Photo credit: @julesdwit.
A not-for-profit media organization supported by people like you.
Come out and have a townhall meeting in person. Congressman Rothman( 9D) is having at least 8 of them. What are you afraid of? You need to hear and respond to your constituents. If you have time to do a radio show you should make time to meet in person with constituents.
Come out come out wherever you are.
There are free market options that are not allowed to be brought to the floor. Common sense tells you that you have more control over something when you pay for it out of pocket. If we give the gov control over our healthcare, we give them control over our lives.
LORI (55) how is asking someone pay back some of the advantages one has received from the community making him the enemy? u claim u want to help your neighbor, u want the nation to defend itself (I assume,) your husband's business uses the roads, u don't want crime. just who should pay for a modern nation? Which nation is more successful and has less taxes? any way you're no progressive if u think someone should profit from my death and illness, just for pushing papers around. as for your PHARMA concern, ask a business person about negotiation. that's one less battle for today. you see how the insurance comapnies are fighting to keep their bloodsucking shareholders getting those dividend checks? glad parma is running ads supporting reform.
LORI (57) what there is waste in montclair ? "why not talk to your local government about cutting costs "
Marianne @ 36 -- Mayo is an outstanding medical facility. It is not a closed cooperative, if it is a cooperative. When I lived in WI, it was the place people went in desperation after the Univeristy of WI hospitals could not not help them.
I've been told my cancer may require specialized treatment which is only available at 6 hospitals (teaching and specialized) in the nation. Mayo is one of them. However, my insurance parasite will not permit me to go out of plan and especially out of areas where it has a "presence." They MAY permit me to go to Sloan Kettering, but it will require much paperwork, appeals, etc., but Sloan is at least in a region with a "presence" by my parasite.
Mayo, however, based on reading I've been doing, is using a less painful, less invasive treatment.
IF I should need this advanced treatment, I hope it's when I'm on Medicare. And I hope Medicare has not been mucked up by the current health care "reform."
To Jawbone (54)
Thanks,but guess what? I tried calling the state insurance commission yesterday, and I was on hold for half an hour until the call was cut off!
By the way, in response to a previous post, my insurance company is Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, the worst at paying claims according to the billing dept. of my primary care physician.
I am one of 47 million uninsured or self pay consumers of health care. I am outraged by comments made by both these congressmen.
Congressman Bill Pascrell I can assure you the American people don’t pay for my care. Others go to the ER and walk out on their bill but I don’t.
My family phy started making everyone, insured or not, pay before they could see him. Why? Because he has six figures in uncollected fees over 90 days, almost entirely from insured patients. Because I'm self pay he gives me a 10% discount on all services.
Congressman Scott Garrett is either woefully ill-informed or using the propaganda technique of the BIG LIE to support his ideology when he says, self pay consumers pay more for health care.
Recently I had both a colonoscopy and a nuclear stress test. All the service providers - an endocrinologist, a radiologist, an outpatient facility, and a hospital - offered me discounts of 10% to 40%.
Why? Because I asked. They’re happy to do it because they get their money now without the added billing costs and headaches of dealing with an insurance company.
The downside to self pay, the stress test revealed a blocked coronary artery requiring by pass surgery. That’s a bill I’m unlike to be able to pay at all. Oh well…
Yesterday the Republican representative kept saying that the reason for high costs is Medicare and Medicaid paying too little. There was no mention of the 40 million or more uninsured people who pay nothing. The entire cost of this must be made up somehow. Wouldn't insuring these people take away some of the financial pressure on Hospitals?
Why are democrats like Pascrell unwilling to have single payer (HR 676) scored by the CBO? Maybe their afraid that if people saw just how much money would be saved public pressure would force them to disobey their benefactors in the for- profit health insurance/pharma lobby.
Medicare has a 3% administrative overhead. For- profit insurance corporations skim 30% for administration and their pockets.
If the democrats' explanation of the rediculously complex Obama reform plan seems irational it may be because they are paroting the talking points served up by the insurance lobby to rationalize a fundamentally irational system. Self service all around. The rich bag the money while the rest of us end up holding the bag.
hjs: funny! No waste in municipal government? Yeah, no corrupton either!
Why isn't anyone talking about the PHARMA lobby and the fact that negotiating RX prices is already off the table? Talk about waste! All this talk of competition is BS! The Fed Government has HUGE buying/negotiation power but they've already given it up. It's criminal.
Norman @ 3 -- We can't have single payer bcz our Dems are just as reliant as the Republicans on Big Donations from Big Insurance Parasites?
Help, I need somebody,Help, not just anybody,Help, you know I need someone, help
We need Dems who care, Dems from the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party. Dems who have the principles espoused by FDR, JFK, LBJ ***in their bones.***
Who care more about representing the people than representing Big Corporations.
(Why was is the Supreme Court said corporations should have the rights of humans?)
Brian from Hoboken,
I hear you! Somehow upper middle class people($200K) have been lumped in with the $100M CEOs of the world and you are now the enemy. I've found lately that this has pushed me further RIGHT which is amazing to me as a progressive but I am also a pragmatist and I feel the need to remind people that higher income people, like middle and lower income people, are at all different LEVELS and they pay the majority of the taxes. You probably, percentage wise, pay MORE taxes than the $100M CEO because you do not have access to off shore accounts, sophisticated investment trusts, etc.
Unless you are very vocal and active, your representatives will not consider you in their decisions.
Did you hear Pascrell, he thinks you're "ill informed". Like you don't know how much you're paying already and will be paying in the future -- all for a plan that sounds like it has little chance of achieving its stated goals.
I'm sure, like me, you don't want to see your fellow citizens without health care, it's just that you think the dollars should be well spent and based on what we've seen so far, it's hard to feel confident.
Bobby @ 1--Can you try to get this covered by going through the state insurance commission?
This is egresiously bad behavior by your health insurance parasite!
Badly done, parasite...but helps that bottom line.
That's why we need Single Payer--Medicare for All!
We all agree that we need healthcare reform, but the administration is using it to promote its agenda of abortion, euthanasia, and full government control, which we don't want. These actually slow down healthcare reform by leading to opposition.
Marianne @ 36-- Mayo has been discussed, often by Obama, as an example of doctors getting salaries and treating patients as required by their conditions. I am not sure, but I think Mayo is considered a cooperative; but I am uncertain of that.
I do know that Sen. Jay Rockefeller has looked into the idea of health care cooperatives and found there are no real studies of such endeavors and has asked GAO to to do a study.
Amazing that there are actual programs all over the world of what works for providing universal health care, and our president and Sen. Conrad are suggesting something which has no history of success in this country! Can experiment, it seems, on some things, but not on others. Like proven, working, successful, cheaper, more effective health care like single payer. And we even have great single payer plans here: Medicare, VA, DOD families plan.
Rockefeller said on an NPR interview he had done research on health co-ops in the US and found that most were very small, had not been studied; indeed, most had never been put to any real scrutiny and ***were unlicensed.*** He said the data was far too skimpy to risk a national program on a plan based on these few examples, along with hopes co-ops could take on Big Health Insurers.
Think about this situation: A trillion dollars or more, people's health care in life and death matters -- and NO RESEARCH.
Rockefeller on NPR about coops:http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111436546
Daily Kos diary about Ed Schultz progam with transcript (with video):http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/7/31/760189/-Rockefeller-Rebelling
I have not found reports in the Mainstream Corporate Media about Rockefeller's complaing or findings. Amazing-- media self-censors on single payer and now these co-ops!
loriwell i'm glad to hear there's no waste in montclair
We've covered this, our local government supports the low income segment of our community and our county taxes support improverished cities like Newark, East Orange, etc. Those communities have almost NO tax base, there is little that can be cut because the ratio of people who are employed vs. the ratio who live on social services is so out of balance.
Already there has been a 30% increase in crime because people at the margins are resorting to burglary, etc. I have no desire to cut off people in need.
However, I have no desire to pay more for a "reform" bill which will not be sustainable because all the cost savings have already been comprised via an expensive lobbying effort. It's bogus and doesn't represent real progress.
Lori -- can't afford the plane ticket. High taxes and all.
The top 1% of earners pay 39.89% of all the federal individual income taxes. The bottom 50% of earners pay just 2.99% of those taxes. (Kiplingers, IRS Statistics)
Get your facts straight!
loriis wasn't moot. your husband's small business won't fall because a few more americans will have health care. why not talk to your local governemnt about cuting costs if that's where your taxes are going!
Exactly, jawbone from Parsipanny, Pascrell needs a primary challenge! Preferably a Democrat who actually believes in health care *reform* and not someone in the pocket of the health insurance industry. I had to shut the radio off after listening to this guy for 5 minutes -- so disingenuous, so untrustworthy... Why is this Democrat spreading lies about limits on choice???
I was a Development Director and you're full of it! The reason the Obama campaign was SO exceptional was due to the high volume/small amount equation which IS unique.
Small biz owners will join existing businesses in management positions. I know two people who have already done so because the risks and hard work and responsibility associated with owning their own business was no longer worth the reward.
It is not a scare tactic, it is a reality. The extraordinary tax deficit that NYS/NYC is facing is due to high earners (who pay the vast majority of taxes) are leaving the area and losing employment (thereby not paying taxes on that employment).
And, by the way, those people EARN their incomes, they are not plantation owners, they are people who studied hard and worked hard. Question to you: if you're so anti-capitalist, why don't YOU go live somewhere else?
What is this myth about competition? If you're lucky enough to have a job, you're told what the company you work for has chosen for your insurance. Sometimes you have a couple of days to choose between two companies, and you need to devote all your time after work trying to figure out what those competing claims are. But this is not like choosing between car insurance - where it's your individual choice. Your company has made the choice - and at ever increasing rates!
Lori: one more point. Vital programs are already being cut and people are already losing their jobs because of a lack of tax revenue. And there is a lack of tax revenue because of a failing economy that can be partly blamed on the widening gap between rich and poor and the disappearance of the "middle class." Hence my total lack of sympathy for those who pay high(er) taxes.
Why isn't universal healthcare in the same bucket as social security? If it benefits everyone as a safety net, then everyone should pay. You can't make the top earners pay for everything. Please keep in mind that the "rich" are very different- somehow my wife and I are considered in the same class as a hedge fund manager who makes $500,000,000/yr. We have to pay $15K in property taxes for a 1300 square foot condo, we paid over $10K each of the last 2 years in AMT taxes, and we pay almost $40k/year for day care services. We are not rich. When are the politicians going to realize this?
I didn't answer the payroll question because it's personal AND it was moot - Pacrell was trying to divert the conversation because he has no defense for the tax increases.
Thank you "Voter in Brooklyn" for recognizing that this is a mess! By the time the lobbyists get through with it, it will be a big expensive mess and the consumer is the lowest person on the food chain!
I believe in providing for everyone, I just don't think this "plan" will be effective and the increased taxes and increased deficit will impede the economic recovery.
This is monumental change, why the rush? You know why? We won't have enough time to fully understand it AND mid term elections are coming!
And, yes, I'm a DEM.
Lori: I don't believe "the rich" will close up shop and leave town. Their post-tax income is and will still be double, triple, etc. more than post-tax income of the lower brackets. Besides, where would they go? To some hidden community in the mountains a la "Atlas Shrugged"? Your argument is a scare tactic (a unfortunately widely used and believed one).
And the bulk of charitable donations come from high volumes of small contributors (I work in not-for-profit).
Keep your government hands off my Medicare!!!
I don't hear anyone talking about the Mayo Clinic model, a collaborative system of health care delivery. There are other smaller programs that, according to a New Yorker article, "The Cost Conundrum" by Atul Gawande, June 1, 2009, deliver excellent care at lower cost. I found the article very thought provoking.
Thank you for your programs discussing health care. It has been so confusing and is making people I know very scared that the important issues are getting buried under polemics, fear tactics and yu-tube 2-minute clips.
Rep. Pascrell, we need Medicare for All, with a Strong Private Option.
OK? Get it?
For "Norman from Manhattan": Medicare only restricts choice in two situations:a. if you want to see a doctor who has opted out of participation in Medicare. Among doctors who treat the elderly, there are very few of such doctors and they mainly cater to the privileged. However, for the younger, employed population, many doctors may choose to opt out if the reimbursements are too lowb. If the doctor you want to see is oversubscribed, you are in fact restricted because of waiting times
If we have Medicare for all, i.e. a single-payer system, choice will not be restricted as long as all docs are required to participate. If we have a so-called public option where docs are not required to participate, the risk to access is very real.
I’m sorry but this guy is talking out of so many sides of his face contradicting himself repeatedly that I’m not even sure if he knows what he’s talking about.He’s said we need a competitive public option that won’t compete with and threaten private insurersA public option will not scare private insurers because it will be competitive without competing but single payer willThe current system allows choice of procedure and provider, but Medicare doesn’tPrivate insurers don’t restrict choice but a public option and single payer will.
It sounds like what we will get is another Blue Cross Blue Shield mess that will behave just like private insurers.If this congressman is involved with this farce, then I hope nothing passes.
He wouldn't be exempt from anything and Pascrell knows it! THey make some exceptions for small business (under 10 employees) but THOSE very same business owners ARE NOT exempt from the personal tax increases. How much can business owners pay in personal taxes before they have to lay off workers in order to maintain their own families?
It's playing with semantics and Pascrell knows it.
Was the WNYC link down? Google kept telling me the link was broken, but I see comments here.
Pascrell needs a primary challenge. No single payer for maybe ***50 years!!!****
OMG! Death of a nation....
So he's saying Medicare for all would take away your choice to use any insurance company you want.
I am all for healthcare overhaul, but before we move ahead, can we spend some time to compare our medical cost to other nations, procedure by procedure, to see why we are paying twice as much as anybody but have less life expectance at every income bucket. To throwing more money into this system is crazy until we fully understand where are we wasting our money.
On the allegation that politicians will decide who my doctor will be, which i doubt very much:
I would rather have a political bureaucrat that I or my peers elected and can elect out to decide who my doctor is going to be than an insurance bureaucrat whose name I don't know, whose motivation is to find loop holes to drop me from coverage that I paid into for years and not pay for procedures I may need. At least if the political bureaucrat does it wrong, I can have them fired (aka not re-elected). At least there's transparancy in politics, farce or not. There's only a large black cloak over the medical business machine.
Income: 2,300/monthRent: 1,866/monthInsurance offered by company: 358/month
Obviously I have to forgo insurance (which doesn't even incl dental or vision).
Small businesses cannot survive under current system.
Universal Health Care is a Human Right.
I worked as a medical biller for a family practice doctor. Medicare paid better than any other insurance plan -- we were always happier when a patient came in with Medicare. I had the same situation taking my mom to doctors...they were always unhappy to see her with her when she had a private plan and many doctors would not take her as a patient at all...When she became insured by Medicare, many more doctors were available to her and her regular doctor was much happier.
FYI in the UK they have publicly funded health care and people can still buy private health care if they wish. this idea that if we have single payer people will have no choice is a lie
The so-called public option promises to control costs largely by limiting the compensation to providers to "Medicare plus 5", that is to say 5% above the already ridiculous low fees Medicare pays to doctors. This will seriously discourage doctors from participating in the public plan. As consumers flock to the public plan, they will discover they have serious problems accessing acceptable physicians. Then, they will either flock back out of the public plan OR the public plan will be forced to increase reimbursement. POOF! There goes the cost-control.
My wife has a small business. The health insurance that the company buys for us cost about $17,000 a year. Even with that we don't have complete choice of physicians or treatments. We personally pay an additional $2,000 or so for additional health costs.
Wouldn't my wife's business be happy to pay an additional $10,000 to $12,000 MORE in taxes to get a public plan like Medicare, or the EU countries?
I do not understand small business' reluctance to participate. But, neither do I understand why my 85 y.o. mother doesn't want socialized medicine because she wants to keep her Medicare plan which she thinks is fantastic. Clearly, the messages for those against changes in Health Care are very disingenuous.
All other industrialized countries have single-payer systems. They pay far less per capita, yet they cover everyone. They also have longer life expectancies and lower infant mortality rates. The U.S. ranked 37th in health outcomes, according to the World Health Organization.
You know something, Ax, when those people close up shop because they can't afford to pay their taxes, people end up unemployed. When they move out the nieghborhood because they can't afford to pay the real estate taxes, the community loses income to support programs for low income families and families at risk. When they stop giving money to charitable organizations because their tax burden is so high, vital programs get cut and people who work in not for profit lose their jobs.
You don't know what you're talking about.
Why exactly are we worried about private insurance companies going out of business?
Do we worry about mobsters making a living when breaking up the mafia?
Have them find something productive to do...
Brian, the woman from NJ who called in didn´t want to say what the total payroll is of her small business. Pascrell said she would likely be exempt...can he not say at what point ($-wise) she would be exempt?Idem for the person who just called in, saying he was willing to pay into the system. It´s normal he didn´t disclose his salary..but why can´t Pascrell tell us appx. how much he would have to make in order not to be exempt?
I have a different idea for a show, how about talking about Medicare and how to decide who to select for health insurance. Suddenly I find I have to make this decision and have no one to help me make it.
I keep hearing that doctor's are going to lose money, are going to be poor and move to other industries. How much do doctor's expect to be paid and how much do they get paid net?
Please stop with this "single-payer will take away people's ability to make choices" nonsense!
*I* don't pick my insurance provider, someone in HR does. *I* don't choose how much I contribute to the plan, the CEO does. *I* don't choose which doctors I can see, my insurance provider does.
My premiums go up 20% every year and my employer has stopped contributing any more, so I have to keep switching to worse plans with higher deductibles and copays to keep my monthly payments the same. Something has to change!
Yes, yes, he said it, "our brothers and sisters", thank you comrade!
Boohoo for the poor little rich folk who pay higher taxes. Inflated incomes are made possible at the expense (both literally and socially) of the inhabitants of the lower income brackets.
Under Medicare, you can go to any doctor, or any hospital.
How does Medicare restrict choice?
How does single payer restrict choice?
Brian "we" the american people spend far too much on healthcare. but "we" the US government don't spend enough on healthcare. is that too hard to understand?
almost any plan with a public option will be a vast improvement over what we have now.
single payer is the best option but that would be a miracle....
I have a health care plan that has repeatedly told me that I cannot go to such and such a doctor. This plan also denied care for my son when -- at age 8 months -- he had to be taken to the emergency room.
The plan is called Empire BlueCross BlueShield, now saturating the subways with ads telling us how humanitarian they are.
When I asked one of the doctors who I had been told (by Empire BlueCross BlueShield) I could *not* see, I was told that one of the problems with Empire was that they lead the pack in denying claims.
Empire also leads the pack in insuring individuals (the group most likely to be helped by a public option). Angela Braly, CEO of Wellpoint, the largest health insurer nationwide and owner of the BlueCross BlueShields, stated categorically that Wellpoint would sacrifice patients -- cut their service, drop them -- in the name of profit.
She was paid well over $10 MILLION last year for sacrificing people's health to make money.
This is the problem.
(And I can document every one of the claims I have made here.)
How is taking negotiating RX drugs off the table making this competitive and how can that be considered reform?
What about the PHARMA lobby?
I feel entitled to ask since I'll be paying for this.
Single-payer would give everyone the choice of doctors and hospitals, just as Medicare does. It's ridiculous to assert that we have free choice now. We can only go to the doctors that participate in the insurers' network.
Ask the Rep Pascrell if he supports the Kucinich amendment to allow states to experiment with single payer on their own? It is essential if we are to make progess toward universal coverage, regardless of the current proposals.
where is the progressive version of the tea baggers?
Ask him what kind of contributions he gets from insurance companies.
Please readdress choice. The congressman is being extremely disingenuous.How many people with employer provided health insurance get to pick their insurer and plan under that insurer?How many people with HMO’s get to pick their doctors; explain preferred provider list and out of network providers?Please explain how he will let people with employer provided insurance keep what they have and choose the provider they wish when those decisions are made by what the EMPLOYER will allow.
Also, doctors also get to choose whether or not they will provide care to people with certain insurers.
Simply put, employees have limited choice, this choice is no better than what it would be under single payer. The congressman is obfuscating. Only people who privately purchase their insurance or self pay get to choose.
The big question on health care is:
Medicare for all would cost 15 to 30 percent less than the current system.
Exactly why can't we have Medicare for all?
The big question on cost is:
Medicare for all would cost 15 to 30 percent less than the proposed system, with the same quality of care.
(Canada spends half what we do with the same quality of care. http://www.openmedicine.ca/article/view/8)
Exactly why can't we have Medicare for all?
I pay over 20,000 dollars a year for my family and I for health insurance. It's my biggest expense. It's not anything special. It's a co-pay.
It's insane to pay that, when a doctor's visit is only about 200 bucks. I guess the only reason we have it is in case one of us gets cancer or something.
What I wonder is, how can a small business, or even a big business, afford paying for their employees' health care? Why are they paying for it? Couldn't all the businesses get together and lobby for single payer, and then they wouldn't have to pay these massive bills anymore? They might pay more taxes, it's true, but I'm sure they would save money.
Here's how health insurance bureaucrats work:
My primary care physician referred me for a colonoscopy (I'm over 60 and never had one).
The insurance company paid the claim for the procedure, but denied payment for the anesthesia, saying that it was not "authorized by your primary care physician." An appeal was denied, and now they want me to pay $1,650.
I know this is small potatoes compared with other insurance horror stories, but don't tell me that a "government take-over" will put bureaucrats in charge of my healthcare. I trust the government to do the right thing more than the private, for-profit health insurance industry.
Email addresses are required but never displayed.
Brian Lehrer leads the conversation about what matters most now in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives.
Subscribe on iTunes
Brian Lehrer Weekend: Christmas Culture; (Male) Managers; Poet Claudia Rankine
WNYC 93.9 FM and AM 820 are New York's flagship public radio
stations, broadcasting the finest programs from NPR and PRI, as well as a wide range of award-winning local
programming. WNYC is a division of
New York Public Radio.