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Making ridiculous statements attacking Republicans makes Democrats look as bad as Republicans and the public does not see a difference.

When was the last time somebody persuaded you to change your position about an issue by saying "you're stupid"; "you want to kill people"; "you are corrupt"; and "others have paid you off."  I have never been persuaded by such arguments directed at me, I doubt many members of Congress have been persuaded by these "arguments."

If Democrats pass HCR, Democrats have a victory to take into the next election.  Failure to pass HCR, Democrats will be seen as failures, confidence in a Democratic majority Congress is weakened if not severely damaged.

When Congress bickers across party lines, nothing gets done, which means Republicans win.

If we have Public Option and Health Insurance company profits went to ZERO - that only saves $10 billion/yr or 0.5% of total spending or $65 per year per person they insure.  HCR needs to do much more than this - otherwise Democrats will be seen as failures on HCR even with Public Option passed.

What the Federal & State governments spend on Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP and Veterans Admin - covering about 1/3 the population is about 8% of GDP.  8% is what other industrialized counties spend for their entire population.  Is the "waste fraud and abuse" in current government healthcare enough to finance healthcare for the remaining 2/3 of the population? I don't expect Public Option to be more efficient than current government healthcare programs.

A better arguments to get some centrist Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats to go along, and reduce healthcare costs could include:

  • Put in Public Option with Private Insurance being allowed to offer policies nationwide if the policy has at least a base level of coverage.  In addition, have level playing field, lower administration costs and put downward pressure on healthcare costs by requiring healthcare and pharma providers to offer their lowest prices equally to all public (including other industrialized counties)  and private insurance companies.

  • Update medical licensing laws. We have doctors provide many services that nurses or technicians provide in other countries.  We should change licensing laws and policies to free up doctors and nurses for where they can be more productive and provide better care at lower cost.

  • Financial Incentives and Reminders for people to change how they live.American obesity increases costs for treatment of diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease and the problems they cause.  We have a bigger obesity problem than most other counties.  Taxing soft drinks and similar ideas will raise revenue but not change behavior sufficiently - as it does not address the major problem of people eating larger portions than they should. The problem is people consuming more calories than their activity level burns. Several companies have been successful giving rebates of a few hundred dollars per year for those who keep their weight in a normal range after they get an annual or biannual checkup.  Having those who consume too many calories pay more for health insurance for causing higher healthcare spending is the equivalent of heavily taxing tobacco - which has been successful in reducing smoking by those with a tobacco addiction.  I favor this approach as it is cheaper to pay this rebate than to pay for the drugs and frequent medical testing associated with obesity; it directly reduces the need for healthcare spending and the result is better for a person's health.

  • Medical tort reform. Apply the same tort rules and policies that already apply to healthcare workers in Veterans Administration Hospitals.  I see no evidence that VA patients are badly treated in this regard. They in fact get better remedies for medical errors, as there isn't the waste of 52% of malpractice insurance costs going to attorneys (both sides) and administration. In addition errors don't need to be massive before a person can seek legal recourse.  Part of the motivation for this is to win additional political support got HCR.

Originally posted to nextstep on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 02:01 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Maori

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 02:01:16 PM PDT

    •  Republican Talking point (2+ / 0-)

      Insurance is regulated at the state level. You are proposing a race to the regulatory bottom.

      Private Insurance being allowed to offer policies nationwide if the policy has at least a base level of coverage.  

      look for my DK Greenroots diary series Wednesday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

      by FishOutofWater on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 02:13:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I indicated a base standard at the (0+ / 0-)

        Federal level - so no race to the bottom.  In addition Public Option as generally proposed also has a national standard - not regulation at the state level.

        The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

        by nextstep on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 02:18:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  In Reality, Only 30 Days Left To Pass This (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nextstep

    If we lose Virginia and New Jersey on the 3rd of November, those Democrats in marginal districts will bolt from Obama's agenda like scared rabbits...

    •  Doing the above can get more (0+ / 0-)

      Blue Dogs, some moderate Republicans and actually have a better policy that can control costs.

      It can also change the public dialog - by being specific on how HCR will significantly reduce costs while more people get coverage.

      I believe the major opposition in Congress to HCR that can be turned, is turned on the issue of having reforms that can make a real difference to reduce healthcare costs.

      The above changes may actually show a net cost reduction from CBO over the current path.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 02:12:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank You n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nextstep

    Everything you do is a balloon.

    by Maori on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 02:08:43 PM PDT

  •  Really bad arguments convince no one (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Karl Rover, nextstep

    Medicare takes care of the oldest and sickest patients. It's not a waste fraud and abuse problem.

    Where there is waste much of it's mandatory - like Medicare Part D protections of drug company profits.

    What the Federal & State governments spend on Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP and Veterans Admin - covering about 1/3 the population is about 8% of GDP.  8% is what other industrialized counties spend for their entire population.  Is the "waste fraud and abuse" in current government healthcare enough to finance healthcare for the remaining 2/3 of the population?

    look for my DK Greenroots diary series Wednesday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

    by FishOutofWater on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 02:10:38 PM PDT

    •  The point was that what Government Healthcare (0+ / 0-)

      spends in the US for 1/3 the population (although a population needing higher care) would cover the entire population if spent as other industrialized counties do.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 02:16:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Drug company profits are addressed (0+ / 0-)

      requiring healthcare providers to offer their lowest prices equally to all public and private insurance companies.

      I should have been more explicit in this.  

      I would however consider public insurance from other industrialized countries (not poor counties) as the drug and device comparison for pricing.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 02:23:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I take your point re name-calling (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Karl Rover, nextstep

    but I have a feeling there's something funny with your numbers.

    If we have Public Option and Health Insurance company profits went to ZERO - that only saves $10 billion/yr or 0.5% of total spending.  ..

    What the Federal & State governments spend on Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP and Veterans Admin - covering about 1/3 the population is about 8% of GDP.  8% is what other industrialized counties spend for their entire population.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 02:19:33 PM PDT

    •  Most HCR debates don't address the numbers. (0+ / 0-)

      The numbers I used are good.

      In 2008 the total Earnings (profits after tax) of public health insurance companies were about $10 billion.  $10 Billion/$2000 Billion is 0.5%

      For the previous 4 quarters (finace.yahoo.com)

      Here are the 4 dominant Health Insurance Cos which have a total of $7 Billion in profits over the past year.

      Unitedhealth Group (UNH) - $3.49 Billion
      Aetna (AET)  - $1.26 Billion
      Humana Inc. (HUM) - $1.61 Billion
      CIGNA Corp. (CI) - $602.00 Billion

      BTW, these profits work out to be about $65/year/person that they insure.

      The Federal and State government today pays about 1/2 of the $2 Trillion in healthcare spending.  So 1/2 of 16% of GDP is 8% of GDP.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 02:43:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  they are assholes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nextstep, Riddlebaugh
    and i will call them that.  

    http://politicz.wordpress.com/

    by GlowNZ on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 02:20:04 PM PDT

  •  It is appropriate to call someone "corrupt" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sully18, nextstep

    if they are corrupt.

    If wanting the country to succeed is wrong, I don't want to be right.

    by Angela Quattrano on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 04:09:19 PM PDT

    •  Not if you are trying to get the person's (0+ / 0-)

      cooperation.

      The question is are you trying to get important things done, or do you want to vent your anger, frustration, etc..

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 05:12:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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