The Armchair Intelligentsia Blog

I'm taking a little break from postings i'll still be sharing stuff everyone once in a while but at least for now it won't be daily

 
President Obama -Our worst president ever- Combining the worst of W and the worst of Socialism
  • How Congress Will Steal the Recovery
  • Obama's Doctor Knocks ObamaCare- 6/19
  • Obama invokes Jesus more than Bush- 6/10
  • The Roots Of Liberalism- 6/05
  • Is Obama Another Jimmy Carter?- 5/26
  • Obama's Deeds Vindicate Bush- 5/22
  • President Obama's troubling mantra: In debt, we trust - 5/15
  • Unions vs. Taxpayers - 5/14
  • US to borrow 46 cents for every dollar spent - 5/12
  • Quick fix today, crisis tomorrow in Obama's White House - 5/12
  • Obama's First Debacle? - 5/04
  • Obama's Liberal Arrogance Will Be His Undoing - 4/29
  • Obama more popular than his policies, poll shows - 4/27
  • Obama: The Grand Strategy - 4/24
  • High Unemployment States Have High Income Taxes or High Unionization or Both. - 4/22
  • The Case for a Federalism Amendment - 4/23
  • A World Of Trouble For Obama - 4/20
  • President of Everything - 4/17
  • The fiscal hole that must be filled - 4/05
  • Dem hypocrisy will come back to haunt - 3/18
  • The Obushma Spending Record - 3/17
  • Obama's policies have made the recession worse - 3/11
  • The Liberaltarian Jackalope - 3/11
  • The Sleight of Hand Behind Obama's Agenda - 3/06
  • The budget reveals the liberal Obama - 3/01
  • Back to Carter - 2/22
  • The ‘Liberaltarianist’ Folly - 2/20
  • Obama Worship and the Herd Mentality - 2/13
  • The Return of Welfare As We Knew It - 2/10
  • The Bushification of Barack Obama - 1/28
  • Obama's Middle East challenge - 1/28
  • Going Dopey On Infrastructure - 1/23
  • U.S. Congress World's Top Risk in 2009 - 1/12
  • Identity Crisis - 1/07
  • The Population and the Popular Vote - 12/01
  • Dems vs. Dems in new Congress - 11/25
  • Obama wrestles with Guantanamo problem - 11/11
  • Reckless Georgia - 11/11
  • The future under President Obama - 11/10
  • Will Barack Obama be another Bill Clinton? - 11/10
  • Schwarzenegger urges GOP to move beyond ideology - 11/10
  • Who Is the Working Class, Anyway? - 4/14
  • US election diary: The race card
  • Luke Skywalker v Darth Vader
  • The Inconvenient Truths of 2008
  • Change is coming -- to your tax bill
  • Obama the Messiah of Generation Narcissism
  • Special Reports - My Spin
  • Lebanon: One Year On
  • Stalin, Mao And … Ahmadinejad?
  • House OK's Irap Pullout Deadline
  • Libertarians emerge as a force
  • A Military That Reflects the Red-Blue Divide?
  • When did the Republicans give up on their principles?
  • How to move faster than the speed of light
  • Don't bring gender into the debate
  • Sheehan resumes war protest near Bush's ranch (bitch)
  • The end of cowboy diplomacy - Why the 'Bush Doctrine' no longer works for Bush administration
  • Israel accuses Hamas of 'terror escalation' after school attack.
  • Can Daily Kos Control Dems? - Or should they even try
  • Illegal Status Hinders Mexican Voting Bloc
  • Reaction to Court Ruling Over Guantanamo
  • Flagwavers - a fable
  • Bush Condemns Report on Bank Records
  • Jon Stewart, Enemy of Democracy?
  • It's Time to Leave--RIGHT NOW (I don't think so but thats just me)
  • Are Conservative Republicans Now America's Permanent Ruling Class?
  • White Guilt, Deciphered
  • European Nations May Give Iran a Reactor
  • 4th Generation Warfare
  • Important Reports/Stories
  • How the Fed Works
  • How Congress Will Steal the Recovery
  • How to Prepare for the End of Social Security
  • “Conservatives” Are Single-Largest Ideological Group
  • The Straw Men of Social Security
  • What is Driving Rising Healthcare Costs?
  • Who Controls the Internet?
  • Is The U.S. Government Too Big To Fail?
  • Financial Health of Social Security, Medicare Worsens in Past Year
  • US to borrow 46 cents for every dollar spent
  • GM Bankruptcy Probable as Obama Shields UAW Benefits
  • Worries Rise on the Size of U.S. Debt
  • the joe the plumberization of the gop
  • What is nationalization?
  • The Solution to the State Fiscal Crisis: A Five Year Balanced Budget?
  • Trillion-Dollar Spree Is Road to Ruin, Not Rally
  • Political Change Haven’t Shifted Public’s Ideology Balance
  • GM's Plan: Subsidize Our 48-Year-Old Retirees
  • The Trouble with Canadian Healthcare
  • Welfare Reform, Phase Two
  • A Short History of the National Debt
  • Bailouts: The Ultimate Double Standard
  • The Libertarian Moment
  • Making the rich poorer doesn't make everyone else richer
  • Paying the price for cotton
  • The Putin Doctrine
  • Our weakening country
  • Why terror thrives
  • Our Broken Senate
  • Will gay rights trample religious freedom?
  • Scientists From Around the Globe Join ABC News in a Forum on Surviving the Century
  • Moving Toward Energy Rationing
  • Parenting The Palestinians
  • The Coming Tax Bomb
  • Americans and Europeans on religion, happiness, government, and war
  • Democrats and the Economy
  • How to Tackle the Entitlement Crisis
  • Democrats and Our Enemies
  • Bill Clinton, the one-man steamroller
  • What’s Left for Government to Do?
  • Saying No to CoerciveCare
  • Bashing NAFTA misses real reason for factory job losses
  • Crisis Intervention in Housing Finance
  • Culture of Success
  • The Costs of Crime
  • Why Radical Islam Just Won’t Die
  • The AIDS Conspiracy Handbook
  • That Old Isolationist Tug
  • Competition and free trade key to prosperity
  • Let's Get America Booming Again
  • Vacationing in Hugo Chávez's Bolivarian Paradise
  • Scotland Yard: Bomb blast killed Bhutto
  • Present at the Destruction
  • The Whys of Spies
  • What’s Left for Government to Do?
  • You Said What? A happy history of lies and propaganda
  • An Open Letter to America's Rich People
  • It’s the Partisan Economy, Stupid
  • If Huckabee Is Dean, Who Is Kerry?
  • The Mother of All Elections
  • How the Private Sector Can Improve K-12 Education
  • Misreading the Iran Report
  • Plan B For Pelosi And Reid
  • Good news from Iraq
  • Is the U.S. Corporate Tax in the Laffer Zone?
  • High income taxes in Denmark worsen a labor shortage
  • Race, IQ and Education
  • World not running out of oil, say experts
  • The World's Biggest Industry
  • Peak Oil Again?Is "social meltdown" imminent?
  • Crime, Drugs, Welfare—and Other Good News
  • The Past, Present, and Future of Neoconservatism
  • The Trouble with Taxing the Young
  • Wealth and Nations
  • A Nation of Christians Is Not a Christian Nation
  • African Conflicts Cost Billions
  • Libertarians Rising
  • The US is a great place to be anti-American
  • Bush not the only problem
  • Showtime for Sarkozy
  • Making Sense of Income Inequality
  • The Health of the Nation: State By State
  • Government and Health Care: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
  • David vs. Goliath - Welfare Reform
  • John R. Bolton - The Flaws In the Iran Report
  • Murdoch Is No Threat to Democracy, but Media Protectionism
  • The Allure of Tyranny
  • Putin's Reaganesque Victory
  • Knight's Move
  • Chavez revolution takes hit in election
  • Flat tax for middle class
  • No Money, No Justice
  • Crime, Drugs, Welfare—and Other Good News
  • Why not give cell phones to students for doing well in school?
  • What Makes a Terrorist
  • The Free Clinic Movement
  • Why actors and models love to hang out with Hugo Chávez
  • Stop 'Making a Difference'
  • The War Was Right, the President Was Wrong
  • What are 'Hollywood values'?
  • Sarkozy ready to battle the workers
  • The History of the Chinese Government
  • What Makes a Democrat or Republican?
  • Abortion: A Legal or Political Issue?
  • Key Dates in Iraq War
  • Why they should stay
  • MoveOn's McCarthy moment
  • Why It’s So Hard to Win
  • Osama's Vision of the Future
  • The Foreign Policy Similarities Between Ancient Rome and Modern America
  • The Partitioning of Iraq
  • America agonises over the pitfalls of staying in Iraq—and of leaving
  • The reality of Iraq's many armies
  • The Many Enemies of George Bush
  • The Decline and Fall of Declinism
  • Which Iraq War Do You Want To End?
  • Who Lost Iraq?
  • Reforming France's Welfare State
  • The United States Patriot Act
  • Events Leading to the Second Persian Gulf War in Iraq
  • To save America, we need another 9/11
  • Imbalance: The U.S. Supreme Court, Its History, Power, and Proper Role
  • The Pros and Cons of Government Run Education
  • Social Crisis: Impending Disaster for Social Security and How We Can Fix It
  • Private Sector Healthcare Can Also Be 'Universal'
  • Is 2008 a Change Election?
  • If the Democrats want to fire Alberto Gonzales, why give him massive new eavesdropping powers?
  • Why Do They Hate Us?
  • Sicko’s Box Office Numbers are Fuzzy, Too
  • The Universal Distraction
  • How to Get Ron Paul Elected as Republican Presidential Candidate
  • The Free Vermont Secessionist Movement - A Counterpoint
  • The Left's "Inequality" Obsession
  • The Truth About America's Schools
  • Myths and Realities of the George Bush Presidency
  • The epic narcissism of Cindy Sheehan
  • The Ironic Collapse of John McCain
  • Fair Taxes? Depends What You Mean by ‘Fair’
  • Wall Street Populism
  • Where Michael Moore is Wrong
  • Bin Laden’s 1998 Atomic Message & the Necon Dream
  • Libertarians and the War
  • The New York Times Surrenders
  • The Most Controversial Presidential Pardons Ever
  • Freedom and Benevolence Go Together
  • Blissfully Uneducated
  • The New Myths About Inequality
  • Bush: Naturally, Never Wrong
  • Court Dismisses Lawsuit Against U.S. Wiretapping
  • Bush's Flawed Historical Vision
  • Grand Strategy for a Divided America
  • Osama Bin Missing: Who's Tried Hardest to Tackle Top Terrorist?
  • The rise and rise of Hamas
  • 'What If...'
  • Democrats vs Republicans
  • Protecting Your Paycheck
  • Separatist graduations proliferate at UCLA
  • The Age of Cynicism
  • The GOP's Fading Populism
  • Free Speech and Double Standard
  • Unfairenheit 9/11
  • Another Supply-Side Revolution Is Needed
  • Despotic Populism Is On the March
  • Evolution and religion
  • Schools and race-Still separate after all these years
  • Lazy, Job-Stealing Immigrants?
  • The Return of the Idiot
  • Your War, Not Mine
  • Are the Democrats and Bushies playing good cop/bad cop with the Iraqis?
  • Decline and fall of the neocons
  • Pretty bad – but not Jimmy Carter bad
  • The U.S. Seen Through Muslim Eyes
  • Decline and fall of the neocons
  • Seeds of Intellectual Destruction
  • Race Through a Liberal Lens
  • The neocons have finished what the Vietcong started
  • The (Not So) Infallible
  • Republicans of '94 revolution reflect on '06
  • Beyond Hegemony
  • ISG Prescribes Vietnam All Over Again
  • In class war, all lose: Yet it’s all Dems offer
  • Why is it always about Israel?
  • Even If We Leave Now, We'll Be Back
  • Calming an anxious middle class
  • What Comes After the Retreat
  • Doctors turn to aborted fetus to save boy's life
  • Get rid of the labels
  • Olmert's apparent nuclear admission
  • The Madness of Jimmy Carter
  • Counternarratives and the Grunt
  • Al Qaeda for the Good Guys: The Road to Anti-Qaeda
  • When the Media's Right
  • Humanitarian aid: winning the terror war
  • Hitler's Mideast helpers
  • The Peace Party vs. the Power Party
  • Iraq stops Bush from staging Reagan-style revival
  • The myth of the big bad drug companies
  • The Looming Regional Mideast War
  • The world may slowly be turning into the Land of China
  • Lessons From the Class Of '48: Ambition, Comity
  • What the Dictators Can't Stop
  • While You Were at War . . .
  • Only stupid, sadistic dictators hang… and Saddam was both
  • What the Real-Wage Pessimists Are Missing
  • The Fight for the Latin Left's Soul
  • Iraq's Natural State
  • Why Be a Conservative Libertarian?
  • The Knee-Jerk Opposition
  • Cafeteria Catholicism and the Minimum Wage
  • How Baby Boomers Are Robbing Our Grandchildren
  • Reaganism Cannot Define Conservatism
  • What Scares Iran’s Mullahs?
  • Why the U.S. Can't Win Iraq's Civil War
  • Religion, Government, and Civil Society
  • Iran Will Regret Its Nuke Program; Here's How
  • Hayek and Fusionism
  • Bush's "Nixon to China" Moment
  • The Leadership of George W. Bush: Con & Pro
  • A Short History of Health Care
  • The Left Still Doesn't Get It -- Even After KSM Confession
  • Slavery apologies debated across U.S.
  • Slouching Toward Socialized Medicine?
  • 2008: The Battle for a Generation
  • In a year of sanctions, international aid to Palestinians grew to more than $1.2 billion
  • The New Uncontrollable Campaign
  • Getting right with the Right isn't always wrong!
  • Libertarians' silver lining
  • Who Pays America's Tax Burden, and Who Gets the Most Government Spending?
  • Anger Is All The Rage
  • Illegal immigrants filing taxes more than ever
  • The Coming Party Realignment
  • The Rich and the Rest
  • Senate committee takes steps to improve accountability for “pork barrel spending”
  • Edwards & the Arrogance of the Entitled
  • The 10 worst jobs in America
  • Info
    Seed Newsvine More blogs about politics.
    under construction
    under construction
    Pelosi to Obama: Health care bill by August
    Wednesday, May 13, 2009
    by David Jackson

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi told President Obama today that the Democratic-led House will have a health care bill on the floor before it leaves for the August recess.

    The goal is "quality, affordable, accessible health care for all Americans," Pelosi told reporters after a White House meeting with Obama and other House leaders.

    Obama set the deadline at July 31 and said it shows "the kind of urgency and dedication that we need."

    Of course, the Senate also has to pass a health care bill and both chambers must agree on the details. And Republicans will have something to say about the debate.

    Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said Republicans want to work with Democrats, but "we find private, one-party meetings that set arbitrary deadlines a sign of a troubling lack of bipartisanship."

    more...
    posted by citizen jerk @ 10:26 AM  
    1 Comments:
    • At 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      Real Healthcare Reform:
      Changing Priorities, Incentives and the Rules of the Game; Creating an Electronic Health Record for Every Citizen Who Wants One



      If you have the financial resources of Bill Gates or Warren Buffett you needn’t pay money to a health plan each month, since if you get sick or injured – even very seriously - you have more than enough money to pay all your medical bills yourself.

      But those of us who have significantly less financial resources must find some other means of dealing with the thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars or more of medical expenses that we might incur should a serious illness or injury be our fate.

      Enter the concept of “health insurance”.

      Large numbers of individuals and/or their employers pay some money each month into one or another big pot called a “health plan”. Those individuals who remain essentially very healthy for many years and then suddenly die or perhaps leave a particular health plan for some other reason – if they have put more money into the pot than was taken out to pay all their medical expenses - wind up helping to pay the medical bills of those members of the health plan who become seriously ill or injured and incur a lot of medical expenses.

      Many Americans covered by some form of health insurance don’t seem to fully understand or perhaps choose to ignore the fact that if they become seriously ill or injured, for the most part their medical bills will be paid by the members of their health plan who have remained healthy. Keeping members of a health plan healthy by preventing illness and injury is critically important, but is something not currently given the high priority and attention it deserves.

      Some Americans believe that healthcare should become a “right” of every American citizen. If a nationalized single payer health plan were enacted, every American citizen who became ill or injured - for any reason whatsoever - and incurred significant medical expenses would for the most part have his or her medical bills paid by U.S. taxpayers. Many Americans oppose such a system for America recognizing that significant difficulties such as long waiting periods and rationing of care exist in such types of all inclusive government healthcare systems that currently operate in other countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom.

      For any health plan to work which has a large number of people pooling their money to essentially pay the medical bills of whichever members of the plan become seriously ill or injured, rules must be established as to when and how much money may be taken out of the pot e.g. “legitimate” doctor bills and hospital bills. Equally important is keeping track of the amount of money that is being put into the pot each month in premiums paid by health plan members or their employers. If too much is being paid out in expenses as compared with the amount being received in premiums, the pot will soon become empty and the health plan will go broke.

      As previously mentioned, the monthly premiums paid by individuals or their employers go into a health plan’s big pot from which “covered” healthcare expenses are paid. But also from this pot are paid all the health plan’s administrative expenses including what may be big salaries and golden parachutes for CEO’s and other “healthcare executives” – individuals who may be paid to find technicalities of one sort or another in the health plan’s agreements so the health plan can deny or reduce payments, raise premiums, cancel insurance, or in one way or another minimize or exclude “bad risks” from the health plan. All such questionable business practices are done to enable the health plan to make a profit and remain in business.

      Currently we are experiencing continual increases in healthcare costs that are unsustainable and which, if unchecked, will soon seriously threaten the future of the entire American economy. Healthcare costs must be controlled, but how? If a healthcare system made up of health plans is going to have a chance of both meeting the needs of health plan members and simultaneously develop the ability to keep costs under control, priorities, incentives, and the rules by which the game is played all must be changed.

      The good news is that a lot of illnesses and many injuries are actually preventable. But how will prevention ever become a top medical priority when doctors, hospitals, and other providers get paid largely for diagnosing and treating illness and injury, not for preventing it?

      Although health promotion and disease and injury prevention receive fashionable and socially acceptable lip service, the fact is that most of the participants in what should be more appropriately called our “sickness and injury care system” actually have no significant financial incentive whatsoever to spend any significant time and energy in genuinely promoting health and helping to prevent disease and injury.

      Much to the contrary. Other than the actual members of a health plan – patients and potential patients - and their employers and perhaps the employees of some health plans, most participants in our sickness and injury care system - because of the way they are paid - have an enormous (if unspoken) financial incentive for massive amounts of disease and injury – much of which is preventable – to continue to occur in America. Strictly from a financial point of view, for those whose incomes come solely from the treatment – not the prevention - of illness and injury, the more illness and injury that occurs, the better. And if the illness or injury is serious and requires perhaps many expensive tests, multiple surgical procedures, and other very complicated prolonged treatment in an intensive care unit, so much the better; just as long as those unfortunate individuals who happen to be ill or injured are “covered” by “good insurance”, i.e. health plans that are reliable bill payers.

      This is not to say that there are not some excellent very dedicated and hardworking doctors and other health professionals - although they are paid on a fee for service basis to care for illness and injury – who nevertheless attempt to essentially work themselves out of a job by making health promotion and disease and injury prevention a top priority with their patients.

      It should also be recognized that some existing health plans – e.g. Kaiser and Group Health - combine insurance, doctors, and hospitals into a single entity in such a way that provides everyone - including all the health plan’s doctors - a real incentive to spend time and effort with patients on health promotion and disease and injury prevention as well as on early diagnosis and treatment. But unfortunately the above examples represent only a small part of the sickness and injury care system that currently exists throughout America.

      For the most part - because of the way they are compensated – the majority of doctors and other professional providers, acute care hospitals and long term care facilities, pharmaceutical manufactures and pharmacists, medical and surgical equipment manufacturers and personal injury and malpractice attorneys - among others - depend mightily on massive amounts of disease and injury occurring in America; and these participants in our sickness and injury care system would be significantly negatively impacted if a lot of the preventable illnesses and injuries were actually prevented. This must be changed.

      Unless the incentives and rules are changed to give as many participants as possible a real financial stake in health promotion and disease and injury prevention, in early diagnosis and treatment, and in maximizing health and minimizing disease and injury, healthcare costs in America will never be brought under control. Making appropriate changes in the incentives and the rules of the game is the real task and challenge of “healthcare reform”.

      What about financial incentives for individual health plan members? Should individuals receive a financial incentive to be healthy? It is well recognized that engaging in regular exercise, abstaining from tobacco, and eating moderately so as to maintain a reasonably normal body weight are all significant factors in helping to promote an individual’s health and wellness. These healthy behaviors can all be confirmed by simple tests performed or ordered in a doctor’s office. Why shouldn’t those individuals who practice these health promoting behaviors and comply with recommended immunization schedules and appropriate preventive screening examinations such as for colon cancer and breast cancer pay significantly less in premiums to their health plan each month than those who don’t?

      To really reform healthcare we must find ways – through changes in incentives and the rules of the game - to actually prevent what is preventable, to maximize early diagnosis and treatment, and minimize disease and injury with all its associated cost. We must find ways for participants to be part of our “healthcare system” and not just a part of our “sickness and injury care system”.

      Significant changes in the rules of the game for our legal system – tort reform – is also critically important so that the gaming of the system now being done by personal injury and malpractice attorneys and their clients can be ended and so that the exorbitant costs to physicians and other professionals for malpractice insurance can be dramatically reduced.

      Truly transforming our “sickness and injury care system” into a “healthcare system” by making significant changes in the incentives and the rules of the game may seem to be a formidable task and one that probably has never really been done before on a large scale anywhere in the world. But it is a worthy task and a critically important task for the future of America and its people.

      One significant part of this process is developing the capability of creating an electronic health record for every American citizen who wants one. We need a standardized framework that will allow every American citizen to have an individual electronic health record – a computerized medical record - that can be accessed by all the doctors who care for a particular individual, regardless of wherever on the planet the doctors or the patients happen to be. It would be like having your own personal online banking account that only you have the password to, but which you can share with the doctors who are caring for you, wherever you or they may be.

      I applaud those who are using their energy and expertise to upgrade our deplorable current paper medical records system and bring medical records in America into the 21st century. Developing a standardized framework for an electronic health record - for every citizen who wants one – created by your doctor with your assistance, with proper security and safeguards - is something that our national government can and should do as a part of healthcare reform.

      If done well, electronic health records will be transformational in helping doctors efficiently and effectively care for patients and will save an enormous amount of time, effort, and money which is currently wasted on needless and frequently inaccurate duplication. And having an accurate electronic health record for an individual will also facilitate appropriate health promotion and disease and injury prevention for that individual. Like the telephone and the computer, someday we will all wonder how we ever got along without individual electronic health records.

      But all this requires action, not just words. Now is the time for Americans and their leaders and doctors and other health professionals to step up to the plate and begin the process of transforming our “American Sickness and Injury Care System” into an “American Healthcare System” that is worthy of our great country.

      Robert Westafer M.D.

       
    Post a Comment
    << Home
     
    Search
    Last 10 Posts
    Big Oil & Alternative Fuels
  • 4 Ways to Ride Oil's Ups and Downs
  • The real reason ethanol won't—and can't—cut American oil imports
  • Let the Drilling Begin
  • The Corn Ethanol Juggernaut
  • Why Does Gasoline Cost So Much?
  • The Good News About Energy
  • The Coming Energy Wars
  • Quest for Oil:Where to LookIs the Question
  • Food Report Criticizes Biofuel Policies
  • Global Hot Spots of Hunger Set to Explode
  • Biofuels getting blame for high food prices
  • U.S. to give $200M in food aid
  • Food inflation, riots stir concern
  • Bush officials defend ethanol as food prices rise
  • US Federal Reserve releases report saying labor, energy are 42 percent cost of food, farm inputs 19 percent, as “blame battle” rages over food prices
  • The cost of green tinkering is in famine and starvation
  • The rise of the new energy world order
  • Americans now spend a larger share of their income on energy than at any time since 1986
  • Hypocrites on Gas - Bipartisan US Energy Idiocy
  • Government Can Mandate What Profit is 'Fair' for Business
  • Archives
    Analysis / In Depth
    Links
    Brought To You By