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Letter: Forrester should support Medicaid expansion

As the owner of a successful small business in Bristol, I keep a careful eye on the cost of doing business, as any business owner does. One of the biggest costs is health insurance. I’m able to afford catastrophic insurance for myself and my husband, but a comprehensive plan with a low deductible is simply out of reach.

Hundreds of other small businesses in New Hampshire are in the same boat. As much as they’d like to, many of these businesses simply cannot afford to give their employees health coverage. Yet these businesses are the economic backbone of dozens and dozens of small towns in the Granite State.

That’s why I support accepting the federal dollars to extend Medicaid coverage to hard-working, lower-income New Hampshire residents.

The facts are obvious: This is a great economic deal for New Hampshire as well as a boon to the health of our citizens and the stability of our workforce. What is not so clear is why certain Republican senators, including Jeanie Forrester in Bristol’s district, remain stubbornly opposed to what’s right for the state.It’s time for these senators, including Forrester, to put ideology aside and support our state’s small businesses and families.

SANDRA HEANEY

Bristol

Legacy Comments17

This website is acting up again. Most of us have been reading that premiums are going up drastically. I know they have for me already. What the govt deems as acceptable insurance plans has caused the cost to go up and in many cases the deducitble to rise. Many companies, especially small business, do not know what they are going to do to afford these plans, some of which average 20 grand per employee. They are considering putting employees on parttime hours or laying folks off. The plan has so much in it that folks have no clue about. The idea that you wait to see what happens is not wise. But that was the intent. Tell the folks the great things about the plan and leave out the bad things. I agree we do need to fix health care. This plan will do the opposite.

Rabbit, does it not strike you as ludicrous that health insurance, not health care, but just health insurance would cost $20K per employee!? If it turns out to be NOT true, then it's part of the scare tactic used by the ACA's opponents. If it IS true then its more evidence that the whole system is truly, truly broken. Why should businesses worry about providing their employees health care? It's asinine. This is a burden businesses in Canada, or England or Australia etc, are not forced to shoulder. And their employees know they will be provided quality health care no matter who they work for. They don't have to worry about going bankrupt because they happened to become ill and couldn't afford health insurance. How many American workers are chained to their jobs because they need health insurance? It'd be a lot easier to work for yourself or start your own business if you didn't have to worry about health insurance. Or do you disagree?

There is no scare tactic, I can testify first hand that companies pay about $20,000 per employee. It is not broken, stop and think about what could go wrong and how much it can cost and people pay a mere fraction of that cost through insurance. I can tell you that everyone's premiums are going up between 50% and 100%, as are deductibles and co-pays for meds are going up 25% on average. How is that "affordable" to those who have insurance now? Those of us will have coverage, it won't be as good and we may be waiting in line behind those who we are subsidizing. And bankruptcy does not mean that you lose your home in most cases. Chained to what jobs??? There are few options on jobs today in this Obama economy. It is not easy to start a business with the restrictions in Obamacare, once you grow to a certain size, you are forced to either provide it or pay a fine. Obamacare is a disaster and we all will feel it in six short months.

tsa says the "system is not broken". Anyone here care to refute that? Maybe not for you Itsa since you have an excellent policy (one of those "Cadillac" plans?) but for the majority of Americans it IS broken. Most Americans (and physicians for that matter) support making fundamental changes to our health care system: http://www.commonwealthfund.org/News/News-Releases/2011/Apr/72-Percent-of-Americans-Think-Health-Care-System-Needs-Major-Overhaul.aspx . There is not another nation on earth that pays anywhere NEAR $20000 for health insurance or health care per capita. We are being gouged by insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and even doctors. The managers of these industries live in an alternate universe unaffected by the recession--just more and more money being sucked in every year. Our GDP is on track to hit 20% on health care spending soon (France has the world's top-rated system and is spending less than 12% of GDP for complete coverage of it's citizens). And surely you understand that there are many, many people working in jobs they hate just because they and their family need health benefits. They cannot leave to start their own business because they can't go without coverage. This has nothing to do with Obamacare. It's been this way for decades. And "bankruptcy does not mean that you lose your home in most cases". First, NO ONE should ever lose their home or life savings because they got sick. Second, they may not have the home taken away, it'll just have a lien placed on it so it could never be sold.

at 58% Obama is below Carter levels in the % of people employed..... and with the famous 47% of those citizens paying ZERO taxes....just where do democrats propose the money come from to give everybody free stuff. In a world full of democrats if they had a choice between Santa Clause & reality who do you think they would pick?

OK then. Medicaid provides health care for poor elderly folks, pregnant women, kids, the disabled, the blind and the working poor ($23,550 income limit for a family of 4). Which group would you like to cut out?

I have not heard one person on this forum who is for the ACA discuss any of the issues with it. They do not talk about what your premiums will be, they never discuss the impact it will have on employment, medical devices being mad, the impact it will have on small business, or the fact that many health care places will stop taking medicare and medicaid patients. They never discuss all the taxes in the ACA. They avoid these discussions. Why? Is it because they are unaware of them, or is it because they are in denial?

You hit the nail on the head, RabbitNH. I will tell you that my premiums are doubling, the cost to my company doubling, my deductible is going up and the co-pay cost is going up 20%. Now, I know this because I have been involved in the meetings.... it is ugly. Bottom line is that there is nothing "affordable" about Obamacare. I also learned that my choice of providers will be reduced which, in essence means that I may not be able to keep my doctor. So.....Obamacare was a lie. I am not sure that progressives are denial but they are looking for more of a "shared" cost of health care to bring down their own costs. As far as the taxes involved in Obamacare, I know about that as well. Out of the gate there is a tax upfront as a money grab....it is about $64,000 for a company with 1000 employees. Basically, progressives are telling us that they care about the uninsured but in reality they also want a break on their own healthcare and they did not feel the shame of taking $500B from Medicare and the seniors who need healthcare the most. So, unless we find a way to repeal Obamacare, you and I RabbitNH will subsidize others who made different choices and we will wait with them and behind them in long lines and be denied many services due to in-availability of funds in the long term to treat our medical problems......funds that we ultimately pay in to subsidize Obamacare. It is stunning that self responsibility, self determination and general self respect is absent in the dependency population, most of whom could pull themselves up by their boot straps but refuse to put the boots on, instead expecting us to dress them.

First of all, let me state that I am all in favor of a single-payer system. I DO however support the Affordable Care Act because it will provide some benefits to lower and middle income people and it will curb the health insurance industry's worst practices. I've talked about this before, no need to repeat here. As far as the impact on premiums, employment and all the rest, no one knows exactly what will happen. It's a brand new program. It will probably take a couple of years for everything to reach an equilibrium. Economists and health care experts can make all kinds of predictions but really, nobody knows exactly how it will pan out. There are two things we know for sure: 1) the current health care system is broken and SOMETHING has to be done. HAS TO! 2) health insurance premiums will increase as they have since the advent of the health insurance industry (an average of 13% over the past decade). The object of the ACA is to SLOW to rate of increase and provide insurance to more people. Now, the only way to provide coverage to ALL people and DECREASE our health care costs is to go with single-payer--just like every other industrialized nation in the world.

Wrong on all counts. A single payer would not be cheaper, it would take an increase in taxes. Obamacare will provide benefits to the uninsured and you and I and RabbitNH will all subsidize that with premiums that will almost double, deductibles that will almost double and co-pays for prescriptions which will sharply increase. I have first hand information on this from my company. All of those costs will be handed on to you and me. We will stand in line with those who have been uninsured and maybe behind them in line. We will get what will amount to rationed care so that those who are uninsured or chose not to get insurance, etc. will get some care and us? We will get "some" care instead of the care we have been used to through sacrificing all of our lives to provide our own insurance through our employers. Many times we made the choice to work in a particular job for the insurance or maybe for less pay to get the insurance. We will now be paying more and sacrificing the care that we have invested in so that 12% of the population can get some freebies. Moreover, 18-25 year old folks who need insurance the least will pay much more than they every expected......it is a boondoggle and it is simply a stepping stone in the minds of Democrats on the way to ultimate control over your personal lives.....single payer. That will be fraught with rationing which will lead to the government deciding if you or I or RabbitNH gets that life saving surgery at 69 years old or if we are told, "well you have lived a full life, we just can't afford that lifesaving operation, here are some painkillers......and understand that healthcare is better spent on those younger than you". If you don't think that will happen, think again.

Single-payer IS cheaper in every other country in the world. Why? Many reasons. 1)insurance companies do not have to get involved and take their cut for profit and overhead (currently at about 30% of our health care spending). 2)The government could negotiate drug and medical equipment purchases--we pay several times what other countries pay for the same drugs. 3)By making hospitals non-profit they don't have the incentive to over-treat by taking test after test (lab procedures are major profit centers for hospitals) or charging patients $77 for a box of gauze pads or a $108 for a tube of bacitracin 4)Reducing pay of specialists who make several times the salary of primary care physicians (that is why we have a lack of PCPs in the US). There is ZERO evidence that single-payer would increase costs. There is only the shameless fear-mongering propagated by the health insurance industry who has everything to lose: "BE AFRAID EVERYBODY, BE VERY AFRAID" "DEATH PANELS" "SOCIALIZED MEDICINE" "RATIONED CARE" "GOVERNMENT BUREAUCRATS" "GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER". How do you explain the higher satisfaction rates of those with a single-payer type system? And just so you don't think I have a personal agenda you should know that I am very healthy with health insurance and haven't been to a hospital or a doctor in 6 years. Yes, I'm OK with subsidizing health care for those less fortunate because I may be one of them someday. I support single-payer simply because it's the right thing to do!

reply to xer below......Isnt the reason we pay so much for pads and bacitracion because medicare cheaps out on their reimbursement costs??

GWTW: First, I would encourage you to read Steven Brill's excellent article on health care in the March 4th issue of Time magazine. It's not political. Brill simply tries to "follow the money" and get to the root of why our health care is so expensive. It's eye-opening, to say the least. As for Medicare, it is set up to be non-profit. Costs are carefully set by the government so as to reimburse doctors and hospitals "at cost", i.e. no profit or loss. However, I've heard that in Florida some doctors and hospitals are advertising to seniors on Medicare to become their clients so they must have found a way to make some money. Some doctors in some specialties actually favor dealing with Medicare over insurance companies--much less paperwork and less of a hassle. Over the years, insurance companies have increased the amount and complexity of paperwork submitted by doctors for each claim. Most doctors now have a "billing staff" just to deal with this. What a waste! A chief complaint of doctors is that they spend more time doing paperwork than with patients. As to the breathtaking costs of medical supplies I think there are two reasons. 1) Hospitals DO lose money by having to treat uninsured patients and are trying to make up for it by overcharging those with insurance and 2) hospitals are NOT non-profit anymore, they're trying to maximize profit like any business. Most people never look at their medical bills and even if they do it's undecipherable to a layman. That's how hospitals get away with it.

Rabbit you are correct. The Obama administration is just like the book 1984 where words have the opposite meaning. ObamaKare should be called the Unaffordable Care Act. The Obama Justice Department should be called the Injustice Department. When Obama says he is lowing taxes he is increasing taxes. The Obama administration cater to the low information voter and their allies in the extreme liberal media, like this paper.

I've been following this Medicaid expansion issue for the past few weeks and I'm trying to give the Republicans the benefit of the doubt and figure out why they're against it. Every explanation they give rings hollow. They just don't like the Affordable Care Act, don't like the president and are following Sen Jim DeMint's advice:" it will be his Waterloo, it will break him"--the well-being of the American public be damned. I'm sorry, it's just the way I see it. Why would they not accept money to help people get on the program and why would they not want to provide health care for poor people?

If you think health care is expensive now - WAIT until ObamaKare kicks in.....the readers of this rag aint seen nothing yet

There you go again... now I'm scared.... again....

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