65
   

IT'S TIME FOR UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE

 
 
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Jan, 2007 01:08 pm
mysteryman wrote:

BUT,have you ever seen a FEDERALLY run program that was either on or under budget,and that worked the way the govt says its going to?


Oh how about the USPS. It works pretty well, you know, providing the framework to completly revolutionize our entire economy and buisness structure.

Or Social Security, that works like it was intended and it is currently under budget.
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Jan, 2007 01:42 pm
FreeDuck wrote:
I certainly don't think it will solve the health care problem. But a lot of middle class people might buy health insurance if it were not with after tax dollars. One of the things that makes it affordable for those of us with employer provided health care is that it comes out of our paychecks pre-tax. If your premium is close to $500 a month (which ours has been) then it may be that you can afford to buy it with pre-tax dollars but not with after tax dollars. I've always wondered why premiums are tax deductible if your employer deducts it from your paycheck but not if you write a check for it yourself. If that gets corrected then I'll be happy about it. But I agree that this isn't likely to solve the wider problem.


The difference in using pre-tax vs. post tax dollars wouldn't be all that much - a few hundred dollars a year for most people.

I looked into what CNN had on the plan last night and it offers a slight penalty for those with the most extravagant health insurance (who tend yo be near the top of income earners), very little incentive to those who can't afford insurance (those at the bottom of the income scale), nothing to those who are uninsurable (those with pre-existing health issues) and a windfall to the average working stiff who pays only a small portion of their healthcare costs with the rest being offset by employer-paid insurance.

If he is going to push something along this line he'd be better off, IMO, by changing the existing tax code to allow a % of all medical expenses (insurance, co-pays, deductibles, uninsured items, etc..) as a tax credit and trhen put a cap on the amount of the credit.
0 Replies
 
Baldimo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Jan, 2007 02:43 pm
fishin wrote:
If he is going to push something along this line he'd be better off, IMO, by changing the existing tax code to allow a % of all medical expenses (insurance, co-pays, deductibles, uninsured items, etc..) as a tax credit and trhen put a cap on the amount of the credit.


It almost sounds like they will be giving or rewarding those with the worst health and people such as myself who only go to the Dr. for a yearly physical would get hosed. If I spend less for my medical care then I get almost nothing for being healthy where someone who is always sick would get a tax credit for the money they spend. I think it should be the other way around. If you live a healthy life style and almost never see the Dr. you should get a tax credit at the end of the year because you saved the govt money.
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Jan, 2007 03:28 pm
Baldimo wrote:
fishin wrote:
If he is going to push something along this line he'd be better off, IMO, by changing the existing tax code to allow a % of all medical expenses (insurance, co-pays, deductibles, uninsured items, etc..) as a tax credit and trhen put a cap on the amount of the credit.


It almost sounds like they will be giving or rewarding those with the worst health and people such as myself who only go to the Dr. for a yearly physical would get hosed. If I spend less for my medical care then I get almost nothing for being healthy where someone who is always sick would get a tax credit for the money they spend. I think it should be the other way around. If you live a healthy life style and almost never see the Dr. you should get a tax credit at the end of the year because you saved the govt money.


I don't see how you came to that conclusion at all.
0 Replies
 
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Jan, 2007 05:06 pm
maporsche wrote:
mysteryman wrote:

BUT,have you ever seen a FEDERALLY run program that was either on or under budget,and that worked the way the govt says its going to?


Oh how about the USPS. It works pretty well, you know, providing the framework to completly revolutionize our entire economy and buisness structure.

Or Social Security, that works like it was intended and it is currently under budget.


The USPS is not govt funded.
It is required to make money on its own,thru its postal rates.
The USPS has done so,but since it is not strictly govt controlled or funded,it doesnt count.

As for Social Security,
When it was started it was projected to cost approx 30 billion dollars.
SS spends more then that per year now.
And if it was being run so well,then why are the experts,even those from SS,predicting that there will be a financial problem with SS in the near future?
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Jan, 2007 05:15 pm
Quote:

And if it was being run so well,then why are the experts,even those from SS,predicting that there will be a financial problem with SS in the near future?


Primarily because the system isn't working the way it is supposed to, because the Congress steals money from the trust fund to try and make the books look better.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Jan, 2007 06:03 pm
The problem could be easily solved if Medicare were extended to cover all. Medicare is about eight times more cost efficient than any health insurance firm.

USPS is a government corporation, and there is no evidence that it operates any better than it did before corporation. USPS is far from profitable, but government agencies are not designed to be profitable.

Soc. Sec. is extremely efficient considering its size and scope. Just like insurance companies, actuarial adjustments must sometimes be made. Soc. Sec. money is not stolen by the government. The former loans it out (invests it) similar to what private insurance firms do. No such firm would allow funds to pile up somewhere.

If private enterprise is so wonderful, why is our health system a rotten mess. We need a universal system (preferably Medicare) similar to what every other rich country has.
0 Replies
 
bluecoller-eddie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Jan, 2007 11:42 pm
health
Quote:
mysteryman--Tue Jan 23, 2007 1:10 pm
Will anyone please show me where in the Constitution or in the
US Code anywhere that says the govt is required to provide
health care to everyone.

I have looked and I cant find it anywhere.
[snip]
The Constitution is quite explicit about what the govt may or may not do.


What a crock of crap!!
You didn't look very hard.
The FIRST line on the powers of congress.

Quote:
Webpage Title health
Section 8 - Powers of Congress

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties,
Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common
defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties,
Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;


Doesn't look very explicit to me.
General Welfare can (and does) cover a lot of ****.

Quote:
The Constitutional Dictionary
Webpage Title health

Welfare - n - health, happiness, or prosperity; well-being.


But for red-state republicans welfare is not as much fun
as killing innocent people.

Bluecoller, the grumpy old kruat. Evil or Very Mad
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jan, 2007 01:46 am
mysteryman wrote:
And if it [Social Security] was being run so well,then why are the experts,even those from SS,predicting that there will be a financial problem with SS in the near future?

Mostly because the baby boomers will be retiring in the near future, and fewer young people will be around to pay into the system. While I'm for privatizing Social Security, every privatized version of Social security has the same problem, and requires the same solution. Some combination of increased payments by workers, reduced payments to retirees, and higher age of retirement.
0 Replies
 
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jan, 2007 10:47 am
Experts analyze Bush's health-care plan.



http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/24/AR2007012401956.html
0 Replies
 
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Jan, 2007 10:56 am
Re: health
bluecoller-eddie wrote:
Quote:
mysteryman--Tue Jan 23, 2007 1:10 pm
Will anyone please show me where in the Constitution or in the
US Code anywhere that says the govt is required to provide
health care to everyone.

I have looked and I cant find it anywhere.
[snip]
The Constitution is quite explicit about what the govt may or may not do.


What a crock of crap!!
You didn't look very hard.
The FIRST line on the powers of congress.

Quote:
Webpage Title health
Section 8 - Powers of Congress

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties,
Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common
defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties,
Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;


Doesn't look very explicit to me.
General Welfare can (and does) cover a lot of ****.

Quote:
The Constitutional Dictionary
Webpage Title health

Welfare - n - health, happiness, or prosperity; well-being.


But for red-state republicans welfare is not as much fun
as killing innocent people.

Bluecoller, the grumpy old kruat. Evil or Very Mad


So,lets use your definition of general welfare.
Health...So the govt is required to provide full medical care,needed or otherwise,to EVERY citizen?

Happiness...I will be happy with a new house,with full maintenance,and a new pickup truck.
I will be happy with a job that pays me $500,000 tax free every year,and that allows me 6 months vacation every year.
Since that is what will make me happy,and since according to you definition the govt is required to make everyone happy,when will I get what I need to be happy?

Prosperity...see my above answer
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Jan, 2007 12:33 pm
I have found that those with access to good health care are the ones against health care for all (not universally, but in enough numbers to keep the staus quo). They will dredge up any arguments at hand to keep out the fact that universal health care is not only doable, but should be initiated as quickly as possible.
0 Replies
 
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Jan, 2007 12:41 pm
MM, it is up to congress to decide what is necessary for your general health and welfare. Your wish list is irrelevant.

We have a mess now, wherein corporations often must base their decisions on the effect of health care for their employees.

Doctors spend an inordinate amount of time and money fighting with insurer paperwork and efforts to avoid coverage. For example, long after laparoscopic procedures were full accepted, insurers were saying that they were experimental in order to evade or reduce coverage.
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Jan, 2007 06:30 pm
Advocate wrote:
Fishin, thanks for the additional info on Mitt's plan. I was curious about how the plan was working, and I see that it is too early to really judge it.

Should you learn more about the plan, please let us know.

From what I have heard in the media, Bush's plan is DOA.


Just as an FYI, there was a story on the MA plan and some of what it is running into in yesterday's news.

http://www.thebostonchannel.com/health/10882734/detail.html

The law providing health care was passed and the "connector" (the group that is charged by the State with coming up with all the rules/processes) is stumbling. They came up with a basic health insurance coverage outline and sent it to insurers to get pricing. Originally the idea was that coverage would cost a single person about $200/month. What came back was a $380/month fee.

Additionaly, there has been discussion that a lot more people could face tax penalties because their existing policies don't meet the minimums set by the Connector group. IMO, the Connector group has added to many requirements to this plan. This was supposed to be basic insurance and apparently some of their requirements exceed many of the standard plans. For example - under the Connetor's requirements each covered person is to be allowed 3 doctor visits per year without any co-pay or deductible. The averge policy issued in MA allows for a 1st visit without a deductible but almost all have a co-pay for all visits.

Currently none of the Blue Cross/Blue Shield plans in MA meet the Connector's requirements. Either BC/BS will have to change everyone's plans or their customers will all face tax penalties for being "underinsured". Most out of state plans don't meet the reqirements either and I've already verfied that the health insurance I have as a military retiree (TRICARE) doesn't meet the minimums either.

There is still a lot of work to be done on this.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Feb, 2007 06:46 pm
LoneStarMadam wrote:
Why do so many Canadians come here for their health needs? Is the wait shorter? Do we offer better health care? What is it?

On this (bogus) note, the following related item. It appears that Rick Santorum is lying about Canada's national health care:

Quote:
WORTHWHILE CANADIAN INITIATIVE!:

Funny, I was wondering what Rick Santorum's been up to lately. It seems he's now a senior fellow at the right-wing Ethics and Public Policy Center, and spends his days telling everyone that "government-run medicine" is "socialist" and the "worst of what Europe has to teach us." Nothing too novel there, but then he brings this up:

    "If you look at Canada and cancer survival rates in Canada, [they] are a third of what they are here in the United States simply because people can't get access to care," he notes. "If you're really sick in Canada, you just don't treated because it's a rationing based on money ...."
Is there any basis for this? Doesn't look like it. A 1997 study in the American Journal of Public Health found that "relative [cancer] survival rates were similar for American and Canadian patients." Breast cancer was the sole exception--American patients have a higher survival rate, owing to a greater use of mammograms in the United States. A 2004 study in Health Affairs found the same thing: Canadian survival rates were superior for colorectal cancer and childhood leukemia, similar for cervical cancer, and somewhat worse for breast cancer.

While we're at it, a separate 1997 study in the AJPH discovered something else: If you look within the United States, low-income Americans have significantly lower survival rates than high-income Americans for 12 of 15 types of cancer. That disparity doesn't really exist in Canada. Low-income Canadians, meanwhile, had higher survival rates than their American counterparts for 13 of 15 types of cancer. So there's plenty of "rationing based on money" going on right here in the United States--namely, the poor are less likely to get proper care. (As an added bonus, we can debunk the myth that Canadians are rushing to the United States in droves to get treatment.)

Now, that's not to say the United States should adopt a health care system exactly like Canada's--there are plenty of other systems around the world we could emulate; see Ezra Klein's series on the subject. (As a side note, Santorum seems to be conflating "government-run medicine," which Canada and England have, with "government-run insurance," which is what Medicare is, and which is the far left position on health care reform in this country--no one's proposing we nationalize hospitals and whatnot, ala Canada.) Still, it would be nice if Santorum didn't go around making stuff up.

--Bradford Plumer
0 Replies
 
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Feb, 2007 08:55 am
Advocate wrote:
MM, it is up to congress to decide what is necessary for your general health and welfare. Your wish list is irrelevant.

We have a mess now, wherein corporations often must base their decisions on the effect of health care for their employees.

Doctors spend an inordinate amount of time and money fighting with insurer paperwork and efforts to avoid coverage. For example, long after laparoscopic procedures were full accepted, insurers were saying that they were experimental in order to evade or reduce coverage.


So now its up to the govt to determine what I need to be healthy and happy?

That was the same type of thinking the Soviet govt used in running its country.
Please show me ANYPLACE where the govt has made those decisions for its people that has actually worked.
It is up to me to determine what I need or want for my general health and welfare,not the govt.
The govt is supposed to get out of the way and let me pursue my wants or needs.
0 Replies
 
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Feb, 2007 10:44 am
MM, social security and Medicare, although imperfect, are successful programs. They are not intended to provide all the needs of the public, but instead provide a foundation, which they do.
0 Replies
 
blueflame1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Feb, 2007 11:10 am
0 Replies
 
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Feb, 2007 11:50 am
This is typical Bush -- balance the books on the backs of the elderly and disabled. But, for heavens sake, don't touch the wealthy (his people). And don't ask the oil companies to pitch in some of their obscene profits. Also, keep providing the oil companies with tax and other subsidies.
0 Replies
 
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Feb, 2007 09:47 am
It is of great importance that the governor of the state with the largest population proposes a universal health-care system. Here is a good piece from The New Republic, which covers many of the proposal's weaknesses.



For years, Republicans have attacked advocates of universal health insurance as "socialists." But what are they going to call Arnold Schwarzenegger? Last Monday, the Republican governor announced that he wants to bring universal coverage to California--just as another Republican governor, Mitt Romney, recently did for Massachusetts. This would be the same Schwarzenegger who, in his 2004 prime-time address to the Republican National Convention, decried European-style socialism, pledged his "faith in free enterprise," and called Democrats "economic girlie-men" for harping on the financial insecurity of their fellow citizens. Apparently, this was before he realized that millions of Californians were struggling with medical bills--and that only government could solve the crisis. Who's the girlie-man now?

Of course, Schwarzenegger and Romney aren't the only elected officials talking about universal health care these days. Two Democratic senators, Ron Wyden and Ted Kennedy, are touting plans of their own. More plans should be forthcoming from their party's presidential candidates. Still, it's Schwarzenegger, like Romney before him, getting all the attention. And with good reason. When prominent Republicans start embracing universal coverage, it's a sign that the next great debate about health care has begun.

But how will it end? A lot depends on how liberals react to proposals like Schwarzenegger's. On the one hand, his plan represents a clear departure from the previous decade, when even Democrats limited themselves to incrementalism. It would give coverage to virtually every California citizen and would break some important political taboos along the way. The plan features extensive regulations of the insurance industry, so that it cannot exclude people with prior medical conditions. It also has higher taxes and requirements that employers contribute toward health insurance. There is even bigger government, in the form of expanded Medicaid.

Still, the plan has some serious drawbacks. For one thing, its minimum-benefits package seems meager, which could encourage employers who now offer more generous coverage to cut back. For another, its financing scheme makes some heroic assumptions about the savings that reform will produce.

But perhaps the biggest problem with Schwarzenegger's plan is the danger that it could stall momentum for more sweeping changes--both in California and beyond. His proposal arrives on the heels of a measure he vetoed last year that would have created a single-payer system--the most comprehensive type of reform, in that it seeks to blow up the entire health care system and have government insure citizens directly. Yet even people who support single-payer may be tempted to rally around schemes like Schwarzenegger's, which have more limited ambitions, because they might fear their preferred plans couldn't pass.

It's a reasonable instinct. Reformers with long memories know that the United States probably came closest to creating universal coverage in 1974, when Richard Nixon (hey, another Republican!) embraced the idea, only to have Democrats reject it because they believed they could pass a better plan.

But it's not self-evident that moderate plans are so politically viable, either. Consider what happened to Bill Clinton, who tried desperately to blunt the opposition of special interest groups and get past Americans' well-known skepticism of government. The result was a plan so complicated that it failed to capture the public's imagination. Meanwhile, even interest groups that stood to benefit ceded the political field to organizations that opposed change.

At the very least, it's premature for would-be reformers to "settle" on a plan that, like Schwarzenegger's, has some major flaws. If this plan defines the outer limits of political acceptability, then whatever compromise it finally produces will likely have even greater deficiencies.

Yes, champions of universal coverage should welcome the likes of Schwarzenegger to their cause. But these common areas of belief should be the beginning of discussion, not the end. There is a time for compromise, and that time will come soon enough. But, right now, advocates of universal health care should speak openly and unabashedly about what they actually believe is right, even if that means proclaiming ambitions that defy conventional notions of the politically possible. That is how you stretch the boundaries of debate. And that is how reform, eventually, will happen.
0 Replies
 
 

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