Poll: Americans Split Evenly Over Repeal Of Obamacare

800px-Capitol_Building_Full_ViewWith the rollout of the new GOP health care law, a new CNN/ORC poll shows that the nation remains deeply divided on the issue. Indeed, little has changed since Obamacare was first passed by a handful of votes.  Some 50% of people oppose the removal mandatory health care coverage while 48% are in favor of such a change.  While some have called the new plan “Obamacare-lite,” it is clearly a repeal and massive change in the existing law.  The thumping heart of Obamacare is the individual mandate and this plan would drive a stake through it.

Notably, some 87%, support maintaining Obamacare’s protections for those with pre-existing conditions, which is indeed preserved in the GOP plan.  Likewise, people like (by a 61% showing) the expanded Medicaid program.  That is preserved for now but could present the greatest challenge for sponsors since it would eventually end.  Indeed, key Republicans have already signaled that they could bolt from the voting bloc over the Medicaid issue.

The polling numbers show a recognition by most Americans that there are serious problems with Obamacare, but an even split on whether Congress should go a different direction. This plan is a different direction in pursuing tax credits rather than mandated programs through state exchanges.

The good news for the GOP is that  53% express dissatisfaction with the price they pay for health care. That is up from 48% in 2009.  Personally, my family’s health care costs have risen sharply and our level of care seems to have fallen. However, overall millions have gained coverage under the law.  The Republicans have worked hard to assure people that there will be no sharp cutoff of covered people but many are looking at that Medicaid horizon with unease.

I find it remarkable that the country is not only split evenly but that these numbers look much like the numbers at the birth of Obamacare.


138 thoughts on “Poll: Americans Split Evenly Over Repeal Of Obamacare”

  1. and then there is the horrible big pharma influence. other countries forbid ads by pharma firms.

  2. Re: this wonderful “Health Care” Plan proposed by Ryan, et al:

    1. Note that ten percent of the bill text is devoted to lottery winners! This bill isn’t designed for regular people. It’s designed for winners – the wealthy, well born and the lucky.

    2. For the rest of us, this bill is a disaster. It will:

    –Revoke health insurance entirely for 10-20 million people covered by Medicaid.
    –End subsidies that millions rely on and replace them with fixed value tax credits that many won’t be able to use.
    –Use the savings to give a giant tax cut to the wealthiest Americans.

    Republicans have every intention of ramming this bill through without thorough hearings or normal scrutiny. Democrats will not be allowed to filibuster.

    Paul Ryan is a sick sociopath, as are many others. The delight the Repugs are taking in trashing everything as quickly as possible is incomprehensible to anyone with a heart.

    1. Jack W.
      I haven’t seen a lot of detail on “Trumpcare” basics, and what finally passes may look a lot different than the current, tentative proposals.
      You said that the Democrats will not be allowed to filibuster; were the Republicans allowed to fillibuster when ObamaCare was being jammed through in the dead of night?
      Separately, I thought Harry Reid and co pushed for restrictions on filibustering.

      1. Leaving the bountiful sum of $7600 to live for the year. Ryan is an ill man who needs to be locked down.

  3. Most of you don’t seem to realize that collecting what you’ve paid into isn’t “mooching” and it’s not an entitlement. Social security is the obvious example. Insurance companies are another. Having paid outrageous health insurance premiums for 25 years, that was free money for the insurance companies because I was healthy; THEY were mooching. The new plan to increase premiums as punishment for not having continuous coverage–where’s the choice and “freedom” in that? I’d rather have the mandate–it’s cheaper. As for the IRS being involved, if you really want a prosperous, happy country–let everyone keep their first 40k and put a consumption tax on everything but food and utilities. But no–because you want poorer people paying self-employment tax, social security, etc. Then you bitch! You people are hypocrites. You do NOT want poor people climbing that ladder (unless perhaps it’s a sociopath wired like you–someone who can surpass all odds). And many claim to be Christians–hah! Do you cut regulation for the “little people?” No–for the extractive enterprises and chemical companies. Not for home business and the self-employed or the food truck or a contractor. Nope!

    There’s another nifty little item in Trump’s We Hate You Healthcare: if any of the expanded medicaid recipients make 2 months of higher income than usual, they are kicked off Medicaid rolls forever. I’m an independent contractor and some months make zero; I might make all of my paltry income over three months. Self-employed people are the same–a tradesman makes more some months than others. Or say you spent 10 months taking care of a family member, and two being monetarily productive–there are a million scenarios where you could fall off the cliff. You’d want to keep your income down, and how is that motivating? While the wealthy manipulate their tax burden into nonexistance and enjoy their private yachts and planes, someone else is trying to survive while fighting against that well-entrenched army. Why such hate and contempt for the poor?

    Finally, I’m 64 years old and can’t easily run out and work three jobs, get retrained, etc–I can’t work those kinds of hours though I have in the past, and though i still try to now. I lost my retirement, savings and house in the recession because my income was directly tied to said recession. Then the IRS came after me like I was a criminal with money in the Caymans. No one is serious about personal freedom because Congress grants them unlimited power to ream you and keep reaming as they extend the SOL as it suits them. YOU PEOPLE do NOT have the best interests of others at heart, nor is your math correct, nor do you care as long as mean-spirited behavior wins the day. I’m not say Obamacare is perfect or that IT wasn’t a gift to insurance companies and drug companies. But there were a couple of tidbits for those who struggle.

  4. Nah I say get rid of welfare and cut back on the mooching first by cutting the size of ALL government by about 30% across the board. The military ha ha is already there they just got cut by 50% didn’t save anytning the money was spent elsewhere.

    The real answer is learn what the words budget, broke, and savings really mean. then apply the knowledge.

  5. Socialized medicine may have its drawbacks, but it varies from country to country many of which have public/private The care my friends received in Germany, the UK and Switzerland has all been excellent – life saving in one instance. I don’t think folks in those countries have to file bankruptcy like so many Americans. Or live in fear of getting sick like my sister does as her Obamacare policy covers next to nothing until the high deductible is met. The funds are there – cut back on the military industrial complex spending and corporate welfare and get rid of the insurance company leeches.

    1. “Socialized medicine may have its drawbacks, but it varies from country to country many of which have public/private The care my friends received in Germany, the UK and Switzerland has all been excellent – life saving in one instance. I don’t think folks in those countries have to file bankruptcy like so many Americans.”

      Well, absolutely, if you survive the wait, as well as being left at hospitals where starving to death over the weekend is surprisingly common (such as in the UK), then you could, indeed, receive life saving treatment.

      As for folks filing bankruptcy, they still pay for that healthcare. There is no magic money tree that springs up. They pay through the nose in taxes, and yet they are STILL running out of money.

      Just GOOGLE “NHS running out of money.” You can replace the search terms with those appropriate for any nation with socialized medicine, and you will get similar results.

      We all know that bureaucracy, paper pushing, and layers of added effort drives up the cost and inefficiency of health care. That’s one of the complaints against insurance. However, do you really think that our government, or indeed any government, can run healthcare without bureaucracy or inefficiency? Or that customer service matters in socialized medicine? Many of the complaints about socialized medicine is the poor customer service. The nurses, doctors, secretaries could care less about you, because you do not directly pay them. You don’t have any choice outside of the system, unless you fly.

      The existence of a few people who have been saved using socialized medicine is not an accurate comparison. There are many people who have received life saving treatment here in the US, too.

      1. “The existence of a few people who have been saved using socialized medicine is not an accurate comparison. There are many people who have received life saving treatment here in the US, too.”

        All Western Europeans I know are very happy with their medical care – hell in some countries doctors still make house visits. Do they have all the bells and whistles – beautiful plant-filled atriums and Starbucks kiosks and does everyone get a private room? No. But the staff — all of whom have tuition free college and training btw, are dedicated to providing excellent medical care – apparently they are happy with their salaries or they’d emigrate. No one goes w/o care and no one files bankruptcy. Doctors who are working just for the money should maybe move to the US

        Arguably the US has some of the best doctors and facilities in the world — IF one has insurance and can afford it.

        The fact that Remote Area Medical [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqtAOhtIR4g] is still in existence serving inner cities and rural locales throughout the USA demonstrates how pathetic the US treats its poorest and most vulnerable — and this despite the ACA.

        It’s not due to lack of funds -it’s due the monies siphoned off for corporate welfare, big pharma, big oil, big ag,and the MIC.

        Fortunately the US has so many caring volunteers – without them the entire damn country would collapse.

        1. Autumn,
          The nanosecond you put the word “All” in this post is the very moment everything after became suspect. You had to know that right? And the reasons people do or do not emigrate are various; your implication is they’ve remained in their home country because of these socialized benefits. That’s quite a leap. The United States dwarfs many of these countries in population. Should we assume ALL who stay here rather than emigrating over there do so because our system is better?

          1. Olly, I used “all” as a subjective measure of my foreign friends and how they size up their satisfaction with their medical care in Germany, the UK and Switzerland. And they were all very happy with it. I did not imply that people didn’t choose to emigrate solely because of the benefits they received in their home countries. I was answering KarenS’s assertion that government paid docs/medical staff somehow were not up to snuff because they were “paid by the government” and had lower salaries. My point was that they could always move to make more money if that was their main goal. Hell, the military has “socialized medicine” and some of the best docs I ever had were on base. All I’m saying is that there is a major problem with the medical care in the US – access to it is increasingly limited — and that includes the VA. My step father, a Navy chief and 30 year vet, has had to continue working even though he’s 70+ now because TriCare has been reduced and his wife requires a certain medication to live which is not on their formulary. Sure they are “old” but dammit he served and as a spouse she “served” as well living in some of the most horrid areas – should they just go away and die?

  6. What I read states that the USA is first in costs, i.e., most expensive, but only about 30th in outcomes for health care, measured by country.

    Something is wrong and I have no good idea how to fix it.

    1. There are plenty of good ideas but to date little ‘will’ to use them. When it gets like Canada is and England was as Karen S. states…All the good ideas and will in the world won’t mean beans except the cost of a coffin. Too late.

    2. The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of the Shadow Government” by Mike Lofgren.
      He calls these reforms that “could begin to stop the rot and put the United States back on track.”
      1. Eliminate private money from public elections.
      2. Sensibly redeploy and downsize the military and intelligence complex.
      3. Stay out of the Middle East.
      4. Redirect the peace dividend to domestic infrastructure improvement.
      5. Start enforcing our antitrust laws again.
      6. Reform tax policy.
      7. Reform immigration policy.
      8. Adopt a single-payer health care system.
      9. Abolish corporations’ personhood status, or else treat them exactly like persons

    3. Something to keep in mind when comparing “health outcomes”…

      There are several problems with those studies.

      1) The US will try to save every single baby who is born. It is more likely to operate on babies still in the womb. We expend a lot of effort to save as many as we can. Many countries do not count infants who are born doomed with a genetic defect to die shortly after birth in their infant mortality rates. We do. If the infant draws breath, even once, it’s a live birth. So our figures are using a different standard than the figures of many other countries. That affects our life expectancy figures.
      2) There are subjective indices such as whether health care was offered for “free” to everyone
      3) Our American diet/lifestyle is far worse than, say, the Japanese diet or the French diet. That affects our life expectancy figures.
      4) There is also a huge difference in the diet of the poor vs the diet of the middle class and the rich. The poor eat a heavy preponderance of processed and Microwave food, higher soda consumptions, and higher smoking and drugs. That leads to differences in health outcomes socioeconomically, which is also included in the studies. It is entirely possible to be poor, and still eat vegetables, not smoke, don’t drink, and don’t do drugs. But American poor are not doing so. That affects our life expectancy figures.

      I would also point out that the reason why prescription drugs cost less in many places around the world, is that our higher prices subsidizes that. Drug companies are more willing to make their drugs available for free in impoverished nations, or to abide by countries’ price fixing, is because it’s all spread out with how much our insurance companies and private payers pay for drugs here. In fact, it’s the US that drives the drug research of the globe. The majority of new drugs are developed here, even if they are sent to labs overseas for QC or even manufacturing (which I think is a really, really, really bad idea.)

      Yes, we definitely have room for improvement, starting with our diet, exercise, and otherwise improve the health of our lifestyle. But you have to take that placement in the 30s with a grain of salt. I can design a survey that would put us at #1, #17, or #20, depending on the questions.

      Ways to improve health outcome tracking (http://www.healthsystemtracker.org/insight/measuring-the-quality-of-healthcare-in-the-u-s/)

      1. The reason why we always rank lower, is that the questions always weight universal access and equity.

        However, it does not properly measure that, for instance, in Canada, there is also not equity, because the rich skip the 40 week wait times and just fly to the US for health care, or they go to a private surgical center.

        Otherwise, in Canada, there is, indeed equity. Everyone else equally waits up to a year for some procedures. (See my links to Canadian government data above.)

        And here it is on undercounted infant mortality globally:

        “The United Nations Millennium Development Goals have highlighted the usefulness of the infant mortality rate as a measure of progress in improving neonatal health care services, and more broadly as an indicator of basic health care overall. However, prior research has shown that infant mortality rates can be underestimated dramatically, depending on a particular country’s live birth criterion, vital registration system, and reporting practices. These problems are especially great for perinatal mortality. This study assesses infant mortality undercounting for a global dataset using an approach popularized in economics some three decades ago, when researchers sought to create internationally comparable, purchasing power parity-adjusted per capita income measures. Using a one-sided error, frontier estimation technique, it is possible to recalculate rates based on estimated parameters to obtain a standardized infant mortality rate and concurrently to derive a measure of likely undercount for each nation.”

        “In a majority of cases, the survey IMR estimate was more than double the official estimate.”

        “Economists tend to grab whichever data set is handiest without concern for the possibility that the IMR numbers reported may differ markedly from other reported values. To repeat our earlier point, most troubling is the apparent inconsistency in generating specific values, along with systematic biases that are likely to emerge.”

        When corrected, infant mortality is actually quite closely grouped among developed nations. But, again, many of those nations that score better than us, do not try to very hard to save every single baby, and so less of those at risk babies ever even make it to being born. Plus, we have a great disparity in smoking, drugs, and diet among the classes. We score worse on those 3 main threats to health than some other developed nations.

        Just remember, in statistics, it’s not always a straight cause-effect.


  7. “One more example of what socialized medicine will do for you. Once upon a time there were two young doctors looking to set up a practice and found a great little community that was in need of a clinic in Enderby, BC. They applied. They were rejected. There was no funding for them. The end.

    When doctors are employees of the State and all of our medical services depend on a socialized system, it doesn’t matter if there is a need. It doesn’t matter if there is a viable community crying out for help. When the funding has run out, that is the end of the story, folks.

    Canadians haven’t connected the dots and apparently, the US hasn’t either.”

    OK, I’m done, I swear. Obamacare and any mention of single payor triggers an almost obsessive response in me. Stepping away from the keyboard now…


      How to tell when Canada Care has run out of money. Hospitals are shut down and there are no seats left on flights to Cuba.

  8. “It is also reported that the Canadian cancer-death rates are twice as high compared to US rates, even though cancer incident rates are very similar. Is there a connection? Canadians aren’t connecting the dots.”

  9. Oh, got to love the “free” health care in Canada. I guess anyone could get used to anything as “normal”:

    “Another example of the Canadian health system in my family: Several years back, my father, who was a Christian school principle at the time, was suffering from a hernia. He was diagnosed in November. He did some research and found that there was a ten percent recurrence rate for the average person who has a hernia surgery and does not have a particular mesh applied. Since he is quite athletic and involved in activities such as bodybuilding and martial arts, he would require that a mesh be put in. His doctor refused. He was also told that he would miss work for three to four weeks; it would take two weeks before he could walk, and six before he could resume any activity in the gym.

    December went by, January went by, February went by, and still we had no word from the hospital for a surgery date. By now he had lost a lot of weight and was not functioning well. Finally in March he went down to the Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle, Washington. He was immediately assessed by a doctor there who was horrified at his condition. The only question that was asked was “What day do you want in?” They scheduled a surgery immediately. This American doctor had him walking two miles within a couple days, back in the weight room in ten days, and he only missed one day of work. Four months later, in July, he got a call from the hospital in British Columbia: they were finally ready to schedule his surgery. He replied, “Thanks, but I would have been dead had I waited for you.””

  10. “I am a dual citizen of both Canada and the United States. I was born and raised in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia, while frequently visiting my father’s side of the family in Ferndale, Washington. When it comes to healthcare I have seen both countries—their freedoms and limitations, as well as the effects of those things—in a personal way.

    First, Canadians have no understanding of what socialism is, never mind why it might be a bad idea. We know we are taxed to death. We know what the numbers say on our paychecks; we know we only take home a fraction of what we worked so hard to make. Yet we call our health care “free,” as if it had no cost to us. Somehow Canadians aren’t connecting the dots. We are told that getting robbed blind by our government is for the greater good of the general public, and that is all we know. We seem to be okay with that, only for lack of education, I fear.

    Here is the problem with socialism: what happens when the funding for universal “free” health care runs out? We see Canadians petition outside of hospitals, angry that the government has cut certain services and they want these services restored. My father asked these petitioners once, while checking himself into the hospital one day, “What exactly are you asking the government to do—increase our taxes or increase our premiums?” They stood there speechless.

    The masses aren’t connecting the dots.”


    1. Not at all but as I push for as much as I can in one direction up jumped the devil in the details from Mr. Krauthammer.

      How much of Obama Care besides Medicaid and Medicare is in Entitlement Form?

      Mr. K. points out once granted an entitlement can never be repealed.

      My first thought is ….nothing is forever…. The enemy is at the gates and we have enough funds to buy bullets or a health entitlement. The first will guarantee our victory and ability to proceed as a free nation. The second choice will give us health care except we are now a vassal state and lost it anway.

      So is Krauthammer correct. and how much of Obamacare IS an entitlement?

      a. All medical facilities must, by law, provide stabilizing treatment as a minimum regardless of abilit to pay.

      b. Medicare

      c. Medicaid

      d. Pre existing condition

      e. Standard medical type coverage for those who cannot pay.

      f. Military retiree tricare.

      g. VA

      Which of these apply right now today.

      I choose

      a, b, c, possibly d and e.

      I already know e, f, g are benefits not retirements and can be revoked whenever.

      What’s you take or answer on this area of entitlement.

      1. f. g. are not entitlements but rather earned benefits. I am retired Navy and what Tricare covers today is very good. I’m able to use private doctors and hospitals without having to get a waiver. I’ve used the VA system very little since I retired in 1999 and I have no direct experience with many of the problems reported. One exception was when I needed and eye exam I was told I had to use the hospital on Camp Pendleton. When I arrived for my appointment they told me it had been cancelled because the active duty Marines took up all the appointment slots in preparation for deployment. I was authorized at that time to go private. When I look at your list I can see voting blocs.

  11. Whatever happened to the LIMIT of Congress “To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;”?

    This will always be an unfixable problem as long as government is expected to run businesses which are none of their business. Businesses run business, consumers consume and government regulates the action to ensure no one side can harm the rights of the other. Of course everyone wants to win and will look to the “regulator” for an advantage. Oh yeah, that means votes and campaign contributions and lobbying money and, and, and…votes. Go down that path and free market principles and self-reliance give way to the not-so-invisible hand(out) of government.

    Let’s face it, Democrats gave us Frankenstein and the Republicans have no choice now but to give us his Bride. She will never look pretty to everyone much in the same way did Frankie. But while the villagers once again gather their torches and pitchforks, they will never understand that they are the one’s that gave government the power they never should have had to create these monstrosities.

    So go ahead and sue. Demonstrate. Scream at the townhall meetings. Promise to vote these bums out. And then turn around and tell Dr. Frankenstein to give it another whack.

    Remember that while the 3-legged stool of our government is the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary; the 3-legged stool of SELF-government is Civics Literacy, Civics Engagement and Self-Reliance.

    1. Well put and i’m going t have to use the last paragraph as it follows the words ‘self governing’ perfectly.


  12. Here’s some of what the new plan would do:
    It allows health insurance companies to charge older Americans up to five times more.
    It repeals the employer mandate, causing many families covered by their employers to lose coverage.
    It will take insurance away from millions of individuals and cripple state budgets by phasing out the Medicaid expansion.
    It gives health insurance companies a tax break for CEO pay over $500,000.
    It defunds Planned Parenthood, leaving millions without access to breast exams, birth control and pap smears.

    I am an older American; I am a poorer American. (Now, since the recession –caused by the same people who prefer legislation like this.)
    This is obscene. How many millions and billions do these companies/executives need?

    1. JackW, I feel for you and the plight of so many who will be adversely affected IF it goes through. We can still fight it though!! There are enough Americans who no longer register as D or R and fully recognize that both parties do not have the welfare of citizens at heart as they scramble to please their corporate overlords. It’s been going this way for a long time since Bill Clinton – continued on thru W, then thru Obama: the message they send is quite clear: old, chronically sick and poor people should go away and die.

      1. Autumn – I had Obamacare until someone stole my credit card info. Here are the problems I experienced:

        1) Premiums doubled and deductible increased 1100%. It combined a Cadillac plan premium with a Catastrophic only deductible. It was like having to buy a car every single year. This added cost knocks some people right out of the middle class. That whole “it will save American families $2500 a year” was a deliberate lie.
        2) Not one single one of my family’s doctors accepted the Obamacare individual policies. They said they couldn’t afford the pay cut. Plus it came with a mountain of extra paperwork, which increased staffing costs.
        3) Drug formulary tightened, and it did away with off formulary benefits. Translation, if you’re medication is off formulary, you have to pay out of pocket, and your expense does not count towards max caps
        4) If you get canceled for non payment, for any reason, you will not be able to buy insurance until the next open enrollment. You will not qualify for a special enrollment event. I got caught up in one of those big store hacks of credit card information. My bank cancelled my debit card, and replaced it, which interfered with my automatic payment. So they cancelled me. I sent them a letter from my bank indicating I was a victim of a crime, and went up all the way to the CEO. I was informed that the ACA is written so that only those who are subsidized have 90 days before they are cancelled. I was part of the evil middle class, so I didn’t have that extra time. I was told that I could have been kidnapped on a desert island, and they still would not reinstate me, because it was written into the law.
        5) It required me to bundle pediatric dental insurance with my medical. However, remember that 1100% deducible? Well, benefits for pediatric dental did not kick in until I’d met my deductible for the year. Which meant that my son’s dental health benefits only would kick in if we experienced some truly horrible medical catastrophe first. It was a guaranteed free be for the insurance companies.
        6) It was written to stack up 6 feet tall, to, and I quote, “take advantage of the stupidity of the American people.” Sorry, but if I find out that politicians lied to me and figure I was too stupid to find out, then they do not get to keep such fraudulently passed legislation.
        7) Many top cancer treatment centers do not accept it because, again, it’s too high a pay cut. Many top cancer drugs are off formulary.
        8) Many Exchanges were down to a single insurer, and many insurers lacked a single in network specialist for many of the most common specialties.

        I consider Obamacare to be a humanitarian crisis that needs to go into the garbage can. Yes, I feel that strongly about it.

        1. Without it these same patients would have no cancer care. ER’s don’t do chemo.

          1. “Without it these same patients would have no cancer care.”

            Actually, many top cancer treatment centers do not accept Obamacare, and many cancer treatment drugs are off formulary.

            So, on the contrary, Obamacare put remission out of reach of some patients who had insurance that would have covered it before. Tragically, the “if you like your plan, you can keep it” was a deliberate lie.

            I tend not to want to reward politicians who lie to me to get legislation passed.

      2. Hey, they (the lot of em) are making the “dying” option look more and more attractive. Give credit where it’s due.

      1. At least it has been made available to the public, the public and Congress have actually read it, and we’re all able to give feedback prior.

        Compare and contrast to “we have to pass it to find out what’s in it”, and a bill that stacked up to 6 feet tall, that was deliberately written in torturous language to “take advantage of the stupidity of the American public.”

        Do you want to continue to support people who feel that way about you?

        I don’t.

  13. I wonder if our politicians will make themselves exempt from this bill also?

    1. Those parasites will be able to go back to the “F.E.H.B.P.”

      “The F.E.H.B.P., as it’s known, was started in 1959, a few years before Medicare, and was meant to cover some nine million government employees—civil-service workers, the courts, the Post Office, members of Congress, and more. It wasn’t a single plan but, rather, as a Times story put it, “a supermarket offering 300 private health plans.” (Even the right-learning Heritage Foundation called it “a showcase of consumer choice and free-market competition.”) One may get a sense of its scope and inclusiveness—its supermarket-ness—in the way that the Office of Personnel Management, which administers the program, explains it to federal employees. Much of the program—for instance, the idea that no one can be refused, or charged more, for a preëxisting condition, or that dependents under twenty-six are covered—will sound familiar to anyone conversant with the most attractive parts of the Affordable Care Act.”


  14. Physicians for a National Healthcare Program. These folks were excluded from participating in the ACA deliberations – Max Baucus (insurance company funded bast#rd) had them removed from the premises.


    1. Everyone deserves a seat at the table. No one should fear debating opposing views.

  15. We need single-payer. Two of my local physicians left their practices and went to work for the VA within the last five years. Why? Certainly not the salary as they make less, but now at least their family has access to affordable comprehensive healthcare.

    Just because a person has insurance does not mean a person can actually access healthcare due to the deductibles, co pays, etc. This is why poor people go the ER where they have to be treated. If they need any medication, follow up care, PT, tests, chemo, etc. though they are out of luck.

    The Fix:


    1. I am uncomfortable with the results of our experiment with single payor – the VA. You may not be aware that the VA is still having problems.

      They are:
      1) Studies show that private practice doctors see far more patients than VA doctors. Single payor seems to be anathema to productivity, in general.
      2) It is STILL plagued with fresh accusations of falsified waiting lists, despite an injection of billions of dollars. The VA has not demonstrated that it can give vets timely access to health care. (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/apr/3/va-still-plagued-by-problems-two-years-after-scand/) and here (http://www.npr.org/2017/01/31/512052311/va-hospitals-still-struggling-with-adding-staff-despite-billions-from-choice-act)
      3) The proposed solutions to fraud, lack of accountability, and deathly long waiting lists is to allow veterans access to private healthcare and reimburse them for their care.
      4) What’s worse, those who engaged in fraud and wrongdoing do not get fired. They get to keep their jobs. If this happened in the private sector, they would get sued, and in some cases criminally charged. But the VA is insulated against the consequences found in the private sector.

      We should not even entertain the idea of single payor until we can demonstrate we can do so with the VA. Also, in countries such as Canada that have single payor, they are very attached to it, because they’ve already paid for it through enormous taxes. Once you’ve paid for something, you tend to want to keep it. However, again, they are plagued by wait times so high that concierge services have popped up that either fly the wealthy and upper middle class to the US for access to timely health care, or to private surgical centers in the provinces that allow it. So, again, only the well off get timely access to health care under single payor because they can afford to pay to skip the interminable line.

      1. KarenS, I agree that the VA has provided sketchy medical care depending on the facility. And that needs to be fixed – more investment to provide vets with quality and consistent care. The sceptic in me thinks that happens for a reason to prove that government healthcare sucks. The AMA, hospitals and Big Pharma all works against it.

        As far as Canada – people get the care they need – there might be a wait time for elective surgeries – when the wealthier can fly here or to another country to get the procedure done faster. But emergency and basic needs are taken care of efficiently w/o all the financial / mental stress that many Americans face.

        Best thing Churchill did for the UK was the NHS which is why so many Brits voted for Brexit. They did not want their medical care privatized. Is it perfect? No, but it’s still more than what most Americans have.

        Need to get the leeches (health insurance companies) out of the equation. Skim money and provide nothing.

        1. http://globalnews.ca/news/3084366/q-a-how-long-are-medical-wait-times-in-canada-by-province-and-procedure/

          ““Excessively long wait times remain a defining characteristic of Canada’s health-care system, but this year is the longest we’ve ever seen and that should trouble all Canadians,” Bacchus Barua, senior economist at the institute, said.

          “Long wait times aren’t simply minor inconveniences, they can result in increased suffering for patients, lost productivity at work, a decreased quality of life, and in the worst cases, disability or death,” Barua said.”

          The defining characteristic of socialized medicine is long wait times. Here in the US, we want to get in to see a doctor quickly, and an average wait time of 20 weeks for surgery would be abhorrent. But they are used to that in Canada. That’s their normal. Canadians are now waiting longer for surgery than they have in 20 years, and of course their health system is always in danger of going broke. Plus they do not have the intense immigration pressure that we have, with our Mexican border and close proximity to South America.

          ‘Wait times (in weeks) by procedure in 2016:

          Plastic surgery: 25.9
          Gynecology: 18.8
          Ophthalmology: 28.5
          Otolaryngology: 22.7
          General surgery: 12.1
          Neurosurgery: 46.9
          Orthopedic surgery: 38.0
          Cardiovascular: 8.4
          Urology: 16.2
          Internal Medicine: 12.9
          Radiation Oncology: 4.1
          Medical Oncology: 3.7

          The average wait time across the board sat at 20 weeks in 2016.

          Question: How long are wait times by province?

          Ontario had the shortest wait times at 15.6 weeks, but up from 14.2 weeks in 2015. New Brunswick saw the longest wait times at nearly 39 weeks in Canada.”

          To an American used to being able to see a doctor, the wait times for the VA or Canadian single payor system would be unacceptable. If our health care is ever taken away, then perhaps this would be the new normal for us. And after enough decades went by, we, too, would be loathe to give up our normal and try something else.

          I do agree with you that insurance companies might not be the best model, as they stand, for all of our health care needs.

          1. Do you know why there are these long wait times? Because they don’t have the money to get everybody seen for everything right away. They have to ration health care to spread out the money.

            “Canada has spent billions of dollars to try to bring down wait times for more than 10 years, and the outcome has been mediocre at best compared to other similar Western industrialized countries.”

            So, throwing money at the problem doesn’t always solve it. If it did, the VA would be the pinnacle of care.

            It is notable that the Canadian health system considers these wait times to be well within their benchmarks. Sounds like a government response, right?

            When I first heard about Canada’s “free” health care system, I thought it was a fabulous idea. But the more I researched it, the more “if it sounds too good to be true, it is” applied.


          2. “I was once a believer in socialized medicine. I don’t want to overstate my case: growing up in Canada, I didn’t spend much time contemplating the nuances of health economics. I wanted to get into medical school—my mind brimmed with statistics on MCAT scores and admissions rates, not health spending. But as a Canadian, I had soaked up three things from my environment: a love of ice hockey; an ability to convert Celsius into Fahrenheit in my head; and the belief that government-run health care was truly compassionate. What I knew about American health care was unappealing: high expenses and lots of uninsured people. When HillaryCare shook Washington, I remember thinking that the Clintonistas were right.
            My health-care prejudices crumbled not in the classroom but on the way to one. On a subzero Winnipeg morning in 1997, I cut across the hospital emergency room to shave a few minutes off my frigid commute. Swinging open the door, I stepped into a nightmare: the ER overflowed with elderly people on stretchers, waiting for admission. Some, it turned out, had waited five days. The air stank with sweat and urine. Right then, I began to reconsider everything that I thought I knew about Canadian health care. I soon discovered that the problems went well beyond overcrowded ERs. Patients had to wait for practically any diagnostic test or procedure, such as the man with persistent pain from a hernia operation whom we referred to a pain clinic—with a three-year wait list; or the woman needing a sleep study to diagnose what seemed like sleep apnea, who faced a two-year delay; or the woman with breast cancer who needed to wait four months for radiation therapy, when the standard of care was four weeks.”

            I do not want this here. It’s not a solution.

          3. Chaoulli was representing George Zeliotis, an elderly Montrealer forced to wait almost a year for a hip replacement. Zeliotis was in agony and taking high doses of opiates. Chaoulli maintained that the patient should have the right to pay for private health insurance and get treatment sooner. He based his argument on the Canadian equivalent of the Bill of Rights, as well as on the equivalent Quebec charter. The court hedged on the national question, but a majority agreed that Quebec’s charter did implicitly recognize such a right.
            It’s hard to overstate the shock of the ruling. It caught the government completely off guard—officials had considered Chaoulli’s case so weak that they hadn’t bothered to prepare briefing notes for the prime minister in the event of his victory. The ruling wasn’t just shocking, moreover; it was potentially monumental, opening the way to more private medicine in Quebec. Though the prohibition against private insurance holds in the rest of the country for now, at least two people outside Quebec, armed with Chaoulli’s case as precedent, are taking their demand for private insurance to court.
            Rick Baker helps people, and sometimes even saves lives. He describes a man who had a seizure and received a diagnosis of epilepsy. Dissatisfied with the opinion—he had no family history of epilepsy, but he did have constant headaches and nausea, which aren’t usually seen in the disorder—the man requested an MRI. The government told him that the wait would be four and a half months. So he went to Baker, who arranged to have the MRI done within 24 hours—and who, after the test discovered a brain tumor, arranged surgery within a few weeks.
            Baker isn’t a neurosurgeon or even a doctor. He’s a medical broker, one member of a private sector that is rushing in to address the inadequacies of Canada’s government care. Canadians pay him to set up surgical procedures, diagnostic tests, and specialist consultations, privately and quickly. “I don’t have a medical background. I just have some common sense,” he explains. “I don’t need to be a doctor for what I do. I’m just expediting care.”

    2. Why would anyone advocate the federal government be involved in healthcare?

  16. What I also hope for, is that we can go back to being treated like adults who can choose a benefits package that we like and can afford.

    Perhaps, we do not need 26 forms of birth control without a copay. Why not have heart medication or insulin without a copay? Why? Because it’s not about whether it will save your life or not, which really would be at the head of any priority list. It’s about optics and getting votes.

    It just looks good to make anything that has to do with reproduction “free.” Only, it’s not really free. When they take away cost sharing, they just build that into the price. And women insurance consumers pay that higher price.

    Do we really need every single policy to come with 26 forms without a copay? Or could we go back to paying just a couple of bucks as a copay? And maybe have 15 instead of 26? And what about the surge in STDs that invariable accompanies the knowledge that each every woman out there has access to birth control without a copay?

    It would be so nice if we could shop for policies that have the benefits we want. Religious? There’s a benefits package for you. Female who wants access to 26 forms of birth control? There’s one for you.

    And it would also be nice if we could save money by changing our lifestyle. If quitting smoking, and getting into working out or sports would pay you back in savings on your premiums.

    1. KarenS re: “Perhaps, we do not need 26 forms of birth control without a copay” I disagree. Free birth control should be available and widely distributed. It’s way more expensive to pay for all the costs of pregnancy / abortions, birth, pediatric care, social workers’ intervention and all those who are going to bed hungry because their parents did NOT use birth control and seem uninterested in properly caring for them! I’m NOT talking about the parents dealing with excessive poverty who are doing the best they can and have suffered downturns – I am talking about those who breed thoughtlessly and don’t care about their offspring.

      1. Why no copay? Why should our premiums be higher so that all women, regardless of socioeconomic status, don’t pay a copay? It’s not like it’s cheaper overall. All these “freebies” without even modest copays helped make premiums absolutely unaffordable, for women as well as men. So an individual policy holder, a middle class unsubsidized woman, cannot afford to have that health insurance with the free birth control.

        I ONLY agree with forgoing copays for the poor. Cost sharing helps keep premiums down, which makes health care affordable and accessible to women. Copays for birth control have historically been rather low.

        I absolutely agree with you that birth control helps keep down unwanted pregnancies, for those who take it. Not only has birth control been available, including in Medicaid, but I can get free condoms in all 50 states, including Alaska. And YET, with the free availability of not only birth control but also condoms, the only prophylactic besides abstinence that can protect against STDs, we still have rising single mother hood and skyrocketing STDs. Did you know that syphilis is a thing again?

        You guys do know that this topic is like crack to me, right?

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