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« City website | Main | Daring to hope »

Jan 31, 2011


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Andrew Brod

The issue, here as in other rulings, is not the entire bill, but the fact that it includes an individual mandate (which, as I believe I've noted before, was a core Republican proposal until Obama proposed it). But there are other ways to avoid adverse-selection problems and yet retain the other components of reform. Killing the individual mandate isn't necessarily to kill healthcare reform.

Dr. Mary Johnson

Well-insured people die every day within the existing healthcare system - because of incompetence, neglect, arrogance and sloth. My brother might have died last week from sepsis had he not had his family advising him and pushing (out-of-state) doctors to MOVE.

Oh, and maybe if we addressed some of the REAL problems in the "public" healthcare systems (Medicare & Medicaid, "non-profits") we already have in place?

Of course, you, dear Edward, and the rest of your progressive friends have NEVER been interested in hearing about stuff like that. And those of us working within the broken system - who came to you for help - were wack-jobs.

Maybe if we had a serious/hard conversation about entitlement? And "rights" coming with responsibilities? And setting limits?

Obama's version of "reform" needs to die. And we need to have the hard conversations.

sean coon

isn't their a cross for you to drag through town, mary?


People in this country do, in fact, die needlessly because they cannot afford to buy either health insurance or health care. As long as we are dependent on a profit-driven industry to provide both care and insurance, people will continue to die because they don't have enough money. That's an inevitable consequence of such a system.

Conservatives seem unwilling or unable to take that on.

Any judicial gutting of the health care law is likely to spark resurgent, and increased, demand for for a public option and/or single payer. People care more about staying alive than about the right's peculiar spin on the Constitution.

Ed Cone

Mary, we agree that the reform bill is not a good one.

I'm happy to hear that your brother avoided the worst of what sounds like a dangerous situation. He was fortunate to have family advocating for him.

As I've said here before, I think you were done wrong by the SLAPP suit, I hear you have an excellent reputation as a physician, and I regret that you turned me down for an interview for my newspaper column.


"Any judicial gutting of the health care law is likely to spark resurgent, and increased, demand for for a public option and/or single payer."

Yeah, I'm sure demand will skyrocket for another "new and improved" version of bad policy masquerading as health care "reform" if only you, Obama, and fellow travelers would do a better job making everyone understand why the disaster will be good for us, right?

David Hoggard

Fight it out among yourselves, but here is reality.

My 2011 BCBS premium for a family of five is just shy of $850.00 per month. Deductible is $5,000.00 and co-pays set very high.

This is both untenable and unsustainable.

Makes me wonder if I just shouldn't just self insure and go on the public dole when things go catastrophic.

I like that I can keep my kids on the policy until they are more on their own under th new rules and other things about "Obamacare", but don't like the piecemeal nature of the whole package which seems to favor my insurance company and pharma much more that me and mine.

Throw it out and let's go universal single payer.


I work with a person who raves about the good care her mother receives through a VA hospital in Virginia. No hassles, no long waits, and competent care. I'm not saying that all VA's are this good, but this example gives me a feeling we could do worse than a Government run health care system. My personal physician also supports a public option. She is tired of insurance companies getting between her and her patients.
This issue will be interesting when it reaches the Supreme Court.


Ed, I question your first sentence in this item. The fact that there is no alternative proposal for inclusion of the uninsured/uninsurable in the objections being raised to "Obamacare" is my first reason for objection.

Another support for my contention: How many knowledgable, educated people who oppose "Obamacare" do you see dropping their insurance and putting themselves at the mercy of the "system" available to the indigent/improvident/incompetent?

True, there are some hard conversations yet to be had. But there is already an implication about the value of the lives "outside" the system.

I know there is a dollar cost to all provisions we make in society. That was never clearer to me than when my former health insurance agent told me how glad he was that I had gone to a new provider before my son was born with severe problems. I do not think that is the way we should deal with each other. I also do not for a moment believe there is rationality behind the fabulous increases in medical expenses and insurance rates other than high-priced pocket lining for an additional layer of bureaucracy. I think we can do better than we presently are doing, but doing nothing is not doing better. "Nothing" is the agenda I see being presented.


"My 2011 BCBS premium for a family of five is just shy of $850.00 per month. Deductible is $5,000.00 and co-pays set very high.

This is both untenable and unsustainable.

....Throw it out and let's go universal single payer."

How much too much do you think your premium is?

How much do you think it will be under "universal single payer", when Medicare and its unfunded liabilities of nearly $90,000,000,000,000 are figured into the cost analyisis?

Ed Cone

Bill, my thought is that even people who say they oppose universal insurance tend to fall back on the reality of access for all to ER when pressed...nobody is saying, "let them die." As the old joke goes, now we're just arguing about price.

Bubba and Mary are correct that fixes beyond insurance are necessary. I have found Gawande instructive in this area.

Retaining the status quo with a few tweaks (interstate insurance competition, tort reform -- which may be good ideas) does not seem to be an option.

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