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Rep. Westmoreland: Healthcare vote fundamentally alters nation

The Democrat victory on healthcare Sunday night “will fundamentally alter the nature of our nation by implementing a government takeover of healthcare that Americans don’t want and can’t afford,” said U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Grantville).

The Democratic healthcare plan passed 219-212.

“This vote creates an expensive new entitlement that implements a government takeover of one-sixth of the American economy,” the Third District congressman said. “This law will raise taxes on all Americans, it will kill jobs in a lagging economy, it will put mandates on Americans and on businesses, it will put government in between doctors and their patients, it will raise the premiums of people who currently have insurance.

“The Democratic healthcare bill will add $2.6 trillion in new spending. There’s no free lunch,” Westmoreland said. “We’ll either tax ourselves to the point we’re not competitive internationally or we’ll simply add on more and more debt. Regardless, the bottom line is we cannot afford this new entitlement.

“We have bills that as a nation we can’t pay as it is. Now we’re adding on more stress to an overburdened system. Our debt obligations threaten to put our economy in critical care, and we’re crippling the ability of innovative Americans to create new jobs,” the former Fayette County resident said.

“There’s no doubt that there are many Americans facing tragic situations because they lack health insurance. Many more are underinsured and millions live in fear of losing their coverage. By opposing this legislation, we are not belittling or ignoring the real crisis in our nation’s health care system. Republicans have put forth responsible reforms that have fallen on deaf ears with this Democratic Congress and administration. No matter how great our desire to cover each and every American who lacks coverage, we do not serve the greater good if our actions bankrupt our nation,” Westmoreland said.



You made your 1st mistake when you voted him in. Not like he wasn't a known GA politician. I always said, I had more in common w/ a black, Repub from Columbus than some rich white guy from Campbellton. Your 2nd chance was not to vote for the party & vote for the Catholic Dem from Newnan last go 'round. Like being a Dem made him some sorta ranting liberal. Just feel good that the Athens district has its own fool, a real Broun clown. At least DeKalb Dems had the good sense to rid us of their mistake. Where's Spear...Vote Republican? That BOE we have has done a good conservative job too. I begin to ramble.

Git Real's picture

You begin to ramble???

Ummm...I supported him the State House you goof. Following his tenure there he lost my support.

Your blabbering bladder dripping response was so predictable. You haven't changed a bit.

Oh well... I'm out of here. No sense in listening to the hot air exhausting from the lips of such..... I find in more mentally stimulating hearing the hot air exit a set of Vance & Hines.

<em><strong>Stupid can't be fixed. We can only vote him out</strong></em>

(Not that I care) For the record: You did not vote for Westmoron in his 1st or 2nd term? You know ewe are a sheep & the mantra is "Vote Republican"

Git Real's picture

You are such an unworth adversary. You can't even hold your weapon steady in your hand. Send out someone worthy of my time. Hack is a respectable adversary. Step aside boy.

Bladderdrip..... Any fool would know and I'm certain that if you will search the archives you will find that for many elections now I have written in Donald Duck over Wastemoreland. Now go back to dressing your Ken doll.

<em><strong>Stupid can't be fixed. We can only vote him out</strong></em>

doright's picture

Git I think you have had to much sun. I know you are giddy from the rain finally giving us a break but your nonsense statements are an embarrassment.

First, Congressman Westmoreland has not, never has, and stands against growing our government. As a constituent it would do you well to follow the Congressman's record or at least look at it from time to time so as to not embarrass yourself and others of this county.

Second, Congressman Westmoreland has called out Republicans when they waste money as well. Please take time to listen to his comments on the House floor or go to YouTube to see them.

Third, no one enables the left to do anything they are quite capable of bringing their big government agenda all by themselves. They can do this because they have had the majority for many many years in Congress.

And Finally, There are many in Congress Git fighting hard for your freedom. We have many brave and courageous House and Senate people fighting on your ungrateful behalf. So please get the facts before you spout off on your rambling tangents.

Git Real's picture

You are so full of it. As a former life-long, die-hard, in-the-trenches Republican I know better. How convienent that the Republicans have suddenly found their conservative fiscal responsible roots since losing power. Where were they (YOU) when they weilded the power? They were compromising with the Democrats and yielding the strong footholds of the free enterprise system, liberty, opportunity and... *Freedom* while doing <strong>nothing</strong> to reverse the destructive policies that contributed to allowing us to slide into this mess in the first place.

Why do I suspect that you either work for Lynn or some other career that operates at the expense of Other People's Money? Or you have your nose buried up so far in GOP's butt because it allows to you to 'Be Somebody' in your own eyes.

Don't give me that dribble about the GOP being the Guardians of liberty, fiscal responsibility and opportunity. It makes your nose grow while making very visible those brown smears on the tip of it.

You best head back to the shallow part of the pool with BladderBoy and argue about who has the hottest Snuggies.

Meanwhile I'm going stand up and <strong>spout off on my rambling tangents.</strong> I refuse to continue voting for, or somehow enabling the same candy-assed Republican that helped get us in this mess. It is nauseating to watch them prance over to Tea Party movement of the people while shouting out "Me too... Me Too...."

<em><strong>Stupid can't be fixed. We can only vote him out</strong></em>

I guess only time will tell if we end up with a single payer system.
Its now the law of the land.

I am glad that the brakes have been put on the insurance companies...and glad to see high risk co-ops being set up.

doright's picture

GAltant the health care bill was set up so that private insurance will go away after 2014 at which time the government will only have a single payer system to implement.

Now won't that be special.

I think we will have single payer long before 2014!

Insurance companies had their heyday and failed. Costs too high and efficiency is absent! Plus 40 million have no insurance.

Git Real's picture

New site is taking a little gittin' used to. Is it slow or is it just my perception?

<em><strong>Stupid can't be fixed. We can only vote him out</strong></em>

<a href="">"You Picked a Fine Time to Lead Us, Barack" by Jonathan McWhite</a>

Great Song.....

<a href=" 10 Disasters of Obamacare</a>

<cite>.New Spending Grows the Federal Deficit

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the official scorekeeper for Congress, sets the projected cost of the health care package from 2010 to 2019 at $940 billion, reducing the deficit by $138 billion.[1] Unfortunately, the true cost of the new law will be far greater.

The CBO is proficient at its work, but it is required to score legislative proposals based on assumptions about the future behavior of Congress—not according to its more likely behavior. The authors of this legislation took advantage of this in crafting the language of the bill, employing several budgetary gimmicks to make it appear cheaper.

These include omitting cuts to Medicare provider payment rates, known as the “doc fix,” double-counting savings from Medicare and the CLASS Act, indexing benefits to general inflation rather than medical inflation, and delaying the expensive provisions of the bill. When these costs are accounted for, the new law is more likely to cost closer to $2.5 trillion.[2] Such levels of spending will not only negate any projected deficit reduction but increase the federal deficit further than would prior law.

2. Bending the Cost Curve in the Wrong Direction

The provisions of the legislation aimed at reducing health care spending are reactionary, addressing the symptoms rather than the root causes of growth in spending.[3] Instead of reducing spending in health care, the bill will increase overall health spending in the U.S. by $222 billion between now and 2019.[4]

In addition, CBO reports that premiums in the non-group market will increase by 10–13 percent as a result of the bill.[5]

3. New Taxes and Mandates Hinder Economic Growth

The new law requires employers who do not offer insurance deemed adequate by the federal government to pay a fine of $2,000 for every employee, exempting the first 30 employees. Employers forced to pay this penalty will have to reduce wages, cut jobs, or rely more heavily on part-time workers. Any of these options will be bad for the economy.[6]

The health care package also taxes investment income as a means to provide additional revenue to pay for the bill. The tax will discourage investment in the U.S. economy, thereby decreasing capital and reducing the potential for economic growth.

Heritage Foundation analysts Karen Campbell, Ph.D., and Guinevere Nell found that this tax, at President Obama’s proposed rate of 2.9 percent, would reduce household disposable income by $17.3 billion a year.[7] The rate included in new law is 3.8 percent, so the actual effects are likely to be even more dramatic.

4. Regulations Grow Government Control over Health Care

The new law empowers the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to define a required benefits package that every health plan in America must include. Moreover, the law now allows the federal government to dictate the prices that insurers set through new age rating regulations and medical-loss ratio requirements.

The bill also opens the door for a de facto public option by creating government-sponsored national health plans to compete against private health plans in the health insurance exchanges the states are required to establish. The national health plans would be administered by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which currently runs the Federal Civil Service and also administers the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, which serves federal workers and retirees.[8] OPM would make the rules for these government-sponsored plans.

Because of this difference in regulatory authority, it would be very easy for the OPM-administered health plans to secure an unfair advantage against other plans in the state insurance exchanges. The reason: They will not be subjected to the exact same rules and regulations that are set by HHS for private health insurers. This could result in a gaming of the system in favor of the government-sponsored health plans. It is also possible that the government-sponsored health plans could be protected from insolvency through taxpayer bailouts.[9] Government sponsored enterprises are usually “too big to fail.”

5. Expanding Broken Entitlement Programs

Under the new law, Medicaid will be extended to all Americans who fall below 133 percent of the federal poverty level. This is one of the primary means through which coverage is increased among the uninsured. According to CBO, of the 32 million newly insured in 2019, half will receive their coverage from Medicaid.[10]

As it stands, Medicaid is a low-quality, poorly functioning program that fails to meet the needs of the Americans it serves. In most states, Medicaid beneficiaries have great difficulty finding a doctor who will treat them at the program’s low reimbursement rates and are more likely than the uninsured to rely on emergency rooms for care. Heritage Foundation Health Policy Fellow Brian Blase reports that, following an expansion of Tennessee’s Medicaid program, health outcomes in Tennessee actually deteriorated and Tennessee’s mortality rate declined at a much slower rate than surrounding states that did not expand their Medicaid programs.[11]

6. Burdening State Budgets

The reconciliation bill ensures that the federal government will cover the expansion of Medicaid benefits in all 50 states until 2017. Federal matching rates will decrease from 100 percent in 2017 to 93 percent in 2019, resting permanently there. Moreover, the 100 percent federal match rate does not include administrative costs, which Heritage analyst Ed Haislmaier finds will accrue a cost to the states of $9.6 billion between 2014 and 2019.[12]

The health care reconciliation bill further adds to several states’ new costs by changing Medicaid funding formulas. The new law would increase payments for primary care providers to match Medicare payment rates. In the initial years of the expansion, the federal government will provide 100 percent of the funding. However, after two years, federal funding for increases in provider payment rates will end, leaving states to either find a way to pick up the cost or go back to lower reimbursement rates. This provision would thus only temporarily solve the problems Medicaid beneficiaries have finding primary care, instead digging an even bigger financial hole for the states, whose budgets are already in the red due to decreasing revenues.[13]

7. Neglecting Medicare

Medicare is due to become insolvent in 2016, and long-term unfunded liabilities exceed $38 trillion.[14] To address this, Medicare provider payment rates are scheduled to decrease annually according to the Sustainable Growth Rate. However, Congress votes to suspend these cuts every year, as it is a well-known fact that severe cuts in provider payments would result in many physicians refusing to see Medicare patients altogether.

Congress did not include a permanent way to repeal and pay for the cuts to physician reimbursement rates in their health care bills. Instead, they added a similar and even more unlikely “fix” to create savings in Medicare: more than half a trillion dollars in cuts to the program. These include billions in cuts to the popular Medicare Advantage program, which creates savings for seniors and gives them more options and control over their care. These savings—assuming they ever occur—will be used not to extend the solvency of the Medicare program but to fund the new entitlement programs that are now law.

8. Creates Discrimination Against Low Income Workers

The employer mandate requires employers to offer a federally defined level of insurance or pay a fine. Moreover, even if an employer does offer insurance but their low-income employees qualify and elect to enter the health exchange instead, the employer will pay a $3,000 penalty for each employee who makes this choice. This is in addition to the cost of offering insurance.

In several cases, depending on the proportion of an employer’s workforce that comes from low-income families, it would be more beneficial for employers to drop coverage altogether rather than pay for the increased penalty for employees in the exchange. This creates an incentive for employers to avoid hiring workers from low-income families, hurting those who need jobs the most.[15]

9. Exchange Eligibility Creates Inequity

The new law will create generous subsidies for Americans to purchase insurance in the newly created health exchanges. However, these subsidies will be available only to those who fall between 133 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level and are not offered federally defined sufficient assistance by their employer to purchase health insurance. All other Americans—including those in the very same income bracket—will not get subsidies but will instead rely only on the current tax exclusion for employer-sponsored insurance for federal assistance to purchase coverage. For workers with comparable incomes, the difference between this and the generous subsidy to buy insurance in the exchange will be thousands of dollars.[16]

The federal government will thus create a gross inequity between Americans making similar incomes. It is unlikely that this will be tolerated for long by the American public, which will instead demand that the subsidies be made more equitable. However, doing so will add enormously to the cost of the government overhaul of the health care system.

10. Questions of Constitutionality

The new law requires all Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty. This represents an unprecedented extension of congressional power—never before has the federal government required Americans to purchase a good or service as a stipulation of being a lawful citizen.[17]

The health care overhaul also diminishes the federalist system upon which the U.S. was founded, which grants certain powers to the states in order to limit those of the federal government. The new law undermines state authority through the individual mandate to purchase insurance, a mandate to expand Medicaid (a state–federal joint program), and several new federal regulations of the insurance industry.

The End of the Beginning

These disasters are only the beginning of the vast effects the President’s health care overhaul will have on the U.S. As bits and pieces of the law are implemented, its effects on states, businesses, and Americans of every ilk will become manifest. Congress and the American people should not view passage of the liberals’ health care package as the end of the debate on reform. Rather, the long and tedious journey toward restoring personal control over health care dollars and decisions is just beginning.</cite>

Well, (as Reagan said) your diatribe is simply too long to comment upon fully!
No one wants to cripple the American incentive to do well and even better than their family and friends. But when a certain area makes some of us suffer much more than is rightful, then corrections need to be made.
Such as healthcare, safety, food, shelter and education.

Those things are not "creeping socialism."

You say things like, "CBO is wrong" due to ignorance I think.
Words like "deemed adequate" what and by whom?

Forced insurance upon employers by the government! That doesn't mean employer provides such insurance free...employee must contribute----either by giving to the insurance costs or fines. You know it can't be unreasonable.

You say "investment income" will be taxed at some small number. Mine is taxed now at higher rates than proposed except for municipality bonds.

Tell the whole story and maybe you can convince someone of some of your views!

PTC Observer's picture

I am not a progressive because I don’t believe in the following:

1. It is the proper role of central government to social engineer “equality” and to redistribute wealth from one group of citizens to another group of citizens based need. (Karl Marx, 1849)
2. It is the proper role of central government to directly tax its citizens.
3. It is the proper role of central government to usurp the power of the individual states that make up the United States.
4. It is the proper role of central government to “own” large portions of territory and land.
5. It is the proper role of government to seize private property for public use and the “common good”.
6. It is the proper role of central government to regulate and interfer in free markets between free individuals.

The above is a short list of what I don’t believe but I could go on and on about progressive beliefs and how I don't believe in them.

Here’s what I believe:

It is the primary role of central government to protect life, individual freedom, and property FROM the government, individuals or other nations’ interests.

We should repeal the 16th and 17th Amendments to the Constitution, just to name two.

We should not have a democracy but a Republic (“a Republic for which it stands”)

I believe in free markets and the ability and wisdom of individuals to make rational economic decisions for themselves. I believe that if someone within free markets rob, steal, cheat or otherwise deprive individuals of their property, then they should be charged and if found guilty face punishment under the law.

This is just a quick summary of what I believe, but you can simply read the original Constitution and capture most of what I believe politically. It is the Constitution as framed by greater minds than we have today, certainly more rational than we have today. That is not to say that I disagree with every Amendment, I agree with those that guarantee individual liberty.

Have a wonderful weekend.

[quote=Lynn Westmoreland]The Democrat victory on healthcare Sunday night “will fundamentally alter the nature of our nation by implementing a government takeover of healthcare that Americans don’t want and can’t afford,” said U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Grantville).

Congratulations to Lynn Westmoreland! His specious claim that Democrats were somehow <em>"implementing a government takeover of healthcare"</em> was voted <a href="">2010 Lie Of The Year</a> by analysts at PoliFact.

NUK_1's picture

To go along with the decades-old state takeover of health insurance that existed long before and turned health care into a government-management kludge in the first place. The idea of insurance companies not being able to sell the same policies across state lines has been a disaster and totally blows away the notion of "free market healthcare causes rising costs."

The problems with healthcare in the US aren't from "too much" free market; it's from way too little.

Observerofu's picture

The inability for me to shop my policies say in Texas is the root cause of the cost.

Let's face it Insurance is a business. They take all the risk. If the Government hands you a monopoly then is it unreasonable to expect a business will not exploit it?

Our Government is the only entity that creates the problems and then rails against the very thing they themselves created.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

Cyclist's picture

healthcare. Most interesting that NPR would acknowledge this. I'm curious how NPR would characterize <a href=""><strong>H.R. 676</strong></a>? Yes, H.R. 676 never made it out of committee but it does show a desire of some Democrats that truly believe that single-payer healthcare is a viable solution.

As for the President and his position, he had stated in town hall meetings back in 2003 that he advocated a single-payer model.

One other thing that is noteworthy in NPR "lie of the year" article is the runner up lie - Charles Rangel. Gee, imagine that.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Voted left wing socialist liar's by Facts-R-US. Lynn Westmoreland is a Patriot! Of course HC law is a thinly disquised takeover of private industry. Why don't we just pass a law that insurance co.'s must cover my auto AFTER the accident, makes about as much sense. All of this is headed to government single payer unless we can kill it. If Anthony Kennedy is a Patriot it will happen. On a side note will Kagan recuse herself? She has already had her fingers in this while at the JD. My gut says 5-4 good guys. -GP

[quote=Georgia H8riot]Voted left wing socialist liar's by Facts-R-US.[/quote]
I'm curious as to why you reflexively label Polifact as a "left wing socialist liar's" <em>(sic)</em>. In looking at their website they seem to take a middle-of-the-road stance, since they supported claims made by George W. Bush and Senator Tom Coburn (!!!), neither of which could be regarded as "left wing". Perhaps in the future you might doing a bit of research before shooting your mouth off and looking like a jackass.

[quote=Georgia H8riot]Lynn Westmoreland is a Patriot! ... If Anthony Kennedy is a Patriot it will happen.[/quote]

Another question for you: who gives you the right to judge the patriotism of others? There are plenty of people I vehemently disagree with, and you are generally one of them, but I wouldn't question their (or your) patriotism.

what does Patriotism mean to you? I did research Polifact as the article states it has "left leaning DNA".I love what America was BEFORE socialism, not what it is becoming thanks to people like you. And I look like a jackass? By your words you sound like a Marxist. I have known Lynn Westmoreland for almost 50 years and your personal attack calling him a liar is classless and unacceptable. The man is a Patriot in true sense of the word. -GP

[quote=Georgia H8triot]what does Patriotism mean to you? I love what America was BEFORE socialism, not what it is becoming thanks to people like you. And I look like a jackass? By your words you sound like a Marxist. I have known Lynn Westmoreland for almost 50 years and your personal attack calling him a liar is classless and unacceptable. The man is a Patriot in true sense of the word. -GP[/quote]

Patriotism is, quite simply, love of and loyalty to one's country.

Sadly, since by your own words above you've admitted that you no longer love America, you are by definition no longer an American patriot.

May I suggest that you consider relocation to that glibertarian paradise Somalia, where you would be free to worship your false idol Mammon.

intend to RESTORE America to the shining city upon the hill, free of Marxism and Tyranny. It is the right and the duty of ALL Patriots to oppose a government that ignores constitutional liberties. -GP

PTC Observer's picture

"May I suggest that you consider relocation to that glibertarian paradise Somalia, ....."


Somalia seems to be a common theme in your posts, in fact you seem to be quite familar with Somalia. I believe prior to 1989 it was a socialist state that devolved into a clan warfare based society in 1991.

Change the colors of the Somali flag and you get....The single star state flags of Vietnam, Cuba, North Korea, etc. A single star representing the power of the state, and exactly what do these countries have in common? A powerful centeral government that provides all needs to all of their citizens. You know spread the wealth countries. Something that I believe you agree with, true?

So, I would suggest that it is you that needs to move to Somalia, it is the natural outcome of your philosophy: chaos, poverty, and starvation.

Happy travels to your devolved socialist paradise. ;-)

PTC Observer's picture

Those not familar with your subject line of this post should link to:'s_political_views#cite_note-7

Samuel Johnson's famous quote has always been misused and misunderstood. He was indeed a great but odd fellow that authored the first compiled dictionary of the English language.

So, my point is, your subject line should have been, "Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.", in quotes since this was not your original thought.

Johnson was a master at snubs and insults, believe me Bacon you are no Samuel Johnson, not by a longshot.

Actually, blv that comment originally came from a Consultant, Frank Luntz, NOT Westmoreland.

I am not surprised Luntz is the one feeding the "hive mind" of the Borg....err, Republican, collective. I doubt Westmoreland has had much in the way of original thought in his life.

Somewhat coincidentally, I just downloaded Luntz's book "Words That Work: It's Not What You Say, It's What They Hear" to my e-reader. Should be a good read.

PTC Observer's picture

"Somewhat coincidentally, I just downloaded Luntz's book "Words That Work: It's Not What You Say, It's What They Hear" to my e-reader. Should be a good read."

Frankly Chrispy, I think reading a book entitled, "Words That Work: It's Not What You Say, It's What They Hear" is a waste of time for you.

It's what you say that so many people disagree with, the same old claptrap from the left that we have been hearing since Marx. If we want to hear from you we simply need to listen to radio Havana. Do you still write their scripts?

suggarfoot's picture

they didn't put a government option in there. By not having it, it gutted the health care reform. Don't kid yourselves, insurance companies are having a field day and making money hand over fist. Much more so than before because now everyone will be insured, so they have more customers. But the sad thing is, you have no option to see what the real cost are. Just buy the over inflated pollicies of the insurance companies.

The reason the gov option would have been so good is that if you see the gov can offer you SAME thing for 10 dollars a month, while the bid name insurance companies are offering it for 364.00 a month. You know something is really wrong. That is what the insurance companies didn't want you to know. That would have been your gage to see what an honest company could charge. The lobbyist hired by the billion dollar health care industry worked overtime to get that out. Reason? They don't won't you to see just how inflated the cost is. If you did, you would probably question the 100 million dollar salaries of the industries VIPs.

The little guy always gets screwed.

If this last at least 5 years, they will put that option in, and you will see how bad you are screwed.

The insurance industry, health, car, home, etc. OWN the politicians. Make no mistake about it. They are not voting for your best interest, don't be fooled.

Does anyone recall where Oxidine was when is kid filled someone's butt full of buckshot? He was hunting on an insurance excutives plantation. Quite a conflict of interest don't you think? But did one of your elected politicans make a comment on it? Hell no! Doesn't that tell you something? People wake up. You have been sold to the hightest bidder on so many fronts by your elected politicans, you are now broke. And the worst part is, there is very little to protect you. Certainly not at local levels.

This speach by Westmoreland should have been given on April fool's day.

Cyclist's picture

industry profits. This nations spends about $2.472 trillion a year for healthcare which comes to about $282 million an hour. If you apply the profits that those "evil" insurance companies make - $12.2 billion - it would provide only 43 hours of healthcare. So what about the other 8,717 hours of the year? The insurance industry and its profits are not the problem. I think Nuk best described problem as an issue of not enough of a "free" market.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

PTC Observer's picture

please...your moving too fast for the leftists on this blog. High level math is way too difficult for them...besides it goes against the idea that big business is the problem. It can't be right.

Gort's picture

PTC_0, maybe it’s you and Cyclist that are moving too fast. If I read Cyclist correctly he is making the assumption that private insurance companies pay for all health care in the US. I’m pretty sure that isn’t true.

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote Democratic.

PTC Observer's picture

unfortunately the government must pay some of this, I would say about 1/3. Therefore, if correct, Cyclist is wrong. The profits of insurance companies would pay for 80 or so hours, or 120 hours, or 200 hours. Either way the point is the same, it's not the insurance companies that causes our healthcare delivery issues. So, what do you think Gort? What's your solution?

Gort's picture

PTC_0, well first of all, I don’t think it’s just government and insurance companies that pays for all the healthcare in this country. The out of pocket expense represents a sizable chunk of that big number as well.

Second, I don’t have a problem with any company making a profit. I do have a problem when a company behaves like racketeers.

Finally, I’m just a guy that lives on a cul-de-sac in Coweta County. I get up in the morning and go to work like everyone else. I don’t have any professional researchers on staff. I’m skeptical of everything I read or hear, and believe only half of what I see!

With that said, do you still want my opinion based on my personal observations?

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote Democratic.

PTC Observer's picture

I am always interested in knowing why people believe what they believe, it is part of the learning process.

May I frame this dialog though?

Can we start by understanding your thoughts on business in general? Then we can get more specific on healthcare companies and the like.

Gort's picture

PTC_0, I don’t mind if you want to “..Frame this dialog…” as long as you don’t mind if I do my best to set you up like a bowling pin! 8-)>

Seriously though, I thought I already framed my general position on business in my last post.

[quote] … I don’t have a problem with any company making a profit. I do have a problem when a company behaves like racketeers. [/quote]

Is there something more you need to know? Is my general position on business that much different than yours?

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote Democratic.

PTC Observer's picture

I believe the following concerning business.

Someone wants to take a risk at deliverying a service or product to consumers. They invest their money or money they get from other investors. They produce (if they can meet all county, city, state, and federal government regulations) and hopefully they sell at a price higher than their cost. Cost of regulation is included in their cost and associate price. If they make a profit they can re-invest it into the business or pay a dividend to their investors, including themselves.

Is this ok with your ideas?

Gort's picture

PTC_0, a little wordy for my taste, but, what the heck, I can work with it. Now that we have framed the dialog, I’ll continue with “my” opinion on healthcare.

First of all you have to recognize we have a problem. This is the way I see it. As a percent of GDP, the United States spend about 50% more for healthcare than any other industrial nation. This is bad because it’s not an efficient use of capital when you benchmark it against other industrialized countries. (Example: For each $100 of GDP the US spends about $15 on healthcare. All the rest of the industrial countries spend about $10)

Let me put it another way, lets say you own a barber shop. For every $100 in sales, you have to pay $15 rent on your store. All the rest of the barber shops in town pay $10. All other things being equal, this leaves you at a competitive disadvantage. You either renegotiate your rent, move, or bleed until you go out of business.

Are you with me so far? Shall I continue?

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote Democratic.

PTC Observer's picture

please continue.

Gort's picture

PTC_0, Sure? Hmmm. Sure, meaning you agree that the US spends too much on healthcare and it leaves us at a competive disadvantage with other industialized nations?

Or do you mean, "Sure" while you raise your eybrows and say "but I dont believe anything you say?"

I couldn't tell by your answer.

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote Democratic.

PTC Observer's picture

I am interested.

You say that the US is non-competitive with other nations. Are you saying that our capital is wasted spending so much on healthcare that we can't invest it in more productive things? Is this really true?

Is there no value created when we have breakthroughs in medicine? It would seem it's something that we could export to those countries that are not doing as well. You know like socialist countries where investment is controlled and technology is thwarted. Or we could simply let patients come here for treatment with our advanced technology. Aren't both these scenarios good for the economy?

Gort's picture

PTC_0, I've got some chores today, but I'll answer this tonight or tomorrow morning. Before I go, I would like to point out one thing. What I said was, we are at a "competive disadvantage." You said, "non-competive" and they are not the same thing.

Talk to you later.

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote Democratic.

Cyclist's picture

You're not reading "me" correctly. The exercise was to compare insurance profits to what the US spends annually.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Gort's picture

Cyclist, I just didn’t see that as a relevant comparison.

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote Democratic.

Cyclist's picture

It is relevant when insurance companies are portrayed as everything that is wrong with the US healthcare system. The interesting thing about this is that it's not just suggarfoot that prescribes to this notion. Look at the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act aka "Obamacare".

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Gort's picture

Cyclist, if insurance companies have a bad public image it’s their own fault. They know it and that’s why they spend millions on lawyers, lobbyist, and public relations firms to mask their actions from the general public.

IMO, the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act aka "Obamacare" didn’t go far enough.

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote Democratic.

PTC Observer's picture

Obamacare....., and what would you have done differently?

Gort's picture

PTC_0, I'm already insured through my employer, so I didn't gain anything. In June of this year, “Early Retiree Insurance” became law. If I decide to retire next year it may help me out for a few years, until I reach 65.

After all was said and done, in the current social, political, and economic atmosphere, I don’t think anything more could have been done by anyone.

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote Democratic.

PTC Observer's picture

you thought the idea of universal healthcare was a good idea because it would help everyone?

What if it increased your cost for your healthcare or made you wait a month or so to see your doctor, would you still support it? What if you could only see the doctor the government wants you to see? Would any of this change your mind about the wisdom of Obamacare?

I guess what I am asking is at what point would you change your mind and wish Obamacare had never passed in its current form?

Gort's picture

PTC_0, actually I was under the impression that the current law did not provide for universal healthcare coverage. Am I wrong?

My personal opinion is: giving people affordable access to at least primary care is essential to keeping the total cost of healthcare down. I think of primary medical care as, (like granny used to say,) “the stitch in time that saves nine” and in every ones “enlightened self -interest.” Do you know what I mean by “enlightened self-interest?”

I’ve read this argument many times in “The Citizen”:

[quote] … it (would) increased your cost for your healthcare or make you wait a month or so to see your doctor, …[/quote]

Whenever I read it, I get the impression the writer believes that hoards of poor people will suddenly rush out from between the cracks in the pavement and flood into every doctor’s office in the land!

I just don’t see that happening. I’m guessing most doctor’s offices are privately owned businesses. They would have to agree to take on any new patient. If they reached a point of over capacity they would have to turn people away regardless of how they pay for the services. If you’re poor and live in the inner city, your lucky to have a grocery store in the area, forget about a doctors office. The poor from our rural parts of the country have the same problem with availability.

Where will the poor go for service? The same place they do now, they will show up at the hospital emergency room and be either turned away or receive emergency services by the highest cost provider. The highest cost provider then collects from the taxpayers.

You also have to take into consideration that peoples habits don’t change because someone passes a law. If someone is not in the habit of regular visits to the doctor, why would they start now?

[quote] … at what point would you change your mind and wish Obamacare had never passed in its current form..[/quote]

This is easy to answer. When someone shows me a better one and willing to do more than just talk about it!

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote Democratic.


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