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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer
Old 09-05-2006, 02:29 PM   #101
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer

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Life IS risk if you don't do your best at living then you will surely fall short and have want for things. Many on this site have taken great risks and some panned out others didn't.

If you can't stand the risk stay out of the game.
Yes, Life is risk. And it is a definitive quality of humans to lessen that risk. THAT is also Life. To flip off attempting to lessen risk is to deny 40,000 yrs of progress. The Rich mostly are into avoidig rsik. Risk is for the small fry and anybody else who is not able to avoid it and is forced to eat it.

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if you don't do your best at living then you will surely fall short and have want for thin
This is simply the same asserition granmdma alsways used. It doesn't apply if you simply get lucky. And all tehs triving in tehw orld will not lead to success on it's own. Taht's why tey keep telling us "Life ain't fair". "Stive and Achive", and "Life ain't fair". The new Opiates of the Masses
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer
Old 09-05-2006, 02:37 PM   #102
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer

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Originally Posted by Martha
If government insurance or government provided healthcare isn't pallatable, I would compromise at government subsidizes.
Healthcare already receives enormous subsidies from the federal government. Even if you don't count Medicare (which is enormous) the healthcare industry is subsidized enormously in the form of tax breaks. Employer healthcare plans are not taxed.

Just as an example, let's assume that 80 Million Americans are part of employer health plans (this number is probably low) and that the average price per person for a health plan is $175/month (this number is also conservative). Adding all that up annually equals $168 Billion.

Let us also assume an average federal marginal tax rate on those people of 28%. 28% of $168 Billion is $67 Billion.

Throw Medicare, state tax breaks and state medical plans on top of that and pretty soon we're talking about real money!
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer
Old 09-05-2006, 02:42 PM   #103
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer

healthcare premiums are part of an individuals compensation; the tax break you allude to accures to the individual, not the health plan.
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer
Old 09-05-2006, 03:36 PM   #104
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer

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Originally Posted by ash
Healthcare already receives enormous subsidies from the federal government. Even if you don't count Medicare (which is enormous) the healthcare industry is subsidized enormously in the form of tax breaks. Employer healthcare plans are not taxed.
Private healthcare plans are not taxed either. Nor are other medical payments (wheather you have insurance or not, you can deduct necessary medical bills).

Aid from family and friends would work if the bills were not so out of hand. People need some sort of safety net as individuals can currently be wiped out financially if emergencies aries.
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer
Old 09-05-2006, 03:47 PM   #105
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer

Lifestyle choices, eh...yeah, that choice I made to go on a hike at the very moment a tick infected with Lyme Disease was sitting on a twig beside the trail, that was really stupid. And what was I thinking, not getting correctly diagnosed for 10 years! Clearly the consequences of chronic Lyme are insufficiently punitive for such brazen stupidity--I should be sentenced to ridiculously high-cost individual health insurance for the rest of my life, at the very least! : :P
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer
Old 09-05-2006, 04:27 PM   #106
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer

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And what was I thinking, not getting correctly diagnosed for 10 years!
You, too eh? You should have asked Nords. He knows all that stuff. It's like magic!

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Clearly the consequences of chronic Lyme are insufficiently punitive for such brazen stupidity--I should be sentenced to ridiculously high-cost individual health insurance for the rest of my life, at the very least!
Hey, just be glad you didn't run up another hundred thou in medical costs due to the adverse reaction from medication you didn't need for a condition you didn't have



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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer
Old 09-05-2006, 05:44 PM   #107
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer

According to the 2005 Census we are up to 46.6 million uninsured and down to about 59.5% of employers offering health insurance to employees.

At some point something will be done.* *


EDIT to add link: www.census.gov/prod/2006pubs/p60-231.pdf
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer
Old 09-05-2006, 06:25 PM   #108
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer

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Originally Posted by d
healthcare premiums are part of an individuals compensation; the tax break you allude to accures to the individual, not the health plan.
Exactly. Sorry if my post wasn't clear; calling it "compensation" (which is what it is of course) does make it a lot more clear.

All of that compensation isn't getting taxed like normal income would be. It's one big federal subsidy program for healthcare.
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer
Old 09-05-2006, 06:48 PM   #109
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer

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It's one big federal subsidy program for healthcare.
no; it's a subsidy for the individual receiving that compensation, just as is a mortgage interest deduction.
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer
Old 09-05-2006, 08:19 PM   #110
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer

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Originally Posted by razztazz
Nobody ever implies that. If you cannot afford this "best" will you then agree to just die? How about if you cannot afford ANY because you're broke? Willl you then agree to do your economic duty to The System and just die? No, you will start crying "There ougtta be a law...!"

As an ex 20 yr military person some sort of Gov run Universal medical industry is NOT the way to go. It's the old "Company Store". But very few I've heard ever advocate that type of system.
If I can not afford the best.. then YES, I die.. it happens all the time.. it is life...

Do you think that the rich do not get the best There is a thriving business at Methodist hospital here in Houston doing overseas people.. and I am sure the rest of the hospitals here do the same thing.. they get paid full boat on their service..

But, the poor guy gets looked at, but does not get the heart transplant or the kidney or other thing that will save his life..
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer
Old 09-06-2006, 04:40 AM   #111
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer

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Private healthcare plans are not taxed either.* Nor are other medical payments (wheather you have insurance or not, you can deduct necessary medical bills).
You can only deduct bills once they hit a certain amount, like several thousands of dollars. Since I owned my own home I didn't have the mortage deduction which (completely logically* : ) prevented me from deducting medical costs. Owning my own business meant I could not deduct my health insurance costs either (this has been changing slowly.. 25% deductible, 50%, 80%) but in the '90s I was shouldering 100% of the cost, as opposed to WalMart and Microsoft that got writeoffs.

High-income people with lots of Sched. A deductions get tax writeoffs. Low income people don't. (Yes, if your income is low enough to pay hardly any tax, may one could argue that the gov't. shouldn't be giving you extra $$ in form of a credit/cash back.. but why give a health-cost DISCOUNT to those whose can afford to pay full price, and not everyone else?)*

and then you ask why the poor get poorer?
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer
Old 09-06-2006, 07:32 AM   #112
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer

Yes and no Ladelfina.* For those who aren't self employed you may deduct only the amount by which your total medical care expenses for the year exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income.* Not many high income tax payers are going to be able to take advantage of this deduction.

However, as others mentioned, insurance provided by your employer isn't income to you but is a deduction for the employer.* Often, employers also have plans where you can pay your portion of the premium with pre-tax dollars (though that may not be available to the highly compensated).* So, there are tax benefits for middle income people.*





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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer
Old 09-06-2006, 09:05 AM   #113
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer

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Originally Posted by ladelfina
You can only deduct bills once they hit a certain amount, like several thousands of dollars. Since I owned my own home I didn't have the mortage deduction which (completely logically* : ) prevented me from deducting medical costs. Owning my own business meant I could not deduct my health insurance costs either (this has been changing slowly.. 25% deductible, 50%, 80%) but in the '90s I was shouldering 100% of the cost, as opposed to WalMart and Microsoft that got writeoffs.

High-income people with lots of Sched. A deductions get tax writeoffs. Low income people don't. (Yes, if your income is low enough to pay hardly any tax, may one could argue that the gov't. shouldn't be giving you extra $$ in form of a credit/cash back.. but why give a health-cost DISCOUNT to those whose can afford to pay full price, and not everyone else?)*

and then you ask why the poor get poorer?
Almost everything you said is the opposite of what is correct.

Not having a mortgage doesn't prevent you from deducting medical expenses.

Owning your own business means you can deduct health care premiums.

High-income people have some or all of their write-offs phased out.

Low-income people qualify for more write-offs than high-income people.

Some low-income people get free money from the government (both federal and some states) in the form of the Earned Income Credit.* No high-income people get this free government money.

The poor get poorer generally because they don't try to get richer or are not smart enough to get richer.* There are some bad luck or bad health-related exceptions to this, but for the most part, poor people are poor because they don't try hard enough to improve their lives.* They are more focused on copouts instead of focusing on ways to succeed.
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer
Old 09-06-2006, 09:40 AM   #114
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer

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Originally Posted by d
no; it's a subsidy for the individual receiving that compensation, just as is a mortgage interest deduction.
Sure. You can look at it as personal compensation that doesn't get taxed, or a business expense that doesn't get taxed...whatever. How it gets administered is, while not irrelevant, the less interesting part. The key part is that it doesn't get taxed, and like all subsidies, it encourages a particular type of behavior (in this case healthcare spending) by making it effectively cheaper.

Martha had stated that she would be satisfied with government subsidies for healthcare, and I'm simply pointing out that they already exist.
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer
Old 09-06-2006, 09:50 AM   #115
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer

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Originally Posted by ash
Sure. You can look at it as personal compensation that doesn't get taxed, or a business expense that doesn't get taxed...whatever. How it gets administered is, while not irrelevant, the less interesting part. The key part is that it doesn't get taxed, and like all subsidies, it encourages a particular type of behavior (in this case healthcare spending) by making it effectively cheaper.

Martha had stated that she would be satisfied with government subsidies for healthcare, and I'm simply pointing out that they already exist.
Yes, and I confirmed they exist. The type of subsidy I am talking about would be similar to the programs I discussed that are in place in Minnesota.

Minnesota does fine and has a healthy economy. Minnesota's social programs contribute to quality of life.
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer
Old 09-06-2006, 10:15 AM   #116
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer

grr.. since it happened to me, it is not an opinion:

1. You're right Martha, about the 7.5%. If you have an AGI, as I did, of $15k one year, you can't write off your expenses even if they are over 7.5% (which they were) since you're still under the std. ded'n. Result: in reality this threshold for me was more like 20%.

2. NOW the self-employed can partially or totally deduct health ins. In the mid/late '90s they could not, and I paid taxes on every penny of health insurance. I mentioned that this has changed (yay!).

3. While high-income people may have their write-offs phased out, those who have (tax-free)employer-provided health plans are realizing a discount over those who have to pay out-of-pocket. See ash's posts on how all those dollar$ aren't taxed.

4. If you think someone with a less-than-six-figure income is "low income", I agree. I'm thinking more about someone making $20-30k as an employee and somehow footing their own health insurance payments. I'm not sure that their 'write-offs' or tax credits will somehow leave them in an equally positive or neutral situation compared to the high-income group (looking at medical/health ins. expenses and related taxes only).

Someone with (tax-subsidized) insurance might get a bill of $25 for that $800 suturing job. A low/middle income person with no health insurance might get to talk the bill down to $400, which they won't get to deduct!! Hmmm.. seems fair, right!? *Tax-wise and otherwise?? (sarcasm)

Seems like the system is narrowing to the extent that, not only is the middle class sharing more of the burden, there's less of a middle-class "platform" of well-being. There's more like a sharp wedge that tends to drive some people up and others down more precipitously than before. Sink or swim.
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer
Old 09-06-2006, 10:28 AM   #117
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer

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If I can not afford the best.. then YES, I die.
Well I hope it all works out for you. And btw you don't need "the best". All of it shoud be equal for everyvbody. So the rich would get the worst & the best I guess.

In any event I know, we all know, a wealthy, prosperous, great, and noble nation can do way better than what we have now and better than the cop- outs, and rationalizers, and justifiers keep insisting we should settle for.
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer
Old 09-06-2006, 01:14 PM   #118
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer

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Minnesota does fine and has a healthy economy. Minnesota's social programs contribute to quality of life.
Is it wrong to only want to be responsible for my own health and that of my family?
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer
Old 09-06-2006, 02:12 PM   #119
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer

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Is it wrong to only want to be responsible for my own health and that of my family?
No it's wrong that you don't care enough about your neighbor to want work longer to provide them with health insurance, no matter what poor choices they made in thier lives. :
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer
Old 09-06-2006, 02:36 PM   #120
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Re: Rich get richer / poor get poorer

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Is it wrong to only want to be responsible for my own health and that of my family?
Wrong? In some objective sense? I dunno. What is your philosophy of life? Is your standard the Golden Rule, what would Jesus do, every man for himself, or what?

And what do you mean by "responsible"? Just because I pay taxes doesn't mean I hold myself repsonsible for the War in Iraq, food stamps, or the FDIC.
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