54 million, estimated

Yesterday, certain religious leaders and Republicans gathered in Congress to plan how to best to destroy those portions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that regulate employee health plans offered by large businesses as part of employee compensation packages. Employee pay, in other words.

Just to be clear, because there seems to be some confusion, certain religious leaders and Republicans are demanding a broad waiver for all large businesses, and without regulation of large businesses, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care is effectively gutted.

“One of the fundamental purposes of the Affordable Care Act was making sure all health insurance plans cover basic services. The Blunt amendment would do away with that,” says Sarah Lipton-Lubet, a policy counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union. “A business could deny coverage for cervical cancer screening for unmarried employees, out of opposition to premarital sex.”

No opposing witnesses were allowed, which left a full day for certain religious leaders and Republicans to congratulate each other on their piety, charity and generosity, uninterrupted by anyone from out here in the cheap seats who might upset, challenge or otherwise fail to show the absolute fawning deference which we have foolishly allowed them to become accustomed to, and, naturally, they now demand.

Because we’re apparently a little tougher than Republicans or certain religious leaders, and we don’t require careful protection from an opposing view, I read Blunt’s defense of the new law he and the religious leaders drafted and are sponsoring, and here’s his suggestion to those of us who may lose health insurance coverage as a result of their law:

Blunt’s office also took issue with claims that his amendment could be used by any employer to deny coverage of specific items. The fact sheet argues that the amendment “does nothing to force the health insurance company to offer that plan; it simply ensures that Americans are guaranteed the same rights” that they had before Obama’s health-care plan became law. “Federal courts are well equipped to identify spurious claims” by employers who falsely claim “conscience rights” to deny coverage, he says.

He suggests that workers who are denied coverage take their claim to a federal court, so that’s helpful, and I appreciate that advice. In case you’re wondering, Blunt’s defense means that everything lawyers are saying about Blunt’s new law is, well, TRUE. Employers could deny any coverage, and employees would then petition a federal court and demand that their current employer show proof that he or she actually has a religious or moral objection to health insurance coverage. Accusing your employer of lying about their moral convictions or religion may be problematic for your average employee, sure, but Blunt and certain religious leaders think you’re up to the challenge, and they say go for it. See you in court, suckers!

I don’t expect we’ll hear much on the reality for the peons on cost sharing and the PPACA now that Republicans and certain religious leaders have made this all about them, so here goes:

The Affordable Care Act requires many insurance plans (so-called ‘non-grandfathered’ plans) to provide coverage for and eliminate cost-sharing on certain recommended preventive health services, for policies renewing on or after September 23, 2010.[1] Based primarily on guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, this includes services such as colonoscopy screening for colon cancer, Pap smears and mammograms for women, well-child visits, flu shots for all children and adults, and many more.[2]
While some plans already covered these services, millions of Americans were previously in health plans that did not. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Employer Health Benefits Survey in 2011, 31% of all workers were covered by plans that expanded their list of covered preventive services due to the Affordable Care Act.[3] The most recent data from the Census Bureau show that 173 million Americans ages 0 to 64 currently have private coverage.[4] Putting these facts together, we estimate that approximately 54 million Americans received expanded coverage of at least some preventive services due to the Affordable Care Act in 2011.[5]
Using national survey data on children and adults with private insurance, we next estimated how those 54 million people are distributed across states, and across age, race, and ethnic groups. We examined the following age/gender groups, and provide here a sample of the services they are now eligible for without any cost-sharing. Note that this is not an exhaustive list of covered services and is only meant to highlight several examples.
• Children (0-17): Coverage includes regular pediatrician visits, vision and hearing screening, developmental assessments, immunizations, and screening and counseling to address obesity and help children maintain a healthy weight.
• Women (18-64): Coverage includes cancer screening such as pap smears for those ages 21 to 64, mammograms for those ages 50 to 64, and colonoscopy for those 50 to 64; recommended immunizations such as HPV vaccination for women ages 19 to 26, flu shots for all adults, and meningococcal and pneumococcal vaccinations for high-risk adults; healthy diet counseling and obesity screening; cholesterol and blood pressure screening; screening for sexually-transmitted infections and HIV; depression screening; and tobacco-use counseling. Starting in August 2012, additional preventive services specific to women, such as screening for gestational diabetes and contraception, will be covered by new health plans with no cost sharing.
• Men (18-64): Coverage includes recommended immunizations such as flu shots for all adults and meningococcal and pneumococcal vaccinations for high-risk adults; cancer screening including colonoscopy for adults 50 to 64; healthy diet counseling and obesity screening; cholesterol and blood pressure screening; screening for HIV; depression screening; and tobacco-use counseling.

54 million people now stand to benefit from no cost sharing for preventive services under the PPACA. Just keep that in mind when you’re listening to the same rotating cast of 150 people “debate” whether regulation of large businesses under the PPACA is necessary, or whether workers really deserve these protections.

67 replies
  1. 1
    Egg Berry says:

    Hey, just what we need. More lawsuits in an overburdened court system!

  2. 2
    jibeaux says:

    Accusing your employer of lying about their moral convictions or religion may be problematic for your average employee, sure, but Blunt and certain religious leaders think you’re up to the challenge, and they say go for it. See you in court, suckers!

    I’m sure there’s many, many lawyers near you experienced with the federal courts who would accept your case on a contingency basis, for 1/3 of your cancer treatment.

  3. 3
    JPL says:

    According to TPM, the latest poll has Scott Brown up 9 pts over Warren. He supports a bill that would take away rights from individuals in his state.

  4. 4
    Joseph Nobles says:

    The Catholic Church wasn’t doing so great at the state level using lawsuits to get these kinds of laws overturned. Solution: transfer the burden of suing from the organization to the individual! Problem solved!

  5. 5
    amk says:

    @JPL:

    It’s brown 45.9 Warren 43.5 per this josh tweet

    https://twitter.com/#!/joshtpm/status/170502982062981121,

  6. 6
    jibeaux says:

    @JPL: If he keeps that seat over Elizabeth Warren, people in Massachusetts deserve every name folks north of Massachusetts are prone to calling them.

  7. 7
    c u n d gulag says:

    GOP POV:
    Let your employer determine what is and isn’t covered regarding health care, birth control, and sex.

    If Jiffy Lube won’t pay for lube so you can enjoy sex, pay for it on your own!

    Or, sue Jiffy Lube, if your wife wants to take “The Pill” before you enjoy lubed-up sex, and they won’t pay it for religious reasons.

    Or, get a job with Vaseline – maybe they will.

    RJ Reynolds will be able, I suppose, to not pay for lung X-rays.
    Tobacco is practically a religion in some parts of the country, after all…

  8. 8
    JPL says:

    @amk: Here’s the link to the Suffolk poll
    I do like the average polling though.

  9. 9
    Schlemizel says:

    We have heard the Christian Scientist boss argument but I have another, more insidious one.

    What if your employer was a Jenny McCarthy level moran? Not vaccinations for you or your kids under my watch!

    The asshole brigade is out in force to prove that politics is more important that family or country. Elephant uber alles!

  10. 10
    kay says:

    @Schlemizel:

    Federal courts are well equipped to identify spurious claims.

    Which is why we had to create and seat a special master to oversee vaccination claims .

  11. 11
    Wag says:

    The religious/moral convictions of the 1% job creators are clearly more important than the religious/moral convictions of the unwashed 99%.

  12. 12
    Punchy says:

    See you in court, suckers!

    And when the court surely sides with the plantiff, listen to the howls of “Aktivitz Jujez!” and then 39 Republican bills calling for tort reform and laws to allow people to ignore judges’ rulings if it goes against their “morals”.

  13. 13
    Wag says:

    @Schlemizel:

    Well, if Jenny is a job creator then we should all just fall in line.

  14. 14
    lacp says:

    This is teh suxxor. Yes, their stance is ridiculous and phony, but they’ve got both the money and the insanity to keep the issue percolating for months. Not good.

  15. 15
    Wag says:

    @lacp:

    You’re right. Its not good. Its great.

  16. 16
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @lacp: Then our side will have to start getting angry more often.

  17. 17
    General Stuck says:

    While all this religious conscience mumbo jumbo is ultimately about discrediting toward destroying the hated ACA, the lizard brain is likely also thinking two birds/one stone. Or, playing the liberal orgy card, about always gets the wingnut base twisted up in a puritan froth to stop the hedonistic hippy types. What they seem oblivious to, or are tone deaf to the overall political consequences for most women outside the most ardent right to lifers. It is an ultimate echo chamber trap, that I think is largely to soften up the pol battlefield for the SCOTUS to strike down the ACA. It is nigh impossible for them to go straight for the truth, that they are protecting the bottom line of their plutocrat masters. But dredging up archaic pol battles is lost on them, both the disgust and comic relief of such antics. They are effectively wedge issuing themselves this go around. How cool is that?

  18. 18
    ppcli says:

    The fraudulence of this pantomime is brought out by, among many other things, the fact that it is narrowly focused on the ACA and nothing else. (Especially given that the Church has had no problem adhering to these rules in various states(Massachusetts, fx under Romneycare) for a decade or more.) Why the narrow restriction? People face conflicts between their conscience and Federal law all the time. Quakers pay taxes, much of which goes toward a war machine they have fundamental objections to, for example. And as I recall, when many universities banned ROTC from campus over the military’s anti-gay policies, it was an act of conscience over which the Republicans howled like scalded cats for years.

    So let’s just say that anyone who has any objection of conscience to obeying any Federal law at all should be allowed to opt out. Well, because the result would be a madhouse, as Scalia pointed out in his decision in the case involving Native ceremonies and hallucinogens. What makes offering insurance special?

  19. 19
    harlana says:

    ok, maybe i’m not the best snarxist in the world, but i try, i really do

    i got nothin’ and i don’t think the ensuing brain damage that will follow after i get done beating my head bloody against the desk is going to help much

  20. 20
    geg6 says:

    How the fuck am I going to get through to November without my head exploding? I really am worried that I’m going to have a heart attack or stroke one of these days just from exposure to too much stupid.

    We need some doggie/kitty pix. Or alcohol. Or both.

  21. 21
    Nylund says:

    Great…so no one should worry if they get sick and need coverage to pay for treatment. They can get it if they spend thousands on lawyers and wait a few months, if not years as it goes through the courts. Surely your medical condition can just wait.

    And how long until the GOP insists on something akin to “tort reform” to stop all those people from going to court?

  22. 22
    Paul in KY says:

    Kay, haven’t read any comments, but a good way to throw a wrench in this travesty is to scream about how it is a ‘gift to the lawyer lobby’.

    All the frivolous lawsuits coming from those disgruntled women will gum up the courts & make millions for the evil lawyers.

  23. 23
    Valdivia says:

    This is so well written and so perfectly exemplifies how you keep your eye on what matters Kay and by extension makes us focus on it. Thank you.

  24. 24
    JPL says:

    @geg6: That’s how I feel except I might just shut down the computer after I download a book on my Nook.
    The latest Brown poll just threw me because these idiots don’t realize he’s voting to take away their rights.

  25. 25
    Suffern ACE says:

    So if you have a substandard plan, what limited enforcement mechanism is now shut off completely because the employer might be offering it for religious purposes. What can they attach this to so it isn’t vetoed even if it gets through the Senate?

  26. 26
    geg6 says:

    OT, but I found this interesting:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/.....ingle.html

    The Obama campaign apparatus continues to amaze me.

  27. 27
    amk says:

    @geg6: Thx. It was a fascinating read.

  28. 28
    dr. bloor says:

    @JPL: Ten months is forever in politics. Lotsa time to edjumucate the voters about Brown.

    The press release with the poll is a little laughable. There’s no way in hell the dynamics of this race will resemble Brown-Croakley in any way, shape or form.

  29. 29
    slightly_peeved says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Absolutely nothing.

    When the debt ceiling argument was happening, Cantor brought up removing sections of the ACA. Obama just shut down the negotiations at that point, as he does anytime they seriously make an effort to remove sections of the ACA.

    This is a big part of his legacy – he probably loves that they call it Obamacare, since it will make it all the harder for them to take the credit later on. While he’s willing to put a lot more on the table than some Liberals would wish, the key parts of the ACA haven’t been there, and they won’t be.

  30. 30
    JPL says:

    @dr. bloor: It’s still a good weekend to escape with Elizabeth George’s latest book.
    I just finished an old book called Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed: The Story of the Village of Le Chambon and How Goodness Happened There
    Morality and ethics is not something I trust the repubs to understand.

  31. 31
    shortstop says:

    Like harlana and geg6, I’m not feeling in my usual fighting form this a.m. I know I’ll live to fight another day–maybe even this afternoon–but the unspeakable balls of all this has me limp with disbelief right now. These people are just not to be believed.

  32. 32
    Felanius Kootea says:

    What this tells me is that so many people have tuned out when it comes to politics that Democrats need to figure out new ways of disseminating info on what’s really going on. Like building a parallel structure to Fox News, except it has to be grounded in reality. The sheer amount of disinformation out there is troubling; it surprises me when I talk to Democrats who still think Obama singled out the Catholic church for some weird regulation that applies to no one else and they got that impression from news sites other than Fox.

    OT: I just stumbled across this site today: http://www.republicansforobama.org Is this for real?

  33. 33
    A.J. says:

    Paul in KY is right.

    So this is the kind of legislation we get from “small government” nutsacs who hate “activist” courts, claim tort law is killing the country, and demand an end to frivolous lawsuits – take it to a federal Court?

    You have any idea how hard it is to get to a federal court? An idea as to the cost? An idea how long it would take a federal court to convene, hear your case, and decide?
    In a medical case, you’d be dead. “They want you to die!”

    Paul in KY is right that it will be a boon to the lobbyists, but more a boon to them ‘Merica-hatin’ “trial lawyers”!

  34. 34
    Hal says:

    The photos of that panel are amazing. All these collared white men sitting there and discussing whether women should have access to birth control, and just how damn offensive it is.

    This is the Republican strategy for winning the election?

  35. 35
    burnspbesq says:

    If there is no explicit co-payment permitted for those services, that revenue will surely be recovered some other way. Keep your eye on the shell with the pea under it. The pea never goes away.

  36. 36
    Epicurus says:

    Y’know what? And pardon the bad language, but fcuk these people! I would move for an end to ANY religious influence on legislation, until such time as all the churches, mosques and synagogues (etc.) start paying taxes. Render unto Caesar and all that BS. I am so sick and tired of (mostly) men poking their noses into OTHER people’s medical affairs. Enough already! We have a Constitutional prohibition against the establishment of religion precisely because it guarantees people the right to worship in the privacy of their own homes and consciences. That does not then logically lead to the ability to enforce their views on and/or deny liberty to others. I am getting really angry about this and it just has to change.

  37. 37

    This is as doomed an attempt to destroy the ACA as all the others the GOP has tried since they took back the house. That McConnell is letting his senators make fools of themselves just shows how desperate they are, and how thoroughly the echo chamber has distorted the GOP’s grasp of what’s popular. The odds of anything passing the senate are tiny, and only exist because Obama would smack it down no matter what it’s attached to. This legislation is going nowhere.

    In the process, they make themselves look like fantastic jackasses, and evict from the GOP the only minority they’d really suckered. Not good when that ‘minority’ is a majority. Working class men will also be less than thrilled by the idea their bosses and insurance companies can deny coverage of anything they feel like. How many workers trust either?

    EDIT – Let me add that I don’t mention the moral implications of this push because I consider its bigotry and callousness obvious.

  38. 38
    Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor says:

    @JPL:

    The latest Brown poll just threw me because these idiots don’t realize he’s voting to take away their rights.

    Senator Brown seems to have become a Class Marker: Every third contractor’s truck has a Scott Brown sticker on it.

    White, blue-collar Catholic males just aren’t going to vote for Warren. So it’s up to the rest of the state to pick up the slack. The above demographic’s already been fired up by the local talk radio market, but there hasn’t been much buzz for the rest of us. Yet.

    I still expect the gap to narrow as Nov gets closer. Especially once this birth control noise works its way through the public mind: Lots of young people here, and more than 50% of the people who actually vote are women.

  39. 39
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Just keep that in mind when you’re listening to the same rotating cast of 150 people “debate” whether regulation of large businesses under the PPACA is necessary, or whether workers really deserve these protections.

    Well, in answer to your implied question, the serfs don’t deserve the protections.

    Problem solved.

    Well, until the tumbrels roll. Then another solution to this dilemma and its larger context comes to the fore.

    Blount’s head will look good on a pike.

  40. 40
    Lawnguylander says:

    @Felanius Kootea:

    I can’t imagine what the angle would be if it’s not for real and considering 9% of voters registered as Republicans voted for Obama in 2008, I’d expect some of them to be vocal about their support. The confusing part is, why remain Republicans?

  41. 41
    Redshift says:

    @JPL:

    The latest Brown poll just threw me because these idiots don’t realize he’s voting to take away their rights.

    It’s never worth getting worked up over one poll. Brown hasn’t suddenly rocketed to the top because he’s against birth control, bet on it.

  42. 42
    Lawnguylander says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    What’s up with the constant talk of cutting people’s heads off?

  43. 43
    Maude says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    I don’t think Blount’s head would look good anywhere.

  44. 44
    Redshift says:

    @burnspbesq:

    If there is no explicit co-payment permitted for those services, that revenue will surely be recovered some other way. Keep your eye on the shell with the pea under it. The pea never goes away.

    Did you miss the part about how covering preventive services (including birth control) costs insurance companies less than covering the addition care for people without them? And how the only reason simple economics doesn’t pressure health insurers to cover them is because in our fragmented health care system, another company is likely to get the benefit? And how requiring them to be covered by all insurance is how you make that problem go away?

    There are inefficiencies in the marketplace, and by eliminating them, sometimes you can make the pea go away.

  45. 45
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Redshift:
    I did wonder if that poll might be an outlier.

  46. 46
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Lawnguylander:

    The guillotine has an amazing ability to focus one’s attention. Or deal with those who can’t focus.

  47. 47
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Hal:

    The photos of that panel are amazing.

    That image was within the first couple of minutes of both last night’s network news and this morning’s, with the obvious implications, followed immediately by Carolyn Maloney saying “where are the women?”. I think Issa shot himself in the foot.

  48. 48
    opie jeanne says:

    @geg6: Oh geg, I thought the same thing yesterday, that these idiots are trying to give me a heart attack.

    I finally had to walk away from the computer, it was just too much between dealing with idiot relatives on FB and reading about the idiocy in DC.

  49. 49
    Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I think Issa shot himself in the foot.

    Ms. Huffington’s sure to disown her bestest pal in Congress because of this, right?

    Right?

    ::crickets::

  50. 50
    Rafer Janders says:

    He suggests that workers who are denied coverage take their claim to a federal court, so that’s helpful, and I appreciate that advice. In case you’re wondering, Blunt’s defense means that everything lawyers are saying about Blunt’s new law is, well, TRUE. Employers could deny any coverage, and employees would then petition a federal court and demand that their current employer show proof that he or she actually has a religious or moral objection to health insurance coverage. Accusing your employer of lying about their moral convictions or religion may be problematic for your average employee, sure, but Blunt and certain religious leaders think you’re up to the challenge, and they say go for it. See you in court, suckers!

    And what if your employer isn’t even lying? What if they actually have a genuine, heartfelt, religiously-based objection to denying you health care? If, for example, they’re a Christian Scientist? Well, then you’re out of luck, I’m afraid.

  51. 51
    Ando_Chronic says:

    Why do Christian fundamentalists and Republicans consistently view themselves as morally superior and believe they exhibit more virtue than the likes of the Taliban or for that matter al-Qaeda? I see no remarkable difference between current philosophies.

  52. 52
    Rafer Janders says:

    @slightly_peeved:

    This is a big part of his legacy – he probably loves that they call it Obamacare, since it will make it all the harder for them to take the credit later on.

    Frankly, I couldn’t believe it when the right started callign it Obamacare, not realizing it was going to be a decades long gift to us. I’d be thrilled if Social Security was known as Rooseveltcare, or if Medicare and Medicaid were known as LBJCare. The fact that all Americans will have access to health care, that children can stay on their parents’ plans until they’re 25, that insurance companies can’t deny you coverage for a pre-existing condition, etc., will forever be recognized as a gift from President Obama and the Democratic Party thanks to the GOP’s idiotic framing.

  53. 53
    Paul in KY says:

    @Lawnguylander: That’s how he blows off steam.

  54. 54
    Chris says:

    @Ando_Chronic:

    Why do Christian fundamentalists and Republicans consistently view themselves as morally superior and believe they exhibit more virtue than the likes of the Taliban or for that matter al-Qaeda? I see no remarkable difference between current philosophies.

    They don’t. It doesn’t matter how much “moral virtue” you exhibit in this world of Fallen Creatures: all that matters is whether you’ve accepted Jesus and thus caused him to wipe your slate clean (or, basically, ignore it).

    Tribalism is their theology. Literally.

  55. 55
    opie jeanne says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Issa is an ass. I hope this stink clings to him and that he is finally brought down by it.

  56. 56
    shortstop says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: @Maude: Stop inadvertently slandering Roy Blount Jr., y’all. He’s gotta be bumming that his name is so close to Roy Blunt’s.

  57. 57
    Ando_Chronic says:

    @Chris

    Regardless of sky-daddy you can’t deny each party’s self-proclaimed moral exceptionalism. I just love how any Christian or Republican will argue ad nauseam about good Christians and scary Muslims, and explain how bad Sharia law would be for this country. What’s the difference these days between Christian fundie law and Sharia law on a superficial level?

  58. 58
    Ed Drone says:

    @geg6:

    We need some doggie/kitty pix. Or alcohol. Or both.

    I sense a business opportunity here — booze with LOLCATZ on the labels. Different ones each production run. Collect ’em all, you drunken sot!

    Ed

  59. 59
    slag says:

    @geg6: Thanks for sharing that! Intriguing.

  60. 60
    WereBear says:

    @Rafer Janders: I love the way President Obama brings it up in speeches: “They call it Obamamcare. Well, I do.”

  61. 61
    dww44 says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I damn well hope he did!

  62. 62
    DFH no.6 says:

    This anti-contraception issue will redound to the Democrats’ advantage if (and it is, unfortunate past experience teaches, a fairly big if) the various operatives at all levels – from the Obama campaign and the DNC,DCCC, et al, to MoveOn and any and all SuperPacs – make a big deal about it all the way to November 6th .

    The focus must be simply and primarily on the panty-sniffing anti-contraceptive aspect that the solid majority of Americans (including the Catholic Healthcare Association) agree with us against the hypocritical, mendacious bishops and Republican officials and mouthpieces.

    Hammer over and over that it is total bullshit that this has anything to do with alleged “religious liberty” (just unequivocally claim it is not true, which claim has the great advantage of being factual) and everything to do with the right’s bizarre minority position against contraception.

    Sad to say, there are probably relatively few male voters whose votes will be swayed one way or the other over this issue. Even if they agree with our side about this (contributing to the majorities seen in the polling), very few typically-Republican-voting men (registered fascists, rightwing “independents”, and conservadems) are likely to switch their votes because of it.

    However, I believe significant inroads could be made with many female voters (including not a few Republican women) who might otherwise vote Republican or simply not vote at all (like a large percentage of younger women are wont to do).

    That’s the target for garnering votes over this.

    If the Democrats and their fellow-travelers play this right, the asshole fascists have given us a rare gift here. If.

  63. 63
    Ruckus says:

    @shortstop:
    And of course that’s what they want.
    They want to overload us so that we don’t fight back at all or don’t fight back effectively. It’s a trick that works, we get so overloaded with bullshit we just give up. And the crazier the bullshit the more exasperated we get and either we just throw up our hands or we fight back harder. I know what they are hoping for and I know we have to do the opposite.

  64. 64
    brettvk says:

    @Maude: As one of Blunt’s constituents, I disagree. I’d be more than happy to have it crown my compost pile.

  65. 65
    shortstop says:

    Oh, Ruckus, it only lasted an hour. I don’t give up that easily, and neither do harlana and geg6. My comment was just to note how wearying and temporarily paralyzing something this insane is.

  66. 66
    Harry says:

    @Egg Berry: OK, here is the real deal. The government has done its darndest to screw up the health care industry to include the availability, distribution and costs of perscriptions. I have been in the industry and there has been, for years, legislation that has limited the ability to put plans together for groups of people, like associations. This would cut costs to participants. There are so many similar mandates. Cobra seems to be one of the good things.

    The courts have allowed outrageous settlements for mistakes that were made. This is not to diminish the severity of mistakes, but should bring awareness to part of the problem.

    Suffice it to say that it is not one thing that has screwed up the system, it is a huge lists of can’t do, won’t do, you must do’s that have been put in place as something that is very self serving. You must do 20 tests to make sure that a person who cut their finger doesn’t have a need for anything but antesiptic and a bandage. Do you think this costs the price of insurance to go up. People go into emergency rooms for a cold or some minor thing and the system gets charged a ton. Why pay $10 or $15 for a box of tissues?

    Yes the system needs to be changed as it is a state of total disrepair. You do not throw the baby out with the bathwater and the only way to eat an elephant is a bite at a time. The way I was tought to solve a problem is first of all define the problem and, if necessary, break the problem to its smallest parts. It is not rocket science. However, because there is so much money in all aspects of health care, there are so many self serving interests that tell the government what to do or they will not fund their campaign, and they contribute to both parties. Who is kidding who?

    This is such a political, and I do mean political football and you have no idea which way it will bounce when it hits the ground. They do not need to cut benefits to seniors and indigent people, they need to manage it. I know in my case, my doctor is not allowed to give me x-ray results without me having to come into the office, pay another co-pay and bill my insurance company for another office visit.

    As a line from Annie, Molly, one of the orphans says in her little voice way, “Oh my goodness, Oh my goodness”. I, in my heart of hearts, believe that congress has not clue one as to what the problems are. Depending upon who has them in their pocket they will pontificate on a subject on which they have no clue.

    Someone help me on this.

  67. 67
    Tehanu says:

    Just keep that in mind when you’re listening to the same rotating cast of 150 people “debate” whether regulation of large businesses under the PPACA is necessary, or whether workers really deserve these protections.

    You used the quote marks on the wrong word. It should have been “people” not “debate”.

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