Sen. Hagan visits local leaders, pitches health-care reform

Sen. Hagan visits local leaders, pitches health-care reform-attachment0

In a sit-down with Buncombe County Commissioners and Asheville City Council members on Friday, Sen. Kay Hagan endorsed public health care.

“I don’t care what you call it, we have to do something so that the power of the federal government comes to bear,” Hagan said. “The president has informed us that he would like a bill by October.”

Fresh on the heels of a small-business roundtable at Mountain BizWorks, Hagan said only one of the business owners there was able to afford insurance for employees.

“It shows the necessity and need to find some way to have affordable insurance for the citizens of our county,” she said.

But she emphasized that a lot of work still needs to be done. “There’s so many more pieces to this puzzle,” she said. Those pieces include education, wellness programs and preventative treatment to decrease the level and overall cost of medical treatment.

Meanwhile, local leaders touted initiatives like the Asheville Project, aimed at keeping city employees healthy and care costs lower, and Project Access, a local volunteer system providing care to uninsured Buncombe residents.

Buncombe Commissioner Holly Jones for one, did agree with the need for nationalized care. “We need national coverage,” she said. “And we’ve got to do it in a broader way.”

The meeting, only an hour long, was tacked onto a series of stops by Hagan in Western North Carolina, and some took the opportunity to pitch other concerns.

Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy asked Hagan’s help in pushing the Environmental Protection Agency into paying more attention to the CTS of Asheville site. And Buncombe Board of Commissioners Chairman David Gantt said he wanted stimulus funds to install a system at the Buncombe landfill that would speed up the breakdown of garbage while trapping methane gas for energy use.

Brian Postelle, staff writer

SHARE

10 thoughts on “Sen. Hagan visits local leaders, pitches health-care reform

  1. Bill Watson

    There is a much better fix for health care for taxpayers, patients, businesses, and our national economy unfortunately the health care lobby sees it as a threat to their profits as I am sure you are well aware.

    300 million Americans and every American business have big problems with health care, how to obtain it, and how to pay for it.

    Without government owned and operated facilities substantial cost reductions are not possible.

    Government needs to become the basic necessities no frills provider of health care.

    The cheapest way to collect money to pay for health care is through a national sales tax, and not by forcing people and companies to purchase questionable insurance to pay excessive costs for services in a failed system.

    The cheapest, most efficient, best outcome producing, delivery system would be through government owned and operated hospitals and clinics operated as a civilian VA style system that would deliver all government funded health care and medications free to everyone choosing to use government care, no restrictions period.

    People who prefer, and could afford to pay for private insurance and care could do so, but no public funding would be paid to private systems.

    This is the most critical issue in controlling government costs and patient outcomes for mandated programs.

    With these examples;

    It would end the care and medication hassles for seniors now on Medicare.

    With the new program they would need no insurance nor be subjected to copays to receive free care and medications.

    Businesses that choose public care for their employees would have no financial obligations or any other responsibilities concerning health care.

    50 million uninsured people along with everyone else who wanted to drop private care and receive free public care could do so and the annual costs would still be hundreds of billions of dollars less than the $2.5 trillion spent last year for health care.

    If you ask OMB; (how many hundreds of billions of dollars this dual choice, public or private system would save the Government annually compared to any other reform proposals and ask what stimulus would be provided for the US economy if the financial burdens of paying for health care were eliminated for individuals and businesses?)

    The results will show huge advantages to this approach.

  2. Bjorn

    Currently the Democrats have the votes to pass any kind of Health Care Plan they’d like. From Single Payer to giving you & I the same health care that Congress people now enjoy.

    The real question is, is there one among then not feeding at the troth of Insurance companies? There may be. But it’s up to us to call our representatives & remind them that 62% of polled Americans want the same kind of Health Care they now have.

    Otherwise we’ll all wind up with Republican Health Care! Haven’t we had enough of the Republican remedy, of lies & deceit yet? Do the right thing, let your voice be heard. Support Single Payer Health now!

  3. Brittanicus

    My email has been inundated with organizations who don’t like the thought of a one-payer system, trying to sell me on the usual sterile thoughts for for-profit health insurers. My family has exceptional health care, because of my years with an academic background. But my step daughter received ruthless pre-existing condition clauses and finally succumbed to Cancer. Other family members suffered because of the monopoly by the mega insurance companies, whose bottom line is massive profits for their stockholders. Health care must exist for everybody, not just for the few as it is now. Commercial insurance–FINE! But let their be a government health care system similar to Europe. Choose your own doctor and do away with corrupt PPO and other wasteful plans. Do away with co-pays, premiums and deductibles, because in a nationwide pool everybody can afford it. Our car-makers will be on an equal footing with foreign imports.

    Lose your job and you are unlikely to afford what is called health care. Only the wealthy families, and relatively stable employees don’t want to upset the apple cart. As usual the status quo are trying to undermine any new plan for the whole legal population. No options, no exception–we all pay our share into a Universal government health care plan. With the arrival of the Obama administration we have two issues that are going to be a lightening rods, and in my way of thinking should be placed before the AMERICAN VOTER AS A NATIONWIDE REFERENDUM. HEALTH CARE AND IMMIGRATION REFORM. Of all the current issues in the chambers of Washington, these are the capstone problems facing this nation of Hurricane force. If our elected public servants try to pass immigration reform or a massive health care plan without the general publics voice, their could be massive ramifications on a grand scale.

    Both overwhelming problems caused by years of neglect, must be resolved. Already special interest groups are spending millions of dollars, filling the airways of propaganda and corrupt info-commercials, to frighten people. Instead being mouth pieces for the special interest lobbyists, they had better take note that their whole careers representing supposedly the will of the people is in jeopardy. Because of these enormous cost attributed to ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION and HEALTH CARE–the AMERICAN PEOPLE’S INPUT SHOULD BE MANDATORY? Forget the University professors, economists, think take tank scientists and the Chamber of Commerce, ACLU, Unions, big church and business entities–THE PEOPLE–should–HAVE THE LAST WORD? Both have their own cataclysmic cost problems to the American taxpayer. THE ONLY WAY TO SATISFY THE LIBERALS, DEMOCRATS, REPUBLICANS, ATHEISTS, EXTREMISTS, PROTECTIONISTS, OPEN BORDER AND FREE TRADERS–IS BY A STATE TO STATE FEDERAL REFERENDUM.

  4. ironhead

    If she’s really supporting a public-health option, this is news, because as of Thursday she wasn’t.

  5. Mr Whipple

    There was a TV interview the other evening with a lady from Canada. She had severe headaches and her government doctor thought she may have a brain tumor and told her to go apply to see a specialist. She did and was told she would have to wait 6 months. 6 months with a life threatening diagnosis? Well, she traveled to Scottsdale Arizona to the Mayo Clinic and was immediately seen by a specialist. The doctors did find a tumor, operated immediately, and she is with us still…only back in her home in Canada. She said she had no doubt that if she’d stayed in Canada and waited for the government specialist she would be dead today.

    Also, President Obama mentioned the other day that older people with certain illnesses should not be treated so as to save money. Now I wonder what he would do, say 30 years from now, and he Obama had a debilitating disease. Would he allow himself to not be treated to save the government run healthcare system money? You know he wouldn’t. If we have the same nanny socialist government 30 years from now, Obama will be moved to the head of the line. You see, the rules are for the proletariat. Not the government officials who will replace corporate leaders as the new elite class. Heck, Obama will probably also have a dacha on Lake Michigan somewhere nice. -g)

  6. John

    “The cheapest, most efficient, best outcome producing, delivery system would be through government owned and operated hospitals and clinics operated as a civilian VA style system that would deliver all government funded health care and medications free to everyone choosing to use government care, no restrictions period.”

    Just because you don’t like the insurance model doesn’t make the above true. The Fed Gov’t creating a more streamlined anything is fantasy.

    Medicare is a disaster. Medicaid all over the US is broke and chaotic. The VA Healthcare system is the weakest delivery system of the three. It has advantages … like keeping patients their whole life and having a more long term approach … but the bureaucracy is a nightmare beyond belief and spoils most of the good that the benefits provide.

    Most people don’t know this, but Medicare (CMS) controls our health care system already. Their guidelines permeate Doctor’s offices, Hospitals and control most operational processes in the commercial insurance industry. Ask anyone in the industry what its like watching CMS function. Its a train wreck worse than watching the Sanford apology press conference.

    I’ve spent 15 years in the health industry and have seen set after set of ridiculous/cumbersome guidelines come down from the CMS bureaucracy. They ARE the problem, not the solution. What on earth makes one think that now, they can turn around and be efficient? Why were they holding back all these decades? What is different?

    It will be educational to watch the “Public Plan” fall on its face. They will miss their projected start date, their first batch of ID cards will be messed up, the web site will crash, data will be lost and the claims … oh the claims … will be the biggest disaster of all … both how they affect the patient and the provider. Get some popcorn and watch your tax dollars flush down the toilet.

    The Blue Dogs want the Public Plan to be funded by premiums so you can track the income and expenses for a apples to apples comparison between the Public Plan and the commercial insurance industry. Sounds fair to me if there has to be public plan.

    Pelosi and her bunch want the funding to come thru convoluted and hard to trace Gov’t dollars that will make the comparison impossible. They want the infinite and stealth Gov’t spigot. Why? Because they know it won’t be able to compete and don’t care how much it costs.

  7. John

    “Currently the Democrats have the votes to pass any kind of Health Care Plan they’d like. From Single Payer to giving you & I the same health care that Congress people now enjoy.

    The real question is, is there one among then not feeding at the troth of Insurance companies? There may be. But it’s up to us to call our representatives & remind them that 62% of polled Americans want the same kind of Health Care they now have.

    Otherwise we’ll all wind up with Republican Health Care! Haven’t we had enough of the Republican remedy, of lies & deceit yet? Do the right thing, let your voice be heard. Support Single Payer Health now!”

    The Democrats do NOT have the power to pass anything they want. Over 100 Blue Dogs and other Democrats in the House are threatening the Public Plan. This bill may not even have a public plan in it if Pelosi doesn’t flex on the funding method.

    There are other reforms that will make more difference than a public plan. The real reform is in the details of how hospitals, doctors, patients, medicare, medicaid and the VAMC and other payor sources all interact. The media doesn’t talk about that because you can’t fit it into a 45 sec sound bite.

    Also, who says the plan that congress has is efficient? It has massive benefits yes … the best … what else would you expect our representatives to vote for themselves? … we’d all love benefits like that, but the issue is that the cost is outrageous. The price you pay equals your benefits you will receive. If you want more benefits you have to pay more … do you want your health care costs to go down or up?. You can’t have both.

    There is a very direct relationship between how much you pay for your coverage and the treatment and cures available and the level of benefits that will be paid for what is available. You have to make some hard choices.

    Try telling someone with Diabetes, Cancer, COPD, Asthma, Hemophilia or any other chronic disease that today’s technology is just fine and they shouldn’t expect to see any improvements. How kind and tolerant is that? It sounds very intolerant to me.

  8. John

    Having health care tied in as an employee benefit was a mistake from the very beginning. The issue that groups and individuals are encouraged shop for cheaper insurance every couple of months/years gives the payor source a very short sighted approach. The Public Plan won’t change this, they will just be one of the choices. There are better ways to form groups that are much less complicated and still fair.

    This health care bill will prob eliminate the pre-existing conditions clause. It will cost those of us with no pre-existing conditions and save money for those of us who do.

    Costs will not decline without significant health care sacrifices. Where are you prepared to make sacrifices in your health care? More out of pocket? Less available treatment options? Long lines and wait times for care? Be ready to start making these choices.

    If you think that costs are high solely because of rich insurance company or pharmaceutical fatcats, you are only looking at a small fraction of the real problems.

    Another issue in this bill is who will the Gov’t pay to insure and who has to insure themselves?

    I choose to make the financial commitment to pay my own health insurance instead of buying a new car for example. Or having my cell subscription have unlimited this that and the other. Or to have a slightly smaller home so I can pay and not be a burden on my family and community. Even when my income was very low, I still paid my insurance premiums.

    Is is fair that a single person making $70,000 a year gets their health care paid for? Where do you draw the line? When does personal responsibility kick in?

  9. car insurance quotes

    One of the best posts I’ve read in a long time.
    The only criticism I have is that the excerpt shown in my reader gave little indication of such fantastic content. In fact, it gave little indication that there was more to the post than the opening paragraph. How lucky I clicked through in case. Fantastic post.

    car insurance quotes

Leave a Reply