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ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
10/28/10 8:09 p.m.
Tom Heath wrote: I'm completely OK with the concept of health care reform, but the execution was horrible. Blaming one side or the other for that legislation is silly. Pretending that any political party (including the Tea Party) is looking out for your interests before their own is worse.

well said.

I'm hopeful that people will now become more involved in their political process. but from what i've seen lately... I'm losing hope it'll happen.

Anyway.. Heres a good interview i heard today. Basically this guy says, instead of arguing about tax cuts and other small devices of government we need to think about the size of the government and the service level we want from government. Then once we've done that, then we can determine the funding level we need to support that government and put taxes at the appropriate level for that. He also had some great ideas medicare/SS for the rich... Ahhh.. I must be getting old as I agree with a guy who worked for the bush whitehouse.

http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/10/28/pm-its-not-about-tax-cuts-but-the-size-of-government/

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
10/28/10 8:24 p.m.
SVreX wrote: Does Harry Reid count? Harry Reid supports Tea Party candidate Granted, his motives are totally screwed, and he certainly does not represent the ideas of the Tea Party, but Harry Reid IS supporting a Tea Party candidate. Before you say it, I know that does not make him a Tea Party advocate. It makes him a supporter of a Tea Party candidate (for his own Democratic political self-interest purposes).

another oddity is russ feingold. He's probably the biggest indepentent thinker in congress and his voting record shows it, but the guy has a D next to his name and is an incumbent soo.. Out he goes.

oldsaw
oldsaw SuperDork
10/28/10 9:34 p.m.
ignorant wrote:
SVreX wrote: Does Harry Reid count? Harry Reid supports Tea Party candidate Granted, his motives are totally screwed, and he certainly does not represent the ideas of the Tea Party, but Harry Reid IS supporting a Tea Party candidate. Before you say it, I know that does not make him a Tea Party advocate. It makes him a supporter of a Tea Party candidate (for his own Democratic political self-interest purposes).
another oddity is russ feingold. He's probably the biggest indepentent thinker in congress and his voting record shows it, but the guy has a D next to his name and is an incumbent soo.. Out he goes.

Ig, Feingold is another example of a politician who gets a flea-bath but lays down with the wrong pack of dogs. There are more than a few Republicans who can share similar tales from the '06/'08 election cycles.

The current sentiment (regarding Congress) is that few deserve to be there and fewer still can be trusted. I find it encouraging that voters are actually paying attention and ejecting politicians in favor of public servants. I'll be ecstatic if the new crowd gets dumped because they forgot why they were elected.

And, thanks for the link to the Hubbard interview. Too bad he didn't have more influence with his former employer.

DILYSI Dave
DILYSI Dave SuperDork
10/28/10 10:38 p.m.
Cone_Junky wrote: Strange. A majority of the American people voted to put a man in office that ran on all these policies. This IS the change we asked for. Yet because it wasn't what YOU voted for, it's socialist, communism, and overstepping his boundaries. The majority voted, the minority lost. The minority does not have a right to take that away. Louder and more obnoxious doesn't mean majority.

In fairness, it was socialist, communist, and overstepping before he won too.

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
10/29/10 5:01 a.m.
oldsaw wrote: Ig, Feingold is another example of a politician who gets a flea-bath but lays down with the wrong pack of dogs.

or you could just say the guy represented his district, which is the truth instead of trying to slander him.

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
10/29/10 6:08 a.m.
DILYSI Dave wrote:
Cone_Junky wrote: Strange. A majority of the American people voted to put a man in office that ran on all these policies. This IS the change we asked for. Yet because it wasn't what YOU voted for, it's socialist, communism, and overstepping his boundaries. The majority voted, the minority lost. The minority does not have a right to take that away. Louder and more obnoxious doesn't mean majority.
In fairness, it was socialist, communist, and overstepping before he won too.

The problem with Obama is that he did actually try to take on some of the big issues facing our country. Wether or not you like what he did, the man attempted to solve the health care cost and access issues that are rampant in our country. Thats more than most have actually done in many many years.

I think the reason people are so angry(also the economy is in the dumpster, which really just is an anger amplifying factor) isn't really the actual change but the fact that there WAS change. I believe as much as we(americans collectively) talk about wanting and needing change, we really don't want it. We want status quo, or at least what we perceive the old status quo to be. Case in point, any old guy who talks fondly about the way things used to be..

just my opinion.

Now back to Healthcare. I got a letter from my old doctor in charleston SC the other day. He's going all cash. Good for him. I talked with my dad who sells malpractice insurance and he said so many doctors are scared of this law and are leaving public practice. So, I heard a rumor that the major companies were called to washington a while back to talk about a single payer health care system. The big question was would they stop their supported health care plans if the government launched single payer. They all said yes, so now we got the bill we got. I'd be all for the businesses dropping their plans if they would just pay me the extra( my employer says $12k/year) and have me go find insurance out on the open market or join a collective/exchange to group buy it. Or just raise taxes appropriately and go with a proper government single payer plan, I'm just fine with that too.

Marjorie Suddard
Marjorie Suddard General Manager
10/29/10 6:37 a.m.

Guys, not to acknowledge the elephant in the room, but doctors aren't the problem. Neither are the lawyers.

Do any of you actually purchase health insurance group plans? I do, and there is really only ONE factor that significantly influences cost. It's not major medical/hospitalization, it's not lifetime benefit maxes, it's not copays. Although changes to some or all of these features do affect premiums, the fastest way to move a premium one way or the other is to change the prescription drug plan. If you're willing to go to an all-generic plan that asks you to pay $20 for generic drugs with all others going toward a high drug deductible, you pay a fraction of what you pay for a more common $20/35/50 plan (generics are $20, brand names are $35 or $50 depending on some formula that in practice means they're ALWAYS $50). That's with all else being equal except the prescription coverage.

Big Pharma is killing us. Ever wonder why they're able to absolute inundate us with advertising? Tissues in the doctor's office? Pens? Stirrup covers? Lunches for docs every day? It's not likely to change, however, as long as lobbyists control our country. Or as long as we keep them in business by believing we must have a pill to solve everything that we should be remedying with common sense.

Margie

oldsaw
oldsaw SuperDork
10/29/10 8:25 a.m.
ignorant wrote:
oldsaw wrote: Ig, Feingold is another example of a politician who gets a flea-bath but lays down with the wrong pack of dogs.
or you could just say the guy represented his district, which is the truth instead of trying to slander him.

No slander intended..... The point is that he is a member of the party that is out of favor with voters, thus it's guilt by association.

As for representing his district, if he's voted out perhaps it's because he failed to read the mood and direction his constituents had taken - it's a national trend brought down to a more local level.

DukeOfUndersteer
DukeOfUndersteer SuperDork
10/29/10 8:37 a.m.

I hate getting into these arguments and how people start to judge people on how the vote or what they believe in. I live in the second most conservative county in the country. So alot of the bias is going towards the red and i have to hear it everyday.

I have a theory.... The rich, who fund alot of the Conservatives in getting what they want thru, are those owners of the major industries and businesses. I am not talking about the small businesses, like the one i work for, i mean the IBMs and Dells Bank of Americas and major corporations. What i feel is that they are not hiring, while stocks have rebounded and productivity is back up to the normal rates, but the unemployment remains at 9 or 10%. What is happening is the Corporations are refusing to hire workers, in turn is keeping unemployment where it is, where people are angry that the unemployment has not gone down and blaming the Democrats.

What i think will happen is when the Conservatives take over the House and Senate, they will try and get their Bush Tax Cuts back thru and that will let the rich retain more of their money. In turn, you will see a decrease in unemployment and the Corporations will start hiring and the Conservatives will claim Victory, saying look what we did.

(preparing for the steam rollers)

oldsaw
oldsaw SuperDork
10/29/10 8:49 a.m.
Marjorie Suddard wrote: Guys, not to acknowledge the elephant in the room, but doctors aren't the problem. Neither are the lawyers. Do any of you actually purchase health insurance group plans? I do, and there is really only ONE factor that significantly influences cost. It's not major medical/hospitalization, it's not lifetime benefit maxes, it's not copays. Although changes to some or all of these features do affect premiums, the fastest way to move a premium one way or the other is to change the prescription drug plan. If you're willing to go to an all-generic plan that asks you to pay $20 for generic drugs with all others going toward a high drug deductible, you pay a fraction of what you pay for a more common $20/35/50 plan (generics are $20, brand names are $35 or $50 depending on some formula that in practice means they're ALWAYS $50). That's with all else being equal except the prescription coverage. Big Pharma is killing us. Ever wonder why they're able to absolute inundate us with advertising? Tissues in the doctor's office? Pens? Stirrup covers? Lunches for docs every day? It's not likely to change, however, as long as lobbyists control our country. Or as long as we keep them in business by believing we must have a pill to solve everything that we should be remedying with common sense. Margie

Good call on Big Pharma, Margie.

There was a time when the only advertising one would see was for OTC drugs and nothing else; I had a WTF moment when I started seeing ads for prescription drugs. Now it seems the "See your doctor" ads are more pervasive than anything else.

To be fair, though, big pharma has tremendous overhead costs in developing new drugs and wants to maximize the ROI before any patents expire. Much of the R&D costs are the result of FDA-mandated procedures and regulations. But, drug companies found an un-tapped market and began producing "designer" drugs to fix any little ailment - and people bought into it big time.

It's ironic that big pharma is virtually ignored when people rail against "evil" oil and insurance companies with big profit numbers; big pharma puts them to shame.

93celicaGT2
93celicaGT2 SuperDork
10/29/10 8:56 a.m.

Being on the insurance side of things, it always blows my mind when i see $5000 prescriptions for 30 pills that cost the rx companies all of 20 cents apiece to make, as well.

oldsaw
oldsaw SuperDork
10/29/10 9:07 a.m.
DukeOfUndersteer wrote: I hate getting into these arguments and how people start to judge people on how the vote or what they believe in. I live in the second most conservative county in the country. So alot of the bias is going towards the red and i have to hear it everyday. I have a theory.... The rich, who fund alot of the Conservatives in getting what they want thru, are those owners of the major industries and businesses. I am not talking about the small businesses, like the one i work for, i mean the IBMs and Dells Bank of Americas and major corporations. What i feel is that they are not hiring, while stocks have rebounded and productivity is back up to the normal rates, but the unemployment remains at 9 or 10%. What is happening is the Corporations are refusing to hire workers, in turn is keeping unemployment where it is, where people are angry that the unemployment has not gone down and blaming the Democrats. What i think will happen is when the Conservatives take over the House and Senate, they will try and get their Bush Tax Cuts back thru and that will let the rich retain more of their money. In turn, you will see a decrease in unemployment and the Corporations will start hiring and the Conservatives will claim Victory, saying look what we did. (preparing for the steam rollers)

No steam roller, Duke, but look at this nifty chart that tracks corporate campaign donations over the last 9-10 years: http://www.followthemoney.org/database/IndustryTotals.phtml?PHPSESSID=8e728ca96ac05e01be59691380972884

Please note the higher percentage (by a slight margin) went to Democratic interests. Overall, the numbers are close for both parties, meaning donors play both sides of the fence to maintain favor with the winner. Business traditionally donate moree to Republicans, but there is enough historical precedent to document "why". This year's elections are the first when donations to Republicans are significantly higher.

I would suggest the reason is that businesses (big and small) are very concerned about looming, huge tax increases that will make costs skyrocket. No one wants to spend money on expansion now when they know it will cost them even more in the very near future. The hope/expectation is that Republicans will enact legislation that will at least stabilise and (even) reduce impending cost increases.

JoeyM
JoeyM Dork
10/29/10 9:12 a.m.
oldsaw wrote: To be fair, though, big pharma has tremendous overhead costs in developing new drugs and wants to maximize the ROI before any patents expire.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080105140107.htm

ScienceDaily (Jan. 7, 2008) — A new study by two York University researchers estimates the U.S. pharmaceutical industry spends almost twice as much on promotion as it does on research and development, contrary to the industry’s claim. The researchers’ estimate is based on the systematic collection of data directly from the industry and doctors during 2004, which shows the U.S. pharmaceutical industry spent 24.4% of the sales dollar on promotion, versus 13.4% for research and development, as a percentage of US domestic sales of US$235.4 billion.
oldsaw wrote: Much of the R&D costs are the result of FDA-mandated procedures and regulations.

If anybody forgets why we need those lengthy testing procedures, they should use google images to look for Thalidomide.

oldsaw
oldsaw SuperDork
10/29/10 9:28 a.m.

In reply to JoeyM:

Not certain of your intentions with that post, but it simply reinforces my point that Big Pharma pulls in huge profits in spite of regulatory oversight.

BTW, the manufacturer of Thalidomide developed the drug under the auspices of the FDA and it's approved process. Blame for the resulting tragedy falls to more than a single entity.

JoeyM
JoeyM Dork
10/29/10 9:56 a.m.
oldsaw wrote: In reply to JoeyM: Not certain of your intentions with that post, but it simply reinforces my point that Big Pharma pulls in huge profits in spite of regulatory oversight.

That was the point. I agree that they make huge profits. I was trying to illustrate my belief that research and development of drugs - while costly - cannot be blamed for the high prices big pharma charges.

oldsaw wrote: BTW, the manufacturer of Thalidomide developed the drug under the auspices of the FDA and it's approved process. Blame for the resulting tragedy falls to more than a single entity.
Wikipedia says: said: The impact in the United States was minimized when pharmacologist and M.D. Frances Oldham Kelsey refused Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for an application from the Richardson-Merrell company to market thalidomide, saying further studies were needed. And although thalidomide was never approved for sale in the United States, millions of tablets had been distributed to physicians during a clinical testing program. It was impossible to know how many pregnant women had been given the drug to help alleviate morning sickness or as a sedative.[19]

Here is the article wiki was using as reference 19. It is an interesting read.

The bad stuff that happened with Thalidomide occured during tests to decide IF we should approve it...if we had approved it without testing it further (i.e. "Europe already tested it, so it must be OK") many more pregnant mothers would have been using it.

I sometimes hear people talk about the "need" to fast track (i.e. shorten the testing process) the approval of cancer drugs. This is the example I trot out to demonstrate why lengthy testing procedures are a good thing.

oldsaw
oldsaw SuperDork
10/29/10 11:41 a.m.

In reply to JoeyM:

Thanks for the extra info on the Thalidomide fiasco; it is certainly justification for additional testing before approval.

Now, the drug companies use doctors (to great effect) for market testing - and people fall for it all the time.

z31maniac
z31maniac SuperDork
10/29/10 11:58 a.m.
Xceler8x wrote: I get what Marjie and Cone Junky are saying. There does seem to be some "Me first!" thinking going on with folks who want to curtail government spending. They want to cut programs that don't affect them. Most people I know who advocate against deficit spending are pro-military. Our military expenditures are through the roof. But rarely do I hear a deficit hawk talk about cutting the military budget. It's most often social programs that affect the young or the poor. How often has a deficit hawk mentioned cutting social security? Medicare? The prescription drug benefit? Programs that old folks rely on are treated as sacred cows. If we're talking about cutting our spending it all needs to be on the table.

Just so you know, the Iraq War cost LESS than the failed Stimulus package.

Just thought I'd throw that our there for ya.

slefain
slefain SuperDork
10/29/10 12:38 p.m.
z31maniac wrote:
Xceler8x wrote: I get what Marjie and Cone Junky are saying. There does seem to be some "Me first!" thinking going on with folks who want to curtail government spending. They want to cut programs that don't affect them. Most people I know who advocate against deficit spending are pro-military. Our military expenditures are through the roof. But rarely do I hear a deficit hawk talk about cutting the military budget. It's most often social programs that affect the young or the poor. How often has a deficit hawk mentioned cutting social security? Medicare? The prescription drug benefit? Programs that old folks rely on are treated as sacred cows. If we're talking about cutting our spending it all needs to be on the table.
Just so you know, the Iraq War cost LESS than the failed Stimulus package. Just thought I'd throw that our there for ya.

Would that be the first Iraq war, or the second one?

As for big pharma, their lobbyists own Washington. There will never be any meaningful reform of the medical system until you ban lobbyists. At the rate we are going the medical system will eventually only be for the people who can afford care. Can't pay? Too bad. And it isn't a Republican or Democrat thing, they pay off both sides. As long as the fat checks don't bounce the drug companies will get whatever they want.

Cone_Junky
Cone_Junky Reader
10/29/10 1:31 p.m.
z31maniac wrote:
Xceler8x wrote: I get what Marjie and Cone Junky are saying. There does seem to be some "Me first!" thinking going on with folks who want to curtail government spending. They want to cut programs that don't affect them. Most people I know who advocate against deficit spending are pro-military. Our military expenditures are through the roof. But rarely do I hear a deficit hawk talk about cutting the military budget. It's most often social programs that affect the young or the poor. How often has a deficit hawk mentioned cutting social security? Medicare? The prescription drug benefit? Programs that old folks rely on are treated as sacred cows. If we're talking about cutting our spending it all needs to be on the table.
Just so you know, the Iraq War cost LESS than the failed Stimulus package. Just thought I'd throw that our there for ya.

Apples and oranges on so many levels, but I'll play along.

http://www.costofwar.com/

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/aug/25/mark-tapscott/did-stimulus-cost-more-war-iraq/

Kinda funny how you can make numbers work for your point. Stimulus ends in 2019, so since the costs for the stimulus are based on total cost, let's find out what Iraq cost us by 2019.

HUGE problem with your arguement- Iraq War has done nothing for the American people, other then kill thousands of them. Don't even know where to start on the damage it has done to Iraq, Iraq's citizens, the region, and our international standing. Stimulus was used to save our economy and included tax cuts, which a lot of us benefitted from.

Oh yeah, why exactly did we start this war? Why did Obama pass the stimulus package? Intentions make a difference...

racerdave600
racerdave600 HalfDork
10/29/10 5:50 p.m.
Marjorie Suddard wrote: Guys, not to acknowledge the elephant in the room, but doctors aren't the problem. Neither are the lawyers. Do any of you actually purchase health insurance group plans? I do, and there is really only ONE factor that significantly influences cost. It's not major medical/hospitalization, it's not lifetime benefit maxes, it's not copays. Although changes to some or all of these features do affect premiums, the fastest way to move a premium one way or the other is to change the prescription drug plan. If you're willing to go to an all-generic plan that asks you to pay $20 for generic drugs with all others going toward a high drug deductible, you pay a fraction of what you pay for a more common $20/35/50 plan (generics are $20, brand names are $35 or $50 depending on some formula that in practice means they're ALWAYS $50). That's with all else being equal except the prescription coverage. Big Pharma is killing us. Ever wonder why they're able to absolute inundate us with advertising? Tissues in the doctor's office? Pens? Stirrup covers? Lunches for docs every day? It's not likely to change, however, as long as lobbyists control our country. Or as long as we keep them in business by believing we must have a pill to solve everything that we should be remedying with common sense. Margie

I agree that can and does affect insurance costs, but in fairness, it is not all their fault. Sure they want to make money, who doesn't, but look up their profit statements and it is not anywhere near what you may think. I have stock in several, and looking back at Merck for 2008, it was 7.8 mil for that year. Given the amount they sell and what they sell, that is not all that much. Especially considering Medicare loses about 60 billion tax dollars a year to fraud.

One of the reasons that they have to charge so much in this country for their products is that the United States has to subsidize the socialist countries and their limited drug costs. It sucks for us, but a reality if we want to have drug development. And given what we have to do get government approval for our systems, the costs have to be enormous to get a drug eligible for sale here.

A quick note on doctors. This is going to be a real problem for many people. A doctor shortage is a very real possibility. It is already started for many medicare patients. My 72 year old father had his doctor retire. It took him over 6 months to find another doctor willing to take him because of medicare. He's in excellent health too. Even then he had to have a recommendation from another physician, and do a bit of begging. Doctors do not like taking medicare as it only pays a fraction of their costs, and the paper work is greater compared to most insurance companies.

LainfordExpress
LainfordExpress New Reader
10/29/10 5:55 p.m.

I'm having ACL reconstruction surgery in three weeks that is about two years overdue... So right now insurance is really paying off for me, and I don't want it effed with.

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
10/29/10 8:14 p.m.
LainfordExpress wrote: I'm having ACL reconstruction surgery in three weeks that is about two years overdue... So right now insurance is really paying off for me, and I don't want it effed with.

I'm having a baby next year.

Total cost of premiums for the year for me on my middle of the road plan from my employer is $4848

I will pay the deductible for my wife of $1700 and then pay 20% of all costs after that up until an out of pocket maximum of about $5k.

Out of pocket costs for the birth will be about $3500 for me. Then plus premiums.. Then after care...

Then...

E36 M3 thats a whole berkeley load of money going out the wall.

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
10/29/10 8:18 p.m.
z31maniac wrote: Just so you know, the Iraq War cost LESS than the failed Stimulus package.

Define failed? GDP grew 2% this year. Did you expect rainbows and lolipops to come floating out of Obama's nose after they passed it and instantly all would be right with the world? Seriously, Failed is pretty harsh since we DON'T know the consequenses that could have happened without them. I prefer to say... "The bills really didn't have all the effect I was hoping for, but E36 M3 I'm sure glad the bridge got fixed."

E36 M3 buddy.. When was the last time we had money in this country to repair bridges? Eisenhower? We all take them for granted until they fall down.

Jensenman
Jensenman SuperDork
10/29/10 9:00 p.m.

So my kid has both asthma and eczema. Due to a recent upheaval in my life, I had to take on medical insurance at my work. Same company I was with before, only through a different employer. Won't name the company but it rhymes with RuRossRuRhield.

So I get a letter from the insurance company telling me 'preexisting conditions are not covered for X time period'. Her asthma and eczema are preexisting conditions. Remember, this is the same company just a different policy number. That means I paid 100% out of pocket for her stuff during that time, along with the premiums. That really pissed me off. Yeah, there are some much needed reforms coming for the insurance companies. I don't really have a problem with that.

What frosts my butt is the whole 'either you buy insurance or we hit you at tax time' thing. That is just dead wrong. It's not like car insurance where if I hit someone my insurance pays for their whatever; if I decide not to buy medical insurance I hurt no one but myself.

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
10/30/10 6:28 a.m.
Jensenman wrote: What frosts my butt is the whole 'either you buy insurance or we hit you at tax time' thing. That is just dead wrong. It's not like car insurance where if I hit someone my insurance pays for their whatever; if I decide not to buy medical insurance I hurt no one but myself.

I understand where you are coming from but must respectfully disagree. When someone without insurance goes to the emergency room for a cold or the flu, there are some major costs that are incurred by that hospital and are reimbursed by noone. The only way the medical system(hospital) has of covering those costs is to charge us all more.. And as medical insurance gets more expensive more folks opt out of insurance.

My parents didn't have insurance for about 7-10 years of my childhood. Without insurance those asthma meds get expensive.

Sorry to hear you about your little one and the preexisting condition problem. When did that happen, cause as of september 23, no denials for preexisting conditions for children should occur according to the new health care reform law or Obamacare if you're speaking to glen beck...

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2010/0324/Health-care-reform-bill-101-rules-for-preexisting-conditions

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