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Sen. Brown defends need for health-care reforms

Published: Fri, September 4, 2009 @ 12:08 a.m.

The public option would make private insurers behave better, he told an audience of 434 at YSU.


U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown at YSU


U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown at Youngstown State University

By Jeanne Starmack

YOUNGSTOWN — Everyone in the room Thursday night at Youngstown State University’s Kilcawley Center likely knows someone who’s been through it — a health-care crisis, said U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown.

Everyone could point to cases where people are discriminated against because of age or a pre-existing condition, or cases where people have found their health insurance canceled because it exceeded a cap, said Brown, D-Ohio.

“The status quo isn’t working” for families or businesses, he said.

At a lecture sponsored by the Center for Working Class Studies at YSU, 434 people listened to Brown as he talked about the need for health-care reform.

The event was not a town hall meeting like the ones in August where legislators took questions from members of the public, though questions were permitted after Brown spoke.

The senator began by praising unions, saying they fought for reforms that brought clean water and air, a prohibition of child labor, pure food laws, women’s rights and rights for disabled people.

He touched on the legacy of Sen. Edward Kennedy, who died Aug. 26, saying Kennedy chose him to serve on the Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee, which wrote the Senate’s health-care bill.

Brown also helped write a public health-care option that would be competition for private insurers.

Low-income families and individuals who can’t afford insurance would “have lots of help from the government,” with subsidies for the public option or private insurance companies, Brown said.

The competition from the public option is important, he said, pointing out that “In Ohio, one or two insurance companies control 80 percent of the market.”

He also defended the government’s ability to operate a public program.

“It’s amazing, when I hear insurance executives say ad nauseam that government can never do anything right,” he said.

He said Medicare’s administrative costs are far lower than those of private companies.

Brown also decried conservative Republicans who have engaged in “fear-mongering” with talk of death panels.

He said he believes those tactics have backfired, with more people now supporting reforms.

Not everyone was convinced.

“I’m concerned. If we try to cover everyone ... how is this not going to bankrupt the system?” asked Andrew Smith of Liberty.

“Don’t confuse universal coverage with single-payer,” Brown replied.

“The public option won’t put private companies out of business. It will make them behave better.”

Jeremiah Blaylock of Canfield asked what can be done to simplify the issue so everyone can get health care.

“Listen to the president,” said Brown, referring to President Barack Obama’s upcoming address to Congress and the nation Wednesday night.

“If you have insurance, you can keep what you have, and if you don’t, we’re going to help you get it.”

Congress is expected to vote on health-care reform this fall.

“The most important vote I will ever cast, I believe, is the one I will cast this fall in favor of this health-care plan,” he said.



1saddad(645 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Do you have health insurance? It seems most of the rightwing nuts shooting their mouths off are on medicare or VA healthcare. I bet you have some kind of coverage-why dont you use it? It covers mental health too ya know.

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2Champsummers(4 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

1/3 of Government Files are lost. Makes you feel great about the Government running your health care doesn't it.


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3saddad(645 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Tell us who pays your medical expenses ProJob.

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4JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Pro, your argument is invalid.

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5JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Lie? You're probably referring to my white supremacist assertion on a totally different post, right pro? By definition that is exactly what your posts have shown that you are. Literally.

BTW, you're missing the Lawrence Welk program right now.

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6JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Were I to take questions from white supremacists I could name dozens; sadly for you, I don't. I would also imagine my definition of "success" varies significantly from yours.

Also, how did you get back to socialism??? We've moved on to the fact that you are a bigoted white supremacist.

Lawrence Welk was also not a white supremacist, nobody is perfect though, right? Enjoy reading "Mein Kampf" this weekend...again.

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7dreamcatcher52(140 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Sorry, Mr. Brown, but you're wrong. We won't be able to keep the health insurance we have now. Oh, maybe for awhile, 5 years or less. But if you read the bill carefully, you will see that eventually we will all be forced onto the "public option". Ryan and Wilson are cowards who wouldn't even face their constituents, and Brown simply gave a speech of democratic talking points. But we the people will not accept what they are trying to ram down our throats. I was not fooled by all this "hope and change" crap. I hope that those who were will now come to their senses. I also hope it's not too late.

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8cambridge(3262 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

ProMerkin.....$9,000.00 before your health care kicks in and you call that the best coverage in the world? Hilarious!

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9epicfail(217 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

+1 to Jeff for poking ProMerkin with a stick. I'd swear ProMerkin was a Poe if I didn't know better.

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10saddad(645 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

With a deductable of $5000. that is catastrophic illness insurance. For most people for most of their lives that is no medical insurance at all. So Pro gets a point for consistency even if he doesnt understand history (Nazis were reactionaries) or think very well.

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11andersonathan(682 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I know for a fact this is a pipe dream to see Brown cast a no vote on Cap and Trade, and hopefully health care will die in congress a slow painful death and never make it to the senate.

But reality is if people think these 2 bills are the change they have been looking for from Washington then they deserve what they get in the end. Enjoy job losses, sky rocketing utilities, California building codes, higher taxes to pay for it. Enjoy taking a pill for the cure instead of the real fix, enjoy a limited amount of nurses and doctors. Enjoy the debt of the initial plan of action the realize you need more every year to keep it going. Enjoy support illegals, supporting abortions, enjoy the IRS dictating to you, looking into your finances and the look on your face when they tell you you do not qualify for Obama Care.

Do not try writing a bill for little or no cost reforming torte. Do not take the time to write a bill that will cost a tax payer nothing at all in opening up health care insurance on a national level in stead of a individual state level. And delay any major change and allow a free market system to work.

And that last paragraph goes out to Clinton, Bush and Obama

I can only assume the education system in this city reflects the views and the mind set of supporters to the like of Williams, Ryan, Brown and Obama.

Face it people. Liberal Congress and liberal senators and Obama and his czars have took the words like socialism, communism and gift wrapped it under a new word called progressive. Progressive views , project Ohio etc.. Nothing more than socialism under a different name.

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12cambridge(3262 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

ProMerkin....LOL! You pay $9,000,00 dollars before your insurance kicks in and your happy about it? You know what so am I. Your an idiot.

I have Blue Shield of California, dental, $10 prescriptions and vision and can pick my own doctor or specialist without a referral for $220 a month with no deductible. I can't be dropped or arbitrarily denied coverage. Know why? Because I'm in a giant pool through my UNION. This coverage used to be free for retirees and their spouse but due to the lack of a public option insurance companies can charge whatever they want so now we have to pay. When a member goes on Medicare the payment goes down to $180 a month and is used as a copay. God I love my UNION.

Here is a link that provides the truth about your death panels. I doubt that anyone dumb enough to pay $9,000.00 before their insurance kicks in would understand it.


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13cambridge(3262 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

UnAmerican.....You stated in post #9 that you pay $336.00 per month and have a $5,000.00 deductible. That would be $4,032.00 a year for your premium and it's my understanding that a $5,000.00 deductible means you pay the first $5,000.00 of your medical bills. I believe that amounts to you paying $9,032.00 dollars before your medical coverage kicks in.

Again, you keep saying there are death panels and I'll keep posting the link that proves otherwise.


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14hellsbells(116 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Cambridge, Jeff,
God bless you for trying to converse with typical yunkstown white supremicists. They never let lack of knowledge stop them from offering an opinion.

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15cambridge(3262 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

UnAmerican.....Your the one who said you have a $5,000.00 deductible. If that doesn't mean you pay the first $5,000.00 for your medical needs, what does it mean? I don't think you even know how bad your getting ripped off because I don't think you even understand your plan. Does it pay dental, do you even have any teeth? What about vision? I mean your eyes not what goes on in your head.

I'll ask you another question? What functions do insurance copmanies perform? They don't do a single checkup or perform an operation. They only take billions of dollars in profit that should otherwise be used for health care. The real question is why do we need a private plan?

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16cambridge(3262 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Search....My point is that the billions in profit that insurance companies make would be better spent on actual health care. We are all entitled to our opinion and mine is a single payer not for profit system where every dime spent went towards actual health care.

If your opinion is the best system involves insurance companies making billions in profit that's fine but I don't see how that relates to any one's actual health care.

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