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Sounds A Lot Like Obamacare

January 20, 2011 - by Donny Shaw

The Republican House majority yesterday passed a bill to repeal health care reform (H.R.2) and today passed a resolution calling on four House committees to draft legislation to replace it (H.Res.9). As I’ve been explaining on this blog, the whole repeal effort is purely political. It’s not a serious effort by the Republicans at fixing the problems they see in the health care law, and the resolution they passed today just underscores that fact.

The resolution spells out 12 principles for what should be in the replacement bill, many of which are features of the law they voted to repeal.

(1) foster economic growth and private sector job creation by eliminating job-killing policies and regulations;

(2) lower health care premiums through increased competition and choice;

(3) preserve a patient’s ability to keep his or her health plan if he or she likes it;

(4) provide people with pre-existing conditions access to affordable health coverage;

(5) reform the medical liability system to reduce unnecessary and wasteful health care spending;

(6) increase the number of insured Americans;

(7) protect the doctor-patient relationship;

(8) provide the States greater flexibility to administer Medicaid programs;

(9) expand incentives to encourage personal responsibility for health care coverage and costs;

(10) prohibit taxpayer funding of abortions and provide conscience protections for health care providers;

(11) eliminate duplicative government programs and wasteful spending; or

(12) do not accelerate the insolvency of entitlement programs or increase the tax burden on Americans.

Most of this is already in the law. Increasing competition, increasing the number of insured Americans, making sure customers can keep their current insurance plans, covering pre-existing conditions, incentives for maintaining coverage, blocking federal funds for abortions. It’s all in the law already.

Now, there is stuff in here that I think is actual beef for the Republicans, like reforming the medical liability system, eliminating duplicative programs and reducing the burden on small businesses. But that’s perfect stuff for the Republican House and Democratic Senate to work out together over the next two years. I know these are policy priorities that are traditionally associated more with the Republican brand, but it’s all stuff that a lot of Democrats can get behind too if somehow both sides can agree to an honest discussion and process. Some of this can be agreed on and some of it probably can’t, but the way the Republicans are structuring their health care efforts this session is probably going to mean that none of it will even really get talked about.

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Displaying 1-30 of 32 total comments.

  • mouseissue 01/20/2011 12:41pm


    It’s important that you understand that the reasons this law should be repealed are hiding in it’s 2000+ misguided pages. It is in fact a health insurance (NOT health care) reform law that does NOTHING to bring down the costs of health care.

    An attorney friend (formerly in U.S. Justice Dept.) of mine did read it AND also read the MANY parts that are cross referenced to other existing laws.
    His summation was that this law will drive up health insurance costs (eventually forcing private insurers out of business) and bring a federal government “presence” into the pre-existing (no pun intended)health care system.

    My wife and I are paying 27% higher health insurance premiums this year thanks to this monstrosity. Since my wife works for that insurance company, so I take that connection from good authority.

  • Comm_reply
    nemenja 01/21/2011 2:08pm

    Your attorney friend obviously overpaid for his education:

    “[…] PPACA and the Reconciliation Act alsoincluded a number of provisions to reduce federal outlays (primarily for Medicare) and to increase federal revenues (mostly by increasing the Hospital Insurance payroll tax and imposing fees on certain manufacturers and insurers); in March, CBO and JCT estimated that those provisions unrelated to insurance coverage would, on balance, reduce direct spending by about $500 billion and increase revenues by about $410 billion over the 2012–2019 period. If that legislation was repealed, such reductions in spending and increases in revenues would not occur. Thus, H.R. 2 would, on net, increase federal deficits over that period.”


  • Comm_reply
    lieslieslies 01/23/2011 6:51pm

    Yes, and I hope people read the ENTIRE link you posted, not just the blurb that you pulled out of it. Then, they can also read this, where the CBO admits there’s no way they can give a full and accurate estimate on the PPACA because regulations are being written as they go, by the HHS.

  • lieslieslies 01/20/2011 2:14pm

    That’s what many of us have been saying all along, Donny. And I haven’t read all of it, but the parts of it that I have read, I came to the same conclusion as your attorney friend, as have my other friends who’ve read it.

    What seems to be doing a lot of, lately, seems very biased, like a child kicking and screaming because they had a new toy taken away. What they fail to say is that, even though some of the points Republicans intend to address with their new legislation might be in the PPACA, the difference lies in HOW they address the issues. What I read in the PPACA was unacceptable, as a whole, while bits and pieces may have seemed positive, or even benign. You can’t say you’re going to wash dishes, and only wash one.

  • Comm_reply
    lieslieslies 01/20/2011 2:21pm

    Or more like only washing one, then dirtying every other one in the cabinet and forcing someone else (future generations) to clean them.

  • LucasFoxx 01/20/2011 2:48pm

    (1)&(2) Deregulation didn’t work for my industry. It made a handful of millionaires and put tens of thousands of people out of work. They should just skip to #11 and call it a day. “(11) eliminate duplicative government programs and wasteful spending.” I read much more of the Health Care legislation than I should have had to. I can understand the Insurance Industry being so against the HCR. The delicate balance between human life and the greed of over-priced “talent” must weigh heavy on them. Some of that responsiblity has been taken off of their plate. The lawyer must have missed the part that limits the premium to profits ratio. My employer changed their plan as well. The premiums went up, but so did the benefits. They now have to comply to the new law, so we got a better plan.

  • Comm_reply
    lieslieslies 01/23/2011 6:53pm

    My premiums went up and my co-pays tripled, no new benefits. So … I’d say your plan sucked to begin with.

  • LucasFoxx 01/20/2011 2:52pm

    BTW: I kept hearing all last year about how “Obamacare” did not address Tort reform. Where is that bill? I see they want to protect incompetent practitioners from “medical liability.” Where’s the Tort reform?

  • Comm_reply
    luminous 01/20/2011 3:35pm

    Tort reform has already been implemented by 28 states, and it has not shown to decrease costs, hell in Texas where you have the loonyiest Tort reforms the hospital staph infection rate is almost double the national average(which is only 6 times higher then Canada’s socialist system).

    However Obamacare did provide funds for state experiments with further state level tort reforms, so even this point in the republican list of pet issues has been covered.

  • Comm_reply
    LucasFoxx 01/20/2011 3:49pm

    Looks like there is another direction the might go: H.R.314 HEALTH CARE TRIBUNAL- The term ‘health care tribunal’ means a trial court or administrative tribunal-

  • kc0itf 01/20/2011 5:27pm

    So much for OpenCongress being non-partisan and OBJECTIVE! You told us that the food “Safety” Bill was dead but it STILL managed to become law!!!

  • Mahlalie 01/20/2011 6:41pm

    Wow! There ARE other people who comment on stories that are relatively conservative and who don’t make everything about the “u” word.

  • craines 01/21/2011 6:04am

    Well I don’t have insurance, can’t afford insurance and this bill will cover me and most of the republican friends I know. We make less that 20,000 a year, some a lot less.

    We need this insurance bill.

  • snilloctjc 01/21/2011 10:33am

    Items 2 through 5, 10 and 11 make sense.

    The last bill went all over the place trying to cram in issues unrelated to improving access to health care via insurance.

  • fakk2 01/22/2011 7:44am

    craines, I understand the need for health insurance, but the fact you can’t afford it doesn’t mean you can’t receive the treatment you need. Those in favor of the PPACA never mention one little fact of life: The hospital has an obligation to treat you even if you can’t afford it. Now, since someone doesn’t NEED health insurance to RECEIVE treatment, why should we face a fine if we choose not to have it?

  • Comm_reply
    luminous 01/22/2011 10:19pm

    That is incorrect, hospitals only have an obligation to stabilize you. They will stop bleeding and sew up cuts and what not, but they are under no obligation to treat long term diseases, or treat cancer, or provide diabetic supplies, or provide any form of drugs.

    To say nothing of the fact that emergency room treatment is the most expensive place to receive care, people who wait until an issue becomes an emergency room problem place vastly more cost onto the system then if they had proper access in the first place and seen a doctor before the problem becomes an emergency room problem.

    I suggest reading this wiki article,

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 01/23/2011 4:44am

    Nice article, but I don’t see anything that says they don’t treat you for cancer. I don’t know if you’ve talked to a lot of doctors, but if you ever ask them about the 1 – 10 pain scale, they’ll say “put what you think it is”. It’s a subjective scale, for you to decide how much pain it is. And this is assuming people don’t trump up their issues. Btw, had a friend go down to Mexico for a brain tumor, came back clean 2 weeks later, and cost FAR less than our treatment does. As far as the diabetic supplies and drugs, do you honestly think you need insurance for those items? Worst case scenario, you go across the border and buy it yourself (any border will do). What, you can’t pay? Well, then is it my fault you didn’t save money throughout your life? Do I need to bear the burden of your health care because you didn’t plan ahead? Ran out of money? Still, I say, is that because I injured you in some way? Are neighbors resonsible for the health of those around them?

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 01/23/2011 4:58am

    Now please keep in mind I wouldn’t recommend ANYONE going to Mexico for medical coverage, but for my friend, it worked. And luminous, from what I can tell EMTALA does mean you get treatment even if you can’t pay or aren’t a citizen. Which is what I had said on 1/22/11. Just because someone can’t pay, doesn’t mean they can’t get treatment. The “emergency medical condition” is a pretty open-ended definition that someone just has to say it’s giving them severe pain, where non-treatement would result in serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part, and BAM you get your treatement. TITLE 42,CH. 7,SUBCHAPTER XVIII,Part E, § 1395dd of the provision (

  • Comm_reply
    lieslieslies 01/23/2011 6:57pm

    Interesting. I personally know of two people that didn’t have insurance, were denied SS & Medicare, but they were never denied treatment for their cancer. Nice scare tactic, though.

  • luminous 01/23/2011 8:30am

    I suggest reading the faq section from your own link, , and a morphine shot to treat pain is not the same as providing several rounds of kemo and surgery to remove cancerous tissue. And this isn’t a problem of “savings”, I would much rather see a poor person receive their $50-$100 worth of diabetic supplies paid for on the public dime, then to pay $10 grand or so stabilizing them after non-treatment has put them into epileptic shock at the emergency room, possibly followed by $25 grand or so for a wood box and a hole in the ground, while at the same time loosing all future tax revenue from that person.

    And sorry no, Tijuana is not a good idea for medical supplies, services, or drugs. Nor do I think anyone should be required to go on an international excursion to get supplies, services, or drugs. Lets fix the system here not play games with “Mexico-care”.

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 01/23/2011 12:14pm

    Luminous, let me repeat what I posted earlier: “Now please keep in mind I wouldn’t recommend ANYONE going to Mexico for medical coverage, but for my friend, it worked”. Definitely not saying everyone should jump down to Mexico, let alone Tijuana, but if you have to go to Canada because it’s cheaper, or Europe, then why can’t we hold people responsible for that? Btw, not saying it is always cheaper. And I did say treatment, doesn’t mean you get cured. And I’m not sure where you live where the state/county/city will put a someone in a $25k box, because here they burn them if they’re not claimed, and if they are, the family has to bear the cost. Once again, the question is, should I have to pay your treatement costs?

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 01/23/2011 12:14pm

    Let’s say Craines has a serious illness, like cancer or diabetes, and needs $50k in treatement to cure it. Should I, as a taxpayer, be responsible for his treatement costs, whether through a state exchange that is funded by taxes, or by being mandated to buy insurance for myself, and have the insurance company be taxed for it? Should I have to bear any burden of his getting sick? That is the question with “ObamaCare”. If it didn’t mandate everyone buy insurance, or mandate I pay into the state exchanges, then everything would be different because then I wouldn’t have to bear any burden for someone else’s illness. But since it is mandated, and the exchanges are created, I don’t it’s my responsibility to pay for another person’s “cure”. If we were responsible for our own bills instead of pushing it off to our neighbors, then things would be different, just like with Social Security.

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 01/23/2011 12:16pm

    *"I don’t think it’s my responsibility" is what I meant to say above.

  • luminous 01/23/2011 12:41pm

    Hold people responsible to travel to and burden nations with Nationalized socialist healthcare systems to treat their diseases? ehh? Or possibly go to a third world Nation for care, never mind the surgical tools the “doctor” left in your chest cavity during the operation their, or the organ theft rings.

    Do you have any idea what it costs to search for relatives to a recently deceased person?, or the cost of burning them human bodies don’t burn easily you know(cremation can take upwards of 90minutes on larger people, takes alot of gas to do that)! To say nothing of discharged debts that person may have held, or the potential tax payer investment to educate that person though k12/college/atc whatever.

  • luminous 01/23/2011 12:54pm

    Most diseases can be managed at far lower costs then what emergency care costs when they are not managed, Diabetes can be handled for $50-$100 a month usually, that is much cheaper to society then the emergency costs from non-treatment. From a simple practical stand point it makes sense to provide them what is needed for treatment them it is not to.

    And if the disease is properly handled that person can work and input into society more then the cost of their treatment, if things like temporary unemployment leads to unaffordable costs for that person their $50/$100 a month problem turns into a multiple $10’s of thousands of dollars problem for a hospital stay and emergency room costs, or potential death expenses, how is that better for the tax payer then just giving them their damn $50/$100 month insulin?

    Either way we the tax payer pay, though high interests costs at our banks to cover medically/death discharged debts, to high doctor fee’s to pay for those that don’t.

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 01/23/2011 4:38pm

    Luminous, you have a lot of good points. And I even agree with you 100% on burning the bodies, the costs are high. But let’s face it, large metropolitan areas (New York, LA, Chicago, etc) burn bodies because it takes up less room, and less money than burials. No matter how you slice it (unless you live somewhere that has A LOT of open land in the metro areas, and cheap labor) burning bodies is less expensive than burials. And I agree with you 100% that the ER room is the most expensive way to receive treatment. But I fundamentally disagree on who should bear the burden of health care. You have a choice which bank you choose to do business with, thus a choice in which fees to pay. Choose a local credit union. Choose a bank that will give you a better return on investment than what you have now. Choose not to have a bank (easier said than done). Choose not to lay down when you’re mandated to buy a good or service from the government or face a fine.

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 01/23/2011 4:39pm

    Choose to tithe or donate to a charity, or start your own. In a perfect world, everyone would receive the health care treatments/cures they need. The way this would be done though, is not by taxes or government mandates (from any level of government), but from the generosity of others. If it is your choice to pay for someone else’s treatment(s), or even pay for part of it through a goodwill program or church, then so be it. It’s your choice. It’s your RIGHT to choose. But being mandated to buy or face penalties? That’s over the line.

  • lieslieslies 01/23/2011 7:03pm

    What about all the ridiculous grants in the PPACA for “community programs” to teach people how to eat and exercise? Are we that stupid? Did you get rid of Health and Phys. Ed. classes in school? Can you not teach your own kids how to eat and exercise? And the menu “nutrition labels” at restaurants and on vending machines, to “highlighting healthy options”. Look, if I go to McDonald’s or get something out of a vending machine, I’M NOT SO STUPID THAT I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M GETTING. I’m not expecting Richard Simmons to jump out and get me Sweatin’ to the Oldies. STOP TRYING TO DICTATE EVERY LITTLE THING! IT’S OUT OF CONTROL!

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 01/24/2011 7:11am

    Having him pop out from behind a vending machine would definitely scare me into eating healthier, or at least not that bag of chips I was buying!

    BTW, interesting article on food nutritional labeling from the LA Times saying labeling doesn’t change consumer buying patterns: []

    Link to the study in the article: []

  • luminous 01/24/2011 9:26am

    This isn’t a disagreement on the basis of who should pickup the cost, its about you being naive about who WILL pickup the cost. If the government doesn’t tax to provide healthcare that doesn’t save you the cost associated it just moves it around.

    Instead of having a healthy person contributing to society, we will have lower worker productivity, excessive emergency room costs, higher interest rates from medical bankruptcy debt write-offs. At the end of the day your marginally lower tax rate costs you 10 times as much in high consumer prices, lower worker productivity, amplified commutable disease costs from non-treated patients, increased lending costs due to bankruptcy’s, etc.

    And this isn’t a problem that can be solved by charity, their is already more then enough money in the health care system, its just poorly allocated due to the nature of the private health insurance model.

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