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Sticky Wicket - The Health Reform Saga

Posted Wednesday, July 22, 2009, at 10:38 AM

Health care reform is needed BUT not at lightning - break-neck speed that is trying to be forced

down the country's throats right now. The issues weren't created overnight and there shouldn't be such a rush to 'fix' something. Sometimes the quick fix ends up costing more in the long road.

I firmly believe the health care and insurances industries are so intertwined that it would take a team of truly gifted, thoughtful and non-partisan folks to muddle through the chaos - and to what purpose? Even if they come up with a solution or a variety of solutions that won't bankrupt my descendants, who would actually pay in the long run? My guess, feeble minded as I may be - is the working middle class of America. I would bet my cost would continue spirally upwards to the point that I could not afford even the deductibles or co-pays.

I am currently covered under a health care plan. One that involves deductibles, co-pays and a bazillion rules of what they will and what they won't pay for. This means that I have to try to make informed decisions on what we can do in regards to our family's health care. But trust me, over the last 15 years when BOTH sides of the aisle have controlled the Congressional doings, I have seen our share of costs and the cost of services go up dramatically due to legislative measures. There isn't any one political demographic to point fingers at. Congressionally speaking, both parties contributed.

I live in rural America. I do have access to good local health care. If I have to have any specialized health care that can't be offered locally in the rural outreach clinics, I will have to drive at least an hour to get specialized health care. I will have to actually drive two hours because despite having a regional hospital close to me, it is across state lines and my insurance company has an issue with that. The issue is what they will pay for and what providers and where the services are rendered.

The sticky wicket as with everything is the almighty dollar. There are those very passionate and gifted health professionals that want their patients to make the best health decisions for their course of treatment. Their hearts and ethical standards are in the right place but truly most of us working class folks have to make our health care decisions based on the pocketbook. I don't have the luxury of 'free' health care. I am not certain that is what we truly need in all the quagmire.

While I would like to offer up a few suggestions, I would not be listened to. No economic (political) clout from my pocketbook. I just want every able adult to have to bear some of the financial burden. My corner of the working class world is getting pretty darn heavy to financially support.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

One problem that you need to look at when talking about health care is this, lawyers and politicians are really behind all the fine print, confusing talk, pay this, don't pay that. Their constant interference and senseless mandates, have really made a mess of things. They did it on purpose, to make health care such a nightmare, so that government could take it over. If you think health care, and paperwork, and difficulty with health care are bad now, wait until some kid, just out of college, sitting in some federal building somewhere, is making your health care decisions.

-- Posted by RMontana on Wed, Jul 22, 2009, at 11:23 AM

The amazing thing is that those that have no health care Insurance at times pay nothing for hospitalizations when those of us that pay monthly insurance permiums with huge deductables literally pay for everything and get nothing written off. I am truly amazed at how opinions have changed of this man.He isn't the Messiah so many thought I know I didn't. It is truly frightening what the current administration is doing...

-- Posted by ALL4MCCOOK on Wed, Jul 22, 2009, at 5:38 PM

Sceptre you say there is not health care crisis.

What do you call it when a person with average health insurance can not afford cancer drugs?

What do you call it when literally half of the people in Mississippi do not have any form of health insurance?

What do you call it when a little boy needs a life saving operation yet cannot get it and ultimately dies because he doesn't have Blue Cross Blue Shield?

The people that say it's not a crisis mean it's not a crisis to them. And that quite frankly is selfish. Nebraska is one of only two states that hasn't faced an economic downturn during the recession. Does that mean the nation is not in financial peril? No. Get your head out of the sand and start caring about your fellow countrymen.

-- Posted by mccookreader on Thu, Jul 23, 2009, at 11:49 AM

Another list of key players involved and how to contact them:

* The White House: (202) 456-1111 or send an e-mail at www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

* House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.: (202) 225-4965 or e-mail her at AmericanVoices@mail.house.gov

* House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio: (202) 225-6205 or e-mail him at AsktheLeader@mail.house.gov

* Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.: (202) 224-3542 or send an e-mail at www.reid.senate.gov/contact/

* Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.: (202) 224-2541 or send an e-mail at www.mcconnell.senate.gov/contact_form.cf...

* Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which canceled its vote this week on health care legislation because there was not enough support : (202) 225-3976 or send an e-mail at www.waxman.house.gov/contact/

* Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, ranking member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee: (202) 225-2002 or send an e-mail at www.joebarton.house.gov/contactjoe.aspx?...

* Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which passed its health care bill last week: (202) 224-2823 or send an e-mail at www.dodd.senate.gov/index.php?q=node/312...

* Sen. Michael Enzi, ranking member on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee: (202) 224-3424 or send an e-mail at www.enzi.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?Fus...

* Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which is still working on its version of a health care bill: (202) 224-2651 or send an e-mail at www.baucus.senate.gov/contact/emailForm....

* Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee: (202) 224-3744 or send an e-mail at www.grassley.senate.gov/contact.cfm

* Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y. chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which passed its health care bill last week: (202) 225-4365 or send an e-mail at www.forms.house.gov/rangel/forms/contact...

* Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., ranking member on the House Ways and Means Committee: (202) 225-3561 or send an e-mail at www.camp.house.gov/contact/

* Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, which passed its health care bill last week: (202) 225-2095 or send an e-mail at www.georgemiller.house.gov/contactus/200...

* Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., ranking member on the Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee: (202) 225-4501 or send an e-mail at www.tom.house.gov/html/contact_form_emai...

-- Posted by go against the flow on Fri, Jul 24, 2009, at 11:25 AM

Way to go Betsy! You're finally reaching the popularity of the more strictly political blogs! It's a shame that it takes another dime-a-dozen political debate to get people to comment more than once on other blogs...

-- Posted by bjo on Fri, Jul 24, 2009, at 2:49 PM


"I have a quick reference call sheet for all my friends in school who can call...". Are you still living with your parents? Do you have full time employment? Do you pay taxes?

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Fri, Jul 24, 2009, at 8:29 PM

I guess my life is no where as dignified as yours Iggy. I own my own specialized construction business, I won't say what to protect my employees since we provide services for many wealthy BHO supporters. I pay Workman's

Compensation as required by law, and a catastrophic insurance. Two Saturdays each month, myself and other construction types gather to do home repairs on homes for the low income, all materials and time donated. I get together with the guy's at our church for 1 Saturday for about 3 hours and help the elderly and infirm with house chores.

This afternoon, I am taking my daughters out for pizza and a movie. Sorry to have bored you.

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Sat, Jul 25, 2009, at 1:34 PM

Wow. That is a record number of responses for my little corner of the blogging world. I usually get emails from family and friends commenting on my topics.

Health care reform is a hot button issue. One that we all have an emotional and financial stake in.

I appreciate the points brought out here even if I may disagree.

I would hope folks are respectful when contacting our national legislative Senators and Representatives.

I appreciated the fact there wasn't a rush to meet a forced deadline on this. I am a bit dismayed to say the least at all the commercials from both liberals and conservative viewpoints playing to the emotions on this. They are utilizing scare tactics. That doesn't help do anything but confuse people on what is really going to happen.

Again, each of us has to educate ourselves about what is going on and be constructive in the debate instead of destructive. I would encourage active and educated participation on the topic as it affects each of us.

-- Posted by coolidge on Sun, Aug 2, 2009, at 3:56 PM


Please define lightning speed.

MORE THAN 100 YEARS AGO, Republican Teddy Roosevelt proposed a government backed health care program.

FDR proposed a national system to care for families and the tens of millions of destitute people during the Depression.

Eisenhower suggested a program comparable European hybrid systems, combining public and private medical services and insurances.

Remember the multi-year research and legislative effort of the Clinton's in the early 90s?

All of that research and much more since has been used as the basis for a federal program.


Medicade and Medicare will be bankrupt within ten years if reform is not achieved.

At least 45 state governments are nearly bankrupt today, with no support for added medical services.

The health insurance industry's NET PROFITS increased from $2.5-BILLION in 1998, to $12.5-BILLION in 2008.

That's one heckuva Cost of Living Adjustment.

My last private doctor was spending 35 cents of every $1.00 income to process insurance forms.

Just exactly what does "not broken" cover -- is that the last thermometer your doctor can afford?

By the way, Sceptre quoting "The Bill" -- As Usual Scepter is shoveling feedlot waste--


There are three bills reported out of House committees, requiring more debate, reconciliation, combining and votes.

There is one Senate bill reported out of committee and one still in the Senate Finance Committee. Those two to be debated, amended, cussed and discussed to produce a final Senate bill.

Then the Final House Bill and the Final Senate Bill will will go into the Joint House Conference Committee and a Final Bill sent back to both houses for more debate and votes.

If and when -- after 105 years -- a final bill is passed and sent to the White House, the President may sign or veto that bill.

-- Posted by HerndonHank on Fri, Aug 28, 2009, at 6:44 AM

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