Warner “Gets It” on Health Care Reform

As Congress lurches forward in its campaign to “reform” a deeply flawed health care system by making it a grievously flawed system, moderate “blue dog” Democrats are emerging as a key swing constituency that can make or break any deal. In the Senate, that puts the spotlight on Mark Warner and Jim Webb.

While Virginia’s two senators support expanding coverage to more Americans, they share a common concern, according to Olympia Meola with the Richmond Times-Dispatch: the cost of health care.

Webb has focused on the expense of individuals’ insurance premiums. Ever the populist, he spoken out against insurance companies and their “off the charts” profit margins. His ideal approach would be a system of not-for-profit insurance companies, Meoloa says. Insurance companies, of course, are a favorite target of national Democrats, mainly because of their high administrative costs. It is not clear, however, how converting the for-profit insurance system into a not-for-profit system would do anything to bring down those costs. Stripping the industry of its profits wouldn’t accomplish much either. According to Yahoo Finance data, industry profits amount to only 3.3% of revenue.

In contrast to the bureaucratic monstrosity emerging from the Senate, however, Webb stresses the need to create incentives that would value the quality rather than the quality of care. He does not want an “overly cumbersome, bureaucratic system.” While that mindset makes him preferable to the geniuses who want to foist layers of new bureaucracy onto the health care system via 2,000 pages of mind-numbing verbiage, I don’t sense from Meola’s article that Webb puts the emphasis fully where it really belongs.

To my mind, Warner does. According to spokesman Kevin Hall, “The cost curve is his priority in health-care reform.” The senator has introduced amendments that would target better use of data to drive down costs and increase transparency. Says Hall: “We have a health-care system right now that rewards bad practices. We have a health-care system that rewards hospitals for multiple readmissions rather than a low admission rate. We have a health care system that rewards volume of care rather than quality of care.” Bingo.

Rather than hobble the system with more bureaucracy and more mandates — a “solution” guaranteed to ruin productivity and quality — Warner looks for examples of what works. As one example, he cites a Virginia Commonwealth University program that assigns a primary care physician to oversee the health of uninsured patients with the goal of increasing coordination between doctors and hospitals. The program increases accountability, reduces costs and improves quality. One metric of progress: Between 2000 and 2005, emergency room visits have dropped 14%.

Warner has emerged as a champion of the kind of win-win reform initiatives that I’ve advocated in Bacon’s Rebellion. Measures that redistribute the wealth, the obsession of most Democrats, creates losers for every winner. That zero-sum thinking may well end up sinking reform. As a former businessman, Warner understands that greater productivity and improve quality will improve the system for everyone and, in the process, make it more affordable and accessible to all.

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35 responses to “Warner “Gets It” on Health Care Reform”

  1. Anonymous Avatar

    From what I've seen so far, Mark Warner is doing a very fine job as a U.S. senator. While I certainly don't agree with all of his positions, e.g., the Stimulus Bill, I must applaud our junior senator's efforts at reducing health care and other costs. Mark Warner is, IMO, doing a good job overall. He is clearly one of the best Democrats in the Senate.

    Webb, on the other hand, seems to be in so far over his head on just about every issue. Besides complain about George Bush, what has Jim Webb done? What has he done for Virginia? Little, if anything. Bush is long gone. Let's focus on the present and the future. And where is Webb on Iraq or Afghanistan? Silence & hypocrisy.

    Webb's office is also generally unresponsive to constituent inquiries. I've experienced that and have also heard it from a number of people.

    Webb will go down in the history books as a prelude to "Hope and Change," which is not saying much at all.


  2. Greens urge defeat of the Democrats' "insurance industry life-support" bill in the US Senate and call for a rally of efforts to enact Single-Payer/Medicare For All


    The US House bill passed on Saturday favors the insurance industry over Americans who need medical care; no heath care reform bill should be enacted that doesn't allow states to enact Single-Payer, say Greens, who slam House Democrats for killing a vote on Single-Payer last week

  3. E M Risse Avatar

    Now if Webb’s not-for-profit health insurance was an element of every Regional Health Delivery System …

    And if Enterprise insurance systems could offer a competive cost, they would be welcome to come to the table…


  4. so…… do you or do you not want the govt to mandate an approach

    …or do you want to let solutions like the one at VCR proceed as before and leave things alone ?

    I'm amused.

    On one hand.. we say things like " the bureaucratic monstrosity" and ..".. He does not want an "overly cumbersome, bureaucratic system."

    now that word "overly" is a curious word

    .. in part ..because if you ask 100 people what it means when it comes to health care – you're probably going to get 100 different answers – and no real agreement on what it does mean.

    so.. these tomes about what we REALLY need or not a true alternate approach supported by a majority of people – sufficient for that approach to supplant the current "monstrosity".

    And this has been the problem for 12 years.

    The same guys who now point out the "VCU system" have been making that same case – for 12 years.


    We had 12 years to incentivize the wazoo out of the system but what has changed between now and then for those who want to do something "different" from what is now on the table.

    I would submit that – there is no change.

    It's more of the same.

    and the tune goes like this:

    1. – kill govt healthcare

    2. – return to the status quo

    when I see a REAL alternative that actually has substantial support as opposed to 100 different opinions ..and we get to read each one… then some credibility might occur…

    and then we have the hypocrisy index…

    Govt health care would be an abomination .. that we cannot afford.. because.. we already have Medicare and we don't want to repeat that mistake.

    So.. let's dump Medicare folks.

    then I'd like to see all the folks who oppose the current initiatives try to figure out how they are going to pay for their parents health care because virtually none of them will be able to find it.

    so we have this sweet hypocrisy which says.. "yeah.. we got Medicare.. and yeah… that's enough".

    The 65 year old can get all the mobility scooters he can sign up for but the 62 year old.. he can burn in heck…

  5. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    I fail to see how any clear national policy can evolve from this.

    What is your point, exactly? That teaching hospitals should do emergency room work gratis for the poor and the poor should be assigned their own physician to coordinate care? Doing so somehow lowers the overall visit rate? And who pays for this service? Maybe I missed it.

    Ok, groovy. But plenty of teaching hospitals do this already and some have their own non-profit health plans that do involve the poor.

    Problem is, this system does NOT address the huge numbers of uninsured because they simply can't afford health insurance premiums. Webb is right to note these. Rather than get anecdotal, let's just say that our premiums are sky high and my copay for a surgical procedure recently was $1,500 the second time around when it was just a few hundred bucks ywo years ago. Can you explain that, Mr. Capitalism?

    Neither you, nor Warner nor the TD address this.

    Instead, we get bromides about the wonders of the for-profit system as opposed the the bureaucratic nightmare and of a government system, when, in fact, it is the for-profit system that is broken. Warner may be for "quality not quantity" but that's like saying he's for higher mileage cars.

    By the way, Jim, do you actually handle your own health insurance? Have you ha dthe opportunity to monitor the bills and note the costs? Somehow when you write about this, I sense more dogma than reality.

    Peter Galuszka

  6. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    One more thing, Mr. Bacon,
    When I looked at your net margin chart from yahoo, I noticed some firms had 7 percent margins and the average was around 4 percent or so.
    (1) Don't forget that net margins are what result after all the expenses, including the high salaries of administrators, lobbyists, bureaucrats, ad agencies, whatever, are extracted.
    (2) Net margins like these are rather healthy and really depend on the industry. In a good year, General Motors was lucky to get a few percentage points of net margin. A few years ago, media companies could get up to 50 per cent net margins from their tv statuions. Even today, despite all the crying, media companies are still getting some ecent margins.

    Peter Galuszka

  7. I would like to see A PLAN from the folks that oppose the govt option.

    In other words, get yourselves together and agree on A PLAN and then put that up against the hated govt plan.

    I love it.

    All these pols go on TV and talk about what "could" be done but where is THE PLAN?

    See when someone says they oppose something and you ask them what would they do instead – and they say "we …._could_ do this or that"…

    that's NOT A PLAN…

    it's essentially a NO

  8. James A. Bacon Avatar
    James A. Bacon

    Peter and Larry, Remember the Hippocratic oath: Do No Harm. Your first error is your characterization of the existing health care system as a "free market" system. Your second error is your touching faith in the ability of Congress and bureaucrats to take what they've already screwed up royally and somehow make it better. Your third error is the mind-numbing belief that the major special interests won't twist the final bill, or the translation of the bill into regulations, into something that benefits them more than the public.

    If your goal is to take something as critically important as health care and bollox it so badly that Americans will lose faith in government for the next generation, then go ahead and root for some Baucus-Pelosi hybrid to pass. In four years, you'll have a Republican president and a Republican Congress.

    My final comment: Neither one of you address my argument (and Warner's argument) that the proper focus on health care should be bolstering productivity and improving quality.

  9. re: " that the proper focus on health care should be bolstering productivity and improving quality."

    oh but I did!

    1. – should the govt be the one that does this?

    2. – what is the non-govt plan for accomplishing this?

    You know.. the Senate gives great deference to the amendment process.

    I would think that amendments that would institute quality and productivity would find great appeal.

    No one argues about these two things plus more competition, more accountability, and transparency.. and a law to required a health insurance equivalent of "assigned risk".

    I want to see these and other things offered as amendments – NOT by Warner and and Webb – and opposed in lock step by the party of "no" …

    NOPE – I want to see THESE GUYS offer those amendments:

    Alexander (R-TN)
    Barrasso (R-WY)
    Bond (R-MO)
    Brownback (R-KS)
    Bunning (R-KY)
    Burr (R-NC)
    Chambliss (R-GA)
    Coburn (R-OK)
    Cochran (R-MS)
    Corker (R-TN)
    Cornyn (R-TX)
    Crapo (R-ID)
    DeMint (R-SC)
    Ensign (R-NV)
    Enzi (R-WY)
    Graham (R-SC)
    Gregg (R-NH)
    Inhofe (R-OK)
    Isakson (R-GA)
    Johanns (R-NE)
    Kyl (R-AZ)
    McCain (R-AZ)
    McConnell (R-KY)
    Risch (R-ID)
    Roberts (R-KS)
    Sessions (R-AL)
    Shelby (R-AL)
    Thune (R-SD)
    Vitter (R-LA)
    Wicker (R-MS)

  10. All of this is not going to matter because the current system is not sustainable yet the PTB (Powers That Be) don't want to change. When enough citizens cannot afford health care and the hospitals cannot operate, all that will be left is the government. Universal single payer, the system that the REST OF THE WORLD uses, will be the answer. Its just a matter of time. Too bad the U.S. cannot figure it out sooner and too bad the feds won't let the states figure it out on their own.

  11. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Dear Baconator,
    I appreciate the passion of your opinions, but you still haven't answered my question about how the VCI emergency room scheme for the poor, an apparently worthy endeavor, can be made applicable across the board and address the millions of Americans who do not have health care because they simply cannot afford it. Who would pay for a VCU example?
    As far as lecturing me on the famous oath, keep in mind that while I am no MD myself, I come from a medical family — Dad, uncle and cousin are or were all doctors.
    And one of my best friends is a medical doctor (educated at MCV no less)and says he welcomes the government option and wishes it would be expanded because he is sick and tired of fighting for profit managed care companies for his share of pay and for providing the kind of "quality" and not "quantity" care that you seem to be so devoted to.
    Conservatives such as yourself do managed care's bidding by opposing the government option even though the vast majority of Americans would NOT be covered by it. What's more, the states have the option of banning the public option and my ohmy guess what Bob McDonnell is gonna do? And, oh, by the way, have you noticed that BOTH the AMA and AARP support the House plan?
    How do you answer that, Big Guy?

    Peter Galuszka

  12. James A. Bacon Avatar
    James A. Bacon

    Larry asks, "What is the non-govt plan for accomplishing this," meaning improving productivity and quality.

    Gee, Larry, you might as well ask, what is the non-governmental plan for accomplishing productivity and quality improvements in the semiconductor industry, or the forest products industry, or the business services industry, or even the much-maligned American auto industry — or any piece of the private sector that isn't highly regulated by government. I'll stack up the private sector's record for productivity and quality improvement over the public sector's any day. And, incredible as it may seem, the private sector accomplishes those things all by itself without directives from on high!

    Peter notes that the AMA and the AARP both support the house plan. Well, the AARP is no surprise. That organization has been pushing for greater government involvement in health care, so that's like saying, "Water is wet, so there!" As for the AMA, it's caught between a rock and a hard place. Its lobbyists made a tactical decision that it could do better by trying to help steer the steamroller rather than get flattened by it.

    The insurance industry was on board, too, at least before the Obamaites started demonizing it. And so, too, is big Pharma. All the powerful special interests are trying to cut a deal. And I'm supposed to believe that the end result is going to be good for the little guy?

  13. " And, incredible as it may seem, the private sector accomplishes those things all by itself without directives from on high!"

    geeze Bacon.. if you were a fighter your glass jaw would be in a gazillion pieces…

    what is it about the above "private sector" health care that is not working as you expect?

    Would you also be so high on the private sector banking community that really showed us what they're capable of with LESS regulation?

    Geeze Jim – if the private sector was doing such a good job at health care.. why are we here at this point in time?

  14. James A. Bacon Avatar
    James A. Bacon

    Jeez, Larry, as I repeated over and over until I'm blue in the face, the reason our health care system is failing now is not because it's a "private" system, it's because it's the most heavily regulated sector of the economy bar none. Most of the energy and creativity of the private sector goes into shifting costs. Why? Three big reasons: First, government is the biggest cost shifter of all. Just look at Medicaid and Medicare underpayments for services. The private sector absorbs those costs and tries to pass them on to others. Second, government creates the incentive for cost shifting through the pay-for-service payment mechanism. Third, in its all-knowing wisdom, government interferes with the market at almost every conceivable level, distorting the marketplace at every turn.

  15. yup.. I've heard this.. but I've yet to hear the loyal opposition suggestions on deregulating the industry.

    do we just do tort reform and we're done?

    seriously – if that's the problem – where is the loyal opposition proposal to fix the problem?

    I mean, they've had 12 years to do this.. and we have yet to see a single legislative effort?

    Bonus Question:

    Will Bob McDonnell get rid of the State Agency that does Certificate of Appropriateness?


    would it not?

    double bonus question:

    Where would the opposition to this come from? Citizens or Hospital Industry Players?

  16. "We have a health-care system that rewards hospitals for multiple readmissions rather than a low admission rate. We have a health care system that rewards volume of care rather than quality of care."

    So, is he essentially saying that a person gets sick, goes to the doctor, gets treated, and doesn't get better so they have to go back again?

    It would seem to me that type of data could be hard to determine, especially if you are comparing a patient who has the flu to one who has lukemia.

    Also, "Just look at Medicaid and Medicare underpayments for services."

    Why is it considered an underpayment?

    Is it because the payment doesn't cover the true cost resulting in a loss, or is it because the payment doesn't contain enough profit for the person who billed it?

    Also, it would be nice to know what things cost in the first place!

    Is their anything in the bill requiring providers to list the cost of a specific service….and stick to it?

  17. 15 other countries pay about what Medicare reimburses for.

    An MRI in this country cost a thousand bucks.

    The same MRI in Japan is $100.

    Europeans and Canadians as well as the VA and Tricare pay 1/2 what we do for the same Prescription Drugs.

    so.. we were so worried about Medicare ripping off the big Pharmaceutical companies that we allowed them to charge Medicare Part D twice what other countries pay for the same drugs.

    Our system REWARDS .. EXPENSIVE care… and expensive care does not mean that you get the BEST Care – indeed – every other industrialized country pays 1/2 what we do and has better life expectancies – yet.. we are worried that the reimbursement rates are "too low".

    I agree.

    How do we know how much is "too low" when we know that overall we pay twice as much?

  18. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Bravo Larry,
    I administer an elderly parent on TriCare for Life and am amazed at what they pay. And they are essentially a GOVERNMENTAL service. (read that! Bacon!).

  19. Anonymous Avatar

    "…have done a shoddy job of insuring safe efficient operation or of providing a stable source of revenue. "

    Well, Gee, how about if the people who use it pay for it? That would be a stable source of revenue.

    Or, how about if the people who benefit, pay somewhat according to the benefits they receive?

    You know, like fees from auto drivers for all the congestion Metro has alleviated.



  20. Anonymous Avatar

    The system we have is broken.

    Frankly, I don't care how bad a job they do of "fixing" it.

    At least if they do SOMETHING, and screw it up, it will be easier to go back and repair the next time.

    Suppose the Dems get their way, and all of the Republican's worst fears are realized.

    Then at least we will KNOW through experimentation where we wnt wrong, and ti will be th ebest thing that could happen to the republicans.

    Suppose the Dems get their way and the damn contraption works: we find out why the British are so satisfied with their system.

    Again, we will have learned how to make the next improvement through experimentation, but the Republicans have to rethink their message.

    Suppose the Republicans get their way, the bill is defeated and we have the status quo for another few decades.

    Twenty years from now we are still stting at twentieth on the list of efficiency in health care. Then we will know we had our opportunity and wasted it.

    Suppose the Republicans get their way, the bill is defeated and we have the status quo for another few decades.

    Miraculously the market system works, health care is affordable, and there is SOME kind of plan anyone can afford.

    RIIGGHHT, What's a Cubit?



  21. Anonymous Avatar

    In the UK you get the care you need whether you can afford it or not, Inthe US you get the care you can afford, whether you need it or not.

    See the letter to the editor in today's Post.


  22. Anonymous Avatar


    There is strong opposition among many Democrats in Congress to the proposed versions of health care reform. Ten to one, Mark Warner won't vote for this mess, for example.


  23. Anonymous Avatar

    "There is strong opposition among many Democrats in Congress to the proposed versions of health care reform. Ten to one, Mark Warner won't vote for this mess, for example."

    Well, if nothing happens, we can continue to be thrird rate in health costs, we can continue to see health costs eat more and more of our GDP, and we will have more time to contemplate a much better plan.

    Like, Oh say, the British national health care system. or maybe we will opt for the Eritrean system.


  24. http://www.vagreenparty.org/richblog/?p=492

    Defeat Obamacare- We Need Health Care, Not Health Insurance 11.16.09

    From the wonderful Carol Miller :

    Five key reasons this legislation must be stopped:

    • If passed, this law will move the U.S. farther from universal health care, making it harder than ever to accomplish health care justice in the future. If Congress does not have the courage to stand up to the private insurance industry now, it will be even more difficult in the future, especially after giving the industry trillions of new dollars through this terrible legislation. Let’s call this what it is: another corporate bailout on the backs of working people.

    Pay attention to your federal representatives as they carefully talk about “health insurance reform.” They aren’t talking about health reform any more. Congress could have defended and built up a system based on popular, high-quality government-run health programs like the military and veterans fully socialized health systems or Medicare, a single-payer program. Instead, the president and Congress let the corporations and government-haters take control of the agenda.

    • The legislation institutionalizes permanent inequality in health care. Unlike Medicare where all beneficiaries have a single plan, this bill further divides the U.S. system into tiers based on ability to pay. It creates basic, enhanced, premium and premium-plus plans. A basic plan will provide only 70 percent of the coverage of a “reference benefit package,” one that includes even fewer services than most insured people have today. The bill doesn’t even mention coverage for essential services like vision and adult dental care except in the most costly premium-plus plan.

    • Out-of-pocket costs remain sky high. Everyone will be required to pay monthly insurance premiums. Some low-wage workers will receive taxpayer subsidies on a sliding scale. The lowest income people will have full subsidies. But remember, this is not money for care, it is support only to buy insurance.

    Almost everyone will have to meet a deductible, capped in the bill at $1,500 a year, higher than most insurance-plan deductibles today. On top of this, insurance companies can charge even more under various “cost sharing” schemes for items like co-pays and co-insurance.

    The bill puts a cap on cost sharing, but the total amount is obscene. The cap for an individual is $5,000 a year and for a family it is $10,000 before the plan must cover everything. Well, not exactly everything. Even after paying this huge amount of money, the legislation still allows the corporations to make us pay, billing for non-network providers and, since it is not a comprehensive benefit package, we are still on our own to pay for health care that the plans refuse to cover.

    The legislation creates a law to let these corporations increase what they charge people as they get older. In fact, they can be charged up to twice as much as younger people for identical coverage.

    • The legislation makes it illegal to not buy health insurance. The penalties are described in a section of the legislation called “Shared Responsibility.” This will let the IRS impose a tax of up to 2.5 percent of modified adjusted gross income for not having health insurance. People on the financial edge, people fighting foreclosure to stay in their homes or people who are unemployed all or part of a year will not be able to afford the insurance premiums or the penalties for not having insurance.

    • We will all be drowning in paperwork, which will continue to drive up administrative costs. Right now, insurance administrative waste is about 30 percent of every health care dollar— or about $1 billion a day. Adding more people to an insurance-based system will result in even more money going into this bottomless pit.

  25. Anonymous Avatar

    "…making it harder than ever to accomplish health care justice in the future."

    I don't buy that.

    We have some momentum to change the system now: if we do nothing we will lose that momentum, and it will be harder to make changes in the future.

    If we change things now and we accidentally make things worse, then we will have more incentive to change, and we will have the historic example of having made a change once, because the sytem was FUBAR.

    If we change things now and make things worse (or better) then it will validate or invalidate the various constituencies which are promoting or fighting change now. We will have a better idea of what works and what doesn't next time around, but there won't be a next time without this time.


    "Let’s call this what it is: another corporate bailout on the backs of working people."

    Is this an example of what Eric Wimberly said about those

    "who perceive the world in terms of a struggle between an elite few who possess wealth and power – having acquired both illegitimately – and the masses who by one definition or another have been victimized by those more successful or affluent than them" ?


    "Unlike Medicare where all beneficiaries have a single plan, this bill further divides the U.S. system into tiers based on ability to pay."

    "Sadly, too many Americans define their “rights” in a very one-dimensional fashion, as in the right to receive government subsidies for housing, income, health care, retirement, reparations and whatever else seems to strike their fancy.
    Moreover, they assert this seemingly endless array of rights without the slightest regard for who else’s rights will be infringed or compromised just so their rights can be realized."


    "Out-of-pocket costs remain sky high."

    I don't see any point in focusing on one kind of costs over another.

    If the goal is to provide some kind of insurance to those without insurance, then that money has to come from somewhere. Hopefully some of it will come out of current emergency room costs, but that does nothing to consider untreated chronic care costs.

    So, if we plan on covering those who are uncovered now and not increasing "costs" then those who are covered now will have less coverage. As if that isn't a "cost".


  26. Anonymous Avatar

    "• We will all be drowning in paperwork, which will continue to drive up administrative costs."

    Right. If the costs of fixing a problem cost more than the problem, then it isn't worth fixing.

    Now, where is the evidence that this isn't worth fixing?


  27. I'm in favor of leaving everything alone and letting the system go on like it is.

    My rationale is this.

    Only after a certain number of folks get drawn up personally themselves will they join those who want change.

    Right now, we've got too many that are satisfied with the current system and who still believe the fear-mongering being spouted by those who favor the status quo.

    I'd say, give it another 5 or 10 years and we'll have enough who have no insurance… and the premiums on the ones that do have it so high that they'll then be ready for change.

    If I were the Dems.. I'd drop it and walk away.

  28. Larry G,

    I repeat my earlier comment then-

    All of this is not going to matter because the current system is not sustainable yet the PTB (Powers That Be) don't want to change. When enough citizens cannot afford health care and the hospitals cannot operate, all that will be left is the government. Universal single payer, the system that the REST OF THE WORLD uses, will be the answer. Its just a matter of time. Too bad the U.S. cannot figure it out sooner and too bad the feds won't let the states figure it out on their own.

  29. I don't think we disagree in the whole.

    The American people won't change until enough of them have direct personal experience.

    It's a shame it has to work this way but many folks, they only really relate when it happens to them.

    I think it's part of the GenX mindset.

  30. "I think it's part of the GenX mindset."

    I disagree. There are more old(er) Americans than any other group of people. The ball is still in your court as far as change goes, IMO.

    I'd say the Hippie/Boomer Generation has failed in A BIG way to enact any sort of meaningful change on any level. Things have gotten worse, not better.

    Where are all the protests, marches in the street, sit-ins, etc., when it comes to health care, cuts in social security, and your retirement being stolen?

    I am a GenX'er and for the most part, our generation doesn't really play a part in policy making….yet. We don't have time because we are too busy trying to survive/recover from the dot com bust and the housing bubble.

    For the most part, we are not replacing older workers when they retire….we are expected to do the same job for less money or watch the job get sent over seas.

    Here's an interesting article I found;


    Oh, and were also going to be expected to pay off the largest amount of public debt in human history.


  31. well you know who the cheapest employee is?

    He's (she's) on Medicare and does not need health insurance.

    but just for yucks…

    WHO do you think is primarily represented at the tea parties?

    what Gen?

  32. "well you know who the cheapest employee is?"

    Yes. It's an illegal alien getting paid under the table and then turning around and using things like schools, emergency rooms, roads, etc.

    "WHO do you think is primarily represented at the tea parties?"

    Older workers pissed off at the fact that the rug has been pulled out from under them.

    Their jobs are leaving, their salaries aren't rising, and their houses are worth less, just to name a few.

    They might have 20 years left in the workforce and they are no better off now then they were when they were 30.

  33. Anonymous Avatar


    I worked for a company that stopped paying the Insurance premiums – they did not tell the employees. Our policies were terminated, and the company went bankrupt. Just go get another job you say, well, I did go get another job – even though I have a pre-existing condition – MS – Multiple Sclerosis!

    I am not looking for handouts. I am not looking for coverage for free. I have paid into (via employers) health plans for over 30 years, but now, when my disease is getting worse, I find myself in a situation where I could bankrupt my wife and family trying to get the care that I need.

    Anybody who is happy with the way the health system works today just has not gotten sick. And, you want to talk about rationing, just get sick, and see the insurance company ration – they are good at that, even if they are in violation of the law.

  34. hippies/boomers response to this man's plight – " this is wrong and we need to do something about it"

    Gen X response – "is it my fault this guy is sick?"

  35. Anonymous Avatar

    I was once in the same boat as anonymous 7:40.

    I got lucky, very lucky.

    For the time being.

    Health insurance needs to be structured the similar to disability insurance: you stop paying premiums when you file a claim, but you still have insurance.

    Where is the insurance in aplan like he describes? Pay for 30 years and then get nothing.

    It is broken, folks, seriously broken.


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