Todd Smith's Blog

A day in the life of Todd Smith

Health Care In America

The election last night set off a warning signal to the Obama administration on how a majority of people feel about the health care bill. Why are people so passionate about this issue? What is going on in the state of Massachusetts? One of the most liberal states votes in a Republican after 47 years. Not just any seat. Teddy Kennedy’s seat. Until today’s announcement why has the President tried to push the issue so hard, knowing that most people are against the bill?

I’m against the bill. To me there is an arrogance that “they are going to push this bill through no matter what.” Even though a majority of Americans (Rep. Dem. Ind.) are against it they are going to do it anyways. Trying to push this bill and others with secret meetings and weekend voting goes against the transparency the President promised before the election.

I’ve never seen government as being accountable or fiscal when it comes to money. I don’t see them being good managers of our health system. Although I would like to see health care for everyone, I don’t believe the government should be running it. I don’t believe the President has made it clear how we will pay for it. How they will keep it stable. How they will be able to keep track of money coming in and out.

I think our choice of doctors and treatment quality would decline considerably. I think it would create another department within our government that would be so overwhelming. Once it started we wouldn’t be able to stop it.

Let’s say we vote for it, and realize after 5 or 10 years it’s a bust. What senator would vote against it if tens of thousands in their own state have jobs in it or related to it?

I don’t think this is a case of “something is better than nothing.” I don’t think it’s been thought out very well. I think in the long run it will do more to hurt the country and put us in more debt. I will say I’m not as knowledgeable as I should be. I haven’t studied the Presidents plan.

So I want to hear from you.

What are your thoughts? If you are for President Obama’s health care plan, why? I think we all want to see the poor get taken care of, but why is this plan good? How will it pay for itself? Why do you have so much confidence that the government is capable of running it?

If you are against it, why? What facts do you have to prove you are right? If his plan isn’t good then what should the President do? He wants to see everyone covered. What if your family didn’t have coverage? Would your opinion change?

A couple things.

I welcome anyone’s opinion. I am a follower of Jesus. Let’s not assume that every follower of Jesus is a Republican. If you are not a follower of Christ I welcome your comments. Your opinion makes the debate more balanced and interesting. Let’s be respectful of everyone’s opinion. We can watch the bickering on Fox News and MSNBC. As American’s I think we need to learn how to contend strongly with each other, but do it with dignity.

Todd Smith

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January 20, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

22 Comments »

  1. Todd,

    This paragraph says it all…
    I’ve never seen government as being accountable or fiscal when it comes to money. I don’t see them being good managers of our health system. Although I would like to see health care for everyone, I don’t believe the government should be running it. I don’t believe the President has made it clear how we will pay for it. How they will keep it stable. How they will be able to keep track of money coming in and out.

    Secondly…the question nobody is asking is this..
    How will the Government streamline the new healthcare for patients
    and somehow be rid of all the files and paperwork ??
    By simply using a coded chip to insert into every American..

    God Bless
    Jim

    Comment by Jim Peterson | January 20, 2010 | Reply

  2. I’m with you in that we need to take care of the needy but this bill just isn’t a good bill. We can do better.

    Comment by Jason | January 20, 2010 | Reply

  3. As a Canadian, US health care scares me to some extent. Although I’m sure Canadian health care also scares some Americans. I don’t like the idea that I would risk losing my house or paying for treatment even though I pay health insurance. I like that I can go to my doctor, emergency room, urgent care and not have to worry about paying out of pocket for any expenses.

    That said, I haven’t paid a whole lot of attention to the little details in the Bill.

    I’ve never had any issues with paperwork etc, from the Canadian healthcare system. And I’ve never experienced any issues with it not being streamlined. However, when transition to one system to the other, I can only begin to imagine the issues that Americans could experience in potentially transitioning.

    I’ll be the first to admit that Canadian healthcare isn’t perfect. Sometimes our wait times are too long, sometimes it’s difficult to find a family doctor, but I’ve never, ever, had sub-par care. Every doctor, nurse, etc has always treated me extremely well.

    Comment by Angela | January 20, 2010 | Reply

  4. You stated the exact reason that I do not support this bill: I do not trust the government to run health care in this country, and I do not want to be forced to put the well-being of my family under the control of our government.

    There are plenty of other reasons this bill is bad (e.g. the new taxes would start now, but coverage would not begin for four years at least), but allowing the same sort of government that has squandered Social Security and crippled Medicare to take over health care in this country would be irresponsible.

    The trend of government in the country seems to be to use any excuse to further intrude into the lives of its citizens (first it was terrorism, now it’s health care reform).

    I would love nothing more than for every person in this country to have access to quality health care, at a REASONABLE COST. What everyone needs to realize is that government run health care does not mean it is free. Someone somewhere is going to have to pay for it.

    Comment by dubdynomite | January 20, 2010 | Reply

  5. Just very quickly, as I have to head out to do errands, (I’ll be back) but as an Australian, who also has ‘univesal’ care, I agree 100% with Angela.

    The bill that the president is bringing in, from my limited understanding, is very, very complicated. It doesn’t need to be. However, the way it works here, may not work over in the US. We hava a TOTAL population of 21 million. That’s what? LA? *grin*

    Comment by Jen | January 20, 2010 | Reply

  6. Jen – totally agree with you! Canada has a total population of about 30 million – 1/10 of the US population. Makes it way easier to manage this. And why is the US gov’t trying to make healthcare SO complicated?! Sounds like he’s trying to make EVERYONE happy, but, is actually making no one happy.

    Each province is responsible for charging “health care” to its residence and formulates it’s own budget. I’m not excatly sure how this all rolls up federally though. For example, in Alberta, we used to pay $44/month for basic health care (ie, to see a doctor, hospital visit, etc) and through my employer I pay an amount for extended medical coverage (perscriptions, dental, etc). This $44/month charge was removed in Jan 2009 because Alberta was doing so well…..now we’re in a deficit, but hopefully that will change…..once oil prices rise (and no, I’m NOT getting into a discussion re: the pros and cons of oil, etc *grin*) I think the big difference is that, although our extended medical insurance companies are considered “private” (ie. not public sector) I’ve never once heard of someone being denied care or coverage for a perscription if perscribed by a doctor.

    Comment by Angela | January 20, 2010 | Reply

  7. I’m Christian and I consider myself a Democrat more than anything else – only because I refuse to support legislation & the push of Christian values on the country. (do we need it? absolutely! I just don’t think the church should be in politics.) I share the same fears as you, Todd, on health care reform. What I fear the most: the fines to pay if you don’t have it. How does that help those of us who live on the edges of the lower & middle class pay grades? I personally think health insurance needs to be non-profit. Take the profits out of it and it will become reasonable again.

    Comment by Stephanie | January 20, 2010 | Reply

  8. You listed every reason in your post why I do not support the bill. I do not trust the government to manage MY health care. Obviously, we have seen what they have done with the rest of our money. Wasted it. I feel bad that some don’t have health care, but that is not the governments responsibility. I want as little government interference in my life as possible. America has definitely made their opinions known with the election of Scott Brown. Massachusetts especially. Obama’s ‘change’ has done nothing but hurt this country. Hopefully the election of Scott Brown can help change the way this health care bill is heading.

    Thanks for the informative post.

    Comment by brittany | January 20, 2010 | Reply

  9. I have been studying Esther, and when the announcement of his win was made, I immediately thought, “For such a time as this.”

    While I personally don’t believe this healthcare bill is the right one for the US, I don’t know God’s will on the matter. However, it does appear to me to be a sort of a modern day Esther. If God’s will is for this health care bill to not pass and/or be revised, “Esther” may have just been put into position.

    The fact that Jesus Christ is still (and always) on the throne puts my mind at ease!

    Comment by Sarah | January 21, 2010 | Reply

  10. Todd,

    This is totally unrelated to your post or what you asked in regards to comments. However, I just have to share. I was directed by a friend to Angie’s blog last week. Since then, I have completely ignored my children to get caught up on your story – reading bits and pieces every chance I got. For your information, I do homeschool my children, so ignoring them to read a blog is not really a good thing. Actually, I’m kind of kidding. I only ignored one of them and used the baby’s nap time to catch up on the past few years of your lives. :o)

    A bonus: My son (the homeschooled one) is in 7th grade this year and LOVES Selah. So, he kind of forgave me for my ignorance and just tossed it aside. He forgave me because I am reading about YOU guys. Too cool for words.

    Anywhoo… I just want to share with you guys that a little ‘ol gal down in Atlanta has (along with her totally cool homeschooled 7th grade son) become even BIGGER fans because of your story. Hearing you on the radio is one thing. Seeing a concert is another (sharing your hearts, etc.). But reading your wife’s story, both of your stories, has taken this to a new level. Thanks for your honesty (both of you) and even for your posting about the healthcare bill. (Maybe since I’m leaving a comment in that post’s section, I should mention something about it?) It’s good to hear other like-minded opinions. Though I’m not one of those folks that normally stays up past 10 PM, I did stay up to watch this historic election last night. It was a breath of fresh air for all of us that feel like we are indeed, sitting on our hands as of late.

    And, if you like, you can tell Angie that I really like to use commas too. Schooled that way.

    God bless you both.

    Marcy

    Comment by Marcy Simmons | January 21, 2010 | Reply

  11. I was really releived by the outcome of the vote in MA as well. And like many of the other posters, I do not support the health care bill for many of the reasons other people have stated. I also have a hard time with it because it proposes to expand the federal funding of abortion, and truthfully, it angers me to know that my tax dollars would be spent on that.

    On another note, I am so happy for you guys and that baby Charlotte looks GREAT!!!! I’ve been praying…

    ~ Stacy

    Comment by Stacy | January 21, 2010 | Reply

    • Stacy:
      Read the bill. I’ve read it multiple times, to the best of my ability as a physician, not a politician. It does not in any way, shape or form propose federal funding of abortion. It’s fine to have an opinion, but it needs to be your own, not repeated rhetoric you’ve heard somewhere. You can get a copy of the bill at @obama or @whitehouse on twitter.

      Comment by JKR | January 29, 2010 | Reply

  12. depends on which bill…

    chris and i have the TN state health care plan because of our awesome income level now that i am a writer and the fact i have pre-existing conditions and can’t be covered by “regular” insurance.

    i do like the parts of the plan that will give EVERYONE even those w/pre-existing conditions affordable healthcare, and affordable Rx care. I don’t have Rx care because our state plan can’t afford to provide much. So I have been shopping doctors looking for samples of my asthma meds, which is about $250/month w/o insurance and I can’t afford to pay that. Oh, and I just need it to freaking BREATHE and LIVE…..

    When we were in the UK, I was treated by their NHS, went through the system and it worked perfectly for me. And it was affordable. Since I was not a technical citizen (temporary) the most I had to pay for medicine any month, any medicine, was 12UK (about 20-25 bucks) for ALL of my medicine which in the states with insurance was 60-75/month.

    So I am for reform, and even a bit for this plan. I find most people against this plan have or can afford great health care, so it’s not really an issue for them to worry about until you can’t get it and you pray that you don’t get sick.

    Comment by anne jackson | January 23, 2010 | Reply

    • I think that’s a great point anne. I am fortunate enough to have a good plan through the music union. I have been asking myself, with three girls and 1 on the way, if I didn’t have good insurance, how opposed to this plan would I be?

      Comment by toddsmithonline | January 23, 2010 | Reply

  13. I’m on the fence with the healthcare issue. I do NOT want this particular bill to pass, but I am not entirely opposed to a national healthcare system. I work per diem at a hospital. Because I am not a permenent employee, I am not offered any benefits. I pay for an individual plan myself at the tune of $500. per month, which goes up $50.00 every 6 months on average). This plan does NOT cover my two health issues (migraine, high BP) as I have exclusions for that and so have zero coverage. My 3 medications cost anywhere from $400.00 to $900.00 per month, depending on how much the Rx plan has already paid out for the year (one single migraine tablet runs $38.00!) I am fortunate to have a doctor who helps by giving samples, otherwise I could never afford all of this on my own.
    I have been looking for permenent work, but after raising three sons and being back in the job market only for the last 5 years (and with a very tough economy) it’s rough finding a job at all. I am blessed beyond measure in so many ways, and try not to let the whole healthcare mess get to me but some days it’s tough. I remind myself often that God has a plan and sometimes we appreciate the gifts we are given more IF we first go through the tough times. I KNOW without a doubt that when God blesses me with a permanent job and affordable healthcare, I will be grateful beyond measure.

    Comment by Lisa | January 23, 2010 | Reply

  14. I’m an Independent. I don’t really even know what that means yet, but I don’t share party lines well on either side so I’m making the move. Health Care Corporations are about as innovative as GM and Chrysler when it comes to creative ways to lower premium and risk level. Like GM and Chrysler, they won’t make necessary changes until huge amounts if pressure are placed on them for change. Whether this passes or not, I hope that something gives soon. It is the most expensive monthly expense my family has, and my insurer-Anthem/Wellpoint made 3.5 billion in shareholder profits last year. We have no competition to go due to medical issues. I no longer believe that big business is Christian and Government is evil, they can both be ran by corrupt people and negatively impact vast amounts of people. Government is inefficient, but they are the only entity I know of that can effect change in this highly inflated highly profit driven industry.

    Comment by Matt Black | January 25, 2010 | Reply

  15. I am against this health care plan, and my husband and I do not have insurance. We both also have medical issues and really need insurance, but I don’t feel the governments current bill is what will be best. I will say my children have Medicaid, and while I am grateful it has provided some care for my children, it has been handled horribly. Anytime my kids need care it takes weeks of phone calls and paperwork to get anything done and then it is not an acceptable level of care. I have a child who needs surgery, but Medicaid is bucking. I am also not real knowledgeable about this bill; maybe it would work better, maybe it would be so much worse. But what I have heard about this bill I do not like and do not trust.

    I agree with Sarah, if this bill passes, I will know it is in God’s plan. So even if I do not agree, I will sit back and trust Him to handle the details I cannot understand and cannot control.

    Comment by JenJ | January 28, 2010 | Reply

    • I mean no offense… but if you have Medicaid, you HAVE government insurance. Perhaps you don’t like jumping through the hoops you have to to get things done, but it is FREE health care. There are millions of people who do not have this option, and they deserve care, just as much as your children do. You have to fight with private insurance just as much, if not more, to get coverage. Having Medicaid isn’t any worse, and possibly better, because again, it’s free, and won’t send you into bankruptcy.

      Comment by JKR | January 29, 2010 | Reply

      • I am very aware that Medicaid is a government program. Dealing with Medicaid is one reason I don’t agree with this bill. Seeing how messed up the Medicaid program is, I don’t think rushing this bill through will be the best thing. We’ve had private insurance before (20+ years), and NEVER had problems with our medical coverage. Yes, we had to pay for it, but we were able to see DRs and get treatments/surgeries when we needed them. My daughter needs surgery, but because Medicaid doesn’t have their act together, she is waiting. I would love to see everyone have health care provided, I would love to have my own health care, but I also want to be sure it is done right. I just don’t have that assurance with the way they are handling things now.

        No offense taken, so please don’t take offense from my reply :) I am not fired up mad at the government, I don’t hate them, I just don’t always trust them. But I do trust God, so I know whatever happens He has it in His plans. I must say, I’m glad He does!

        Comment by JenJ | February 1, 2010

  16. Todd,

    I agree with what you have stated. I am not for governmental healthcare. As evident in socialistic countries even next door in Cananda. It doesn’t work. I had a professor in graduate school whose wife was a doctor in Canada. He always said it is night and day in coming to the US for her to practice medicine. I think that we need to take other measures. If we can put limits and create a torte reform, and create open national competition we can change the face of health insurance. I know that there are also some states with programs to help people pay their medical bills. There are write-offs that doctors and hospitals can do to lower their Aggregate Gross Income. I think another big boost would be to crack down on Illegal Aliens. In some states that is a huge loss every year. We should sustain illegals then send them back to their country of origin.

    This is a bill that will lead us further to socialism and a progressive movement that will take our country farther into depression.

    But as I am continually reminding myself. God spared city’s in biblical times, and he can spare our country once again. He is ultimately in control of all.

    Comment by Scott | February 15, 2010 | Reply

  17. I am against government-run healthcare. But I’ll tell you something I would LIKE to see: caps on heathcare CEO’s salary/bonus packages. if we are going to continue with the traditional bundle offerings of the big insurance companies, how can we justify the obscene costs to business owners and the independently insured while the big guy at the top makes mega millions a year in salary and perks? Something HAS to be done about it.

    Comment by sandy bennett | February 26, 2010 | Reply

  18. Approximately 30% of our health care dollars go to “administration.” In countries that have single payer systems, this number is 6-7%. These countries have better health care outcomes than we have as well. For the life of me, I don’t understand why people trust insurance companies more than they trust our government. We trust our government to defend our country and to build roads, and many of us trust them to educate our children. They also insure our elderly – why not the rest of us?

    Comment by Patricia | March 10, 2010 | Reply


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