Poll Shows Split on Health Care Reform

Despite a vast amount of misinformation being spread by the right wing noise machine, support for health care reform continues to narrowly exceed opposition according to a CNN/Opinion Research poll:

Fifty percent of those questioned in CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday morning say they support the president’s plans, with 45 percent opposed.

The results indicate a generational divide.

“Obama’s plan is most popular among younger Americans and least popular among senior citizens,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “A majority of Americans over the age of 50 oppose Obama’s plan; a majority of those under 50 support it.”

The greater support among younger Americans is interesting in light of the frequent conservative claims that many of the uninsured are young, healthy people who chose not to obtain health insurance. The reality is that many young people are uninsured not because they do not want to be insured but because they cannot afford insurance coverage when not offered by their employer.

Unfortunately there are many older Americans who are easily fooled by the right wing scare tactics. I often see patients who speak in fear of Obama bringing government-run health care. When I point out that they are on Medicare, which is more government-controlled than the private  insurance plans which would come out of health care reform, they generally have no complaints about their “government-run” health care. Medicare is actually the equivalent of a single-payer system which replaces private insurance but leaves the private practice of health care intact, generally interfering with doctor/patient decisions less than private insurance plans do.

It is also unfortunate that many people who are privately insured to not understand why health care reform is necessary. The poll found that “Less than a quarter of Americans with private health insurance think that Obama’s proposals would help them personally.” They do not realize the degree to which they are at risk of losing their insurance coverage should they develop a serious medical problem, or if they should lose their job.

When asked whether it is  “necessary to make major structural changes in the nation’s health care system in order to make sure that all Americans have health insurance,” 77 percent did believe it is necessary.

Be Sociable, Share!

45 Comments

  1. 1
    Rob says:

    So much misinformation is being spread by conservatives.  The most aggravating thing is how Republicans try to pass themselves off as reformers, yet in practice they do nothing but smear efforts to improve government.  I never cease to be shocked by how effectively the “scare tactics” work with some Americans; since when did forwarded e-mails become a reputable source of information?

  2. 2
    Eclectic Radical says:

    And before we forget…
     
    All the Republicans in Congress who are bashing the idea of ‘socialized medicine’ themselves enjoy ‘socialized medicine’ in the form of the congressional health plan. They don’t appear interested in defunding it. Strange.

  3. 3
    Thomas turner says:

    Does anyone who supports this realize that Medical Providers have already stopped investing in new technology in anticipating fees that can’t cover these investments. You’re already killing our progress. Beware of the effects of unintended consequences. Progress in the field will die.

  4. 4
    Dale Knoth says:

    It’s really a shame that the news media with CNN being in the lead is so LEFT LEANING. Anything a Democrat will say is gospel. How about a little bit more fairness in your reporting the news. I don’t believe your polls as you slant them to suit your agenda. Geo. Bush was a terrible President spending money the Govt. didn’t have and he was and should have been criticized, and Obama spends more in 6 monthes than Bush did in 8 years and nothing in regard to criticism from the media. I really don’t care due to the fact the dollar will soon be on par with the Mexican peso in value and the Media and Democrats will have to take the blame. Obama’s Healthcare will see to that as the Democrats cram it down the nations throat. For the record I don’t believe Obama is a lawful citizen and I’m convinced he’s a Muslim.

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    Thomas,

    As a Medical Provider I can only respond by saying you are full of shit. While there are naturally some who fear change, in general it is physicians and medical organizations who are pushing strongly for reforming the system. After all, we didn’t go to medical school desiring to practice in what has become the worst health care system in the industrialized world.

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    Dale,

    CNN left leaning? The bulk of people who have been hired by the Conservative News Network are Republicans. Fortunately, unlike Fox, they do have some journalistic integrity so their conservative bias is minimal compared to what is seen on Fox.

    Slanted polls? This poll shows essentially the same thing as other recent polls. There is no bias here.

    “For the record I don’t believe Obama is a lawful citizen and I’m convinced he’s a Muslim.”

    Yeah, even before you got to that point it was clear you are a brainwashed imbecile of the extreme right.

  7. 7
    chad says:

    The problem I have is that alot of things being called progress today remove my liberties and freedoms. No one should be involved nor pay for my healthcare other than me and my doctor. Nor should I be forced to pay for others healthcare. If I choose to help it is my free choice. To force this on me and others at the end of a gun is taking things to a new level. I hope we don’t go down that road but thats the way it looks. Years of fighting to create a “free” society with the loss of thousands of lives and we come right back to the same things our ancestors were fleeing. It would be comical if it were a sitcom script but this is our lives and the future of our once great nation.

  8. 8
    Ron Chusid says:

    You are probably already paying for the health care of others due to all the cost shifting from both private insurance and Medicare to cover the uninsured–except this is done in a very inefficient manner. We’d all save more money if this was done in a more organized manner. In addition you wouldn’t be at risk of losing your health care coverage should you become sick, lose your job, or even if you decide to change jobs. Most of the bankruptcies occurring for medical expenses are among those who start out with insurance. They hardly consider this to be a sign of a free society.

  9. 9
    chad says:

    I am paying for someone elses healthcare. Tons of them are illegal aliens that have  never and will never pay into the system. Why do we need to go further down a road proven to not work? Let me pay for my medical care to the insurer of my choice and you do the same. If I’m un-insurable at some point then I will die. At least I will have lived and died on my own and not burdened others nor had others burden me and my family. It’s way past time that people take responsibility for themselves and stop brudening other people that owe them nothing. There are tons of other solutions to the problem without screwing us all this badly. For Christ’s sake we could buy insurance for the un-insured for what this will cost us. No one is refused medical care in this country. Not yet anyway but wait it may well be coming now!

  10. 10
    chad says:

    I’ll even take it one step further. Let me put money in a tax free account to use for my own healthcare and take the insurance companies out of the picture all together. If and when I run out of funds then so be it. I agree we already have a socialized system to some degree. If we take the private sector money out of healthcare I promise you the humanitarian efforts for new treatments and drugs will never equal the efforts of people that can make a profit with it. Thank God for the profits. I hope they all make many more and they can keep us alive forever so long as we can afford it.

  11. 11
    chad says:

    One other thing I’d like to add. I visit alot of blogs both conservative and liberal. This is one of the more respectful that seems to truly want to debate topics rather than belittle and argue. I see your points Ron and it’s not that I want anyone to suffer at all but I am one of the people paying for this (I don’t get a rebate at tax time) and I’m sure you don’t either. I can’t make myself feel like I need to pay another penny in taxes till Washington gets it together and we all know this is going to be a very expensive endeavor. I agree reform is needed in many aspects of healthcare and the insurance companies are in the way but, this is not the solution. This is the kiss of death for quality of care and anyone that can follow the progression of other systems can see it. What we all need as Americans is a fresh sheet.

  12. 12
    Ron Chusid says:

    “If I’m un-insurable at some point then I will die.”

    You might be happy with such a system but not many people would be. Tax free accounts are no replacement for insurance.

    “There are tons of other solutions to the problem without screwing us all this badly.”

    But there’s nothing being proposed which screws anybody badly. You are listening to to much of the right wing misinformation.

    “If we take the private sector money out of healthcare… ”

    But nobody is talking at all about taking the private sector out of health care. There is absolutely nothing in the reforms which removes the private sector or reduces research despite all the misinformation from the right wing.

    “This is the kiss of death for quality of care”

    Not at all. There is nothing in the proposed reform measures which will decrease quality, while there are aspects which will improve quality. We already have the worst health care system in the industrialized world, which makes it kind of ridiculous to think that changing the inefficient way we do things will decrease quality.

  13. 13
    nomoreGOP says:

    It is so frustrating trying to even have a debate on any of these issues when the arguments are so weak and obviously repeated right wing talking points.. I read through this stuff and I cant help but give kudos to Ron for having the patience to breakdown a comment like the one above and basically call someone an idiot without even having to say it..

    DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH PEOPLE! Watching Glenn Beck does not constitute being “in the know!” I dont think our country is split between red and blue.. its between complete morons and people that still want to use their brains..

  14. 14
    Ron Chusid says:

    nomoreGOP,

    There is no real debate over matters of public policy. On issue after issue the right wing realizes they have no coherent arguments based upon the facts so they attack policies or individuals based upon fabrications. Like most policy “debates,” health care has turned into the right wing attacking by making things up and others responding with the facts.

    On health care, there is little correlation between what the right wingers claim is being proposed and the actual proposals. There is even less correlation between a description of health care by the right and the realities of health care.

  15. 15
    chad says:

    Your points are noted but it still doesn’t address the fact that I don’t want to be a part of a government healthcare system. I want the freedom to not be insured if I so choose. I also want the freedom to not pay for everyone else and no one pay for me. I believe I have the right to be self sufficient no matter if it’s to my own demise. Can anyone tell me why as a free countryman I shouldn’t be allowed? Thats the problem with this idea that we’re going to force everyone to be insured. Some are by choice and this Bill doesn’t allow for that. It’s also one heck of an assumption on your part to assume I pay attention to right wing talking points. I pay them the same attention as left wing talking points. I can take care of myself and don’t need other do it.

  16. 16
    Ron Chusid says:

    You won’t be part of a “government healthcare system.” That is not what is being proposed. The plan is not a government health care system but to make our private health care system accessible to more people and eliminate the problems which lead to people losing their coverage.

    “I want the freedom to not be insured if I so choose.”

    Personally I would prefer that there not be an individual mandate either, leaving people free to make their own dumb mistakes. When you have both liberal Democrats wanting an individual mandate and the insurance companies wanting an individual mandate (meaning Republicans won’t really oppose it) there is little chance that this will not be included in a health care plan.

    While there are certainly counter arguments in some cases, here are the various arguments for an individual mandate:

    The free rider problem. Without a mandate some people will hold off on buying insurance until they get sick.

    Having everyone covered creates a bigger risk pool, bringing down the cost of covering everyone, and making coverage more affordable for individuals.

    The illusion of invulnerability. For example you say, “I can take care of myself and don’t need other do it.” In reality many young people don’t get insurance and then develop problems which they cannot afford, leading to others winding up having to take care of them.

    And then the political argument. To pass health care reform the Democrats need the support of groups such as the insurance industry. An individual mandate makes it worthwhile for insurance companies to go along with health care reform as the greater income from more people being covered will offset lost income from new restrictions on what they can do.

    “It’s also one heck of an assumption on your part to assume I pay attention to right wing talking points”

    It’s not an assumption. It is very clear that you have been conned by right wing talking points as you have repeated many of them and clearly believe the misinformation spread by the right wing. This includes your erroneous first statement that this is about a “government healthcare system.”

    “I also want the freedom to not pay for everyone else and no one pay for me.”

    Do you also want the freedom not to pay for military defense, police, and fire protection for everyone else and not having anyone else pay for these services for you? There are some things which are handled best when paid for mutually by everyone rather than everyone being on their own.

  17. 17
    chad says:

    Ron anytime I hear that I must participate in a program that I didn’t request I raise my ears. I gladly pay my taxes for the services we get. My issue again, is individual freedom of choice and you addressed that nicely. I have no faith in government, it’s not about right nor left..neither have the ability to do much right in my humble opinion. I respect you for taking time to talk about this but you need to stop making my thoughts the “right wing” they are just “my” thoughts. I’m not here to shoot down the idea of reform nor deny something needs to be done. I’m here to learn more and hear your thoughts just as I try to listen to others thoughts and truly consider them. I understand none of us with a heart want anyone to not get what they desire in life most of all access to quality healthcare. My dad is a vet with diabetes, my mom is a cancer survivor going on 8 yrs and currently in another round of chemo now. I am going without health insurance currentyly because I am healthy(my choice). I go for a health screening every year and take reasonably good care of myself. The VA is doing a terrible job of treating him as he devolped Transverse Mylitis and they are keeping him alive and thats it. Moms treatments are going great with an emphasis on curing not treating the symptoms. The biggest difference in my opinion is the private health insurance. I’m very afraid that with a government program not having to make a profit involved in the mix it will force the private insurance to eventually no longer be viable and we will all be in a single payer system. Not to say it would be a terrible doomsday system just that it would be the only one out there. If it were to get too many consumers and not enough paying in like Social Security, Medi-care and Medi-cade it could be tragic for healthcare. I know you say we have the worst in the industrialized world but I don’t buy that premise. We have very high quality care if you can personally pull the money out and pay for it( I can if i choose to) or you have great insurance. My dad has made a personal choice to get treatment at the VA because he bought into the” government being the answer” philosophy years ago.  Government can and does do great things but they also can really screw them up too. Healthcare is too big an issue to tackle this fast and that scares me even more. I would rather us make smaller changes. Why would you not want to do that?

  18. 18
    Ron Chusid says:

    I have many complaints about the VA system (discussed in other posts) but what is being proposed is nothing like the VA where the government actually runs things. The way the public plan is being advocated it will only apply to a minority of people. Even if somehow it turns into a single payer plan, this would be more like Medicare than the VA where there is still private practice of medicine as opposed to a government run program. Doctors also tend to support “Medicare for all” because Medicare keeps their hands out of medical decisions far more than private plans do (and screws us far less than private insurance does).

    The US has high quality care in certain areas–assuming someone has coverage. In general the medical profession is backing reform because, thanks to greater international flow of information, we see how far we are lagging behind Europe in so many areas. As for the areas where the US does have high quality care, there is no reason why this cannot continue.

    Sure government can screw things up, but again nobody is advocating having the government be in control of health care. Plus corporate medicine has screwed things up far worse than our worst fears about “socialized medicine.” Reforming the way we pay for health care does not mean putting the government in charge of health care decisions (despite all the misinformation from the right on this).

  19. 19
    chad says:

    Ron thanks for taking time to share your views. I took alot of what you said to heart and will continue to think on the subject. I just wish they would slow down a little bit and give all that aren’t that familiar with the issues time to learn more about whats in the Bill(including me). Thanks again and best wishes to you and yours.

  20. 20
    Eclectic Radical says:

    “I just wish they would slow down a little bit and give all that aren’t that familiar with the issues time to learn more about whats in the Bill(including me).”
     
    This is going to sound intolerant and ‘elitist’, but there really is no help for it.
     
    That actual contents of the Bill have been in the news, on the internet, and subject to debate by the Democrats in Congress since the debate began. Anyone with the desire to do so has had the opportunity to learn about the various proposals being made for some time. Someone who has chosen to absorb dishonest talking points designed to horrify people who have been taught to fear and distrust government by a political party that has put its best efforts into making government into something that should be feared and distrusted instead of actually making an effort to learn the truth do not have a lot of room to complain about the rapid rush of events.
     
    Particularly when events are moving at a slow crawl to accomodate the fears of just such people. The Senators working on the bill have been compromisng and recompromising and telling the president that the deadline just won’t be met. The president has been rolling back his demands in the interest of passing any kind of reform at all, rather than failing to pass anything. Just, once again, to comfort those afraid of the ‘frightening pace of reform.’
     
    What is now being advocated is a slow transition to a situation that is slightly less bad, in place of a thorough reform of a broken system. This is better than nothing, but anyone who cries that things are moving too fast for them under the current conditions is in deathly need of the ‘liberal nanny state’ they claim to fear. Along with a blanket and a bottle.
     

  21. 21
    nomoreGOP says:

    I dont think Chad will be back after that one Eclectic.. lol..

    But what you said is absolutely true.. I am getting really sick of this whole “its too confusing, I dont understand it” attitude, when a majority of those people have never even tried to research a single thing for themselves..

    Its not that hard people.. we live in an age of intinite learning.. it just takes effort to pull yourself away from the big shiny TV..

  22. 22
    Ron Chusid says:

    On the one hand accurate information is out there, including the full text of the bills. On the other hand, it is understandable that people would have an incorrect view of what is being proposed when the right wing is putting out so much misinformation. Unfortunately many people have no idea that what they hear on Fox or read in editorials in The Wall Street Journal is frequently untrue.

  23. 23
    Eclectic Radical says:

    “Unfortunately many people have no idea that what they hear on Fox or read in editorials in The Wall Street Journal is frequently untrue.”
     
    Once again, this is frequently their own fault. I am no great fan of conservative misinformation either, but the ‘ignorance’ to which the right caters is most often a willful and deliberate choice over knowledge. Frequently they choose, for a variety of reasons, to believe misinformation rather than truth and make no effort to discover facts not offered. They assume what they fear to be the truth to be the truth and all counter-arguments to be lies.
     
    Many call liberals ‘pessimists’ and many conservatives take great pride in their ‘optimism.’ However, despite this claim, conservative propaganda caters to an attitude not of ‘glass half-empty’ but one of ‘My glass is half empty and the big scary man is going to come drink it whether I want him to or not!’ Conservative propaganda would not be successful if people did not wish to believe it more than they wished to know the facts.
     
    I’m losing my tolerance for this kind of paranoia-driven groupthink.
     

  24. 24
    chad says:

    So much for my comments about this being a respectful board. I work over 80 hrs a week and don’t watch TV. So much for your FOX news theory.  I’ve tried to get across, the thoughts I’ve expressed are my own concerns and fears from what I’ve been able to read for myself. I really doubt many of us that are interested in the Reform Bill have read the whole thing as many of the elected officials havn’t, much less had the time to thoroughly study how this will fully impact the healthcare system and indivuduals. I won’t be back posting to the forum because of the lack of respect and willing to share perspective from a few. My utmost respect Ron for has been overshadowed by the typical people in our society who want to just make the decisions for everybody because they know best and everybody else is ignorant, lazy or contaminated by “right wing propoganda”. I won’t stop interacting with my fellow Americans to debate solutions and problems we face not as Dems or Repubs but as Americans and humans. I just won’t do it on this forum. Congrats nmgop and er you achieved your goal..whatever it was.

  25. 25
    Ron Chusid says:

    Chad,

    Keep in mind that there is so much intentional misinformation spread by the right that many supporters of health care reform get frustrated by this and might assume that anyone repeating right wing talking points is doing so intentionally.

    Unfortunately the right wing noise machine is so effective in spreading their misinformation that even people who don’t watch Fox and have no intention of spreading false talking points are being mislead by misinformation and wind up repeating the misinformation they hear from a variety of sources.

  26. 26
    chad says:

    Good point Ron. I am trying to hear the opposing arguments from both sides (shame there isn’t a middle)based on fact and true cognitive thought on outcomes. I could care less about right or left. You are correct there’s alot of misinformation but I think it’s from both sides. It’s hard to tell what’s factual and what’s talking points from either side. I truly think you are trying to do the same thing I am, make an informed decision based on facts. Problem I have is I don’t have expertise in the healthcare field and everyone seems to be so divided that nobody is willing to look into an honest question before they label you and want you to get into an argument. I solute your patience you are truly my fellow countryman.

  27. 27
    chad says:

    I will admit that a fault of mine is I make a statment based on what I’m afraid will happen rather than posing it as a question. I do the same thing to right wingers but I am what I am and proud of it. Sorry if I sat off the traitor alerts. It’s a shame an opposing view gets little respect from either side. If the vileness continues I’m afraid of whats going to happen. You need to understand I’m the kind of guy that will post on a right blog saying that they want to support the insurance companies and I get hammered by them. Somewhere in the middle lies the truth and it’s time to find it on this one.

  28. 28
    Ron Chusid says:

    There is misinformation to a degree from both sides but there is a difference. For example, I have criticized liberal blogs for praising the VA system, using it as a good example of government-run health care, and greatly exaggerating its quality based upon faulty studies. On the one hand they are presenting misinformation. On the other hand they are presenting information which they believe is accurate but don’t have the expertise to realize the data they are using is misleading.

    In contrast it is not possible to seriously believe that the conservatives devising many of the arguments about health care reform are sincere but misunderstand. Their arguments grossly distort what is in the proposed legislation. It is simply not possible to read the actual proposals and honestly make the arguments coming from the right.

  29. 29
    Ron Chusid says:

    Of course in the case of Sarah Palin we must take the magnitude of her ignorance into consideration. She is saying things which are grossly untrue and which she would know was untrue if she had the ability to understand the issues. With her limited knowledge of national issues it is possible that she actually believes what she is saying.

  30. 30
    Eclectic Radical says:

    “(shame there isn’t a middle)”
     
    As someone whom Ron and others (Hi Fritz!) can safely vouch for as being ‘way out on the left’, I will say that the current health care reform ideas being discussed in the Senate are squarely ‘in the middle’ and not way out on ‘the left.’ Nothing is being discussed that meets most of the standards many of us advocating reform really want to see, they are merely attempting to restore normalcy and stability to our existing system while reforming quality of care and expanding the number of people covered.
     
    Some of the most violent criticism of the current reform bills being discussed is coming from the left. Advocates of single payer, a public health plan, or organized government health intervention are pretty frustrated by the current reform effort. Those of us who do want ‘socialized medicine’ are not really happy at all right now.
     
    The people trying to cast the current reform efforts as being way out on the left are lying or grossly mistaken, plain and simple. Perhaps it is my prejudices, but based on my agreement with Ron’s assessment of reality (and Ron is a doctor, he has a very good grasp of the reality of the health care system), I would say many more are guilty of the former.
     
    “I could care less about right or left. You are correct there’s alot of misinformation but I think it’s from both sides. It’s hard to tell what’s factual and what’s talking points from either side.”
     
    In my case, my reaction was not about ‘right’ or ‘left.’ I am pretty far out on ‘the left’, myself, as I said… but there are plenty of reasons to criticize the current reform efforts. They just have no resemblance of any kind to the right wing horror scenario and that scenario has no relationship with the reality of the current reform efforts.
     
    My statement was a basic, visceral reaction to this statement:
    “I just wish they would slow down a little bit and give all that aren’t that familiar with the issues time to learn more about whats in the Bill(including me).”
     
    America has been discussing health care reform since Lyndon Johnson. Comprehensive health care reform was undertaken (and failed) during both the Nixon and Clinton presidential administrations. It featured centrally in every presidential campaign since. I don’t feel that there is much justification for not being familair with the issues outside of simply not taking the time to educate one’s self.
     
    Things are not moving fast, as I said. They are moving extremely slowly and the pace slows with every setback. Hillarycare was significantly less comprehensive than Nixoncare, and Obamacare (not even an accurate lable, right n0w) is proving significantly less comprehensive than Hillarycare. This is all a neutral description, independent of any evaluation of the individual merits and flaws of the three reform attempts and also independent of my own policy ideas on the issue.
     
    I’m not trying to say that it is not your choice to decide what to take the time to learn about. Nor am I trying to start an argument or a fight. However, in a representative system of government, citizens who wish to be involved in the decision making process do have a certain responsibility to understand the issues as best as they can or to vote for elected representatives in whose understanding they are confident.
     
    I’m not trying to say you need to be an expert on health care, but it’s extremely important to have some basic understanding of the issue in order to participate in even the most ‘reasonable debate’ on the topic.
     
    Now that I’ve failed the elevator test completely, I want to apologize for the rather harsh tone of my original comment and also for the rather pedantic and potentially condescending tone of this one. I’m really not trying to insult you personally or drive you away from this blog.
     
    I am, however, in possession of very strong opinions of the average level of informed knowledge of American voters, not only ‘on the right’ but also ‘in the middle’ (moderates voted for two terms of George W. Bush and multiple reactionary Congresses for no good reason and to the detriment of our country) and ‘on the left’ (self-proclaimed liberals backed Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, the two most conservative candidates for the Democratic nomination over far more liberal choices) as well.
     
    The lack of effort people put into understanding issues and candidates of which they profess opinions is a pet peeve of mine and I took that out on you.
     

  31. 31
    Ron Chusid says:

    Plus there never could be a “middle” considering how the Republicans mischaracterize any health care reform. John Kerry’s plan in the 2004 election was hardly radical at all. There were no mandates or public plan and the plan was very business-friendly with a large component of it helping businesses which were having difficulty with their health care expenses. As conservative as the plan was, Republicans still claimed it was a radical plan with government taking over health care.

  32. 32
    chad says:

    Well made points guys. This was a huge Bill with tons of implications for tons of industry outside of healthcare. It’s not as simple as most think.  I have learned that if something is truly “right” it will stand the test of time and thoughtful consideration across all of society. The main problem I have personally is that the rights of individuals are infringed upon when we say we’ll cover “everyone” or “everyone” must participate. Some may not want to participate. You guys pointed out how “dumb” that is in response to my earlier posts but the freedom to not go to a hospital nor seek insurace has to be respected. If we stop bowing to individual choices and freedoms then we’ll no longer be free, we’ll just be as free as the demographic we “belong” to is. You can’t decide what insurance plan is best for me no more than I can for you. Even if you can I still want to reserve that for myself. I have the right to decide for myself when it comes to these decisions. The Federal Government was originally designated to protect us from threats foriegn and domestic and regulate trade between the states. It has grown into much much much more than that and I’m glad of it, but there has to be a limit before we lose the individualism in our society.  I understand the point of universal healthcare and think that somehow we can achieve it, all the while honoring the individual citizen that has a differing opinion. The biggest problem we face is paying for it. The left seems to think that we can’t muster the money unless everyone is forced into it because the poor will not have the means and the rich will opt out. The right thinks that if we have a government option that all of private industry and capitalism will stop the next day. Both are wrong imho. If we use some creative ways to go about this instead of pitting one member of society against another, we can achieve it.  Just as an experiment I wonder how our thought processes would change if everyone stopped using terms like “left”, “right”..”conservative”  “liberal” and just started saying “my fellow American”.  I understand that most people find it easier to self-define anothers’ beliefs by putting them into a group but in the “real” world it’s a tragic mistake made by many who have considered themselves quiet the intellect.

  33. 33
    chad says:

    Just for the record..you guys run a great blog and have stimulated some great conversations between friends and myself.

  34. 34
    Ron Chusid says:

    Chad,

    You misunderstand who supports what.

    “You guys pointed out how “dumb” that is in response to my earlier posts but the freedom to not go to a hospital nor seek insurace has to be respected.”

    I don’t know of anyone anywhere who questions the freedom not to go to a hospital. The right to refuse care would not be changed under health care reform.

    Both Eclectic and I also oppose a mandate requiring that one has insurance. Obama ran against such mandates. If the current proposals pass and we have such mandates this will be more because of the right than the left. While many on the left do support mandates, the key factor here is that the insurance companies have been demanding mandates in return for eliminating exclusions for preexisting conditions. With the GOP in the pocket of the insurance companies, and some Democrats also supporting mandates, this killed any chance of developing a plan without mandates.

  35. 35
    chad says:

    I apologize and need to clarify. I wasn’t directing my post at you guys but more to people that have told me they don’t support an opt out.  I agree more with you guys  than you think. The funding side is where everyone gets crazy. There’s alot of ways to fund it but the ones talked about  are always a catch point for a major interest. Ron is it feasable to have a monthly payment directly to a physician and not involve an insurance company at all? Just curious as to your thoughts.

  36. 36
    Ron Chusid says:

    “is it feasable to have a monthly payment directly to a physician and not involve an insurance company at all?”

    Concierge practices are sort of like that. It gets difficult not to involve an insurance company at all. I do have a number of cash patients without insurance. They can manage to pay for the office calls but the problems arise should they need testing at the hospital or a procedure. Then the bills get too high.

  37. 37
    Eclectic Radical says:

    “Both Eclectic and I also oppose a mandate requiring that one has insurance.”
     
    Well, Ron, that’s semi-true… I oppose an unfunded mandate that everyone have insurance and I think a lot of the current ideas being discussed to fund such a mandate would really be de facto unfunded mandates. My biggest fear, as I’ve said before, is cheap junk insurance being foisted on a large sector of the population in lieu of real coverage… followed by a declaration of successfully achieving universal coverage. I think that would be a disaster.
     
    Coming from a state with an unfunded auto insurance mandate and moving to another, I can give a flawed but still representative analogy:
     
    There are two kinds of auto insurance, liability and collision. Liability covers you if someone sues you over a car crash, while collision covers your damages (to your car and to you) should you get into a car crash. If everyone had collision, no one would need liability. Everyone would be covered. What is more, despite being the more expensive policy, collision is cheaper in the long run. Most people’s actual damages are cheaper to cover than judicial awards in lawsuits. Yet state mandates require everyone to have liability insurance, which has profusely increased the number of cheap policies that cover only liability and nothing else. So many people with car insurance, as a result, don’t have what my parents would have called ‘car insurance’ thirty years ago at all.
     
    While I prefer a more ‘socialist’ approach to the problem, and believe one will ultimately be necessary, I’d be willing to accept a well-funded insurance mandate that made certain people could afford real health insurance rather than junk policies.
     

  38. 38
    Ron Chusid says:

    It would be necessary to have some qualifications about opposing individual mandates if you support a single payer or government run system. After, a single payer system ultimately involves a mandate for everyone. There is a huge difference between a mandate to purchase insurance from a private company and being part of a government system financed out of general tax revenues where taxes are related to income.

  39. 39
    win says:

    The government collecting the money, doing the research, setting the benefits covered, regulating, paying the bills and all around being way to much involved with the medical industrial complex is the issue.  That issue exists already with medicare and medicaid.
    This is from an article titled “Newtered Gingrich’s Congress emasculated the one agency capable of controlling health care costs and improving quality. Time to reverse the procedure.” By Shannon Brownlee, in the Washington Monthly October 2007.
    I actually agree with her premise, that we get to much health care in more ways then not, when we need less sometimes.  None the less, she apparently does not see anything wrong with the following statement:

    But when the AHCPR’s panel concluded that there was little evidence to support surgery as a first-line treatment for low back pain, and that doctors and patients would be wise to try nonsurgical interventions first, back surgeons went wild. They knew that once the AHCPR’s guidelines were published, Medicare might limit reimbursement for various back surgeries to patients who were enrolled in a controlled clinical trial designed to test the efficacy of the procedure.

    Now, this isn’t what we want.   The government in control of regulation, research, treatment, health care choice, physician choice, and the people that pay for it in actuality, the patient,  being left out.  The more the government controls every aspect of health care, the more it becomes a problem.
    Single payer I could be happy with, but the government needs to stick with regulation.  Collect the taxes, and pay the bills, but let the people, and those we choose make the decisions.  Let professionals do the research, without interference from government.  Provide the funding, then butt out of it.
    Government is a big business, whose purpose is getting politicians re-elected.  Government has been in the past, and will be again, guilty of doing things worse then business can do.  As much as single payer, or even the public option have a certain appeal, they are unsupportable with the government in control.
     

  40. 40
    Ron Chusid says:

    The problem with your argument is that reality differs from your assumptions. Medicare tends to interfere in medical decisions far less than private insurance companies do. That is one reason why so many physicians support Medicare for All. We found out that “socialized medicine” leaves us with far more freedom than corporate medicine to take care of patients as we feel is best.

  41. 41
    win says:

    Whether physicians support it or not is moot.   Physicians are just as likely any to put their own personal interests ahead of others.  Physicians too, are people.
    With the government having as much control as it would have under the bill, and currently has now in some cases, there would be virtually no accountability and no control upon how they handled it.  Although it may be fine now, and even fine in the future, the fact that there are no controls, no accountability, makes the system faulty and to open to government restricting choice or care.
    None the less, I would be happy to read any study or reasearch you have comparing medicare and private plans in this area.  Preferably group plans rather then individual plans, since it is a given individual plans need further protections and regulation by the government on the industry.   Even plans in othe countries similar to any government plan we may enact here would be pertinent.   The German plan has very high ratings as I understand it, but I am not aware of how workable that would be here.

  42. 42
    Ron Chusid says:

    It is not true that the bill gives the government power with no accountability. The bill is primarily reform of the insurance industry and does not give the government power over individual decisions other than placing certain restrictions on what is covered. The wild card is the proposed public plan, if it survives. We only have broad outlines for that and we can’t say with certainty that it would be more or less restrictive than private plans. If Medicare is the model then it is likely to be less restrictive, but there is no guarantee it would be like Medicare.

  43. 43
    Eclectic Radical says:

    “It would be necessary to have some qualifications about opposing individual mandates if you support a single payer or government run system. After, a single payer system ultimately involves a mandate for everyone. There is a huge difference between a mandate to purchase insurance from a private company and being part of a government system financed out of general tax revenues where taxes are related to income.”
     
    Yes, a huge difference indeed. And I certainly prefer the latter to the former, as I’ve made no secret about. I also oppose an unfunded or insufficiently funded mandate absolutlely. Penny ante tax credits which would help nobody unable to pay for their care already fall into the ‘unfunded’ category for me, which is why I am opposed to seeing too much bipartisanship on the issue. Republicans wants to see essentially meaningless tax credits pay for it all, and that is just unacceptable. I don’t think Baucus and the others on the Finance Committee are going to get what they want from Grassley and Enzi without caving on tax-deductible health care costs in lieu of direct subsidy or income-scaled pricing. So that bothers me.
     
    A mandate that included a solid subsidy program or a public option that was income-scaled to everyone could buy in if they wished, I could support. Maybe. If there was no better alternative available.
     
    Ideally, I agree with the doctors who want to give everyone Medicare.
     

  44. 44
    Eclectic Radical says:

    “It is not true that the bill gives the government power with no accountability. The bill is primarily reform of the insurance industry and does not give the government power over individual decisions other than placing certain restrictions on what is covered.”
     
    It could even be argued that the bill is essentially a bail-out of the insurance industry. They’d be regulated more tightly, but that would be the sum total of the change, and they’d be making more money.
     

  45. 45
    Ron Chusid says:

    It wouldn’t consider it a bail out as that would imply they are having problems and need a bail out. From the manner in which they are fighting health care reform it is clear that they want it to fail. I also wouldn’t be surprised if they do manage to make more money after something is passed.

Leave a comment