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A major difference between Democrats and Republicans
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KarenS



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 870
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frosty13 wrote:
I had to wait three days to post to get over being so offended by the above post I could barely think. I know this forum is for those who *aren't* easily offended and usually I just shrug and forget about it, but this is beyond any form of good manners. Since when does "lack of insurance" equal "deadbeat?" The last time I looked it up, deadbeat means someone who doesn't pay his or her own bills. I don't have insurance but I sure as heck pay every penny of my bills, and I deeply resent being insulted by someone who has no clue about me or my life. I'm completely, one hundred percent against nationalized health care because not only will my costs go UP, my care will go DOWN. Already doctors around here are going out of business because they won't be able to make ends meet under the health care law and regulations. No matter how you slice it, that's bad.

Not treat people who have no insurance? Regardless of whether they can pay or not? How about people who make payments on their medical bills every month, until the bill is paid off? Should they be refused care? Using that "logic," you shouldn't have a house unless you can pay for it in full, up front. Health care is a commodity you buy, just like a house, a car, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with making monthly payments on it. There IS something wrong with expecting others to pay for your bills. Why not buy everyone in the country a house? Shelter is more important for survival than health care, and without the financial stress of providing a roof over their heads people who actually have the money to pay their medical bills, unless they really are deadbeats, in which case according to the "don't treat them unless they have insurance" argument, they can just suffer and die.

What's really twisted about the health care bill is that the people who already didn't pay . . . still won't pay! Instead the costs will go up for everyone else. I'm scrambling to stay afloat as it is. I'm a small business owner, emphasis on small. Let's say I gross two million dollars a year. I DON'T; far from it, but that's a nice round number and most people would consider that "rich." Okay, right off the top comes 66% in federal, state, and local taxes. That's right. SIXTY-SIX PERCENT. The government hamstrings businesses like you wouldn't believe. That leaves $680,000. Add in the cost of running the business, the overhead, paying my employees who by the way have insurance even though my family doesn't. Throw in two kids in college, which I'm paying for. And now because I'm "rich" I get the privilege of paying "my fair share" even though I'm already in the percentile that pays over ninety percent of the federal taxes paid in this country. If my costs go up any more, you know what's going to happen? I'm going to have to downsize. That means people out of jobs, not paying into the system that you're so sure is going to work. Downsizing means my company automatically produces less. So if my taxes go up at the same time this health care debacle is thrown in, I'm out of business. Then I guess I can really be a deadbeat, and I can join the hundreds of thousands of workers in insurance companies that you blithely want to be unemployed, so they too can be deadbeats.


Frosty13 wrote:
I had to wait three days to post to get over being so offended by the above post I could barely think. I know this forum is for those who *aren't* easily offended and usually I just shrug and forget about it, but this is beyond any form of good manners. Since when does "lack of insurance" equal "deadbeat?" The last time I looked it up, deadbeat means someone who doesn't pay his or her own bills. I don't have insurance but I sure as heck pay every penny of my bills, and I deeply resent being insulted by someone who has no clue about me or my life. I'm completely, one hundred percent against nationalized health care because not only will my costs go UP, my care will go DOWN. Already doctors around here are going out of business because they won't be able to make ends meet under the health care law and regulations. No matter how you slice it, that's bad.

Not treat people who have no insurance? Regardless of whether they can pay or not? How about people who make payments on their medical bills every month, until the bill is paid off? Should they be refused care? Using that "logic," you shouldn't have a house unless you can pay for it in full, up front. Health care is a commodity you buy, just like a house, a car, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with making monthly payments on it. There IS something wrong with expecting others to pay for your bills. Why not buy everyone in the country a house? Shelter is more important for survival than health care, and without the financial stress of providing a roof over their heads people who actually have the money to pay their medical bills, unless they really are deadbeats, in which case according to the "don't treat them unless they have insurance" argument, they can just suffer and die.

What's really twisted about the health care bill is that the people who already didn't pay . . . still won't pay! Instead the costs will go up for everyone else. I'm scrambling to stay afloat as it is. I'm a small business owner, emphasis on small. Let's say I gross two million dollars a year. I DON'T; far from it, but that's a nice round number and most people would consider that "rich." Okay, right off the top comes 66% in federal, state, and local taxes. That's right. SIXTY-SIX PERCENT. The government hamstrings businesses like you wouldn't believe. That leaves $680,000. Add in the cost of running the business, the overhead, paying my employees who by the way have insurance even though my family doesn't. Throw in two kids in college, which I'm paying for. And now because I'm "rich" I get the privilege of paying "my fair share" even though I'm already in the percentile that pays over ninety percent of the federal taxes paid in this country. If my costs go up any more, you know what's going to happen? I'm going to have to downsize. That means people out of jobs, not paying into the system that you're so sure is going to work. Downsizing means my company automatically produces less. So if my taxes go up at the same time this health care debacle is thrown in, I'm out of business. Then I guess I can really be a deadbeat, and I can join the hundreds of thousands of workers in insurance companies that you blithely want to be unemployed, so they too can be deadbeats.



You say you have no health insurance yet you say you can pay for your health care costs. If you should have a catastrophic health event where your hospital bill exceeds $200,000.00 how are you going to manage to pay it? Unless you're wealthy, unless you have a very charitable hospital in your community, you will most likely have to declare bankruptcy as that one event will do you in. And health is the number one reason for bankruptcy. Then if you can't pay your bill yet you received this wonderful health care who ends up paying for your visit to the hospital? All of us that are insured. So you are costing the rest of us that have insurance. So thanks a lot!

You worry about doctors leaving their practices? Why? Do you really think they care about you and your health? Medicine is a business just like everything else. Your doctor is more concerned about his bottom line than your health. He's in business to make a profit, provide a nice life-style for himself and his family. He's more concerned about how much you will bring to his practice than your good health. So if a doctor wants to stay in business, he/she will accept whatever changes take place. If not there are other jobs he/she can take.

If Arizona decides to turn their back on Medicaid recipients awaiting transplants, how soon will the other states follow its lead? That's pretty cold but yet we have this mentality that we shouldn't have giveaways for poor folks. Poor folks are just in the way costing the country too much money. Do away with Medicaid, then do away with Medicare, then we are just another third-world country.

Getting cold our there. We have the money to pay for decent health care for all but we don't have the will. We can provide a better quality of life for all but the will is lacking. We have decided that American can't or shouldn't provide basic quality of life services. We're just cheap and greedy.
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Frosty13



Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me repeat: I've paid every penny of my own health care. Not one dime of it has been paid by anyone else. It was a deliberate fiscal decision we made about fourteen years ago, when the cost of our health insurance went sky high even though we hadn't had any large claims at all, in all our years of having health insurance. We added up the yearly cost of the insurance, then added up our health bills including drugs, and compared the difference. Hands down, it was cheaper to pay our own bills than it was to have health insurance. Over five years, that freed up over sixty thousand dollars that could be used to expand our business and at the same time put part of it away to cover our medical expenses. We're still following that practice, so we have a health expense account.

I'm not saying health insurance companies are good; I think health insurance puts a bad shield between the consumer and the service, so we don't make responsible health decisions. I AM saying that not having health insurance does not make someone a deadbeat. If we're hit with a catastrophic health bill, then we'll make payments on it, just the way we do on our house. So how will that end up costing anyone else? If I have to sell my house to pay my bills, then I'll sell my house and live in an apartment. We're responsible for our own bills, and we don't expect others to pay for them. So exactly how would that be costing the rest of you who have insurance?

I do worry about doctors leaving their practices because they can't make a living at it, and that's the way it's heading with the national health care bill. My own doctor has already told me he'll quit practicing. With fewer doctors, obviously service and quality of care will go down. Do I blame him? No. Because it IS a business, and most doctors aren't rich. They're small business owners.

No, we don't have the money to pay for decent health care for all. This country is about to collapse under a huge debt that the federal government has been running up for the past eighty, ninety years. Republicans and Democrats both have spent and spent and spent. They've set up these huge programs where most of the money is spent administering them rather than going to the people they were set up to help. My view isn't that people in need of help should be left to die, so don't try to put your own words in my mouth. I think that people who need help should be helped, but it's best accomplished on a local and state level, because the closer you are to a situation the more efficient the aid efforts are. National health care is NEVER the best solution, and Europe is backing away from it as fast as possible. Not only that, it's unconstitutional. The federal government is seizing willy-nilly power after power that was reserved for states, and we're letting them. State health care, however, is a more viable option and one that's worth exploring.

Moreover, only 53% of people in this country pay federal taxes. The other 47% may pay some, but then they get back more than they paid with the Earned Income Tax Credit, meaning more money is taken from the other 53% who earned it and given to the people who didn't earn it. One way or another, your costs for health insurance are going to go up, because of this. Your actual premium might go down, temporarily, but your COSTS will go up because of the over 300 new taxes in the health bill. Not all of the new taxes will apply to every person, but it's a horrible bill that raises costs on every person who pays taxes. That's why, to date, 111 unions and politically-connected companies have gotten waivers that exempt them from the health bill.

BTW, I'm not rich. The cost of doing business is enormous. I'm middle class. I drive a Chevrolet. I shop at WalMart. I do laundry and clean house and cook meals, just like most other people. I'm responsible and work between 14 and 18 hours a day. So what's with the insults?
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Donna Lea Simpson



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 249
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When Saskatchewan, Canada, brought in universal health insurance in the sixties, doctors claimed they would close their practices and/or go on strike. They did strike, but when faced by little support from the citizenry, and after negotiating a settlement, they went back to work.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saskatchewan_Doctors%27_Strike
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KarenS



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 870
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donna Lea Simpson wrote:
When Saskatchewan, Canada, brought in universal health insurance in the sixties, doctors claimed they would close their practices and/or go on strike. They did strike, but when faced by little support from the citizenry, and after negotiating a settlement, they went back to work.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saskatchewan_Doctors%27_Strike



Michael Moore's movie Sicko interviewed physicians in England and asked them about whether they had a decent quality of life. Those interviewed smiled and then showed their nice homes and their fancy cars. Their life-style has not deteriorated as a result of universal health care. They even seemed stunned by Moore's question.

Most medical doctors are upper middle class with a nice life-style and do fairly well financially. If a doctor says he's going to quit over Obamacare it's most likely he has other issues. If he's that conservative and doesn't want decent medical care for his patients he's probably in the wrong profession.

At one time I had seven physicians living on my street. Two were married with the hubby driving a Bentley. All of their homes were valued at one million dollars(pre-2007 real estate prices). Other physicians live in the hood with nicer homes than the ones on my street. One oncologist lives in an 18,000 square foot mcmansion. Several pathologists and radiologists live here as well with their smaller mcmansions. Are these doctors ready to leave the medical profession? I seriously doubt it.
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Frosty13



Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KarenS, something you said earlier (about not being able to afford health insurance but being able to afford paying my health care bills) struck me and made me think about the whole insurance situation, which made me realize that most people think the cost of their health care exceeds the cost of their health insurance, which of course, logically, it can't or the insurance companies would go out of business because they'd be paying out more than they take in.

That means the whole insurance business is based on fear, and risk management. The majority of people pay more for insurance than their health care costs would be, because they're afraid of what MIGHT happen. They'd be much better off to take what they pay for insurance and put it in a separate account; they'd come out far ahead.
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Donna Lea Simpson



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 249
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Risk management is the key phrase, though, isn't it, Frosty13? I suppose gambling is fine if it is only yourself that catastrophic health costs are going to effect, but I imagine that those couples with kids don't want to risk a devastating illness or accident driving them into bankruptcy.

Therein lies the rub. With catastrophic health costs the major cause of bankruptcy in the US, it's gambling either way, with or without health insurance. With insurance, you're gambling you'll need it one day, and they are gambling you won't.

As a Canadian I am puzzled by the whole affair. I see the fear mongering that health insurers (and others... spectres of death panels, denial of care, etc) are using in the States to prevent the passage of universal insurance and I am baffled. I have very good reason to laud our system; it works, and I see the effect of it every day. They care for my 88 year old mom, when she is in the hospital, as if she is a 20 year old with decades ahead of her. And I appreciate it.

But for the US, I say, whatever works for you, as long as you can tell me the most vulnerable and needy in your society are looked after. I don't know the truth, because I don't live there. I do believe that MOST people want the same, a system that covers those who need it most.
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maryskl



Joined: 25 Apr 2009
Posts: 351
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donna Lea Simpson wrote:
Risk management is the key phrase, though, isn't it, Frosty13? I suppose gambling is fine if it is only yourself that catastrophic health costs are going to effect, but I imagine that those couples with kids don't want to risk a devastating illness or accident driving them into bankruptcy.

Therein lies the rub. With catastrophic health costs the major cause of bankruptcy in the US, it's gambling either way, with or without health insurance. With insurance, you're gambling you'll need it one day, and they are gambling you won't.

As a Canadian I am puzzled by the whole affair. I see the fear mongering that health insurers (and others... spectres of death panels, denial of care, etc) are using in the States to prevent the passage of universal insurance and I am baffled. I have very good reason to laud our system; it works, and I see the effect of it every day. They care for my 88 year old mom, when she is in the hospital, as if she is a 20 year old with decades ahead of her. And I appreciate it.

But for the US, I say, whatever works for you, as long as you can tell me the most vulnerable and needy in your society are looked after. I don't know the truth, because I don't live there. I do believe that MOST people want the same, a system that covers those who need it most.


As I said before, the USA does not have the best health care system in the world; only the most expensive. We fail on both infant mortality rates and longevity rates per the rest of the westernized world. Why ANYONE except those who benefit financially from an insurance company would want our system is beyond me. I could pay off a $25,000 hospital bill. I could NOT pay off a $500,000 hospital bill. If I did not purchase health insurance, I would be paying Russian Roulette with my family's financial well being. My husband has 10.5 more years until he qualifies for Medicare and he cannot wait! I have 13 years until I am free of the chains of the "greedy insurance conglomerate" <g>.
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Frosty13



Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This isn't about caring whether or not people are taken care of, though I understand the emotional underpinnings of the issue. Of course people should be helped if they can't manage on their own; we do it all the time, with voluntary fund-raisers and donations. Doctors donate their services, too, so you can't say they don't care about their patients. They're human. Some are better than others. Some are generous, some aren't. The difference between people coming together to pay a large medical bill and being forced into a plan you don't want is that the first is voluntary, with people deciding what they can do, how much they can give, and giving it out of the goodness of their heart. Forcing people into a program they don't want, and one that moreover will provide less care and worse care, is not and never will be a good alternative. I'm not saying there aren't alternatives. I'm not saying the insurance system is a good thing. I'm saying the health care bill that passed was horrible.

Canada's form of government allows (I suppose) a central medical plan, but it's literally unconstitutional for us. The powers of the federal government are very plainly stated, and everything else is the responsibility of the individual states. Health care is not among those powers. If a state wants to set up something, fine.

But even if the health care bill WAS constitutional, it's still a terrible bill. I've read it. It gives huge, unspecified powers to unnamed individuals who will be appointed by each president. Even worse, instead of costs going down, the Congressional Budget Office now says that the average American can expect their insurance premiums to go UP by $2,800 a year. And that's just the premium. The way the bill is written, the upfront deductible will be between $8,000 and $25,000 per family! Throw in the 300 new taxes embedded in the bill, and there's no way this is a good thing for anyone, which is why the unions are getting waivers as fast as they can. The average person can't afford this!

This isn't the time for class warfare. The health care bill was a power grab by the federal government, nothing more. It wasn't about taking care of anyone, because they were well aware the quality of health care would go down and costs would go up. The guy who was appointed (NOT elected) to be in charge (Berwick? Is that his name?) said flat out that health care rationing was not only inevitable but desirable, and the challenge was to make intelligent decisions about who got care and who didn't. Say what???
After it being denied up and down that there would be "death panels," a term that I thought was melodramatic at best, here comes Paul Krugman at the New York Times talking about how there would have to be a death panel to decide the fate of the elderly and the critically ill. I don't want any part of this. I don't want the political parties, either of them, in charge of my health care, and I can't imagine why anyone would. Just look at the mess they've made of the current economy; this recession is one that has been one-hundred percent caused by political policies dating back to the 1930s, one little regulation at a time. It didn't matter which party was in power; they both chiseled away at our freedom, dug their hands deeper into our pockets, and now people are terrified NOT to have insurance, even though statistically you'd be much better off to put the money in a health account.

Only 53% of Americans pay federal taxes. That means only 53% would be paying for everyone, and it would break the country's financial back. As Margaret Thatcher said, sooner or later you run out of everyone else's money. We're pretty much at that point.
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KarenS



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 870
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frosty13 wrote:
Forcing people into a program they don't want, and one that moreover will provide less care and worse care, is not and never will be a good alternative. I'm not saying there aren't alternatives. I'm not saying the insurance system is a good thing. I'm saying the health care bill that passed was horrible.


The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act closed loopholes that needed to be closed. These changes needed to happen. You are entitled to your opinion. However, according to a survey done by Harvard School of Public Health found that 45 percent of Americans believe the US has the best health care system in the world including nearly 7 out of 10 Republicans(compared with only three in 10 Democrats). Many people like you think the new health care law is tinkering with private market success. But we have shoddy care and what surprises me the most is that many Americans are willing to put up with poor care. We should have better, we deserve better but most Americans seem to be unaware that other countries do better by their people. They seem to appreciate their people, have more respect for them(or they at least demand respect) whereas most Americans attitude is to be grateful for whatever scraps we get. Our national self-esteem has plummeted. We have bought into this attitude that we don't deserve help in any form.

Frosty13 wrote:
Canada's form of government allows (I suppose) a central medical plan, but it's literally unconstitutional for us. The powers of the federal government are very plainly stated, and everything else is the responsibility of the individual states. Health care is not among those powers. If a state wants to set up something, fine.


So by this comment, we should eliminate Medicare and Medicaid.

Frosty13 wrote:
But even if the health care bill WAS constitutional, it's still a terrible bill. I've read it. It gives huge, unspecified powers to unnamed individuals who will be appointed by each president. Even worse, instead of costs going down, the Congressional Budget Office now says that the average American can expect their insurance premiums to go UP by $2,800 a year. And that's just the premium. The way the bill is written, the upfront deductible will be between $8,000 and $25,000 per family! Throw in the 300 new taxes embedded in the bill, and there's no way this is a good thing for anyone, which is why the unions are getting waivers as fast as they can. The average person can't afford this!


Most Americans can't afford not to have health care. This 45% who think America has the greatest health care system in the world are delusional. They need to wake up and realize that America fell behind decades ago. We don't have the will to take care of our people. If we can provide Medicare and Medicaid, we can provide health care for the rest of us. The attitude is that most Americans are expendable and who needs them. It's actually now law so it can't be called a bill anymore.

Frosty13 wrote:
This isn't the time for class warfare. The health care bill was a power grab by the federal government, nothing more. It wasn't about taking care of anyone, because they were well aware the quality of health care would go down and costs would go up. The guy who was appointed (NOT elected) to be in charge (Berwick? Is that his name?) said flat out that health care rationing was not only inevitable but desirable, and the challenge was to make intelligent decisions about who got care and who didn't. Say what??
After it being denied up and down that there would be "death panels," a term that I thought was melodramatic at best, here comes Paul Krugman at the New York Times talking about how there would have to be a death panel to decide the fate of the elderly and the critically ill. I don't want any part of this. I don't want the political parties, either of them, in charge of my health care, and I can't imagine why anyone would. Just look at the mess they've made of the current economy; this recession is one that has been one-hundred percent caused by political policies dating back to the 1930s, one little regulation at a time. It didn't matter which party was in power; they both chiseled away at our freedom, dug their hands deeper into our pockets, and now people are terrified NOT to have insurance, even though statistically you'd be much better off to put the money in a health account.


Death panels came from Sarah Palin as a tool to scare many Medicare recipients into thinking their precious Medicare was going to be changed. Many of them believed the death panels. Isn't it interesting how gullible so many Americans are these days. We truly are dumbing down our country. Personally if we are going to eliminate Obamacare I do expect Medicare and Medicaid to be eliminated as well.

Frosty13 wrote:
Only 53% of Americans pay federal taxes. That means only 53% would be paying for everyone, and it would break the country's financial back. As Margaret Thatcher said, sooner or later you run out of everyone else's money. We're pretty much at that point.


How do you figure that only 53% pay federal taxes? That's a stretch. It's so nice to see another Margaret Thatcher admirer. We use to have another poster who quoted Thatcher. Any chance you could be the same person?
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Frosty13



Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I'm not the same person who quoted Margaret Thatcher before. Was the same quote used? It's pretty famous.

Yes, Medicaid and Medicare actually are unconstitutional -- and so is the Social Security program. So is the Department of Education, and possibly the Department of Energy, though I can see an argument in favor of the DoE -- not that they've done anything other than add a huge number of bureaucrats to the federal payroll. Social Security is the most massive Ponzi scheme in history, a huge amount of money taken from people and spent by the politicians. A lot of retired people think their money went into a SS fund, but instead it went into the general fund, and it's just gone. Bernie Madoff is spending the rest of his life in prison for running a Ponzi scheme that was miniscule in contrast to Social Security.

BUT -- I don't advocate jerking that financial crutch out from under people who have paid into it their whole lives and now depend on it. That would be heinously cruel. OTOH, it makes no sense for people in their early twenties to pay into a scheme from which they'll almost certainly never benefit. The people who depend on these payments now should continue to receive them, and people who are nearing retirement age should get their SS payments, too, but younger people should have a different option. They could do far, far better with their money than what the government has done. Not only has the money not been grown with interest, you can expect to receive less than you paid in. That's a very bad financial deal.

I think a lot of people don't think they know enough about investments and such, and they're afraid to handle their own retirement, their own health care, afraid they'll mess up and end up with nothing. I worry about my retirement, but I've watched the government mess up just about everything it's touched, and even though it scares me I'd much rather be in control of my life than let someone I don't even know make decisions about what health care I receive.

Question: if our health care system is so terrible, why did King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who could go anywhere in the world for treatment, come here just this past week? Our health CARE is wonderful. Our insurance payment system is not.

Where did I get that only 53% of Americans pay federal taxes? From the federal government. Remember, not everyone works. A child doesn't work. Retired people perhaps don't work, or perhaps they have a part time job. Some handicapped people don't work. Some able-bodied adults don't work. And because of the earned-income credit, a lot of people who do work and pay federal taxes during the year receive back everything they've paid in, plus more, so their net income is actually more than they made by working. If you want a link I'll try to post one, but I'm new at this and I'm not quite sure how to go about it.
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LizE



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 253

PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KarenS wrote:
How do you figure that only 53% pay federal taxes? That's a stretch.


I was curious enough to Google this question. Found this:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2010-04-16-editorial16_ST_N.htm

And this:

http://money.cnn.com/2009/09/30/pf/taxes/who_pays_taxes/index.htm

And others that give the same figure. Strangely, none of them are Margaret Thatcher.

I agree that all Americans should have health care. But I also agree that the Federal Government is way too corrupt to oversee a program of this magnitude. I'm already in the red as wage increases are offset against insurance increases every single year and this bill (excuse me, law) will only make the situation worse.

Until we take action against the corporate interests that see us as no better than serfs, we will never have affordable health care. Because that's the goal, right? Not just health care for all, but health care that won't beggar average Americans. Shifting the burden to the struggling middle class isn't the answer.

In other news, I saw the film Inside Job yesterday. Every American should see it and become aware of exactly how we have been ripped off. Maybe then we can stop fighting among ourselves and unite against the real enemies before it's too late and we find ourselves in the same situation as the Irish.
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maryskl



Joined: 25 Apr 2009
Posts: 351
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

O.K. For all of you out there opposed to universal health care, what is your solution to the rapidly rising costs? My insurance just went up 11% (after a 10% increase last year). The 53% who pay federal taxes "might" be able to afford a health savings account, but what about the other 47%? And that health savings account will never cover catastrophic care.

As to the comment about a Saudi prince coming to the US for surgery, many of them (and there are lots of Saudi princes) also travel to London for special procedures (and England has nationalized health care). My brother has lived in Dhahran for 18 years. There is national health care in Saudi Arabia for both citizens and expats. Prescription drugs are dirt cheap. Their general care is very good and specialized care is getting better, but is still not where it should be, which is why those with the money to do so travel outside the country for specialized procedures. The Saudi wealth is still a relatively young thing in terms of history. The infrastructure is still being built and while Saudi Arabia has many western expats living and working in the Kingdom, they cannot by any stretch of the imagination be called "western." My home town of Birmingham, Alabama is frequently a stop for Saudi royalty when they need orthopedic surgery. We also have quite a few pro athletes who come here for orthopedic surgeries.

No one is saying that American hospitals are mired in the dark ages. We have some excellent facilities and physicians in this country. We also have some crappy ones. It is the access to good facilities and the ability to afford them that is in question. Saudi princes can pay what ever is needed for surgery (and I am sure they are charging them out the wazoo). Many people living in the USA cannot afford that surgery without insurance and it is getting worse. As more and more people are forced to drop their insurance coverage due to rising costs and a crippled economy, those of us who still have insurance have to pick up the slack and pay for everyone else. Pretty soon, you have a small number of people paying for everyone. Hospitals do not turn people away if they are in auto accidents or suffer a stroke or heart attack. Do you think they should?
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Frosty13



Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maryski, of course people who are having a heart attack or were in an accident shouldn't be turned away from a hospital; I believe I said that a few weeks ago in this thread.

The cost of health care isn't a simple problem. Insurance itself is part of the problem, because that forces hospitals and doctors to hire people to handle the paperwork and headaches of dealing with the insurance companies, which raises their overhead, which forces them to raise prices on their patients . . . it's a vicious cycle. Patients themselves are part of the problem, by using the ER for a headache or similar non-emergency, which raises insurance costs, which makes them raise their premiums. Then there are the costly litigations, some justified and some not, that also raise prices. One possible solution to that would be to have the losing party pay the court costs and the cost of the opposing attorney, which is a system a lot of countries have. As it is now, a lot of hospitals and doctors will settle rather than fight a legal battle they know they'd eventually win, but the cost would be exorbitant. Their legal costs are also passed on to the consumer. We're caught in a web of our making, and getting out of it won't be easy.

How could people afford a health account? By taking the money they would have paid as a premium and putting it in a separate account - and then not touching it except to pay medical bills. It does require discipline, and it can be awfully tempting to dip into that money if, say, you're strapped for cash and the mortgage payment is due. A backup plan would be to buy catastrophic insurance only, which would mean much lower premiums and give people some peace of mind.

Let me add this: since we canceled our health insurance 14 years ago, we discovered that hospitals, doctors, and diagnostic centers alike often charge us less than they charge people with insurance, because it's cheaper to treat us. No paperwork, no hassle. We don't ask for lower prices, these places have their tiered price structure in place. If you pay in full up front, you get the lowest price. If you're paying yourself but in installments, it costs more. If you have insurance, it costs the most.

Now that the government is planning to tax people's insurance as income, which it actually is and for the record I'd much rather have a raise and money in my hand, people will be paying higher taxes, plus the 300 new taxes included in the health care law, plus the increase of $2800 the CBO estimates, plus much higher deductibles. How on earth can this be a good thing?
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LizE



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 253

PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Income Gaps Between Very Rich and Everyone Else More Than Tripled In Last Three Decades, New Data Show


Between 1979 and 2007:
- The top 1 percentís share of the nationís total after-tax household income more than doubled, from 7.5 percent to 17.1 percent.
- The share of income going to the middle three-fifths (or 60 percent) of households shrank from 51.1 percent to 43.5 percent.
- The share going to the bottom fifth of households declined from 6.8 percent to 4.9 percent.
- The share going to the bottom four-fifths (80 percent) of the population declined from 58 percent to 48 percent.

In 2007, the top 1 percent received a larger share of the nationís after-tax income than the middle 20 percent of the population. This represents a significant change from 1979, when the middle fifth received more than twice as much of the nationís income as the top 1 percent (16.5 percent versus 7.5 percent)
http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3220

While income to the wealthy is increasing, their tax burden is falling:


http://politics.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474977623449

There is a huge redistribution of wealth going on in this country. That's the most important thing happening here, the central fact from which all policy springs. Do you think the rich are going to pony up for healthcare for the poor? Do you think our govt. is really going to ask them to? Or do you think maybe the whole thing is going to fall on the rest of us, the ones whose incomes are actually shrinking? How can that possibly be sustainable?
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maryskl



Joined: 25 Apr 2009
Posts: 351
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frosty13 wrote:
Maryski, of course people who are having a heart attack or were in an accident shouldn't be turned away from a hospital; I believe I said that a few weeks ago in this thread.

The cost of health care isn't a simple problem. Insurance itself is part of the problem, because that forces hospitals and doctors to hire people to handle the paperwork and headaches of dealing with the insurance companies, which raises their overhead, which forces them to raise prices on their patients . . . it's a vicious cycle. Patients themselves are part of the problem, by using the ER for a headache or similar non-emergency, which raises insurance costs, which makes them raise their premiums. Then there are the costly litigations, some justified and some not, that also raise prices. One possible solution to that would be to have the losing party pay the court costs and the cost of the opposing attorney, which is a system a lot of countries have. As it is now, a lot of hospitals and doctors will settle rather than fight a legal battle they know they'd eventually win, but the cost would be exorbitant. Their legal costs are also passed on to the consumer. We're caught in a web of our making, and getting out of it won't be easy.

How could people afford a health account? By taking the money they would have paid as a premium and putting it in a separate account - and then not touching it except to pay medical bills. It does require discipline, and it can be awfully tempting to dip into that money if, say, you're strapped for cash and the mortgage payment is due. A backup plan would be to buy catastrophic insurance only, which would mean much lower premiums and give people some peace of mind.

Let me add this: since we canceled our health insurance 14 years ago, we discovered that hospitals, doctors, and diagnostic centers alike often charge us less than they charge people with insurance, because it's cheaper to treat us. No paperwork, no hassle. We don't ask for lower prices, these places have their tiered price structure in place. If you pay in full up front, you get the lowest price. If you're paying yourself but in installments, it costs more. If you have insurance, it costs the most.

Now that the government is planning to tax people's insurance as income, which it actually is and for the record I'd much rather have a raise and money in my hand, people will be paying higher taxes, plus the 300 new taxes included in the health care law, plus the increase of $2800 the CBO estimates, plus much higher deductibles. How on earth can this be a good thing?



Frosty - there are 10's of millions of people out there who do NOT pay a premium for health insurance because they have no health insurance. Where are they going to get the money for a health savings account? They are living hand to mouth as it is. They go to the emergency room for care for two reasons: doctor's will not take them as a patient without insurance and they put off going to the doctor hoping whatever ails them will get better and then it doesn't. Then they are in much worse medical shape than if they could have gone in for early treatment. Then the hospitals pass on the cost of their care to the rest of us who do pay insurance. That is why when you paid up front you paid less. I keep my insurance mainly for catastrophic care. By the time I pay co-pays and deductibles I could have paid for it out of pocket.

I think most people do not worry about the costs of insurance because they never see the costs. Their employers pay. They just know they did not get a raise and they never connect the two. Perhaps taxing premiums paid as income will ultimately be a good thing as it will concretely bring home just how much insurance costs and how fast the costs are rising. My premiums have gone up 21% in the past 15 months. I am sure that is linked to the economy as so many people have lost their jobs and hence their insurance. So I am helping to pay for those who cannot now and I am paying the luxury emergency room prices because that is where people go for care when they have no insurance. If I am paying anyway, why not pay for more affordable care by covering everyone in a more cost efficient manner? Cut out the insurance company middle man (and take 30% off the top of the costs), treat people in less expensive neighborhood clinics or offices and buttress up the preventative care that helps keep people healthy in the first place.

Universal health care is coming at some point. We can do it now or we can do it when the health care system collapses. I would choose to be proactive rather than reactive.
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