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Published: Friday, Sept. 25 2009 12:05 a.m. MDT

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Richard

Thank you, Senator Hatch. I watched CSPAN coverage of the committee today, and was disappointed (to say the least) that Republicans are actually criticized for having targeted ideas that are not 1000 pages long. I would think such an array of ideas would make bi-partisan negotiations easier, and would be applauded.

I have always used health care sparingly, and had only catastrophic coverage until a couple of years ago. The more I see in the current debate, the more I think the government opposes that approach. I could not imagine graduating from college in a time where such expensive insurance is required by the government and actually being able to pay off student loans. I suppose I should be grateful that the country I grew up in allowed me to spend so little for barebones insurance when I first struck out on my own, but instead I am sad that future generations will have such a hard time making ends meet. Future generations of Americans should have a better life than I did.

Wouldn't it be nice?

It would be wonderful if everyone had affordable, quality health care coverage. Unfortunately, the long term financial consequences of a government run system will eventually lead to a much, much larger problem.

Anonymous

Corrupt View.

Middle class Americans do not make $250,000 a year.

We are not Joe the Plumber who is making $250,000 a year.

Truth.

Those making over $250,000 a year did not want to give back to the middle class and the poor in the form of a tax on the rich that Obama recommended!

The Greedy Rich who do not thing of others except their own portfolios.

Dustin

OK Senator Hatch, you continue to bash Obama's health care reform plan, and I'm not saying I am 100% for it, but you have yet to state what your plan for healthcare reform would be. You say it is necessary, but you haven't given us specifics about how to reform it. All I hear from Republicans(and I am a Republican) is how to "tweak" the current system. Healthcare needs a major reform in this country.

So whining Republican congressman, what is your plan for reform. Like I said, I don't agree 100% with Obama's plan, but it has got to be better than what we have now. The World Health Organization has ranked us #39 globally in overall health care by country, right in between Costa Rica and Slovenia. Costa Rica and Slovenia? That is pathetic! And we spend more per capita on healthcare than any other country. I'm not for socialized medicine, but a major overhaul in the healthcare system is needed? So tell me your ideas please!!! I am open ears!

Timj

Orrin, what type of reform would you support? Have you ever supported any type of serious healthcare reform? How much do insurance companies pay you/bribe you/donate to your campaign?

Darin

Sen. Hatch,

With all due respect, I believe you stopped participating in the Senate negotiations because you are part of the establishment, and you have no real interest in changing anything. You talk about a new tax burden on the middle class, but even if this is true, doesn't this "burden" pale in comparison to the much larger problem of the millions of uninsured and the unfathomable runaway costs of health care in America today? You don't think the current system already punishes the middle class? Shame on you for ceasing "to participate" in reform. Get off your cushion and do something about the problems everyone agrees on - runaway costs, to name one.

re: anonymous 1:03 a.m.

You have a more Corrupt View.

Thinking rich = greed.

Thinking taxation will make rich people less greedy.

Thinking that taking other's money because they have more is not greed.

Lew Jeppson

Senator Hatch, The fact that during the eight years your party held the presidency you did nothing to make health care affordable to middle Americans leads me to believe that your party really doesn't care about our predicament.

rw

If you are trying to empty a bathtub, you can pull the plug, you can bail and bail, but the first thing you should probably do is turn off the faucet. Most of our medical expenses are the results of a few common diseases that might be cured with enough focus and energy put on them. If we doubled, tripled, our investment and emphasis on curing these diseases, did whatever it took, the investment would pay off handsomely. Medical costs would go down, suffering would go down, productivity would go up. In my opinion, any health plan should focus first on prevention, second on cure, third on treatment. Pull the plug. Stop the diseases. (Yes, I know, easier said than done, but worth trying.)

To Hatch Bashers

I take it that you all LIKE what is being proposed? Do you really WANT that? I hear no one disputing the facts that Sen. Hatch put forth, so I assume you are in favor of the increased taxes and believe that they will be worth it. In my mind the dems are not going to stop pushing the abomination that they are working on until it has been killed. First item on the agenda is drive a stake through the heart of the dem proposal. Then maybe we can have a real discussion. As it is there are no rep proposals that see the light of day either in Congress or the state run media.

Grover

With wet finger clearly in the air to judge the political winds, Sen. Hatch has calculated that saying "everyone is for reform, but this isn't it" gets him off the hook without needing to support anything (and risk angering his base). If the debate goes on for about another month, the pro change forces will get a huge boost in the form of "annual enrollment" for employer based health plans. For at least the last ten years, enrollment has meant substantial increases in premiums, lower benefits or higher copays, or both. Those sitting on their hands cannot seem to grasp the concept that the status quo is unsustainable and change will happen whether or not they help shape it.

@anon

Your true colors are scary. Division and opposition is all your about, class envy is the worst political game in town and you have been duped right into the middle of it.

Lew Jeppson

Moreover, senator, the Baucus proposal is a crazy quilt because your party won't do the sensible thing - single payer.

RedShirt

Hatch was correct in saying that Obama is just making things more expensive.

On Wednesday, there was the article "Governors oppose $40B medical-device tax" It layed out how the Federal Government is going to tax medical device companies at a higher rate. So, if medical devices now cost more, who pays for it?

Next, Congress wants to mandate coverage for Pre-Existing conditions they also want to remove the possibility of a company rejecting somebody. Both of these will also increase premiums. Pre-existing condition mandated coverage will add 20% to 40% to a policy.

Lets begin to lower costs by eliminating many of the unnecessary state mandated insurance benefits. Currently 25% of the uninsured cannot afford insurance because of state mandated benefits.

Focus on solutions that work. The free market has made health insurace more affordable with the creation of the HSAs. 1/3 of HSA holders previously did not have insurance.

Anonymous

Hatch says, “The so-called individual mandate requires everyone to obtain health-care coverage or pay an extra tax. If you don't, and you are making, say, $66,000, the tax is $1,900 per year. Some may say this is simply a penalty for not doing what Uncle Sam wants you to do, but let's face it – it's nothing more than a new tax.”

Ironically, that is EXACTLY what Mitt Romney championed in Massachusetts, which turned out to be one of the most successful state-level healthcare reforms in the U.S. Romney was in favor of this approach because it promotes fairness and lowers costs. Because of this mandate, more people have insurance, so fewer people show up at hospitals who can’t pay. This results in the hospitals lowering prices, because the responsible people with health insurance no longer have to subsidize those without it.

The individual mandate for health insurance is based on the same principle as the individual mandate that drivers have auto insurance. It lowers the cost responsible people play because they stop subsidizing the irresponsible. Criticizing this Republican, free-market idea as "nothing more than a new tax" is disingenous.

Baby steps

Why not pass a series of small bills that change HC one step at a time?
Step 1) Tort reform. We know it works - look at Missouri and TX.
Step 2) Make catastrophic HC insurance the default.
Step 3) Allow competition for plans over state lines.
Step 4) Improve health savings plans.
And so forth.

@ Anonymous
Get off the couch and do something that contributes to society. Your "I hate the rich", "I want something for nothing", "I'm lazy and on welfare so give me your money" attitude tells me everything I need to know about you. You actually covet that which isn't yours. Wow! Talk about corrupt!

@ anon 8:07

Health insurance does not equal auto insurance. Auto insurance is needed to cover injuries or damage inflicted on another through the use of their vehicle. Health insurance covers the insured only - one person's policy includes no reparations to another who may catch their cold or illness. You cannot equate them as President Obama attempted to do. Take a serious look at the suggestions @ baby steps - I think there may be common ground to work with there.

RedShirt

To "Anonymous | 8:07 a.m." who are listening to? According to Rassmussen Reports, only 26% of the people in Massachusetts consider it successful. Since its implementation, ER visits have increased by 7%.

If what Romney did was so good, why did the Boston Globe report "Bay State health insurance premiums highest in country" In that article, they said "The increase [in Massachusetts premiums] is attributed to an increase in charges by physicians and hospitals" So apparently what Romney did was counterproductive.

@ redshirt 8:55 am

You are right. The program in MA is a mess but to be fair, Romney's replacement is responsible for much of the current disaster. With a very liberal state congress, Romney had the choice of either getting involved in writing the HC plan or letting the MA congress make a complete mess of the system. He chose to try and influence it by including some modicum of personal responsibility. I suggest that if he were still Governor, it wouldn't be quite the mess as it is now.

Cry babies


The Republican "plan" consists of:
Health Savings Accounts (think: Help Save the Affluent)
Buying health insurance across state lines (think: more complexity/paperwork for already burdened Drs. and mergers/consolidation of companies is the rule not the exception).
Tort Reform (think: 33 states already have tort reform and studies done by researchers at Princeton and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health show malpractice suits do not play a significant role in healthcare costs).

Republicans aren't going to vote for any plan they haven't controlled. The party of authoritarian followers can't get used to the fact that they lost the last 2 elections. They've no one to blame but themselves, yet it appears they've learned nothing.

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