Push Schrader off the fence (again)

Carla Axtman

Update: 4:20pm Schrader just announced that he'll be voting for the health care bill. Well done, 5th Congressional District constituents!! From the press release:

“In the coming days I plan to vote in favor of the healthcare bill before the U.S. House of Representatives because our nation and Oregon families cannot afford the status quo.

One of my chief concerns with healthcare reform has been its ability to lower costs for Oregon families, small businesses and our nation as a whole. While I believe there is more we can do, this bill makes real progress in bending the cost curve. It includes lower and more appropriate subsidies than earlier proposals. It rewards healthy lifestyles and encourages better healthy outcomes by including my comparative effectiveness research component.

We have also reached an agreement with Congressional leaders and the Administration to improve Medicare reimbursement rates for high quality care states like Oregon. It is time to move away from the old healthcare culture of just paying for quantity of care and instead focusing on quality of care. By focusing on quality of care we can attack the problem of overutilization that is the major driver of healthcare costs.

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In an excruciating deja vu moment, it seems that once again, Oregon Congressman Kurt Schrader is a wobbly hold out on health care reform.

As those who follow the minutia of this crazy process know, last night there was talk of a resurgence of the Stupak language, which would force any insurance company that gets federal funding to drop their abortion coverage. It's already the law that no federal dollars can be used for abortions. In other words, no insurance company in the country would offer abortion coverage. But it appears that language is once again off the table.

To help ensure it stays off, the House needs to gather enough votes to freeze Stupak out altogether. I'm hearing it's almost there, but that Schrader's vote is needed.

The only effective calls are going to be from Schrader's constituents. You should call only if you live in his House district. If you're not sure, go here to check.

His DC office is open and taking calls this morning.

(202) 225-5711


Comments

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)
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    Please keep it up dems. We will finally get a chance to see if the US electorate has a collective memory longer than 4 nanosceonds.

  • James (unverified)
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    There’s nothing wobbly about his position. Congressman Schrader is roughly in the same place as Congressman DeFazio on this. They are both pushing to make sure geographic disparity issues are addressed. That's a critical component for states like Oregon that historically get hit with unacceptably low reimbursement rates; this must be addressed adequately in this healthcare reform process. We need to assure Americans that they can get high quality care at a low cost. That should be the basis of our healthcare system.

    Kurt supported the language in the House bill that passed last November. Unfortunately the version that came out of the Senate was not as strong and Kurt is working with House leaders to find the right balance between the House and Senate versions.

    James Atkin Communications Director Congressman Kurt Schrader's office

  • jaycosnett (unverified)
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    Just called Rep. Schrader's office. (I live in his district.) Busy the first time, got through on the next try. Very nice staffer took my information (I live in his district).

    As many misgivings as I have about this bill, I'm reluctantly swayed by the "this is the best we're going to get, and the alternative is much worse" argument.

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    James Atkin

    We need to assure Americans that they can get high quality care at a low cost. That should be the basis of our healthcare system.

    Bob T:

    So long as most people in elected office are economic illiterates, it will never happen. "High quality care at a low cost" is a slogan that gets votes and nothing more. Well, waiting lists can help. After all, delayed treatment is delayed expense. And what will Schrader's future in congress be like when thousands of his constituents read about large numbers of physicians retiring because of this bill, and have their employer-based health coverage cancelled a their employers tell them to get it "from the government" instead? Tell him not to buy that house or condo in the D.C. area.

    Bob Tiernan Portland

  • (Show?)

    I keenly suspect the "lots of physicians retiring because of this bill" to be little more than a scare tactic. Much the way the Stupak supporters are making the same threats if their language isn't added.

    Without this bill--healthcare costs are set to spiral up much higher than they already are. This week, teachers in Montana got a nasty surprise, their health insurance premiums are going up 69%-70+%

    http://leftinthewest.com/diary/3925/tester-on-83-health-insurance-premium-hike

    enough is enough.

  • (Show?)

    I think Mr. Tiernan misses the boat on this big time. What about people who have lost their health care because they lost their employer? Or lost their health care because their employer can no longer afford to provide it? Doing nothing about health care is NOT an option. Not this time.

  • (Show?)

    I think both Schrader and DeFazio are playing with fire. If the House Democrats cannot pass a health car bill in the next few days, it will be a catastrophe for Democrats and for hopes of a better health care system. All the holdouts, no matter how they eventually vote, will get some of the blame. That said, I'm all for getting better reimbursements rates in Oregon.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Thanks, James, for posting a comment.

    And thanks, Carla, for responding to Bob T.

    I suspect much of the rhetoric around this is just hype.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Very interesting news coverage today on Wash. Post and CSPAN.

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2010/03/by-lori-montgomery-ben-pershin.html?hpid=topnews

    is about how Pelosi said she wouldn't give him the sep. abortion vote he wanted.

    There was some comment on CSPAN about how Stupak had a press conference scheduled and it was abruptly cancelled.

    CSPAN had a reporter saying that although Stupak says he has 12 votes, he may have as few as 5.

    Keep an eye on the 2 Mich. Congressmen, Stupak and Kildee.

    Stupak has a more rural district, both Upper Peninsula and the tip of the "mitten" which is the lower peninsula of Michigan. (I grew up there thru 6th grade, in an area below and west of the "thumb" on a Mich. map.)

    Kildee represents Flint and Saginaw, closer to Detroit. He came out in favor of the bill, even though he opposes abortion--said the language is good enough for him.

    And of course, the bishops, the Catholic hospitals, and that group of nuns disagree on this issue.

    CSPAN reported there may be movement on Medicare reimbursement rates this weekend also.

    As someone who remembers Oregon when Wayne Morse was alive, I would caution those who demand our federal representatives vote as they are told to vote.

    I have a Wayne Morse quote on my wall.

    In part it reads "I will weigh the views of my constitutents and party but cast my vote free of political pressure and unmoved by threats of loss of political support."

    THAT is political backbone, and there are those of us who would more willingly campaign for such folks than for those who bend to political pressure.

    I believe we elect people to vote using their best judgement, and if people don't like their judgement they can vote them out.

    But then, I'm the grandchild of a crusading Michigan politician.

  • Details Count (unverified)
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    Without this bill--healthcare costs are set to spiral up much higher than they already are.

    Actually, Carla and LT, do you understand the difference between health CARE and health INSURANCE costs? And how there are no private insurance cost controls (except with regard to Medicare and Medicaid and allowing 15% of premiums to be diverted away from paying for health care) in this bill? Nor are they any effective health CARE cost controls because the package considers those not to be insurance costs, but expenses insurance companies can pass through.

    No, I thought not because you don't really have any real knowledge of the contents of this bill, you're just a cheerleader.

    James -

    While the low-information types who haunt this place have their people calling, as a Democrat in the district, I hope Schrader holds tough against the bill. Particularly, but not only, if it continues to retain the current Medicare disparity. This has become just about winning and not doing the right thing for poor and working people. And it has become a very sad day for what's left of what was once an honorable Democratic Party.

  • (Show?)

    I eagerly await the next post regarding the need to push the wobblby Peter DeFazio off the fence since he and rep Schrader are concerned about (and working to correct) the exact same issues.

    Me? I'll be out back working on the garden......

  • LT (unverified)
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    Yea Pat!

    I need to dig grass out of the iris while the weather is good.

    Just saw Obama's speech to the House caucus and was very impressed. Give Em Hell Barack!

  • Anonymouse (unverified)
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    Just so you know, Congressman Shrader's office is actually answering the phone. I just left my message in opposition to this abortion we call health care "reform."

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    Local Mom:

    I think Mr. Tiernan misses the boat on this big time. What about people who have lost their health care because they lost their employer?

    Bob T:

    All the more reason why it's been stupid policy to have you medical insurance (actually, pre-paid medical care) tied to employment (imagine if car insurance was the same way -- you lose your job and then you're illegally driving around to apply for other jobs or go to interviews).

    I've pointed out in previous messages that the the government was at fault, even if it meant well, in creating this system and then passing privileged legislation over time to encourage it and foster it and protect it. Employers provided such benefits during wage and price controls during WWII because they were not permitted to lure workers away from others by offering more pay, and then employers (but not the individual) were allowed to deduct the costs of the insurance plans so this system grew and grew -- government took the easy way out and nobody paid attention.

    Local Mom:

    Or lost their health care because their employer can no longer afford to provide it?

    Bob T:

    Again, it's a stupid system to rely on an employer for this and this is just another reason why. The price of such policies are as high as they are because of mandated coverages and because it's treated not as insurance but as pre-paid medicine, which is not what insurance is supposed to be and traditionally what it was not. Even if the government had not had restrictions on individuals getting the same deduction rights for policies as employers have had, we'd still have these mandates to deal with but that's separate from the deduction issue.

    Local Mom:

    Doing nothing about health care is NOT an option. Not this time.

    Bob T:

    No one is talking about "doing nothing." That's just a talking point. Don't waste my time with talking points.

    Bob Tiernan Portland

  • lxgmd (unverified)
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    As a physician with over 30 years of experience, we need to cover the millions who are not covered. We are paying for them right now, but it is even greater expense as treatment is delayed and expensive emergency departments are used for their care. Delay in treatment makes the ultimate treatment more expensive.

    If Congressman Shrader and DeFazio vote down this bill, then they can wave goodbye to future legislation put forward by Democrats and the President. This is not a great bill, but it is much better than the alternative. Remember, private insurance companies make their money by denying coverage. That has to change. over 40,000 Americans die due to lack of coverage. It is time to act. To do otherwise is to stand on ceremony and Shrader can kiss this one term goodbye. I will vote for a Republican just to get him out and next time get in a progressive with some political savvy.

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    Carla:

    I keenly suspect the "lots of physicians retiring because of this bill" to be little more than a scare tactic.

    Bob T:

    But we've seen numerous physicians quit before their time, citing loads of regulations. One or two were specialists I've gone to and I had to find replacements. You admit that this is a gamble. What makes it worse is the Government/AMA partnership for nearly the past century which has limited the number of doctors entering the system. So far as I see it, in a free society a proper government would protect someone's right to the opportunity to choose this career path, and to hell with the AMA's restrictions on the number. And I'm not talking about om-line courses so don't start with that. Use the same exact tests etc that the AMA currently has, and anyone attending even non-AMA-approved schools is in if the qualifications are met. There was an example of a private medical school being set up in Utah, I think, and the AMA let it be known that no one graduating from that school would be allowed to practice -- the result was that no bank would provide a student loan because the student would not be able to enter the field and make good money with which to pay off the loan in time. And government has no problem with that. And if you dig for an AMA report from about six years ago (it was a cover story on USA Today) you'll see that they admitted that they had "miscalculated" the number of doctors that America needed when they set these goals almost twently years earlier. Now just who the hell are they to make that decision? And why can't we have as many doctors as we do lawyers? Odd, isn't it? It's pretty shitty of the government to go along with this (because they benefit from it as well, so don't kid yourself). These are not the kinds of issues that I expect shallow thinkers like Barak Obama to think of.

    Carla:

    Without this bill--healthcare costs are set to spiral up much higher than they already are.

    Bob T:

    One reason they go up is because the government pays less and less for Medicare and Medicaid treatments, and this is evened out by charging everyone else more. This is what happens when people make policy w/o understanding basic economics. You can't snap your fingers and say that everyone should get free stuff. It doesn't work that way.

    Carla:

    This week, teachers in Montana got a nasty surprise, their health insurance premiums are going up 69%-70+%

    Bob T:

    Gee, I wonder what it would cost had we not had this micro-managed, heavily-regulated pre-paid medicine system the past 60 years or so, with individual policies available that one can tailor for him or herself or for the family instead of having to pay for coverage of a zillion things that will never come up. We can't undo these past 60 years of government stupidity, but that doesn't mean we have to increase the interventions and distortions even more. What next? Because some people go to bed hungry we should advocate that farms and supermarkets be taken over, and everything in between that makes our food supply system run far more efficiently than medicine? It's far better, despite the existence of the oversight we have already (such as New Deal welfare programs for corporate farms and millionaire "farmers" like Scotty Pippin).

    Bob Tiernan Portland

  • Fair and Balanced (unverified)
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    I am extremely concerned about the Medicare reimbursement problem, and I think Defazio is correct to hold out because of it. I called his office yesterday when prompted by OFA to support, but the Register Guard article this morning explained why he's joined a coalition of about 10 reps holding out for a fix to the Medicare problem. It's not as if they will ever have to vote "no" on the Senate bill, because Pelosi won't bring it up for a vote without the holdouts. There will have to be a deal to fix the Medicare problem before that vote, and I support Peter's strategy to get that done.

  • Fair and Balanced (unverified)
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    Guess I didn't do the HTML correctly for the RG link. Here it is: http://www.registerguard.com/csp/cms/sites/web/news/cityregion/24581713-41/defazio-bill-health-medicare-care.csp

  • Details Count (unverified)
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    As a physician with over 30 years of experience, we need to cover the millions who are not covered.

    The majority of physicians have been one of the most obstructionist blocks to moral, equitable health care reform for years. The moral calculus of their positions is, to put it politely, ambiguous. The minority of the physicians who have joined Physicians for a National Health Plan are conspicuous for their moral clarity and in their small numbers..

    Need proof?

    I will vote for a Republican just to get him out and next time get in a progressive with some political savvy.

    The few real progressives here have not threatened to "vote Republican" if this bill passes. So where are the low-information Blue Oregon talk-points repeaters in response to that?

  • (Show?)

    Hey Pat:

    Legitimate concern about not giving DeFazio equal time. I only had solid information on where Schrader stood. Didn't have it for DeFazio and honestly, I have been out in the garden most of the day since I last commented here.

    I still haven't heard anything on DeFazio--so I don't feel it's appropriate for me to write it up. I understand that there may be some others working on it today.

  • (Show?)

    Shorter Details Count/Sideshow/WydenContinues/EthicsNotinSalem/RealityChecker

    1. I'm brilliant--the rest of you are just too fucking stupid to breathe.

    2. Everybody but me is a corrupt liar.

    3. Nobody is actually in public service--they're all just there to screw us over while we grab our ankles.

    [This has been a public service announcement]

  • pdxlady (unverified)
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    I called Schrader's Oregon City offices this AM. Got through to a staffer right away. Expressed my support for passage of HCR with a public option. Staffer was very polite as she took my name, my spouse's name and our zip code. We are in Schrader's district. Very happy to hear he will vote YES - as will DeFazio.

    Terribly upset by the video of TeaBaggers spitting on Reps. John Lewis and Emanuel Cleaver and calling them niggers and calling Rep. Barney Frank a faggot.

    Such barbarism was wrong during the civil rights struggles of the 1960s and is even more offensive today.

    The right lost the election in 2008. Passage of HCR marks the first time they will feel what that loss really means.

  • (Show?)

    It rewards healthy lifestyles and encourages better healthy outcomes by including my comparative effectiveness research component.

    We have also reached an agreement with Congressional leaders and the Administration to improve Medicare reimbursement rates for high quality care states like Oregon.

    I would like to thank Congressman Schrader for standing on principle until he was able to get these items inclucded in HCR.

    It will be a better bill because of it.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Right on Pat!

  • Details Count (unverified)
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    The deal they got was short term money, and a promise of a "study". Quoting

    According to the deal, Oregon doctors and hospitals will receive immediate relief for the next two years from what they have long complained were unfairly low Medicare reimbursement rates. ``There is a little extra money,'' Blumenauer said. ``But that's not the really big deal. The really big deal is a commitment to change a system that's out of whack. There are tools in this to do that.'' The two-year period will also trigger studies that would recommend more permanent solutions to geographic payment disparities that have Oregon doctors and hospitals often receiving 30 percent less than doctors and hospitals in New York and Florida for the same procedure.

    That says all they got was a cash bribe to put this off through the 2012 election, no word whether the legislation itself stipulates that any recommendations after that will be binding, and of course no text on the House Ways and Means website yet to allow us to evaluate this fully before the vote. If that stipulation is not in there, the system reverts back to the present situation unless something very different happens than has happened after all the studies lamenting the problem over the last 40 years. After they've traded their votes for a little money, exactly what power does the Oregon delegation have to actually cause the changes to be permanent. (Administrations promises are not duly passed legislation.)

    And of course, the story does NOT talk about how this affects the CBO scoring. It was left out originally to get that scoring that was touted for the last two days.

    All of this to pass welfare for the private insurance industry.

    And doctors does that, and a little money convince you that you are going to be in the position you want to be in 2013 after the 2012 election is over?

  • Details Count (unverified)
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    Of course, Carla is arguing for this permanent welfare for the insurance industry, and mandate working people do business with the private insurance industry, never cites any anything actually in the bill, or other direct evidence, in her fits of egotistical pique.

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    Thank you, Kurt!

  • rdurig (unverified)
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    Carla

    "Without this bill--healthcare costs are set to spiral up much higher than they already are."

    With Government, bureaucracies, mandated purchase, and excessive regulations, you beleive it will reduce cost,,, I jealous, I want to share some of the Kool-Aid you seem to be sharing with Schrader, please don't privatizes you stash of the good stuff.

    pdxlady

    "Terribly upset by the video of TeaBaggers spitting on Reps. John Lewis and Emanuel Cleaver and calling them n...... and calling Rep. Barney Frank a f........"

    If it's so bad for Teabaggers, that you can print it. I like the double standard.

    Freedom is actually a bigger game than power. Power is about what you can control. Freedom is about what you can unleash. -- Harriet Rubin

  • (Show?)

    Details Count/Sideshow/WydenContinues/EthicsNotinSalem/RealityChecker

    It's not a perfect bill by any means. But the status quo is vastly worse.

    We're better off starting from here and making improvements as we go forward, starting with the introduction and vote on a public option.

    Your gripes about the new Medicare provisions show a serious lack of understanding of the political dynamic at play here. It can't pass the Senate with complete changes to the Medicare reimbursement system. The votes aren't there now. This buys the Oregon delegation some breathing room on the rates and a way to keep skin in the game on a serious revisiting of the matter going forward.

    You're advocating for all low-to upper middle class Americans being completely priced out of health care. The current system without major changes sets us up for even more major economic problems--this is directly tied to job growth and building business.

    So while you pretend to be smarter and better than the rest of us--its clear from your commentary on this that you understand very little indeed.

  • rdurig (unverified)
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    Carla your quote

    "We're better off starting from here and making improvements as we go forward, starting with the introduction and vote on a public option."

    Why do you want to hurt, the people you claim to help, I was like you after my undergraduate education, but i learned by the facts, and all data points are very clear, again facts, the freer you are to choose the better your outcome will become, even on health care.

    You don't want what's best for the people, you want whats best for government, socialism doesn't work,

    Another great freedom fighter- The best road to progress is freedom's road. -John F. Kennedy

    Carla I now you beleive Society's needs come before the individual's needs.

    As a socialist quote- Society's needs come before the individual's needs. -Adolf Hitler

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    RDuring:

    The arguments you're making were the same ones the GOP made after the passing of Social Security. They were wrong then. They are wrong now.

    You toss around "socialism"--yet in the context you use it, you clearly don't know what it means. And then you invoke Hitler--a fascist--who was completely against economic and social liberalism.

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)
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    Carla - The arguments you're making were the same ones the GOP made after the passing of Social Security. They were wrong then. They are wrong now.

    Kurt - I just got my SS statement yesterday and compared it to the 2009 statement. I quote:

    2009: "In 2017 we will begin paying more in benefits than we collect in taxes. Without changes, by 2041 the Social Security Trust Fund will be exhausted and there will be enough money to pay only about 78 cents for each dollar of scheduled benefits."

    2010" "In 2016 we will begin paying more in benefits than we collect in taxes. Without changes, by 2037 the Social Security Trust Fund will be exhausted and there will be enough money to pay only about 78 cents for each dollar of scheduled benefits."

    In 12 months the Social Security system came one full year closer to under colecting and FOUR years closer to being broke. Please tell us all how wrong the GOP was/is and how this debacle of a health care bill will be any different.

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    All of this conversation about "when" Social Security will become insolvent is uninformed misdirection.

    When the "when" gets close enough to "now", everybody finally panics and thows up some kind of fix that pushes "when" back out into the inderminate future.

    I've been reading news stories about the imminent demise of SS for about five decades now so excuse the yawn...

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)
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    Pat, you're a smart guy who misses the point. Perhaps deliberately?

    The very same congress that has been so inefficent and ineffective with "fixing" SS is now going to try and foist a half a trillion health care "reform" measue onto us. Perhaps this will be the denoument for a congress that has shown an amazing inability to deal with issues with anything but the BIG GIVEAWY for the past 40 plus years. Dems and repubs alike.

  • (Show?)

    In 12 months the Social Security system came one full year closer to under colecting and FOUR years closer to being broke. Please tell us all how wrong the GOP was/is and how this debacle of a health care bill will be any different.

    And yet it still remains a key part of the social safety net and a wildly popular program.

    As you likely know, an adjustment will be made to SS in order to keep it viable. As the electorate continues to age, it will be politically impossible to do otherwise. Fortunately, the Bush Administration was forced to abandon privatization, which would have likely broken the system completely.

    According to the Social Security Admin, the Social Security Trust Fund surplus will peak in 2028. Then it will decline steadily until 2042, at which time the Trust Fund will be exhausted. That's of course without making adjustments to the viability to the program.

    And with all this, the system remains incredibly popular with Americans. As will health insurance reform, especially once a public option is added.

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)
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    According to the Social Security Admin, the Social Security Trust Fund surplus will peak in 2028. Then it will decline steadily until 2042, at which time the Trust Fund will be exhausted. That's of course without making adjustments to the viability to the program.

    Carla, I would not call you a liar. But the above paragraph from you appears pure unadulterated bunk. It is either hopelessly outdated or a sham intended to lull the Sheeple. As I posted, I am looking right at the Social Security Statement for 2010 received in the mail yesterday. The surplus WILL NOT peak in 2028, it will be deficit to demand 2016, twelve years earlier than you state. It WILL NOT be exhausted in 2042; rather 2037, five years earlier than you state.

    We all agree that the system is unsustainable as currently sold to the public. If nothing is done each dollar in benefits will be devalued 24% in 2037. The same congress trying to sell us a half a trillion HC non-reform bill refuses to deal with this. How can we believe them in today's debacle? You are wrong on this one.

  • rdurig (unverified)
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    Carla wake up

    Obama is lying, and you and congress men like Schradar and many others are supporting it. Omama has cooked the CBO books. If a company said it was profitable and really it lost money, (because an off balance sheet move)the head of the company would go to jail. b Everyone knows this wrong!!!

    The health care director of the Cato forecasted -- Obamacare Would Increase Deficits by $59 Billion

    His quote

    "Then there’s the additional $208 billion that Democrats plan to spend on physicians who participate in Medicare. Democrats moved that into a separate bill to reduce the apparent cost of the main health care bill."

    Obama did a very simple accounting gimmick,splitting the bill in two, so he could say one reduces the deficit. He then is both hiding and denying the truth. Then getting in front of TV and saying:

    Obama two quote yesterday-

    "I will not sign it if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future, period."

    " The plan will not add to our deficit."

    Everyone with a basic accounting and foresting skill knows it will. So does he and Schrader.

    The ends does not justify the means.

    I would like to quote a great freedom fighter "We must not allow ourselves to become like the system we oppose. We cannot afford to use methods of which we will be ashamed when we look back, when we say, '...we shouldn't have done that.' We must remember, my friends, that we have been given a wonderful cause. The cause of freedom! And you and I must be those who will walk with heads held high. We will say, 'We used methods that can stand the harsh scrutiny of history.' -- Archbishop Desmond Tutu

    I would like to quote one of the world worst people-

    The great masses of the people ... will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one. -Adolph Hitler

  • joe d. (unverified)
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    "It rewards healthy lifestyles and encourages better healthy outcomes by including my comparative effectiveness research component."

    Wonderful!! I was really hoping the government could get further involved in my lifestyle. Just imagine, government examining our lifestyles and rewarding us when we do good in their eyes. I am sure this is what the founding fathers had in mind.

    Solidarity, Joe D.

  • joe d. (unverified)
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    To Kurt Chapman:

    I believe you are spot on. Here's a link to the Social Security board of Trustees report for 2010: http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/TR/ "Projected long run program costs are not sustainable under current program parameters. Social Security's annual surpluses of tax income over expenditures are expected to fall sharply this year ...."

    The current US economy is a Ponzi scheme.

  • (Show?)

    Wonderful!! I was really hoping the government could get further involved in my lifestyle.

    The point of comparative effectiveness is to weed out crap that either doesn't work or is actually destructive and promote both behaviors and treatments that have been proven scientifically to produce results.

    No one will stop you if you wish to cure your cancer with aroma therapy, have your kids' spine adjusted to cure bed wetting, use leeches to reduce "evil humors", or have a charismatic faith healer lay his hands on your head.

    We just don't want to pay for it, and we want the public to have the best outcome behavior for both physicians and patients right up front and center.

    Or maybe we should just leave it up to the free market....

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)
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    Right on Pat!

    Because the federal government was soooo successful in insuring the safety of the blood supply in the 80's and early 90's. Just as successful as the Canadian, Irish, English, French and Indian governments were. The latest outbreak being in this century in Canada.

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    There are multiple sources for the information I posted, Kurt. To reiterate:

    "According to the Social Security Admin, the Social Security Trust Fund surplus will peak in 2028. Then it will decline steadily until 2042, at which time the Trust Fund will be exhausted. That's of course without making adjustments to the viability to the program."

    http://www.aarpmagazine.org/money/Articles/myths_and_truths_about_social_security.html

    http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=1714

    http://ncseonline.org/NLE/CRSreports/03Jun/95-543.pdf

    SSA's own 2009 report has reserves tapped in 2037, with tax income able to pay about 3/4 of scheduled benefits through 2083.

    That link is here:

    http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/TRSUM/index.html

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    LT:

    I have a Wayne Morse quote on my wall.

    In part it reads "I will weigh the views of my constitutents and party but cast my vote free of political pressure and unmoved by threats of loss of political support."

    Bob T:

    I agree with that, although the sentiment is hardly original. One particular wavering member of the Continental Congress in 1776 opted to vote for independence because he said that he owed his constituents his judgment rather than his ability to vote according to the polls. And it should be pointed out that many Republicans (tho' far short of all of them) are casting No votes for principled reasons and could also have the Morse quote on their office walls, but I doubt you'd give them any points for that.

    Bob Tiernan Portland

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Carla Axtman:

    You toss around "socialism"--yet in the context you use it, you clearly don't know what it means. And then you invoke Hitler--a fascist--who was completely against economic and social liberalism.

    Bob T:

    That's true, although your definition if what economic liberalism is must be quite different from mine. Are you confusing liberal with leftism again? Hitler was no fan of free market capitalism, if you're going there. He was into mecantalism perhaps. He and his type often sounded like the economic illiterates who detested the idea of the "middle man" without understanding the role played by some paper shuffling, and since they saw these "paper shufflers" as mostly Jews they, well, you know the rest. Sounds a lot like the ignorant stuff I hear on 620 AM.

    Here's a quiz: Are Portland's Taxi Cab laws an example of economic liberalism? a) Yes b) No.

    Bob Tiernan Portland

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