say only Bush lied because he knew there were no WMD but the others didn’t because they had no intent to deceive and continue to insist intent is not part of the definition of a lie while depending on it… my head hurts. It makes no sense at all. None.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, then I guess that the world will never know.

            Did the Clintons or Gore go out and say that Iraq had operational ties to Al-Qaeda, as Bush did, when, at that time, the intelligence community was saying that that was not the case? I have given plenty of leeway for bad intel., so kindly do not try to reframe my argument as something that is not, unless you see some value in doing that, such as not having to address the lies that helped to lead us into Iraq, because, as you believe, Bush didn’t lie, but Obama, who gets held to a much lower standard, does it all of the time.

          • Prairie_W

            What’s up with Bush? He is a discredited former president who dumped his mess into to the next guy’s presidency. Shamelessly!

            Bush? Irresponsible, destructive ,and no friend of Americans needing reliable, accessible healthcare.

        • HonestDebate1

          So Obama care is nothing but a tax issue? I don’t care what the administration claims, they lie. Remember, Obama got all pissy when George Stephanopolous said Obamacare was a tax. Are you saying Romney, if elected, could have just delayed the implementation altogether?

          • Ray in VT

            This issue is one of a regulation, which the Treasury says there is history, precedent and authority for delaying during a transition period. Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster that we will never have to endure a Romney presidency, but yes, my argument would be that if an established method were used, then he could have as well. Do I take it that you do not have a judicial decision or something from a legal publication to support your position that the administration does not have the authority to do this?

          • HonestDebate1

            There is no judicial decision, how could there be? This is unprecedented.

            He didn’t even bother checking with his lawyers:


            But I’m glad to know the next Republican President can repeal Obamacare by decree. That’s a relief.

          • Ray in VT

            Such a regulatory delay is not unprecedented, as the Treasury Department noted in a letter to Congress laying out its rationale and justification for the decision. I believe that there is a difference between delaying the implementation of a regulation and unilaterally repealing a law, but I’ll have to check with the experts over at gemworld.com. Also, to the best of my knowledge the Examiner is not a law publication.

          • HonestDebate1

            The link from gem world was accurate and informative. Why are you being such a jerk Ray? Let it go, especially if you are going to embrace groups like Media Matters and the NAACP.

            Obamacare is what is unprecedented. 16,000 new IRS agents enforcing healthcare is unprecedented. A takeover of 1/6th of the economy on a purely partisan basis is unprecedented. No one read the damn thing.

          • Ray in VT

            It was neither accurate nor informative in terms of any difference in definitions that are claimed to have existed between inalienable and unalienable in 1776. I am not being a jerk. I am merely asking for valid, reliable sources, and I am citing what I do not think is one. What’s your problem with Media Matters? Does it hurt to have the blatantly factually inaccurate comments of the Conservative Media Entertainment Complex’s challenged with sources that counter those positions? What’s your problem with the NAACP? Too big of a black mob intimidating white people or something?

            When did the government take over health care? Did the President pass national, universal health care while I was on the farm this weekend? They didn’t cover it on the Canadian station that I was listening to. It figures. Damned Canadians. Last I checked I can still go to my doctor with my private health insurance and get services, unless some IRS guy is set up in their office now. Maybe, but I haven’t checked today.

          • HonestDebate1

            My problems with them are they are tax exempt arms of the Democrat party.

            Enjoy him whole you can then kiss your doctor goodbye.

          • Ray in VT

            What have the Republicans done for them, except for take in the old racist Dixiecrats and now push for measures in some localities that would re-segregate mixed schools and offer the same sort of states rights lines that the anti-Civil Rights folks used back in the day. I’d rather not kiss my doctor. He’s not my type, but the nurse isn’t too bad. I can always just jump the border to get me some free socialized medicine, just like ol’ Sarah.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Oooh, “Democrat party”.

            Good thing you’re not trying to be a jerk.

            I’d say something about your b.s. re doctors, but that’s not worth anyone’s time reading the regurg you’ll post.

          • Shag_Wevera

            Failing to aquiesce to your point of view isn’t the classic definition of being a jerk.

          • HonestDebate1

            No, but harping on an old irrelevant debate out of the blue, and incessantly making gratuitous digs is.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m just calling into play sources that you have cited. How do I know that they haven’t posted some great Constitutional interpretation unless I check seeing as how it is considered by some to be an accurate and informative source. You could always just stop citing garbage sources, using phony or out of context “quotes”, or stooping to the lowest common denominator of talk radio talking points. I think that you’re capable of doing any of those, but for some reason you choose not to.

          • Shag_Wevera

            Flying spaghetti monster… Did you make that up Ray? That’s pretty good.

          • Ray in VT

            I wish that I could take credit, but it is a “real” thing:


            Followers are called Pastafarians, and I think that He(?) was in a Futurama episode one time.

        • hennorama

          Good luck with getting someone who quotes white separatist pseudo-statistics, as if they were fact, to provide “analysis” that’s anything other than regurgitated nonsense.

          • HonestDebate1

            Thomas Sowell is not a white separatist.

          • hennorama

            Bonehead Test1 – you’re at least half right, as Mr. Sowell is indeed not white.

            Was that your point?

            Or was your point that you got your white separatist pseudo-statistics from Mr. Sowell?

          • HonestDebate1

            I first heard them years ago from Mr. Sowell who subsequently embraced the book “White Girl Bleed A Lot”. He is often a guest of Walter Williams when Mr. Williams subs for Rush.

            I can only assume you must not know how esteemed and respected Mr. Sowell is.

            You are the only one around here that goes to white separatist sites.

          • hennorama

            Bonehead Test1 – TYFYR.

            Riiiight. You, someone who quotes white separatist pseudo-statistics, as if they were fact, “first heard them years ago from Mr. Sowell” and just happened to remember them. Sure, sure. If you say so, sir.

            Please provide ANY sort of evidence of Mr. Sowell saying or writing the white separatist pseudo-statistics that you repeated over and over and over again. For weeks.

            These are the specific white separatist pseudo-statistics that you repeated over and over and over, sir:

            “Blacks are 39 times more likely to commit a violent crime against whites than vice versa” and “Blacks are …136 times more likely to commit a robbery.”

            If either of those white separatist pseudo-statistics were said by Mr Sowell, or are contained in the “book” to which you referred, they are taken directly from a white separatist publication – ‘The Color Of Crime’, about which I have commented extensively.

            As stated previously, I am not a fan of Mr. Sowell’s views. Mr. Sowell’s words are also evidence supporting Godwin’s Law, as Sowell wrote an editorial comparing US politics in 2010 to the rise of Nazism in the 1920s.

            As to my visits to white nationalist/separatist/supremacist sites – again, as stated on numerous occasions, this was to investigate and refute the white separatist claims YOU made, repeatedly, sir.

          • Kinfolk

            Ha! Glad I wasn’t the only one thinking that!

  • Ed75

    Doesn’t address costs, among other things. Train wreck.

    • nlpnt

      Because all the cost controls were stripped out in reaction to “Death Panels” demagoguery. Thank Sarah Palin for that.

      • Don_B1

        Also thank the Republican Senators like Grassley of Iowa.

    • Don_B1

      The PPACA was never intended to be a total fix for the highly complex healthcare delivery problem that the U.S. faces.

      Just as Governor Romney did in Massachusetts, it first divided the healthcare problem into two major parts:

      1) Get everyone into the healthcare system with insurance.

      2) Change the delivery system as needed to provide good care at a reasonable cost.

      The solution to main objective of the first part is given a strong impetus by Obamacare, but it actually does have some cost reduction features, such as requiring hospitals to pay for readmissions to hospitals when the hospital released the patient before the recovery had reached an adequate stage. There are many others, which you can find if you really seriously look instead of just dismissing things. Making insurance companies spend at least 80% of their premium revenue on care delivery, not CEO pay or advertising, etc., is another.

      The PPACA also collects data on care delivery, which will provide empirical evidence of where the excess costs are in the system and provide the basis for changes in the healthcare delivery system that will be needed to stabilize costs over the long term.

      Note how the insurance companies are offering insurance at rates much lower than expected through the exchanges in state after state (with the states where Republican governors and legislatures are refusing to implement exchanges still unknown because of R’s intransigence) where the exchanges have been implemented.

  • Shag_Wevera

    One big challenge is no matter how you try to fix healthcare, insurance companies, the pharmacuetical industry, and healthcare industries will all act in their own self interest, not in any way the interest of the American people. I work at a BIG healthcare provider in the midwest, and we’ve already eliminated 50% of our night time security staff, and some of our hospitals are outsourcing environmental services to contractors whose staffs have a weak grasp of English (wink wink). You can’t expect businesses to act ethically, morally, or patriotically. They must be forced and precisely legislated to behave as we desire. They’ll never do it on their own. Conversely, you can offer them incentives to behave as you wish, but I prefer the punitive approach, as I am a lefty..

  • adks12020

    They law isn’t even fully implemented yet. It seems to me that there is a fear in the House that it may be a little better than what we have (which wouldn’t take much) so they have to get rid of it before it is in full effect to avoid letting President Obama have a success. Even if it just slowed the increases in health care costs that have been rising at an alarming rate since well before the law was passed it would be a win in my view. From what I’ve read it seems to be helping a little in California by making insurance companies lower their rates to lure those without insurance. I’m sure they would rather collect something from those people than nothing. They do, after all, work for profits.
    Maybe, just maybe, rather than holding dozens of purely symbolic votes to repeal ObamaCare the House should use the legislative process to amend or revise the parts of the law they don’t like….or, you know, pass some sort of legislation, any sort of legislation. This has been one of the least productive Congress’ in history and holding votes they know won’t pass the Senate doesn’t help that.

  • Shag_Wevera

    I wonder how history will view John Boehner’s tenure as speaker of the house. It is and has been quite interesting.

  • Shag_Wevera


  • OnPointComments

    Is anyone surprised that the rules for Congress are different from the rules for the rest of us?


    “The President intervenes to give Members and staff a break.”


    “The lesson for Americans is that Democrats who passed ObamaCare didn’t even understand what they were doing to themselves, much less to everyone else. But you can bet Democrats will never extend to ordinary Americans the same fixes that they are now claiming for themselves. The real class divide in President Obama’s America is between the political class and everyone else.”

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Yeah, can we go one weekday without some crap from the WSJ opinion page here?

      • pete18

        Yes, please, more Balloon Juice quotes!

    • Don_B1

      The implications of your post have been shown false here:


      But I don’t expect you to acknowledge that or stop repeating your false post, as that seems to be what conservatives do these days. [Hint: they don't like the truth and have no other way to combat it.]

      • OnPointComments

        The referenced Wall Street Journal article refers to the fix that President Obama instituted LAST WEEK to defray the cost of Obamacare for members of Congress and their staff. The FactCheck.org article you referenced is from May, so of course it isn’t commenting on last week’s Obamacare “fix” for Congress.

        • Don_B1

          And that is what the FactCheck article debunks as FALSE.

          It would seem that you did not read the linked article.

          The Federal Government effectively is using the exchanges as its new list of insurance offerings, replacing the list of providers in use previously.

          This saves the government the duplication of maintaining two separate lists of providers.

          But because the government was an employer of more than 50 employees, it had to make an exception for itself in order to continue the care subsidization that it had previously provided and this was to allow the transition of that function from the previous system to the new PPACA system.

  • nlpnt

    I see now that the White House has finally adopted the term Obamacare, the antis have decided to put it in CamelCase.

  • toc1234

    can you and your guests explore exactly how it is legal for Obama to simply wave his hand change Obamacare as is applies to congress and its staff? i.e. now if you make over so much money, then you do not receive gov’t subsidies UNLESS you work for the gov’t????? in which case they’ll just cut themselves a check each year.

    • OnPointComments

      It’s the same wave of the hand that he used when he decided to delay until 2015 the requirement that employers provide coverage. The rule of law does not imply to the Imperial Presidency of Barack Obama.

    • Kathy

      Typical Republican distortion. There’s no exemption, it’s just a special exception to allow an employer contribution towards premiums. This is required because Congress is too large to be using the exchanges because one of the main points of the bill was to preserve the employer provided insurance concept.

      • toc1234

        Maybe your talking about a different ‘special exception’ (not exemption, mind you) as this is a fix to give subsidies to congress and staff who would not qualify for those subsidies under Obamacare b/c they make too much. And I love your ‘employer contribution’ bit – the employer here is the Gov’t (i.e. pay themselves).

      • OnPointComments

        “No exemption…just a special exception.” The distinction between “exemption” and “special exception” is lost on me. My insurance premium has increased by 50% since Obamacare was passed. Does my company get to use this “special exception?” Who else besides the Congress gets to use this “special exception?”

      • Don_B1

        Exactly! But the radical trolls here will not take an explanation that does not support their ideological viewpoint.

        The exception is to allow the government, as an employer of more than 50 employees, to use the public exchanges, which it is setting up, in place of a duplicate setup just for government employees, so that the extra costs of that duplication can be avoided.

        One would think that conservatives would applaud saving the government money, but this is just another case where Republicans vote to waste money for ideological purposes.

  • toc1234

    Dems are praying that young healthy people won’t figure out that due to the pre-existing condition clause there is no reason to buy health insurance until they need it.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      And there’s no reason to buy car insurance until the airbag deploys.

      • HonestDebate1

        Or if you choose not to drive.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Hey, bad try.

      • toc1234

        and if the gov’t mandated that you could buy car insurance after the air bag deployed, then I would figure a lot of people would wait…
        good point.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Wow. Another righty I gotta explain ordinary analogies to.

  • Don_B1

    And at a cost of some $1.7 million per House vote in a quixotic quest, they really are showing what they are made of.

  • julian mccormick

    its estimated that republicans have spent 60 million dollars on trying to repeal obamacare money that could have been better used on other things

    • thequietkid10

      As sad as that is, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the federal budget at large.

    • geraldfnord

      I’m a supporter of the law (faute de single-payer, or a French- or Swiss-like scheme) but I have to say that that argument is meaningless given the scale of health-care spending…for exactly the same reason that arguing that Al Gore were a fraud because he goes around in a jet working against greenhouse gas pollution, or Warren Buffett an hypocrite for not paying more taxes than he must.

      (My response to someone on the last point: ‘If he _did_ pay a lot more taxes than he had to do, you’d call him a dumb-ass whose opinions shouldn’t matter.’)

      Explicitly: ..if they were right and they were saving trillions by passing this law autocratically imposed on us by Space Masons, those millions would have been well-spent.

      (I admit, I’d rather see that money going to the poor, but as we hate them [and again are nearly as willing to admit it as in the days of Herbert Spencer's industiralist fanboys] I don’t see that happening.)

    • OnPointComments

      The 60 million dollars is just a calculation, and is not money that wouldn’t have been spent if the attempts to repeal Obamacare hadn’t occurred. The members of Congress and their staff were going to be paid the 60 million dollars with or without the repeal efforts.

  • Ray in VT

    I am surprised that I haven’t seen a “Max Baucus said that Obamacare is a train wreck” quote here yet.

    • HonestDebate1

      Thank you.

      • Ray in VT

        Did I save you the trouble of spreading that bit of ridiculous distortion?

        • HonestDebate1

          No, you just gave an accurate quote, that’s all. Do you have a quote from anyone saying it’s not killing jobs, raising premiums and stifling growth; that it is not train wreck? Now that would be worth posting.

          • Ray in VT

            No, I did not. I gave the “quote” that the right pushes. It’s pretty much right down there with “you didn’t build that” in terms of the accuracy of it and the idiocy of pushing it. It’s like how Fox News “quoted” Jay Carney calling Benghazi a “phony attack”. The mindlessness is just truly amazing to me.

          • HonestDebate1

            The attack was real, Carney called the scandal phony. Who on Fox said Carney called it a “phony attack”?

            What’s wrong with the Baucus quote?


          • Ray in VT

            I see nothing wrong with what he said, just how some people want to twist it to mean something else. I do think that the scandal, at least as hyped by Darrell Issa and Fox News, is phony.


          • HonestDebate1

            Are you serious?

            And Baucus called Obamacare train wreck, as you said. You were right, why backtrack on that? It is what it is.

          • Ray in VT

            If it were not properly implemented and the public accurately made aware, as he said. It would be like if I said that you said that Fox News called Benghazi a phony attack. You used those words in a post. I just choose to reference the ones that I want in order to alter your meaning. For instance, Brian Williams is a rapper:


          • HonestDebate1

            It can’t be properly implemented, it’s unworkable. It’s a train wreck.

            And the phony attack thing is just stupid.

          • Ray in VT

            Especially if you have one party determined to try to make it one.

            I agree the “phony attack” thing is stupid. They should really be careful what they put up on their screens over there, especially if they are saying that someone said something when that person did not.

          • HonestDebate1

            Thats just false. Obama and the Democrats own this lock,stock and barrel. It’s Obama who is delaying implementation. It’s started out unworkable and after we passed it to find out what was in it things just got worse.

            And listen to the segment on The Five, The graphic did not depict what the commentators were saying. Some unknown intern paid for it I’m sure. It’s really lame to take that and say Fox is trying to spread some kind of lie. Why would they say something stupid as hell as a policy? And do you really want me to show you some of the graphics from MSNBC and CNN? You know, the ones Media Matters likes.

          • Ray in VT

            Oh, so it is the Democrats who are trying to derail implementation by attempting to constantly repeal, defund or not allocate the funds needed to effectively promote the programs. Again, who knew. I learn so much on here.

            I try not to listen to “The Five”, although they have a pretty good lowlight reel, just like Fox & Friends. The one where Kilmeade hit the little kid with the basketball is classic Kilmeade. I pretty much wouldn’t care about the “quote”, like the graphic where they declared Elie Weisel the “Holocaust winner:, if it were not merely one of the latest instances of Fox’s scandel-mongering in what I think is clearly an attempt to turn the tragedy that was Benghazi into some sort of Watergatesque scandal. The sad part is how many get duped by it.

          • Shag_Wevera

            This would be a great moment for you to share your brilliant fix of American Healthcare.

          • jefe68

            He does not have one, just like the GOP.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Max Baucus?

      That jerkwad lost his privilege to complain about the cake after all the spitting into the batter he did.

      • Ray in VT

        You should check out what he really said. You will find that it is not what some master debaters claim.

        • Shag_Wevera

          Master debaters? Careful how you say that, my friend!

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Oh, I know what Max Baucus’ problem is.

          First…he wants to be Joe Lieberman: A guy Dems wished would meet a microphone he’d shut up in front of, because he couldn’t help pissing on “his” party in front of it.

          Second…well, there really isn’t much a second, is there?

          • HonestDebate1

            He was instrumental in crafting the debacle.

  • geraldfnord

    It’s not an health-care law: it’s a swap in which insurance companies get something they love (guarantied and government-subsidised customers) in exchange for something they hate and probably believe they can get ’round (increased regulation, massively in some ways, piddling in others). Given that the insurance companies are insanely powerful and wealthy, and that at least half our politicians are beholden to an ideology that’s always willing to believe that the wealthy and powerful completely deserve their status as the Elect and must be deferred-to, I’m not sanguine about the State’s ability to make those {insurance company}-hated parts stick.

    The Heritage Foundation should be _proud_.

  • Ed75

    The problem of entitlements in our societies without enough young people to support them is traced to the sexual revolution in:

    ‘Adam and Eve after the pill : paradoxes of the sexual revolution’, by the sociologist Mary Eberstadt, 2012,
    wonderful reading.

    • Shag_Wevera

      Are we entitled to anything, as humans or as Americans?

      • HonestDebate1

        As humans are endowed by our creator with the unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. As Americans it’s codified into law.

        • Shag_Wevera

          Nothing else? Food, shelter, medicine?

          • HonestDebate1

            Nope. If that were so it would mean you are entitled to the fruits of other [peoples labor. You are not.

          • Shag_Wevera

            Not even if it results in starvation and/or pestilence?

          • HonestDebate1

            Exactly, you are not entitled to anyone’s property, period.

          • Kinfolk

            Only “job creators” are entitled to the fruits of other peoples’ labor, eh?

          • HonestDebate1

            No, no one is entitled to the fruits of anyone’s labor.

          • Shag_Wevera

            How do you feel about schools, police, and fire protection. Things that I may use, and you might never? That’s good ole American socialsim you know.

          • Ray in VT

            Don’t forget roads, bridges, parks, and libraries. Commies all!

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s just silly.

          • Ray in VT

            I’ve heard some people argue that.

            On a different topic, I have before me the book Jesus of Nazareth by Gunther Bornkamm, late professor of the New Testament at the University of Heidelburg. His book focuses on the historical Jesus, and not the one of faith. Is he some twerp with a book, and it is a book for Christian haters? Also, I have a Bible that has removed the miracle passages and left Jesus as a moral philosopher. Is the guy who did that also some sort of religion hater?

          • Shag_Wevera

            Ima call you Sugar Ray today, cuz you are bringin it so fast!

          • Ray in VT

            That is awesome. I thought that it might be ’cause I just wanna fly. That’s the same Sugar Ray, right?

          • HonestDebate1

            I am in favor of police, and fire protection but I’m souring on public schools. What’s that got to do with being entitled to those things? We pay for them.

          • Shag_Wevera

            ey are all things that we collectively pay for, but utilize in varying degrees. Why can’t medicine be in the same category?

          • HonestDebate1

            It can be but you are not entitled to it.

      • 2Gary2

        Americans are entitled to junk food and trash media on tv.

    • geraldfnord

      Who am I to criticise a book whose academic rigour were indicated by the use of a source as unassailable in his thoroughness and objectivity as Tom Wolfe? …or an Heritage Foundation intellectual whose “The Vindication of Humanae Vitae” is a master-work of the obvious equivalence of sequence and causation, as well as of the use of the word ‘obvious’ to describe things which are supposedly in question in the piece, thereby (in the true sense of the idiom) begging the question?

      (As an informal student of apologia, I must admit my amazed admiration when she treats what she claims was general approval [it wasn't] of Matthew Connelly’s “Fatal Misconception” after pushing a large bolus of ‘the World approves of contraception overwhelmingly and that’s a Sign that it’s WRONG!!!1!!!!’…but this is of a piece with the tendency to say ‘We are not in conformance with this sinful World,’ when losing but ‘See God His Power working in the World!’ when winning. I guess one shouldn’t begrudge them such a fine covering of all possible bases, except perhaps that of normal reality when one is merely another, average, human, player.)

      • Ed75

        And I was always a fan of Tom Wolfe. And this writer seems like such a nice,
        intelligent person. All I can say is that social science isn’t a hard science,
        so the methods of proof there aren’t the same there. We do have in our society, in any case, a severe
        problem in the area of sexuality, among other things.

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      Ed, the problem with these prepaid insurance programs are not too few young people but rather incorrect methods to fund such programs. More and More and More people are not the answer to economic problems. Overpopulation can only create different and even more intractable problems.

  • HonestDebate1

    Obama embraces the name.

    • Shag_Wevera

      He doesn’t really have a choice, at this point.

      • HonestDebate1

        He embraced it way back at the debates. He owns it.

  • Shag_Wevera

    So true and right. I think it will work the same as asking dittoheads to call it the democratic party…

  • OnPointComments

    “Does the Obama Administration Have the Authority to Delay Obamacare’s Employer Mandate?”



    “…the Obama administration unexpectedly announced that it would delay the implementation of Obamacare’s employer mandate…there’s real question about whether the move is legal.

    “…former Tenth Circuit Appeals Court judge Michael McConnell writes that the health law has no provision allowing the administration to suspend the employer mandate.

    “The Cato Institute’s Michael Cannon: Although the law gives the Health and Human Services Secretary the authority to determine when to collect the penalties that result from the employer mandate, it does not provide the authority to waive the penalty entirely.

    “The clearest reading is in fact that the administration does not have the authority to delay the employer mandate. And despite [White House Press Secretary] Carney’s insistence that the move is obviously legal, the administration does not seem prepared to defend the decision at length from critics.”

    • Shag_Wevera

      So what? Why do you care? I’d think you’d want implementation delayed forever if you could.

      • OnPointComments

        I care because no one is exempt from the law. Not you, not me, and not President Obama. His unilateral decisions on which laws he’ll obey and which ones he won’t smacks of unbridled arrogance.

        • Shag_Wevera

          If he were acting illegally, I think it would be well highlighted.

          • HonestDebate1

            By who? NPR? HuffPo?

          • Shag_Wevera

            Fox, Limbaugh, Hannity, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, every metroploitan areas righty radio jock….

          • HonestDebate1

            They did highlight it but they don’t count because you didn’t hear it…. as you wrote.

          • Ray in VT

            You forgot World Nut Daily, Infowars, the guy with the tri-corner hat down on the corner, etc.

          • nj_v2

            Haha! “By who”

            Wasn’t it just the other day when DisHonestMisdebatorGreggg was commenting on someone’s ability to “speak clearly” ( “For instance, why would anyone have a problem with expecting Rachel Jeantel to speak articulately, finish high school or read cursive by age 19?”)

  • Shag_Wevera

    Referring to the President by his last name only, calling the Affordable Healthcare Act “Obamacare”, insisting on calling the democratic party the “democrat” party… This nonsense effectively lowers the level of discourse to that of a middle school playground.

  • nj_v2

    As long as private insurance companies are sucking profit off of “health care,” they will game the system to maximize their profit and suck resources away from actual health care. Health care should be a benefit of citizenship, not a profit center for private industry.

    Obummer, being the ultimate corporatist, after making warm, populist noises about a “public option,” eventually gave the industry exactly what they wanted—a huge new influx of customers who will be forced to buy whatever high-priced, crappy product they proffer, thus providing them with windfall profits for the foreseeable future.

    Until we have a universal-coverage/single-payer system, we’re just pissing in the wind. Unfortunately, the Obamacare monstrosity will provide the private insurance industry with near unlimited resources to fight any move toward a single-payer system at least in our lifetime, barring massive public mobilization.

    • Shag_Wevera

      True that, sadly.

    • geraldfnord

      In his defence, this is what he ran on, and never stated that a single-payer option were a deal-breaker…and I never gave it much hope of inclusion. I’d rather not defend him, not just because I wish he didn’t do or omit the such that he needed defence, but I’ve read and heard too many who seem to have voted for The Liberal Obama Who Lives in My Head and are disappointed when Real Obama doesn’t measure up…though they’re still much preferable to those any-are-too-many who voted against Monster African Savage Socialist Hitler Obama Who Lives in My Head and will _never_ notice what RealObama were like, which is a pity because many of them might like him, negritude aside (and we can be a forgiving people!).

      I was right in thinking that the first African-American President would be a moderate Republican with a ‘let’s not rock the boat too much’ attitude…I just thought it would be Colin Powell.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Colin “Didn’t You Used to be Colin Powell” Powell?

        Yeah, what a future he used to have. I just hope it serves as a template for what not to do for upcoming would-bes.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    There are two open secrets in Washington DC.

    One is that a GOP Sen’s sexual orientation isn’t everything it, em, could be.

    Two is that John Boehner is bad at his job.

  • Adrian_from_RI

    Central planning of health care has been a glorious success wherever it has been implemented. For instance: National socialist Germany, International socialist Russia, Mao’s China, Catro’s prison island Cuba, and Europe. It is about time that we join the civilized world of centrally planned health care and we all should thank our Master in The White House for forcing Obamacare down our collective throats.

    Unlike the rest of the world, I thought that in America we should have separation of state and health care. Silly me.

    • Shag_Wevera

      Sweden, Germany, Canada, Norway, France… You don’t seem very bright. Try Rush.

      • Ray in VT

        Shhhh. Ayn Rand and her acolytes don’t want to hear none of that. There’s a free market to evangelize for, no matter how poorly it works for people like the old, the sick or the poor.

      • fun bobby

        how are things going in france?

    • 2Gary2

      typical low information conservative.

    • Kinfolk

      Obama was elected by a majority. That means he is not forcing Obamacare down “our” collective throats.

      • pete18

        Except for the fact that the majority of voters don’t want or like Obamacare: http://www.scribd.com/doc/156907327/TMC-Tracking-Poll-July-2013-Topline-Results-Final

        They didn’t when the bill was passed either.

        • HonestDebate1

          And add to that, what was delivered is nothing like what was promised.

        • Kinfolk

          *Yawn* & yet, like I said, they re-elected Obama. These numbers can be sliced & diced a million ways, my friend. I didn’t really see the data that supports your assertion. I hear many people say that they are unhappy with Obamacare because it’s NOT the public option. It’s a shame the survey didn’t ask that. I wonder if any of those people are included in the “don’t want or like Obamacare” group.

          I did see that “by a nearly 2-to-1 margin, voters say they will be less likely to vote
          for a Member of Congress who attempts to tie defunding Obamacare to key
          government funding votes”.

          I also saw that “if the elections for US Congress were being held today”, a majority would you vote for the Democratic party’s candidate”.

          Of course, there’s more in there along these lines but that does not support your statement.

          Can’t blame you for wishful thinking…

          • pete18

            I know it’s hard to stay awake when you read facts that you don’t like. I’d recommend a “Venti Red Eye” so you can follow along.

            Nothing you said changes the reality of my main point that Obamacare is being forced down people’s throats. Its unpopularity has been consistent in all the polling done since the bill was debated and passed, only people like it less now because they see what’s in it and how it won’t deliver on almost all it’s promises. Yes, some people dislike the bill because it’s not a single payer plan, and the republicans couldn’t turn the opposition of health care into an oval office victory (although they did win the house because of it in 2010) but none of that changes the fact that the majority of the public doesn’t like Obamacare. In fact, slightly more voters want to delay and refund or repeal the law as do want to expand it or let it take effect. Another third want Congress to try and improve it.

            My point is that it is very foolish and bad government to pass a law that the majority of the people don’t want. That this, nor the reality that the bill will not live up to any of the promises it was sold on doesn’t bother you is sad.

  • 2Gary2

    should have just passed single payer regardless of the opposition. Obama is nothing but a moderate republican.

  • TyroneJ

    The future of Obamacare can be seen in Massachusetts, and unfortunately, it isn’t good. Obamacare was modeled on the Massachusetts system and contains the same structural flaw.

    In both systems, the penalty for not getting health insurance is a fine set to be 50% of the cost of the cheapest qualifying premium. So people just pay the fine. Since you can sign up for healthcare online instantly, and previous conditions must be covered, when people paying the fine need surgery or whatever, they sign up & pay the few hundred dollars for the first months premium costs, have the work done (costing the systems many thousands or tens of thousands of dollars), then cancel the insurance once the surgery has been done and go back to paying the fine. If you, as a small business owner, talk to any Massachusetts health care provider, they will tell you that people doing what I described above is a major cost driver in the State, and soon will be Nationwide. I found this out the hard way when a startup I’m associated with had to redo it’s employee health plan, and we got that story from every vendor (Harvard Pilgrim, Tufts, Fallon, etc.) for why under a new contract, premiums would jump up by over 20% from our old premium level.

    The State of Massachusetts claims that 97% of people in Massachusetts have health insurance, but they get that by creative accounting.

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      TyroneJ, not to worry. If the US continues down the path we are on there will not be a State left, just a war zone.

  • truegangsteroflove

    The show was good in explaining the nuts and bolts of the health care plan and the political context. What was missing was the broader context, what I call the meta-context. The most significant aspect of the meta-context is that certain professions attract psychopaths – politics, police, corrections, even such high-intensity medical specialties as neuro and cardiac surgery. In the case of politicians, it is independent of party, but it is safe to say that the callous and cruel element is more common among “Republicans.” (This video explains much: youtube.com/watch?v=1NuZ0N3jjD4) The scorched earth approach of “Republicans” in Congress is easily explained from the perspective that they are all psychopaths.

    Another factor is basic trust. “Democrats” and people who voted for them are frustrated that there is so much mistrust in the Obama Administration, and government in general. One reason might be that there is good reason not to trust them. Obama has shown himself more zealous in spying on the American people that any previous president, including Bush. He also is more zealous by far than previous presidents in punishing people who expose government corruption (whistleblowers).

    “Democrats” have great cognitive dissonance about their high esteem for Obama and his domestic spying, drone attacks, his capitulation to “Republicans” as a reflex response, and his seeming weakness in implementing his economic policies.

    What “Democrats” don’t want to mention is that Obama is beholden to Wall Street bankers, who pumped vast sums into his campaigns for president. The reason “Democrats” don’t want to mention this is that they also are beholden to Wall Street bankers. Both are also beholden to large corporations.

    In other words, the system is corrupt. Why should people trust that part of the system is fair and honest when the system as a whole is tainted by dominance of wealthy campaign contributors? In a sea of corruption, one gulfstream of purity is highly unlikely.

    We will not see and end to this strife, or even an amelioration, if we fail to recognize the psychopathic nature of politics and its resulting corruption. Opportunists of every stripe are ready at all times to distort and subvert any policy or program if it suits their needs for power and privilege. This is the meta-context in which our public life exists. If we begin to recognize it we will be better informed in how to deal with it.

    • hennorama

      “truegangsteroflove” – One question:

      Is your occupation one that attracts psychopaths?

      • truegangsteroflove

        Woo. A shot across my proverbial bow. Cheap shot at that. I’m retired, but was attracted to a lot of occupations during my many years of employment, including an M.S. in Educational Psychology. I was attracted to Economics, but left it in disgust. Looking for something honest to do, I spent many years in the building trades, mostly as a plumber, but also wired houses, painted, hung drywall, did masonry, framed buildings, and did landscape work.

        There are psychopaths working in construction, just like any field, but they ended up there due to life circumstances rather than for psychopathic reasons. Percentage-wise, there are likely fewer psychopaths in the construction trades than in politics. They would tend to graduate out, like former exterminator Tom DeLay, by running for office or getting jobs in prisons or police forces.

        Any more questions? What occupation attracted you, should there have been one?

        • hennorama

          Truegangsteroflove – TY for your response.

          To be as polite as possible, what you posit is simply an hypothesis. In addition, even if it were proven, there is a bit of a chicken vs. the egg conundrum – do “certain professions attract psychopaths” or are psychopaths simply better suited for certain occupations or professions, and they wind up in them due to their particular individual psychopathy and/or abilities?

          As to your question – as revealing that answer in a public forum is inadvisable, I respectfully decline.

          TY again for your response.

          • truegangsteroflove

            Without getting too deep into hypothesis testing, normally when researchers report a conclusion it is based on statistical analysis. I haven’t done the studies myself, relying on reports from others. When they say that politicians and police have a high incidence of psychopathy, it fits with my own anecdotal experience. I suppose I could do my own study. I’ll look into it.

            The chicken and egg musing is in the realm of mental masturbation. I suggest you click on the links provided, which go well beyond what I said in my comment. That is why I put them in – for people to find out for themselves.

            As for declining to answer about what profession(s) attracted you, if for some reason you can’t say for yourself, it’s pretty arrogant and cowardly to expect it of other people. I have found time and again that arrogant people have nothing to be arrogant about.

          • hennorama

            truegangsteroflove – TY for your response.

            Please note I never asked you what your profession was. I asked only “Is your occupation one that attracts psychopaths?” I had no expectation that you would describe your occupation(s), other than if you chose to answer the admittedly rhetorical question.

            Presumably you have free will and made the free choice to discuss your personal experiences. I also made the free choice to not do so. Arrogance or lack thereof have nothing to do with it. I merely value my privacy, such as it is.

            Certainly you are free to believe that a discussion relative to causation vs. correlation “is in the realm of mental masturbation.” You of course are also free to assume (wrongly) that I did not view the information contained in the links in your original post.

            One might fairly conclude that your words exhibit some significant arrogance, wouldn’t you agree?

            Thank you again for your response.

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      “ …certain professions attract psychopaths “

      How could you prove this ? Would you be more specific, please? If somehow true, what does it say about Democracy and the ability of “non-psychopaths” to pick their leaders ? We can only hope for major advancements in “brain science”, that would allow all of us to correct our failings.

      • truegangsteroflove

        You seem a tad angry. Might you have clicked on the YouTube link? I suspect not. Here’s one from Forbes: forbes.com/fdc/welcome_mjx.shtml Still another from Psychology Today: psychologytoday.com/collections/201212/what-makes-psychopath

        This likely won’t be enough. If you are demanding “proof” in the comment section to the website for a radio show you are displaying a lack of seriousness that no amount of “proof” will dispel. I suggest you do some WORK. Ask around, talk to a psychologist or professor of psychology at a nearby university. Missouri has some great ones: Washington U, U of Missouri, U of St. Louis (or is it St. Louis U?), my favorite – SEMO, others.

  • 2Gary2

    Here in WI we (I work for a large employer) received notice from UHC that they spent less than the 85% on healthcare and will be rebating the difference. This is due to Obamacare. The insurance companies need to be put out of business.

    • Kinfolk


  • HonestDebate1

    If I like my plan, can I keep my plan? If I like my doctor can I keep my doctor? Can I count on my premiums going down by $2500? As our President said Obamacare “absolutely not a tax increase”, that’s true right? The unions are happy to play along right? The astronomical rise in part-time jobs is unrelated to Obamacare right?

    • Shag_Wevera

      And your alternative to the old paradigm and “Obamacare”?

      • HonestDebate1

        There are plenty, I liked HSA’s. I like buying across state lines. I like tort reform. All of it is moot. Even the old status quo was better than this charade.

        I also oppose cancer but I don’t know how to cure it. Does that mean I have to support it?

        • Shag_Wevera

          HSA=pay for your own. Tort reform and the state line thing are nibbling at the edges. C’MON MAN!

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Actually Indiana instituted a HSA program for state workers backed with catastrophic insurance and were able to reduce real costs by 30%. It is the most popular option.

            If we are able to tie such a program with both quality and cost transparency the entire system should run much better because you’ll have powerful market forces driving costs down.

          • HonestDebate1

            “Pay for your own”, egad!

          • Kinfolk

            I didn’t care much for HSAs. It just didn’t work well for a father and three children. Single & no kids may be a different story. How would one pay for his own with a part-time minimum wage job? Is this even a realistic expectation? How was the double digit increases of the past better than Obamacare? Tort reform? Really? How exactly is that even substantive?

          • HonestDebate1

            Tort reform would be huge.

          • jimino

            Medical malpractice amounts to about .3% (that’s less than one-third of one percent). And of course that doesn’t even consider the fact that a very tiny number of incidents of malpractice are ever acted upon in an attempt to get compensation.

            You really have no idea what you’re talking about. Prove me wrong by explaining exactly what you mean by “buying across state lines” and how it would affect insurance rates.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            If you like unilateral disarmament, you’ll love tort reform.

          • Kinfolk

            So you say… How exactly is that even substantive?

          • HonestDebate1

            Because so many procedures are done unnecessarily for fear of being sued. Because of the high price of malpractice insurance.

          • Kinfolk

            So many procedures? What kind of procedures & numbers are we talking about here? Hard evidence? I went to college with a fair number of doctors and dentists. None a admit to doing a procedure “for fear of being sued”, no matter how insistent the patient. I must return to the initial question. Please explain how tort reform is an improvement over the old paradigm and “Obamacare”.

            If malpractice insurance is expensive, isn’t that “the market” working? The insurance company is just charging what the market can handle. If a doctor makes a bonehead mistake, he should be sued. What exactly does that have to do with the decay of the American healthcare system that Obamacare attempts to address?

            Are you assuming that tort reform will make malpractice insurance cheaper, create cheaper health insurance for all and improve healthcare outcomes? If it really is that simple, I’ll be the first to support tort reform. I am eager to review any evidence that supports your assertions…

          • HonestDebate1

            We have a large clientele of doctors and other medical professions and have for years. This includes heart surgeons, a brain surgeon, GP’s, RN’s, PA’s, Pediatricians and physical therapist. They all say the same thing but that is admittedly anecdotal.

            Regarding Obamacare, there was no tort reform at all. I’m sure you’re familiar with Howard Dean’s quote as to why. I’m not saying it’s nirvana by itself but it’s a huge factor.

            There have been numerous studies on this. Some say the savings would be minor and others say they would be massive. $54 billion is ringing in my head from the national debates on health care in 2008-9 but I could be wrong. The thing is, there is no way to measure how many times doctors preform procedures purely to cover themselves. I also remember other estimates saying the $54B number was about 10x’s too small.

            Tort reform was never part of the discussion.

            Yes, the market is working but it’s against artificial influences that don’t involve health. So yea, I’m assuming tort reform would make malpractice insurance cheaper. It has too. And that would make health care cheaper, absolutely.

    • HonestDebate1

      “Over the last six months, of the net job creation, 97 percent of that is part-time work,”


      • Kinfolk

        If I like my plan, can I keep my plan?

        Why can’t you keep your plan?
        As I understand things, most people will keep the employer sponsored insurance they currently have.

        If I like my doctor can I keep my doctor?
        If you like your doctor, then stay with him. Why would you need to leave him?

        Can I count on my premiums going down by $2500?

        Maybe, maybe not. The rise in premiums should at least slow from the double digit increases we have seen while you receive the “goodies”! Here are a few:
        1) Better preventative and wellness services and raising the standards of the quality of basic health care coverage. In fact, annual checkups and preventive care is free.
        2) No annual limits on healthcare. This will help both my mother and Grand mother.
        3) Insurance companies can’t drop you when your sick.
        4) You can’t be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions.
        5) As the father of two daughters, I like the large improvement to women’s health services.
        6) Annual dollar limits are on their way out.

        As our President said Obamacare “absolutely not a tax increase”, that’s true right?
        Does this rhetorical question really matter? You may not agree but so what?

        The unions are happy to play along right?
        …& why would you care what the Unions say?

        The astronomical rise in part-time jobs is unrelated to Obamacare right?
        This is the quote of the day:
        “Hall speculated that the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, shorthanded as Obamacare, might be resulting in employers shifting workers to part-time status to avoid coming healthcare obligations”.

        I expected more than “speculation” from a name like “HonestDebate1″. I haven’t seen any hard proof that the astronomical rise (seriously?) in part-time jobs is related to Obamacare. Talking points? Yes. When did this “astronomical rise in part-time jobs” start? Retail companies, temp agencies, Leisure and hospitality companies have relied heavily on part time workers for decades. Obamacare didn’t have anything to do with this in the past. You have offered no proof that is does now.

        • HonestDebate1

          You are assuming a lot but the biggest assumption is that anything is free. The cost has already tripled and it’s not even implemented yet.

          Even HHS has changed their rhetoric and now say you “may” be able to keep your doctor. The cheapest qualifying plan will be unaffordable by most.

          I gave one link explaining the numbers but there has never been this much of the workforce working part-time. This is new.

  • HonestDebate1

    Can we all agree there are no safeguards against keeping illegals out of the system so therefore Joe Wilson was correct?

    • hennorama

      No. More fact-free nonsense.

      • HonestDebate1
        • hennorama

          Bonehead Test – TY for providing evidence disproving your nonsensical argument.

          You wrote “Can we all agree there are no safeguards against keeping illegals out of the system so therefore Joe Wilson was correct?”

          Your first link said that “The Senate voted down an amendment that would have prevented illegal aliens from receiving taxpayer-funded health care if they are granted legal status in an immigration reform package”

          In other words, if those who are currently illegally present in the US get their status to legal, they will be allowed into Obamacare, with all its benefits
          and obligations.

          Note that means they would have LEGAL status before being allowed coverage.

          Your second link says “Of most interest here, illegal aliens remain exempt from this insurance mandate.”

          “Regulations proposed earlier this year eased the ability of illegal aliens to beat the system, despite being barred from eligibility for Medicaid and the taxpayer premium subsidy.”

          Therefore, illegal immigrants are NOT COVERED.

          Thanks again for disproving your own statement. Well done, sir.

          • HonestDebate1

            There is not a single safeguard to prevent illegals from being covered. None. Legal status is not checked. Please demonstrate that it is.

            The links (I gave only two) highlight the efforts to keep it that way.

            Obama lied, Joe Wilson was right. And that’s not even taking into consideration the context of the rhetoric at the time that repeated over and over the number of those uninsured. That number included illegals.

          • LoganEcholls

            The main reason why Europe has universal healthcare and the united states does not is not socialism. It’s racism. The major sticking point I hear from republicans “off the record” is that they don’t want “illegals” to get benefits. What they mean is, they don’t want their tax dollars to go to non-whites.

          • HonestDebate1

            That makes no sense. First, Obamacare does cover illegals and secondly, illegal aliens from many parts of the world are white.

            It’s a citizenship thing not a race issue.

          • hennorama

            Bonehead Test1 –

            No. “Obamacare” does NOT cover illegal immigrants.

            Secondly, your ignorance is showing. Again. (I realize “Again” is superfluous at this point).

            It’s NOT “a citizenship thing.” Many non-citizens are eligible, and not all citizens are required to have coverage.


          • HonestDebate1

            What stops an illegal alien, let’s say one that Obama unilaterally decreed could not be deported, from getting health care? Who checks green cards? They’re covered.

          • hennorama

            Bonehead Test – “getting health care” is different from being covered under the provisions of Obamacare, the state exchanges, premium subsidies, etc.

            Get real.

          • LoganEcholls

            Racism by white people against white people… If you think that is somehow impossible apparently you have never heard of a place called “Europe.” In any case, using xenophic code words that dehumanize like “illegals” is pretty much the same thing as using the N word if youre around people from latin america. Yet somehow I dont think that is case is Norway or Russia. Nice try with the “egalitarian” hate mongering though…

          • HonestDebate1

            I’ll freely admit I do not understand the concept of racism against people of the same race. So are you saying the Republicans you wrote about were not talking about Mexicans? My bad.

            “Illegal Alien” is the proper term, that’s all.

          • brettearle


            What is your opinion of the consequences of not providing illegal immigrants (before gaining legal status) Health Care?

            My question is not a leading one; I actually don’t know where you stand on the subject.

            But my concern is that if we deny illegal residents Health Care, then ultimately not only will it put some of these people in peril, immediately, or shortly, thereafter; but ultimately–down the road and right away, on-site–without treatment, the costs would go up exponentially….as these individuals become, without treatment, either chronically or acutely ill: more ambulances; more medic assistance; more ER visits; no follow-ups; no prescriptions or maybe no refills, after receiving emergency medication at Er; no follow-up tests; etc.

          • hennorama

            brettearle – TY for your response and your query.

            “the consequences of not providing illegal immigrants Health Care” are the same as they have always been – increased likelihood of the spread of communicable diseases, and workers less healthy and less able to add their contributions to the economy, to name just two.

            The uninsured and those not covered under Medicaid, or ineligible due to their immigration status, will continue to do as they have done before – pay for their healthcare when they can afford to do so, visit low cost/free community health clinics, or wait until their health status reaches an emergency, and then go to hospital emergency rooms for care.

            Obviously, emergency room care is quite expensive, as you indicated.

            Of course, no one is proposing to not PROVIDE health care, only to not PAY for health insurance premiums. I’m also not aware of any move afoot to repeal Emergency Medicaid, which provides for reimbursement for a limited scope of emergent health conditions.


          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Nice to have someone in this space read “The Daily Tucker” with a discerning mind.

          • hennorama

            TF – TY for your very kind words.

          • HonestDebate1

            Obamacare covers illegals. Obama’s stance on immigration reform relates and is relevant despite you and Hennon missing the point of the link.

          • hennorama

            Bonehead Test – quoting VP Joe Biden here:

            “That’s a bunch of malarkey.”

            Get real Deano.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Why is Obama stuck on stupid? Because someone told him that Obamacare was his landmark political achievement?

    Obamacare is the albatross which will sink his political legacy unless massive changes are made ASAP.

    btw – the ‘goodies’ in Obamacare that are supposedly popular like coverage for 26 years olds on their parents policy are in the first 20 pages of the law. Repeal the other 2200 pages and we’ll remove most of the disaster.

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      I cannot understand what all the fuss is about covering a 26 year old. I had my first ,not much of a job, at age 11. Started working at age 15 and have been working ever since. Bought my first house using a conventional loan, paid for my own education and cars and stuff and… . So you’re 26 now. Get a job, deadbeat !

      • brettearle

        Well, I mean….

        If you did it a certain way–a method that you seem to be so proud of–that must mean that every other single US citizen should model themselves, after you…..because you know what’s best…..

        I must remember that. Please remind me.

        • HonestDebate1

          It’s not a matter of thinking what’s best, it’s a matter of expecting others to keep you up.

          • brettearle

            That sentiment is a primitive, knee-jerk, Right Wing bias.

            The Zero-Sum game can be a malicious political exercise.

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s simple logic.

          • brettearle

            The logic of Life is not simple.

            And Life is, most often, not Logical nor subject to Logic.

            People who need to simplify complex problems reduce those problems to Logic–so that they can neatly ignore the suffering and the casualties of Life.

          • HonestDebate1

            I am not talking about any of that. I am saying no one is entitled to someone else’s property. That is not the way to ease suffering. It is not compassionate.

          • brettearle

            No one is `stealing’ your property.

            That is a tragically cynical way of looking at it.

          • HonestDebate1

            I didn’t use the word, why the quotes? No one is entitled to anyone else’s property.

          • brettearle

            Single quotes imply an informality or a colloquialism.

            It wasn’t double quotes. I wasn’t quoting you.

            In effect, you were suggesting a kind of specific Theft.

          • HonestDebate1

            No, I am talking about being entitled. the recipient need not steal, the government does that part.

          • brettearle

            You are choosing to look at it that way.

            You believe that is the only way to look at it.

            I don’t.

            Our country, as part of its intrinsic and inheritable feature, is to present itself and to cast its lot, partially, as an Egalitarian society.

            What I see as egalitarian, you see as entitlement.

            Many see it the way I do.

            Many, unfortunately, see it the way you do.

          • HonestDebate1

            Egalitarian societies suck. They are discompassionate and cruel. That’s my honest opinion as a very compassionate, caring person.

          • brettearle

            I don’t know, nor understand, what you are talking about.

        • Wm_James_from_Missouri

          Brettearle, no need to attack me, I have done nothing to you. I along with millions of others have worked hard to get what little we have. This is the way it works. To get something done you have to do it. I don’t petition to go roaming through your house to acquire things I need for my house ! These 26 year olds have parents just as I did. My parents didn’t give me a free lunch. I haven’t given my children a free lunch. Why should I give someone else’s children a free lunch? Why should I pay for the results of their parent’s sexual pleasure ? Now, that said, sure, I would love to and hope to leave something to my children. This will be ever more difficult to do if I have to pay for the children of others !

          • brettearle

            Your attitude ignores:

            Unexpected liabilities



            Personal problems and personal issues of all kinds

            Different skills

            Different approaches and attitudes towards Life

            Societal biases

            Societal prejudices

            Your attitude seems to be that every single individual faces the same challenges equally…..

            As if thousands of aspects of society have thousands of problems in institutions of:

            Higher Learning
            Big Business
            Small Business
            Law enforcement
            Entertainment Industry
            Family home environment
            Social bonding

            That’s right WM….I attack YOUR opinions and perceptions.

            Not you.

            That having been said, you come from the narrow-GOP-Rugged Individualism–Empirical–No deviation–Formulaic





            A young man walks into an ice cream parlor to be a counter assistant and gets rejected by the assistant manager because she doesn’t like his tie nor the sound of his voice.

            WAKE UP

          • Wm_James_from_Missouri

            So I haven’t had accidents, or misfortune, unexpected liabilities, etc… ? EVERYBODY has these things !

            Young man walks into an ice cream parlor…. IT’s called SELL YOURSELF or move on, or start your own !

            Societal bias, … Hey, Tina Turner took her MILLIONS to Switzerland !

            I have been a DEMOCRAT for most of my life ( no longer thanks to the NSA spying vote and some other reasons).

          • brettearle

            You, sir, are suggesting that….



            YOU SIR, are the ultimate SECRET NARCISSIST who absolutely thinks and believes that everything, that occurs in your life, follows the same general pattern for everyone else’s lives.


            Let me be the first NOT to shake your hand.

            It is THAT very thinking, of yours, that is potentially dangerous and spiritually lethal.

            To you, it is thinking that is egalitarian– when really it is, in a subtly, deplorably misguided, way,


          • Wm_James_from_Missouri

            What happened to :
            “That’s right WM….I attack YOUR opinions and perceptions.

            Not you.”

          • brettearle

            Can’t you come up with a better retort rather than your real subtext:

            “Aw, jeez, I think I’ll show up how he really DID get personal, when he said he wouldn’t….cuz’ I just can’t effectively refute his real point. Aw, shuuucckks.”

          • Wm_James_from_Missouri

            I listen to NPR because it gives a broad spectrum of ideas and has many interesting callers from all backgrounds. I post because I wish to participate in some kind of meaningful dialog. I always TRY to be considerate, although I am sure I fail from time to time. Despite what you think, I consider myself to be fairly progressive and fairly liberal. However, there is something to be said for staying the course from time to time, which is basically what conservatives are about. Your “ Aw, shuuucckks “ remark reeks of the very thing you have accused me of, “Elite-ism”. Are you using this phrase because I am from Missouri ? (Sorry, but I don’t get it.) I have noticed, increasingly so, that the liberal posters on this thread are more about bashing conservatives instead of selling their ideas or fixing problems. If I am correct, such tactics do not serve the advancement of progressive ideas.

          • jefe68

            Like I said, why bother with such regressive people. They want the US to be like a third wold nation or worse.

          • brettearle

            I become concerned that such ignorance will widen–unless it’s refuted.

            His was coming from a place of (ugly) sincerity.

            When they mock or become sarcastic is when you can avoid the goading you–unless, of course, we decide to be sarcastic back….which both you and I are eminently capable of…..

          • jefe68

            It’s good that your an optimist.

            If the evidence of this forum is anything to go by I don’t think it’s working.
            I’m really sick of the regressive right and I’m not interested in debating with people who think society is about being selfish rubes. That’s not how a civil society can run.

          • brettearle


            The problem, for me, is that our civil society is becoming uncivil for some reasons, for which, EVEN the Right Wing Nuts are not responsible.

            That’s what’s especially frightening.

            Granted the Right can help to destroy society on its own…..

            But I think the `culprits’ are bigger than simply the Right.

            I also think the Left and the Moderates might not be able to fix things–even if the Right wasn’t around.

            The mercurial state of the Global Economy and the ever troubling Global Unrest are both especially worrisome–with or without the

            The Right’s complaint, to some degree, is a reaction to our society slowly crumbling.

            One guy’s opinion….

          • HonestDebate1

            Dang! How did you figure us out? That’s exactly what we want. Your logic is impeccable.

          • jefe68

            Well that’s what’s happening sparky. Wake up. Open your eyes.
            Our infant mortality rates are worse than countries like Hungary, Cuba and Slovenia. Our life expectancy rates are not much better; in global rankings, we sit within spitting distance of Cuba, Chile and Libya.

            You think your funny. But you just come across as a huge wanker.

          • HonestDebate1

            Ah, the ol’ infant mortality canard. Alrighty then.

          • Ray in VT

            I see canard defined by Merriam-Wester as

            a : a false or unfounded report or story; especially : a fabricated report
            b : a groundless rumor or belief. It is also defined as a type of airplane, but I’m pretty sure that you are not referring to that definition. 2013 infant mortality rates are ranked here by, among other sources, the CIA Factbook


            The U.S. comes in 51st (50th if you knock out the E.U. as a whole, which may be an average). According to the CIA 2013 numbers all of the countries that Jefe lists have lower infant mortality rates, so how is his argument a canard?

          • HonestDebate1

            It is an airplane because it flies in the face of logic. It’s been a while since I’ve studied it so I can’t give you the details but it comes down to comparing apples and oranges. The definitions of live births vary enormously from country to country. I just don’t have time now to look it up and post but I’m sure that if you do then you will agree the comparisons invalid. There is something about Cuba in particular.

            Beyond that, it’s like life expectancy as a measurement in that it doesn’t reflect on the medical industry directly. In America we are more free to get fat and do stupid things. Or have crack babies. It’s the same as saying people in Ethiopia and Syria are dying because of a bad health care system. No they are starving to death and being gassed.

      • tbphkm33

        Yep, in 1960 you could probably do that… what you are probably failing to mention is the support you received directly from your parents and indirectly by being well connected in the community (i.e., good old boy’s network). Its great that this works for you, somebody hand him a cookie – but please, don’t be so dense not to realize everyone in this world is not given the same privileges and that it is a completely different world out there today.

        • Wm_James_from_Missouri

          Tbjphkm33, my yard kid is probably pulling down $ 1000 to $ 1200 per week, cash ! Is it a different world out there, sure ! But you know, young people have FAR more potential opportunities than you or I ever had. What’s wrong with a website ? Look, I know about hardship, it hurts, it is real, and sometimes life IS very unfair but we can’t keep taking from others to solve all of our problems! Maybe we could use a show on “ideas” for young people to try to make a buck or two.

          • LoganEcholls

            1 of every 5 dollars in America is spent on overpriced healthcare. “taking” from the insurance companies is not welfare, it’s an economic imperative for the survival of our nation.

          • Wm_James_from_Missouri

            You are not taking from health insurance companies, you are being forced to give money to them ! Also, you are not allowed to force them to pay for the type of treatment you would like to receive or the type of treatment that you deserve. I just went through the passing of my mother and father last year. I saw the horrors of our system. My mother literally begged me to take her out of the rehab unit she was in, she said, “take me out of here, you don’t know what goes on around here when your not here.” ( I won’t go in to what she told me.) Well, the next day I walked in to find that my mother had S*** all over herself and had vomited in her bed. Her belly had swollen, abnormally. No one was doing anything. I cleaned her up and forcibly took her back to the emergency room, against what the nurse was trying to tell me. Had she tried to stop me I would have punched her right in the face, YES, REALLY. My mother died within 2 days.

          • Steve__T

            Sorry for your loss.

          • brettearle


            My strong comments, directed at you, came before you reported this tragic story.

            I, too, am sorry for your loss.

            I think that you should know that what you have described almost parallels what happened to me, as caregiver for my parents–but, more recently, for my mother.

            The stories that I could relate to you have been harrowing–and that ESPECIALLY includes Rehabs.

            They are Healthcare’s malicious secret.

            The only advice I can offer others is….don’t get sick or grow old.

            I wish I had the chance to go into more detail, to you.

          • jefe68

            First off I’m sorry for your loss.
            I too went through this with my father although not to the extent you are describing. He died in his sleep on his way to a hospice after a few weeks in the hospital.

            What you are describing is how dysfunctional our system is and we pay through the nose for it.

            Don’t you think we should at least have a decent system that does not make people go bankrupt and at the same time is based on humanitarian principles and not the bottom line?

          • LoganEcholls

            Sorry to hear about your mother. The system you describe is the morally corrupt result of bringing the greed of the profit motive to the death abatement industry. I have had my own horror stories with it and I am sure the nightmare is far from over. The quality of care is somewhat addressed by Obamacare, but even after obamacare takes effect it will still the largest private bureaucracy. As for insurance companies, i already pay them, through paycheck benefit deductions (just like taxes) and as a result I am already subsidizing every person who shows up to the ER without insurance. This my problem with the anti-ACA lobby: If you don’t want to pay for healthcare, then tell me, why should I effectively pay your share of “taxes” to the insurance company through higher premiums?

          • brettearle

            When Society begins to fall apart, slowly–which is what is likely going on in our country–then we look for biased excuses and scapegoats.

            You, sir, have found yours.

    • brettearle

      Well, I mean, you ought to know….

      After all Right Wing think tanks, the GOP National committee, and Republican candidates, everywhere, solicit your opinion and pay you handsomely for your expertise on the matter.

      • jefe68

        Why bother even answering these regressive right wingers?

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Because NPR has a fetish for “inclusivity”. They’ve taken the idea of “listening to all” to the point that they can’t disregard anyone.

          Everybody has to be “appealed” to, no matter how little one side’s wingnut tastemakers hate journalism.

          • jefe68

            That does not mean you or I have keep on driving around the block with these rubes.

  • pete18

    A rose by any other name….

  • hypocracy1

    Sounds like a bunch of socialist magic…

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    What is affordable about increasing health care costs that are made even more unaffordable after for-profit companies tack on their profit margins ?

    • Patty Nolan

      The name of the act as introduced was Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The final bill passed was Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. I agree there are issues with affordability – and I personally think that a single payer national health insurance plan would be the most effective way to improve health outcomes and affordability. That aside, the bill passed did not have Obama’s name in it.

  • MsAbila

    Single payer healthcare system should be the goal! The means of paying for it should be taken out of the military budget.

    Taxpayers must demand something back for their money.

    Forget waging wars and destroying other people’s lives at our expense. Forget privatizing the solutions to human suffering.

    It’s time for the US to become a progressive first world country.

    • tbphkm33

      I agree, single payer which by its nature has the interest of The People in mind, not the interest of healthcare companies bottom line.

  • tbphkm33

    Better than any other single issue, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act shows how deeply the GOP (Nopublican’s) are in the pocket of big money, big corporations and special interests. Clearly illustrating how efficiently the fringe conservative extremes are willing to embrace propaganda, lies and half-truths. All designed to scare and continue the status-quo which see’s profits on the backs of the sick and the dying.

    Would you enroll your child in a daycare run by a large corporation, that employs a cookie cutter approach, seeks to cut corners at every level as a business strategy of raising profits, yet charges exorbitantly high rates compared to every other daycare option? Most of us would say no thanks – yet, this is exactly what the U.S. healthcare industry does. An industry that is engineered to extract maximum profits from the patients that it is supposed to treat. From a social good perspective, one could hardly develop a more idiotic healthcare system.

    Yet, Nopublican’s file like drones behind the mantra of the big money GOP to fight for propping up the failed healthcare industry. It is insanity at its best. Once again, illustrating how the out of touch and decrepit the GOP has gotten. As a party, the Nopublican’s are the dying elephant in the room.

    • pete18

      “Nopublicans,” that’s cute.

      I think most people on the left and right believe
      that the major problems of the current state of our health care system are:

      • A large number of people who cannot afford
      insurance and need to have access to decent coverage.

      • A large number of people with pre-existing
      conditions whom insurance companies either won’t insure, or will only insure at
      an extremely expensive cost.

      • Rapidly rising costs for people’s health care.

      • The possibility of losing one’s health care if
      one loses one’s job.

      • The risk of bankruptcy for people who get
      serious illnesses and don’t have adequate insurance.

      The basic premise of the conservative approach is
      to make the system more competitive, not less, and create portability so people are not dependent on their employer for their health care. That means finding
      ways to get more private insurers into the game and allowing people to have the ability to shop across state lines to find the best deal. It also means making
      it easier and more attractive for more doctors and nurses to enter the field and be well rewarded for their work.

      Some of the specific ideas (many taken form the
      Cato institute and Whole Foods John Mackey’s op-ed on health care) in reaching these goals are:

      • Equalize the tax laws so that employer-provided
      health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits. Now employer health insurance benefits are fully tax deductible, but
      individual health insurance is not. This would make it easier and more affordable for individuals to buy their own health insurance and not be dependent
      on their employer and job for coverage.

      • Repeal all state laws that prevent insurance
      companies from competing across state lines. We should all have the legal right to purchase health insurance from any insurance company in any state and we should be able use that insurance wherever we live. Health insurance should be portable.

      • Create medical savings accounts for people to
      put money in for their yearly deductible medical costs. These would be tax-free and people would be allowed to keep any unspent money, which would mean they
      would be motivated to shop for the best deals for their medical care. The government would pay money directly to people who were unable to afford their
      own medical insurance and they in turn would buy their own plan and benefit from any savings they were able to create by picking a more economical plan.

      • Enact tort reform to end the ruinous lawsuits
      that force doctors into paying insurance costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. These costs are ultimately being passed back to us through
      much higher prices for health care.

      • Make health care costs transparent so that
      consumers will understand what health care treatments cost. How many people know what their last doctor’s visit cost? What other goods or services do we as
      consumers buy without knowing how much they will cost us? We need a system where people can compare and contrast costs and services. You shouldn’t just
      know your co-pay amount you should know the full amount charged by your doctor.

      • Voucher Plan for Medicare: Give Medicare
      enrollees a voucher and let them choose any health plan on the market that fits their needs, not what the government dictates. Vouchers would be means-tested,
      would include Medicare spending and would help protect seniors from rationing, something the Obama- Pelosi plan would not do.

      • Congress should reform Medicaid and the State
      Children’s health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) the way it reformed it in 1996 when it block-granted the programs. This would help reduce the deficit and
      encourage states to target resources to those most in need.

      • For pre-existing conditions, create high-risk
      insurance pools, and have the government subsidize the premiums, with means-tested, direct payments, for people who cannot afford the higher premiums.

      • Rethink medical licensing laws to encourage
      greater competition among providers. Nurse practitioners, physician assistants,
      midwives, and other non-physician practitioners should have far greater ability to treat patients. Doctors and other health professionals should be able to
      take their licenses from state to state. We should also be encouraging innovations in delivery such as medical clinics in retail outlets.

      I think the mistake the left is making here is in
      thinking that the only way to fix these problems is a massive overhaul of the whole system. Conservatives believe that you can make major improvements to
      these problems with smaller, targeted changes rather than firebombing the whole city. In the instances where some of these free market ideas don’t work, you
      will not have constructed a bureaucratic monster, which would be virtually impossible to reset after it took effect.

      • tbphkm33

        I agree there are structural elements that can be undertaken in regards to the market in order to correct a number of issues – and they should no matter what be undertaken. Yet, in the big picture, the necessary reforms go beyond legislating market corrections. At the end of the day, healthcare should be seen more as a human right than as a market completly open to the forces of a capitalist market. It is the reliance on free market forces that has lead to a disfynctional U.S. health care system. A two tierred system, where a minority enjoy superior care and a majority suffer passable care. A free market system that has incentivised individuals to wait to the last minute in seeking help, then depending upon the system and the government to pickup the tab. A system where the U.S. spends more per individual on healthcare than other industrialized countries, yet does not provide service to everyone. Bottom line is that capitalist open free market forces are inherently dangerous when applied to social services such as health care. Should it be completely govenrment run, no, but it is an industry that needs to be run for the social good instead of the good of the bottom line.

        • jefe68

          You see though the right thinks the market is king and can do no wrong.
          Except we have a market based system now. And it’s failed.

          • pete18

            You’re inventing arguments that no one has made. Conservatives don’t think the market can do no wrong, they just think it can do better than government in most areas that have to do with delivering what people want at a lower cost.

        • pete18

          Where I agree with you is that I don’t think we’ll ever have a system that is completely market driven. I don’t think that idea is popular with enough people and there probably is some need for government to pick up the tab for high risk pool premiums for the very poor. However, there is room for more market driven forces than we what we have now, which is not very competitive. If you are worried about people being incentivised to wait until the last minute to get coverage, let me introduce you to Obama Care.

          Running something for the social good is a nice thought but doing so doesn’t change any of the dynamics of costs, efficiency or limited resources. It really is true, there is no thing as a free lunch.

          Even though they don’t have the social good as their main goal, competitive market forces do the best job of delivering the most bang for a buck if government gives them enough space. Although Obama care is rife with good intentions it will not lower costs, it will increase the deficit, it will make it harder to see a doctor, it will cause less people to go into medical practice, it have have political bureaucrats deciding who gets care and who doesn’t (an even less responsive option than insurance companies) and it will continue to be a drag on hiring. The one thing that it does do that is good is allow more people with pre-existing conditions to get coverage but this comes at an extremely high cost. This goal could be done other ways more cheaply and without turning the whole healthcare system on its head.

      • jefe68

        Our market based system has failed.
        Without some regulations why would any insurance company insure anyone with pre-existing conditions?

        So a conservative is into taking states rights away to regulate insurance companies. That’s interesting.

        It’s a mistake for the right to the market will fix the problem when the evidence proves otherwise.

        • pete18

          Except it’s not a real market system at he moment, it’s a hodgepodge of regulations, blind third party billing, restricted competition and a sprinkling of market forces. I agree with you that the system does not work well right now, but Obama care will be worse so it would still be better to repeal it even without a replacement idea in place.

          • jefe68

            Ding, ding, ding!!! You win the prize.
            Your free market fantasy will never happen. Markets are about profit and returns on investment. Health care is a need for the common good of a society. But I don’t expect you to agree with that idea based on your comments.

          • pete18

            I’m not sure what your ringing your bell over but see my comments below about the idea of the “common good” vs markets.

  • jefe68

    Every industrial nation has better and less expensive health care the US. People are delusional that the US has this wonderful health care system. We don’t.

    • HonestDebate1

      You’re damn right we don’t, we have Obamacare.

  • Russ Avshalum

    That is the problem gop don’t give a dam about American people like Romney sad

  • andic_epipedon

    Tom. Why aren’t discussions on NPR more focused on the expansion of Medicaid?

  • davecm

    The last comment by one of the quest speakers was “Shared Responsibility”.
    This is the slogan of the Democratic party as well as the moocher mentality.
    If I am going to be forced to share, then maybe I should be allowed to force personal responsibility on the ones I am paying for.
    In other words, stop smoking, stop drinking, stop taking drugs, stop eating yourself into obesity and get off your butt like I did and exercise!
    Yet! the shared responsibility crowd will say: you have no right to tell me how to live my life, but! when I screw my life and health up, I will coming knocking for you to pay for it!

    • jefe68

      So you don’t believe in the idea of insurance, for anything. By that token you should ask the same of drivers who speed, talk on their cell phones and text while driving.

      • HonestDebate1

        It went right over your head.

        • jefe68

          What he described is how insurance works, it’s called risk assessment.
          That guy was trying to be clever and and was really being and ass, but you tow are peas in a pod.

    • tbphkm33

      I do believe, at least with in the medical community, there is talk about more personal responsbility. Things like increased or tightened regulations for access to certain medical procedures. For example, along the lines of liver transplants not being available to alcholics (which they currently by and large are not). In essance, increased evaluation of future life span. Allowing hart transplants for a 30 year old, but maybe not for a 80 year old. Seeing health care as a social investment not as much as an indivdiual investment. I agree with such personal responsibility. If you are obese and want government or insurance to provide you with a electric cart, it should come with the expectation that you enroll in an intensive medical program to attempt to reduce your weight. If insurance is providing you with insulance for lifestyle induced diabeties, should there not also be an educational component to teach healthier eating?

      • HonestDebate1

        You are describing why death panels must exist for our money to be spent wisely. You seem to be embracing the concept of death panels. Are you not? Please explain. Your vision scares the hell out of me.

        • tbphkm33

          Not at all, but a good attempt on your part to put words in my mouth! What I am talking about is the logical rationing of healthcare that most countries do. You explain to me how a life long alcoholic who has not changed his/her ways should expect a liver transplant, even with super insurance.

          • HonestDebate1

            I was very careful not to put words in your mouth. Having said that, I now will. You support death panels. Rationing health care requires someone (panel) to draw the line somewhere. As technology evolves it gets even murkier.

            Health care includes every aspect of your life. If you are going to talk about alcoholics then you must also talk about cheerleaders (the most dangerous female sport). Or how about twinkies? Should a twinkie lover have less access to health care than a vegan? Or crime, what about incarcerated felons vs. Occupiers? And on and on.

          • jefe68

            Insurance companies ration health care every day. Your level of inanity is, well off the charts.

            Massachusetts receives 0.82 for each tax dollar it pays to the federal government.

            North Carolina receives 1.08 per tax dollar paid to the fed.

            Why should my tax dollars subsides your state.

          • Shark2007

            Currently the insurance companies ration medical care. Frankly I would rather trust a government bureaucrat than an insurance bureaucrat to make a fair choice.

          • HonestDebate1

            Not me, I’d rather have the freedom to choose my coverage.

          • Shark2007

            Wait until something happens and they refuse to cover you. Then we will see how that works for you. But oh, we forgot, the ACA makes refusing coverage illegal.

        • jefe68

          I know of a man who was in his 80′s who was given triple bypass. He died from the results of the operation from infection and his family had to witness him dying a horrific death with his chest open over a period of days. He was told without the operation he would die in a few months.

          At age 80 he was to weak to go under that amount of surgery. Do have any idea how long a bypass operation takes? What it does to the body?

          The man did not want the operation, but was talked into it by the surgeon who had convinced his wife to convince him he needed it.

          What tbphkm33 is on about, which you did not seem get, was that people in their 80′s are more prone to not survive serious surgery than someone in their 30′s.

          Of course each case is different, but the one I described was a nightmare for the family that could have been avoided.

          • HonestDebate1

            So instead of the patient and his family deciding what is best and what they are willing to pay for, let’s have a government death panel decide and hand down the sentence. How would you suggest the situation be avoided?

          • Shark2007

            What do you call it when an insurance company refuses to pay for coverage?

        • Shark2007

          “Death Panels” another fabrication of the right wing lying machine.

          • pete18

            Not according to Howard Dean,

            “One major problem is the so-called Independent Payment Advisory Board. The IPAB is essentially a health-care rationing body. By setting doctor reimbursement rates for Medicare and determining which procedures and drugs will be covered and at what price, the IPAB will be able to stop certain treatments its members do not favor by simply setting rates to levels where no doctor or hospital will perform them.

            There does have to be control of costs in our health-care system. However, rate setting—the essential mechanism of the IPAB—has a 40-year track record of failure. What ends up happening in these schemes (which many states including my home state of Vermont have implemented with virtually no long-term effect on costs) is that patients and physicians get aggravated because bureaucrats in either the private or public sector are making medical decisions without knowing the patients. Most important, once again, these kinds of schemes do not control costs. The medical system simply becomes more bureaucratic.

            The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has indicated that the IPAB, in its current form, won’t save a single dime before 2021.”


          • Shark2007

            The obvious way to cut the bureaucratic problems is to move to a single payer system. The countries with the best health care and lowest cost use that system. Look at Finland as the best example.

    • brettearle

      Why don’t you start friggin’ reading about the tragic stories of men, women, children, and families who are befallen with tragic and unexpected illnesses, where….

      ….their money, their insurance, and their safety nets ran out and they were stricken with bankrupt tragedy for their rest of their lives….


      you Right Wing Jerk…

      • dust truck

        No, it’s their fault for not being born with a trust fund worth more than 7 million.

    • jefe68

      Moocher mentality? What a puerile comment.

    • Roy-in-Boise

      Hate lives …

  • pete18

    Great points.

  • Ed75

    Doesn’t John Boehner look like Humphrey Bogart? Same twitch around the mouth, same kind of dreamy eyes, no?

  • wbsurfver

    There is no affordable insurance for people who don’t want to be medicated or go constantly to the doctor all the time. This is refered to as catastrophic type coverage. If you look at the people who lived to be 110, none of them attribute their longevity to medications and doctor visits. We have a bunch of high paid medical people and expensive drugs and a massive drug industry pushing drugs and vaccinations and yet you want to have affordable insurance for all. People are going to spend most of their money just paying for expensive insurance that many of them don’t need. Countries that have affordable insurance have all kinds of limitations and price controls, you can’t have it both ways

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