Uncharted waters

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  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    May 5, 2013 2:14 p.m.

    A lot of people are going to work and working hard. Their jobs may have health coverage or limited health coverage or in my case decent coverage that used to be a lot better. But many families can't afford insurance, can't get insurance or on high deductible plans. They are one accident or illness from hard times or bankruptcy. Millions of people are making decisions whether they should go to the doctor, ER, or the dentist postponing and/or not getting treatment because the feel they simply can't afford it. This puts us all at risk. My recent trip to the ER will be about 3K out of pocket being there less than three hours. I have to wonder if we can do better. My case is probably not that extreme as others have suffered worst injuries or illnesses with extremely high costs. Most people have their nightmare stories.

    My question: can we not do better? I think we can but do better, we must do better. Health care costs a generation ago weren't out of control, were reasonable and weren't bankrupting families let alone our country.

  • UT Brit London, England
    May 5, 2013 12:58 p.m.


    The UK is not far off your obesity levels and we have problems with cancer the same as everyone else.
    I have far more freedom with my health care than I ever had when I lived in the States. My insurance company in the States told me who I was able to see and when, I can choose to see any Doctor or specialist I wish in the UK. We also have a huge influx of immigrants from Eastern Europe into my country. This is all covered at half the cost of the US per person.

    Stop thinking that the US is a special snowflake that has problems no other countries have and look at others at how they have managed to implement their health care systems.

  • David Centerville, UT
    May 5, 2013 9:45 a.m.

    Factcheck quotes the 32% increase in health care costs as being those born by insurance companies. The figure comes from actuaries. The anticipated cost increase in premiums is expected to rise 10-13%. Not as dramatic a rise, but completely the opposite direction the ACA was supposed to affect the market. Again, evidence that the ACA is wrongly written, wrongly created, wrong process, just wrong.

    Even if Republicans earlier proposed a similar idea, it isn't working. You may state it is too early to declare failure. Perhaps you are correct. But costs are higher than expected, higher than we were told. If voters had been told that this law would increase their taxes ("fees" according to Obama), and increase their health insurance premiums by 10-13%, I honestly doubt it would ever have passed. What do you think?

    UTBrit, the American health situation is unique. We have a sedentary lifestyle, extreme obesity, high cancer rates, trial lawyers, cosmetic & elective surgeries, ER abuse, inefficient gov-run health programs, illegal-alien benefits, etc. Our health costs reflect this. To get health spending in line with other nations it will require a culture change. Something that government cannot enact without restricting freedom.

  • DN Subscriber 2 SLC, UT
    May 5, 2013 9:18 a.m.

    The Obamacare cure really is worse than the disease it promised to heal.

    This atrocity, which not a single Republican voted for, is described by its SUPPORTERS as "a train wreck" and "beyond comprehension." And, the cost to everyone will go up some 30%. Are you feeling better, yet?

    Looks like they forgot the "First, do no harm" rule of medicine.

    The only solution to the immediate emergency is to repeal Obamacase. Every word, every line, every rule.

    The old system was not perfect, but far better than what has been created. And, NO ONE was denied treatment, although some had been denied insurance.

    With Obamacare, we are already seeing that doctors are refusing to take new Medicaid and Medicare patients. Not because providers are heartless and greedy, but because they will go out of business providing care that costs more to deliver than they are reimbursed, and then no one will have health care!

    Worse, Obamacare eliminates the many options for varying levels of insurance coverage or self paying treatment that are fine for most people, especially younger ones.

  • UT Brit London, England
    May 5, 2013 1:12 a.m.


    "A single system will eliminate true market pressures that help to keep costs down. We have seen what a central government-run program will do...look at the former Soviet Union."

    How about you look at every first world country apart from the US? Quality health care at half the cost per person.

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    May 5, 2013 1:04 a.m.

    The simple answer to all of our problems is for everybody to simply take care of themselves and not worry about outside help. Of course there will always be the small percentage that cannot that we all should care for but today that percentage is way out of balance as it probable approaches nearly half. No population can succeed when half the population has their hand out to the other half, it just doesn't work.
    Healthcare used to be between a person and their doctor but now the insurance companies, the employers and the government all have way to big a part of it.
    This problem along with others will not go away until we all take a bigger role in self determination and take care of ourselves, our families, our friends and our neighbors. Government solutions simply do not exist for every potential problem.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    May 4, 2013 11:19 p.m.

    David you have conviently forgotten that Clinton tried very hard to get health care reform in the early 90's and was blocked by Republicans. In fact it was Republicans first salvo with Hillary. So you are absolutley wrong that both parties are to blame for not trying health care reform.

    Sorry David but your 32% health care cost increase is absolutley wrong also. The latest state to actually have insurance companies file for rate increases is Maryland and Etna applied for a 12% increase in small group policies, and United applied for a 15% increase. Nothing like 32%.

  • WHAT NOW? Saint George, UT
    May 4, 2013 8:27 p.m.

    Game plan...

    The ACA was the brainchild of the republican heritage Foundation.

    Failed Presidential candidate mitt romney was the severely conservative brainchild of the forerunner of the ACA in Mass..

    A member of the House, from south Carolina, has publically stated that the mission of the republican Party is to be against everything the POTUS is for (his exact words would not pass the DN Moderators), even if it was originally a republican idea/program.

    Independents and Democrats will forget what the republicans have done over the last 8 years?

    Uncharted waters?

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    May 4, 2013 6:44 p.m.

    Re:David, 4601, etc

    Democrats started with a Republican blueprint that came from the Heritage Foundation, and implemented by Republican Gov. Romney. The blueprint then went through several bi-partisan committees over a matter of several months. (Democrats would've preferred something closer to single-payer but that wasn't even considered).

    There is no industrialized country which relies on a "free-market" approach to healthcare, and they all have lower healthcare costs than the U.S.

    Exemptions to "political cronies"? Would you care to explain? Are you talking about waivers provided some businesses during the transistion phase?

    No doubt there will be many bumps during the transition-- it is a major change to our healthcare delivery system. It is obvious Republicans prefer the status quo--"survival of the fittest" approach.

  • David Centerville, UT
    May 4, 2013 6:08 p.m.


    Voters can vote. We don't write bills or pass laws. We vote. Your criticism that Republicans haven't done anything the past 30 years to decrease the rising costs of healthcare are equally applied to Democrats the past 30 years. Only recently was a bill passed, the ACA. Written & passed by Democrats, with no opportunity for Republican input or amendments, the law is now revealed to be seriously flawed & causing healthcare costs to increase 32% according to recent reports. Your effort to blame Republicans is laughable & clearly reveals your partisan blinders.

    As I began my post, voters vote. For those Americans who feel that 32% health care cost increases are the wrong direction, they should cast there vote for those who are willing to revisit the ACA to amend or junk it, making a new effort to write a law that will actually work to decrease health care costs.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    May 4, 2013 5:18 p.m.

    Red State Pride..so where were all you red staters the past 30 years as health care costs increased 4 to 5 thousand percent, medical care bankruptcies sky rocketed, and millions of Americans were left without health insurance all the while the insurance companies and drug companies became obscenely rich? Now the Democrats try and do "something" about all of it and all you can do is say hey you won't listen to me, I've been shut out of the conversation. There's not room here for you to tell me all of my great ideas but I lots of good ideas...of course you do. Well guess what you weren't shut out of the conversation..you were never in it..you had your chance and did nothing.

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 4, 2013 4:48 p.m.

    The left wing passed the ACA without it being written and in the face of predictable flaws such as funding. They excluded Rebups because the had a super majority and refused suggestions from the Wyden-Bennett plan. They have granted numerous exemptions to their political cronies and even Congress wanted to opt out. Now they are blaming the Repubs because the wheels are coming off the ACA. But then you have to blame someone and the left is not very anxious to take responsibility for failures, only successes.

  • David Centerville, UT
    May 4, 2013 3:58 p.m.

    It is funny that Democratic cheer leaders continue to blame Republicans.

    A single system will eliminate true market pressures that help to keep costs down. We have seen what a central government-run program will do...look at the former Soviet Union. We are already, as a nation, headed towards bankruptcy. This law, and the suggested single-payer health care, would only speed up our arrival at that destination.

    A much better approach would be to eliminate insurance company protections that currently allow collusion. Open up competition across state lines. An insurance in Minnesota covered 80% of the 1st $2000 (annual expenses), then 50% of the next $2000, then 100% up to a certain level. This system reduced overall costs. I don't know all the exact points that would help, but neither did Pelosi, Obama, and the rest of the Democrats who govern on platitudes and bumper slogans but know little about freedom and American economics.

    Republicans weren't able to obstruct. They were shut out of the process. The law was crammed down their throats with no opportunity for amendments. This is wholly the Democrats deal.

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 4, 2013 1:53 p.m.

    It's so rich that not one Republican voted for the ACA and now some Democrats have the gall to actually blame Republicans because it's turning into the complete train wreck Republicans predicted. So typical.
    Here's my problem with the ACA or any Government health care: it changes the relationship between the citizen and the state. When you are dependent on Government for your you are no longer a free man. You are a serf. Many Americans are comfortable with that unfortunately.
    I don't have space to lay out a complete plan but let's say it involves Major Medical Insurance, premium subsidies, charitable and civic organizations, reduced dependence on third party payments and it means allowing market forces to drive down costs and mostly it involves individual responsibility.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    May 4, 2013 11:36 a.m.

    Shaun, it's not an either or proposition..exercise and staying fit or spending trillions on health care. Staying fit would definitely lower health care costs, but stayig fit doesn't elliminate serious health problems. My close group of friends were probably some of the most fit people on the planet. All ran marathons in times from the low 2:20s to the high 2:40s and did so for many years. However two died of pancreatic cancer, one from prostate cancer, one from a rare brain disease. Two had major heart attacks and extensive heart surgery and one died from an unknown problem, and one had complete kidney failure.

    Exercise is definitely beneficial in many ways besides just being fun but it's not a panacea.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    May 4, 2013 11:08 a.m.

    I would like to know what the Republican Plan is. They are good at saying NO. And if there plan was to stay the course we were on before President Obama, that wasn't much of a plan. Healthcare was a mess before the President was elected. Most Obamacare changes haven't been implemented and it's still a mess. Why I say this, I'm not excited about Obamacare but we need some solutions. Again, saying NO to everything isn't a solution.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    May 4, 2013 9:59 a.m.

    Instead of throwing billions of dollars at health care why not just pay people to exercise and stay fit. A healthy lifestyle will prevent a lot of people from getting diseases and having health problems that later down the road cost a lot to treat.

  • Hamath Omaha, NE
    May 4, 2013 9:27 a.m.

    Timeline of a major gov't program

    1) Program is conceived.
    2) Program is bitterly fought over with Democrats usually arguing for it and Republicans against it (but sometimes reversed roles).
    3) Program is eventually made into a law.
    4) Program goes through major kinks and problems as gov't realizes once again that they've bitten off a chunk that is way bigger than they originally though.
    5) Prices to implement program go up.
    6) Program eventually settles down, kinks are mostly ironed out and people get used to the price
    7) Someone figures out a way to scam the system. Usually some from gov't, some from industry, and some individuals find loopholes.
    8) Big gov't tries to adjust. More and more regulations try to control the program. Again they realize how hard it is to do it. They get overwhelmed.
    9) System eventually regresses to a limp along status, performing well below it's "proposed" purpose.
    10)???? still waiting to see what happens to Soc. Sec. and Medicare, let alone managing war in Afghanistan.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    May 4, 2013 8:58 a.m.

    Republicans are using every avenue to ensure the failure of ACA. So. Carolina legislators recently passed a bill making implementation of ACA a crime. Many Republican states have refused to develop their own insurance exchanges--where their citizens will "shop" for healtcare insurance. Though Republicans typically push for "states rights," because of their failure to develop their own exchanges they will have a federal model to select from.

    ACA allows states, beginning in 2017, to devise and implement their own universal healthcare plan. VT is moving forward with developing a single-payer model.

    When Bush's prescription drug plan was implemented there was much confusion and initial problems. That will be the case with ACA as well. But over time, the kinks get worked out. There is no doubt Republicans will amplify the kinks and declare it a disaster.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    May 4, 2013 8:53 a.m.

    Sen. Baucus said that implementing the ACA is becoming a "train wreck", but that's mainly because of Republicans doing everything they can to undermine it. He still describes the ACA itself as "good law."

    I expect you guys to criticize President Obama and Democrats every chance you get, but at least quote people accurately.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    May 4, 2013 8:44 a.m.

    it's like... Conservatives are hoping for it to fail. They are cheering for it. Why? So we can go back to the good ol days when millions were left uninsured (and those insured were left with the bill)? To the good ol days when insurance companies could deny Americans coverage because they felt like it? When insurance companies could suddenly drop someone from coverage (in particular, a sick person) because it might cost them a few bucks?

    Now, if the GOP had an alternative plan, then I'd say they were hoping for Obamacare to fail so their plan would be used. Unfortunately, we are still waiting for the repubs to give us an alternative plan.

    So again, more petty and senseless hating on Obama. More hoping that his plan fails. More hoping for Americans to suffer. All while offering absolutely NOTHING in alternative solutions.

    And you clowns wonder why your rating is so low? Repubs ya gotta do something other than obstruct, say no, and otherwise act like spoiled 3 year olds.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    May 4, 2013 8:34 a.m.

    Come on DN let's tell the facts. Baccus told Kathleen Sebilius that he could see a train wreck in the implementation...if Health and Welfare didn't step up their communication plan in the next few months.

    Another fact, reducing long term costs of health care premiums is one of the goals of the ACA, but just one. Increasing coverage is probably it's main function initially, and it's that coverage that will eventually help decreace costs in multiple ways.

    Fact; it's impossible to talk about rate increases as "a" thing. Everyone will experience rates differently depending on their personal circumstances. A young male who currently doesn't have insurance will experience a much larger increase than an older adult with pre-exsisting conditions. But please quit talking about insurance rate increases as though it's something brand new..caused by Obama.

    Lastly rates all ready filed for are showing small group increases of from 12 to 18 percent and the largest increases in the real world seem to be around 25%..a figure seen many times over the past 30 years. So facts next time.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    May 4, 2013 8:20 a.m.

    The underlying point made by the D-News is accurate: Americans overall make too many poor lifestyle choices, which result in higher healthcare costs.

    Looking deeper, Americans have much higher measured levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Essentially, we get stressed out of our minds at work, then come home and seek comfort food and other forms of relief from the economic grind, which lead to poorer health, and more expensive healthcare.

    The economic stress & anxiety that results from the ongoing economic upheaval and uncertainty in employment that conservatives refer to as "creative destruction" leads to not just poorer health, but other social concerns the D-News has lamented recently, including dropping birth rates, young people delaying or avoiding marriage, etc.

    As employers lower the working hours of employees to avoid having to pay for their healthcare, what is the solution to our evolving healthcare problems? Conservatives mock and reject Mayor Bloomberg's regulation of soda pop portions, but sodas are known to cause health problems, over time.

    If Obamacare collapses, then what? Hordes of uninsured, stressed out of the minds, making poor choices, and employers focused on profit.


  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    May 4, 2013 8:10 a.m.

    Now that the Economy has recovered and jobs coming back, the timing is perfect. Romney lost, he will not be vindicated by a bad economy and the inability of our country to have affordable health care.

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    May 4, 2013 7:19 a.m.

    Of course there have been many unintended bad consequences of Obamacare. As conservatives know, and others are hopefully beginning to find out (if they keep their eyes open), most legislation has unintended consequences, and with legislation this big, there were bound to be many unintended consequences. Many of these were predicted (again, by conservatives) but with legislation this big, which lawmakers didn't even read before passing it, there will be many unpredicted consequences and over the coming years we'll find out what those consequences are. Liberals need to learn that it is not possible to legislate utopia. They have tried for decades and have consistently failed. Their welfare programs have backfired, and led to a huge rise in illegitimacy, which has led to increased poverty. I did NOT say there is no role at all for government. But the bigger the govt program, the more unintended consequences, expense, fraud, waste and abuse. It has been that way for decades, but liberals seem blind to history.

  • the old switcharoo mesa, AZ
    May 4, 2013 7:08 a.m.

    It's not affordable because mandatory insurance without any constraints on the insurance companies is a REPUBLICAN idea.

    REPUBLICANS won't allow any cost control measures. They won't even allow medicare to negotiate lower drug prices. What in the world are republicans complaining about? Their own ideas!

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    May 4, 2013 6:58 a.m.

    If it does turn out to be a "train wreck" it will be due to the fact that it was so twisted and distorted by trying to keep the insurance industry and GOP happy that it's nowhere near what is REALLY needed.

    What's REALLY needed?

    Universal single payer, that's what.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 4, 2013 12:17 a.m.

    We can't keep on with half baked ideas. We need a fully funded single payer system, outside the realm of insurance or employers.