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Jan 10, 2017 2:10 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Patients, Healthcare Providers Concerned Over Possible Repeal Of Affordable Care Act

East Hampton Resident Maude Muto said she is satisfied with her ACA coverage. PHOTO COURTESY OF MAUDE MUTO
Jan 11, 2017 11:23 AM

For East Hampton resident Maude Muto, living with chronic Lyme disease has taken both a physical and a financial toll.

Each month, she spends about $1,000 out of pocket on doctor visits, tests, acupuncture, supplements and other treatments that are typically not covered by her health insurance. She is quick to note, however, that without coverage provided through the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, her expenses would be much higher.

“I was out of work for six months—I couldn’t work,” said Ms. Muto, who is now employed at a local nonprofit that she declined to identify. “I can’t tell you how many blood tests I’ve had. I can’t imagine what it would have been like the past year and a half to not have any coverage.”

Ms. Muto and her family—which includes her husband, Richard Cangiolosi, an independent contractor, and their two daughters, Molly, 14, and Christina, 20—are among the roughly 939,000 New Yorkers who have gained health insurance coverage with the 2010 passage of the ACA, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Additionally, millions more New Yorkers with employer, Medicaid, individual market or Medicare coverage have also benefited from new protections as a result of the law.

Now they also are among those who are worried about what will happen if President-elect Donald Trump, and the Republicans in Congress who have targeted the national healthcare program since its inception, follow through on a promise to repeal the ACA, commonly referred to as “Obamacare,” as it was the brainchild of President Barack Obama.

The more than 1,000-page package of legislation was intended to reform the country’s health insurance and health care systems, with the goal of providing affordable coverage to millions of uninsured Americans. But opponents of the law dislike the mandated coverage, explaining that it often means higher insurance costs for business owners and elevated premiums for those who have coverage on their own.

Earlier this month, Governor Andrew Cuomo shared the potential effects of an outright repeal of Obamacare, estimating that some 2.7 million New Yorkers would no longer have coverage in such a scenario. He also estimated that the state would lose almost $600 million in federal funding if the ACA is gutted, while also noting that the program accounts for some $3.7 billion of the annual state budget.

Locally, Mr. Cuomo said that 152,631 people living in Suffolk County would be at risk of losing their health insurance, while the county government would lose more than $18.3 million in annual funding.

Republican U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin, a vocal opponent of the ACA who supports a Republican plan to “repeal and replace,” in a prepared statement took issue with the Democratic governor’s words, calling his figures “half-baked” and designed to “scare people about a particular course of action that is divorced from reality.”

He continued: “The governor’s press release fails to state absolutely any acknowledgment whatsoever that the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, is flawed. Nothing at all is included about any of the lost doctors, canceled policies, higher premiums or higher deductibles that New Yorkers are now facing.”

Wednesday morning, Mr. Zeldin expanded on those thoughts, noting that while Long Islanders have ranging opinions on Obamacare, high deductibles and premiums, as well as high levels of Medicaid spending and instances of malpractice, have made for a unique local situation.

“I’m very well aware of the range that exists out there, but many of the promises that were made—to keep your plan, your doctor, to have relief in the cost of premiums—just aren’t true,” Mr. Zeldin said.

He noted that he believes it is important to have a smooth transition to replace the ACA to mitigate any possible negative impacts on patients—but it’s a transition, he said, that the country should expect sooner rather than later.

“The policy is going to be finalized, in many respects, very soon, over the course of literally the first 100 days or so of the president’s new administration,” he said. “We’ll start to see new legislation passed and regulations start to be modified.

“There’s certainly a reality of immediate action coming over the course of the next few weeks and months,” the congressman continued. “But no matter what gets done, there’ll always be room for conversation on how to improve health care in America.”

Mr. Zeldin noted that popular elements of Obamacare, such as guaranteeing coverage for Americans with pre-existing conditions and allowing children to stay on a parent’s policy till age 26, have strong bipartisan support. He added that he supports new additions to replaced health care legislation, such as allowing insurers to sell policies across state lines and reevaluating the scope of Medicaid costs in New York.

Southampton Hospital President and CEO Robert Chaloner predicted that if the ACA is ultimately repealed, the result will be a sharp increase in the number of uninsured people on the East End, and even more no longer qualifying for Medicaid coverage. That scenario, in turn, would most likely result in increased operational costs for the hospital, he added, as Southampton Hospital and other medical centers would most likely stop being reimbursed by the federal government for some of the services they are now providing. He also predicted increased wait times and more crowded emergency rooms, a result of projected budget restraints.

Despite the controversy surrounding Obamacare, many agree with parts of the legislation that they view as positive, such as a requirement that patients like Ms. Muto cannot be denied coverage due to preexisting medical conditions. Additionally, under the ACA, both of her daughters can stay on her plan until they turn 26.

“We are on it, and I think it’s been fantastic,” Ms. Muto said. “I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have it. In my mind, I’m thinking that it’s not going to come to a screeching halt. I’m hoping that by ‘repeal’ they mean that within several months it’s going to taper off and they’re going to have something else in its place.”

Mr. Chaloner said he has observed a notable expansion of Medicaid offerings on the East End—namely, for those who were not previously covered—since the inception of the ACA. If a repeal does happen, he said he remains hopeful that whatever replaces it still offers coverage to those with preexisting conditions, and will provide some sort of insurance to those who are unable to secure policies through the normal channels.

Kevin Luss, founder and president of the Southampton-based Luss Group, an insurance and financial services brokerage firm, said this week that an outright repeal would have far-reaching effects on the East End, especially Southampton Town.

“I think the changes will have an impact on everybody, especially on a town like this, because we have a hospital,” he said. “I think the first thing they’re going to do is take away the individual mandate. I think that will lead to an increase in the uninsured.”

At the same time, he also points out that the ACA has resulted in higher deductibles for those who have their own medical insurance, a situation that has prompted many to support the push to repeal. “The legislation made people sicker and poorer,” he said. “People avoided seeking care even though they had insurance, because they had a high deductible.”

Even if the ACA’s days could be numbered, Mr. Luss said one of the main benefits of Obamacare is that it helped spark a national dialogue about a serious problem: ever-escalating insurance costs.

On a personal note, he said he would prefer that the program be amended rather than repealed and replaced, explaining that the latter would most likely result in mass confusion among ACA policy holders.

Others are worried about the potential economic impacts of repeal and replacement. According to a January Commonwealth Fund state-by-state breakdown focusing on a repeal of premium tax credits and medical field employment, New York State could lose 131,000 jobs in both the private and public sectors by 2019 if it happens.

At the same time, Mr. Luss said a repeal could potentially benefit those East End businesses that have seen their health insurance costs climb by double-digit percentages annually, mostly due to the fact that they must now offer coverage to their employees. “The employers around here will tell you that health insurance is their highest budget item,” he said. “To any extent we can help that cost, it’s going to help that economy. I just don’t know if savings get passed onto insurers. I do think there may be more competition, which may bring the price down.”

Locally, Mr. Chaloner said he does not anticipate having to stop any large projects, including the potential relocation of Southampton Hospital from Southampton Village to the Stony Brook Southampton campus, if the ACA is repealed and replaced. “I think that we would continue to move forward with what we’re doing,” he said. “One way or another, the system will keep going.”

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How much was the author compensated by the Democratic party to write this? The propaganda is so preposterously pro-Obamacare that it could have been written by Obama himself.

Shame on you SHP for allowing this to be reported as "news"
By BillWillConn3 (180), Southampton on Jan 10, 17 6:17 PM
You are so right. Those of us who pay for those on the dole are SICK AND TIRED of the redistribution of wealth.
By Babyboo (293), Hampton Bays on Jan 10, 17 6:49 PM
The article cites the pros and the cons and the effect repeal or tweaking would have on our local economy. Apparently you don't recognize balance when you see it.
By June Bug (2680), SOUTHAMPTON on Jan 10, 17 6:49 PM
1 member liked this comment
"On the dole"?
"Redistribution of wealth"?

Sound like that post was written by a GOP propaganda artist.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jan 11, 17 6:57 AM
1 member liked this comment
On the dole as in subsidized by the government. Redistribution of wealth as in government equals taxpayer.
By Babyboo (293), Hampton Bays on Jan 11, 17 6:51 PM
1 member liked this comment
So, everyone who earns minimum wage?

Because all those that do normally qualify for benefits...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jan 11, 17 8:21 PM
Hussein Care has been an unmitigated disaster for many of us, especially small business owners . Before Hussein was rammed through in a straight Democrat party line vote, we belonged to a small business alliance and were able to purchase health insurance at a group rate and chose whatever level of coverage WE decided was correct for us. Hussein Care changed the very definition of what constitutes a small business and decreed Mom and Pop businesses were no longer able to belong to a business alliance ...more
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Jan 10, 17 11:26 PM
Say "Hussein" again. It makes you sound really smart.
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on Jan 11, 17 10:24 AM
I find no humor in a health care system that stripped a cancer patient of ALL coverage at All of the cancer facilities in the entire tristate area!! You can make fun of Bigfresh's comment all you want , but it IS a smart, well thought out comment that I agree whole heartedly with bc I personally understand how Hussein Care did more damage than good.

Could u imagine receiving a call from the Cancer Hospital the day before your appointment , saying your coverage has been dropped?!
GOOD ...more
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Jan 14, 17 7:37 AM
You pay school taxes whether you have kids or not.

It benefits the commonwealth to do so.

Is it me, or are "right wingers" in denial about being selfish?

And the mandate? That was the GOP. The Democrats wanted single payer.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jan 14, 17 7:46 AM
2 members liked this comment
Using the term "Hussein Care" speaks totally to the racist and nasty attitude of all of President Obama's attempt to improve the rotten and broken system dropped in his lap by 20 years of Republian government mismanagement. I don't have to call anyone names to make my point.
By 16945 (15), Riverhead on Jan 17, 17 2:20 PM
1 member liked this comment
to bigfresh:

The fact (inferred from your post) is that you and your wife chose to construe yourself as being a business - - - for the sake of avoiding the costs of individual health insurance - - - although, for other benefits (tax, comes to mind) you preferred to construe yourself as a couple. Apparently, the concept of "hypocrisy" is lost on you.

To be frank, though, I wouldn't have a problem with that perspective provided that every individual were able so to construe himself ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Jan 11, 17 1:34 AM
2 members liked this comment
He still doesn't realize his beef is actually with a for profit health system whose costs have spiraled out of control, i.e., capitalism.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jan 11, 17 6:51 AM
Oh, looky here, Einstein weighs in.
By June Bug (2680), SOUTHAMPTON on Jan 11, 17 9:51 AM
1 member liked this comment
to June Bug:

Pw herman's contributions herein are a telling argument for the confiscation of intermediate schoolchildren's smart phones during school hours.

Best to ignore him. Absent the gratification of adults responding to his posts as if he were actually one of them, he will tire of the game, revert to putting chewing gum on the seats of his classmates' chairs, and leave us alone.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Jan 11, 17 10:13 AM
2 members liked this comment
HH- My wife and I own a fine gardening company and we provide the discerning client with the finest services money can buy. This March begins our 20th year in business here in wonderful Southampton Village. To respond to your libelous scree: we file a schedule C and pay taxes quarterly both to the IRS and the State along with 100% of our FICA. We carry all applicable insurances and licenses requisite for our business. Including our independent contractors our business supports 4 families . We are ...more
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Jan 11, 17 11:23 AM

Haven't heard you rail about mandatory auto insurance.
Haven't heard you rail about all policies covering vasectomy.

By June Bug (2680), SOUTHAMPTON on Jan 11, 17 12:23 PM
Driving a vehicle is a CHOICE , a choice that comes with mandatory insurance. I didn't know that Hussein Care charges all of us forced to purchase approved insurance a charge for vasectomies the way we are charged for pediatric care. Still curious if yu work or own your own business.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Jan 11, 17 7:59 PM
1 member liked this comment
Y'know BF there are a lot of people out there who don't own a business, but they sure do a whole hell of a lot when it comes to running it...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jan 11, 17 8:26 PM
1 member liked this comment
For reference:

The Real Story of Obamacare's Birth

One reason for the continued resistance to the Affordable Care Act is a badly distorted narrative of how it became law.

Norm Ornstein Jul 6, 2015

"Interestingly, even Obama has said that Obamacare was drawn from Romneycare, the Massachusetts plan championed by then-Governor Mitt Romney. But Romneycare was itself derived from the Chafee / Grassley / Durenberger / Hatch Republican alternative to the Clinton ...more
Jan 11, 17 7:09 AM appended by Mr. Z
"Baucus very deliberately started the talks with a template that was the core of the 1993-4 Republican plan, built around an individual mandate and exchanges with private insurers—much to the chagrin of many Democrats and liberals who wanted, if not a single-payer system, at least one with a public insurance option. Through the summer, the Gang of Six engaged in detailed discussions and negotiations to turn a template into a plan. But as the summer wore along, it became clear that something had changed; both Grassley and Enzi began to signal that participation in the talks—and their demands for changes in the evolving plan—would not translate into a bipartisan agreement."
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jan 11, 17 7:09 AM
OK smart guy, why is it a joke?

And, what is wrong with the term?

My guess is you missed the meme...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jan 11, 17 8:22 PM
You failed to reply to the query.

I guess you're not so smart after all...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jan 12, 17 12:03 PM
1 member liked this comment

Unfortunately for you, I don't speak troll.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jan 12, 17 8:17 PM
1 member liked this comment
So sorry, Maude. Evidently, you are not privy to the horrible bashing and personal attacks that occur on this site. Here you are, just trying to tell share your story and fears, and you are subjected to all of this. Beware--some of the regular hater contributors have not joined in yet!
By Mrs.Sea (268), Sag Harbor on Jan 11, 17 9:28 AM
The year 2014 my single son's Silver plan cost $210.00 monthly. The following year $319.00 monthly. This year $397.00 monthly.. Additionally cost were added onto his Income tax at years end for any increase in salary.. Two years ago his private insurance was $412.00 monthly. With the Silver plan a Dr. visit costing $130.00 he is responsible to pay the other $100.00. Hopefully he will never have to use the Obamba Plan the Emergency room or be hospitalize. He has to pay the first $12,000 for ...more
By Histerical (20), East Quogue on Jan 11, 17 10:15 AM
2 members liked this comment
The only problem with call it the "Obama Plan" is that the Republican "Gang of Six" are the ones who ****** up the ACA.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jan 11, 17 8:24 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By J. Totta (106), Sag Harbor on Jan 11, 17 10:30 AM
OK, Junebug- do you work or own a business? I am curious as to how you have acquired your world view, thanks
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Jan 11, 17 11:25 AM
1 member liked this comment
She works at being a pain in the
By widow gavits (219), sag harbor on Jan 11, 17 7:31 PM
1 member liked this comment
I wholeheartedly agree Mr Z. Our contractors are vital to our business ! Couldn't do it without them
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Jan 11, 17 9:22 PM
to bigfresh:


"To respond to your libelous scree ... "

How is it libelous when your response in no way contradicts my inference? Now, if you and your wife have INCORPORATED yourselves and pay income tax as a corporation rather than as a married couple, then my inference is mistaken. Have you? Do you? Or do you morph from a married couple to a business and back again depending on the relative financial rewards of the ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Jan 12, 17 12:01 AM
One does not have to be INCORPORATED in order to be a BUSINESS HH, but as a pompous freestuffer of the first order , you obviously have no clue as to how business actually works. I will not mention the name of our business here, our clients respect their privacy as do I. Suffice it to say that Hussein Care has been a disaster for those who actually work for a living.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Jan 12, 17 1:53 AM
The health insurnace industry is a disaster to those who work for a living.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jan 12, 17 7:24 AM
1 member liked this comment
to bigfresh:

Actually, bigfresh, I did know that, but then you never mentioned how you had structured your business, (as, for instance, a corporation, [or an LLC, or a partnership.]) In any case, the structure is irrelevant. If you do not finesse your marital/business status for financial purposes (other than to qualify for cheaper health insurance), my inference, as I said, is mistaken.

Your zealous protection of the privacy of your clients (and of yourself) while at the same ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Jan 12, 17 9:55 AM
3 members liked this comment
Any form of capatilism is a disaster to Z.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Jan 15, 17 1:25 AM
The Senate is already rolling back President Barack Obama’s legacy.
It passed the continuing resolution, S. Con.Res. 3, that tears away the fees, taxes and subsidies from the 201o Patient Protection and Affordable Cart Act, Obamacare, shortly after 1:25 Thursday morning, 51-to-48.
By joe hampton (3461), On Vacation on Jan 12, 17 9:30 AM
Do you mean the individual mandate which was placed into the legislation by Republicans? Because it was their idea.

Democrats wanted single payer.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jan 13, 17 7:08 AM
1 member liked this comment
Accepted HH
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Jan 12, 17 10:35 AM
obama is gone, obamacare is finished and tim bishop is unemployed. Who cares WHAT the article says?! That is a victory for NY District 1 and its tax payers by any metric. Let the healing begin. It's time to come together.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Jan 12, 17 11:57 AM
2 members liked this comment
For a regular (middle income) family out here I fear this incoming president etc. and his plans. I would hope no unexpected injury happens to us because without Obamacare (yes Obama does care) we will not be able to go to the hospital. Cannot afford the huge expenses charged by the Medical Group. I remember when it cost me $75.00 for the Dr. to deliver my baby in Southampton Hospital. I believe that the Health bill passed back in 2010 titled Affordable Health Care is a good one.. Apparently Gov. ...more
By summertimegal (97), southampton on Jan 12, 17 4:51 PM
Make sure you tell your kids you wouldn't want to pay any more than $75 for their birth. See how that works out. You can afford the doctor, you just spend the money on stuff you don't need to keep up with the Joneses.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Jan 13, 17 8:32 AM
Goodness how people misconstru what I "said" I tell you WHEN I had babies back in the 1950's that is what the charge was then. Of course my husband was only making $75.00 a week. Now put that in perspective.. how far did $75.00 a week go. I guess we did not go out to eat in those days. Keep up with the Jones? Oh goodness on a farm on Mitchell Lane in BH? Man are you out in left field! Slime Alive? that's a good name! I bet you weren't born until 1998 maybe!! Oh I wonder if you are a really true ...more
By summertimegal (97), southampton on Jan 21, 17 10:44 AM
The East End in particular has a great opportunity to provide healthcare for all at a reasonable cost. We have 3 hospitals with the ability to perform a full range of scheduled and emergency surgical procedures and numerous smaller clinics for out patient services. Instead of Stony Brook and Peconic, create one health care network from the facilities, physicians and other health care professionals, and have everyone pay into one common fund. Eliminate the insurance companies and their overpaid ...more
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Jan 12, 17 12:36 PM
Let's look at the math: about 120,000 in total population in Riverhead out to Orient Point, Southampton, and East Hampton. Multiply that by $400 each per month. Multiply that by 12 months in a year. That works out to $576 million a year. Is that enough to support basic health care for all?
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Jan 12, 17 1:31 PM
10% of those patients incur $1m in claims and you are looking at $120,000,000 in claims from just $12,000 people. When you take into account theft and billing scams, the money would be gone in 6 months.
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Jan 12, 17 4:07 PM
Health Republic had 200,000 enrollees who paid premium and they got $500,000,000 in federal taxpayer loans. Any questions, genius?
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Jan 12, 17 4:09 PM
Another Trump voter:

This Obamacare Hater Learning He Has Obamacare
By Sage Lazzaro • 01/12/17 11:09am

He hated it, even cheered for its demise. To one Facebook user, Obamacare was a mistake that needs to be repealed. To that same Facebook user, Obamacare is also his healthcare insurer—a fact that went unknown to him until it was pointed out publicly online and spread all over in a bout of viral pointing and laughing.

“First, we’re talking ...more
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jan 12, 17 8:47 PM
This whole sad chapter of American history is coming to a close , thank God.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Jan 12, 17 9:20 PM
If you say so. Maybe a chapter of truth is due:

Did Obama Leap Rashly to Consider Healthcare Instead of Focusing on Jobs or the Economy?

There is no doubt that the president made healthcare reform a top early priority. There was good reason for doing so; past experience, including that of the Clinton health-reform plan, showed that waiting to pass a major social-policy change, in the absence of a great crisis, is a fool’s errand. A president’s momentum, his public ...more
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jan 12, 17 9:50 PM
One needs only to read your posts to realize you are to be dismissed as having zero credibility.
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Jan 13, 17 7:41 AM
"This whole sad chapter of American history is coming to a close , thank God. "

It's only just begun.
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on Jan 13, 17 11:08 AM
1 member liked this comment
Too bad. If even flow and pw herman could read more than twelve words at a time, they would see that you're sharing a comment written by Norm Ornstein, a political scientist from a CONSERVATIVE policy group. It's not worth trying to explain the true history of the Affordable Care Act, it's roots in Republican healthcare reform efforts, the narrative that has been falsely built around it, or the fact that more Americans are insured now than ever before in our nation's history. So-called "conservatives" ...more
By vexatiousmass (12), Sag Harbor on Jan 13, 17 11:49 AM
So 20 million poor people (who were covered under medicaid anyway) get insurance and 200 million middle class victims have to pay for it in higher premiums, deductibles and copays. THAT'S what the problem is. Who pays for it?????!!!!! Check out the profits of health care and pharm companies. At our expense!
By Taz (725), East Quogue on Jan 13, 17 12:22 PM
That's unfettered, unregulated capitalism in a for profit health industry Taz. Not the ACA.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jan 15, 17 7:42 AM
No, it is not unfettered capitalism when health care insurance can't be purchased across state lines as stipulated by ACA. Unfettered would be competitive if insurance were available from multiple companies across state lines, as is the case in auto and life insurance. ACA created the monopolistic catastrophe we find ourselves in. Let's try REAL capitalism with competition and you'll see how prices drop.
By Taz (725), East Quogue on Jan 15, 17 10:04 AM
It's a little too late for that, and the $800 dollars for the $5 bag of saline. Oh, and don't forget your epipen...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jan 16, 17 7:07 PM
If you go to the Southampton Hospital and Peconic Bay Medical Center websites and click down several levels to the financial results in 2014 for Southampton Hospital the TOTALEXPENSES is $146 million, for Peconic Bay for 2015 the TOTAL EXPENSES is $162 million. It is worth noting that both institutions were well above breakeven.

$146 + $162 equals $308 million. If each man, woman and child in the East End contributes or has contributed for them $400 per person per month, that results ...more
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Jan 13, 17 8:58 AM
That is the most ridiculous idea I have ever heard.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Jan 15, 17 1:28 AM
Care to elaborate? Or are you just another nattering nabob of negativism?
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Jan 15, 17 10:05 AM
It's not negativism just reality.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Jan 16, 17 7:00 PM
The left has devolved from "madame president" to delusions of urine soaked sheets and Russian spies. This is one of the most epic meltdowns of a primitive civilization in history. It's because they know we will never need career politicians in our life again.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Jan 14, 17 7:50 AM
The free ride is over people. You actually might have to wake up, and go to work 5 days a week to have medical coverage.......oh what a travesty!
By J Feces (13), Hampton bays on Jan 15, 17 7:46 AM
to J Feces:

It is stunning how eagerly and thoughtlessly the solipsistic ignorami embrace a self-serving and blatant lie as justification for their callous indifference to others' suffering.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Jan 15, 17 8:04 AM
1 member liked this comment
IMHO everyone should be responsible for THEIR OWN HEALTH INSURANCE, not their employer, not the government, each and every able bodied American, parents pay for their own kids. If we all had some skin in the game, to quote our soon to be dethrowned Dear Leader, the outrage of the nation as a whole would force some meaningful change.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Jan 15, 17 10:00 PM
There's only one "flaw" in your reasoning.

As an individual, you do not have the power to collectively bargain and are at the mercy of a major health insurer. As a group, company employees have more weight to throw around.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jan 16, 17 7:05 PM
there is Zs collective bee hive mentality coming out right on schedule
By joe hampton (3461), On Vacation on Jan 17, 17 11:33 AM
I would say it has more to do with being part of a stellar management TEAM. Every day teamwork is how we achieve success.

It's obvious you don't understand there is no "I" in team...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jan 17, 17 2:42 PM
You know what the reality is for every citizen of Japan, Northern Europe, France, Belgium, England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Iceland? You get sick or need a check up, you walk into the highly qualified doctor's office and get treated. For free. You need high quality emergency room or hospital care, you walk into one or get referred to one from the doctor and you get treated. For free. You need prescription drugs? The government has negotiated an acceptable price for them, far ...more
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Jan 16, 17 8:59 PM
1 member liked this comment
Everything is free. Yippee!!
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Jan 16, 17 9:10 PM
1 member liked this comment
They get something for their taxes, namely quality healthcare. All we have is a complicated expensive mess that enriches health insurance execs and funds political campaigns. Oh yeah, and I forgot Israel, which spends more on its military as a percentage of GDP and still has the highest per capita number of doctors in the world and high quality healthcare for all its citizens that need it. For free.

We are being played for suckers.
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Jan 16, 17 9:40 PM
You just used tax and free in the same post. Let's not sugar coat it. It is NOT free. It's either paid for through a tax or a premium.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Jan 17, 17 6:50 AM
1 member liked this comment
53 % of this country pays no taxes, So what you saying is you get something for free off other peoples taxes...
By joe hampton (3461), On Vacation on Jan 17, 17 11:31 AM
And easily 2/3 of that BS percentage includes those who pay payroll taxes.

Just like Trump, you don't know what the truth is.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jan 17, 17 2:49 PM
It's not hard to find a Democrat as a Hypocrite!!!

The time for hating successful people is over!

After 8 years I have had enough!

America First! .... Deplorable in Southampton
By Undocumented Democrat (2065), southampton on Jan 17, 17 9:00 PM
Hyperbole, much?
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jan 17, 17 10:17 PM
We are taxed at the same rate or higher than all of the countries I mentioned, especially on New York State, Suffolk County, and in the Town of Southampton, NY. For $400/month each, we cover all healthcare costs on the East End. Why don't we have healthcare? Healthcare insurance companies and political parasites spend our savings on their salaries and pensions while common citizens suffer. Why do the Irish, Israelis, Japanese, Canadians, Danish, Finnish, French, English, Scottish, Belgian, Dutch, ...more
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Jan 17, 17 9:36 AM
For starters Your math doesn't add up. I'm not sure how you get 400 per month. You are not taking into account all of the people living out here with major medical issues. Most people with major medical issues are not receiving care at any of the east end hospitals. You would need to look at loss runs for each individual and run an aggregate report which is impossible to do. On flip side Medicaid and Medicare is ripe with fraud and mismanagement. Wasting tax payer dollars is common place with most ...more
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Jan 17, 17 12:02 PM
Most people with "major medical issues" are over 65 and are already covered by Medicare. If they are younger than 65 and not living in the East End then they are not covered by my proposed East End Healthcare, if they are younger than 65 and are being treated somewhere other than the East End "for a major medical issue" then a reciprocal rate needs to be negotiated with healthcare suppliers outside the East End. How about this? We offer to pay for their care in Iceland, they cover everyone in ...more
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Jan 17, 17 12:22 PM
David you did it! You have solved the nations health care crisis. What a well thought out and detailed plan you have come up with. I particularly notice your attention to detail. Trump should appoint you to the HHS. I particularly like your idea of shipping the sick to Iceland and the fact that no one under 65 has major medical issues. I guess none of them takes RX, sees a PCP, a specialist, needs PT, blood work at an off site lab,x rays or diagnostic tests at and off site lab. Good job David.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Jan 18, 17 6:52 AM
Get your hand out of my pocket Richard Braun
By 27dan (2854), Shinnecock Hills on Jan 17, 17 8:53 PM
Whose hand is in your pocket?

(AP) — UnitedHealth Group’s earnings soared 56 percent in the final quarter of 2016, helped by growth in its core health insurance business plus gains from its Optum business segment.

The nation’s largest health insurer beat Wall Street expectations for the quarter and also reaffirmed its earnings forecast for the new year.
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Jan 17, 17 9:05 PM
1 member liked this comment
"The incoming administration of Donald Trump has sent mixed signals in regard to health insurance, with him and the Republican-led Congress pushing a repeal of the ACA. Yet Trump this week said he wants to expand health insurance to all Americans."

Selfish Republicans.
By Mr. Snerdley (397), Southampton on Jan 18, 17 2:05 AM
Another BS liberal talking point. United health care offers many lines of insurance coverages. They have made a big push into ancillary products. In fact your blessed ACA limits profits (ironically not losses) an insurance carrier can take on insurance premiums (it's called MLR). It's one of the major reasons that start ups can't compete with the Big boys. Instead of complaining about profits maybe you should buy their stock. By the way the GVT wastes mountains of tax payer each year through fraud ...more
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Jan 18, 17 7:03 AM
Another GOP ala Alan Greenspan standard, lemon socialism. Socialism for the rich with deductions and subsidies, and capitalism for the poor.

Privatize profit, socialize losses. Ask Trump how well it works, if you can get a look at his tax returns...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jan 18, 17 7:10 AM
Free healthcare is not a right
Neither is free health insurance
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Jan 18, 17 5:28 AM
Well, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights would beg to differ with you.

Health care should not be a privilege. A healthy populace, much like a well educated one, benefits the commonwealth.

You certainly live up to your moniker.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jan 18, 17 9:20 PM
Healthcare costs in New York State last year were $20 Billion. There are 19.9 million people in New York. That's a little over $10,000 per person per year, slightly less than the US as a whole. Let's eliminate the insurance company middlemen. That's 10% off. Let's buy pharmaceuticals at Canadian prices. That's 50% off prescription drug prices or another 10% off. Let's cap malpractice lawyers at 10% of the settlements they get for their clients. That's another 10% off. Let's charge 30% less ...more
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Jan 18, 17 7:10 AM


Of every $10 spent on healthcare in the U.S., almost 90 cents is due to smoking, a new analysis says.

Using recent health and medical spending surveys, researchers calculated that 8.7 percent of all healthcare spending, or $170 billion a year, is for illness caused by tobacco smoke, and public programs like Medicare and Medicaid paid for most of these costs.

“Fifty years after the first Surgeon General’s report, tobacco use ...more
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Jan 18, 17 7:25 AM
What kind of tobacco? Anecdotally speaking, many of us know old timers who chomped on natural tobacco cigars and lived long lives.

Cigarettes are a different story. Dioxin bleached paper, fiberglass filters, and a chemlab worth of everything you could think of besides nicotine including chocolate and in some cases carbon tetrachloride.

There was a list of almost 600 additives to commercial tobacco provided to USDHHS a little more than two decades ago. Feel free to look it up...
Jan 18, 17 9:09 PM appended by Mr. Z
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jan 18, 17 9:09 PM
Perhaps health insurance premiums should be based on lifestyle choices, similar to life insurance. If you smoke, jack the premium, obese, up it goes, skydive , gotta pay more. Just some food for thought.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Jan 18, 17 11:08 AM
Or how about we take people who have low IQs and charge them 50% more than it actually costs to cover them with health care, charge 3 or 4 times more for pharmaceutical drugs than Canadians, Irish or Israelis pay, have ridiculously large deductibles and then we can divert the extra money to health insurance executives and pharmaceutical company executives.

And we can call that the US Healthcare system.

We are such suckers.
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Jan 19, 17 12:23 AM
David do everyone a favor and google ACA MLR. Stop spreading false information. You have no idea what you are talking about. Your posts are utterly ridiculous and your math is awful.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Jan 19, 17 6:15 AM
Why are you so protective of health insurance companies? They might have made some sense when healthcare was fragmented, with private medical practices run by one or two doctors, small hospital systems and expensive blood testing and diagnostic labs but these professionals and facilities are all in groups now and the administrative burden of payments from pre-paid expenses, which is all any insurance represents, is much simpler.

Cutting out insurance companies and letting hospital systems ...more
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Jan 19, 17 9:06 AM
I am not protective of health insurance companies. I am protective of free market capitalism and most importantly the truth! You spew out incorrect information and print it as fact. Health insurance companies must use at least 80% andin most cases 85% of premiums paid towards claims. Every other idea you have posted here is that of person who barely passed high school.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Jan 19, 17 10:39 AM
"DONALD J. TRUMP........ Please raise your right Hand!"
Do you swear to Make America Great Again?
"YES , I DO "
By 27dan (2854), Shinnecock Hills on Jan 20, 17 9:29 AM
National Center for Health Statistics
Center for Disease Control
Health Expenditures
Data are for the U.S.
Per capita national health expenditures: $9,523 (2014)

New York State population:. 19.75 million

Health Care State budget 48.1 billion
Health Care spending local government budget 15.1 billion

If you do the math, and even a poor high school student like myself can add, subtract and ...more
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Jan 20, 17 11:33 PM
1. If you are going to discount rates for weight and non smoking don't you need to surcharge people who smoke and are overweight to make the numbers work. You will also need to subject people to a phyisical and blood test to determine smoking status. some people will.
2. Assuming your numbers are correct then the per capita cost per person per month nationally is just under 800 per month (it's in your first paragraph at 9523 per year). I'm sure NY is higher than that.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Jan 21, 17 6:09 AM
So you accept the math? I'm a little self conscious about since I wasn't a good high school student.

New York State is a little higher than national average but not much. I used national averages and the state population because those are two rock solid facts. New York is a little higher, not much, and probably because we have very high litigation expenses, especially in the New York City public hospital system which is abused by the endless greed of malpractice litigation.

Easy ...more
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Jan 21, 17 9:09 AM
David did you go to HBays schools? They have had pretty good teachers over the years.
By summertimegal (97), southampton on Jan 21, 17 10:53 AM
Yes. You're the one with the grand idea. It's up to YOU to do it. We are relying on you to help us to stop being suckers. Just because Governor Cuomo ''talks a lot but there's not a lot of results'' doesn't mean you have mimic that. Talk to Lee Zeldin, spearhead this campaign. Cuomo's family is out here. Get your business plan to them. If it is as good as you say, it'll be a huge it. You replicate that around the nation and you are a hero. A filthy rich, hero who has helped millions.
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Jan 21, 17 4:34 PM
All this talk about health care is upsetting .. but razza brought up the discount rate; we are non smokers, non alcohol, don't waste $$ on lottery tickets.. and still do not get discounts on what we pay into the system. For just one of us the pay is $392.00 monthly.. it does not include my husband but his is similar. He goes to the VA (AND before you yell about that, he is a combat veteran from the Korean War) he has more copays than I do. By the way he did not get a pension from the jobs he had ...more
By summertimegal (97), southampton on Jan 21, 17 11:13 AM


Churchill bust back in Oval Office...


All 'Climate Change' References Deleted...

Women descend on DC day after anarchists create chaos...
March baffles women at inauguration...

Unhinged Media Meltdowns...

Maddow Cracks...

Coverage turns tense as TV pivots to protests...

Reporters outnumber protestors?

Businesses, Cars, Vandalized... ...more
By 27dan (2854), Shinnecock Hills on Jan 21, 17 12:45 PM
1 member liked this comment
Why would anyone complain about the VA? The best deserve the best. For all non vets, good enough will do.

Also, it would be great if non smoking, non obese people could buy healthcare insurance that excludes those free riding fat smokers. They could go pay for their own healthcare insurance.

That would solve alot of cost issues. I'd vote for that.
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Jan 21, 17 1:27 PM
the best part of the inauguration was seeing obama taken away in that helicopter!
By Erin 27 E (1281), hampton bays on Jan 21, 17 1:42 PM
We could take the current $800 per person per month of the entire US healthcare system, and reduce it by some simple methods
-- give a 10% discount for not smoking cigarettes an
-- another 10% discount for not being more than 40 lbs overweight,
-- buy our pharmaceuticals at Canadian prices and
-- limit the drain of frivolous lawsuits.

A few simple rules and we can get the cost down to below $400 per person per month. NO deductible. NO co-pay. All prescriptions included.

Especially ...more
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Jan 21, 17 3:05 PM
Again your math makes NO sense and Co-ops have proven to be massive failures costing taxpayers millions. (Remember health republic). Your ideas are refreshing and it's always great to hear different ideas but I'd reccomend staying in school and working on your math. You may want to get an education for a degree that is not in the healthcare industry.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Jan 21, 17 3:15 PM
Why are you not implementing that plan right now? Draw up the plans and start enrolling people. Put the money in a bank account, elect a board of directors, buy some liability insurance and go?

Who is the ''we'' you speak of? If you can guarantee that arrangement, I would by it tomorrow.
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Jan 21, 17 4:31 PM