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Old 05-30-2007, 03:25 PM   #101
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Well, this is the standard kool-aid.

- The problem is that we borrowed money to fund those tax cuts for mostly people that were rich enough that they didn't need it.

This has become a mostly winner take all economy! With CEOs making a higher multiple of worker salaries than ever before. Companies eliminating and defaulting on pension plans, unions, health care just so that we can have the highest paid executives in the world.

It is not moral or in good defense of the country to abandon it's worker's health care needs to enrich executives. Most all of the poor helped these executives get rich and it is the rich's responsibility to ensure that the people that made them wealthy are taken care of in their illness or old age.

There are hardly any rich people that I know of that did not make their money on the backs and hard labor of the working class. Entertainers such as Madonna and Paul McCartney are probably exceptions, yet they don't seem to have the 'I made the money all by myself' delusion.
Nice rant, but are you saying that raising the tax on dividends and capital gains doesn't raise the cost of capital?
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Old 05-30-2007, 03:26 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by Cut-Throat View Post
It is not moral or in good defense of the country to abandon it's worker's health care needs to enrich executives. Most all of the poor helped these executives get rich and it is the rich's responsibility to ensure that the people that made them wealthy are taken care of in their illness or old age.
Perhaps. But ideology aside, going back to what I wrote, I simply question the ability of dividend and capital gains tax hikes to continue funding health care. If you believe in raising taxes for health care reform, these are the wrong taxes to use. They are way too easily avoided.

"The rich" may be willing to take profits at 15%, but not if they lose 1/3 of their profits to taxes. They probably don't NEED the money and thus don't NEED to sell if the tax hit is too great.

Companies may be requested to retain profits to reinvest in the business rather than pay out dividends if they are taxed at 28-35% instead of 15%.

"The rich" collect a disproportionate share of dividends and capital gains, and they are sure to be much less likely to want to invest in dividend stocks or take profits once in a while.

This isn't some right-wing "tax hikes kill the economy" rant (though I do think they can kill the economy *in excess*). Rather, it's just intended to point out that anything financed by (mostly) easily avoidable taxes is doomed from the start.
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Old 05-30-2007, 03:30 PM   #103
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Nice rant, but are you saying that raising the tax on dividends and capital gains doesn't raise the cost of capital?
I am talking 'human capital' here. It has been cheapened so much in the last few years that it is time to start raising it.
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Old 05-30-2007, 03:36 PM   #104
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But what if we could determine the medical costs of smoking, for example?

What if it were determined that smoking causes an extra $20 billion in medical costs per year? And what if we know we sold 10 billion packs of cigarettes in the U.S. each year? Tax each one at $2 per pack, and the system is no longer subsidizing smokers.

Smoking is just one example but the example could be tailored to other things. As far as the nanny state goes, tax it for the extra cost of treating them and be done with it. You wouldn't even need to charge separate tobacco rates in this case, because they've paid the "surcharge" through tobacco taxes.
Ziggy - In some of my research I've read that as much as 50% of all of our healthcare costs can be attributed to complications stemming from obesity, smoking and alcohol and drug abuse. I'm not sure if any hard data can be found on that subject. Right now, the total bill is a little over $2 Trillion, with 1/2 coming from Medicare, Medicaid, and TriCare, and the other 1/2 coming from the private sector.
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Old 05-30-2007, 04:00 PM   #105
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Soylent Green?

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I can arrange to have that coming out of one of the flaming chickens coming out of the lobsters butts.

Anyone know for sure where the butt on a lobster is?
At this point - does it really matter?

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Old 05-30-2007, 04:08 PM   #106
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More fun facts!
  • In 2005, health care spending in the United States reached $2 trillion, and was projected to reach $2.9 trillion in 2009. Health care spending is projected to reach $4 trillion by 2015.
  • Health care spending is 4.3 times the amount spent on national defense.
  • In 2005, the United States spent 16 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on health care. It is projected that the percentage will reach 20 percent in the next decade.
  • Although nearly 47 million Americans are uninsured, the United States spends more on health care than other industrialized nations, and those countries provide health insurance to all their citizens.
  • Health care spending accounted for 10.9 percent of the GDP in Switzerland, 10.7 percent in Germany, 9.7 percent in Canada and 9.5 percent in France, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
  • Premiums for employer-based health insurance rose by 7.7 percent in 2006. Small employers saw their premiums, on average, increase 8.8 percent. Firms with less than 24 workers, experienced an increase of 10.5 percent.
  • The annual premium that a health insurer charges an employer for a health plan covering a family of four averaged $11,500 in 2006. Workers contributed nearly $3,000, or 10 percent more than they did in 2005. The annual premiums for family coverage significantly eclipsed the gross earnings for a full-time, minimum-wage worker ($10,712).
  • Workers are now paying $1,094 more in premiums annually for family coverage than they did in 2000.
  • Since 2000, employment-based health insurance premiums have increased 87 percent, compared to cumulative inflation of 18 percent and cumulative wage growth of 20 percent during the same period.
  • Health insurance expenses are the fastest growing cost component for employers. Unless something changes dramatically, health insurance costs will overtake profits by 2008.
  • According to the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust, premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance in the United States have been rising four times faster on average than workers' earnings since 2000.
  • The average employee contribution to company-provided health insurance has increased more than 143 percent since 2000. Average out-of-pocket costs for deductibles, co-payments for medications, and co-insurance for physician and hospital visits rose 115 percent during the same period.
  • The percentage of Americans under age 65 whose family-level, out-of-pocket spending for health care, including health insurance, that exceeds $2,000 a year, rose from 37.3 percent in 1996 to 43.1 percent in 2003 – a 16 percent increase.
  • National surveys show that the primary reason people are uninsured is the high cost of health insurance coverage.
  • Economists have found that rising health care costs correlate to drops in health insurance coverage.
  • Nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of the uninsured reported changing their way of life significantly in order to pay medical bills.
  • Almost 50 percent of the American public say they are very worried about having to pay more for their health care or health insurance, while 42 percent report they are very worried about not being able to afford health care services.
  • In a poll conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, 43 percent of respondents named high costs as one of the two most important health care issues for government to address.
  • In a USA Today/ABC News survey, 80 percent of Americans said that they were dissatisfied (60 percent were very dissatisfied) with high national health care spending.
  • One in four Americans say their family has had a problem paying for medical care during the past year, up 7 percentage points over the past nine years. Nearly 30 percent say someone in their family has delayed medical care in the past year, a new high based on recent polling. Most say the medical condition was at least somewhat serious.
  • A recent study by Harvard University researchers found that the average out-of-pocket medical debt for those who filed for bankruptcy was $12,000. The study noted that 68 percent of those who filed for bankruptcy had health insurance. In addition, the study found that 50 percent of all bankruptcy filings were partly the result of medical expenses. Every 30 seconds in the United States someone files for bankruptcy in the aftermath of a serious health problem.
  • One half of workers in the lowest-compensation jobs and one-half of workers in mid-range-compensation jobs either had problems with medical bills in a 12-month period or were paying off accrued debt. One-quarter of workers in higher-compensated positions also reported problems with medical bills or were paying off accrued debt.
  • If one member of a family is uninsured and has an accident, a hospital stay, or a costly medical treatment, the resulting medical bills can affect the economic stability of the whole family.
  • A new survey shows that more than 25 percent said that housing problems resulted from medical debt, including the inability to make rent or mortgage payments and the development of bad credit ratings.
  • A survey of Iowa consumers found that in order to cope with rising health insurance costs, 86 percent said they had cut back on how much they could save, and 44 percent said that they have cut back on food and heating expenses .
  • Retiring elderly couples will need $200,000 in savings just to pay for the most basic medical coverage. Many experts believe that this figure is conservative and that $300,000 may be a more realistic number.
Yep, seems like everythings under control. No need for any significant changes...
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Old 05-30-2007, 04:09 PM   #107
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At this point - does it really matter?

Of course it does! I'd hate to be criticized for having a flaming chicken firing from the incorrect location on a lobster!

Its all about the accuracy man!
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Old 05-30-2007, 04:13 PM   #108
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  • Every 30 seconds in the United States someone files for bankruptcy in the aftermath of a serious health problem.

And please allow me to jump the gun and say "Wow...the poor guy!"
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Old 05-30-2007, 04:31 PM   #109
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. . .In some of my research I've read that as much as 50% of all of our healthcare costs can be attributed to complications stemming from obesity, smoking and alcohol and drug abuse. I'm not sure if any hard data can be found on that subject. . .

This would be hilarious if you weren't serious. You basically admit to the charges CFB has leveled against you. You admit that your research involves no hard data.

Well . . . thank-you for being so honest.

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Old 05-30-2007, 04:41 PM   #110
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Cute and Fuzzy -

Martha has posted those facts from the Communist Commonwealth site before. I'm sure that most Americans are well aware of the problems we face....even I am...but I disagree that socializing care is the catch all solution. There are hundreds of other problems with single payor systems that aren't even considered or mentioned by the Commonwealth.

As I've stated before, I do agree that changes need to be made - I've never said the current system is perfect, but I will always support capitalistic solutions over socialistic ones, and there are plenty of ways we can improve the system, in a bi-partisan way without giving away "free" care to all. I will never support a plan that offers unlimited access to care for everyone, with little or no out of pocket responsibility.

A BASIC catastrophic plan with preventive care built in could work well, yet would still require everyone to be responsible for a certain amount of expenses in the middle, regardless of whether they are rich or poor. Without some up-front out of pocket responsibility, there is no incentive to save or plan for expenses which everyone should be responsible to budget for, just like we budget for our own clothing, food, shelter and transportation. Out of pocket responsibility also encourages people to live a healthier lifestyle and hold providers accountable for services. When did Americans begin to think that healthcare should be free?
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Old 05-30-2007, 04:46 PM   #111
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This would be hilarious if you weren't serious. You basically admit to the charges CFB has leveled against you. You admit that your research involves no hard data.

Well . . . thank-you for being so honest.

That's because all of the other figures I have mentioned have been based on hard data.
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Old 05-30-2007, 04:46 PM   #112
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I will never support a plan that offers unlimited access to care for everyone, with little or no out of pocket responsibility.
Hopefully you will lose on this! - Most people would not want to see a baby bird injured without taking care of it. You seem to think it is fine to let people unable to pay for health care to just suffer instead.
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Old 05-30-2007, 04:58 PM   #113
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Also, if you don't like the "borrow and spend" aspects of G.W. Bush, remember that he learned that one from Ronald Reagan.
Thats one of the big reasons I retired. My boss implemented the same philosophy with our company. "borrow and spend". Made me nervous.
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Old 05-30-2007, 04:58 PM   #114
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Sigh. I knew a good discussion would eventually blow up and become excessively political...
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Old 05-30-2007, 04:59 PM   #115
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Hopefully you will lose on this! - Most people would not want to see a baby bird injured without taking care of it. You seem to think it is fine to let people unable to pay for health care to just suffer instead.
Come on CT - she didn't say that - read her post. What she said is everyone should pay a portion of his/her own health care. I interpret that as meaning, we simply can't afford Cadillac plans for everyone. She said she was in favor of catastrophic coverage for everyone with preventative care. That might be a reasonable goal to shoot for. There could always be some kind of tax credit to help low income folks pay their premiums. I think many of us have become spoiled by the Cadillac plans we had when we were working. Heck, people spend several hundred dollars getting their cars serviced, but object to paying $100 (or less) for a doctor visit.
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Old 05-30-2007, 05:46 PM   #116
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Martha has posted those facts from the Communist Commonwealth site before.
Actually from the NCHC, a thoroughly non partisan group co chaired by GHW Bush and Jimmy Carter. Cant get much more non partisan than that...

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As I've stated before, I do agree that changes need to be made - I've never said the current system is perfect, but I will always support capitalistic solutions over socialistic ones, and there are plenty of ways we can improve the system, in a bi-partisan way without giving away "free" care to all. I will never support a plan that offers unlimited access to care for everyone, with little or no out of pocket responsibility.
Replace the topic with "education". Still work for you?
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Old 05-30-2007, 05:51 PM   #117
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When did Americans begin to think that healthcare should be free?
My first day at megacorp 1966. Otherwise they would have paid me in cash what it cost them and let me skip/find my own insurance.

I want my money - cause I never got sick.
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Old 05-30-2007, 05:57 PM   #118
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When did Americans begin to think that healthcare should be free?
When did American Companies begin to think that Education of their workforce should be free?
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Old 05-30-2007, 07:10 PM   #119
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When did American Companies begin to think that Education of their workforce should be free?
Privatize education and there would probably be enough money saved to fund health care
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Old 05-30-2007, 07:22 PM   #120
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Sgeeee, sorry to burst your bubble but I am a very informed person. For many years I paid the health ins premiums and payroll taxes for my husbands business. I'm probaby one of the few individuals of my generatation who have a clue about running a business and it's hidden costs. You just sit back at your keyboard and keep making assumtions of people posting on this board who have an opinion that differs from your own.
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