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The W - Current Events & Politics - The Health Care Debacle (Page 4)
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Guru Zim
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Since: 9.12.01
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#61 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.32
The argument would be made here that Canada and the US do not have equivalent numbers of poor people who are "mooching off of the system" and in poor health.

Things don't always scale well. If you have 10 people and 1 isn't doing something, it works differently than if you have 100million and 1 million aren't doing that same thing - because you end up with more of a network effect with the people who aren't.

If you deal with 10 people total, and 9 of them are awesome and one is a "bad" - you are ok. If you live in a society with 1000 people and you still deal with 10, but all 10 are "bads" because you've kind of been pushed into one area of town, then you have a totally different life. You end up with 900 people interacting mostly with "Awesomes" and 100 people mainly interacting with "bads". That's still not that bad because bads and awesomes still overlap some (School, church, etc) and social pressures, etc. can still make "bads" try to become "awesomes".

America has generations of "bads" living side by side, only interacting with themselves, because instead of making things better for everyone, we segregated communities off into the nice neighborhood and "the other side of the tracks". The less interaction "bads" have with "awesomes", the more things fracture. As the pools of "bads" get bigger, they stay in school mainly with themselves, shop mainly with each other, talk with each other and develop different slang, and don't see other people at church, etc.

(BTW - "Bads" are whatever your current boogie-man is - be it poor people, minorities, immigrants, youth, trailer park people, ghetto dwellers, bikers, rappers, gang members, religious nuts, etc. )

There is some weird thing about Americans that we build an us vs them mentality and blame all of the problems with society on them, rather than owning a shared responsibility for things. It's like those who have been lucky and smart enough to make it feel like everyone should be where they are and that they made it by hard work and their skills alone, never looking at the big picture or places where they had help. People who live on the top of the hill think others must be lazy and bad because they don't achieve what the awesome folks do. An illusion of "everyone can succeed" is put out there and every fringe "bad" that makes it is showcased as an example that everyone should be able to get out on their own. This is used not so much to encourage other "bads" to become "awesomes" as it is to reinforce "awesome" beliefs that they are where they are because they deserve it and because of their own hard work - sort of a transitive property (if the "bad" made it because of hard work, and I've made it, I must have worked hard)

Anwyay people ignore how much opportunity is lost by not having childhood friends who are successful, family members who were successful, living in a safe environment,etc.

So back on topic - why can't America have Canada's system. I believe we can start to approach it, but I believe in a smaller society with the population of NY and LA spread out over an entire country, it is easier to deal with people who are abusing the system. You still interact with them - people don't get as lost in the system as they do here. Even if we have identical percentages of problems, the numbers are much smaller, so it is easier to make a change or move quickly. Imagine reissuing all drivers licenses in the US, for example. At 200 million or so, I'd imagine that's a much bigger problem than if you had to do it for 25-30 million people. These are just ballpark numbers - but you get the idea.

The middle philosophical part - well - I guess maybe that's just how I see the world. I see a lot of people who are very conservative (I would even say potentially in my family) who have an us versus them mentality. I try to view society as a whole rather than my family, my social class, my group of friends - and then everyone else.

I'm probably offending a huge number of you talking about this and taking this offtopic.




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Since: 8.10.03
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#62 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.48
Just a couple of comments.

I have no problems with doctors being well-rewarded for their profession. To attain that title takes a boat load of work, energy, time, and commitment. What we need to do is make sure that those on the lower rung like GPs are rewarded well enough that med students will want to be one instead of say a plastic surgeon.

Their is no reason that a company can't be for profit and serve its clients. The problem is with the amount of profit.

Part of the difficulty here IMO is that there is more than one workable way to attack this problem. The other difficulty is in trying to fix a system that already exists and is entrenched. In some ways it would be easier to blow the whole thing up and start from scatch.

Question. Since no one claims to be making any money, where is it all gong?

(edited by DrDirt on 22.12.09 1247)


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StaggerLee
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#63 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.07
    Originally posted by KJames199
      Originally posted by StaggerLee
      No, 20 times the people doesn't mean 20 times the tax payers, especially when you factor in the elderly who do not work, the children who do not work, and the "working poor" who end up paying no taxes.
    We have elderly people, children, and the working poor too! Seriously, explain to me why Canada and America would have significantly different ratios of taxpayers to elderly to children to the working poor.

It's not exactly a ratio system.
Look at it this way, there are two people involved in single payer systems. Person A and Person B. Person A works, makes good money, and pays a very large tax bill, and gets no tax return. Person B works, but makes far less money. Get's food stamps, Section 8 housing, and pays a very small tax bill, and at the end of the year gets a hefty tax return.

With these two types of people, both would still have to be covered by a single payer system. However, person A is not only paying for himself, and his family, he is also in effect paying for person B, since person B's contribution to the pot is zero. The more person B's you have, the more person A is required to come up with the money to cover them.

In America, the majority of people fall into the category of Person B.

Also, our tax rates are probably far less than that of Canada, or Great Britain. People here already think they are taxed enough as it is, RAISING those taxes to the levels paid in single payer tax payer nations would set off a furor in our country.

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#64 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.04
    Originally posted by StaggerLee


    Also, our tax rates are probably far less than that of Canada, or Great Britain. People here already think they are taxed enough as it is, RAISING those taxes to the levels paid in single payer tax payer nations would set off a furor in our country.




In theory, the rise in taxes would be offset by the lower health care costs.



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Leroy
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Since: 7.2.02
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#65 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.38
    Originally posted by DrDirt
    I have no problems with doctors being well-rewarded for their profession. To attain that title takes a boat load of work, energy, time, and commitment.


They have to be well paid, because a lot of them come out of medical school with a HUGE amount of student loan debt. (And, from what I understand, medical doctors are also TERRIBLE at managing their money - but I digress).

At the University of California, the regents recently increased surcharges for those in professional schools (medical school, law schools, etc.), because the presumption is that those with an M.D. will make a lot more money than those without. That tends to be bullshit, but that's the presumption. It now costs over $30k a year to attend medical school UCSF, which I believe is a four year program. That's JUST tuition at a PUBLIC school.

    Originally posted by StaggerLee
    Also, our tax rates are probably far less than that of Canada, or Great Britain. People here already think they are taxed enough as it is, RAISING those taxes to the levels paid in single payer tax payer nations would set off a furor in our country.


The tax RATES of places like Sweden are greater because there a fewer corporate tax loopholes - and corporations also pay a percentage of the income tax of the employee. But the actual out-of-pocket tax rates taken from invidiual paychecks are not that much, if at all, greater.



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Since: 24.2.02

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#66 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.23
    Originally posted by Oliver

    I don't understand how the American health insurance system works. Why can't the US adopt a system like ours here in Canada?


In a word: lobbyists.
StaggerLee
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#67 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.07
    Originally posted by Leroy


    The tax RATES of places like Sweden are greater because there a fewer corporate tax loopholes - and corporations also pay a percentage of the income tax of the employee. But the actual out-of-pocket tax rates taken from invidiual paychecks are not that much, if at all, greater.


I am talking individual taxes, and if there were fewer tax loopholes, that SHOULD decrease the burden on the individuals. However, a quick look at wikipedia shows Sweden's corporate tax rate is 26% whereas American corporate taxes are between 15 and 39% plus up to 12% for state taxes (depending on the state obviously).

But individual taxes range(In Sweden) from 29-60% which is just obscene.
Not to mention a Value Added Tax that goes as high as 25%.

Here's a handy chart that shows individual tax rates.

All the ones near the bottom are nations that usually have government run/administered health care.


Not to mention, this bill doesn't mean health care for EVERYBODY. it still leaves out 10 million people.

It also requires all employers to offer health care coverage, which means I would (if I were employed) still have to BUY my insurance, PLUS pay a higher tax rate so that others can get insurance if they don't make enough. So, I'd still have to pay MY portion, plus higher taxes.

(edited by CRZ on 22.12.09 1437)
Peter The Hegemon
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Since: 11.2.03
From: Hackettstown, NJ

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#68 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.03
    Originally posted by StaggerLee
      Originally posted by Oliver
      As an outsider looking in, I have a question: how close to the truth was Michael Moore's bit on American health care companies in his SICKO movie?

      I don't understand how the American health insurance system works. Why can't the US adopt a system like ours here in Canada?

    1) never saw SICKO, because Michael Moore is an asshole.

    Why don't we have a system like in Canada? Because we have what, 20 times the amount of people, and are already broke as a nation. Can't afford it.



I love that logic. America is broke, but Canada isn't...therefore America can't adopt the Canadian system! Yeesh.
BigDaddyLoco
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Since: 2.1.02

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#69 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.39
    Originally posted by StaggerLee


    So having insurance really makes no difference when something catastrophic happens.




This is one of the saddest facts about insurance. If something really really bad does happen to you, most won't be covered from start to finish so not only do you have to battle the illness, but the stress of not going broke and losing everything. That just seems fucked up, and I'm guessing the only reason it happens other than plain greed is because the people making the rules don't have to worry about such things because they have some kind of mega insurance that makes it so they don't have to worry about such a thing. I don't care how far on the right or left you sit, but thinking you are going to be covered and finding out you are not covered has to be an awful thought for anyone.

On totally different note I wonder how many people get stuck at dead end jobs or jobs they hate because of the benefits? Would the nation be more productive or innovative if people felt more freedom to take risks where they might not have before? I know it was a major factor for me staying where I am, but if I didn't have to worry about coverage overlaps or lesser insurance I might have made a move a long time ago and even taken less money to do something I really liked.





Mr. Boffo
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Since: 24.3.02
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#70 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.38
Yeah but the United States spends 16% of GDP on health care costs. If all you do is add 16% to the tax rate (I'm not sure if that's a fair comparison, but the exact number is not important), then we're at 45% tax rate with the 37th best care in the nation.

That makes the United Kingdom (with a 35% tax rate that includes health insurance, for the 18th best health care in the world) seem like an awesome deal.

That's my problem. I've seen first-hand people that are paying more than they can afford to pay for the care they need, even with health insurance. The fact that our health care system is screwed up is not something that can be debated with me. Though I'll grant you that I have no idea how to fix it.
StaggerLee
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#71 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.07
    Originally posted by Peter The Hegemon

    I love that logic. America is broke, but Canada isn't...therefore America can't adopt the Canadian system! Yeesh.


I never said anything about Canada's financial system. What I said is, we have a couple hundred million MORE people and we are already broke. Canada's finances are not my concern, America's finances ARE my concern and worry.

Just a quick question, where exactly does the money the government spends come from? because it seems like the people who don't think it's a big deal to set up this system seem to care about the budget.


And Bigdaddyloco, it is a shame that catastrophic cases ruin people both emotionally and financially.

But what is your health worth to you? That should be a big question going forth with this. A lot of people say "I can't afford X amount a month" Well, is a person's health worth that much to them?
When I worked in dialysis a bunch of the patients would complain about the cost of their care,which was paid by medicade 99% of the time, and cost them nothing out of pocket. So, I'd ask them, "if you had unlimited money, and it cost you $10,000 a month, would you pay it". To a person, every single one said YES. So, their life IS worth that much to them, just not if they had to pay it. Spending other's money on it is fine, but the individuals money somehow is more precious.
Oliver
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Since: 20.6.02
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#72 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.29
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    I'm probably offending a huge number of you talking about this and taking this offtopic.
To hell with that - your argument made a lot of sense.

I should probably note that health care here in Canada is set up and regulated by the provincial governments, not by the Feds. I bet the Feds have input as to what goes, but it's all done provincially.

I'm greatful for our system here - when my family wanted to get the H1N1 shot, we got in, got it, got out - and we didn't have to pay a cent. Nor did we have to inquire with a HMO or whatever to see if we qualify for it.








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Leroy
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Since: 7.2.02
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#73 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.38
    Originally posted by StaggerLee
    Here's a handy chart that shows individual tax rates.

    ...

    All the ones near the bottom are nations that usually have government run/administered health care.


As I understand it, Sweden's taxable income rate was at 31% up to about $135,000 (U.S. dollars) - with the average salary being well under that (between $40k and $50k a year). Because the Swedish tax system is pretty aggressive once you get above that 31% rate (51% and 61%), you'll have a pretty high mean if you have enough people in those tax brackets. Yeah, there's a VAT, which, I admit, does kind of suck. But they seem to get by...

And yet, the citizens get the following for their money: health care, education, low poverty rates, good public transit, low employment rates, low inflation, and decent retirement (social security) access. And according to the Corruption Perceptions Index, corruption in the public sector is virtually nonexistent (ranked in the top 3, U.S. ranked 19th.)

(My girlfriend and I are hoping to visit a friend in Gothenburg in June, so this is why I am so high on the place at the moment.)

Am I saying such a taxation plan would work in the U.S.? Hell no, but there are models for public services that work, that don't unnecessarily burden the average to above average worker, and that provide quite a bit in return if managed properly.

(edited by Leroy on 22.12.09 1351)


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#74 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.07
    Originally posted by Leroy

    Am I saying such a taxation plan would work in the U.S.? Hell no, but there are models for public services that work, that don't unnecessarily burden the average to above average worker, and that provide quite a bit in return if managed properly.

    (edited by Leroy on 22.12.09 1351)


There are models that work, but not with the size and scope that would be required to make it efficient in the USA. Hell, I'd settle for breaking even and not going further into debt, IF I had to have this system.

But with the median income in the USA being $27590.16, would the average household be able to give up more another ten or fifteen percent of their pay?

530 bucks a week before taxes isn't a lot. not at all if you live in an urban area.
Take out taxes, state taxes, rent/mortgage, electicity and what's left over for other spending? Not a lot.

Again I really don't think people don't need insurance, I just think it's not the federal government's job to provide it.

Mike Zeidler
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#75 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.85
    Originally posted by StaggerLee
    But individual taxes range(In Sweden) from 29-60% which is just obscene.
    Not to mention a Value Added Tax that goes as high as 25%.

    Here's a handy chart that shows individual tax rates.

    All the ones near the bottom are nations that usually have government run/administered health care.
    (edited by CRZ on 22.12.09 1437)


But six of the 10 lowest tax rates on that chart come from places with nationalized healthcare.

(edited by CRZ on 24.12.09 0059)


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#76 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.38
    Originally posted by StaggerLee

    But with the median income in the USA being $27590.16, would the average household be able to give up more another ten or fifteen percent of their pay?


People are already paying that. Again, 16% of the GDP of the United States is spent on health care. The CIA World Factbook puts the US at a GDP per capita of $44,600. Ergo, health care costs are $7600 per household. That's 28% of your median income. So yes, I'm pretty sure people would be delighted if their taxes went up 15% and their health care costs went away.
Alex
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#77 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.23
And if everyone's taxes went up 15% and everybody got a pony, they'd be even happier, but the idea of raising taxes is so abhorrent in the political sphere that it won't happen.
Peter The Hegemon
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#78 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.03
    Originally posted by StaggerLee
      Originally posted by Peter The Hegemon

      I love that logic. America is broke, but Canada isn't...therefore America can't adopt the Canadian system! Yeesh.


    I never said anything about Canada's financial system. What I said is, we have a couple hundred million MORE people and we are already broke. Canada's finances are not my concern, America's finances ARE my concern and worry.


And I'm saying one of the reasons we're already broke (one of many, granted) is that we've got a broken healthcare system and they don't.

    Originally posted by StaggerLee
    Just a quick question, where exactly does the money the government spends come from? because it seems like the people who don't think it's a big deal to set up this system seem to care about the budget.


I can't imagine why it would seem that way. The CBO scoring showed that the public option combined with the savings in the healthcare bill would have reduced the deficit. And the people who are opposing the current healthcare plans are from the party who over the last thirty years have run up more debt than all the other debt in the history of the world combined.
El Nastio
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#79 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.36
I have ADHD. I cannot afford the medication so I am left in a position where seconds feel like minutes, minutes, feels like hours, and hours feel like me wanting to rip out people's throats. It took years for this to be diagnosed.

I have bad knees due to leg structure. Nothing can be done with that. The pain keeps me up at night. it took years for this to be diagnosed.

I have arthritis in both feet, due to the aftereffects of surgery I had as a child. I cannot afford the medication so I am left with sore feet that keep me awake at night. I need orthopedic stuff for my feet and to help my knees, but I cannot afford it, it's not covered.

Something is wrong with my back. X-Rays came back negative though, so now I must wait for the MRI. The pain, you guessed it, keep me up at night. Several doctors have assured me that the pain is NOT caused by my mild scoliosis. Still searching for the right answer several years later.

I have a blood vessel disorder. Several doctors I have seen had no idea what it was until *I* had to explain what it did.

I had my orbital bone broken in three places. I had to walk around for four days with a broken face for three and a half days because it wasn't essential.


I can count on one hand the times I have slept for more than three and a half hours in a row the last few years.


But hey.....our system is wonderful and "perfect" right? Right?



Don't get me wrong, I'm ETERNALLY grateful for the Healthcare System we have. With the list above I'd be driven to the poor house in a privately funded system. My wife would be a wreck too with her issues. But....the system is still broken the sense several people live life in pain due to the inefficiencies.

The point of this thread; the grass is always greener.....and be thankful for what you have. A weird paradox, no?

(edited by El Nastio on 23.12.09 1240)

You know, I really don't know what to put here. Close your eyes and thank of something funny!
StaggerLee
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#80 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.07
    Originally posted by Peter The Hegemon


    . And the people who are opposing the current healthcare plans are from the party who over the last thirty years have run up more debt than all the other debt in the history of the world combined.

The GOP did that? When the Dems controlled both houses of Congress for most of the past 30 years, and Obama has spent more than every other president in the history of the United States COMBINES?

We aren't broke, as a NATION, because of a 'broken' healthcare system. We're broke because of deficit spending. We're broke because there's a party that thinks the answer to everything is another government program. We're broke because the government has decided to get into the banking industry, the automobile industry, and is trying to get into the energy business and health care.

And, BTW, lets not forget who the number two denier of health care claims was last year, MEDICADE. For all the worrying about denial of claims, I can't imagine why people would want to EXPAND medicare, cut it's funding, and expect it to make the problem BETTER. Because as soon as a lot of the people join the medicare ranks, a lot of people with preexisting problems will be rushing to the doctor trying to get seen, and those bills will just pile up.
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