Ask President Obama About Health Care Reform

Consumer Reports Health is going to the White House next week, to speak directly with President Obama about health reform, and they want your help. Send in your questions, and they may become part of the interview.

Here’s what they’re looking for:

So here’s your chance to give us the questions you’d like President Obama to answer about the new law. Is there something you still don’t understand? Wondering when or whether your own health coverage might be affected? We’re interested in any and all suggestions. Obviously the President is a busy guy and our time with him is limited, so we probably won’t be able to make it through the whole list. But we’ll do our best to get follow-up answers from the White House about questions that we don’t get to ask in the interview.

You can submit your questions as comments on Consumer Reports Health, or send them by email to healthreform (at) cro (dot) consumer (dot) org.

Ask President Obama: What does health reform mean for me? [Consumer Reports Health]

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  1. Stickdude says:

    Only one question -

    When are you going to admit this was all just a big joke played on the American people for fun?

    • BDSanta2001 says:

      Yeah, seriously, Scandinavian countries have universal coverage so we know it’s possible.

      • dolemite says:

        A lot more than just Scandinavian countries. Basically the whole industrialized world does, with a few exceptions. America hangs onto its privatized system mostly from fear, and the millions at the disposal of lobbyists.

        Making healthcare a war between company profits and the health of the American people was one of the worst ideas we’ve implemented.

        • bradb21 says:

          We all know the US Govt does thing effeciently. This country is broke and is circling the financial toliet. We can’t keep giving all this stuff away for free. I’m getting really tired of working 15 hours a day to keep my small business running to have the Gov’t take away 50% of my income. It’s really not cool!

          • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

            Whether it’s the government or a private company, does it really matter who is taking the money? What matters is getting high-quality, affordable health care. The private system has shown it’s not capable of doing that.

            • Stickdude says:

              What is this “private system” you’re referring to? I’m not aware of any countries that have a truly private healthcare market.

            • Murph1908 says:

              We have the best healthcare in the world.

              If your concern is high prices, having the government pay for it does nothing to fix that issue.

              If we would just work on cutting costs so more can afford it, instead of making those who can afford it pay for those who can’t, we would move towards solving the problem instead of shuffling the burdon.

              • JMILLER says:

                By what measurable statistic are you making this grandiose claim?
                The WHO ranks the US 37th.
                The US ranks second in EXPENDITURES per capita in the entire world at 15.2%, while France is ranked first in the world in health by the WHO, and only spends 11.2%. Imagine saving 4% of GDP LESS than France to even achieve the same results we currently have.
                Life expectancy has the US at 24th. France at 3rd (they live more than 4 years longer on average).
                In quality of death (end of life care) the US ranks 6th. Its highest position on any index. Why are they rated so high on that? Simple, government run health care. Older people have Medicare and suddenly their quality of care increases. If the US had that same model for all life, end of life would be later and better.
                If you start intelligent single payer health care (Meicare for all) or (the same shit military people get) you will see better results.

                • j_rose says:

                  37th…and where was Cuba on that list? ;) Riiiight. The WHO considers it more important to have equal care than effective care.

                  • ARP says:

                    I think you’re putting the cart before the horse in your analysis. Cuba is close to the US because it provides medical care for everyone. Granted, it may not be top notch, but everyone gets their basic needs met (unlike the US). That results in greater average lifespan and greater overall quality of life. So, its equal access that leads to longer lifespans, that leads to greater rankings.

                    My view is that everyone should at least get basic care. If you want the latest technology, drugs, or procedures, nothing is stopping you from spending more money to get that. It doesn’t have to be an either/or

                  • jamar0303 says:

                    Because effective care means nothing if you can’t afford it, something that more and more people are going to finally notice in this economic climate.

                  • JMILLER says:

                    How effective is NO CARE for those that do not have it? Maybe in Cuba you do not get your boner pills paid for, but if you have bronchitis they treat you. The most profitable item for Pfizer is Viagra. BILLIONS of dollars are spent on that product and it is paid for by an industry (pharma) in bed with another industry (doctors) to say every guy who ever was not hard at any point in their life should get a pill to fix it. At the same time, truly sick people die. I’ll take the Cuban system any day.

              • ARP says:

                “We have the best healthcare in the world if you’re rich. If you’re not, then you deserve to be sick and die faster.”

                Fixed it for you.

        • bradb21 says:

          We all know the US Govt does thing efficiently. This country is broke and is circling the financial toliet. We can’t keep giving all this stuff away for free. I’m getting really tired of working 15 hours a day to keep my small business running to have the Gov’t take away 50% of my income. It’s really not cool!

          • JMILLER says:

            Oh please, your argument is tired and boring. Even a billionaire does not pay 50%.. The top tax rate is NOT what you pay. That is only on the last dollar you earned. I guess if you are into privatization we could all have private police, private roads, private fire protection, private libraries, private trash pick up (the mob does well in this) and a private military. Certain things should NOT be for profit. Insurance companies, doctors offices, pharma and every other tom dick and harry has their hand out for medical money. Some things are for the greater good of society.

            • Stickdude says:

              Even a billionaire does not pay 50%.. The top tax rate is NOT what you pay. That is only on the last dollar you earned

              Yes, because income taxes are the only taxes out there. Thanks for clearing that up.

            • nova3930 says:

              And your argument is simply asinine and detached from reality. In 2009 I used Quicken and kept track of every single tax I paid from income taxes to Social Security to sales and property taxes of all sorts.

              My wife and I paid 48.5% of our income in one form of tax or another. No human being on the fucking planet should have to work half their life for someone else, not even the gov’t, and especially not when 95% of what that gov’t is spending money on is illegitimate and illegal….

              • Skankingmike says:

                and what does the federal government have to do with taxes on anything besides income?

                Your state could have sales tax, property tax, income tax that’s not an issue with the federal government it’s a redundancy issue in our country.

                You don’t understand taxes at all. STFU

                • pantheonoutcast says:

                  Regardless of the type of tax, his argument is still valid. No one should have to pay half of their earnings to any government entity whatsoever, especially for programs and services that don’t directly or indirectly benefit the taxpayer.

                  • dolemite says:

                    Other countries pay 50% of their income to the government…but…the kicker is they have excellent health insurance, provided by the government, and get 5 weeks a year off.

                    You might only pay 20-30% in actual taxes, but I know a lot of people that pay another 20-50% of their income JUST for health insurance. Then they file a claim and have to fight tooth and nail for the company to actually take care of it.

                    Where I work, a family of 4 would have to pay around $950 a month for health insurance (this is with employer contribution). There is a $2,000 per year deductable *per person*. The average wage here is about $8 an hour for the floor employees. Point is: They could put 100% of their paycheck towards health insurance and can’t even *afford* it. Something has to change in this country.

              • JMILLER says:

                Oh really? See I read the constitution and it says if you want to live in this country you must follow the law,. IT says YOU CAN be charged for the common good. You get the benefit of many of these things. You proved my point exactly that you don;t even pay 50% with your inflated lying numbers. The federal government has NOTHING to do with property taxes, sales tax, state taxes etc. If you don;t like it, there is a simple fucking solution. Leave. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass. There are over a 100 countries out there. I hear the Saudis and Iraqis have very low taxes.

            • Stickdude says:

              “Certain things should NOT be for profit.”

              I’m sorry. Who died and left you in charge of deciding what businesses are allowed to make a profit or not?

              • dolemite says:

                Probably the person that doesn’t have health insurance because his employer can no longer afford to provide it for employees, and the employee has a pre existing condition and can’t afford $1300 a month for health insurance for his family.

            • Southern says:

              Even a billionaire does not pay 50%.

              A self-employeed business owner not only has to pay the standard Federal Income Tax, but they also have to pay both the employee AND the employeer portion of the Social Security & Medicare Tax, which is (currently) 15.3%. When you work for someone else, the employee is only responsible for half, the employeer is responsible for the other half. When you’re self-employed though, you have to pay BOTH halves.

              So your income tax at the end of the year automatically goes up 7.5% (on the first $106,800 of your income) in addition to whatever income tax bracket you’re in.

              • terroristfistjab says:

                You are incorrect. Schedule SE clearly indicates that you are able to deduce exactly one-half the Self-Employment Tax. So come off it, since you clearly don’t know much about taxes.

          • ARP says:

            As opposed to paying 30% of your income in taxes and another 25% of your income on insurance, only to get mediocre care?

      • craptastico says:

        Scandanavian countries are in even worse shape than we are financially. Iceland even went bankrupt. let’s not use them as our template unless they can actually afford what they’re giving out.

      • Stickdude says:

        Provided for free by magic healthcare fairies, right?

        People don’t honestly think that because they don’t have to write a check at the doctor’s office that their healthcare is somehow free, do they? Honestly?

        • Ed says:

          Of course they do, for the same reason that most people when they get a refund from the IRS that is a good thing. They think it is free money. They don’t comprehend that they gave Uncle Sam a free loan.

          If they don’t physically write a check or whip out cash, they think it is free.

  2. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    I’d like to know why the President is punishing those of us with HSA/HDHP plans. Odds are, if you have a $5,000 or a $10,000 deductible it’s because it’s all you can afford and changes to the law are going to make the plans even more unaffordable. These include:

    - Not raising the maximum contribution for 2011 even though medical inflation is running in the double digits.
    – Taking away many tax advantages of HSA plans, including OTC drugs.
    – Doubling the penalty for unauthorized expenses.
    – Making preventative care covered 100% even though this defeats the entire purpose of HSA-plans and will disproportionately impact their premiums.

    • nova3930 says:

      Because HSAs interfere with their goal of taking over health care completely. People having the ability to spend their own money on health care undermines gov’t control….

      • cleek says:

        “Because HSAs interfere with their goal of taking over health care completely. “

        if that’s their goal, they’re certainly going about it in the most ineffective way possible.

  3. taney71 says:

    So he can lie to us. No thank you.

  4. paulthegeek says:

    Oh yeah, this bodes well. What could possibly go wrong?

  5. craptastico says:

    i’ve heard that your employer’s contributions to your healthcare will be now taxed as income to the employee. does anyone know if this is true? i read it as part of an alarmist email so i don’t know how accurate it is.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      It’s not true; however, what your employer spends on your health insurance must be reported on your W-2. If it’s above a certain threshold, then an excise tax must be paid. I think the cutoff is in the ballpark of $25k or $30k in premiums.

      • craptastico says:

        so it’s reported, but not taxed? that makes me feel better. if your employer is spending 25-30k on your health plan you probably should be paying some tax

        • craptastico says:

          in reality, having it show up on your W-2 might help people realize what the real costs of healthcare are in this country.

        • Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

          Why should good benefits be taxed? Because I worked hard to get an education to earn a good job with decent benefits? Yeah, shame on me. Arguments like this make me sick. It’s kind of like subsidized housing in downtown areas: “Yeah, I know you put yourself through college by working your ass off so you can earn a decent living, but this high school dropout over here with 7 delinquent children from 6 different fathers needs a place to live. So this nice building here is income restricted and you make too much money so you’ll have to live someplace farther away.”

          WTF?

          • craptastico says:

            originally my thought process was that a plan that costs twice a normal plan was a luxury and should be taxed. in reality though, i guess in it shouldn’t be b/c if the employee never gets sick that year and never uses a dollar of benefits, they shouldn’t have to pay tax on it, which they would.

    • waltja26 says:

      Health premiums are not being taxed. Yet. Ask yourself though, why would they start tracking these expenses via W2 unless they intended to tax them in the future. Its always baby steps with these sorts of things. The 40% Cadillac Tax is not implemented until 2018 and only on plans that cost more than $27,500 annually (Family). Current Family policies in my area cost around $15,000 annually for a plan without deductibles or coinsurances, just copays. I really hope that the $27,500 number is not a projection of what costs will be in 2018, because then everybody is paying the 40% excise tax on top of it, not just people with Cadillac benefits. But we have to pay back those bailouts somehow, don’t we?

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        “Current Family policies in my area cost around $15,000 annually for a plan without deductibles or coinsurances, just copays. “

        That is an absolute bargain. I pay $10,000/year and my employer throws in $3,500 for a family plan with a $5,000 deductible. It really sucks living in such an unhealthy and poor state.

  6. rahntwo says:

    Will the guv be providing free viagra to registered sex offenders like the Brits do?

    • ARP says:

      Ah yes, the “poison pill” attempt by Republicans to derail the entire bill and submit to both houses for a revote. It was a proceedural game to prevent passage, they could care less about the actual substance.

      • nova3930 says:

        As opposed to the Democrats who could care less about the Constitution….

        • jamar0303 says:

          Just remember what Prohibition was written into… Curious thinking, that.

        • Skankingmike says:

          wtf does that even mean? I’m sick of people who have never read a damn word of the constitution or any Federalists papers/anti federalists papers talk abut the damn constitution.

          STFU.

          FYI the constitution was made to give more power to the central government in fact that was the whole damn point of the Federalists, removal of states rights and more power to the damn federal government.

          The only people who were against it were the anti federalists and I know most people have never read a damn word by “Brutus” or else you’d realize that the constitution gives the central government just about unlimited power.

          Yes they can do whatever they want get over it.

          • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

            Forget about even that. People seem to forget that after the first ten amendments, there were another seventeen, some of which came long after the Founding Fathers were dead and buried. The ones that came as a result of the Civil War completely changed the role of the Federal government. People are still pretending those don’t exist, but they do, and they count.

        • ARP says:

          Are you talking about warrantless wiretapping? Or “signing statements” that ostensibly allows a president to ignore any law as long as it has to do with National Security? Or one of the largest expansions of the Federal goverment? I didn’t know Democrats started those things.

          BTW- Most agree that a majority of the bill will survive intact from any constitutional challenge and that most of the challenges are for political gain. Wickard v. Filburn (1942), et al. United States v. Lopez would not apply because this is both interstate and absolutely commercial activity. I’m sure you’ve done a detailed constutional analysis and have reviewed supreme court decisions to arrive at your conclusion and not simply listened to Beck read you the 10th Amendment.

        • Kuri says:

          If the republicans want credit for fixing health care. we,, they had eight years, EIGHT YEARS to do it.

          Also, Viagra isn’t provided to sex offenders in the UK. If one wants Viagra it has to come out of their own pocket.

          Do your own thinking instead of letting Limbaugh or Beck do it for you.

  7. qualia says:

    I am a 25 year old woman with about $400-$600 in medical bills each month for a mental illness. My problem isn’t that I’m uninsured, it’s that my medical care costs too much. Even if I did qualify for insurance, most insurance would increase, not decrease, the amount I pay for medical care. What is the state of mental health parity, and how is the new system going to decrease my costs?

  8. Stickdude says:

    Ok, serious question -

    If the cost of health insurance for a healthy young person is higher than the “penalty” that person would have to pay for not having health insurance and insurers aren’t allowed to exclude people with pre-existing conditions, why wouldn’t that healthy young person simply pay the penalty until they got sick, and only then sign up for health insurance?

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      There’s nothing stopping anyone from doing just that. The penalty is very low and the IRS has no teeth in collecting it. There’s very little incentive for an otherwise healthy individual to buy insurance until he’s diagnosed with something.

      I currently pay around $10,000/year to cover my family. The only reason I pay this amount is to protect myself from catastrophic medical bills as well as being labeled as having a pre-existing condition if something does come up. It would be a lot cheaper for me to just pay the annual fine and then buy insurance once a family member is diagnosed with anything.

      • Stickdude says:

        The same question applies to employer-provided insurance. One analysis I read said that the average company spends $7,000 per employee for health insurance (and based on my personal experience, that sounds about right), but the penalty for not providing insurance is only $2,000 per employee.

        Tell me again how we’ll be able to keep our current coverage if we’re happy with it. I need a good laugh this morning.

        • psm321 says:

          Well, right now the penalty for not providing insurance is $0 and yet a lot of employers still do. I don’t get the argument that adding a penalty for not providing will make companies who currently provide not do so.

          • Stickdude says:

            Right now companies compete for talent with other companies that provide insurance, so the benefit of providing insurance outweighs the cost. If all of their competitors stop offering insurance, they’ll be hard-pressed to justify the additional cost.

            I’m not saying all companies will stop offering insurance to their employees, but I do expect far fewer of them to do so in the future. To be honest, employer-provided health insurance never made any more sense to me than employer-provided car insurance or employer-provided homeowner’s insurance, but that’s a different discussion for a different day.

            • ARP says:

              If we offered UHC or single payer, I’d agree with you, then it would be seperated from employment entirely.

              The health insurance problem actually hurts the free market since many people can’t change jobs or even start their own business for fear of losing coverage. So skills are not put to their most effective/efficient use. Why do you hate the free market?

          • nerble says:

            Because the cost of insurance is going to go up. If you have insurance companies being mandated to cover more along with preexisting conditions it’s more expensive. EG a company paying 5k now may end up having to pay 10k. So either they double the cost per employee to have insurance or they take a 2k penalty hit. Guess which one they’re most likely to pick?

    • th3v6cann3val0s3 says:

      It’s very simple. You ever did a group buy? Same concept.

      It’s a shame how Americans can’t understand simple logic: the more people pay into something, the cheaper it is for everyone. Also, the most people take part of something, the likelier it would be better for those people.

      Now replace ‘something’ with healthcare. Doesn’t that solve the issue @ hand? Argue that your conservative kooks.

  9. Harry_Greek says:

    Hey, how does it feel having to clean up our greedy healthcare “providers” and be hated by the pulbic at the same time?

    Also, how hard will you laugh when the same greedy slime and their mindless hysterical drones get karma cancer over giving you such a hard time for trying to do something good?

  10. Alvis says:

    The insurance industry is based on the notion that the average person pays in more money than is ultimately paid out to them.

    Why is the government requiring us to be a part of this losing arrangement?

    • ss60 says:

      because the republicans killed any idea of single payer or a public option, so this was the only way to solve many of the issues

      • Alvis says:

        Any insurance is a losing arrangement for the average buyer. Why not just mandate lower health costs from providers?

      • nova3930 says:

        You make the big assumption that these are issues for the gov’t to solve. I’ve read my copy of the Constitution top to bottom and “Provide health care for everybody who draws breath” is nowhere to be found in the enumerated powers of Congress.

        Insurance is nothing but a contractual assignment of risk. No one has the right to foist their risk off on someone else and the federal gov’t certainly doesn’t have the power to force such a transaction between the parties.

        • jamar0303 says:

          Now if only we could freely choose citizenship the way we can freely choose other things… Because at this rate I’m going to end up dragged into this mess (if the insurance plan provided by my university in China doesn’t keep me from paying the fine) and I didn’t even have any say about it! If only my mom followed her classmate to Japan…

        • JMILLER says:

          Actually nothing in the constitution about SSI, Medicare, or gas taxes. There is also nothing in there about auto insurance, the Interstate highway system, FAA, the FCC, or any number of items. There is this one part. It is clear and precise, United States Congress shall have power “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes”.
          Follow that with this oldie but goody,” The Congress shall have Power – To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof”

          • Stickdude says:

            Ah, a follower of the “Commerce and General Welfare clauses render the rest of the enumerated powers moot” school of Constitutional Theory.

            Do you honestly think the Founding Fathers would have spent as much time hammering out that document as they did if their intention was to give Congress unlimited powers via the Commerce Clause? If you study some of the laws Congress has passed under the guise of regulating interstate commerce, you’ll see exactly what I mean by “unlimited”.

            • jamar0303 says:

              And how sure are you that such a thing was NOT their intent? read a few comments above this one to see what I mean.

            • craptastico says:

              if your only argument revolves around a document written over two hundred years ago by people that couldn’t fathom what the current world would look like, than you need to start thinking on your own.

            • ARP says:

              That’s why we have the supreme court- to interpret what the constitution means. Wickard v. Filburn; US v. Darby Lumber; Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States, et. al. disagree with your.

              You have US v. Lopez and US v. Morrison, which were both criminal cases and that was the primary reason they were overuled. This clearly deals with interstate commerce.

            • JMILLER says:

              Well I really dont give two shits about the founding fatheers since this little diitty was their “compromise”
              “Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.”

              I don;t care about their intent and it is why I most intelligent people will see the document as a living thing. Originalists are really boring. Tell me under what basis federal law was brought in for Gore V Bush. It was made up shit. Tell me in what part these “originalists” made money=speech. Tell me where there is ANY part of the document that allows for corporations to have ANY rights whatsoever. I’ll wait while you call Scalia and his step and fetch boy Thomas.

        • Vivienne says:

          It falls under the heading “provide for the public welfare.” Which, if you had actually bothered to read even the preamble to the document you claim to love so dearly, you would know IS indeed IN the document.

      • psm321 says:

        Don’t blame just the Repubs. Obama sold us out early on with a backroom deal not to push for the public option. And he ruled single payer out from the beginning.

    • jamar0303 says:

      More curiously, why is this arrangement being used for healthcare? Most of the world gets on just fine without a profit motive in healthcare (and frankly, I’d put places like Japan on par with the US in terms of technology used in healthcare).

    • craptastico says:

      i agree with you for the most part. the problem is that, as it is today, every American gets free emergency medical care as ERs can’t deny people due to lack of money/insurance. this is a way to get them to help carry their share.

  11. CharlesFarley says:

    Make all healthcare providers publish their fees.

  12. PBallRaven says:

    With Revisions:

    “So here’s your chance to give us the questions you’d like President Obama to answer about the new law.(Mind you, he’s not likely to give a straight answer to any question) Is there something you still don’t understand? (You and a few million others ) Wondering when or whether your own health coverage might be affected? (Like the president would be able to answer a specific question about your particular unique situation. After all, he’s got everyones medical history right in front of him..) We’re interested in any and all suggestions. (Interested in what sort of laughs they’ll generate when we read them aloud in the office) Obviously the President is a busy guy and our time with him is limited, (He’s got a 9AM tee time, don’tcha know) so we probably (100% certainly) won’t be able to make it through the whole list. But we’ll do our best to get follow-up answers from the White House about questions that we don’t get to ask in the interview.(And pigs will fly, yada yada yada…)”

    • staralfur says:

      You’re right, he should just skip it then. He could be spending that time doing more important Presidential things. You know… clearing brush, ordering troops to invade a country due to its nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, and murdering the English language.

  13. ss60 says:

    will the new law prohibit insurers from covering infant genital mutilation (circumcision) or give boys any of the same protection girls get from circumcision. Most states have dropped this coverage from medicaid, I don’t see why I should be forced to pay into a plan so someone can have the mutilation of a child’s genitals done and then paid for by me.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      How do you define most states? I’d be very curious to know the number of states that don’t cover the procedure.

      I really don’t care what people do; however, it is a non-essential medical procedure and I don’t think Medicaid should be spending money on it.

    • MuffinSangria says:

      Don’t you dare even compare circumcision to female genital mutilation. Take some time and talk to survivors of female genital mutilation, their stories will haunt you the rest of your life. To place circumcision in same category is ignorant and offensive.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Thank you! I was just about to post the same thing.

      • ss60 says:

        actually you need to read up, most female circumcisions are fairly minor, and many women CHOOSE to have it done to themselves or their daughters, it’s only different to you because this culture hasn’t done it. If you compare where the nerves are between a standard circumcision between the two sexes guess what gets removed in both cases….the most sensitive nerves on BOTH!!!

        yes there are more extreme forms of female genital cutting just as there are more extreme forms of “cultural” male genital cutting.

        • pantheonoutcast says:

          This is like the third article in which you’ve injected anti-circumcision rhetoric. Honestly, I think I speak for all men with penises when I say, “Wow, what a stupid issue.”

          And when you combine it with a comparison to forced female genital mutilation by oppressive extremist cultures, I go on to say, “Wow, what an idiot.”

          • ss60 says:

            oppressive to women but then you argue male genital cutting isn’t oppressive to men…..

            Again Women freely choose this for themselves or their daughters just the same as men choose it for their son’s here. Read some real articles that don’t have the american bias, you’ll find that female genital cutting is done for the same reasons male cutting is done, they don’t view it as oppression but religion, just as we view male genital cutting.

            • pantheonoutcast says:

              Ten minutes of searching tells me that clitoridectomies are medically approved in extreme rare cases of cancer removal. There is no other benefit to female circumcision, other than to demean, oppress, and control women. Male circumcision, however, reduces the risk of transmission of AIDS, Herpes and HPV, and lowers the risk of contracting balanitis, phimosis, and UTI by over 20%.

              To recap: Female circumcision is a form of mutilation, male circumcision is simply preventative medicine. The fact that you would use the phrase, “American Bias” when discussing a medical procedure done in light of scientific evidence tells me that you have some sort of lunatic axe to grind against your culture and your parents. And that you must be a hell of a conversationalist at dinner parties.

            • JMILLER says:

              How about you bring it up with mommy and daddy. THEY made the choice to do that to you. Yoru parental issues are for Dr Phil, not consumerist

        • DEVO says:

          A problem you and a lot of other morons with hideous penises have is your understanding of culture. I know you equivocate culture with good and better than American, but all it really means is something that people have done traditionally for a very long time. So if you are a culture that does really fucked up shit then your culture sucks and has sucked for a very long time. . I’m sorry if I’m forcing my westernized way of life down the throats of a bunch of dumb assholes who cut off clits. I’m sorry your penis is all fucked up.

      • ss60 says:

        oh yeah, don’t you dare tell belittle the damage from circumcision

        I was mutilated and restored what can be restored of a foreskin, the difference was truly amazing, and this is without all of the nerves I should have, I still have to live with the horribly ugly and extremely noticeable scarring from my “typical” genital cutting, so don’t you dare trivialize my damage.

    • Skankingmike says:

      woah what? take off too much of your wiener buddy?

      • ss60 says:

        anything is too much, circumcision caught on in america for the sexual harm, it removes the most sensitive nerves and removes sexually important functions of the gliding foreskin, so yes, anything is too much

    • Consumerist-Moderator-Roz says:

      Please don’t hijack threads. This isn’t the first time you’ve done this, and it’s not appropriate to keep bringing up your pet issue all over the place when it’s clearly off-topic.

    • DEVO says:

      Everyone knows if you love your boy, you don’t let him run around with missle dick. Chicks don’t dig it.

  14. Murph1908 says:

    Please. The questions will be hand-picked (or even written) by his handlers, and the answers will be preprogrammed into his teleprompter.

    • ARP says:

      Bush actually made that acceptable. Now It’s a common tactic used by both sides.

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        Is the default response to any criticism of Obama, automatically, “Yeah, well, Bush was 1000 times worse and here’s how….”?

        All politicians are rich con artists elected by a majority of ignoramuses who don’t know the first thing about history, philosophy, economics, or law. All of them. Every single last one.

        • Stickdude says:

          Except my local congressman. He funnels a lot of money from other taxpayers across the country back to our district, so he’s one of the good guys. The rest of them? Yeah, absolutely throw them out.

    • cleek says:

      remember when Obama had that public meeting with congressional Republicans on the topic of health care reform ?

      yeah, no teleprompter, no screened questions. and he fncking cleaned their clocks.

  15. pantheonoutcast says:

    1) Which bloated, unnecessary, labyrinthine government programs and agencies will you you be completely eliminating in order to pay for all of this? Is the answer, “Farm Subsidies”? And if it’s not, why not?

    2) A good portion of my prescription drugs, optical care, dental, and even basic medical is not covered under my current “private” medical insurance. Should I send the bills directly to “The White House” or just make up some bullshit deductions next April 15th to offset the costs?

    Thanks.

    • ARP says:

      Actually, the CBO anticipates that it will save money in the long run. Before you rag on the CBO, both sides use them as a sword and shield.

      BTW- I agree on farm subsidies.

      Why would you send the bill to the WH? That would be UHC, which would be evil and socialist. You just need to negotiate better terms with your insurance company to pay for those things.

      I’m having trouble understanding people’s anger that the bill doesn’t do enough when the very same people were opposed to it, or opposed to the programs that would have reduced costs in a real way (e.g. Public Option, expansion of Medicare, etc.)

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        I’m not opposed to Universal Healthcare. I’m opposed to paying any more money (either in the form of taxes or debt) for Universal Healthcare. There are plenty of places to make cuts within the existing structure of the government in order to pay for it without going further into debt or raising taxes.

        • ARP says:

          But you’re paying more for it now and you don’t realize it. Your employer is footing a huge part of the bill. That means money it could have paid you, is going to your health care. Add to that ER care for the indigent, bankruptcies for those who can’t afford to pay, lost productivity, etc. and you’re paying for it it many times over. The problem is that its indirect and from multiple sources and so it doesn’t show up as clearly as a line item on your paycheck.

          • th3v6cann3val0s3 says:

            Another simple concept missed by idiot Americans.

            Of course you’re going to spend more. The liberals and conservatives didn’t win this debate. Big business did. They were able to completely extort the American people due to their ignorance, complete terms in their favor – all while we still bicker amongst ourselves with questionable facts and figures.

            Funny, it would be comical if it wasn’t so sad. Drink up your red bulls and watch those quality Paramount DVDs from Netflix; corporatism makes us all feel safer here in America.

      • nerble says:

        “Congressional Budget Office estimates released Tuesday predict the health care overhaul will likely cost about $115 billion more in discretionary spending over ten years than the original cost projections. “

  16. nova3930 says:

    Why have you chosen to violate your oath of office with this outrageous over reach of the commerce clause attack on Constitutional government?

    • Stickdude says:

      What is this “Constitution” of which you speak? I vaguely remember hearing that word in a history class long ago, but my memory fails me now.

      • nova3930 says:

        Its that document that big Frank Roosevelt lit on fire as soon as he took office. Bits and pieces are still left in the ashes though so maybe we can put it back together…..

    • Ed says:

      +1

    • ARP says:

      Cite please; and don’t just give me the 10th Amendment, please provide Supreme court cases that support your view that all of the HCR is unconstitutional. US v. Lopez and US v. Morrison are easily dismissed as criminal in nature.

      I love how people toss around things being unconsitutional but don’t give any reasoning or supreme court cites. You talk all about originalism, but will support an activist opinion in a second. If we’re going on bare language, you must be part of a militia to own a gun. Remember the supreme court decided that a militia was an example of the need to own a gun and that there can be such a thing as a one person militia, that wasn’t in the original text. Also please provide the part of the constution that says corporations can exist or that they have first amendment rights? Scalia would never be an activist, so it must be in there someplace.

      • nerble says:

        I’d like to see where in the constitution an enumerated power that allows any part of the government to mandate people to buy anything merely because they’re alive.

        Also, and this is a side note that you brought up, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

        See, these amazing things called “commas” really make a difference in how things are read and understood in the English language. Because the actual core of the sentance is, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” It does not state that the right of the “militia” to keep and bear arms. For example, “Because I like ice cream, when I go to the store for milk, I will also pick up some rocky road.” Invalidating the ice cream does not negate me going the store for milk.

        • th3v6cann3val0s3 says:

          Right here, professor constitution:

          “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;”

          Healthcare reform sounds like ‘general welfare of the united states’ to me.

  17. 333 (only half evil) says:

    I say thanks for the reform, but it didn’t go far enough. Thanks because it is the only reason my son has health insurance today. It is the only reason my son can see his specialist and can afford the medicine he needs to take. He was going to be uninsured the day after he graduated in May. COBRA is prohibitively expensive. Preexisting condition precludes any other insurance. But because of the health reform, his parents employer decided to cover children up to age 26 without waiting. Didn’t go far enough because they watered it down to try to get bipartisan support they were never going to get anyway. We need a public option.

    • nerble says:

      I feel for your son, but I also feel for my insurance rates which just went up to pay for your son.

  18. Skankingmike says:

    Thanks Hilliary, i mean Obama for again breaking a promise of a public option.

    How about you stop listening to people because honestly, Madison(that guy who wrote the constitution) stated that (paraphrased)

    People are too stupid to know what they want and sometimes one has to vote against the wishes of their constituents for their own betterment. This would’ve been a perfect time for it.

  19. masso says:

    Do you, Mr. President, still have the ball to go after single-payer health insurance system to provide universal healthcare? Your compromised bill is sorely lacking.

  20. Consumeristing says:

    You said that under your plan, people will keep the plans we have. Specifically, you said: ” if you’ve got health insurance, you like your doctors, you like your plan, you can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan.” Then explain

    1. Why 3 million seniors will have to switch drug plans? http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100825/ap_on_bi_ge/us_medicare_drug_plans

    2. Why college students will now lose healtchcare coverage? http://bit.ly/aisbmS

  21. MedicallyNeedy says:

    Dear Consumer Reports Health,

    Ask President Obama: Pay it now or pay it later or just die?

    Will there be affordable coverage for dental and eyeglasses?

    I’m three years out with a kidney transplant.

    In September of last year it was advised by my dentist to get an endodontic check-up and a possible root-canal.
    I could not afford it and put it off. (There was no active abscess.)
    In October I was close to death with fever and infection. It required hospitalization and weeks of I.V. antibiotic treatment.
    Luckily we knocked the infection out and the abscess has calcified over.

    There is absolutely no coverage for root-canal procedures and very limited coverage for all other types of dental care.

    I have experienced other situations where preventative procedures are not covered only to get a more expensive treatment covered without question.

    One for instance, kidney transplants. Medicare will pay more then $26,000.00 for two weeks of dialysis
    while it is very difficult to get anti-rejection medication paid for! (About $1,000 a month for me.)
    I know of people who had willing transplant centers and donors who were denied surgery
    only because they could not get the anti-rejection meds paid for! We have to reduce ourselves to poverty before getting coverage and become trapped.

  22. crazydavythe1st says:

    I actually support health care legislation because I think it is the progressive direction our country needs to head towards, but I think it is fairly moronic to actually believe the rhetoric that it will end up saving money.

    You can clean up Medicare fraud, but come on – the legislation just added an astounding level of bureaucracy that will almost certainly cause cost overruns and those scamming Medicare can likely find some other source in which to turn a quick buck.

    • ARP says:

      I have to agree with you. This is where a half-measure was probably didn’t do that much good. There are a few good pieces in there (no pre-existing conditions, etc.) though.

  23. MoritaX says:

    Does any part of this health care reform help college students?

  24. MitchV says:

    Mr. President,

    How is health care reform going address the extortionate pricing for drugs in the United States?

    If you spend enough time in a doctor’s office, you will have seen drug reps marching in and out with perks/bribes for physicians. A large amount of television marketing is related to expensive prescription products (encouraging patients to request the prescription from their doctor). It’s easy to follow the money trail – big pharma is the beneficiary.

    Most disturbing is the knowledge that the many drugs/medications can be found in other countries for a *fraction* of the cost in the United States. In some cases, localities have outlawed Canadian medical suppliers, forcing those in need to pay more than they should.

    Why do Americans pay more for the same drugs? How is healthcare reform going to reduce the cost of drugs so that the price is more in-line with other countries?

  25. EarthAngel says:

    I submitted a question to ask. I hope she asks it.

    The Veteran Administration hospital system is atrocious. The paperwork is backlogged, the various departments within one hospital don’t talk to each other. I am a female Army veteran and there is nowhere for me to change out of my clothes when I go in for a routine X-ray. When I am admitted into the hospital, they have to scramble to find a room for me. The VA and the military system is so broke, war veterans are committing suicide when they can’t get help from a complicated system that was created to assist them. The system is so overwhelmed, we can’t get appointments for months. If a veteran tells their care provider they are suicidal, they are told to call back at another time.

    How can the government regulate the private sector when it can’t even regulate the health care systems that it is already responsible for?

  26. TehLlama says:

    I really have no interest in what irrelevant anecdote TOTUS wants to tell me about why my hard earned money gets to be spent on aborting fetuses, and and worsening the quality of care available to me and my family.

  27. VeganPixels says:

    Mr. President,

    Why are any and all attempts to bring the US health care pricing and delivery model in line with every other developed nation on the planet met with nothing more than shrieking ignorance, denial, lies, and corporate propaganda?

  28. wolf says:

    I am wondering why the people on Social Security and Medicaid are being cut and payments reduced, While the younger generation are getting better medical service than the older generation who worked forty or fifty years to get Social Security. Haven’t you got this backwards.
    We are the generation that made all these things the younger generation have now.

  29. Dopaz says:

    Where do I apply to be on the Death Panel, and what does it pay?