Robert Bennett: 'Obamacare' is rife with problems


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  • the old switcharoo mesa, AZ
    April 9, 2013 10:41 p.m.

    Obama didn't come up with "Obamacare", our dysfunctional Congress did. They can't get a budget together or get the DOD to explain what happened to 2 trillion dollars.

    We need to first get the lobbyists out of washington and make their bribery illegal and only then we might expect some good decisions from Congress.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    April 9, 2013 9:31 p.m.

    My biggest problem with "Repeal" is no alternative has ever been proposed. Give me a better idea and Ill be more than happy to go along

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    April 9, 2013 10:37 a.m.

    From the perpsective of a socialist, Obamacare has no greater critic than me - Obama should have advocated medicare for all. But he would have lost that one in large part because of politicians like Bennett. Senator, you had ample opportunity to fix the health care mess. You and your fellow Republicans did nothing, nothing, nothing. Reading your comments was pure torture for me.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    April 9, 2013 9:36 a.m.

    You hate Obamacare,
    but voted for Mitt Romney anyway?


    BTW - agreed,
    Obamacare won't be good until we have a Single-Payer system and NO profiting Insurance Companies brokering the healthcare.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    April 8, 2013 11:47 p.m.

    That's hard to believe. Why would a governor deliberately do something wrong for his state just to hurt a politician who can't run again?

    If he is to avoid bipartisan demands for a major overhaul of his "signature achievement," President Obama has a lot of work to do in the next nine months.

    Hmnn. You answered your own question, didn't you Senator? Not so hard to believe.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    April 8, 2013 10:50 p.m.

    Mike in Cedar,
    You criticize medicare advantage as a giveaway to private insurance. SO IS OBAMACARE!!

    joeblow, pragmatist,
    Obamacare does NOTHING to control costs.

    Quoting Time magazine says you are not seeking truth.

  • timpClimber Provo, UT
    April 8, 2013 8:24 p.m.

    What do you expect from a 2500+ page bill that never was vetted or discussed in public? It is a hodgepodge of conflicting ideas, promises, regulations and many unproven premises that few have ever read. It is like a 12 headed dragon that cannot move because none of the heads can send clear signals to the legs. Unless repealed and we start over it will financially bankrupt us and tie up the SCUS for at least 50 years.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    April 8, 2013 7:01 p.m.

    So the GOP's health care reform in the 90s is rife with problems? Interesting.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    April 8, 2013 4:50 p.m.

    Costs will be a problem in any system in which the consumer believes that the bill is being paid by someone other than himself.

  • Truthseeker2 SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA
    April 8, 2013 4:39 p.m.


    Read Time magazine's "Why Medical Bills are Killing Us" and then lets have a conversation.

    Drs. Pay their own malpractice insurance--not the hospital (though they too have insurance). When you get a bill from the hospital it does not include the bill for the Drs. services.

    Two of my sons had surgery last year, luckily both had health insurance.

    Son A had an emergency appendectomy on a weekend. Spent one night in the hospital. Hospital bill (not including surgeon, ER Dr. or radiologist bills) was $40,000.

    Son B had jaw surgery, at a different hospital than Son A. Total time in the hospital, 4-5 hrs. Cost: $40,000 (not including drs. fees)

    There appears to be little rhyme or reason for what we are charged for services.

    Locally here:
    A doctor is suing the medical group that fired him last year, the defendants, Heritage Provider Network, fired him for approving needed care to patients and for “his refusal to participate in an unlawful scheme to compromise patient care for profits.”

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    April 8, 2013 3:11 p.m.

    Obamacare has failed (and will continue to fail) to achieve its stated objectives. It treats the symptoms instead of the problems.

    Insurance companies were never the problem. In the five years prior to Obamacare, the health insurance industry earned ~4% profit (look it up). In most industries, that would be an indicator to shut down the operation in favor of something more profitable.

    The primary problems were (and still are):
    1) Government policy/regulation, and
    2) Refusal to enact tort reform.

    The person who paid $26K for minor outpatient surgery may not realize that a very large portion of his cost was protection against him suing the doctor, the hospital, or the candy-striper if he thought something wasn't perfect. (Perfection is a pretty tough standard.)

    He may not realize that another large part of his bill was to cover documentation (required by government agencies), licenses and fees, legal paperwork, and other non-value added regulatory costs imposed by a government who knows virtually nothing about the practice of medicine.

    I'm still dumbfounded that some people are eager to hand the problem to the source of the problem and expect them to solve it.

  • HS Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    April 8, 2013 3:05 p.m.

    America has the best health care in the world, if you can afford it. For those who can't take two aspirin and have your family call the Doctor in mourning.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    April 8, 2013 11:30 a.m.

    Bennett's claim that Republican governors are not delaying ACA is totally disingenuous. Of course they're delaying it! Everybody knows it and so does Bennett. Meanwhile United Healthcare just raised my premium by 30 percent this year while its CEO walks off with $101 million payout. What do you think of that, Bob Bennett? Would you agree that is obscene or not?

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    April 8, 2013 11:18 a.m.

    Yes, it has many problems. Mostly, it stopped far short of the creation of the single payer system we so need.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 8, 2013 11:14 a.m.

    "When someone goes to the emergency room, they can not be turned away even if they can not pay"

    Yup. The concept being that you cant turn away a dying patient. Not a bad concept.

    Passed by Reagan with a GOP senate and a DEM house.

    I agree mtnman. Business will find a way to outsmart government to insure that they will make more profits. Not that is really all that tough to do. Businessmen are smarter and our system allows them to contribute money (I call it bribery) to those who make the laws.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    April 8, 2013 10:48 a.m.

    One more important point (in my opinion) about Obamacare. When someone goes to the emergency room, they can not be turned away even if they can not pay. These costs are then passed on to "paying patients" by increased medical services they receive, hence, $10 aspirin tablets, etc. It was said by some that Obamacare would prevent these pass along cost of the uninsured from emergency room visits. What is not clear to me is that how Obamacare would change any of that. When I heard that Obamacare would decrease healthcare cost, I knew it was a lie.

  • louie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 8, 2013 10:43 a.m.

    Single Payer, Single Payer, Single Payer

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    April 8, 2013 10:25 a.m.

    I just know our present system doesn't work very well. Senator Bennett and his republican friends had years to fix it and didn't. I'd prefer a single payer system, or a public option.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    April 8, 2013 10:17 a.m.

    Republicans have no right to complain about Obamacare. It is, in its most significant aspects, a Republican program. Why do we have it? Because the Republicans would not allow us to have a single-payer system patterned after any of 20 in the world that provide quality care for all citizens at half the cost of ours. They want some market-based program that would exclude half the population and allow the insurance industry and large health-care providers to soak in as much profit as possible. So, Bob, don't complain. We now have a Republican health-care system. If we really want to control costs, we need to follow the lead of the rest of the civilized world. Or maybe I shouldn't use the word "rest," because I'm not sure we're part of the civilized world. Our positions on health care and gun control put that proposition in question.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    April 8, 2013 9:55 a.m.

    Obamacare does absolutely nothing to address the EVER RISING healthcare delivery costs.

    Pharmaceuticals/medical device manufacturers can raise their prices to whatever they want.

    Hospitals/clinics can raise their prices to whatever they want. Doctors aren't limited much regarding "market forces" either.

    Insurance companies will just keep passing on those costs until, at some point healthcare expenses equal greater than 50% of the family budget.

    What we need is a thorough examination of WHY we're having to pay ridiculous amounts of $$$.

    For instance: why can't I go to an independent lab, have my throat swabbed for strep, then if positive, go to the pharmacy and get a cheap prescription? Or, why can't a RN write a "prescription" for an innocuous medication like antibiotics?

    We ALL think we should have "cadillac" medicine, but we all think someone/anyone else should pay for it.

    Basically, forces outside our control manage every aspect of the system EXCEPT the price.

    Obamacare doesn't even pretend to change that, it just takes "money from the left pocket, instead of taking it from the right pocket"!

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    April 8, 2013 9:35 a.m.

    @ Joe Blow. Then you should have gone to a "cheap" doctor! That way you would have gotten exactly what you paid for. There is no such thing as inexpensive AND excellent medicine! It doesn't exist and even Obamacare will not change that fact.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 8, 2013 9:03 a.m.

    Obamacare is not what the people of America wanted and expected from President Obama. And it doesn’t seem to be what some of the businessmen in Heath care wanted either. However some people seem to like it. Only thing is, the people who like it are not the people who profit from the Health Care scam.

    If Obamacare was compared to the tax law in a poll, my guess is that more people hate the unfair tax law than the unfair Obamacare. And there would be a shift in the supporters versus the people in opposition.

    The real problem is both cases is that the laws were created by businessmen for businessmen. Only in the case of Obamacare two sets of businessmen are pitted against each other.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 8, 2013 8:57 a.m.

    "Because you get what you pay for!"

    If only that were true. Your post is full of misinformation.

    Now, if I had a very rare disease, then YES. Absolutely I would want to be in the US.

    We do have the most advanced medicine.

    Case in point. I had a routine, outpatient surgical procedure. I was in the hospital for a total of 4 hours. I was in the operating room for a total of 15 minutes. I laid around for 2+ hours waiting then over an hour in recovery sleeping.

    The bill came to $26,000 (before insurance adjusted it). That did not include the surgeon or the anesthesiologist.

    Did I get what I paid for?

    Then you write "The largest cost of Obamacare will be limited advancements in medicine because it removes the incentive for investments and advancements."

    Care to explain? We keep hearing that health care cost will go up (and I agree). So, how are we removing the "incentive for investment and advancements"?

    Unless costs are dropping, where does the incentive go?

    Mike in Cedar.
    My thoughts are because people get roughly 3 times what they pay in. It can only get worse.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    April 8, 2013 8:47 a.m.

    Overhauling the U.S. healthcare delivery system was always going to be a tremendous undertaking. Obamacare was developed over many months, in committees. Republican governors have shown they are willing to disenfranchise voters in their own states so why should anyone believe they aren't above playing politics with this issue?

    Premiums will go up for some, particularly those in the individual market. But as was explained during the development and passage phase, people in the individual market will get better coverage--not the junk policies with high premiums and high deductibles that are all too common.

    Drs. aren't quitting due to Obamacare. Dealing with multiple different insurance companies and multiple different plans within each insurance company is a major headache for healthcare providers. The Republican's idea to allow people to purchase policies from other states was merely going to add to the complexity.

    Sebelius is very capable. There are going to be glitches and likely changes needed down the road but change we must. It seems to be working ok in Massachusetts. It would be better if all the governors were cooperative.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    April 8, 2013 8:31 a.m.

    Why are healthcare cost rising? Because you get what you pay for! Yes there is inflation but remember we have the most advanced healthcare in the world, best pharmaceuticals, the best trained doctors in the world and the best medical technology. If you want 3rd world medicine, well it will certainly be cheaper but you will get exactly what you pay for it. Ask yourself why a drug company is able to research, develop and market highly advanced medicines. The answer is because our medical system (capitalism) rewards them for doing so (profits). While some complain about high profits of medical devices and drugs, look at the fantastic return we are getting on our investments! Socialized medicine will remove the incentive for forward progress in medicine and will stop or at least retard future medical advancements. The largest cost of Obamacare will be limited advancements in medicine because it removes the incentive for investments and advancements. Why would anyone invest capitol if they know they will never get a return on it?

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    April 8, 2013 8:03 a.m.

    JoeBlow. Medicare is not the "huge problem going forward" although, like every bill payer, it does have a problem going forward. Health care costs are rising because the health care providers (hospitals, Medical device companies, drug companies< are not responsive to market forces.

    You might want to read a recent article in Time Magazine "Why Medical Bills are Killing Us" March 6 2013. In point of fact Medicare has been more effective than private insurers in holding down medical costs. In summary, heath care in this country is a "sellers market" Consumers in a sellers market can rarely shop for the cost effective health care. Find out what a "chargemaster" is and how it relates to Hospital costs. Find out how medical equipment suppliers are gaming the system, and how hospitals are able to charge ridiculous amounts for low cost mundane items.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 8, 2013 7:31 a.m.

    Both sides have touted combating medicare waste, fraud and abuse.

    They agree on something. Hallelujah!

    So, why dont they work together on this ONE THING. Start there. Baby steps.

    Work on Waste, fraud and abuse without injecting partisan issues.

    Hey, at least its a start. And a rare agreement.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    April 8, 2013 7:23 a.m.

    And yet Senator Bennett prior to Obamacare health care costs soared, millions didn't have coverage, and medicare marched down it's path to being broke and unworkable...and what did the Republicans do..nothing, absolutely nothing. In addition what would have happened if Obamacare had been "throughly debated"..it too wold have died, just look at gun regulation now. No Obamacare is far from perfect but it has moved the needle and started the work to health care reform.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 8, 2013 6:36 a.m.

    Health care costs are skyrocketing. And have been for many years.

    Medicare is a huge problem going forward. Healthcare costs and future viability of Medicare are closely tied.

    Because of that, SOMETHING must be done to get our rising healthcare costs under control.

    Only the uninformed or staunchly partisan can deny that.

    I am not a huge fan of Obamacare, but we need to do something.

    If only our elected officials would sit down in earnest together to tackle the issue. If only they would put politics aside and work on solutions.

    Unfortunately, politics today means bashing the other side. It's primary goal is to insure party control. The best plan in the world would be panned by the other side.

    Until we get past that mentality, nothing positive will ever happen.

    This comment will be followed, not by those looking for solutions, but whose primary goal is to bash the other side. Just like our politicians.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    April 8, 2013 5:59 a.m.

    Senator Bennett may have forgotten why the Medicare Advantage plan was dumped, but those of us who have looked at the reasons know that the plan was a give away to the health insurance industry. It was a move to privatize medicare that failed because it was not cost effective. The health insurers made good profits with it, but it provided few additional benefits and ramped up premium costs.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 8, 2013 12:07 a.m.

    I preferred Senator Bennet's health care plan to Obamacare. But if I remember correctly, the plan was vehemently opposed by most of his own party.