The bills are long and complicated, and don't agree on every single point.
Obama has said he supports a government option that would compete side-by-side with private plans.
But, the House of Representatives version says that anyone who already has a health plan, other than the government option, at the date the legislation goes into effect may keep it. Otherwise, they must take the government option. Of course, this means that the government option will eventually be the only option. Private health insurance companies will not be able to stay in business when it is no longer legal for them to attract new customers.
What about people who switch to government option, find out that it is horrible, and then wish to switch back? They are Sorry Out of Luck--the Democrats' plan takes away the liberty to choose your own health insurance according to what would work best for you.
One of the legislators laughed at Obama's statement that the government option health insurance would compete against private health insurance.
"Yeah, like an alligator competes with ducks."
Of course, when an alligator races against ducks, he doesn't just run. He also eats the ducks! --hardly a fair competition.
The government option will have unfair advantages against all the private insurance plans. Private insurance must live within the financial restriction of the income it gets from those who buy it, which is a force for keeping health care costs down. We know that other government health programs, such as Medicare, do not stay within ANY financial limits--Medicare is rapidly going broke, and the cost of its obligations to people who have paid into the system all their lives is becoming astronomical. Either the government will not be able to giive them the promised health benefits when the money has run out, or the government will have to shift the cost to others, in the style of a Ponzi scheme (pyramid scheme).
]Presentlly, Medicare is using a formula for payment to doctors that has been called "crazy." If the costs which doctors are asking the public have increased more greatly than the formula allows, the formula test says the increased prices are "unsustainable," and the government revises them downward according to the formula. So, if a treatment in real life costs $1500, the formula may say it should cost no more than $1100, and that is what the government, through Medicare, will pay. As a result, many doctors won't take additional Medicare patients--they feel they can't afford to spend much of their practice on treatments that make little money, or that might even lose money. So, the government program which was intended to help older patients instead results in them being cut off from being added to the list of patients a particular doctor is willing to see.
American medical education is very costly. Young doctors commonly graduate with student debts of $200,000, on which they must pay interest so long as the debt is outstanding. They can't AFFORD to take patients who will not profit them--they need to make money, to pay off their debts. If government price fixing, against the doctors, spreads to other ages as well, becoming a medical doctor will be much less attractive from a financial standpoint.
Obama was quite frank when a person told of how his 100-year-old grandmother needed a pacemaker, and all but one doctor declined to put one in her, after which she lived to be a spirited 105--and Obama responded that perhaps the elderly should be allowed to die instead of prolonging their lives at great expense to the health system.
Reid and the Senate are not going to deal with the bill until after the August recess.
In the House of Representatives, Blue Dog Democrats (who do not blindly follow the tax-and-spend liberal leadership of their party) have objected to the bill, as it was crafted by the committee and leadership. Pelosi wanted the bill to get a vote before the August recess, but the Blue Dogs negotiated for the vote to be delayed until after the August recess.
Opponents of the bill think that, in its worst form, a delay until after August would kill the bill, because legislators will learn from their constituents that they don't want government domination of health care. The more information people get about the proposals, the more they oppose the bill. When people who support the bill lie about it to try to get votes, they get laughed at, or heckled, or booed by people who have knowledge of the bill.
Unfortunately, Pelosi and Reid's push for government domination are poisoning the opportunity for real health care reform. Tort law reform, limiting the sky-high expenses that trial lawyers add to the system by outrageously high lawsuits, could bring down health care expenses, both by eliminating the high cost of these awards and by eliminating the expensive wasteful tests which are done as part of defensive medicine. "I knew what the medical problem was and didn't need the $1000 test, but I did it just to cover myself."
Insurance companies cheat people by taking their premiums so long as they have no serious illness, but then they go back and look for any slip in paperwork that could be used as an excuse to disallow them when they have significant claims. Democrats and Republicans can agree this is not right, and should be illegal.
Less expensive, preventive care is better than giving no treatment until a disease has been caught and progressed to the point of needing operations and expensive medicines. Everyone should be able to agree on this.
Some medical plans reward people for healthy behavior. For example, people who lose weight may qualify for a reduction in insurance cost. Or, people who exercise may qualify for cost reductions. People who are rewarded for healthy behavior are more likely to engage in healthy behavior. This should be part of any plan--but it isn't in the Reid-Pelosi plan.
They could have built a good plan, with real health reform that would help people--but they didn't do it.
The American Medical Association has weighed in on National Health Insurance...
The Allergists voted to scratch it, but the Dermatologists advised not to make any rash moves.
The Gastroenterologists had sort of a gut feeling about it, but the Neurologists thought the Administration had a lot of nerve.
The Obstetricians felt they were all laboring under a misconception. Ophthalmologists considered the idea shortsighted.
Pathologists yelled, "Over my dead body!" while the Pediatricians said, 'Oh, Grow up!' The Psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness, while the Radiologists could see right through it.
Surgeons decided to wash their hands of the whole thing. The Internists thought it was a bitter pill to swallow, and the Plastic Surgeons said, "This puts a whole new face on the matter."
The Podiatrists thought it was a step forward, but the Urologists were pissed off at the whole idea.
The Anesthesiologists thought the whole idea was a gas, and the Cardiologists didn't have the heart to say no.
In the end, the Proctologists won out, leaving the entire decision up to the assholes in Washington.
The White House has asked its loyal supporters on Obama's health plan to inform on anyone who is overheard speaking against the plan or writing
against it. They want to come down hard on anyone who varies from what Obama is pushing--discredit them, marginalize them, depict them as the enemy,
punish them. That is the way Chicago politics is done.
As Obama said during the campaign, "If they bring a knife, you bring a gun."