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Government Healthcare :: Comments

Re: Government Healthcare
Post on Sat Jul 25, 2009 2:31 pm  seek2mend
Ok. I'll bite. NO OBAMACARE!!

Massachusetts has created a working model for health care reform. It ain't perfect. I think it should be considered a work in progress. But any attempt by the feds to nationalize health care should be thwarted. This is a state issue and the more local control we have, the more connected we feel.

But that is not to say the Feds don't have a role to play. For instance, I think all direct to consumer advertising for prescription medication should be banned. With the Democrats in control, I know that is not going to happen. Who would be left to pay for advertising to fund the media and entertainment industries?

Also, the baby making industry must be regulated. No more "octomom's" or "Jon and Kate plus eight". But that isn't going to happen either because of those who see to exceptions to a woman's right to choose.

There should be a way for insurance companies to compete nationwide. Smarter federal regulation to permit for such competion would, IMO, be beneficial to all.

And, of course, the big elephant in the room is malpractice.

IMO, a national public option should be off the table.
Re: Government Healthcare
Post on Sun Jul 26, 2009 2:21 pm  mkreyssig
Good points seek. The direct advertizing idea is a good one. you have to wonder how much money is spent by phizer marketing viagra as a recreational drug.

Regulating birth is interesting, but I think a womans right to choose is a very small part of the debate. There are plenty of ways to prevent preagnancy out there so that issue could be avoided all together. Howeverprocreation is a basic human right...we aren't China after all. I think a better route would be to eliminate the reward system we have in place in this country that does nothing but encorage a lot of these preagnancies to take place.
Re: Government Healthcare
Post on Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:26 pm  seek2mend
Let me make myself clear. I do not want to be China. I was refering to the industry that will not say no to women (and men it the case of the pregneant man).

If I understand the history of the Jon and Kate saga, they had twins by way of fertility treatment. Then they wanted more. The doctor was concerned because Kate would not agree to reduction. Being religious, I guess, she would accept what God's plan was. I have a tough time with that explanation from anyone who is seeking medical intervention to create life. But I suppose one could conclude that the Jon and Kate saga is a "teachable moment". I guess there is trouble in paradise.

In the case of the "octomom" she already had like six (?) kids, some with disabilities. Does anyone stop to think that the woman could have some sort of mental disorder?

I just think these two cases are good examples why some sort of regulation is necessary.
Used wrong word
Post on Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:08 pm  seek2mend
Such legislation does not address the problem. I believe it is unethical to advertise prescription medication directly to consumers. Period.

Really. What is the point? IMO, such advertising is simply there to get patients who may be hypochondrics, sexually dysfunctional, depressed, terminally ill etc to put pressure on doctors to prescribe medication that the vast majority of consumers know nothing about. And there may be other treatments that don't require medication at all.

Fwiw, I also wouldn't mind going back to the days when attorneys could not advertise.

BTW, I watched a program on NECN this weekend that included a 1999(?) interview with your mentor, Gates. If you did not see it, it may be available on For those of us who never heard of him before the Cambridge incident, it sheds some light on this character.
Re: Government Healthcare
Post on Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:10 pm  seek2mend
I guess advertising prescription drugs could be considered a free speech issue. I don't know. I'm not a constitutional expert.

I suppose the free speech issue was raised when cigerette advertising was banned from the public air waves. But someone had the presence of mind to determine the public was better served without such advertising.
Re: Government Healthcare
Post on Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:59 am  seek2mend
seek2mend wrote:
I guess advertising prescription drugs could be considered a free speech issue. I don't know. I'm not a constitutional expert.

I suppose the free speech issue was raised when cigerette advertising was banned from the public air waves. But someone had the presence of mind to determine the public was better served without such advertising.

I hope I do not appear to be narcissistic for quoting myself, but this topic became relevant when I was listening to Dr Dean Edell this morning. His point, counter-point was the same.

According to him, New Zealand is the only other country that allows direct to consumer advertising for prescription drugs. There was a recent attempt to ban such advertising, but it failed. Maybe because of the free speech issue. But I would imagine that New Zealand would have to be consistent and allow ALL legal products to be advertised if that is the argument used against a ban.

I was trying to think of other legal products that are restricted from advertising. One legal product I never see advertised is guns. Does anyone know if this is self-policing on the part of the media or is it because of government regulation? Just curious.

Anyway, I got the impression from Dr Edell that he also does not think direct to consumer advertising for drugs is the best "prescription" for marketing, at least from an ethical perspective.
Re: Government Healthcare
Post on Sun Aug 02, 2009 1:35 pm  Dave
Found this article on facts v. fictions;

Quote :
Associated Press Writer Charles Babington, Associated Press Writer – 33 mins ago

WASHINGTON – Confusing claims and outright distortions have animated the national debate over changes in the health care system. Opponents of proposals by President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats falsely claim that government agents will force elderly people to discuss end-of-life wishes. Obama has played down the possibility that a health care overhaul would cause large numbers of people to change doctors and insurers.

To complicate matters, there is no clear-cut "Obama plan" or "Democratic plan." Obama has listed several goals, but he has drawn few lines in the sand.

The Senate is considering two bills that differ significantly. The House is waiting for yet another bill approved in committee.

A look at some claims being made about health care proposals:

CLAIM: The House bill "may start us down a treacherous path toward government-encouraged euthanasia," House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio said July 23.

Former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey said in a July 17 article: "One troubling provision of the House bill compels seniors to submit to a counseling session every five years ... about alternatives for end-of-life care."

THE FACTS: The bill would require Medicare to pay for advance directive consultations with health care professionals. But it would not require anyone to use the benefit.

Advance directives lay out a patient's wishes for life-extending measures under various scenarios involving terminal illness, severe brain damage and situations. Patients and their families would consult with health professionals, not government agents, if they used the proposed benefit.

CLAIM: Health care revisions would lead to government-funded abortions.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council says in a video, "Unless Congress states otherwise, under a government takeover of health care, taxpayers will be forced to fund abortions for the first time in over three decades."

THE FACTS: The proposed bills would not undo the Hyde Amendment, which bars paying for abortions through Medicaid, the government insurance program for the poor. But a health care overhaul could create a government-run insurance program, or insurance "exchanges," that would not involve Medicaid and whose abortion guidelines are not yet clear.

Obama recently told CBS that the nation should continue a tradition of "not financing abortions as part of government-funded health care."

The House Energy and Commerce Committee amended the House bill Thursday to state that health insurance plans have the option of covering abortion, but no public money can be used to fund abortions. The bill says health plans in a new purchasing exchange would not be required to cover abortion but that each region of the country should have at least one plan that does.

Congressional action this fall will determine whether such language is in the final bill.

CLAIM: Americans won't have to change doctors or insurance companies.

"If you like your plan and you like your doctor, you won't have to do a thing," Obama said on June 23. "You keep your plan; you keep your doctor."

THE FACTS: The proposed legislation would not require people to drop their doctor or insurer. But some tax provisions, depending on how they are written, might make it cheaper for some employers to pay a fee to end their health coverage. Their workers presumably would move to a public insurance plan that might not include their current doctors.

CLAIM: The Democrats' plans will lead to rationing, or the government determining which medical procedures a patient can have.

"Expanding government health programs will hasten the day that government rations medical care to seniors," conservative writer Michael Cannon said in the Washington Times.

THE FACTS: Millions of Americans already face rationing, as insurance companies rule on procedures they will cover.

Denying coverage for certain procedures might increase under proposals to have a government-appointed agency identify medicines and procedures best suited for various conditions.

Obama says the goal is to identify the most effective and efficient medical practices, and to steer patients and providers to them. He recently told a forum: "We don't want to ration by dictating to somebody, 'OK, you know what? We don't think that this senior should get a hip replacement.' What we do want to be able to do is to provide information to that senior and to her doctor about, you know, this is the thing that is going to be most helpful to you in dealing with your condition."

CLAIM: Overhauling health care will not expand the federal deficit over the long term.

Obama has pledged that "health insurance reform will not add to our deficit over the next decade, and I mean it."

THE FACTS: Obama's pledge does not apply to proposed spending of about $245 billion over the next decade to increase Medicare fees for doctors. The White House says the extra payment, designed to prevent a scheduled cut of about 21 percent in doctor fees, already was part of the administration's policy.

Beyond that, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the House bill lacks mechanisms to bring health care costs under control. In response, the White House and Democratic lawmakers are talking about creating a powerful new board to root out waste in government health programs. But it's unclear how that would work.

Budget experts also warn of accounting gimmicks that can mask true burdens on the deficit. The bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget says they include back-loading the heaviest costs at the end of the 10-year period and beyond.
Re: Government Healthcare
Post on Mon Aug 03, 2009 11:48 pm  mkreyssig
The part about you liking your current plans means you can keep it just got blown to dust in light of leaked Obama video showing him supporting a single payer National Health Care system.
Re: Government Healthcare
Post on Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:31 am  seek2mend
Taking the Boston Globe report at face value, I would again argue that this issue is better left to the individual states. If Massachusetts can prove that mandatory health insurance does work for the long run, then maybe other states will model their program after ours.
Re: Government Healthcare
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