Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Friday, April 14, 2017

HOOD RIVER, Ore. -- Rep. Greg Walden is one of the Republican House leaders who crafted the measure to overhaul the health-care system that dramatically imploded before lawmakers went home for a two-week recess.

But when faced with a large crowd of angry constituents in his district this week, the Oregon Republican seemed reluctant to claim the legislation as his own. Instead, Walden stressed the parts of President Obama's Affordable Care Act that he wants to keep.

That did not stop about 1,500 of his constituents who packed this liberal area at two town halls on Wednesday from slamming the congressman for wanting to overhaul Obamacare in a state that heavily relies on it.

"Why don't you go back to Washington, [and] in the spirit of bipartisanship, grow a pair, sit down with [House Democratic leader] Nancy Pelosi and say, ‘Let's fix Obamacare,' " said one middle-aged man at Columbia Gorge Community College, where about 500 people gathered.

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See I is smart. I've known this for YEARS people are now just catching up on that thought process.

#1 | Posted by LauraMohr at 2017-04-14 07:32 PM | Reply

Siglepayer isn't the answer....

It's like controlling the price of cars with car insurance.

If you are honest you need to socialize the healthcare industry.

Everyone in healthcare on government payroll.

But you can't be honest.

Liars! :)

#2 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2017-04-14 08:05 PM | Reply

Help me here Mackris.

Is there some kind of problem with health care in this country?

What's the problem?

#3 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-04-14 08:14 PM | Reply

The US already has single payer now for many. See Medicare, Medicaid, VA. It also has a mandate that requires hospital ERs to provide free care to people that can't pay, thanks Reagan. The ER law isn't fair as it penalizes hospitals in poor areas more than rich areas.

ACA was an improvement in many ways for millions, but still let insurance companies skim off more than justified.
Basic preventative, emergency and public health care should be provided to US residents under a single payer system, like Medicaid for all.
'Luxury' care should be paid for by the patient or their insurer. The rest of the modern world has already figured this out.
Unfortunately the US is full of a special kind of stupid.

#4 | Posted by bored at 2017-04-14 10:01 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"'Luxury' care should be paid for by the patient or their insurer. The rest of the modern world has already figured this out.
Unfortunately the US is full of a special kind of stupid.

#4 | POSTED BY BORED "

I have supported this approach for years. The problem is that my definition of what constitutes 'luxury' care is much different than yours. Take end of life care, this needs to end as it is too expensive. However, this requires 'death panels'. Take gender reassignment procedures, that should not be covered. Take the huge amount of money spent to treat people with issues due to obesity and other self-inflicted (drug/alcohol) problems. That should not be covered.

If the government wants to make true change, it should link healthcare reform with welfare reform to get those people back into the job market and make them productive again. With illegal immigration controlled, there is going to be a need for more workers and the shortage should lead to higher wages. The reduction in the welfare roles, along with a true audit of the disability roles, will save more money than the healthcare will cost. That would provide the healthcare needed by the truly sick/disabled without bankrupting the nation.

Another out of the box idea - have the government start to charter flights to Mexico, etc for expensive but routine procedures. I think a big issue for the US healthcare is still overpaid doctors and nurses and they could use some competition. The AMA will never allow that by bringing them into the US, so you outsource some of these procedures.

#5 | Posted by InTrumpWeTrust at 2017-04-15 05:22 PM | Reply

#5 I likely agree with you more than you think.

What is end of life care? Long term care for the frail elderly lasts 2ish years on average. Long term care for those with dementia can last much longer as the body can outlast the mind. Palliative care lasts months. That level of care doesn't have to be expensive. LTC in many socialized systems requires the patient to exhaust their assets before the state pays the bill.

There is a meme that half of health care costs occur in the last 6 months of life. This is quite misleading. People that have bad injuries/illnesses that lead to their death may have had little contact with the healthcare system until then. How do you know that care is end of life until death follows?

Many health care providers are vastly overpaid. Elective surgeries should be outsourced where practical. Digital diagnostics (xray or CAT scan review) can be outsourced to India/China/Mexico and soon will be done by AI systems. You are correct the AMA is a big part of the US healthcare cost problem.

#6 | Posted by bored at 2017-04-15 08:11 PM | Reply

#6

It is good to hear there is someone reasonable on the other side. Some other things I think we should look into:

1.) Make advertising of prescription drugs illegal. This would actually increase drug company profits as they spend too much on marketing now to keep pace with the other companies. Much like cigarette companies, profits will go up when you outlaw advertising.

2.) Remove prescription drugs from insurance coverage. Something would need to be done to bridge the gap until market forces come into play, but if you no longer has insurance coverage, a lot of people would choose not to take the drugs (let's face it, we are vastly over medicated) and the pricing would likely come down as the variable cost of production is near zero. So, to maintain sales, the prices would come down using normal market forces.

3.) Government tax incentives for healthy choices. Rather than taxing sugar and alcohol, give a tax credit to those with a healthy range BMI/body fat content, those that test negative for drugs, those that don't smoke, those with healthy BP ranges, etc. We have too much stick and not enough carrot in the current system.

4.) Audit the EBT style programs to remove unhealthy options from poor people, like fast food restaurants. This is protecting people that make poor life choices.

#7 | Posted by InTrumpWeTrust at 2017-04-15 08:57 PM | Reply

I am a little concerned. I agree with almost everything you said, except many generic prescription drugs should be covered. I read a story about a welder that got bit by his cat when he tried to remove a mouse from its mouth. He was prescribed antibiotics but didn't buy them. He was the last person in the US to get the black plague and lost his fingers trying to save a few dollars.
Many drugs and vacinnes should be covered.

#8 | Posted by bored at 2017-04-15 10:52 PM | Reply

#5
i get it, eugenics.

ppl who live in highly poluted areas shouldn't be covered, ppl who participate in sports...no coverage... ...eat twinkies...not covered.

but i get it.

#9 | Posted by ichiro at 2017-04-16 08:17 AM | Reply

"The reduction in the welfare roles, along with a true audit of the disability roles, will save more money than the healthcare will cost."

Really? How does that work?

As my physics teacher used to say...show us your math.

#10 | Posted by Danforth at 2017-04-16 09:46 AM | Reply

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"Really? How does that work?
As my physics teacher used to say...show us your math.

#10 | POSTED BY DANFORTH "

Pretty easy. I estimate SSDI to be at least 50% fraud/abuse. For example, drug abusers receiving SSDI. That saves about $50B/year by purging them from the roles and forcing them back into the workforce. Welfare payments are about $1.1B (this is a very low estimate). If you can provide employment for have of them, you save $500B/year+ in spending. Further, as they are not employed, they and their employers will instead be contributing to the system. I would estimate this at maybe $50B/year.

So, by these reforms, I would be adding $600B+ yearly into the system. I think total Obamacare shortfall is ~$150B total, so this covers that x4 to truly cover everyone. Take that along with the other reforms I mentioned and their is plenty of money to go around. It is just a matter of how it is allocated. Money to sit on your ass and do nothing vs. healthcare.

#11 | Posted by InTrumpWeTrust at 2017-04-16 04:54 PM | Reply

"For example, drug abusers receiving SSDI."

Why shouldn't drug abusers receive SSDI?

#12 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-04-16 05:05 PM | Reply

Republican math? $1.1 trillion in welfare payments? Are you including the DoD budget in that?

#13 | Posted by bored at 2017-04-16 05:06 PM | Reply

#13

I took from here. I think this is actually very low. There are a ton of programs that are welfare but go under different names at the state levels. But, I think we could slash 50% of the defense spending too while we are at it.

----

www.usgovernmentspending.com

In FY 2017 total US government spending on welfare -- federal, state, and local -- is "guesstimated" to be $1,127 billion, including $646 billion for Medicaid, and $481 billion in other welfare.

#14 | Posted by InTrumpWeTrust at 2017-04-16 05:13 PM | Reply

2.) Remove prescription drugs from insurance coverage. Something would need to be done to bridge the gap until market forces come into play, but if you no longer has insurance coverage, a lot of people would choose not to take the drugs (let's face it, we are vastly over medicated) and the pricing would likely come down as the variable cost of production is near zero. So, to maintain sales, the prices would come down using normal market forces.

One of my drugs costs 8000 a month. Just how much do you think the cost will come down if everyone has to self pay?

#15 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2017-04-16 05:32 PM | Reply

"One of my drugs costs 8000 a month. Just how much do you think the cost will come down if everyone has to self pay?

#15 | POSTED BY TAOWARRIOR"

How much do you think the drug costs to produce? My guess is much less than $8000. I would guess about $100. If the drug was not covered, how many people would buy it at $8000/month? My guess is close to zero. If a company has zero sales, they will drop the price so they do have sales.

I realize if you are currently on a drug that costs $8000/month, you will be completely against all reforms that could threaten your ability to get that drug. I am not saying this is selfish thinking, but you are taking exponentially more from the system that you will ever be providing to it. I doubt people outside the US are paying the same for this drug or taking it at all. There are always alternatives.

#16 | Posted by InTrumpWeTrust at 2017-04-16 05:42 PM | Reply

#14 I wouldn't call Medicaid welfare since the money goes to the rich, and even if it is, what is the alternative.

Medicare and Medicaid cost about 1,250 Billion a year. Almost half of that is price gouging, fraud, abuse and waste when compared to other first world health systems with even better outcomes. Single payer for the middle class workers would support aggressive cost reduction in health costs and could save $500 Billion a year.
Law enforcement is about $300 Billion a year. End the war on drugs and I would expect that to drop by half. Another $150 Billion a year.
The DoD by many accounts is the most wasteful government department. The US could easily cut $250 Billion from that budget without affecting safety.

Trump could save $900 Billion and return to a surplus budget and maintain all services by stopping waste in health, LE and the DoD.

Why won't he.

#17 | Posted by bored at 2017-04-16 07:10 PM | Reply

#17, I don't think LE would drop by half simply by ending the war on drugs, but there would be a reduction. The problem with LE is half of all spending is related to pension obligations for people no longer serving. So, even cutting the number of officers in half would only yield a 25% overall reduction. As to the military, I see a huge overlap between them, border patrol, and US customs. We should make a massive cut in DoD spending and then redeploy/retrain those troops for work in customs and border patrol. Seriously, what is more charter of the US military than defending the border?

I also agree on the amount of waste, fraud, and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid. The problem is that this is the closest the US has to single-payer (only open to poor and old). If we both agree the waste is 50%, turning more over into the same administrators creates a problem rather than solves it, which is why I think there is so much resistance to single payer among conservatives.

"Trump could save $900 Billion and return to a surplus budget and maintain all services by stopping waste in health, LE and the DoD."

I think this is the main distinction between true conservatives and liberals. A true conservative does not believe that the government can be run without massive waste, fraud, and abuse. A liberal thinks it is simply a matter of 'getting the right people' and giving them more power (with ever bigger budgets). If you are a true conservative, the only solution to the massive government waste is to remove the money from their control.

As to your main point on this, I firmly believe that the government could get 20% across the board with a single impact in service or effectiveness. Unfortunately, the government bureaucrats are so entitled that they feel they must pass on budget cuts to services most visible to the citizens of this country rather than actually reform their behavior. I would love to see a budget put forth where the baseline is a 5% across the board reduction. Do the same for a few years and we can straighten this country out.

#18 | Posted by InTrumpWeTrust at 2017-04-16 07:39 PM | Reply

"II doubt people outside the US are paying the same for this drug."

People outside the US have the benefit of price controls.

Check my user history I posted a thread where Trump says we negotiate poorly on drug prices and pharmaceutical companies are making a killing.

#19 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-04-16 09:33 PM | Reply

but you are taking exponentially more from the system that you will ever be providing to it.

True but without that drug I won't be able to work and would take even more out of the system.

There are always alternatives.

I tried 2 alternatives first they didn't work. So the alternatives left are an 8k a month drug and work to at least pay a portion of my cost or no drug and the government pays me disability and the rest of my health care costs.

#20 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2017-04-16 10:12 PM | Reply

"So the alternatives left are an 8k a month drug and work to at least pay a portion of my cost or no drug and the government pays me disability and the rest of my health care costs.

#20 | POSTED BY TAOWARRIOR "

I don't know the specifics of your disease (Restless Leg Syndrome vs. cancer) and I realize this question will come off as completely heartless. It is not directed at you specifically but it is a question that needs to be addressed under any healthcare reform.

Question: How many US taxpayer dollars are you entitled to in your lifetime for your healthcare?

If we assume it costs $12K/year to educate a child, your single prescription med is equivalent to 8 kids getting an education.

Do you know how much others in Canada or the UK pay for the drug? Is it even used there?

I honestly would like the answer but if this hits too close to home, feel free to ignore.

#21 | Posted by InTrumpWeTrust at 2017-04-16 10:41 PM | Reply

Question: How many US taxpayer dollars are you entitled to in your lifetime for your healthcare?

Well, what's the answer?

#22 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-04-16 11:33 PM | Reply

"A true conservative does not believe that the government can be run without massive waste, fraud, and abuse."

Well, Trump is going to prove you right, by ramping all three of those up, but what's your point? Why bitch about something that can't be avoided if we are to have a government?

#23 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-04-16 11:38 PM | Reply

"If we assume it costs $12K/year to educate a child, your single prescription med is equivalent to 8 kids getting an education."

It can cost ten times that to educate a special needs child. It's dumb to compare outliers to averages. (Which is also why vouchers is an unfair idea, but that's another topic.)

#24 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-04-16 11:41 PM | Reply

InDumpHeTrusts would Euthanize special needs kids so a cost savings there.

#25 | Posted by truthhurts at 2017-04-16 11:48 PM | Reply

"InDumpHeTrusts would Euthanize special needs kids so a cost savings there.

#25 | POSTED BY TRUTHHURTS "

Not true. I volunteer my time educating special needs kids (libbies) on here, not euthanizing them.

#26 | Posted by InTrumpWeTrust at 2017-04-17 01:36 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

"but what's your point? Why bitch about something that can't be avoided if we are to have a government?

#23 | POSTED BY SNOOFY"

I does not surprise me that you missed the point. If there is known waste, fraud, and abuse, a smart person would limit how much money is given to that entity. That is why I wanted as little money going to government as possible.

#27 | Posted by InTrumpWeTrust at 2017-04-17 01:39 AM | Reply

The waste, fraud and abuse in the US health system is mostly caused by the private sector.

#28 | Posted by bored at 2017-04-17 02:30 AM | Reply

"The waste, fraud and abuse in the US health system is mostly caused by the private sector.

#28 | POSTED BY BORED "

I absolutely disagree with this. The "waste" in the private sector is the profits paid out to health insurance providers and the wages paid to their employees which would not be necessary in the same amount if we had single payer. The waste, fraud, and abuse is mostly in the government run side of things.

#29 | Posted by InTrumpWeTrust at 2017-04-17 02:35 AM | Reply

Single payer is government run, multiple insurance companies are a big part of the private sector.
Government run healthcare is more efficient and transparent.

#30 | Posted by bored at 2017-04-17 02:44 AM | Reply

"Single payer is government run"

It does not have to be.

"Government run healthcare is more efficient and transparent.

#30 | POSTED BY BORED"

It is neither. Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA are all horribly run in terms of quality of care and the administrators are basically unaccountable. That is not what we need.

#31 | Posted by InTrumpWeTrust at 2017-04-17 05:34 AM | Reply

Looks like in Canada it's about 2500 a month, in the UK around 2000 a month.

As far as how many health care dollars right now I get about 9600 for my family, The Obamacare subsidy. My insurance has a 25 percent copay on tier 5 drugs so for January I paid 2000, February I paid 750 and hit my out of pocket max for the year. Considering the taxes I pay and the fact that I took in a kid who would otherwise be in foster care the 9600 isn't much and a lot less than if I couldn't work. Foster care pays 3600 a year and he would be in Medicaid so right there comes really close to the 9600 being a break even amount for taxpayers.

Now when I quit working, be it retirement or disease progression I will stop taking the 8k drug as the control of the disease won't be an issue. Which means as far as taxpayers go they will never be on the hook for an 8k a month drug.

To me it seems like the current setup is beneficial for both me and taxpayers. Sure its not free to taxpayers but it is much less than the alternative. All this talk of changing the system needs to have a full CBA done as it's easy to see the cost of 9600 a year under Obamacare and say yeah we can save that, but the reality is 9600 is a lot less than the alternative.

#32 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2017-04-17 11:17 AM | Reply

Minus the "inputs" of a couple of trolls, this is one of the better discussions I've seen on the DR.

#33 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2017-04-17 11:34 AM | Reply

Not true. I volunteer my time educating special needs kids (libbies) on here, not euthanizing them.

#26 | Posted by InTrumpWeTrust

So where again oh might teacher is the country of Kurd?

#34 | Posted by truthhurts at 2017-04-17 12:18 PM | Reply

"II does not surprise me that you missed the point. If there is known waste, fraud, and abuse, a smart person would limit how much money is given to that entity."

You have no clue what you're talking about. If you know the cost of something, you budget for it.

The fact that there's some waste fraud and abuse isn't addressed by simply de-funding the program itself

Smart people, and even people of average intelligence, recognize that what you are suggesting is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

#35 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-04-17 06:44 PM | Reply

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