Update: GOP Senate Leaders Unveil Revised Health Insurance Bill

By and | July 13, 2017

  • July 13, 2017 at 8:39 am
    Doug Fisher says:
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    That’s a good start. The top income earners don’t need a tax cut, but low and middle income earners do need help on their health insurance access and premiums.

    • July 13, 2017 at 1:08 pm
      SWFL Agent says:
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      The idea of “bare bones” works well with automobiles and hotel rooms. But what’s the plan when someone picks a bare bones policy, gets an illness or injury that’s not covered? Can we say “too bad, you chose this” and ask them to leave the hospital. Or do we treat them anyway and let someone else pay for it. That’s what got us into this mess to begin with isn’t it? We have a for profit system where everyone is entitled, or thinks they’re entitled, to the same treatments. Regardless of their ability to pay. That’s a mismatch that no politician or medical professional has an answer for.

    • July 13, 2017 at 3:50 pm
      Agent says:
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      Doug, want a solution to Healthcare or do you enjoy trashing Conservatives too much? Wayne Allen Root is a brilliant guy. Let’s try some of his ideas for a change.
      1. Keep Government out of it. Government can’t run anything. They can’t make subways work in NYC, Amtrak is a disaster, the VA is a disaster, can’t win the war on drugs. Government fails at whatever it does – and fails expensively. So you want Government running your Healthcare? If anyone should run it, give the healthcare system to Amazon or Google or Walmart.
      2. Model our system after Singapore. Everyone pays up to first $10,000 in healthcare bills. They do it with a $10,000 Health Savings Account which is 100% Tax Deductible. For all costs over that, they buy a cheap no frills, bare bones, catastrophic health insurance policy that costs $100-200 per month. The government guarantees all the bills over $10,000 are paid by the insurance companies, just like it guarantees bank accounts.
      3. Buy your policy across state lines. Watch costs come down dramatically.
      4. You can buy your prescriptions anywhere across country lines. Canada, Mexico, Switzerland? Watch costs come down.
      5. Mandate that doctors and hospitals post prices for every procedure online- so you can pick your doctor/hospital based on affordability. Watch costs come down.
      6. Tort Reform – limit the lawsuit rewards. Patients have the right to sue, but not win the lottery. Watch costs come down.
      7. Make preventative health our national priority – your gym membership, home gym equipment, holistic doctor visits and watch your costs come down.
      8. No matter what Congress passes, they have to live by the exact same rules as the rest of us.

      That’s Tier 1

      That leaves one missing link- the poor. They get their own system. Call it Tier 2.

      The poor get some version of government run healthcare. It is cheap and no frills, but it is “free”. It doesn’t ruin our healthcare.

      One powerful wrinkle. There is a work requirement. Everyone who gets free government run Healthcare must work. Many states have put in a work requirement for food stamps and welfare. Guess what happened, the rolls dropped by 50%.

      I could go on, but maybe you will get the message. Now all of you Progressive trolls can down vote me to your heart’s content.

      • July 13, 2017 at 4:23 pm
        Rosenblatt says:
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        Interesting ideas. I’m not going to touch on every single point, but a couple of comments:

        2 is unrealistic. The poverty level for 1 person is ~$14k and for 2 it’s ~$18k. Do you REALLY expect those people to be able to put over 50% of their earnings into a FSA/HSA solely for medical expenses? Yeah it’s tax deductible, but how can they afford to fund it in the first place?

        3. This already exists right now

        4. Would YOU buy generic off-brand drugs from Mexico? I don’t care how cheap they are, I know I wouldn’t.

        5. I love it. I’m being 100% genuine. This needs to happen.

        8. I love it. I’m being 100% genuine. This needs to happen.

        • July 13, 2017 at 4:35 pm
          Agent says:
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          Rosenblatt, if you love it, you should try to understand what Tier 2 means. Read it again and get back to me. Ready, set, go. by the way, people can get their drugs from anywhere, don’t have to buy from Mexico if they don’t want to. That is the beauty of a free market.

        • July 14, 2017 at 5:30 pm
          Natasha and Bearis says:
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          No, all of the ideas have merit. Not all would work perfectly.
          Tier 2 is a means of creating a Nash Separating Equilibrium in he market. Get off your high horse regarding judging that which you know not the details that have proven effective in practice; e.g. Singapore.

          • July 18, 2017 at 6:03 pm
            UW says:
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            Whatever happened to all your supposed sources giving you hot tips on this? Numerous different forms were supposed to have passed by now. You’re actually less credible than Agent at this point.

            Remember when your sources gave you big scoops that relied on an incorrect definition of a death spiral? Ahhh the good old days, clown.

      • July 14, 2017 at 2:57 am
        Doug Fisher says:
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        Agent, a point-by-point analysis of your post.

        As always, a fair assessment using science and historical-based reasoning.

        1. Keeping government out of healthcare would be the dumbest idea yet proposed by anyone on either side. Without the government in health care, nobody with preexisting conditions would get access to care. Why would an insurance carrier deliberately want to lose money?
        Catastrophic occurrences would see people reach their lifetime caps and be uncoverable afterwards. Millions upon millions of people would continue to go bankrupt due to an unfortunate illness, infection, accident, disorder, etc.

        Giving healthcare to a corporation would result in a far-worse, more uneven for-profit system than we have now. When profit is king, and the duty is only to the stakeholders, compromises in care, especially expensive care would be massive. Conservatives would finally get the death panels they were salivating over during discussions of the ACA (you know, the open sessions of congress to discuss it over hundreds of hours?)

        (side note on government incompetence. While it is true that there are many wasteful government programs, there are also several instances of government frugality, ingenuity, and innovation. Blanket saying the government is a failure when it built the world’s best road system, created the internet, pioneered many medical advancements, and so on.)

        2. You couldn’t go one point without contradicting yourself. Condemn the US Federal govt and praise a foreign strongman government. You conservatives are all the same, you actually want a strongman but won’t admit it, which is why you consistently vote for the loudest and brashest, not sanest voice amongst candidates running for office, hence Trump over Jeb or Kasich, and Romney over Huntsman.

        Singapore’s health system is government controlled (What you didn’t want in your first point), has compulsory costs (those HSAs you are praising of theirs are automatically deducted from every workers checks. Wasn’t a big part of your problem with the ACA is that it is compulsory and there are effectively tax penalties for not having insurance?). Those compulsory savings accounts are brilliant and I am totally for them being used in the US. They are even shareable across extended families in Singapore, which is similarly brilliant. A family could be its own pseudo-risk pool. I love it. I am not sure why you do, though.

        Another note: Singapore is a tiny country that is extremely healthy compared to normal Americans. It is an incredibly homogeneous population, as well. As I covered last month, the unhealthiest 10 states in the country are all hardcore Republican. Nothing like Singapore’s healthcare system would work in those states. It may work in low-population states with pseudo-homogeneous populations like Vermont, New Hampshire, or Maine, but DEFINTIELY not Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and so on.

        3. Is there any indication at all that this will happen in the Senate’s new proposal? Every Republican under the sun constantly harped on that great idea while speaking out against Obamacare for the past few years, and as far as I am aware, that measure has still not been put into place in this bill. I agree that makes total and perfect sense, but the proof of the pudding is in the tasting, and this won’t be in the Senate’s Bill, nor will it end up as law if it passes.

        I would love to be proven wrong, but I just don’t see them actually doing this no-brainer.

        4. Another no-brainer. Canadian medicines are as well-REGULATED (I know that word strikes fear in the hearts of Republicans everywhere, but it keeps drugs safe and makes sure that contraindications are well known) as drugs approved by the FDA in America, but oftentimes at a fraction of the price. This would be huge, but once again, is not featured in the Senate’s bill, nor was it in the House’s bill. As far as I know. Maybe Vladi can call his inside sources to give us an indication either way.

        5. Fantastic idea for a REGULATION. Once again, regulations are mostly good and are mostly there to protect us, the consumers and regular joes from being taken advantage of. Transparency is always a good thing.

        6. Another obvious piece to agree on. Patients who are wrong should be indemnified, but not given exorbitant amounts of money. The only time I am all for punitive settlement amounts is in the cause of gross negligence and malice. For all else, matters should be resolved in a reasonable manner. Doctors and hospitals must not be afraid to do their jobs because of fear of a lawsuit.

        7. Another no-brainer. If preventative, routine doctor visits were 100% covered, and even moreso if there were a financial incentive, tens of millions of people in the country would be compelled to go, and many of the costliest health problems could be stopped early, including cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and so on. Prescribing a $4/month bottle of a statin to reduce cholesterol is far better than paying $100,000 for open heart surgery and the resulting hospital stay for recovery.
        8. Agreed 100%. They live by a different set of rules. For example, insider trading laws do not apply to congress people. There have been documented cases of congressmen buying certain stocks, and then voting for or against certain bills because of the way it will make their portfolio jump up dramatically in value…and it’s LEGAL! Force them to use the same insurance that any other government employee would have as an option and tell them tough luck if they complain.

        Good luck getting Congress to vote against their own best interests, though. That works on lower-class Republican voters, but not on savvy, greed-monsters in Congress on both sides of the aisle.

        Tier 2: What constitutes “poor?” Is it adjusted by cost-of-living averages in each city/state/national average? Who will be paying for these poor people’s subsidized coverage, since their premiums will never cover the cost for their massive health problems. Once again, the unhealthiest states in the country are almost exclusively the poorest, as well, which in turn are almost all Red. So, choose wisely how you will shun your base. Eventually, they may decide to actually vote against getting the shaft by their representatives.

        Tying work to healthcare would be a cruel joke when something like another Great Recession happens. When unemployment jumps to 10 or 15%, mostly, again, amongst lower-class workers, are we also going to punt them from healthcare coverage? Great idea, kicking someone when they are down.

        I haven’t down-voted your comment, and took the time out of my night to respond to each of your points. No trolling here. Honest, fact-based responses with historical analysis only. You #1 and #2 points couldn’t have been funnier, though. The amount of times you and Bear contradict yourselves to justify a different point brings a smile to my face, making reading and responding to it a real joy. For that, I thank you.

        • July 14, 2017 at 8:37 am
          SWFL Agent says:
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          Yes Mr. Fisher, Agent really stepped in it this time.

          • July 14, 2017 at 10:42 am
            FFA says:
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            Proof that the govt cant handle this –
            It took 6 months for them to correct a mistake they made on my health insurance. Private company would have had it done in under 30 days. Carrier saw what happened and could not fix it with out the market place telling them to do so. So, 6 months of eating the meds out of pocket along with some cortisone injections..

            Why did it take so long? Because that many people were in front of me to have their problem fixed.

            I spent way to many hours sitting on hold waiting for someone – anyone to give me a status.

            The current system is completely counter productive.

            Cost have soared to everyone – the rich, the poor and everyone in between.

            How much does the web site cost every single tax payor? How much does it cost to staff the appeals and hearing department?

            When a private carrier screws things up, at least we have the DOI to go to. When the Fed govt screws up, well, we are screwed.

          • July 14, 2017 at 11:49 am
            Doug Fisher says:
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            It’s a valid point, FFA. The govt absolutely must be held accountable for poor service and its own mistakes. An independent watchdog group and a review committee should be enforced absolutely. A government should never be allowed to go unchecked.

          • July 14, 2017 at 12:13 pm
            FFA says:
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            The independent watch dog group took 6 months on an expedited basis.

            Distribution needs to be pout back in the regulated / licensed / trained / insured and bonded agents.

            I know the local market / networks better then someone sitting in a cubicle who knows where in the world.

        • July 14, 2017 at 11:34 am
          Agent says:
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          Fisher, why am I not surprised that I got the response from a cry baby sore loser Progressive Socialist who supported the worst legislation in history and who wants it to continue until the country is totally bankrupt?

          There is a United flight to Caracas waiting for you and you can view what Progressive Socialism/Communism does to countries that like that system.

          • July 14, 2017 at 11:41 am
            Ron says:
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            Agent,

            What exactly are you trying to accomplish with this rude, irrelevant, insulting post?

          • July 14, 2017 at 11:46 am
            Confused says:
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            He’s just trolling Ron.

            Instead of discussing the items HE raised and the counter-arguments therein, he insults and spews nonsense solely meant to ilicit an emotional response and misdirect away from the topic at hand.

            So yeah, he’s just trolling.

          • July 14, 2017 at 11:51 am
            Doug Fisher says:
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            LOL. Don’t feed the trolls. Dude can’t take the heat and cannot, under any circumstances, ever back up any of his off-base assertions.

            He even made some reasonable points, which I gave him credit for, but he just can’t take constructive criticism.

          • July 14, 2017 at 11:54 am
            Doug Fisher says:
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            “Get government out of health care!”
            “We should structure our health care to emulate a government-run, universal health care coverage with required pay-in amounts!”

            LOL, the hits never stop.

        • July 14, 2017 at 5:31 pm
          Natasha and Bearis says:
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          I stopped reading at ‘getting government out of health care…’.

          Incredibly arrogant of you, as expected.

          • July 14, 2017 at 7:28 pm
            Doug Fisher says:
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            “I stopped reading because it hurt my feelings. Please protect me from new ideas and wrap me in bubble wrap. Wahhhhhhhh!”

            You’re trolling effort is lacking. And acting like you didn’t have someone read the post to you is laughable. Just that you have nothing to refute my ironclad points.

            Now tell the nice lady thank you for enunciating slowly and get back to your programs. Hannity is on soon!

          • July 15, 2017 at 12:11 pm
            Natasha and Bearis says:
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            I read nothing written by trolls these days. What else do you do with your time during the day? Huff & Puff Post? WashPo? Daily KOS? CNN? MSNBC?

          • July 18, 2017 at 12:06 pm
            FFA says:
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            Further proof the govt cant handle this, after 6 months of fighting them to get my health back in place and countless hours on the phone, now they are canceling my dental. Just mine. Now my wifes. No one knows why and now I have to fight with them again.

      • July 14, 2017 at 11:13 am
        FFA says:
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        Agent, I really don’t understand how selling policies across state lines would do anything price wise. Health costs in Crook County are the same for BCBS of Il as they would be for Dean Care of Wi. Il costs / premiums would be the same from carrier to carrier no matter where the carrier is located.

        I know IL is a bad example. I am losing another HH as they pack up and leave for a state that taxes at the rate of 1/6 of IL according to his analysis. All I can do is wish him well.

        • July 15, 2017 at 12:13 pm
          Natasha and Bearis says:
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          Simple; one key aspect is economies of scale, others include portability, avoiding cancellation upon re-underwriting in a new state, etc.

          Correct; you don’t understand. You follow article titles or soundbites and ignore pertinent details.

          • July 17, 2017 at 1:54 pm
            FFA says:
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            The presence of more competition does not bring down cost that drives the premium. Portability across state lines is a good point – one I had not considered.

            Economies of scale I just don’t see happening unless the underlying factors are addressed.

        • July 17, 2017 at 2:15 pm
          Ron says:
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          The one issue that no one has ever addressed is regulation. You have 3 choices:
          1. Federal regulation since it is interstate commerce; or
          2. Forcing one state to accept the regulatory guidelines of another state.
          3. No regulation of health insurance at all.

          If you have another, please let us know.

    • July 13, 2017 at 5:40 pm
      Natasha and Bearis says:
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      Nope. A bad plan, which will quickly fail to get support. Top income earners do not deserve a tax cut; they just don’t deserve to be used to subsidize others whose premiums are subsidized through a compression of the premium relativities per ACA. So, it’s disingenuous to claim the rich are getting a tax cut. The truth is that the ACA level taxation is NOT the proper benchmark for taxation, it’s just one time period tax structure which NEEDS to undergo drastic changes to jump start the lethargic economy caused by amateurs in the prior White House Administration.

      • July 13, 2017 at 8:38 pm
        Doug Fisher says:
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        That lethargic economy, that bounced back after taking over for the professional(ly incompetent) Bush administration? and was at record levels when he left office? Man, if a bunch of amateurs did that, I would love to see the business experts in the Trump administration leave after their 4 years. :)

        • July 15, 2017 at 12:13 pm
          Natasha and Bearis says:
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          GO!

  • July 13, 2017 at 12:20 pm
    Confused says:
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    ‘Rand Paul said Wednesday he will oppose the new measure and vote to block it from floor consideration without having seen the legislation.’

    I don’t care what political party you subscribe to, we should all be disgusted when elected officials say “I’m opposing the plan, I don’t even want people to vote on it ….. but yeah, I actually haven’t seen it yet or read it – I just know I don’t like it.”

    How about reading the plan and THEN making an informed decision?!?

    And to the usual suspects — “we have to pass it to see what’s in it” has been taken grossly out of context since she said it, so please don’t post that claiming Democrats do the same thing (I know they do and I’m sure you can cite many other times they’ve pulled that move — which is why I am saying we should all be disgusted, but that’s not what that sentence actually means.)

    • July 13, 2017 at 1:24 pm
      SWFL Agent says:
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      Not sure why Trump doesn’t march over to Capitol Hill and rollout his plan. If I remember correctly he talked about a plan where there would be more competition, lower drug prices, lower deductibles, and everyone would be covered. I liked that plan and now he’s keeping it a secret. I think he would have no trouble with Democratic support either. Just a little bit of “negotiation” and the problem is solved.

      • July 13, 2017 at 1:29 pm
        Ron says:
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        Easy. He lied. Just like the Republicans who have been telling us for years that they have a great plan to replace the PPACA.

        • July 13, 2017 at 1:42 pm
          SWFL Agent says:
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          I don’t know Ron, saying he lied sounds pretty mean. What are you going to say next? That he’ll claim that he tried to push his plan, tried his best to negotiate, and Congress is just too inept to get anything done. In other words he’ll distance himself from it and claim it’s not his fault. That would be pretty harsh.

          • July 13, 2017 at 2:03 pm
            Ron says:
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            You may consider it mean, but there is no other explanation. If he did actually have a plan, but is holding it back for some unknown reason, I would be happy to retract my statement.

            I have given up trying to figure out what our president and the Republicans are trying to accomplish.

        • July 13, 2017 at 5:46 pm
          Natasha and Bearis says:
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          SOME Republicans have a plan, but the few Republican mavericks have squelched the key parameters due to cowardice and lies about the plans effects on 23 million or 24 million, and deaths that would result worse the the plagues of the early 20th Century.

          I’ll have to contact the ‘long run’ plan author to see what the mavericks are not understanding or ignorantly objecting to, and offer solutions other than ‘pork spending’ in the maverick’s state(s).

      • July 13, 2017 at 2:08 pm
        insnerd8 says:
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        This was before he learned “how complicated healthcare could be”. Who knew? (Just about anyone with the least bit of awareness).

        • July 13, 2017 at 2:22 pm
          FFA says:
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          They have all been lying about it under the guise of Campaign Promise. They didn’t expect to get caught because they didn’t expect Trump to win.

          • July 14, 2017 at 12:16 pm
            FFA says:
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            Especially that Paul Ryan. Spewing his lies for years that they had a replacement plan ready to roll in the first 100 days.

        • July 13, 2017 at 5:47 pm
          Natasha and Bearis says:
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          Insurance simple. Politics complicated.

    • July 13, 2017 at 1:32 pm
      Confused says:
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      Now THIS statement is more like what I expect out of our elected officials

      “Because we were not given anything and because we were addressed at a 30,000-foot level, I’m going to choose to not comment on what may show up tomorrow,” Lisa Murkowski, Alaska (R)

      • July 13, 2017 at 2:16 pm
        Doug Fisher says:
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        Lisa Murkowski is a national treasure. We should be so lucky if all Republicans were so tactful and careful in their approach to legislating.

        I may disagree with her stance on a lot of issues, but her opinions aren’t ill-informed, aren’t based in xenophobia, racism, or classism, and she actually seems to have a conscious.

        Rand Paul is a libertarian who seems like he sticks to his guns. I vehemently disagree with his sentiment, but, like Trumpistas, his constituents know what they voted for: someone who wants to take the govt out of everything and give control back to the free-markets.

    • July 13, 2017 at 5:42 pm
      Natasha and Bearis says:
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      Repiublicans post it for all to see. Democrat Socialists hide it to prevent discovery of features that would lead to the death spiral that has been ongoing for 5 years, so as to eventually collapse the HI and HC industries and lead to Soros funded protestor calls for Single Slayer, er, Single Delayer, er, Single Payer, Big Govt Mismanaged Health Care and Insurance.

    • July 14, 2017 at 5:33 pm
      Natasha and Bearis says:
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      That’s one Senator. Got 2 more?

      • July 17, 2017 at 4:56 pm
        Natasha and Bearis says:
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        They don’t have two more. Dem obstructionists are SOOL.

        • July 17, 2017 at 9:11 pm
          Doug Fisher says:
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          Lol. Your “sources” were wrong. Imagine that.

          Open mouth – insert foot.

      • July 18, 2017 at 10:42 am
        Confused says:
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        I don’t need to list other elected officials who have said similar things to prove my point: we should all be disgusted when ANY elected official say “I’m opposing ___. I actually haven’t seen it yet or read it, I just know I don’t like it.”

  • July 13, 2017 at 1:27 pm
    Fran says:
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    Let’s have the people deciding this be on par with the rest of us. Repeal Congress’s health care plan, and let’s see how fast their incomes decrease as they age.

  • July 13, 2017 at 2:53 pm
    mark says:
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    The biggest issue is how do you give an entitlement and then take it away. The AHC Act is the biggest transfer of wealth I can recall of. One of the biggest issues before the AHC was denial of health insurance to the ill. I can recall turning for than half of clients away due to denial. Get the private market back into the mix and some control on meds and lawsuits.

    • July 13, 2017 at 3:03 pm
      SWFL Agent says:
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      If by transfer of wealth you mean from the Fed Gov’t (in the form of deficit spending) to doctors and other parts of the medical community then I agree. We can get the private market back into the mix but wasn’t it the private market that was turning half of your clients away?

    • July 13, 2017 at 3:22 pm
      Bill says:
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      You do realize it was the “free market” that allowed companies to require their employees to work 10 to 18+ hour work days (including children), no vacation time, no health care, wages so low people couldn’t pay their bills (even when the whole family worked) and no retirement benefits. It was the government that stepped in and changed all that. Read up on your history and find out what the government HAS done for the people. While I don’t believe the government is the answer for everything, neither is a free market.

      • July 14, 2017 at 5:34 pm
        Natasha and Bearis says:
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        If SOME employers did so, they lost employees to other employers.
        Get some useful info before posting about the prior environment.

        • July 14, 2017 at 7:31 pm
          Doug Fisher says:
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          He’s not talking pre-ACA, but pre-Wooodrow Wilson. And no, in that time there was no other option and no other employers magically offering benefits the nobody else was.

        • July 17, 2017 at 4:57 pm
          Natasha and Bearis says:
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          He’s talking about things that have NO RELEVANCE WHATSOEVER to what is occurring in the 21st Century; i.e. trolling the conversation.

  • July 17, 2017 at 5:00 pm
    Natasha and Bearis says:
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    It seems the Cruz amendment is a means of achieving a separating equilibrium in the HI market; i.e. Rathman-Stiglitz separating policy type offering supply to stabilize the market that ACA de-stabilized. This leads to inclusion of ANOTHER of the elements in ‘HEALTH CARE SPPECIFICCS’. Good work, Ted!

    • July 17, 2017 at 5:03 pm
      Natasha and Bearis says:
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      Pooling never leads to market stability in multiple risk class markets. That clearly implies ACA was designed to FAIL and lead to a Single-Slayer, er, a Single-Delayer market, aka Government mismanaged Single- Payer market. But, TrumPresident saved us in the US from a Cana-duh or UK or VA-type-HC disaster.

      • July 17, 2017 at 10:14 pm
        Doug Fisher says:
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        Thank you for your in-depth hot take. Your insight is very educated and helpful. If I read Health Care Specificcs one more time, I might snap.



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