Peaches for Thought: Obamacare, Early Voting, and an Unlikely Alliance

Today’s “fresh political pickins from the Peach State”:

1.) Coming off a bitter campaign, Governor Deal and former Governor Barnes have forged an unlikely alliance over a good cause: ensuring that spouses of state employees killed in the line of duty are able to continue health coverage under the state’s plan. To quote Barnes: “It’s the least we can do, really”.

I didn’t vote for Governor Barnes and I don’t regret that decision. But it’s good to see this kind of unity from Speaker, Governor and former Goveror when it comes to something like this, which is doing the right thing.  It also more than makes up for these shenanigans last week by Barnes. “What a crock”.

2.) HB 92, sponsored by Rep. Mark Hamilton, R-Cumming, would reduce the early voting period from 45 to 21 days. Read the full article here. Personally, I think this is very necessary. I’d even support cutting it down to 14 or 7 days, but 21 is a good number. Cost-wise, it guts rural counties to have this long of an early voting period:

An ACCG survey found that counties with less than 10,000 registered voters spent an average $78.31 per early vote in the 2010 primary election, and $11.79 in the general election, compared with $10.76 and $3.63 for counties with more than 100,000 registered voters.

Plus, ya’ll know us rural folks have had problems with voter fraud in the past. A long period of early voting allows more ballots to be mailed out to cemetaries everywhere.

3.) Attorney General Olens, Congressman Westmoreland and Governor Deal held a press conference yesterday in response to the ruling in Florida on the healthcare law.

4.) HB 100, introduced by Rep. Allen Peake of Macon, creates a new court in Georgia to exclusively deal with problems regarding the Department of Revenue.

5.) There are two bills in the House looking to place more scrutiny on projects that “rely on transferring water from one river basin to another”. This idea is currently being worked on by Rep. Tom McCall and Rep. Alan Powell.

6.) In other positive news (not), a new report says that Georgia is 7th among states in total illegal immigrant population.

60 comments

  1. Jeff says:

    As I’ve been discussing in yesterday’s open thread, 1) is bad law – period. If you support this law yet say New Orleans has been given enough post-Katrina, you are a hypocrite, as it is exactly the same.

    She is no longer married to the man, she is no longer entitled to the legal benefits of the marriage – period. YES, it absolutely SUCKS and was a HORRIBLE tragedy that he died the way he did – and it is also a HORRIBLE tragedy that Mrs. Ayers‘ husband was killed by a cop the way he was.

    Yet no one is proposing this law to benefit Mrs. Ayers.

    But hey, I guess small government and logical consistency are too much to ask of the Georgia Big Government Party.

    • drjay says:

      i don’t see how this is the same as katrina, this is more like my grandmother still being able to go on post to the px even though she “is no longer married” to my dead grandfather…

      • Jeff says:

        As I mentioned in the other thread, this has a DIRECT application in “Not Yours To Give”.

        But outside of that:

        Should Mrs. Ayers be qualified for this entitlement as well as Mrs. LeCroy? How do you justify one and not the other? Were not both senseless tragedies?

        • drjay says:

          i don’t know who mrs. ayers is. but the idea of widow’s being entitled to benefits that stemmed from their marriage is not new–like i said above, my grandmother can still go to the px. and i think all this does is allow her to continue to pay premiums that she was already paying and would have been paying had her husband not died in the line of duty–i can’t imagine the budget strain caused by this to be in the oh, i don’t know 10’s of dollars…

          • Jeff says:

            Check the link above. Her husband was murdered by a cop who wasn’t even legally able to carry a gun in a botched drug raid – a cop who got off scott free.

            • drjay says:

              your link does not appear to work…but if he were a state worker killed in the line of duty, then i’d be all for her getting to keep her health insurance…

              • Jeff says:

                oops… let’s try again

                He was a pastor who committed the “crime” of ministry. He was giving a ride to someone the cops were investigating for drug possession, and when the actual investigation target got out of his car, a bunch of thugs in plain clothes in an unmarked SUV stormed the car and pointed guns at him. He hit the gas to try to get away, thinking he was being robbed. Ran over one of the thugs’ feet, and the thugs fired on him and killed him. He never knew the thugs were cops.

                Speaking of making ministry a crime though, I forgot: Republicans are already trying to do that. (HB 87).

                • Lady Thinker says:

                  Someone who wakes up in the middle of the night to claim, “God has called me to spread the gospel,” is not the same as someone who has graduated with a degree in Divinity.

                  I feel any spouse, especially one who had kids with the deceased government worker, even HERO workers who are killed on the Interstate, are entitled to these benefits to support the children of the dead government spouse.

                  After all, the government and the ungovernment spouses had the kids together, why should the burden fall on just one of them because the government worker is dead?

                  • Jeff says:

                    When I die, why should the burden fall on my wife just because I am dead?

                    When my dad dies, why should the burden fall on my mom and my brothers and myself just because he is dead?

                    You are using DEATH as a political ploy!!!!! How SICK is that????

                    • B Balz says:

                      Will you agree that adding people to the roll of insureds generally will lower cost by diluting the high risk pool?

                    • B Balz says:

                      Jeff,

                      You just described why the ‘individual mandate’ of the PPACA is important.

                      As you may know, the portion of the new law that requires we all buy health insurance is called the individual mandate! By increasing the pool of insureds, the high risk portion is diluted.

                      BTW, I don’t like the individual mandate, I think it is the wrong way to achieve the right result, which are the elimination of pre-existing conditions.

                    • Jeff says:

                      So I should be forced to buy a product I may or may not want or ever need, because it will lower YOUR rate?

                      Interesting scenario, but one that will get us FAR off topic 😀

                    • John Konop says:

                      Jeff,

                      I had someone hit my car a few years ago without insurance. The only reason I recovered some of the money is when he got caught it was against the law via the courts he had to deal with situation. If it was just a civil manner rather than a criminal manner he would just more than likely not pay me and make it not finically viable for a civil action.

                      I would argue that a person without car or health insurance is talking away my rights. What they are doing is taking a risk on my dime. And when they get into an accident and or need healthcare it is a burden put on us who do play by the rules.

                      Taking the risk means in healthcare that you do not get service without coverage or cash. As a society I do not see us turning away sick babies without healthcare coverage. That is why people must pay like car insurance.

                      I believe in personal responsibility. What you are advocating is forced shared responsibility. I am forced to pay for a person to take the risk on my dime if it goes wrong.

            • Gerald says:

              Your link doesn’t work. It is highlighted and underlined, but does not appear to be linked to a URL or anything. Can you provide the Internet address to the story explicitly?

              Incidentally, I will say that benefits to widows of those who fall in duty and benefits to people who suffer harm from the state are two different things. The civil courts are the answer for the latter, although it should be pointed out that conservatives are attempting to limit access to the courts and damage awards in such cases. As far as the former case, it sounds like good politics but suspect policy.

  2. John Konop says:

    If you are against mandatory pay healthcare I have a few questions:

    1) If people do not have insurance and they show up for healthcare without the money should we treat them?
    2) If you are for not having pre-existing conditions in healthcare do you understand the less people n the pool the higher the price?
    3) What is your solution for people who do not pay for health insurance and use the people that do for it as an emergency insurance policy?
    4) You understand people who get subsidized healthcare from not having insurance are taking way the rights of people who do have insurance by having the cost passed onto them?

    • Harry says:

      1) If people do not have insurance and they show up for healthcare without the money should we treat them? Yes, but they should receive a lower standard of care. Nowhere is it written that everyone is entitled to the same quality of medical care.

      2) If you are for not having pre-existing conditions in healthcare do you understand the less people n the pool the higher the price? I may be missing something, but it would seem that being forced to have pre-existing conditions in the pool would increase the price far more than not. Also, to the extent that pre-existing conditions are due to bad lifestyle choices, not having automatically guaranteed coverage would be a deterrent to such lifestyle choices.

      3) What is your solution for people who do not pay for health insurance and use the people that do for it as an emergency insurance policy? Same answer as #1.

      4) You understand people who get subsidized healthcare from not having insurance are taking way the rights of people who do have insurance by having the cost passed onto them? Again, people who receive subsidized healthcare should then receive a lower level of service.

      • KD_fiscal conservative says:

        “Yes, but they should receive a lower standard of care. Nowhere is it written that everyone is entitled to the same quality of medical care.”

        Harry, that literally the STUPIDEST $*** I have EVER heard. You have NO IDEA how hospital care works. Either you treat the acute problem that the patient came in with, or you don’t. The uninsured already don’t get elective treatments, such as knee replacement etc…(although 90 y/o’s on Medicare can, but by denying such a procedure, you buddy Palin already said is a “death panel”, so that out) Ask someone with any type of experience in the medical field(with a brain), what if, for ex, a patient comes to the ER with sepsis that developed from untreated UTI, how would treat the infection with a “lower standard of care.” They could not treat it, or they could provide IV antibiotics for an extended period of time, and create a huge hospital bill for each day spent in the hospital.

        There is no in-between, hospital care is very expensive, period.

        I don’t know if that is something WND suggested or something that you picked up from your tin-foil hat, but your ignorant proposal is a disturbing look at how the simpletons think.

        • Harry says:

          KD, there are definitely different levels of care. Just look at the level of care received by high-level politicians in DC. Look at the level of care received by a patient at Emory Johns Creek vs Grady.

          • KD_fiscal conservative says:

            This is my last response on this subject, because there is no point.

            But Grady is very, very expensive, and Emory Johns Creek is very, very,very expensive but neither is even close to affordable for cash paying patients(the uninsured). If the solution was “lower standard of care” like you suggest, then government supported hospitals (lower standard by all accounts) wouldn’t have to get millions of $ from the government each year just to operate.

            The fact is the poor already get lower standard of care at these hospitals, and its costing us $$$$$$$$$$.

            • Dave says:

              You’re right KD, the poor are costing us $$$$$$$$$ and it ain’t just in the ER. We’ve been propping up the poor for generations now and we’re bankrupt as a result. Thank you Lyndon Johnson and your “War on Poverty” and ” Great Society.” How’s that Medicare and Medicaid working out for our nation? Social Security? And thank you Bush #2 for your prescription drug benefit. Thanks Barak for universal healthcare. Promises were made, folks will say. Yes, they were and they were made in exchange for votes. Vote buying at its very, very best. And now the bill has come due.

              • KD_fiscal conservative says:

                Dave I agree, but I ask why can’t you support the proposal to require all people pay their for their OWN health insurance, which in turn will make sure medical bills are paid for NOT by taxpayers. The only other option is, that irresponsible people will continue to use taxpayer $ for health-care OR they that they don’t get treated, but the trail lawyer will be all over those cases. Why do people think they have the freedom to make taxpayers, hospital and doctors pay for their medical care if they get sick and don’t have insurance?

                I just don’t get it.

                • B Balz says:

                  Of the many things I do not like about the PPACA, this one stands out the most:

                  I visited Grady’s new Neuro-ICU (NICU), paid for by Atlanta’s most generous Mr. Bernie Marcus recently. State of the art facility, over a dozen beds for people whose prognosis, bluntly, is either death, profound loss of physical/mental functions; or for a miraculous few, restoration to an active life.

                  NICU care is hugely expensive; it is intensive 24 by 7 care staffed by very well trained people. NICU is not a happy place, sit in the waiting room for a few days and nobody will disagree….

                  So……………. As I viewed this marvelous, philanthropic, multi-million dollar gift, my inner curmudgeon, pessimistic mind began to wander. Who will end up here?

                  Sure many victims of motor vehicle accidents (MVA) will arrive and Grady’s miracle workers will stabilize them and bring them to NICU. I submit MVA patients will have a higher probability of being insured.

                  What about the idjits that get shot? What do you think their probability is to have insurance under the PPACA?

                  I would say the probability is closer to zero.

                  Do you think those same idjits are going to pay the PPACA mandated fine for not having medical insurance? Ha-ha-ha, ho-ho-ho.

                  Remember, NICU, is about the most costly medical care one can receive.

                  Harry is right, ‘not everyone deserves identical medical care’, yet, who decides?

                  If universal public expectations are made so that uninsureds (presupposes affordable insurance is made available, without limits on pre-existing conditions) get shot and have no insurance, the expectation OUGHT to be: You will be made comfortable in your last hours….

                  That’s what I call social engineering. Screw the CFC light bulbs, man, let’s get on with it.

        • Harry says:

          As I’ve said before, no matter what the system there will never be enough resources to give everyone the highest level of medical care.

          • KD_fiscal conservative says:

            That is a true statement, but is not a solution to the problem at hand. And providing more tax payer dollars to support the irresponsible, is not an option.

        • seenbetrdayz says:

          One thing I think that would help lower the costs of medical care is to do away with ‘certificates of need’ that must be filed with the state before it permits a hospital to be built. We need more hospitals, more doctors, more specialty-clinics, and more competition, but we have to ask permission before we can get any of that.

          I’m speaking as someone who does not have health insurance, recently visited the Perry Hospital ER, waited 2 hours before deciding it wasn’t worth it and that I’d wait until the morning. But my reason was a minor burn (which I thought might have been a spider bite at the time), and there are more people who have non-emergency conditions that drive up the costs of operating an ER. In the meantime, there is only ONE clinic in the area open late, and even it closes at 9. I remember when I was little, there was a place called “Pediatrics After Hours” in Macon where you could take your kids when they got sick, instead of the ER. But I think that place has been closed for a while now.

          It seems to me that we could create an incentive for more clinics, even hospitals, to be built, and the way to do that is to remove some of the red-tape that stands in the way.

      • John Konop says:

        In all due respect Harry one of the biggest reasons healthcare is so high is people without insurance using emergency rooms as primary care.

        The problem with emergency room as primary care:

        1) Must expensive form of primary care
        2) Many times people without insurance wait and the original illness would have been much cheaper to treat what it eventually morphs into.

        Everyone must pay into the system that has a job. I agree we can have lower level plans but everyone must pay.

        A few ideas to lower cost:

        1) Promote the use of dial a Doc and or drugstore nurses for minor care.
        2) Promote the use of nurses over doctors for minor care
        3) Let people buy drugs for countries like Canada
        4) Decrease coverage on basic mandatory plan on elective services
        5) Promote the use of end of life directives
        6) Decrease the cost of medical school for doctors in trade for volunteer healthcare work
        7) Increase the cost on elective coverage procedures for government paid healthcare plans to maintain coverage on basic needs( people can always buy supplements)
        8) Indigent care people ( who can work) volunteer time to off set cost of healthcare
        9) Integrate systems more efficiently
        10) Promote prenatal education which is not only healthy put saves money
        11) Promote wellness life style treatments over drugs and or procedures.

        Just a few suggestions I am sure many of you have more.

        • John Konop says:

          The biggest problem I had with Obama plan is it did not bend the cost curve enough. We cannot afford private or public for healthcare cost to keep rising way faster than GDP. This will not only cripple US companies and force outsourcing of jobs overseas for growth it is also making budgets blow up at all levels of government.

          Like it or not Canada it getting US jobs now because the healthcare cost is way cheaper and not a problem for the business. We send way to much time in a company trying to manage this out of control problem.

        • kyleinatl says:

          #6 technically already exists with the National Health Service Corps..the problem is that it only covers primary care and really could stand expansion into specialty fields that basically become primary care for the chronically ill.

          But I agree with you on your lower point, the cost of medicine is still skyrocketing, health reform or not, and if we don’t get that under control…we’ll have a whole ‘nother issue brewing.

        • KD_fiscal conservative says:

          1)lowers standard of care, liability issues
          2)PA/NP are already increasing a large numbers; also lower standard of care then a physician
          3)would work, drug co. lobbyist in the way + regulation issues
          4)Good idea!! once again the insurance co. lobbyist are going try to define “basic” as some huge and expensive plan
          5)Wow! don’t ever mention anything to do with end of life…
          6)already exists, doc’s to practice that underserved area’s get ~$150,000 loan repayment in addition to salary
          7)have to be very careful on what procedures, docs may get be pissed and drop medicare/caid +, but this a good idea to decrease gov’t entitlement spending;
          10-11) health promo a good idea in general, Americans have a very low level of preventive health and health promotion may be the answer

          The main problem is the VAST majority of medicare $ is spent at the end of life to extend the unavoidable for usually a short period of time here is Georgia’s very own Sen. Isakson speaking to address this issue on the Senate floor
          (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPqRFuSZyZg).
          We all know what happened to this proposal, and what the RINO (Palin, talk radio hosts) response to Isakson’s correct observation was.

        • Harry says:

          John, your points make the best argument why we should abandon Obamacare. Obamacare is just a compromise with and gift to the quasi-monopolistic special interests who maintain all the inefficiencies in health care.

          • John Konop says:

            Harry,

            As you know I have made the point many times that the Obama healthcare bill did not address the real tough issues needed to fix healthcare. And I have not seen much from the GOP either willing to deal with tough choices.

            Both sides are selling we can all get something for nothing for political purposes. I made the point years ago that this would effect our budgets on every level of government and private sector ie jobs and real wages. And what many people do not understand the longer we wait the tougher the medicine. We need real adults in the room to solve the problem.

            • B Balz says:

              Yup. A travesty to see how we are dealing with one of our most critical issues, given the population age curve shifts.

              Demographics are the key to world economic trends. The middle east is younger, so is China. We are old and unable to act nimbly.

              We have to be smarter and more efficient or we will end up as pensioners scrabbling about like pigeons in the park….looking for a few crumbs handouts.

      • kyleinatl says:

        Most pre-existing conditions that make you “uninsurable” have nothing to do with lifestyle choices.

        Though I welcome you to tell a Parkinson’s disease patient that they should have eaten better. *eye roll*

      • Lady Thinker says:

        Harry,

        Why should people who receive subsidized healthcare receive a lower level of service? If getting a higher level of service prevents future illnesses and diseases, ones that we will have to pay for at a higher cost, why not do the preventative stuff at a lower cost to prevent the higher cost?

        • Harry says:

          “Why should people who receive subsidized healthcare receive a lower level of service?” Because they don’t pay for it.

          “If getting a higher level of service prevents future illnesses and diseases, ones that we will have to pay for at a higher cost, why not do the preventative stuff at a lower cost to prevent the higher cost?” It would be a good idea to do so, but it doesn’t happen for several reasons. For one thing, many individuals are not willing to undertake such preventative measures. Also, special interests often resist implementing such measures. We need to quit with the implicit expectation that government will solve all the healthcare issues that we should handle ourselves.

          • KD_fiscal conservative says:

            “We need to quit with the implicit expectation that government will solve all the healthcare issues that we should handle ourselves.”
            Things like regulating insurance companies, establishing universal access programs, reducing tort, forcing insurance companies to compete, and many other GOP alternatives will require the government. One the most extreme of liberal expects “government will solve all the healthcare issues ” but the ground work must be laid out by the government to make sure the “free market” solutions can occur. Also, I’m not sure who “ourselves” refers to, but you are pretty much in the hand of the insurance giants right now, so there is not much you can do regarding insurance coverage. But still the multi-billion $ questions that broad sound-bytes can’t solve, and you will learn on the talk-shows, is where can we cut medicare/medicaid in a way that won’t create an eruption among the Republican base, and will still provide seniors will the best healthcare in the world. And most importantly, how improve our current system so the free-loaders aren’t a tax-payer burden(and no, as I outlined above, the status quo of sud-standard care is STILL costing us millions).

            Harry the answers to those questions aren’t going to be popular, and they will often have a negative simplistic response (like the ones you have been providing). For example, you can watch the clip of Isakson’s point that would, by all accounts, reduce a large % medicare spending, and then you can watch Palin’s response. She of-course pins the idea on democrats, but point is the same. Many of the viable solutions aren’t going to be talk-show and simpleton friendly, but I hope either(or ideally both) parties are able to make the difficult decisions.

            While the continued use of generalizations baffle me, you did make two correct points:
            1)many individuals are not willing to undertake such preventative measures–that is true and studies have shown people in lower socio-economic classes are less likely to follow doc’s directions concerning preventive health, even when things like access to care were controlled for. things like education and “up-bringing” may be the culprit

            2)Obamacare is just a compromise with and gift to the quasi-monopolistic special interests—also correct. if you read and study the bill, is it pretty clear insurance co. interests were maintained. they spent more money lobbying than any other group, so i guess it paid off… they love the bill as millions of Americans will now have to seek out healthcare insurance from these companies,
            also trial lawyer interests were protected as absolutely nothing was done to combat medical malpractice, which is baffling considering this the one thing docs have begged for, for years

            • Harry says:

              Government certainly should play a role in promulgating sensible regulations, but unfortunately the US political system has been corrupted by special interest legislation which has eliminated much of the health care free market. Is that a sound bite? I also disagree with the notion that healthcare is a “right” that is supposed to be guaranteed and subsidized by the government. We can’t afford that.

              • Lady Thinker says:

                Harry, d

                Maybe we should go back to the Dickens era of widows and orphans living on the street spreading diseases that affected the more economically stable members of society and leave the bodies piling up in the street so we can just step over them as they rot and decay spreading even more disease for the rest of us.

                • Harry says:

                  Sensible regulation together with availability of basic medical services using generic medicines and computer-generated diagnoses etc. would prevent most of the carnage. Remember though, everything has a price tag. One other way to maintain societal norms would be to sterilize irresponsible parents who prove unable or unwilling to provide for their offspring.

                  • B Balz says:

                    Harry,

                    You really do have some very good points:

                    “….unfortunately the US political system has been corrupted by special interest legislation which has eliminated much of the health care free market …”

                    One could easily substitute ‘health care free market’ with ‘free market’.

                    election reform, starting with oversight of pol and campaign operatives, eliemination of the need to raise MILLIONS would go a long way toward improving America.

                    By the time the general population figures that out, Mandarin will be a US second language.

                • KD_fiscal conservative says:

                  Lady,

                  I do agree that at some point not providing for the poor, and less fortunate is going to reduce our country to some 3rd world nation. Ever been to Nigeria, how about India. These place have some very, very good hospitals, but only the rich can afford to go to these hospitals, and they will by no means treat you if you show up without insurance, or $. This is a tricky balancing act, if you do exactly what one side is proposing, we will reduce ourselves to “Dickens era “, if we do exactly what the other side is proposing, we will increase our debt to China, and with a low quality of care for the people who currently can afford health care.

                  This is a very tricky situation.

                    • Lady Thinker says:

                      BB,

                      I agree. I have read some of it and it puts me to sleep. I must stay awake, I must stay awake, I must …….

                  • Lady Thinker says:

                    KD,

                    I agree with many of your points and I get just as frustrated with the freeloaders. But in trying to figure out how to cut costs, I still think providing preventive care is more cost efficient than waiting until the poor get some traumatic illness that could cost ten times more to treat.

                    Harry, this is for you.

                    http://scienceblogs.com/neurophilosophy/2007/10/three_generations_of_imbeciles.php

                    In 1927, U.S. Supreme Court passed a landmark ruling – Buck vs. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 – that upheld a statute for compulsory sterilization of those considered to be mentally retarded, “for the protection and health of the state”.

                    Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. – himself interested in eugenics – who infamously concluded the case a follows:

                    Carrie Buck…a feeble minded white woman…is the daughter of a feeble minded mother in the same institution, and the mother of an illegitimate feeble minded child.

                    It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind…Three generations of imbeciles are enough.

                    Thus, Virginia’s sterilization statute was upheld, and Carrie Buck became the first person in the state to be sterilized. (Virginia’s sterilization procedures were repealed in 1974).

                    Of course forced sterilization is illegal now.

                    • B Balz says:

                      Preventative care is a cornerstone of the Kaiser Permanente healthcare system model.

                      Early detection and regular physician visits are also critical. These happen to be a few of the good things in PPACA, btw.

                      I am just saying that the PPACA is as KD points out, such a huge and complex issue, most folks just go with the Reader’s Digest version, a la talk radio.

              • KD_fiscal conservative says:

                No, but this is:
                “I also disagree with the notion that healthcare is a “right” that is supposed to be guaranteed and subsidized by the government. “-Rush Limbaugh
                I’m also a long time Rush listener, and he probably repeats this verbatim every time health care issue comes up.

                Look, I not trying to be disagreeable, but the point is simple statements like those may be true, but they do not even begin to starch the surface of this ridiculously complex issue, and real solutions aren’t going to be popular among those in either party.

                • John Konop says:

                  I 100% agree!

                  ……Look, I not trying to be disagreeable, but the point is simple statements like those may be true, but they do not even begin to starch the surface of this ridiculously complex issue, and real solutions aren’t going to be popular among those in either party…..

  3. KD_fiscal conservative says:

    Once again, as I stated in the open forum, these people don’t care. All they know is someone told them this Obama + healthcare = socialism and thus by repealing it, they are advancing freedom.

    But you have a very valid point about the mandate’s effect. Without everyone being required to buy health care, insurance companies can’t afford to cover the “high risk” individuals. People who choose not to buy insurance currently expect hospitals(and the tax payers, who subsidize some of those delinquent balances) to foot the bill when they need some expensive major procedure, or hospital stay. They say ” I will pay the bills if I do get sick.” But considering hospital bills are often in the $100,000+++ range, most of these “it’s my choice” health insurance rebels do have the money to pay, and probably file chapter 11 or just ignore the bills. These aren’t multi-millionaire’s who are protesting buying insurance, most of these folks are very middle class.

    It could be possible to have a system where you can opt-out of insurance (thus not make it mandatory), and require those people agree that hospitals will not see you unless you pay first. Or hospitals could be allowed to use more “extreme” measures in the case of delinquent bills, like being allowed to liquidate those people’s assets. In reality this is the most “conservative” reform I can think of. We could make everyone provides multiple forms of ID and an SS # before they are discharged to make sure illegals aren’t treated (which would be popular among these people anyway) and to make sure these people can be tracked down if they don’t pay.

    This plan would also avoid possible constitutionality issues, but would of-course very unpopular.

    This would quickly be labeled a “death panel” by the same reactionary morons that are claiming the current plan hampers people “freedom” to burden the system with delinquent payments.

    Also, another major problem to consider is the impact on state budgets, bill is going to cost the state of Georgia, by conservative estimates, about $250 million a year, to cover the cost of medicaid increased eligibility, as well as bureaucratic costs associated with implementation. The director at Georgia’s Health Policy Center out of Georgia State said the financial implications impact may be ” very big.” The Kaiser Foundation estimates Georgia will spend an additional “$714-1.2 billion” to cover the cost of medicaid, and that after and additional funds provided to the states by the bill. Considering our state is scrambling to find ways to cover the current ~$2 billion budget deficit, when those costly provisions go into effect in 2014, Georgia budget.

  4. Harry says:

    A poster on another blog made this good comment

    “The Democrats were too stupid and arrogant to put in a severability clause into the law, so we can’t just keep the good parts if it is thrown out. The law is a bad one and was passed in an inept, rushed fashion. I sincerely hope it gets tossed out and they reform it with careful thought and consensus, after open debate. No more secret deals!”

    • B Balz says:

      Yup, whomever that poster is, makes the critical point about severability. One could argue that the law was passed in ‘sercret’ and one could even argue about arrogance. However, the real reason that the individual mandate is not able to be deteached is that without it eliminating preexisitng conditions is impossible, mathematically.

      What the poster fails to realize is that the pol ramifications of ‘repeal’ without ‘replace’ will, at the least hamper a GOP win in 2012.

      At this point, my GOP brethren can not ever say, “We never knew there exists a link between the individual mandate and the elimination of preexisting conditions.”

      Word.

  5. Harry says:

    The pressure will be on for a fresh start in 2013 if not 2011/12, and congress better be prepared to keep the pigs away from the table if they want an acceptable outcome. Insurance abuses, cost inefficiencies, and trade barriers will all have to be addressed.

    • B Balz says:

      Good points. We disagree on the timing. I believe the discussion should be “repair” and “replace” and not “repeal” might “replace”.

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