Website's lousy, but health care goals still valid

The White House is receiving a sound trashing at the hands of Congress for the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act's website.

It has been an embarrassing disappointment, and we have said so ourselves.

So what's next?

Move on? Hardly.

House Republicans will continue to investigate the site's failings until it either works or until something more outrageous comes along.

Yesterday, one congressional critic really put things in perspective when he likened the roll-out to a rocket that blew up on the launch pad.

That is so sad. And so true.

But it probably reminded many Americans with long memories of something else.

Rockets? Launch pads? Exactly how many U.S. rockets blew up on the launch pad until we finally put a man on the moon? A lot. In fact, in 1967 three astronauts were killed in a launch pad accident.

Failure usually walks hand-in-hand with progress, and doing really big things guarantees setbacks and struggle.

It's been a long time, and there have been a thousand distractions, accusations, a near default and a 16-day government shutdown, and that's just been this year.

So, let's remember what this moon-shot was all about.

For a decade or more, Americans had been complaining about a health care system that costs too much, produces poor results, bankrupts sick people and leaves millions of our fellow Americans without access to consistent care.

And the Republican response to all these critical problems has been . . .

Well, only one actual response comes to mind — the highly successful Massachusetts health care plan, proposed by a Republican governor and enacted by a bi-partisan legislature.

That plan was first proposed by a Republican think tank that reasoned everyone should be required to buy health insurance or to make an honest attempt to do so.

That was, obviously, because the system could only work if everyone who might need health insurance participated.

It was like requiring car owners to have insurance whether they had an accident or not.

This approach seemed logical until Barack Obama picked up the ball and started running with it.

So, now, it's probably a little hard to remember where this rocket ship was going. Why was this law passed in the first place?

1. So people did not suffer and die as a result of having no insurance. That happens to about 20,000 people a year. In September, Sen. Angus King explained how his own life was saved by insurance that resulted in early detection of an often-fatal form of skin cancer.

2. To provide access to health care for people with previous conditi0ns. Insurance companies, bless their hearts, had generally refused to help very sick people.

3. To make sure Americans were spared from losing their homes, savings and financial futures because of a serious illness.

4. To allow Americans up to 26 years of age to remain on their parents' insurance policy so they can get their lives up and running.

5. To help bend the health care cost curve by rewarding high quality care that keeps the sickest among us as healthy as possible and out of the hospital.

6. To make sure Americans have access to affordable health insurance if they lose their job, or leave it to start their own company.

7. To expand Medicaid coverage to Americans who cannot afford to buy insurance at all, even though they work and are above the poverty level.

8. To reduce the Medicare Part D "doughnut hole" prescription gap.

There's more, but which parts of that aren't worth doing?

Like our space program of decades ago, the goals are very difficult to obtain. If they were easy, we would have done this long ago.

The law clearly isn't perfect, and it must improve. The process is messy, and it will disappoint some. The website is clearly a huge disappointment.

But what's the alternative? To do none of the above, or nothing at all?

Some Republicans are committed to destroying the Affordable Care Act at all cost.

They are very good rock throwers. While that's invigorating sport, developing a better alternative, or working to fix the problems with Obamacare, might be more useful.

rrhoades@sunjournal.com

The opinions expressed in this column reflect the views of the ownership and the editorial board.

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Comments

CAROLYN LIBBEY's picture

SPELL-CHECK asap!

SPELL-CHECK asap!

Steve  Dosh's picture

Carol ? Hahahah ! As soon as

Carol ? Hahahah ! As soon as practical ? t y v m hun
btw - We have and have had car , health , and house ( fire - principally ) insurance , malpractice for a time , too , for > 40 years now
ƒonix shure is phun . gr8inbed ? l o l
/s, Dr. Dosh and ohana , HI
http://www.engrish.com ;) <- phun site <- not porn •

Passing this law with no

Passing this law with no bipartisanship what so ever doomed this from the start.
This law wasn't designed to work, it was designed to be the first step to single payer socialized medicine. Its no secret, Obama even said it. The way its going right now is just a bit ahead of schedule, it wasn't designed to implode until all of the private insurance companies were bankrupted.
As far as this paper endorsing it, its no big surprise. I'm sure they will be endorsing
Michaud soon. Most of the newspapers are being run, by a bunch of progressive liberal hacks.

 's picture

It was never a complete secret.

But it was papered over until after the 2012 elections. Ahead of schedule is correct. They would like to keep the semi-secret until after the 2014 elections, but that hope has been destroyed by the website fiasco, and people are finally able to see the disgusting, squirming things under the ObamaCare rock. The bloodbath of 2010 will seem like a Sunday picnic compared to what's coming next Fall.

I hope so Mike, I hope so.

I hope so Mike, I hope so.

RONALD RIML's picture

So now we are finding out the truth

Insurance is trash.....What we really need is National Health Care

Like the rest of the civilized world.

Steve  Dosh's picture

Ron? Q: You know the

Ron? Q: You know the difference between Jersey girls and trash ? A: Trash gets picked up ;)

RONALD RIML's picture

Especially since they closed

the Brooklyn Navy Yard......... ;)

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Easy to say when you are not

Easy to say when you are not paying the bills for that service there Ronny.

This government can't even run a web-site let alone national healthcare. Ya just don't learn from mistakes, do ya. Yet you keep asking for more.

RONALD RIML's picture

I paid the bills for that service for a good long time....

Government could easily run National Health Care. They do it now.

You fear 'For Service' rather than 'For Profit'

Your Greed is paramount.

 's picture

Ask any military veteran

Ask any military veteran about the quality of VA health care. If the government can't do a good job for that portion of the population why does anyone think they will do any better for the entire population?

RONALD RIML's picture

David - If you would have had the intellectual curiosity to look

up my profile here - you would see that I am retired military. But you don't do much research, I see.

Being of Medicare age, I have the opportunity of seeing local doctors, or driving the 30 some miles up to Togus. I much prefer the VA health system.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Your choice. That's all the

Your choice. That's all the rest of us want; a choice. oBAMaCare does not give us that, but rather forces us to participate.

RONALD RIML's picture

You have a choice

Look at your options.....

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Does one of the choices

Does one of the choices involve a high ranking politician, a broom handle, and a colon?

RONALD RIML's picture

High ranking (R) politician, air-port bathroom, and his

quivering, juicy colon.....

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I'd be interested in your

I'd be interested in your definition of a 'juicy colon'.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I guess you have first hand

I guess you have first hand experience.

RONALD RIML's picture

Arresting Republican Perverts?

Yes.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

And I'll bet you've never

And I'll bet you've never arrested or even encountered a perverted democrat, right? "And if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor."

RONALD RIML's picture

What's 'Perverted?'

For a Republican, that's everything except same-sex activity between two strangers in a public bathroom.

Under the Republican plan, you get a Doctor???

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Great anal-ogy.

Great anal-ogy.

 's picture

You prefer Togus?

I can only assume there are no co-pays for shock treatments. You need to request a shorter wait between them. Your current schedule is obviously not working.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I heard there is zero wait

I heard there is zero wait time at the enema station. Ronald, you might what to stop there first.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Like I said, big government

Like I said, big government can serve turd on a plate and some love it.

Zack Lenhert's picture

Big insurance has been

Big insurance has been serving turd sandwiches for decades and here you are trying to sell it as filet.

"Who said that you can decide what other people think is a good plan for them. I is really none of our business." This is your quote from the other day.... Guess it doesn't apply to you?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

You really have to made the

You really have to made the link between the two comments. More beer?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I truly believe that the

I truly believe that the government can serve turd on a plate and some people will think that is great. Let's face it, there are people who want the big government security blanket; individualism scares them.

RONALD RIML's picture

That's why you need patent protection.

Q.E.D.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Patent protection in the US

Patent protection in the US is a joke. Moreover, there is little the US can do other than beat their chest, say, if China infringes on patents.

RONALD RIML's picture

Hire Chinese-Italian Patent Attorneys

They'll make them a deal they can't refuse.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Does individualism scare you?

Does individualism scare you?

RONALD RIML's picture

Try thinking......

and see if that scares you.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I thought about it and you

I thought about it and you answered my question with an implicit yes. Readers already knew the answer though.

Enjoy our tax dollars while it lasts.

RONALD RIML's picture

Why do you hate war veterans so much?????

Greed will get you Hell.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I don't hate anyone. However,

I don't hate anyone. However, I do look at the big picture. America borrows about $0.40 on every dollar is spends (perhaps that has dropped a little after the Obumma tax increase); America needs to close that gap with reduced spending - period. If the government wants to spend some of the remaining $2.7 Trillion dollars on Veterans, I'm for that. However, don't spend more than you take in as revenues over the long-term, which is what this county is doing now. Also, don't bill the taxpayer for your needs. Find another way.

RONALD RIML's picture

More sorry-assed excises from Mr. Me.....

Suck it up and pay taxes......

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Isn't going to happen. There

Isn't going to happen. There are far too many ways to avoid them. I will contribute to starving the beast.

 's picture

So we can wait 4 months for

So we can wait 4 months for an MRI, or the cancer survival rate will drop by 2/3, and people over 70 won't be able to get hip and knee replacements. If National Health Care happens we will see many doctors stop practicing medicine in this country. Say no to a single payer system.

RONALD RIML's picture

What do you base that on beside Reich-Wing Talk Shows????

Most 1st World Nations with National Single Payer Health Care have longer longevity rates than we do, and lower infant mortality rates. You don't get that by providing a lower quality of care.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

How do you know their

How do you know their longevity rates or infant mortality rates are not do to other behavioral factors and not single payer health care?

Surely Ron..nald, you have data linking the two - national health care and longevity?

 's picture

Lifestyles play a part

I won't argue with your first sentence. I will question wht it's true. Do those countries have the same obesity or type 2 diabetes rates as the US? Are high cholesterol and heart disease as common there as here? Who pays the doctor bills is a small part of longevity rates.
I can't comment about infant mortality because I don't know enough about it but I would not be surprised to learn that there is a lot more to it than the quality of health care.

RONALD RIML's picture

What does 'Quality' of Health Care matter

if availability is restricted. We may have some of the best care here - if one has access to it.

Interesting article on obesity published three days ago: The Messy, Messy Relationship Between Income (and Race) and Obesity

Obesity is also becoming a European Problem - and by this article (also recent) the Europeans are finding that they have to budget more for their Healthcare: Column: Across the world, universal healthcare is in poor health

Yet Europe is relatively 'spoiled' when one considers the percentage of GDP that their countries spend upon health-care compared to the U.S. - we spend a significantly higher percentage of our GDP on healthcare then do other countries.


MARK GRAVEL's picture

P.S. But Obumma care is not

P.S. But Obumma care is not going to bend the price curve down, only up.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I guess if you ration access

I guess if you ration access to healthcare, then it appears a nation spends less as a percentage of GDP. That makes sense.

Steve  Dosh's picture

Website's lousy, but health care goals still valid

Mainers , Friday 11:00 am hst • 
. . It's true . Good editorial , Rex
And it's not like every - o t h e r - software company doesn't experience glitches . In fact , Who's Seeing Your Facebook Profile? At the end of June, Facebook admitted to a glitch in its network security that let some customers’ personal information go to unintended recipients. You may have been one of the six million Facebook users that received an email directing you to their blog post, which explained the slip up and reiterated the company’s commitment to safeguarding its customers’ profiles
If you use Adobe ®  Portable Document Files , ( PDFs ) , one hundred and twenty million ( 120,000,000 ) customers have been adversely affected by their problem . http://www.adobe.com Get the patch . Use it
hth , Dr. Dosh
http://www.healthcare.gov < -- Try it . You may like it . Does Maine use this system yet , Paul ? It's the law • A U S federal law

CAROLYN LIBBEY's picture

I've got a better

I've got a better solution--give Facebook the burial it so richly deserves.

 's picture

Nothing But Income Redistribution

Some five years and two months ago John McCain shook his head ruefully and said "He's a Community Organizer. What is that?" Now we know.

RONALD RIML's picture

Bob - Haven't you figured it out yet......

"Income Distribution" is what makes Capitalism work.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

If and only if said income is

If and only if said income is distributed through the exchange of labor. Income redistributed via the force of government merely kills the incentive for some to earn more and creates a dependency class, god knows we see many of those dependent individuals on this web-site.

 's picture

Not when it is forced by

Not when it is forced by government.

RONALD RIML's picture

Au Contraire... Buy stock in defense contractors

Eisenhower warned against the Military-Industrial Complex.......

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"To allow Americans up to 26

"To allow Americans up to 26 years of age to remain on their parents' insurance policy so they can get their lives up and running."
If you haven't figured out how to get your life up and running by age 26, guess what? You'll still be clueless at age 37.

RONALD RIML's picture

We have a plethora of them in the BB area.......

They're called 'Trust-Fund Babies'

RONALD RIML's picture

I had the Govt taking care of me at 17 while I was playing

Sailor....

That worked for a good many years........

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

As I pointed out, you had

As I pointed out, you had your life 'up and running' at 17, a path not being mirrored by many who will be more than content to be covered under their parents' umbrellas of protection at age 26. Nothing like sponging off good old mom and dad.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Like I said, dependency

Like I said, dependency class.

RONALD RIML's picture

However you choose to define retired military.....

As opposed to your Predator Class......

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Just as I thought. Noting to

Just as I thought. Noting to substantiate your personal attack. Given the frequency that you make the same claim about me and others, it really, really looks like you have an unhealthy obsession with people of wealth.

RONALD RIML's picture

I know truly wealthy people......

They don't spend their time as you do, Parvenu......

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Define truly wealthy?

Define truly wealthy?

RONALD RIML's picture

So 'Old Money'

that you turn your 'shirt collars' over when they're worn rather than buy new.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Give a dollar figure please.

Give a dollar figure please. That is, if you a can. I know people who beat on the rich keep things vague for some reason or another.

For example, If I have $2 Million dollars, what difference does it make whether it is new or old money?

RONALD RIML's picture

Give you? Give you??

Work for it, Lad. That's YOUR Mantra.....

MARK GRAVEL's picture

That is what I assumed, no

That is what I assumed, no clue, all envy. Maybe Obumma care can fix that for you.

RONALD RIML's picture

Not nearly to the degree of your paranoia.....

Check your 'Lock-Box' lately???

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Nothing paranoid with

Nothing paranoid with limiting my tax liability.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Nice to see you are in good

Nice to see you are in good health and have an active imagination.

By the way, do you have any facts to back up your claim?

RONALD RIML's picture

Do you ever have any claims backed up by facts????

Not that one can tell....

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Yet another example of

Yet another example of militarized policing in America. If policies don't change, I see the populous fighting back with deadly force.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505263_162-57612743/n.m-police-fire-on-miniv...

RONALD RIML's picture

Where was the 'Military' involved????

Appears to me as though they hired 'Gun Nuts' as cops.......

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Something's coming. City of

Something's coming. City of Lewiston recently bought themselves a tank.

CAROLYN LIBBEY's picture

The tank's just for show.

The tank's just for show.

RONALD RIML's picture

They already 'Came'

Boyz and their Toyz........

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Towns and cities and loading

Towns and cities and loading up on surplus military equipment and the feds are buying up ammunition like tomorrow isn't coming, which of course, is driving the price of ammo sky high. Tell me with a straight face the drums of war are not beating.

RONALD RIML's picture

Reich-Wing Media has long been stirring up the Neanderthalls....

They can't get it into their reptilian sized pea-brains that a Man of Color had been elected President; this was an historical eventuality. It shall become more and more common now that more brown and black babies are born than Caucasian ones.

The Govt needs to reconsider selling off its surplus military ammo, etc - no matter what the outcry. Like out of date biological, nuclear, and chemical weapons Destroy them - it - don't propigate them!

The 2nd Amendment was created in mind of the need of Virginia Slaveholders to maintain Militias to quell Slave Insurrections. Not to turn our homes and citizens into armed camps of competing interests.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

The incompetency and lack of

The incompetency and lack of true qualifications of the current White House occupant will set the movement for more black presidents back by 20 years. You'll see 2 or 3 woman presidents before another black man gets in.

 's picture

If the right has a problem

If the right has a problem with nonwhites how do you explain Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley, Ted Cruz, Michael Steele or Marco Rubio? You must be out of ammo to be crying racist.

RONALD RIML's picture

They're arming for the next pheasant hunt???

I don't cry "Racist" - I observe racism.....

How do I explain the others? I don't have to. Racism is still very prevalent in America.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

The racism that exists runs

The racism that exists runs both ways, or have you not noticed?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Paul, If you read the study

Paul,

If you read the study that Ron..nald references below it simply states traditional values equates to symbolic racism (A=B) without any proof. At least the author was kind enough to create a new term out of whole clothe rather than simply saying racism.

Next the author surveys mainly white people and attempts to link gun ownership to traditional values without comparing the same assumptions with black respondents (B=C).

The author then attempts to apply the logic transitive property: if A=B, and B=C, then A=C to the argument while never proving A=B, they simply state it as fact. This produces a faulty cause and effect relationship.

Ronald is not working with a full deck on this one.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Well done. He lost me when he

Well done. He lost me when he showed Salon, Wikipedia and Huffington Post as sources.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Racism is harder to find in

Racism is harder to find in America if you cease to consider disagreement with and opinion, policy, or personal behavior.

Take for example all the individuals labeled as racist if they disagree with policies from the current administration. In fact, the racist tactic is highly used by the left in an attempts to shutdown descent.

In my opinion, Ron...nal has used that tactic on several occasions on this forum.

RONALD RIML's picture

Opinions are like Azzholes. Everyone has one......

And in your position - you can even hire folks out to have them for ya.......

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I'll hold your feet to the

I'll hold your feet to the fire on this one. I'll push you to support your calls of racism with facts. Otherwise, I'll publically point out the ridiculousness of your assertion.

You are big on providing facts, so I'm sure you'll provide supporting material along with the cat call of racism.

CAROLYN LIBBEY's picture

the cat call of racism"? What

the cat call of racism"? What the hey is that!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Meeowing to a black person?

Meeowing to a black person?

RONALD RIML's picture

Of course you'll hold Pirate to the same standard.....

Pirate wrote: "The racism that exists runs both ways, or have you not noticed?"

Racism, Gun Ownership and Gun Control: Biased Attitudes in US Whites May Influence Policy Decisions

"After accounting for all explanatory variables, logistic regressions found that for each 1 point increase in symbolic racism there was a 50% increase in the odds of having a gun at home. After also accounting for having a gun in the home, there was still a 28% increase in support for permits to carry concealed handguns, for each one point increase in symbolic racism. The relationship between symbolic racism and opposition to banning handguns in the home (OR1.27 CI 1.03,1.58) was reduced to non-significant after accounting for having a gun in the home (OR1.17 CI.94,1.46), which likely represents self-interest in retaining property (guns)."

So here are the links for you to refute. Pull brown stuff out your anus as per usual.

http://www.salon.com/2013/11/05/study_white_racism_linked_with_oppositio...

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/11/01/study-links-racism-gun-ownership-a...

http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/new-research-details-strong-rela...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/05/gun-ownership-racism_n_4221223....

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Okay, I found it. "symbolic

Okay, I found it.
"symbolic racism consists of the same traditional values"
The study, which has the same underlying source in all citations, classifies symbolic racism as traditional values. How F-n convenient.

Here is some history about Jim Crow laws: “In the 1870s, Democrats gradually regained power in the Southern legislatures, sometimes as a result of elections in which paramilitary groups intimidated opponents, attacking blacks or preventing them from voting.”

I’ll assume that you really know better, but were in some kind of a rush in your research.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Crow_law

This argument has a faulty cause/effect relationship to traditional values and racism.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Hey, Some of your citations

Hey,

Some of your citations are foo bar. Take salon.com for example. There is no article related to your topic. By the way, salon.com said: "Anthony Weiner can actually win the NYC mayor race", so I'm sure they are a credible source.

Speaking about symbolism, can you envision the symbol I'm holding up on my right hand? Oh, it isn't pretty....

MARK GRAVEL's picture

"Racism, Gun Ownership and

"Racism, Gun Ownership and Gun Control: Biased Attitudes in US Whites May Influence Policy Decisions"

May? Is it or is it not?

Symbolic racism - what the heck does that mean?

How come those studies did not explore black gun ownership?

In closing, Ronald Riml may be grasping for straws. No, correction. Ronald Riml is grasping at straws.

RONALD RIML's picture

You certainly freak out

when your ass is handed to you on a plate.........

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Silence is golden!

Silence is golden!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Let me form a similar

Let me form a similar argument.

1. People from Maine hare rednecks. (notice I give no proof of this statement.)
2. Ronald Riml is from Maine.

Since Ronald Riml is from Maine, then he is a redneck.

You see how we got to a faulty cause and effect here. All those links you provide come from the same study. That study says "symbolic racism" is liked to traditional values, but gives not proof.

In my opinion, you are judgement is impaired if you believe that study, which is only one study reported by different liberal rags.

Booya!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Thinking you handed anyone

Thinking you handed anyone their ass on this one is like you thinking BHO is at the top of his game.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

The scary thing is that there

The scary thing is that there are some people who think BHO is at the top of his game and greater than sliced bread.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Half the country by some

Half the country by some estimations. The same people who re-elected him in 2012 would elect him again in 2016 if that were possible. The Darwin awards just aren't getting it done.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Half the country.... That

Half the country.... That makes sense when you consider about half the country pays virtually no federal income taxes, but they love stuff from the government.

Just think what is going to happen if immigration reform passes in its current form. That could add up to 30 Million know low skilled workings increasing the pool of the takers and create more competition amongst low wage jobs.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

And the liberals don't

And the liberals don't understand why the minimum wage isn't $15 an hour. In fact, when you hear a lib complaining about the minimum wage being too low, ask them what THEY think the minimum wage ought to be. You'll hardly ever get a straight numerical answer, but rather, you'll get a seminar on verbal stunt flying.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

There is a lot of things that

There is a lot of things that liberals don't understand when it comes to money and many other things for that matter.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

By definition, my facts are

By definition, my facts are always right. Anyhow, you have no facts in this case.

Sincerely,

America's Dr. Right.

RONALD RIML's picture

A ton of your 'Facts' aren't worth an oz. of Truth...

Q.E.D.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

One side of this I haven't heard much about.........

This whole fiasco with trash health insurance policies, has bought one other problem to the surface. It seems the insurance companies are taking huge advantage of the minimum requirement clause. They can now take a trash policy that covered next to nothing, put a lot of useless options into a plan, to comply, and hike the cost to cover such things as Pregnancy expenses for men, and prostrate coverage for women. By complying with the specific requirements the insurance companies are charging for services that a lot of people "CAN NEVER" use. Again a safe bet for the insurance company, and a huge expense for the customer. I think any policy sold should be gender orientated. Male specific illnesses will be covered in all male policies, and women will have their own set of options that only they will need. There needs to be some over site of the industry supplying health coverage, it is just to easy to dupe the general population.......................

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

gender insurance

I think the way health insurance works is that young people pay for knee replacements and Alzheimer care and old people pay for accidents and maternity care and men pay for breast cancer medicine and women pay for prostate care. The thing about health care is that you mostly cannot go out and earn money to pay for it when you are the most in need of it. That's why the healthy pay for the sick until they become sick. I like the notion of that health care cooperative that has opened up in Lewiston. If I understand it correctly is works like a credit union and the members pay for each other's health care and it is non-profit. I would imagine it would be easier to convince people to be responsible about their health care spending in a situation like that. It would really bring home the notion that wasting health care dollars will result in higher premiums and they would have a really good case to make that taking responsibility for your health makes financial sense. Anything we can do to bring down the cost will be a win-win for all of us

MARK GRAVEL's picture

"The thing about health care

"The thing about health care is that you mostly cannot go out and earn money to pay for it when you are the most in need of it."

It is called a health savings account.

If the money does not come directly from your wallet, people don't pay attention to the cost of healthcare.

 's picture

That was my point.

You made it more clear than I did and I hope people will learn from it.

"If the money does not come directly from your wallet, people don't pay attention to the cost of healthcare."

This is precisely why so many medicaid recipients overuse the emergency rooms for non emergencies.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Don't forget all those

Don't forget all those government funded scooters for individuals that have reduced mobility, many of which are that way from over eating. Last year, Medicare found $223 million in over payments. That is just what they found. Think of all the fraud they don't find.

 's picture

Too much wrong

There is so much wrong with this law that it should be stopped from moving forward until it is fixed. By eliminating high deductible catastrophic plans it dramatically raises premiums for people who previously chose to assume the risk for that much of their healthcare costs. By mandating everyone to buy coverage for things they will never use it is nothing more than a cost sharing transfer of wealth that penalizes healthy people. High risk people should pay more through a high risk pool. Instant coverage for pre-existing conditions encourages people to go without coverage until they are diagnosed with something.
The big problem is the cost of health care. The commonly cited number is that health care takes 17% of the nation's economy. That number needs to be made smaller. Forcing everyone to buy more insurance than they need will only make this number go up. Expanding medicaid will end with more people going to doctors and the ER for little things that will heal without treatment. Too many people, especially those who are not paying for it, run straight to the ER for non energencies when they should wait until morning and make an appointment with a general practitioner.
The health care situation in this country needed an overhaul to reduce costs. The ACA didn't do much to fix that and will urt more people than it helps.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

ACA created a captive

ACA created a captive audience for the insurance industry. Nothing more.

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

Way too much wrong

People who want to take the risk for their health care should be allowed to except that once they realize they have run up bills they can't pay the rest of us end up taking up that risk. This would work if we could refuse them admittance at the emergency room door unless they could pay up front. People will run to the doctor for every little thing if they have insurance. You could also say that early treatment for every little thing is cheaper than waiting until you have stage 4 cancer or complications of untreated diabetes or a pregnancy gone wrong to see a doctor. People will go to the emergency room rather than to a clinic. I have insurance and when I need care I go to the clinic because I know I can afford the co-pay. I don't know why this would be different for anybody else. Part of reducing costs is just that reducing cost. We are being charged hundreds for medicine that people in other countries are paying dollars for. The ACA rewards medical care providers who reduce costs. They won't do it without incentive because they compete with each other for business. It is more profitable for them to build new wings and add new services than to reduce costs. There are many assumptions in your post that are really just guesses. I don't have to guess however to know that doing nothing will not solve the many health care problems in this country.

 's picture

More agreement than disagreement

Claire, I think if you and I had a real conversation about this we would agree on more than what we would disagree.
Very few people can afford to risk their entire health care costs by going without insurance. The ACA limits my annual risk to $6,350 out of pocket per year. Under my old high deductible policy I chose to risk $15,000. A new ACA compliant policy will increase my premiums by $300 per month. For that to work for me my annual health care cost would have to be between $9,950 and $15,000. $15,000 in medical bills will have me scrambling to raise money but it won't send me to bankruptcy court.
I understand that delayed care is more expensive care and the need for early diagnosis. That is about the only thing I know that the ACA addresses to control health care costs. That is not what I meant by overusing the ER for little things. I meant the person who strains his back and goes to the ER when most people would take it easy for a couple days to see if it gets better. Or the parent who takes a child to the ER at 11:00 PM for an earache instead of waiting until morning and going to the clinic. I see too much of this behavior from medicaid recipients and I consider it an abuse of the system. People who have to pay a portion of the bill try to control costs.
Guaranteed issue with instant coverage of pre-existing conditions is going to cause abuse. That is one place where Maine's pre ACA rules were pretty good. We had guaranteed issue but pre-existing conditions were not covered for the first year for previously uninsured people. People who were changing plans were covered. It also meant you couldn't be dropped when your health situation changed.

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

Health care costs

Calculating health care costs can be a tricky thing. My father paid insurance premiums for 60 years and never saw a doctor except for flu shots and 1 food poisoning visit. The first time he used it was for an operation which ended up costing a million dollars. He was not a guy who could have budgeted for that. My daughter had a high co-pay employer policy. She was young and didn't need much in the way of health care until she was in an accident. That high co-pay ate all her savings and nearly bankrupted her. I think it is a little more complicated than adding it up one year at a time. Until the cost comes down we are all at the mercy of the insurance companies.

AL PELLETIER's picture

I remember those great days.

President Kennedy said we will put a man on the moon, not because it's easy, but because it's hard and we did it because republicans and democrats worked together to get it done.
Why can't Obama's opposition just say, OK, lets give it a shot, lets give it five years and if it's not working it's back to the drawing board.
Yes, we had rockets that blew up on the launching pad but glitches were to blame, not wholesale sabotage.

Noel Foss's picture

Al;

As near as they can tell, nobody's been "sabotaging" the website whose rollout has been such a catastrophic failure. They did that to themselves. Just like the space program, the website's failure was due to "glitches"
If you'll recall, the space race was not without its detractors either. There were legislators that spent decades trying to defund the space program.

As for giving Obamacare 5 years and then scrapping it if it doesn't work, I'm afraid it's simply too expensive for that. The program is too huge to just roll it up and sweep it under the carpet after five failed years, if that turns out to be the case.

AL PELLETIER's picture

I agree, Noel

The only people who sabotaged the website are the puter geeks who were hired to set it up making Obama eat crow and fly into apology mode.. I was referring to the congressional government shut down ultimatum . And your right, there were a few legislators who tried to defund the space program but, if I remember correctly, their political careers were short lived.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Keep stretching trying to

Keep stretching trying to blame someone but Obumma, and you might just pull a muscle.

Noel Foss's picture

yup.

But back then we were also a nation of optimists who were determined to beat the Soviets at any cost.
Now we're a nation of bickering cynics competing to see who can make who look dumb at any cost.

AL PELLETIER's picture

I'm with you

100% on that one.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

WINNER.... Al Pelletier.

WINNER.... Al Pelletier.

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

Excellent response

It boggles the mind that some people cannot admit that the health care system we had was fatally flawed. It was so harmful to so many people. This was never so obvious as when the economy crashed and millions not only lost their jobs but their health coverage as well, a double whammy. The statistics on charity care and health care bankruptcies alone should give pause. And when you compare the cost of health care in this country to everybody else you enter the twilight zone. It will take a while for this law to work smoothly and it will probably always need tweaking but waiting for a website to be fixed and combing through various health plan options is not nearly as bad as the endless wait in the emergency room and the bill that comes with it.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

How did Obumma care fix those

How did Obumma care fix those problems. Heathcare costs are up on average in 49% states.

Steve  Dosh's picture

Mainers, ƒlyday 13:11

Mainers, ƒlyday 13:11 Friday hst
How ? In ME . Paul LePage's health plan ( there is n o n e Mark )
for sunjournal ref : obamacare ® 
http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/online-dating-network-hit-10s-millions...
Have we beat the computer dead horse enough yet ?
/s Dr. Dosh
" Dallas 63/11/22 . Where hope and hatred collided ."

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Dallas - I was there last

Dallas - I was there last week one block from the book repository staying at the Hyatt. I had some great vegetarian food at the world famous kalachandjis.

http://www.kalachandjis.com/

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