Misconceptions Exploited By Obama Healthcare Apologists

The list is very long and the "public option" PR campaign is clearly extremely well organized and well funded, but you can't put lipstick on a pig, and the healthcare industry-centric and unacceptably vague, probably unaffordable "public option" exposes Americans to far too much risk. In this economic climate, we should be following the path we KNOW can lead to a successful, healthy nation, joining the civilized nations in the 21st century.

Misconceptions:

1.) The primary vehicle for channeling health care to low income people, Medicaid, is a means tested loan program, it is not a grant or an insurance plan, per se. the huge bills incurred by the poor are supposed to be repaid.

That said, Medicaid has saved hundreds of thousands of lives of people who would not have been able to get health care any other way. For example, people with AIDS. Typically, it steps in after they have lost jobs and spent most of their pre-illness assets on medical care. (I think they are allowed to have some assets, the equivalent of around one months rent in urban areas)

The interest rate for repayment on Medicaid's loans is I think 9%. people often have to sign over assets like homes, inheritances, and lawsuit settlements to repay their medical debt to Medicaid. People are trying to imply that a non-single payer public option would somehow offer free money to the poor for insurance. Also, I think they are downplaying by a huge margin the probable expense of the insurance plan, given what such comprehensive plans cost nationally.

2.) I think it is extremely imprudent to NOT rush into a decision on healthcare without considering all of the options, and to date, discussion on single payer seems to have been suppressed, sometimes brutally. Any salesman who says "buy now or its gone" is trying to hide something. I strongly recommend that all of you watch the film Sicko, (I think you can find it online through Google) which shows how incredibly different the universal healthcare systems in a number of countries are from the propaganda, It will make Americans nostalgic for the simpler times of the past when healthcare was not this black cloud hovering over our nation. People in other countries still live like that, they still have fun. Life goes on for them.

3.) Why hasn't Obama spoken more about the affordability issue?
and how adverse selection will quite possibly push affordability out of reach, barring some kind of mandate, (unlikely because of Obama's reluctance to reign in costs.)

From what I can see, the chance seems very high that the insurance part of the so called "public option" - the policy of last resort for the sick and generous, will be unacceptably expensive for that reason. Adverse selection, the flocking of the sick with substantial healthcare needs and no other insurance options to the plan. In fact, Obama's own chief economic advisor Austan Goolsbee admitted so much last year, when he said that there wasn't enough money to cover the healthcare needs of the chronically ill in either Obama's or HRC's plans (its worth reading because its an honest statement that seems rare in this debate, and he also explains adverse selection pretty well) See Which Democrat's Health Plan Really, Truly Covers More People?

Its alternately tragicomic and terrifying the willingness the relevant Dems have been to gloss over the important weaknesses in the public option they are trying to promote without explaining acceptably. One has to wonder, if they are so willing to lie about this all important issue, what else are they lying to us about? See Obama Push to Cut Health Costs Faces Tough Odds and Schumer Offers Middle Ground on Health Care

I hate to say it,but from the beginning, the Obama campaign has been lacking the mettle and courage to stand up for what is right that we need to address these kinds of problems. Like a big ball of cotton candy, you bite in and all you get is sickly sweet air.

One gets the impression that perhaps Mr. Obama's race was a factor in his selection, as it apparently enables his apologists to ignore his not addressing crucial issues like healthcare affordability for the middle class. Either that, or he has some gift for obfuscation that will lead us in a convoluted path o affordability, a la brer rabbit. But, how I don't see it, The chatter seems scripted, as if the chatterers were paid by their use of this word, they endlessly repeat the mantra "public option" trying to distract us from the ALL important affordability issues. I am guessing that money has a hand in this situation somewhere

Articles you should read:/p>

Consumer-driven health care is a false promise

Illness And Injury As Contributors To Bankruptcy: Even universal coverage could leave many Americans vulnerable to bankruptcy unless such coverage was more comprehensive than many current policies. By David U. Himmelstein, Elizabeth Warren, Deborah Thorne, and Steffie Woolhandler

Tags: adverse selection, affordability, healthcare for all, insurance, medicaid loans, medically indigent, Public Option, Single Payer (all tags)

Comments

20 Comments

Re: Misconceptions

I had no idea you were for a public option.  When did this happen?

by Jess81 2009-05-14 01:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Healthcare Apologists

And this, "people often have to sign over assets like homes, inheritances, and lawsuit settlements to repay their medical debt to Medicaid,"

is real. If you are elderly and on Medicare and want espensive health care like an operation for cancer removal or a stay in a hospital or in a nursing home, you will have to run your assets down to about two thousand bucks, and then sign over your home to the government or the state, which will then confiscate it when you and your spouse die. The government is not so evil as to throw your spouse into the street, but still, you lose everything eventually.

by MainStreet 2009-05-14 01:38PM | 0 recs
Ive seen families destroyed by that situation

Kids have often been depending on the peace of mind that comes with thinking they are going to inherit something, then, poof.

I don't have any kids, Ive been terrified to have any ever since the first time I got sick.

One thing we dont discuss about single payer is the incredibly far reaching implications of such a large, substantiative improvement in our national stress level.

I would not be surprised if we had a real period of national renewal.

The alternative is a steady deterioration in the social fabric and our ability to live the way we are accustomed to, we dont notice until we see others who dont have the burden.

We dont realize how much we take for granted that is the legacy of our egalitarian past,

If the looting of America continues, people will eventually have to devote a large amount of energy to security related activity.

It will effect everyone. The middle class will grvitate towards the way the poor live now, people will have bars on their windows, they wont be able to go out for a walk, they will find it hard to get enough exercise and fresh air..

The affluent will have to budget for bodyguards, and even the middle class wont be able to go on vacations, or allow teenage children to travel unattended. Even the best security systems wont be able to address the kinds of changes we could easily see.. For example, corruption.

That is what happens in highly stratified nations.

Also, look at the amount of time that our system saves people. We take it for granted, but its hard to build up the kind of trust that makes that possible, and its easy to destroy it.

many people take many things for granted that we really cant if we allow the random drive by shootings of healthcare bankruptcy to pick people off one by one..

it could be any one of us.

by architek 2009-05-14 01:53PM | 0 recs
Hypothetical #1:

I forego buying health insuarance, investing the money in gold, or stocks, or real estate. Hypothetical # 2: I succeed, #3 I get sick, and my kids worry that the inheritance is in jeopardy.

Solution: Blame OBAMA!

by QTG 2009-05-15 05:28PM | 0 recs
The dark, murky truth

One gets the impression that perhaps Mr. Obama's race was a factor in his selection, as it apparently enables his apologists to ignore his not addressing crucial issues like healthcare affordability for the middle class. Either that, or he has some gift for obfuscation that will lead us in a convoluted path o affordability, a la brer rabbit.

Tough lesson learned.  I guess the proper thing to do is always vote for whitey.

Thanks for the ever-vigilant critical analysis & deep thought Archie!

by January 20 2009-05-14 03:00PM | 0 recs
Re: The dark, murky truth

And an Uncle Remus reference to boot.

by Jess81 2009-05-14 04:26PM | 0 recs
Re: The dark, murky truth

I kept waiting for a "tar baby" reference to jump out.

by fogiv 2009-05-14 07:12PM | 0 recs
Re: The dark, murky truth

Kind soul that I am, I give them Brer Rabbit since surprisingly few people seem to be aware of the racist overtones and, if memory serves correctly, it wasn't actually intended to be racist in the first place.  

Or maybe I'm wrong.  Either way I'm sure we can find enough juicy slurs without hitting ye olde kid-lit.

by January 20 2009-05-14 08:00PM | 0 recs
Idiots

If I have issues with Obama, it is not because he is half African, its because he is NOT doing right by working people.

I don't think that anybody is as stupid as you imply they are.

BTW, Brer Rabbit stories come from the black American oral storytelling tradition.

If it wasn't for black people passing them along, we would not have them.

Whenever a story gets passed on from generation to generation, its got some serious value to it, one way or another.

If you don't see Brer Rabbit and the briar patch in this situation, I am happy for you.

Enjoy your ignorant bliss.

by architek 2009-05-15 03:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Idiots

C'mon Archie, you've gotta read the comment before so righteously blasting forth.  I dismissed the idea that Brer Rabbit was mentioned with any intentional racist overtones - AND, nobody argued against that point.  Ya see angry chum, we palled up on your side on this one.  (Albeit after a wee bit of healthy skepticism due only to some revisionist contemporary contextualising.)

And certainly you meant nothing at all by that line I quoted.

Nothing at all...  

walk on by...

da doo ron ron...

by January 20 2009-05-15 10:40PM | 0 recs
A number of editorials this week making same point

There are a number of editorials in papers this week making the same point that I have been, that Obama is deceiving Americans on his health care program, trying to imply that it will make healthcare affordable, when in fact it wont do much to improve most people's situation, and may actually accelerate the explosion in costs in that the cartel was probably on their best behavior UNTIL they realized that Obama was giving them almost a green light to continue their pillage.

Obama can't have it both ways, he can't prevent a health care option from being too attractive - the health cartel's goal, AND make healthcare affordable.

By adopting the BAD fit represented by Medicaid as his model of helping the poor (and "recently made poor by healthcare costs") Obama seems to be on track to be the worst Democratic president for healthcare affordability, ever.

Medicaid also wont prevent healthcare bankruptcies, at all, because it doesn't kick in until AFTER somebody has been impoverished.

by architek 2009-05-17 12:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Misconceptions Exploited By Obama

Only seniors who have assets when they die need to repay Medicaid, as far as I know.  The document you link to states that indigent parents of poor children do not have to repay anything.  My understanding is that most Medicaid beneficiaries receive Medicaid as a grant, not a loan.

by Captain Bathrobe 2009-05-14 03:41PM | 0 recs
A major technical problem...

...for any plan is adverse selection.  We've let this problem as a country fester for too long when about 1/6 of the population is uninsured, how are they going to be absorbed into any system?  Unless you a. allow pre-existing conditions on these folks or b. pay their bills publicly or c. restrict care and screening in the first years (considering a lot of these are late 20's early 30's there's a problem here), people are going to use benefits the first year REGARDLESS of whose plan gets chosen.  

Even with single payer, high short to medium term cost problems exist because "adverse selection" (though not in the pure sense) and a poor food policy exist.

Anyone who says any plan will pay for itself is not taking the magnitude of the problem into effect.  Unless you want to resort to more draconian measures (implementing the plan among the 20 year olds,for example or allowing people massive tax breaks to forgo ALL care (even ER) ), this is going to be a massive (though necessary) sinkhole of money.

I'm ready to simultaneously cheer and yell BS at any system that is passed.

by AZphilosopher 2009-05-14 04:06PM | 0 recs
We could reduce obesity a lot

by improving people's overall health because both inflammation (in lots of different ways)
and stress KILL, stress damages the brain, causing huge problems. That right there should argue persuasively enough for universal healthcare.

To get back to my point, they cause people to put on pounds in similar ways.

PubMed various permutations of "allostatic load", Stress, amygdala, hippocampus, allostasis, "psychosocial stress", etc.

You'll see what I mean.

BTW, if Obama continues to allow these situations to continue to rape Americans security, without doing EVERYTHING they can to REVERSE it.. (single payer SHOULD BE A NO BRAINER) the net effect will eventually be a breakdown in public safety and the social contract, just one of whose effects will be many, many people will be forced to stay at home, indoors, because it wont be safe on the streets. Just imagine how bad our health will be THEN.

Single payer is the ONLY way to make healthcare AFFORDABLE FOR ALL OF US.

by architek 2009-05-15 03:12PM | 0 recs
Re: As an obedient Obama Apologist,

as long as he's Black and as long as he's a Man, and as long as he's a Winner,  he's good enough for me! And if he wants to cram something down my throat, then I trust it will be Good.

Thanks for all the erotic imagery, tex. Best diary ever.

by QTG 2009-05-14 04:40PM | 0 recs
Ruh Roh, Raggy!

Even if healthcare were completely free, there is still no cure for crazy.

by fogiv 2009-05-14 07:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Misconceptions Exploited By

Have you actually ever been on Medicaid?  Because I have.  It's not a loan.   Once I was enrolled nothing ever came out of my pocket - it's basically like insurance.

by Jess81 2009-05-14 07:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Misconceptions Exploited By

My mistake, you listed:

1.) The primary vehicle for channeling health care to low income people, Medicaid, is a means tested loan program, it is not a grant or an insurance plan, per se. the huge bills incurred by the poor are supposed to be repaid.

under misconceptions, meaning this is what people wrongly think.  I don't know anyone who thinks this, but okay.

by Jess81 2009-05-14 07:20PM | 0 recs
Jess, could you explain a bit more?

I was under the impression that people could not get it and have any real income, and that they attached people's homes, if they used it enough to make them seek repayment.

Also, the way that they treat single people or childless people or people with no children or people with low paying jobs may be very different than the way they treat a disabled person, with a life threatening, permanent illness.

by architek 2009-05-15 03:21PM | 0 recs
Ive been doing some checking, and it IS A LOAN

People are being paid to spread misinformation, to defeat Unversal Health Care by substituting extremely unworkable options in its place.

Jess (or JL?) Also, please see this web discussion from some real people:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/5/6/7 28493/-Medicaid:-Just-A-Band-Aid-On-A-Cu t-Artery

by architek 2009-05-15 04:23PM | 0 recs

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