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US: Health Care (CNN 5/21-23)

Topics: National , poll

CNN / Opinion Research Corporation
5/21-23/10; 1,023 adults, 3% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(CNN release)

National

Thinking about the health care bill which was passed into law in April, do you think the changes the new law will make to the country's health care system will be generally good for the country or generally bad for the country?
46% Good, 51% Bad

Do you approve or disapprove of the passage of the health care bill which became law in April?
43% Approve, 56% Disapprove (chart)

 

Comments
iVote:

And why isn't Pollster publishing the Financial Reform numbers that are in the poll as well?

60/38 Favor/Oppose

+10 point swing from March

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Farleftandproud:

Because the polls in general favor Republicans since I think they probably are more excited about the midterms. This poll is something they think could be a winner.

Pat Buchanon implied once he didn't think HCR would be repealed. He predicted that Obama may get hurt in the midterms badly, but once there are changes in our system, and they can be implemented and people notice them, the reform will be much more well liked.

Medicare was very unpopular in 1966 and Buchanon in an interview made the analogy to LBJ losing like 50 seats in 1966 after passing civil rights and medicare. Americans clearly fear change, but even Pat Buchanan, a ultra conservative said Medicare was a good thing.

I predict that 30 years down the road, that many of Obama's policies that are contreversial now will be an institution in America.

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iVote:

Also, why is Pollster so quick to add the Rasmussen tracking poll numbers but takes a day longer to add the Gallup numbers? It skews the trend.

Today's average between the two would be 48/48.5 but it's still showing 46/49. The spread is misleading when you only have today's Rass poll and outdated Gallup numbers.

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iVote:

Farleft-

That doesn't really answer my question. This poll was on HCR AND Financial Regulation. Maybe they overlooked it?

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jamesia:

It's possible that they don't have a tracking system for Financial Regulation yet...

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iVote:

Yeah, I don't think they do, but they don't really need one. I mean they don't have a tracking system for Elena Kagan but they still publish those polls.

Anyways, just putting it out there.


30. As you may know, Congress is considering legislation that would increase federal regulation over banks, Wall Street investors, and other financial institutions. Based on what you have read or heard about this, do you favor or oppose this legislation?

May 21-23 Mar 19-21

Favor 60% 53%
Oppose 38% 43%
No opinion 2% 4%

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VermontWisdom:

So 3% of people who think the bill would be good for the country, then respond that they don't think it should have been passed? That makes no sense.

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Farleftandproud:

Well Rasmussen never releases much of their info along economic lines, educational lines or racial lines. They are secretive. They do everything on the "likely voter" scenario. If you don't fit in with their "likely voter" concept your opinion doesn't count.

I would really like to see some Democrats including Obama to talk about Rasmussen's polling when he is trying to get out the vote. I think other progressive candidates should fire up their base by describing their criteria and their predictions. By making it sound like Republicans are more likely to vote in midterms than any other group, this may help inspire the voters to let Rasmussen's predictions come to pass.

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Farleftandproud:

Who do you want for governor, Vermont Wisdom?

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sjt22:

@ Vermont

Well its possible (probably even) that those people were dissatisfied with the watering down of the bill (removing the public option, etc) but still think it will be overall good. Or maybe they think the bill is good but they swallowed the Republican complaints about how Reconciliation was some shady, underhanded legislative tactic (which Republican just happen to love when they are in power, naturally) and so they don't approve of it passing.

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Farleftandproud:

If the GOP ever gets into power and they ever have 55 seats, which is a scary thought, they will likely pass everything on reconciliation and than lie and lie some more to the American people, and the stupidos out their will believe them.

They would take away just about all our civil liberties and take us to war in 10 countries and bomb iran by reconciliation.

HCR was a issue we tried to be bipartisan, we tried to modify our ideas and we tried to even work out passing hcr elements piecemail like "no pre-existing conditions". They made it impossible for us. Obama needs to do more by reconciliation. I think on most other issues, the obstructionist techniques of the GOP will backfire.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"So 3% of people who think the bill would be good for the country, then respond that they don't think it should have been passed? That makes no sense."

I think the 2nd question refers to "the passage" of health care, meaning the way they passed it, or the process.

It confirms my suspicion that only a few people were seriously affected by "the process." The people who complained about that were mostly those already opposed to it.

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melvin:

Obama refused to put a public option in the bill,in now the Democrats are paying the price.The health bill would be so popular if there was a public option,bt Obama blew it,he is to blame 100 percent.

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Farleftandproud:

You are right Melvin but Obama had his hands tied with no help from Republican moderates and not much help from about 7 Democrats. That is one reason why Blanche Lincoln is going to lose in the primary next week and probably Lieberman will be forced to retire, because Republicans nor Democrats want him representing their party because he is so untrustworthy.

On a personal level I was disappointed in Collins and Snowe since Maine was a strong supporter of Obama, and HCR was quite popular. They are rational women who have been independent on many issues in the past. It was a big disappointment.

Lieberman was just not supporting it because he is personally still bitter about the Dems not nominating him 4 years ago.

Whats done is done. It was a start at least and insurance reform was certainly better than nothing at all.

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Shannon,Dallas,Texas:

This would matter if there was an enthusiam gap. There isn't. Add this to a long list of other priorities that will drive voters to the polls:

1). War in Afghanistan
2). Financial Reform
3). Energy Reform
4). Immigration Reform
5). Korean Conflict
6). Iranian Sanctions
7). Gulf Oil Spill
8). European Debt Crisis
9). Middle East Peace Process b/w Israelis and Palestinians
10) Jobs
11). War in Iraq
12). Health Care Reform
12). DADT
13). Global Terrorism
14). Home Foreclosure Crisis

This is not the time to be a single issue candidate.

The President isn't on the ballot in 2010. He is likely to take a hit in the short term dealing with all of the crisises, but it doesn't matter. In the long term, he'll benefit from having gone through these events during his first two years in office.

Anyway. The 2010 elections will be about local issues, and which candidate can paint his/her opponent as being outside the mainstream.

I'm looking forward to the jobs report.

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Shannon,Dallas,Texas:

Have any of you guys heard state candidates talk about the lawsuits filed by state AGs regarding health care? No. It's a dead issue. Even Rick Perry is campaigning on other issues:

* Overcame Budget Shortfall.
* Reducing Spending.
* Cutting Business Taxes.

He doesn't even mention health care reform.

The media can drive the narratives all they want. they tried to pick up on the deficit hawks of the tea partiers, but we all know that no one goes to the poll because of spending deficits.

If Democrats were smart, they'd pass an energy reform bill with a lot of jobs measures.

Then, they should push "Medicare at 55" even if it fails.

They can control the legislative calendar. They have to use it and not depend on the president to drive the agenda.

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I think it is clear from this poll that the White House is not working aggressively enough on messaging HCR. In terms of passage and the public option, Obama's mistake came last spring when he pulled the plug on pharmaceutical reform. in terms of the public option, it is clear that the President had no chance to get it in the deal once the debate dragged into the holidays. It is the Baucus fiasco and terrible messaging/response from House Democrats that caused the loss of public option. In a bill that faced declining public support on the topline, the public option, in any wording and from multiple pollsters, remained popular to the end of the year. Senate Democrats were simply too cowardly to act.

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Shannon,Dallas,Texas:

@Mike Chase

"I think it is clear from this poll that the White House is not working aggressively enough on messaging HCR."

Why should they? It's done. It's a non-issue at this point. It's Bush-league mission accomplished except that there are 16 million additionally insured Americans to show for it's success. They got in part what they wanted, and as they predicted it's going to be a non-issue come November.

If a Democrat loses, he/she will not have lost because of the health care issue. There are plenty of other local issues to run on.

Right now, they need to pass some legislation with some transparent PORK in it for their home districts. It should focus on creating jobs under the guise of bringing reform, namely energy reform.

This poll indicates that CNN took the time to poll 1,000 people. I trust their results. The question is what's the polls significance. It's not very significant in my view.

The primary indicators for this election are consumer spending and jobs. If the indicators are up, incumbents will do better than expected. If not, they won't.

This election is strange in the sense that the early excitement from the extreme elements of both parties was powerful. Therefore, the candidates tend to be more polarizing. In the end, the centrists will come out an vote. So, there will be an element of concern about who's mainstream and who's not. That can also be a determining factor in the mid term races: consumer spending, jobs, and mainstream identification.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"Obama's mistake came last spring when he pulled the plug on pharmaceutical reform."

I think a lot of people perceived that pharmaceutical costs (pharma has the among the highest profit margins of any industry) and the costs of other medical devices, equipment, and training are the drivers behind the insane health care costs. They correctly perceived that the health care bill does little to nothing about that and Obama had no intentions to reform the system at that fundamental level.

There was no political will to solve those problems, though. Politics is the art of the possible and Obama had to get the stakeholders on board to get anything through.

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pion:

HCR is already a non-issue only discussed at Tea Party rallies by GOP nominees to keep them fired up. I'm more concerned about what happens in Europe (and its potential impact on the Euro, and therefore the dollar and our economic recovery), the job numbers and the oil spill.

Hurricane season 2010 is expected to be far worse than in 2009. In combination with the oil slick, this could lead to a nightmare for the people in the Gulf. This could play out in slow motion on TV screens during the fall. If the Federal government is visibly struggling to cope, it could be very bad for Dems even if other things are going well.

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Field Marshal:

I think a lot of people perceived that pharmaceutical costs (pharma has the among the highest profit margins of any industry) and the costs of other medical devices, equipment, and training are the drivers behind the insane health care costs. They correctly perceived that the health care bill does little to nothing about that and Obama had no intentions to reform the system at that fundamental level.

I think because Obama has come to realize that those costs are necessary in order to fund the R&D of new drugs and tech. The problem is the rest of the world simply sponges off the US (and switzerland to a smaller extent).

We need to implement an export tax for our drugs and medical technology so the rest of the developed world contributes to R&D.

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pion:

I feel a bit disappointed in Stephen Chu. I expected a bold energy plan by now. The Earth receives something like 300,000TW of energy per year from the sun, enough to power 20,000 Earths with our current industrial capacity. It's obvious we need to get moving on harnessing this energy. What appeared in the Recovery Act was a start, but perhaps the oil slick is one of those disasters Obama should not waste.

He could step in front of the curb on the Gulf disaster if Stephen Chu prepared a detailed outline on how to achieve full energy independence and Obama unveiled it some time in the fall. Pointing to the Gulf disaster and the unacceptable risks of off-shore drilling, a procedure that will never satisfy our energy needs, Obama could make a strong argument for an Apollo-like investment in the renewable energy sector starting with a modernization of our power grid. Between Chu's Nobel prize and Obama's charisma, they could pull it off. The Chinese government is spending a massive amount of money developing their solar energy sector. Surely we can to.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"I think because Obama has come to realize that those costs are necessary in order to fund the R&D of new drugs and tech. The problem is the rest of the world simply sponges off the US (and switzerland to a smaller extent)."

I think we've discussed this before, but if you pick up a medical journal you'll find a decent amount of cutting edge research somes from Europe (at least Germany).

I'd really like to know why certain medicines can literally cost tens of thousands for a few treatments. But I have relatives in the pharma industry and they tell me it costs pennies to manufacture pills & serums. No one seems willing to explore that. Health insurers, imo, were never the real culprit, they are subject to the same costs we all are. There are people making a killing off of health care and it's not the insurance companies. They make lower than average profit margins.

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Farleftandproud:

There is no doubt Obama would have really liked to help to bring forth a health care system that works quite well in Canada. He wanted a single payer system where health care would be one less headache people would have to worry about in paying their bills. Of course it would have saved money for 90 percent of Americans. Perhaps those earning over 250,000 would have had a tax increase, but that plan just isn't meant to be. It is America where everyone is out for themselves. Dog Eat Dog.

I think the health care plan is a good start and in a country that is so concerned about states rights, I predict single payer systems will work in states like VT and Hawaii than it will be tried out in other states and will work far better than the expensive and wasteful spending of our current system that is still pretty pathetic. 40th in health care quality on an international survey? We were below Poland, South Korea and Costa Rica. America can do better than that.

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Aaron_in_TX:

I also feel that the health care industry as a whole is overpaid from the admin clerks to nurses to doctors and administrators. They all make significantly more than their counterparts in other industries.

Nurses, for example. You can become an RN with a 2 year degree, then you can make upwards of 50K a year starting out. One of my friends is making that as a nurse. She works 4-5 days of 12 hour shifts followed by anywhere from 3-6 days off following that.

I used to work 6 days of 12-15 hour shifts in the military followed by 18-24 hours off and I made between $26-33K a year.

The whole system needs reform from the bottom up if we ever hope to make it cheaper. HCR operating costs are insanely high.

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Shannon,Dallas,Texas:

"This could play out in slow motion on TV screens during the fall. If the Federal government is visibly struggling to cope, it could be very bad for Dems even if other things are going well."

Congress is noticeably detached from working of the federal government. Most Democratic members of Congress have been more critical of the administration in regards to the disaster in the Gulf than their Republican counterparts. This plays well for them at home. So, I don't think that it's going to be a problem. Did you see the Democratic Congressman from Louisiana choke up the other day?

Really, they need to come back to work and pass an energy reform plan. They can easily get of front of this thing by passing legislation.

They also need to raise the caps on damages. The tougher they can get on BP the better.

Democrats have more options than Republicans at this point because Republicans can't be seen as cooperative at this point. They're going to have to dance with the ugly day they invited to the prom, name the right wing extremists. If they don't, whatever enthusiasm they have will be gone. They'll lose support from the right quicker than they can gain it in the middle.

Democrats have to be aggressive. At this point, it's the Republicans that are running out the clock.

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Shannon,Dallas,Texas:

I meant to say:

Republicans going to have to dance with the ugly date they invited to the prom, namely right wing extremists.

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Shannon,Dallas,Texas:

I meant to say:

Republicans are going to have to dance with the ugly date they invited to the prom, namely right wing extremists.

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jamesia:

"I think we've discussed this before, but if you pick up a medical journal you'll find a decent amount of cutting edge research somes from Europe"

HIV was discovered by French researchers and subsequently "stolen" by American researchers. That was back in '83 when the European economy wasn't so great, too. (Stolen by Robert Gallo of the Reagan Admin) Most research funding in the US is dictated by political philosophy, meaning certain issues get funding changes depending on administration changes. Not so true in Europe.

Read "And the Band Played On" if you want an idea of how medical research is tightly controlled for nationalistic reasons (public and privately). The start of the AIDS epidemic is one of the most tragic in terms of politics mingling in science.

But hey, the Frenchman won the Nobel Prize, so at least the truth came out.

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obamalover:

Who are the people that think the bill will be good for the country but were against its passage?

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Shannon,Dallas,Texas:

@Farleftandproud

"He wanted a single payer system where health care would be one less headache people would have to worry about in paying their bills."

It's been years since Obama even talked about the positive aspects of a single payer system. During the campaign, he said that it wouldn't work here in the US given the current state of our medical system.

I hope that you didn't vote for him because you believed that he promised a single payer system or even a public option. He never campaigned on a public option.

Having said that, he's brought a significant change to our health care system: the principle that everyone should have access to affordable health insurance.

We are no doubt on our way to a single payer system. Medicare will be expanded. It's only a matter of time. If the deficit minded blue dog caucus didn't exist, it would be a forgone conclusion.

Politically, Medicare 55 can be accomplished before the mid term elections. The President would have to agree to cut defense spending and accelerate troop withdrawals from Afghanistan. Gates has been on record saying that we're spending too much. This might be the only time that a President has had the luxury to do so while the country is at war.

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jamesia:

"He never campaigned on a public option."

Yes he did. His campaign for health care was marked by two central promises, later broken. The first was no mandates - in fact he derided Hillary for suggesting mandates enforced by the IRS were a good idea. The second was the creation of a government funded (but not government ran) health insurance plan to compete in the market with private plans - i.e. the public option.

What we were left with is the European model of government mandates to buy private insurance, with subsidies for the poor - no doubt that they'll fluctuate depending on GOP or Dems in power. We're no where close to single payer that exists in the UK or Canada.

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Shannon,Dallas,Texas:

@Jamesia

He did oppose mandates, but he never said that Congress needed to pass a public option. If you think he did, cut and paste. He said that he felt that a public option was the best way to lower costs BUT it was not the only way. He repeated the message when Congress began to craft the legislation.

We couldn't immediately support the type of single payer system that exists in the UK or Canada.

A public option would have been a step in the wrong direction. The expansion of Medicare is the solution.

I'm not going to argue about this because, as I've noted above, this is about as important as who wins the Stanley Cup in terms of influence over the mid term elections.

We are in a better position today, than we were when the debate began. The country is on a path to change a broken health care system. The same cannot be said of Social Security.

"We're no where close to single payer that exists in the UK or Canada."

Since when do we take our cues from other countries?

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Field Marshal:

I think we've discussed this before, but if you pick up a medical journal you'll find a decent amount of cutting edge research somes from Europe (at least Germany).


Actually, Swiz is the only country is Europe that comes close. But 75% of all pharma drugs over the last decade were developed in the US. It is estimated that an even greater percentage of medical technology comes from the US.

I'd really like to know why certain medicines can literally cost tens of thousands for a few treatments. But I have relatives in the pharma industry and they tell me it costs pennies to manufacture pills & serums. No one seems willing to explore that.

The second pill costs pennies to make. However, the first costs hundreds of millions of dollars to develop. In addition, the ridiculous amount of litigation contributed to the cost of drugs.

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Field Marshal:

We're no where close to single payer that exists in the UK or Canada.

Thank GOD for that! Canada has been noting how they are going to start moving towards more privatization in their health care because of the costs and we want to emulate them? That's nuts.

I really hope Obama tries to get a public option at this point and/or medicare at 55. It would mean the end of the Dems in congress and Obama in 2012 -easily.

At best we will have a dual system where there is a public system and private one. However, instead of 60%+ on the private, it will be around 20% with the rest on the much worse public system.

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Shannon,Dallas,Texas:

@Field Marshal

"I really hope Obama tries to get a public option at this point and/or medicare at 55. It would mean the end of the Dems in congress and Obama in 2012 -easily."

What is it that you oppose about Medicare?

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Field Marshal:

What is it that you oppose about Medicare?

The fact that its currently underfunded by $50 trillion. There are several other factors but that is by far the largest.

Medicare should be adjusted up, not down. It provides decent benies for people who are elderly, but i think the age can easily be raised to 73 or 75 and adjusted every year according to life expectancy.

What is it that you oppose with private health care?

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pion:

Shannon:

"Congress is noticeably detached from working of the federal government. Most Democratic members of Congress have been more critical of the administration in regards to the disaster in the Gulf than their Republican counterparts. This plays well for them at home"

I hope you're right. I worry that a perceived poor response in the Gulf will intensify the anti-incumbent wave in Nov.

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Shannon,Dallas,Texas:

@Pion:

Yeah. My typing is just really poor tonight. Sorry all.

I meant to say:

Congress is noticeably detached from workings of the federal government.

@Field Marshall

What would be your opinion if the legislation:

1). cut defense spending
2). enacted tort reform
3). included a modest tax on profits derived in the US for companies who do not meet a minimum ratio of labor to profit (this basically targets companies that offshore or foreign companies who do a majority of their business in the US)

and, extended the life of Medicare by 10 years?

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Shannon,Dallas,Texas:

@Field Marshall

I am not opposed to private insurance. I think my children's future would be more secure if they had the option of choosing Medicare at an earlier age.

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jamesia:

Shannon,

Throughout the primary season and running against McCain, Obama's expressed goal was the public option. It wasn't called that then, but he was proposing a government funded plan to compete with private plans. This is fundamentally what set him apart from McCain and Hillary, his only real competitors throughout the season.

In the end, he adopted Hillary-styled mandates and McCain-styled taxation of employer benefits while almost immediately abandoning the public option as soon as the debate started (after he won the Presidency). He conceded that the public option wasn't important as an ill-advised & naive attempt to gain GOP support... which didn't and never will come. But this concession came after he was President and after winning the Presidency based on the notion he'd create a public option.

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Bigmike:

Farleftandproud:

"HCR was a issue we tried to be bipartisan, we tried to modify our ideas and we tried to even work out passing hcr elements piecemail like "no pre-existing conditions". They made it impossible for us. Obama needs to do more by reconciliation."

That was bi-partisan?

And if BO and the Congress wants to do anything via reconciliation they have about 7 months. Better get moving soon!


Shannon,Dallas,Texas:

"... we all know that no one goes to the poll because of spending deficits"

I am sure Dems are hoping that is true, with the massive deficits of the last couple of years. My guess is those deficits are going to sweep a lot of people out of office.

"We are no doubt on our way to a single payer system."

When Obamacare gives us a stagnant, Jimmy Carter type economy, I suspect we will move the other way.


pion:

"HCR is already a non-issue"

I have to disagree. You will see lots of candidates running on repealing or greatly modifying Obamacare. My opinion is we will never get rid of it totally. And we won't be able to gut it until BO is gone in 2013 since he has veto power. But at some point it will become un-sustainable.

A lot of libs have stated a belief that HCR will become more popular as time passes. How would you verify that without polling?

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Aaron_in_TX:

"But at some point it will become un-sustainable."

And the existing health care model wasn't?

The health care plan actually gives us a little more life, maybe 10 more years, thanks to the medicare cuts. Otherwise the government would have been broke by the early 2020s. The cost to families was set to get very much worse as well. At the rate of increase we've seen in the last 10 years, employer-based insurance premiums were set to consume anywhere from 25-40% of family incomes by 2020. It already eats up 15-20% in most states.

Here's a study of what would have happened without any reform whatsoever, which is what we would have gotten had HCR failed. You know as well as I do no one would have had the political will to touch health care again until after the Obama left office and probably 1 cycle after he left.

http://www.commonwealthfund.org/~/media/Files/Publications/Data%20Brief/2009/Aug/1313_Schoen_paying_the_price_db_v3_resorted_tables.pdf

Of course, I'm sure that study can be dismissed as biased if you're so inclined. All studies can.

The health care problem IS the deficit problem, which Obama stated very clearly in his health care speech but never repeated. I felt that should have been the central theme of the whole debate.

The out of control costs combined with an aging population are driving EVERY 1st-world country broke. No one has a plan to fix it, least of all the republicans, who wanted to divert money from medicaid to shore up medicare advantage.

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Aaron_in_TX:

@ FM

Without Medicare, how would you propose that the elderly pay for their health care? We will all inevitably deal with health problems when we start pushing 60, 70.

Some people are healthy enough they could reasonobly pay out of pocket for theirs. But many people can't. It's simply beyond the means of anyone not a multi-millionaire. You could have saved $1 million and still get wiped out with one health problem. My dad lost most of his assets due a combination of health problems that became bad around 10 years ago which he still deals with. He was basically limping across the finish line till he became old enough to get on medicare. He just barely staved off bankruptcy but his credit was destroyed in the process.

People don't work their whole lives to become stricken with poverty in their old age due to inevitable health failures. That was the principle behind medicare.

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Bigmike:

I have no doubt the previous system was also unsustainable. But what we ended up with is the worst of both worlds. Drive up the cost with govt mandates like no pre-existing conditions. Not that I am a fan of the old pre-existing conditions. I'm not. But you can't get something for nothing, everything has a price tag.

And HCR did nothing to lower costs, unless you count paying less to facilities with lots of patients on medicare/medicaid. Not that they will do less medicine, they will just get paid less. How long you reckon they can operate at a deficit?

The problem with EVERY 1st world country is that they have decided health care is a right instead of a commodity. Fine, if that is what people really want. But like I said, nothing is free. In order to cover another 5% of the population we will have to accept European style economies where 10% unemployment is the norm. So to provide health insurance to 5% we are gonna throw 5% out of work. Is that really a good trade? I guess it sounds good as long as you are not one of the extra 5% that is unemployed. I think I would rather have the means to provide for myself and my family and no insurance instead of the other way around.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"The problem with EVERY 1st world country is that they have decided health care is a right instead of a commodity."

You don't consider health care part of the "right to life?" It seems to me that if you are stricken with a debilitating or life-threatening disease and there is treatment available but you don't have the money to pay for it, then the right to life is nothing more than the ability to buy stuff.

I think health care is different from cars, TVs, ipods, or what have you.

I do think that we should distinguish between life-saving or life-preserving care and getting prescription Allegra for your pesky allergies, but the devil's always in the details, isn't it? Part of our problem is we have the same procedures for the two in our system. We demand a Lexus, and that is what our system provides, when most of the time we only need a Kia. In my opinion, the life-saving care should be non-profit, the small kinds of "convenience" care like I described along with elective procudures should be for-profit. But we've got it ass-backwards. The money's all in specialization, not family practice.

"So to provide health insurance to 5% we are gonna throw 5% out of work. Is that really a good trade?"

A job with no health insurance coverage or adequate wages for the worker to buy coverage is only good as long as that worker is healthy. Once that worker gets sick, he or she becomes a drain on society.

"I think I would rather have the means to provide for myself and my family and no insurance instead of the other way around."

What if you had no coverage through your job and one of your children had leukemia? What would probably happen is that the child would go on CHIP. The fact is that without insurance no one can provide for their family in the event of a health emergency.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"nothing is free;" "health care is...a commodity."

Yes, there is no free lunch. There is also no free health care. But there is cheap lunch, but no cheap health care.

When I go to lunch, I can choose between the Wendy's or Arby's dollar menu at the low end, Chili's or Applebee's in the middle, or Ruth Chris at the top end. All of them will satisfy my hunger and give me enough caloric energy to get through the afternoon.

With health care, it's Ruth Chris or nothing. There is no dollar menu. If there was such an equivalent, it could get you killed (we do have that equivalent if you live near the border - more Americans go to Mexico for health care than Canadians come here).

The health care market is not a rational market. There can be no bargaining when your life is at stake. The advantage is completely with the seller. He can charge any price and the buyer has to take it.

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John:

FM:
"Actually, Swiz is the only country is Europe that comes close. But 75% of all pharma drugs over the last decade were developed in the US. It is estimated that an even greater percentage of medical technology comes from the US."

That is true, although the theoretical advances in knowledge/breakthroughs are more evenly spread across the world. The US is very good at taking theoretical knowledge and turning it into practical application. There is also good economic theory why these industries should be focused in a few particular areas. The pharmaceutical companies should and do make a handsome profit producing these drugs and equipment, although how much 'handsome' should be I leave for others to decide.

Bigmike:
"In order to cover another 5% of the population we will have to accept European style economies where 10% unemployment is the norm."

Firstly at the moment, the US unemployment rate is also at 10% (According to the latest stats from the Economist the Euro Area has 0.1% higher unemployment than the US). Secondly while historically some europeon countries (mainly the southern countries such as France, Italy and Spain) have had higher unemployment, to assign this all to health care coverage seems a bit silly. Whatever the effect of health care coverage is on unemployment rates (and perhaps you can explain why it would even be negative) it will be insignificant compared to the effect of labour laws, unemployment benefits/tax structure and the lack of social mobility.

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obamalover:

@BigMike

In the real world, the CBO projects the healthcare bill to lower the deficit and bend the cost curves. Where exactly are you getting your numbers from, or are you just pulling B.S. out of your tuchas?

@FM
Why do you think Medicare is underfunded? It is because the Republicans passed Medicare Part D about 7 years ago without paying for it or letting the government negotiate drug prices with the insurance companies. Whose fault is that?

And unlike the Republican sponsored Medicare part D, which added another unfunded liability on the government, HCR will reduce the deficit by 1.3 trillion over 20 years and 138 billion over ten years.

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Shannon,Dallas,Texas:

@Pion

"And we won't be able to gut it until BO is gone in 2013"

Do you realize how ridiculous that is? If someone viable doesn't come forward in the next 6 months, then Obama might as well be running unopposed.

He's going to be President through 2016.

If you don't think so, name the person that's going to unseat him.

Next, the Republicans will never have the numbers they need to repeal or replace anything. Given their party purity, small tent strategy, they may never be a majority party again.

@BigMike

"The problem with EVERY 1st world country is that they have decided health care is a right instead of a commodity."

Of all first world countries, we rank at the bottom.

What is absolutely worse is the fact that we spend the most by a wide margin.

"When Obamacare gives us a stagnant, Jimmy Carter type economy, I suspect we will move the other way"

So, let me get this straight. If doctors, insurance companies, and pharmaceutical companies aren't making record profits then the economy is going to suffer? Those 3 institutions are the biggest black holes in the American economy. Drive by most pharma CEO's homes and you'll see how much they are actually contributing to the American economy.

A sensible immigration plan would solve most of these issues. If there is a shortage of skilled professionals like doctors and nurses, allow them to immigrate.

Health care is a non issue. If Republicans want to campaign on health care reform, let them. Possibly, the issue has some resonance with middle class women and the elderly. Again, I don't think it's much of a draw when there's so much anxiety in general.

Republicans had better figure out how to attract minorities, in particular Latinos.

My guess is that when the campaign heats up, Democrats are going to appeal to a far wider group of people and it's going to limit any gains by Republicans.

Again, if consumer spending is up, and jobs are up, what is there to talk about?

The negativity, anger, and cynicism is unsustainable. What's even more important is that it's unpredictable.

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hoosier_gary:

People still understand what a lying sack of garbage we have sitting in the white house and that his healthcare monstrosity will bankrupt the country. What is surprising is that 43% of the people in this country are so incredibly stupid that they believe him and Nancy the lier Pelosi and Harry the slime Reid.

Is this that bump in approval you liberals were slobbering about for the past 2 months? If you think people hate it now, wait until the bankruptcies start and people start dying.

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Field Marshal:

That is true, although the theoretical advances in knowledge/breakthroughs are more evenly spread across the world. The US is very good at taking theoretical knowledge and turning it into practical application.

I agree but the"turning it into practical applications" is the expensive part. In the US, we have the NIH to do most of that.

Johm, your second paragraph is spot on. Euroland has much higher structural unemployment because of their labor laws and unions. Some economists even think that full employment in France can never be achieved and unemployment in France, Italy, Germany, etc. can never fall below 7-8%.

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Field Marshal:

You don't consider health care part of the "right to life?" It seems to me that if you are stricken with a debilitating or life-threatening disease and there is treatment available but you don't have the money to pay for it, then the right to life is nothing more than the ability to buy stuff.

Obviously, if you consider the "right to life" in the constitution to cover health care costs (i do not by the way) then obviously you are against abortion since you are violating a right to life of another human being.

Without Medicare, how would you propose that the elderly pay for their health care? We will all inevitably deal with health problems when we start pushing 60, 70.

I did not say we should eliminate medicare, just pare it back to what it was intended for; coverage for the last few years of life since life expectancy was 65 at the time of Medicare's enactment.

I think we should use HSAs more. High-deductibles are the way to go with maximum payouts for ailments.

Medicare is unsustainable and lowering the age would simply bankrupt this country.


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Field Marshal:

What would be your opinion if the legislation:

1). cut defense spending
2). enacted tort reform
3). included a modest tax on profits derived in the US for companies who do not meet a minimum ratio of labor to profit (this basically targets companies that offshore or foreign companies who do a majority of their business in the US)

and, extended the life of Medicare by 10 years?


I would be against it. Number 3 is just a fast track path to socialism. No thanks. Number 2 is greatly needed and number 1 is probably needed to in order to balance the budget but i don't see what that has to do with health care reform.

Next, the Republicans will never have the numbers they need to repeal or replace anything. Given their party purity, small tent strategy, they may never be a majority party again.

Are you kidding with this statement? Have you not seen the polls and analysis predicting the GOP may take back the house in Nov and the Senate in 2012? The way things are going, the Dems may never be the majority party again- but that's ridiculous hyperbole.

So, let me get this straight. If doctors, insurance companies, and pharmaceutical companies aren't making record profits then the economy is going to suffer? Those 3 institutions are the biggest black holes in the American economy. Drive by most pharma CEO's homes and you'll see how much they are actually contributing to the American economy.

What the heck does this mean? Black holes? You mean all the new drugs and technology are bad for Americans. I see you would rather go back to the way medicine was in the 1800's where they would bleed people out. Or how about the 1600's and drill holes in the forehead to let the evil spirits out. Give me a break.

The largest black hole in the economy is Washington DC.


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obamalover:

@FM

You are clearly confused. Let me explain this to you. When politicians talk about lowering the age of Medicare, they are talking about allowing people to BUY INTO Medicare. As in paying premiums, not tax payer money. And if you allow everyone to buy into medicare then that means younger people who don't need medical services will be paying Medicare premiums and it will improve and not hurt Medicare's balance sheet.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"Obviously, if you consider the "right to life" in the constitution to cover health care costs (i do not by the way) then obviously you are against abortion since you are violating a right to life of another human being."

I am against abortion after the first trimester. I do not think that a woman is nothing more than a vessel for a baby, so her rights conflict with the baby's for a period of time. It should be her decision to reconcile with God on her own for a period of time. But I believe there should be a point of no return areound week 14, and it should be strongly discouraged after week 10.

If you're against abortion, you should be for support for the health care for the mother and the child. Most women that have abortions probably do so because they don't know how they'll pay for the baby.

It's so hypocritical to be against abortion but be unwilling to pay for the pre-natal care, baby's health care, support for the mother if she's poor, and education for the child.

It seems like republicans only care about the child when it's a fetus.

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pion:

@Shannon: "And we won't be able to gut it until BO is gone in 2013" This was a comment by BigMike, not me.

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Shannon,Dallas,Texas:

@Field Marshal

"I would be against it. Number 3 is just a fast track path to socialism."

A tax on corporate profits is a fast track path to socialism? Please, explain. Silly me, i thought socialism was about ownership, more specifically ownership of everything by the public working class.

You're fine with private companies using foreign resources (sometimes state owned resources) to harvest domestic resources such as oil and then selling that to the American public at a premium and paying no taxes (check out Exxon).

You're fine with Apple, Dell, and other tech companies designing products using limited US staffs, then manufacturing those goods in China, before shipping it to American consumers which constitute their biggest market.

But, you're against taxing them if their profits dwarf their US domestic payrolls. You're against taxing them period EVEN THOUGH their 18 wheelers cause the most damage to public roadways.

I guess your solution is to privatize all roadways. Get rid of the minimum wage. While you're at it, you might as go all the way and open the borders to all workers. If labor is just a resource in the free market, why wouldn't you have them come here and pay taxes on their slave earnings. As it stands, their paying foreign taxes.

Let just come back to reality. Taxes are not a path to socialism.

So, the question is how do you control offshoring?

Is offshoring in our national interest?

Is Sestak still in the lead in PA over Toomey? Is Blumenthal still leading over McMahon? How do the races look in California?

Say whatever you will about Rasmussen's polling or any of the other so called generic ballots, the head to head match ups indicate that the Republicans gains are going to be limited.

If the Republicans couldn't take PA-12, what can they take?

I just want to get what you're saying straight:

1). Any tax is a path towards socialism.
2). Offshoring is good for the free market and good for the American economy.
3). You're fine with companies that pay zero in federal taxes, such as Exxon, using the public roadways to transport goods in 18 wheelers.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"designing products using limited US staffs, then manufacturing those goods in China"

LOL, and where some of the employees in China that manufacture the products kill themselves.

And then the response is to have the other employees sign a pledge saying "I will not harm myself" and install netting outside the windows.

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