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Old 10-09-2009, 01:53 AM   #101
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Rejecting reform again would be folly, Dole says

By BARBARA SHELLY
The Kansas City Star

Fifteen years ago, Bob Dole decided it was better to kill health care reform than to hand a Democratic president a historic victory.

Since then, praise be, he’s reformed his thinking.

In Kansas City this week, the former Republican Senate majority leader and presidential candidate added his voice — still strong at age 86 — to the push to help all Americans afford good health care.

“This is one of the most important measures members of Congress will vote on in their lifetimes,” Dole told an audience at the Liberty Memorial auditorium.

Dole and Tom Daschle, the former Democratic Senate leader, have been collaborating for months on a set of health care principles they think can achieve bipartisan consensus. Their efforts have earned him a rebuke from Senate Republicans, Dole said.

“We’re already hearing from some high-ranking Republicans that we shouldn’t do that (because) ‘That’s helping the president,’ ” he said.

Later, Dole identified one critic as a “very prominent Republican, who happens to be the Republican leader of the Senate.”

That would be Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Dole, to his credit, is tuning out the interference. “I don’t want the Republicans putting up a ‘no’ sign and saying, ‘we’re not open for business,’ ” he said.

Good for him. But if McConnell is myopic enough to lean on an elder statesman, one can imagine the pressure on members of the caucus.

In their statement, Dole and Daschle said they had each “worked for years to reform the health care system and watched with frustration as efforts failed time and time again.”

That claim is misleading in Dole’s case. As Senate majority leader, he worked to achieve a compromise health care bill during Bill Clinton’s first term and then abruptly reversed course. “There is no health care crisis,” Dole asserted, and declared the GOP caucus off-limits to White House proposals.

Clinton pegs the change of heart to a memo written by Republican strategist Bill Kristol, who warned party leaders that a health care victory would empower Democrats “for a generation.”

Dole, asked recently by reporters about Clinton’s contention, doesn’t deny it. He obliquely blames “politics” for the failure of health care reform in 1994.

Today, Dole is promoting the bill up for a vote in the Senate Finance Committee as the most promising vehicle to achieve reform.

“I want this to pass,” he told the Kansas City audience. “I don’t agree with everything President Obama is proposing, but we’ve got to do something.”

His good advice to Congress today: Get something done. Give more Americans affordable access to better care. Change the incentives in health care to reward value, not volume. If you can’t fix everything in one bill, get 70 percent done and take on the rest later.

Since 1994, when Dole and others allowed politics to derail reform, the amount the average American spends on health care has risen an average of 5.5 percent a year — more than twice the rate of inflation over those 15 years. The ranks of the uninsured have increased.

Health care spending now takes up more than 17 percent of the total value of goods and services produced in the U.S. If we go an additional 15 years without reform, the Congressional Budget Office predicts we’ll be spending a whopping 25 percent of our gross domestic product on health care.
Bob Dole
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Old 10-13-2009, 02:06 PM   #102
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The Finance comittee's bill has just passed, with Olympia Snowe being the only Republican voting in favor.

Whoopie. Hard to excited when there's no public option in it and when it still forces people who already have health insurance to keep it. Blowjob to the health insurance industry.

The One Hope remaining is that when this bill passes the whole Senate, it will have to be reconciled with the House bill, which likely is a much more liberal bill, and that maybe, just maybe, the House bill can win out. If Obama does anything other than promise a veto of any bill that doesn't contain a public option, he's a coward.
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Old 10-13-2009, 02:52 PM   #103
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If Obama does anything other than promise a veto of any bill that doesn't contain a public option, he's a coward.
Oh please

If anyone thought this would happen overnight they were naive, it takes compromise and steps in order to make big reform.
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Old 10-13-2009, 03:07 PM   #104
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Whoopie. Hard to excited when there's no public option in it and when it still forces people who already have health insurance to keep it. Blowjob to the health insurance industry.
I read something a while back that went something like this:

Quote:
It's the job of congressional Republicans to kill national health care.

It's the job of congressional Democrats to kill national health care while not making it look obvious that they're killing it.
Too true.
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Old 10-13-2009, 05:59 PM   #105
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Oh please

If anyone thought this would happen overnight they were naive, it takes compromise and steps in order to make big reform.
I think it's been conclusively shown that compromise and steps have taken you just about nowhere in 70+ years.

Sometimes you have to act boldly and do the right thing and not incrementally either. I believe this is one such occasion.
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Old 10-13-2009, 06:18 PM   #106
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I think it's been conclusively shown that compromise and steps have taken you just about nowhere in 70+ years.

Sometimes you have to act boldly and do the right thing and not incrementally either. I believe this is one such occasion.
Yes, but we haven't taken any steps in 70+ years, I mean none that were significant. Besides medicare I just can't think of anything that got far enough to be considered a "step".

Believe me I think a bold move would be better, but I just don't see it happening in the US, for being "the best country in the world" we're very damn slow when it comes to change.
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Old 10-13-2009, 07:51 PM   #107
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^Sadly I agree with BVS. And sadly, I'm pretty sure Obama will sign a bill without a public option. He's already pretty much telegraphed that he would.

The problem is that "lowering health care costs" necessarily means "lowering profits for the health care industry". The reality is that anything that will actually lower costs (and thus lower profits) will be fought tooth and nail by the health care industry.
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Old 10-14-2009, 07:52 AM   #108
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Of course after all the publicity Rocky Mtn Health Plan is insuring Alex



denverpost.com

GRAND JUNCTION — Alex Lange is a chubby, dimpled, healthy and happy 4-month-old.

But in the cold, calculating numbered charts of insurance companies, he is fat. That's why he is being turned down for health insurance. And that's why he is a weighty symbol of a problem in the health care reform debate.

Insurance companies can turn down people with pre-existing conditions who aren't covered in a group health care plan.

Alex's pre-existing condition — "obesity" — makes him a financial risk. Health insurance reform measures are trying to do away with such denials that come from a process called "underwriting."

"If health care reform occurs, underwriting will go away. We do it because everybody else in the industry does it," said Dr. Doug Speedie, medical director at Rocky Mountain Health Plans, the company that turned down Alex.

By the numbers, Alex is in the 99th percentile for height and weight for babies his age. Insurers don't take babies above the 95th percentile, no matter how healthy they are otherwise.

"I could understand if we could control what he's eating. But he's 4 months old. He's breast-feeding. We can't put him on the Atkins diet or on a treadmill," joked his frustrated father, Bernie Lange, a part-time news anchor at KKCO-TV in Grand Junction. "There is just something absurd about denying an infant."

Bernie and Kelli Lange tried to get insurance for their growing family with Rocky Mountain Health Plans when their current insurer raised their rates 40 percent after Alex was born. They filled out the paperwork and awaited approval, figuring their family is young and healthy. But the broker who was helping them find new insurance called Thursday with news that shocked them.

" 'Your baby is too fat,' she told me," Bernie said.

Up until then, the Langes had been happy with Alex's healthy appetite and prodigious weight gain. His pediatrician had never mentioned any weight concerns about the baby they call their "happy little chunky monkey."

His 2-year-old brother, Vincent, had been a colicky baby who had trouble putting on pounds.

At birth, Alex weighed a normal 8 1/4 pounds. On a diet of strictly breast milk, his weight has more than doubled. He weighs about 17 pounds and is about 25 inches long.

"I'm not going to withhold food to get him down below that number of 95," Kelli Lange said. "I'm not going to have him screaming because he's hungry."

Speedie said not many people seeking individual health insurance are turned down because of weight. But it does happen. Some babies less hefty than Alex have had to get health endorsements from their pediatricians. Adults who have a body-mass index of 30 and above are turned down because they are considered obese.

The Langes, both slender, don't know where Alex's propensity for pounds came from. Their other child is thin. No one in their families has a weight problem.

The Langes are counting on the fact that Alex will start shedding pounds when he starts crawling. He is already a kinetic bundle of arm- and leg-waving energy in a baby suit sized for a 9-month-old.

They joked that when he is ready for solid food, they will start him on Slim-Fast.

Meanwhile, they made Alex's plight public on KKCO this week. They plan to appeal Rocky Mountain's denial.

If that doesn't work, they plan to take their case to the Colorado Division of Insurance.

"My gripe is not with Rocky Mountain," Bernie said. "It's with the general state of the health care system."
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Old 10-14-2009, 09:40 AM   #109
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my premium just went up another $50 a month. it's increased by $100 per month since 2007.

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Old 10-14-2009, 12:05 PM   #110
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The Finance comittee's bill has just passed, with Olympia Snowe being the only Republican voting in favor.
And the reason she supported it according to Rush, "because she's a woman".

But all you Rush worshipers don't worry Rush is not sexist, nor is he a racist, or an arrogant asshole.
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Old 10-14-2009, 04:44 PM   #111
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And the reason she supported it according to Rush, "because she's a woman".
Ha. Show me.
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Old 10-14-2009, 05:02 PM   #112
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But all you Rush worshipers don't worry Rush is not sexist, nor is he a racist, or an arrogant asshole.
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Old 10-14-2009, 05:03 PM   #113
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Ha. Show me.
It was this morning, even joked to the staff that he had a 30 second delay and put it to a vote if they should bleep it.

So I doubt there's any transcript or youtube yet.
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Old 10-14-2009, 05:06 PM   #114
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this is about Rush, not Olbermann.
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Old 10-14-2009, 05:12 PM   #115
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my premium just went up another $50 a month. it's increased by $100 per month since 2007.

Holy shit. Just the amount your insurance premiums have increased since 2007 puts it out of reach for me.
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Old 10-14-2009, 05:14 PM   #116
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Holy shit. Just the amount your insurance premiums have increased since 2007 puts it out of reach for me.


is there anything i can do?

seriously, anyone. any ideas? i'm kind of aghast.
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Old 10-14-2009, 05:17 PM   #117
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That is true. I heard it. Not only did he say it, and I heard him joking with staff about bleeping it. So I didn't hear it from a third party either.
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Old 10-14-2009, 05:18 PM   #118
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is there anything i can do?

seriously, anyone. any ideas? i'm kind of aghast.
SAVE(can't express that enough) go back to school to get a better job and believe in freedom.
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Old 10-14-2009, 05:18 PM   #119
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is there anything i can do?

seriously, anyone. any ideas? i'm kind of aghast.
i know this sounds kind of wussy, but can you complain to hr? that's a ridiculous price increase.
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Old 10-14-2009, 05:20 PM   #120
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is there anything i can do?

seriously, anyone. any ideas? i'm kind of aghast.
Move to Canada. But that would require going to Canada. And we all know how irrelevant Canada is.
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