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Opinions & Editorials Discuss The cost of doing nothing on health care at the General Forum; The cost of doing nothing on health care "Hands off my health care" goes one strain of populist sentiment. But ...

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Old 02-28-2010, 12:02 AM
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Default The cost of doing nothing on health care

The cost of doing nothing on health care
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"Hands off my health care" goes one strain of populist sentiment.

But what if?

Suppose Congress and President Barack Obama fail to overhaul the system now, or just tinker around the edges, or start over, as the Republicans propose despite the Democrats' latest and possibly last big push that began last week at a marathon televised forum in Washington.

Then "my health care" stays the same, right?

Far from it, health policy analysts and economists of nearly every ideological persuasion agree. The unrelenting rise in medical costs is likely to wreak havoc within the system and beyond it, and pretty much everyone will be affected, directly or indirectly.

"People think if we do nothing, we will have what we have now," said Karen Davis, the president of the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit health care research group in New York. "In fact, what we will have is a substantial deterioration in what we have."

Nearly every mainstream analysis calls for medical costs to continue to climb over the next decade, outpacing the growth in the overall economy and certainly increasing faster than the average paycheck. Those higher costs will translate into higher premiums, which will mean fewer individuals and businesses will be able to afford insurance coverage. More of everyone's dollar will go to health care, and government programs like Medicare and Medicaid will struggle to find the money to operate.

Policymakers, in the end, may be forced to address the issue.


"It will break all of our banks if we do nothing," said Peter V. Lee, who oversees national health policy for the Pacific Business Group on Health, which represents employers that offer coverage to workers. "It is a course that is literally bankrupting the federal government and businesses and individuals across the country."

Even those families that enjoy generous insurance now are likely to see the cost of those benefits escalate. The typical price of family coverage now runs about $13,000 a year, but premiums are expected to nearly double, to $24,000, by 2020, according to the Commonwealth Fund.


While some employers will continue to contribute the lion's share of those premiums, there will be less money for employees in the form of raises or bonuses.

"It's also cramping our economic growth," said Frank McArdle, a consultant with Hewitt Associates, which advises large employers and reported on the need for change for the Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs at major companies. Spending so much on health care is "really a waste of people's money," McArdle said.

The higher premiums will also persuade more businesses, especially smaller ones, to decide not to offer insurance. More people who buy coverage on their own or are asked to pay a large share of premiums will find the price too high. It doesn't take too many 39 percent increases, like the recent one proposed by Anthem Blue Cross that has garnered so much attention, to put insurance out of reach.

While estimates vary, the number of people without insurance is expected to increase by more than a million a year, said Ron Pollack, the executive director of Families USA, a Washington consumer advocacy group that favors the Democrats' approach.

There will be a cost in lives, too. Pollack's organization estimates that as many as 275,000 people will die prematurely over the next 10 years because they do not have insurance.

The cost of doing nothing on health care - San Jose Mercury News
As much as we hope that the need for heath care reform will go away on it's own,a day will come when we will have to adequately address this issue.This problem can be passed from one administration to the next but only for just so long...at some point the people will not ask for reform,they will demand it.

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Old 02-28-2010, 12:30 AM
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Default Re: The cost of doing nothing on health care

The same types who drove up mortgages and said anything goes in banking, are at work trying to sway the public that this is a bad deal for Americans. Meanwhile the few will rake in the dividends and hidden percentages while the masses be damned.
And they will most assuredly--- be damned that is.
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Old 02-28-2010, 12:41 AM
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Default Re: The cost of doing nothing on health care

More fear mongering by the people trying to ram something down teh throats of Aemricans that they don't want....

No one denies that the problem exists, the issue is that the solution being forced on us is not going to work and is not what the American people want.
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Old 02-28-2010, 12:52 AM
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Default Re: The cost of doing nothing on health care

Maybe health care should be expensive.
Sort of a social Darwinism type thing to cull the herd and improve the gene pool.
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Old 02-28-2010, 12:56 AM
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Default Re: The cost of doing nothing on health care

I'm not so sure it's fear mongering,insurance rates could well double in ten years maybe less. More small businesses may well decide to not offer insurance and I cannot see where they are bound by law to insure their employees.If this administration fails to get support for health care reform the job will be passed on to the next administration! It's not fear,for all too many Americans fear has metastasized into reality.
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Old 02-28-2010, 01:00 AM
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Default Re: The cost of doing nothing on health care

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I'm not so sure it's fear mongering,insurance rates could well double in ten years maybe less. More small businesses may well decide to not offer insurance and I cannot see where they are bound by law to insure their employees.If this administration fails to get support for health care reform the job will be passed on to the next administration! It's not fear,for all too many Americans fear has metastasized into reality.
I can't see where they are required by the constitution to offer it.
For that matter, I can't see where in the constitution health care is a right.
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Old 02-28-2010, 01:04 AM
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Default Re: The cost of doing nothing on health care

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I can't see where they are required by the constitution to offer it.
For that matter, I can't see where in the constitution health care is a right.
The constitution doesn't require us to feed and clothe orphans either.
We do it from our humanity.
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Old 02-28-2010, 01:13 AM
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Default Re: The cost of doing nothing on health care

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I can't see where they are required by the constitution to offer it.
For that matter, I can't see where in the constitution health care is a right.
Exactly...I've gone on record here in this forum saying that health care is not a right! Most of us favor some form of health care reform,only a complete idiot would say that there is no need for reform.
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Old 02-28-2010, 01:18 AM
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Default Re: The cost of doing nothing on health care

And I might add the bill starts the fixing of Medicare. There are many good things in the bill. I sincerely hope a few Republicans who are already on the edge will fight the power machine and do what is a step in the right direction for their constituents and the rest of the country.
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Old 02-28-2010, 01:56 AM
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Default Re: The cost of doing nothing on health care

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The constitution doesn't require us to feed and clothe orphans either.
We do it from our humanity.
Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government."
--James Madison
We do do it from our humanity. I don't need the government taking charge of my charity or humanity.

Last edited by alan; 02-28-2010 at 02:04 AM..
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