The Alliance For Natural Health

The Pulse of Natural Health Newsletter

Stay informed about what is hot in Washington and the states about natural health

Surprise! Buried Deep in GOP Health Bill

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The Obamacare repeal is only temporary—expires in six years.

A few weeks ago, we told you about a new proposal described by nearly everyone as an attempt  to repeal and replace Obamacare. The bill has now been introduced by Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Lindsay Graham (R-SC).

Overall, the initiative would eliminate federal subsidies for private insurance and the Medicaid expansion, transforming these funds into block grants to states to spend as they see fit, with some restrictions. States that have Obamacare can keep it if they want, although state governments would need to kick in some of their own money to continue. States that want a different system could make the necessary adjustments.

Some other brief points about the bill:

  • It repeals the individual and employer mandate;
  • It repeals some Obamacare taxes, principally the tax on medical equipment;
  • Like previous repeal/replace proposals, it lifts many restrictions on Health Savings Accounts (HSAs);
  • Obamacare requirements such as “essential health benefits” are NOT repealed, though states can apply for waivers from those regulations from 2020 through 2026, which means that a future administration could eliminate the waivers and bring back Obamacare rules for everyone;
  • The bill allows all individuals the option to purchase catastrophic health coverage, though these plans would be incorporated into the individual single risk pool, which we have warned against, because it will likely make the catastrophic only policies unaffordable.

Because the Graham-Cassidy legislation will have to move through the budget reconciliation process, Congress’ deadline to pass it is September 30. After that, it could be brought up down the road, but not soon.

Whether one supports or opposes Obamacare, it is not helpful to advertise a “repeal” bill that does not actually repeal it at all.

 

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  • DonRice

    I view the ACA (Obamacare) as a possible first step toward single payer or Medicare for all, as Bernie Sanders puts it. To me, the biggest problem with it, and with this new bill (which might not pass), is the heavy reliance and input of the insurance industry. They’re lining their own pockets as usual, at the expense of We the People.

    Health care is a human right, no matter what anyone who disagrees might say. I will not compromise on that statement. And nobody should have the right to get rich off of the suffering of others while claiming to be helping them when they’re really only helping themselves and their corporate masters.

    Disclaimer: I’ve been disabled for 6 years and wasn’t able to get insurance to replace what I had from my last job until I was approved for social security disability and could sign up for the ACA.

    • Click

      By a human right do you mean a God-given right that the founders forgot to mention in our national documents? Does that mean someone else is obligated (i.e. forced) to serve your health needs and provide needed medications?

      • DonRice

        So I should just die because I can’t afford the meds my doctor prescribes? Sorry, dude, that’s not going to happen. However, I have taken some control by researching and finding alternatives to some of the drugs they want me to take. But what about people who can’t do even that much? Should they just die? Where is your heart, your humanity?

    • Tami

      We have no health care in this country. What we have is sick care.

    • thorverine

      Health Care is not a human right. Everyone gets a free education… Everyone has the internet. Everyone can educate themself.

      • Kathy Rankin

        Not everyone has the internet. Not everyone has a cellphone!

        • thorverine

          Then give that to everyone.

          • Pat Ormsby

            Please give me a cell phone! I’ll take a sledge hammer and make sure there is one less of those `*%@@(!* things than before. Smart phones are even easier to deal with. I’m told you can just twist them apart.

    • thorverine

      Health care is a right for veterans…. See how that turned out?

    • Pathfinder0100

      Damn well said Don!!

    • Thomas Waldenfels

      Completely agree re: the the insurance companies lining their pockets at the expense of the people … courtesy of the ACA.. The ACA was a huge bone thrown to them while being sold as a measure to control them … just the way they sold the Federal Reserve to a gullible public 104 years ago. Corporatism … or call it fascism if you like … is indeed a scourge on the nation.

      That said, can we be clear? You don’t have any “right” to disease or injury care.

      Rights relate to freedoms, not entitlements. To assert otherwise is to pervert the meaning of the word. You have the right to be free from external control. You don’t have the “right” to demand that someone else provide you with a good or a service or that a third party be forced to pay for it.

      Do you have a right to food? Clothing? Shelter? A job? A minimum wage? A guaranteed income? Where does it stop? A cellphone? A car? A TV?

      The reality is, even with the broken system we have, you won’t be denied
      injury care or acute disease care. The service may be crappy, but
      you’ll get it … and somebody else will pay for it if you can’t.

      Politics being what it is, you may well get served and subsidized on care for chronic conditions, but it won’t involve the generosity or even the consent of the other parties. What do we call those who are forced to provide or pay? Involuntary servants. You’re taking their time or money. Since when does anyone have a right to do that?

      I sympathize that you need help and can’t pay for the full cost yourself. A lot of us find ourselves stretched to the limit just paying the insurance premia. But that’s because the entity you’re looking to for help … the government … is the very one that screwed up the system in the first place, making it both super expensive and crappy at delivering results. And the government will forever and always be controlled by a bunch of insiders like the insurance moguls and the banksters. Who gets screwed? We do.

      First, they break your legs. Then they hand you a crutch and say, ” Where would you be without us?” Government run or managed anything is an abomination and you sure as hell don’t want them in control of your health. It’ll not only guarantee lousy outcomes, it’ll bankrupt us as a nation in the process. Hell, we’re already there.

  • Justinian

    Does this bill repeal the tax penalties for people that do not get health insurance?

    The tax issue should never have happened. But because of one “justice”, in SC, the whole nation suffers.

    • thorverine

      I think that is “the mandate” So yes, it repeals them at least temporarily.

  • Diane Jones

    It repeals the employer mandate? the Cadillac Tax that is why most companies are dropping their employee coverage???????? That alone will help the country if that is what they are doing.
    I feel that being fined for not having insurance is wrong too. They have to do something. cross state lines will help. Subsidies for those that need it might do but not for everyone. Marco got a 10,000 credit, and he makes over 200,000 a year. no way. And All of the government has to go onto whatever policy and rules they pass. no more golden plans for Congress or even the President. NONE.

  • TeslaFan

    For those who live in any of the 37 countries in the world that provide healthcare to all as a right, not a privilege, and it is mostly free or extremely low cost—they never have conversations about health insurance (they don’t need it), bankruptcy or crippling debt from medical bills, or even giving up health care entirely because they can’t afford it. Only Americans and people from the very poorest third world countries worry about medical bills. It’s profane. We can afford an EXTRA $700 billion for wars but we can’t have healthcare for all? Life? Or death? What is America’s focus? WHO ARE WE?

    • thorverine

      Many have lots of conversations about terrorism though.

      • TeslaFan

        What does that have to do with health care dear?

        • thorverine

          The same values and logic that makes health care a right…. destroys the society as a whole. Eventually winding it down so that everyone has no rights. No right to privacy… because we have to protect you from all the aliens we just let in).

          • TeslaFan

            The societies of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, S. Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the UK have not been destroyed by having free healthcare for all. Furthermore, they have not lost any rights and have greater privacy protections than Americans. In addition to being a mis-informed fool, you are also a mouthpiece for the one percent and you’re not even one of them! They’re laughing at you, honey.

          • thorverine

            Have they had it for 100 years yet? NOOOOOO

          • thorverine

            By greater privacy protections you mean what? Cameras on every street?

          • thorverine

            It’s your ignorance that is unbounded.

          • thorverine

            The UK has been decaying for hundreds of years.

          • TeslaFan

            Unlike America that is thriving in every way, right? The rot in your brain is proof America is decaying rapidly. My family got free health care in London, far superior to anything in the US. The doctor came to the hotel–twice–cared for our mother and charged absolutely nothing. When my sister was cared for in an Italian hospital for a broken bone, the care again was equal to or superior to anything available in the US and it was completely free. They laughed when she asked how much she owed and said “Only Americans ask that question.” You’re a complete idiot. Once again, in addition to being a mis-informed fool, you are also a mouthpiece for the one percent and you’re not even one of them! They’re laughing at you, honey. We can’t afford health care because we need to pay for wars.

          • Joe Brake

            We saved Europe from total destruction twice in the last 100 years, and if they were attacked we would have to do it again, because they are too irresponsible to be able to defend themselves.

          • TeslaFan

            Well, maybe we can but we happen to care about other people, too. Maybe we give a damn BECAUSE we have traveled around the world and know what’s going on and because we see that even in poorer countries, healthcare is a right, not a privilege. We want every human being who needs it to be able to go to the doctor and the hospital when they need to. Our family finds no joy in knowing that millions of Americans who can’t afford to get medical care will suffer and die because of the greed and narcissism of people like you. How about you? Are you willing to give up your Medicare to prove you’re not a hypocrite and you’re willing to pay for your own healthcare?

            Ours is a military family with service members in the last eight generations, serving honorably in every American war so take your insults and your phony patriotism somewhere else.

          • Joe Brake

            But what about the fact that Europe has virtually no ability to defend itself militarily? How compassionate are they if Iran or Russia or China decides to take over a few countries? Who is going to stop them? I and my ancestors have also been in the military, so you are no more of a patriot than I am. How do you think all these poor people feel about paying a 25% or 30% sales tax every time they need to make a purchase. How compassionate is that? How compassionate are California and New York for creating some of the highest poverty rates in the US?

            http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/321c64a3c043c869391589e596bdbf6d87deb4e599f1a184fcbfb2d48577d92f.png

          • thorverine

            I agree the American system is crap. It’s way too heavily influenced by Big Pharma. The reason it is crap is because of polticians… The same politicians you trust apparently. Deregulate everything and send it back to the states.

          • thorverine

            Have you been to a VA hospital?

          • TeslaFan

            Many times with my husband. The care is so bad it’s scary. A man having seizures was recently admitted to the Reno VA hospital ER and there was no doctor on duty so the nurses agreed they should put him back in the ambulance and send him to a “real hospital.” We should be deeply ashamed of the pathetic excuse for health care we give our heroes who risked their lives for us.

          • thorverine

            And why do you think Congress would pass anything more competent when they go to single payer. My opposition to it is because
            1. It’s wholly unconstitutional.
            2. Congress and the Federal Government are totally inept at doing anything.
            3. Because of 2 they will likely create a horribly expensive and inefficient system.

            there is no reason to centralize health care anymore… The internet and its connectivity changes everything. Limit lawsuits… The only roll of the federal government is to register a health care provider in a database where confirmed customers can go and give them reviews. If they are good, they get more customers and can raise prices… If they are bad and come up with new better techniques, people find out right away.

          • 1555

            thorverine – bingo ! Why is congress in charge of healtcare ?

          • Joe Brake

            All the countries you named have extremely burdensome tax rates, and none of them can defend themselves militarily at all or else their taxes would be even higher. A few examples of sales tax rates and personal income tax rates, respectively are: Denmark 25%-66.95%; Finland 24%-61.96%; France 20%-45%; Germany 19%-47.475%; Greece 24%-45%; Hungary 27%-46.15%; India 28%-34.6%; Ireland 23%-52%; Norway 25%-46.9%; Sweden 25%-59.7%; UK 20%-62%, and Canada 5-20% sales + 54% income tax. Those who like lots of sales taxes and high personal income taxes should possibly consider moving to Canada or Europe or maybe India. Many of those countries have a lot of poverty and homelessness, as well.

          • 1555

            Exactly ! And there is NO opt out of whose taxes.

          • Patricia P. Tursi

            Americans have been told for so long that we are the greatest and have the best health care, that we don’t question what we’re told. Info flows from news sources paid by pharmaceuticals. Health physicians have been murdered over the last two plusyears who bring us alternative research of actual healing. The major medical journals are owned and run by the pharmaceutical companies and refuse articles not supporting the pharma approach to medical care which was instituted by Rockefeller after the Flexner Report which he paid for. Rockefeller owned pharmaceuticals and this approach was fostered by Pasteur who believed that human bodies were sterile and we were attacked by “germs”. So we were believed to be constantly at war defending ourselves. Isn’t it interesting how our national political agendas mirror our “health” system….or is it the other way around? But the word is slowly seeping out and challenging this unhealthy system. Functional medicine is the new way.

          • 1555

            In Czech republic my sister in law was just killed by the system. She was checked into hospital to get hydrated. Next they placed her on a drip full of glucose. The minor breast cancer she had killed her in 2 weeks. Family was basically held as hostage by the doctors. They sedated my sister in law, in 2 days like a zombie. She was difficult, wanted to go home, as soon as they hydrated her. Glucose feeds cancer ! 2 weeks on glucose drip she is no longer among living. No second opinion. She passed on in 2 weeks, would have lived otherwise for years. So not all is peachy.

    • Alreadygotthatguy

      The “conversations” are about the insanely high taxes. Nothing is for free.

      • TeslaFan

        You’re right. They do pay high taxes. But they DON’T pay monthly insurance premiums, co-pays, deductibles, costs of non-covered medical services including expensive surgeries, complicated births, serious accidents and other medical problems that cause financial hardship and bankruptcy. Take your choice.

        • Alan8

          They also don’t pay BILLIONS to useless insurance middlemen that provide no services and just ration access to health care.

          The “Democrats” that are against single-payer are protecting these parasitic insurance corporations. They need to be voted OUT!

          Primaries are a good place to do this; after a corporate “Democrat” wins a primary, the choice is between them and a Republican who’s just as bad.

          • TeslaFan

            Spot on. And furthermore, we don’t need insurance companies to run interference between us and our healthcare so they can skim off the top and not pay out. They need us.

          • Patricia P. Tursi

            Thank you. Some years ago, in Arkansas our professional org made a study of medical insurance. For a visit to a psychologist, 1/3 went for insurance company bureaucratic costs, 1/3 went for profits and 1/3 went for costs of delivery of services.

    • Mort

      Also business is not saddled with the cost of supplying employee health insurance; makes them much more competitive.
      6 years without seeing a doctor seems like a looong time.

      • TeslaFan

        Companies should be supporting single payer so they can get this monkey off their back.

      • Patricia P. Tursi

        Good for business….yes.. That is the primary concern, isn’t it!

        • Mort

          Don’t get me wrong. It’s just another reason that single payer is where this country is headed…. if reason ever overrides big money.

          • Patricia P. Tursi

            That’s right!

          • 1555

            Then you will be offered a microchip, and be forced to take it as it would all be MANDATORY.

      • Patricia P. Tursi

        Yes, Businesses should not be in the health care business…buying it or selling it!

      • 1555

        I have not had a physical for 30. Much better off for it. Years ago I was almost killed by doctors, and avoid them ever since then. It is interesting that some texts by wise doctors say that 90% of the time the patient KNOWS what is wrong with them. So when something is a bit off for me, I get still, ask my body what is it, and what do I need to do. Great approach that has worked for me.

        • Liz

          I was almost killed too. It’s all such nonsense anymore- medical, dentistry, orthopedics ( what shysters!), etc… Doctors don’t even touch their patients anymore when examining. My Lyme doctor , sitting at her desk, asked me if I had any swollen lymph nodes while she used her diagnostic phone app to diagnose and prescribe.

          • 1555

            Thank you Liz, and good that you have survived. After I have survived the medical world lack of knowing how to treat me, I took the matters into my own hands. Because , frankly, who has my own interests in their best interest – right ? LOL ! – So far I have successfully survived both of my parents, by far, and feeling the best I have ever felt. Good for us.

    • Donna

      Free “healthcare” is worth exactly what you pay for it–except you DO pay for it, through exorbitant taxes and then with poor health. I haven’t seen a doctor for 18 years BY CHOICE, as I know the medical industry doesn’t cure disease. There is no disease caused by a lack of drugs. Think about that. I am in my 50s, and extremely healthy. I run circles around friends younger than me. I do not take prescription drugs or any drugs for that matter. I take care of myself. It is unconstitutional for the government to force me to buy something I won’t use. And I haven’t bought it yet, nor will I.

      • Patricia P. Tursi

        I also don’t use pharmaceuticals, I do research and treat myself naturally. It is a crime to force people to pay for insurance when the disease system medical care makes one sicker and everyone I know in my age group is on pharmaceuticals…not me.

      • PrayingMantis2

        I could not agree more! One thing the single payer system never addresses, although the so-called 37 countries that have it display, is rationing. I have friends in Korea, Canada, and Great Britain. ALL of them wait, wait, and wait some more for service. My friend in Canada nearly died of a brain tumor because of the wait. The one in Great Britain spent 5 years waiting to get a needed surgery and lived in pain the entire 5 years. And like me, the one in Korea lives a very healthy life. I even send her supplements that she can’t purchase in Korea because they are so focused on “sick care” and ignore “healthcare.” But the one thing they all endure is the high tax rate to pay for mediocre services. When there is no competition, there is lack of incentive for excellent care. The status quo rules. Just look at Medicare for an at-home example.

        • Erik Stark

          No health insurance, or so unaffordable you can’t buy it, amounts to an infinite wait time for health services. By the way, I also have friends and work mates who live in Canada and none say they have to wait and wait and wait for health care. It’s nonsense.

        • Erik Stark

          Also, “rationing” is a buzzword invented by right wing think tanks. We have rationing too and always have. It’s called coverage limits. You get a certain amount, or certain things aren’t covered at all. No one gets as much as they want whenever they want. Rationing equals limits. You also get to wait in this country for health care. Though it’s true the for profit system wants you to have as many tests as possible to rack up the costs, actual beneficial care can take a lot longer and require tons of more hoops (ie- endless procedures, tests and okays- more profit for the sytem) to actually get it. Then you get to pay each one separately who had a finger in your care, for the next several years.

          • Patricia P. Tursi

            scare tactics to keep status quo

        • Patricia P. Tursi

          I use medicare when necessary, which is rare. I was diagnosed with heart failure, refused extensive testing and/or treatment. However, I do appreciate the diagnosis which allowed me to treat myself.

      • 1555

        Donna, ditto! And unlike a friend of mine I too am extremely healthy. My friend was dating a doctor. She was 26 at that time. A year later she stood in her bathroom, feeling zombie-like – staring at 28 bottles of medications. She started to ask herself:”How did I get to this point – 27 years old, and on 28 meds ?” – A memory
        appeared for her – a date with her doctor boyfriend, she had a belly ache,and he said:”Take this”.

        All the rest of meds were for the SIDE EFFECTS of that first medication. She slowly swept the bottles into her trashcan and called him.” Hey, I got rid of your meds, you are next. No more zombie existence for me ..” She then weaned herself of all those medications, and never looked back.

      • Patricia P. Tursi

        I appreciate part of what you are saying. I am 81, refuse pharmaceuticals and treat myself. However, I keep insurance for unexpected accidents, etc. My daughter recently incurred a hernia from heavy lifting. She also takes care of herself, but you can’t foresee all health care with supplements and eating correctly. I don’t believe in the basic premise of allopathic medicine and I certainly don’t believe in insurance companies.

    • Joe Brake

      http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/91389034d3686296d20b1f2fcd14a7b75cf60ae80bd2b9e8bf33b9c22f536783.jpg
      There are very few, if any countries where private health insurance is not available, as you can see from the light blue at the top of the bars for every country shown here, and those people who want the best healthcare are the ones who purchase private insurance. If free or extremely low cost healthcare is an absolute right in these countries, why would anyone ever even consider purchasing private health insurance?

    • Charli

      As long as nothing is mandated and is not paid for by taxpayers, I would agree with you; however, when you permit the government to tell you whether or not you can have a surgical procedure vs taking drugs, based upon your age (on which governments decide value), government should not be involved. Canadians still come to Florida for their healthcare, so it is true that people in other nations do not talk about health insurance policies, they certainly DO worry about their health and the type of care they will receive from government mandates. How is that freedom?

    • Patricia P. Tursi

      Thank you. Medical debt is number one cause for US bankruptcies.

  • thorverine

    Turn it back to the states. The states need to de-regulate medicine. The only role for the federal government is to be a third-party review system where health care providers are reviewed. A single place where every drug can be reviewed by individuals and every doctor…. Place liability limits. If the doctor commits malpractice, it will be on their review page and they will go out of business…
    DEREGULATE… DEREGULATE DEREGULATE…
    But share information.

    • Alvin Johnson

      I agree.

  • Alreadygotthatguy

    In California I now have only one choice for PPO coverage. Insurance companies have vanished. My insurance premiums and deductible went up, coverage went down, good doctors opted out completely, making it impossible for me to even see a benefit from my insurance. It’s a huge monthly fee instead of a premium. I pay out of pocket for everything. I am essentially paying for others healthcare so they can keep packing their arteries by eating McDonalds hamburgers and Coca Cola. Enough.

    • Pathfinder0100

      Know what you mean. We have oc for the wife that we can afford. $200 a month premium with a $6700 deductible which means NO doctor for her. I am an 86 year old disabled Korean War Era Veteran and AM in the VA system.

      • Lynn Klein

        Your story breaks my heart!!!

      • Patricia P. Tursi

        grrrr

    • Alvin Johnson

      That is the typical hypocritical response. There are more individuals, couples and families taking positive control of their health now days.
      The affordable health are needs to be adjusted, fine tuned, negotiated, not tossed out.
      So far neither party has done much but rattle sabers, gloom and doom, all talk and no action or resolution while they collect excellent pay and benefits at the tax payers expense.

      • Joe Brake

        California, the state which claims to be the wealthiest in the country, in reality has a higher poverty rate than any other state after allowing for their high cost of living, as the map shows, so I don’t think it is being hypocritical for Alreadygotthatguy to complain about how California is handling their healthcare. California has increased their Medicaid and CHIP enrollment by over 58% over the past 4 years, so if socialism isn’t helping their poverty rate how will more of it help the rest of us?

        http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a04032cded98acc7a5d65e233509f8fcccff1fdec27fc14a901691c475c61292.gif

        California’s cost of living adjusted poverty rate is 38% higher than Texas’ and Texas has the highest percentage of uninsured in the US. My point here is that more socialism will only lead to more poverty and higher costs and taxes. Note that the yellow-green and green states are the ones with the lowest cost of living adjusted poverty rates, and lower overall tax rates, and mostly tend to be where the people have been more conservative. The orange and red states have the highest poverty rates.

        • Truth4All

          And their children are doing poorly in school.

      • Patricia P. Tursi

        First, there is no health care. Health care is when you can go to a physician, have your system tested to see what nutrients are lacking, what toxins are in your body, what microbial imbalances you have, etc. AND be able to get prescriptions for natural substances that will keep you healthy. We have DISEASE care where you test to see what disease you have so you can get a prescription for a pharmaceutical which is created in a lab and usually is never found in nature and frequently makes you sicker.

        Secondly, we have no affordable system and the number one cause for bankruptcy for seniors is medical bills.

        Third, we are at the bottom of industrialized nations in mortality rankings and infant survival. even thought we pay 2+ time more than other nations. This is primarily due to the tyrannical hold which pharmaceutical companies have on the allopathic system which is the one which controls our medical system.

        Fourth, the insurance companies suck up 1/2 to 2/3 of our costs on a a wasted third party payment system with costs going to amministration and profits.

        Health Care is a joke and will continue until we lose the Rockefeller hold on it which began years ago with the Flexner Report and which has continued throught this time.

        • Joe Brake

          As to the US mortality rankings, life expectancy in the US is 79.80 years compared to the EU life expectancy of 80.20 years overall, so we are less than 6 months behind the EU countries overall according to the CIA World Fact Book. The US could be doing better, but over one fourth of the people here were not even born here. We could be doing a lot worse, like China-75.5 years, Russia-70.80 years, India-68.50 years, or Africa, where life expectancy in most countries is less than 60 years.

          • Erik Stark

            All numbers claiming life expectancy are ridiculously stupid and inadequate. What it actually measures mostly is infant mortality, which is why the 60 years appears for Africa. It’s not as if there aren’t many people in their 70’s, 80’s or older in Africa. It’s the average life span, and is almost useless in terms of measuring what age people are actually living to once they’ve reached 30 or 40 years and survived most infant and adolescent maladies.

          • Joe Brake

            I didn’t bring up the subject of life expectancy, in case you didn’t notice. I was responding to Patrica P. Tursi’s claim that US mortality rates are the highest in the industrialized world, when I commented that we are less than 6 months behind the EU average in life expectancy. I wouldn’t say that it is totally meaningless though, since a person’s life expectancy determines what they will pay for a life insurance policy.

          • Liz

            One needs to consider the cause of death and not just relative to old age. Too many Americans die each year from medical errors, prescription drugs and suicide from stress, feeling desperate, hopeless and living a meaningless lonely life. Those are the leading causes of death. It sickens me that everyone focuses on prolonging life instead of improving quality of life. The American medical model is not a moral or ethical one and therefore it is NOT SAFE. I’m fortunate that I have enough education in medicine and science that I can advocate for myself but most folks are not able to do that and they must trust their physicians and insurance companies to protect them and their loved ones.

          • Joe Brake

            I basically with what you say here, and I made a similar comment yesterday about five comments down, except that I placed some of the blame on the people themselves, because they don’t do more to actually put into practice the nutritional information which has been available to almost everyone for many years, and because they haven’t done more to educate themselves. All education doesn’t have to be formal. I also blame the liberal media because, for many years, they have published huge numbers of articles claiming that various supplements are either unnecessary or may be dangerous. The rest of my comment is below, in case you have any interest.

          • Liz

            Interesting. It’s been my experience that it is the conservatives that believe in corporate medicine and pharmaceuticals. I live in the mid atlantic/south and it always shocked me that so many conservative Christians put their Faith in drugs more than G-d’s whole foods and herbal medicines but I’m sure that education and socioeconomic background are factors affecting people’s lifestyle choices and many consider medicines cheaper than healthy foods.
            I do agree that neo-liberals today are extremely narrow-minded and short-sighted. They all too often demand immediate superficial change without examining the deep consequences of their wishes. Then again, that’s really just a symptom of our poor public education that focuses on teaching facts vs developing critical thinking.

          • Joe Brake

            By advocating for single payer, you are advocating for the pharmaceutical industry and no choices at all, because if we ever get single payer the government has no intention of replacing drug therapy with nutritional therapy or nutritional preventative measures. I don’t think it has much to do with religion or economic background. Whole Foods Market’s headquarters is in Austin, Texas and not New York City, but even there you will have a lot of difficulty finding foods that don’t have a lot of added salt because low salt doesn’t sell; even among the so-called “enlightened”. It’s mostly not the churches who are demanding socialized medicine and giving up freedom of choice. I know of plenty of people who don’t have a lot of money, and some of them are very religious and most of them are well aware of the many negative side effects of prescription drugs. I don’t think the pharmaceutical industry should be allowed to advertise on TV. If the media weren’t getting so much money from them maybe they would not be so eager to destroy the supplement industry.

          • Liz

            I’m very poor and so the way I avoid unnecessary salt, sugar and other nasties is to buy whole food and prepare it myself. I don’t eat in restaurants either. The problem is that not many people cook today. We have hundreds of cooking shows for couch potatoes but no one gets off the couch unless it’s to go to the microwave or Hardees. I don’t even own a microwave. I grow about 50 percent of my fruits and veggies and 100 percent of my herbs and I enjoy canning and cooking.
            I agree that the Churches don’t want socialized medicine, most anyways. That was my point. I live in the Bible belt and most here are huge advocates for prescriptions and doctors even though they know it’s not safe. But many are poor and simply can’t afford unsubsidized food or alternative medicine without insurance. The reality is that I can’t afford insurance and healthy food and my doctors that don’t accept insurance but I make it work somehow. It really annoys me that I have to pay for insurance that I don’t use. Years ago, even when I had insurance, I would rarely use it and now /today thanks to the patriot act, you can’t make that choice. If you have insurance, you MUST use it or the doctor won’t see you! Add the heinous deception of HIPAA regs and you’re really treated like a convict and a commodity and most people willingly sign it without ever having questioned it or read it..
            The problem with American medicine, socialized or not, is that it’s an industry driven by profit. My friends who live in NHS countries pay very little in taxes for their healthcare and they receive a lot of complimentary medicine, dental and other services as well. My friend in Wales had prostate cancer and he was treated with progesterone and was cured. That wouldn’t happen in the US because the for profit machine requires them to utilize expensive specialists and therapies and drugs. But there isnt’ any incentive to drive profits in NHS countries so, I disagree with you that we would lose access to vitamns, minerals and herbs. Regardless, big pharma and codex have been trying to remove our access/their competition for years, hence DSHEA in the 80’s.

          • 1555

            Exactly Joe, thank you ! That is what I am saying to all who advocate for single payer. If one was to design that system from scratch it would make sense, but ain’t going to happen here. Single payer would only mean a total mandate to shoot up everyone with every nasty vaccine, and feed drugs to all. As it would be mandated under the all mighty single payer.

            I totally agree with you that the pharma advertising on TV should be done away with. It seems that we are the ONLY country in the world that this is allowed.

          • 1555

            The schools cannot teach critical thinking, as the Madison Avenue advertisers made sure that does not happen. Nobody would buy 80% of what is advertised on TV if we taught critical thinking in our schools.

          • Liz

            Thank G-d my father taught me to question everything and never pay attention to advertising. He told me when I was 6 years old that the things that are good for us and true don’t need advertising and then he used Hershey chocolate bars as an example….hahahahah back then, Hershey never advertised because it was so good that it didn’t need to. Although his example may not be an accurate one, especially today, it resonated with my 6 year old mind and has ever since.
            Advertising is slick and uses all sorts of subliminal mind controls. Back in the 60’s-70’s when we went to a drive in movie, the advertisers would actually inform us that they were using subliminal mind controls in their ads and they were proud of it and Americans thought nothing of it! They thought it was cool that they could be mentally forced to buy two hot dogs. Those types of people still exist today and despite not being able to afford something or knowing that their over-priced Nikes are just like the other shoddy cheaply manufactured shoes made in China, they are still willing to pay and go into debt because that’s the American way. Image is everything in America.

          • 1555

            225,000 thousand die each year from medical errors, from properly prescribed medications and such. That is 2.5 million each year who might be still alive if they did not visit the medical system.

        • baylady

          You are 100% CORRECT! US healthcare is a joke! It’s all about money, not saving lives! Cancer is a huge business and so is the treatment for it even though there is a cure out there, but then think of all the money big pharma would lose if the cure was made public? Chemo is nothing more than a way to keep you alive a little longer, then some years down the line you will end up dying from the chemo and the side effects you got from it. The fraud, theft, and corruption we are experiencing in this country is as bad as any third world muslim country.

          • Frances Gollahon

            Yep, I agree. Read The China Syndrome.

      • baylady

        Have you read any of the things the people of Canada have to say about their socialized healthcare? They hate it! They have to wait forever for routine things and things that are more emergent end up taking way longer than they should. A lot of Canadians come to the US for healthcare that they pay out of pocket for just so they can get treatment! The same holds true for the UK! Once the government provides healthcare, they will let us die before they will spend money to keep us alive!

        • Liz

          None of what you say is true. I’ve lived in Wales and have close friends in Canada. When they are sick, they walk down to the clinic and get treated immediately. No long waits and they get excellent care for the most part. Granted there are some things like Lyme that isn’t treated well but it isn’t in America either. The only thing that they may have to wait for is a cosmetic or voluntary procedure like a vasectomy and even then they only wait a month due to the required counseling. My friends who have come to stay with me from Europe or Canada get a rude awakening to the American way of life. Once they realize that we work ridiculous hours with little benefits if any, have horrible healthcare, huge unhealthy restaurant portions and epidemic violence, they are glad to return home. Go to the doctor in the UK or Canada and all you do is walk in, show them your card and that’s it. No bills, no calls to insurance companies. No worries.

      • Shane

        Obama is one of the many Leftists who are out to destroy America. Obama weakened America militarily, economically, and morally. Obamacare is really a massive wealth redistribution plan that takes money from Whites and Asians, and gives it to Blacks and Hispanics. We simply cannot afford Obamacare.

        • Erik Stark

          Holy crap. This is the thinking that is destroying America. Hello. Wake up.

          • Erik Stark

            By the way, Obamacare was really Romneycare which was really Bob Dole care. Pool the uninsured to give them buying power, give them to the for profit insurance companies, have a mandate (which Newt Gingrich was for at the time- part of that whole personal responsibility kick..), and the poorest give to Medicaid. This was his alternative to the Clinton plan being proposed in the 90’s. In other words, it’s a modest Republican plan. Maybe get informed instead of getting inflamed.

      • lindsncal

        “So far neither party has done much but rattle sabers, gloom and doom, all talk and no action.. ..”
        .Only Congress can make laws or spend money.
        2010. Mitch McConnell:.. Before Obama ever did a thing. “We Republicans remain resolute in our commitment to deny the Democrats anything that LOOKS like an accomplishment.”
        ”It’s our only goal.”
        We’ve had 17 years of a Republicans congress.
        Figure out who’s not doing anything.

    • Babs Mason

      Rude of you to use the picture of a queen to manipulate the minds of others?

  • Ann Anderson

    I think we need to take out all the taxes and all the pricing and and do away with the IRS AND GO TO A FLAT TAX AND SINGLE PAY DOCTOR PLAN. Instead of making the drs richer and the insurance companies and FDA richer It should be one insurance and single pay drs I am tired of paying their wages and making them wealthier.

  • TAM

    Obamacare ruined health care. Unfortunately, I do not know what the ultimate solution is. I do know that families should not have to pay more than the cost of a mortgage for health insurance. Bureaucratic administrative spending (the white elephant in the room) is pushing the cost of health care to astronomical levels. Additionally, the cost of drugs is another driver of expense. These costs need to be contained. Litigation (or the fear of) also pushes up the cost of care in very real dollars and cents. I believe that a kind and compassionate nation will ensure that individuals requiring care will receive that care, but a government-run system views people in terms of their utility rather than their dignity — and countries such as Canada and the UK do run foul of the dignity/utility line in the sand — they do not have perfect systems. We definitely need to fix health care. Obamacare is set to implode anyways, so either way, it will end. How we go about fixing health care requires more time and effort than congress is investing. I am pleased with neither party.

  • Rick Stanley

    Lindsey Graham the scumbag Rino strikes again.

  • baylady

    The idea of government sponsored healthcare for everyone is a nightmare to even think about! Everyone knows that anything the government touches turns to crap! Just look at the UK or Canada and read what people say about their socialized healthcare and you won’t want it! People think it’ll be more affordable, when it will be less affordable and the costs will go up higher than they are already! Repeal Obamacare and that’s it! I DON’T WANT ANY LOUSY SOCIALIZED HEALTHCARE!!

  • oaking

    Why is it so difficult for politicians to give up control? Oh, yeah, the giving up control part.

  • Frances Gollahon

    As a tip-of-the-iceberg idea…the easy solve…competition. Eliminate the state border restrictions and allow anybody to buy health insurance anywhere within the USA, coveraged would follow you no matter where you traveled or moved.

    Insurance companies would compete with each other for your business, premiums would become affordable, deductibles would become reasonable.

  • baylady

    I usually don’t read the Huffington Post because of all the lies they print, and It’s a very leftist rag so i would not be surprised to read that they think universal healthcare in the US is a good idea and that Canadian healthcare works well for their citizens.

    • Patricia P. Tursi

      I don’t usually read the HP because it is so high on Hillary. But they do have some good articles. Nothing is all good or all bad. I read left and right sites.

  • Charli

    I do not much care as long as there are NO mandates, NO bailouts for insurance carriers and NO taxpayer dollars paying for this behemoth health insurance plan, which in NO way equates to health “care.” The government already created Medicare and Medicaid. There was never a need for obamacare. What should happen is that everyone receiving Medicaid has to pay something for it without taxpayer dollars involved. Those of us who avoid doctors and prescription drugs must be able to maintain our choices in what happens with our bodies, something the government has NO right under our constitution to involve themselves.

  • NancyW

    TeslaFan, I was a health insurance agent for over 17 years. People constantly complained about “why don’t we have the same free health care that Canada has”?
    Answer, all of these countries you are speaking about who provide healthcare for their people have to have a way to pay for it. Doctors don’t work for fee except in communist countries where they are forced to do so with a subsidy barely enough to feed their families. Countries are going bankrupt all over the world trying to provide “free” healthcare. Tax dollars from hardworking Americans pay for “free” healthcare. Free healthcare also means you lose all your choices of care or lack thereof. When you say it should be a right, why not go so far as to say we should all have the basic “right” to eat? Does that mean that no one works for their groceries anymore? We all need to eat to sustain life, right? So where do you end the “nanny state” approach of what “we are intituled to” as American citizens (or even illegal immigrants)? War is not a good or bad thing. It becomes necessary to defend our great country from time to time, when all other options are exhausted. That doesn’t mean that all the wars are justified. Mistakes are made with leadership, no matter who is in charge. Sometimes greed becomes a factor, too, but I just ask you, where do we draw the line on “give-a-ways” in a society where less than half of the people now work and pay into the system? Money doesn’t grow on trees and hospitals and doctors can’t work for free. Check into some of these 37 other countries you speak about a little further and find out where the revenue comes from to pay for the “free” healthcare and while you’re at it, look into their financial stability as a whole and see how they are fairing.

  • Erik Stark

    ANH- I’m not sure why you’re so enamored of this notion of catastrophic insurance and states spending money as they see fit- as if that will ultimately benefit you. As many problems as Obamacare has, and there are many, they can be addressed with only a bipartisan effort. This disgusting bill, the parts you don’t want to talk about, is also part of a larger drive to provide huge tax cuts for the wealthiest in this country. It also cynically transfers money from those states that accepted the Medicaid block grants under Obamacare, and send them to the ones that didn’t- ie- shifts money from blue states to red states. It’s despicable and I wish your organization would do a little more research into the real damage of every proposal coming out of this Administration and Congress. It will truly create far more damage and fix nothing of our expensive health care system, while keeping us trapped in a for profit only health care debacle. That your organization is so enlightened and informative in so many other areas of health, it’s bizarre to me that this is your solution for our health insurance system– catastrophic insurance that ultimately we’ll all still pay for when someone actually needs more care, and keeping everything in the privatized for profit system. Competition doesn’t necessarily mean affordable and over the long run, between mergers and acquisitions and the push for profit, these initially more affordable proposals will creep up because that’s the pattern for almost every other industry. Though that may not break the bank when it concerns airlines or cars or retail chains, it can when it’s still the only option for health insurance.

    • Joe Brake

      Under Bernie Sanders’ single payer proposal he wants to increase the payroll tax to 26.8% on every dollar earned by the poorest working Americans. I’m not sure why you are so enamored with the idea of increasing the already too high taxes on the poorest working Americans. Under Donald Trump’s tax plan federal income taxes on this same group would be cut or eliminated altogether by doubling the standard deduction from $12,600 to $25,200 for a married couple so they would not owe any income tax at all unless they earned about $35,000.

      • Erik Stark

        Trump’s tax plan is unaffordable by any measure and even conservative estimates have said so. It explodes the deficit and the biggest giveaways are to the groups that need it the least… as always. He is protecting his own wealthy class first and foremost. As far as taxes to pay for health care, by every measure done by every independent analysis, we already pay more in this country for what we get with our health care dollar (and did before Obamacare as well) than any other developed nation paying those high taxes. You are under the mistaken impression, as per usual with folks who lambaste taxes as always basically too much and mostly evil, that lower taxes mean you’re paying less for services, like health care. It’s impossible to have a sensible conversation based on facts when you refuse to look at the actual out of pocket costs for citizens in this country vs. others when it comes to total health care costs and somehow think higher taxes must mean you’re paying more for your healthcare. Costs are hidden in numerous ways, not the least of which is our ridiculously high administrative costs to provide healthcare, costs that will only rise further by the way with this notion that each state should figure it out for themselves, essentially equating to 50 different healthcare systems. Good luck if you ever have to cross statelines to achieve this “new freedom” of healthcare and basically have to start over on every form, procedure, approval and whatever other particular hoops you have to jump through for that state. It’s an administrative healthcare nightmare that no one is talking about with all these supposed savings we’re going to have under a decentralized system of “choice”. Bottom line- taxes high or low are a meaningless discussion in and of themselves unless you include exactly what your are getting or not getting with those taxes vs. other ways to pay for those same essential services.

        • Joe Brake

          My comment was about how Bernie Sanders wants to increase payroll taxes on the poorest working Americans to 26.8% of every dollar they earn, and how Trump wants to decrease taxes by several thousand dollars on those same low income American workers. So rather than address my point, you introduce a lot of non-specific nonsense about how we cannot afford to lower taxes for anyone. I’m talking about Trump wanting to lower the tax burden on those same low income and middle class people you claim to be so concerned about the health of, while wanting to drastically increase their taxes. I have been critical of high sales taxes in European countries because the only people they hurt the most are the poor and the homeless. What good does it do to have free healthcare if a person is homeless or living in extreme poverty? Those same European countries which have high sales taxes also have a much lower corporate income tax than the US does, putting them at a competitive advantage in global markets. Obamacare has never been about affordable healthcare for everyone. Two of my grandsons who inquired about it were told that they didn’t need to worry about signing up because of their low income. All the countries which provide healthcare as a right also have private insurance available which the wealthier people purchase in order to obtain the highest quality healthcare, and anywhere from 15% to 30% or more of the healthcare in those countries is paid for by private insurance. Why would they do that if so called “single payer” healthcare is acceptable, or even tolerable? Trump’s tax plan called for eliminating the state and local property tax deductions, which would increase the federal income taxes paid by the wealthiest homeowners, so how is that designed to only help “his own wealthy class” as you say? My last point is that the Constitution was written exclusively by capitalists after Americans had been practicing capitalism for over 150 years, and no socialist signed it or attended the Convention. There is nothing in the Constitution that would allow the federal government to force the citizens into a socialist designed, federally controlled healthcare system. It would be totally unconstitutional; therefore unthinkable.

  • Joe Brake

    I don’t accept politically motivated articles from leftist organizations as fact. The CIA World Factbook says the US life expectancy is 79.8 years; not 78.8, and that makes a lot of difference in the rankings. It has been a long time since the US relied on “voluntary health insurance provided by third party companies rather than a government program.” When we have hundreds of thousands of women coming into this country from places like Mexico and China, and from all over the world to give birth it is likely to have a negative impact on the infant mortality rate. Why do they risk their lives to come here if conditions are so bad? Even though It has been widely known for many years that excessive salt, sugar, white flour, and saturated fat can shorten a persons’ life, very few people have decreased their consumption of any of these substances. The leftist media never passes up a chance to warn people about the dangers of taking vitamins or other food supplements, so why not place the blame with the people and the news media, rather than the insurance companies which are now doing only what the government allows or requires? I was diagnosed with diabetes over fifty years ago and told there was no cure, but I refused to accept that as fact. I have been a member of Life Extension for over thirty years, and I take a lot of supplements. My total cholesterol level stays around 145 without any drugs. I get blood testing regularly for many things, and I keep my blood vitamin D level in the high optimal range. My fasting blood glucose level stays under 90 without drugs, and my kidney function is much better than most people my age, so I expect more people to do more for their own health instead of expecting the doctors or the government to save them at the taxpayers’ expense. That won’t happen. In Europe, if you want a vitamin you have to get a doctor to prescribe a minuscule dose at a high price if you can convince him that you need it, and if the leftists get their way it will be the same in the US.

    • 1555

      They come here as “Birthing Tourists” to obtain citizenship for their children. This tourism is a substantial industry.

      • Joe Brake

        Birthing tourism, as you call it is substantial and very costly, and should be made illegal.

        • 1555

          Yes,thank you @! And a long time ago USA should have clarified that a child born here can only be a citizen IF BORN to parents here legally. Other countries do not have this unclarified citizen by birth status.
          We have to call our politicians , weekly, to get this done. Now.

    • Liz

      In all fairness, once someone becomes fodder to the medical establishment in the US, they become so dumbed down and made to believe their doctors know best- the doctors that aren’t even educated in nutrition because they don’t make money recommending lifestyle changes. These are doctors who were taught that colonoscopies and mammograms are preventive medicine. Out of all the doctors I’ve worked with, maybe a handful were actually healthy. Most were athletes that consumed junk. I know first hand that once you enter the medical arena in America, you get caught in their vicious web of corporate greed unless you have enough sense to get out ( like I did). I hadn’t been to a doctor that accepts insurance since 1999 until last year due to Lyme and oh my gosh has this ever been such a disturbing and disheartening experience. I was treated like prison inmate or a commodity. I only needed my Lyme to be treated ( a coin toss) but my doctors who accept insurance were required to increase productivity by making referrals to expensive specialists, selling certain drugs and they sold my medical info to marketers who now call my cell phone 10 times a day trying to sell me pain meds and the online patient portal for my digital records harasses me constantly for checkups, etc…My dog’s vet does the same thing and I don’t like that kind of invasion of privacy. I also discovered that they had coded my Lyme symptoms as separate diseases so that they could prescribe certain drugs. Therefore, my medical record isn’t accurate and G-d help me should I need to see an insured doctor or any new doctor for that matter. They wouldn’t be able to make heads or tails of my record.
      I found a lyme specialist that doesn’t accept insurance ( most don’t) and I’m currently using only herbal treatments now in conjunction with a prescribed diet and supplements and acupuncture with great success.

  • We have to drain the swamp by voting out life time politicians as they just keep lying to us about everything !

  • eyesandears

    I must agree that we’re fed excessive amounts of propaganda when it comes to both our care system and that of other countries. In traveling over the decades, it’s been typical for me to encounter many Canadians, to whom I raise questions concerning their health care experiences. Not one, ever, has expressed displeasure; in fact, it’s the opposite. We’re fed so many ‘untruths’ here in the US.

    • Patricia P. Tursi

      I found your comment interesting. I also ask questions of folks from other countries and those who have health care are amazed at what we accept in this country. We live in a sea or propaganda and still believe we have it great.

      • Liz

        Same experience for me Patricia. My friends from Canada and UK and Australia have commented on how ridiculous it is that we tolerate what we do in the US. Years ago, when I was still blind with patriotism, I would get so defensive and tell myself that they were pitiful, pathetic lazy spoiled brats who had no work ethic or desire to be independent. I feel embarrassed now that I even thought such things about my friends but I know now that I was manipulated to believe, my entire life, that America is the greatest country on earth because people who put work ahead of everything else will be successful and happy. All of my American friends except one left the US between 2008 and 2010. Every single one of them has told me that they feel such a sigh of relief and are able to focus on quality personal and social relationships. They love their neighbors, their communities and their healthcare.

        • Patricia P. Tursi

          Know what you mean Liz. As long as we believe it’s the best, we don’t bother learning about where it’s better!

  • 1555

    Americans do not pay for health care. The old Chinese medical system was a true health care. One went to their Chinese doctor, who adjusted kept them healthy. If one got sick , one got treated for free, until one got well again. One paid for being kept healthy. That is true health care. Here we have “sick care”. Plus the drug companies are allowed to create customers for life, by aiming to put people “on meds’ for life. Remember when you were a child, and got sick ? Doctor gave you medicine, you stayed home for a week, and GOT WELL. Now there are millions of people on various weird ‘meds’ mostly for side-effects of some of the other ‘meds’. Weird world, certainly would not call it “health care”.

    • Patricia P. Tursi

      Couldn’t agree more! The whole premise of “being under attack” fits in with our political system. Pasteur believed that our bodies were sterile and were invaded by germs. Antoine Beauchamp knew differently. He knew our bodies were an ecology of microorganisms. Now we know that we have trillions of organisms and that is a matter of balance…not good germs vs bad germs. Our Allopathic system was based upon a a lesser educated, but more profitable, system. Rockefeller and his Flexner report so Rockefeller could have control for his pharmaceuticals. Who do we learn about? Pasteur. Who has heard of Beauchamp?

  • archer

    The open enrollment short lived period to rush a decision into a health plan you won’t even know how much it will cost or cover down the road. Its absurd instigates insecurity to make the right health care choice to avoid the extortion of penalties its ignorant and ruthlessly threatening.