Just in Case you Think the Status Quo is Good

This is a good link:

The Health Care Status Quo

From my state of Utah:

“Ending the Hidden Tax – Saving You Money: Right now, providers in Utah lose over $316 million in bad debt which often gets passed along to families in the form of a hidden premium ‘tax’.1 Health insurance reform will tackle this financial burden by improving our health care system and covering the uninsured, allowing the 41 hospitals2 and the 6,588 physicians3 in Utah to better care for their patients.”


  • Since 2000 alone, average family premiums have increased by 101 percent in Utah.4
  • Household budgets are strained by high costs: 22 percent of middle-income Utah families spend more than 10 percent of their income on health care.5

Go check out your state stats by clicking here. It’s time for change. We can’t let thugs and hooligans with corporate sponsorship steal this from the U.S.!


  1. Hospital uncompensated care cost is estimated using a GAO model and the Hospital Cost Reports. Total uncompensated care is computed as hospital uncompensated care divided by 63% (Hadley and Holahan’s study on “The Cost of Care for the Uninsured” for Kaiser in 2004 found that hospitals account for 63% of total uncompensated care). Data expressed in 2009 dollars using Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, “National Health Expenditure Data.”
  2. 2007 AHA Annual Survey Copyright 2009 by Health Forum LLC, an affiliate of the American Hospital Association, special data request, March 2009. Available at
  3. American Medical Association, Physicians Professional Data, year of data 2008, copyright 2008: Special Data Request.
  4. Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends, AHRQ, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey – Insurance Component, 2000, Table II.D.1. Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends, AHRQ, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey – Insurance Component, 2006, Table X.D. Projected 2009 premiums based on Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, “National Health Expenditure Data,” available at
  5. Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, 2006.

August 7, 2009 Link

  • nobody

    Wait, there is some provision for health care for uninsured poor people? Outside of big government programs?

    And, that’s a mighty factional usage of a .gov address. Servers, maintenance, design, imagery, bought with my money to advance an emotional case for an agenda that I find mistaken and against my interests. Yes, government officials must address policy, and yes, policy discussions reflect political opinions. But isn’t a policy discussion, it’s a marketing campaign.

  • nobody

    You know, I wish this comment system had an edit/delete feature. My comments this morning are too grumpy for my own taste.

  • TheNephew

    Wait a minute, the government has to reflect the ideology of the party in control. So when President Bush wanted to push social security privitization or No child Left Behind, he used government resources to help in his case. Your tax dollars go to the government leaders who stump for what you believe in, just as much as your tax dollars go to leaders who ardently disagree with you. Complaining that the government used tax dollars to make its case for a position you disagree with isn’t fair. Both sides get to use the government as a bully pulpit, be it through speeches, websites, ad campaigns, whatever. Next time, if your party wins, they get the exact same abilities.

    Finally, my taxes go to a whole lot of things I disagree with, like Republican legislators. BUT, this is society and part of living in this great country entails the government doing things I won’t always agree with. Just because my taxes were used against my will does NOT entitle me to get everything I want out of government. If you question this line of thinking see the Supreme Court case, Frothingham v. Melon.

    • nobody

      I don’t recall any precedent for a government advocacy effort as robust as that. I don’t think the Bush Administration had anything like it, and I know the Clinton Administration didn’t — and I saw the latter in great detail. One might argue that this is just the natural extension of prior precedent to a rapidly advancing medium. But to my eye, that site looks more like a campaign commercial than a government policy discussion.

      There is a distinction between policy discussion and political or ideological marketing. Position papers are one thing. Advertising is another. The purpose of is not to explain policy, or provide information, or to fully and factually describe a problem. It is intended to reinforce a set of emotional and subjective judgments, and to undermine another set. Its purpose is advocacy, not explanation. Policy discussion should be rational and reasoned, not emotive, because it should be about defining and fixing problems. A “emotional” policy document is a distraction from the sort of discussion that could build a real consensus.

      There is a further distinction between Congress, whose members are sent to represent constituents, and the Executive, whose officers are elected or confirmed to execute law in service to the whole country. I can see a member of Congress engaging in outright advocacy on behalf of their constituents, as Congress is set up to manage the conflicts between the particular interests of various jurisdictions. I don’t see any such basis for Executive branch advocacy.

  • TheNephew

    I don’t think that destinction is as stark as you make it out tobe. Ultimately the executive and legislative branches are political entities meaning their jobs are both advocacy. I woukd even take your point that congress is a body meant to represent constituents one step further and say that the president is also sent to the whitehouse by the biggest of constituencies, the whole country. Finally a politicians job is to practice pilitics regardless of executive or legislative function. So again if republicans, when they run things, want to use their position to make ads favorable to their argument that is fine, that’s what you get when you win, the ability to use your office to to prove your point.

  • nobody

    “…president is also sent to the whitehouse by the biggest of constituencies, the whole country.”

    Exactly. He hasn’t any constitutional reason to advocate the interests of one constituency over any others.

    I don’t want a government where Republicans can use the apparatus of office to run campaign commercials. The government has limitless resources. If we let politicians direct them towards the propagation of their views, without restriction, incumbency will become even stronger than it already is.

    To the best of my knowledge, the Republicans didn’t do so. Let the DNC do the advocacy marketing and advocacy. Of course there is an interaction between the two, but the President should be focused on policy.

    • shanalulu

      “The government has limitless resources. If we let politicians direct them towards the propagation of their views, without restriction, incumbency will become even stronger than it already is. To the best of my knowledge, the Republicans didn’t do so.”

      Dear “nobody,” I’d like you to meet “Abstinence-Only Sex ‘Education.'” With all due respect, THE HELL GWB & Co. didn’t direct taxpayer dollars toward propagation of their anti-scientific, church-and-state-as-one, religion-of-the-majority-based views. When the Republicans were in power, they were ALLLL about truncating the rights of all based on the views of a few. That practice isn’t okay with me when either side does it. The fact remains that President Obama’s aim here is to keep poor and middle-class Americans from getting screwed because of a broken system and the apathy of richer/more fortunate voters. The goal of abstinence-only sex “ed,” on the other hand, was to ignore both science and the needs of young Americans in service of see-no-evil/hear-no-evil/speak-no-evil-style denial.

      In short, we shan’t agree, because I think you could not be wronger. :)

  • nobody

    You are saying that because one President implemented policies you dislike, another can do any sort of marketing and advocacy they like. If that were true, there would be no limits on the appropriate activities of any President.

    • shanalulu

      Not what I’m saying at all. I’m just saying that you’re criticizing Obama and the Dems while asserting that your party didn’t do anything like what you accuse the other side of doing. It’s hypocrisy, and undermines the rest of your argument.

  • kissmysass

    Hi Jon —

    I’m a longtime lurker but wanted to chime in now and commend you for the great job you’re doing on compiling all these resources and pieces of information. And the sprinkles of (appropriate) righteous liberal indignation are always refreshing.

    To the title of your post (though I realize this doesn’t exactly mesh with the theme of the previous comments), I challenge anyone — particularly ill-informed criers and screamers who just can’t accept that a black man is now running “their” country — to read this article and then try to argue otherwise that health care is a basic human right.

    I’m glad there are some people in America who are satisfied with the current state of health care. I respectfully request they either voluntarily decide to learn what it’s like for the rest of us, or get the hell out of the way. Because Deamonte was the status quo.

    • blurb

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment and share this link.

      Stories like this are not hard to find.

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