Health Care changes


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Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Oct 16, 2013 - 12:34pm PT
Yahh and they will also pay for things like CONTRACEPTION so youngsters can go willy nilly and have their jollys for free. And if you thought the welfare bastard children problem was bad before,, just wait.

Uh... what?

Social climber
Oct 16, 2013 - 12:36pm PT
Having been both a contraception user and father I can conclusively say that contraception is far cheaper.

Social climber
Some Rehab in Bolivia
Oct 16, 2013 - 12:37pm PT



and a HUGE fuking BINGO!!!...

Trad climber
Oct 16, 2013 - 01:29pm PT
Ron complained
ohw and 10 out of 10 friends ive asked have had their premiums go UP...

Because they were paying for the lowest possible amount of health insurance before and now have comprehensive coverage.

Ron whined
Yahh and they will also pay for things like CONTRACEPTION so youngsters can go willy nilly and have their jollys for free. And if you thought the welfare bastard children problem was bad before,, just wait.

It's ok guys Ron is just mad that other people are having sex. The fact that his sentence insanely contradicts itself is just frosting.

Topic Author's Reply - Oct 18, 2013 - 12:12pm PT
Has anyone been able to get on to any of the exchanges yet? Me either. Seems that even with unlimited funding and over 3 years, the government is having problems getting a working web site running.

I saw that Delaware is celebrating it's first sign up. Someone named Janice. So hope and change is coming....slowly.

"Delaware Celebrates: First Person Finally Enrolls in Obamacare
9:00 AM, Oct 16, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER

Delaware has finally signed up someone for Obamacare. This has caused officials in that state to celebrate, according to the Associated Press.

"Delaware officials are celebrating the state's first health insurance exchange enrollee," the AP writes.

"Department of Health and Social Service officials have declared 59-year-old Janice Baker of Selbyville the first confirmed resident to enroll in the marketplace. It opened Oct. 1 as part of the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act."

It ain't happening in my state yet. Just tried to get on again, for the 10th time. Nope.


Trad climber
San Rafael, CA
Oct 18, 2013 - 10:22pm PT
Some countries have universal health care systems that rely almost entirely on the private market (Swiss). Some are single payer systems (France). Different types of systems are currently providing healthcare at half or better the % of GDP than we do in the US, with better outcomes, and while enjoying strong public support.

It upsets me when I hear people say things like "healthcare is not a right". What's important is that we have many examples of countries which provide high quality universal health care at far lower costs than the US. Some systems are more private and some are more public. And they are continually improving their systems as time goes by and they gain knowledge. You're not making a serious attempt to solve the long term debt problem if you are not actively working to reduce the cost of health care.

The peanut gallery complains about those European socialists and how over-taxed they are. I have a number of foreign friends. We all have professional careers; none of us are in the economic elite. We do economic comparisons. They may pay more in taxes. However much less comes out of their pay check for health care insurance and in the end things seem to be more or less on parity. We have cheaper food and gas. Our "stuff" (houses, cars) are bigger. They typically had free college tuition and never have to worry about losing everything since they got sick. I saw some Canadian women get a gold medal at the Olympics. All I could think of is how lucky they were: they would never worry about going bankrupt because they couldn't afford decent health care.

These days I keep hearing that we have to "Reform Medicare". I think what this means is that we need to just forget trying to reduce the cost of healthcare and instead free the government from the economic risk by letting the poor and middle class just deal with the catastrophe out of their own pockets as best they can. One form of this is Paul Ryan's medicare voucher plan. The debate has shifted so far right that unless there are major changes in our political system something like this may be the "best" thing our government will be able to accomplish.

For some reason we don't hear so much as when the ACA was first being planned about how the cost of health care is "growing at a dangerous and unsustainable rate". It's like we gave up on that. In the 1970's it was an incidental part of your budget--now it can be like paying another mortgage--and if things go bad it can mean bankruptcy. If you have a job that provides health care, look at how much your company is paying for your benefits which otherwise might be in your take home. During the development of the ACA, we had a political climate (republicans and blue dog democrats) that made it impossible to achieve radical changes such as a public option type system. What was achieved was probably the best that could have been achieved given the political players present. Obama would have had a number of non nefarious reasons not to back the public option such as political pragmatism or the fear of making large disruptive changes in a system where it is really hard to anticipate all the consequences. To progressives Obama seems frustratingly timid at times but to the far right he is some kind of monster that will destroy the country.

Now looking back, it seems obvious that many of the legislators involved in that ACA process where not good faith negotiators (were not serious about creating a well functioning efficient system). Most of the obstruction came from Republicans and the Blue Dog Democrats. Most of the Blue Dogs lost their offices after that. Unfortunately there are still plenty of angry people out there with their ten kids on Medicade (or whatever) who hate the government and think the government should have nothing to do with healthcare. So those Republicans or worse are still there obstructing.

What began as a sincere effort at compromise by the Democrats is now derided by the right as "Obamacare". By in large, the right just obstructs and makes things worse. As far as I can tell their agenda is to make a feint to reduce the budget by "reforming" medicare while keeping taxes low and military spending high. Despite their claims, they can't really care about cutting the debt since the math doesn't add up unless they also plan to remove most of the population from the health care system entirely. Since the right is also obstructing economic stimulation measures employment will remain high which tends to worsen the debt situation as well. They also spend a lot of time thinking about voter suppression to keep their majority in the house. Democrats who really are serious to make things better are working with a bad faith opposition that just obstructs and plays political games to increase their power.

I used to love to read the Atlantic Magazine. I remember roughly 20 years ago reading about a long-term plan of the right-wing Heritage Foundation which was described by cynics as "bankrupt the treasury so badly that we would be forced to ditch Medicare etc.". Meanwhile "Project For The New Century" (the neoconservatives) was established in the spring of 1997 and funded largely by the energy and arms industries. In their statement of principles they outline a fourfold agenda:
--Increase the military budget at the expense of domestic social programs
--Toppling of regimes resistant to our corporate interests
--Forcing democracy at the barrel of a gun in regions that have no history of the democratic process
--Replacing the UN’s role of preserving and extending international order

(This all can be read in their own words at

Something akin to the Heritage plan has actually played out nicely: Bush tax cuts to drain the treasury. Increased economic instability caused by overly-lax regulation of Wall Street and corporations which (duh) tend to externalize costs. These externalized costs such as pollution ultimately must be paid by the public in some form or other (cancer is largely caused by air pollution). An attack on 911 (According to Project For The New Century document, Rebuilding America's Defenses, their stated goals would never be realized “absent some catastrophic catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor”. ) which the Bush administration could not have done less to prevent. This was what the neocons needed to start the Bush wars. Lied about the intelligence. Had domino theory hubris. The subprime mortgage crisis crashed the economy and led to the $700B Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (signed by Bush, commonly referred to as a bailout of the U.S financial system). An overwhelming majority of the banks affected saw the bailout program as a no-strings-attached windfall that could be used to pay down debt, acquire other businesses or invest for the future. Then we have the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 signed by Obama which amounted to $831B but was far too weak ($288B of it was tax relief). The Bush tax cuts, wars, bailout, and stimulus account for nearly all of the debt, especially if you factor in the greatly reduced treasury revenues caused by an economy with high unemployment. But high unemployment is advantageous since desperate workers will work harder for less pay. The right was criticized for trying to block efforts to stimulate the economy, hoping poor economy will be blamed on "liberal policies". Damaging education was also important as were corruption of the economic system. Fox News and Clear Channel propaganda networks did their part to keep the base fired up and angry. And the worse things get, the more they get riled up and vote for the right wing candidates who are implementing the overall strategy. The ultimate goal of Heritage plan was to so bankrupt the treasury that politicians could throw up their hands and say "we just can't afford this anymore, and things are so dire, the national debt is so great that we have to take extreme measures". I think that's where the tea party comes in nicely and just on time!

Trad climber
Fresno, CA
Oct 18, 2013 - 10:58pm PT
Ok, this is not entirely climbing related, but if I get hurt while climbing and need insurance, it is climbing related.

While I am not a big fan of the recent health care changes, I think it is the step in the right direction toward a single payer plan. I have so many friends and relatives by marriage who are citizens of Northern European countries. Although they think that US is great, there is no way in hell that they are going to give up their citizenship to become a US citizen because they will loose their free healthcare privilages. What the rest of the world understands is a necessity, by the ^&$%ing Koch brothers (dont's get me started) think is wasted money.

Don't believe the freaking BS that you hear regarding Canada, Norway, and other countries about the waits. These are just people who had private insurance which actually slowed down their access. The right way to go is single payer plan, but it is not going to happen overnight.

I recently got to compare very closesly the entire taxation of Canadian citizens versus American citizens. Guess what - Canadian citizens are overall taxed less but have far superior public service, which includes healthcare.

Trad climber
Fresno, CA
Oct 18, 2013 - 11:24pm PT
Corporate taxes in Canada are much lower, but perhaps the individual taxes are higher. Taken together, which is what I am considering, Canada is lower than the US.

Trad climber
Fresno, CA
Oct 18, 2013 - 11:31pm PT

You must have a lot of Teabilly "friends"!

Topic Author's Reply - Oct 21, 2013 - 11:28am PT
Consumer Reports weighs in:

Consumer Reports: ‘Stay Away From’
By Alec Torres
October 21, 2013 9:56 AM

Consumer Reports, which publishes reviews of consumer products and services, advised its readers to avoid the federal healthcare exchange “for at least another month if you can.” “Hopefully that will be long enough for its software vendors to clean up the mess they’ve made,” the magazine said, having tested the site themselves over the course of the past three weeks.

Noting that only 271,000 of the 9.47 million people who tried signing up in the first week were managed to create an account, Consumer Reports then provided a few tips to those attempting to slog through the application process. From attempting successive logins because “error messages … may not always match reality” to checking your inbox frequently because if you miss an email you’ll be timed out of the site and forced to start from square one, none of the suggestions guaranteed success.

The magazine has also released a string of scathing reviews. On October 1, the day the Obamacare exchanges went online, the magazine told people to be patient: “Don’t worry if you can’t sign up today or even within the next couple of weeks.” A week into enrollment, they urged again to “wait a couple weeks and hope that the site irons out its many problems” because the is “barely operational.”

As the editors continued to review the website over the next few days, they only had one positive statement: “On the plus side,” they noted, “consumers coming to are no longer stopped cold by an error message or a screen saying they’ve been put in a waiting line.”

Now three weeks into the exchanges, having offered reviews and advice, Consumer Reports said that “If all [these suggestions] are too much to absorb, follow our previous advice: Stay away from,” at least for the time being."

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Oct 21, 2013 - 11:43am PT
Because my individual policy is being cancelled by Aetna as they are getting out of business in California, I tried to sign up for coverage through Covered California. After a frustrating week of getting stuck inside the signup program I gave up and went directly to a new provider through It took me 5 minutes. The previous application I did for private insurance took me several days since they required information going back ten years. So this aspect of the law is a huge improvement.

It is going to cost me more money for the private coverage (not sure how much since I could never get that far into the app) than through the state exchange but at least I know I have coverage starting January 1. Since we have until March to sign up through the state exchange, I'll try again later after all the bugs are reported to have been worked out of the system.


Topic Author's Reply - Oct 23, 2013 - 11:42am PT
Delaware has someone signed up, took her 7 hours of trying via phone as the .gov computers were not working so she couldn't get the web site to work. Bet her ear hurts now from being glued to the phone for 7 hours, but at least her ear has health coverage. Oregon has yet to get one signed up yet. Can't access the web site as of 2 days ago either, despite what this article says.

"By Shelby Sebens
Published October 23, 2013

It’s not only the national Affordable Care Act insurance exchange that’s experiencing a host of problems. Oregon, despite setting up its own state exchange for Obamacare insurance, has yet to enroll anyone through its online website for health insurance. Maybe the state bit off more than it could chew. The online exchange, Cover Oregon, launched Oct. 1. Oregonians can browse for health insurance, but they can’t enroll online although it appears many want to. Since opening earlier this month, the website has received 430,000 visits and 3.7 million page views."


Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Oct 23, 2013 - 09:33pm PT
mandatory insurance"

Do you drive a car?

rick sumner

Trad climber
reno, nevada/ wasilla alaska
Oct 23, 2013 - 09:54pm PT
Our United healthcare/Golden Rule high deductible plan of 20 plus years was cancelled ( they pulled out of Alaska altogether) due to changes of ACA, according to their letter in June of 2012. We signed up with Premera/ Blue Cross with an even higher deductible ( 10,000 from 7500) than Golden Rule and anything they judged to be "preconditions" not fully covered for a year from the policy date, price slightly less. A week ago we received a letter from Premera/Blue Cross indicating our premium will rise approximately 50% as of 1-1-2014. This is typical of the self employed in the individual market in AK.

Social climber
So Cal
Oct 23, 2013 - 10:00pm PT

You always talk to long.

It happens when they finally get thru and discover what the premiums and deductibles are.


Social climber
So Cal
Oct 23, 2013 - 10:33pm PT
the gov't pays you

Just what you want isn't it.

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Oct 23, 2013 - 11:11pm PT
I hope they have mandatory prostate checks...

Social climber
So Cal
Oct 23, 2013 - 11:21pm PT

Cept it's gonna be her!


Trad climber
Oct 24, 2013 - 12:18am PT
^^^^is that.......SATAN ( Church lady voice)

Well I have managed to avoid putting the family on Obummercare. I did get the great fortune of re signing with my current provider( originally they said they were effectively canceling the policy) for about $300 more per month, increased deductible, smaller network of DR's, increased co pays and increased % of what I owe after deductible has been fulfilled. They did throw in some worthless dental insurance for my kids though ???

Overall, less bene's, greater expense but woowhoo, I still have insurance for my family. What a Frickin mess.

Yep, this is great.


Trad climber
Asia, Indonesia, East Java
Oct 24, 2013 - 02:22am PT
You can let your European friends know that they don't have to give up European citizenship when they become Americans.

I personally love America. I know Healthcare suck in what I consider to be the greatest country. Because of Healthcare, when my wife and I talk about our retirement, we look towards France more than America.

Southern France or Lake Tahoe are top of my list. Sierras would win, but healthcare could force me to climb in Verdon instead.
I do remember reading somewhere that because they are paid, Europeans get medical check-ups more often. Article supported that this saved medical expenses. Makes sense to me. Just wonder why more insurance companies don't require and pay annual checks.

A dual citizen

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