Published: Wednesday, Jan. 29 2014 12:00 a.m. MST
Bravo.It is about time. I actually read through the
Patient Care Act.I think it has merit. While short on specifics, I
commend these sponsors for finally proposing something of substance.This is has some actual meat. It goes far beyond "get govt out of
healthcare", tort reform and insurance beyond state lines.While
the devil will be in the details (it always is) at least we can finally see a
GOP proposal that can be scrutinized and debated.Again, let me
finally commend the GOP for putting something forth.I urge everyone
to look at it with an open mind with the goal of actually improving healthcare.
Odd. The author didn't get around to discussing Hatch's alternative
and then only presented it in political non-speech. Don't know
where he's getting his info, but my husband just priced an alternative to
our health insurance plan (now $24K / year with a $5K deductible) and learned
that we can get a policy with the same coverage for $600 / month for 2 adults in
their mid-50's and two teenagers still at home. That's cheaper, Mr.
Gerson, by 70%.Still, I can agree with you that Obamacare is less
than desirable. I was for a single payer system. We could have made it
voluntary. I'm sure that if we had, people would have galloped to join,
just as they do when their eligible for Medicare. Meanwhile, still
waiting for any info on Hatch's plan, which was the purported purpose of
Mr. Gerson's piece.
Hatch's plan is nonsense. He is going to FORCE every American to buy
health insurance, just like Obama. Can he show us where in the Constitution the
Senate has the authority to force Americans to buy anything? If it starts out
unconstitutional, just when will it become constitutional?ObamaCare
is a death sentence to many of us. We have the "privilege" of paying
over $5,000 per year in increased insurance costs and then paying the first
$7,500 out of pocket for any medical treatment. We don't have $12,500.
Hatch continues the charade. He pretends that government is the
solution.Eliminate insurance coverage for any non-major procedure.
If people can't afford to visit the doctor, the doctor will lower his fees.
It's a proven concept. Hatch doesn't understand that. Obama
doesn't understand that. The rest of us do. Require that the
lowest price that a doctor charges be the price that he charges everyone.
EQUALITY in billing.Patching a broken system will never work. Get
government out of insurance.
Forbes just came out with story that Hatch's health plan is a massive tax
increase. Hatch's plan changes employer health plans from being tax exempt
to only 65 percent tax exempt. The Republican plan isn't really
a solution either.
More Republican obfuscation. Where was Orrin during the ACA negotiations? With
his long history in this area, he deliberately walked away and refused to
participate. This is posturing and nothing more. It is intended to fool the
American people into thinking that the GOP has a plan to solve the problem.
Nothing more. As the President said last night, if the GOP has ideas to make
things better, put them out there. So far, nothing, not even Orrin's
Two thoughts on this. First, for a two page article this was short on specifics
of Hatch's plan, and long on the criticism of the ACA. If the Hatch plan is
so great, why no details? Secondly, while i'm glad some republicans are
warming back up to the idea of actually running the government, isn't it a
bit late guys? ACA is already being implemented, the bill itself passed nearly 4
years ago(march 2010) This alternative might have been helpful before the other
program was in effect. But isn't it a bit late? By the time you could pass
this ACA will have been in full effect for 6 months to a year. This would have
been much more helpful 4 years ago. And every single sponsor of this bill was in
office when the ACA was voted on.
Best line in the article:“And given the choice between
incompetent liberalism and tea party populism, Americas are, well, in deep
trouble.”America is in desperate need of a third way (party),
and perhaps the best means of accomplishing this is a full scale civil war
within the Republican Party culminating in a schism between pragmatic
center-right folks like Hatch, McCain and Bob Bennett, and the far-right Tea
There should have been a link in the article to the plan details. The 3/4 of
the article was spent bashing the ACA and Hatchs plan was like an
afterthought.Surprisingly, they did write an actual plan and the
details are out there on Hatchs senate dot gov page.Google Patient
Care Act, and you can find it.Mr Richards was obviously able to find
it.He writes "Require that the lowest price that a doctor
charges be the price that he charges everyone. EQUALITY in billing."And all along I would have thought that would be seen a an evil
regulation and not part of the constitution. A chink in his "constitutional
The synopsis I read regarding Hatch's plan is basically "restore
everything to the way it was before the ACA went into effect, expect the parts
of the ACA that is really popular with American voters, because we don't
want voters to get mad at us."
The Hatch alternative is absurd. It takes us right back to the old days when
insurance companies could deny coverage to sick people -- after all, that's
the business they're in, to insure healthy people and avoid paying claims.
Obamacare is flawed, but it's better than the cruel mess Hatch would
@JoeBlow,Does it seem odd that I would want to be treated equal to
my neighbors when visiting my doctor? Does it seem odd that I would be upset
when a doctor charges the government less than his services cost to get medicare
payments and then passes the difference on to those who pay cash? Does it seem
odd that I would be upset when a doctor accepts less than he needs from an
insurance company and then passes the difference on to those without
insurance?I am against fraud in any form. Passing normal and usual
expenses on to someone because you are willing to undercharge someone else is
fraudulent. Hatch's plan does not address government's
role in forcing us to buy a product. It does not address the cost of service
given. It does not address transferring costs from one patient to another. It
does not address any of the flaws of ObamaCare. The only thing that is
different is that it has Hatch's name on it. Why not call it
@mike richards. Your idea for no insurance for non-major procedure has merit but
unfortunately I think general practitioners would cease to exist because a lot
of people would simply avoid going to the doctor because they can not afford it.
I wish either the states or the federal government would forgive
doctors student loans if they agreed to reduce their prices for procedures for a
certain amount of years. Also I wish the government would test out ideas on a
small scale before they would launch it on a big scale to see if they are
achieving the intending results.
Hatch's plan has details and you can look it up its not hard. The change
in the employer deduction is necessary to stop employers from offering health
plans that have caused inflation in healthcare costs. This deduction along with
medicare and medicaid are currently the single largest factors in health care
inflation. In reality it would push almost everyone to HSAs which is a good
thing not a bad thing. This is more free market than our previous system that
restricted HSAs.Second Medicaid would be given to the states to mold
to their needs. Lastly it would fix some of the sneaky things
insurers do when they impose lifetime limits or certain co payments they hide
after you reach a deductible.Its much better than what we had before
and people would have to opt out of insurance if they didn't' want it
instead of being forced to sign up.
Mike,I am really confused. You usually see capitalism without
regulation as the solution to all our problems. Get government out of the way.
Why would you have a problem with what a doctor charges? Doctor's should
be able to charge as much as the market (whatever that market is) will bear.
Isn't that the unfettered capitalism that you keep asking for? If you
don't want to pay the doctor for his services, go somewhere else, if you
think he is overcharging you to cover someone he is undercharging, go somewhere
else. With capitalism the market will always correct itself, right? The doctor
has no responsibility to the patients pocket book, he has a responsibility to
provide appropriate medical care and make the most money he can for he and his
family. He is a businessman just like any other business man.
The headline says this is about Hatch's healthcare plan, but then says
virtually nothing about it. So I did a little research. It amounts to a tax cut
for corporations combined with a tax increase for workers. Republicans are
incapable of change. Oh and it keeps a whole lot of Obamacare' core pieces
intact. I guess all that hating Obamacare was just for show.
MikeYour grievances are with the doctors and the hospitals. Not
with the evil government.Blue Cross beats the hospital charges down
because they know the charges are inflated. And that Blue Cross carries enough
sway to do it.Does the hospital lose money on those with Blue Cross?
Not at all. They just don't make as much as they would like.Why does a hospital charge a cash paying customer more than Blue cross? Great
question.Blue Cross has much more sway than you or I. I agree it is not
fair.Your points are valid. But what is happening is Corporate
American taking advantage of people in order to make huge profits. Sometimes,
business take advantage of people. Why is that so hard for so many
Don't you love it when people put words in your mouth, especially when
those words are their own and not yours. To keep things simple (moderator),
let's require quotes when one poster tells us what another poster
"wrote".We have laws to protect us from anyone in society
who would use his position or power to take advantage of other members of
society. When a doctor charges one person a certain price and another person a
much higher price for the same procedure, that doctor is using his position and
power to defraud one person as he favors another.Joe Blow implies
that corporate America is at fault. I disagree. Corporate America did not
give us multilevel payments Medicare and ObamCare did.Hatch
perpetuates the problem. He pretends that a doctor has the right to charge
different rates for the same procedure. Does he allow the grocer to charge a
different price for the same gallon of milk based on the color of the credit
The best part about this article is that it discussed the huge tax transfer
Hatch's bill pushes onto those getting health insurance benefits as
"empowering patients." The extra 2k most people will pay in taxes under
Hatch's plan is not empowering them, as conservatives would like you to
believe. Oh, and this plan? It's not a liberal plan. This
plan is a Heritage Foundation derived plan, written by insurance companies that
has nothing to do with liberalism or liberals. You know what a liberal plan
would be? Single payer.
"Joe Blow implies that corporate America is at fault. I disagree. Corporate
America did not give us multilevel payments Medicare and ObamCare did."Completely wrong Mr Richards.Blue Cross (corporation)
negotiates the cost of certain procedures with the hospital (corporation). If I am covered by BC and have a hernia operation, and you have the
exact same operation but no insurance, the hospital will charge you more. And
the difference will be significant.Tell me how that is affected by
Obamacare or how that is caused by Medicare.My My the lengths you
will go in order to keep corporate America blameless.
@Mike RichardsFirst of all, I agree with something you said(it's
weird to me too man) Doctors shouldn't be able to charge one price for Blue
Cross, another for Select Health, and double for cash customers. However, you
are not accurate when you say that this payment structure was caused by the ACA.
Multilevel payment structures have been around for decades. Without a regulation
fixing costs, the free market sets them, which means a company that can bring
volume to a doctors office can get lower prices per procedure than if you go in
by yourself. It's no different than buying in bulk, the more you buy the
less you pay per unit. But the ACA doesn't really touch doctor
compensation, especially in the private insurance market. That these problems
aren't addressed are a flaw in the law, but the ACA simply isn't the
cause of these payment structures.
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