A healthcare plan to save Obama’s presidency

August 17, 2009

President Barack Obama has told Americans to be skeptical of reports of an end to the recession, saying the downturn has “many more months” to run. Given the recent retail sales data, Americans seem to be listening to their economist-in-chief.

Obama may well be right in his dour forecast. Whatever the next quarter or two of GDP numbers say, continuing high unemployment and depleted personal wealth should keep the vibe more recessionary than expansionary. It’s tough to be cheerleader-in-chief, after all, when people’s pocketbooks are telling them a starkly different story.

But another issue is exacerbating Americans’ sour attitudes and raising doubts about the president’s competence: healthcare reform. Indeed, a recent Gallup poll shows identical pluralities of 49 percent disapproving of both Obama’s handling of the overall economy and his handling of healthcare policy.

Healthcare reform poses three problems for Obama. First, it seems to cost way too much in an era of trillion-dollar budget deficits. Americans are now as obsessed with budget deficits as they were in 1992, when fiscal concerns helped make Ross Perot a presidential contender. Second, many Americans are skittish about increased government involvement in the sector. Third, an inability to push healthcare reform through a Democrat-dominated Congress makes both the president and his Congressional allies appear ineffectual (as does the dithering over whether a public option needs to be part of any reform plan).

Now, political historians will note that a healthcare reform fiasco helped sink Democrats in the 1994 midterm elections — despite a fairly strong economy — and forced President Bill Clinton to shift to the right and work with congressional Republicans. Together, Clinton and the Republicans balanced budgets, cut taxes and reformed welfare.

But why wait for a political disaster to change course? If Obama wants to deliver meaningful change to the nation’s healthcare system, why not a grand compromise with Republicans that would also bring along centrist Democrats.

Call it the Purple Plan, one that brings red and blue together. Make health insurance mandatory and subsidize those who can’t afford it. (That’s the blue part.) But at the same time dismantle employer-based health plans, which prevent consumers from understanding the true costs of their healthcare decisions. In any case, employer plans are just an accident of history. (That’s the red part.)

The simplest way of dismantling them, according to an analysis by McKinsey, would be to make the money spent on health insurance by employers available as cash, tax free, to employees. “Insurers would then compete for customers with policies that offer better value for the money,” according to McKinsey. “The combination of invigorated supply and demand is the only healthcare reform plan that will avert the economic disaster that otherwise awaits us.”

A Purple Plan for the centrist – or purple — president many Americans thought they were voting for. It would bolster the president’s popularity, lift American spirits and help restore the economy.

22 comments

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[...] James Pethokoukis » Blog Archive » A healthcare plan to save … [...]

It is not Obama’s competency that is the problem when it comes to health care reform. The problem is that lobbyists and corporations are controlling the debate. There are a couple of related posts at http://iamsoannoyed.com/?page_id=588

Posted by carly | Report as abusive

Making middle class people pay more for healthcare is hardly a grand compromise. It’s an extreme right ripoff.

Posted by Disgusted and Appalled | Report as abusive

Throw The Healthcare Obstructionist Out!

More than two thirds of the American people want a single payer health care system. And if they cant have a single payer system 76% of all Americans want a strong government-run public option on day one (85% of democrats, 71% of independents, and 60% republicans). Basically everyone.

We have the 37th worst quality of healthcare in the developed world. And the most costly. Costing over twice as much as every other county. Conservative estimates are that over 120,000 of you dies each year in America from treatable illness that people in other developed countries don’t die from. Rich, middle class, and poor a like. Insured and uninsured. Men, women, children, and babies. This is what being 37th in quality of healthcare means.

I know that many of you are angry and frustrated that REPUBLICANS! In congress are dragging their feet and trying to block TRUE healthcare reform. What republicans want is just a taxpayer bailout of the DISGRACEFUL GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT health insurance industry, and the DISGRACEFUL GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT healthcare industry. A trillion dollar taxpayer funded private health insurance bailout is all you really get, without a robust government-run public option available on day one. Co-OP’s ARE NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR A GOVERNMENT-RUN PUBLIC OPTION. They are a fraud being pushed by the GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT health insurance industry that is KILLING YOU!

YOU CANT HAVE AN INSURANCE MANDATE WITHOUT A ROBUST PUBLIC OPTION. MANDATING PRIVATE FOR PROFIT HEALTH INSURANCE AS YOUR ONLY CHOICE WOULD BE A DISASTER. AND UNETHICAL, CORRUPT, AND MORALLY REPUGNANT. AND PROBABLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL AS WELL.

These industries have been slaughtering you and your loved ones like cattle for decades for profit. Including members of congress and their families. These REPUBLICANS are FOOLS!

Republicans and their traitorous allies have been trying to make it look like it’s President Obama’s fault for the delays, and foot dragging. But I think you all know better than that. President Obama inherited one of the worst government catastrophes in American history from these REPUBLICANS! And President Obama has done a brilliant job of turning things around, and working his heart out for all of us.

But Republicans think you are just a bunch of stupid, idiot, cash cows with short memories. Just like they did under the Bush administration when they helped Bush and Cheney rape America and the rest of the World.

But you don’t have to put up with that. And this is what you can do. The Republicans below will be up for reelection on November 2, 2010. Just a little over 13 months from now. And many of you will be able to vote early. So pick some names and tell their voters that their representatives (by name) are obstructing TRUE healthcare reform. And are sellouts to the insurance and medical lobbyist.

Ask them to contact their representatives and tell them that they are going to work to throw them out of office on November 2, 2010, if not before by impeachment, or recall elections. Doing this will give you something more to do to make things better in America. And it will make you feel better too.

There are many resources on the internet that can help you find people to call and contact. For example, many social networking sites can be searched by state, city, or University. Be inventive and creative. I can think of many ways to do this. But be nice. These are your neighbors. And most will want to help.

I know there are a few democrats that have been trying to obstruct TRUE healthcare reform too. But the main problem is the Bush Republicans. Removing them is the best thing tactically to do. On the other hand. If you can easily replace a democrat obstructionist with a supportive democrat, DO IT!

You have been AMAZING!!! people. Don’t loose heart. You knew it wasn’t going to be easy saving the World. :-)

God Bless You

jacksmith — Working Class

Twitter search (#welovethenhs) Check it out.

I REST MY CASE (http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/0 7/25/why-markets-cant-cure-healthcare/)

Republican Senators up for re-election in 2010.

* Richard Shelby of Alabama
* Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
* John McCain of Arizona
* Mel Martinez of Florida
* Johnny Isakson of Georgia
* Mike Crapo of Idaho
* Chuck Grassley of Iowa
* Sam Brownback of Kansas
* Jim Bunning of Kentucky
* David Vitter of Louisiana
* Kit Bond of Missouri
* Judd Gregg of New Hampshire
* Richard Burr of North Carolina
* George Voinovich of Ohio
* Tom Coburn of Oklahoma
* Jim DeMint of South Carolina
* John Thune of South Dakota
* Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas
* Bob Bennett of Utah

Posted by jacksmith | Report as abusive

The govt. needs to get out of managed care and people need to be more responsible about what they’re actually buying. O yeah and two things you left out about Clinton and his Republicans…….. WTO, NAFTA.

Posted by jason | Report as abusive

Bottom-line… I think it’s fairly obvious that: 1) most people aren’t happy with the current system; 2) most people would like universal coverage, whoever runs it; 3) there is absolutely no reason or data to suggest that this should cost more than is already spent in America. Obama’s plan sucks, the current system is awful, and nobody is listening to the majority of voters… instead voters are being asked to choose between bad and worse. Why can’t someone with a little salt put forth a plan that the majority of Americans want, not what insurance, Dems/Republicans, the President, doctors, etc, want. It’s for the people, paid by the people… time to give the people what they want, not what little minority factions with the money to blahblah in public want.

Posted by the Shah | Report as abusive

And the middle class would not even be paying for the program! All additional taxes needed for this come from those households making of $350K per year.

Half of America is not sophisticated enough to even vote in their own self interest.

Posted by dave | Report as abusive

Because, it always requires a disaster for the fools in Washington to do the right thing, and it is the people who always have to bear the cost of the disaster!

Posted by Johnba | Report as abusive

I don’t think Obama is worried about his legacy, he’s worried about the future of this country’s health care system.

Only bad presidents worry about their legacy, like Bush who was obsessed with it, and ended up to be the worst president in history because of this selfish attitude.

Posted by Rick Cain | Report as abusive

Too complex, I know the easiest way to fix it.

Get rid of all government influence, stop the subsidies, stop taking insurance company bribes during campaigning, stop listening to lobbyists.

Get rid of government, all of a sudden things become cheaper and more efficient.

Posted by Michael Ham | Report as abusive

Many reformers recognized roughly 30 percent of all health-care spending in the U.S. -some $700 billion a year- might be wasted on unnecessary tests and treatments, and payment reform could solve this problem. Is this claim overstatement ? Please not to fear quitting drug !

Provided the American people pay around double the amount of efficient systems, the result is still well below them, the ratio of waste might be estimated to far more than 50% in the U.S.

Let’s be conservative regarding the ratio. If 10% of savings apply to the combined Medicare and Medicaid cost of $923.5bn per year, as of July, the savings of $923.5bn over the next decade are possible.

And when these savings add to the already allocated $583 billion, the savings of wastes involving so called “doughnut hole” , the unnecessary subsidies for insurers, abuse, exorbitant costs by the tragic ER visits etc, the concern over revenue might be a thing of the past.

As a matter of fact, with the promising redesign in the pipeline, some patient-focused clinics in 10 regions have already achieved 16% of savings in Medicare while their quality scores are well above average.

Please be ‘sure’ to visit http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/13/opinio n/13gawande.html?hp for credible evidences !

Thankfully, the provisions in the reform include more expansive, systematic policies including ‘a patient’s outcome-based payment system’ than they have. I for one firmly believe this American innovation, ‘a patient’s outcome-based payment system’ , is capable of turning profit-oriented practices into patient-focused system / value.

Dr. Armadio at Mayo clinic says, “If we got rid of that stuff (waste), we save a third of all that we spend and that is 2.5 trillion dollars on health care. A third of that and that is 700 billion dollars a year. That covers a lot of uninsured people.”

Please visit http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article. aspx?storyid=820455&catid=391 for detailed infos

Thank You !

Posted by hsr0601 | Report as abusive

[...] We Must Ration Health Care” Andy McCarthy: Palin was right, after all James Pethokoukis: A Health Care Plan to Save a Presidency Frank J: Aren’t Obamites tired of calling people racists? WSJ: Why is Obama underwriting [...]

NO CO-OP’S! A Little History Lesson

Young People. America needs your help.

More than two thirds of the American people want a single payer health care system. And if they cant have a single payer system 76% of all Americans want a strong government-run public option on day one (85% of democrats, 71% of independents, and 60% republicans). Basically everyone.

Our last great economic catastrophe was called the Great Depression. Then as now it was caused by a reckless, and corrupt Republican administration and republican congress. FDR a Democrat, was then elected to save the nation and the American people from the unbridled GREED and profiteering, of the unregulated predatory self-interest of the banking industry and Wallstreet. Just like now.

FDR proposed a Government-run health insurance plan to go with Social Security. To assure all Americans high quality, easily accessible, affordable, National Healthcare security. Regardless of where you lived, worked, or your ability to pay. But the AMA riled against it. Using all manor of scare tactics, like Calling it SOCIALIZED MEDICINE!! :-0

So FDR established thousands of co-op’s around the country in rural America. And all of them failed. The biggest of these co-op organizations would become the grandfather of the predatory monster that all of you know today as the DISGRACEFUL GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT health insurance industry. And the DISGRACEFUL GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT healthcare industry.

This former co-op would grow so powerful that it would corrupt every aspect of healthcare delivery in America. Even corrupting the Government of the United States.

This former co-op’s name is BLUE CROSS/BLUE SHIELD.

Do you see now why even the suggestion of co-op’s is ridiculous. It makes me so ANGRY! Co-op’s are not a substitute for a government-run public option.

They are trying to pull the wool over our eye’s again. Senator Conrad, if you don’t have the votes now, GET THEM! Or turn them over to us. WE WILL! DEAL WITH THEM. Why do you think we gave your party Control of the House, Control of the Senate, Control of the Whitehouse. The only option on the table that has any chance of fixing our healthcare crisis is a STRONG GOVERNMENT-RUN PUBLIC OPTION.

An insurance mandate and subsidies without a strong government-run public option choice available on day one would be worse than the healthcare catastrophe we have now. The insurance, and healthcare industry have been very successful at exploiting the good hearts of the American people. But Congress and the president must not let that happen this time. House Progressives and members of the Tri-caucus must continue to hold firm on their demand for a strong Government-run public option.

A healthcare reform bill with mandates and subsidies but without a STRONG government-run public option choice on day one, would be much worse than NO healthcare reform at all. So you must be strong and KILL IT! if you have too. And let the chips fall where they may. You can do insurance reform without mandates, subsidies, or taxpayer expense. Healthcare reform should be 100% for the American people. Not another taxpayer bailout of the private for profit insurance industry, disguised as healthcare reform for the people.

God Bless You

Jacksmith — Working Class

Twitter search #welovetheNHS #NHS Check it out

(http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/0 7/25/why-markets-cant-cure-healthcare/)

Posted by jacksmith | Report as abusive

Taxes on a paycheck usually go as follows:

From Gross Pay, the amount of local, state and federal taxes is calculated and then deducted.
So the tax amount remains unaltered but now you will have an incredibly large number of millions of single/family taxpayers who HAVE to be subsidized if they wish to afford a trip to the doctor. And the subsidy amounts will come from what? How much will be budgeted for subsidies and will that amount remain constant every year? Will it be on a first come, first served basis?
Will a Public Medical Score be set up, like the (private) Credit Score and the FAFSA score to determine the amounts you qualify for? Knowing the love for private companies determining the public life, how will that be beneficial to the nation?
The insurance companies, knowing the government would be footing the bill will then hike the fees even more.
How can it benefit the government, and ultimately the employee, if the government has to investigate every subsidy case and create a folder with each subsidy employee (and not even taking in consideration the medical records, just the money).
It’s simply shifting the cost to the shoulders of the government and the employee.
The small fry will be dependent on more subsidies no matter what. Why not responsible tax-paying contributions (that allow the population some pride) instead of charitable government distributions, like beggars at the soup kitchen? Why is it so hard to comprehend?
I would like to see employers free from having to negotiate a health insurance package for the company that doesn’t really demonstrate genuine benefits, except perhaps employee retention. Hopefully the employers would decide to invest in their company to make it more profitable and hire more employees this way. But I don’t see the problem of, through taxes, contributing to the national care plan. It’s still incommensurably cheaper than what it is now.

Posted by SG | Report as abusive

all this is B.S, republicans oppose almost everything, dem, why do people nowadays love Eviel people and things, repuplicans can actually brain wash almost every american. why?, all they wanna do is messup the country and start complining.

[...] there is one other issue of importance as well. James Pethokoukis had a good blog post yesterday “A healthcare plan to save Obama’s presidency” which encapsulated this idea. First he agrees that universal coverage is necessary.  But, he [...]

In this reader’s opinion, the problem with the present debate is that its dialogue is largely political and moral in its vocabulary, whereas effective health care reform must be almost entirely economic in terms if it is to be successful. Most people do not wish to be concerned with the economics of reform, but rather wish to know that “the bad things and the bad people” will be done away with for good. The “bad things and people” in this economy would be everyone’s responsibility, because it has been our combined nation’s attitude to spending and finances that has created the problem. An attitude of centralized accountability in an increasingly interdependent world is futile at best. Therefore, stifling a free market of ideas in political rhetoric of personal and ideological attacks is not only ineffectual, it is downright ignorant. Of the three proposed bills in Congress, one of them, the Healthy Americans Act, is the most economically sound, and therefore should be the one we approve at present and for one simple reason: it is the only choice we can afford to make at the moment. A 1.6 trillion dollar plan will temporarily alleviate one economic problem at the cost of even greater one. What good if a government option that not even the government can afford? And who will they tax to pay for it when so many citizens are out of work? And, a single plan that provides limited options to the public is, in this reader’s opinion, wholly unsatisfactory, assuming that freedom of options is the same as freedom of choice. The question is not an ideological one, which is to say that it is a largely emotional one. The question is what can we afford to do now that will maximize our options in the future? A broad, sweeping campaign of legislation that achieves almost nothing in the long term is far worse than a relatively simple, economically sound solution that will improve the present. We should be doing the best with what he have right now, rather than reaching for the moon and hurting each others’ credibility out of frustration with the limits of our current reach. As an American citizen, I simply refuse to believe that everyone on the other side of isle is out to get me. Such an attitude of paranoia is at the heart of the debate right now, rather than the knowledge of how the system works. I applaud Mr. Pethokokuis for expressing a perspective that is based on fact, observation, logic, reason, and research, and have nothing but contempt for those who would ignore sound thinking because they do not feel that their supposed oppressors have been adequately punished. The only thing oppressing anyone here is the lack of a healthy bank account, therefore the solution that should be made is the one that makes the most dollars and cents, not the one that satisfies a perception of victimization.

Posted by Kyle Martin | Report as abusive

Do be a fool. Reps and Dems have been at the heart of the downfall of this country. Neither party represents the Republic we are guaranteed by our Constitution nor the responsibility it takes to be free.

Posted by jason | Report as abusive

[...] there is one other issue of importance as well. James Pethokoukis had a good blog post yesterday “A healthcare plan to save Obama’s presidency” which encapsulated this idea. First he agrees that universal coverage is necessary.  But, [...]

Expect a two-tier medical system and needless ER deaths if Congress and the White House have their way as Viewed by Anesthesia.

Anesthesiology is a critical care specialty in which patient safety depends on maintaining the quality of care givers. It is a mentally and physically grueling specialty that demands perfection each and every time. If you want your patients to be at ease, you also have to do it in a seemingly effortless manner. From outside the profession, it is easy to be fooled by allusions to the anesthesiologist/patient relationship as merely provider and customer. That is simply not what goes through the minds of a quality anesthesiologist in a healthy practice environment. A good anesthesiologist focuses their entire attention on the patient’s medical condition and how to most safely and most comfortably convey you through the dangers of medical procedures. Professional satisfaction comes from knowing you gave superlative care AND that you feel fairly compensated. Both needs must be met to have sustainable quality.

In my practice, we isolate the individual payment issues from the point of care. If you come into the OR or go into labor, we take care of you. We don’t have to think about payment. The billing office takes care of that separately. We take care of you, the person. It does not matter if you are privately insured, on medicare, medicaid, or indigent. You are treated the same way. Concerns about getting paid would be a dangerous distraction. We learn your medical issues, formulate safe anesthetic strategies, tell you about your choices, agree upon a path, compassionately reassure you, and nimbly conduct you through a minefield of dangers during a highly compressed time span. You really should not be worrying about other things. When we do our job right, you never realize how much effort and skill is being brought to your benefit.

I can focus on taking care of you because I do not PRESENTLY have to worry about whether or not you can pay. I know that on average I can afford to take care of each person. It does not matter if you are rich, famous, well insured, on medicare, on medicaid, or indigent. I treat you the same way. We do quite a bit of care at reduced rate or no pay. That is part of being a physician. I am able to do so because I know I’ll be okay at the end of the month.

The present health care reform plan would gravely injure the anesthesia specialty because it threatens to move reimbursements far down to the less than market value medicare rates. The private insurance carriers would be naturally tempted to push their reimbursements down the the unsustainable government levels. I can afford to take care of medicare and indigent patients because other patient with normal reimbursement rates help make up the difference. Push everything down too far and the specialty becomes untenable. In Washington state we already have difficulty attracting anesthesiologists because our state has even lower than usual medicare reimbursement rates. Further, anesthesiology had its medicare rates erroneously set too low years ago. This error was scheduled to be corrected, but the present reform efforts would lock in that computation error permanently.

We cannot keep good people in anesthesiology if health care reform threatens to cut reimbursement down to medicare rates. The truly gifted won’t stay in the field nor will they enter it. We already had this demonstrated about ten years ago after a downturn in the anesthesia job market. Medical students diverted into other specialities and the candidate pool shrank. Those who would not normally have been trained as anesthesiologists were accepted into training. When it became time for those to graduate, we were quietly warned that class of residents was not recommendable for hiring. Anesthesiology requires top quality people to maintain patient safety. You might recover and get a second chance if a mistake is made by someone in another profession, but in anesthesiology you really want it done right EVERY time.

My anesthesia group has been fortunate enough to select and retain only the best. Only when in actual practice do you really see that anesthesiologists are not all the same. They vary in skill, knowledge, effectiveness during emergencies, and degree of ethical conduct. As a patient, you want the best. Yes, a lesser, perhaps willing to work for cheaper, practitioner may be survivable 95% of the time, but during intraoperative emergencies, is that who you want safeguarding your loved ones? It is not always a clear disaster that shows the differences between a superior provider and a mediocre one. Things may simply have been less than optimal because of poor skill or planning. You were unconscious and never knew how close you came to calamity.

And please…. if you are a concerned reader who wants sustainable, quality anesthesia care, let your representatives know.

Anesthesiologist of WA State

Posted by Sonja | Report as abusive

Democrat voters have been brainwashed by Obama into thinking that this is a health insurance problem. It’s not. It’s a malpractice insurance problem. Doctors buy insurance to guard against disasters, namely being targeted by a sleazy malpractice lawyer. Obama is a lawyer and trial lawyers who control the Democratic party have stifled all mention of tort reform. Without tort reform, ANY health care system in America will eventually collapse because there is a limitless supply of lawyers and lawyers-in-training and no cap on malpractice damages. Unlike every other civilized country, the plaintiff in the U.S.A. doesn’t have to pay if he or she loses, so lawyers go on fishing expeditions to see how much money they can extort from doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies. If we had a single payer system, it may save 30% in efficiency, but then lawyers can increase the number and size of malpractice lawsuits by 100% because they know the single payer is the Democrat controlled Congress, which will barely put up a fight to stop their biggest benefactors from milking the health care system for all it’s worth. After all, the so-called “rich” can pay for health care, health insurance, and extortion by Democrat lawyers. Until we run out of “rich” Americans.

Posted by Greg | Report as abusive

TWO MORE THINGS:
1) ALLOW INSURANCE COMPANIES TO COMPETE NATIONWIDE. Each state can allow only a select few insurance companies to offer policies, the rest cannot, based upon a federal law. REPEAL THE RESTRICTIVE FEDERAL LAW;
2) TORT REFORM. Put a ceiling on most lawsuits, and stop unnecessary “preventive care” treatments ordered only to defer expensive lawsuits.
3) CATASTROPHIC CARE INSURANCE WITH BIG DEDUCTIBLE. Subsidize the deductible in medical savings accounts as necessary (employers, poverty line), allow unspent account money to roll over, guess what, COSTS COME DOWN!

Open up the health care market, let me spend my own health care money, I GUARANTEE that I’ll shop around for the best deal! And given an open market I DON’T WANT, OR WOULD I EVER CHOOSE, GOVERNMENT RUN HEALTH CARE. I was in the Navy, no thanks! It’s NOT an open market, so I use VA for my catastrophic care.

IT’S COMMON SENSE, check out JOHN MACKEY, WHOLE FOODS CEO’S “ALTERNATIVE TO OBAMACARE” for an in depth view.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424 052970204251404574342170072865070.html

Posted by Philip Clock | Report as abusive

First let me say, that I’m for Single payer health care for many of the reasons mentioned above. But in reading the last two comments I see a problem in their logic.

Philip, you made the comment “I DON’T WANT, OR WOULD I EVER CHOOSE, GOVERNMENT RUN HEALTH CARE”, what do you think the VA is?! Duh! I’m a Vietnam Vet and use the VA, it works but slowly, 3 years ago I was diagnosed with Melamona and was recieving treatment through my wife’s insurance (it’s in remission), she lost her job and we were turned down by 5 insurance companies, my wife finally got insurance for herself. Thank God for the VA (a government Run Health Care System).

And for our Anesthesiologist, I’ve been an OR Nurse for 15 years, and I agree that your job takes brains, but let’s get serious. Once you put someone under, your off reading a paper, magazine, emailing on your Iphone, calling your wife, talking with another Anesthesiologist about your planned 3 week trip to the Bahamas. I couldn’t count how many times I’ve been asked to get you another cup of coffee, or run to the nurses lounge and get you another donut. Your suppose to tract Vital Signs every 15 minutes throughout the surgery, but how many times have you just filled in the blanks at the end of the case? I have been associated with hundreds of Anesthesiologists, and I only know a few that track vital signs every 15 minutes. Your job isn’t that tough, just ask other doctors.

I’m not picking on either of the above people or their logic, it works for them. That’s the problem. They’re worried about themselves, if we could get a Single Payer System I would be happy to give up more of my paycheck.

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

Many mainstream publications have reported online
that the USA Private Insurance Companies Hospitals
etc.. waste something like 1.2 trillion dollars per year.

If covering everyone with quality insurance is estimated
to cost 150Billion per year, then if I do my math
right, then you would have a surplus of over 1 trillion
dollars per year if you cut out the waste, fraud
and bureacracy and enough to give everyone a tax
rebate check every year or lower taxes.

Posted by Concerned Taxpayer | Report as abusive

you said it “jacksmith.” it is impossible for right-wing radicals (who, I stress, do not represent the average conservative) to argue the numbers; these figures represent something similar to truth carved in stone. The people of this country want and need health care reform—let us have it! This is a democracy, isn’t it? The majority of Americans want health care reform, don’t they? As a free country, then, our government is obligated to change our health service. Thank you, jacksmith, for a great post, and God bless the United States of America!

Posted by LS | Report as abusive

[...] James Pethokoukis » Blog Archive » A healthcare plan to save Obama’s presidency | Blogs | blogs.reuters.com/james-pethokoukis/2009  /08/17/a-healthcare-plan-to-save-obamas -presidency – view page – cached President Barack Obama has told Americans to be skeptical of reports of an end to the recession, saying the downturn has “many more months” to run. — From the page [...]

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