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Published: Friday, Oct. 25 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

Yes, but medicare works quite well. Getting on medicare was bewildering, a little, but I made it without too much sweat, same with social security. Those of us on the left wanted "medicare for everybody" because we believed, realistically I think, that the extension would have gone smoothly over several months because necessary software is already written. The only obstacle was information storage, but that is cheap these days. "Medicare for all" went nowhere because both of the major political parties are substantially owned by the insurance business, and such had to be served. So we get the very complex ACA with all of its nods and bows to the insurance business.

Government will be in the mix increasingly because of the complexities of our world, riding the wave of technology, which is complex. Climate change, environmentally caused disease, global corporations - all of these things are accelerating the complexity of our systems. So national and international government will be increasingly involved. There founders could not see this coming, with the possible exception of prescient Alexander Hamilton.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Facts
We have an aging population.
Medicare and Medicaid are popular programs that are not going away.
Healthcare costs have been rising very very quickly and will bankrupt this country going forward

Can anyone disagree with those? If so, make your case.

So, why would anyone advocate "Do Nothing" when we know the consequences?

This letter is another one in the long list of "your plan is no good but I offer nothing better"
How about this. You cant complain unless you put forth a better idea.

And that goes double for any member of Congress. Pen a replacement or a fix to the ACA or keep your criticism to yourself.

happy2bhere
clearfield, UT

Joe Blow

"Healthcare costs have been rising.... and will bankrupt this country ......

Since you and I agree with that fact, which by the way I truly believe that Obama and most Democrats don't, then it is obvious to us that something needs to be "done". Now the question is "what". My simple mind says, increase revenue to the IRS, and quit spending every penny the IRS gets, and stop borrowing when the IRS runs out of money. How to get more money to the IRS? Basically two options. Increase taxes on everyone, which would be only a short term solution, and or grow the economy, which could be a decades long solution. With a growing economy, the first option, raising taxes, would take care of itself because of more tax payers and higher taxes from people earning more money. I know what option I think works best. Growth. Whatever government can do to get growth should be our goal.

Grover
Salt Lake City, UT

Growth is the politicians dream pill that requires no pain of the electorate. It will never get them "unelected". The problem is not agreeing growth is the answer, it is in agreeing on how to grow the economy. Do the sequester and shutting down the government grow the economy? That is the real discussion here.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Byron,
No one is forced to buy healthcare – they are forced to buy insurance.

Marxist,
Medicare for all would have resulted in many physicians leaving the business because the compensation for many procedures does not cover the cost. That would have led to rationing, aka death panels.

JoeBlow,
Yeah, costs are rising. So what’s your point? Obamacare does NOTHING to address the rise in costs, nothing, zilch, nada, nothing!

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Happy. Grover said it well.

It is much easier to say "grow the economy" than to have a plan to "grow the economy"

Generally speaking, when the GOP says "grow the economy" it always entails cutting taxes for the wealthy.

I am all for lower tax rates. I believe everyone is. But it is far from a given that it guarantees growth. And without growth, it does guarantee increased deficits.

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

Re: Lost in DC "Medicare for all would have resulted in many physicians leaving the business because the compensation for many procedures does not cover the cost." This statement must be subject to check. More likely, many physicians don't like the rate of return with medicare. It is not that they don't make a profit. That is certainly the case with my former greedy shrink. Were I elected to national office as a socialist I would deal with this defection by expanding the physician pool through more training. I'd break the AMA monopoly over medical schools (advocated by none other than Milton Friedman BTW) and their admissions. Moreover I would examine the artificial barriers facing foreign trained physicians put in place the same AMA. Workarounds are possible if we have the will.

The political right always accuses government, but leaves private enterprise (like the AMA) blameless.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Yeah, costs are rising. So what’s your point?

The point is, doing nothing is not an option. The GOP has thrown out tidbits, but has not penned or proposed any actual legislation.

Do the work and show me something better, rather than shooting holes in the actual plans of others.

The GOP plan would appear to be "do nothing" which is not an option.

"No one is forced to buy healthcare – they are forced to buy insurance."

Not forced to buy healthcare, but, will certainly head to the hospital the minute they get sick or hurt. And then, I am forced to help pay their bills. Is that fair?

Badgerbadger
Murray, UT

Actually Obamacare does effect health care costs. It drives them UP UP UP!

Think about it. Everyone has to buy insurance. They don't have to sell a great product. They don't have to win over customers with great service. The customers are commanded to come to them.

Next:

The insurance companies are limited to keeping 15% to use to run the program and profits. They must pay out 85%. (oh that the federal government were that efficient, but that is another issue altogether) The only way to increase what the insurance company keeps is for them to drive up the costs, so that 15% is more money.

The federal government is now rewarding insurance companies for driving up the cost of health care.

Gotta love that 2400 pages!

RedShirtCalTech
Pasedena, CA

To "marxist" how can you say that Medicare works so great? You realize that they lose 2 times as much much every year than private insurance companies do, while insuring half as many people.

You also forget that Medicare rejects more claims that private companies do.

They also have cut their Doctor reimbursement rates so low that many doctors are not willing to lose money caring for Medicare patients.

What is so great about it?

To "JoeBlow" since health insurance costs are rising and will bankrupt the nation, how does an average increase of 73% in the price of insurance help anything? That is the average rate increase out of 45 states.

Had "nothing" been done, insurance would be cheaper today and cover more things than it does under the ACA.

The ACA forces you to buy health insurance. If you don't, you will either go to jail or will have the IRS garnishing your wages. Explain how that is not forcing people to buy insurance.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Marxist,
They do NOT make a profit. As far as opening the medical schools to more candidates - fine - so long as they are qualified. The right is correct to blame the government in most cases, especially this one.

JoeBlow,
Doing nothing is better than doing damage. Millions are losing their coverage because of obamacare and others are losing their doctors. It is also having a negative impact on the economy, reducing hiring, forcing more people to part-time work and cutting hours for those already working part-time. Virginia and DC have sued the feds to stop subsidies for people purchasing through the federal rather than state exchanges, because the law only says subsidies go to those buying through state exchanges. Even more will not be able to afford insurance and will be fined as a result. Maybe the GOP has not done enough to pull the victim out of the hole, but at least they are not dumping truckloads of dirt on them and burying them as Obamacare is doing.

Not all who go to the hospital without insurance do not pay.

"cutting taxes for the wealthy" They are the only ones paying income taxes.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I hope and wish that our government has the smarts to not hire in any capacity people who are the enemies of our government as shown by the lies they tell and lack of understanding of truth.

I gave up on private doctors because they kept closing their practice. One went on a mission, one went to LDS hospital, one went to Huntsman and one moved to Park City to be closer to his HIV patients.

I am a patient of the VA hospital in Salt Sake. As a veteran of the Korean War era I am qualified even though I never sat foot on Korean soil. Years ago the people were well motivated and seemed happy with their work. Now I am finding problems with moral and dedication and it seems that private enterprise is the root of every incident. Much of the attitude came about the same time Obamacare was created.

If I had any influence, I would recommend that the government not hire any republicans for a while.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Medicare and Medicaid spending in 2010 was 3.6% of the GDP, which was listed at $13.24 Trillion dollars. That means that about $40,121 was spend on each man, woman and child in America in 2010 just for Medicare and Medicaid.

Does anyone see the foolishness of letting the Government administer an "additional" program to wipe our noses?

If all the money spent on Medicare, Medicaid and the IRS's "enforcement" of compliance were put into health savings accounts, everyone of us would have more health care available than we have ever had. Why won't anyone tell the world that Obama, just like the fabled emperor, is wearing no clothes.

American doesn't need another failed program. It's obvious, for those who will run the numbers, that the government has mismanaged Medicare and Medicaid. It is obvious that the government has mismanaged Social Security.

Why can't the Deseret News spare just one reporter to write an article on the huge waste that is taking place each year? Why won't anyone hold the government accountable for lying to us?

Badgerbadger
Murray, UT

Ultra Bob,

Really? Republicans don't deserve to have jobs because they are republicans? REally?

Sounds Hitler-esk to me.

Since there aren't enough taxes in the coffer now, imagine what it would be like if there were no republicans working so they couldn't pay in. Where would you get the money to redistribute? From the 47% who pay no income taxes, who are democrats?

Get out that credit card to China! You'll need it.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Badgerbadger
Murray, UT

If your object was to overcome superstition, would you hire witches.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

We have a Dr, in our neighborhood who primarily treats medicaid pts. He lives comfortably modest with his wife and children. He thinks Obamacare is a good thing.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

First of all a system that is responsible for the life and death of all our citizens, eats up 17% of our GDP, the highest % of any industrialized nation, has worse overall effectiveness than any other industrialized nation, while leaving millions out in the cold and financially ruining millions of others, needs to be changed.

Secondly, any change to such an entrenched and institutionalized system will have millions of winners and losers even if it's the most perfect system in the world, so whaling about those on the margins that are perceived as losers without acknowledging that most of them would have been considered losers in the old system is absolutely dishonest.

Lastly, facts. Average rate increases is 73%? Seriously? Even Forbes talks about 6 to 10 percent increases, with a decades long trend of higher deductibles. The only way you get your figure is to include the increase of those now paying insurance for the first time. Very deceptive.

Millions losing their insurance? Only those who's plans weren't up to standards in the first place, and those who's companies said you can get better insurance cheaper on the exchanges.

wrz
Phoenix, AZ

@JoeBlow:
"Facts: Medicare and Medicaid are popular programs that are not going away. Healthcare costs have been rising very very quickly and will bankrupt this country going forward. Can anyone disagree with those? If so, make your case."

Medicare and Medicaid are going broke and will soon require a substantial increase in taxes, more borrowing from China, or both to survive.

"So, why would anyone advocate 'Do Nothing' when we know the consequences?"

Do nothing is the best choice if a viable economy is the objective. Obamacare is causing the loss of jobs and reduction of workweek hours to part time drastically effecting the economy. The choice is either to provide everyone with health insurance or have a vibrant economy. Obama has chosen the former... although he touts both.

"How about this. You cant complain unless you put forth a better idea."

How about this... go back to the starting gate, get a bipartisan healthcare bill with Republican as well as Democrat input. The current bill had NO Republican input or Republican aye vote. Democrats shut them out during the bill's development.

wrz
Phoenix, AZ

@JoeBlow:
"Generally speaking, when the GOP says 'grow the economy' it always entails cutting taxes for the wealthy."

That's because the wealthy pay 90 percent of the taxes.

"I am all for lower tax rates. I believe everyone is. But it is far from a given that it guarantees growth. And without growth, it does guarantee increased deficits."

Raising taxes, especially in a recession or stagnant economy, will guarantee a negative effect.

"Not forced to buy healthcare, but, will certainly head to the hospital the minute they get sick or hurt. And then, I am forced to help pay their bills. Is that fair?"

You are forced to help pay regardless. People are who pay. The government has no money to pay healthcare bills except from what it collects in taxes. And insurance companies don't have money to pay healthcare bills either, except from what they collect in premiums.

@marxist:
"...many physicians don't like the rate of return with medicare."

Many physicians won't take new Medicare patients... They won't even take Medicare-eligible people even if they offer to pay the fee out of pocket.

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