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Old 09-17-2009, 06:17 PM   #181
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What difference does it make if the factors causing rejection for insurance coverage are lifestyle or non-lifestyle based? Are you trying to say that if a person has a condition that is due to lifestyle choices such as tobacco, alcohol, diet or stressful employment, then he/she shouldn't be covered?

IMO, that would be ridiculous. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding your implications here. I hope so.
Iím not implying anything. I am saying I am denied coverage due to factors not related to lifestyle. Just a simple fact.

Being denied coverage for a reason not within my control while someone else gets full coverage (and perhaps tax subsidies and most favorable pricing) in spite of having poor health, diet and lifestyle habits is quite difficult to accept. It would be funny if it werenít so pitiful.

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Forget that last part. Like Martha, I get a bit upset writing about this.
I think that your civil tone, along with Marthaís, is quite the positive example.

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Again... I do not have any problem in having these problems addressed in some insurance bill.. but they do not fix the cost problem... and paying a lot of money for the uninsured does not fix the cost problem (nor the one mentioned above... we can fix them without having everybody on board)...

So, I wish they would stop saying it is a plan to fix healtcare and call it what it is... a welfare bill to pay for insurance for the uninsured... with some benefits thrown in for the rest of us...
This is a harsh assessment. Two of my children will likely be recipients of some subsidy. Both are professionals. One works for a non-for profit that canít afford to provide insurance and doesnít pay enough to buy it separately. Another has to pay 30% of her after tax for a health care premium that has a $1.5K deductible Ė but she cannot do without. No welfare here Ė these are hard working people, like many others, trying to get ahead.

If current health care benefits were taxed like salary, almost the entire cost of the program would be paid for.
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Old 09-17-2009, 06:24 PM   #182
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Originally Posted by Sevo View Post
You have to understand that FDR and the Democratic Congresss forced the link between your employer and your insurance. Your personal tragedy started with government interference in the health care in 1943.
I will not defend FDR's wartime wage and price controls, which certainly led to the employer based system we have now, but I think forced is stretching it a bit.

The most unbiased-sounding source I could Google up confirmed my recollection of what happened. It was sort of accidental.

From:
The New England Journal of Medicine
Vol. 355:82-83 No. 1
July 6, 2006
Downloadable PDF available here.
Roosevelt discussed health care over lunch with Cushing the day before he signaled his decision not to push for the immediate passage of a health insurance component of Social Security.
President Roosevelt’s decision left a pressing need for alternative forms of protection against the growing costs of illness. Private insurance emerged to fill this gap in the early 1930s in the form of the nonprofit Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans. Commercial insurers subsequently entered the business, once they saw that the Blues were successful. The resultant private insurance industry was therefore ready to sell insurance to employers when the opportunity to do so emerged during World War II.
This opportunity arose because, to control inflation in the overheated wartime economy, the federal government in 1942 limited employers’ freedom to raise wages and thus to compete on the basis of pay for scarce workers. However, the federal government allowed employers to expand benefits for workers, such as health insurance, which resulted in a rapid increase in employer- sponsored insurance.
The key word here is allowed.

FDR decided against pushing for a national health plan, although many think he could have rammed it through.

...putting on my asbestos underwear now.
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Old 09-17-2009, 07:49 PM   #183
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I agree Texas Proud. In fact, it seems that almost everyone agrees that there are problems with the current "system."

Agreeing on what the new "system" should look like and how it should operate and who should pay for it seems more contentious.

Politicians, from the President on down, spend way too much time citing anecdotal examples of individuals facing problems today and not nearly enough time explaining how their new proposal will work and answering questions such as:

Why won't every citizen have the same coverage?

Why are there efforts to allow special interest groups (unions, politicians, etc.) to be exempted?

How much will it cost and who will pay? Will it be paid for real time or on the backs of the next generations?

Who will decide what procedures will be covered and who qualifies?

Etc. Etc.

We've all heard the endless anecdotal stories. Let's get on to detailed proposals with explanations of why they're being constructed the way they are.
The first two questions are due to political expediency. I'm not happy about it.

I do know some about your other questions, but remember we have several plans being circulated around so what is true today may not be tomorrow or is being negotiated.

The intent is to be pay as you go on all the plans, through savings, taxes, and premiums. Arguably because our federal government runs a deficit nothing is really pay as you go. Also, we tend to and may need to spend more money in bad times and catch up in good. Eg, more people will need subsidized insurance when unemployment is as high as it is and fewer will when the economy is booming. That is the problem with medicaid and state funding. More people need it now but because of the financial problems of states less people are able to get it.


I think the nuts and bolts aren't talked about much in the press partly because it isn't sexy. The other reason is that or legislators are still working on it.
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:22 PM   #184
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unfortunately for so many people in the US the end result, regardless of what the intention was, is that we are all in the same boat you are. Insurance that belongs to the Government/Insurance/ megacorp/ complex rather than to individuals. We have to understand that Megacorp and the Insurance companies can and always will have far far more influence than you or I have because they can wine dine and Bribe Donate far more than we can.

Again I have all the sympathy in the world for all of us caught up in the god awful mess that we have made by sticking to 2 major parties and reelecting the same people over and over again.

Unfortunately There is no hope in sight for now. We are going to get what ever the Feds feel are best for their chances for reelection next election cycle and when they are through with us we'll all fuss with each other and then march back to the polls and put the same cynical ruthless crooks back in power. We just had this great big vote for "Change" and we still have almost the EXACT SAME people in congress.
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:28 PM   #185
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We are not totally powerless. The odds are stacked against us, but nothing is ever hopeless. The most important legislation we citizens should rally for to take the devil out of politics, is to make it illegal for companies to contribute to compaigns in any form and in any amount. All money for campaigns should be sent in as a % of income by every US citizen to the party of their choice with their income tax reform.

They did pretty good this last election by non mandated contributions from ordinary people. They would do just fine with a mandated small contribution from every US citizen. Then we could perhaps have more representatives working without so many favors to pay back.

Change can come with large numbers and persistance. Good government is an on going battle that never ends. All government is corrupt. Its just a matter of degree by measure to other countries or point in time. The day we all throw up our hands, and claim "it's useless" is the day we all surcomb to "surfdom".

These discussions on this important subject on this board has been constructive for the most part I think. There are things and opinions by others that are very valid and have expanded my own thought process on the subject. Conversely, there are some statements made that I strongly disagree with and would like my opinion considered by their authors.

So dialog is good. As long as we can listen too.
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Old 09-17-2009, 10:05 PM   #186
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Oh boy. I'm seeing debate now about the plan to tax the so called "goldplated" plans that cost more than 24,000 per year, presumably because they offer such great coverage out of reach for most people that it's seen as a progressive way to fund the other changes to offer insurance to everyone. This seems like a pointless distraction. If I were an insurance company offering such a plan, it would be simple to lower the price by X dollars to get under the threshold while simultaneously raising the deductible by the same X dollars. People who can afford such a plan, can surely afford the SAME cost to buy the modified plan and the side savings account, or whatever they call it, and avoid the tax. If this is the secret sauce that has been proposed to pay for a significant share of this plan, the actual revenue will likely be far far short of projections. Not to mention the possibility that folks will simply buy an inexpensive plan that offers mostly catastrophic coverage and then pay out of pocket for routine care. Everyone in this equation is an independent actor who will work in their own best interest and possibly think creatively about what that means. If the proposals don't recognize that, then the "projected" costs and revenue are going to be far off the projections.
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Old 09-17-2009, 10:14 PM   #187
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It always comes back to a toss of the dice. ...

These issues always take me back to my nephew's situation. Just graduated college, back home for the summer while he waited to start a job, and the toss of the dice came up with cancer. Whoops, the school health policy ended two weeks ago. If this happened to your kid what would you do- ...
Sorry about your nephew's situation, but explain this to me:

When my son was graduating, and didn't have a secure job with health coverage lined up, I *did* go out and research the options. Got a $5K deductible policy, renewable as we didn't know what the future would be.

There was no "toss of the dice" about it. My employer ins did not just "whoops" go away. I knew it would end when he graduated, and got several notices. I did what seemed to me to be the responsible thing by getting ins. But I guess I'm just a sap for investing the time to research it, and to spend $60/ month? I suppose I should have saved my money, and whined about it if something happened? And taken the money to the bank if nothing happened? What's that old saying? "I said somebody should do something, then realized that *I* am 'somebody'"?

Sure, many health issues can be a "toss of the dice", but not having ins isn't always one of them.

People who refuse to pay for the insurance they need is one of the reasons WHY insurance costs have gone up, and why ins cos have to do screening (yes, it is sometimes abused).

I want reform too, but until that happens we have to play the cards we are dealt. And that means doing everything in your power to have coverage.

Unintended consequence, my son got into the grad school he wanted, and since he has this high deductible policy in force, he rejected their school ins, as this is cheaper.

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Old 09-17-2009, 10:14 PM   #188
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Modhatter I hope that you are right. At the same time when I watch the letter and the intent of our constitution being simply shredded and it seems that there are very few citizens that even notice it is hard for me to have much hope. I know this jumps out of the realm of "Health care" but does the average voter have any concept of any restrictions on the power of our central government.
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Old 09-18-2009, 12:00 AM   #189
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This is a harsh assessment. Two of my children will likely be recipients of some subsidy. Both are professionals. One works for a non-for profit that canít afford to provide insurance and doesnít pay enough to buy it separately. Another has to pay 30% of her after tax for a health care premium that has a $1.5K deductible Ė but she cannot do without. No welfare here Ė these are hard working people, like many others, trying to get ahead.
So, what you are saying is one of your children is in the group of the uninsured... and if the government pays for their insurance it is not welfare You are using the word subsidy...

I just want to get our definitions straight here.... this is mine from dictionary.com


"financial or other assistance to an individual or family from a city, state, or national government: Thousands of jobless people in this city would starve if it weren't for welfare.
(initial capital letter) Informal. a governmental agency that provides funds and aid to people in need, esp. those unable to work."
These are two of the definitions... I think "financial or other assistance to an individual or family from a city, state or national government" is what we are talking about here with the trillion or so dollars...

Subsidy is "a grant or contribution of money." for one of the definitions... I think mine is closer to what is being planned...

So, harsh I am... guilty as charged.
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Old 09-18-2009, 12:21 AM   #190
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When I think of someone like my housekeeper (white trailer trash mentality) who tells me she has never purchased health insurance, because "It's FREE", my skin crawls. And the thought of her trailer trash kids having to purchase it now, puts a smile on my face.

On the other hand, I would not say that or feel that way about someone else in the same economic moat, who would love to be able to afford to buy insurance for themselves or their family.

So my point is. How can we separate these people? Those who are deserving and those who are not. Do we even have a moral right to say who deserves health insurance and who doesnít? I know no one is too fond of slackers, who are always there ready to scam the system. They are not a pretty site, and I must admit there are times I wish we could rid the country of them.

But that same sentiment does not apply to all the rest of the less privileged people out there. The people with limited intellectual skills, education, the single women trying to raise children all by themselves. People working two and even three jobs to try and make ends meet and take care of their family.

At least with mandatory insurance, the slackers will be forced to contribute something into the pot, and the hard working will get a break and perhaps be able to afford some coverage.
As for younger kids, they will probably raise the age parents can keep them on their policy at a reasonable rate until they reach the age of 26.

To me justifying health insurance for everyone is simply a matter of priority as far as government spending is concerned. When you have a restricted amount of money to spend, and you canít buy everything you want or fund everything you want, what do you do. You prioritize.

In my book, health insurance goes to position #1, and all the rest can be cut, trimmed or eliminated until we can afford it again. If I had to cut my life style to the bone, my priorities would be 1. A roof over my head. 2. Food to eat. 3. Health Insurance
4. Transportation. (though Iíd ride a bike if I had to) All the rest is gravy. Now think of the federal government budget. Whatís more important? War, infrastructure, education, space exploration? Of course we want it all,(except for the war) but when you canít have it all, you prioritize.
I agree with the comment about how the US should prioritize it's spending. Are you aware that the US spends as much on it's military spending as the next 45 highest countries (on military spending) combined? I know this is a diversion from the topic at hand. But I think it goes to the crux of the matter....that is if we weren't spending so much on other things we could actually afford to pay for health care for all. Why aren't there any tea parties over our military spending? The tea parties I've seen on TV seem to depict health care as an evil thing that we can't afford? I think we need to change our priorities.

Having said that, I don't see military spending dropping anytime soon. We're stuck with our current situation. But if we don't do anything now it will only get worse. I also get a little tired of some people's attitude of "I got mine, you're on your own!". Bad things (job loss, unexpected illnesses, etc.) happen to good people and I believe there must be help for those people.
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Old 09-18-2009, 01:15 AM   #191
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Having said that, I don't see military spending dropping anytime soon. We're stuck with our current situation. But if we don't do anything now it will only get worse..
I agree. Isn't it frustrating how opposition to our wars seems to have vanished in the last few months? Hardly a peep from from the usual sources.
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Old 09-18-2009, 04:59 AM   #192
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The Congress critter who really surprised me was the Democrat who was elected in a conservative district. During a town hall meeting in August he told his constituents that he didn't care what they thought, he was voting for HR 3200. Talk about nerve. I think you can count him unemployed after the next elections.
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Old 09-18-2009, 07:36 AM   #193
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God how I wish I could get every one to understand that the INSURANCE COMPANIES AND THE GOVERNMENT ARE THE SAME PEOPLE. The insurance companies pay staggering amounts to politicians to get them reelected. The Federal politicians pass thousands of laws that makes it impossible for there to be free and reasonable competition in health care. The cost of medicine has gone up every since and every time that the government gets involved. The result is this insane crisis we are in. Our country is being bankrupted and lives are being ruined every day.

Cosmetic Surgery is the only area of medicine that is not totally smothered by federal law and insurance regulations that are enforced by the government. And Guess what. The number of procedures have gone up and up. THE PRICES FOR PROCEDURES ARE THE ONLY THING IN MEDICINE THAT HAS GONE DOWN... Free market forces work.

We have to stop fighting with each other. The only rational way to behave is to go to the poles and vote to throw the corrupt politicians out of office. All of them. If they have been in office for more that two terms it is time for them to go. Let free markets and free men and women work.
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Old 09-18-2009, 07:53 AM   #194
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This is getting tiring (smile).....if I were Obabma I wouldn't stress myself anymore; Let the system just run itself....eventually, when the noisemakers themselves have to pay huge sums out of pocket, just quote Marie Antoinette and QUICKLY go into exile.

If you examine this thing closely, the only ones who think everything is OK is He Who Already Got.........how quickly one jumps to the other side when they or a family member aint got !!
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Old 09-18-2009, 08:04 AM   #195
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If you examine this thing closely, the only ones who think everything is OK is He Who Already Got.........how quickly one jumps to the other side when they or a family member aint got !!
In general, this is true of many issues where "reform" is needed. When people don't think they will be personally impacted by it, they may support it. When they think something they already have may be made worse with reform, they will oppose it.

Classic example: raising taxes, reducing benefits or increasing the retirement age for Social Security. Many who are already collecting it favor these reforms ... for younger people only, as long as they aren't affected. Start talking about asking them to share the sacrifice and the proposal is DOA. There's always some group which will have their ox gored, no matter what we do.

It's easy to talk the talk when you know you won't have to walk it, too.
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Old 09-18-2009, 08:15 AM   #196
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I get the feeling that we might be headed for a system similar to Switzerland's ( npr story here: In Switzerland, A Health Care Model For America? : NPR), but last night's Nightly Business Report took a look at Japan's system. The segment starts at about 18:30.
Nightly Business Report . Video Player - Share | PBS
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:35 AM   #197
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I agree. Isn't it frustrating how opposition to our wars seems to have vanished in the last few months? Hardly a peep from from the usual sources.
You haven't been listening to the same sources that I have? Here locally the opposition is vocal.

(back to topic)
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:52 AM   #198
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You haven't been listening to the same sources that I have? Here locally the opposition is vocal.
We don't all live in the state of Hubert Humphrey and Paul Wellstone -- particularly the latter.

We don't hear many of those voices "down here."
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:18 AM   #199
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So, what you are saying is one of your children is in the group of the uninsured... and if the government pays for their insurance it is not welfare You are using the word subsidy...

I just want to get our definitions straight here.... this is mine from dictionary.com


"financial or other assistance to an individual or family from a city, state, or national government: Thousands of jobless people in this city would starve if it weren't for welfare.
(initial capital letter) Informal. a governmental agency that provides funds and aid to people in need, esp. those unable to work."
These are two of the definitions... I think "financial or other assistance to an individual or family from a city, state or national government" is what we are talking about here with the trillion or so dollars...

Subsidy is "a grant or contribution of money." for one of the definitions... I think mine is closer to what is being planned...

So, harsh I am... guilty as charged.
No, I don't mean welfare, I mean gov't subsidy.

Welfare is a specific group of gov't programs including food stamps, medicaid, and subsidized housing, mostly for people unable to work.

Subsidy is where the gov't pays for a part of a person's healthcare bill. Like it does today for every person that receives healthcare as a paid benefit.

This discussion is not about welfare or irresponsible people or people who choose not to have coverage. It is about which people get gov't assistance, because along with retired people (over 65) and certain others, the higher income earners are currently being subsidized.

How easily we deny others the same opportunities we expect for ourselves.
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Old 09-18-2009, 11:06 AM   #200
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If you examine this thing closely, the only ones who think everything is OK is He Who Already Got.........how quickly one jumps to the other side when they or a family member aint got !!
My problem with this statement is that it does not include people like me (who may be a significant %, but I can only speak for myself).

A) I don't think "everything is OK" - I want reform.

B) My entire family has had continuous HC coverage.

C) That doesn't man that I think the current proposals are good.

D) Even though I have coverage, I realize I could lose it, I realize others can fall through the cracks. So I want reform, even though "I have mine".

I think you over-simplify the situation.

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