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Please begin with an informative title:

Lies, misinformation, and distortion are still part of the health care reform debate when you talk to people on the right.  

(Shocking, I know.)

I think in our effort to have reality-based debates on HCR strategy and policy, we can forget what our real opponents are still spewing in the fight against health care reform.  

I have been engaged in an exchange on HCR with a childhood friend who is married to someone that was active in the insurance industry in Michigan for years.  She just sent me an email with her take on why the Democrats' arguments for pursuing HCR are wrong.  

The message reminds me of one of those pictures in a children's magazine where they ask you to find all the things that are odd and out of place --like a square wheel on a wagon or a stalk of broccoli growing among a stand of trees.  The picture looks normal at first glance, but when you study it you see that there are so many things wrong with it that it is comical.  

In between our calls to House members, I would really appreciate it if the experts and the well-versed in HCR could lend me a hand.  Could you please read this email and point out all the square wheels and stalks of broccoli posing as trees?

Intro

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Before I show you the content of the email message, let me just say that I feel like I'm being lazy asking for your help.  I know that I could take the time to thoroughly find sources to refute her points.  But what I love about dKos is that the well-versed experts here can collectively help me construct an accurate, scathing response to this email in half the time it would take me to research it myself.

So, let me say in advance, thank you for taking the time to stop by, to read this request, read my friend's email, and help me refute her points line by line.

Pick the lie/distorted fact that pisses you off most.  Please provide the most accurate and, if you want, the most snark-filled counterpoint that you can provide.  Sources would be awesome!  

My personal favorite is the line that people who don't have health care choose not to buy it.  (Blood pressure is still through the roof on that one.)

Ok, here's the email content.  Try not to scream or facepalm while reading.  (Hopefully this gives you more inspiration for calling Congress today to say PASS. THEN. FIX.  We cannot let this type of mentality prevail!!)

Regarding healthcare, are you aware that my husband was involved in the insurance industry specializing in selling health insurance to businesses and individuals for 12 years?  He served as the state president of a national association in the late 90s and spent a great deal of time in Lansing and D.C. discussing healthcare reform with our elected officals.  During that time, President Clinton was trying to push government controlled healthcare, which my husband fought vigorously.  The issues back then are the same issues today, but government taking over a trillion dollar a year industry was not and still is not the answer.

Here are the facts as we see them.

PROBLEM:  40 million uninsureds!  

*There are NOT 40 million legal US citizens without insurance, there are 40 million individuals living in AMERICA that don't have insurance including illegal aliens from other countries that are not supposed to be here.  And remember if they have a baby in the US they are automatically a US citizen.

*There are 10s of millions of US citizens who make the CHOICE of not buying/paying for insurance.

*Depending on the source, there are only approximately 9 to 12 million US citizens that don't have insurance but want it.  

PROBLEM:  Health insurance is too expensive!

*Who is the largest provider of insurance coverage in the USA currently....you guessed it our very own federal government.  Its called Medicaid (for the poor) and Medicare (for the old).  Nearly 60 to 65% of services provided by Dr and hospitals are paid by the government.  P.S. not including the federal governments SPECIAL plan that covers all of our senators, house of Reps and the President for the remainder of their lives.  The politicians trying to fix the problem don't even use our current system.  If they are going to fix the system, they should be required to use it!!

*Cost shifting is a topic rarely mentioned during all of these debates.  Here's the deal.  Medicaid and Medicare pays pennies on the dollar for services provided to citizens in these plans.  That means the entire system is being underfunded for services provided SO those of us who have insurance pay more (us with out of pocket expenses and our insurance companies who charge us our premiums) to compensate for the government low payments.

PROBLEM:  Can't get insurance due to pre-existing conditions

*It is a problem with some insurance plans/carriers and should be changed.  HOWEVER, most states including Michigan have guaranteed issue coverage. All conditions covered and no denial of coverage due to pre-x.  Blue Cross Blue Shield and all HMOs accept everyone regardless.  But our politicians like to put people on TV saying "I'm sick and can't get insurance", which just is not true.  IF there is a state in the nation that doesn't have carriers like Michigan with guarantee issue... THERE IS SOME NECESSARY HEALTHCARE REFORM!!

ANSWER FOR OUR "FAILING" HEALTHCARE SYSTEM

THE ENTIRE SYSTEM COULD BE FIXED WITH VERY FEW CHANGES BUT OUR POLITICIANS WOULDN"T GET THE CONTROL AND POWER OF TAKING OVER ONE OF OUR LARGEST INDUSTRIES IN OUR COUNTRY.

*REQUIRE INSURANCE REGULATIONS TO BE UNIFORM THROUGH THE COUNTRY SIMILIAR TO AUTO INSURANCE.  CURRENTLY ITS REGULATED AT A STATE BY STATE BASIS WHICH CREATES MANY PROBLEMS.

*ELIMINATE CURRENT MEDICAID AND MEDICARE SYSTEM.  REMOVE THE GOVERNMENT FROM PAYING CLAIMS (pennies on the dollar) AND GIVE US LEGAL CITIZENS THAT ARE ELIGIBLE FOR MEDICAID GOVERNMENT VOUCHURES ONLY REDEEMABLE FOR BUYING INSURANCE COVERAGE FROM INSURANCE CARRIERS.  CARRIERS ARE BETTER AT PAYING CLAIMS AND IT WOULD COST FAR LESS TO TAX PAYERS.  THE SAME FOR MEDICARE RECIPIENTS.  by the way....why do people who do not pay into our system (taxes) get free coverage that has no deductibles or out of pocket expesnses (100%) coverage  YET our senior citizens who worked their entire life, paid taxes, have to pay premiums and have deductibles and out of pocket expenses when they need it most?????

*TORT REFORM TO ELEMINATE REDICULOUS LAWSUITS THAT ALSO RUN UP THE COST IN THE SYSTEM AND MAKE INSURANCE TOO EXPENSIVE FOR PEOPLE TO AFFORD.  and attorney very wealthy! Many of whom run for government!

*CREATE TAX INCENTIVES TO MOTIVATE PEOPLE TO GET INSURANCE THAT DON'T CURRENTLY HAVE IT SO EVERYONE IS COVERED AND HAVE THE GOVERNMENT CREATE A RISK POOL OR FDIC TYPE COVERAGE TO HELP CARRIERS REDUCE THE RISK OF CATESTROPHIC LOSS DUE TO BAD CLAIMS EXPERIENCE FROM PEOPLE WHO WAIT TO BUY COVERAGE ONCE THEY ARE SICK.  HEALTHY AND SICK PEOPLE NEED TO HAVE COVERAGE SO PREMIUMS (REVENUE) CAN COVER THE CLAIMS PAID OUT.  

There you have it my friend.... not very sexy or exciting.  No reason to create another entitlement program that our government can't afford.  And our federal government has a horrible track record of running industries and entitlements.  Here is a reminder of a few government programs that lose millions and billions each year!!
US Postal Service
Amtrack
Social Security
Medicare & Medicaid
US Budget

Obama has already spent more money then every single president prior to him combined during the entire history of our country in his first year of office...without a government healthcare system.  Wait until he and his cronnies bankrupt our country due to printing so much paper money (fiat currency) that is not backed by anything and soon the rest of the world quits using the US dollar as the global currency for trade.  
History lesson:  there has never been a society/civilization in the history of our planet that has survived with a fiat currency backed only by a promise of a nation!!  Time to buy some more gold !!

Love the Beckish ad pushing gold.

Thanks again for helping to pick this apart.  I'll compile various counter-points offered here and update the diary later with the email I compose to send back to her.  

A fun group exercise to promote community unity and a reminder of who we are really fighting!!

Can't wait to see which lines anger you most and what you come up with to refute them!

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Great Lakes Gal on Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 10:14 AM PST.

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