Joe Biden Quotes of the Week

By Jennn Fusion | Related entries in Biden, Veep

“We’ve debunked about a dozen myths so far — from the outlandish ‘Death Panel’ claims to the idea that we’re eliminating Medicare benefits. But the biggest myth of all is that our health insurance system is just fine, that there is no serious need for reform. I heard one opponent of reform in congress say and I quote, ‘This is not a major issue among the American people.’ Nothing, nothing could be more further from the truth.”  (8/31/09, online video)

If there’s one thing Obama has always loved, it’s getting people involved via viral videos. Now he’s asking the American people to speak up at Whitehouse.gov and make the case that health care is an important issue. It seems shocking that anyone would suggest it’s not important, although many critics in the purple states are saying that Obama has too much on his plate. They’re saying they’re not quite ready for so much change right now. However, presidential polls continually reaffirm the fact that the president is never as popular later on in his presidency as he is at the beginning, so if he truly wants health care reform, it’s wise of him to pursue it sooner, rather than later. It would also be wise for him to take a more bipartisan approach to the issue and move to pass things both sides can agree upon, rather than holding out for a Nancy Pelosi-esque, “All or Nothing” stand-off.

Read more of Joe’s comments about Ted Kennedy & Little League baseball at The Examiner!


This entry was posted on Monday, August 31st, 2009 and is filed under Biden, Veep. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

18 Responses to “Joe Biden Quotes of the Week”

  1. gerryf Says:

    The problem with that Jenn, and others who agree with this tact, is that the Republicans don’t want ANY reform. They have engaged in a childish game of drawing a line in the sand, and stepping back two steps and drawing another line in the sand since this began.

    They had the complete ability to reform healthcare from at least 2000 to 2006, and arguably since Reagan took office.

    And they have done nothing.

    They have approached this as making it Obama’s waterloo–stall, stall, stall and we can break him.

    The only solution is to do something bold…now. Then, dare the Republicans to change it if they ever get back into power.

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  3. Chris Says:

    Screw bipartisanship. The republicans only care about having a hedge issue to whine about, and induce fear in the election years.

  4. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    The problem with that Jenn, and others who agree with this tact, is that the Republicans don’t want ANY reform.

    Gerry, what do you think of the “patients choice act of 2009,” sponsored by Senators Colburn and Burr, which is one of 3 major health care reform bills in congress drafted by Republicans? In your opinion, does it exist?

  5. Chris Says:

    Reading the PCA of 2009 right now. I don’t really trust anything that comes out of Paul Ryan’s mouth, so I didn’t watch the video.

    So far, it sounds eerily similar to everything that is being said about the other plans. Ah yes here it is, HSAs. The most worthless part of any republican’s plan. To have a HSA you need to have money, and health insurance to begin with.

    So to sum it up: encourage preventive medicine – somehow, make insurers not deny people with pre-existing conditions, make insurers offer fair prices, lower premiums for healthy seniors, and of course tort reform.

  6. Mike Says:

    “from the outlandish ‘Death Panel’ claims to the idea that we’re eliminating Medicare benefits.”

    It’s a nice political tactic to group valid concerns with clearly outlandish ones. The current proposals do, very clearly, cut Medicare benefits: http://sovereignmind.wordpress.com/2009/08/29/i-think-we-all-know-where-its-coming-from/

    I think there’s an argument to be made that perhaps those benefits should be cut, but the claim that benefits aren’t being cut is false.

  7. gerryf Says:

    Of course it exists, Jimmy, but the real question is it a good idea? First, the name is wrong. How can it be a patient’s choice act, if the patient can not choose a public option?

    Why is it the right is so for “choice” (unless of course it is a woman’s choice to have control of her own body), but be opposed to a public option, which is just another choice.

    Because they know that the insurance industry cannot compete with a public option without accepting smaller profits–and that is something they will never agree with.

    You and I both know that without a public option any reform mandating insurance for all creates a captive consumer base, with 46 million new members. And what will happen if such a plan becomes reality, Insurance companies will create new insurance products to satisfy the bare minimum requirements and without strict and extensive regulations, these plans will be virtually worthless to the consumer, and hugely profitable for the insurance carriers.

    Now, if we allow people to buy into Medicare, and no one is forcing you to buy into, why do you care?

  8. rob Says:

    I have an HSA, we’ve had 1 child while not on it and 2 while on it. Started with paying for the regular PPO, then went to a 5k deductible version of the same PPO and signed up for an HSA.

    We net about 65k annually, so I don’t think anyone would dare call us rich, or even well to do.

    The HSA has been a better deal for us from the get go, I pay a lot less premium for the same insurance and I put the difference into my HSA account. Because of the pregnancies we haven’t had a year in the black yet, but it’s still costing us less out of pocket than if we’d stayed with the low deductible version of our ppo.

    About the only way I think we could lose money is if we spent 80-120% of the HSA cap. IF we spend less we come out ahead in savings, IF we spend more the tax savings put us over the top.

    The HSA hate is irrational and imho it’s the best option for responsible users.

  9. Nick Benjamin Says:

    The HSA hate is irrational and imho it’s the best option for responsible users.

    Add in lucky and you’ve got a point. If you are lucky enough to have no pre-existing conditions, and have an equally lucky spouse you can buy in. The rest of the country cannot. If you stay lucky, and don’t get cancer until your fifth year in the plan the HSA has enough cash that you’re fine.

    The main reason the Left hates these plans is that they are premised on the idea that the way to cut medical costs is perform fewer medical procedures, particularly cheap preventive procedures that patients pay for out-of-pocket. In international comparisons a major reason our costs are ridiculous is simple: way too many people blow off primary care, get diebetes and/or heart trouble, and are forced into a lifetime of expensive specialist care.

    If that is actually the case, giving people a reason to not go to their Doctors, and not pay for blood tests, is not a great idea.

  10. Chris Says:

    Once again, with an HSA you have to have insurance already, and being making an income that you can save taxes from. That’s where the hate comes from. I’ve used one the past couple years, and didn’t make the deadline to sign up for one this year. Saves me a couple hundred a year. it’s fine, but it’s not a “plan”.

  11. Mike Says:

    gerryf: “the Republicans don’t want ANY reform”

    gerryf: “Of course [The Patient's Choice Act] exists, Jimmy, but the real question is it a good idea?”

    No, the question you raised was whether Republican’s want ANY reform. Whether you agree with the reform they are proposing is a separate question.

    “First, the name is wrong. How can it be a patient’s choice act, if the patient can not choose a public option?”

    Since when did the government need to provide a choice for their to be a choice? I understand the argument that there is not enough choice in the insurance market today. We are reminded that some Americans live in areas where there are only 1 or 2 choices of insurance companies, although I’d like to see some numbers on how many Americans really live in those areas, as a percentage of the entire population. However, even if there is not enough competition now, it does not follow that the public option is the only way, or the best way, to increase choice.

    Let me be clear that I’m not arguing against the public option here–I’m arguing against your argument for the public option. Explain why the public option is the best way, but don’t pretend it is the only way. This is just another political tactic: Choice is equivalent to the public option.

    “You and I both know that without a public option any reform mandating insurance for all creates a captive consumer base, with 46 million new members. ”

    Insurance companies have to deal with numerous government regulations, and the proposed reform will create more, even without the public option. I’m not necessarily opposed to most of these regulations (although I prefer for them to be at the state level), but one could argue that the benefits that the companies get from an individual mandate is offset by the regulations they must abide by. This is the way many private utilities work.

  12. rob Says:

    Nick sadly my wife has pre-existing conditions and we had 2 children while on the high deductible plan. Do you have any clue how expensive those are? Think Prius if all goes well and BMW if it’s a C-section.

    My daughter also has a rare congenital eye disorder, for which she still has several expensive surgeries to go.

    The point is we save $4,500 annually on the plan and the deductible is $5k. It’s not hard for us to make up the $500 difference especially when you’re reducing your tax liability.

    Once we hit our deductible we were paying 10% and the most we’d ever pay out of pocket is $15,000. Granted that’s a ton of money, but we have to have over a $100k in medical expenses to get there, after which we pay nothing. So we stack up expensive years where we can.

    The only real argument I see is what Chris brought up. If you don’t have the cash to save the difference between the premiums or if you don’t have enough taxable liability to use up the the tax benefits AND you never have a span of a couple of years where you don’t have major medical expenses, then yeah, I could see an HSA not being a good deal for you.

    But it is very good for some of people, and for those of us for whom it is beneficial it’s a hell of a lot better for the taxpayer than to scrap a model that works for a segment of the population to force them into another model that wont work as well and will increase the cost to taxpayers is stupid.

    A patch work of methods for addressing different needs strikes me as a whole lot more effective than a one-size fits all model.

  13. rob Says:

    I wasn’t clear.

    My old PPO was an additional 4,500 annually in premiums (in addition to what my employer paid)

    My current PPO costs me nothing.

    Basically my employer fully funds the high deductible plan, but offers us the option to pay more for low deductible version of the plan or a Kaiser HMO.

    Thus I put into the HSA 4,500 annually from premium savings and pay the difference myself.

  14. Nick Benjamin Says:

    But it is very good for some of people, and for those of us for whom it is beneficial it’s a hell of a lot better for the taxpayer than to scrap a model that works for a segment of the population to force them into another model that wont work as well and will increase the cost to taxpayers is stupid.

    Part of my problem with HSAs is that, even for some people who could save money with them, they don’t work. If you get sick before the HSA has money in it you’re screwed. The only way to solve that problems are a) government subsidies for co-pays in the first few years, or b) convincing insurance companies to eat the co-pays in the first few years. If we pick a) we’ve got universal health care, so there’s no point in spending money administering HSAs.

    And I doubt that in the long-term they’ll save money. You know lots of people with HSAs skip doctor’s appointments to save money on co-pays. Those guys get sick, got to the ER, and cost their insurance companies huge money. There are ways around this (ie: a penalty for not following through on annual check-ups), but I have never seen a Conservative propose them.

    Thus I conclude that the right supports HSAs simply so it has something to say when the left brings up health care for all.

    Note that neither I, nor Obama, is calling for the abolition of HSAs. We just don’t think anyone, on either side of the aisle, believes creating more HSAs will solve the health care crisis.

  15. rob Says:

    That’s not true Nick.

    My max out of pocket in any year is $15k though the individual ceiling is $6k. And this is whether or not I have ANY savings in an HSA. In reality it’s the 6k ceiling that gets invoked.

    That’s not chump change, but remember, I’m saving $4.5k on premiums alone, plus another $1.25k or so on federal income taxes.

    So I’m paying debts with the $6k that I’d be giving to taxes or premiums. That’s the extent of it, but it’s possible that there’s another $9k to make up for if the costs are big enough and spread evenly. Again this is assuming I have zero saved in an HSA.

    That’s not screwed. You want screwed, then let’s talk about indentured servitude in the form of college loans.

    This type of plan obviously doesn’t work for people that couldn’t afford the low deductible plan (and so couldnt’ save the difference) or those who are primarily consumers, but we’re savers.

    Our HSA has been drawn to zero because we’re averaging over 20k in medical expenses annually for the last few years, but we come out a few hundred dollars ahead of what we’d have to pay on the other plan because of the tax benefit. The HMO’s would have been close in cost (probably a few hundred less), but there’s no way they would allowed us to see the doctor to which she goes.

    The real weakness of the plan imho is that the maximum benefit is only $1,000,000 whereas HMO’s are unlimited. I have no idea of what the average american family would need in terms of medical benefit, so this may be a hidden problem.

  16. Chris Says:

    For more on Ryan’s plan, check out my comment the newest health care post :)

  17. rob Says:

    Reading a review on hr2250 brought up the great point that insurance plans really only have value if they are group plans so that you can’t be sent to slaughter IF you stop being a cash cow.

  18. Nick Benjamin Says:

    rob,

    We’re not really disagreeing. You say the HSA is great for people who make a certain amount of income, and saves money for responsible users.

    I say that’s not good enough, that I doubt those savings are sustainable in the long-term, and that I strongly oppose the idea because very few of it’s supporters acknowledge those flaws. Much less work to fix them.

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