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July 30th, 2009
12:12 PM ET

Obama's former doc doesn't like health plan

September is the earliest lawmakers would be agreeing on health care reform. Doctors are gathering on Capitol Hill today to see if they can influence the outcome. The President's former doctor from Chicago is among them. You might be surprised by whose side he's on. CNN's Jim Acosta met with him and he's not holding back.

Filed under: Health
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Bernice

    He should take his doctors advice. This bill is TOTAL CRAP shoved down the throats of the American People!

    July 31, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  2. Kathy

    I would challenge this in that the government NEVER has run anything well (Medicare and Social Security, veteran's hospitals)...and that they even CARE about the individual. This is the biggest power grab in history and would fundamentally change our country.

    I vote NO to government run health care (and yes, even though they say they won't run other companies out of business, I don't believe them. They are a power hungry bunch) Reform does NOT have to equal "government run"

    July 31, 2009 at 7:51 am |
  3. Robyn Webb

    My message to Senator Mark Warner:

    Mr. Warner,

    I received you email this morning concerning health care reform, and I would like to take the opportunity to share my views on this matter with you.

    Yesterday, President Obama, in his remarks on this issue, cited a hypothetical example in which a newly unemployed individual being charged $1000 monthly for continuing COBRA coverage would have their COBRA cost covered by the federal government up to 65%, so this individual would pay $350 per month for coverage. I’m unsure when the last time you or President Obama collected Unemployment Insurance was, but $350 is pretty much the maximum weekly benefit amount in most states, so this individual would be devoting around 25% of their total monthly income for health insurance.

    This hypothetical COBRA payment of $1000 would suggest that this individual has a family. By way of real life example, the last two positions from which I was terminated (as a result of my gender identity, but that’s another matter…please support the Employment Non Discrimination Act), I, as an individual with no family would have paid over $400 per month under COBRA for continuing coverage. Additionally, under stringent Virginia unemployment insurance eligibility requirements based on “at will” employment policies in the Commonwealth, these employers were able to contest my claim on grounds of “misconduct,” thus causing a considerable delay in receipt of any benefit at all while undergoing appeal procedures lasting several months, so I was without any income at all.

    So, the individual in President Obama’s example, with a family to support, would have approximately $650 available per month to cover rent/mortgage, food, clothing, car insurance, fuel, utilities and various incidental expenses for an entire family. Do you think you could make ends meet on this? Try it some time.

    Let’s get realistic about this current plan. This plan would mandate that all Americans carry health insurance in the same way we are mandated to carry automobile insurance, and that those who fail to do so would face a fine. Personally, I can tell you that I will refuse to carry such a policy unless the monthly premium is less than $100, preferably less than $50. If fined, I will refuse to pay, and will gladly accept a jail sentence, and would receive free health care in a correctional facility. There is a distinct disconnect here between President Obama and representatives in Congress and the Senate as to what is “affordable” for the vast majority of Americans, who do not occupy management or administrative positions paying more than $30,000 per year.

    From a practical perspective, administration of this plan will, no doubt be outsourced to private industry, more than likely to a company that already deals in the insurance industry. Do you think that any company that assumes this task will absorb the cost without passing it along to individuals in the form of higher monthly premiums? So what, exactly will be different under this plan from the current state of private health insurance, other than the fact that individuals will now be required under the law to purchase this coverage?

    Legislators opposed to the idea of nationalized health care similar to that provided in the UK and elsewhere cite the tremendous expense of such a plan, and claim that the only way it can be covered is through tax increases, while at the same time, they continue to advocate the expenses associated with waging the war of choice in Iraq, and the continuing war on drugs, both of which are massive unnecessary burdens on American taxpayers. At the same time, proposals that might enhance available funds, such as a federal tax on legalized marijuana, which would also reduce expenditure considerably, are summarily rejected. The only conclusion the average American can arrive at is that all of this is being driven not by service to constituents, but by powerful corporate lobbies that stand to continue to profit from the status quo.

    This plan is a sham. It is unacceptable. Anything short of nationalized health care is not an acceptable solution.

    In closing, I’d like to share an anecdote from my personal experience that might put a face on this issue. In 2004, Mark Linthicum, my lifelong friend and brother, suffered severe abdominal pain for a period of weeks, during which, he did not seek treatment because he could not afford health insurance. Mark had a COBRA option available to him, but could not afford the exorbitant monthly premium. He did not seek emergency medical care due to the tremendous cost associated with this approach to obtaining health care. Eventually, Mark’s colon perforated as a result of the diverticulitis that was causing his abdominal pain. He went septic, and on Christmas Eve of 2004, died from peritonitis. Mark Linthicum did not die from peritonitis. He was murdered by corporate America.

    How many other Americans are dying every year because of government’s refusal to act in the best interest of American citizens? How many will continue to die in this way due to this completely insufficient solution, resulting exclusively from corporate greed, and because President Obama and those entrusted with our well being continue to serve corporate interests instead of the constituents who placed them in office? The current plan is a transparent attempt to buy sufficient time for President Obama to get re-elected in 2012 by making the false claim that he “fixed” the health care crisis. In the same four years it will take to facilitate this plan, a nationalized system of health care can be established and implemented.

    Get real. Nationalize health care now. Failure to do so makes you, President Obama, and all other legislators complicit in corporate murder.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:34 pm |