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UPDATE: Sen. Bond talks health care with Chamber of Commerce

Friday, November 13, 2009 | 2:54 p.m. CST; updated 5:23 p.m. CST, Friday, November 13, 2009
Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., signs a copy of his new book "The Next Front: Southeast Asia and the Road to Global Peace with Islam" for Melissa Hanstein on Friday at the MU Bookstore. Bond spoke earlier to the Columbia Chamber of Commerce about the health care bill and other national issues.

COLUMBIA — A group primarily made up of insurance and health care providers asked Missouri's senior senator Friday morning about the proposed changes to health care and the effect reform would have on Missourians.

At the Chamber of Commerce, Republican Sen. Kit Bond promised to work to kill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's or Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's version of reform.

After the event, he stopped by the MU Bookstore to sign copies of his new book, "The Next Front: Southeast Asia and the Road to Global Peace with Islam."

Tom Atkins brought four copies of his book, one for himself and one each for his grandsons, aged 11, 14 and 16.

"They're Sen. Bond fans — big time," Atkins said.

Outside the bookstore, members of the Missouri Progressive Vote Coalition held signs, which they hoped educated people about health care bills.

"We just want to draw attention to the fact that health care reform is needed," Jane Whitesides said. One of her signs said that 77,000 people in the 9th Congressional District lack insurance, a number she found in a government report.

In his speech to the chamber, Bond echoed many Republicans' statements about health care reform and said he would try to block the Senate vote.

"The question is, can we deny them the 60 votes they need for cloture?" Bond said.

He walked to a table with the House health care bill — which he said costs $152.97 to print at Kinko's — and said that he couldn't lift it because of shoulder surgery.

He suggested changes such as allowing small businesses to pool health care, investing in preventative care and ending "junk lawsuits."

Bond asked attendees to communicate with their members of Congress about their views on the bill.

The audience also asked about the Bush tax cuts (Bond: Democrats "treat those like the devil treats holy water") and abortion.


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Comments

jane whitesides November 13, 2009 | 5:56 p.m.

I owned a small business for over thirty years and am very familiar with the empty promise of small business pools. Serious tort reform in Missouri (2005)and other states has not resulted in lower health care premiums, and insurance companies say malpractice payouts are a small part of their expenses. It's one thing to torpedo the Democrat's plan, but not offering a viable alternative does all Americans a grave disservice, because our economy is threatened by the precipitous rise in health costs.

Just a thought, but I wonder If Senator Bond tried to lift HR1 - No Child Left Behind which he supported. That was 2094 pages and cost $157.35 to print at Kinkos.

Jane Whitesides
Missouri Progressive Vote Coalition

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro November 14, 2009 | 10:36 a.m.

Jane Whitesides, representing a Progressive Coalition said:
"...not offering a viable alternative does all Americans a grave disservice...")
I say:
I suspect that if one takes direction and speaks only from directives executed by Obama-drone groups such as Mitch Stewart's Organizing for America then one must be hampered from reading, noticing or understanding viable alternative plans and ideas set forth by many. But then again, Liberal Progressives won't even acknowledge the viability of a fetus, so what can be expected?

("The CEO’s Blog:
HEALTH CARE REFORM – FULL ARTICLE
by John Mackey, August 14, 2009
http://www2.wholefoodsmarket.com/blogs/j...

(Report Comment)
Layton Light November 14, 2009 | 10:53 a.m.

"— and said that he couldn't lift it because of shoulder surgery."

Surgery paid for by that wonderful health care plan which is provided to all US Senators. From FactCheck.org:

"According to the Congressional Research Service, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) offers about 300 different private health care plans, including five government-wide, fee-for-service plans and many regional health maintenance organization (HMO) plans, plus high-deductible, tax-advantaged plans. All plans cover hospital, surgical and physician services, and mental health services, prescription drugs and "catastrophic" coverage against very large medical expenses."

And here's a special highlight:

"There are no waiting periods for coverage when new employees are hired, and there are no exclusions for preexisting conditions."

"The FEHBP negotiates contracts annually with all insurance companies who wish to participate. There is plenty of competition for the business; FEHBP is the largest employer-sponsored health plan in the U.S."

Got Irony?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro November 14, 2009 | 11:35 a.m.

Layton:
I don't see the Irony. I see a benefit.
Jealous? Run for the Senate.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro November 14, 2009 | 12:46 p.m.

From the above article:
Jane Whitesides said. One of her signs said that 77,000 people in the 9th Congressional District lack insurance.

Consider the following:

("The concept of insurance and its implications for access to health care are ambiguous in some respects. For example, some people who are counted among the uninsured are eligible for Medicaid. Some policymakers and analysts believe that such people should be regarded as insured, because they can apply for Medicaid when they require care and receive retroactive coverage for their expenses. Others believe that such people should be regarded as uninsured, however, because they do not use Medicaid for their routine medical care (perhaps because they are not aware that they are eligible). Moreover, although a lack of insurance could lead to insufficient access to medical care and exposure to significant financial risk, many people without insurance have access to at least some sources of health care, either through public hospitals, community health centers, local health departments, or Department of Veterans Affairs facilities.")
source and more:
How Many People Lack Health Insurance and For How Long?
http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=4210&am...

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro November 14, 2009 | 12:52 p.m.

Of possible interest:
Fewer Americans Uninsured Than Previously Reported
SOURCE National Center for Policy Analysis
http://www2.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stori...

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro November 14, 2009 | 1:53 p.m.

Jane Whitesides, representing a Progressive Coalition said:
"...not offering a viable alternative does all Americans a grave disservice...")
Well Jane, I did my part. I emailed the following thoughts to the GOP at the beginning of last October:

Dear Mr. Steele:
I have been posting ideas on Missouri forums regarding our lack of focus on bigger problems other then insurance as it regards to appropriate health care reform.
Just felt compelled to share this with you, for the record.
Thank you for giving it a look-see.
Sincerely, Ray Shapiro

One problem with insurance policies is that the "have-nots" want one and "the haves" seem to want even better coverage.
The reality is that an insurance policy will not bring costs down or improve access or quality. Heck, we don't even know what's going to be in these policies as far as co-pays, premiums, costs, coverage and waiting periods.
We should be focusing more on the health care entities and less on actuary driven instruments.
October 12, 2009
Public plan
"In the 9th Congressional District of Missouri alone there are 11,000 uninsured children and 65,000 uninsured adults."
I say:
How many of those folks are already eligible for taxpayer-funded health care but have chosen not to sign up? For example, approximately 12 million people -- in Missouri and the rest of the states -- qualify for Medicaid but haven't signed up.
-And yet they still live! How do they survive without insurance?

Also, this just goes to show you that inept parents will always be inept parents, regardless of what bleeding heart liberal progressive lefties try to accomplish at other people's expense.
Improve Medicare and Medicaid first. Then perhaps the government will have some credibility.
-With regards to emergency rooms:
The emergency room should be for emergency medical care and not for the "I don't have insurance" crowd or the "bill me and I'll just throw the statement into the garbage can" illegal alien or citizen.
(Hospitals would probably be better off having "based on the ability to pay" family clinic areas, anyway.)

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro November 14, 2009 | 1:57 p.m.

Continued:
At the same time, there are many people who will go to the hospital because they do not have the mindset to speak to a pharmacist first, call a triage nurse first or go to a municipal or private nonprofit "free" clinic.

Many people and parents also take advantage of the emergency rooms when basic home first aid or over-the-counter medication will suffice. Better use of public health information and lifestyles and self-imposed moderate and prudent usage of the health care network will put less of a strain on our system. Americans are just too spoiled, lazy and not very smart or creative, I guess.
We also need to start patching up illegal aliens when they come into hospital emergency rooms and get INS to transport them back to their country of origin.
Again, I contend that if we equate a health insurance policy as a desired item between "haves and have-nots," the have nots would want one and the haves would want a better one. I'd even venture to say that a goal could be a health care industry where the need for "insurance policies" could become obsolete, even without "government-run health care."
The bigger issue here is why do we focus on socialized government-run programs as the solution to "health care for all" and ignore ways to improve other health care tier venues.
Where are the ideas to bring forth a new generation of family general practitioners and other health care professionals? (How do we change "Doctor Worship?" Why do doctors earn what they earn and school teachers earn what they earn?)
What kind of partnership is government making with medical schools, the nonprofit sector, the business community and the head offices of church denominations?
What impact can we make on big pharma, the manufacturers of medical supplies & equipment and the board of directors of major hospitals and health insurance companies.
How do we address this administrations desire to protect its lawyer lobby from tort reform?
Can government consolidate and maximize its current resources concerning its bureaucracy of the VA, Medicare, Medicaid, Native American Services, CHIPRA, etc?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro November 14, 2009 | 2:00 p.m.

Continued:
People die because people die. Having an insurance policy and overeating, lack of exercise, and high stress will kill you just as easily as not having an insurance policy, substance abuse, eating lots of fast food, not taking vitamins and supplements, and living in a crime-ridden neighborhood will. Gangs and guns=deaths in America. Not lack of an insurance policy. There's already access to health care in America for those who don't have a "policy."
It's up to those people to access these services, clinics and hospitals.
A reader said:
("The two bodies on the ground represented 45,000 Americans who die prematurely every year because they don’t have health insurance.")
I say: To attribute that the 45,000 people living in America die prematurely every year only and directly because they do not have an insurance policy is a crock.
("Economists Craig Perry and Harvey Rosen, in a study for the National Bureau of Economic Research, found that "the lack of health insurance among the self-employed does not affect their health. For virtually every subjective and objective measure of their health status, the self-employed and wage-earners are statistically indistinguishable for each other." There is likewise no reason to assume that those who choose not to participate in employer-provided plans suffer any adverse effects on health care, much less on health.")
source and more:
No Health Insurance...So what?
https://www.cato.org/research/article...
People die every day. They die as a result of many reasons.
Do you have any figures which attest to how many people die per day from inadequate/inferior emergency room care and/or the lack of free clinics, church assistance or nonprofit United Way-type health and human care service agencies?
Would people stop dying, every day, if we had Obamacare?
Would an Obamacare membership card guarantee that doctors will see you any quicker then they see you now?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro November 14, 2009 | 2:03 p.m.

Cont.
1. I don't think it's having an insurance policy that solely improves health overall.
2. The claim that having more people with health care insurance policies could reduce mortality rate for the uninsured is as good a claim as saying, "if the uninsured did less drugs or had safer jobs or ate less processed food washed down by Sunny D, they'd still be uninsured but their mortality rate could be reduced."
3. Uninsured are generally more risk takers. This includes those who can afford health insurance policies but choose to not buy a policy.
4. A disproportionately high percentage of African Americans say they are without insurance. Considering that there are unique, (poverty related, lifestyle, family infrastructure, culture), health problems among the black community, having a health insurance policy, in itself, might not impact the mortality rate among this group. In fact, my guess is that this group skews the figures for the uninsured mortality rates significantly. And this is a group which has the most access to "free/based on one's ability to pay" clinics, United Way agencies, local municipal hospitals and clinics, church-managed hospitals and private foundations and charities.

I recently got an email from Obama's Change for Today group....
("In the 9th Congressional District of Missouri alone there are 11,000 uninsured children and 65,000 uninsured adults. Health Care Reform without a "Real" robust Public Option would simply deliver an additional 75,000 customers to private health insurance companies.
One single company Wellpoint controls nearly 70% of all policies in Missouri.
Health Care Reform without a Robust Public Option is merely a give away to the private "for profit" insurance monopolies.
America is getting closer than ever before to providing Universal Coverage for our citizens, it is important that we keep the pressure on Congress (especially the Senate Democrats) to pass "Real" reform.
Please add your voice once again.
"Any Democratic senators who support a Republican attempt to block a vote on health care reform should be stripped of their leadership titles. Americans deserve a clean up-or-down vote on health care.")

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro November 14, 2009 | 2:06 p.m.

Continued:

-I don't agree with their premise and I am outraged at their statistics and proposal.
Insurance should not be the primary focus of improving access, affordability and quality of care.
Expanding an already flawed federal bureaucracy would be my last choice to improve access, cost and quality of America's health care systems.
I would sooner advocate for the impeachment of Obama or strip Pelosi and her ilk of their leadership titles before holding Republicans or Blue Dog Democrats accountable for their fiscal conservatism and protection of the free market.
While America's tier approach to health care already provides a basic infrastructure, there's plenty room for improvement, but we are missing some important opportunities if we're blind sided by the progressive lefts attempt of socialized, government controlled health care for every citizen, and then some.
.I've posted elsewhere that one approach the Feds could take, in addition to minimizing waste, fraud, duplication, bureaucracy in their current "entitlement programs" such as Medicare, Medicaid, Children's Health programs, Native American Services and the VA would be to merge all this under one large regulated entity to maximize resources and open up services to those who need them. (Without taking any health care benefits away from our Vets, except that they will now be mingling with more common folk at the hospitals/facilities/clinics.)

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro November 14, 2009 | 2:08 p.m.

Continued:
The premise would be for the feds to partner with medical schools/health professional training schools and offer a sponsorship program for family practitioners and other health care professionals to obtain their certification by "paying back" the assistance by becoming "reasonably paid" government interns and/or 7 year workers under a modified, accessible to those in-need, VA-Indigent-Transitional-Youth-Senior-Disabled Hospital/Clinic facility provider ship.
In effect, doctors and health care providers, educated with the assistance of the taxpayers/government dime, would "serve" in the government VA+safety-net facilities with a more open-door policy for those in medical attention.
As long as more hospitals/clinics participate in becoming Veteran-Plus facilities the locations where people in need of assistance from government physicians will be less of a burden on the system. If parents with children who have the sniffles or adults who just want the attention of a doctor over-utilize the facilities, then a phone triage or on-site triage will either deter or accommodate those who take-advantage of the "freeness." At the same time, after the let's say 7 year "internship" doctors can decide to either remain on board or go into private, nonprofit or local government practice.
We would be maximizing government resources, helping the "smart but poor" become doctors, attain more physicians in the mix, bring down the doctor-ego culture a bit, help patients in need, allow insurance companies to compete for other business, (preferably across state lines), still allow for private practice and meet the needs of more people.
Just the beginnings of some ideas I've been kicking around in my head.
Again, America has a pretty good tiered health care system in place. It would be a shame and very unconstitutional to throw it all away.

America's tier approach to covering basic health care needs provides our basic mechanism. These tiers include government "entitlement programs, private enterprises, nonprofit "based on one's ability to pay" clinics, local municipality clinics and hospitals, church programs and church owned and operated hospitals, teaching hospitals, pharmaceutical company drug programs for the "poor," pharmaceutical samples, foundations, charities, large tax-free agencies such as Muscular Dystrophy Foundation, Cancer Care, Heart Association, Diabetes Association etc.

What we need to address is why we believe that insurance is the only answer to improving the access, delivery and quality of America's health.

In fact, there are many who are eligible or could sign up for insurance plans as we speak and choose not to get insurance, private paid or Medicaid, etc.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro November 14, 2009 | 2:09 p.m.

This is still less then the 2,000 page house bill:

Regarding the insurance industry: It would be a good idea to impact premiums and choices by allowing across state purchases, Access to catastrophic insurance, pumping support into the non-profit sector, improving Medicare and Medicaid for the elderly, poor and disabled, doing a better job with Public Health Education, getting people off of substance abuse lifestyles, bringing down the costs of medical supplies and equipment manufacturing, focusing on generic prescriptions, working with medical schools to facilitate an increase in general family practitioners and other health care professionals and bringing down the costs of risk-management for the health care industry.
Government should be working with the health care professionals and the American public and guide the free market. We need to bring d own the costs of medical supplies and equipment and use more generic $4 prescriptions, Not over mandate or tip the scales of our tier approach by installing a bigger bureaucracy and a larger federal payroll pool under the guise of "health care for all."

(Report Comment)
Layton Light November 14, 2009 | 2:31 p.m.

ray shapiro November 14, 2009 | 11:35 a.m.
ray shapiro said:

Layton:
I don't see the Irony. I see a benefit.
Jealous? Run for the Senate.

Ray:

Then I guess you're too dense to see the irony of someone who mentions an injury that he had treated with the benefits from the best health care plan in the country talking about why others shouldn't derive the same benfit of quality, low cost health care, without provisions for exclusion for preexisting conditions.

Jealous? Run for the Senate.

FYI: The federal health care plan isn't just for members of the Senate.

And from what I can see of the multiple post abuse of the "comments" section you blessed us with, you could do us all a favor and find a better outlet than "Right Wing Comment Troll" for your aspirations.

Lou Dobbs just quit.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro November 14, 2009 | 2:54 p.m.

Layton says:
"Then I guess you're too dense to see the irony of someone who mentions an injury that he had treated with the benefits from the best health care plan in the country talking about why others shouldn't derive the same benfit of quality, low cost health care, without provisions for exclusion for preexisting conditions."
What makes you think you deserve the Senator's policy?
I live in a shack.
Can I live in your house?
Will you buy me one?
Moving towards a governmental Socialistic/Marxist/Communistic approach to life in America? I'll pass, thank you very much.
(BTW, sorry if your head explodes when you read my email to Michael Steele. He didn't think it was abusive at all.)

(Report Comment)
Layton Light November 14, 2009 | 5:07 p.m.

What makes you think you deserve the Senator's policy?

I think every citizen of the United States should have the opportunity to buy insurance that is equal to that of our representatives. I don’t think that is Marxist by any stretch of the imagination, but feel free to pull out all of the right wing buzz/scare words you like.

I live in a shack.

Sorry to hear that Ray. Like I said, Lou Dobbs' position is open. Free market, opportunity for upward mobility and all that.

Can I live in your house?

How does health care reform equal this?

Will you buy me one?

Again, how does health care reform equal this?

Moving towards a governmental Socialistic/Marxist/Communistic approach to life in America? I'll pass, thank you very much.

Fine, like someone said in another discussion about health care reform, if you really like the complete elimination of government in commerce and industry, head on over to Somalia. They've adopted "Lord of the Flies" as their constitution. I'm sure you'll do well there.

(BTW, sorry if your head explodes when you read my email to Michael Steele. He didn't think it was abusive at all.)

You overrate your editorial skills if you think you made my head explode. And what is abusive is your repeated use of posts to get around the word limit.

I'm done, feel free to keep writing.

(Report Comment)

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