Wednesday, January 19, 2011

TN-9 Steve Cohen on Hellcare

TN-9 Steve Cohen was on Neil Cavuto on Friday, January 14, 2010 discussing the hellcare bill.

Rep Steve Cohen posted it on his Facebook page and what follows is the conversation/debate that I had with Mr. Cohen and a couple of his supporters.

Me: This so called “Healthcare Reform Monstrosity” you passed against the will of the people is unconstitutional. It's also an economics nightmare. There are better economic fixes than this "healthcare reform" bill. There's a reason that pre...-existing conditions are limiting to coverage. It's an economic issue. Let's let insurance compete over state lines. Why not let individuals deduct their premiums like business do. Let consumers decide what kind of coverage they want; Cadillac that covers everything or basic catastrophic. We need free market solutions, not top down control from D.C.

Supporter #1: Against the will of the people is quite a strong generalization- there are those for and against the bill, which is only natural, and very true regarding the health care reform since it is so new. However, there are most certainly those for... the health care reform and, like most change, it will take time, some adjustment, and patience. The act does not take away from competition nor does it take the decision away from the consumer regarding which insurance company to use. If anything, the act is meant to provide more protection for the consumer in addition to enhancing competition.

Supporter @2: You obviously have the income level and health care coverage to put down those that you're afraid might take a dollar out of your pocket. I pay for my own health care coverage with an individual policy not involving an employer, so don't worry that this is coming from someone that's trying to rob you. How would you feel if you had a family member dying from a disease they couldn't afford treatments for that could possibly save their life? Much differently, I suspect. This subject totally disgusts me. Open your eyes and join the real world.

Me: The majority of Americans did not and do not want this monstrosity. 60% want it repealed. Why do you think that the House flipped in such a huge way? Not only did the House of Reps flip, but so did governorships, state legislatures, right...t down to the counties. The only reason Steve Cohen didn't get beat is because his district is majority AA and AA's vote 90% for Dems.

We, the consumer, won't have a choice. If our plan changes in any way, we go to a government exchange. It also takes away competition because it's going to cause insurance companies to go out of business. Companies will off-load their insurance costs to the government option because it will be cheaper to pay the penalty than to pay insurance. It also takes away choice in that if the government won't pay for your procedure, then you can't pay for it yourself. Currently, if your insurance doesn't pay, you have the option to pay out of your own pocket.

Look at the Canadian and British HC systems. There are long waits, terrible conditions in their hospitals and they are going broke. There are already many doctors that are not taking new m/c patients. Why is that? It's not because they are greedy. It's because they can't pay their staff and expenses on what the government "deems" to pay them. Why do you think there's a whole cottage industry of med-sup insurance?

Above all, it's unconstitutional. Congress/government cannot mandate us to purchase something, or put us in jail if we don't purchase their product. It's a loss of freedom; pure and simple.

‎Me: @ Supporter #2; I have a daughter that is in the process of getting a kidney transplant. We spent 16 days at Le Bonheur last summer with 8 of those being in PICU. She has dialysis 3 days a week. She went from having a stomach bug, to dehydration, to HUS, to kidney failure. Yes, I am grateful that my husband has a job with excellent coverage, but he works hard for it. I also am grateful for the excellent care and the technologies that have been developed because of our current healthcare system.

I can speak from experience because I have a daughter that now has a huge pre-existing condition. I also know economics though. Insurance companies pool risk. If they pay out more than they take in, they go out of business. They are not like the government which prints money. I also know that there are many kids who are at Le Bonheur with no insurance; so don't give me that only rich people get the best care. I know different.

Steve Cohen: there is no government option.Only insurance companies in exchange.It's insurance reform!children on opolicy of parents til 26;no pre-existing condition disqualification or recision on getting sick or lfetime or yearly caps ;donut hole to be filled;small business subsidies for theier health insurance etc.READ THE BILL!!!

Me: Obama, Barney Frank, and Jan Schakowsky in their own words about single payer, government healthcare.
The goal is to drive insurance business out of business.

Who is going to pay for this? It's been tried. It doesn't work. It's an economic nightmare. What do you know about how a business works? How to meet a payroll? How to make a profit? You've spent all of your adult life in government. When have you run a business?

Over 250 waivers have been given to companies exempting them from the rigors of the law so that they can stay in business. If it's so good for business, why do they need a waiver?

Steve Cohen: Public option is not law;not the exchange either.Exchange is all private insurance which involves free market competition and that gets better rates for citizens.

Of course the “public option” is not the law. But we all know that as increased government regulation makes it more and more expensive and less and less profitable for private insurance companies to conduct business, competition will decrease until eventually the government is the only payer. It is insulting, disingenuous and incredibly short-sighted to suggest that market conditions will remain static as this law gets implemented. Just look at what has happened in MA since they have implemented the precursor to this monstrosity of a hellcare bill you have passed.
What does the Federal takeover of student loans have to do with healthcare? If this system is so good for all of us Americans, why isn’t it good enough for you in Congress? I’d be more inclined to listen, if you weren’t being such a hypocrite about it. This is about control; pure and simple. More government control over individual American lives.

Steve Cohen: Wrong again.Congress under same law as everyone.READ THE BILL!and what we did with student lopans was fiscally wise and necessary for law,students,and colleges.Unless you like private lenders making millions off our students who need loans and do so with no risk as loans can't be bankrupted and were guaranteed then you should say halleluah...thanks..right on!And insurance is going nowhere.They'll have 32 million new customers who must buy product.

Me: Herein lies the difference between big government liberals like you and limited government conservatives like me; you believe that government is the answer to any problem. You believe that individuals can’t be trusted to make choices for themselves, but must be controlled by someone in government that knows what’s best for them. You don’t think that anyone can make it on their own, but they must be helped by government. I believe that the role of the federal government is limited by our Constitution. The main purpose of government is national security. I believe in letting individuals make choices that are best for themselves and their families. I don’t look to a politician in DC to solve my problems for me. I believe that private enterprise is more efficient than government bureaucracies and can do a better job 99% of the time ~and that includes healthcare and student loans~
I didn’t really expect to get anything but the left’s talking points from you on healthcare, ~and I haven’t been disappointed~ but I have been surprised by your condescending tone to a taxpayer such as myself that pays your salary. You r comments have confirmed to me that you have given no significant or intellectually honest thought to the long-term implications of this healthcare bill to our economy or our healthcare system. Forgive me for expecting more from the people who we send to Washington to represent us.


I'm surprised that Mr. Cohen hasn't deleted my comments. I think it's important to ask questions of our elected officials. What is the Constitutional authority for what they pass? They need to know that we are paying attention.

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