66 thoughts on “Poll: Give your Opinion on Healthcare Reform”

  1. Where is the none of the above option? I support health insurance reform, but I don’t support anything 100%. None of the options apply to me.

  2. Where is the none of the above option? I support health insurance reform, but I don’t support anything 100%. None of the options apply to me.

  3. I think that is a given. The only people that agree with something 100% are probably blind to the bad. I can put a wishy-washy option if you want.

  4. I think that is a given. The only people that agree with something 100% are probably blind to the bad. I can put a wishy-washy option if you want.

  5. If you said 90% agree, I would probably choose that one. I think that the US is in desperate need of health insurance reform. I think that what has been preposed has made too many concessions to the health insurance industry.
    Because of her illnesses my sister has been without health insurance and basic health care for 25 years.

    Because of life time caps on our health insurance my wife and I could be without insurance in a few months if we have a catastrophic illness or accident.

  6. If you said 90% agree, I would probably choose that one. I think that the US is in desperate need of health insurance reform. I think that what has been preposed has made too many concessions to the health insurance industry.
    Because of her illnesses my sister has been without health insurance and basic health care for 25 years.

    Because of life time caps on our health insurance my wife and I could be without insurance in a few months if we have a catastrophic illness or accident.

  7. I wasn’t thinking and picked the sarcastic option “I love having insurance companies making record profits” before I remembered how poorly irony plays online. Because I’ve never been taken seriously when saying something I thought was ludicrous on the Internet.

  8. I wasn’t thinking and picked the sarcastic option “I love having insurance companies making record profits” before I remembered how poorly irony plays online. Because I’ve never been taken seriously when saying something I thought was ludicrous on the Internet.

  9. The saddest thing is that that comment had a bunch of really hilarious ‘sarcasm’ HTML tags that the computer, perfectly sincere as in all things, stripped out for me. Thanks, Internet!

  10. The saddest thing is that that comment had a bunch of really hilarious ‘sarcasm’ HTML tags that the computer, perfectly sincere as in all things, stripped out for me. Thanks, Internet!

  11. That’s why I gave the “I agree, but am nervous” option. I suppose I needed to do something between. Just choose a “best fit.” No commitments here. It’s just for fun.

  12. That’s why I gave the “I agree, but am nervous” option. I suppose I needed to do something between. Just choose a “best fit.” No commitments here. It’s just for fun.

  13. Where’s the option for “I wish he would try to totally socialize healthcare but I know that’s not actually on the table”?

  14. Where’s the option for “I wish he would try to totally socialize healthcare but I know that’s not actually on the table”?

  15. I guess I didn’t think it over. It’s never happened with a poll before. People are more serious about this than previous ones – which makes sense now that I think about it.

  16. I guess I didn’t think it over. It’s never happened with a poll before. People are more serious about this than previous ones – which makes sense now that I think about it.

  17. I understand 100%. I blog on it frequently. It is very serious to me because I see it every day. But some of my previous polls have been serious as well, but they never got people begging for other options. Interesting social comment.

  18. I understand 100%. I blog on it frequently. It is very serious to me because I see it every day. But some of my previous polls have been serious as well, but they never got people begging for other options. Interesting social comment.

  19. I didn’t vote and I’m wondering what your profits are. Private insurance companies profit approximately 3 cents out of every dollar they make. Is that record profits? I guess I’m the stupid one thinking that a doctor would clearly know it’s the blood sucking malpractice attorneys who profit approximately 38 cents on every dollar they make that have the “record profits”. It was just so dumb of me to actually think that the government paying doctors and hospitals one third of what private insurance companies pay causes doctors and hospitals to charge more to private insurance companies to make up the difference. I guess you told us dummies what’s what.

  20. I didn’t vote and I’m wondering what your profits are. Private insurance companies profit approximately 3 cents out of every dollar they make. Is that record profits? I guess I’m the stupid one thinking that a doctor would clearly know it’s the blood sucking malpractice attorneys who profit approximately 38 cents on every dollar they make that have the “record profits”. It was just so dumb of me to actually think that the government paying doctors and hospitals one third of what private insurance companies pay causes doctors and hospitals to charge more to private insurance companies to make up the difference. I guess you told us dummies what’s what.

  21. Before you get too smug, here are some other numbers that disagree with your numbers: http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2009/08/05/are-health-insurers-making-too-much-money/Perhaps you may disagree, but just as you can pull numbers, so can anyone else. A true number is the $2.9 Billion profits United HC made in 2008 (which was a 37% DECREASE from the previous year). That is profit, not revenue. That is what is left after the bills are paid.

    If there are 100,000 family physicians in the US, these profits would equate to a $30,000 check to each of them. And this is just one private insurer among many.

    So your numbers are somehow hollow.

  22. Before you get too smug, here are some other numbers that disagree with your numbers: http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2009/08/05/are-health-insurers-making-too-much-money/Perhaps you may disagree, but just as you can pull numbers, so can anyone else. A true number is the $2.9 Billion profits United HC made in 2008 (which was a 37% DECREASE from the previous year). That is profit, not revenue. That is what is left after the bills are paid.

    If there are 100,000 family physicians in the US, these profits would equate to a $30,000 check to each of them. And this is just one private insurer among many.

    So your numbers are somehow hollow.

  23. From http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2009/industries/223/index.htmlIf you take all of the top insurance companies’ profits, it equates to $8.7 Billion in 2008 alone.

    For this money to come directly out of a failing industry is hard to swallow. Yes, I have trouble with the lawyers, but that does not negate my discomfort with the insurance industry’s profits. They are called upon to manage the money, yet their incentive is to make profits. It’s not immoral for them to do so, it is just incredibly stupid of our system to trust them with the job.

  24. From http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2009/industries/223/index.htmlIf you take all of the top insurance companies’ profits, it equates to $8.7 Billion in 2008 alone.

    For this money to come directly out of a failing industry is hard to swallow. Yes, I have trouble with the lawyers, but that does not negate my discomfort with the insurance industry’s profits. They are called upon to manage the money, yet their incentive is to make profits. It’s not immoral for them to do so, it is just incredibly stupid of our system to trust them with the job.

  25. The website you directed me to is adding in marketing, administrative costs and profits together. Also, you contradicted yourself with your example of United. If they made less money than the prevous year, how can that be “record” profits?

  26. The website you directed me to is adding in marketing, administrative costs and profits together. Also, you contradicted yourself with your example of United. If they made less money than the prevous year, how can that be “record” profits?

  27. I was wondering if you noticed that. So they aren’t record profits. I could just use the word “unconscionable” or “obscene” if you wish… Regardless, $8.7 Billion in one year (that you did not comment on) is not chump change. Do you think what they do is worth this? If you do, you are in a very, very small minority.
    Regarding the website I sent you to, it is no better than the 3 cent number that comes from the insurance industry. People can use numbers to make their point regardless of the point. I simply don’t think the insurance industry is a wise choice as the keeper of the money when they are motivated to give shareholders the maximum return. It just doesn’t make sense to do this.

    I am most angry about this because these numbers are held against the denials I see every day and the incredible burden they put on me and my office staff. Our office alone spends at least $60-80 thousand each year paying for employees to deal with the maze the insurance companies lay down. They are often incredibly unreasonable and do nothing to make things easy. They have no motivation to do so, as any money I get from them reduces their profits.

  28. I was wondering if you noticed that. So they aren’t record profits. I could just use the word “unconscionable” or “obscene” if you wish… Regardless, $8.7 Billion in one year (that you did not comment on) is not chump change. Do you think what they do is worth this? If you do, you are in a very, very small minority.
    Regarding the website I sent you to, it is no better than the 3 cent number that comes from the insurance industry. People can use numbers to make their point regardless of the point. I simply don’t think the insurance industry is a wise choice as the keeper of the money when they are motivated to give shareholders the maximum return. It just doesn’t make sense to do this.

    I am most angry about this because these numbers are held against the denials I see every day and the incredible burden they put on me and my office staff. Our office alone spends at least $60-80 thousand each year paying for employees to deal with the maze the insurance companies lay down. They are often incredibly unreasonable and do nothing to make things easy. They have no motivation to do so, as any money I get from them reduces their profits.

  29. You’re right that I should address the profits. The industry is huge with thousands of companies. I guess if I took another entire private industry, I would see a bit of the same unless they’re one of the industries we just bailed out for hundreds of billions of dollars. That was truly “obscene”. I think I prefer my chances with private insurance rather than “trusting” the government with my money, my health, and my private medical records. I’m also simply surprised that you’re completely OK with the amount of money you must be paying for malpractice insurance. I would imagine those payments are “unconscienable”. I guess we won’t agree regarding medical insurance or any other insurance for that matter.

  30. You’re right that I should address the profits. The industry is huge with thousands of companies. I guess if I took another entire private industry, I would see a bit of the same unless they’re one of the industries we just bailed out for hundreds of billions of dollars. That was truly “obscene”. I think I prefer my chances with private insurance rather than “trusting” the government with my money, my health, and my private medical records. I’m also simply surprised that you’re completely OK with the amount of money you must be paying for malpractice insurance. I would imagine those payments are “unconscienable”. I guess we won’t agree regarding medical insurance or any other insurance for that matter.

  31. Gosh, Maggiesmom – which insurance company do you work for? Oh, and you are quite misinformed with respect to the amount of money plaintiffs’ attorneys take from the healthcare system, but since you appear to work for an insurance company, it is in your best interest to make attorneys out to be the devil. You lack credibility. Also, please continue to avoid voting in elections. We all appreciate it.

  32. Gosh, Maggiesmom – which insurance company do you work for? Oh, and you are quite misinformed with respect to the amount of money plaintiffs’ attorneys take from the healthcare system, but since you appear to work for an insurance company, it is in your best interest to make attorneys out to be the devil. You lack credibility. Also, please continue to avoid voting in elections. We all appreciate it.

  33. The amount I pay for malpractice is a fraction of what I pay to deal with the headaches the insurance company poses. Remember the amount I pay for staff to deal with insurance woes? You really have no idea what I have to deal with every day. There is no way you would defend them if you did.
    You are simply avoiding the fact that they suck 8.7 billion out of a sinking ship. They drop people when they get sick. They make life very difficult for people who are sick or dying and do so for the sake of shareholders.

    Malpractice has a place – doctors do need to be held accountable. It should be capped. There are ridiculous settlements. There is defensive medicine. I don’t defend it at all, I just think it is not quite as bad as insurance. They pretend to offer healthcare. They prevent it.

  34. The amount I pay for malpractice is a fraction of what I pay to deal with the headaches the insurance company poses. Remember the amount I pay for staff to deal with insurance woes? You really have no idea what I have to deal with every day. There is no way you would defend them if you did.
    You are simply avoiding the fact that they suck 8.7 billion out of a sinking ship. They drop people when they get sick. They make life very difficult for people who are sick or dying and do so for the sake of shareholders.

    Malpractice has a place – doctors do need to be held accountable. It should be capped. There are ridiculous settlements. There is defensive medicine. I don’t defend it at all, I just think it is not quite as bad as insurance. They pretend to offer healthcare. They prevent it.

  35. Obviously Maggie never needed an MRI and never got sick so the insurance rates went way up.

  36. Obviously Maggie never needed an MRI and never got sick so the insurance rates went way up.

  37. Speaking from the perspective of someone that was ill, delayed medical treatment until it became an emergency and was ill $10,000 for 15 mins with a doctor (at the emergency room)and a 1/2 hour of treatment, something must be done. Without insurance u live in perpetual fear of being sick, because the emergency room charges $8.00 per Tylenol and u don’t get one bill, you receive several.When u get insurance u are told that you have a pre-existing condition and you are not covered, so u wait a year or so until your private insurer has sucked enough money from your pocket, only to be hit with high premiums (because now They know that u need insurance).
    Forgive my rant, what I am saying is charity begins at home and it can’t be considered charity if I have been paying my taxes… Obama PLEASE give me a chance or just a choice.

  38. Speaking from the perspective of someone that was ill, delayed medical treatment until it became an emergency and was ill $10,000 for 15 mins with a doctor (at the emergency room)and a 1/2 hour of treatment, something must be done. Without insurance u live in perpetual fear of being sick, because the emergency room charges $8.00 per Tylenol and u don’t get one bill, you receive several.When u get insurance u are told that you have a pre-existing condition and you are not covered, so u wait a year or so until your private insurer has sucked enough money from your pocket, only to be hit with high premiums (because now They know that u need insurance).
    Forgive my rant, what I am saying is charity begins at home and it can’t be considered charity if I have been paying my taxes… Obama PLEASE give me a chance or just a choice.

  39. I have been sick and needed an MRI that I received the very next morning due to the urgency. My insurance rates go up every year just like everyone else and the technology is better every year just like it is for everyone else. I know you’re concerned and see things in a certain way. I appreciate that and I now know I’m not going to convince you of anything but you really shouldn’t resort to personal attacks regarding my health. Was that necessary?

  40. I have been sick and needed an MRI that I received the very next morning due to the urgency. My insurance rates go up every year just like everyone else and the technology is better every year just like it is for everyone else. I know you’re concerned and see things in a certain way. I appreciate that and I now know I’m not going to convince you of anything but you really shouldn’t resort to personal attacks regarding my health. Was that necessary?

  41. The issue is the total cost of health care and the non value added expense in the system. According to President Obama we spend as a nation $3 trillion/yr in this country on health care and that is twice as high per person than any other developed nation. Health care cost have been rising faster than inflation for some years. Health care costs will “bankrupt our economy” if nothing changes (this is a claim of the President). I AGREE.
    We need to get Dr. Rob (and other Docs like him), along with hospital and lab representatives, nurses, pharmacists, insurance companies, drug companies and maybe somebody from the NIH all in the same room to “slug” out a better system. I have been trying to read the current bill and there is not much in it that reduces costs or rewards cutting out waste. Dr. Rob could do better. In fact it is estimated that health care reform will cost more per year and person than today. We are not addressing the issue! If we address the issue we could cover the uninsured for the same costs, maybe lower.

    $8.7 billion is not chump change, but it is just 0.3% of the $3 trillion total cost. We need more than that. The travesty is the amount doctors spend on non-value added coding and complying with insurance. How do we cut that out. There needs to be insurance regulations and the current bill does address pre-existing conditions, denials, etc. That’s good, but not enough.

    I don’t have the answer… but the current bill does not address the cost issue, so I voted “there are much better alternatives”. My second choice was “healthcare” should be reformed so that it is spelled “health care”. I wish it were that easy. Health Care! HAH! Done, it is reformed.

  42. The issue is the total cost of health care and the non value added expense in the system. According to President Obama we spend as a nation $3 trillion/yr in this country on health care and that is twice as high per person than any other developed nation. Health care cost have been rising faster than inflation for some years. Health care costs will “bankrupt our economy” if nothing changes (this is a claim of the President). I AGREE.
    We need to get Dr. Rob (and other Docs like him), along with hospital and lab representatives, nurses, pharmacists, insurance companies, drug companies and maybe somebody from the NIH all in the same room to “slug” out a better system. I have been trying to read the current bill and there is not much in it that reduces costs or rewards cutting out waste. Dr. Rob could do better. In fact it is estimated that health care reform will cost more per year and person than today. We are not addressing the issue! If we address the issue we could cover the uninsured for the same costs, maybe lower.

    $8.7 billion is not chump change, but it is just 0.3% of the $3 trillion total cost. We need more than that. The travesty is the amount doctors spend on non-value added coding and complying with insurance. How do we cut that out. There needs to be insurance regulations and the current bill does address pre-existing conditions, denials, etc. That’s good, but not enough.

    I don’t have the answer… but the current bill does not address the cost issue, so I voted “there are much better alternatives”. My second choice was “healthcare” should be reformed so that it is spelled “health care”. I wish it were that easy. Health Care! HAH! Done, it is reformed.

  43. You make some good points, but all the president is doing is quoting OECD statistics – brief summary of the salient points from those that I can remember:-USA spends 16% of GDP on health care, and has the 37th best system.
    Next highest percentage spend is France with 11%, and the average of the top 30 highest spends is 8%. All 29 of the other top 30 spending nations have better health care (OECD measures) than the USA despite spending less, and having more government-administered (and hence not administered for profit) systems.

  44. You make some good points, but all the president is doing is quoting OECD statistics – brief summary of the salient points from those that I can remember:-USA spends 16% of GDP on health care, and has the 37th best system.
    Next highest percentage spend is France with 11%, and the average of the top 30 highest spends is 8%. All 29 of the other top 30 spending nations have better health care (OECD measures) than the USA despite spending less, and having more government-administered (and hence not administered for profit) systems.

  45. I said I support him 100 percent, which is probably an exaggeration. I’d have chosen the “I support him but I’m nervous” if the sentence didn’t end with “about the government getting more involved.” That part doesn’t make me nervous. It makes me relieved. What I’m nervous about is that Obama and the Dems will wimp out and we’ll end up with the “state co-ops” instead of a true public option. What I really want, but I understand won’t happen this time around, is a single-payer system. Nothing is ever going to be perfect until/unless Star Trek’s medical technology and economic system (pure Socialism — everything’s free and people work because they WANT to contribute! No hunger, no homelessness, very little disease. Utopia!) come to pass. And I’m not holding my breath for that. 🙂

  46. I said I support him 100 percent, which is probably an exaggeration. I’d have chosen the “I support him but I’m nervous” if the sentence didn’t end with “about the government getting more involved.” That part doesn’t make me nervous. It makes me relieved. What I’m nervous about is that Obama and the Dems will wimp out and we’ll end up with the “state co-ops” instead of a true public option. What I really want, but I understand won’t happen this time around, is a single-payer system. Nothing is ever going to be perfect until/unless Star Trek’s medical technology and economic system (pure Socialism — everything’s free and people work because they WANT to contribute! No hunger, no homelessness, very little disease. Utopia!) come to pass. And I’m not holding my breath for that. 🙂

  47. Wow. You clearly have better insurance than I do. In similar situations, my PCP has to send me to the emergency room to get that MRI so quickly because to get a “scheduled” one takes at least a week and sometimes a month to get approval from the insurance company.
    And then of course, there’s the ER bill on top of the MRI, which costs more when you come in through the ER …

    And I thought my insurance, while exorbitant, was fairly good coverage. Clearly not tops though.

  48. Wow. You clearly have better insurance than I do. In similar situations, my PCP has to send me to the emergency room to get that MRI so quickly because to get a “scheduled” one takes at least a week and sometimes a month to get approval from the insurance company.
    And then of course, there’s the ER bill on top of the MRI, which costs more when you come in through the ER …

    And I thought my insurance, while exorbitant, was fairly good coverage. Clearly not tops though.

  49. Dr. Rob, I’m guessing that you live in Georgia District 10. I thought I had found your email address, but since I got no response I guess it has been abandoned.
    I would love it if you would help us figure out what to do to make a difference with health insurance reform.

  50. Dr. Rob, I’m guessing that you live in Georgia District 10. I thought I had found your email address, but since I got no response I guess it has been abandoned.
    I would love it if you would help us figure out what to do to make a difference with health insurance reform.

  51. Apologies for the mild threadjack, but Star Trek (TNG and on; it’s never discussed in the Classic (Kirk era) series) is a true Communist society, where the people own the means of production et al in common, and work to better themselves and society.
    That aside, I’d be interested in knowing where this “true single payer” health care system exists. It’s certainly not in the UK, where everyone has NHS cover for emergency services and critical care, and what additional private cover mostly does is offer electives.

  52. Apologies for the mild threadjack, but Star Trek (TNG and on; it’s never discussed in the Classic (Kirk era) series) is a true Communist society, where the people own the means of production et al in common, and work to better themselves and society.
    That aside, I’d be interested in knowing where this “true single payer” health care system exists. It’s certainly not in the UK, where everyone has NHS cover for emergency services and critical care, and what additional private cover mostly does is offer electives.

  53. Dear All, I’ve wondered through all the debates over Health Care, why the Department of Health doesn’t take a more active roll… think about it, Just about every county of every state has a Health Department. For example: kids shots, sore throats, and general check-ups, even car crashes, with referrals to family doctors or specialists – provided for anyone with minimal cost (Remember – we all pay taxes for the Department of Health). Doctors, nurses and other professionals could serve internships and earn some relief from their student loans… But, no matter what “change” washes out from all the wind, the single biggest reason for the “crisis” still remains. Without Tort reform of some sort, Ambulance Casers with their costs to us all, will keep the “new” system in “crisis” as well. I happen to believe that doctors and almost all health care professionals, sincerely care for patients, and have their best interests foremost in their thoughts and actions, and therefore DON’T DESERVE to be SUED INTO OBLIVION! or have to pay fortunes to pay for liability insurance. Untill the Congress & the President are willing to offend the trial lawers, and risk their donations (B***E’s), any system they choose will fail. With Respects to All, Al

  54. Dear All, I’ve wondered through all the debates over Health Care, why the Department of Health doesn’t take a more active roll… think about it, Just about every county of every state has a Health Department. For example: kids shots, sore throats, and general check-ups, even car crashes, with referrals to family doctors or specialists – provided for anyone with minimal cost (Remember – we all pay taxes for the Department of Health). Doctors, nurses and other professionals could serve internships and earn some relief from their student loans… But, no matter what “change” washes out from all the wind, the single biggest reason for the “crisis” still remains. Without Tort reform of some sort, Ambulance Casers with their costs to us all, will keep the “new” system in “crisis” as well. I happen to believe that doctors and almost all health care professionals, sincerely care for patients, and have their best interests foremost in their thoughts and actions, and therefore DON’T DESERVE to be SUED INTO OBLIVION! or have to pay fortunes to pay for liability insurance. Untill the Congress & the President are willing to offend the trial lawers, and risk their donations (B***E’s), any system they choose will fail. With Respects to All, Al

  55. I believe that there is a lot that should be done to reform health care. First off we need to know why it is so high to afford health care. First off insurance companies are raping those who do have coverage, and making it almost impossible for those who don’t,(due to preexisting or affordability) Second we have the general public looking to find any way to “easy street” with the ridiculous malpractice suits causing higher insurance for doctors and hospitals. Third, until the last 20 or 30 years hospitals were buildings, not shrines. People donate money to hospitals so that they can have a 1/2 million dollar fountain in their honor. If I needed a heart transplant I wouldn’t care if it were in a barn, as long as it were a sanitary barn. We have turned into the most materialistic civilizations imagineable. This materialistic attitude can be put at the top of the list for where our country is now. The “American Dream” has been lost to one of the seven sins, “Greed”. Why is a bank CEO paid 13.8 million dollars a year. If I made 13.8 million dollars a year i would work 6 months and retire.(for life) They do it for power and material things. America needs to get back to what made this country great! We need to take care of all Americans and not just a few. According to the News our President makes $400,000 a year to try and take care of 3 or 4 hundred million people. A CEO for a large bank may have about 2 million. If you do the math shouldn’t the president make about 150 to 200 times what a CEO does. Show me somewhere or something that makes since out of all of this.I may be a simple country boy, and maybe that is what this country needs, because our high fallooting Ceo’s, Insurance companies, and hey! lets not forget our athletes, that have priced the real, hard working Americans out of being able to go and enjoy a baseball game, the game of Americans.

  56. I believe that there is a lot that should be done to reform health care. First off we need to know why it is so high to afford health care. First off insurance companies are raping those who do have coverage, and making it almost impossible for those who don’t,(due to preexisting or affordability) Second we have the general public looking to find any way to “easy street” with the ridiculous malpractice suits causing higher insurance for doctors and hospitals. Third, until the last 20 or 30 years hospitals were buildings, not shrines. People donate money to hospitals so that they can have a 1/2 million dollar fountain in their honor. If I needed a heart transplant I wouldn’t care if it were in a barn, as long as it were a sanitary barn. We have turned into the most materialistic civilizations imagineable. This materialistic attitude can be put at the top of the list for where our country is now. The “American Dream” has been lost to one of the seven sins, “Greed”. Why is a bank CEO paid 13.8 million dollars a year. If I made 13.8 million dollars a year i would work 6 months and retire.(for life) They do it for power and material things. America needs to get back to what made this country great! We need to take care of all Americans and not just a few. According to the News our President makes $400,000 a year to try and take care of 3 or 4 hundred million people. A CEO for a large bank may have about 2 million. If you do the math shouldn’t the president make about 150 to 200 times what a CEO does. Show me somewhere or something that makes since out of all of this.I may be a simple country boy, and maybe that is what this country needs, because our high fallooting Ceo’s, Insurance companies, and hey! lets not forget our athletes, that have priced the real, hard working Americans out of being able to go and enjoy a baseball game, the game of Americans.

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