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Side by side comparison of Dem candidates' health care blueprint
Old 02-22-2008, 01:09 AM   #1
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Side by side comparison of Dem candidates' health care blueprint

Interesting side by side comparison of Dem candidates' health care blueprint:

http://images.huffingtonpost.com/bluchart1.pdf
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Old 02-22-2008, 02:45 AM   #2
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Nice. Thanks.



I may want what no one can deliver. Personal responsibility at an affordable price.


The trick is likely to be the ability to create an affordable system that does not limit our access, timing, and choice of getting health care services.

At the same time it is important for all to participate. The way I look at it is we all age and the probability of us needing health care increases as we age (some need it younger). If you participate when you are healthy and young, you pay and are likely to benefit less than when you age. If everyone tries to wait until they are old, there is no way to spread the enormous cost around such that it is affordable.

Another issue is to create a system such that people are not wasteful with it. IMHO this is where a copay is useful. I think all people should have a copay (even the poor) on some sliding scale. The reason is that there is an incentive to conserve the services and not abuse it (waste).


My personal choice would be for reform of the private system if it can work. Stop the redlining by insurance companies (make insurance affordable). Get the spiraling drug costs under control. The Pharm companies and the middle man are sticking it to us. On Pharm... it would be a good first step to outlaw advertising. That just creates an overhead that benefits no one but the sales group. Information release are fine. But billion $ spent on ad campaigns just increase costs.

I believe private accounts and tax deductions can help.

I am a bit fearful of Universal health care (run by the government). When I see the complaints by the Canucks and Brits... I am not sure it is the best approach.
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Old 02-22-2008, 06:55 AM   #3
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I thought Hilary was going to put all the poor & uninsurables into FEHB (also known as Federal Employees Health Benefits plan) & subsidize their premiums. I've heard her tout FEHB in speeches as "the same plan as members of Congress"

I don't see that part of her plan on this chart. Is she playing that down now so all the Dem voting Federal employees don't get wise to it?

As a Federal employee (soon to retire) I am outraged by that plan. People think FEHB
is some kind of "freebie" we get. Yes, the govt does pay a nice portion of our premium, but that is a benefit of our employment just like at any other big company, (just one reason I hung in there for 25 years) it's certainly not a "freebie" and we do pay a healthy portion of the premium ourselves - not too mention that costs have continued to go up & benefits have gone down in FEHB over the past 10 to 15 years - just like many of the private sector plans.

Putting all the poor & uninsurables into FEHB will only serve to destroy our risk pool & further drive up the costs for the "paying customers" (working federal employees). I suppose the Dems would like to just force all federal employees & retirees on Medic-Aid in the end & make us pay a progressive premium commensurate with our annual AGI in order to subsidize all the poor & uninsurables.
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Old 02-22-2008, 07:35 AM   #4
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I thought Hilary was going to put all the poor & uninsurables into FEHB (also known as Federal Employees Health Benefits plan) & subsidize their premiums. I've heard her tout FEHB in speeches as "the same plan as members of Congress"
Actually, I heard that she sold her soul to Satan and will be putting the entire populations of Mexico, Guatemala, and Kenya into FEHB. She will also give all illegal aliens pointy sticks with which they will be allowed to poke federal employees and veterans.
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Old 02-22-2008, 10:09 AM   #5
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Actually, I heard that she sold her soul to Satan and will be putting the entire populations of Mexico, Guatemala, and Kenya into FEHB. She will also give all illegal aliens pointy sticks with which they will be allowed to poke federal employees and veterans.
You might want to be careful eating that popcorn with your tounge in your cheek, junior.
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Old 02-22-2008, 11:41 AM   #6
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I may want what no one can deliver. Personal responsibility at an affordable price.
Not now. Romney is out of the race.
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Old 02-22-2008, 11:57 AM   #7
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Whatever comes out I just hope they don't make things worse
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Old 02-22-2008, 01:16 PM   #8
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Whatever comes out I just hope they don't make things worse
Here's hoping you're not holding your breath on this one.
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Old 02-22-2008, 01:32 PM   #9
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DH was all jazzed about Clinton's original attempt at the health care problem. It was about the time we pulled the plug (age 49 in '96) and COBRA was $800/mo, with about half the benefits we had while working. We thought it was a pretty steep price for pretty poor coverage (decreased dr/hosp coverage with increased copays, no meds, no dental, no vision, etc.). When we finally got a copy of Clinton's (her) plan, which was an amazingly thin booklet, we found that we had the right to continue to pay $800/mo COBRA...no relief for us at all.

I doubt that anyone will get anything accomplished regarding universal health care. I would love to see a dollar for dollar deduction of medical insurance/medical expenses from income...like that's ever going to happen.
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Old 02-22-2008, 01:41 PM   #10
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One thing I did not see in this summary is Clinton's statement that she would look to garnish the wages of those who do not purchase the mandated health care insurance. At a certain income level, the choice may well be between eating this month or having health insurance. That is a choice people should not be required to make.

My own choice would be to eliminate health insurance entirely and go to a single government payer, tax funded system. No matter how ethical, insurance companies exist to make a profit. Thus every dollar put into the system does not result in a dollar's worth of health care. Some is siphoned off to pay the shareholders.
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Old 02-22-2008, 01:49 PM   #11
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One thing I did not see in this summary is Clinton's statement that she would look to garnish the wages of those who do not purchase the mandated health care insurance. At a certain income level, the choice may well be between eating this month or having health insurance. That is a choice people should not be required to make.
Wouldn't those people already be subsidized by both the Clinton & Obama plans? If anyone were to have their wages garnished, I would think it would be those who could afford but choose not to buy insurance.
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Old 02-22-2008, 02:04 PM   #12
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How do we determine who can "afford" to buy health care but "chooses" not to? People of the same income level may have wildly different financial obligations (for example, some people make what many would consider a decent salary but have a crushing student loan burden).
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Old 02-22-2008, 02:08 PM   #13
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Here's hoping you're not holding your breath on this one.
Actually Im hoping McCain wins so we have another stalemate for 4 years.
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Old 02-22-2008, 02:22 PM   #14
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How do we determine who can "afford" to buy health care but "chooses" not to? People of the same income level may have wildly different financial obligations (for example, some people make what many would consider a decent salary but have a crushing student loan burden).
I was trying to address your point about people having to choose between food and health insurance.

Clinton's point, which is shared by many, is that mandates are necessary for the following reasons:

(1) It is costly to the system to have uncovered folks showing up at emergency rooms. This will continue the inefficiencies and cost-shifting we currently have.

(2) To help keep premiums down, you want young and healthy people in the risk pool.
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Old 02-22-2008, 02:41 PM   #15
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I was trying to address your point about people having to choose between food and health insurance.

Clinton's point, which is shared by many, is that mandates are necessary for the following reasons:

(1) It is costly to the system to have uncovered folks showing up at emergency rooms. This will continue the inefficiencies and cost-shifting we currently have.

(2) To help keep premiums down, you want young and healthy people in the risk pool.
I agree with both points, but I see huge practical problems with mandates. I am not fully onboard with Obama either, but I think his plan is more realistic.
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Old 02-22-2008, 06:36 PM   #16
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I think if people are to poor to pay for medical care, we should dress them up like arabs and use them as target practice for our military . It is really a three fer puts the sick people out of their misery, reduces health care expense, and training costs for the military.

With apologies to Jonathan Swift
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Old 02-23-2008, 07:23 AM   #17
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People of the same income level may have wildly different financial obligations (for example, some people make what many would consider a decent salary but have a crushing student loan burden).
I could have missed your point. But I have little to no sympathy for people who do not manage their personal finances. They need to deal with it themselves. Those financial obligations you cite were personal choice and purchases for which that person got service or product. In the case of education, hopefully it helped them get that job that pays a decent salary (it gave them an advantage).

Personal responsibility for personal debt is a growing problem... people not managing finances is a personal problem and should remain so. We have bankruptcy laws to allow people to clear debt... and those laws and their intentions are often abused. By the way, the rest of us pay for people who abuse those laws and/or do not pay their bills. We pay by having higher prices and investors pay. The companies do not pay, we pay.

If one makes a decent salary, they have financial choices. One of those options should not be "I spent all of my money and now I have other needs so why don't you pay for it"!

Personal debt is a huge problem for all of us. Making it easier for people to shirk their responsibility is not going to help.
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Old 02-23-2008, 07:48 AM   #18
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I think you did miss my point, which was simply that the garnishment idea is bad because it would be very difficult to determine who can "afford" health care insurance, but "chooses" not to buy it. Those are subjective decisions, not objective ones. If you have a law, it should apply easily measurable standards, while at the same time recognizing that not everyone fits in the same box. In this context, I don't think that is possible.

You excoriate the person with big student loan debt (the whole student loan/college finance fiasco is the subject for a different thread). I don't think that is fair, but lets consider another example -- what if the obligation is support of an autistic child? My point is that life is rarely black and white. People labor under burdens that you or I probably will never know about. We have been successful, in my case due to a tremendous amount of good fortune. I am reluctant to chastise those who have not been as successful.
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Old 02-23-2008, 10:37 AM   #19
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Here's the problem as I see it - and why the issue of health care seems to be such an intractable problem.

People have different socio-economic views/philosphies regarding health care in this country. More & more people in our country nowadays are leaning more towards desiring a socialistic nanny type government. The ideas of personal & financial liberty & responsibility and having to just live with misfortune (whether your fault or not) have changed in many people's minds.

Many people nowadays are starting to view health care as a "right" and not a "commodity". Same is true with housing, food, & some even now claim transportation to be a basic "right" of Americans. (personal automotive transportaton that is - not just public transport)

Fifty years and more ago, you might have to sell the farm to pay for "grandma's operation", it was not expected (nor was it available) that everybody else (through the mechanism of federal government regulations & mandates) would pay for your misfortune (whether your fault or not).

Fact is also - we just have a wider variety of health care treatments, operations, medications, and therapies available on the market nowadays than we used to - & they all cost MONEY! Lots of money.

Fifty or more years ago, you might get the one or two treatments, operations, or medications available for your particular malady, and after that the doctors told you & your family you were just going to have to live with it (or maybe die from it) because all options had been exhausted. Your whole family might have to suffer financially for years to raise & take care of that handicapped child in the old days. The only alternative was to turn the child over to a State institution - which was a much cheaper option for everybody else who you were asking to take care of your handicapped child for you. (now you can have free (or publicly subsidized) medical care, home health care/aides, etc for that severely handicapped child - & still have that Excurison in the driveway of your 2500 sq ft 4 bdrm, 3 bath house & take the kids to DisneyWorld each summer)

Personally, being a bit of a libertarian with "Ron Paul" type mindset, I think the provision and management of health care to the populace is not really a government function. Things like national defense (not offense), interstate highways, enforcement of contracts, border security, etc - are.

However, I understand where others are "coming from" philosphically who feel the fed govt has a role in anything that promotes "the common welfare" of the people - I just happen to disagree with them. I've been told I would have a different philosophy myself if I had a severely handicapped person in my household.

If I had to prognosticate though, I would guess the socialistic, nanny type philosophy is going to continue to win out in this battle of ideas for some time & we will continue to gravitate toward serfdom to the multinational corporate "powers that be" - (We the Sheeple)

someday, however, the tide may turn & the pendulum swing back decideley in the other direction - or perhaps I'm just dreaming.
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Old 02-23-2008, 10:52 AM   #20
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I think you did miss my point, which was simply that the garnishment idea is bad because it would be very difficult to determine who can "afford" health care insurance, but "chooses" not to buy it. Those are subjective decisions, not objective ones. If you have a law, it should apply easily measurable standards, while at the same time recognizing that not everyone fits in the same box. In this context, I don't think that is possible.

You excoriate the person with big student loan debt (the whole student loan/college finance fiasco is the subject for a different thread). I don't think that is fair, but lets consider another example -- what if the obligation is support of an autistic child? My point is that life is rarely black and white. People labor under burdens that you or I probably will never know about. We have been successful, in my case due to a tremendous amount of good fortune. I am reluctant to chastise those who have not been as successful.
Thought I may have missed it.

Many complicated issues. On garnishment of wages. You are likely to be correct there are certain special cases that would need to be dealt with.

The student loan example. I would agree that some people find themselves in very difficult life situations. And some of those may need some assistance. However, that does not generally apply to everyone. The vast majority of student loan debt is related to people who borrowed for school. They made a decision to borrow money to go to school. They took advantage of the loan to get an education and they should have to pay for it. Nothing unfair there. Matter of fact they got an advantage, the money was made available.

I think the crux of the problem is that there are a few people (relative to the population) that have special needs. The problem is that others try to game the system. I think many/most Americans (liberal or conservative) have some sympathy towards people who may have medical conditions that are extreme. There appears to be a bit of a divide when it comes to the people who just want a free ride.

Those same people could avail themselves of funds to go to school through other methods such as service in the military, Peace Corp, Teach America, Americorps etc.
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