Robert J. Samuelson: Obamacare won't affect health much; will affect government and the health care system

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  • Anti Bush-Obama Washington, DC
    March 28, 2012 12:14 p.m.

    Romney won't repeal a bill that he wrote. I'm sorry guys but his ego is too massive. If our deficit wasn't 15 trillion dollars, maybe a law like this would work. But I've actually read the heathcare bill and it only serves the insurance companies. Romney think corporations are people so he won't hurt them.

    Romneys promnise of repealing Healthcare reform is totally baseless and pure campaign rhetoric.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    March 27, 2012 10:55 p.m.

    "That's not enough for me,"

    So, peering into Obama's brain, the author concludes Obama was driven by ego So, pray tell us what is Obama going to decide about the Keystone pipeline?


    Cost-shifting is when people are unable to pay their medical bills so providers then pass the costs onto the insured in the form of charging $10 for a single disposable razor. Insurance companies, not the providers, make it impossible for there to be a set fee for procedures or treatment. The most straight-forward system is Medicare.

    Romneycare and Obamacare are the beginning of the journey. No doubt other changes will need to be made as we go through the process of transitioning our healthcare delivery system.

  • Utah Businessman Sandy, UT
    March 27, 2012 6:11 p.m.

    Joe Blow, you make some good points, but this problem is NEVER going to solved by politicians. We, as businesses and citizens need to take PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. We need to band together, get organized in communities and cities, use all means available to zero in on the elements of the enormous "fat" in our health care system, then begin holding providers ACCOUNTABLE to implement policies and practices needed to bring costs back down to reasonable levels.

    My wife has had several major surgeries over the past ten years and I can point to many line items on the bills that are obviously way out of line, but when I brought these to the attention of the provider (the largest health care provider in Utah, I believe), I was simply ignored. After dogged insistence on answers, I received nice, polite platitudes, double-talk and gibberish. Period. Most health care now is paid for (initially) by insurance companies and government entities, so the providers can simply brush us off. But if we get enough voices, we can pressure providers to recognize that we consumers ultimately pay the bills PLUS all of the administrative costs of the "middle-men"

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    March 27, 2012 12:45 p.m.

    re:liberal larry

    I wonder what happens to life expectancy when a nation falls into financial ruin ...even bankruptcy ... like Greece ? All those images of the good people of Greece burning cars in the streets because the "entitlement piggy bank" is empty is REAL and is a vision of America with Obamacare. Yes when the house of cards finally collapses then what? Then it's NO HEALTH CARE for anyone .. except the rich. What a wonderful plan huh? The goal of Obamacare is to destroy all private insurance companies thus FORCING (Obama's favorite management style)everyone on to the single payer government plan. We burn any bridge back if we go to Obamacare. By the way, when was the last time you were on the phone with the IRS? Was it a pleasant experience Larry? This is what you can expect with Obamacare when you need that knee replacement - a federal government official determining if you are worthy of a knee replacement or not and then a 6 month wait ... if you are on the fast track that is.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    March 27, 2012 12:32 p.m.

    the only salvageable item from Obamacare would be the coverage for children up to age 26

  • Nonconlib Happy Valley, UT
    March 27, 2012 10:02 a.m.

    "And then, unlike now, government seemed capable of paying for bigger programs." The reason government was capable of paying for bigger programs then (1965, when LBJ signed Medicare into law) was that the top marginal tax rate was 70 percent, double what it is now and triple what the Republicans would like it to be. Three years earlier, the top tax rate had been 91 percent. With a willingness to tax wealth, the "greatest generation" was able, after World War II, to create a stable middle class, rebuild Europe, send a generation of GIs to college, and sustain an economic boom that lasted for a couple of decades. (And guess what? Somehow the rich still got richer. Imagine that.) Of course, in 1946 they weren't dealing with an aging population or with much international economic competition, but still, they couldn't have done all this with a top tax rate at 35 percent, or 28 percent, or 20 percent.

  • Earl Sandy, UT
    March 27, 2012 9:56 a.m.

    Here's the real focus of this article and why it should grate on Obamaniacs nerves: "Considering the ACA's glaring — and predictable — economic and political shortcomings, why did Obama make it his first-term centerpiece? The answer seems to be his obsession with securing his legacy as the president who achieved the liberal grail of universal coverage...The ACA is Obama's ego trip..."

    Isn't that what it's all about?

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 27, 2012 9:43 a.m.

    America is about to seize up and collapse under the weight of bureaucracy and regulation and what did the Democrats want to do when they took control of the Presidency and Congress? Add more bureaucracy and regulation not in the name of healthcare but in the name of control.
    As the first poster pointed out - life expectancies are basically the same in the US and Canada. In Bosnia and Albania and other countries life expectancies are basically the same as ours and they all smoke a pack of Marlboros a day.
    So what was the point again? (other than bringing America to the verge of being on the verge of a civil war)

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    March 27, 2012 9:31 a.m.

    "The ACA is Obama's ego trip," The comment of a lightweight.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    March 27, 2012 8:20 a.m.

    "Obamacare won't affect health much; will affect government and the health care system", was intended to affect the system. We all ready have the best health care in the world, the issue is access to that care not the care. Other related issues include costs, and delivery systems. Any reasonable person should be concerned about the consequences, both intended and unintended of the HCA. Just as any reasonable person should have reckognized that the current system is inefficient and unjust. Markets will never provide universal access to health care, and a civil society will never let people just die because they don't fit the market model for access, so let's step up folks and figure out a civil and effective solution to this.

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    March 27, 2012 7:42 a.m.

    What is obscured is the big picture.

    Forget about all the wrangling over Obamacare.

    Forget all the political posturing.

    The problem is easy to see. And anyone takes an honest look, KNOWS that we mush address it.

    The costs are skyrocketing. As a country, we spend far too much. The return on our money could be far greater.

    Now, we need our politicians to address these problems. We need them to work together in a bi-partisan way to find some solutions.

    Larry hits on a one piece of the equation that tells little and makes a sweeping generalization based on that.

    How about costs Larry?

    Have you looked at how much more we spend in the US compared to Canada?

    Come on people. Lets drop the partisanship and demand that our politicians address the problem.

    Who cares which party's idea it is.

    Unfortunately, far too many.

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    March 27, 2012 7:03 a.m.

    Life expectancy in Canada 80.7,
    Life expectancy in America 78.3.

    Looks like having everyone insured is worth about two and half years.