James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

China questions costs of U.S. healthcare reform

November 16, 2009

Guess what? It turns out the Chinese are kind of curious about how President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform plans would impact America’s huge fiscal deficit. Government officials are using his Asian trip as an opportunity to ask the White House questions. Detailed questions.

Boilerplate assurances that America won’t default on its debt or inflate the shortfall away are apparently not cutting it. Nor should they, when one owns nearly $2 trillion in assets denominated in the currency of a country about to double its national debt over the next decade.

Nothing happening in Washington today should give Beijing any comfort or confidence about what may happen tomorrow. Healthcare reform was originally promoted as a way to “bend the curve” on escalating entitlement costs, the major part of which is financing Medicare and Medicaid. That is looking more and more like an overpromised deliverable.

For instance, a new study from the U.S. government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services finds that the healthcare reform bill recently passed in the House of Representatives would increase healthcare spending to 21.3 percent of GDP by 2019 compared with 20.8 percent under current law. That’s bending the curve the wrong way. The study also questions the “long-term viability” of the $500 billion in Medicare cuts meant to help pay for expanded insurance coverage.

In addition, the CMS study gives a clearer cost estimate than the one provided by the Congressional Budget Office. According to the CBO, the 10-year cost of PelosiCare is $894 billion. But that analysis includes early years with little government spending, According to the CMS, the House approach would cost $1 trillion from 2013-2019, or some $140 billion a year when fully put into effect.

Few realists in Washington think any of the current reform plans make a significant dent in the long-term healthcare cost to government. Indeed, the Senate Budget Committee recently held hearing about creating a bipartisan commission to find solutions to America’s entitlements problems.

If healthcare reform really bent the curve, there would be a no need for such a commission to do Healthcare Reform 2.0.

The Chinese might want to keep up the questioning.

Comments

Why do so many people think insurance companies are making lots of money? Do your homework people. They are not making exorbitant profits. They make single digits in EBITDA, which is pretty poor business wise. I don’t work for an insurance company, but I am tired of ignorant Americans assuming insurance companies are gouging us. The real money is made by the pharmas, but that’s one of the few things we still export as a country.

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive
 

It is possible, but unlikely in my view, that the Chinese are interested or have plans for their own health care reform. This would greatly benefit the population and reduce the gap between rich and poor.

 

When are Americans going to realize that it’s not the insurance companies that are the root cause of out of control health care costs? Insurance premiums just reflect the actual costs plus a small profit. When it costs about $8000 a day to stay in an American hospital and the patient is charged for every pill, every kleenex, bandage or what have you at thousands of times their actual cost, what are insurance writers supposed to do? It’s the actual cost of health care that is the problem, just like it’s the problem here in Canada. Your President and Congress are trying to fix the wrong thing.

Posted by GL | Report as abusive
 

irlandes and gerald take excellent positions about how we as americans can reduce our exposure to disease and disfunction through healthy eating choices to reduce health care costsEat well and live well..

Posted by sam | Report as abusive
 

I live in a wealthy County in NC. There are free clinics here for people who don”t have insurance. There are resources for people who can’t aford to pay for hospital bills the hospital lowers the bills Social Services covers all expenses for major tests back 3 months and they even put every Mexican here on Medicare. There was just a 3 day free dental 3 county wide clinic. Why is there a need for all this broo ha ha about medical reform? There are alternatives.

Posted by Lynn | Report as abusive
 

Ok, the “greedy” Insurance coporations make about a 2% margin. Blockbuster video has higher profit margins than that. The government is creating this mess by passing laws that require hospitals to give emergency room health care to people with no insurance. Yes it is a law look it up. So who pays for the uninsured? Yes you and I through increase health insurance premiums. I know 2 nurses and a large percentage of people who go to the emergency room are there with non-emergency issues, but have no insurance. So they go to the emergency room, because they know by law they can not be turned away.A government created problem that they will no solve by taking away our rights. Nice.”People who are willing to give up freedom for security, deserve neither, and will loose both” – Ben Franklin.

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive
 

IF THE CHINESE WERE WISE, they would allow U.S. citizens to invest into Chinese companies enough to match the projected amount of U.S. debt to be accumulated. Then, when the U.S. defaults on their debt, the Chinese government could have the option of nationalizing the share of Chinese business ownership by U.S. citizens.

Posted by D. T. RueMan | Report as abusive
 

I find it interesting that you can get a $100,000 plus heart operation in the US, for $20,000 in india, which includes airfare and a stay at a fancy resort.The problem with healthcare, is somewhere along the way, people began to think of it as a right, not something you pay for.The ONLY way out of the mess, the Unions and Government have created, is a true free marketplace (or at least free to the extent that minor bills – say under $5,000 a year are the responsibility of the patient). Just imagine what would happen to doctors fees if they had to justify them to the patients. This is the revolution we need, not PILING ON MORE FREE HEALTHCARE.While the CBO may score it at just under a trillion dollars, it will no doubt be the single law that bankrupts the US. Medicare’s forecast cost was over an order of magnitude below what the real cost turned out to be. Do you really believe the CBO’s static analysis will turn out to be just under $1 trillion. Once healthcare is free, SURELY more people will use it. Wouldn’t you????Imagine if Cars were free? Wouldn’t you get a new car every year (or 6 months if you were really into cars?OR what it Gasoline was free – Would you use more?Or houses were free? McMansions for all..Or food was free? Ribeye every night..It’s hard to believe the people for this healthcare reform, are thinking beings with a positive IQ.

Posted by Brock | Report as abusive
 

“Idiotic American Puplic”There’s a country called Cuba that has “changed and reformed ” their health care system.May I suggest to anyone who thinks the American people are Idiotic; buy a rubber raft and float to Cuba.

Posted by Rob | Report as abusive
 

Why indeed trust health care to corporations whose only motive is profit?In the case of private insurers, in order to obtain those profits (what was the number 2.5% profit margin?), they must compete for our business. No customers means no profits. Look at the TV ads for car insurance, how they fight each other for the best rates? That could be done with health insurance if regulation were change.In the case of self-insured company plans, businesses must provide competitive benefits in order to attract the talent they need to create those profits. A lousy self-insurance plan in the benefit package may mean the best and brightest go to their competitor instead.But government… ahh… unencumbered by the profit motive offers what? A competitor to the private sector? No, not really. Free to make up their own rule, a government provider has an unfair advantage and takes away the profits of the corporations. No profits, no motive, no choice – the private corporations close shop because they can’t compete on an unfair field. This is why the public option will stifle choice.And then what? What motivates government programs? No drive for profit, so no need for quality service; no equal competition so no need to control costs or even attempt to maintain a high level of responsiveness or service to the consumer, and in the long run, no need to contain costs. Because the end motivator for government programs is to make sure you get a bigger slice of the budget allocation each year. This is why anything the government touches typically turns to crap.So give me the greedy corporation any day – it will actually try to work for that profit. The government won’t.

Posted by Brian | Report as abusive
 

News today reported that a government panel now recommends only women OVER age 50 receive mammograms. This the same panel that before recommended all women over age 40 get mammograms. National Cancer Society and AMA, along with other medical groups, are up in arms and against this new proposal. This is a taste of what government health care will mean; a government panel deciding what is right for you against the advice/opinion of your doctor or you. Call your Senators and tell them to say no to government health care.

Posted by treybie | Report as abusive
 

Doesn’t it seem ironic that the last, best hope for America is China?

Posted by Mike Brown | Report as abusive
 

At least with insurance, you can switch plans or sue if they break their contract. Under a government plan? Not so much. It’s competition that keeps the “greedy” insurance companies in check — a much better safeguard than just trusting politicians who promise to steal other people’s money and buy us health care with it. Under many state-tun systems you’re not even allowed to pay for treatment beyond what the government offers. I’d hate to think Americans would give up so much of their freedom for a few empty promises from those clowns we elect.

Posted by C.O. | Report as abusive
 

Finally someone has put the question to obama. The Chinese, who are now financing the bulk of our debt, should be rightly concerned over obama’s profligate spending habits. The mainstream media and the Democrats in Congress don’t have the courage to put the question to obama. We should be thankful that at least the Chinese are questioning obama’s out of control spending.

Posted by Patrick C | Report as abusive
 

I had my wisdom teeth pulled in the Army. The dentist was a captain, also a government employee. Novocaine was in short supply. He explained that his paycheck was the same whether he pulled 2 or 4 at a time. I had a hell of a time getting over the fear of dentists after that ordeal. I hope and pray you social program supporters slopping up to the government trough get your turn in the chair.

 

WOW, all these posts and no one has a clue on how to solve the problem. When Obama is in China, he should visit a Chinese hospital to see the world standard in delivering low-cost healthcare. Yes, they have a better system. Remember Communism was about squeezing every RED cent out of government services and actually making the Government a profit center. OK, it did not work, but they do provide efficient government services (I can go down the list and show how basic public services in China way out perform those services offered by USA government in terms of cost and efficiency). On the other hand, Government Services in USA were always supported by TAXES from Corporate Profits = Free Money. This works as long as economy is expanding as it has for past 100 years. It is like a Gov’t ponzi scheme! Problem with this method is that people tend to overspend free money. But, economy is no longer expanding, now maturing, and possibly shrinking. OOPS, no more free money.My suggestions is for OBAMA to study Chinese medical system. Following worlds best practices, and policy changes (allow free market to work, cap malpractice claims, allow qualified healthcare workers into US and make it easy for them to work, on, and on). US does not need to spend a dime to improve healthcare. It is only about policy, and following best practices. The scheme that is being presented, or any other schemes that have been presented will only lead in one direction: HIGHER COST for Healthcare which public simply cannot afford = lower quality healthcare across the board.Yes, every American has a right to good healthcare, housing, safety, and education. Healthcare is a responsbility of the US goverment. but, they need to put policies in place to make healthcare affordable for mainstream public. Healthcare policy should not be mandated by attorneys, pharmacutical companies, and other special interests.In the meantime, I will continue to rely on the Chinese healthcare system for me and my family.

Posted by Hank | Report as abusive
 

By the way…Was losing vision in right eye due to cataracts. Went to Chinese hospital last month for an exam. Arrived Monday morning (no appointment necessary), they checked my vision, and yes, I had cataract in right eye. Doctor asked if I wanted surgery. I asked, “when can I do”. He said, “now”. “We can schedule surgery for tomorrow morning.” So, spent rest of day doing tests and other items needed for Tuesday’s surgery. By Tuesday evening, I was released from Hospital. Vision in my right eye went from .4 to 1.2 (1.0 as normal). Total bill from start to finish, less than US$1,000. I looked at bill afterwards, and US$600 was for the Alcon (USA made) premium lens.Now that’s what I am talking about! And, I have serious confidence in Chinese doctors. They treat you on the spot. No need to check the internet to figure what is wrong with you.

Posted by Hank | Report as abusive
 

50 years of globalism and we have to justify ourselves to China a communist country. We have gone from a net debtor nation to a net creditor nation, from a high standard of living to a low standard in the industrialized world. Politicians will get lifetime salaries and benefits for achieving these goals.

Posted by Kipw | Report as abusive
 

Let’s keep spreading the truth that insurance companies make an annual profit of ONLY 3% and make it a point to not mention that the execs are making 24 MILLION a year.If every company paid execs that much, and gave them their own jet, I bet no company would make any profit at all.btw, Coventry will not approve my ciclosporin. It’s a cure, but they won’t let me have it.

Posted by Kally | Report as abusive
 

Maybe the Chinese can give Obama some pointers on the best way to sell the euthanasia death panels to the public, cause killing off the patients is the only way the government is going to afford this bill. Perhaps a haiku?Souls rising to skythey sigh in Glorious ActForward Socialism

Posted by Mike Lorrey | Report as abusive
 

Is is the deficit China is concerned about or the fact that reform could aim to level the field in terms of labor costs bringing the manufacturing and other jobs back to US? No wonder they are as worried as the insurance companies Chinese funds may have invested heavily in. I am not surprised to find they may even be bank rolling these guys to get drunk at tea parties!!

Posted by akmkere | Report as abusive
 

Please,Please do not allow this group of cut throat’s destroy our once great country. We must have new leadership in the next election.We are on our way to destroy our wonderful country if we allow this government health care mess to win this battle to control our lives and generations to come. They must be stopped.Thank you China for standing up for”we the people.”

Posted by Ross | Report as abusive
 

Please stop this runaway government who’s desire is to control all our lives with no care for “we the people.”

Posted by Ross | Report as abusive
 

imgibson – you are no ill-informed. I have worked in the hospitals in the US and Canada in both practical, administrative and insurance departments over the last 20 years. Never has insurance denied a life-saving procedure. Never has a hospital denied a life-saving procedure due to inability to pay. You are so brain-washed by the liberal media you should be embarrassed…Read a book, get informed before you make a statement that will ruin the country’s great healthcare. Last-healthcare is not a RIGHT but a PRIVILEDGE and people need to be responsible for their own healthcare. Medicaid is there to catch people who are in need. But again, never has anyperson in my 20 yrs experience EVER been denied healthcare in the USA….Now if you want to talk about Medicare not paying and staff having to explain to patients that they need to be discharged because Medicare will no longer pay….would be happy to . Plus, would love to talk about how rationing healthcare in canada and the death of my father…..let’s chat. But to be so ignorant in this day and age is truly an embarrassment…..

Posted by Maggie | Report as abusive
 

I just want to add something here…for a few of you seem to think that the Insurance Companies came up with the plethora and magnitude of paperwork because they had nothing better to do.Insurance forms are GOVERNMENT REGULATED. They are STANDARDIZED and ALL MEDICAL CARE PROVIDERS are REQUIRED to use these forms when filing Insurance claims.The GOVERNMENT implemented these changes to the system back in the 80′s and have strangled both physicians, hospitals and insurance carriers to these systems…thereby forcing many service providers to hire staff to simply file these forms.If you want to know why things fail…look at when the GOVERNMENT decided to step in, regulate, change and ‘make the system better.’ An OXY-MORON if I ever seen one!

Posted by Elizabeth Parrillo | Report as abusive
 

“This is the question I would like to ask. Health next to family is probably the most important aspect of one’s life. Why in the world would we leave the of the most important aspects of our life in the hands of greedy corporations whose only concern is profits. To me that is unbelievable. There concern is not your health so why would we believe they’re going to do anything in our best interest. Ask the families of people who have died because the insurance companies refused or denied life saving treatment. If that’s not a death panel I don’t know what is. Of course they only want to insure healthy people and omit pre-existing conditions while continually raising premiums and will continue to do it because WE HAVE NO CHOICE.How long is going to take the idiotic American public to realize we must have changes and reform.- Posted by imgibson “This is such a classic emotional argument. The only problem with emotional arguments is that they lack basis in fact.Error #1: “Greedy corporations.”Of course insurance businesses operate for profit. Why do you begrudge them that? But no, we have to characterize them as “greedy.” Unfortunately, the facts are that health insurance companies actually have very thin profit margins (the same is true with those darn “greedy” oil companies. If you’re looking for greedy corporations, you’d be better off directing your outrage at the farming industry, which has huge profit margins and ridiculous government subsidies (in many cases for useless technologies like ethanol).Error #2: Insurance companies denial of life-saving treatment.You are aware, of course that the rate of insurance companies denying people treatments is well below 6 percent and also well below the rate of refusal by Medicare, are you not? Another government bureaucracy is not going to solve that problem. In fact, it will most likely INCREASE the instances when people are unable to get treatment.Error #3: WE HAVE NO CHOICEIt is not the fault of insurance companies that you have no choice in selecting your coverage. Guess who is responsible for that? That’s right, the government. If more insurance companies were allowed to compete for customers, you would see a dramatic improvement both in cost and in the number of people who get covered. But the government does not allow them to compete for your business the way most other industries are allowed to. If you let market forces truly do their job, bad insurance companies would go away and good ones would prosper.Error #4: idiotic American public.I can only hope you were looking into a mirror when writing that comment. You are not using facts for your argument, you are using emotions. Emotions are not a solution. Neither is a government plan that would ADD to the cost of health care in this country, ADD to the percentage of GDP we spend on health care, further REDUCE the quality of service, and not at all address the targeted, cost-cutting reforms that could truly help solve problems with health insurance in America.Try being substantive next time, if you want people to listen to you.

Posted by etpietro | Report as abusive
 

In terms of this health system issue…I believe before any change is made to our health system (I question them using the word “care”), we might ought to check to see if it is affordable?? Have you taken a look at our deficit yet???By the way this health overhaul won’t cover everyone anyway.If we do in fact get this shoved down our throats, I believe that everyone from the President on down should have this coverage, our government officials should not be able to retain their current health coverage.my two cents

Posted by Deb | Report as abusive
 

I have a huge problem with ANYONE giving a horses ass what a RED, COMMUNIST country, that lets their own people die like flies in the street, baby girls by the hundreds per day dying in their own excrement, basically starved to death in orphanages, thinks about what the USA should be doing with their own people. And furthermore, it scares me that anyone else should care what they think, feel, say, or influence, let alone write articles trying to convince me of why I should. For shame.

Posted by Nettie | Report as abusive
 

“Thank you CHINA, for Standing up for WE THE PEOPLE???” In all of my life, I never thought I would hear more shockingly IGNORANT words spoken. This is still the same China that shoots down their protesters in the streets, best you “tea baggers and birthers” remember that. The same China that has the worst record on human rights in the WORLD. Still the same China our vets fought and lost to in Vietnam. Still the same China that ousted the Dali Lama and is AGAINST religious freedom. Keep talking you hick idiots, talk us right down to living the level THEIR poor live, just so you can say “I did it MY way”. Is anyone EDUCATED actually posting here?

Posted by Nettie | Report as abusive
 

I’m a Canadian and I can tell you some truths about nationalized healthcare:1. It doesn’t eliminate corporate greed and control over healthcare, if anything it allows some to monopolize it.2. We pay some of the highest taxes in the G7 nations – nearly 50% of our gross income goes to taxes, and Medicare is by far the biggest contributor to that. Thinking national health care means Americans won’t have to pay for it is a LIE. You will pay in taxes. Anyone who tells you they won’t have to raise taxes to accomplish universal healthcare is LYING outright – there’s no other way.3. What is gained by coverage is lost in wait times – if one is outraged that their private insurer won’t cover a proceedure, try waiting for 12 to 16 months or longer for that proceedure under national healthcare.

Posted by Thomas | Report as abusive
 

china talks obama our messiah listen! yes china ask the all important question of goverment run health care question of the COST! yes this added cost to our national debt! we get to be forced to pay for it too! and also contribute to it’s added debt on our nation too wonderful! yes got you covered from both ends of it DEBT and death tax! cut cost illegal immigration on our health care bills? billions in savings from that alone? cut crime cost also by illegal immigrants in our counrty? identity theft? credit card added debt? yes banks give illegals credit cards too! and monorities with piss poor credit too” like stimulus bail outs? we get higher interest rates to cover this loss wonderful far out groovy? yes cost that all so illegal immigration cost to U.S. all debt? ENFORCE REMOVE this added debt? war! sacrifice of our troops for profits? troops fight for war lords regimes protection prosperity poppy fields exports profits” we get heroin addicts debt crime taxes returns? sacrifice men women for what? PROFITS greed war lords goverment run by jungle tribes-man regime? GOVERMENT RUN HEALTH CARE ELIMINATION CARE! cut cost pay dirt assisted suicide clinics assembly lines future? yes front and back door covered! profits and cut cost baby boomers elimination? argument? death care chicago! nursing homes mental health disgusting human care NOW!death prescriptions care same guy not only stays on the job but is in total charge too still NOW DR. MICHAEL REINSTEIN? solution looks see other way AUTHORITY? like contaminated drinking water for 22 years illinois? yes the added wasted illegal cost is the answer to health care reform REMOVE it period. but security protection are not the top agenda of our goverment period! TRUST!more goverment strong arm control health care? you pay are else JAIL? yes 96% of our beloved leaders get reelected by fraud election? fraud corruption die-bold machines absentee ballots? year after year con job thats brought U.S. to goverment controled health care now live today dead tomorrow!!! all by fraud legislation majority too? scam illegal criminals in our CONgress period? mob rule syndicate? back up by southern poverty law! ACLU! ACORN! the jewish party of america? authority! chicago nursing health and mental health care? michigans run by jewish party syndicate too!! how about yours? oops” and secretary treasury too? yes the one subject and race nobody seems to talk about and look at all they are connected and investments too? silence is goldstein? everything just everything has a jewish stamp on it hollywood media? airports! committees? authority? experts professors? judicial? FDA! SCIENTIST? SPECIAL INTEREST ACORN! 270 organizations connected to and media them? they register voters? yes DIE-BOLD fraudulent voter machines and absentee ballots results 96 % get reelected again and again? results goverment run health care elimination care. GET IT! outsource of our industry jobs? we get sports man period. chumps are what we are just chumps! we pay them for our destruction? front back door coverage? millions of illegals in our country? hundreds of illegal CONgressman and women passing there criminal agenda bills pretending to represent U.S.? con game! with them knowing full well they will be reelected once again our crooks and swindlers of washington? count the movie.com! america you have no ideal how fraudulent our voting system truely is till you watch that disgusting reality film? yes china ask about our health care cost question? walmart health care clinics china cost? don’t forget they are on a agenda in washington? thats TAKE! BREAK! REPLACE! YOU! agenda. INDEPENDENT ARMY. stick to LOU like glue” for all our sakes! let your conscious be your guildance! peace AMEN.

Posted by frankkinney | Report as abusive
 

Thomas I am sorry about Canadas problems with their healthcare, but I have lived in Europe, England 5 years, France for 4 and have no IDEA what you are even talking about. I get the best treatment when I am ill in the world, and I do not say this because I am for socialized medicine or completely against. In fact, I’m on the fence.

Posted by Nettie | Report as abusive
 

Nettie,This is truly amazing. The liberals attempt to convince us that Cuba has a healthcare system that we should envy? The liberals run over to all the countries with two bit dictators like Chavez, and Castro as the model of way things should be done. Chavez shuts done all opposition press in his country and thats just fine and in fact Obama’s administration attempts to shut out selected news services in the U.S. So much for we the people and freedom of the press!Your myopic vision from your liberal leadership is not the liberty that people that desire true freedom want or need. I do believe freedom is the availability of INDIVIDUAL choice, not your vision of freedom which is the granting to our leaders the authority to limit OUR choice.Finally, China wasn’t expressing any worry about our freedoms you dolt, they are worried about the huge U.S. debt creating serious problems for their own economy. That we are in such a bad economic situation that we cannot purchase their products, thus damaging their own economy. This is demonstrated by the bonds that we have issued issued in the past and they have bought that could end up being defaulted. Did you realize that the last bonds sales that we issued to finance the last bailout this spring that 25% of those bonds could not be sold to other countries because of the size of our debt and the Fed had to spend our own tax dollars to buy our own bonds back?That is huge!!!!Other countries are beginning to think that America isn’t good for it. Our only hope is that no calls us on it, because if they do, will it will hurt them also. Thats not what I call a position of strength!!

Posted by Daniel | Report as abusive
 

It does not make sense for the government to be so determined to add all this cost onto our already busted deficit. All that is required here is for the administration to have tort reform passed, and laws stating that insurance companies cannot deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions, nor drop you when you get ill. They could easily open up the market by relaxing the laws that say you cannot buy insurance out of your state. That was a dumb law to begin with. The rest of this health care reform….it is not needed- we can’t afford it- and it will break us.

Posted by Deborah | Report as abusive
 

I have been reading these comments as i wanted to understand why Americans are so against a system of Universal health coverage. I think I now understand. But what happens to people who have a serious condition such as a heart condition? I suppose they get treatment from their insurance initially but what happens if they then can’t work, or have to take a lower paying job? Is it the case that they wouldn’t then get insurance because it’s a pre-existing problem?I guess I’m saying that it’s a great system as long as you are well or have a condition which can be fully cured.I live in London and don’t recognize the picture of people waiting for months for ops or on trolleys for hours. I’m someone who has had fantastic and ongoing treatment for a heart condition(a stent then a thallium test which showed further narrowing so a second stent followed by a second thallium test to check all was well). I have my drugs on prescription, £7.50 ish per 3 months and ongoing cardiac rehab gym sessions twice a week which were free for the first few months. I know many people in their seventies and 80s in my cardiac gym group who have had recent stents and bypasses, and there is no rationing by age as some in the US believe.When I’ve been to Accident and Emergency for myself or with someone you are triaged immediately and if in a serious condition seen at once. The NHS was very run down under previous governments but has had extensive refinancing with waiting lists for operations coming down to a few weeks in any serious condition. And of course you can “go private” or take private health insurance if you wish. There is also preventative screening. Most people in the UK would fight hard to keep our NHS.

Posted by verbatim | Report as abusive
 

We do not need government run health care. The government cant run anything without corruption, disgraceful over spending, and with any monetary efficiency. Both the democrats and republicans screw up everything they put their hands on and they do it with OUR money! What we need is Health Insurance Company Reform. There needs to be some rules and regulations put into place so that Health Insurance Companies are not allowed to do whatever they please. Its really that simple.

Posted by Glenda Aitson | Report as abusive
 

Americans have a constitutional right to revolution.LET’S DO SOMETHING.

Posted by Anna | Report as abusive
 

First off, Obama is being way too soft on the Chinese government with regards to human rights issues, because we owe them this debt. That said, with China’s history of trampling on its peoples human rights (eg. allowing an entire village to receive HIV infected blood transfusions then covering it up, allowing doctors to perform uneccessary hand transplants on prisoners and stopping their immunosuppressant regimens after two years…etc.) it should come as no surprise that they’re critical of us spending money to improve our citizens healthcare access. James Pethokoukis, in his blog, is basically siding with the Chinese government on this and focusing only on the financial issues while ignoring the fact that the proposed bill is going to improve healthcare coverage for Americans. He also gets the numbers wrong (he states only the added cost without subtracting the savings from medicare reforms which cut the cost by more than half), and interprets the CMS incorrectly. The CMS states clearly that the report does not include contributions of the income tax proposals in the bill. According to a recent NY Times article: The bill relies mostly on an income surtax on individuals earning more than $500,000 a year, and couples earning more than $1 million to help pay for the legislation. So the total impact on increasing the deficit is exaggerated if you interpret the reports figures incorrectly like James. Also, while the cost of coverage stated in the CMS is $935 billion over ten years (James also rounds this up to $1 trillion), it says right below that [figure 1] that medicare costs would be reduced by $570 billion, for a net cost of $406 billion. The bottom line in the report is that the bill would decrease the number of uninsured from 57 million to 23 million at a net cost of $406 Billion over 10 years. While I think it is crucial that we lower the deficit, ignoring the needs of our people to do so is atrocious.Anyone who could argue that insuring 34 milion additional americans for $40 billion/year is not worth it should move to China and have their hands sawed off.

Posted by Angelo | Report as abusive
 

Having lived in Canada for 25 of the past 30 years, can say with no hesitation that single payer system that is NON-Profit works. Before you start screaming SOCIALISM, we already have it in the USA. Just look no further than our national highway system. Everybody pays for it, and everybody uses it.It’s a disgrace that the USA is the only industrialized nation where it’s citizens can lose their homes and businesses or be forced into bankruptcy because they become ill.We think nothing of spending a Billion Dollars on ONE airplane whose only function is to kill, but god forbid we spend money helping our own people.Wake up America. Your priorities are skewed.

Posted by John | Report as abusive
 

“Why in the world would we leave the of the most important aspects of our life in the hands of greedy corporations whose only concern is profits.\”Haven\’t you seen enough of this greedy White House and Congress, and all of their greedy lobbyists? Doesn\’t it sicken you that the Democrats who were responsible for oversight of Banking took bribes in the form of campaign contributions to look the other way, including Dodd and Obama?Nothing personal, but Democrats fall into two camps: 1. The Guilty, and 2. The Gullible.

Posted by Joe Bidenmyime | Report as abusive
 

Poor Obama!!! My eyes are wet. He works for Soros to collapse the US dollar. Come on, do you think OBama is really goign to stop spending? After the embezzlement of the Stimulus money, the unethical TARP he voted for, the pork bill, ALL the porks and earmarks…and why does ACORN get taxpayer money? Social security for the Boomers is “running out”, the Boomers may drive up the cost of Medicare in the near future—And Obama is going to remedy that with STimulus II, TARP on Steroids, kRap and Trade….Knowing full well that China is only buying treasuries to prop up teh US dollar (while receiving interest to do so) to maintain their trade advangate. Hello! We have a severe trade deficit with China. Are all liberal hacks economically illiterate?How anyone defends Obama is beyond questionable.

Posted by Combat Snoopy | Report as abusive
 

So the mooches think we should give up the best healthcare system in the world for rationing, covering the illegals, freeloaders and ne’er-do-wells of societyIf you are to poor – do medicaid and there is medicare for the other needy. just because your are jealous of what I earn and have, dont expect Americans to be stooopid enough to forgo what is best for our children and grandchildren.Do expect America to happily want rationing and the govt running the most important thing in the world. We will not penalize our kids and grandkids so you can get in my pocket for more freebiesEven the foreign nationals, that come to the USA to get away from their universal healthcare, do not want us to change our system – the best healthcare in the world

Posted by Jack Kennedy | Report as abusive
 

Where is the reference to an actual question asked by the Chinese?This article is the basis for all the others on the Web. It would carry more weight if we knew that Mr X asked Question Y.The Chinese are right to worry about the US economy – they hold a lot of our debt.Any “health care” plan that comes with big fines and jail time for not buying their insurance should be thrown out immediately.

 

Um, to the last commenter and anyone with similar thoughts.The people who are against the current bill are not against reform in general. They are against reform that makes no sense (the bill being proposed).If you actually read through the bill you will notice that it’s written to send more money to guess what “greedy pharma companies” which is the real issue that we should be looking at.I hear everyone (this bill included) trying to figure out how to pay for it all. Maybe a starting point that would really make a difference would be to not allow the pharma companies and hospitals to charge astronomical prices on drugs and healthcare. It doesn’t matter how much the money get’s shifted around, if the pharma companies and hospitals charge 1000 d0llars for a bottle of pills people and countries will go bankrupt. The insurance companies deny people coverage because they are trying to be responsible and control costs. They are not going to write policies if there is no money to be made.For example if you have a group of 10 people and 5 of the 10 eat right, exercise and sleep right and stay healthy and never use their insurance, it wouldn’t be right to charge them extra money because the other 5 don;t stay healthy. The insurance company tries to be fair and raise the insurance for the 5 that don’t take care of themselves.The second thing that reform should be looking at is actually helping people become healthy. Drugs don’t make people healthy, proper nutrition does.Here’s a universal government run plan that I do agree with that helps people and makes sense.http://www.healthrevolutionpetitio n.org/index.html?ID=30708

Posted by David | Report as abusive
 

Um, to the last commenter and anyone with similar thoughts.The people who are against the current bill are not against reform in general. They are against reform that makes no sense (the bill being proposed).If you actually read through the bill you will notice that it’s written to send more money to guess what “greedy pharma companies” which is the real issue that we should be looking at.I hear everyone (this bill included) trying to figure out how to pay for it all. Maybe a starting point that would really make a difference would be to not allow the pharma companies and hospitals to charge astronomical prices on drugs and healthcare. It doesn’t matter how much the money get’s shifted around, if the pharma companies and hospitals charge 1000 d0llars for a bottle of pills people and countries will go bankrupt. The insurance companies deny people coverage because they are trying to be responsible and control costs. They are not going to write policies if there is no money to be made.For example if you have a group of 10 people and 5 of the 10 eat right, exercise and sleep right and stay healthy and never use their insurance, it wouldn’t be right to charge them extra money because the other 5 don;t stay healthy. The insurance company tries to be fair and raise the insurance for the 5 that don’t take care of themselves.The second thing that reform should be looking at is actually helping people become healthy. Drugs don’t make people healthy, proper nutrition does.Here’s a universal government run plan that I do agree with that helps people and makes sense.google healthrevolutionpetition

 

Since the Chinese government (and probably some wealthy individuals) has bought so much of US government debt, it is only reasonable that they would have *lots* of questions about how safe is their investment – and even requirements to ensure it. And most definitely the current bills being “debated” – what a laugh to use that term – are not going to improve the financial state of the US government. The only way out for individuals is to make themselves as independent of the government programs as they possibly can – and being and staying healthy is a major way.I have not had medical insurance for the past 9 years when I ceased employment with Motorola (after 16 years) and went onto unrelated endeavors. While I take extensive health degeneration prevention measures and am in excellent health at age 64 having no chronic health problems, I would have true catastrophic medical insurance ($25k deductible) if it were economically available in Arizona – it is not and all that is available is determined by the US federal government. It is government that has limited what I can obtain in the way of health insurance and is threatening to further interfere in the relationship I may form with a physician under the rare occurrence that I consult with one.Being free of debt and healthy should be the goal of every person in the US now, more than ever. The US government is not and never should have been considered a source of financial or health security.

 

your site is natural colour so i like this model

 

Hello!My wish to you: see this and than you choose what to do!http://www.webtwoforyou.eu/Here you can see a presentation. When you see this you want to join.But first you mast to register to SITETALK (this is something likefacebook, twiter,… – but they pay you)Here is the link for sitetalk – http://www.sitetalk.com Its FREE. For register you mustwrite for refferal my user name bortchy , but this user name changewith yours user name when you send this messege to friends.I hope you enjoy and we will cooperate for a long time.With love, viktor

Posted by viktor | Report as abusive
 

This bill focuses on the short term. Attempting to lower the cost of health care for unhealthy Americans.No investment is funding the prevention of disease, making Americans healthier, and lower the need for healthcare and medications. In schools we are no tought how to be healthy and it shows in our citizens. If we are going to spend a trillion dollars it should be spent educating the public about the need for proper nutrition, exercise and sleep. That is a nobel long term goal and will reduce the long term need for “health” care. I have never had medical care and neither has anyone in my family. We have never needed it because we take care of ourselves. OUR HEALTH IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY. We eat all naturals food, exercise everyday and have a regular sleep pattern. I am very healhty without healthcare and I do not want to pay more taxes to pay for lazy people who didn’t take care of themselves or their family.Self care not health care!

Posted by Slamdeven | Report as abusive
 

Here’s an idea that may appeal to conservatives and liberals alike

Let’s start letting Americans opt to have medical treatment in foreign countries.

Right now only a few insurance companies will pay for procedures done overseas.
This forces all of us to use the American Medical system. And at $10,000 a day for a stay in a US hospital, it doesn’t take a mathmatician to figure out why health care is so expensive in the US

Like many Americans , who are older and self employed, I can only afford catastrophic health insurance. My Blue shield plan costs my wife and I $920 a month and has an $8000 deductible.

About 4-5 years ago we found a great solution.
Thailand!!

Like India, Costa Rica, Singapor and Malaysia, Thailand is trying to attract overseas patients who are priced out of their own medical system.

We went over there for complete physicals…to start.(1/10 the cost of the same procedures in the US: ultrasound, X rays, stress tests, EKG, colonoscopies, blood work etc.). We were paying about $240 to get $2400 worth of tests done.
Add $1000 for roundtrip airfare and $150 for a couple nights stay in a nice hotel (or you can stay in a hospital room for about the same amount)…we saved $1200.

In subsequent years we added dental work…also a fraction of the cost.

And last year I went there for my first every operation in a foreign hospital.
The operation on my throat was a success. Best of all….I saved thousands of dollars.

When my wife’s pacemaker replacement is due we plan to have it done in Thailand.

Recently I had to go to my local dentist in California for a toothache. He looked at my records and commented that I hadn’t been in to see him for 4 years.

I didn’t have the heart to tell him that the only reason he was seeing me now because it was an emergency.

Rather than try to change the system, let’s let competition drive costs down.
As more and more people seek medical care overseas, Doctors, hospitals and drug manufacturers will have to bring down costs here in order to attract patients.

If they don’t, they’ll all have to fight over a shrinking pool of customers.

And insurance companies will love it because they won’t have to pay the outrageous medical bills for US medical care.

Posted by norris hall | Report as abusive
 

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