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Health Bill: The "No Change" You Can Believe In

Ezra's on a roll today:

We're not changing our health-care system very much at all, in fact. Nothing happens in 2010. Or in 2011. Or in 2012. In 2014, when the bill really begins, the insurance situations of 18 million people change. A full 16 million of those people are uninsured. Aside from the small sliver of people who will pay a surtax on the final few dollars of uncommonly expensive insurance plans, the country simply will not notice this legislation.

Put THAT on the teleprompter.

Speaking for me only

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  • 'Expensive' insurance plans (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by waldenpond on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 10:29:18 AM EST
    It will not be a 'few' that hit the threshold for the tax.  Watch what happens to premiums the next several years.... if congress doesn't raise the threshold, I'm guessing many will reach it.  We are going from 80/20 to 70/30 (60/40 for out of service with only 3 dentists in-service).  Our premiums have gone up $2000 and we are now being put on Aetna.

    I expect the mantra will be 'historic' 'no pre-existing conditions (can't wait to see what it costs)'

    I just hope we don't hear the lies of no lifetime caps and cost cutting.

    If your greatest achievement is (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 10:53:10 AM EST
    to ban "HEALTH" insurers from discriminating against sick people with pre-existing conditions, then I'd say you've fallen far short of anything that could be innovative or historic.

    There are likely to be many things about this legislation that are genuinely thought to be historic, but I am guessing that they will have more to do with corruption, cronyism and dysfunction than the bits and pieces of "bait" cynically included in the bill only to make people feel like they were getting something good out of the deal.

    Parent

    Costs (5.00 / 5) (#15)
    by cal1942 on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 11:03:04 AM EST
    People with 'pre-existing conditions' will probably be charged premiums that are prohibitively expensive.

    And then they'll have to pay 2% of household income and get exactly nothing.

    Parent

    Nope (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 02:28:56 PM EST
    Senate bill explicitly states they may not charge higher premiums for pre-existing conditions than if the person had no pre-existing condition.

    That seems to be one thing they got right in the bill.  Surprised me, too.

    Parent

    It is not right... (none / 0) (#177)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:55:45 PM EST
    if we all end up paying like we've got pre-existing conditions and get mandated screwed in a non-discriminatory manner.

    We shall see...

    Parent

    The alternative is to keep people who do (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:57:30 PM EST
    have preexisting conditions from being able to afford any care. It's part of the social compact that we have.

    Parent
    Social compact... (none / 0) (#186)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 06:16:36 PM EST
    with insurance companies?  Say it ain't so a.g...don't make me compact with whack, Uncle Sam is hard enough sometimes, don't tell me I gotta compact with Cousin Oxford and Aunt Aetna...please:)

    Parent
    heh, yup, that's what this bill says (none / 0) (#187)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 06:18:18 PM EST
    You must be insured, and your premiums must go into the risk pool for people who are worse risks than you.

    Insurance is a broken model for healthcare, but it's what we have now.

    Parent

    Our premiums... (none / 0) (#193)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 06:23:13 PM EST
    also fuel private jets and managerial conferences in the Bahamas with motivational speaker Terry Bradshaw or some sh*t.

    But you're right I guess...that's just the way it is.  Round my way we call it "f*ck you pay me".

    Parent

    I hope you're right (none / 0) (#180)
    by cal1942 on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 06:02:08 PM EST
    n/t

    Parent
    What about for age? (none / 0) (#188)
    by hollyfromca on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 06:18:39 PM EST
    Can they charge you  more for that?

    Parent
    Nevermind (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by hollyfromca on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 06:21:40 PM EST
    Question answered down thread.  3X in Senate bill.  2X in House.  Geez my premiums can be 20K!  

    Parent
    "A full 16 million" (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by ruffian on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 10:44:25 AM EST
    as opposed to a non-full 16 million? Does he mean they will then be insured in 2014, or what?

    Does he even read what he writes anymore?

    If he's right that the numbers 16 million (none / 0) (#109)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 02:20:15 PM EST
    I wouldn't call that a small matter, though the bill itself is far too small, it would represent the uninsured being reduced by nearly 2/3rds.

    Parent
    45 million people uninsured (none / 0) (#153)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 04:44:50 PM EST
    16 million does not equal a 2/3rd reduction. It is slightly over 1/3 rd of the uninsured.

    Parent
    but we can all celebrate (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Turkana on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 10:54:26 AM EST
    that health care stocks are flying, today!

    Ewwww, hurry up and buy in (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 10:59:23 AM EST
    Hopefully we can sell short tomorrow and have chicken noodle soup for a month.

    Parent
    Reminds me (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by cal1942 on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 11:13:38 AM EST
    When "Chainsaw Al" Dunlap was asked about the thousands of jobs he cut his response was 'I increased the value of their portfolios'

    He didn't get ....  

    Hell, what's the use.

    Parent

    As are all stocks today (none / 0) (#94)
    by CoralGables on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 01:17:41 PM EST
    Although European stacks are doing much better.

    Rather than go knee jerk, here are the top three percentage gainers on the NYSE:

    1.Marine Products Corporation (boats)
    2.Zale Corporation (jewelry)
    3.Treehouse Foods Inc (private label food service)

    Top Three on the Nasdaq

    1.Chattem Inc (makers of Gold Bond, IcyHot, and Dexatrim)
    2.Ada Es Inc (environmental solutions)
    3.Tech Ops Sevcon Inc (battery powered vehicles)

    In reality, the Healthcare sector sits right in the middle at plain ol' average year to date:

    1.Basic Materials +58.9
    2.Technology +50.26
    3.Services +40.06
    4.Consumer Goods +38.77
    5.Healthcare +34.97
    6.Industrial +21.59
    7.Financial +20.12
    8.Conglomerates +17.52
    9.Utilities +11.94


    Parent

    HMOs (5.00 / 2) (#104)
    by jedimom on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 02:10:46 PM EST
    several hit a 52 week high today

    Parent
    Well (none / 0) (#133)
    by CoralGables on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 02:57:27 PM EST
    The Dow is at a 52 week high. The Nasdaq is at a 52 week high. The S&P 500 is at a 52 week high. That also holds for the markets in Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Britain, Germany, France, Japan, Hong Kong, China, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Egypt.

    Everything is up. It's not just healthcare. It's a diversified list of 52 week highs: Alcoa, CarMax, Equifax, Ford Motor Credit, Hewlett-Packard, Goodrich, JP Morgan, Orbitz, Simon Properties, US Steel, Whirlpool. Even Wisconsin Energy for CC. 135 companies are at a 52 week high today.

    Parent

    That says nothing (none / 0) (#124)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 02:34:08 PM EST
    The only important stock prices are the trends in Health Insurance when it comes to the subject of Health Insurance.


    Parent
    If you choose to view (3.50 / 2) (#135)
    by CoralGables on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 03:13:45 PM EST
    things in a vacuum, then yes you are correct health care stocks are rising.

    If you live outside the vacuum then healthcare stocks are rising just like everything else.

    Parent

    What happens (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by cal1942 on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 11:08:05 AM EST
    to people who lose their jobs and their insurance?

    Does this bill make any provisions for that all too common scenario?

    Good question (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by nycstray on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 11:10:31 AM EST
    Wasn't that one of the campaign mantras? If you lose your job you can't lose your insurance? Perhaps you get subsidize at 100%?, lol!~?

    Parent
    I don't think Ezra is entirely accurate here (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 11:12:49 AM EST
    Nothing happens in 2010. Or in 2011. Or in 2012.

    It is my understanding that the tax changes included in the bill will be implemented in 2010.

    Taxed now (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 11:34:35 AM EST
    Screwed over so bad your own mother won't even recognize you later.

    Parent
    I signed Jane Hamsher's petition (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 11:20:59 AM EST
    to kill the Senate bill.

    My wife (none / 0) (#29)
    by Steve M on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 11:46:58 AM EST
    got the FDL email this morning, she was asking me about it.  I was shocked at the level of exaggeration and outright dishonesty, frankly.  I guess that's how activism works, but I always thought progressives should be better.

    I have no problem with people opposing this bill but I sure wish they could do it without trying to imitate Karl Rove.

    Parent

    What did you find exaggerated? (none / 0) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 11:49:59 AM EST
    What is she dishonest about?

    Parent
    I don't have the email here (none / 0) (#33)
    by Steve M on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 11:54:31 AM EST
    but there were like 10 points and about half of them were either highly misleading or just plain false.  What I like about the discourse here at TL is that the objective is to inform people - and then if you want to get angry because of what you've learned, so be it.  Seems like most people see the goal of activism as just "get people as angry as possible so they'll do what we want."  That makes me sad.

    Parent
    I think there's an optimal amount (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 11:57:34 AM EST
    of angry screaming. I think Bill Clinton observed not long ago that he wished he'd had more pressure on his left.

    Parent
    As a dunce, I've tried to stay informed (5.00 / 3) (#80)
    by Ellie on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:49:35 PM EST
    ... and keep up with the nuts and bolts because I'd be coverage-"shopping" for myself and a bunch of new employees, and figured the best way was to see how this was built from the ground up. (Like seeing plans for the storied Harkin Starter Home before hitting the custom interiors catalogues.)

    Fuggedaboutit.

    Apart from the political aspects and real-life medical applications at work, there's the dust-up of procedural arcana and yarn-spinning playing up against a creature-infested machine apparently run more by aides than elected representatives.

    Right now, the closer I look the more messy, self-contradictory and confusing this "reform" becomes. I wouldn't shell out a penny for it until I saw some honesty from the builders of this allegedly modest starter home.

    Parent

    Here they are (none / 0) (#36)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 11:58:29 AM EST
    Link

    1. Forces you to pay up to 8% of your income to private insurance corporations -- whether you want to or not.
    2. If you refuse to buy the insurance, you'll have to pay penalties of up to 2% of your annual income to the IRS.
    3. Many will be forced to buy poor-quality insurance they can't afford to use, with $11,900 in annual out-of-pocket expenses over and above their annual premiums.
    4. Massive restriction on a woman's right to choose, designed to trigger a challenge to Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court.
    5. Paid for by taxes on the middle class insurance plan you have right now through your employer, causing them to cut back benefits and increase co-pays.
    6. Many of the taxes to pay for the bill start now, but most Americans won't see any benefits -- like an end to discrimination against those with preexisting conditions -- until 2014 when the program begins.
    7. Allows insurance companies to charge people who are older 300% more than others.
    8. Grants monopolies to drug companies that will keep generic versions of expensive biotech drugs from ever coming to market.
    9. No re-importation of prescription drugs, which would save consumers $100 billion over 10 years.
    10. The cost of medical care will continue to rise, and insurance premiums for a family of four will rise an average of $1,000 a year -- meaning in 10 years, your family's insurance premium will be $10,000 more annually than it is right now.


    Parent
    Ok, well lets go through the list (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:06:28 PM EST
    1. True, but fairly inoffensive if everyone gets reasonably good health insurance (this is the mandate, for better or worse).

    2. True. That's also known as a tax increase. There are waivers.

    3. Probably true. We can mostly fix this with more subsidies.

    4. More false than true. PP v. Casey stands to the extent Kennedy says it does. So does Hyde, which is atrocious.

    5. Sorta. This is the excise tax. Steve probably finds the most offensive right wing framing here, because of the assumption that costs will be passed on.

    6. True. This is an unfortunate budget gimmick. However, some important changes start immediately. (There's a fact sheet out there somewhere).

    7. True, but that's better than what they're allowed to charge now IIRC.

    8. Probably true, but the bill doesn't create that situation. It already exists.

    9. True.

    10. True, but not created by the bill.


    Parent
    As a woman they have come at me (5.00 / 5) (#45)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:09:41 PM EST
    every way imaginable, and I don't for a minute doubt anymore what can happen to me.

    Parent
    and #10 andgarden (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:10:43 PM EST
    Not created by the bill, but embedded into my eternity by the bill.

    Parent
    I'm sorry it isn't a solution for you (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:15:06 PM EST
    The politicians failed. Frankly, I don't think that throwing this bill into the fire will get us a better one. Reconciliation is out the window.

    But that's just my political judgement. And FDL has a right to disagree.

    Parent

    Then (5.00 / 3) (#56)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:18:24 PM EST
    it's better to do nothing at this point. If you can't produce a good bill then the whole thing needs to be put in the garbage.

    Parent
    That's exactly the nature of our disagreement (none / 0) (#58)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:19:30 PM EST
    I don't think it's better to pass nothing.

    Parent
    This bill (5.00 / 4) (#65)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:22:51 PM EST
    is SO bad that I think it's better to pass nothing. It does nothing to help me with my insurance costs and makes me pay more. I don't think that wasting money propping up a failed business model is the way to go.

    Parent
    I see (none / 0) (#102)
    by Emma on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 01:41:25 PM EST
    the requirement of a public option fell away.

    Parent
    there is no answer to #10 (none / 0) (#122)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 02:33:52 PM EST
    its a basic fact-- medical costs have risen dramatically in every nation around the globe irrespective of health care system.

    Parent
    Not at the rate that ours has (none / 0) (#139)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 03:42:48 PM EST
    There is no heavy regulating of insurance companies like the successful Swiss model.  There is nothing in here that can give us the success experienced in working models.  There isn't even a ME in any of those working models either.

    Parent
    You (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:17:00 PM EST
    don't get good insurance though. You get insurance that pays 65% of your costs which is less than I get now. You would have a point if you got good insurance but you don't.

    Parent
    The charts I've seen (none / 0) (#55)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:18:24 PM EST
    say that isn't true. But you could be right, in which case that's another argument for greater subsidies.

    Parent
    Here's (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:21:17 PM EST
    the thing though: great subsidies aren't going to work because the insurance companies want a profit. You're just in fact propping up a failed model and the insurnce companies are cutting back every year the % that they will pay. There's nothing to change that fact. And with the tax, teh premium plans will probably no longer exist either so we're all goign to be forced to buy crap insurance for a ton of money or pay a fine. Just lovely.

    Parent
    We all agree that insurance is a failed model (none / 0) (#66)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:23:22 PM EST
    for healthcare. The rest of the country is not convinced. So my hope is that this bill will give them another opportunity to see.

    Parent
    No (5.00 / 3) (#71)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:27:44 PM EST
    it won't. The GOP will make sure that it is the Dems that take the fall for this POS. Obama has set the party on a course of absolute destruction. The Republican party couldn't have delivered a better trojan horse themselves.

    Parent
    Meh (none / 0) (#73)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:30:11 PM EST
    I don't think so. If the Republicans win next November, it will mostly be because of the economy.

    This bill could have saved the Dems, but it won't be the thing that sinks them.

    As to the far future, who knows how that will play out.

    Parent

    You're (none / 0) (#95)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 01:23:36 PM EST
    forgetting how the GOP operates. No, it's not going to sink them in 2010 but in 2012 after the GOP has had years to constantly remind to voting populace of what is coming down the road.

    Parent
    Obama is going to be reelected (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 01:24:40 PM EST
    I give that a very high probability.

    Parent
    Since (none / 0) (#137)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 03:33:43 PM EST
    when does the electorate embrace wimps? The electorate has a history of stomping on wimps and jellyfish like Obama.

    I've always though he was wimpy but he has gone even beyond my expectations. He's a little boy that cowers in the corner. It's been amazing. We have another toddler for a president.

    Parent

    Explain its support from reasonably savvy (none / 0) (#127)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 02:35:45 PM EST
    political operators like Bill Clinton then-- are they just blinded by the medicaid expansion because they love welfare or what?

    Parent
    Clinton (none / 0) (#136)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 03:31:43 PM EST
    is a team player and heck, he's not running for reelection so why should he care? If Obama gets reamed it's no skin off his back.

    Parent
    bush Rove (none / 0) (#106)
    by jedimom on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 02:17:59 PM EST
    does anyone else remember Donna Brazille talking about how Bush and Rove had her up to the WH and were so nice to her, nicer than any DEM male she said IIRC, and helped her plot out her MO for 2008?

    yeah well I know they joke about it but serisouly you could not design a better way to get the Dems to lose their position after such a disasterous GOP rule for so long we would have been GOLDEN..should have been

    but no we are gonna sacrifice the majority for my lifetime IMO and do it while killing our PLATFORM issue, no one will trust govt run health care after this debacle, Medicare gutted, home health, nursing homes, hospice rates gutted, immediate mandates in the worst recession of my lifetime with rising unemployment, increasing taxes on the middle class, penalties fines, giving the IRS the power to garnish for mandates, and they did not even manage to get rid of PREEX immediately after all that pain for the people

    like they want to lose

    Parent

    The majority of the country is convinced (none / 0) (#141)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 03:44:12 PM EST
    andgarden.  It is our whore legislators that can't seem to be convinced.

    Parent
    Except that #5 (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 02:35:26 PM EST
    is deliberately phrased to make it sound like everybody's insurance plan is going to be taxed, which is, um, a lie.

    Parent
    8 & 10 (none / 0) (#59)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:19:55 PM EST
    The bill helps affirm the situation in both cases.

    Parent
    Seriously? (none / 0) (#60)
    by Steve M on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:20:56 PM EST
    You don't think #5 is blatantly false?  My middle-class health care plan will be taxed?  That's a pure scare tactic.

    Parent
    no its not (5.00 / 2) (#108)
    by jedimom on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 02:19:44 PM EST
    no Janes numbers are spot on, my plan is considered cadillac under the last written provisions I saw and it is not indexed for inflation.

    the avg family plan that is a PPO for example WILL get hit with the tax

    people who already have a high deductible will not get hit, this will lead businesses to lower health benefits, the CBO said that one

    Parent

    Well, it might be (none / 0) (#69)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:25:23 PM EST
    by the time this goes into effect, given the plan price increases.

    In any case, this is all rooted in what you think the excise tax will do. And I'm not an economist.

    Parent

    Not at all (none / 0) (#78)
    by Steve M on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:47:36 PM EST
    it's simply not right to scare people by telling them they will be taxed, when the tax applies only to a limited range of high-end insurance plans.

    You rate #1 as true when the reality is, people who already have insurance won't be mandated to pay a dime extra.  But this email makes it sound like money is going to be taken out of their pocket.

    It's really a shameless piece of propaganda from where I sit.  Maybe suitable rhetoric for the typical negative campaign ad, but among us progressives we ought to be trying to share accurate information, not frightening each other with exaggerations and half-truths.

    Parent

    Oh come on Steve (none / 0) (#82)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:49:52 PM EST
    They've made a political judgement that they can get a better deal if they kill this one. All of the points are within the realm of purpose-driven political speech.

    I think this is exactly like a negative campaign ad in that respect.

    Parent

    Okay (none / 0) (#85)
    by Steve M on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:54:31 PM EST
    Like I said, I personally find it scummy.  To others I guess this is textbook activism.  I certainly wouldn't sign up for an organization that tells me exaggerations and lies to try and motivate me to do what they want, but everyone is different.

    Parent
    The day that activist organizations (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:56:28 PM EST
    stop putting out press releases like this one is the day they become irrelevant.

    Parent
    I am more inclined to research when (none / 0) (#97)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 01:26:42 PM EST
    the information is a bit scarey than I am when it's all cake and frosting. Explain the great uptick in health insurance stock prices. Axelrod would have us all believing we should just brush that off and trust what he and Obama are saying about how fabulous this bill is for everyone. I think they are doing far more exaggerating than anyone else is.

    Parent
    it is explained above (2.00 / 1) (#98)
    by CST on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 01:35:36 PM EST
    pretty much all stocks are up.  Insurance is middle of the pack.

    Parent
    that being said (none / 0) (#99)
    by CST on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 01:37:26 PM EST
    they are also getting a ton of government funding and a whole lot of new customers.

    Makes sense that they would be up.

    Parent

    1 and 3 ... (none / 0) (#138)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 03:37:22 PM EST
    1 isn't "fairly inoffensive" ... for most people 8% is significant part of their income.

    3: Who's gonna fix it with subsidies? As I understand it, these are the costs after subsidies.

    Parent

    Silver plans have deductibles and (none / 0) (#155)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 04:50:46 PM EST
    you pay for 20% of care after deductible is met.

    Parent
    Come on andgarden (none / 0) (#185)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 06:15:40 PM EST
    #5. If the insurance companies are taxed for the so called cadillac plans, you know they are going to pass that expense on to the comsumer in the way of premiums. The whole stated intent of the tax is to force lower coverage because the premiums will become too expensive. It is touted as a way to drive down costs.  

    #10 True - premiums are only lower by more than a few hundred dollars a year as a result of this bill.

    Parent

    As to 5, Steve take persuasive exception (none / 0) (#191)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 06:21:20 PM EST
    to the point you make. It is Republicans who argue that corporate taxes "only get passed on." It's true to some degree, but not completely. And you can use a similar argument against the minimum wage.

    And your statement for 10 is really misleading. But for reform, premiums would go up even more. And for many people there are subsidies that there otherwise would not have been.

    Parent

    #5 per the WH (none / 0) (#201)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 07:02:06 PM EST
    Another key provision in the Senate bill would impose a new excise tax on high-cost insurance policies, known as Cadillac plans. A group of 23 health-care experts and economists, including Nobel Prize winners, Republicans and two former CBO directors, list the excise tax as one of four pillars of effective reform, serving a vital dual purpose beyond providing new revenue to subsidize coverage for the uninsured.

    The tax "will help curtail the growth of private health insurance premiums by creating incentives to limit the costs of plans to a tax-free amount," the economists explained in a letter last week. In addition, "as employers and health plans redesign their benefits to reduce health care premiums, cash wages will increase." link

    The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

    as employers modified their health plans to avoid the excise tax and converted what they had been spending for health coverage in excess of the tax thresholds into higher wages and salaries.  

    #10 One of the CBO's report for the Senate bill gave the projected average premium in 10 years if no bill was passed and the cost if bill was implemented. (will try and find) The annual cost differential was only a few hundred dollars. The majority of people in the country will not have their premiums subsidized by the government. For some their employer may offset some of their premium. For people who are self employed or whose employer does not provide coverage, their premium is projected to be approximately $10,000 higher. the The cost (premiums) of the actual coverage will be the same for non Medicare policies. The only difference is that the government will pick up the difference between what the premium cost and the amount that the person who receives a subsidy pays.  

    Parent

    Would (none / 0) (#38)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:02:14 PM EST
    be interesting to know what, if anything in this is exxagerated.

    Parent
    Forgot point 11 (none / 0) (#120)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 02:29:51 PM EST
    adds millions to medicaid resulting in the single largest expansion in government coverage in more than four decades.

    Parent
    Also (none / 0) (#121)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 02:32:43 PM EST
    about #10-- look, there's virtually no answer for that-- no, country not the US, not the UK, not Canada, not France-- has found an effective way to contain the explosive growth in medical costs-- the only nation that has found a decent form of cost-containment-- Japan, has done so at the price of its doctors and medical infrastructure- which most of Japan's medical associations view as crumbling.

    Parent
    Here are the items (none / 0) (#100)
    by waldenpond on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 01:38:32 PM EST
    -Forces you to pay up to 8% of your income to private insurance corporations -- whether you want to or not
    -If you refuse to buy the insurance,  you'll have to pay penalties of up to 2% of your annual income to the IRS
    -After being forced to pay thousands in premiums for junk insurance, you can still be on the hook for up to $11,900 a year in out-of-pocket medical expenses.
    -Massive restriction on a woman's right to choose, designed to trigger a challenge to Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court
    -Paid for by taxes on the middle class insurance plan you have right now through your employer, causing them to cut back benefits and increase co-ays

    -Many of the taxes to pay for the bill start now, but most Americans won't see any benefits -- like an end to discrimination against those with preexisting conditions -- until 2014 when the program begins.

    -Allows insurance companies to charge people who are older 300% more than others
    -Grants monopolies to to drug companies that will keep generic versions of expensive biotech drugs from ever coming to market.
    -No reimportation of prescription drugs, which would save consumers $100 billion over 10 years
    -The cost of medical care will continue to rise, and insurance premiums for a family of 4 will rise an average of $1000 a year -- meaning in 10 years, you family's insurance premium will be $10,000 more annually than it is right now.


    Parent

    I haven't seen the email (none / 0) (#31)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 11:50:54 AM EST
    But I think it's entirely possible that she's creating room on the left for an improved conference report. What Ben Nelson will accept may be improved by screams of bloody murder from FDL etc.

    Parent
    And there needs to be screams (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 11:52:19 AM EST
    Not from me (none / 0) (#34)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 11:55:57 AM EST
    I think the little this bill does is on the balance pretty good. Better subsidies would keep people from being left in the margins.

    As for the abortion stuff, I'm pretty well convinced that crappy status quo is maintained.

    Parent

    And the conscience clause stuff (5.00 / 6) (#37)
    by Cream City on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 11:59:57 AM EST
    that also affects birth control prescriptions?

    Parent
    Whose conscience? (none / 0) (#42)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:08:08 PM EST
    There's another provision that gives women an almost absolute right to pick their OB/GYN. And there are other professional responsibility protections in place that the bill doesn't modify.

    Parent
    What about pharmacists? (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by jbindc on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:09:39 PM EST
    Exactly. (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by Cream City on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:49:35 PM EST
    The reply suggested lack of understanding of the conscience clause and its effects, hmmm?

    Parent
    I'm sorry, I forgot that (none / 0) (#83)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:51:56 PM EST
    Cream City and the people who agree with her 100% are keepers of all knowledge in the world.

    Parent
    No, this is only 1% or less (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Cream City on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 01:15:15 PM EST
    of the knowledge needed to understand the threats to women's health these days.  

    Parent
    What about them? (none / 0) (#49)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:11:51 PM EST
    I don't believe that state law is preempted on the subject.

    Parent
    A paper right to pick your Ob/Gyn is as useful ... (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by Ellie on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 01:14:47 PM EST
    ... as the vaunted, inviolable constitutional rights that anti-abortion, anti-contraception wackazoids deny by by sheer thuggery in real life.

    This isn't hyperbolic language on my part. I've witnessed these people of "conscience" taking down license plate numbers and showing up at a patient's place of employment to "expose" her and shame her there.

    We're not dealing with moderate YMMV, Laissez-Faire, You Live Your Life/I'll Live Mine people here.

    All it would take for equality is for the spineless wimps to ENSURE that a woman won't be persecuted and harangued after picking her Ob/Gyne is to treat all reproductive related and sexual health related procedures as medically / care based -- which is what they are.

    How hard is that? Why is Ben Nelson's choice the only choice worth protecting?

    Parent

    nelson state opt out (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by jedimom on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 02:20:46 PM EST
    so if you are a woman living in a state that opts out of the abortion coverage funding in the state exchanges under Nelsons deal what do you do?

    drive over the border like its 1969?

    Parent

    What about people like me (none / 0) (#39)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:06:28 PM EST
    who have kids like mine?  Do you think we can all just carry on as we have all been barely able to carry on, only now the entire country is thrown in with us whether they can endure it or not?  Before it was crappy for everyone, but there was a notion that we had choices and that maybe somehow we could get out of the crap eventually.  Turn in a good days work, something wonderful has to happen someday doesn't it?  The Choices whether they only existed in our imaginations or could have actually been conjured into our lives at some time are now GONE!  I will fight and fight and fight for profit insurers and no recourse until my son is dead.

    Parent
    And we will all be taxed for that privilege (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:07:15 PM EST
    starting when?  Next month?

    Parent
    Government programs cost money (none / 0) (#43)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:08:42 PM EST
    Since when do Democrats complain about that?

    Parent
    A government program (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:14:28 PM EST
    that costs me more money and that insures that no option of fighting for my sons life in the hospital and out of the hospital every single day will ever exist?  That's a government program worth paying for?  Worth fighting for?

    Parent
    This is why I can't go into politics, MT (none / 0) (#53)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:16:23 PM EST
    Any response to this would just seem condescending.

    Parent
    Please don't dismiss this as 'just politics' (5.00 / 4) (#101)
    by Ellie on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 01:40:24 PM EST
    Your focus on procedural issues and the beaurocratic culture behind the forging of this legislation has been invaluable here, but the 'Just Politics' swat neither addresses nor minimizes the very real multiplying of hardships this imposes on those already stressed to the max.

    If you've never dealt with a long-term illness on your own or nursed a dependant, first of all, congratulations and I hope your good fortune continues.

    However, chances are AGAINST that good fortune continuing. So no, it's not politics -- or partisanship, or procedural ignorance, or ideology or 'drama' -- amplifying these statements.

    Sorry to be long-winded about this or redundant, but please factor in the prospect of adult-male biology here -- if you're unfamiliar with women's or children's -- and outline what would be any more "political" about those real life applications.

    Parent

    The reason I am uncomfortable responding (none / 0) (#103)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 01:57:19 PM EST
    is precisely because I understand that there is more than "just politics" to this.

    Parent
    I have some hope that (none / 0) (#105)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 02:16:51 PM EST
    regulatory panels will allow people to have a place to bring insurance provider grievances to.  We have to have something or people are really doomed, and paying to be doomed.  I realize that many people don't think about all the games that the insurance companies play, and it is easy to dismiss them when you only end up feuding with then once a year at best.  My son costs them money though, we are flagged in the system, everything is a constant fight now.  One commenter said that I should send my denials to Lieberman and Snowe but these people already know about the existence of all these games.  This is nothing new to them.  Everything has very specific mostly stupid requirements that must be met, that eat up time, that literally emotionally break people so they stop wanting for anything from the insurance company, if something gets lost start all over again.......everything is denied using the easiest denial first and then they work their way along to more creative denials or they finally fold.  They take a quart of blood everytime and it destroys my belief in my own culture and my own people, because everyone agrees to this....says it is okay so long as it isn't them having to live like this.  Then when it is you - everyone not in your shoes shouts you down, or ignores you...because you are just that one pain in the ass in the midst of so much hope of perceived good done.

    Parent
    I gathered as much, but even were that restraint (none / 0) (#111)
    by Ellie on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 02:21:33 PM EST
    ... at work among those cobbling the bills, I'd be grateful. For one thing, it would create a hard distinction and serve as a firewall between the political cynicism (eg, Stupak - Pitts - Nelson - Casey Jr's) masqued as "conscience".

    That it doesn't literally and figurately sickens me.

    Parent

    There are many many of me too (none / 0) (#67)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:24:10 PM EST
    And we used to have everyone's fingerprints on us so we weren't any good to use campaign ads anymore.  That is all going to change though.

    Parent
    Well MT, this bill is pretty minimal, as BTD (none / 0) (#48)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:10:54 PM EST
    says. But is the fact that it's weak tea reason enough to try and stop it? I don't think so, personally.

    Parent
    It is for me (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:15:42 PM EST
    I can go no further in this insanity.  I'm taxed and maxed out emotionally completely.  It is horrifying to me today.

    Parent
    Further more I am paying for my son's (5.00 / 7) (#63)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:22:15 PM EST
    second opinion from his Colorado Springs ortho next month all by myself.  The week long trip...everything.  I have been denied and I don't have time andgarden to argue.  I need to know what is going on with his feet now so that we can plan for his future and she has the knowledge to do that.  If I did not have the money to pay out of pocket and if I were less of a fighter, I would probably roll over to the boy wonder physician who wants to amputate his feet.  Actually that doctor was shocked when I told him that I pass.  He's used to people being so hard up that nobody can challenge his diagnosis and treatment.  This legislation promises that ALL OF YOU CAN BE ME ONE DAY.

    Parent
    (nodding) (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by katiebird on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:36:23 PM EST
    The horrible thing is that your family & o are actually going through this right now. That makes me sick.  I'm so sorry.

    AND it makes me sick that our elected leaders are either totally lacking in imagination or compassion. That the can't acknowledge the reality of what your are living with and the future they're condemning us to.

    Parent

    Bless (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by jedimom on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 02:24:20 PM EST
    you and the family MT. Rights of Appeal are paramount and one of the things I worry about in this legislation. Right now I can appeal to ERISA for self funded plans and the states commisionser for all other private plans, but when the govt is writing the plans who do we appeal to?

    especially is the Orsag designed iMAC panel to set Medicare rates and approve services gets the power they want it to have, that would IMo remove the ability for the PEOPLE to lobby their elected reps not to vote to deny things, ie infusion drug therapy, or orthotics, drug coated stents or even an MRI

    Parent

    I have Tricare (none / 0) (#128)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 02:40:53 PM EST
    I will attempt to argue with a patient advocate.  But not during the holidays. Maybe after.  When I called his old doctor she scheduled him but she told me getting this referral is up to you honey, I have no pull here.  I'm just too tired, and too hurt, and too angry and she's out of network.  She's a Tricare provider but she is a Tricare provider for Tricare West.  Different insurance underwriter......mine is Humana now....Tricare South.  Isn't it sweet?  You can't just hand Tricare over to one provider, it's too much of a rich plum.  It must be divided up among four different providers on a regional basis.  What a cl@$terf@ck

    Parent
    I understand (5.00 / 5) (#68)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:25:10 PM EST
    completely MT. I feel the same way you do. This bill produces worse insurance for higher costs i.e. exactly what the insurance companies want.

    Parent
    It's exactly what they want (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:33:24 PM EST
    and it protects nobody but the insurance companies.

    Parent
    Exactly. (5.00 / 4) (#76)
    by shoephone on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:36:36 PM EST
    For some it is "weak tea." For others, it will be a reversal of fortune.

    Being 50 years old has changed my perspective on a whole lotta things.

    Parent

    Someone is claiming that Dean says to (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:54:26 PM EST
    pass it.  I'm looking for a number to call so that I can hear how people like us might be made a little safer.  I trust Dean. It has been hard at times when he has dealt with health-care issues to witness the dumping on he has taken, but I never heard him speak a word of untruth about it.  See, his office is full of ME every single day.  The picture of what is wrong with health-care that is in his head is made up of ME.  He seeks to take care of YOU when YOU become ME.  He's a doctor.  He knows you all eventually will.

    Parent
    Democracy Now doesn't know much (none / 0) (#87)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 01:05:28 PM EST
    about the three review panels that Dean has just talked about on the tube that have teeth and that have been added.  They said that stuff is being changed constantly in the bill right now and that particular change is so new they don't have the whole scoop on it yet.

    Parent
    My reaction exactly (none / 0) (#123)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 02:33:54 PM EST
    I don't like being lied to or ham-handedly manipulated by the left any more than I do when it's the right.

    Parent
    It may end up being all for nothing (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 11:23:22 AM EST
    I've decided to not allow myself to get upset over this bill. The Republicans are going to use repealing this "reform" as their platform in 2010 and 2012. Between their base being fired up and many Democrats feeling they've been shafted, there's a real possibility Republicans will succeed.

    Dog help us (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by hookfan on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:10:20 PM EST
    We're relying on Republicans to rescue us. . .

    Parent
    politics-- repealing the bill would be spun in an absolutely disasterous manner for the Repubs-- "GOP takes healthcare from 30 million Americans" "Republicans triple the number of Americans uninsured"

    Parent
    Better question: (5.00 / 4) (#28)
    by shoephone on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 11:44:14 AM EST
    How many more millions of people will become UNinsured in the meantime, until the legislation takes effect in three years? The number that are touted to be newly covered after 2014 will be a complete wash.

    The main problem (none / 0) (#1)
    by TheRealFrank on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 10:25:01 AM EST
    I think this is the main problem with the bill. I know it takes a little while to set things up, but 4 years?

    Also, politically, it's a problem. People won't notice many positive effects for 4 years. It's hard to beat your chest during election season about something that people can't see the positive effects of, while it still is an easy target for Republicans.


    But that's exactly why (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by jbindc on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 10:26:38 AM EST
    Dems can talk about this great bill, and any ill effects won't be realized by the public until AFTER the 2012 presidential election.

    Parent
    And they are counting on people (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 10:38:52 AM EST
    forgetting exactly who was responsible for passing it.

    It is really a brilliant political strategy.  Sell people out, but delay the actual transaction long enough so that people can't remember who sold them out, AND in the meantime take credit for doing something "great!" for the people who've been sold out.

    That's probably what Ezra means when he says people won't notice.  Rolling eyes.

    Parent

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Spamlet on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:21:54 PM EST
    Sell people out, but delay the actual transaction long enough so that people can't remember who sold them out, AND in the meantime take credit for doing something "great!" for the people who've been sold out. That's probably what Ezra means when he says people won't notice

    Ezra thinks voters are stoopid. The GOP troglodytes are correct to paint some "progressives" as elitists.

    Parent

    This pinches people differently than War does (5.00 / 3) (#70)
    by Ellie on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:26:06 PM EST
    The relative "invisibility" of the war costs on households weren't associated, by those picking up the tab (approx $5,000/per, according to an in-depth study published in the Asia Times) directly to the free-spending frat admin of Bush / Cheney.

    Oh health care, however, people see every personal receipt, feel every tooth-ache, and usually have to fork some personal cash-money for care before collecting from their insurance company.

    Rather than forgiving and forgetting "reform" that won't take effect until after 2012, I'm inclined to believe that voters will put whatever pinches between now and then on the Dems.

    Parent

    Yes, it is teleprompter (none / 0) (#64)
    by KeysDan on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:22:32 PM EST
    ready---an historic bill or, as Dr. Krugman claims, an "awesome" achievement.   Details to follow.

    Parent
    which is, if divorced from the rest of the bill- pretty amazing-- the net effect of the bill will be reducing the number of uninsured by 2/3rds-- its does more to expand coverage than any act by a president since Johnson.

    Parent
    Paul Krugman, from (5.00 / 1) (#172)
    by KeysDan on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:40:27 PM EST
    NYT op-ed, Monday, December 21, 2009.  "Unless some legislator pulls off a last-minute double-cross, health care reform will pass the Senate this week.  Count me among those who consider this an awesome achievement."

    Parent
    Is the tax (none / 0) (#198)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 06:35:40 PM EST
    on Cadillac plans deferred as well?

    Parent
    It's a funding issue (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 10:28:08 AM EST
    It has to be "paid for."

    Parent
    If this was war funding (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by jbindc on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 10:29:41 AM EST
    they could find it immediately

    Parent
    Correct (none / 0) (#6)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 10:31:48 AM EST
    It is a second term issue (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 10:46:29 AM EST
    for the President.

    This junk insurance bill goes into effect when he intends to be safely into his second term.

    Parent

    In time (none / 0) (#12)
    by cal1942 on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 10:56:25 AM EST
    to be the lamest of lame ducks.

    Parent
    And he has to keep those insurance (none / 0) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 10:58:27 AM EST
    companies in line until then or else people WILL notice now.  He's very good at that too, look at how well he holds sway over the banks :)  This isn't funny, it isn't sad, it isn't even a Shaksphearean tragedy because those never have great certainty that we will come to tragedy.  This is beyond my description.

    Parent
    Well, we all know where the (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 11:07:12 AM EST
    money will come from for the library and the speaking engagements will be handsomely paid for by Obama's most important constituents.  Its all good for Obama.

    Parent
    Maybe at some point he can actually (none / 0) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 11:11:23 AM EST
    earn a Nobel prize like Jimmy Carter did.

    Parent
    The Dems (none / 0) (#27)
    by jbindc on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 11:42:53 AM EST
    Are planning and riding this pony to 2010 victory:

    WASHINGTON -- Slumping in the polls and struggling to pass climate and financial legislation, President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders are counting on an historic health care victory to buoy their electoral prospects in 2010.

    But Republicans argued Sunday that the issue is breaking their way, and liberal infighting indicates the party leadership has to win back its base along with the larger electorate.

    White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has been telling Democrats a win on the health issue will reverse the slide in public opinion, just as passage of another controversial proposal, the North American Free Trade Agreement, lifted President Bill Clinton in the polls.

    Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, the last Democratic holdout, walks outside the Capitol on Saturday, following his agreement to support health-care legislation.
    The apparent success by Senate Democrats this weekend in securing the necessary votes to pass a sweeping overhaul of health care before Christmas will offset setbacks on climate change and financial industry regulation, Democrats say.

    "The reality, I think, will trump poll numbers in the dead of winter as this debate is going on," White House senior adviser David Axelrod said Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

    "We're governing through difficult times," he said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "I think we're going to be in a better place" when the midterm elections arrive.

    Republicans say public opinion is on their side.

    "If Democrats want to run on this, then we invite them to go ahead and do so. The Obama-Pelosi agenda continues to feed into the emerging 2010 narrative that this is a Congress that spends too much, taxes too much and borrows too much," Ken Spain, communications director of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said Sunday.

    Last week's Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll not only showed a substantial majority opposed to the plan, but for the first time, it showed a plurality favoring the status quo over passage.

    Mr. Obama is taking heat from the left and the right on health. The president's quest for a 60th vote for the Senate health bill has drawn criticism from liberal Democrats who say the White House has capitulated to conservatives in the party.

    "We need the president to stand up for the values our party shares. We must stop letting the tail wag the dog of this debate," Rep. Anthony Weiner (D., N.Y.) said in a post on his Web site.

    The Democratic leadership is particularly relying on a health victory as other domestic priorities struggle. The failure of the United Nations climate summit to reach a binding accord could cripple Mr. Obama's chances of securing legislation to limit greenhouse-gas emissions, even after many House Democrats took a politically painful vote for legislation to cap carbon emissions.

    Mr. Obama's standing with American voters has fallen more dramatically in his first year than any recent president, in part because he was so popular at the outset, but also because voters perceive he has not accomplished much, said Democratic pollster Peter Hart.

    His 47% approval rating is just the start of his problems, pollsters say. The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll also found the first real evidence that Mr. Obama's personal bond with Americans -- his likability -- has been battered by high unemployment, Democratic infighting and months of bickering over health care, Just 29% of Americans now say they feel "very positive" about the president, down from 36% in October and 47% in February.

    And at least some of that bleeding is coming from Democrats; his 86% approval rating in September is now down to 79% among Democrats.



    Parent
    Axelrod's performance on MTP (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by shoephone on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:28:35 PM EST
    was not very applause-worthy, especially since it is no longer campaign season, but governing season. On the other hand, Howard Dean's appearance (which came directly after Axelrod's) was a refresher course in how to tell the truth about the Obama health care charade.

    Parent
    Wishful thinking (none / 0) (#199)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 06:37:44 PM EST
    to me that the bill, if it passes, will be seen by the public as a victory, historic or otherwise.  The polls show the public already believes the bill is less valuable than the status quo.

    Parent
    But Obama will claim the credit (none / 0) (#22)
    by diogenes on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 11:19:52 AM EST
    Now, in 2010, and 2012...

    I hope he isn't banking on a whole lot of (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 11:42:44 AM EST
    credit once the Republicans tear this legislation up and down and all around in the midterms.  This garbage is a virtual Republican wet dream.  The Republicans had a hard time finding a good construct for McCain, they almost had a Joe the Plumber.  You just wait though, there will be an entire parade of disabled children paraded out in front of the cameras with angry winger parents towing them.  And the insurance companies aren't going to stop what they do, but it will be documented now while the cameras roll and the Democrats tried to screw the whole United States over ruthlessly.  It wasn't just those of us who do have insurance getting screwed over for our dollar, the Democrats attempted to force the whole nation to be screwed over by the insurance companies.  I wish I was a Republican.  I say vile things but they don't care, they like that.  They'd take me as a candidate.  I could be rich too.

    Parent
    Well, the Republican's wild criticisms (5.00 / 3) (#77)
    by KeysDan on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:43:12 PM EST
    will, if the past is prologue, probably be the best thing that can happen to the Democrats.  Rather than addressing the legislation on its merits or, more accurately, the lack thereof, The wingers are more likely to polemicize concerns so as to make them a parody.  New and improved death panels, Mussolini policies,   photos of aborted fetuses paid for through "taxpayer fraud", and other absurdities will abound. While bolstering the views of Beck's people, they are not likely to make much headway otherwise.

    Parent
    What about when Dem's counter (none / 0) (#117)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 02:28:07 PM EST
    with the poor kids the bring out who talk about how they weren't covered but are now, or the Cancer survivor who couldn't get coverage but now can-- look, the bill sucks, but for political impact it has some nice wedges for Dems to run on.

    Parent
    Did the provision for immediate Catastrophic (none / 0) (#57)
    by katiebird on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 12:18:52 PM EST
    Insurance coverage make it into the Senate Bill?  I'm just wondering because with the (good) chance that premiums will keep rising from now till 2014 - that Catastrophic coverage (depending on the cost of the premiums) could give a lot of us some peace of mind.

    yes (none / 0) (#115)
    by jedimom on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 02:25:59 PM EST
    the entirely new entitlement made it into the bill but I dont know what they did with funding

    Parent
    Howard Dean walks it back (none / 0) (#88)
    by Politalkix on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 01:08:00 PM EST
    link
    Would like the WH to get some inputs from Dean during the Conference Report process

    He's recognizing (none / 0) (#89)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 01:10:06 PM EST
    that where we are is probably where it stands.

    Parent
    Wow (none / 0) (#190)
    by lentinel on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 06:20:44 PM EST
    I just read the Newsweek article.

    It is pure propaganda intended to make us think that Dean is changing his mind and we should support this bill.

    They quoted Dean as saying that if the Senate could achieve the benefits of a public option without a public option, he's "all ears".
    They leave it at that and then go on to speculate (propagandize) why Dean "changed his position" (which he clearly did not).  They left out that Dean added that he didn't think it was possible to achieve the goals of a public option without the actual public option.

    So, the "liberal" media (owned by the insurance industry's brethren) are now in full swing to make us think that everything is Jake, we have a starter home. We took on the insurance companies. Health care will be extended to millions and premiums will go down. In a pig's eye, of course.

    Parent

    List of "winners and losers" (none / 0) (#90)
    by CST on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 01:14:08 PM EST
    according to MSNBC

    This was news to me (among the winners):

    Nebraska, Louisiana, Vermont and Massachusetts. These states are getting more federal help paying for a proposed Medicaid expansion than other states are.

    emphasis mine.  One of these things is not like the other.

    Did John Kerry threaten to withold his vote?

    Some left-over T.Kennedy sympathy?

    Not that I'm complaining...

    oops (none / 0) (#92)
    by CST on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 01:15:08 PM EST
    should have put quotes there.  Before "Nebraska", after "are."

    Parent
    CT (none / 0) (#116)
    by jedimom on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 02:27:22 PM EST
    Dodd apparently has 100 m in there for a hospital or 2 to try to save his seat as well

    Americans were promised change and hope and got the very worst in politicking right in their faces ESPECIALLY with Landreiu and Nelson

    Parent

    I think VT and Mass (none / 0) (#129)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 02:48:15 PM EST
    already put much more state money into Medicaid so the coverage can be wider.  I know VT has been very concerned that they'll get little out of this bill because we already do a lot of this stuff on our own dime, and some at a higher standard than the new federal rules will be.  Same I assume for Mass.

    Nebraska is on the lower end of what it covers.  Louisiana is a special case because its demographic statistics, state expenditures, etc., got thrown totally out of whack by Katrina.

    Parent

    yea (none / 0) (#132)
    by CST on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 02:56:34 PM EST
    I'm not complaining.  But it does seem funny by the basic rules of pork politics.  The other three states all had senators that threatened to hold out.  Looks like we just got lucky.

    I really wonder how all this will effect MA.  Considering we already have a comprehensive plan in place, I'd like to see some local analysis of what will change.

    I'm a little worried about the effect of an additional mandate.  If someone is forced to pay the federal and state tax that's a lot more than just one of the two.  I hope they fix that, either by reducing or eliminating the state mandate once the federal one is in place.  I haven't really seen that addressed anywhere.

    Parent

    Only thing I can think of (none / 0) (#157)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 04:57:26 PM EST
    is in order to justify the extra dough to VT, which I assume Bernie Sanders demanded as part of his price, they worked out some formula and it happened to apply Mass., as well.

    In VT, we have already a state-administered part of this bill, two non-profit arms of existing insurance companies that offer decent insurance, with preexisting conditions banned and other aspects of the plans mandated by the state, and the state subsidizes heavily depending on income.  Only people who have been without health insurance for I think it's two years are eligible.

    It's a pretty good deal, and I think a lot better than the way the national system is going to come out, and it costs Vermont a lot of money.  Everybody here is also scratching their heads and trying to figure out how it will be affected by the new system.

    Parent

    In case anyone is interested (none / 0) (#107)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 02:18:56 PM EST
    here are the implementation dates for the Senate bill. There is lots of good stuff available pretty quickly.

    what is this one! (none / 0) (#119)
    by jedimom on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 02:29:29 PM EST
    no discrimination based on health status does not begin until 2014

    how exactly is that different from preex peeps paying more?

    that totally defeats the PURPOSE of the preex ban!! to avoid higher costs! if they can charge someone with a preex 15x more than everyone else, they may in many cases be better off WITHOUT coverage

    now those VERY ILL will be FORCED to pay MORE, no CAP on how much more and they cant CHOOSE to pay cash to their providers instead

    OMG this is awful

    Parent

    no one will be forced to pay more (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by CST on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 02:34:46 PM EST
    the mandate starts at the same time as the cost protections for pre-existing conditions.

    before that, they are required to offer you something if you can afford it.

    Obviously it would be better if the cost controls started earlier, but no one will be forced to pay more.

    Parent

    "all new plans"? (none / 0) (#130)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 02:51:01 PM EST
    Most of this stuff, like preexisting conditions and rescissions, etc., say they apply to "all new plans," not "all plans."

    What's up with that, do you know?

    Parent

    Nope, but it is concerning (none / 0) (#131)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 02:53:30 PM EST
    I don't think everything is on that list, either.

    Parent
    I was wondering that also (none / 0) (#140)
    by nycstray on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 03:43:20 PM EST
    can't be good . . . . (yes, I'm jaded!)

    Parent
    And what constitutes a "new plan"? (none / 0) (#143)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 03:50:14 PM EST
    I bet it doesn't mean new to the user.

    Sounds like something that can be gamed with ease by the Insurance companies.

    And I bet any plan created prior to the "six months after enactment" period won't be considered a "new plan".

    Parent

    Oh, I figured a new plan (none / 0) (#147)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 04:18:02 PM EST
    was a new customer.

    Parent
    It might mean that ... (none / 0) (#149)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 04:20:46 PM EST
    but something tells me it doesn't.

    Parent
    I anticipate a lot of job hunting (none / 0) (#145)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 04:15:20 PM EST
    done by a lot of disabled kids parents in about six months.  It sucks but we will do what we must do.  Wouldn't be the first time people changed employment for insurance coverage.  My spouse can always retire anytime.  And since there is no limit to what wars can cost us and that infrastructure, there are probably several contractor jobs still hunting him if military insurance coverages aren't granted the same protections.  I do see protections here, just not any specifically for me yet :)  I don't take discrimination well though :)  Can you see me on CNN? I'll gather up a bunch of sobbing military dependents......all we need is a flag!

    Parent
    MT, I think you could do your own talk show (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by shoephone on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:27:02 PM EST
    Seriously. And who knows, it might actually be lucrative, especially if it gets syndicated. I'd happily do your west coast marketing.

    Parent
    IIRC Old plans are grandfathered (none / 0) (#158)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:03:55 PM EST
    what is the 3:1 age thing (none / 0) (#142)
    by kmblue on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 03:49:40 PM EST
    and also the exception for self-insured ?
    I would be self insured.  So I'm SOL?
    I'm also old...woe is me!  but not old enough for Medicare (assuming it's still there when Obama gets done with it)

    Parent
    3:1 (5.00 / 2) (#164)
    by shoephone on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:22:22 PM EST
    The Senate bill says insurers can charge up to 3x as much for older folks as they can for young folks. (The House bill allows a 2:1 ratio, which Howard Dean thinks is still too much. He made the point yesterday, by reminding us that in Vermont, the ratio is only 1.2%:1.)

    Yep. Anyone between the ages of 45-65 is going to get screwed royally if that goes into the final bill. Gee, and if they'd kept the Medicare buy-in for 55 year-olds, I'd only have to wait just under one year for my coverage to start.

    Dreams of democracy.

    Parent

    YUP (none / 0) (#165)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:26:34 PM EST
    And now they can charge whatever the market (none / 0) (#169)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:29:08 PM EST
    will bear, to the extent that there's a market at all.

    How you come out on this depends entirely on what you compare it to.

    Parent

    How you come out on this (none / 0) (#182)
    by shoephone on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 06:10:21 PM EST
    depends on how old you are, whether you have any insurance coverage now, what your employment situation is, and what your retirement situation is.

    Parent
    If you want to be even more reductionist, (none / 0) (#184)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 06:15:07 PM EST
    it comes down to whether you think you can do better under some other arrangement.

    Parent
    Under the House bill... (none / 0) (#195)
    by shoephone on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 06:26:47 PM EST
    ...yes. The Senate bill stinks for a mulitutde of reasons, the 3:1 age provision notwithstanding. So, I'll wait to see if the House Progressive Caucus sticks to its pledge.

    Parent
    You must know they won't (none / 0) (#196)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 06:27:59 PM EST
    But it's useful for the negotiators to think they might. That gets a better package overall.

    Parent
    I don't know that. (none / 0) (#197)
    by shoephone on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 06:35:24 PM EST
    I have serious concerns about it, you bet -- which is why I've been in pretty regular contact with my rep's office about it. (He's in the HPC.) But I don't know what's in Grijalva's or Woolsey's minds, or in the minds of the other 79 members of the caucus.

    And guess what? If they don't stick to the pledge, many of them are going to suffer for it at the ballot box in 2010. Guaranteed.

    Liberals are past getting hung up on the words. We're watching what they do.

    Parent

    I do not believe that, frankly (none / 0) (#200)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 06:47:01 PM EST
    The age charges deeply concern me (none / 0) (#146)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 04:16:32 PM EST
    Probably means the big corporations (none / 0) (#159)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:05:23 PM EST
    that self insure. Most large corporations self insure.

    Parent
    Yup, self-insurance typically means (none / 0) (#160)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:06:37 PM EST
    you have so much cash/access to credit that it would be cheaper to assume the risk yourself. For example, rental car companies typically self-insure their cars.

    Parent
    Yes, trying to clarify that this (none / 0) (#162)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:12:12 PM EST
    refers to corporations and not individuals. The person who asked thought it meant individuals.

    Parent
    In principle, it can apply to individuals (none / 0) (#163)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:15:51 PM EST
    But I don't think there's any way around the fine.

    What it does not mean in this context is buying an individual policy on the open market.

    Parent

    andgarden just for your information (none / 0) (#166)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:26:49 PM EST
    many of the things that take effect immediately and in the future only apply to NEW PLANS introduced into the marketplace. All old plans are grandfathered and the changes do not apply. Many of the regulations do not apply to those large corporations who self insure. Millions upon millions of people are covered by old and self insured plans.

    Parent
    I did see that (none / 0) (#168)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:28:08 PM EST
    but my understanding is that there's another set of changes that applies to almost all plans. I can't dig it up now, though.

    Parent
    If you find it later, please post it to me in an (none / 0) (#173)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:44:21 PM EST
    open thread. If there are no other changes, then a whole lot of people not in the exchange will not benefit from the reforms.

    Parent
    Hopefully they will be extending (none / 0) (#144)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 04:08:28 PM EST
    these protections to government plans too.  If they don't, well angry federal employees are scary :)  That annual cap thing though not kicking in until 2014.  That's terrible.  I hope this ends the horror for people.  I hope January is my last out of pocket trip.  I've only had one other, the first trip to Salt Lake City when Tricare denied the Titanium Rib surgery.  I paid for the trip, but Shriners decided to pay for the surgery when we were denied.  Then Tricare suddenly decided to pay the day before the surgery.  They had been challenged by the Salt Lake City Shriners doctors though.

    Parent
    Government plans are already at least as good (none / 0) (#161)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:08:03 PM EST
    as what they're attempting to extend to everyone else. Probably better.

    Parent
    Mine is not though (none / 0) (#170)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:32:14 PM EST
    When it comes to addressing grievances and patient rights. I can't even have my medical records.....those are owned by the military and they disappear when bad things have happened. Tricare is considered a "government plan".  I think it would be a good thing if military dependents got a few protections.  The protections I do have right now are very cheap copays and no lifetime or annual caps, but there are downsides where I live too.  Just because I'm not in the market, am I going to have protections too?

    Parent
    I don't think this legislation does much (none / 0) (#171)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:35:08 PM EST
    to your current arrangement. And of course, you have the alternative of going directly to your Congressman and/or Senator with problems (yes, even if it's a conservative Republican, this is right in the heartland of constituent services).

    Parent
    I can go to a Senator or a Congressperson (none / 0) (#174)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:46:06 PM EST
    Always a spectacle around here :) When your medical records disappear though nobody can help you.  We don't know what eats those.  It has a strange upside though.  Just try to find my health history in any insurance database.  But I was just thinking....if all other insurance available out there are going to shape up, Tricare HAS TO shape up too.  One of the things that people tend to be proud of as they run into the flying bullets is that their families don't have premiums, big deductibles, or big copays, and we have no caps.  The recruiters will tell you that Tricare Rocks in the insurance world, but if it isn't so hot anymore they will have to improve it.  But if all the insurance we will have out there has big deductibles and copays and premiums......probably not.  Most of this seems to be very wait and see, and then when we wait and see.....if it sucks, we are stuck.

    Parent
    Well, not to put too fine a point on it (none / 0) (#175)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:49:32 PM EST
    but Tricare is probably better than what most people will have even after this passes (though it could end up all being the same in the end).

    Parent
    I had such bigger hopes (none / 0) (#176)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:53:50 PM EST
    We all did (none / 0) (#178)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:56:30 PM EST
    Honestly, what you have is probably as good as any healthcare you could get anywhere in the world, with the possible exception of France.

    American medicine is great if you can afford it (or have insurance that will pay).

    Parent

    It's just not true andgarden (none / 0) (#181)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 06:03:05 PM EST
    There is a great deal of denial of services that is experienced.  People in the U.S. live in a constant anxiety if they have health issues.  Talk to anyone who lives in Canada about their daily anxiety if they have health issues.  Canadian parents of disabled children never suffer like Americans do. Our system is horrible if you actually need any kind of regular care.  The whole system is set up to figure out how to deny you that care.

    Parent
    I know this hits close to home (none / 0) (#183)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 06:13:52 PM EST
    but one of the things that distinguishes the American medical system from that of many other countries is the degree to which we prioritize the old over children. Britain takes the exact opposite approach, FWIW.

    Parent
    That's Great Britain (none / 0) (#189)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 06:20:17 PM EST
    Not the case in Canada, not the case in France, not sure about the Swiss.

    Parent
    And my grandmothers had better (5.00 / 1) (#194)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 06:25:05 PM EST
    care and less denial of services because the whole American market is geared to serving them.  I had a nurse that stopped in to see both of my grandmothers daily towards the end.  It was no problem setting it up, the system was literally already in place...just check the boxes and send the nurse.  Not so with my son and there was no nurse for him that was ever sent to his home, there were P.T.s and O.T.s and speech therapists that made home visits in Colorado but only for the poverty level.  Everyone else couldn't even get such services outside of poverty level, and your insurance company wasn't going to pay for such a thing.  You want to see a therapist......you go there, they don't come to you no matter how disabled your child is.

    Parent
    table was a big mistake. A soft cap on non-economic damages would have provided some costs controls and could have possibly brought some Republicans on board-- while only angering a minor Dem. interest group (malpractice attorneys) and buying some additional good will from Doctors. Malpractice and its related costs is a reasonably major driver of healthcare costs (5-9% annually) and in a large percentage of cases is initiated solely to pad the fee's of trial attorneys. I realize that this wont be a popular opinion on here, but I think some move on Malpractice reform needed to be made (at the very least subsidizing malpractice insurance)-- for I've interviewed doctors, nurses and non-profit health care directors and one of the only consensus opinions on Health Care Reform they have is the necissity of malpractice reform (the others are a public option and a major effort on obesity).

    Where did you get that stat? (5.00 / 2) (#156)
    by jbindc on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 04:54:59 PM EST
    Most every other report I've read says lawsuits for med-mal are about 1-1.5% of total healthcare costs, but the costs for the actual mistakes is much greater.

    Link

    The health economists and independent legal experts who study the issue, however, don't believe that's true. They say that malpractice liability costs are a small fraction of the spiraling costs of the U.S. health care system, and that the medical errors that malpractice liability tries to prevent are themselves a huge cost- both to the injured patients and to the health care system as a whole.

    "It's really just a distraction," said Tom Baker, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and author of "The Medical Malpractice Myth." "If you were to eliminate medical malpractice liability, even forgetting the negative consequences that would have for safety, accountability, and responsiveness, maybe we'd be talking about 1.5 percent of health care costs. So we're not talking about real money. It's small relative to the out-of-control cost of health care."

    Insurance costs about $50-$60 billion a year, Baker estimates. As for what's often called "defensive medicine," "there's really no good study that's been able to put a number on that," said Baker.

    Krauthammer cited a study by the Massachusetts Medical Society that found that five out of six doctors said they ordered additional tests, procedures and referrals to protect themselves from lawsuits. He also relies on a much-criticized study from the libertarian Pacific Research Institute on the civil justice system to conclude that "defensive medicine" wastes more than $200 billion a year.

    Baker is skeptical, and makes the point that "defensive medicine" is not the same thing as wasteful medicine. "Like defensive driving, some defensive medicine is good," he said. "To change behavior. When you drill down those studies, you see that what it means is, doctors are more careful with patient records. They spend more time with the patient. They're more careful to say hello and goodbye to the patient. That's good."

    Other health economists agree that "defensive medicine" is not the main driver of costs, and malpractice liability reform is not a panacea.

    "If you were to list the top five or ten things that you could do to bring down health care costs that would not be on the list," said Michelle Mello, a professor of Law and Public Health at Harvard.

    Still, that doesn't mean the medical liability system we now have is a good one. Mello estimates the costs of so-called "defensive medicine" to be far less than Krauthammer does -- around $20 billion a year. "So there's some savings to be had and frankly the health reform package has not come up with a lot of ideas for major savings."



    Parent
    BLEH! (none / 0) (#148)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 04:19:14 PM EST
    Never as far as I'm concerned.

    Parent
    I'm always amazed (2.00 / 1) (#151)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 04:38:39 PM EST
    how empathy about insurance costs only extends as far as one's interests groups.

    Parent
    Whatever (none / 0) (#152)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 04:42:18 PM EST
    What? (none / 0) (#154)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 04:45:18 PM EST
    Exactly what are you trying to say? I'd hate to respond if I've misunderstood that comment.

    Parent
    I have been asked twice now on different (none / 0) (#150)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 04:38:17 PM EST
    occasions why I did not sue where my son was concerned.  With his feet, and his new surgery "failing" in one doctors words...but not a "failure" in another doctors words, I'm not going to just run with the doctor I could maybe sue.  I have no interest in such things and both physicians have an "argument" for their diagnosis.  But it is the ability to sue that gives us the best care available when it is given.  Joshua almost died when he was born in a military hospital.  My original Ob Gyn was a private doctor and he had a suspicion about Joshua.  I was listed at his office as a high risk pregnancy.  Evans Army hospital was going through a cost containment shift though and they wanted all Army babies born at Evans so I was switched to a midwife there and it wasn't a choice.  When I first met her I told her that I was a high risk pregnancy in my past doctor's opinion and she told me that he was an anal retentive full of it private physician.  They never gave me a late ultrasound either that would have revealed Joshua's anomalies because those aren't necessary they told me.  They just waste money.  There was no NICU there when he was born, and they were actually fairly certain he would die and seemed to invite it.  Wouldn't even allow me to see him for the first almost three hours, God I was so mad.  I still hate every single one of those people.  It is literally impossible to sue a military facility though, I just counted us lucky we got out alive.  They had no idea what to diagnose him either.  He was diagnosed two months later at Denver Childrens after we got a referral out.

    Parent