12th candidates differ on future plans for 'Obamacare'

2012-10-08T17:00:00Z 2012-10-10T22:13:18Z 12th candidates differ on future plans for 'Obamacare'BY CALEB HALE, The Southern The Southern
October 08, 2012 5:00 pm  • 

CARBONDALE — Republican 12th congressional district candidate Jason Plummer reiterated Monday the need to repeal and replace “Obamacare” as a means of growing jobs and the economy of Southern Illinois.

The proposal is the latest in Plummer’s 12-point jobs plan he is using on his campaign for the seat of retiring U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Belleville. Plummer is running against Democrat Bill Enyart of Belleville and the Green Party’s Paula Bradshaw of Carbondale for the for the seat in the November election.

Calling Obamacare a “one-size-fits-all healthcare system” that raises taxes and guts Medicare by $716 billion over a decade, Plummer said he instead would support health care reform that allows people to purchase health plans across state lines and implements tort reform to stop frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits.

“Instead of allowing competition from the free market to lower the cost of health care, an unelected board of bureaucrats has been given an unprecedented role in healthcare decisions,” Plummer said in a statement.

Enyart’s campaign released the following statement regarding his approach to health care reform:

“Congress wasted $50 million taxpayer dollars on repealing Obamacare over 30 times instead of fixing what doesn’t work in the law,” the statement said, noting Enyart wants to fix what doesn’t work in the bill, like unfair regulations on small business, but keep in place protections in the law, like the one that prevents insurance companies from charging higher premiums to women.

Bradshaw said she would call for a repeal of Obamacare, and instead seek to replace it with a true single-payer healthcare system and weeding out what she calls the “middlemen” of private insurance companies.

caleb.hale@thesouthern.com . 618-351-5090

Copyright 2015 The Southern. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(1) Comments

  1. Gillsburgher
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    Gillsburgher - October 08, 2012 10:08 pm
    The repeal of Obamacare is held up on the Senate like dozens of other bills. But electing Enyart would not help. His choice for speaker is Nancy "we have to pass it to know what's in it" Pelosi. The Speaker has absolute control over the House agenda.

    There are really two questions on which to evaluate Obamacare. Does it decrease or increase the cost of healthcare? Will it lead to more or fewer jobs?

    I have read the 12+ page summaries put together by the HR professionals. There is nothing in Obamacare that reduces costs. There is plenty that increases costs (taxes on medical devices and drugs), and plenty that shifts the costs around from one person to another.

    Since it increases costs of employment, it will necessarily lead to job losses, particularly as the cost of employment per productivity is a key formula in determining whether to move jobs overseas. Obamacare will help the math work in favor of overseas jobs. To be accurate, it does have a provision to hire 16,000 new IRS agents. So when you 750,000 people get laid off as a result of Obamacare, you can apply to the IRS.

    There is plenty that can be done to reduce the cost of healthcare. None of these are in Obamacare.

    1. Lift the quota on immigration of qualified nurses. The nurse to patient ratio is the number one indicator of recovery quality. Studies have shown that more nurses result in fewer days in the hospital, and at $3,000 a day, that adds up to big savings.
    2. Require an administrative finding of negligence or fraud through licensing boards before allowing any lawsuit against a licensed doctor, hospital, nurse, drug, device, etc. to move forward and limit the award to some multiple of the plaintiff's personal cost. (anyone on public aid would not be able to sue). Lawsuits are about 15% of the cost of healthcare in general, and as much as 40% of obstetrics in some places. If the boards find professional malpractice, then go for it. Otherwise, don't add to everyone else's cost. WE pay for lawsuit lottery, not the defendant. The beauty of this is that it will reduce the number of tests that are ordered by doctors for the purpose of lawsuit defense, and hence system costs. If other doctors agree the tests were not necessary, then there is no lawsuit, unlike today, when laypersons make the decision. No one is perfect, and that includes doctors and nurses. That's just life. But they can try their best, and that should be how they are measured.
    3. Allow cross-state purchases of insurance. This currently adds 20% or more to those who work for small multistate companies and their employees.
    4. Allow, even require ER's to turn away non-life threatening conditions. Urgent care facilities are a great idea, make people use them.
    5. Require proof of legal residency or admission (with condition occurring after arrival) prior to receiving any public medical aid. It turns out a lot of illegal aliens pay their way for routine office visits, that is good. But every day, Mexicans cross the border (often with a border crossing card) for the sole purpose of receiving free treatment at American ER's, then they return to Mexico when done. Ask any ER doctor or nurse in the border states. There is even a hospital row, where pregnant women in labor are pacing in Mexico, waiting for the right time to cross in order to give birth in the US, paid for by the US taxpayer and a guarantee that in 18 years, she will get a green card. End it. Enforce immigration law.
    6. Level the playing field between those that have medical insurance through their employer (pre-tax) and those who buy it themselves (post-tax). This unequal treatment is unfair.
    7. Standardized "labels" for medical insurance, so consumers can better compare plans. Just try to choose a plan, it is a mess.
    8. Enforce the Affidavit of Support (I-864) for sponsored immigrants. This form requires a US citizen or resident who sponsors an immigrant to be liable for any public aid that immigrant receives within a time frame. It is not enforced.
    9. Allow anyone to import medicinal, non-narcotic drugs for his own use. It is wrong that an American made drug is 80% cheaper in Canada than in the US. You can currently bring with you a limited supply under prescription, but internet orders are sometimes confiscated. (20 tablets of antibiotic cost less than $1 in some countries, compared with a $10 or $20 copay here, and who knows how much the insurance company pays).
    10. Require any and all treatments and visits to have a co-pay. Something like a minimum of $5 for a child and a minimum of $10 for an adult. If people like, allow the doctor to waive it for low-income people upon finding of necessity, ie, not a cold virus. It is amazing what a small amount does to reduce demand, and hence overall costs.
    11. Allow organ donors and their families to receive payment. Currently, everyone in an organ transplant process gets paid except the donor and family. The predictable result is a shortage, with people being sickly (costing money) and dying. A donor would be free to choose not to be paid, and even that his organs go to a person who has no money. But the shortage would evaporate within days. Many people reject the idea because it sounds morbid and unethical. But I will counter that it is more unethical to allow people to die when a simple law change can prevent it.

    Every one of these would reduce the cost of healthcare. None are in Obamacare. And strangely, the only things here that should be partisan are the no love lost for illegals that many Democrats would oppose and allowing the selling of organs that some Christian conservatives would oppose.

    As far as the popular, acceptance of pre-existing conditions, there is a moral hazard. If I pay my insurance and you don't, why should you be allowed coverage after you get terribly sick? There is a compromise available. First, prohibit insurance cancellations (premium increases based on risk are acceptable, but this should be fixed and disclosed upon purchase). Second, provide a time of amnesty, say six months, during which no one can be turned away for pre-existing conditions (I would hope smokers and obese are charged a whole lot more). Third, require any insurance company to accept an applicant who is currently covered by any other company at the time of application. Fourth, after the amnesty period, an insurance company can be required to accept (but may at its option otherwise) an applicant only if the applicant pays insurance premiums from time of last coverage lapse to date plus some extra. And lastly, insurance companies may not cap lifetime payments, but they may exempt certain high cost ailments or treatments (transplants, proton beam cancer treatment, etc) unless an option is purchased, being up to the company on how to offer it.

    Yes, some people will not buy the options and will die without treatment. That is their choice. How can one be so callous? It is the captain of a ship that gives the order to close the door on the men fighting the flooding behind a bulkhead. Saving the ship takes priority. Only those who have made such decisions can understand it. I have.
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