An invitation to fix health care system gets crowds

  • Article by: JIM ADAMS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 11, 2009 - 12:00 AM

Forums across the Twin Cities send Obama ideas on where to focus changes for health care.

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lkylarryJan. 11, 09 1:49 AM

Very nice! There was almost a sentence there somewhere. It's one thing to want to bash Obama. That's your right. But if you want to be taken seriously, how about an intelligent comment about the article? The "crowds" mentioned at these gatherings included members of the medical community, members of the local Chamber of Commerce, and members of a local manufacturing group, as well as the incoming Heath and Human Services Secretary. These all sound like employed American citizens to me. Rather than trying to bash, why not put forth a well thought out response as to what your idea is for correcting the health care problem in our country? I personally don't have one, but I believe the answer would involve making sure every citizen is covered one way or another. And as for your illegal alien reference, I agree that it is a problem that needs to be addressed. But I think the better way to address it is by pushing for a national sales tax to replace the current income tax structure. That way all of the illegal aliens, as well as legal visitors from other countries, are paying taxes just like the citizens of our great nation.

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ORIOLE75Jan. 11, 09 5:30 AM

And that from a man whose political heroes, Bush and Paulson put you and your children under 700 BILLION worth of debt to throw at zombie banks and half crooked Wall St firms. Oh, and they have ALL of the answers too.....

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comment229Jan. 11, 09 6:06 AM

Thanks you... well stated all the way around.... want to run for office? I already know I would vote for someone like you, since I agree with literally everything you wrote.... thanks again.

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tpsmkemkJan. 11, 09 7:34 AM

Lets breakdown the wish list of everyone in this health insurance "crisis". The public--wants no or low premiums and co-pays. The freedom to go what ever doctor they want whenever they want. Businesses--no longer want to shoulder the cost of premiums for their employees. Medical providers--to charge whatever they want, the ability to order as many tests and procedures that they want. Like the teachers union, they do not want ANY quality measurements. Government- would like possession of your medical records. Replace health insurance companies and their 10-18% cost with government employees taking over that role. (The TSA is working great--so why not??) Congress did a great job of monitoring GSEs in the past--sounds good to me. Do I have everything? I'm glad that President Obama (with his vast actuarial experience) is going to make all our dreams come true.

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RipAndersonJan. 11, 09 8:13 AM

Business doesn't really "shoulder the cost of premiums for their employees", the employees do. The cost of the health insurance premiums is part of EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION--part of their pay--which is done primarily for employees to get the tax break of paying health insurance premiums with pre-tax dollars if they buy it from their employer.

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elind56Jan. 11, 09 8:15 AM

The premium savings with high deductible plans more (usually far more) than make up for what the insured has to pay out of pocket for the actual medical services. Typcial family, low deductible plans cost in the neighborhood of $15,000.00 per year. A high deductible (say, $5000.00) will cost around $6,000.00 per year. That's a $9000.00 savings. Even if you incur actual medical costs of $5000.00 (that would be unusually high on average) that the insurance doesn't pick up a penny of, you are $4000.00 ahead! Put the 4 grand in a tax deductible HSP year after year and, well, you can see where this is going. Huge savings.

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RipAndersonJan. 11, 09 8:19 AM

Money wasn't THROWN at banks, it was INVESTED in banks by taking an equity position which improves the banks balance sheets enabling them to make more loans.

As an investment, taxpayers are making a better return than most hedge funds. The taxpayers already have made a 4% return on the bank investment -- $8 billion return on $200 billion -- which is a better return than just about every hedge fund during that same period.

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RipAndersonJan. 11, 09 8:31 AM

The last time I went to my doctor her bill was $58.86 which is pretty affordable.

* You'll pay more than that to have your mechanic tell what your last "check engine" warning meant.

* Any plumber or electrician bill you get will be way more than that; we just paid $67 to have a service guy DIAGNOSE the problem with our dishwasher. Not fix it, DIAGNOSE IT. To fix it will cost an additional $504.

* Until recently I paid more than $58.86 to fill my gas tank. Bottom line: Routine doctor visits are relatively affordable.

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joemerlotJan. 11, 09 9:08 AM

Ever major interest group (including the Dem's and GOP) has hyped a health care issue that furthers their own agenda and none of them address the primary driver of the Health Care Cost "Crisis". The Dems hang their hat on the cost of the uninsured and propose subsidized care to resolve that cost driver. Makes sense, the Dem's are redistributionists by an large so subsidizing health care aligns with their philosophy. Problem is that their fancy "studies" are nothing more than smoke and mirrors. This becomes apparent to any objecctive minded individual that looks at the whole picture even from a high level.

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joemerlotJan. 11, 09 9:09 AM

The GOP hangs their hat on accountability and proposes regulation to accomplish efficiencies and personal health care accounts to hold individuals accountable for their usage. This also makes sense as the GOP are (supposed to be) social and fiscal conservatives. Problem is, like the Dems proposal, it addresses a real problem that is a drop in the bucket to the larger cost issue.

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