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Humbled Democrats consider revamping health care bill

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January 20, 2010

Chastened by the Democratic Senate loss in Massachusetts, President Barack Obama and congressional allies signaled Wednesday they will try to scale back his sweeping health care overhaul in an effort to at least keep parts of it alive.

A simpler, less ambitious bill emerged as an alternative only hours after the loss of the party’s crucial 60th Senate seat forced the Democrats to slow their all-out drive to pass Obama’s signature legislation and reconsider all options.

No decisions have been made, lawmakers said, but they laid out a new approach that could still include these provisions: limiting the ability of insurance companies to deny coverage to people with medical problems, allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ policies, helping small businesses and low-income people pay premiums and changing Medicare to encourage payment for quality care instead of sheer volume of services.

Obama urged lawmakers not to try to jam a bill through, but scale the proposal down to what he called “those elements of the package that people agree on.”

“We know that we need insurance reform, that the health insurance companies are taking advantage of people,” the president said in an interview with ABC News. “We know that we have to have some form of cost containment because if we don’t then our budgets are going to blow up. And we know that small businesses are going to need help.”

Another option, which called for the House to try to quickly pass the Senate version of the broader bill — bypassing the Senate problem created by the loss of the Massachusetts seat to Republican Scott Brown — appeared to be losing favor.

“That’s a bitter pill for the House to swallow,” said the No. 2 Senate Democrat, Dick Durbin of Illinois.

6 Responses to Humbled Democrats consider revamping health care bill

  1. byreen

    January 20, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    Bait -n- switch..

    Anyone else insulted ?

    12 St Pauli’s says the Dem orchestra had this tune in mind long ago. Now, if the Reps drag tootsies Dem’s will be able to deflect their incompetence back at the party of no leading up to the next round of election rigging….

  2. Carl Nemo

    January 20, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    It’s amazing how entrenched, arrogant pols don’t hear the will of the people until they are chastised at the polls. 

    Now, scrambling to save their bacon in November they are willing to back off and throw the people some scraps.

    I still don’t trust them, not now, not ever. 

    There’s an old saying…”figures don’t lie, but liars figure”.

    My thoughts are that even if they make changes to the bill, it’s still a piece of garbage legislation from the getgo and needs to be dumped and reworked from scratch with the main focus being a populist friendly bill and to hell with them giving handouts to the insurance industry. 

    One thing for sure they need to get the price of healthcare way down from the premiums they’ve proposed and to dump penalties and punitive action against those that don’t want insurance. 

     Medicare is already in place.  If they could shut down the alleged 48 billion per annum in pilferage of the fund and simply offer Medicare to all citizens from age 18 to the grave with the premium for parts A&B taken from their paychecks then they’d have a simple platform upon which to launch an ever-improving system of coverage for all including seniors. Also the cost of healthcare would be spread across the population. Those with equal or better coverage than what the government plan offers can simply opt out as one can with Medicare when reaching age 65.  It’s not mandatory. To opt out though one must show proof of coverage just as one is expected to show proof of auto insurance to enforcement authorities when stopped for a traffic infraction. If you drop the private coverage then the government would be alerted to such and you’d be put on alert that your employer will start deducting Medicare premiums from your paycheck. This would prevent freeriders; ie, freeloaders from burdening the system as a function of their irresponsibility when it comes to their medical needs.

    Carl Nemo **==

  3. griff

    January 21, 2010 at 7:00 am

    For the first time in years I’m seriously tempted to turn on the television news. After the other-worldly hype and the doe-eyed worship of the election, the “One” doesn’t look so god-like any more.

    But alas, I’ll make do with the pictures and the thousand words they conjure.

  4. Kent.Shaw

    January 21, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    “One thing for sure they need to get the price of healthcare way down from the premiums they’ve proposed and to dump penalties and punitive action against those that don’t want insurance.”

    It is true that some don’t want health care insurance. They are usually younger and “immortal”. But most people that can afford health care insurance will purchase it. Those that cannot afford it obviously cannot purchase it. There are many that could afford it if the government kicks in a portion of the premium, but there will still be millions that cannot afford it even with a taxpayer subsidy. And they want to fine them for not purchasing a product. Since when is it a crime to not spend money that one does not have? Bastards. Idiots. What are they thinking? Hell what are they drinking and smoking? Assholes.

    “simply offer Medicare to all citizens from age 18 to the grave with the premium for parts A&B taken from their paychecks then they’d have a simple platform upon which to launch an ever-improving system of coverage for all including seniors. Also the cost of healthcare would be spread across the population.”

    But, but… Carl… that’s… ohmygod… that’s… SOCIALISM!!!!!! OH MY GOD, NO! NOT SOCIALISM, not here in AMERICA!!!!

  5. Kent.Shaw

    January 21, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    “We know that we have to have some form of cost containment because if we don’t then our budgets are going to blow up. And we know that small businesses are going to need help.”

    Yes, the insurance companies are a huge part of the problem, but so are the damned greedy doctors. Why should it cost $324.00 to have one tooth pulled? Yeah, yeah, the dentist had to pay for his education and he has overhead to pay in office rental and office staff, yada yada yada. Nevertheless, $324 to pull a tooth? Come on!! The doctors don’t have to have three houses and four Mercedes Benz cars. Screw them too.

  6. Carl Nemo

    January 22, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    I know Kent, but it seems the unwashed masses are all screaming for ‘their governent’ to do something and my idea is simply to get it rolling with no new beauracracy being created.  Keep it simple and hopefully effective to both administer and deliver the goods so to speak.

    This two thousand plus page healthcare bill seems to me as being the equivalent of the Patriot Act of Healthcare and the agency that will support this shakedown the equivalent of Homeland Security & TSA combined.  It’s going to cost a fortune to just operate this behemoth that will end up just like Medicare with huge sums of waste and fraud being exposed annually.

    Medicare is already in place although current waste and fraud needs to be cleaned up bigtime.  Four years ago it was disclosed that 11 billion had been pilfered or was unaccounted for and this past year it’s up to 48 billion!? This is a serious amount of money.  So to create a new healthcare plan being operated by more faceless bureaucrats; all of them with great medical benefits, not the one’s they are administering; then we best keep in place what we have and clean it up; ie, Medicare. 

    Maybe we need to go the route of the Chinese where most crimes against the state are met with summary execution in a public arena.  Visualize a thousand Medicare fraudsters of all stripes including physicians are marched out into a stadium and given a summary bullet to the base of the brain with the bill for the round sent to their families. /: | Possibly that would clean up fraud against the U.S. taxpayer in short order.  The same should go for all fraudsters in my opinion because they are like a cancer eating up the national body.

    We entrust these criminally disposed scavengers with our money and lives and they betray us daily, putting our nation and citizens at hazard, both financially and physically.

    Carl Nemo **==