Jane Hamsher: Fact Sheet: The Truth About the Health Care Bill

Congress may be too far down the road with this bill to change course. But before Democrats cast this vote which could turn “ban the mandate” into “gay marriage” for the GOP in 2010, they should consider the first rule of patient safety: first, do no harm.

Myth 1: This is a universal health care bill.

Fact: The bill is neither universal health care nor universal health insurance. According to the Congressional Budget Office:

* Total uninsured in 2019 with no bill: 54 million

* Total uninsured in 2019 with Senate bill: 24 million

via Jane Hamsher: Fact Sheet: The Truth About the Health Care Bill.

Relatively safe link to HuffPo.  Libs hate this bill, too, though for different reasons than me.


  1. “First do No Harm”?????????
    I thought it was “Fists, do Some Harm”

  2. Up is down, black is white, Gruntdoc is linking Jane Hamsher.

    Weird times…

  3. Dogs and cats, mass hysteria!

  4. Okay, I’ll admit I’ve been officially and deeply annoyed by both sides of the health care bill. What I want is to have one question answered. My question is:

    Since it took us 50 or so years to screw up our health care system so badly, why does the first attempt to unscrew it have to be 100% right the first time? Isn’t it unrealistic to expect that?

    Advance warning: I, and my fellow bloggers on Healthy Houston Kids, are 100% *for* all children to be covered by the children’s health insurance program (CHIP) if they don’t have private insurance.

  5. Relating to the health care bills, this is a short survey I would appreciate you taking regarding meaningful use.


  6. Steve Lucas says:

    I hate it when I agree with a liberal.

    Looking at the bright side we will have 16,000 new IRS agents looking at our personal financial information on a monthly basis at a cost of only $5-10 billion.

    Let’s see, 16,000 new front line doctors with the same funding. Naw, they would not have as much impact on medical access as those IRS agents. Besides, those IRS agents represent a new voting block.

    Steve Lucas

  7. The bill violates the Constitution. Although President Obama lauded it as a minimum level of “security” for the average American, Congress and their family members are exempt from the law. This alone, violates the Constitution.

    Amazing how increased government control and intrusion is spun as an increase in “liberty”. It is intrusive for the government to knock on my door and fine me for personal financial conduct.

    As a Registered Nurse I can assure you this bill will drive more nurses from the ranks of the hospitals. We cannot currently adequately manage our work loads. We can hardly wait for the millions of illegal immigrants to flood our emergency rooms in greater manner.

    Cheers all around!

    Tammy Swofford

  8. TheNewGuy says:

    You need to ask yourself if health care is a “right.”

    Your answer will generally determine where you fall in this debate.

  9. I don’t believe it is personally, but I can see where healthcare providers have, in their lobbying, blurred the line so people can be forgiven for thinking it is.

    If providers don’t want people to think it’s a right, they need to quit going to the government so much for everything, and ACT independently, and ACT as if they value their time and their services more than as just a gateway to procedures.

    Until then, a large part of the blame must fall on them.

  10. Aah, I see. It’s health care providers who have given people the impression health care is a right. Aah.

    not politicians willing to steal from medicine to get votes, or unfunded ‘here’s your free medicine’ mandates (EMTALA), but healthcare folks convinced people health care is a right. (There are medical types who preach this; they are not the majority, or as far as I know a significant minority of docs).

    That must be why when I see anyone in healthcare ‘how will you be paying for this’ is usually the second thing after ‘good morning.

    I think you’re off here. More than a little.

  11. I didn’t say there’s not blame to go around. But you guys have to accept significant responsibility. And you have to accept responsibility for this bill. You as a physician will deal with this EVERY DAY. A patient will maybe a few times a year.

    But your profession offered nothing as an alternative. You didn’t try and separate yourselves from the government. You just kept going back to get more bennies. Give us more money, protect us from lawsuits, give us student loan relief, etc. You never move AWAY from the government, you just went for more. In fact, your largest lobbying organization (I know not the only one, but the largest) backed this bill. Where was the PR pushback from those physicians who disagreed?

    And your profession never demands any respect for your skills. You all get paid the same, regardless of skill, for goodness sake! You get paid not for your knowledge, or your time, which people can understand, but you get paid for being a conduit to procedures. While that might not make your services a right, it certainly doesn’t imply that we should value it that highly or treat your independence and freedom as something to preserve. And that’s your fault.

    This is going to take over your system, but your profession did more visible lobbying for tort reform, which really benefits your insurers more than you, than against this.

    And you market yourselves like this: If government doesn’t do X (lawsuit protection, SGR fix, whatever) then patients will lose because they won’t have this or that care. Well, the converse of that is if the government DOES what you want, then patients get care. Do you think patients are too stupid to realize that?

  12. Fact is, docs can say “we don’t want to do this, but if the law says we have to, then yeah, we have to. That’s called government.

    I don’t know where this world is where we can just dictate to the government ‘here’s what we’re going to do, you figure out how to make it work’ (which is actually a model I endorse), but I’m in charge of this blog and about 2 feet of personal space, and that’s it.

    Many of us don’t like DRG billing, but since we have allowed/been coerced into this goofy system where we have no idea of a) what anything actually costs, b) what the actual charge should be, we’re stuck (until people get the idea that the best system involves people spending their own money, directly on their own healthcare, in a free market, but that’s crazy and doesn’t allow room for either graft of unearned influence in politicians, so that’ll never happen).

    Big Government keeps telling people they have the answer (and the little government people are apparently idiots who cannot or will not act on their expressed positions), so as I see it we’re on our way to the ugly, statist middle. If we’re lucky we’ll be a somewhat more efficient England, but I doubt it.

  13. Fact is, you’re not advocating for any different laws. That’s what people do in this country if they don’t like the laws. That’s why you have lobbying organizations. You’re the wealthiest profession in the world, there’s no reason you can’t do the same as every other group from truck drivers to farmers.

    You haven’t been coerced into anything. You sold your independence. Here’s an interesting link showing how doctors signed on to Medicare in the 60s. You should definitely read it.


    Basically, you traded your freedom for a few more dollars, and none of you have been willing to leave the gravy train since. But logic should have told you it was unsustainable even as it continued to enrich you better than any other profession. And now the bill is coming due.

    You’re NOT stuck. Well, ER physicians are a little more complicated but most physicians aren’t stuck. But here’s the thing. I don’t know how many of you could survive in another model. Because it’s been decades since any of you were in the free market. You don’t know how to market, you don’t know how to collect from individuals, you don’t know how to price your services. You can learn, but you have to start now.

    YOU have to do something different.