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Majority disapproves of law reforming health care system

Nearly 60 percent of respondents to this week’s RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll oppose the health care reform legislation approved by the House on Sunday and signed into law Tuesday by President Barack Obama.

The $938 billion health care overhaul guarantees coverage for some 32 million uninsured Americans. “We have now just enshrined the core principle that everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their health,” Obama said.

Republicans say, however, that the plan will bring soaring national debt and an expanded government role in the health care system.

Attorneys general of 13 states filed suit to try to block the overhaul after the bill signing, saying that the law is unconstitutional.

Fifty-three percent of Snap Poll respondents were strongly opposed, with 6 percent somewhat opposed. Twenty-eight percent said they strongly supported the legislation, while 12 percent somewhat supported it.

Of those who participated, 37 percent identified themselves as Republicans, 23 percent as Democrats and 40 percent as unaffiliated or aligned with other parties.

When Daily Report readers were asked in June 2009 about a government-run health care plan that would compete with private health insurance plans, 52 percent were opposed, compared with 48 percent who favored the idea.

Roughly 1,105 readers participated in this week’s poll, which was conducted March 22 and 23.

Do you support or oppose the health care reform bill that won final approval in Congress?
Oppose strongly: 53%
Oppose somewhat: 6%
Support somewhat: 12%
Support strongly: 28%

What is your political affiliation?
Republican: 37%
Democrat: 23%
Non-affiliated: 36%
Other: 4%

Here are some readers’ comments:

Our health care system is already heavily influenced by the government, both federal and state. Government influence and control, I believe, is the main reason why health care is currently so expensive and why the system seems so inefficient. Will increased government involvement reform and improve the system? Probably not. More government involvement will likely make the system more expensive and less efficient.
—Doug Lyon, Lyon Capital Management

Health care and health insurance reform are sorely needed. Although the current bill is far from perfect, it is a good start. With the provisions in the legislation, the playing field is somewhat leveled. As a family physician, I have experienced numerous problems in our current system as it pertains to patients and employers. My hope is that people will actually read the final legislation and rise above the emotionally charged, disrespectful, mob mentality that some have degenerated to over the course of this discussion.
—Jim Gaden

President Obama is still campaigning in Democrat incumbent states for total submission to his plan. Don’t you wish he was as adamant about lowering the unemployment? What back-alley shenanigans transpired behind closed doors is unbelievable. And the sad part is they are getting away with it, just like O.J.
—Ruth Ditch, Delta Square

We need health care reform, but not like this! This is wrong on so many levels, it would be hard to express. Suffice it to say that anytime our government takes more control over free enterprise and saddles us with the burden (i.e., higher taxes), it is a sad day for our country and our freedom. Our government is out of touch and out of control. My hope is that every single politician who voted for this bill and is up for election this year is voted out of office. We need to send a message!
—David Wagner

Reform of some sort is and was necessary, but the Republicans chose not to do anything about it while they were in power. So this is what our bitterly partisan, pendulum-like system has come up with. How can you expect anything different?
—Andy Vaughan

I am not for socialism. The government has proved it cannot run Medicare, Medicaid, welfare or anything else. What makes people think it can run this?
—Ken Williamson

This bill will lower the overall cost of health care. As more have insurance, the cost of care for those without insurance (which the insured bear) will decrease in proportion. There’s more to do; however, we have to start somewhere.
—Dave Vanable

This stifling socialist straightjacket of health care “reform” is un-American. It is also economically disastrous and must be repealed. It’s time to end government rule over the people and once again try representative government.
—George Dounce

It’s unfortunate that you’re either for or against health care (or any other bill), depending on if you are a Democrat or a Republican. Forget having an honest and open discussion about health care and what’s good for our country. At the end of the day, those who don’t have health care or adequate health care because they can’t afford it—or worse, are dropped because they are diagnosed with a serious illness—are out of luck. The unfortunate attitude by some is “Sorry, not my problem. I have health insurance.” OK, what happens when you lose your health care or can no longer afford it? Do you get to change your mind about the health care debate because now you’re one of the uninsured? I’m offended by all sides of the debate. I’d like to think that I’m smart enough (or at least have the common sense) to look at all the facts and make my own decision and not be influenced (or lied to) by politicians, nut jobs on the radio, lobbying groups, or by the private health care industry. I think it’s time to lower our voices and have a serious discussion about health care and stop the name-calling.
—Costas Solomou

This administration seems to be keenly intent to prove that we can spend our way out of serious debt. If left as is, our country will be bankrupt in a very short time. Seventy-six percent of the population of the United States has expressed outrage toward this health care reform, and yet our esteemed politicians have turned a deaf ear and voted for it. I can’t wait for November; then we can vote all of them out.
—Phil Turturici, Absolute Consulting

There is no question that American health care needs to be fixed. That said, H.R. 3590 will bankrupt the nation as well as up to one-third of American hospitals. Although the cost of charity will certainly go down in future years as 32 million currently uninsured Americans gain insurance, the more than offsetting Medicare and Medicaid reductions will put hospitals further at risk. The notion that this bill will reduce the deficit is almost so ridiculous that no comment is needed. Without meaningful reform, health care costs will continue to rise dramatically, and with government’s newly expanded role, much of that cost will be borne by the taxpayer. In addition, all the horse-trading that was necessary to get the bill passed in the first place will have a dramatic negative impact on the deficit.
—Joseph Fabetes, Rochester

I am sure that there are many savvy, well-researched, fact-driven comments that can be made at this time about the government taking over America’s health care. I, however, am going to make an emotional statement and say that I am heartbroken. What right does the government have to shove something of this magnitude down our throats? We need government reform, not health care reform. Socialism is not what the United States stands for. Do we really have so little faith in ourselves as an intelligent, empathic, self-motivated people that we feel the need to have the government rule our lives? I am shaken and afraid for our country, which once proclaimed, “We the People.”
—Marion Oyer, Bags Unlimited

Access to affordable health care is a basic right. Any step we take toward fulfilling that right is laudable, regardless of the inequities that will not be repaired by the current bill.
—Matthew D. Wilson

It’s sad to witness such an utter lack of character and integrity in our elected officials.
—David Rumsey, Morgan Management

Who pays for the uninsured when they get sick? We do. If the question is money to pay for the health and well being of our citizens; why not remove the U.S. from two foreign wars that have been waged for seven years at an immense cost to the nation. It’s what we call in economics a tradeoff, I believe.
—Tim Judd, teacher, RCSD

I oppose the health care reform bill, at this point in time, primarily because the government is controlling it. The track record of anything that requires the government to be financially responsible has failed. And when it fails, the corrective action is always to make the citizens pay more. This is a government that wants the citizens to believe that they, the elected officials, are looking out for your best interest. With that said then it really baffles me that one entire political party is against the bill and the majority of another political party is in favor of the bill. One has to ask themself which elected official is actually looking out for your well being.
—William Nash, Ultrafab Inc.

I’m not sure because I have not seen the proposed bill. (I’m not sure our congressional leaders can interpret the bill). However, it is suppose to save billions over the next several years. This is a bill to save political face not make life easier for the middle class. Same as the stimulus package. It’s for bigger players, not small business and average America.
—Ed Schlueter, president, Medgraph, Inc.

One more time we have to bail out another government program. Let’s face it this was all about bailing out Medicare/Medicaid, which was deep in the red. More good paying people in the pool (in theory ) will bail out the system. What a crock. The government can do anything well i.e.: the above mentioned, SSI, FEMA, education, Amtrak, and the list goes on and on. God help us all.
—Jim Duke

While some facets of the bill are beneficial, the longer term costs and the continued intrusion of the federal government into the lives of citizens are over riding detriments.
—Robert Zinnecker, Penfield

It may not be what it should be, but we have to start somewhere.
—Craig Epperson, consultant

As if Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare weren’t enough to bankrupt the government, now we have Obamacare. The program calls for new fees and taxes that kick in three years before any benefits are paid, but that still won’t be enough. A national sales tax can’t be far away. Knowing also that private insurance subsidizes the lowball Medicare reimbursements, with this government expansion we’re surely all going to face higher premiums as well.
—David Schiffhauer

Do we need to make health care more affordable for all American citizens? Absolutely! Do we need to increase health insurance completion across state lines? Do we need to eliminate fraud and abuse in the current system? Do we need to reduce defensive medicine by tort reform? Absolutely! Problem is the recently passed "reform" does none of these things. I say "reform" when I should say, “take over." Where’s the bill that just got passed? This whole socialist move has put a nail in the heart of our Constitution and it is a travesty that our politicians should be ashamed of. If any of us ran our homes or businesses like this fiasco is being managed, we would be bankrupt or fired or both.
—Peter M. Palermo II, Strategic Triangle Inc.

The bill, along with the reconciliation changes, is a start. In addition to insurance coverage, we must make significant progress on health care quality and reduced cost. The U.S. ranks about 37th in the world in health quality across multiple measures and we spend two times per person more than any other country in the world. In 15 years I would hope that we rank in the top 5 in health quality and our per-person costs are no more than 20 percent higher than other industrial countries.
—Mike Bleeg, Strategic Results

There are better ways to reform health care than this bill. This bill is fiscally irresponsible and does little to promote free market competition.
—Greg Post, self-employed

I support the concept of affordable health care for all Americans, but the key issue is affordability. I do not see any "reform" in this bill that impacts raising costs. Once again, the lobbyists and those who pay them won!
—Domenick Vitulli

We certainly need health care reform, no question, but this is NOT health care reform, this is "grandstanding for future votes." More importantly, it is opposed by almost all citizens except the 216 Democratic representatives.
—J.A. DePaolis, Consultative Services

To state that this bill will reduce the budget deficit is dishonest. This bill will cripple growth in the private sector and have a significant negative impact on our ability to compete in the global marketplace.
—Stuart Small, Pittsford Insurance Agency, LLC

This is wrong on so many levels! Nowhere in my country’s constitution does it say that you have the God-given right to health care.
—Rick Barton

Yea! More taxes!
—Mark DiFelice, DiFelice Development Inc.

Reform of our health care system was probably needed but we have just completely dismantled the best health care system in the world and put our federal government in charge of it. So far, their record of managing large scale public programs is about 0-2 (Social Security and Medicare are broke). This was not democracy or the will of the people finally being done … it was a group of extreme leftist communists executing an unprecedented seizure of power. The tactics used to coerce unwilling (thinking) Democrats over to their side sickens me. I only hope the public has a long enough memory to last until November when we can throw these bums out of office.
—Steven Coleman, Merrill Lynch

Our health care/insurance industries are nearly as dissolute as our government. Although this bill has multiple problems, it’s critical that we move forward with change and trust that if the pendulum swings too far left, universal laws swing it back to the right.
—Joseph Lancaster, president, Cogenic Mechanical

Here is one small point. How can you have a group of people who advocate for a woman’s "right to choose" what to do with her body support a government which enacts a law which takes away the right to choose what the entire population does with their respective body. Forced participation. That alone ought to tell you the real goals. Tax and control. It’s unconstitutional and the courts will back that up. This is nothing more than a taxing program to control us. Goodbye personal freedom. It has come to the point at both the state and federal level where people spend more time in fear of their government because of its punitive measures rather than reaping the rewards of living in what was a free state. At the core in the beginning of our nation the government was originally set up to serve us to enhance our lives. I am embarrassed for my generation. The baby boomer is just a big baby, because in 50 years we have run a once-great nation and the “Empire State” into the ground. We are no longer a nation of doers but rather a nation of whiners and “what about me’s” asking not what we can do for our country but what can the “government” do for me. No personal responsibility. What a shame. We should be embarrassed.
—Karl Schuler

This is yet another entitlement using financial sleight of hand that will in the end bankrupt governments all across our land. In November, Americans will have the opportunity to pull the flusher a Congress that does not represent those who sent them to office. If Americans had the ability to vote directly on this bill, it would lose in a landslide.
—M. Pell, Fairport

There is no doubt this country is in need of some form of health care reform. However, to race a closed door drafted bill to the president in the name of political campaign promises and hidden agendas is completely wrong and not democratic. Health insurance has high costs for the same reason as any insurance – abuse of the system. Our Congress should focus on a better bill targeting tort reform, and one that does not put us deeper in debt. These people spend money like it is not their (our) own.
—Douglas R. Strang Jr., S & S Engineering, P.C.

I am affected by the high cost of the current health care programs. I am unsure of the impact this bill will have on me, my clients, my business and my children. The issue for me is cost vs. value. If it brings more value than cost then it will be great. If it brings more cost then we continue an uneasy ride into oblivion. To be able to say today we know which way this bill is headed is unwise.
—Kevin Best, Best Times Financial Planning

Something needs to be done but more on the fraud and tort side and not this massive overhaul. Saying that younger people will now be insured when they can pay a small penalty to not be insured or a larger premium ignores basic personal economics of choice. People now will wait to be insured until they actually need the insurance depriving the insurance pool of the money the program is basing its success on. The fact you can pay a penalty and still get insured after a major incident ignores the economic basis of insurance and statistically spreading the risk. It is much like saying you can buy car insurance after an accident to pay for the accident. How does the insurance company get the funds to cover accidents when the only customers they get are the ones already to file a claim? This bill basically highlights the ignorance our elected officials have of the basic rules of business and economy. This November I would more likely vote for a fire hydrant that anyone who supported this bill.
—Eric Muench, president, Genesistems, Inc.

This bill is a fiscal Frankenstein! People will focus on the entitlements and, as one of my robot liberals believes, the 32 million children who will now be covered, and not on the costs that will be transferred to all of us. Repeal and replacement is needed, but I fear will be a tough thing to do. Our local Congressional reps should pack their bags!
—Dave Coriale

This spells the end of any recovery as money is taken away from those who would reinvest in the economy. These Progressives have doomed the country’s businesses and workers to higher taxes and higher costs, especially in New York. They say the rich taxpayer will pay for this but the consumer pays for everything eventually. We can only hope that the Supreme Court will find this attempt at socialized medicine unconstitutional and that we can vote these socialists out in November.
—Bob Brinkman, Brinkman International Group, Inc.

So who has seen the bill besides the blockheads in Congress and the Senate: Oh, that’s right, the insurance companies have seen it. They must be salivating all over it. With the government debt rising by $900 billion and the payback at $100 billion, looks like we’re in for a bumpy ride. IF the government were to regulate insurance premiums and require that we go back to community-based plans, we just might have a shot at reform, providing that the insurance companies could also cross state lines for business. I think it’s a scam. Oh, and BTW, have you seen the amendments yet? I haven’t.
—Rick Bradley

It is about time. We now have to stop wasting federal money on stupid programs that do not even come close to providing the value that health care coverage does. Health care should be available for all Americans. These dollars are well spent. I sell health care insurance and every day I see people who I cannot cover due to a pre-existing condition. I also see families, young and old, scrimping to pay for their out of control health care expenses. One catastrophic injury or sickness puts these families into bankruptcy and on the dole due to no fault of their own. For sickness, preventive checkups are a good thing. We have buried our heads in the sand long enough on this issue. Let’s manage it, not ignore it and move on.
—K. Fonda

This is government takeover of states’ rights and socialism at its worst. The only positive is that it will contribute to the demise of Obama, Pelosi, Reed, Hoyer, Rahm Emanuel and Schumer.
—Jim Weisbeck, Bloomfield

Anyone who thinks such a large entitlement will reduce the deficit is not leaving in the real world. The more the government does for us the less freedom we will have.
—Mark Siewert, Siewert Equipment Co.

Thank goodness that we finally have a modern system to cover our citizens for sickness. Like with other legislation, it can be improved in the future once any major flaws are apparent in the law’s application. I am totally disappointed by the Republicans who rejected cooperation. Also their total hold on every one of their delegates is akin to the Stalin, Hitler and other totalitarian governments. It’s frightening! The Republican idea was that their plan should be passed, while the last election clearly gave a majority to the Democrats. I don’t remember that the Republicans ever accepted such a suggestion when they were in the majority. McCain is the greatest disappointment, since he ran for president on promising bi-partisanship. It makes me sick how he has steadily refused to follow his noble ideas (lies?). Thank goodness he did not become our president. Obama, in contrast, has bent over backwards to achieve bipartisanship. What a difference! More than that, I am rejecting the total disregard of the Republicans for the uninsured and sick, and their (and some Democrat’s) slavish devotion to the insurance industry. Summed up, the Republican plan appeared to me a simple three-point solution: No. 1. Give your money to the insurances. No 2. If you get sick, we assign you to a death panel (their invention). No. 3. If you still are sick, we will supervise you eating a can of rat poisoning. Of course, being anti-abortion, the Republicans will exempt unborn babies, but not their mothers. Once out of the womb, their three points would apply. Thank God the Republicans are not in charge.
—Ingo H. Leubner, Crystallization Consulting

Twenty-four percent of seniors will lose their Medicare Advantage policy. That includes me and all our friends. $500,000,000 cuts to Medicare and no cuts in benefits? I didn’t know David Copperfield was a Democrat.
—Don Cameron

The CBO is required to "score" bills as presented to them. This bill includes 10 years of tax increases and only six years of costs since the benefit provisions don’t take effect until 2014. So of course the bill "scores" as a deficit reducer. Anyone who believes this bill will reduce the deficit and improve the overall delivery of health care to the vast majority of Americans is either delusional, intellectually challenged or high on drugs left over from the 60’s. How Congress can get away with lying through their teeth on issues such as this is criminal. Corporate executives would be thrown in jail for reporting like this but Congress gets away with it. And the fawning mainstream media does little to point out these facts. Where have all the journalists gone? The whole situation is disgusting!
—Keith B Robinson, CFO Diamond Packaging

This bill does nothing to address the high cost of health insurance. I am all for making sure everyone can purchase coverage with any preexisting conditions. The question is can they afford it? In the end we are all likely to pay more for the same coverage. It is hard to believe that the government will force its citizens to purchase health care coverage from private businesses without additional regulations and safeguards. The real problem – escalating premiums for health care, have not been addressed. I don’t recall any measure to help limit malpractice lawsuit awards, or a plan to mediate health care disagreements. If your provider declines certain procedures or tests what recourse do you have? At a time when most companies are laying off workers our government is going to add 17,000 new jobs to the IRS. Ouch. We can’t afford the government we have much less the new and bloated version in process. Who is going to pay for all the new coverage? We all will, either through the addition of a VAT or an overall increase in income tax.
—Carlo Jannotti, Forward Branding

I remember vividly back in August when President Barack Obama was all over the news with his message to congress that they will not be going home for August recess until there’s a health care bill on his desk for him to sign. That told me that what was in the bill was not as important as ramming through anything so he could take credit for a new government program.
—Terry Palis, Corporate Communications, Inc.

Now that we have passed reform, the next steps can be taken to address additional health care issues, like rising premiums, excessive testing by doctors, etc. Having said that, is there any doubt in anyone’s mind reading this polling question that the majority of respondents are going to be overwhelmingly opposed to this? Rochester in general, and particularly your readership, is Republican. And we all know how much the Republicans oppose this!
—M. Houston

I find it personally embarrassing that our health care costs are the highest amongst developed nations, and yet we are less healthy. While the changes recently enacted will no doubt increase some costs, the cost of doing nothing would be far greater in the long run.
—Clayton Cloen, Rochester Management Inc., president and CEO 

The U.S. health care system is fundamentally broken and this is a start in a necessary overhaul. We are far behind other industrialized nations and at a competitive disadvantage with the present expensive, unproductive and medically insufficient, never mind immoral, health delivery bureaucracy.
—Will P. Condo, Wilcrest Services

We have to begin somewhere. Anyone who thinks that our health care system isn’t in trouble is either very wealthy or very uninformed. The legislation that was just passed is not perfect but I hope it will alert the insurance lobbyists that enough is enough. Americans should be able to afford to get sick.
—Dave Sliney, Macedon

The America built by the “greatest generation” is over. Each day 7,000 boomers are eligible to receive Social Security, and $3.3 billion is added to our national debt. Rome was burning long before this last entitlement program passed. We’ve become a nation of victims with an entitlement mentality—which now makes up a majority of the electorate. With Cuomo on deck, my move from N.Y. is inevitable; and with politicians like Palin on the national stage makes me eager to relocate to the first state that secedes.
—Manny Colfax, president, Colfax & Murray 

This bill is not about health care. How anyone thinks we can add 32 million people and reduce an out of control deficit is just being rational.
—Jon Tobin

Increasing entitlements and taxes are a very bad idea when the economy is weak. This bill will ensure that unemployment remains high for years to come. We must hold ALL democrats responsible for this mess, even … those at the local level.
—Jerry Lighthouse, C.P.M., CPIM Advanced Purchasing Technology, LLC

America is now heading in the direction of the Greek Dynasty, Roman Empire, British Empire and USSR. We will soon lose our status as a dominant world power, to be replaced by China or the Muslim World!
—Tom Shea, Thomas P. Shea Agency, Inc.

Thank goodness they finally overcame the fear mongers and Cave (Citizens Against Virtually Everything)-men. It’s time the greatest nation in the world addressed the basic needs of its citizens.
—Rick Corey, Penfield

If it costs $940 billion, and also reduces the deficit by $143 billion, then we will have to pay $1,083 in taxes, directly and indirectly. This whole process continues to use lies, threats, and bribes. If they were truly representing us, they could tell the truth. We need a recall vote for many of them.
—Eugene Henn, Better Power, Inc.

This bill will not spur employment which should be at the forefront of our elected officials’ agendas. It is clear the citizens of this country DO NOT want this type of reform yet our ELECTED officials don’t listen. It is time to "clean house" and get this Great Country back on track. This clearly is not the way, supporting businesses, to empower people to grow and make decisions, stop the taxing is the way to get the economy back. What’s next government control of the Food Industry, it’s the only industry left?
—David J. Topian, president, Westminster Real Estate Advisors, LLC

This is a difficult first step to provide a safety net for all citizens. Now the focus must shift to the economy–jobs, education and regulation to avoid future financial crises. To the extent that the private sector or the states are unwilling or unable solve problems and provide for basic needs, then the federal government has a responsibility to act.
—Natahn J. Robfogel

The few good things in the bill don’t justify the government’s taking over one-fifth of the U.S. economy. None of the suggestions made by the Republicans and the Conservatives made it into the bill. There is no tort reform. There is no selling of insurance across state boundaries, so insurance could be marketed like automobile insurance. Didn’t we learn anything from Medicaid which is bankrupting more states than just New York and Medicare which is bankrupting the U.S. Soon we’ll have a "Single Payer System." And that single payer will be you.
—Clifford Jacobson, WebHomeUSA.com

Good grief, what have we done? It’s inconceivable to me how anyone can think it’s a good idea to impose legislation that forces Americans to purchase something they may not want, penalizes companies who offer exceptional insurance to their employees, ties the hands of small businesses, costs taxpayers billions of dollars, and puts the government in the business of health care (have we not seen how they’ve mismanaged Medicare?). When we fail to understand that there’s always a cost to things that may seem well-intentioned and the "right thing to do," we are in sorry trouble indeed. Are changes needed to ensure better access to care and lower costs? Yes. But this isn’t the way to do it.
—B. Cania, Fairport

This issue has really gotten my dander up. I am really tired of the "hey I’ve got mine the hell with the rest of you." Quality affordable health care is a basic human right and a boon to our civilization. This might not be the best plan but it is a positive step forward. Someday, hopefully in my children’s lifetime, we will have a single payer system like most other civilized countries that is not based upon profit mongering. My contribution to my employer-based plan rose considerably this past year even as my co-pays and deductibles increased considerably as well, thus further reducing the standard of living for my middle income family. Then I read that Excellus makes a $49 million dollar profit and awards large bonuses to its already very well paid senior managers. What is wrong with this picture? It is amazing to me how special interests can so profoundly blind public perception. Ninety-five percent of the people protesting in Washington would significantly benefit from even more profound reform. Most do not know what they are really protesting about but instead gather under the threat of so-called socialism. The president’s plan is absolutely good for our country. Could we possibly be blessed with tort reform in the future, as well?
—Greg Reynolds, East Rochester

I’m in favor of the bill overall. The one area that should be amended is the mandate of coverage purchase. We would do better to offer an incentive for the purchase of coverage, such as a reduced insurance rate or a tax break, rather than to force each person to purchase. Other than that I think it’s been a long time coming; 32 million uninsured is far too many.
—Joanne Greene-Blose, The Project Solvers of America, Inc.

This is a hose in the mouth of our dear country that is drowning in debt.
—Doug Kennedy

The Health Care Reform Bill is not the be-all to completely re-form the Health Care Industry, but it is an excellent start. Congress would take years to re-do the bill that passed the Senate in December, and nothing would come of it, if they took things in the piecemeal fashion that Republicans wanted. I am very happy that the country has made a start toward a comprehensive health care program for us all!
—Hutch Hutchison, IN T’Hutch Ltd.

I encourage expansion of benefits to U.S. Citizens that contribute as citizens but do not believe that this is the correct or a constitutional way. Continued tax increases to fund programs that most never see benefit from are a sure fire way to continue our spiral down. The arrogance accompanying this in both the legislative and executive branch is bothersome, it will be interesting to see our president try to further intimidate the judicial branch when the states’ attorneys generals begin suing the federal government.
—Kevin Kenny

This health care bill was never about bringing down cost. The true goal has been and is the destruction of our free market society and whether we should abandon our free market economic model for a full-fledged European-style social welfare state. USA will now become a welfare state where few people pay taxes while becoming dependent on government handouts. How can our country prosper where 70 percent of all households receive 75 percent of their income from government benefits and paying no taxes. Government dependency is like an addition; once enacted, can never be removed. Thanks to our president, we are well on our way to socialism and all it entails.
—Ellen Morgan

The DEMOCRATS have just foisted another lousy government program upon us. In spite of overwhelming public opposition (and plenty of evidence that it is does not work out everywhere it has been tried) they voted it in. You think Medicare and Social Security are driving us into the poor house? Obama Care will bankrupt the country. And the collateral damage Obama is causing with his "print and spend policies" has other consequences. The weakening dollar means our energy costs will continue to rise. It also means inflation will make a comeback. In his first year Obama and the current crop of Democrats have created a deficit larger than that of the previous 10 years. It’s just too bad November is eight months away. That gives them time to do a lot more damage before we fire them all. Kudos to the States who have filed lawsuits to stop this madness! Where is our attorney general on this one? Doesn’t he want to be our next governor? I think NOT!
—George Thomas, Ogden

Great concept and there are some very good parts of this legislation, however since we were not able to pick and choose the good from the bad, I believe the bad far outweighs the good as far as I’m concerned as the "devil is in the details”: 1) Unconstitutional: each American will give up several constitutional rights/freedoms as part of this legislation; not sure that most are aware of this. 2) Fiscally irresponsible: projected budget numbers are based on several unrealistic assumptions. 3) Does not really address the root of the medical issue. Utilization trend. 4) Shocked that this needed to be rushed through over the weekend, when most of the "meat" of the legislation will not be implemented until 2014. Speaker Pelosi was quoted as saying "we need to sign this so the American people can find out what is in the legislation." Why couldn’t the American people first find out what is in the legislation, then have us as citizens vote on it and let our democratic system work to determine what is best for our country. 5) Will the president and members of congress participate in this medical plan or will they continue to have their own medical benefit plan?
—Brian Hart

This is not health care reform. It is health insurance change reform. It does not include anything that deals with actual cost reduction in the health care system other than those things that should have naturally already occurred (like removing waste in Medicare—that should be done even if there weren’t new legislation). The Obama administration is still ignoring tort reform and interstate competition. That means they really don’t have our best interests in mind. They are still beholden to the people and companies that finance their elections.
—Mike Kaser, Penfield

The passing of this health care legislation was one of the low points in the history of the U.S. Congress. Not only will this legislation add to a potential financial collapse of this nation, it’s the dishonesty of collecting taxes/surcharges for a period of 10 years with benefits of only six years in order to get a positive rating from Congressional Budget Office. The lack of tort reform, adding of 16,000 IRS agents at a cost of $10 billion, the unconstitutionality of mandatory participation, more rationing, takeover of student loans by the federal government, etc. The Speaker of the House stated that the health care bill should be passed so we can find out what’s in it. What kind of incompetency is running this country? I could go on and on. Since Medicare and Social Security are effectively bankrupt, let’s add another program to insolvency. Maybe we are ready for a real Boston Tea Party and throw this disgraceful Congress in the Genesee River at Charlotte.
—John Rynne, president, Rynne, Murphy & Associates, Inc.

(c) 2010 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail rbj@rbj.net.

Majority disapproves of law reforming health care system

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Nearly 60 percent of respondents to this week’s RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll oppose the health care reform legislation approved by the House on Sunday and signed into law Tuesday by President Barack Obama.

The $938 billion health care overhaul guarantees coverage for some 32 million uninsured Americans. "We have now just enshrined the core principle that everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their health," Obama said.

Republicans say, however, that the plan will bring soaring national debt and an expanded government role in the health care system.

Attorneys general of 13 states filed suit to try to block the overhaul after the bill signing, contending that the law is unconstitutional.

Fifty-three percent of Snap Poll respondents were strongly opposed, with 6 percent somewhat opposed. Twenty-eight percent said they strongly supported the legislation, while 12 percent somewhat supported it.

Of those who participated, 37 percent identified themselves as Republicans, 23 percent as Democrats and 40 percent as unaffiliated or aligned with other parties.

When Daily Report readers were asked in June 2009 about a government-run health care plan that would compete with private health insurance plans, 52 percent were opposed, compared with 48 percent who favored the idea.

Roughly 1,105 readers participated in this week’s poll, which was conducted March 22 and 23.

Do you support or oppose the health care reform bill that won final approval in Congress?
Oppose strongly: 53%
Oppose somewhat: 6%
Support somewhat: 12%
Support strongly: 28%

What is your political affiliation?
Republican: 37%
Democrat: 23%
Non-affiliated: 36%
Other: 4%
 

COMMENTS:

Our health care system is already heavily influenced by the government, both federal and state. Government influence and control, I believe, is the main reason why health care is currently so expensive and why the system seems so inefficient. Will increased government involvement reform and improve the system? Probably not. More government involvement will likely make the system more expensive and less efficient.

-Doug Lyon, Lyon Capital Management

Health care and health insurance reform are sorely needed. Although the current bill is far from perfect, it is a good start. With the provisions in the legislation, the playing field is somewhat leveled. As a family physician, I have experienced numerous problems in our current system as it pertains to patients and employers. My hope is that people will actually read the final legislation and rise above the emotionally charged, disrespectful, mob mentality that some have degenerated to over the course of this discussion.

-Jim Gaden

President Obama is still campaigning in Democrat incumbent states for total submission to his plan. Don’t you wish he was as adamant about lowering the unemployment? What back-alley shenanigans transpired behind closed doors is unbelievable. And the sad part is they are getting away with it, just like O.J.

-Ruth Ditch, Delta Square

I am sure that there are many savvy, well-researched, fact-driven comments that can be made at this time about the government taking over America’s health care. I, however, am going to make an emotional statement and say that I am heartbroken. What right does the government have to shove something of this magnitude down our throats? We need government reform, not health care reform. Socialism is not what the United States stands for. Do we really have so little faith in ourselves as an intelligent, empathetic, self-motivated people that we feel the need to have the government rule our lives? I am shaken and afraid for our country, which once proclaimed, "We the People."

-Marion Oyer, Bags Unlimited

Reform of some sort is and was necessary, but the Republicans chose not to do anything about it while they were in power. So this is what our bitterly partisan, pendulum-like system has come up with. How can you expect anything different?

-Andy Vaughan

I am not for socialism. The government has proved it cannot run Medicare, Medicaid, welfare or anything else. What makes people think it can run this?

-Ken Williamson

This bill will lower the overall cost of health care. As more have insurance, the cost of care for those without insurance (which the insured bear) will decrease in proportion. There’s more to do; however, we have to start somewhere.

-Dave Vanable

This stifling socialist straightjacket of health care "reform" is un-American. It is also economically disastrous and must be repealed. It’s time to end government rule over the people and once again try representative government.

-George Dounce

3/26/10 (c) 2010 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail rbj@rbj.net

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