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home : opinions : opinions December 17, 2014


10/6/2013 6:00:00 AM
Point-Counterpoint: Should Obamacare be repealed? - Yes
By BUZ WILLIAMS
Courier Columnist

If you like bureaucracy, you are going to fall head over heals, spelling and pun intended, for Obamacare. The first thing to attract your affection is that the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is going to add around 16,000 Internal Revenue Service agents. You may not be able to see pandas on the PandaCam, tour the White House, or get a camping reservation at a national park because of the shutdown, but that won't have any effect on the hiring of all those IRS agents. That's just the beginning of bureaucratic Nirvana.

The original bill as signed into law, mentions 111 new committees, programs, administrations, funds, grants and ombudsmen. All of those have to be manned by government employees. All those employees have to be paid and given benefits. Our national debt is right around $17 trillion, give or take a hundred billion. How many billions of dollars will these new employees cost the taxpayers? Will these new bureaucracies, operated by these employees, be a help or hindrance to your own personal healthcare? It's hard to say, but has anybody ever had a really enjoyable day trying to replace a lost certificate of ownership for a car at the Department of Motor Vehicles? Thanks to Obamacare, we can now extrapolate that wonderful bureaucratic happening to a visit to the doctor or the hospital.

The point is that Obamacare was supposed to be and is comprehensive. It is supposed to reform our healthcare system. Instead, it attempts to accomplish way too much and as a result it creates too much confusion, too much expense and way too many more government entities. That's what you would expect from a congressional bill some 2,000 pages long. Whoever wrote this bill would have done a much better job if they had written 100 bills of 20 pages addressing individual healthcare problems. When you try to do too much to cover several divergent issues (even if they are all under the general heading of healthcare), you cause confusion, conflicting solutions and bureaucratic nightmares.

The confusion this bill has created, has caused it to be altered numerous times. The president has already postponed the employer mandate by a year, unconstitutionally, many believe. As of the summer of 2012, the government had already granted 1,625 non-compliance waivers. How many more have been issued? How many can the government grant before we are all exempt? There is a chasm of difference between a true comprehensive reform and this clustering mess. Repeal Obamacare. Then real bipartisan reform can occur.





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• Point-Counterpoint: Should Obamacare be repealed? - No


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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, October 11, 2013
Article comment by: Hokas Pokas

@ J K:

The gentleman in the referenced story was able to find a health insurance policy that satisfied his needs and he does not have a high school diploma! HE FOUND A WAY! An employee who is not satisfied with his or her employer's health insurance plan can purchase a supplemental policy on their own. You, on the other hand, are so steeped in the now all too common helpless victim tradition that when presented with logical alternatives and solutions are unable to even comprehend them. You need the government to step in, even though it is costly and inefficient. You are the liberal politician's sycophant.

If people behaved responsibly, and I am certainly as guilty as anybody, and purchased health insurance before they had a "pre-existing condition" then there would be no need for this controversy. Since it is well known that insurance companies have these restrictions, don't you think we should ALL take this into consideration? Why are people so shocked to find out that buying health insurance when you are sick will be difficult and costly? Try buying fire insurance after your house has burnt down.


Posted: Friday, October 11, 2013
Article comment by: J K

The fallacy in your most recent post is obvious. Most of us don't get to agree to the terms of a health insurance contract. That is done by the employer for those who have employer sponsored health plans. Those that don't have employee plans don't have imput either. The plans are offered(sometimes) by the
Insurance company and it is either take it or leave it. Many times people looking for healthcare insurance aren't able to find any insurer willing to take on the risk of a preexisting condition. Some will insure the person but exclude anything related to the preexisting condition.
Those health insurance abuses that you call mere terms of a contract are evidence that healthcare should not be a simple for profit cutthroat business. Healthcare is not something you can choose to either need or not. If it were, none of us would choose to need it. That is what makes it very different from most other businesses.


Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2013
Article comment by: ON THE GOV TIT

I worked for 30+ years. Im done. You know I can make more from all the government handouts than work (slaving) to the taxes I have paid. Let the remaining liberals pay for it all. Keep the partial shutdown permanent while you are at it. Wake me when the revolution is over.

Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2013
Article comment by: Hokas Pokas

@ open book:

Sorry, but I am only using numbers provided by Obamacare.

I, too, prefer honest discussion based on facts not on someone's anecdotes.


Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2013
Article comment by: Hokas Pokas

@ J K:

If you read the story you will find the gentleman is self employed.

Be that as it may, we have arrived at a crossroads. We have reached a point where ignorance of common business practices is obvious. What you call abuses are simply terms agreed to by two parties in a business contract. A health insurance policy is a business contract. It is very simple. I pay a certain amount per month and the company agrees to pay my medical bills subject to the terms of that contract. If I don't like those terms, I can cancel and get another policy. Likewise, if the company does not like me, they can cancel, IF those terms are stipulated in the contract. For example, I cannot go to a bank agree to a loan for $10,000 and when the bank gives me the money suddenly demand $15,000, because I "need" it. The true liberal will scream, "I am being abused by the bank!" This is exactly what you are saying and is completely ignorant.


Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2013
Article comment by: J K

@Hokas. No it isn't speculation. Lifetime limits are common and the ACA prohibits them beginning for policies sold in Jan. 2014. Most people are employees whose employers pick the terms of the policy offered and most, if not all have historically had lifetime limits, preexisting condition exclusions and allow the insurer the authority to terminate coverage(rescind) at their discretion. Further, Insurers can no longer charge more based on gender. Nor can they exclude a newborn with medical complications claiming preexisting conditions or any individual with preexisting conditions.
When you advocate for repealing the ACA you are saying that those abuses are ok. They will be ok with you until you fall victim to one of those policies. Then like all cons, you see the light. Not the whole light, mind you, but just the light that shines on you. As an example, ask a senior if they are glad for their Medicare even with its warts. Then ask them if they think all people should be able to be insured. Most will say yes to the first question and no to the second.
The solution is to modify the ACA to improve it. Not do away with it. Medicare has been modified many times over the years. No sane person has suggested that it be eliminated, just changed to make it better.


Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2013
Article comment by: open book

You are free to believe or disbelieve anything you like, Hokas. Calling someone a liar rather than pursuing a discussion doesn't lead to much, though.

Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2013
Article comment by: Molly's Dog

Buz,
"Then real bipartisan reform can occur."

The irony is that the present form of the ACA is by compromise with the Republicans though the committee process. It's really the Republican plan. After compromising away the
'public option' and some rented Democrat obstruction, the Republicans decided to obstruct all things Obama, rather than support their own policy ideas.

Party before People and Corporatism sold with lies while representative democracy be damned, seem to be the mantra. Even Romney had to run away from his signature legislative achievement. The Republican leadership, if you don't remember, conspired to obstruct President Obama.

The Act does reflect the Republican's plan. The funded opposition against the bill, was by the insurance companies and large corporate interest who funded the Tea Party and have been selling lies, false outrage and racism. We know that the Koch Brothers have spent near 1/4 Billion in funding opposition to the ACA.

Senator Ted Cruz, Republican is just another Koch-whore on behalf of the billionaire corporatist who saw the ACA as cutting into their profit, and spent the summer spreading lies. Now that the Anti-Obama propaganda campaign of lies, distortion, racism and false outrage have been successful, the billionaire corporatist realized ... (Word limit exceeded)


Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2013
Article comment by: Mike Bates

So they wouldn't remove your sliver, Massachusetts? Looks like you survived. Perhaps you should be asking yourself why you burdened the system with your little emergency, like I'm asking why you burdened the rest of us with your made up little fantasy.

Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2013
Article comment by: to massachusetts plan working

Amen, you hit the nail on the head. I went into our local hospital and never got into the emergency room...only the triage where my blood pressure was taken...they were busy so I left and 6 mo later I got a bill for $50 and understood that I was helping to pay for someone else's visit. There is certainly room for improvement in our system.

Posted: Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Article comment by: Hokas Pokas

@ open book:

Then your unsubstantiated "claim" is likely false.

@ J K:

That is pure speculation. This individual specifically selected his medical insurance knowing he would likely require lifetime treatment.

The way to improve Obamacare is to repeal it. 83% of Americans were satisfied with their health care before, why should people like this man needlessly suffer, people who took personal responsibility and planned ahead. Oh, liberals don't like those ideals.


Posted: Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Article comment by: open book

To Hokas, That is a negative on both counts. Not that old, and that is full price. I will ignore your other nasty comment and hope you will have a better day tomorrow.

Posted: Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Article comment by: Hokas Pokas

@ open book:

Because of your "claim," you must be over 64 years old and earn less than 111% of the average median income for 64 year olds. Who needs privacy. By paying more, younger folks will be picking up your tab. That's fair, right?

By the way, the story of the gentleman who was dropped (it IS easily "googled" and true):

http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/region_northeast_valley/fountain_hills/fountain-hills-man-dropped-from-health-insurance-because-of-new-regulations


Posted: Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Article comment by: J K

To Jane Gray. There will undoubtedly be instances where the ACA, like any other new program, can be improved. The proper thing to do would be to improve it, not rescind it. It is much better than what it replaces. Even the man in Fountain Hills isn't suggesting in doing away with the ACA. The reason may be that his extremely expensive catastrophic disease is likely to cause his treatments to exceed the lifetime limit clause in his policy. Thanks to the ACA, that clause can no longer be a part of policies written after 2014.

Posted: Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Article comment by: Hokas Pokas

@ Massachusetts plan working:

I, too, find it interesting that this article sugar coats the very issues that Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama and their comrades said would be resolved, ARE NOT. After SIX YEARS health care costs are still going up, ER visits are up and wait times are up. And MA residents are happy with it. Hmmm. Kind of makes you wonder about the folks in MA. The next step in controlling costs will be government price fixing.

Physicians are NOT required to treat everyone. That law has not been passed yet. However, hospital ER's are. This makes the rest of your argument moot.


Posted: Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Article comment by: open book

To Jane Gray:

Yes, me. My premium and deductible are both half of pre-ACA amounts.

Remember, just because something is posted on the internet and "easily googled" does not make it true.


Posted: Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Article comment by: Jane Gray

Anybody here know of anyone with a preexisting condition who has signed up to an affordable plan under Obamacare? How about the Fountain Hills AZ man who not only lost his existing affordable insurance, he now thinks he and his wife might have to get second jobs to pay for the insurance obtainable under Obamacare. This is easily Googled.

Posted: Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Article comment by: Massachusetts plan working

The article about the Massachusetts health care system cited by Hokas Pokas seems generally positive about the plan. Increasing health care costs, longer wait times to see a primary care physician and an increase in emergency room visits are all problems nationwide. It is no surprise that these are issues in Massachusetts. Identifying the weaknesses and addressing them is the appropriate response. The people in Massachusetts have more incentive and a health care system more conducive to change than exists in the rest of the country.

Health care providers are required to treat everyone, even those people that cannot pay. What other business is obligated to enter into a transaction knowing that they will not be paid? Some of the non-payment to hospitals is reimbursed by Medicare which in turn becomes a tax on everyone that pays taxes. Some of the non-payment is reflected in the charges to the paying customers.

In this light arguing that the current health care system promotes individual responsibility is fallacious. The whole concept of insurance is that people need to pay into the pool when they can so that the resources are there when they can't. The ACA makes sense. Most of us are in (Exceeds 200-word limit)


Posted: Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Article comment by: Paula Gize TO: Jim Moses, JK, et.al.

You people should get a clue. Obama does not give one whit about pre-existing conditions, the poor, debt ceilings, or medical care. That is all fluff and nonsense to keep those of lesser intellect (you) from coming to grips with what is really going on, and I can prove it.

If Obama was just all ate up about the 'pain' of people without medical insurance why is he now using excuses various to keep from paying Veterans' entitlements and closing VA hospitals? Why deliberately close offices and even public parks to cause as much ObamaPain as possible?

All we need to know about Obama, the original birther, is a closed Grand Canyon, the arrests of Americans trying to visit national monuments, and US citizens being evicted from their homes...while a pro-immigration rally attended by thousands of illegals is not only allowed by the feds, but encouraged by the Obamanauts at the supposedly closed national mall in DC?

The only people in 'pain' by Obamacare are those who will be forced to pay for it all in their 300% increased insurance premiums and confiscatory IRS taxes.


Posted: Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Article comment by: Hokas Pokas

@ Still dodging & J K:

You both seem like smart people, therefore you must realize that every business suffers losses from non-payment. The paying customer does wind up paying for these losses. This is nothing new. You both suggest that by creating a huge, expensive, new federal bureaucracy that these losses will somehow be mitigated. This is the fantasy world of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama. In their world, by having most of us pay higher insurance premiums AND higher taxes it will magically make up for these losses and we will all save money. This makes no sense. This is a boondoggle of the highest order.

In Massachusetts health care costs have gone up, wait times to see a primary care physician are up and emergency room visits have increased. Higher income people get better treatment than lower income people. Last year they created the Health Policy Commission. Its basic task is to institute price controls.

http://www.golocalworcester.com/health/new-massachusetts-top-concern-with-health-care-remains-cost/

The health care system in the U.S. worked fine for 83% of Americans. Obamacare turns all of that upside down and will still leave millions without health care insurance, let alone actual health care.


Posted: Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Article comment by: J K

Hookas has no answers, but here is a warning to those of us who have retirement funds whether they be invested in IRAs or employer retirement funds. If the congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling with no strings attached and keep the government from defaulting, your iRAs and retirement funds will plummet. That isn't just me talking, that is the consensus according to the investment community.
If you remember the ill effects of Lehman Brothers, this is approximately 25 times as much destruction in the markets.
It is surely a path we don't want to go down and could so easily be avoided by simply letting the house vote on the issue as presented by the Senate.
So Buz. If any of your retirement from your service as a cop is not already in your hands, your endorsement of the brinksmanship demonstrated by the tea party is putting your financial future in danger.


Posted: Tuesday, October 08, 2013
Article comment by: Still dodging the question Hokas

I know that they could the person could work something out with the provider if they have the resources but many people that are ill have limited resources. They may be unable to work.

And for those that could pay but don't, how do you propose to make them take personal responsibility? You must have a plan. Maybe you could tax them...(humor)

Currently those bills are predominantly paid by the insured. You seem to be comfortable with that. Some folk would argue that getting insurance given the cost of medical services is the responsible thing to do.

If you think a collection agency is the solution you should call a provider and ask how much they write off as uncollectable every year.

There are many people that are unable to pay for their healthcare and many more that are uninsured and don't take personal responsibility. Who should pay their medical bills?

Do you believe the folks that are currently taking personal responsibility and paying their medical bills out of pocket or with insurance should be saddled with the cost of the medical care provided to everyone else? That is the system we have now.




Posted: Tuesday, October 08, 2013
Article comment by: J K

Hokas. Work something out. Now that is a interesting suggestion to cure the healthcare access problem. And no provider is compelled to work with the patient. Only the ER is compelled to provide service and it is limited in scope. No preventative services are performed at the ER. Has about as much credibility as your suggestion that having the bill go to collections is an admirable trait called personal responsibility. Who do you think pays the freight when the bill is written off by the collectors? The rest of us pay it as the losses are transferred by increasing charges which the insurance company pays and adjust premium rates accordingly.
And for your information, the approval rate for Romneycare ranges from a low of 59% to a high of 90%. It is essentially the same program as Obamacare. Last I heard the approval rating of congress is somewhere south of the approval rating of hemmeroids.


Posted: Tuesday, October 08, 2013
Article comment by: Jim Moses

The only confusion is that which is perpetuated by the anti-Obama crowd.

Who here thinks insurance companies can't be allowed to deny people coverage because of pre-existing conditions?

Who here thinks it is okay for an insurance company to put a "cap" on healthcare payouts?

Who here thinks it is okay for a health insurance company to charge four times for someone who happens to have a pre-existing condition?

"A Democrat is a Republican who just found out that his health insurance was cancelled a week after her was diagnosed with cancer."


Posted: Tuesday, October 08, 2013
Article comment by: Hokas Pokas

@ Still waiting:

That's easy. Who received the health care services? A person can go to the provider explain their situation, and 99.9% of the time, work something out. Or go to collections.

It called: PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.



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