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News Bit missed opp for the US

  1. Aug 27, 2010 #1
    I am not into politics, but one issue that has bugged me is the missed opportunity of the last 2 years.

    There are very few moments in US history when one party holds the super majority, that precious balance that is veto proof.

    I was really looking forward to an overhaul of the US healthcare system, and it was the perfect time in history, and we go nada.

    After this coming election we will lose this balance.

    Just a gripe thread.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 27, 2010 #2

    Ivan Seeking

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    The Dems have never held a supermajority. In fact, it was the Independents [including Lieberman, in the Senate] who refused to sign on to a more agressive program - universal health care. If we hadn't compromised, nothing would have passed. Without the two Independents, the Dems had 58 votes, not 60. [recall also that Kennedy died, this required that Senator Snow [R] sign on in addition to the two independents]

    The fact is that health care reform was passed after a century of effort. It may not be everything that you wanted, but Rome wasn't built in a day [or a year]. Getting over this first huge hurdle is all that one can reasonably expect. Once everyone realizes that Obama won't be pulling the plug on grandma, or taking the meds from older folks, or taking over the medical industry, more progress will come.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010
  4. Aug 27, 2010 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    You need to undestand that the right did everything possible to terrorize people.

    For example, it was Senator Grassley [R] who said that Obama wants to pull the plug on grandma. Sarah Palin was then quick to jump on the bandwagon... and Limbaugh, I would assume, and Fox, etc, etc, etc.

    All of these fallacies and lies have to be put to rest before more is possible.
  5. Aug 27, 2010 #4

    OR, people can just stop being so stupid and learn to ignore such propaganda.
  6. Aug 27, 2010 #5


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    The right-wing "media" seem to be able to whip idiots into a frenzy, and that made even modest health-care reform difficult at best. Seeing rallies with nuts carrying signs that say things like "no socialized medicine - hands off my Medicare" didn't help much. The intellectual disconnect and unintended irony was lost on them.
  7. Aug 27, 2010 #6
    What has veto proof got to do with it? The President is of the same party as the majority. Besides, the majority in the Senate was only 60-40 at best, not enough to override a presidential veto. The requirement for that is 67-33. The value of the 60-40 majority was in the quashing of filibusters, not overriding vetos.
  8. Aug 27, 2010 #7
    I realize I was wrong, and as someone else pointed out it took independents to fill out that 60-40.

    My context for veto proof was that the executive branch would sign it. I realize in a literal context it was a not correct.

    This was more of a philisophical point.

    I do not participate in the private health care system, the VA medical system is my provider now. And the VA does an outstanding job, since they cleaned it up in the past 10 years, it is excellent care. Yeah it has its irritating qualities, but it is excellent care.

    Most people are generally healthy and do not have chronic medical problems. So it is hard to understand the real flaws in our system. They become very apparent when you are faced with chronic medical issues. Your great insurance will quickly disappear. I have been dropped more times from insurance than I care to count.

    Just the simple fact that we provide the best care to the oldest citizens, and the youngest can go without. That is why are costs are out of control, and it is because the oldest have the best lobbying group.

    In what realm of common sense do we give an old drunken baseball player muliple transplants? Is that why we should donate organs?

    ANd why do we even charge for organ transplants? If you are able to donate an organ, you should be able to receive one. You cannot even get on the transplant list if you do not have the money to pay for it.

    Just again. me ranting endlessly.
  9. Aug 27, 2010 #8


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    Everyone in this thread seems to be operating on the implicit assumption that their pet ideas about health care are better than the status quo -- and that their pet idea is precisely what the democrats would have legislated if they didn't "miss this opportunity".
  10. Aug 27, 2010 #9
    I didn't realize I constituted everyone, but okay. The missed opportunity is that they had a chance to pass what they proposed, and still didn't. Is our system that corruptable that a party with a majority can persuade themselves out of passing their own agenda?

    That is what they ran on, and Obama had enough good will and popularity that he could have passed any law he wanted, in his own fashion. The missed opportunity is that his inaction and lack of leadership doomed his own agenda.

    And the status quo of healthcare in this country is seriously flawed, and it does not take a phd to realize that fact.

    I have no pet ideas, just many examples of how flawed our healthcare system actually is.

    The problem is that there is no happy middle ground in our system. Everything is driven by profit. Even something as simple as medical records privacy is compromised by lobbyist, so drug companies know how many scrits each doctor is writing so they can give kickbacks. Read the HIPPA laws, the receptionist in your HR department has better access to your spouse's medical records that you do. And better access to your own medical records.

    There is not one aspect of the healthcare system that is not tainted by profit.

    And I am actually not for Medicare, because that is golden cash cow of the medical industry.

    So don't make assumptions.
  11. Aug 27, 2010 #10


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    Which was what exactly, and how would it have been any better than the status quo?
  12. Aug 27, 2010 #11
    well one thing it would have done is save your state a ton of medicaid money, oh and actually provide coverage for children. Simply fixing medicaid would have saved everyone alot of money, it is one of the broken cogs in our system that adds to health care premiums.
  13. Aug 27, 2010 #12


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    What is it?
  14. Aug 27, 2010 #13


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    Funny thing about propaganda, it is not actually labeled as such to distinguish it from truthhood...

  15. Aug 27, 2010 #14


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    or truthiness....
  16. Aug 27, 2010 #15
    The Gaussian distribution is a cruel mistress.

    Imagine the average American citizen. Have a picture in your head? Good. Now consider the fact that 150 million people are DUMBER than that. Many tens of millions are SIGNIFICANTLY dumber. Over a million will be two standard deviations dumber.

    And you know what else? They vote!
  17. Aug 27, 2010 #16
    Then again, it might be truthyness, trutheeness, or truthitude.
  18. Aug 28, 2010 #17


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    I was wondering if anyone participating in this thread would like to make a concrete prediction about how the healthcare system will be (in light of the reforms that were passed) in, say, 2015 or 2020.
  19. Aug 28, 2010 #18
    By 2020 the system will be redone.

    In the short term, unless a new congress can change it, the system will end up exactly as congress wanted it to be: a mess.

    Congress created a system setup to fail intentionally, so that in 5 years the country will be begging for nationalized care. Meanwhile the US government will collect tax revenue.

    I am all for fixing the system, but to qoute a great philosopher, "this is maddness", (1976, C3-PO).

    Small business will happily pay the 750 a year per employee, that is a no-brainer. For the ones who have health plans for the owners, they will just created "managment" companies to hold all of the owners so they don't have to give their employees the plan.

    Congress had a choice, expand medicare to cover more, or expand medicaid. They chose poorly. Medicaid is the cause of our systems cost-shifting. ( I know they say it is medicare, but that is a bluff to get medicare rates higher).

    Medicaid is also a major reason the states are running budget problems. And these problems will just expand.

    The pre-existing conditions issue will drive up private insurance rates, as will the cost shifting.

    Instead of 50 million without insurance, there will be 80 million on medicaid who cannot get treatment and more cost shifting to private insurance.
  20. Aug 28, 2010 #19


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    We US citizens could have been allowed to opt in to Medicare. With lots of younger, healthier clients, Medicare would have had a lot more income and a lower proportion of claims, resulting in a fiscally robust program that is even better that what we have presently.

    As someone who spent years in health-care, I can assure you that many doctors would far prefer Medicare reimbursement levels than fighting with a huge spectrum of private carriers, each of whom have their own coding rules. Medical practices lose a LOT of money fighting that crap. I have a friend who is a pediatric ophthalmologist (and my cousin is his office manager) who has a thriving practice serving children from low-income families on Medicaid. The reimbursement rates are low, but his administrative overhead is so low that he and his practice are well-compensated. Medicaid does not kick back claim based on typos and other trivial crap like the private insurers do. He's not the type to splurge on Porsches and ski-getaways in Colorado - just a decent family man who also takes care of his elderly mother.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2010
  21. Aug 31, 2010 #20


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    Did you mean 'filibuster proof'?
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