30 Issues: Health Care Reform

True/False: ObamaCare Should Be Repealed

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Rush Holt, U.S. Congressman (D-NJ 12th), chairman of the House Select Intelligence Oversight Panel, and Scott Sipprelle, Republican candidate for Congress challenging Holt, talk about their views on health care reform and other issues in the campaign.


Rush Holt and Scott Sipprelle

Comments [71]

geTaylor from Bklyn., NY

For those who wish to discuss the tax implications of the constitutional question:

Oct. 20 2010 01:13 PM
REM from NJ from New Jersey

Everyone talks about how much their favorite healthcare bill may cost "the nation" but they don't mention that we will all distribute the costs to every citizen through taxes, which will REPLACE the money everyone now spends on health insurance. No one seems to be doing the math -- how much does the average citizen pay for health care now? How much additional does his or her employer pay to insure them? Then, finally, what cost does the average citizens use in state or federal subsidies or tax rebates (as well as Medicare, Medicaid, etc. healthcare costs)? So what is the average per-citizen overall cost-per-year for healthcare? Multiply that times the current population and the result is what should be compared with what the proposed (or approved) national healthcare total is per year. My guess is that if we went to a single-payer, total coverage health care system, the full cost would the same or less as what we are all paying out of pocket and taxes right now. So what if national health care would cost a jillions dollars -- if that's what we're all spending now, then the net loss is ZERO. What would happen if everyone in the U.S. -- babies to seniors -- was 100% covered for health and dental care and we totally eliminate Medicare and it's monstrous bureaucracy? I don't know the actual figures, but it seems like the scary figures bandied about are never compared with the huge amounts our society is costing itself right now. Seems I've read that our costs all tolled are way over what other countries are paying for total care. Can't someone please do the numbers?

Oct. 19 2010 05:28 PM
DavidM from Teaneck NJ

God!!!! Does it ever suck to be us! This republican is really out of touch... Does he not know that not everyone has his luck or opportunity?

Oct. 19 2010 04:10 PM
salvatore principato from manhattan

this isn't comment about the substance of Congressman Holt's interview but just his manner of speaking. In general Dems & progressives speak very haltingly like they're unsure if they believe what they're saying, sounding like they're on the defensive. When Republicans speak they usually have motormouth & come across as if they truly believe what they say no matter how wrong-headed & reckless. Maybe some Dems should take speech lessons or a least go into therapy to increase their confidence in themselves because we need warriors to advance a progressive agenda, not worrisome hand-wringers

Oct. 19 2010 02:10 PM
Lonnie from Brooklyn!!!

Listening to Sipprelle, I was reminded, again, of who the base cross-section of the Tea Party Movement really represents: Stock Brokers, Aging Executives, Upper level Bankers, Doctors, HEDGE FUND MANAGERS, the NON-WORKING WIVES of all of the above. . .

Of Course Mr Sipprelle has no problem keeping money aside for his own Healthcare needs. That's what that MILLION dollar acct is for.

The thing is, Mr Sipprelle HONESTLY believes that the rest of us could do the same thing if we just stopped buying everything else and lived on Box-crates.

A Health Savings Acct looks nice-- until you get sick. Then in 6 Months, it will be GONE.

THEN what do you do? because NOW you have a Pre-Existing Condition!

I pray enough people vote their Common Sense!

Oct. 19 2010 12:17 PM

When the government tries to help small businesses, it hurts businesses (and taxpayers) of all sizes.

Oct. 19 2010 12:11 PM

for a long time I've liked the basic ideas of decoupling health insurance for employment and health insurance companies competing nationally. however, as far as i can tell strong federal regulation would be required to prevent such competition from resulting in a race to the bottom and such regulation is anathema to those promoting this approach.

Oct. 19 2010 12:08 PM
Jim from NJ

I can honestly see both sides. Something had to be done to remedy many of the problems, but I see the Fed running Social Security and Medicare with unfunded liabilities that run into $50-100 trillion. We're just passing the buck. Our politicians didn't want to make some hard decisions but, in my opinion, we have to be willing to accept some of the pain.

Oct. 19 2010 12:05 PM
Chuck from NJ from NJ

Folks, those of you questioning Mr. Sipprelle's reality, need only to look up his bio: parents in the State Department (raised on the federal dole?), 13 years raking in the bucks at Morgan Stanley, then 10 years at his own hedge fund which he cashed out of just before Wall Street crashed. Lives in Grover Cleveland's old cottage in Princeton. Yes, I'd say 1) he's completely out of touch with reality, 2) no, he doesn't need HMO contributions to finance his campaign, and 3) no, he's never had to struggle to fund his health insurance-- his checks probably don't bounce.
Just what we need in DC, another rich guy with no experience in government. And if he has experience in business, it certainly isn't in building a company that makes anything except money from money!

Oct. 19 2010 12:00 PM
JD from Jackson Heights

Brian, when you, in the interest of "balance," have a raving lunatic on the air spouting untruths, it is incumbent upon you to challenge those untruths. You are the journalist, the host of the show. Sipprelle wants to let the free market reign over the provision of health care to Americans. Well, we can see with our own eyes how that works, because we are the only country in the world who DOES let the free market reign, and it's an unmitigated disaster. Why didn't you challenge Sipprelle with the simple facts?

Oct. 19 2010 11:51 AM
Bill from New Paltz from New Paltz

It's a pipedream to think that self-funded healthcare will lead to a positive outcome. It's another way for capital to accumulate more capital, for disposal by money managers as they see fit, whether overseas or not, with large commissions for their pains. It's another form of the privatization of Social Security and other aspects of our safety net. Healthcare should be a government mandate funded by the government, through taxes as needed. Yes, take the cost of healthcare off the backs of corporations, as is the case in other industrialized countries.

Hey, Brian, have you investigated whether the current Conservative Party-led revolution in the U.K. has been funded, at least in part, by the Koch brothers? I have no evidence to back up this supposition -- but doesn't it make sense?

Oct. 19 2010 11:48 AM
dboy from nyc

Health Insurance ≠ Healthcare:


Oct. 19 2010 11:47 AM
Teal from tarrytown

so let me get this right... GOP Scott Saprell..the "elitists"are not the Hedge fund managers like him, they are those awefull academics and civil cervants who wonder how on Earth workers are going to follow his American Dream path to "wise investments" and savings for health care in old age on $7.25 per hour...

Oct. 19 2010 11:47 AM
Michael from Bronx, NY

Mr Holdt left out a very important argument against passing pieces of the healthcare bill separately: you can never pass all the "popular" provisions without the additional customers brought by the individual mandate. The insurance lobby would never stand for it. That enticement of young, healthy people forced to buy insurance brought them onboard. If the Republicans take control it won't be Repeal and Replace, it'll be Repeal and Ignore.

Oct. 19 2010 11:46 AM
Mike from Tribeca

Another politician claiming they're all for term limits. Where have we heard that one before?

Oct. 19 2010 11:46 AM

Scott has nice optimistic ideas about people saving for their own retirement, but he's not taking into account the financial education of the average American. Also, even if you created a massive education program to educate everyone about financial issues like FSA's, HSA's and IRA's, they still don't make enough money to save for their own retirement.

Oct. 19 2010 11:45 AM
j from bklyn

oh scott,
1. save the "intelligent design" for your peeps. i actually believe in what works in real medicine, and it's called evolution. grow up.
2. there is no such thing as a "free market" b/c money isn't free. remember "breaking the buck"? that happened b/c of over deregulation.
3. "choice" in a capitalist system is based where one can actually a-f-f-o-r-d to pay for care desired. again, no "free" market. Affordability is the fulcrum here, NOT free choice.
4. "Nationwide" would be indicating your preference for each state to lowball each other, like sending our manufacturing jobs to china, etc., b/c of differing state requirements for what's considered adequate care.
5. we already pay more for health insurance even those who don't have it - the emergency rooms. which the execs at the insurance companies give themselves huge bonuses for. that, to me, is an unfunded mandate.
6. hedge fund manager? can we see ALL of your tax records, please?.. you're money is much more "elite" than mine.

please scott, get properly informed about health care and how disease actually works [again, evolution]. there's already been enough damage done by irresponsible candidates such as yourself. go into an emergency ward someday in an inner city hospital unit for a few days, and just absorb that. very scary stuff, especially when that's one of the only "choices" one has. in fact, [listen up NRA!!], harlem children's hospital in the bronx was a location where army surgeons used to be trained, b/c of the numerous amounts of wounds/injuries that they get to see most similar to actual combat.

Oct. 19 2010 11:45 AM
DavidM from Teaneck NJ

God!!!! Does it ever suck to be us! This republican is really out of touch... Does he not know that not everyone has his luck or opportunity?

Oct. 19 2010 11:44 AM
RUCB_Alum from North Brunswick NJ

Investment pool....HAHAHA. How much would a healthcare account fund full of GM stock be worth today?

The 'only' safe place for these types of funds is US Treasuries and they ain't gonna be so safe until we fix some things about how we fund the government PDQ.

Nice try, Mr. Sipprelle but you need to do more homework.

Oct. 19 2010 11:44 AM
dboy from nyc

Health saving accounts???


Who could ever possibly save enough to pay for a single visit to the oncology center??



Oct. 19 2010 11:44 AM

I do agree with removing healthcare from employment. However, every other civilized society that also does this also has some sort of government regulation/backup plan. Simply replying on "the free market" to correct this is completely idiotic.

Oct. 19 2010 11:43 AM
Michael from Manhattan

Don't anyone count on Brian pressing any guest for facts if they are making a spirited (read: "interesting to potential audience members" ) argument. The only people he feels he dares make uncomfortable at representatives of public employee unions.

Oct. 19 2010 11:42 AM
John from New Jersey

What world does Scott live in? How many 20 year olds have money to afford saving for their healthcare in retirement? How many people have enough money to afford saving anything?

Oct. 19 2010 11:42 AM
Richard Johnston from Upper west side

"Insurance" is a misnomer for a simple risk-avoidance mechanism. The inevitable, ultimate solution is a national single-payer plan that provides every American the care they deserve. All this discussion is pointless until we get there. The free market and the profit motive have no business determining who gets well and who does not.

Oct. 19 2010 11:42 AM
Jeff Davis from Somerset, NJ

Scott Sipprelle is so tied into the concept that the "market" will be the best for everyone. But, with healthcare, the "market" has been far off the mark - the rising costs of healthcare, the coverage for people who can't afford insurance now, the high salaries paid to insurance companies, the "need" for stock revenues to shareholders, etc. - it's way too broken and doesn't meet what should be a right for all. Let the "market" handle those things it is good for - products and services that people can select - but we need the government to better control the coverage of health issues so no one is left out and costs stay under control.

I will be voting for Rush Holt.

Oct. 19 2010 11:42 AM
Joan in NJ from New Jersey

Why doesn't Siprelle clearly say what he and his party really mean - that unless you can afford to fork over 20% of your income to pad the profits of the insurers, you can't have any health care. I guess your life is only worth what you can pay. The fact is that whether you pay for health care through taxes or premiums you're still paying, the only difference is that in the current system the insurer's profit margin is the priority rather than the quality of care.

Oct. 19 2010 11:42 AM
Mike from Tribeca

Jack -- one of the major reasons why "the democrats [have] done such a horrible job communicating the benefits of the law" is because every year the mass media spends less and less time on reporting on political issues. And overall the mass media is corporate-owned and conservative.

Oct. 19 2010 11:41 AM
Michael from Manhattan

Following the great American Quaker tradition, I don't believe that war and violence are every justified. Does that mean I don't have to pay the 60% of my federal income tax that goes to the military budgets?

Oct. 19 2010 11:39 AM
Steve from Brooklyn

For the free market to work here, people would need to make informed choices. How can members of the general public make informed choices when it takes at least 4 years of med school to understand medicine?

Oct. 19 2010 11:39 AM

Does Mr. Sipprelle take any funding from health care organizations?

Oct. 19 2010 11:38 AM
Wesley Clark from Brooklyn

Brian, I don't care if you feel you need to stay "objective" and not come down on one side of an issue or another - but you DO have an obligation to get the FACTS right! The man you are interviewing who is against the healthcare law has said at least two egregiously false things. The first was his image of healthcare as food, with the government owning all food production, distribution, etc. NOTHING in the healthcare bill in any way makes the government own hospitals or doctors! All those things remain as private or as public as they are now - his image is false and inflammatory. Second, his example of everyone getting "a colonoscopy every year" is idiotic - nothing in the bill would give you a colonoscopy every year! They are not useful every year. What it might do is give you one every TEN years - and then, it might save you from dying of cancer! Call your guests on falsehoods - please!

Wesley Clark, MD

Oct. 19 2010 11:38 AM
dboy from nyc



Oct. 19 2010 11:38 AM
eli from astoria

"own your own healthcare"
what reality is this clown living in? it sure is not the same one as mine.
I currently own my own healthcare and it is financially unsustainable.
"overuse" of healthcare due to the fact that people do not have to pay for it? right....i go to the hospital for fun.
excessive preventative care?
he must be kidding. if anything we don't have enough preventative care.
he thinks we don't have "skin in the game"?
wtf? my insurance bill says otherwise. i am getting skinned every month.
"liberate the insurance market"? the pretty damn liberated market has nearly bankrupted the system and the people already and now we want to liberate it more?
This guy does not even care if the current benefits of the newly crafted system EVER get restored. all he cares about is letting the hand of the market go nuts and do whatever magical thing it is supposed to do and if pre existing conditions result in no be it.

Oct. 19 2010 11:38 AM
JP from NJ

Please ask guest how buying insurance over state lines wont turn into how it works with banks right now. Everybody’s credit card bill comes from Maryland or Utah, the two states with the weakest banking laws that are all pro banks. Please ask guest if he has ever in his life had to buy 100% of his own health insurance from a private health insurance company and ask how did that work out for him.

Oct. 19 2010 11:37 AM
Mike from Tribeca

Listening to Mr. Sipperelle's nonsensical and ideological ramblings reminds me of why I'm a liberal Democrat.

Good questions, Brian.

Oct. 19 2010 11:37 AM
Edward from NJ

Waste, fraud, and abuse! Ring the bell!

Oct. 19 2010 11:36 AM
Kathy from Hoboken

Mr. Sipprelle is dead wrong about high deductible plans not being available in NJ. We are a small employer and have absolutely no problem offering them to our employees and there are a number of people I know who have individual high deductible plans.

Needs to get his facts straight before misusing them.

Oct. 19 2010 11:36 AM
dboy from nyc

Please... PLEASE take this droning idiot off the air!

He's drunk on "free market" Kool Aid™.


Oct. 19 2010 11:36 AM
Steve from Manhattan

Scott Sipperelle is 100% wrong on every aspect of the problem. The "free" market created the current disaster. insurance monopolies have created the problem. He is spouting non-sense. Health insurance companies cost consumers 200 Billion dollars a year. Insurance buracracy kills people. He wants to dump the cost further on the middle class and poor people.

Oct. 19 2010 11:35 AM
Edward from NJ

An insurer in Iowa won't have contracts with the doctors and hospitals in New Jersey. They would have to pay the cash cost of a doctor/ER visit which is much higher than what an in-state provider with a contract would pay.

Oct. 19 2010 11:35 AM
David M. from Teaneck NJ

I can barely contain myself. This Republican idiot has no grasp on reality as it concerns medical coverage and management of same. He would have us build a bureaucracy in insurance that would never work. What planet is this guy on?

Oct. 19 2010 11:34 AM
The Truth from Becky

Free health care for all - somebody call the UK and find out how to get it going!

Oct. 19 2010 11:34 AM
art525 from park slope


I agree with MG though perhaps his example wasn't the best one for you. But since you don't have a car does that mean you shouldn't have to pay the portion of your taxes that go to highways? I don't have kids should I be forced to pay for schools? If I drive and don't use public transportation should I be forced to subsidize your transportation? Where does this end? we are all contributors and beneficiaries of all of these services. And as Mr Holt explained, by demanding that everyone have coverage that means I won't have to subsidize you when as an uninsured person you use hospitals and medical services. Sounds reasonable to me.

Oct. 19 2010 11:34 AM
Michael from Manhattan

The real question is "What is the special incompetence of the American political system that makes the U.S. the ONLY industrialized country that cannot figure out how to provide health care for all its citizens?" Whether it is the private insurance based program in Germany or the national heal care programs in the Canada, U.K., France, etc. they all work and they are all immensely, overwhelmingly popular in their own countries. Is it that in the U.S. we are only allowed to have the best government that money can buy...and there is big money behind the woefully inadequate status quo?

Oct. 19 2010 11:34 AM

The republican's mischaracterization of the Obama plan as a complete government takeover is not being challenged with the actual facts by Brian.

Oct. 19 2010 11:33 AM
NealnNYC from Manhattan

Holy crap, Scott Sipprelle can sure tell lies about the health care reform bill. He must work for Colbert, trying to keep fear alive!

Oct. 19 2010 11:33 AM

FYI Scott Sipprelle is calling for a race to the bottom

Oct. 19 2010 11:33 AM
Mike from Tribeca

The old free market gambit, heh? It's obvious Mr. Sipprelle hasn't been paying attention to how and why we have a health care problem in the first place. He also doesn't appear to know anything about the contents of the health care reform bill.

Does he really think everyone is going to go out and get a colonoscopy every year?

Oct. 19 2010 11:33 AM

What planet is this guy on? Everyone take control of buying their own insurance? That's been the problem... no one can afford it, and when you need it, when you become too expensive, your insurance drops you.

What's this guys position on pre existing conditions?

That's twice he's said "skin in the game". Eye rolling..

Oct. 19 2010 11:33 AM

I know we don't have to buy a car or home. But those things are part of the American dream and representative of getting ahead. You cannot purchase either of these things without purchasing insurance. I believe the incentive for this requirement was to prevent some who would chose to not purchase auto insurance from being covered by the rest of us who chose to. Their being uninsured or underinsured cause us to purchase that option on our own plicies. As for the home insurance the banking industry recognizes that their loans are more at risk if the bowerer does not purchase insurance to protect losss or damage to their property. If left to their own devices alot of people might chose to roll the dice and risk the losses. Well the rest of us might end up picking up their costs through increased premiums. Well heath insurance is like that now

Oct. 19 2010 11:32 AM

free colonoscopy! OH BOY where can I get mine!!

Oct. 19 2010 11:32 AM
dboy from nyc

Yoo hoo... Scotty!

"Free" market healthcare has totally f• the system up. I'll take the "faceless bureaucrat" over the corrupt and obscenely greedy insurance executive, any damn day!!!!

Get a clue, clueless!

Oct. 19 2010 11:32 AM
John from NJ

The food distribution scenario just presented by Sipprelle is not analogous to healthcare.

First, food is a necessity on a whole different level.

Second, according to Gallup, 16% of Americans do not have health care. I doubt that 16% of Americans do not have access to food. But if 16% did not have access to food, maybe government distributed food would make sense.

Oct. 19 2010 11:31 AM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

Sipprelle's answers have so far been all fantasy. Should the government control healthcare? No. Too late the 'market' has FAILED. At some point, you have to take the world as it is. I live in the 12th District, and Mr. Sipprelle won't be getting my vote.

Oct. 19 2010 11:31 AM

If free markets are the solution - then why does the US have the most expensive health care with the least healthy outcomes compared to the rest of the developed world? Even Cuba has better health outcomes than we do.

Yes - take the provision of health insurance away from our employers.

Oct. 19 2010 11:31 AM

NO THANKS, I don't want to manage my own health care costs.

Oct. 19 2010 11:31 AM

Sipprelle shouldn't compare health to food, he should compare it to WATER or ELECTRICITY. We don't choose our suppliers for those and no one complains! People don't need consumer empowerment regarding our health, we all just need SERVICE!

Oct. 19 2010 11:30 AM

Brian, Scott's analogy is so off the wall -- he's alleging total government control of all health care. What planet is he on? That's not even part of the health care bill.

I think he's got the vapors, the very spectre of universal health care makes him itchy.

Oct. 19 2010 11:30 AM
RLewis from the Bowery

Consumer choice? Please ask this man what we do when millions of people can't afford to chose anything?

Is it okay with him if they chose to go to the emergency room and then us tax payers pick up their tab?

Is it okay with him if their healthcare jacks up our rates?

Oct. 19 2010 11:29 AM
Edward from NJ

Rather than calling the fee for failing to buy insurance a penalty or fine, it should be called a "Don't let me die in the street" tax. You're welcome to not pay it and not buy insurance, but if you don't and something happens to you...

Oct. 19 2010 11:29 AM
art525 from park slope

Rush Holt has just presented the most articulate argument for healthcare that I have heard. He appears to be honest and earnest and it's refreshing to hear someone who is being an advocate rather than a bomb thrower. If there is any justice he will be returned to Congress. It's unfortunate that others haven't been such good advocates for the bill.

Oct. 19 2010 11:25 AM
Peg from Southern Tier

To MG from Park Slope. Besides the fact that no one is required to have a car - auto insurance pays for accidents - not routine maintenance. Unfortunately all of us have a body and and it often requires expensive diagnostics and routine maintenance.

Oct. 19 2010 11:25 AM
Edward from NJ

Along the lines of kp from nj's comment, the tax code also effectively penalizes people for not having children. That doesn't mean that people are forced to have children.

Oct. 19 2010 11:24 AM
Susan from NYC

I use holistic and alternative medicine doctors. These doctors are not covered by my health insurance now. Rhese doctors don't participate in health insurance because it doesn't pay them. Will these doctors be included in the new insurance laws and still be able to practice holistice medicine?

Oct. 19 2010 11:19 AM

MG from Park Slope:


The difference is that you don't have to own a car. (Yes I know there are places with no public transportation and a car is a necessity, but you are not forced to buy a car)

Oct. 19 2010 11:19 AM
kp from nj

The health care bill DOES NOT REQUIRE you to buy health insurance any more than the tax code requires you to buy a house!!!! If you have health insurance you get a deduction on your income tax. If you do not have health insurance you do not get the tax break!!!! Please be clear on this. Anyone who rents an apartment knows that the government does not require them to buy a house, but that homeowners get a tax break!!!! SAME THING!

Oct. 19 2010 11:18 AM

Of course if your over 65 we're with you only if you need an approved treatment. (Same as now)

The health care reform as passed is basically a health insurance company bailout program.

This is like watching the "tourists" at a three-card-monte game when they keep expecting they can find the Queen of Spades!

Oct. 19 2010 11:17 AM

Universal health care should have been a constitutional amendment, and then left up to individual states and their voters to decide how they wanted to implement it.

Oct. 19 2010 11:15 AM

Mr. Holt,

Is touting the healthcare bill. These aspects sound pretty good. My question is this. Why have the democrats done such a horrible job communicating the benefits of the law?

Should Fox News and MSNBC be held to account for trashing this bill from both the left and the right?

All I have ever heard from both camps is how terrible this law is.

Oct. 19 2010 11:15 AM
MG from Park Slope

I'm sorry, am I missing something? Aren't we already forced to purchase insurance in other instances? Such as auto insurance?

Oct. 19 2010 11:15 AM

survival of the fittest!

Oct. 19 2010 10:09 AM

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