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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 08:35 PM
Original message
The arrogance of allowing "annual limits" on health care....
Edited on Fri Dec-11-09 08:36 PM by madfloridian
It is stupefying. It is mind-blowing. Surely the Senate knew someone would notice that they were stripping the lifeline for critically ill patients, hiding it deep down in the bill.

I feel like saying how dare they do this...but it would be a silly thing to say. They dare because they can, because they know they will get away with it.

Annual limits allowed in Senate health care plan

WASHINGTON A loophole in the Senate health care bill would let insurance companies place annual dollar limits on medical care for people struggling with costly illnesses such as cancer.

Adding to the confusion, the language is tucked away in a clause of the bill captioned "No lifetime or annual limits." Advocates for patients say it fails to deliver on that promise.

..."The legislation that originally passed the Senate health committee last summer would have banned dollar limits on medical coverage, but a second panel the Finance Committee disagreed. Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and others feared that an outright ban could drive insurance premiums higher for everyone, and sought to strike a balance.

As currently written, the Senate Democratic health care bill would permit insurance companies to place annual limits on the dollar value of medical care, as long as those limits are not "unreasonable." The bill does not define what level of limits would be allowable, delegating that task to administration officials.

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said that banning all limits could have have unintended consequences, leading to higher costs. "We continue to work with experts on how best to accomplish our goals of preventing insurance companies from imposing arbitrary coverage limits while providing the premium relief American families need and deserve," said Jim Manley.


The last few days I have read posts about how nearly all Democrats support Obama, how only a pathetic little few dare not.

It is not Obama I am concerned about. He has the oratorical ability to pull it off and come out in 2012 with flying colors.

It is another matter how he would lose the majority in congress just because of the endless ways they jerk around those of us who gave them a majority.

Those who are very ill, those with the most medical bills will pay dearly for that hidden clause that the Senate in its arrogance allowed to stay in there.

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Thickasabrick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 08:40 PM
Response to Original message
1. I thought the whole fucking point was to protect people from catastrophic
bills due to having a major life threatening disease. What in the fuck are we doing?
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I do not even pretend to know what they are doing.
I don't think even they know what they are doing.

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jtrockville Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 08:44 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Let's face it. They're protecting industry profits. Nothing more.
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GreenArrow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 10:09 PM
Response to Reply #3
13. That's it, in a nutshell,
Edited on Fri Dec-11-09 10:19 PM by GreenArrow
and why, at the end of the day, anything they end up doing is going to fail, spectacularly, for the very simple reason that it will have not dealt with the root of the problem.
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-12-09 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #2
38. They know exactly what they're doing. They serve their corporate owners
not us. As someone said earlier in the week; when they can find trillions for the corrupt banking industry with no strings attached and multiple wars against non-existent enemies and guys with boxcutters, yet have so little for health care, jobs, education and climate change then it's not for or about us.
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bluethruandthru Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 08:51 PM
Response to Original message
4. This is just one more reason why we need
Universal Single Payer health care! This whole process is so ridiculous. Our so called leaders are twisting and turning over every aspect of this "reform". So much time is spent worrying about what might happen if we do this...or what might happen if we do that....or will this make the insurance companies mad... How about they start thinking about what's the best thing for Americans? Not what's best for the insurance or pharmaceutical companies...but WHAT'S BEST FOR US?


Time to simplify the health care of Americans. If every other civilized nation can do it...why can't we?
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #4
18. yes, if every single other civilized nation
can do it, why can't we?

:shrug:

The more I ponder that question, the more I am convinced that maybe we are not that civilized. We prefer to wage war on poor desperate people in other nations more than health for our own citizens.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 08:55 PM
Response to Original message
5. Can you imagine what cancer patients would face?
It is mind-boggling.
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Obamanaut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 09:00 PM
Response to Original message
6. In the 2010 primaries, I will NOT vote for an incumbent. In the general
election, I will NOT vote for an incumbent. It does not matter to me if he or she is a Democrat, Republican, Unitarian, or Vegan - it is time for the office holders to be replaced with a fresh crop of weasels. The current crop has feasted in the henhouse long enough.
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asdjrocky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 09:02 PM
Response to Original message
7. Again, you can't make this stuff up.
It would be fun if it wasn't so murderous.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 09:21 PM
Response to Original message
8. Well, it did not take long for this practice to get defended here.
It's almost amusing.
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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 09:25 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. almost satirically, I'd say. but then I'm just being egotistical.
if I weren't, I guess I'd gladly give up my house in order to help pay the salary of, say, William McGuire

http://healthcare-economist.com/2006/02/14/united-healt... /

but he's worth every penny, no?
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-12-09 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #8
39. It's celebrity worshipers and trolls, nothing more. nt
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varelse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 09:34 PM
Response to Original message
10. Apparently if you have a serious, life threatening illness
It's selfish to want insurance to cover all the necessary treatment.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 09:44 PM
Response to Original message
11. I found this paragraph....but we need to watch them.
"LOOPHOLE ON LIMITS WILL BE CLOSED

In a victory for people with cancer and other serious medical problems, the White House agreed Friday to help close a loophole in the Senate health bill allowing annual dollar limits on their care. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network first called attention to a clause tucked into the Senate bill under the caption "No lifetime or annual limits" that would in fact permit such caps."

http://www.startribune.com/politics/national/congress/7...

I don't trust much anymore.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 10:04 PM
Response to Original message
12. Does this limit apply to current medicare patients? Medicare Advantage?
Who are we talking about? Who have they put before the death panels we did not think existed?

I fought for my daughters life for 53 years and now to let these bastards place limits on her care is like death for both of us. I once said I would protest in DC if they took her diapers away from her. How stupid I was. They don't even care about her life.

WHO put this limit in this bill? I would like the names, please. I would like the right to face her sentencers.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 10:12 PM
Response to Original message
14. I just read a post that it got killed.
I think the only way we will let these icy-blooded, billionaire senators know what it's really like to be insecure in our access to health care, is to take away their Cadillac health care plans paid for by us until they come up with something we can all live with.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 10:31 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Cancer society caught it. As I posted above they say they closed the hole.
But I am not really trusting them right now.
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FarLeftFist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 10:19 PM
Response to Original message
15. I heard there's no lifetime limit and the annual limits are very high.
But who knows.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 10:34 PM
Response to Original message
17. WH to help to close the loophole...now that the Cancer Society caught it.
What the hell did they do? Just slip it in and hope no one was paying attention?

http://www.fox11az.com/news/national/79104722.html

"The White House has agreed to help close a loophole in the Senate health care bill that would allow annual dollar limits on care for people with serious medical problems.

As currently written, a clause captioned "No lifetime or annual limits" in the Democratic bill would allow annual limits as long as they're not "unreasonable."

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network first called attention to the clause. It came from the Finance Committee, which feared that an outright ban on limits could drive premiums higher for everyone and was attempting to strike a balance.

But the cancer action network says the White House health reform director has agreed to work to change the language."


Agreed to "work to change the language." I would most certainly hope so.
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shadesofgray Donating Member (350 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 10:41 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. "Agreed to help" - well isn't that big of them. They should have taken the LEAD.
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Jakes Progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-12-09 01:55 AM
Response to Reply #20
23. Why now? They haven't taken the lead on anything worthwhile yet.
They have allowed themselves to be bullied and pushed and beaten into accepting a Pharma and Insurance bonanza and calling it a health reform bill.

Inept.
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shadesofgray Donating Member (350 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 10:39 PM
Response to Original message
19. Whether the loophole has been closed or not, the fact that it was in there in the first place
says it all about who the Senate cares about protecting - and it ain't us.

And I'm sure there's more where that came from.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 10:41 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. I agree. I hope all the fact checking groups catch the bad stuff....
before the voting.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 10:46 PM
Response to Original message
22. McJoan has a post up at DKos about this.
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/12/11/813271/-Re...

"The annual caps loophole was added to Reid's manager's amendment--the merged health care bill--because CBO told him to do it, apparently. Ezra:

Hill sources explain that this was inserted because CBO said premiums would "go through the roof" if insurers couldn't cap benefits. The official quote from Jim Manley, Harry Reid's spokesperson, says much the same thing. "We are concerned that banning all annual limits, regardless of whether services are voluntary, could lead to higher premiums," he explained. "We continue to work with experts on how best to accomplish our goals of preventing insurance companies from imposing arbitrary coverage limits while providing the premium relief American families need and deserve.

This, however, obscures the choice that's being made. The tradeoff here is slightly higher premiums for everyone versus total financial ruin for the people who absolutely need help the most. Politically, choosing "everyone" rather than "people with cancer" makes sense, because the first group has more votes than the second. But on a policy level, it's nuts. Health-care insurance literally exists to protect us from the worst-case scenarios. This provision says that the Senate bill will protect everyone but the truly worst-case scenarios. If you assume that people support the basic concept of health-care insurance, then they don't, or shouldn't, support this."

I am getting the feeling they really don't know what they are doing.

That scares me.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-12-09 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #22
29. The old Medicare and Medicaid programs often had the worst scenario
in their case list. If we want to keep the premium cost down on insurance then let all worst scenario cases enter Medicare as it used to be (prior to the Medicare Advance Insurance fraud) and just understand that the insurance companies are NOT doing anything except basic health care coverage. That is what they want and for my daughter it is also what i want. Something straight forward and simple.
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freddie mertz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-12-09 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #22
31. I'm sure they are clueless, and also probably don't care if any of us live or die.
Edited on Sat Dec-12-09 02:07 PM by freddie mertz
That is how rotten this whole thing seems to me.

"There is Evil in the world," as the president said the other day.

Sad to say, it appears that at least some of that evil currently resides in "our" Senate leadership.
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amandabeech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-12-09 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #22
32. So if no one had caught this, people with very serious health problems would be out of luck.
I cannot begin to explain just how furious this makes me.

Harry Reid should be drawn and quartered for trying to sneak this through a 2,000 page bill.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-12-09 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #32
35. That is what I am thinking.
Yes, it is scary.
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midnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-12-09 07:32 AM
Response to Original message
24. Then naturally limits on federal employees also apply.
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TheWebHead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-12-09 07:56 AM
Response to Original message
25. well even the proposed system is superior to what exists now
I think people will be surprised at the consequence of eliminating pre-existing and removing caps will have on premiums. Insurance is priced based on known liabilities, as is the case with car insurance, life and home. Removing caps means undefined liabilities, which will cause an immediate and large rise in rates because the number of high cost potential policyholders is unknown and because of medical advancement is likely to get larger and larger - insurance companies will have to raise reserves since they're stepping into the unknown. You treat everyone for everything no matter what the cost, the only pressure relief valve is raising premiums.
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RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-12-09 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #25
33. Which is exactly why we need Single Payer, Universal Health Care for all.
Every other industrialized country in the world has some form of universal health care for its citizens.
Why don't we? Our health care is run by For-Profit businesses. Therefore if you cost them too much money, you are a liability and are in real danger of being cut loose without a prayer.
And don't forget the stock holders dividends, exec salaries and bonuses and the 1.4 million of your premium dollars a day that they are spending on bribers lobbyists so our law makers see things the right way. See Senator Kent Conrad (DINO ND) for an example of how well that works.
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-12-09 01:46 PM
Response to Original message
26. "oratorical ability" is no longer enough
actions speak louder than words
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flyarm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-12-09 01:53 PM
Response to Original message
27. Harry Reid Slips Lifetime Limit Into Senate Bill
Harry Reid Slips Lifetime Limit Into Senate Bill

http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2009/12/11/harry-reid-... /

Harry Reid Slips Lifetime Limit Into Senate Bill
By: Jane Hamsher Friday December 11, 2009 8:34 am

When President Obama gave his speech on health care on September 10, he promised that there would be no limit on lifetime benefits under the health care bill:

They will no longer be able to place some arbitrary cap on the amount of coverage you can receive in a given year or a lifetime. We will place a limit on how much you can be charged for out-of-pocket expenses, because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they get sick.


Harry Reid didnt agree evidently. Reid, who is solely responsible for crafting the bill that he introduced in the Senate, decided that there should be a limit on lifetime benefits. So when people get sick and have huge bills for things like biologic drugs that cost $50,000 or $100,000 a year, whose bills could become unreasonable because Congress is granting drug manufacturers indefinite monopolies (per Henry Waxman) that prevent generics from coming to market to compete with them, Harry Reid thinks they should eventually be cut off:

A loophole in the Senate health care bill would let insurers place annual dollar limits on medical care for people struggling with costly illnesses such as cancer, prompting a rebuke from patient advocates.

The legislation that originally passed the Senate health committee last summer would have banned such limits, but a tweak to that provision weakened it in the bill now moving toward a Senate vote.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-12-09 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #27
30. That angers me so much.
Thanks for the link.
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clear eye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-14-09 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #27
41. Self-delete. Computer glitch.
Edited on Mon Dec-14-09 11:31 AM by clear eye
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clear eye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-14-09 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #27
42. At this point, progressives should be saying "no".
I no longer call my members of Congress asking for them to pass the current or reconciled bill. I call asking them to pass single-payer. I think that over the next few years I'm going to have more and more company in this.
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inna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-12-09 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
28. OMG. That's a new low.

Just when I thought it already couldn't get any worse.


:banghead:


:banghead:
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grahamhgreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-12-09 04:25 PM
Response to Original message
34. The plan is: "Don't get sick, if you do, you will die because we aint payin JACK!" nt
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JetCityLiberal Donating Member (706 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-12-09 04:34 PM
Response to Original message
36. This is wrong on so many levels
why is this crap always 'tucked away'...I know I know, I still am repulsed by this stuff.

And apparently they still aren't.

snip,
"If you can have annual limits, saying there's no lifetime limits becomes meaningless,"....yes it does Democrats, please stop this.

I will keep writing letters and I will once again have good facts with me because of your work here to keep us informed madfloridian.

Many thanks,
Paul
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Kansas Wyatt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-12-09 04:43 PM
Response to Original message
37. Caps make NO sense.
Who the fuck wants to be so sick that they have to receive so much medical care?

:shrug:

If the Insurance Industry has a problem with covering people that they took money from, then maybe we should REFORM Health Care into National Health Care.
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TruthScout Donating Member (3 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-12-09 09:38 PM
Response to Original message
40. These bastards think we're stupid...
...and maybe we are for trusting them with the majority. Not much choice, though.
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-14-09 11:31 AM
Response to Original message
43. Sick & sad
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Tailormyst Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-14-09 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
44. Its become very clear who the politicians in DC work for
And it is not "we the people".
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laughingliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-14-09 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
45. In my more cynical moments I question if losing our majorities in the Senate and Congress is a goal
I know this is over the top but IF it is the intention of this administration to appease the big money people, having Democratic majorities in both houses is inconvenient. A lot of Democratic voters gave Clinton a pass on some of the corporate friendly, harmful to the working class and poor stands. We told ourselves it was because he had to work with Republican majorities in the legislative bodies after 1994.

President Obama has no such cover for blowing corporate America and it does make it difficult to blame Republicans, entirely. He doesn't call out the Blue Dogs on their corporate pandering but the American people must be aware the Republicans could not be blocking the President's agenda on their own. Losing majorities in 2010 would allow the administration the cover to support the corporate masters and blame Republicans for the lack of a more progressive agenda.
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