The GOP's health care ideas look fami...

The GOP's health care ideas look familiar

There are 17 comments on the TwinCities.com story from Oct 30, 2010, titled The GOP's health care ideas look familiar. In it, TwinCities.com reports that:

As they campaign to recapture Congress, Republicans are vowing to repeal President Barack Obama's new health care law and relieve Americans from rising insurance premiums and bigger government.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at TwinCities.com.

Joe Merlot

Saint Paul, MN

#1 Oct 31, 2010
I agree that taking small steps is the safest approach. Further, this article implies the the number of american's insured has a significant impact on overall cost growth, which is a shakey argument at best. To understand the unreasonableness of this premise, one must put it in context a little. The basic idea with this school of thought is that those that are not covered AND need treatment do so on their dime and wind up defaulting the bill with that cost getting distributed to the rest of us. Now consider, less than 10% of the population is uncovered, only a percentage of that 10% NEEDS significant treatement and only a percentage of that percentage defaults on their bills. I've never seen it represented, however, if I had to hazzard a guess I would say that those costs represent probably less than 2% of all medical costs. So what's more reasonable, that 2% of the cost volume is driving prices up dramatically or that the level of treatment provided by the other 98% represents a significant rise in DEMAND for some reason? It seems to be that American's are spending more on Healthcare SERVICES for some reason and that it would be prudent for government to spend some money figuring out WHY so that we can figure out a solution. Is it that doctors are friviously spending health care dollars on ineffective or inefficient testing and treatment, is it that American's are (as a whole) becoming more unhealthy? In my humble opinion, we are not even in a position to argue/debate solutions as I don't believe we have spent any time/resource to thoughtfully understand the problem. Instead, it seems we've made some arbitrary hypotheses that line up with our political goals and spent enormous resource too study (or try to scientifically prove) those arbitrary hypotheses.

In keeping with the GOP position of baby steps being the safe course to protect the good things in our health care system (and despite those who trash it to sell you their solution, it does have MANY good things, that's another discussion), I would encourage them to add resources/funding to study patterns of health care services delivered over time. Is the growth in treatment of the seriously ill, volume of minor treatments, obesity, etc...) Only when we understand WHAT is happening will we be able to develop thoughtful/reasonable policy to affect a positive outcome.
just sayin

Saint Paul, MN

#3 Oct 31, 2010
Joe Merlot wrote:
I agree that taking small steps is the safest approach. Further, this article implies the the number of american's insured has a significant impact on overall cost growth, which is a shakey argument at best. To understand the unreasonableness of this premise, one must put it in context a little. The basic idea with this school of thought is that those that are not covered AND need treatment do so on their dime and wind up defaulting the bill with that cost getting distributed to the rest of us. Now consider, less than 10% of the population is uncovered, only a percentage of that 10% NEEDS significant treatement and only a percentage of that percentage defaults on their bills. I've never seen it represented, however, if I had to hazzard a guess I would say that those costs represent probably less than 2% of all medical costs. So what's more reasonable, that 2% of the cost volume is driving prices up dramatically or that the level of treatment provided by the other 98% represents a significant rise in DEMAND for some reason? It seems to be that American's are spending more on Healthcare SERVICES for some reason and that it would be prudent for government to spend some money figuring out WHY so that we can figure out a solution. Is it that doctors are friviously spending health care dollars on ineffective or inefficient testing and treatment, is it that American's are (as a whole) becoming more unhealthy? In my humble opinion, we are not even in a position to argue/debate solutions as I don't believe we have spent any time/resource to thoughtfully understand the problem. Instead, it seems we've made some arbitrary hypotheses that line up with our political goals and spent enormous resource too study (or try to scientifically prove) those arbitrary hypotheses.
In keeping with the GOP position of baby steps being the safe course to protect the good things in our health care system (and despite those who trash it to sell you their solution, it does have MANY good things, that's another discussion), I would encourage them to add resources/funding to study patterns of health care services delivered over time. Is the growth in treatment of the seriously ill, volume of minor treatments, obesity, etc...) Only when we understand WHAT is happening will we be able to develop thoughtful/reasonable policy to affect a positive outcome.
I believe one of the most significant issues we need to discuss as a country is that of end of life treatment. This issue is not easy to talk about in that no one wants to legislate when enough is enough. However, can we afford to spend tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars (health insurance dollars more often than not) to extend the life, a few days, weeks or months, of an individual with late stage terminal cancer (as an example)?

No one wants to talk about it, the Republicans even used it as ammuniton to fight the health care bill (inacurate argument by the way). But it is one of the largest issues impacting what we all pay. I know a family that elected one more chemo treatment for their loved one prior to accepting Hospice care. That cost the insurance company $7,000 just for the medicine let alone the other hospital costs incurred. I can't fault them for holding onto that last small bit of hope but look at the cost.

I don't know the answer and I admit I would likely see things different if I, or one of my loved ones, were the one laying in the hospital bed. But the impact is a fact and the discussion will need to occur because our population is only getting older.
Mike

Saint Cloud, MN

#4 Oct 31, 2010
The limits on lawsuits are good, but just like the democrats, where is anyone with enough guts to address the runaway costs? It tells me one thing. Lobbyists are handing out cash to congress to not change a damn thing.
Carbon Bigfoot

United States

#5 Oct 31, 2010
In order to get people to understand the costs associated with health care, it needs to be separated from employment. Having people buy their health care insurance just like they buy their auto insurance is the best to accomplish that.
Moderation is the answer

Tucson, AZ

#6 Oct 31, 2010
No Matter what we do with Health care we will one day have to deal with the Fact that we spend 17% of our GDP on health care and our competitors in the world economy spend 6 to 8% of their GDP. Guess what they have better health care they live longer have a lower infant death rate ETC ETC. also every one of these low costing health care systems is a nationalized system and if you ask them how they like their system they all love their system. Canadians Germans French british all have told me that they love their health care systems. My wifes sister was a doctor in Germany and she can not understand how stupid Americans are. She was a chief of staff at a hospital in Germany which was modeled after the Mayo Clinic system as all german hospitals are. Doctors in Germany work for a hospital they do not charge fee for service as independent businesses. You go to a clinic or a hospital for health care where all doctors are employed specialists and primary care doctors all are included in your diagnosis and in your care. you do not go from a primary care doctor to a specialist to a MRI facility to an X ray facility each charging fee for service and all having seperate manual medical records. WE either must standardize and centralioze our system or we will continue to fall behind the world's economic system we can't spend 17% of GDP while our competitors spend 6 to 8% so wake up all you right wing wacko's
Margin of Error

Saint Paul, MN

#8 Oct 31, 2010
IF you work in the private sector.

IF this is not heavily modified if not repealed.

YOU have about 3 1/2 years left of your current employer sponsored health care.

At that point be ready for a painful change, as it will be much more cost effective for your employer to cancel all coverage, and pay the smaller cost of the "fine".

You will then find yourself "out of pocket" on getting into whatever the public plans of that day are.

I say "out of pocket" because your employer surely will not be passing on they're savings into your employment package.

HOPE this is the CHANGE that you voted for.
Peter

Houston, TX

#9 Oct 31, 2010
Moderation is the answer wrote:
No Matter what we do with Health care we will one day have to deal with the Fact that we spend 17% of our GDP on health care and our competitors in the world economy spend 6 to 8% of their GDP. Guess what they have better health care they live longer have a lower infant death rate ETC ETC. also every one of these low costing health care systems is a nationalized system and if you ask them how they like their system they all love their system. Canadians Germans French british all have told me that they love their health care systems. My wifes sister was a doctor in Germany and she can not understand how stupid Americans are. She was a chief of staff at a hospital in Germany which was modeled after the Mayo Clinic system as all german hospitals are. Doctors in Germany work for a hospital they do not charge fee for service as independent businesses. You go to a clinic or a hospital for health care where all doctors are employed specialists and primary care doctors all are included in your diagnosis and in your care. you do not go from a primary care doctor to a specialist to a MRI facility to an X ray facility each charging fee for service and all having seperate manual medical records. WE either must standardize and centralioze our system or we will continue to fall behind the world's economic system we can't spend 17% of GDP while our competitors spend 6 to 8% so wake up all you right wing wacko's
Dopey dopey and dopey. You are impervious to thinking and facts.

The metrics you discuss have many factors. For one, we're fatter. For another, we have an open border and more poor and dysfunctional people having babies (both products of liberalism) that have nothing to do with medical quality. For another, those other countries treat end of life differently. They let people die, we throw the kitchen sink at it. That isn't medicine, it's culture and values. So called "low cost" systems heavily ration. They do that to head off the tremendous demand generated by telling people something is free.

The only thing that matters is what the government spends on healthcare. What I spend as private citizen is no ones business. And if government needs to spend less, it should spend less, not create new entitlements. For you to tell me that I should buy a car, a vacation, or remodel my kitchen instead of the healthcare I want because you don't like our GDP mix is nuts and irrational.

Skip your next doctors appointment. We spend too much. LOL.
here we go

Saint Paul, MN

#10 Oct 31, 2010
Oh goody. Another forum for Moderation to spew how the world needs to change because HE doesn't like HIS doctor's office. Germany? Really?. Yep. That's what I want my healthcare modeled after.

Tell you what. When (not if) the republicans regain control of the house on Tuesday, they can repeal healthcare or be voted out in 2012. Period. End of story.

I don't mind some revamping and indeed changes ARE needed. We can start with no longer allowing anchor baby mamas from crossing the border. That will solve a whole host of problems. Secondly, allow the purchase of insurance across state lines. Telling to take the trial lawyer lobby to take a leap and take an HONEST look at tort reform also makes sense. Finally, there's never, ever been any reason to take apart the finest healthcare system in the world and halfazzed revamp it all for an unknown result. It's expensive and unnecessary. People die folks. Obama and government run healthcare isn't going to change that.
Joe Merlot

Saint Paul, MN

#11 Oct 31, 2010
just sayin wrote:
<quoted text>
I believe one of the most significant issues we need to discuss as a country is that of end of life treatment. This issue is not easy to talk about in that no one wants to legislate when enough is enough. However, can we afford to spend tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars (health insurance dollars more often than not) to extend the life, a few days, weeks or months, of an individual with late stage terminal cancer (as an example)?
No one wants to talk about it, the Republicans even used it as ammuniton to fight the health care bill (inacurate argument by the way). But it is one of the largest issues impacting what we all pay. I know a family that elected one more chemo treatment for their loved one prior to accepting Hospice care. That cost the insurance company $7,000 just for the medicine let alone the other hospital costs incurred. I can't fault them for holding onto that last small bit of hope but look at the cost.
I don't know the answer and I admit I would likely see things different if I, or one of my loved ones, were the one laying in the hospital bed. But the impact is a fact and the discussion will need to occur because our population is only getting older.
In the spirit of the point I was trying to make, I would ask if you have any information that demonstrates the piece of the pie that end of life costs represents. Anecdotaly it sounds good and makes sense, but wouldn't it make more sense to find out if it's a significant cost driver before proposing solutions? I would want to know (a) how much of total health care dollars spent on the medical services you point out and (b) what the growth has been since 1995. In other words, how about conducing some thoughtful analytics to identify the root cause that needs to be addressed. And let's start by looking at the holistic picture to form the hypotheses that we want to pursue rather than picking hot button issues that are intended to align the electorate with a party that seeks power.

You may be right, you may be advocating attention for something that represents 2% of annual health care spending.
Joe Merlot

Saint Paul, MN

#12 Oct 31, 2010
Mike wrote:
The limits on lawsuits are good, but just like the democrats, where is anyone with enough guts to address the runaway costs? It tells me one thing. Lobbyists are handing out cash to congress to not change a damn thing.
You are absolutely correct, Mike and the primary offending lobby is big pharma. They have huge influence in western medicine and they don't want it to change. Increasing health care costs equal increasing profits for big pharma. Doctors are indoctrinated into big pharma thought very carefully and masterfully by big pharma. Ask youself if you could convince yourself that an entity giving you a few hundred grand for speaking arragments positions son healthcare are legitimate. Especially with scientific study's to back them up, even if they are completely funded and conducted by the industry that stands to benefit from their proliferation into use. Ask youself how many times a doctor treats symptoms with medication rather than working with a patient to identify a root cause or a lifestyle/holistic medicinal solution. I'm not saying that medication is bad or doesn't have a place, but we need to look at some regulation to insulate western medicine from big pharma influence. We also need government reform to take away the influence that money buy's. Until those influences are addressed, I'm not very hopeful that we'll see anything other than a hijacking of Health Care issues for political purposes (and make no mistake, that's exactly what the 2011 Health Care Omnibus bill was/is).
Joe Merlot

Saint Paul, MN

#13 Oct 31, 2010
Moderation is the answer wrote:
No Matter what we do with Health care we will one day have to deal with the Fact that we spend 17% of our GDP on health care and our competitors in the world economy spend 6 to 8% of their GDP. Guess what they have better health care they live longer have a lower infant death rate ETC ETC. also every one of these low costing health care systems is a nationalized system and if you ask them how they like their system they all love their system. Canadians Germans French british all have told me that they love their health care systems. My wifes sister was a doctor in Germany and she can not understand how stupid Americans are. She was a chief of staff at a hospital in Germany which was modeled after the Mayo Clinic system as all german hospitals are. Doctors in Germany work for a hospital they do not charge fee for service as independent businesses. You go to a clinic or a hospital for health care where all doctors are employed specialists and primary care doctors all are included in your diagnosis and in your care. you do not go from a primary care doctor to a specialist to a MRI facility to an X ray facility each charging fee for service and all having seperate manual medical records. WE either must standardize and centralioze our system or we will continue to fall behind the world's economic system we can't spend 17% of GDP while our competitors spend 6 to 8% so wake up all you right wing wacko's
This is such garbage that it doesn't even merit a response other than ask what the hell you are doing in Arizona. You belong in California or New York with that insane diatribe.
Moderation is the answer

Tucson, AZ

#14 Oct 31, 2010
Peter wrote:
<quoted text>
Dopey dopey and dopey. You are impervious to thinking and facts.
The metrics you discuss have many factors. For one, we're fatter. For another, we have an open border and more poor and dysfunctional people having babies (both products of liberalism) that have nothing to do with medical quality. For another, those other countries treat end of life differently. They let people die, we throw the kitchen sink at it. That isn't medicine, it's culture and values. So called "low cost" systems heavily ration. They do that to head off the tremendous demand generated by telling people something is free.
The only thing that matters is what the government spends on healthcare. What I spend as private citizen is no ones business. And if government needs to spend less, it should spend less, not create new entitlements. For you to tell me that I should buy a car, a vacation, or remodel my kitchen instead of the healthcare I want because you don't like our GDP mix is nuts and irrational.
Skip your next doctors appointment. We spend too much. LOL.
Hey stupid tell me how you will reduce health care cost by half from 17% of GDP to 8% of GDP There is no way other than the way that has already been done. Nationalization of health care will come wether you like it or not. So keep complaining and keep insisting that national health care is socialism you will just delay the inevitable and continue to make the American economy unproductive and unable to competre with countries that have national health care. WAKE UP STUPID!!!!!!!
Moderation is the answer

Tucson, AZ

#15 Oct 31, 2010
Joe Merlot wrote:
<quoted text>
This is such garbage that it doesn't even merit a response other than ask what the hell you are doing in Arizona. You belong in California or New York with that insane diatribe.
Hey stupid keep thinking as you are and we will continue to have an unproductive economy. National health care will come whether you like it or not as we must keep our costs in line with our competition. WAKE UP STUPID!!!!!!
Moderation is the answer

Tucson, AZ

#16 Oct 31, 2010
here we go wrote:
Oh goody. Another forum for Moderation to spew how the world needs to change because HE doesn't like HIS doctor's office. Germany? Really?. Yep. That's what I want my healthcare modeled after.
Tell you what. When (not if) the republicans regain control of the house on Tuesday, they can repeal healthcare or be voted out in 2012. Period. End of story.
I don't mind some revamping and indeed changes ARE needed. We can start with no longer allowing anchor baby mamas from crossing the border. That will solve a whole host of problems. Secondly, allow the purchase of insurance across state lines. Telling to take the trial lawyer lobby to take a leap and take an HONEST look at tort reform also makes sense. Finally, there's never, ever been any reason to take apart the finest healthcare system in the world and halfazzed revamp it all for an unknown result. It's expensive and unnecessary. People die folks. Obama and government run healthcare isn't going to change that.
I think I said that the German system is modeled after The Mayo Clinic which is the best system in the world at a reasonable cost because there are not many independent businesses all taking a cut on a fee for service basis there is only one business the clinic or hospital with all doctors and medical help working gfor the clinic or hospital, which reduces cost dramatically YOU NEED TO WAKE UP !!!!!!!
Joe Merlot

Saint Paul, MN

#17 Nov 1, 2010
Moderation is the answer wrote:
<quoted text>Hey stupid keep thinking as you are and we will continue to have an unproductive economy. National health care will come whether you like it or not as we must keep our costs in line with our competition. WAKE UP STUPID!!!!!!
Hey Pal, you want to take a peak across the pond and restate your idiocy.

Thank you.
Joe Merlot

Saint Paul, MN

#19 Nov 1, 2010
Moderation is the answer wrote:
<quoted text>Hey stupid keep thinking as you are and we will continue to have an unproductive economy. National health care will come whether you like it or not as we must keep our costs in line with our competition. WAKE UP STUPID!!!!!!
And, anyone who makes the claim that Health Care costs are even a contributing factor in our economic decline has about as much credibility as my 4 year old.
Peter

Houston, TX

#21 Nov 1, 2010
Moderation is the answer wrote:
<quoted text>Hey stupid tell me how you will reduce health care cost by half from 17% of GDP to 8% of GDP There is no way other than the way that has already been done. Nationalization of health care will come wether you like it or not. So keep complaining and keep insisting that national health care is socialism you will just delay the inevitable and continue to make the American economy unproductive and unable to competre with countries that have national health care. WAKE UP STUPID!!!!!!!
Idea one: Start refusing medical care.

How would I reduce healthcare's share of GDP? I wouldn't. That's up to each of us. It's none of your business what I or anyone else spend on healthcare relative to automobiles, dinners out, or vacations. The only way any of it is your business is in what government spends on healthcare. If you're disturbed by that number, think back to your 4th grade math class. Reduce entitlements, don't add new ones. Wow, shocking, huh? Government spending more is government spending more. Just let that settle in for a minute. Not understanding that isn't just socialism, it's stupidity.

Please explain to me how my buying a pool table makes us more competitive than if I buy LASIK eye surgery. Please, the floor is yours.

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