Seniors hear “the other side” of the Medicare story

More than 100 people showed up Oct. 28 at Peachtree City Hall to learn more about the transformation of the American healthcare system and its potential impact on Medicare recipients.

Addressing the convoluted topic were St. Joseph’s Hospital oncologist Dr. Brian Hill, insurance expert and Atlanta-based Healthcare Visions, Inc. CEO Ron Bachman and Sharpsburg independent insurance agent Linda Mulligan.

Hill in his remarks likened coming effects of national healthcare reform to what has been experienced in Massachusetts since its version of healthcare reform took effect in 2006. The national plan is the same plan, the same structure and the same idea as the Massachusetts plan, he said.

And under that plan, said Hill, costs have gone up 23 percent, while private insurance costs have gone up 6 to 14 percent.

“To see a doctor, the average wait time is 60 days compared to 34 days before (Massachusetts adopted the plan),” Hill said, noting that significant numbers of doctors are getting out of the Medicare business. “It’s failing miserably and it’s not bringing about the effective change we need.”

“The national healthcare reform legislation adopted earlier this year is like the Massachusetts plan on steroids,” Hill added. “So the work doesn’t end of Nov. 2. The work begins on Nov. 3.”

As he has done in a number of similar venues in Fayette County over nearly two years, Bachman gave his overview of the political and regulatory landscape that brought about the current state of national healthcare reform.

Bachman is president and CEO Healthcare Visions, Inc. and a retired partner with Price Waterhouse having spent 30 years as an insurance actuary. Bachman is also a Senior Fellow of the Center for Health Transformation (CHT) and a Senior Fellow at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation (GPPF).

Mulligan during her remarks as an independent insurance agent discussed the variations in Medicare Advantage plans to seniors and disabled individuals under the age of 65 in Fayette and Coweta counties.

In her comparison of different plans, Mulligan cautioned consumers to research both the supplement and Advantage plans and their coverage components prior to any purchase. On several occasions she stressed using www.medicare.gov as a research tool.

The event was sponsored by The Greater Fayette County Republican Women’s Club, the Coweta County Republican Women’s Club, the Senoia Tea Party Patriots and the Fayette-Coweta 912 Patriots.

Sponsors of the Oct. 28 event said they will present a similar venue in the near future, one geared to all healthcare consumers. The meeting will be held Nov. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at Atlanta City Church, located at 320 Dividend Drive in Peachtree City.

JohnnyBGood
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Bacon, do you SERIOUSLY believe ...

Do you seriously believe all of what you post on here (or do you just like to 'stir things up')? You seem to be of average or better intelligence but some of your posts contort relatively worthless information to beyond sublime.

You remind me of the guys that sell cars. You are so focused on what you want to see and talk about that you are blind to reality or what others see or are concerned with.

If indeed you are not simply 'stirring the pot', per se, please do yourself a favor and open your minds eye.

"There are none so blind as those who will not see."

Chris P. Bacon
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JohnnyBGood, regarding "focus" and "serious"

Well hello again Johnny. I thank you for the left-handed compliments regarding your perception of my intelligence. Thankfully, I'm at a point in my life where the perception of others matter not one whit.

Now then, to the substance (such as it is) of your post. You, like many other Tea Partisans, seem to have issues with my "focus". Try and walk a mile in my shoes and just for the sake of argument look at things from my viewpoint, which is that of a RealAmerican™.

What RealAmericans™ such as myself notice the most about the Tea Partisans are two defining characteristics: an inability to support their position with facts and deflection/distortion.

I've noticed a trend where Tea Partisans hit the Letters to the Editor page and/or this blog, and throw about a multitude of baseless charges against what they view as the opposition, hoping against hope that something will stick. For example, take Roger Casale's LTE this week. He has his man-panties in a knot over the "Sharia Law" nontroversy. I asked him for specifics about his charges, and he seemed genuinely dumbfounded that someone would question him. I pressed a bit more, and he tucked tail faster than I ever thought possible and disappeared from here.

The other trend is distortion/deflection. Have you been following the "average wait time" pseudo-debate here? I've given people apples-to-apples comparisons of average wait times before and after Romneycare, backed by publicly available data, to prove that the "26 day average wait time increase" was bogus.

The response from the other side? Ummm, Opusman said let's talk about Boston wait times versus other cities. That wasn't at issue, research has shown that Boston compared poorly to other cities for years...this deflection attempt had nothing to do with health care reform. Then ObserverofU wanted to change the terms of the debate, a debate about AVERAGE wait times, to one that disregarded averages....because anectdotal evidence supported his position. Changing the terms of debate in mid-stream is a bit gauche, wouldn't you say?

I've always held in high regard the adage of the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan: "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts" (Caveat: some people think this quote originated with James Schlisinger). I feel that a great many Tea Partisans play "fast and loose" with facts, and I quite frankly enjoy holding their feet to the fire on some of their most egregious transgressions.

Poll after poll has shown that the average Tea Partisan is well-fed, well-educated and well over 50. Try as I might, I'm not seeing a lot of what I'd consider to be "well-educated" commentary here in Fayette county. To the contrary, what I've seen is largely a rote regurgitation of talking points. To be sure, we do see the occasional flash of brilliance here, but that is definitely the exception to the rule.

I'm having quite a bit of fun skewering the sacred cows of the Tea Partisans here, I'm doing my best to add a bit of reality-based grounding to their arguments. Who knows? Maybe I'll make better debaters of them....or maybe I'll just expose the intellectual dishonesty of a great many of their arguments. Either way, America wins.

Observerofu
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You do think highly of yourself bacon

but no sorry you lose again. Thanks for playing.

Your "facts" are simply what Soros has put out there for you to say on your beloved Huffington Post.

Guess what? You lost.

America favors a Center Right not a hard left progressive form of Government.

Our "facts" where so much better then your "facts" so much so that the democrats lost more seats in one election then the last 4 combined.

If your "facts" were so correct you would still hold the majority in the House, not split the Senate and lost 640 other state elections. Apparently those facts were only believed by you and a few others.

So your version of facts are just your ideological fantasy of the progressive version of the World.

So sorry Nov 2nd hurt your little feelings and all that.

jpopeye
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Medicare reform is only one piece

The government has an interest in administering health care. Reform will create market pressure via participation requirements that implement known systemic cost containment improvements. We need a mechanisim that requires electronic records (can't improve what you don't measure), quality ratings (can't resolve unnecessary testing and patient complaints without visibility), and uniform healthcare professional/facility standards (currently left up to individual providers). By creating a larger market (universal vs only seniors) with participation requirements we gain influence that allows us to shift healthcare towards prevention rather than the current model which is treatment.

There is the potential for this to cost money. That's why we need both parties to participate. We need a way to achieve the reform goals. If someone has a better way to do it they need to speak up. But just saying no and pushing for repeal does nothing to help.

Chris P. Bacon
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Jpopeye - Medicare's dirty little secret

You've identified a number of shortcomings in the current implementation of Medicare.

The one that concerns me most is the explosion of "unnecessary testing". Medicare has adopted some rather stringent guidelines regarding what it will and will not pay for regarding patient diagnoses, but the achilles heel is patient testing.

Over the past decade or so, physicians have discovered that patient diagnostic tests (MRIs, x-rays, etc) are quite frankly a license to print money. Medicare never EVER questions these tests, and reimburses at 100%. Sharp physicians invested heavily in big ticket diagnostic machines, as the return on investment is incredible (not to mention being a status symbol amongst peers).

Unfortunately, I don't see an easy way of remedying this anytime soon. Medical care is both an art and a science, and government limits on medical testing intrudes a great deal into the "art" component of health care.

jpopeye
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Medicare has room for improvement

The problem right now is that there is nothing in the overall health care sector that supports limiting unneccesary testing. Medicare has the participation requirements guidance that can theoretically set limits but if these are too aggresive physicians can just focus on patients who are not seniors. The reform bill fixes this by creating a market too big to ignore.

As for the "art" of medicine, setting the right balance for testing will be difficult but the first order of business is to create a mechanisim. Tests beyond the limits can always be paid for out of pocket.

AtHomeGym
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Bacon, Medicare & MRIs

My "Official" Govt Medicare Handbook for 2010 says--on pg 36--that for "Tests" (Including X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, EKGs and some other diagnostic tests, You pay 20% of the Medicare approved amount, and the Part B deductible applies." The 2011 Handbook says the same thing on pg 42. So they do NOT reimburse at 100%.

Chris P. Bacon
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Gym, you are correct.

Did a bit of digging, I think we're both correct...to a point. Evidently there are 3 scenarios:

1) MRI as part of a hospital stay
2) MRI outpatient but performed IN a hospital
3) MRI outpatient performed in a clinic

As I read the rules, and I am admittedly not an expert on bureaucrat-speak, it would appear that scenario 1 is covered 100%, scenario 2 is covered 100% except for a co-pay, and scenario 3 is covered at 80% plus a co-pay.

In light of the above, I'll admit I was mistaken on my broad 100% reimbursement claim. Unlike certain posters here (*coughObserverofU*cough) I have no problem admitting I was mistaken.

AtHomeGym
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Bacon, Medicare & MRIs

Yes,there is a difference between Par A (Hospitilization) and Part B covered services & what you pay. I only have Part A and have used it one time for 4 days in 2005 as the "First Payer" and my private insurance picked up the rest.

Chris P. Bacon
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Medicare Parts A to Z

I'll admit I'm clueless when it comes to deciphering Medicare parts.

All I know is that my mother gets extremely grumpy for those three to four months each year when she goes into the "doughnut hole".

AtHomeGym
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Bacon & Medicare Part D (Prescription Drugs)

Perhaps she will find some relief soon as the new legislation is supposed to eliminate the "doughnut hole". I do not have to deal with that, as the Prescription Drug Benefit with my Primary insurance is judged to be as good as if not better than Part D so I have no reason to sign up for that.

jpopeye
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These people should be ashamed

Bringing "experts" to scare old people for their own organizational gain, is there no bottom to this cycle?

A Dr, CEO, accountant, and insurance agent are not qualified to talk about systemic cost containment nor is it in their financial interests to see it happen.

Shame on you Greater Fayette County Republican Women’s Club, Coweta County Republican Women’s Club, Senoia Tea Party Patriots and Fayette-Coweta 912 Patriots.

scribbler
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Who should be ashamed??

If you haven't met Dr. Hill... spoken with him...
...And heard him speak-- Carefully explaining these things from extensive well of research he has performed aside from his medical practice---

Then you are the one who should be ashamed of criticizing these presenters.

When Dr. Hill asked legitimate questions about Obamacare at his congressman's town hall... REP David Scott (DEM) blew a fuse... it went viral on youtube.

Dr. Hill has written a book soon to be published --in his spare time--detailing his research.

You should read it-- before you "pop".

doright
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Doctor qualifications

Jpopeye are you serious?! A doctor is not qualified to talk about healthcare when it directly effects them.

GIVE ME A BREAK!

An accountant and insurance people who know the effects of the cost of healthcare are VERY QUALIFIED to speak about it.

Come on now, you can do better then this!

Chris P. Bacon
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VERY QUALIFIED Ron Bachman?

Nobody denies that Ron Bachman is a very mesmerizing public speaker.

Unfortunately, Ron Bachman is also an idealistic demagogue who has likely done more to WEAKEN health care in Georgia than just about anyone.

Bachman testified before the Georgia Legislature in support of a bill (HB977) that he helped author. Based on his testimony, the bill passed and was signed into law.

Bachman's legislation has been an unqualified disaster for Georgia.

Georgia now pays more tax money to cover less people than they would have had they done nothing.

A non-partisan public policy think tank (the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities) detailed the results of Bachman's disaster HERE.

jpopeye
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Unless I'm mistaken

The article says they came to speak about the transformation of Medicare. The discussion was not about health care treatment, where a doctor would have credibility. Accountants function as auditors who validate numbers. The insurance rep is totally vested in keeping expenses high. A lower dollar flow in the health care money pool means a lower profit margin.

None of these folks would have any interest in systemic health care cost containment which is what the legislation was all about. We have to contain costs as health care is taking a bigger chunk of the GDP every year. If the sponsors were really interested in providing information to seniors they could have had a representative from CMS come and explain how to navigate the changes in Medicare.

Bringing ringers with credentials in to scare older folks is ethically wrong. Especially if you see that the groups who sponsored the event gain by signing up members and collecting political donations.

Chris P. Bacon
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Typical Tea Party Medical Disinformation
Quote:

“To see a doctor, the average wait time is 60 days compared to 34 days before (Massachusetts adopted the plan)

Absolutely false.

The average wait time to see a medical specialist in Massachusetts prior to their state health care reform: 39 days

The average wait time to see a medical specialist in Massachusetts subsequent to state health care reform: 46 days

But wait, it gets better!
One single specialist visit (routine non-pregnant OB/GYN "well woman" visit) is responsible for nearly ALL of the increase in wait times. Not surprising, as more women finally have access to OB/GYN services.

IF you remove the lengthy wait time increases for routine OB/GYN visits, you get the following:

Average non-OB/GYN wait time prior to reform: 37 days
Average non-OB/GYN wait time subsequent to reform: 38 days

opusman
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Sorry bacon absolutely true

Once again I only reply when someone claims facts that are patently wrong.
No Bacon Absolutely Factual Once again you are wrong Please research before you post.
http://www.healthy.net/scr/News.aspx?Id=10134
http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-06-03-waittimes_N.htm
 
http://articles.cnn.com/2009-08-20/health/pho.doctor.shortage_1_universa...
 
http://www.healthleadersmedia.com/content/232600/topic/WS_HLM2_PHY/Bosto...
Sometimes over 70 days

Courthouserules
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bacon;obsereveru;opus

Did you know that one can drown in a pool of water that averages 1 inch deep?

For many years now I have never waited more than an hour for a visit to a doctor. The median would be more like 15 minutes. With no appointment maybe an hour.

That is not the problem with current health care waiting times.
How about never seeing a doctor except in emergency rooms where they can't refuse you? Then it can take 4-10 hours!

You are talking in terms of "days" to see a specialist, I assume, but if my primary doctor makes me an appointment, I get in as soon as it is necessary! Never many days.

You don't suppose that many having no insurance has anything to do with that, do you?

It is a racket where some are avoided, and the fact that some could pay more than they do isn't a doctor's business. He took the oath.
Nor is it an administrator's business.

Chris P. Bacon
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Opusman, let me lessen your ignorance

Hello Opusman, thank you for your commentary. Allow me to lessen your ignorance.

My FACTS came from the original source document that most of your articles reference. This is the 2009 Merritt Hawkins wait time survey, located HERE (pdf file, adobe reader required)

Please note that your first, second and fourth links are quoting facts from the merritt hawkins study. The CNN link references a survey from the Massachusetts Medical Society but does NOT provide any change over time data and therefore cannot be used for comparative purposes (i.e. before Romneycare and after Romneycare).

The scaremonger at the Tea Party rally gave factually incorrect information regarding purported lengthy wait time increases in Boston, which he then attributed to health care reform legislation.

My goal was to use apples-to-apples comparisons to show that he was wrong.

Here are the average wait times in Boston from 2004 (pre-Romneycare)

  • Cardiology Exam 37 days
  • Dermatology Exam 50 days
  • OB/GYN Exam (non pregnant) 45 days
  • Orthopedic Exam 24 days
  • Family Practice Visit NOT TRACKED

.
Here are the average wait times in Boston in 2009 (post-Romneycare)

  • Cardiology Exam 21 days
  • Dermatology Exam 54 days
  • OB/GYN Exam (non pregnant) 70 days
  • Orthopedic Exam 40 days
  • Family Practice Visit 63 days

.
Now please pay attention here: since Family practice visits WERE NOT TRACKED in 2004, it is impossible to do an apples-to-apples comparison to determine if family practice wait times have increased or decreased. Therefore, I did NOT include family practice visits and made it very clear that I was talking about wait times for medical SPECIALISTS in my original post.

Lets do some math here:
2004 visits: 37 days + 50 days + 45 days + 24 days = 156 days
156 days divided by 4 specialties = 39 days average wait

2009 visits: 21 days + 54 days + 70 days + 40 days = 185 days
185 days divided by 4 specialties = 46.25 days average wait, which is 46 days average wait (rounded)

I also gave average wait times WITHOUT OB/GYN visits:
2004 visits: 37 days + 50 days + 24 days = 111 days
111 days divided by 3 specialties = 37 days average wait

2009 visits: 21 days + 54 days + 40 days = 115 days
115 days divided by 3 specialties = 38.33 days average wait, which is 38 days average wait (rounded)

I hope this lessens your ignorance somewhat. In the future, perhaps you'll think twice about declaring someone to be "wrong" when you yourself don't have the facts.

opusman
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Bacon What dont you understand

Personal attacks are you really that weak in your argument. But I'll play for now. I will simplify this for you since obviously you are intellectually challenged and love averages, which are only used to distort fact and figures. Yes I Know and read the Merrit Hawkins survey but it is obvious hooked on phonics didn’t work for you (You need to ask for a refund) where did I speak of family practitioners? You know your talking about 1 city Boston and not the State of Massachusettes as referenced in the article. Right? My information directly correlates to medical specialists in Both Boston and the STATE of Massachusetts.Is not the point that wait times have gotten much LONGER IN MASSACHUSETTS AND HAVE GOTTEN LONGER SINCE THE PASSAGE OF THEIR HEALTH CARE PROGRAM?

Average appointment wait times in days for five medical specialties included in the Merritt Hawkins survey:

Boston average wait 49.6 days

Next closest

Philadelphia 27 days

A difference of 22 days

Atlanta 11.2 days rounded to 11
A difference of 38.4 rounded to 38

What is the difference in these locations?

Implementation of Massachusettes public health Care reform.

What is hard to understand 49.6 days is much longer than 27 and even much longer than 11.2

I think even first grade math students can get that.

Cardio Dermatology Ob/Gyn
Boston 2004 37 days 54 days 45days
Boston 2009 21 days 50 days 70 days (over 60)
-16 days +4 days +35 days

Ortho

Boston 2004 24 days
Boston 2009 40 days
+16 days

{apologies for formatting}

If you want facts about Family practice wait times here they are:
Longest average wait time for family practice
Boston , Mass. 63 days (Over 60 days) longest of any average in the study and longest single wait 365 days (LA and Washington share this distinction also)

Still the longest wait time whether or not you have 2004 wait times

Next closest LA avg 59 all other included cities average under 30 days

And 92 days is the next longest single wait( San Diego) after Boston , LA, Washington (see above). A 272 day difference

Perhaps you will reconsider posting inaccurate WRONG info while digging your foot out of your mouth.

Round it , average it spin it on it’s top facts are facts
Wait Times ARE MUCH LONGER IN MASSACHUSETTS AND HAVE GOTTEN LONGER SINCE THE PASSAGE OF THEIR HEALTH CARE PROGRAM.

Also if you want to be real nit picky once again the numbers quoted in the Article are for the STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS averages not for the city of Boston to which you Allude.

So, go smoke something to make you smarter.

Not to be rude but I'm tired of talking to you.

p.s

A tidbit of info for the uninformed …

You don't have to depend on One source
http://www.boston.com/news/health/articles/2008/09/22/across_mass_wait_t... (50-100 days for an appointment in MASS primary care)

http://www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_index.cfm?DR_ID=30604

http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba667
http://www.pnhp.org/news/2010/august/doctors-hard-to-find-for-patients-i...

2010 Physician Workforce Study Shows 5 Consecutive Years of
Primary Care Shortages
http://www.massmed.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home6&TEMPLATE=/CM/HTMLDi...

Chris P. Bacon
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Focus, Opusman, Focus

Let's use a bit of focus here, Opusman. I know that folks such as yourself are prone to "data dump" when cornered in a pathetic attempt to obfuscate the issue.

The issue we are discussing is the alleged increase in wait times in Massachusetts that the alarmist Teahadist attributes to Romneycare. PERIOD.

We are not discussing the relatively long wait time that it takes to get a doctor's appt in Massachusetts vs. other cities...that situation existed long before Romneycare and is irrelevant to the discussion.

I included ALL relevant data where there were figures in both 2004 AND 2009 to make a legitimate apples-to-apples comparison. There is NO data available that you or I could find regarding Family practice wait times in 2004, so you AND I CANNOT make a valid comparison due to the unavailability of data.

We are also NOT discussing whether or not average wait times have increased...no one denies that they are (although you twice have mentioned this, seeking to change the terms of the debate after the fact, tsk). What we are debating is the AVERAGE LENGTH of this increase. I've shown that based on available data, the average length...again, apples-to-apples.... is 7 days for women and ONE day for men, a far cry from the alarmist "26 days" claimed by "Doctor" Brian Hill.

You do have one point...the data available is for the Boston metro area, not the state of Massachusetts. If you can find statewide evidence...again, pre-Romneycare and post-Romneycare, we can adjust the numbers.

Until then, I stand behind my figures: Apples-to-apples.

opusman wrote:

Not to be rude but I'm tired of talking to you.

I've noticed that none of you Tea Party types seem to be man enough to admit when you're mistaken.

Observerofu
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It appears

using your data without all the rounding and averaging that wait times have increased. Is this not exactly what was reported? The per day/hour times may be different then yours based on actual dates without all the rounding. So it looks at least to me that the article and opus are correct.

"Merritt Hawkins, a consulting firm that specializes in recruiting physicians and other health care professionals, surveyed more than 1,150 medical offices in 15 cities. The survey measured average appointment wait times in family practices as well as four specialties: cardiology, dermatology, obstetrics/gynecology and orthopedic surgery.

"The survey surmises that long wait times in Boston could be the result in part of the 2006 health reform initiative that requires nearly every Massachusetts resident to get health insurance."

The survey found that, on average, wait times have increased by 8.6 days per city. Boston had the longest wait, averaging 49.6 days, followed by Philadelphia with 27 and Los Angeles with 24.2. The shortest was Atlanta with an 11.2-day wait"

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-06-03-waittimes_N.htm

Chris P. Bacon
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exactly what was reported

"Is that not exactly was reported?"

In a word, NO.

Teapartisan Hill presented alarmist figures that have no basis in reality with his comment "the average wait time is 60 days compared to 34 days before (Massachusetts adopted the plan)".

That's simply not true, as I have shown.

You offerered a USA Today link to support your position. Even if you accept USA Today's figure (8.6 days increase), that's still much closer to MY figure (7 days) than Teapartisan Hill's ludicrous 26 day wait time increase.

Edited to add: Do you realize how ridiculous you sound? "Yeah if you drop your averages blah blah blah"...you want to discuss average wait times but I'm supposed to leave out any averages that don't support YOUR argument, thus reducing the argument to who has the better anecdotal evidence. "Anecdotal evidence" is, of course, what drives Tea Party "facts".

JohnnyBGood
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Looks true from here... Bacon?

Well, Bacon, were you mistaken or do we not have all the facts here?

I for one want to know the truth. I think Opusman has some good info there. Can you back up your claims with some data or some articles please?

doright
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Bacon tagline

Ok Bacon time to take that crap of a tagline off. This is not the 1960's we have moved on from racial slurs.

jpopeye
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Bacon

deleted

Observerofu
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Bacon is just projecting "his/her other side"

racial slurs, personal attacks, inciting violence, standard fare from bacon.

JohnnyBGood
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A few cuts this year in Massachusetts healthcare:

Elimination Of Adult Restorative Dental Care In FY 2011: $56.3 million cut

Elimination Of Health Care Coverage For Some Legal Immigrants: estimated $140 million cut

Reductions In Reimbursement Rates Paid To Providers: estimated $600 million cut

A Reduction In The Number Of Hours For Day Services Provided To Disabled Adults (“Day Habilitation”): $15.3 million cut

A Limit On Who Would Be Eligible For Personal Care Attendant (PCA) Services: $5.5 million cut

Primary Care Workforce Grants: $500,000 cut

Prescription Advantage Program: $26 million cut

Other measures taken to control costs or implement savings within the state’s health care programs include:

Elimination Of Adult Restorative Dental Care In FY 2011: $56.3 million cut

Elimination Of Health Care Coverage For Some Legal Immigrants: estimated $140 million cut

Reductions In Reimbursement Rates Paid To Providers: estimated $600 million cut

A Reduction In The Number Of Hours For Day Services Provided To Disabled Adults (“Day Habilitation”): $15.3 million cut

A Limit On Who Would Be Eligible For Personal Care Attendant (PCA) Services: $5.5 million cut

Primary Care Workforce Grants: $500,000 cut

Prescription Advantage Program: $26 million cut

Other measures taken to control costs or implement savings within the state’s health care programs include:

Children’s Mental Health Services: $6.6 million cut

Adult Mental Health Services: $12.7 million cut

Mental Health Facilities: $48.6 million reduction

Services for Children and Families: $34.4 million cut

Congregate (Group) Care Services: $34.5 million cut

Services for People At-Risk for Domestic Violence: $4 million cut

Child Welfare Training Institute: $1 million cut

Community Day and Work Programs: $17.6 million cut

Respite Services and Intensive Family Supports: $12.7 million cut

Transitional Services for Adults (Turning 22): $2.9 million cut

Community Transportation Services: $2.9 million cut

Elder Home Care: $21.7 million cut

Elder Protective Services: $1.5 million cut

Elder Housing Programs: $1.8 million cut

Councils on Aging: $957,000 cut

Geriatric Mental Health; Family Caregivers: Programs eliminated ($225,000 and $250,000 cut)

Supplemental Nutritional Program: Eliminated ($1.2 million cut)

Department of Youth Services and Related Programs: $21.8 million cut

Home Care for the Multi-Disabled: $1.7 million cut

Employment Services for the Severely Disabled: $6.3 million cut

See them here: http://www.massbudget.org/documentsearch/findDocument?doc_id=614&dse_id=...

Cyclist
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What's not false is that...

53% of Massachusetts' budget is allocated for health care. It's the fastest growing expenditure, $3 billion increase since FY2008.

Source: Mass.gov

loanarranger707
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Anti-healthcare reform: consider the sponsors

Let's face it, some doctors are Republican and lean to the right. Rand Paul, the newly elected U.S. senator from Kentucky is an eye doctor. Tom Price, the Georgia congressman from Roswell, is an orthopedist. Larry McDonald, who represented Cobb County in Congress and was president of the John Birch Society, was a urologist.

Just because a politician is a physician does not mean he knows what's best for the people, and some physicians are in the business they're in for the money, not because they view their profession as a calling to the healing professions.

Physicians interested in money shun all plans that strive to keep healthcare costs under control. They hate insurance companies that put pressure on them to keep costs low. So it goes without saying they hate Medicare, which also puts pressure on them to keep costs reasonable.

With that as a background, it is not surprising that we find political activists among doctors who oppose any form of progress in controlling healthcare costs. However, we do have doctors who care about their patients and who support measures that would help these patients, but these doctors are quietly working in their offices tending to patients instead of roaming the halls of Congress and stirring up anger and paranoia among the people after giving up their medical practices.

PTC Observer
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loanarranger707 - best

I like your rationale, we shouldn't trust these doctors to know what's best for the American people, we should let the government decide.

Doctors? Government? Doctors? Government?

On second thought I think I'll go with doctors.

doright
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the choice

You say you will trust the doctors PTC Observer but YOUR government has already said you are not smart enough to decide which is why they MUST decide for you. Remember your role, you are a "Homer Simpson" according to Cass Sunstein.

Know Homer sit down and be quiet, the government KNOWS BEST!

JohnnyBGood
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What?

You don't want Cynthia McKinney, Sarah Palin or Barney Frank deciding your medical treatment?

doright
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one of out 3

JohnnyBGood I will take Sarah Palin any day over Cynthia McKinney or Barney Frank. At least with SP I know where she stands and that she will fight for this country returning to a constitutional government which means I get to choose my health care.

PTC Observer
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Nope doright.....

I wouldn't trust SP with my healtcare either.....that's one thing I think I will take care of myself.

Courthouserules
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doright

I think President Obama should have asked Sarah Palin to take this ten day trip to Asia and negotiate all those treaties for him.
I know it would be hard for her to stop conning millions with silly books and squeaky speeches, but it would have been for her country and Values!

Gatorbait
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Sarah Palin

If Sarah would do such a thing. A dog won't do some things you tell it to do!!!!

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