Sources Say Romney To Choose Paul Ryan As His Vice President!

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If this is true it’s is so on now!

Mitt Romney is expected to tap Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan to be his vice presidential running mate, multiple news organizations reported in the wee hours of Saturday morning. The pick was first reported by NBC News’ Chuck Todd, who cited three sources.

The announcement will come Saturday morning in Norfolk, Va., in front of the USS Wisconsin. The event is the first stop of a multiday campaign bus tour for Romney and his newly minted running mate.

Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, has taken on an increased national profile as the architect of the GOP’s budget plan that proposes dramatic reforms to entitlement programs.

His stock as a VP pick rose in recent weeks as a chorus of conservatives, including the Weekly Standard and Wall Street Journal, publicly encouraged Romney to make a bold choice with Ryan. The pick is viewed as likely to energize the Republican base.

With Ryan as his running mate I will be donating to his campaign regularly now and doing what I can for his campaign. It’s a bold choice and one that is needed during these economic times.

Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 24 years.

33 Responses to “Sources Say Romney To Choose Paul Ryan As His Vice President!”

  1. 2


    If this is true then I beleive Romney just made one of smartest moves of his campaign…When it comes to cutting thru the crap on budgets and financials and talking about real numbers, there is no smarter person in the room than Paul Ryan.

    I was one of the fence sitters in this upcoming election. If Romney was going to chose a bland, offend no one kind of person for the ticket, I was going to sit this one out and let the Republican party take it up the rear in hopes somebody might learn their lesson 4 years from now…
    I am with you Curt, I will be making calls next week to see what I can do to help this ticket win in Wisconsin and the nation. I have never really gotten involved in a Presidential political campaign but I strongly believe that Rep. Paul Ryan can help pull us back from fiscal abyss this nation is heading for in the coming years.
    It’s optimistic to say the least, to think that the GOP can win Wisconsin in November but Rep. Paul Ryan is very popular amongst conservatives here so there just might be a fair chance now.

    I see it as a very simple choice, you can vote for the man who believes that we should continue heading in the same direction as the bankrupt nations of Europe or we can turn this country around start making the changes while we still can to keep us from going over that financial cliff. I wouldn’t have voted for Romney in November if I thought his VP would not help us out as a nation but I believe Ryan can get us there. It will not be easy nor will it be painless but we have nobody to blame but ourselves for the shape this country is in financially.

  2. 3

    Nathan Blue

    Good choice, but the Dems are going to pounce on this one and say things like: “Ryan hates poor people, and hates the elderly, and is the kind of choice a rich, out-of-touch, one-percenter would make to take away the basic rights of the rest of us…

    I wonder if the staff of SNL is already looking at who would make the best “Ryan” for the show.

    Already from Reuters:
    “But Ryan, a member of the House for 13 years and a Capitol Hill staffer before that, is a Washington insider without business or executive experience. That is in contrast to Romney, who has been critical of Washington insiders and says his years in private equity as a founder of Bain Capital have given him insight into the needs of U.S. businesses.” – Never mind that Obama has no business or executive experience.
    “Several Democrats have said that among the potential running mates for Romney, Ryan was the one they would most like to face because of his budget proposals.”

    So there you are. They are going to hammer this one like they did Palin.

  3. 6


    I am happy. On another blog I went through all of the candidates the article was speaking about and voiced my opinion. When it came to Paul Ryan, my comment was; this is my choice.

    If we do not vote barry out of office we will become a socialist republic and actually a communist country. If you conduct some research you will find that IF barry got a second term he would be determining what you should make. If he believes you do not make enough, you will get a raise, too much and you will get less. No wonder small businesses are holding back. This is pure communism. In addition his drone fly overs will get more intense. Please remember that each and every one of those drones CAN be armed. They were built for the military. Remember those internment camps he reopened right after inauguration and that he follows the steps of bill ayers. Let’s see. intern those to indoctrinate them. If it doesn’t work, send them to another camp and if it still does not work, eliminate/exterminate those who do not abide. Don’t believe me? read bill ayers and while on a roll remember what bill said, the United States would be destroyed from within – and it is. I could go on and on but for the most part I am speaking to the choir.

  4. 7

    another vet

    An excellent choice even though I was hoping big time for Rubio (assuming he meets eligibility requirements). He would have essentially sealed victory.

    Ryan is smart and does a better job of sticking to conservative principles than a lot of other Republicans. The debt needs to be dealt with in a big way and the solution won’t be pretty. He is one of the few pols who has had the courage to go public with a plan that addresses the issue. Most pols from both parties talk about the debt but don’t come out and say specifically what they want to do about it because it will require tough, unpopular choices. Hell, the Senate leader won’t even pass a budget because he said they aren’t that important right now. Ryan is definitely a step in the right direction. It also shows that Romney, unlike Obama, is serious about addressing the sad fiscal state this country is in compliments of both parties.

  5. 8


    Well, my stars and garters, Romney has picked Paul Ryan as his VP. Guess they figured, with Ryan, they would lock up the ‘frustrated accountant’ vote.

    So far, not a Tea Partier in sight. It is so comforting to know that the platform will not be looking to come out of the abyss, but going down in second gear instead of overdrive.

    Conservative publications are declaring that, “Paul Ryan is a bold choice”. Rightee-O, like when Andy chose Gomer as backup to his deputy Barney. What next, Goober for Attorney General and Ernest T. Bass for Secretary of State? And while being ‘bold’, I hear that Cooter is looking for work.

    Please wake me when it’s over

    Meanwhile, MSNBC is doing a one hour special on the presidential candidates. Mitt Romney has already sit down with Chuck F. Todd, but Obama has been dodging Chris Matthews. Probably because Chris pees on the floor every time he gets near Barack. (It explains the tingle)

    What Mittens fails to realize is that doing interviews with MSNBC is a little like taking a chicken on a guided tour of the poultry slaughterhouse.

    Come on people, Rome is burning and all we’re doing is changing the violin music and lowering the price of admission.

  6. 9


    He’s a real Catholic, a hunter, a family man, and a staunch conservative with a plan not just rhetoric. Great choice by Romney and not just a political choice but a smart businessman’s pick. This guy can goo toe to toe with Mr. O and his henchment and argue the facts. I am starting to like Romney more and more.

  7. 12

    Richard Wheeler

    Dems. won’t be able to beat on Ryan like they did on Palin. This guy is smart, well read and can put sentences together. He’ll do well against Biden. A good strong choice,he’ll bring Wisconsin, help in important midwest swing states Ohio and Mich.
    He’ll hurt in blue states like N.Y and Ca. but Mitt doesn’t care. Make Mitt a slight favorite to win it all.

  8. 13


    I’M SO HAPPY, to read you all happy and positive as I never seen before,
    even Richard Wheeler is happy giving a positive word for the MITT ROMNEY DECISION,
    WHICH indicate that many other liberals will vote for this side.
    their speech where so invigorating, they had the crowd in a unisson cheering,

  9. 14

    Common Sense

    @Nan G: Saw it, an absolute must see!! Very clear, precise, and to the point. I like that he started with an agreement in principle that reform needs to take place, then he lowered the boom!!

  10. 17

    I write this not to promote liberalism, but just as a political junkie — politics as sport.

    Romney has just redeemed himself, in my eyes. Previously, he was the ultimate mirror politician. Breathtakingly so. At every stage in his political career, he tried to make himself look like what he perceived the majority in the given political contest wished him to appear.

    I actually identify with Romney, quite a bit. He is exactly the same age as am I. Graduated from high school the same year. Both escaped conscription in the US Army during the Vietnam era by having the luck of a high lottery number. Both got dual higher degrees (me MD/PhD; he JD/MBA) — both in what were at the time novel combined degree programs). I feel fairly certain that I probably “met” him in person, way back when. I worked for two years at the usher/ticket taker at the Birmingham Theater which was, at the time, the closest movie theater to both his home (Bloomfield Hills) and his high school (the exclusive Cranbrook Academy). So if he went to the movies during his junior and senior years in H.S., there’s a good chance that I took his ticket, ripped it in half, and gave him back the stub.

    Anyway, he is completely qualified to be POTUS. I had such respect for him that I was openly touting him as the best candidate for POTUS in online discussions, as late as January 2008. Up until that time, he had the record of a pragmatic moderate. Perfect, in a hyperpolarized political climate. But then he lost the Iowa primary to Huckabee, despite spending a year shaking every hand in Iowa, and he realized that he’d never get the nomination as a Mass moderate. So he tacked hard Right. It was so transparently phony and, as some of you know very well, I’m not a hard Right kind of a guy. McCain whupped him (whupped Huckabee, too). That’s because — even in the GOP — the Tea Party, at the national level, doesn’t represent the majority of the GOP, much less represent the majority of the nation. So Republicans, to their credit, voted for the authentic moderate, as opposed to voting for the fake conservative.

    Fast forward to 2012. The guy who would now have the GOP nomination for President (and for whom I might actually vote), drops out in August 2011, after losing a STRAW POLL in Iowa. That would be former Minnesota Governor Pawlenty (who’s health care vision is quite similar to Obama’s, actually). Pawlenty has great ideas, but he doesn’t deserve to be President, because he’s a total wuss. Scared off by losing a STRAW POLL, for gosh sakes. The man just doesn’t have the balls to be President. Romney doesn’t have the balls to be President, either, as far as that goes. But Ryan — the man has both principles and 16 pound lead shot puts for balls.

    So why does Romney choose Ryan? Romney would have been much more comfortable with Portman of Ohio or Pawlenty, but he was running a losing campaign. Look at

    This is a really interesting web site. The guy who runs it has a background in baseball sabermetrics. If you have never seen the movie “Moneyball,” you have missed a really great movie. I don’t have the time or ambition to explain it all, but, basically, Nate Silver (who runs is a statistical genius. He totally nailed both the 2008 outcomes, state by state, better than any other poll or political wonk and then did the same thing with the senate and House elections in 2010. At the time, he was just running a little private blog, but he was so dead on accurate that he was hired by the New York Times. Anyway, here’s his current URL:

    You’ll see that things weren’t looking at all good for Romney. So desperate times call for desperate measures. Enter Ryan.

    This is going to be the best and most consequential election of all of our lifetimes. Finally… FINALLY… what’s going to be laid out before the American people are two different visions of America. Basically, the America of Social Security and Medicare or the America of the pre-union, pre-Theodore Roosevelt 1890s. I really hate the concept of religious (i.e. social conservative) war. But I love the concept of economic war.

    Yes, Ryan is a good Catholic. But neither Ryan nor Romney, to their great credit, is going to make this into an election about religion or abortion or homosexuality, which are fake issues, about which POTUS has no real power. It’s now going to be an election about the future of social security and Medicare. These are the biggest parts of the budget. They are the issues which affect every single American — no matter what his/her religion, opinion on the number of rounds which are permissible in a semi-automatic magazine, degree of homophobia, position on the criminalization of abortion, opinion on the height and degree of electrification of the US/Mexican border fence, and opinion on how many mach three fighter jets are required to maintain our military superiority.

    In short, the election is now going to be a black/white choice on the most important issues which will define the future of the USA.

    Perfect, just perfect.

    Well done, Mitt.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  11. 18

    Richard Wheeler

    Common Sense Thanks. Suggest you read Larry’s #17. He expresses very succinctly why Ryan is a good choice for Romney. I think the only better choice would have been Rubio,incredibly charismatic and able to influence the very important Latin demographic.
    Assuming Romney can win Fla.with strong Rubio backing, the election will be decided on Ryan’s home turf–the midwest. A blue collar Catholic. A good family man. A fitness buff. Solid.
    Any “strategic weaknesses’ would only affect states Romney doesn’t need to carry.

    Still think Rubio will challege Ryan to be next Conservative POTUS

  12. 19

    Hi Nathan, You said:

    I know people in healthcare who already report doctors who won’t see Medicaid patients, because they’d go out of business.

    Conservatives think that if 100% of doctors aren’t participating in Medicare and/or Medicaid, that this is somehow an indictment of these programs. Actually, it’s an indication of how responsibly these programs are being run.

    All health insurance companies have to put together provider networks (hospitals and doctors). All health insurance companies try to control costs (one of the pillars of capitalism or just plain good management). Let’s take Medicare. 92% of doctors in the USA participate. In other words, 92% of doctors in America think that they can make money taking care of Medicare patients, so they voluntarily participate. Close to 100% of hospitals participate. I actually think that Medicare is overpaying hospitals and doctors. If only 80% of doctors were participating and 90% of hospitals were participating, then there would still be the largest network of physicians and hospitals in the world of health insurance. But Medicare is very sensitive to the demands of its clients (Medicare beneficiaries and politicians); so it overpays and has nearly universal participation. And, in the process, has by far the most extensive provider network of any insurance plan, the greatest client satisfaction, and the lowest costs. It’s simply the best large scale health care system in the world.

    With regard to Medicaid, the political calculation was that it should be a relatively bare bones safety net. Reimbursement is much lower; therefore provider participation is much lower — but still adequate to meet the minimum needs of the uninsured. If Medicaid paid more, then they could get the same level of provider participation as Medicare — but the political power of the Medicare population is much greater than that of the Medicaid population. But the point is that Medicaid does provide at least a bare bones safety net and does so very efficiently — cost wise. The alternative is to leave 50 million uninsured Americans without any health care at all, save for that voluntarily provided on a pro bono basis. So Medicaid is way better than nothing at all, if not of the same high quality as is Medicare. The key feature is that, despite the low levels of payment, there are still enough hospitals and doctors who find that it makes sense to participate in Medicaid to meet the minimum needs of Medicaid. From the perspective of cost containment, this is just good management.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  13. 20

    Common Sense

    @Richard Wheeler: Thanks Ricard, just gave Larry’s comments a read and am in agreement. I guess having lived in Orange County and now in San Diego County and having had my family and raised them here gives me a similar perspective. I do believe Rubio will ignite Florida for this ticket and yes it is very important. From my view, such issues as abortion, so-called “gay” rights, and the so-called “war on woman” are secondary issues to our economy, job creation, and our national debt. Are they important, to a certain degree yes but without first addressing the issues which put our nation at risk they pale in comparison.

  14. 21


    I have read you making this argument for how well doctors/hospitals are doing on Medicare before. BUNK.

    My own doctor, a general practioner, charges $60.00 for an office visit. Of that $60.00, he is paid 80% of $48.11, the amount allowed by Medicare as reasonable and customary in his area. He gets $38.49 for a $60.00 office visit. Tell me, could you continue to function taking a 35% hit on your fees?

    More and more we see studies that show that doctors will cease taking Medicare/Medicaid patients when Obamacare gets rolling full steam. We already have a shortage of doctors in this country, and Obamacare (which you seem to support) will only make it worse. I know a couple of doctors that no only do a cash only business. Their offices will fill out your insurance claims, but you have to pay them up front and submit the claim yourself with reimbursement going to you, not to the practioner. Look for this to become the norm, not the exception.

    As to Medicare; it is a horribly abused system, as is any forced government charity.

    And you say that you actually think that Medicare overpays doctors and hospitals. Do you think getting 65% of your fee is overpayment? And since you are tuned into the costs of hospitals, why don’t you tell us how much this should cost us:

    the senario:

    you are rushed to the ER for severe abdominal pains. It is determined that you have to have emergency surgery and once the surgeon gets in, he learns that you need a colostomy. It is a “dirty” surgery, and you are in ICU for two days, and your total hospital stay is eleven days. Your hospital stay includes physical therapy and numerous visits from an ostomy nurse who also teaches you how to care for your pouch once you leave the hospital.

    Price that, and then tell me what you think Medicare would cover.

  15. 23

    Hi Retire:

    My own doctor, a general practioner, charges $60.00 for an office visit. Of that $60.00, he is paid 80% of $48.11, the amount allowed by Medicare as reasonable and customary in his area. He gets $38.49 for a $60.00 office visit. Tell me, could you continue to function taking a 35% hit on your fees?

    First, Medicare doesn’t (and SHOULDN’T) pay for what is “reasonable and customary.” Actually, to begin with, “reasonable and customary” is an old term, which doesn’t apply to most insurance plans, of any type, anymore. What happens (with both Medicare and other types of what are called “PPO insurance” (of which Medicare is an example and which are the most common types of policies — with “PPO” being short for “preferred provider organization”)) is that the insurance company (in this case Medicare) states — up front — what it is willing to pay for the entire list of medical services and then the doctors who want to be in the PPO network agree to participate — but only if they feel that they can make a profit on the amount the insurance company (in this case, Medicare) is willing to pay. The only real differences is that Medicare is an “opt out” program (all doctors are automatically enrolled, unless they voluntarily opt out — with the opt out being good for two years, before they have to fill out the opt out paperwork again), while Blue Cross, Aetna, etc. PPOs are “opt in” (the doctor has to actively apply to become a member). But, in each case, the doctor agrees in advance to provide the list of services for the stated price.

    In the case of Medicare, 92% of the nation’s doctors agree to participate (i.e. they did not “opt out”). If you want to find out how many primary care doctors (or how many orthopedic surgeons, etc.) are Medicare participants in your geographic area, Medicare makes it simple to do this:

    In my zip code (92647), I have my choice of 457 primary care physicians within 15 miles, including all of the best internal medicine and family medicine doctors in my region. If I don’t like any of them, I’m perfectly free to go to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN or to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas or virtually any doctor or hospital in the country — a freedom of choice not matched by any Blue Cross, Aetna, United Health Care, Humana, etc. policy.

    In the example you gave, your doctor is NOT paid ONLY $38.49 for a visit for which he would like to charge $60, he is paid $48.11, of which Medicare pays $38.49 and you pay the other $10 or, more commonly, the private Medicare secondary insurance policy for which you pay out of pocket picks up the $10. Almost all private insurance these days has patient co-pays (most often 20%) and this is also the way that Medicare works. If your doctor is only billing Medicare for the $38.49 and accepting that as payment in full, he is actually guilty of Medicare fraud. He is required, by law, to bill you (or your supplemental Medicare insurance policy) for the other 20%. If he accepts the $38.49 as payment in full, then he’s breaking the law to be competitive with other doctors in your area who are also breaking the law, which further proves that he’s getting paid enough to make a profit. If he feels he’s not getting paid enough to make a profit, then he’s free to opt out of Medicare.

    With regard to there being a doctor shortage, if ObamaCare is implemented, yes, there might well be some growing pains. This happened in Massachusetts, although the large majority of Massachusetts residents feel that the overall benefits of RomneyCare greatly outweigh the slight inconvenience of more crowded waiting rooms and slightly longer waits for appointments. We now have 50 million uninsured Americans. This causes 45,000 otherwise avoidable deaths per year (i.e. 15 times more deaths from lack of health insurance PER YEAR than were killed in the 9/11 attacks, for which we waged Asian land wars which will ultimately cost $trillions, and the most effective thing ever done to prevent another attack were to install locks on cockpit doors — but I digress).

    There are currently nearly 1 million personal bankruptcies per year for reasons of health care expenses — the large majority of these occurring in people who HAVE health insurance, but find that their health insurance doesn’t begin to cover their total costs. Medicare has the highest customer satisfaction, the largest provider network, the best health care outcomes, and the lowest rate of medical bankruptcies.

    Supply and demand. With more demand for medical services, there will be a larger supply of physicians. My medical school class at the University of Michigan (1975) had 220 graduates. Today, Michigan graduates only 171 doctors per year. This happened at medical schools all over the country, because the AMA, fearing a doctor glut, lobbied for cutbacks in medical school enrollment. Easy to cut back; it will take longer to build back up, but that’s now what’s going on.

    No more time now. Just a brief response. It’s an issue which defies concise summary.

    With regard to Medicare being “horribly abused,” what on earth do you mean? That people go to their doctors because they are only feeling sick and not because of an actual medical emergency? Well, despite this “horrible abuse,” Medicare is still the most efficient, cost effective plan of America’s large health plans. With regard to the hypothetical anecdote in question, the answer is that, on average, Medicare pays a sufficient amount that almost all hospitals and doctors find that it makes sense to participate. How this actually works requires an understanding of the Medicare “DRG” system. Wikipedia is as good a place as any to start:

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  16. 24


    While the Ryan choice will win over many conservatives who had reservations about Mitt Romney, it will also cost centrist votes owing to Ryan’s unambiguous positions on Social Security, Medicare, and high profile social issues. It won’t be so easy now for Romney to remain vague enough to appeal across a wide segment of the political spectrum. He’ll soon have to start talking specifics himself, or it will seem like he’s less qualified for the presidential slot than his running mate.

    So, what’s up with the picture? Did Ryan forget to put on his belt, or is he trying to convey a subliminal solidarity message to the NRA?

  17. 25


    they shoot smears on PAUL RYAN, one after the other,
    anyone who vote for those OBAMIST, MUST HAVE A CRACK ON THEIR BRAIN.

  18. 26


    Sometimes, Larry, I have to wonder if you really know what you are talking about. i.e. you said:

    “If he accepts the $38.49 as payment in full he is breaking the law to be competitive with other doctors in the area”

    Perhaps you are speaking of some unwritten law, but there is no law disallowing doctors to accept the Medicare payment as full payment. On the contrary, the very website you link provides a check box for “Only show providers who accept Medicare-approved amounts as payment in full.”

    I have no trust in your government sponsored website as it also lists dentists.

    Also, you are wrong about Medicare being the only health insurance provider that allows you to see any doctor anywhere you choose. I have United Health Care and I am free to seek medical services where ever I choose. I spent a couple of years (23 months, to be exact) in Mississippi and not once was my visit to a physician there denied by UHC because he was “out of network” and I did not need a referral either or pre-approval. And while you sing the praises of Medicare, you forgot to mention that Medicare rejects more claims than any other health care insurance in the nation.

    You seem to want to brag on MassCare, but also, again you ignore reality. How much of the Stimulus package, that will be paid for by ALL American taxpayers, went to prop up MassCare (don’t bother to look it up. It was $222 million for MassCare for the year 2011)? And why, if MassCare is such a success, did it require an infusion of tax dollars from all the other states?

    As to the 1 million bankruptcies: medical expenses were just ONE of the debts listed by those who filed for bankruptcies. Some of them as little as $100.00. That is hardly what drove them into debtor’s court. For the “50 million” uninsured “Americans”: that includes the estimated 20 million (BP estimates) illegals in this country. It also includes those who are young, can afford health insurance but choose not to purchase it; those who are eligible for the state CHIP program but are too lazy to sign up; and (most importantly) those who were uninsured for as little as ONE DAY during the year.

    Back to your “92% of all doctors accept Medicare” claim:

    From USA Today, 6/21/2010

    The American Academy of Family Physicians say 13% of respondents didn’t participate in Medicare

    The American Medical Association says that 17% of more than 9,000 doctors surveyed restrict the number of Medicare patients in their practice. Among primary care physicians, the rate is 31%.

    The federal health insurance program for seniors paid doctors on average 78% of what private insurers paid in 2008.

    In New York, about 1,100 doctors have left Medicare. Even the medical society president isn’t taking new Medicare patients.

    So…………….it seems that even the medical associations disagree with the government website.

    But then, I suspect you think that health care is a “right” and not a commodity that should be left up to the person who needs to purchase it. Funny, I can’t find that “right” in the U.S. Constitution.

  19. 27

    Hi Retire,

    You don’t understand the Medicare regulations and you also don’t understand private insurance.

    Here’s the language of the Medicare regulations:

    Doctors and suppliers who agree to accept assignment accept the Medicare-approved amount as payment in full for Part B services and supplies. You pay the coinsurance and deductible amounts. If assignment isn’t accepted, charges are often higher. This means you may pay more. In addition, you may have to pay the entire charge at the time of service. Medicare will then send you its share of the charge. There is a limit on the amount your doctors and providers can bill you. The highest amount of money you can be charged for a covered service by doctors and other health care providers who don’t accept assignment is called the limiting charge. The limit is 15% over Medicare’s approved amount.

    Now, most physicians accept assignment. the “Medicare approved amount” is NOT the same thing as the Medicare payment. The “Medicare approved amount” is — as I explained in my post — the Medicare paid amount, plus 20%. And the doctor is legally required to bill the patient for the 20% co-payment. Not to bill this amount is Medicare fraud. So, if your doctor “accepts assignment” (as most do), he’s legally required to bill you (or your Medicare secondary) for the extra 20%. This is also the way that private insurance works, by the way. Providers are contractually obligated to bill for co-pays, although many don’t, for purposes of being competitive with other docs who are not honoring provider contracts.

    I’ll get to the rest of your objections tomorrow. Dinner time, followed by the Olympics.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  20. 28

    Hi Retire (picking up where I left off):

    Percent of doctors who are Medicare participants = 92% of all doctors, nation-wide.

    Comparing Medicare claim rejections to private insurance is an apples to oranges comparison. The implication that private insurance has less economic “rationing” through claim denials is simply not true. Quite the contrary, in fact. In the first place, most private insurance plans (I’ll get to yours in a moment) require pre-authorization for many tests and procedures. Medicare does not require this pre-authorization. So many private insurance claims are pre-denied, because the proposed test or service doesn’t get done. A common example is weight loss treatment programs, but this can apply to a great many things, including cancer treatment. Either not approved outright, in advance, or switched to something else. Secondly, many Medicare denials are for simple coding errors, e.g. When these claims are resubmitted and correctly coded, they are then paid. Thirdly, many denied claims are then paid upon appeal — with the appeal process being much more transparent and user friendly with Medicare than with private insurance.

    With respect to the accuracy of the link I gave listing Medicare providers, you didn’t accept this because it included dentists. But you obviously didn’t understand how the web site worked. You choose the specialty in question. I chose primary care/family practice. I got 457 providers within 15 miles and this didn’t include a single dentist. When I searched by dentists, I got only 12. Why is this? Because Medicare doesn’t even cover routine dentistry. The only “dentists” listed are those trained in maxillofacial and oral surgery, with the only oral surgery procedures covered being true medical (as opposed to dental) procedures, such as jaw fractures and what not.

    But don’t take my word for it. Anyone can search for Medicare providers, in any specialty, in their own zip codes. Do this and compare/contrast the available Medicare providers with those providers available in your own insurance network.

    With respect to “illegals” in the uninsured sector, they total about 15%. So we have 42.5 million US citizens uninsured, including 20 million Americans with jobs, e.g.

    I read where there are something like 15 million people with full time jobs which do not provide health insurance and which pay 10 dollars an hour or less. Do you really think it’s possible to buy decent health insurance with a job which pays $20,000 per year?

    Here’s the medical bankruptcy citation:

    Here’s the reference for the 45,000 annual deaths owing to lack of health insurance

    With regard to your own excellent health insurance policy, you provide no details. Virtually no one has a health insurance policy with an unrestricted provider network and no required pre-authorizations! To represent your personal policy as being representative would not be correct. What is the total cost of your policy (your employer’s contribution and your contribution)? How old are you? Did you have any pre-existing conditions? What is your deductible and co-pay? The average cost per year per Medicare beneficiary is about $9,000, nation-wide. The average age is about 75. And this is for a virtually unlimited provider network and no pre-authorizations and no exclusions for pre-existing conditions and no lifetime caps on payments, negligible deductible, etc.

    Provider organization surveys are notoriously unreliable. Of course, providers want to maximize their payments. Of course they try to make the best case possible to obtain the best deals they can. Of course, there are all sorts of gloom and doom forecasts. I saw one so called “survey” which stated that 61% of doctors would quit practicing medicine if ObamaCare is implemented. This is utterly ridiculous.

    I’d like to editorialize about one thing. When you speak disdainfully about a “right to health care,” you are clearly trying to frame this as some sort of socialism versus free market issue. You have a seemingly religious belief that the government can’t do certain things better than just leaving it all to the private sector. But I’ve previously explained that health care doesn’t follow traditional market economic rules. This is because in health care the sellers (doctors) make the bulk of the most expensive purchase decisions on behalf of the buyers (patients).

    The analogy I use is to pretend that you employed a professional to make all of your household purchasing decisions, where the professional got a cut of most of your purchases. This would be for everything from food to major appliances to household remodeling. And many of these decisions had life or death implications. And you didn’t understand the difference between a dishwasher and an oven. And you really didn’t care how much you were paying, because it was mostly being covered by your employer-provided household insurance. Well, that’s pretty much how health care works and it’s one of the several reasons why Medicare does a much better job of providing health care services than does most other forms of health care financing.

    So it’s not simply a matter of a “right to health care.” It’s a matter of economic efficiency and product excellence.

    P.S. Let’s finish with Medicare first, and then we can go on to hash out RomneyCare.

    P.P.S.S. If anyone remains confused about how Medicare pays physicians, I found this helpful example:

    About assignment:

    Some health care providers who accept Medicare patients accept something called “assignment.” Providers accepting assignment agree to charge only prices that Medicare approves. Providers who do not accept assignment can charge up to 15 percent more than Medicare-approved prices by federal law.

    Here is an example of how assignment affects you:

    Provider’s actual charge for a service: $200
    Medicare-approved charge for that service: $100
    Medicare pays (with or without assignment)
    80% of the approved charge: $80
    You pay (with or without assignment)
    20% of approved charge (coinsurance): $20

    If the provider accepts assignment, your total cost is $20 ($20 of coinsurance and nothing else). If the provider does not accept assignment, you are responsible to pay 15 percent more than Medicare’s approved charge. Fifteen percent more than $100 (the approved charge) is $15. Your total cost is $35 ($20 of coinsurance plus $15 surcharge).

    Before using a provider’s service, ask first whether that provider accepts Medicare. Second, ask whether he or she accepts Medicare assignment. A provider who does not regularly accept assignment may do so on a case-by-case basis. Ask whether he or she is willing to accept you individually on an assignment basis.

    Providers who accept assignment will not necessarily refer you to specialists who accept assignment. Ask your provider to try, whenever possible, to send you to specialists who accept assignment.

    As I wrote earlier, the large majority of physicians not only participate in Medicare (92%) but also accept assignment. Why would they voluntarily agree to get paid less (by “accepting assignment”)? To be competitive with other doctors. This, again, shows that physicians participate in Medicare because they make money doing it. The idea that Medicare loses money for providers which is made up for by charging non-Medicare patients more for services is not true.

    Of course, doctors want to get paid as much as possible. But no doctor is going to agree to treat patients (except on an occasional, voluntary pro bono basis) who cost him/her money. A great illustration is Medicaid, as I wrote earlier. The percentage of doctors participating in Medicaid is much less than in the case of Medicare. But both Medicare and Medicaid are able to put together adequate provider networks to meet their needs. Being well managed, they don’t pay more money than they have to pay to retain their providers. If the provider network in a given specialty in a given geographic area gets a little thin, then they just increase the reimbursement until they attract sufficient numbers of providers to meet the needs. Again, this is simply good management.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

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    Nan G
    Larry, that first chart you use is from 2009.
    More recent numbers are from 2011.
    Percentage Of U.S. Office-Based Physicians Accepting New Medicaid Patients, 2011
    ALL 50 States= 69.4%
    Lowest is New Jersey with only 40.4%
    Highest is Wyoming with 99%
    Source: National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey Electronic Medical Records Supplement, 2011 and Health Affairs. Excludes cases where acceptance was blank or unknown.

    I thought this caveat from Phil Galewitz, Kaiser Health News, was interesting:

    Physicians’ participation in Medicaid is an important barometer of patients’ access to care, but not the only one since patients also get care at community health centers and from non-physician providers such as nurse practitioners.

    Up until now I have always had a doctor when I made a doctor appointment.
    Apparently that will no longer be the case.

  22. 31


    Since you tend to be windy, I will take each issue directly, but not necessarily in the order you listed:

    Your link to the Kaiser Foundation (a left wing group, I may add) lists Texas as having a 95% Medicare acceptance rate. Nothing could be farther from the truth. As a matter of fact, doctors in Texas are withdrawing from the Medicare program in record numbers. From a Houston Chronicle (a left wing publication) study published May 18, 2010:

    “Two years after a survey found nearly half of Texas doctors weren’t taking some new Medicare patients, new data shows 100 to 200 a year are now ending all involvement with the program. Before 2007, the number of doctors opting out averaged less than a handful a year.

    The largest number of doctors opting out comes from primary care, a field already short of practitioners nationally and expecially in Texas. Psychiatrists also make up a large share of the pie, causing one Texas leader to say “God forbid that a senior has dementia.

    In 2008, 42 percent of Texas doctors participating in the survey said they were no longer accepting new Medicare patients. Among primary-care doctors, the percentage was 62 percent.”

    Your Kaiser study is wrong, at least in relation to the State of Texas. As the older Medicare patients die off, and the Baby Boomers enter the market, they will have fewer choices in physicians. That is the reality of the situation, not what you seem to want to make it. Perhaps payment is higher in California since Medicare pays according to region (a rural doctor in Texas gets paid less than a doctor in Dallas, Houston or Austin).

    Now on to your $20,000.00/yr income example.

    Let’s use a single parent with two children as an example: that parent is probably eligible for Medicaid, and if not, certainly is eligible for CHIPS, which covers not only the children, but the care giver, as well. The cost for CHIPS to a family of three with an income of $20K/yr is a $50.00 enrollment fee. Hardly a deal breaker. I didn’t research to see what it is in California, but I am sure it is near the same as Texas. But let’s take it even farther by saying that the single parent works at Wal-Mart and earns just $20K/yr; that parent has access to Wal-Mart Health Insurance which is offered to all full-time and part-time employees. The cost, according to a non-partisan website that researches the costs and benefits of health insurance providers, is as little as $11/per month with children being covered for an additional $15/per month. The total cost of $26/per month is less than the cost for basic cable TV or a cell phone. Most companies that hire low pay, entry level workers, like McDonald’s, Target, etc, offer low cost health insurance to their employees. And let’s not ignore the fact that a $20K/yr wage earner with two kids is eligible for public housing and food stamps, as well as not being required to pay ANY income tax and will actually get back more than they paid in through the EITC. April 15th becomes payday.

    If health insurance is a priority, then perhaps people should forego such things as cable TV, cell phones, fast food, etc and purchase the low cost plans that almost all companies now offer.

    Now to the bogus medical bankruptcy study you cited: it was written by three Harvard gurus, including Elizabeth Warren (now where have we heard that name before?) and was soundly rejected by many. The other two authors of the study were Drs. Woolhandler and Himmestein, both members of Physicians For A National Health Program and proponents of a national health care system much like the programs offered in Great Britain. According to one critique of the study shows “The authors define it as meaning anyone who declared bankruptcy and had at least $1,000.00 in “medical debts” or were off work for two weeks due to illness. So anyone who was off work for two weeks due to illness, although they may have listed any medical debt, no matter how small, were included in the study. I hardly think that a medical debt of less than $1,000.00 was a contributing factor to the declaration of bankruptcy. Most medical providers are more than willing to work with a patient in the payment of medical debt. Just slightly over $19/per week would pay that debt off in a year. For someone making $20K/year, that is just over 5% of their income.

    Your study was not just bogus, it was tainted and the numbers were crunched to give the desired outcome. When outlets like ABC and The Atlantic criticize the study, you know it is not accurate but was designed with results that supported an agenda.

    Now to the claim denial stats; I took them right from the 2008 AMA Medical Insurer Report Card, so if you have a problem with the results, take it up with the AMA. As to my own UHC insurance, it is provide through AT&T, at no cost to me. I have yet to have prior approval for any medical services, no matter which state I sought them in. So you don’t know squat about how it has worked for me. I recently had a CT scan and there was no prior approval requested through my doctors office. I simply walked to the hospital where I was having it done since it is connected to the medical office building, perscription in hand, and had the scan done. No pre-approval. It was, as were my physician office visits in Mississippi (with my $30/copay), covered.

    Now, I am confused as to why you felt the need to attribute my belief that health care is not a “right” to a religious dogma. Do you think that burial insurance is also a “right” since we are ALL going to die eventually? Or why you think that doctors make most of the decisions about a person’s health care when health is really a personal responsibility, and if you are so stupid that you don’t know the difference between a dishwasher and an oven, you probably should be in some institution where you cannot harm yourself or others because you certainly meet the requirements for the classification of idiot. Doctors should serve as advisors, not as dictators who require any medical treatment. I don’t let a car dealer tell me when I need a new vehicle, why should I not be informed regarding my own health care and make those decisions on my own?

    Add: I went to your government website and typed in my zip code and chose primary care physicians. It listed 207 “primary care” physicians, many who were oncologists. It also listed doctors that were NOT within the 15 mile range as claimed, but did list some physicians who are 125 miles from me. The next nearest town to me is 17 miles away. And to meet the 15 mile criterion, it should have listed only three doctors, the number of ones in my town. If I need an oncologist, I have to travel at least 17 miles to one of the two nearest towns, or go to Austin. It also listed doctors from Texas Oncology, a practice based in Austin, which is almost 55 miles from me. Listed also were doctors in Sweetwater, Texas, over 300 miles from me. Seems the government is a bit confused by what “15 mile radius” means.

  23. 32


    With Ryan as his running mate I will be donating to his campaign regularly now and doing what I can for his campaign. It’s a bold choice and one that is needed during these economic times.

    Oh really? Business as usually gets a big “high-five” from you? Why are you so hyped on this continuation of Obama’s economic policies?????

  24. 33


    @Nan G:

    Republican picks Tea Party favourite Congressman as vice presidential running mate

    This guy is Tea Party? You’re kidding, right? I thought the Tea Party was about small government.

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