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CNBC Forgets To Vet Guest, Professor Says Obamacare Is A ‘Scapegoat’ For Employers

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CNBC Forgets To Vet Guest, Professor Says Obamacare Is A ‘Scapegoat’ For Employers


The Affordable Care Act’s so-called “employer mandate” requires companies with over 50 employees to provide health insurance for all employees who work 30 hours or more per week. Right-wingers have been arguing that this is hurting the job market and the Obama administration recently announced that it would be delaying implementation of the mandate for a year.

But that hasn’t stopped the attacks on the law. CNBC’s Kudlow Report had a panel on Monday evening to blast Obamacare for killing jobs. Their only problem was that one of their guests, Duquesne University adjunct professor Clint Benjamin, didn’t get the memo that the Affordable Care Act is ruining his life.

The show’s host asserted that the health care law has left him “stuck in the middle.”

Benjamin responded, “To a certain degree I am. But in the long run, I think it’s probably convenient for people to blame the Affordable Care Act.”

The host didn’t appreciate that kind of language. “Why do you say ‘blame?'” he asked. “Blame it for what?”

“Well, just the idea that the Affordable Care Act is a convenient, dare I say, scapegoat for some of the things that are going on. I’m just a humble purveyor of composition,” Benjamin said. “But the idea that some of these firms and my employer especially — I can only speak for really my employer — but the idea that maybe we could… it seems like a convenient workaround by my employer.”

“That’s crazy,” Grace Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute, interrupted. “It’s much more difficult to manage two or three part-time employees than one or two full-time employees. It’s more cumbersome, much more expensive, much more training. Employers would like to have 40-hour-a-week employees. But when this law passed in 2010, they started having to figure out how they will restructure their businesses, not because it’s the right thing for their businesses, but because they’re forced to in order to continue to have any kind of margin at all that will allow them to keep their doors open.”

Slate‘s Matt Yglesias made this chart to demonstrate the hollowness of the claim that Obamacare is to blame for businesses moving more employees to part-time:


“It was part and parcel of the general economic decline that began in early 2008 and continued until the spring of 2009,” Yglesias writes.

This chart shows that fewer employees are working part-time now than when the law was passed.

Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 9.51.36 AM

(Hat Tip: @MosheMarvit)


  1. FredAppell July 16, 2013

    I agree with professor Clint Benjamin and the premise of this article. Some employers have been trying to extricate themselves their responsibilities to their work force for a long time. Whatever happen to the adage that a happy and healthy worker is a productive worker? That kind of productivity is both beneficial and profitable and history proves that.

    1. angelsinca July 17, 2013

      Health care should always have been the responsiiblity of the individual. Pushing that responsibility onto the government or the employer allows them to make your life decisions for you. Eventually, you won’t be able to get a job because something in your lifestyle is considered a health risk.

      1. FredAppell July 17, 2013

        What do you think insurance companies are doing. Your whole statement is without merit and I’m sick and tired of you conservatives pushing your Ayn Rand b/s on the rest of us. It’s been working around the world in spite of the lie’s that you and your friends peddle.

        1. angelsinca July 17, 2013

          I understand what the insurers are doing. You miss the point about taking responsiblility for your own health. Someone else MUST pay because you shouldn’t? Are you capable of making a remark without muddying the discussion with political party muckracking?

          1. FredAppell July 17, 2013

            Perfectly capable and no I didn’t miss the point. If I understand you correctly, you’re point is that if someone goes home from work and they engage in risky behavior, why should the employer pay for mistakes or as you put it, lifestyle. But you also mentioned that under such a system a person could be barred from employment due to a health risk or poor lifestyle decisions.
            Isn’t drug testing a form of that very policy? I have also heard stories of people losing their jobs for having a gambling problem
            or my personal favorite, people being barred from jobs for having a poor credit rating or too much debt. I didn’t make that stuff up either, it really happens.

            The fact is, my current employer was paying for some of my insurance, he stopped paying, took my raise away and still took
            more of my income on top of that. Incidentally, my job description and responsibilities have increased but if I were to leave the company, I would be facing much more uncertainty so I deal with it the best I can. That is how I perceive all business owners to be. I won’t change my opinion but at least you know why I feel that way. Let me add one more thing, my father was a Teamster and I wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for his insurance coverage provided by his employer through the union.

          2. angelsinca July 17, 2013

            Hoping for a better situation for you Fred. Sounds like you are being urged out. There’s something better for you, probably. I’m still recovering from open heart surgery and had to take a physically demanding job at half what I was making before the HA. Working in the triple heat outdoors is tough, but it shows the spouse I care, and the PT is needed anyway. Deeply respect your opinion. You’ll be fine.

          3. FredAppell July 17, 2013

            Thank you, but compared to open heart surgery my situation doesn’t compare…I didn’t mean for my rant to sound like a complaint. I feel lucky to be working and happy to be healthy enough to do so. I too work a physical labor job but since I make deliveries, at least I have long periods in an air conditioned truck. On the day’s when I am a sales person it’s actually a lot more stressful. Anyway, I am sorry I snapped at you earlier, you and I have always been amicable but I was annoyed at something else and you know the rest. Take it easy out there, you have two strikes against you with the HA and the heat. The respect is mutual.

          4. John Michael Hutton August 2, 2013

            BAd credit or large debt could be a problem because they might be more inclined to steal from the employer?> Makes sense, I guess.

          5. FredAppell August 2, 2013

            That may be the logic that companies are using and I believe that is a form of discrimination, however, try proving it. They make no bones about the fact that they can bar employment based on those conditions. We’re smart enough to know what is being done but powerless to stop it. By the way, I enjoyed some of your other posts.

        2. David Toms July 18, 2013

          Yeah change the best heath care system in the world and make it average. This is what liberals do to people.

          1. Eric July 29, 2013

            BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…The best healthcare in the world that was rated 38th out of 190 in 2000 or 37th out of the 190 in 2010 by the World Health Organiztion? THAT best healthcare in the world? BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Flat out lying, or, sorry, mis-stating the truth, this is what people living in the Fox bubble do.

          2. David Toms July 30, 2013

            I am speaking from my own experiences, not for Fox News. Sheep, what a bunch of sheep.

          3. Eric July 30, 2013

            I’m a sheep for looking up credible and scientifically-based numbers supporting my postion? Go baaaaaaa-rk up another tree with your opinions and come back with some actual facts to support your notions…

      2. kanawah July 19, 2013

        The main short coming of the ACA is that it did not at a minimum have a strong wide ranging public option. The best situation would be a single payer, government run system.

        The US is the only developed nation that does not have a national single payer all inclusive health care system.

        As a result, we have the most expensive health care system, by 2 times the nest closest nation.

        We get (last time I saw anything on it) the 37th over all results for the world. There are third world nation that have better results.

        The worst is we are 51st in infant mortality and 48th in life expectancy.

        1. angelsinca July 20, 2013

          The notion of a US-government run anything is alarming. The advent implmentations of the ACA continue to cause the cost of health care and insurance to rise. I believe the high infant mortality is driven by the excess number of US abortions.

          1. Eric July 30, 2013

            Both CA, NY and OR have stated that insurance costs are going DOWN because of the ACA, but don’t let facts get in the way of your argument. Your second statement is just plain illogical and fundamentally backwards. Being able to plan the timing of pregnancies is critical in lowering infant mortality rates. The studies supporting this notion are overwhelming, whereas your uneducated opinion is not…

          2. angelsinca July 31, 2013

            “Both CA, NY and OR have stated that insurance costs are going DOWN because of the ACA,”

            Whoever said this isn’t paying our increased health insurance premiums, much less the higher co-pays and annual higher deductible. But don’t let real life experience get in the way of ignoring fact.

            “Being able to plan the timing of pregnancies is critical in lowering infant mortality rates.”

            Agree. The infant mortality rate ranking as ’51st’ in the wordl has everything to do with abortion and what other countries deem a still birth vs a live birth. When you use the term, “The studies show overwhelming evidence..”, please be prepared to show proof of ‘the studies’ before citing someone else as uneducated. Are your student loans in default?

          3. John Michael Hutton August 2, 2013

            I’m curious. How many plan on having a child? Isn’t it more like, “You’re having a what?” No planning there just plain lust.

          4. John Michael Hutton August 2, 2013

            VA seems to work well for vets. Congress loves their health care and I do believe that is administered by the federal government. Now pal, if it’s good enough for congress, it sure is good enough for me. Better than some cheapassed insurance companies bean counter deciding what I need or don’t need.

          5. angelsinca August 3, 2013

            My brother gets his health care form the VA. He waits months for an appt. With what the gov’t pays the VA docs, they aren’t exactly the cream of the crop. Comgress’s use of Walter Reed MC can’t be construed as typical VA care.

        2. John Michael Hutton August 2, 2013

          BINGO. You win an extra cookie.

    2. David Toms July 18, 2013

      The adage is: A happy worker is a productive worker. Nothing about health there.

      1. FredAppell July 18, 2013

        Happiness and health are synonymous. You are right about one thing, we do have the best health care system in the world if you can pay for it.
        Where exactly is your evidence that liberals make everything average, they try to make everything inclusive…sorry if that isn’t working for you.

        1. John Michael Hutton August 2, 2013

          I believe it was ReThuglicans who gave us mediocrity in education with their No Child Gets Ahead. The dumbest thing I ever saw as a teacher. Teach to the test and if they don’t measure up, make the test easier. Conservatives want to treat kids/students like widgits. Except these widgits move, talk, think(sometimes) and create chaos(sometimes).
          Oh yeah, and if some conservatives had their way, there would be no public education which definitely would dumb down the majority of people in this country. So you would be responsible for your own education just like your own health care.
          No one ever said conservatives were very bright. they never look at the consequences of their simple answers to complex questions.

          1. FredAppell August 2, 2013

            That’s why I support progressive ideals…I don’t want us going back to the Gilded Age. I am genuinely afraid of that happening. The Race To The Top can’t be very popular with you and your fellow teachers either. All I see right now is Bushes policies being tweaked a little bit, renamed and rolled out to us as something entirely different and better. FYI, when one refuses to even ask the complex questions, one can not be expected to solve them.

      2. John Michael Hutton August 2, 2013

        Sorry David, its a healthy worker is a more productive worker and that has been proven statistically over and over.

  2. TrollAlert50 July 16, 2013

    Apparently the author forgot to do his research. It only takes 30 hrs to be considered full-time under Obamacare, not 32 hrs.

  3. elw July 16, 2013

    I give the gentleman who pointed out the weakness of having health care coverage linked to the employer 10 stars. That was done by Conservatives way back in the 1930s and 40s when they were worried that we were headed to a single payer system. That move buried the single payer movement by giving tax breaks to companies who offered the insurance and to employee by not taxing the cost of their coverage. it was a short-sighted move and we have been paying for it every since as shown by the millions of hard working Americans who have not been able to get coverage because their employer does not cover them or they are self-employed and cannot get or afford coverage in the individual market.

    1. GreginPottsville July 16, 2013

      Actually, it wasn’t “giving tax breaks” that started the employer offering health insurance. It was due to the gov’t overreaching with its wage freeze. The only way an employer could give a raise was by offering health insurance, which wasn’t taxable to the employee. So really, it was the governments fault in the first place.

      1. elw July 16, 2013

        Do you ever get tired of being wrong?

        1. GreginPottsville July 16, 2013

          This was your original reply before you went back and edited it.

          “Actually as usual you have your facts twisted.

          1:49 p.m., Tuesday July 16”

          So you are saying there was no wage freeze by the gov’t in the 40’s and you are saying employers did not give employees health insurance because they could not legally give raises? Please help me out here.
          What “facts” do I have “twisted”?

          1. elw July 16, 2013

            You are beyond help.

          2. GreginPottsville July 16, 2013

            I am glad to help you with actual history, not the liberal myth version you are used to. Good day.

  4. docb July 16, 2013

    Out of the mouths of the newbies who are immune to the mandatory PC of Corporate owned media with an agenda! Fair enough!

  5. charleo1 July 16, 2013

    Well, if employers can no longer afford to insure their employees. Then, perhaps
    it’s time to move on from that? To say well, now that employers can’t afford full
    time workers, even though they are better for their businesses. But, the health
    insurance is eating their profit margins. And ObamaCare will cause them to close
    their doors. The answer is not to do nothing, and by 2020 have 100 million people
    getting their care out of emergency rooms. Right, or wrong? Then, what happens when they can’t
    pay their bills, and the government can’t pay the hospitals for indigent care,
    and they can’t keep their doors open? I think it’s the default answer some seem
    to be looking for now, is hospitals will start turning people away, without insurance,
    or the provable assets to pay Yes, this will necessarily include children, and
    young Fathers, and Mothers. Just like, in the let him die glimpse into the corporate future, we seen in the GOP debates last year. This will also bankrupt many parents.
    None but the very well off will be secure in their retirements. Unless they are willing
    to see a seriously ill Son, Daughter, or Grandchild, die from lack of care, or a life
    saving operation. Because they refuse to stand good for the bills. Or, part of them.
    Tell me that’s not going to happen when the number of insured reaches 100/150
    million Americans? Debt, due to medical bills remained the top reason for Middle
    Class bankruptcies again last year. Yet, State, and Federal governments, paid by
    far, the lion’s share of unpaid, and uncollectible, indigent health costs. Still public
    hospitals in dozens of major cities across the Country, remain on a path to insolvency themselves. Jackson Hospital in Miami Fl. runs perpetually, with only
    a, 7 to 10 day cash reserve to pay staff salaries, and keep the doors open, to
    serve the service based economy of Miami-Dade County. Where the uninsured
    rate is more than 50% in a population of about 3.5 million.
    In my opinion the problem began when, do to a very determined, and constant
    effort, over many years. Union membership that in 1957 included 37% of all
    workers in the private sector. Where the percentage of union members insured
    was 100%. Union membership is now at all time lows, with only 7% of U.S.
    workers in the private sector being members of any union.
    If you want a smoking gun to convict the culprit that started the crumbling of the,
    profit based healthcare delivery system. Paid for by employer provided insurance plans, sold by the insurance industry. It was the loss of the worker’s ability to effectively incentivize, or bargain, by themselves, with these large corporate employers, to keep their insurance plans. And, with the unions mostly gone,
    they no longer influence, and support the private sector wages, and benefit packages. And the results of that are a big factor in what’s caused the collapse.
    The story goes, if taxes were lowered. Unions weren’t there, killing profits with
    their unreasonable demands. Employers could run their businesses better, make better hiring, and firing decisions, and they’d make bigger profits. And wages,
    and benefits would be better. Minus all the strikes, and dues money. The new story
    is wages are so much lower in the third world. And the corporations can’t compete in the global economy, without a big cut in their taxes too. And, employers can’t hire full time, even while paying wages that have lost 1/2 of their buying power in the last 40 years. When many were also funding health, and retirement plans. Now, they can’t afford to hire none but no benefit, part timers. Which is probably more true
    now than ever before. What happen? What happened was promises were broken.
    But, that’s what happens when enormous structural changes to a very prosperous
    economy, are applied, and they fail. When things do not work as advertised, there
    are consequences to that. When unions are demonized, and removed, and it turns
    out they were preforming a useful, and necessary function in an economy. And
    things sour, and the economy gets harmed in the process, there are unpleasant choices that must be made. And, I hope we’re careful. Because, if our next
    decisions turn out to be as big a blunders as supply side economics. The same
    rules, will apply.

  6. Jesse4 July 16, 2013

    It’s way past time to end the stupidity of having employers involved in health care.
    That system was invented as a way to get around WWII wage controls, and those controls are long gone. There are cheaper and more efficient ways to do the job.

    1. GreginPottsville July 16, 2013

      So you agree the actions of the gov’t directly led to the pre-Obamacare system. And you really think gov’t is the answer to replace that system?

      1. Jesse4 July 16, 2013

        Yes. Nobody has ever thought of a better idea.

        1. GreginPottsville July 16, 2013

          Well, when your best idea is to rely on gov’t, I don’t think you ever had an idea in the first place.

          1. Jesse4 July 16, 2013

            Let me know when you come up with a better idea.

      2. Urbane_Gorilla July 16, 2013

        If you have never experienced another country’s system, you don’t know what you are talking about. But, even here in the US, we have very functional Medicare and VA health care. Why is it such a stretch to expand it to all Americans?

        1. GreginPottsville July 16, 2013

          Well, my wife has lived longer in the Middle East and Asia than she has lived here. So I would think she is a good judge. She says by far we have the best care, and she is very worried about how Obamacare is going to erode that.
          You just want Medicare for all. Just say it. But be careful what you wish for.

          1. Urbane_Gorilla July 16, 2013

            Fair enough. I have never been treated in Asia. As I say, my experience was in Britain and France (and Germany) and I have heard very good things about So America as well.

            And I thought I was clear. Yes. I think Medicare for all is a great idea. In fact, I’d roll the VA health system into it as well. Cut the VA duplication and remove the middlemen.

          2. GreginPottsville July 16, 2013

            Gov’t would be the “middlemen”.

          3. Urbane_Gorilla July 16, 2013

            The government has economies of scale that reduce costs (as long as Congress doesn’t roll over and spread their legs for the various lobbyists that buy them off) and our government is non-profit. Both of those can provide massive savings. And for the most part, the VA and Medicare both function pretty well.

            I just posted a lengthier reply to GreginPottsville which covered this issue in a bit more detail.

          4. GreginPottsville July 17, 2013

            And if the gov’t was the cause of your dead wife because of waiting in line, would your whole argument do a 180?

          5. Urbane_Gorilla July 17, 2013

            No..But it’s clear to me that our system has major flaws..and at least from my family’s experience the whole “government death panel” issue is BS..We already have it in our for profit system.

          6. GreginPottsville July 17, 2013

            It WILL most surely be there with Obamacare.

          7. Urbane_Gorilla July 17, 2013

            Well.. Actually, no. There are no death panels, and now with Obamacare, people cannot be denied payment or coverage based on pre-existing conditions.. So the death panel BS is all in the minds of people like Bachmann and Palin, Fox News and Rush.

            Furthermore, I just rec’d this in my email… It seriously looks like ‘Obamacare’ is working, and very well, for those States that accept it. (For those that don’t…well, good luck!)

            New York Obamacare exchange will slice health care premiums in half – Jul. 17, 2013 – http://money.cnn.com/2013/07/17/news/economy/obamacare-health-insurance-new-york/index.html

            Will there be problems? Sure. Will it be perfect? Why would it? Nothing else in life is. Do I think it’s a good deal. Damned straight!

          8. GreginPottsville July 18, 2013

            And the board of unelected bueracrats that decides who gets what is called?

          9. Urbane_Gorilla July 18, 2013

            Well..I dunno… Maybe we call them “Better than the board of unelected Blue Cross-Anthem-Aetna-lets-make-money-off-of-denying-coverage that decides what you don’t get”. My wife for example died of breast cancer under Blue Shield because they didn’t think a 40 year old woman with a family history of cancer needed a mammogram. I was refused an MRI when my back went out (I spent a week peeing in a bucket because I couldn’t walk to the bathroom)… And lets not forget the millions (yes millions) who are denied coverage for existing conditions…like my neighbor’s 18 year old daughter who tested positive for herpes (30% of all teens do BTW..) ..

            I have to tell you. That argument is plain stupid.

          10. Allan Richardson July 17, 2013

            Better a government elected BY THE PEOPLE (which we are working on getting BACK) than private companies controlling who can and who cannot get medical care.

          11. plc97477 July 19, 2013

            Are you afraid of the big scary government?

          12. GreginPottsville July 16, 2013

            Not busting on your So America reference, but I dated a woman about 10 years ago who came here from Bolivia. She was a dentist in Bolivia. Here, she was the equivilant of the person who hands the stuff to the dentist while the actual dentist works on the patient.

          13. Urbane_Gorilla July 16, 2013

            It’s true that professionals from other countries have trouble getting jobs here as they don’t have the required US degree. I have a B.A. and a Masters degree (US) in education, counseling and guidance, and couldn’t get a job as a teacher here. I would have had to go back and redo my B.A. over again, as it is ‘out of date’. Go figure.

            I didn’t really want to get into the story, because it’s pretty long, but the upshot is a guy I know here in Grass Valley, CA has had serious heart problems for about 20 years. He has seen a doctor pretty much once a week for that complete period. He went to visit family (mother’s side) in So. America and while there, felt he had the flu. They insisted on calling a doctor, who showed up at their home 3 hours later and ran the normal tests you or I would receive at any check up. The Dr spoke English and asked several questions and set him up for a battery of tests the next day..MRI, CAT scans etc.. and said he felt he knew what the problem was by listening to his heart, but would reserve judgement till after the scans. The Dr met him at the hospital after the scans and told him he had serious heart problems and was curious why he didn’t have a pacemaker. The Dr. wrote him a prescription, and an explanation of his findings and copies of all the scans to give to his Dr back here in Calif. Total cost $525. My friend returned to the US and had a pacemaker installed that week and is in line for a new heart.

            My wife’s family have a history of cancer. She died at age 49 after battling breast cancer for 5 years. Our local Blue Cross Dr didn’t think a mammogram was necessary at age 40.

            I was put on Lipitor and after complaining of weakness and lack of energy was prescribed variously testosterone supplements and happy pills. I went off the only meds I was on (Lipitor) and a week later was feeling considerably better.

            I could go on and on. From what I’ve experienced of US health care, Europe has us beat hands down.

      3. Allan Richardson July 17, 2013

        The actions which were forced on the government by, oh, a little thing called WORLD WAR TWO, yes. Our allies created national health plans after the war because they were starting over to rebuild their economies and did not have a prosperous private sector; we had so much demand in the economy that we did not have to do that AT THAT TIME.

        Our allies in the war, and even our former enemies, now have health systems that keep MORE PEOPLE HEALTHIER, by every statistical measure, for LESS money (about half) than we spend on our private dysfunctional system. Do the research yourself. And they have gone past us in economic growth because their companies KNOW their employees are staying healthier, without paying separately for health insurance (it is rolled into their taxes, for which they get better services in other areas than we do, as well). And skilled people who have built up savings to start a business can take that risk WITHOUT being forced to stay in their old job just to keep medical insurance that they may not be able to re-purchase on their own.

    2. Urbane_Gorilla July 16, 2013

      Thank you. You are the first person I’ve ever seen post this fact. Americans do not understand why we have the health care system we do have here…And because other systems aren’t like ours, by definition they are bad. The truth is simpler. Our system came about as a simple WWII work around.


      1. GreginPottsville July 16, 2013

        I think we do understand. Most everyone I know understands how the wage restraints instituted by the gov’t caused the employer based system. That always has been common knowledge. Why would you want to make gov’t in control of it all when the system you despise was caused by the gov’t in the first place?

        1. Jesse4 July 16, 2013

          Let’s try some of your own logic here:

          So, considering the fact that the wage controls that created the current system were the result of Hitler starting WWII, why do you support continuing the health care system Hitler caused?

        2. Urbane_Gorilla July 16, 2013

          I think you mean i despise the system we have in the US? I’m not sure if despise is correct. It’s too expensive and not very effective. I have lived in Europe and used the National Health in England and France and found both to be superior to the US.. So I guess by taking out the middlemen (Insurers) and running our health care like Medicare or the VA would at least be a step in the right direction. And I think you misunderstand how our system arose. It wasn’t generated by the government, it came about as a result of government war time policies. Blaming the results of government policies is like blaming earthquakes on insurance companies.

          1. GreginPottsville July 16, 2013

            Well I am not sure all would agree with you. I was roomates with a woman from England, who spent a few years here studying and interning. She had a far different view from you regarding the health care in England and that here. The only thing she said was better in England was the cost, and that is relative.
            Anything the government runs is innefficient and costs way more than they ever anticipate. Medicare is going bankrupt. The only way to save it is to jack up taxes. What do you think it would cost to run the entire country on Medicare?
            In addition, you write about the middleman. The gov’t IS the middleman in Canada and England, is it not?

          2. Urbane_Gorilla July 16, 2013

            Fair enough. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. However, I have lived under both systems and my experience has been quite the opposite of hers.

            Medicare is ‘going bankrupt’ because it deals with so many for profit businesses. Everything from drugs to hospitals. Most other countries have tighter control of the profit function in health care. And yes, government would be running the program, but government is not a for profit business..unlike our insurers who have to and do seriously turn healthy profits. Why would anyone be accepting of paying an increased health care cost just so an exec at Blue Shield or Aetna can pull down a few million per year?

            This is the Zacks review of the Health Care Provider industry: Health Insurance Stock Outlook – July 2013 – http://finance.yahoo.com/news/health-insurance-stock-outlook-july-215502176.html

          3. GreginPottsville July 17, 2013

            Well, the other side is that for profits run much more efficiently than any gov’t program could hope to. Have you ever had to deal with someone in gov’t for a service as opposed to a for profit service? It is like night and day. In gov’t, there is no need to streamline, there is no need to be efficient. There is no need to do better with less. They just confiscate more money from the taxpayer. I am not saying you are wrong. It is just an opinion that an all gov’t plan would work better. For me, I would be rather scared if, for instance, I had a dispute with what procedure is covered and what is not and the only one I could deal with is the gov’t. I would much rather have a choice. And as you can tell, I don’t trust gov’t
            Do you know that insurance companies have a profit margin of about 2% or less? That is hardly “healthy profits” or as Nancy Pelosi would put it “obscene profits”. That is a myth.

          4. Urbane_Gorilla July 17, 2013

            Actually, I spent 21 years in the Insurance business. I’ve never said that Insurance makes obscene profits, but I’ll be willing to say that the 2% figure is way off the mark. There are ways to massage numbers and I watched my company do so for years.

            I distrust govt for many things..Our excessive Defense budget ($1.08 Trillion p/y, or 1/3 of our discretionary spending), the recent popularized spying on our citizenry, a dysfunctional Congress, etc., but have worked for and dealt with govt, and disagree. I posted to some other person the results of polls for both VA health services and Medicare and both topped our for-pay system in satisfaction. I like many govt systems that work very well & don’t know why people view govt as defective..Schools, DMV, police services, fire dept, roads..etc..etc. I think it’s easy to paint govt as all bad and slothful.

          5. GreginPottsville July 17, 2013

            No offense, but have you seen or heard any of the IRS hearings? What was going on there certainly is NOT a govt system working well. And that is scary, considering the power that dept has.

          6. Urbane_Gorilla July 17, 2013

            OK. This is pretty much off topic for a blog on Obamacare….and it’s a fallacious argument : Generalization – “The politician cheated on his expenses, therefore all politicians are cheats.”

            But, sure..I live in California, home of Darrell Issa, so I’m very well aware of the issue.. But the issues involved in the IRS hearings have no relevance to Health Care. In fact, even the GOP told Issa to shut up about it because it was a lot of hype. True, Tea Partiers were targeted..So was Greenpeace, Liberal groups, Pro-Israel groups and even Mid West News organizations. Unfortunately, I have to disagree with you. I think the IRS was doing what it should and probably should double down on 501(c) groups. I can’t see Congress drawing up cleaner legislation though, so I doubt it will happen. Oh, I’m not afraid of the IRS. I am very concerned about the recent NSA spying though.

          7. Allan Richardson July 17, 2013

            That’s 2 percent AFTER deducting the huge bonuses their CEO’s get, and the bonuses paid out to gatekeeper employees who are paid to DENY care. There are your “death panels,” Greg, in the PRIVATE SECTOR.

            You just said that government is not trying to be efficient, so IF that is true, they would have less reason to DENY care that is necessary for the patient than an insurance company that makes a profit by denying care.

          8. GreginPottsville July 17, 2013

            To Deny or to Not Deny might just well be based on how much paperwork the poor gov’t worker would have to for each. Don’t want to be late for that line dancing in the afternoon.

          9. Allan Richardson July 17, 2013

            Any worker, government or private sector, who was caught doing something like that would be severely disciplined, and you know it. Somehow you think that ALL government workers are slackers, like the “slacker” police and firefighters who may save your life one day, and the “slacker” air traffic controllers who guide your airplanes.

            But even if this charge were true, it’s better than a private sector worker who gets a thousand dollar BONUS for killing off an “unprofitable” policyholder.

          10. GreginPottsville July 18, 2013

            Add back the bonuses and you are at about 2.1% rather than 2%, seriously.

          11. enkelin July 17, 2013

            That is after the give all of their executives multimillion dollar bonuses and their shareholders billions in dividends.

          12. GreginPottsville July 18, 2013

            What accounting class taught you that? Dividends are a transfer of equity, and not an expense. Paying out dividends has no affect on profit margin whatsoever. You are welcome on that little educational moment.

          13. enkelin July 18, 2013

            So you mean to say that they dont have to first EARN the money to pay the dividends? I understand that the stock drops on Ex dividend day the amount of the dividend, but if the company has no positive cash flow they most likely wont be paying a dividend. I have recieved dividends for over 30 years? How about you? Believe me if a company dosent have excess profits they wont be paying dividends for long based on the stock price. You need to understand how publically traded companies work a little better. Maybe if you understood Micro Economics instead of just accounting you might understand how Private Insurance companies cost you way more than they should for premiums. And a large part of that is dividends that they pay to people who own their stocks from all over the world. (here is a hint, the price of the stock usually includes the cash on hand as well as many other factors like plant and equipment, forward revenue etc etc. If they have 2% margin instead of 35% margin the price will reflect that as well as the amount of the dividend or lack thereof).

          14. Tom_D44 July 17, 2013

            Government is not a “for profit business”? What do you call lobbying? What do you call the kickbacks, and favors our representatives get in return for votes to take care of their friends? What do you call the inside information that these guys use to buy and sell property, and invest in things that net them huge returns? What do you call the pork imbedded in these bills, which have nothing to do with the subject of the bill and only to do with paying back favors to bundlers, campaign managers, big donors and unions? These people have been skimming off the backs of their constituents for ever, for their own personal gain, and are corrupt at the core. And finally, what do you call the process of collecting more and more power, through the implementation of policy and laws, and the dissemination of misinformation and partial truths which they release daily to the lap dog media, all to control the people? That is profit in the non monetary sense and is the worst crime of all. And they package it all up with a nice pretty little bow as if they are doing something great for the people. Healthcare is not and has never been about the people. Its about paybacks, its about control, and its about power and votes – period.

            I will take my chances with the corporations, whose profits create the motivation for efficiency, and the advancement of new technologies, and which are controlled by competition in the market along with, what I would hope to be, limited, sensible, and intelligent regulation by the government – not the BS games the government inspectors were playing with BP when the oil rig failed, or with the banks when they knowingly let them get to the brink of collapse and then dolled out all of our money to bail them out. Corporations can be currupt but if the rules of the game are set up correctly, there are actual consequenses for those who break them, and the politicians, who are supposed to have our backs, show some integrity and refuse to play the game, the system should work.

          15. Allan Richardson July 17, 2013

            Unfortunately, “efficiency” often creates incentives to harm one’s customers (and non-customers, such as people who drink the mercury-polluted water from a manufacturer, but do not buy those particular products), if one can get away with it. In the case of health insurance, this is most obvious: if you need an operation costing $50K to save your life, and they do not expect you to stick around AFTER that operation long enough to pay an additional $50K in premiums, they can make more profit by LETTING YOU DIE. That is the “death panel” at work.

            Even other products and services cost lives because bean counters cut corners on safety: the infamous Pinto gas tank (yes, we could make it stronger, but it would cost more than the wrongful death settlements we would have to pay); the sugar mill explosion in south Georgia a few years ago; and the West, TX fertilizer plant just recently. But three industries have our very lives in their hands: doctors and hospitals; drugs and medical devices; and INSURANCE. And you trust a CEO of a company that makes profits for someone else if you die more than you trust a civil servant who must follow rules made by an official that you helped to elect?

          16. GreginPottsville July 17, 2013

            I trust a CEO over an amateur line dancer any day.

          17. Sand_Cat July 18, 2013

            More fool you.

          18. John Michael Hutton August 2, 2013

            That explains a lot about Pottsville.

          19. Tom_D44 July 17, 2013

            I disagree Allan. There is no incentive to harm your customers. That is bad for business. There are, however, unintended consequences of the process of developing products that go out to the market and sometimes those aren’t determined until after the damage has already been done. By the way there are also unintended consequences and victims of government policy as well. The bottom line is that life is not safe and to live it is to deal with risks. You risk getting killed everytime you get in your car – don’t blame it on the guy who invented or built the car. If a few evil people broke some rules when they built the pinto, and you think you will be able to develop a system to insulate yourself from all evil people you are fooling yourself. But to insinuate that every other corporation building cars at that time was also evil is a misrepresentation of the truth. Throw the evil ones in jail and move on. Corporations and their executives are but no means saints, but the government is not better – in fact it is worse. If you have a legitimate injustice brought on you by a private company you can sue for damages. If it is done to you by the government, they are insulated from that and you are screwed.

          20. Allan Richardson July 17, 2013

            You can sue for damages, UNLESS the corporation made you sign a rigged “arbitration agreement” when you signed up. The control you have over a corporation is not to do business with them — but if EVERY corporation in a market is bad (assuming you have a way to KNOW they are bad beforehand), you have no choice but to deal with that bad ones. The control you have over a government is to VOTE THEM OUT. But people like you vote for the people who want to shut the government out of the business of protecting you from bad businesses.

            I understand that not all car makers are evil, but the point was that a corporation’s INCENTIVE is to cut the costs that can be expressed in money, even if it harms somebody (just not too MANY somebodies, and not too OBVIOUSLY), while the incentive of a well-managed democracy is to protect its citizens, sometimes from foreign armed forces, sometimes from disasters and diseases, and sometimes from each other.

            If the ONLY control over corporations is the market, there is no incentive to spend more in order not to pollute, to spend more not to build a dangerous car, or to do anything ELSE that costs the company more, just to prevent harm that cannot EASILY be traced to that company. Like in the 1880’s when meat, milk, and other foods were often adulterated with toxic ingredients. Hey, there was no LAW against it, and if someone got sick or died, unless his family was rich enough to sue, there was no way to connect it to YOUR product, it was just his bad luck. So we got government inspection of our food for safety. It’s not perfect, but if you abolish it, you have NO protection. Most of us do NOT want to go back to those days.

          21. John Michael Hutton August 2, 2013

            REthuglicans want to dissolve those protections. No laws, no rules, no inspectors, no regulations, no regulators, its the wild wild west and buyer beware is a Republicans wet dream.
            All in the name of their God, GREED.

          22. John Michael Hutton August 2, 2013

            You mean like a drug company that knows that a diabetes drug causes an unacceptable risk to heart attacks and strokes but covers these studies up to the public and still charges $200 a month for that drug. OR a different diabetes drug that causes pancreatic cancer and cost the same? They knew but didn’t tell anyone because their bean counters told them it would be more profitable to kill some people that took the drug and pay the lawsuits then to take the damn thing off the market.
            And you want me to trust the drug companies and their partners in crime, the insurance companies all so their execs can pull down millions a year in salaries? Screw them, I’ll take the government, wouldn’t you?

          23. John Michael Hutton August 2, 2013

            The “death panel” is a canard brought to you by the TeaBaggers. That panel and law was included in Medicare by a Rethuglican from North Carolina and it wasn’t a “death panel” it was to inform people what options they had. MOrons repeating what Faux News misinforms the delusional dingbats that watch the clowns on the network.

          24. Urbane_Gorilla July 17, 2013

            Government is a ‘not for profit’ business. You’re confusing the whores in Congress with the functional arm of government. Lobbyists do not work for the government .They work for private enterprise. And I agree with you (as I believe I’ve stated before) that I think our Congress is pretty crooked. However, what does that have to do with medicare or Social Security as the functioning part that people like you or I deal with? In fact, your statements outline pretty much everything that went wrong with our Health Care overhaul. Lobbyists descended on Congress like fleas on a rabid dog and ‘voila’..We got what our Congressional whores gave us after they got their pound of flesh…BTW, all this hype about the Keystone pipeline..Guess who bought up shares in companies that would benefit from the Keystone? Boehner and his buddies. So in essence, I agree Congress is a screw job, but that has nothing to do with the actual functionaries of govt, which on the whole do a pretty good job.

          25. Cam79 July 27, 2013

            It doesn’t matter, the average government employee makes 85% more than the average private citizen that is paying their wages and retirement. Government organizations have no incentive to keep costs low, if they spend all their budget, they get an increased budget next year. They have no incentive to merge with other government offices to save money. They have no effective production evaluation, they just grow and grow whether they are effective, successful or practical. If a business is not efficient, cost saving and productive they will be driven out by their competition. The government has no competition and are pretty much free from public scrutiny or punishment. Many times public employees are put on PAID leave for misbehavior. The quest for profit is a natural budget minder. If you keep your costs low, you can yield a profit. This health care bill is adding a complete new bureaucracy of IRS employees, public consultants, government boards in hospitals, data bases, etc. That is ON TOP of the structure we have now. They are also extending health care to millions that haven’t purchased it. This isn’t free! We are already in serious national debt.

          26. Urbane_Gorilla July 28, 2013

            You are correct at how Govt budgets are produced (at least when I worked for the Govt 40 years ago and had to prepare a budget.) I have no idea how they work any longer. I doubt they still do it the same way. However, you are dead wrong about Govt -vs- private sector pay on any level you wish to measure it.

            – Chart of the Day: Federal Government Pay vs. Private Sector Pay http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/01/chart-day-federal-government-pay-vs-private-sector-pay

            – Pay gap between government, private sector widens to 34 percent – FederalNewsRadio.com – http://www.federalnewsradio.com/520/3085581/Pay-gap-between-government-private-sector-widens-to-34-percent

            – Federal Employees Paid A Quarter Less Than The Private Sector: BLS – http://bit.ly/11ogrI5

            When my wife died and I still had kids at home, I had to leave my private sector job because it required travel. I took a position in the County. It paid little and there was no upward mobility. I took a big hit.

          27. John Michael Hutton August 2, 2013

            Are you serious? All of your examples are examples of private greed not the purpose of government. YOur bitch is with the legal system that does nothing to punish those people that take advantage of the system.
            I suggest you take a remedial class in logic because you ain’t using what little you have.

          28. Rick926 July 17, 2013

            My ex-wife who had been an RN in the USA for over 25 years, was dead set against any kind of Public Health Care system, and fought againt the Plan Hillary Clinton was trying to Pass during the Clinton Administration.

            After we divorced, she re-married and moved to England with her new Husband who is an American living and working in England. Since that time she has totally recanted her formar position. She now says that Englands Public Health care system is Far Superior to what we currently have in the US. The child mortality rate is much lower in England, the health of the General Population is better (Because of prreventative healt care, and the cost is MUCH Lower.
            She believes Americans are Over-Medicated, and Over tested with unnecessary, and overpriced tests which only enhance the profits of Hospitals and medical companies, and do not enhance the medical outcomes.

            My parents paid over $100.00 a month each for a AETNA Medicar supplement, and when they moved into a Senior Living facility, it was recommended that drop the extra coverage. When they did, their deductible dropped, Prescriptions cost less, and Hospital Stays cost significantly less then when the were paying the insurance Company for the extra coverage. The extra coverage actually made everything more expnsive for them, not even including the $200.00 + they were paying for the insurance.

          29. GreginPottsville July 17, 2013

            Ya wanna know why Americans are over-medicated and over tested? TRIAL LAWYERS, the cash cow of the Democratic Party.

          30. Allan Richardson July 17, 2013

            If your business doesn’t hurt people, it won’t get sued (or will be able to get a frivolous lawsuit dismissed).

            If it’s YOUR lawsuit, it’s not frivolous.

          31. GreginPottsville July 17, 2013

            You have no idea what I am talking about.
            Do you know any doctors? If so, ask them how much their malpractice insurance cost is. Then you might realize what my point was.
            I know several docs. I know what they pay. It all ties into the costs.

          32. Sand_Cat July 18, 2013

            I think you mentioned the key point: “insurance.” It inflates medical costs, inflates premiums whether there is good reason or not when the companies think they can get away with it.

          33. GreginPottsville July 18, 2013

            I guess you didn’t study up on the trial lawyer info I gave you.

          34. Sand_Cat July 20, 2013

            I didn’t see it before I posted the comment you are answering. I recognize that there are definitely problems in our regulation of doctors by lawsuit because Medical Boards are composed of doctors who – like good policemen – may be personally honest, but for the most part won’t “rat” on the bad ones: I remember my bemusement at a caller to a talk show complaining about how unfair it was that almost all lawsuits were filed against fewer than 2-3% of all doctors (her figure, but it may be accurate) and blaming the “government” – i.e., Medical Boards composed of doctors – for not getting these guys out of practice, apparently without the slightest appreciation of the irony of her complaint. But then, she was a medical student.

          35. Sand_Cat July 18, 2013

            You’ve got an answer for everything. So try providing the FACTS, which I believe you claim to revere, instead of right-wing fantasies.

          36. GreginPottsville July 18, 2013

            Now go educate yourself (geeze, I should start charging for all the education I am giving you).


            By David Ingram All Articles

            The National Law Journal

            October 19, 2010


            Trial lawyers are holding steady as one of the Democratic Party’s biggest sources of campaign contributions, providing a cushion for the party as it struggles to maintain control of Congress in the midterm elections.

            Lawyers who represent plaintiffs in securities class actions, personal injury cases and consumer protection lawsuits have donated millions of dollars this election cycle to Democratic campaigns. At some law firms, they’re contributing even more to federal candidates than they did in either of the previous two election cycles, including the 2008 campaign when presidential hopefuls were after their money.

            Houston-based Susman Godfrey, for example, has seen its lawyers contribute more than $523,000 to federal candidates and party committees since January 2009, according to U.S. Federal Election Commission records. The overwhelming majority went to Democrats, and the total is more than double what the firm’s lawyers gave by this point before the 2006 midterms.

            Lawyers at Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, a San Diego-based securities class action firm, have contributed more than $314,000, up by almost half compared to the same point four years ago. Name partners Darren Robbins and Paul Geller have each given five-figure lump sums.

            And at Wilmington, Del.-based Grant & Eisenhofer, lawyers can lay claim to $275,000 in donations, up about $46,000 from the presidential cycle.

            Some of the firms, such as Robbins Geller, are benefiting from successful securities class actions, which can generate multibillion-dollar settlements. Others, such as Susman Godfrey, have made news recently as firms helping to lead litigation against Toyota Motor Corp. for allegations of sudden acceleration in its vehicles or against BP PLC for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

            Plaintiffs firms have been Democratic stalwarts for decades, providing money at every level of government to keep their allies in office. This year, with some parts of the liberal base showing signs of apathy about the Nov. 2 elections, that support is as important as ever to the party.

            “I’ve been as supportive as I have been in the past,” said H. Laddie Montague Jr., the president of Philadelphia-based Berger & Montague, where contributions are up 23 percent over a comparable period in the 2006 cycle. Montague said President Barack Obama has been a vast improvement over President George W. Bush. “What went before was catastrophic for the country, and in the world,” he said. “I don’t want to see a repeat of that, and I don’t find fault in what’s been done to date, as others might.”

            Peter Kraus, a founding partner of Waters & Kraus in Dallas, said he’s motivated by the prolific spending of conservative nonprofits that aren’t required to disclose their donors. Democrats, he said, are “getting outspent by outside interest groups, and they need all the help they can get from their traditional allies.”

            Republicans, who often raise money from corporations that are defendants in civil suits, criticize what they say is the plaintiffs’ bar’s outsized influence.

            “Their bread is buttered and buttered richly and thickly when Democrats are in charge. And when Democrats are not in charge, then tort reform becomes a real possibility,” said Darren McKinney, a spokesman for the American Tort Reform Association, a business-backed group that supports measures such as limits on jury damage awards.

            Ray DeLorenzi, a spokesman for the American Association for Justice, the trial lawyers’ trade association, said in a statement that the “importance of holding corporations accountable has never been more apparent,” because of recent examples of corporate misconduct. “When the Chamber of Commerce is spending millions of dollars on behalf of anonymous multinational corporations, it certainly serves as a motivating factor for trial attorneys to support candidates that will take on these powerful interests and ensure people can receive justice in the courtroom,” he said.

            This is the first election cycle for the association’s new chief executive, Linda Lipsen, who took over in May.


            The outcome, though, will have an impact on the American Association for Justice’s agenda. If Republicans retake Congress, plaintiffs lawyers won’t have as many opportunities to push for changes to the federal pleading standard or limits on mandatory arbitration for consumers. They would also have to play more defense against efforts by business groups and defense lawyers to limit what they see as frivolous lawsuits. One unsuccessful proposal from the last time Republicans controlled Congress would have given judges greater leeway to sanction lawyers for improper pleadings.

            Aside from legislation, the plaintiffs’ bar is hoping to see one of its own join the federal bench. Motley Rice partner John McConnell Jr., a frequent campaign contributor, has been nominated for U.S. district court in Rhode Island. He faces heated opposition from Republicans and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in part because of his role in lead-paint litigation.

            As with plaintiffs lawyers’ individual giving, the American Association for Justice’s own political action committee is poised to meet or exceed its past fundraising. It raised $2.5 million through Sept. 13 of this year, compared to $2.8 million for the full 2006 election cycle, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

            The plaintiffs’ bar’s impact is larger than the federal data alone suggest. In Texas, a frequent battleground for liability issues, Steve Mostyn and his wife, Amber Anderson, of the Mostyn Law Firm have contributed more than $5 million to state Democrats and related groups, according to the Texas Ethics Commission. Similar efforts are playing out nationwide, in attorneys general races, battles to control state legislatures and other campaigns.

            KEY STATES

            On the national level, lawyers’ contributions are helping to prop up Democratic campaigns that could be key to determining control of Congress. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., counts three plaintiffs’ firms among his top five contributors by employer, according to the Center for Responsive Politics: Weitz & Luxenberg of New York, Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd of East Alton, Ill., and Girardi Keese of Los Angeles. The biggest donor to Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, an independent running for Senate, is plaintiffs firm Morgan & Morgan, based in Orlando, Fla. Susman Godfrey’s lawyers were among the top donors to Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., before he lost his primary.

            President Barack Obama recently showed his appreciation. He attended a fundraiser on Aug. 9 at the Dallas home of Russell Budd, a name partner at the toxic tort firm Baron & Budd, thanking attendees for doing “so much not only to help support my campaign in 2008” but also Democrats nationwide.

            Democrats’ ties to lawyers have been occasional flashpoints this election. This month, National Review Online published a photograph of a Colorado billboard that is critical of Obama and includes a rat labeled as a trial lawyer. Ron Johnson, a Republican challenging Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., produced a video saying lawyers dominate the Senate and arguing that Washington needs fewer of them. Johnson is the chief executive of Pacur Inc., a plastics company.

            Read more: http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202473540921&Trial_Lawyers_Sticking_With_Democratic_Party#ixzz2ZQSm4F3r

          37. Sand_Cat July 20, 2013

            Thank you for the article. Yes, I am aware of the abuses of personal injury and malpractice lawsuits, and yes, I agree with the idea of “tort reform.” The devil is in the details.

            I’ll say right up front that I’m surprised you seem opposed to lawsuits for securities class actions, given your apparent acceptance of the need for strict regulation to prevent financial abuses (I’m truly impressed if you agreed with those calling for an agency to regulate that sector). Since it seems that the feds will not be stepping up to the plate in really meaningful ways, class-action lawsuits against securities and consumer fraud and negligence are the only way to protect the public from the predatory corporate class. As in the case where certain persons are able to shoot unarmed people of certain groups with impunity, at least before the criminal law, lawsuits are what is left.
            I personally would favor stricter and more comprehensive laws with far higher penalties and far more rigorous enforcement, but I doubt you’d agree with that. First and foremost, a corporation is an abstract, artificial entity constructed in many cases to yield impunity to those who abuse the public for profit, not a “person” in any sense of that word, entitled to no rights whatsoever other than those explicitly granted, which should never include the rights of a person. I would favor the death penalty for them, however.

            As things are now, the combination of trivial penalties and lax enforcement leave persons actually injured or defrauded no alternative to lawsuits, and the wealth and power of their abusers assure that lawyers must use every dirty trick in the book to pursue even legitimate claims (I have no illusions about the selflessness of lawyers, so please don’t misunderstand that).
            All of the tort “reform” proposals I’ve seen are in my opinion simply attempts to make all penalties for corporate (or corporate personnel) wrongdoing – fines and lawsuits combined – a more easily-borne cost of doing business, a minor annoyance, certainly nothing that might force them to actually change their behavior in a good way.
            You are right: all too often, the principal beneficiary of lawsuits are the lawyers, and they are not bashful about pursuing their own interests by supporting those who haven’t the courage or moral strength to change the regulatory system, but – for whatever reason – leave in place a system that at least occasionally punishes the guilty and partially compensates their victims. The alternative party seeks to destroy both, i.e., to further reduce or eliminate the already inadequate regulations and penalties AND reduce civil awards to similar trivial levels, which will have the further effect of forcing attorneys to cease taking cases without being paid in advance, thereby reducing restraints on corporations and powerful individuals effectively to nothing.
            I don’t like legal hairsplitting any more than you seem to, but it’s better than leaving us all defenseless before those who – like some lawyers, but moreso – will do anything for money.

          38. Allan Richardson July 17, 2013

            Medicare has few weapons to fight fraud. Ask the Goniffator of Florida, he can give you a few tips on how not to get caught at Medicare fraud.

          39. enkelin July 17, 2013

            Medicare’s middleman costs are around 3%. Private insurance’s Middleman costs are around 25 to 30%. That is the big difference.

          40. John Michael Hutton August 2, 2013

            medicare is going broke? Not true. Medicare is in financially difficulty because Republicans have been shifting the tax burden from the wealthy to the poor for 30 years and now we are about to pay the price for their greed.

  7. Dominick Vila July 17, 2013

    Employers have been trying to find ways to reduce operating costs since we became a Republic, and finding ways to reduce the escalating costs of healthcare coverage for employees has been a top priority for decades. ACA affords our CEO’s a unique opportunity to drop one of the costliest benefits they offer with impunity, and blame someone else for doing what they wanted to do all along.

    1. Allan Richardson July 17, 2013

      And if we didn’t have this irrational fear of “socialism” (we have “socialist” fire departments in all but the most rural areas, and nobody complains any longer), we would just pass Medicare for all, and our income taxes would go up by LESS than we, employers and employees alike, would no longer have to pay for health insurance. Everyone wins … EXCEPT the insurance companies. But they have other markets and other types of insurance to sell. Besides, they could be put on contract (FLAT rate per patient-year) to administer the system for the government, according to PUBLIC policies, not a profit motive giving “incentive to fail.”

      1. Dominick Vila July 17, 2013

        What you suggest is viable and logical, but it will be a very long time before something like that is implemented in the USA. We have to go no further than the robust opposition to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and the claims of socialism attributed to a program that uses for-profit insurance companies to administer it, to understand that ideology is more powerful and influential for many Americans than their best personal interests.

  8. irishtap July 18, 2013

    Lost in the discussion is this: When an ordinary citizen cannot afford to gain access to health care, his health and the health of his spouse and children are put at risk. When people who’ve always lived by the rules and lived within the boundaries of law end up destitute simply due to exorbitant health care expenses – then the capitalistic model is flawed. When actuaries decide who gets coverage and who doesn’t that is called a “death panel”. It’s positively absurd to have a ‘health insurance industry’ at all. How or why, should some numbers cruncher or CEO determine the worthiness of a human being to acquire access to a physician of his choosing?! It is outrageous that, ‘the insured’ be told where and to whom they may go to address a health concern. It fly’s in the face of logic when an actuary determines “how much coverage we receive” to fight a serious illness.The fact citizens have let this corporate massacre unfold over the past fifty years points to the massive power of these killers to cover up their crimes against humanity.

  9. Mindfullofthoughts July 31, 2013

    Health insurance wouldn’t even be a topic of discussion/debate if the medical community wasn’t run like a corporation. Profits…. The bottom line, and it works out perfectly for them because both sides debate the irrelevant thing. Insurance is a scam whether it’s government run or some salesman knocks on your door to sell you private insurance. I want you to think about the next new pill you see on TV then count the number of months before you see a law-firm offering legal advice on how to sue that same company for medical damages. How much do you think they made on selling that pill VS how much they pay in medical damages. A sheep calling someone else a sheep is still a sheep. Watch your CNN, FOX, NBC, or whatever but never let them do your thinking for you.

  10. laker50 August 1, 2013

    You are lazy idiots that eagerly accept these stupid UN statistics that use longevity to measure the quality of health care. Chicago could have the best health care on the planet and would likely rank very low. Gee, why do you think? Duh…

    Welcome to Obamatown…500 murders a year.

    P.S. the same goes for infant mortality rates. Do a little research, slacker libs.


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