"Obama the African witch doctor"

This image was sent to fellow anti-health reform campaigners by Florida neurosurgeon Dr. David McKalip. So why, if their argument draws on such crass resources, are anti-reformers succeeding in their attempt to stop Obama from implementing a comprehensive health plan in the US?

US President Barack Obama's plans to set up a national health service in the country were dealt a blow on Thursday after both Republicans and Democrats chose to postpone voting on the bill until September. The decision follows a chorus of disapproval from many American doctors, patients and insurers who are against the idea and label it "socialist" and describe it as "health rationing".

The US is the only major industrialised nation which does not provide universal health care for all of its citizens, leaving US patients the biggest spenders in the world when it comes to medical treatment. Obama's plan is to offer a "Public Option" - a government-run insurance scheme which would offer competitive rates so that private insurers would have to compete, keeping a tab on costs. It would also mean that all US citizens would have to be medically insured. Currently, around 85% of people have private health care insurance, most of them jointly funded by employee and employer, and some paid personally. The remaining 15% have no access to health care, unless they are admitted on an emergency basis, when the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act enforces that hospitals receive emergency patients, regardless of their ability to pay. This section of society however, simply has to ignore non-emergency ailments. There are some state-funded programmes in place - for example, Medicare (for elderly patients) and Medicaid (for low-paid/ unemployed patients). But care given depends on the city/ state, and only covers extreme cases.  


"Health Rations and You", parody from anti-reform campaigners

Posted by "The Health Administration Bureau" - a parody of an imagined US national health service created by an anti-health reform group.

“The uninsured are like people who shoplift from a department store”

Dr. Mark Kellen is an anesthesiologist and pain management specialist based in Rockford, Illinois. He presides the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons which incorporates Take Back Medicine, a group campaigning against government involvement in health care.

For me as a medical practitioner, the biggest problem that Obama's plans would pose is the increased amount of paperwork. One of the problems that European doctors have which we don't is limited patient time because of increased paperwork. A lot of European countries are seeing that when the government pays for everything, quality is lowered. In the US you can shop for the best price, which boosts competition. Obama wants to put a stop to that. His scheme would simply transport money from the people to the government. Just because it doesn't work for a minority, he wants to turn a system that works for the majority of people on its head. Let me give you an example:

My daughter is a graphic art graduate, 22 years old and living alone. She's a healthy girl. So she pays a $30 [€21] monthly basic insurance instead of an all inclusive 800-900 dollar [€560 - €630] pre-payment that she doesn't need. If she wants to go for a pap [cervical] smear test for example, which is not covered by her insurance, then she pays the $70 [€50] fee upfront and cuts out the paperwork. If she should have something seriously wrong, then she only has to pay the first $5,000  [€3,500] per year, and then the rest is covered by her insurers.

Those who really can't afford insurance are funded by the government - through Medicare and Medicaid schemes. But then there's a segment in the middle you see, who can't afford insurance but earn too much to be eligible for government aid. These uninsured are the people we need to target. The uninsured are like people who shoplift from a department store. The store has to push up its prices to cover them, as do health service providers for those who turn up to ER, where they know they can get aid for free, without any insurance. The hospital has to accept them, and the people who are funding it are therefore paying their fees."




We have our own Health care in england and it runs really well, Its called the NHS "National Health Service" we also have BUPA private health care so its upto each person to decided what they want. You have to pay National Cont each time you get paid from work mine works out about £60 per month but for that I am fully covered for anything no matter how big or small by our hospitals.

If amarica adopt this idea you will find everyone gets looked after no matter how rich or poor they are. Everyone has a human right to good health and life so how can the usa put a price on this. America isnt much different from afganistan when it comes to health care.

Jill xx

Good plan

I think the health plan introduced by obama is good for american. Hopefully, no citizen will enjoy the health plan and same time to take a good health.

"I think the health plan

"I think the health plan introduced by obama is good for american."

Based on what? have you read the bill? I didnt think so,feelings based on ignorance will help NONE!

Is there too much democracy?

Is there too much democracy? Are you too involved now? You can see it, at least Sebelius when she stands up and starts getting hell from people, average Americans at these meetings, she doesn't understand it. She's from The Government! You are supposed to sit there, be quiet, respectful, and believe everything she says. You just don't understand. Whenever somebody from Washington comes to tell you how they are going to manage your health care, you're not supposed to say, "Who the hell are you to be managing my health care? You're not a doctor! You're not even a health care professional." They don't react well to you saying and thinking that. I mean, the crowd in that Sebelius and Arlen Specter thing, they were shouting. I don't know if you understood it. "You are lying. That's a lie! You're lying," and Sebelius is totally taken aback, because she knows she's lying, but she doesn't know that you know it. She knows she's lying. She knows that she's walking out there full of it. Specter knows he's walking out there full of it. What they don't think is that you're supposed to know that they're full of it. You're supposed to know your place.

Do you not know your place?

Do you not know your place? You need to sit there and think your family is important as Nancy Pelosi's family or Harry Reid's family or Kathleen Sebelius' family? What demons possess you, my friends? For heaven's sake, Harry Reid, why, he's a senator! He's a senator in the Senate of the United States of America. He is a leader of the United States Senate. What are you? You're a statistic. You're chump change. You need to learn your place. You need to understand how irrelevant you are. You think you're as important as Obama's family? Much as I love you, my dear listeners, you've got a problem. If you think you deserve the same health care as, say, Barney Frank, then your health care problem is mental illness.

"What diseases are covered?"

"What diseases are covered?" and I just want you to know that my cousin who is a surgeon and I have read through the bill and she calls me back and she says, "Gwen, this is Medicaid. This is Medicaid. This runs just as Medicaid," because she takes Medicaid patients. She says it's exactly the same language. So the problem with Medicaid is that they do take preexisting conditions. So they'll take your preexisting condition all right, but what she says is that they'll deny you some very needed treatments -- which, you know, considering that this is taxpayer funded, is okay because you can't expect taxpayers to fund every single treatment available to you. It's just too expensive.

Conyers: No Need to Read

Five Freedoms You'll Lose

Five Freedoms You'll Lose Under Obamacare (According to CNN!)



Criticism, Defensiveness, Contempt, Withdrawl

Let's not go down that road to withdrawing from dialogue.
In this debate about U.S. Health care on this Observers forum I've seen too much personal criticism. Let's be critical of the issues and the problem, not each other. Likewise, I've read too much defensiveness. I am offended by cheap shots from partisans about Obama's plan, etc. But I will not react in like manner. It's not productive. And please avoid the last stop before plugging one's ears and withdrawing from dialogue: Contempt. Ridicule and contempt serves no one in the long run.

I heard a very good interview between two ideologically opposed experts on the funding of health care in the U.S. and they were respectful and informative, even tho' they did not agree on all points:


Also a fairly even view of the status quo:


More of that kind of debate goes long way.

Doug Jennings
Graphic Artist
Chicago region, USA