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In our opinion: Health care solutions

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  • bluecollar Kearns, UT
    Sept. 14, 2012 5:15 p.m.

    The Patients' Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed into law by majority vote. "The government" didn't pass the law. It's not a "government" mandate. "The government" cannot force anything upon us. "The government" doesn't spend money or make decisions or establish priorities. It is the people of The United States of America who decide through their democratically selected representatives who collectively decided we want to do something to lower the cost of seeing a doctor. When we vote, we select representatives who in turn implement the will of the people and "the government" is simply a vehicle through which our collective will is implemented.

  • middle class Cedar City, 00
    Sept. 14, 2012 10:45 a.m.

    ObamaCare is necessary start at making America's leading-edge healthcare available to all of us. Our medical knowledge and sciences were developed with substantial public funding. But all the medications and treatments are expensive. Now we face a choice: Do we allow healthcare to be only for the upper middle class and above ($200,000+) or do we make it available to all?

    American ethics and morality play a part in this choice. Children, the poor, disabled, elderly and other groups are also considerations.

    I think we need to provide for all, just like our Defense provides for all. One of the purposes of the Constituion is to "promote the general Welfare", which I believe includes health.

    So, ObamaCare may not be perfect, but it is on the right track. Future generations and administrations will need to adjust it to fit our societal needs.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Sept. 14, 2012 9:10 a.m.

    Democrats want to stop having sick people FORCEIBLY removed from hospitals because thier insurance company won't pay.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Sept. 14, 2012 8:58 a.m.

    Requireing people to buy health insurance and covereing everyone was a republican idea they promoted for 20 years to fix healthcare.

    Democrats are trying to make the republican idea work. Why can't republicans?

  • William Gronberg Payson, UT
    Sept. 13, 2012 9:37 p.m.

    Ludicrous statement of the day is:

    "Obama believes that we are incapable of doing anything without being forced to do it"

    "Anything"?? Therefore the "diaper police" will be created by President Obama after the November election. That is because "Obama believes that we are incapable of doing anything without being forced to do it." Mothers of newborns must be compelled to keep their babies clean and properly cared for.

    Second place ludicrous statement of the day is:

    "If he understood WHY there are always two choices in everything, he would have never foisted Obamacare on us."

    "Always two choices in everything"??

    When I enter a roundabout I have at least 5 choices. There are 4 streets to choose from to exit onto or I could keep driving until I run out of fuel.

    Most statements that include always, never, every time, everything, anything, ......., are not correct.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Sept. 13, 2012 8:18 p.m.

    If business picking up the insurance tab is the source of our health care cost problems, healthcare must be getting cheaper by the minute because businesses are dropping insurance (and avoiding hiring full time workers) in droves. So the solution is already here . . .

    Alternatively, if govt. is the problem and the free market is the solution then how come the other advanced nations with far MORE govt. and far LESS free market in their health care get a MUCH better deal with dramatically lower health care costs?

    Although constitutionality is an important issue, citing the constitution does not go to the issue of whether "force" (taxation) is good in one instance and bad in another. The constitution can be changed. Would a constitutional amendment specifically allowing payment for health care mean that now taxation is NOT force?

    Finally, are J Thompson and Mike Richards the same person or husband and wife? They always take a special interest in defending the other's comments.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2012 7:43 p.m.

    "Mike Richards" hits a "home run" with his first post.

    The problem is that way too many people have come to believe "the government" should be the answer to solving their problems not only in healthcare but MANY other aspects of their lives. I INCLUDE corporate welfare, i.e. "subsidies" in that group as well BTW.

    I don't really fault individual citizens so much for EXPECTING it. That's what they've been taught/told for the last 40 yrs.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Sept. 12, 2012 5:26 p.m.

    Should doctors be allowed to discriminate based on ability to pay? By that, I mean, should they charge "cash paying patients" double what they charge insured patients? The procedure is the same. The cost to them is the same. Everything is the same except the price.

    That's a clear cut case of discrimination.

    Sure, doctors and hospitals know that they won't be "preferred" by some insurance companies unless they give those companies "special rates". They know that they can make up the difference by overcharging non-insured patients.

    We've had laws that prohibited charging MORE for using credit cards because that discriminated against a "class" of people who chose to use credit cards. Now the reverse is happening. A cash-paying customer is charged more for paying immediately than the insured customer whose insurance company pays in 30 or 60 or ninety days. If anything, the cost of dealing with an "insured" patient is much higher than a cash-paying patient.

    Mike Richards was correct: Same price for the same procedure. That does not mean a fixed price per procedure for all doctors, just the same price for all patients of that doctor.

  • I-am-I South Jordan, UT
    Sept. 12, 2012 5:16 p.m.

    Personally I think insurance is the problem. It is flawed in it's basic theory. The other problem is poor business structure in medical practices and economic strategy by doctors that artificially inflates doctors' salaries. On average 40% of receivables are written off as bad debt in the medical industry. Are you kidding me?! Almost half the work doctors do they don't get paid for?! False! They just have inflated prices on things to pay for all the bad debt... so fewer people pay...fewer people paying means prices go up because the doctors still have tons of med school bills to pay (it's a downward spiral). The most unfortunate part is that in med school was a waste of time (time=debt)that was just meant to be hard so people drop out and there are fewer doctors which means doctors can charge more because their services are in an artificially created state of "high demand" but really it's just low supply. Insurance only made things worse. It meant doctors could charge more ridiculous prices because with the help of insurance people could now afford them.

  • Noodlekaboodle Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2012 5:06 p.m.

    @JoeBlow, Mike Richards
    Mr Richards is correct about government wage caps being the incentive for private insurance benefits offered by the employer. I believe that the wage caps were instituted during WWII(maybe WWI?), it was because of those caps that medical insurance was initially offered.

    Mike, I do find a bit of irony that your earlier post supports forcing doctors/DME suppliers/hospitals to charge the same rate for all patients. But a few posts later you speak of the evils of forcing people to make decisions, comparing healthcare reform to Sharia Law. So which one is it?

  • Mike in Texas Cedar City, Utah
    Sept. 12, 2012 5:00 p.m.

    Richards... One might argue that all laws are in some sense based on "force". Not long ago I was on a jury panel where the defendant was charged with violation of a speed limit laws. He argued to the jury that it was his God given right, in the spirit of true freedom, to be able to drive at any speed he wanted, and on any road. Guess what the Jury said about him being "forced" to drive the speed limit.

    Your hatred of government is pushing you to illogical conclusions.

    By the way, your excessive use of caps on pronouns could be viewed by some as OFFENSIVE.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Sept. 12, 2012 4:58 p.m.

    re:MikeRichards

    Yeah, my kids tried to use that "force" argument when they were growing up too.

    But the fact is, you have choices. You just don't like the consequences of those choices.
    You can choose to 1) reframe your thinking, 2)vote for candidates that represent your views, 3)you can choose to not pay taxes, 4) you can choose to relocate to another country which doesn't have taxpayer-supported social safety nets.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Sept. 12, 2012 4:53 p.m.

    re: LDS Liberal,

    Force? You claim that M. Richards "forces" the banning of tobacco. Did you read his posts where he demanded that there be NO SPECIAL TAXES targeted towards users of tobacco, that there be NO SIN TAX.

    Has he ever said that he would ban Roe v Wade, or does he point out, as often as possible, that over 50,000,000 lives were ended and that only 2.8% of those life ending abortions had "maternal health issues" as the reason? (figures from the government's CDC.)

    If you take the time to read his posts, he EXPLAINS why we would be better off by living life according to Christ's rules, but he does not FORCE anyone to accept his views. You, on the other hand, constantly twist his words to be the opposite of what he wrote.

    Obamacare is an abomination for all the reasons that he listed. FORCE being at the forefront. No one who reveres the Constitution would ever FORCE redistribution of wealth. No one would FORCE the Catholic Church to provide contraceptives and abortions.

    Obama is the one who is FORCING. M. Richards is the messenger who points out that FACT.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Sept. 12, 2012 4:47 p.m.

    RE: J Thompson
    “I believe that he "schooled" you”

    He did?!

    Maybe you should review not only what I said but the order I said it – in my first response I pointed out Mike’s logical fallacy of suggesting all government compulsion (i.e., taxes) is the work of Satan. I did not “try to school him in civics” because he never brought it up… his argument at that point was solely in the supernatural realm. Only in his next response did he discuss the constitution and enumerated rights… and I acknowledged that fact (welcomed him back to reality) and only suggested his conclusions were debatable.

    The rest of what you said was completely lost on me… guess I need more “schooling.”

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 12, 2012 4:15 p.m.

    Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah

    The operative word is "force" not "healthcare".

    Sharia Law "forces" people to live their lives as those who hold the power decide. No one has a choice. How do you feel about Sharia Law? It is based on the same principle of "force"

    ============

    Funny,

    Coming from someone who promotes legislation to ban alcohol, tobacco, abortion, pornography, shopping on Sunday and putting references of God [specifically Jesus Christ] into the public sector, and ram-rodding vitually every rule and commandment we as Latter-Day Saints stive to live by - VOLUNTARILY....to the exclusion and Free Agency of everyone else.

    No Choice.

    I fail to see the difference.

    But _ will agree, you and other extremeists [Muslim or Mormon] are no different in your stiving for a total Theocracy.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 12, 2012 2:54 p.m.

    Truthseeker,

    The operative word is "force" not "healthcare".

    Sharia Law "forces" people to live their lives as those who hold the power decide. No one has a choice. How do you feel about Sharia Law? It is based on the same principle of "force" as Obamacare.

    Ability to pay has nothing to do with this issue. You may decide that it's your business to make it part of this discussion but that doesn't change the fact that it is not part of this discussion. The government WANTS us to think that it is part of the discussion. They want to "shame" us into paying 18% of our income into their program so that they can spend it on their "pork projects" and then issue I.O.U.s, just like they have done with Social Security and Medicare.

    The government has proven that it cannot manage money, yet it is willing to FORCE you to buy into a program that has no chance of succeeding.

    ----

    My views are not based on my personal needs. The bill for my daughter's cancer would have been paid - in full - no matter how long it took.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Sept. 12, 2012 2:33 p.m.

    Richards.. get off of the bogus constituional right wing talking points.
    Are you legally trained? What are your sources for those broad contitutional notions you suggest? The issue of states rights was decided in 1865. You say that if its not listed in the Constituion the Federal Goverment can not do it. In that case, Hill Air Force Base must belong to the State of Utah because the Constitution does not implictly provide for an Air Force.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Sept. 12, 2012 2:12 p.m.

    re: Tyler,

    You're just digging a deeper hole. You've instructed someone to be cautious about his belief in God, presumably because his belief and your belief don't agree. You also tried to "school" him in civics, but I believe that he "schooled" you.

    Telling us that evil exists does not tell us WHY evil exists. Until you know WHY, you're trapped in an unreal world of your own making. You might as well have lived in some other time and some other place when the knowledge of God had been lost for a period.

    What does this have to do with Obamacare? EVERYTHING. Obama believes that we are incapable of doing anything without being forced to do it. He really, really, really wants that 18% of the GDP that is spent on healthcare. He wants that money.

    If he understood WHY there are always two choices in everything, he would have never foisted Obamacare on us.

    To him, might makes right. He uses the power of government to force his philosophy on us. He doesn't care if his philosophy is wrong.

    He broke every rule getting Obamacare passed - and he doesn't care.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Sept. 12, 2012 2:11 p.m.

    re:MikeRichards
    It is only "forced" charity if you, using your God-given agency, choose to look at it that way. Your agency is not curtailed because you are required to pay taxes. As Dallin H. Oaks has explained on numerous occasions, everybody on earth has agency. It is a condition of life on earth. It cannot be taken away.

    ACA requires everybody to be insured. The mandate was proposed by and conformed to Republican ideals--everybody has to be responsible. Now, of course there are some in society who don't have the means to do that and will need help. I know you are grateful for the kindness of neighbors, family etc. who helped out your loved one when you were unable to pay large medical bills. You were very lucky. Not everybody will be so lucky. Some people don't have family. Some people don't have friends/neighbors with a dime to spare. Would you still be advocating for the pay or die approach if your family member had been refused medical treatment because of inability to pay?

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Sept. 12, 2012 1:29 p.m.

    RE: Mike Richards

    Nice to see you rejoin the land of logic and reason. You make some excellent (albeit debatable) points on constitutional interpretation. Forgive the religious allusion, but you’ll win a lot more converts to your views by sticking to known reality, and refrain from bringing the intentions of God and Satan into the picture. And as a precaution, it might help to remember that as convinced as you are that you know full well the will of God, there are lots of suicide bombers and amateur pilots (the ones who skip the “how to land” lesson) who are just as convinced as you.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Sept. 12, 2012 1:12 p.m.

    The best solution to health care is to put a system in place that provides...health care. Not insurance. Care. For everyone. It's not free. Neither is what we're doing now. But we can do better. And we can remove the choice people have to make between care and financial ruin.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 12, 2012 12:46 p.m.

    Tyler,

    Why don't you read the U.S. Constitution, the State Constitution and your City Charter before making comments?

    The U.S. Constitution puts the people in charge and limits the duties of the Federal Government to those things that the people have listed in the Constitution. Obamacare, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, WIC, and most other social programs are not duties of the Federal Government and because of that, those "duties" must be left to the States or to the People.

    The State Constitution of Utah and the city where I live do not list Obamacare as a enumerated duty assigned to it by the people of Utah or of the city, therefore, Obamacare or anything like it must be left to the people.

    The people of the State and of the city have listed police and fire protection as enumerated duties that they were willing to pay for through taxes levied by the city and the State. Defense is a duty of the Federal Government that the people have authorized.

    When you study the levels of government, you will see that few duties are authorized. Healthcare is not one of those duties.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Sept. 12, 2012 12:27 p.m.

    RE: Mike Richards

    Oh Puleeze! By your logic, taxes to pay for the Fire and Police departments are "works of the devil."

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 12, 2012 11:31 a.m.

    Truthseeker,

    In your world, where do you draw the line at forcing someone to do what YOU think he should? You have every right to pay for insurance for anyone that YOU want. You have every right to pay the doctor bills for anyone YOU want. What you don't have is the right to force me or anyone else to pay those bills.

    Forced "charity" is opposite from charity. God does not force us to be good, but you seem to think that using force is the best way.

    Open your wallet and pay those bills for as many as you can. Enlist your friends and neighbors in YOUR cause.

    Good people do good things without compulsion. God encourages but Satan compels. God allows us to experience the "law of the harvest", but Satan tells us that he will save us all, regardless of effort, regardless of intent.

    Why has government chosen Satan's plan of force, of compulsion, and ignored God's plan of invitation?

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Sept. 12, 2012 10:26 a.m.

    The Republican Party used to be a party of ideas; now they only care about power as evidenced by the fact that they are against anything the other side is for… and have been since weeks BEFORE Obama even took office. This is nutty on a couple levels – one, it is logically impossible that one side (the Dems in this case) can be 100% wrong… on everything… all the time (otherwise total opposition makes no sense). And 2nd, this is obvious nuttiness because a lot of the stuff that is now “wrong” used to be Right (pun intended).

    Politically speaking, the ACA is to the right of what Nixon tried to pass (and Ted Kennedy killed because it was too right-wing), and is far to the right of what Dems have traditionally favored – a single payer system. Yet somehow, the wing-nuts that are today’s Republican Party have convinced themselves that it is “the most socialist affront to freedom in history.” This country is ripe for a 3rd party and the sooner we get rid the current Hatfield & McCoy craziness, the better.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Sept. 12, 2012 10:03 a.m.

    Re:MikeRichards
    "Let those who refuse to be responsible to pay for medical care be denied service."
    At least you're honest.

    The new Republican healthcare plan: pay or die?
    Or, put another way, Social Darwinism.

    Social Darwinism offered a moral justification for the wild inequities and social cruelties of the late nineteenth century. It allowed John D. Rockefeller, for example, to claim the fortune he accumulated through his giant Standard Oil Trust was “merely a survival of the fittest.” It was, he insisted “the working out of a law of nature and of God.”

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Sept. 12, 2012 9:56 a.m.

    "Government is the problem. Government capped wages, so businessmen offered "benefits", including health care."

    If they did, the CEO's managed to slip by.

    Really? When did that happen? Can you provide specifics? What year? What legislation?

    I totally missed that part. C'mon Mike. You cant just throw out something like that without some attempt to substantiate it.

    And when you said, " Hospitals where mandated to treat everyone, regardless of ability to pay"

    You are correct. That legislation was called EMTALA. Signed in 1986 by Ronald Reagan.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Sept. 12, 2012 9:32 a.m.

    Mike Richards.. what do you do with the inocents like small children who have serious problems and cannot get any insurance because coverage is denied because their condition is prexisting, or because the cost of the insurance is way beyond the means of the parents. Let them die?

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Sept. 12, 2012 9:21 a.m.

    The extremists are in charge of the Republican Party, and their motto is "compromise is a dirty word" and "party purity" before country.

    I dont know how a president elected by either party is going to be able to govern with this kind of extremism in congress.

    On the other hand:
    Regulations in ACA set up a program to review insurance rate increases and instituted an 80/20 rule, requiring insurance companies to spend no more than 20 percent of consumer premiums on profits and administrative costs. And since September 2011, insurance providers have had justify premium rate increase of more than 10 percent for individual and small group markets. Consumers have saved an estimated $1 billion on their insurance premiums as a result of rate review, and 13 million Americans received $1.1 billion in rebates last year from the 80/20 provision.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 12, 2012 9:16 a.m.

    Health care is not the problem. Government is the problem. Government capped wages, so businessmen offered "benefits", including health care. People no longer had to pay doctors directly so there was no cost/value associated with health care. Hospitals where mandated to treat everyone, regardless of ability to pay, so there was no reason to be honest and pay for services received.

    Take government out of health care. Let businesses pay employees what those employees are worth without giving "benefits". Let everyone pay for normal, ordinary doctor visits and limit health insurance to major medical. Require doctors and hospitals to charge the same fee for the same procedure, i.e., no special price for cash or for insurance. Let those who refuse to be responsible to pay for medical care be denied service.

    Government caused the problem. Now people see no reason to pay their doctors - as long as government can tax some "rich guy" to pay for it.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Sept. 12, 2012 8:54 a.m.

    We dont want a solution. We want to bash the other guys plan. Doesn't matter if its a good plan or a bad plan. Doesn't matter if it looks like our plan and incorporates things we used to like.

    It is about a party win. If the solution is not ours, we are against it.

    Plain and simple.

    How can we expect our country to thrive when 1/2 of our leaders want the other half to fail.

    Can you imagine a corporation run that way? Would you buy their stock?

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Sept. 12, 2012 8:24 a.m.

    Romney is confused, the Republicans are controlled by the right wing and can do nothing positive, and without any justification, you rip on ACA with no alternative nor answers. The health care system is a mess, and all of you on the right (including the DesNews) do nothing, offer nothing, and obstruct any efforts to seriously address it. Hatch was positioned to make the bill an historic achievement, but he put politics first. This editorial is kind of offensive in a way, complaining on the heels of Romney's confusion and total failure of leadership, and offering nothing whatsoever. The Democrats led on this while the Republicans deliberately sat on the sidelines and played games. The bill could have been better, but you fought it. The result for me is complete support for a British style system and disdain for the GOP.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Sept. 12, 2012 7:22 a.m.

    Only one problem DMN Editoial staff. If the AHC act is repealed, Romney nor anyone else will be able to enact legislation to put back the so called "good" parts you mention. The health insurance loby will see to that. Those good things cut into their profits you see. Better to not to repeal but ammend it as seems appropriate over time.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Sept. 12, 2012 7:14 a.m.

    And so your solution is.....?

  • Kim Cedar Park, Texas
    Sept. 12, 2012 4:36 a.m.

    Excellent editorial. The AHCA has become one of those political issues that eclipses the ability of many to discuss rationally. The right wing has made repeal of the AHCA a litmus test for republicans. Of course there are flaws in the AHCA, but anyone who responsibly looks at this issue must acknowlege that we cannot go back to where we were before it was adopted. Why can't we focus on making the law workable without taking the extreme position of repeal and doing nothing?