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"Lies And Distortions Of The Health Care Reform Debate"


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#1 OFFLINE   Raynman

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 12:01 PM

The quote below is text stolen from a HuffPost gallery (hence the 1 of 13, 2 of 13...and no 13 of 13, because the last slide in a gallery is always a page with more gallery links). The gallery is found towards the bottom (scrotum scroll down) of this article

http://www.huffingto...93#slide=809649

Bias alert: Huffpost is left-leaning, but cites unbiased sources for fact-checking.

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Healthcare In America Is Already 'The Best In The World'
One of the more positive sounding admonitions from health care reform opponents was that the United States had "the best health care in the world," so why would you mess with it? Well, it's true that if you want the experience the pinnacle of medical care, you come to the United States. And if you want the pinnacle of haute cuisine, you go to Per Se. If you want the pinnacle of commercial air travel, you get a first class seat on British Airways. Now, naturally, you wouldn't let just anyone mess with someone's tasting menu or state-of-the-art air-beds. But like anything that's "the best," the best health care in the world isn't for everybody. The costs are prohibitively high, the access is prohibitively exclusive, and the resources are prohibitively scarce.

What do the people in America who "fly coach" in the health care system get? Well, at the time of the health care reform debate, they were participating in a system that was, by all objective measurements, overpriced and underperforming -- if you were lucky enough to be participating in it. As anyone who's fortunate enough to have employer based health care or unfortunate enough to have a pre-existing condition can tell you, health care for ordinary people already involved all of those things that we were told would be a feature of the Affordable Care Act -- long waits, limited choice, and rationing.

When the Commonwealth Fund rated health care systems by nation, the top marks in the surveyed categories went to the United Kingdom, New Zealand and the Netherlands. Ezra Klein examined the study, and observed:

"The issue isn't just that we don't have universal health care. Our delivery system underperforms, too. 'Even when access and equity measures are not considered, the U.S. ranks behind most of the other countries on most measures. With the inclusion of primary care physician survey data in the analysis, it is apparent that the U.S. is lagging in adoption of national policies that promote primary care, quality improvement, and information technology.'"

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Death Panels
The only thing that perhaps matched the vastness of the spread or the depth of the traction of the "death panel" lie was the predictability that such a lie would come to be told in the first place. After all, this was a Democratic president trying to sell a new health care reform plan with the intention of opening access and reducing cost to millions of Americans who had gone without for so long. What's the best way to counter it? Tell everyone that millions of Americans would have increased access ... to Death!

The best account of how the "death panel" myth was born into this world and spread like garbage across the landscape has been penned by Brendan Nyhan, who in 2010 wrote "Why the "Death Panel" Myth Wouldn't Die: Misinformation in the Health Care Reform Debate." You should go read the whole thing.

But to summarize, the lie began where many lies about health care reform begin -- with serial liar Betsy McCaughey, who in 1994 polluted the pages of the New Republic with a staggering pile of deception in an effort to scuttle President Bill Clinton's health care reform. As Nyhan documents, she re-emerged in 2009 when "she invented the false claim that the health care legislation
in Congress would result in seniors being directed to 'end their life sooner.'"

Nyhan: "McCaughey's statement was a reference to a provision in the Democratic health care bill that would have provided funding for an advanced care planning for Medicare recipients once every five years or more frequently if they become seriously ill. As independent fact-checkers showed (PolitiFact.com 2009b; FactCheck.org 2009a), her statement that these consultations would be mandatory was simply false--they would be entirely voluntary. Similarly, there is no evidence that Medicare patients would be pressured during these consultations to "do what's in society's best interest...and cut your life short."

But the match that lit the death panel flame was not McCaughey, it was Sarah Palin, who repeated McCaughey's claims in a Facebook posting and invented the term "death panel." As Nyhan reports, Palin's claims were met with condemnation from independent observers and factcheckers, but the virality of the term "death panel" far outstripped its own debunking. To this day, the shorthand for this outrageous falsehood remains more firmly planted in the discourse than the truth.

One thing worth pointing out is that Palin, in creating the term "death panel," intended to deceive people with it. In an interview with the National Review, Palin admitted: "The term I used to describe the panel making these decisions should not be taken literally." Rather, it was "a lot like when President Reagan used to refer to the Soviet Union as the 'evil empire.' He got his point across." Of course, while Reagan was exaggerating for effect, he wasn't trying to prey on the goodwill of those who were listening to him.

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The Affordable Care Act Is A "Jobs-Killer"
Naturally, the GOP greeted anything that the Obama White House did -- from regulating pollution to flossing after meals -- as something that would "kill jobs." The Affordable Care Act was no different. As you might recall, Republicans' first attempt at repeal came in the form of an inartfully named law called the "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act." But did the health reform plan threaten jobs? Not by any honest measure. Per McClatchy Newspapers:
"The claim has no justification," said Micah Weinberg, a senior research fellow at the centrist New America Foundation's Health Policy Program.

Since the law contains dual mandates that most individuals must obtain health insurance coverage and most employers must offer it by 2014, "the effect on employment is probably zero or close to it," said Amitabh Chandra, a professor of public policy at Harvard University.


As McClatchy reported, the "job-killing" claim creatively used the "lie of omission" -- relying on "out of date" data or omitting "offsetting information that would weaken the argument." The Congressional Budget Office, playing it straight, deemed it essentially too premature to measure what the effect the bill would have on the labor market. At the time, Speaker John Boehner dismissed the CBO, saying, "CBO is entitled to their opinion."

Perhaps, but lately, job growth in the health care industry has bucked the economic downturn and health care has remained a robust sector of employment. And it stands to reason that enrolling another 30 million Americans into health insurance will increase the demand for health care services and products, which in turn should trigger the creation of more jobs.

Is there a downside? Sure. More demand, and greater labor costs, could push health care prices upward even as other effects of health reform push them down. But it's more likely that repealing the bill will have a negative impact on jobs than retaining it.

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The Affordable Care Act Would Add To The Deficit
The only thing more important than painting the Affordable Care Act as a certain killer of jobs was to paint it as a certain murderer of America's fiscal future. Surely this big government program was going to push indebtedness to such a height that our servitude to our future Chinese overlords was a fait accompli. As Ryan Grim reported in May of 2010, the CBO disagreed:
Comprehensive health care reform will cost the federal government $940 billion over a ten-year period, but will increase revenue and cut other costs by a greater amount, leading to a reduction of $138 billion in the federal deficit over the same period, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, a Democratic source tells HuffPost. It will cut the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the second ten year period.

The source said it also extends Medicare's solvency by at least nine years and reduces the rate of its growth by 1.4 percent, while closing the doughnut hole for seniors, meaning there will no longer be a gap in coverage of medication.


Recently, the CBO updated its ten-year estimate by dropping off the first two years of the law (where there was little to no implementation) and adding two years at the back end (during which time there would be full implementation). As you might imagine, replacing two years of low numbers with two years of higher numbers increased the ten-year estimate. But opponents of the bill immediately freaked out and declared the costs to have skyrocketed. As Jonathan Chait reported:
The outcry was so widespread that the CBO took the unusual step of releasing a second update to explain to outraged conservatives that they were completely misreading the whole thing:

"Some of the commentary on those reports has suggested that CBO and JCT have changed their estimates of the effects of the ACA to a significant degree. That's not our perspective. ...

Although the latest projections extend the original ones by three years (corresponding to the shift in the regular ten-year projection period since the ACA was first being developed), the projections for each given year have changed little, on net, since March 2010."

That is CBO-speak for: "Go home. You people are all crazy."


As Chait goes on to note, the CBO now projects that "the law would reduce the deficit by slightly more than it had originally forecast."

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The Affordable Care Act $500 Billion Cut From Medicare
Normally, if you tell Republicans that you're going to cut $500 billion from Medicare, they will respond by saying, "Hooray, but could we make it $700 billion?" But the moment they got it into their heads that the Affordable Care Act would make that cut from Medicare, suddenly everyone from the party of ending Medicare As We Know It, Forever got all hot with concern about what would happen to these longstanding recipients of government health care.

In fairness, as Factcheck pointed out, the GOP opponents of Obama's plan were simply picking up a cudgel that had recently been wielded by the president himself:
Whether these are "cuts" or much-needed "savings" depends on the political expedience of the moment, it seems. When Republican Sen. John McCain, then a presidential candidate, proposed similar reductions to pay for his health care plan, it was the Obama camp that attacked the Republican for cutting benefits.


Nevertheless!
Whatever you want to call them, it's a $500 billion reduction in the growth of future spending over 10 years, not a slashing of the current Medicare budget or benefits. It's true that those who get their coverage through Medicare Advantage's private plans (about 22 percent of Medicare enrollees) would see fewer add-on benefits; the bill aims to reduce the heftier payments made by the government to Medicare Advantage plans, compared with regular fee-for-service Medicare.


The New England Journal of Medicine concurred:
A phased elimination of the substantial overpayments to Medicare Advantage plans, which now enroll nearly 25% of Medicare beneficiaries, will produce an estimated $132 billion in savings over 10 years.

[...]

The ACA also produces nearly $200 billion in savings by assuming that providers can improve their productivity as firms in other industries have done. On the basis of this presumed improvement, the law reduces Medicare's annual "market basket" updates for most types of providers - a provision that has generated controversy.


The law doesn't cut any customer benefits, just the amount that providers get paid. Hospitals and drug companies agreed to these cuts based on the calculation that more people with insurance meant more people consuming what they sell and, more importantly for the hospitals, fewer people getting treated and simply not paying for it.

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The Affordable Care Act Provides Free Health Care For Undocumented Immigrants
This lie was launched to prominence with the help of a false accuser, South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson, who famously heckled President Barack Obama during an address to a Joint Session of Congress by yelling "You lie!" after the president had mentioned that undocumented immigrants would not be eligible for the credits for the bill's proposed health care exchanges.

As Time's Michael Scherer pointed out, this was not much of a challenge for factcheckers:
In the Senate Finance Committee's working framework for a health plan, which Obama's speech seemed most to mimic, there is the line, "No illegal immigrants will benefit from the health care tax credits." Similarly, the major health-care-reform bill to pass out of committee in the House, H.R. 3200, contains Section 246, which is called "NO FEDERAL PAYMENT FOR UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS."


In fact, as Ezra Klein pointed out, the Affordable Care Act "goes out of its way to exclude" undocumented immigrants:
As the AP points out...there are about 7 million unauthorized immigrants who will be prohibited from buying insurance on the newly created exchanges, even if they pay out of their own pocket. And the exclusion of this group from health reform -- along with other restrictions that affect fully legal immigrants as well -- could create a massive coverage gap that puts a strain on the rest of the health system as well.


Klein goes on to add that "immigrants-rights advocates tried to prevent this scenario from happening," but they ended up losing to the politics of the day. The concession they won was a promise from the president that he would shepherd a comprehensive immigration reform package through the legislature. They lost that round, too.

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Republicans, And Their Ideas, Were Left Out Of The Bill And The Process
Were health care policies dear to Republicans left out of the health care reform bill? Totally! Unless we're counting the following:

--Deficit-neutral bill
--Longterm cost reduction
--Interstate competition that allows consumers to purchase insurance across state lines
--Medical malpractice reform
--High-risk pools
--An extension of the time young people were allowed to remain on their parents' policies
--No public money for abortion
--Small business exemptions/tax credits
--Job wellness programs
--Delivery system reform

In fact, the Democrats were eager to get GOP input and enthusiastic about including many of their desired components in the bill.

Oh, and did we mention that the Affordable Care Act was modeled on a reform designed and implemented by a former Republican governor and presidential candidate, whose innovation was widely celebrated by the GOP while said former governor was running for president? And did we mention that the individual mandate that was used in Romneycare to ensure "no free riders" was originally dreamed up by the Heritage Foundation? And did we add that additional DNA of the Affordable Care Act was borrowed from the Senate GOP alternative to the Clinton plan in the 1990s and the 2009 Bipartisan Policy Committee plan, which was endorsed by Tom Daschle, Howard Baker, and Bob Dole?

As for the process, you might recall that the White House very patiently waited for the bipartisan Gang Of Six to weigh in with its own solution, and openly courted one Republican gang member, Sen. Chuck Grassley, long after it was clear to every reporter inside the Beltway that Grassley was intentionally acting in bad faith.

And perhaps you don't recall the bipartisan health care summit that was held in March of 2009? if so, don't feel bad about it -- RNC Chairman Michael Steele couldn't remember it either, when he yelled at the president for not having one.

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The Demonization Of 'Deem And Pass'
So, here's a fun little story about obscure parliamentary procedures. In May of 2010, as the health care reform michegas was steaming toward its endgame, it looked like the measure might fall. The Senate had passed a bill, but the House was stuck in a bit of a jam. It had no other choice but to take a vote on the Senate's bill, because if the House bill ended up in a conference committee to be reconciled with the Senate's, the whole resulting she-bang was assured of a filibuster, as the Democrats had, in the intervening period, lost their Senate supermajority.

But the House had a problem. As I wrote at the time:
House members are averse to doing anything that looks like they approve of the various side-deals that were made in the Senate -- like the so-called "Cornhusker Kickback." The House intends to remove those unpopular features in budget reconciliation, but if they pursue budget reconciliation on a standard legislative timeline -- where they pass the Senate bill outright first and then go back to pass a reconciliation package of fixes -- they'd still appear to be endorsing the sketchy side deals, and then the GOP would jump up and down on their heads.

Enter "deem and pass." Under this process, the House will simply skip to approving the reconciliation fixes, and "deem" the Senate bill to be passed. By doing it this way, the Democrats get the Senate bill passed while simultaneously coming out against the unpopular features of the same.


"Deem and pass" is the aforementioned obscure parliamentary procedure. And here's the thing about obscure parliamentary procedures -- everyone loves them when their side is doing them, but when they're being done to you, then they are basically evil schemes from the blasted plains of Hell.

So if you're guessing that the Republicans declared the Democrats' use of "deem and pass" -- which also carried the moniker "the Slaughter Rule," after Rep. Louise Slaughter, who proposed its use in this instance -- to be a monstrous and unprecedented abuse of power, then give yourself a prize! And give yourself a bonus if you guessed that in reality, the GOP had used "deem and pass" lots of times. As Ryan Grim reported, "deeming resolutions" had been in use dating back to 1933, and in 2005 and 2006, Republicans employed them 36 times.

Other Republicans complained that Slaughter was supporting a tactic that she once vigorously opposed. That's true! She fought the "deem and pass" during the Bush administration and lost. Which is precisely when she learned how effective it could be!

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The Affordable Care Act Would Create A Mad Army of IRS Agents
Lots of people wouldn't mind having better access to more affordable health care. But what if it came with thousands of IRS agents, picking through your stool sample? That sounds pretty bad. It also sounds pretty implausible! But that was no impediment to multiple health care reform opponents making claims that the tax man was COMMINAGETCHA!

In this case, the individual mandate -- which requires people to purchase insurance or incur a tax penalty -- provided the fertile soil for this deception to spread. A March 2010 floor speech from a panicked Sen. John Ensign was typical of the genre:
My amendment goes to the heart of one of the problems with this bill. There is an individual mandate that puts fines on people that can also attach civil penalties. And 16,500 new IRS agents are going to be required to be hired because of the health care reform bill.


March of 2010 was a pretty great time for this particular lie. In one five day period, Ensign was joined by Reps. Paul Ryan ("There is an individual mandate. It mandates individuals purchase government-approved health insurance or face a fine to be collected by the IRS which will need $10 billion additional and 16,500 new IRS agents to police and enforce this mandate."), Pete Sessions ("16,000 new IRS agents will be hired simply to make sure that this health care bill is enforced.") and Cliff Stearns ("There is $10 billion to hire about 16,000 new IRS agents to enforce the individual mandate on every American").

All wrong! Per Factcheck:
This wildly inaccurate claim started as an inflated, partisan assertion that 16,500 new IRS employees might be required to administer the new law. That devolved quickly into a claim, made by some Republican lawmakers, that 16,500 IRS "agents" would be required. Republican Rep. Ron Paul of Texas even claimed in a televised interview that all 16,500 would be carrying guns. None of those claims is true.

The IRS' main job under the new law isn't to enforce penalties. Its first task is to inform many small-business owners of a new tax credit that the new law grants them -- starting this year -- which will pay up to 35 percent of the employer's contribution toward their workers' health insurance. And in 2014 the IRS will also be administering additional subsidies -- in the form of refundable tax credits -- to help millions of low- and middle-income individuals buy health insurance.

The law does make individuals subject to a tax, starting in 2014, if they fail to obtain health insurance coverage. But IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman testified before a hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee March 25 that the IRS won't be auditing individuals to certify that they have obtained health insurance.


As Factcheck goes on to note, on page 131 of the bill that was passed, the IRS is explicitly prohibited from "from using the liens and levies commonly used to collect money owed by delinquent taxpayers, and rules out any criminal penalties for individuals who refuse to pay the tax or those who don't obtain coverage."

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Affordable Care Act Bill Is Way Too Long And Impossible To Read!
Oh, Congresscritters, the poor dears! So many bills to read and so little time -- between raising campaign cash at lush fundraisers and receiving marching orders from powerful corporate interests -- to actually read them all. And this Affordable Care Act was a real humdinger of a long bill. And long bills are bad because length implies complication and complication requires study and study implies some form of "work." So the proper thing to do is to mulch the entire print run of the bill and use it to power the boiler that heats the "sex dungeon" in the Longworth Office Building, the end!

Actually, reading the bill is not that hard, despite the complaints. As the folks at Computational Legal Studies were able to divine:
Those versed in the typesetting practices of the United States Congress know that the printed version of a bill contains a significant amount of whitespace including non-trivial space between lines, large headers and margins, an embedded table of contents, and large font. For example, consider page 12 of the printed version of H.R. 3962. This page contains fewer than 150 substantive words.

We believe a simple page count vastly overstates the actual length of bill. Rather than use page counts, we counted the number of words contained in the bill and compared these counts to the number of words in the existing United States Code. In addition, we consider the number of text blocks in the bill -- where a text block is a unit of text under a section, subsection, clause, or sub-clause.


As HuffPost noted in March of 2010, "the total number of words in the House Health Reform Bill are 363,086," and when you throw out the words in the titles and tables of contents and whatnot, leaving only words that "impact substantive law," the word count drops to 234,812.

"Harry Potter And the Order Of The Phoenix," a popular book read by small children, is 257,000 words long. (Although in fairness to Congress, the Affordable Care Act contains very few exciting accounts of Quidditch matches.)

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The 2012ers Join The Fun
We couldn't have a list of Affordable Care Act distortions without noting the ways some of your 2012ers have added to the canon.

Herman Cain said that if the ACA had been implemented, he'd be dead. Not likely! The new law expands coverage so that uninsured individuals who face what Cain faced (cancer) have a better chance of getting coverage, and it restricts insurers from tossing cancer patients off the rolls based on their "pre-existing condition." But more to the point, Cain would have always been the wealthy guy who could afford to choose his doctor and pick the care he wanted. The Affordable Care Act doesn't prohibit wealthy people from spending money.

Rick Santorum says that his daughter, who is diagnosed with a genetic disorder called trisomy 18 and who required special needs care, would be "denied care" under the Affordable Care Act. Nope! Again, the law restricts insurers from throwing people with pre-existing conditions off their rolls. And for individuals under 19, that went into effect in September of 2010.

Michele Bachmann believes that the Affordable Care Act would open "sex clinics" in public schools. This is Michele Bachmann we're talking about. Do you even need to ask?

And finally, Mitt Romney has said, as recently as March 5, that he never intended his CommonwealthCare reform to serve as a "model for the nation." "Very early on," he insisted, "we were asked -- is what you've done in Massachusetts something you would have the entire government do, the federal government do? I said no, from the very beginning." Unless "very early on" and "from the very beginning" mean something different from the conventional definition of those phrases, Romney should augment his daily pharmaceutical intake with some memory-enhancing gingko biloba.

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So Many More To Choose From!
Obviously, we did what we could to include as many of these lies and distortions as possible, but there's no way to include them all. If you're a completist, however, be sure to check out the Impossible Tale Of The One-Dollar Abortion, the Story of the State-Based Inflexibility That Wasn't, The Curious Case of the Politically Connected Waivers and Nancy Drew And The Hidden $105 Billion Expenditure.


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#2 OFFLINE   DonIsGod

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 12:48 PM

"left leaning"? That's like saying the Titanic took on a little water.
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#3 OFFLINE   Raynman

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 08:36 PM

"left leaning"? That's like saying the Titanic took on a little water.

Good one, Don. :teehee:

Yeah, they took obvious joy in their debunking attempts.

Edited by Raynman, 07 July 2012 - 08:39 PM.

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#4 OFFLINE   KyleLitke

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 10:39 AM

I think that if people want to dislike the ACA, that's fine, but they should do it for legitimate reasons and not some of the bullshit being spewed, like the "OMG 500 billion dollar tax on the middle class!" which is a load of crap, or the Death Panel claim which is not at all true.

#5 OFFLINE   DonIsGod

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 08:24 PM

So you have no problem with them passing it via bullshit but not those who dislike it for the same reason?

Edited by DonIsGod, 08 July 2012 - 08:24 PM.

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#6 OFFLINE   KyleLitke

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 10:44 PM

So you have no problem with them passing it via bullshit but not those who dislike it for the same reason?


I literally have no idea what you're trying to say. Passing what? They passed the bill and the Supreme Court confirmed it's constitutional. Try rewording this because I have no clue what you're getting at. Not trying to be a dick, I don't get it at all. Passing a bill and having said bill confirmed as constitutional by the Supreme Court isn't even remotely the same as making up lies and/or taking one shred of truth (the number 500 billion dollars appears) and spinning it horribly into a 500 billion dollar tax on the middle class (absolutely not true even if you're seriously considering the penalty for not having insurance to be a tax on the entire middle class as opposed to a "tax" on anyone, of any class, who chooses not to get insurance...even if you consider that to be the case, the expected income from that isn't anywhere in the ballpark of 500 billion, that number comes from a variety of things including taxes on medicare for those not in the middle class, taxes on insurance companies, etc...in fact, the poor and the lower middle class who choose to get insurance are more likely to see money saved, not pay more, since they'll get help).

Also a question, why is it absolutely impossible to ever say anything without your response being "THE OTHER SIDE DID IT FIRST!"? Is it not possible for something to be wrong for both to do? In all honesty dude, one of the things that makes me think you're biased is that if one of us ever says the Republicans did something wrong, you immediately try to say the "other side is doing it". I can't speak for anyone else on "my side" but I have often said both sides are full of shit a lot of the time. The fact that your mind immediately jumps to the idea that because I support one side more often, I MUST be blindly attacking only the Republicans and ignoring the Democrats doing the same, well...it makes me wonder why. It would never occur to me to respond to EVERY criticism of the democrats with "but the Republicans are doing it!!" unless the person I'm responding to claimed the democrats were the only ones who should be blamed for it. Because it would never occur to me to point at the Republicans, claim they're doing something wrong, and then say it's okay for the Democrats to do the exact same thing. Why do you seem to think attacking one side automatically means you blindly defend the other?

I don't think it's okay for either side to blatantly lie even though they both do it. Are you telling me you think it's acceptable for the Republicans to make up the Death Panel controversy? That it's acceptable to scream as loud as they can that it's a 500 billion dollar tax on the middle class, knowing that's not the case but knowing many voters won't bother to check? Please don't respond to that part using the word Democrat at all, I know the Democrats do the same thing with things the Republicans try to pass and I don't approve of them doing it either, I think people should make their decisions based on the merits of a bill/law/etc., not based on who can spin bullshit about the other party. I'm asking you directly, without mentioning the Democrats, do you think that's acceptable? Because if the answer is no, then that's fine, I'm not sure why you just jumped on me and responded like that since I never said it was okay for anyone to do it. And if the answer is yes, then that's fine, but I hope I'll never again see you attack the Democrats for doing the same. See, I don't like when either side does it, but I'm not sure where you stand on that, whether you agree neither side should do it, or whether you think it's okay for Republicans to do it but not Democrats because liberalz suck. Because if you agree with me then I have no idea why you responded as you did.

#7 OFFLINE   Riverhawk

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 08:26 AM

The expansion of medicaid and the fact that hospitals and providers will need to foot more of the bill will effectively demolish medicine as we know it. Yes, people will have to have insurance and it may increase revenues in the short run. But as Medicaid is expanded, more patients will have insurance that effectively mandates that you dont get paid for your service and more providers will close up shop and more hospitals will close up shop. This is another idiotic, idealistic piece of legislation by a government with their head in the fucking clouds. Come down to my level and see what is happening.

Corporations are buying up hospitals because they are money losers. They are getting tax breaks on their other businesses by doing it and are stripping down the hospitals to become profitable. They are doing that by forcing providers to work for less money, more hours, and in more unsafe conditions. Patient care is suffering, nurses are getting fired by the droves and we are all turning a blind eye. This legislation was music to the fucking ears of these big corporations as they can justify more layoffs, more stripping down of services and more staff downsizing due to the lack of revenue. This "tax" is effectively paid by those who actually pay taxes and will take their medical care down a notch. Yet it wont actually help the medical care that the Medicaid population will be receiving because most Medicaid patients will still not get primary care doctors and will still use the ER for all their problems in life.

Like I said before, you guys who are touting this as a good thing have absolutely NO FUCKING CLUE.
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#8 OFFLINE   DonIsGod

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 03:02 PM


I literally have no idea what you're trying to say. Passing what? They passed the bill and the Supreme Court confirmed it's constitutional. Try rewording this because I have no clue what you're getting at. Not trying to be a dick, I don't get it at all. Passing a bill and having said bill confirmed as constitutional by the Supreme Court isn't even remotely the same as making up lies and/or taking one shred of truth (the number 500 billion dollars appears) and spinning it horribly into a 500 billion dollar tax on the middle class (absolutely not true even if you're seriously considering the penalty for not having insurance to be a tax on the entire middle class as opposed to a "tax" on anyone, of any class, who chooses not to get insurance...even if you consider that to be the case, the expected income from that isn't anywhere in the ballpark of 500 billion, that number comes from a variety of things including taxes on medicare for those not in the middle class, taxes on insurance companies, etc...in fact, the poor and the lower middle class who choose to get insurance are more likely to see money saved, not pay more, since they'll get help).

Also a question, why is it absolutely impossible to ever say anything without your response being "THE OTHER SIDE DID IT FIRST!"? Is it not possible for something to be wrong for both to do? In all honesty dude, one of the things that makes me think you're biased is that if one of us ever says the Republicans did something wrong, you immediately try to say the "other side is doing it". I can't speak for anyone else on "my side" but I have often said both sides are full of shit a lot of the time. The fact that your mind immediately jumps to the idea that because I support one side more often, I MUST be blindly attacking only the Republicans and ignoring the Democrats doing the same, well...it makes me wonder why. It would never occur to me to respond to EVERY criticism of the democrats with "but the Republicans are doing it!!" unless the person I'm responding to claimed the democrats were the only ones who should be blamed for it. Because it would never occur to me to point at the Republicans, claim they're doing something wrong, and then say it's okay for the Democrats to do the exact same thing. Why do you seem to think attacking one side automatically means you blindly defend the other?

I don't think it's okay for either side to blatantly lie even though they both do it. Are you telling me you think it's acceptable for the Republicans to make up the Death Panel controversy? That it's acceptable to scream as loud as they can that it's a 500 billion dollar tax on the middle class, knowing that's not the case but knowing many voters won't bother to check? Please don't respond to that part using the word Democrat at all, I know the Democrats do the same thing with things the Republicans try to pass and I don't approve of them doing it either, I think people should make their decisions based on the merits of a bill/law/etc., not based on who can spin bullshit about the other party. I'm asking you directly, without mentioning the Democrats, do you think that's acceptable? Because if the answer is no, then that's fine, I'm not sure why you just jumped on me and responded like that since I never said it was okay for anyone to do it. And if the answer is yes, then that's fine, but I hope I'll never again see you attack the Democrats for doing the same. See, I don't like when either side does it, but I'm not sure where you stand on that, whether you agree neither side should do it, or whether you think it's okay for Republicans to do it but not Democrats because liberalz suck. Because if you agree with me then I have no idea why you responded as you did.


...How about we start with the out and out lie that it would cost less than 1 trillion dollars, until it was passed that is, and then whoops, we really meant 1.7 trillion...So we have not even begun to really implement this bullshit and we are already paying out almost double what they predicted...and you know God damn well that will only get worse once it's actually up and running 100%...
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#9 OFFLINE   DonIsGod

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 03:02 PM

The expansion of medicaid and the fact that hospitals and providers will need to foot more of the bill will effectively demolish medicine as we know it. Yes, people will have to have insurance and it may increase revenues in the short run. But as Medicaid is expanded, more patients will have insurance that effectively mandates that you dont get paid for your service and more providers will close up shop and more hospitals will close up shop. This is another idiotic, idealistic piece of legislation by a government with their head in the fucking clouds. Come down to my level and see what is happening.

Corporations are buying up hospitals because they are money losers. They are getting tax breaks on their other businesses by doing it and are stripping down the hospitals to become profitable. They are doing that by forcing providers to work for less money, more hours, and in more unsafe conditions. Patient care is suffering, nurses are getting fired by the droves and we are all turning a blind eye. This legislation was music to the fucking ears of these big corporations as they can justify more layoffs, more stripping down of services and more staff downsizing due to the lack of revenue. This "tax" is effectively paid by those who actually pay taxes and will take their medical care down a notch. Yet it wont actually help the medical care that the Medicaid population will be receiving because most Medicaid patients will still not get primary care doctors and will still use the ER for all their problems in life.

Like I said before, you guys who are touting this as a good thing have absolutely NO FUCKING CLUE.


Winner Winner chicken dinner...
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#10 OFFLINE   Chuckles

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 03:12 PM

dogs and cats living together....mass hysteria!!!

....

I agree we all need to come down to Earth. It's not going to be a flawless piece of health saving goodness, and it is not going to be Soylent Green.

It's the imperfect foundation of a long evolving well intentioned program.

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#11 OFFLINE   DonIsGod

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 03:19 PM

dogs and cats living together....mass hysteria!!!

....

I agree we all need to come down to Earth. It's not going to be a flawless piece of health saving goodness, and it is not going to be Soylent Green.

It's the imperfect foundation of a long evolving well intentioned program.


+1000000000 For the Ghostbusters reference...
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#12 OFFLINE   Riverhawk

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 08:47 AM

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. No side is right on this one. The conservatives effectively want to leave shit as is, and that isnt working either. The Dems are all about head in the clouds utopian law that in its execution fucks things up even more. You wanna fix the health care system, start by talking to the people who actually perform the health care instead of the mathematicians at the insurance companies.

As a doctor now working in a humongous corporation, corporate medicine is dangerous. Fire all the ancillary staff, well, they serve a purpose, to make my job easier. Layoff "extra" nurses, well, those nurses are your stretch capacity when the hospital gets full. Without them, the ER gets overwhelmed daily because there arent enough beds in the hospitals due to the fact that we dont have enough nurses to work them. Get an eICU so the intensive care unit doctor is actually stuck in a remote location with 200 cameras making decisions on the sickest of the sick 20 miles away with the click of a button, instead of at the bedside where they are needed. Ride the hospitalists harder so there are less people to admit patients. This is the problem. You have suits make the decisions and you get cheaper and much, much shittier care. This is a microcosm of what is really driving the cost of health care and how to make it cheaper.

But that's on the personnel end. The real issues have to do with societies perception, and that's our fault. With the medical breakthroughs over the last 50 yrs, we have told society that we can detect and treat almost everything. And the sensationalizing on TV has made that perception even more a reality. And that perception has become expectation. So when a family member dies or doesnt improve with standard treatments, then the hospitals get sued. The doctor misses something, and the doctors get sued. Or, we did everything right and we get sued anyway, and sometimes still lose. We dont do well in courtrooms and we dont really like dealing with lawyers, so instead of getting better, we as a group, have gotten safer. That means tons more tests, billions more dollars for a minute improvement in outcome. And the perception of perfection isnt reality either. How many people here would say that they are great at what they do? Would you say that you are right in your job 99% of the time? If your boss said you ran at 99% efficiency and accuracy, then you'd be up for promotion. Well, I see about 100 patients a week in the ER. People who I have never met before, dont have their histories, have no prior tests, nothing. And I am expected to be 100% accurate. If I was 99% accurate, I'd have 52 lawsuits a year. That'll get you fired and malpractice only covers a certain amount, so it would also personally bankrupt me. Not good. You have to limit suits, show real injury and real negligence and before it even gets to the point of the courtroom, be vetted out my medical experts that malpractice actually occured. Instead of any two bit douchebag lawyer suing because you have pain and suffering from bullshit XYZ. That has to happen. If it doesnt, then they cannot ration care, which is what will be coming. You cannot force us to ration while also telling us not to miss anything. It has to be a give and take there.

Also, big pharma and the insurance companies need to be raked over the coals. Blue Cross robs us blind as do the other insurances. They negotiate to a point of a loss for the hospital, then spend their premiums on million dollar bonuses for their execs while the hospitals struggle on. And Big Pharma is crooked completely. They arent making generic meds anymore because they dont make a profit, so the hospital is being forced to use the meds on patents that are 100X more expensive, when a generic would actually be safer and easier to use. Then, their patent meds are so expensive that they effectively rob the populace and the hospitals at gunpoint effectively. Time to regulate them a little.

Regardless, I think this piece of legislation doesnt do the trick at all. But standing still does nothing either. Both are wrong, and both need to get with the program. Status quo doesnt work, but this legislation actually makes it worse
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