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Are you part of the solution or ?
Old 07-23-2009, 01:04 PM   #1
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Are you part of the solution or ?

I am anxious over the current Healthcare debacle and wondered what we are doing individually about the situation.

Below is my letter sent to Senator McCain earlier today.

Senator,
This whole issue with the Economy and Health Care needs some common sense approaches. It appears that too few have common sense in the current Congressional and Executive Branch.
Having watched the President speaking on his vision for Health Care reform last evening I can only say I am very afraid for our nation.
I suggest we have a contest for all US Citizens to submit small ideas with big impacts. It could be staffed and sorted by volunteers and compiled for you to present on our behalf. The reward could be simple recognition certificates or plaques and the success of not going down the ugly roads of rationing healthcare and societal bankruptcy. The theme could be simple and catchy i.e. 10x10 America Wins. This would be for 10,000 ideas each generating $10,000 in savings. Many ideas would save much more!
Below are some of my off the top of my head ideas:
DME (durable medical eqpt) is not what my government needs to buy me when I am old or infirm. How many $4000 scooters have we already paid for? I can buy it or do without.
Generic meds is the limit that ins needs to cover.
City clinics for healthy children where they are seen by a nurse practitioner for all routine health care. We can not afford Pediatricians time to discuss diaper rashes.
Required Parenting Education classes during pregnancy and the 1st 5 years to reduce unnecessary medical visits.
Co-pays that are realistic and force all consumers to evaluate the need in advance. Ridiculously low or income based fees encourage over consumption.
Correct our welfare system to require 40 hours work in order to recieve housing, food, healthcare and any other subsidies for all able bodied individuals. If you do not work then you do not get a free ride. We need to get all of the lazy or disenfranchised people off the pity pot and taking care of business. You don't need a degree to clean up litter or paint gov't buildings or mow grass in the parks.
For those who want education: A large tax credit only upon completion of a course of study with defered interest student loans to finance it.
Why do we pay for glasses frames and see an opthamologist for routine glasses instead of an optician? In most cases only because our insurance covers it. Do we need society to pay for stylish frames or can't we get by with basic or self pay?
I am but 1 person with the values of thrift. If we tap the collective wisdom we can come up with thousands of small items that have the ability to make a very major impact.
Please feel free to contact me and let's resolve some ugly issues without bankrupting future generations or euthanasing our seniors!
Thank you,
Connie XXXXXX an early retiree who may not survive the projected tax increases!
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Old 07-23-2009, 01:48 PM   #2
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I'm part of the problem. I plan on being middle class or poor income wise including during FIRE. If the eventual health care "reform" happens in some form similar to what has been proposed, I'll make out fairly well versus the status quo. Others will foot the bill. Hey, I'm a realist.

I figure writing to my senators and congressperson would be a waste of electrons, and would be met with an auto-replied "thanks for your thoughts and concerns" email or form letter. Unless I paypal'ed a big ole contribution to them.
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Old 07-23-2009, 02:01 PM   #3
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I'm part of the problem. I plan on being middle class or poor income wise including during FIRE. If the eventual health care "reform" happens in some form similar to what has been proposed, I'll make out fairly well versus the status quo. Others will foot the bill. Hey, I'm a realist.
Well, as I've said before, the gummint needs to be careful not to go too far with higher taxes on the affluent and more means-tested goodies for the masses. The more you do this, the more you disincentivize working and paying more taxes on higher incomes and the more you encourage people to become net tax consumers instead of net tax payers.

I don't know where that "critical mass" point is where enough successful people would decide it no longer "pays" well enough to stay on the hamster wheel, but when we hit it we'll be in trouble.

It's looking more and more like I'm going to have to do all I can to make sure all my debt remains paid off, my needs remain simple and I can keep my income as low as possible in retirement. Given the direction we're going in, I'd be heavily subsidized by working stiffs while I get to sleep in every day, pay very little in taxes and get "cheap" subsidized health care. We can probably live decently on $30-35K a year right now; that should be low income enough to have my lifestyle subsidized by people who have to keep working because of high debt loads and other stuff.

I hope we don't reach that extreme. But I'm positioning myself to be ready for it if we do. And the more they do it, the more they are pushing me toward FIRE.
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Old 07-23-2009, 02:07 PM   #4
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I figure writing to my senators and congressperson would be a waste of electrons, and would be met with an auto-replied "thanks for your thoughts and concerns" email or form letter. Unless I paypal'ed a big ole contribution to them.

Not only that.... but then you are on their mass mailing list.... talk about spam!!!
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Old 07-23-2009, 02:08 PM   #5
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It's looking more and more like I'm going to have to do all I can to make sure all my debt remains paid off, my needs remain simple and I can keep my income as low as possible in retirement. Given the direction we're going in, I'd be heavily subsidized by working stiffs while I get to sleep in every day, pay very little in taxes and get "cheap" subsidized health care. We can probably live decently on $30-35K a year right now; that should be low income enough to have my lifestyle subsidized by people who have to keep working because of high debt loads and other stuff.

I hope we don't reach that extreme. But I'm positioning myself to be ready for it if we do. And the more they do it, the more they are pushing me toward FIRE.
That is pretty much what I am planning on. But most people won't get it. They will keep working, paying taxes and subsidizing the rest of us. Some for status, some due to being challenged at math. I'd rather spend my time figuring out how to keep Uncle's hands off of my wallet and how to keep picking up all the money Uncle clumsily drops on the ground.
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Old 07-23-2009, 02:21 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
I'm part of the problem. I plan on being middle class or poor income wise including during FIRE. If the eventual health care "reform" happens in some form similar to what has been proposed, I'll make out fairly well versus the status quo. Others will foot the bill. Hey, I'm a realist.
"If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the precipitate" - Anon

Need I remind you that being a bit older than you are, I would be part of the "precipitate" long before you are.
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Old 07-23-2009, 02:56 PM   #7
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Hum. Did you send your letter before or after reading my post which pointed out some issues with your suggestions?
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Old 07-23-2009, 03:26 PM   #8
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Martha,
Since I just read your ideas on the other thread, I will say we were both writing at the same time. I was thinking on it for a couple of hours before sending to my senator. With any idea there are roadblocks or improvements possible. My view is we need the dialogue and suggestions to overcome government waste and draconian measures.
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Old 08-29-2009, 10:12 AM   #9
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... don't forget tort reform.

Hard to blame the Dr's for ordering every test under the sun and charging an arm n'leg for service when they spend so much time and $$ fighting frivolous cases.
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Old 08-29-2009, 10:17 AM   #10
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My lawyer made me laugh while doing our settlement. We were picking up our checks. Figured just an easy in and out thing. Somehow he got on tort reform. Holy cow he was almost frothing at the mouth.
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:01 AM   #11
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... don't forget tort reform.

Hard to blame the Dr's for ordering every test under the sun and charging an arm n'leg for service when they spend so much time and $$ fighting frivolous cases.
Tort reform is a fairly small part of the big picture but it is clearly still a part of the overall cost control picture. And I think it's unfortunate that the majority party has been determined to keep it off the table. As long as they refuse to allow that to be considered as a component, I can't fully fault the other side for stonewalling.
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RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:30 AM   #12
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I am anxious over the current Healthcare debacle and wondered what we are doing individually about the situation.
I hope to die early
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:35 AM   #13
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Around here writing to our politicians wouldnīt get us anywhere. They couldnīt care less about our concerns.To my way of thinking, politicians jockey for position with certain lawyers and journalists for the bottom rung of the ladder of respectablility. I hope none of you take offence. I am a lawyer. Or is it ex-lawyer?
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:40 AM   #14
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Around here writing to our politicians wouldnīt get us anywhere. They couldnīt care less about our concerns.To my way of thinking, politicians jockey for position with certain lawyers and journalists for the bottom rung of the ladder of respectablility. I hope none of you take offence. I am a lawyer. Or is it ex-lawyer?
It's not lawyers in general.

It's the kind of guy you see on daytime TV ads out here that say, "Did you go to do business with a huge multibillion dollar corporation and give yourself a hang nail when you scraped your finger against the shelf the wrong way? THEY WERE NEGLIGENT! Call me NOW and let me get the MILLIONS you DESERVE!"

Plenty of lawyers do good, useful and important work -- but the kind I referenced above make me sick.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
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Old 08-29-2009, 01:05 PM   #15
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Writing to congrescrittes is more expensive and less effective than talking to the wall. No stamps to buy, and at least you get an echo.

Voting works, voting all of them out next time around would work wonders.
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Old 08-29-2009, 01:58 PM   #16
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Tort reform is a fairly small part of the big picture but it is clearly still a part of the overall cost control picture. And I think it's unfortunate that the majority party has been determined to keep it off the table. As long as they refuse to allow that to be considered as a component, I can't fully fault the other side for stonewalling.
Tort reform has done nothing to lower malpractice rates in Texas. It also has done nothing to lower the cost of health care in Texas. Tort reform is a red herring. (And we've gone over this more than once on this forum.)
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Old 08-29-2009, 02:00 PM   #17
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(And we've gone over this more than once on this forum.)
Along with almost every other topic under the sun...
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Old 08-29-2009, 02:13 PM   #18
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OK, I just gotta tell my tort reform story.

Several years ago, right after the reforms became effective, we found out that an oil company had built a pipeline across the remote land that was once our family farm. An oil production company was leasing it, and they gave permission: clearly exceeding their contractual authority. Our first impulse was to sue their @sses, but our lawyer told us no soap.

The reforms limited punitive damages to 3x actual, and the value of limiting the use of a 10 foot wide swath across 100 yards or so of a corner of our vacant prairie doesn't amount to much. No lawyer would take such a case on contingency. We might have found a lawyer who would have taken the case on a per-hour basis, but it would have cost a fortune.

So we are stuck. The pipeline clearly reduces the value of the land, but too bad.

I feel certain that the oil company that laid the pipeline understood the implications of the tort reform and knew exactly what they were doing.

Legislation is a blunt instrument, and can have all sorts of consequences that are not apparent.
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Old 08-29-2009, 02:26 PM   #19
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Start of rant...
I am pretty biased on these issues because I already live in the poster child state for able-bodied citizens scamming the system for everything they can, and it goes on and on...
I have no idea what the overall solutions are, but I do know that we are probably next in line behind CA for irretrievable fiscal disaster if the dole isn't cut off.
Increasing taxes (state level) is only going to drive more w*rking folks and companies out of this state.
End of rant...

Only 9.75 years to go until dh2b retires...
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Old 08-29-2009, 04:37 PM   #20
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I figure writing to my senators and congressperson would be a waste of electrons, and would be met with an auto-replied "thanks for your thoughts and concerns" email or form letter.
Yup, that's what I got. A couple of months later I did get a more individualized response back, only it didn't at all address what my original letter said.

What I also got for my efforts was added to my representative's spam e-mail list.
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