Health Care Bill Perspectives

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

T.R. Reid, veteran foreign correspondent for The Washington Post and the author of The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper and Fairer Health Care, discusses what's in the current health care bill and puts it in a global perspective.


T.R. Reid

Comments [39]

Hilda Sarkisyan

Our daughter was killed by Cigna for profit at 17. Yes,profit for their shareholders. Nataline Sarkisyan was denied one liver transplant, while Cigna CEO makes billions every year and millions as bonus,by the end of the day they make top $$$ when you die. We thought we had insurance! We miss our daughter every day, we can't sleep at night, we need to stop the insurance industry NOW before our story becomes your story. We need to replace Erisa Law with Nataline's Law. go to and click on her picture fill out the form and click send. You can also visit her foundation at and make a donation to help student scholarships.

FYI:When we went to Cigna to confront them...they gave me the finger.

Make It A Great Day!
Hilda Sarkisyan
Nataline's Mom

Nov. 10 2009 06:24 PM
hjs from 11211

not going to "Move away" but just vote away the worst of america

Nov. 10 2009 01:37 PM
hjs from 11211

would be funny if you didn't twist every 'fact' that suits u. as it is it's just a bit sad that u would sell the rest of us out for a few shekels

Nov. 10 2009 01:34 PM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from McLean, VA

To hjs and the other libs on the board - funny that you should criticize me, given that I'm the only one actually reading and quoting from the bill; including lots of stuff that none of you have heard before.

I am a democratic capitalist, not a democratic socialist. Move away if you want to live in that kind of system.

That being said, I think executive pay and bonuses have been too high for too many years. The owner used to make 10 - 20 times what the line worker made. In small companies this is often merely 5 - 10 times the amount. In a publicly traded company the vast majority of profits should return to the share holders. If an executive is good s/he should get more shares and gain or lose depending on their performance.

Unbridled greed is the product of the self-indulgent liberal society, not of conservatism. It is also the product of Godlessness.

Nov. 10 2009 01:07 PM
J.C. from Minneapolis

Re: Comment #18.

You can do all the preventive steps (and that assumes we all agree on what constitutes "prevention") in the world and still get sick and still get stuck with a pre-existing condition, which means you will NOT be sold a policy at any price unless you are healthy enough to work and can get a job that offers health insurance.

People have every incentive to stay healthy because, last I checked, being sick was a rather unpleasant experience. It's simply delusional to think that our health insurance disaster is all about unhealthy lifestyles.

Nov. 10 2009 12:50 PM
hjs from 11211

but there's no profit in insuring her!

Nov. 10 2009 12:48 PM
JP from The Garden State

hjs from 11211,

More like the crazy aunt that cant get health insurance because of her pre existing mental illness…

Nov. 10 2009 12:05 PM
hjs from 11211

Bravo, Calls'em:
hero of the trust fund set!

Nov. 10 2009 11:58 AM
db from nyc

Hmmmm, Paulson from... WALL STREET???

You're correct, unfettered markets free from any sort of regulation or conscience is terrific.

Of course, excluding this little, recent (history) glitch that...


Wow! You Wall Street clowns sure are funny!

Nov. 10 2009 11:57 AM
Paulson from Wall Street

Bravo, Calls'em:
You are one of the few voices of realism in this unrelentingly liberal lock-step motass. Withouy profit we would have no employment, salaries, growth, investment, research or equity. Profit is GOOD. Government takeovers are bad. Look at history.

Nov. 10 2009 11:27 AM
Nancy Foster from East side NYC

11:19 AM

I am listening to this English fellow AND he sounds HYSTERICAL on the radio. Don't you fellows EVER realize that the tone & inflection of the voice carries the meaning MORE than the words?

And now they are arguing with each other!

Nancy Fostar

Nov. 10 2009 11:20 AM
Marc Naroshkhyn from Brooklyn

If "citizen journalism" is so unreliable, then why does mainstream media rely on bloggers and twitterers to fill their 24 hrs of programming? Why can't "professional journalists" vet the citizen jounailsts' accounts before they jack them up as fact?

There will be no answer from this snob. When it comes right down to it, he's little more than a glorified rumor-mongerer anyway.

Nov. 10 2009 11:14 AM
Mike C. from Tribeca

Off topic, but during the news a second ago I heard regarding the high school hostage story "The school was placed on lock-down." Prisons are placed on lock-down, not schools.

Nov. 10 2009 11:07 AM
JP from The Garden State

Dear Calls'em As I Sees'em from McLean, VA

I absolutely love reading your posts. It’s just like reading the covers of the tabloids while waiting in line at the super market. “Space aliens take over health care plan and mandate anal probes for everyone!” Obviously and absolutely no truth in backing up the headlines but gives me a really good chuckle while waiting in line. Doesn’t Rupert Murdock own a few of those sensational rags?

Nov. 10 2009 10:57 AM
hjs from 11211

who's stopping this: rural and southern legislators,
who has the worse healthcare: rural and southern residents

Nov. 10 2009 10:56 AM
db from nyc

Calls'em As I Sees'em:

Have a conversation with ex-CIGNA exec Wendell Potter.

Get a CLUE!

Nov. 10 2009 10:51 AM
Rich from Staten Island

Staten Island University Hospital (SIUH) agreed to return $88.9 million for government health insurance fraud and this institution is allowed to expand services for the new ER. Yet Staten Island residents need a new independent hospital. Local politicians coddle the SIUH and the virtual monopoly this institution holds on the residents here. The local politicians here are part of the problem as well.

Nov. 10 2009 10:50 AM
kai from NJ-NYC

Yeah T.R....

Of course, he's correct that we are not getting either universal care nor real cost control.

On top of Medicare cuts, there needs to be bundling of health care payouts where certain ailments get a fixed amount for treatment. Of course, if necessary, more treatment can be had but the doctor just has to sign off on it.

As of now, doctors regularly seek most every treatment option before they get deep into the diagnosis process, thus unnecessarily increasing spending and frequently not helping the patient. Essentially, it's combating the inefficient fee-for-service system.

Nov. 10 2009 10:50 AM
hjs from 11211

Calls'em 23

finally some truth. you are right we are greedy people.
but the insurance executives and wasteful admin are what we are paying for not health care

Nov. 10 2009 10:47 AM
db from nyc

Calls'em As I Sees'em:

Who the hell pays now when an illegal immigrant shows up in a US hospital after a fall from an illegal construction scaffold?

Answer: You do!

Nov. 10 2009 10:47 AM

i would agree that he is a worthy opponent for u

Nov. 10 2009 10:37 AM
Michael from Long Island

Health Insurance isn't a right nor a priviliege. It is infact a resposibility.
If you consult with a nutricianist you then get cheaper health insurance. If you take a CPR course you get cheaper health insurance. The people that make the most previtative steps get cheaper health insurance. Europeans eat smaller portions than Americans and they exercies more. Their culture is superior not their system.

I renew my CPR training every two years and I don't whine about the $50 that the Amercian Red Cross charges.

Nov. 10 2009 10:36 AM
Rich from Staten Island

Congressman McMahon has a hospital in his district which has agreed to return $88.9 million which is one of the largest settlements for a single hospital for Medicaid and Medicare fraud. This was announced in September 2008.

Nov. 10 2009 10:33 AM
db from nyc

Calls'em As I Sees'em: Extract you head from your a#% and tell us how you "Sees'em".

Nov. 10 2009 10:32 AM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from McLean, VA

Take a look at the UNIQUE VERBAGE OUR GOVERNMENT IS USING TO MANDATE HEALTH COVERAGE FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS. Take a look at how we define who is covered: “(A) Section 59B of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, except that any resident of the territory who is not an affordable credit eligible individual but who would be an affordable credit eligible individual if such resident were a resident of one of the 50 States (and any qualifying child residing with such individual) may be treated as covered by acceptable coverage.”
JOE WILSON WAS RIGHT - THE DEMS AND THE PRESIDENT ARE LIARS. They plan to use your taxes to pay for felons who should be deported.
Another thing that they are sneaking by the public is that CURRENT RETIREE BENEFITS THROUGH THEIR FORMER EMPLOYERS AT RISK. In addition, if you retire after a certain time, you will no longer be permitted to have that insurance benefit offered by the former employer. In many cases retirees from large corporations pay little if any for their premiums. Now they will have unforseen additional expenditures on the public option – and this on their fixed income.
“As of Y1, day 1 of the Government program, no retiree will be permitted to sign up for a retiree health insurance plan from their employer. As of Y1 day 1 of the Government program, no current retiree health care plan can change the benefits offered or the cost. At this point, the government committee will review the plan to see if it is “acceptable”. If the plan is deemed unacceptable, the retiree will be enrolled in the consumer option.”

Nov. 10 2009 10:32 AM
Ed Helmrich from Larchmont, NY

The estimate is that a family earning $50,000 would pay $5,500 per year in health insurance, a family making $75,000 would pay $7,500 or so. And they are required to pay it.

Nov. 10 2009 10:31 AM
hjs from 11211

Calls'em 7
but is it profitable?

Nov. 10 2009 10:29 AM
hjs from 11211

so I could pick which illness i get treated for based on cost? THANKS

Nov. 10 2009 10:29 AM
hjs from 11211

how much is a human life worth to you?

Nov. 10 2009 10:26 AM
Robert from Hell

I always seems to me that calls'em as I sees'em is blind!

Nov. 10 2009 10:25 AM
Gary from Upper Left Side

Covering everybody DOES NOT reduce costs. Here's what no one wants to talk about... to reduce costs DOCTORS MUST TAKE A PAY CUT. Until reimbursement fees (and, yes, services) are reduced, health care costs will continue out of control.

The real solution is to re-establish the traditional patient-pays-doctor-directly model to get cost controls. Right now, patients don't know and don't care about costs. They will when they have to pay for their health care.

Nov. 10 2009 10:24 AM
D from Brooklyn

None of these bills and NONE OF THESE DEBATES will do the American People any good as long as they continue to over- placate the Holy Insurance Companies and their Holy Bottom Line Over ALL, which is clearly what all of this nonsense is about!!!!

Nov. 10 2009 10:23 AM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from McLean, VA

HJS -- the liberal fascist Democrats are proposing to cut benefits and service to old people that will probably quardruple that number every year - a form of genocide against old and sick people.

Nov. 10 2009 10:23 AM
Diana Finch from Bronx NY

The House Bill as passed would lead to an increase in private insurance premiums? How is that, exactly? Isn't this just a threat from the private insurance industry? That's what it sounds like to me.

Nov. 10 2009 10:23 AM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from McLean, VA

Brian, Brian, Brian, where does one begin? The Democrat Party wrecked a heath care system that successfully serves 85% of the population (260,000,000) to help an indeterminate number of additional Americans and illegal aliens. Some times this number is as low as 6 - 9 million people. It is an expensive, unmanageable and ultimately destructive folly.

The plan imposes fines on the people if they don’t get health care and if they don’t pay the fine they can go to jail for up to five years.

The President and even the horror show known as Nancy Pelosi promised “change” and “openness” of between 3 to 5 days for the Congress and the people to read the nearly 2000 page bill. This did not occur. Surprise, surprise.

Many leading estimates say that this plan will, over a short period of time increase health care costs to almost everyone to the equivalent of a 15% tax on the average person and reduce services through the evitable rationing that all government run health systems have.

There are also numerous other issues including the fact that the plan has many add-ons that don’t have to be voted on. One of these is includes adding DENTAL CARE for all within a year. Another is the incredibly INTRUSIVE ELECTRONIC FUNDS TRANSFER (EFT) provision which will mandate that everyone link their bank account to the IRS to pay for whatever health care costs each person incurs.
The Democrats haven’t really identified the initial benefit standards, so at this point NO ONE KNOWS THE ACTUAL PRICE OF THIS GARGANTUAN EXPERIMENT. The plan reads as follows, “DEADLINE - The Health Benefits Advisory Committee shall recommend initial benefit standards to the Secretary not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act.”
There are other issues that I will add below.

Nov. 10 2009 10:22 AM

so far sounds simply like more transparency than reform, like with the credit card "reforms."

IE: "This is how we are going to rip you off."

Underlying fundamental problems, and missed opportunities, all seem to remain unresolved.

Nov. 10 2009 10:21 AM
the truth

Why do people keep misrepresenting this bill??? MY premiums are already way high!! WHat the heck is he talking about?! and why is Brian co-signing???

Nov. 10 2009 10:20 AM
hjs from 11211

40000 americans die without insuarance every year

Nov. 10 2009 10:15 AM
LM from Long Island

I have just read Mr Reid's book and it should be compulosry reading for everyone in congress.

Brian, Can you ask him how his shoulder is?

Nov. 10 2009 10:12 AM

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