Michael Gerson: Obamacare in need of a doctor

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  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    Oct. 28, 2013 8:25 a.m.

    To "Kimber" why does the GOP have to come up with a plan? Would you trust a decision by the janitor about how treat your cancer? The problem is that politicians don't understand teh free market, so they keep trying to conrol it and bend the free market to their will (fascism). If the politicians simply repealed Obamacare, and let the free market work, then you would end up with real solutions because if company A can offer a cheaper and more attractive product than company B, they will so that they can generate profits.

    With the government policies that were added through Obamacare, company A must deliver the same product as company B. The only way to improve things is to find ways to make your product cost less. The Government doesn't like that, so they are controlling the price too.

    To "marxist" it is the private sector that can and will handle those problems. It wasn't a government program that developed penicillin or is working on the next generation of chemo therapy drugs. The solutions are coming from the private sector. Ask yourself, how innovative was the USSR in comparison to the US?

  • Kimber Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 25, 2013 4:57 p.m.

    I liked a cartoon a saw that showed a complicated diagram of many of the issues within the ACA. It than showed the "GOP Plan" on the right which was simple. "Get Sick and die penniless"
    If people think they have a better way to organize healthcare, then they need to make suggestions that have been asked for since the concept of the ACA began. The ACA is a work in progress and it's a good start. Anything is better than doing nothing and tearing the good ideas apart. I am going to have health insurance for the first time in seven years since I became self employed and was denied a personal plan due to "pre-existing conditions". That is going away now and is a very good idea!

  • Alfred Phoenix, AZ
    Oct. 25, 2013 2:54 p.m.

    @BYU Furnitureman:
    "I struggle to understand how anyone will believe that the ACA will lower healthcare costs..."

    The Obamacare savings was supposed to come from the 30 million or so Americans who didn't have/couldn't afford health insurance and who go to (free) costly emergency rooms for simple stuff like a cough or an errant hang nail. The simpler solution would be to direct these folks to a free health clinic. Most areas have at least one.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    Oct. 25, 2013 2:44 p.m.

    @m.g. scott:
    "Quote from Winston Churchill: 'The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.'"

    That's only the half of it under Obamacare. We are losing medical professionals, we are losing jobs, we are losing the 40 hour work week, and the young who are supposed to sign up to pay the medical bills for the elderly are not signing up [they'd rather pay the penalty (er, tax)]. Not to worry though, the penalty is designed to increase every year until it equals or exceeds insurance premiums. And what are we gaining? Death panels. If you're old (or when you get old) the government will decide if you will get expensive health care such as a knee replacement and whether you will live or die. Just get a wheelchair or go home and take a painkiller (Obama's own words).

  • BYU Furnitureman Lebanon, MO
    Oct. 25, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    I struggle to understand how anyone will believe that the ACA will lower healthcare costs and insurance premiums for all but a very small minority of the people involved. The way it is explained it appears to be no differnt from a perpetual energy machine that supposedly produces more energy than it consumes. Sounds great but it isn't real and doesn't exist. If you look around you will always find a cord plugged into a wall outlet somewhere that wasnt' mentioned....
    Obamacare is no different. Reasonably priced insurance and healthcare for everyone sounds great but the ACA cannot deliver it. The hidden costs will be huge and for a country that is already 17 trillion in debt we cannot afford it.

  • BYU Furnitureman Lebanon, MO
    Oct. 25, 2013 8:48 a.m.

    When it comes to programing an operating system there are a few basic rules that are always true.
    1. If someone cannot explain how the system is supposed to work the programmers cannot write the code to generate the desired result.
    2. Adding to the scope of the project in the middle of the project will always create delays, increase the cost and increase the number of problem areas. People were told of the negative impact.
    3. There are always people who know what is working, what isn't working, what has been tested, what hasn't been tested and where the system will or is most likely to fail when it is rolled out.
    4. Someone or group of someones made a decision that it was better to go live even though the system had significant flaws than it was to postpone the go live date....
    5. When things are not going well, somewhere there is someone using their position/title as a reason why things needed to happen on time vs. dealing with the core issue that is causing the trouble.

    It isn't believeable that the website problems were s surprise to those involved.

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    Oct. 25, 2013 8:08 a.m.


    Quote from Winston Churchill

    "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries."

    And that's just "socialism". Imagine what Marxism brings? Oh that's right, we don't have to imagine. The old Soviet Union already showed us.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 24, 2013 6:24 p.m.

    RE: RedShirt "To "marxist" so you agree that we are now on a race to the bottom with socialized health care. " I am saying that the for-profit system cannot handle the biological whirlwind which is descending on us - presently antibiotic resistant bacteria and viruses and anthropomorphic climate change which aids and abets it. I agree these are not welcome changes, but they are here. I don't see how private sector only health care can handle it.

  • redshirt007 tranquility base, 00
    Oct. 24, 2013 2:16 p.m.

    Yes, let's go back to poor people having car washes and bake sales when their family gets sick.

    Love thy neighbor - just not that much.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Oct. 24, 2013 12:32 p.m.

    To "JoeBlow" you are quite wrong about the US healthcare system.

    We are paying the Nordstrom prices, and we are getting the Nordstrom quality.

    The US has the most technologically advanced healthcare system. We also have the ability to react to and treat illnesses the quickest after diagnosis.

    The US is also has the highest cancer survival rate in the world.

    On top of all of that, if you remove accidental deaths from the count, the US has the greatest longevity in the world.

    All of that was made possible under a system that 80% of the population liked. That is better than the approval ratings for Obama, Congress, the Democrats, or Republicans.

    On top of all of that, we had the Nordstrom system of healthcare that was affordable to 99% of the population (only 2.5 million of the 45 million uninsured cound not afford insurance or qualify for government programs).

    Why should we dismantle the best system and join the Walmart club that the rest of the world shops at? Are there people you want to see die on wait lists or die as a result of inadequate cancer treatments?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Oct. 24, 2013 12:24 p.m.

    To "JoeBlow" even nothing is better than the ACA. The problem is that we don't need a replacement for the ACA, we need less government intrusion in health insurance. Right now there are over 2200 mandates. The mandates do little more than increase costs, and cause insurance companies to drop needy people.

    As an example of how the regulations backfire, here is one from my family. During the 1980's my brother developed juvenile onset diabetes. Insurance covered him without any problem, this was why my Dad was self employed. After the government added 1000 mandates, insurance companies no longer covered people on the individual market who have diabetes.

    To "marxist" so you agree that we are now on a race to the bottom with socialized health care. One thing you should ask yourself is this: If socialized care is so good, why are some of the nations with socialized care encouraging private insurance and care for their citizens?

    To "Esquire" what do you mean the ACA doesn't need fixing? We were told that it was going to lower insurance costs. So far in 45 of 50 states costs have risen by an average 73%.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 24, 2013 11:27 a.m.

    Socialized health care is coming one way or another. The health care status quo is not sustainable - too many are left with no or inadequate coverage. Moreover, private pharma is not willing to come forth with a new line of antibiotics to fight the "superbugs" which are already upon us. The public cannot afford to allow this, and will demand socialized drug research and manufacturing.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    Oct. 24, 2013 1:11 a.m.

    @liberal larry:
    "This panic over the Affordable Healthcare is mostly hyperbole."

    The problem with the Affordable Care Act is that we can't afford it. It will drive the US into another, deeper recession. And we're not even out of the last one. What it amounts to is a huge tax increase on every American citizen... which will either go to pay for an insurance policy or to the government as a penalty (tax) for not buying a policy.

    "The system is just getting started and millions of uninsured people have taken an interest in getting insured."

    And millions are being thrown off their current, less expensive insurance policy and are forced to buy a more expensive one... with high co-pays and deductibles.

    "Medicare and Social Security are well run..."

    They're both going broke.

    "Give it some time and Obamacare will be running like a well run machine..."

    The death panels are being set up as we speak.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 11:06 p.m.

    It's in need of a doctor. One that looks upon me not as a payer but a patient and participant. One that sees my health as an asset that is beneficial to society, and the health of every other person in society equally so. One that sees health as a service, not a commodity. One that recognises that this is more important than anything else we can do as a society. Obamacare is in need of a doctor, a hospital, a society and an attitude. It'a in need of an improvement in all of us.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Oct. 23, 2013 3:52 p.m.

    "So why do you expect Republicans to present plans to replace Obamacare before the election. "

    No double standard here.

    The GOP has been screaming REPEAL and REPLACE for years now. I have no problem with replacing the ACA with something better.

    But, lets see it. Heck. They haven't penned any proposed legislation.

    Our current system is unsustainable.

    And most of us believe that Repeal and Replace really means Repeal and go back to what will surely fail our country.

  • David Centerville, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 2:52 p.m.

    Esquire, you are rewriting history. Consider the Revolutionary War. The liberal "rebels" were rebelling against taxation without representation, and the burdens (might we call them "regulations?" being forced upon the colonies. When these "liberals" argued for a strong centralized government, they weren't arguing for forced contraceptive coverage, but for a strong, unified military to preserve the union.

    When Democrats opposed the Civil Rights movement, was that your proof that conservatives would have lost the union during the Civil War during the Republican Lincoln adminstration?

    I fear that your post is full of revisionist history.

  • David Centerville, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 2:48 p.m.

    Joe Blow,

    The Democrats, particularly Obama, did not present his health care plan in detail until after the election. It wasn't passed until 2010, but even as congressmen voted, they had not read the bill to know what was inside it.

    So why do you expect Republicans to present plans to replace Obamacare before the election. Do you have a double standard?

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Oct. 23, 2013 2:29 p.m.


    You can slice it anyway you choose but you back up your assertions with no data.

    According to the WHO, the US ranks FIRST in "expenditure per capita" and ranks 38th based on 5 criteria. Feel free to look them up, but they seem as fair as any.

    Now, I agree that if I were rich and have a rare illness, I would want to be in the US.

    So, if that is your only criteria, you could have a point.

    For example, the Royal birth in England cost $15k. The Average Childbirth without complications is billed at $30K in the US. That is a problem that many want to bury their heads in the sand rather than address it.

    The mentality that "all is well" with our healthcare system is a characteristic of the GOP.

    And it is completely illogical. (if one adheres to logic at all)

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    Oct. 23, 2013 12:24 p.m.

    Mountanman, poor management is poor management. You can also cite the bankruptcy of Orange County, California, the largest concentration of Republicans on the West Coast.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Oct. 23, 2013 11:32 a.m.

    The entire rationale of Obamacare is to force some people to pay for Nordstrom quality healthcare they themselves will not receive. Force is an evil principle and is unjust. We have excellent medical care in America not Wal-Mart quality at all as you assert, but it is expensive. Quality always costs more. Obamacare will lower healthcare quality because it has to. Obamacare has no chance of succeeding because it is unjust and unfair. What one receives by not working means another person must work without receiving-totally unsustainable.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 11:29 a.m.

    I can't wait for the central-planning liberals to add food, housing, clothing, and a "living wage" job to the list of "constitutional rights" that every American (legal or not) deserves and that the government must provide.

    If you think $17 Trillion in debt is astronomical, just give leftist ideologues like Obama, Reid, and Polosi a few more years of government control. The sky is no longer the limit.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Oct. 23, 2013 10:58 a.m.

    "You want Nordstrom quality healthcare at Wal-Mart prices?"


    But today we have Walmart healthcare at Nordstrom prices.

    "The laws of economics can not be ignored forever, you will get what you pay for."

    And I would be happy to "get what we pay for". Many world measures suggest that we have the most expensive healthcare and get far from the best results.

    That is what virtually all data suggests. Sorry if it does not fit your narrative.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Oct. 23, 2013 10:46 a.m.

    @ Esquire. Detroit is the perfect example of what happens when Democrats run things. And now, just think, you can add Obamacare and the IRS and Benghazi and fast and furious and NSA to your list of wonderful Democrat accomplishments!

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    Oct. 23, 2013 10:38 a.m.

    This panic over the Affordable Healthcare is mostly hyperbole. The system is just getting started and millions of uninsured people have taken an interest in getting insured.

    Medicare and Social Security are well run, and liked by most Americans. Give it some time and Obamacare will be running like a well run machine, despite opposition and sabotage by conservative governors.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 9:58 a.m.

    The website needs help, not the actual program. Conservatives are a depressing lot. If they had controlled things throughout American history, we would have no independence from Britain, no Constitution, no single nation in the wake of the Civil War, no freedom from the Nazis, no Interstate Highway system, no Social Security, and the list goes on an on. We would be the Afghanistan of the the Western Hemisphere.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Oct. 23, 2013 9:29 a.m.

    @ JoeBlow. You want Nordstrom quality healthcare at Wal-Mart prices? That is impossible and even Obamacare can't do that. There are not enough taxpayers and higher premium payers in the world to make up the cost difference. What we will eventually end up with is lower quality healthcare for all. The laws of economics can not be ignored forever, you will get what you pay for. There is no such thing as something for nothing. We can't keep borrowing money forever!

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Oct. 23, 2013 8:08 a.m.

    Health care in general is in "need of a doctor"

    Unfortunately, the GOP just says NO and puts forth not replacement.

    Dont forget, even without the ACA healthcare costs are unsustainable.

    Push the GOP to draft replacement legislation, then we can talk about killing the ACA.

    In the end, it is much easier to shoot holes in someone else plan than to provide one of your own.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 7:58 a.m.

    There are just some things that the government should try to leave to smaller more efficient and self interested entities who know that doing well, they keep their job, and doing poorly, they lose it. No one in the current administration seems to be accountable for huge screw ups. Benghazi, IRS, NSA, Fast and Furious, and now Obamacare. This is why the private sector is so much better at handling jobs. The threat of losing a job is a great motivator that government employees, even down to the school teacher level, don't usually have. Job protection, usually coming from union involvement, creates a workforce that produces medicore service or product. It's just human nature. Which liberalism is so successful at exploiting to get votes.

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 7:34 a.m.

    This article just about sums up obama's entire presidency, nothing is going the way he wanted it to. Worse healthcare, higher cost, fewer people actually covered and the country left with even more debt and more bills to pay.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 12:06 a.m.

    On top of all that; its administered by a politicized and corrupt IRS.