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September 18, 2007

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Terrye

Tom that was not really fair. Bush did try to get some reform in Social Security right after his win in 2004 and conservatives were not exactly falling all over themselves to jump on that bandwagon.

Let's just say if they had been half as interested in getting that reform through as they were in killing the immigration initiative they might have brought some market forces into the system for the first time in its history.

Bush did get the drug benefit plan through and the left treated it like a gift to the drug companies and the right treated it like socialism.

However, it has been popular with the people who use it and it has been less costly than it was thought it would be. It should be remembered that the plan was for people on Medicare which means that the health care costs of those people were at least in part paid by the government anyway...and it is cheaper to help someone buy their blood pressure meds than it is to provide them care for a stroke or a heart attack.

I think that Hillary's plan is way too big. I do not see anyway you can force people to get health insurance or for that matter force providers to give everyone insurance. However, Republicans do need to keep in mind that health care costs have grown way faster than the rate of inflation and people are very concerned about the issue.

My mother died back in 2000 but even then the cost of her health care costs were greater in the last year of her life than my entire income.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Karl Rove:

I met with workers at Wendy's Headquarters in Ohio who were eagerly taking steps to lead healthier lives because it saved them money.

Not eating their own food?

Sara

The total cost of my Mother's services, therapy and after care when she had her two strokes was over a million dollars. Medicare paid part of that, her BC/BS paid a huge part of it, but she and eventually I were left with a balance that eventually cost me my house and has left me living from retirement check to retirement check with not a penny available for my own health care or health insurance premiums. And those costs were in spite of the fact that Medicare/SS saved what they would have had to pay had I not cared for my Mom at home rather than stick her away in some hell hole nursing home. I paid dearly for that when I had to give up a good job with a good income, lost the Social Security quarters I would have accrued, and in turn had to take lower SS benefits on my own account as a result. In other words, I was penalized in a substantial way for saving the government money.

I still don't like government health care and will not support it.

syn

How come none ever question the Centrist Party, those independent ones who sit on the sidelines waiting for whichever party gives them the goodies they specifically want.

That said I find it odd hearing:

"Government stay out of our bedroom BUT take care of our health"

Clarice

Yes..SYN, in all these rube goldbergesque plans--no one talks about extremely reckless conduct ( motorcycling without helmets to engaging in unprotected sex), the tendency to greatly expand what is considered covered (transgender operations? elective plastic surgery?extreme and expensive treatments for the very old?)and the role of trial lawyers whose work will continue to compel an ever more costly practice of unnecessary testing and treatments.

Patrick R. Sullivan

And, there's the Romney plan, as explained by Glenn Hubbard:

The centerpiece of Mr. Romney's plan is to attack the tax code's discrimination against cost-effective private insurance. He proposes to allow individuals to deduct out-of-pocket health-care expenditures from their taxable income, allow individuals who purchase health insurance premiums on their own--rather than through their employer--to deduct health insurance premiums, and to expand Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) by eliminating the requirement that a qualifying health plan contain a high deductible.

....Mr. Romney's proposal to allow individuals to deduct out of pocket medical expenses is a significant advance in this 30-year progression to a level tax playing field between out-of-pocket expenses and insurance. And a more level tax playing field would encourage individuals to choose health plans with lower premiums and higher copayments for their routine health-care purchases. With more "skin in the game," individuals would exert more control over their choice of health-care services. The health-care savings would be large. We estimate that a proposal such as Romney's would reduce private health-care spending by 6%.

Some critics have argued that allowing out-of-pocket expenses to be tax-deductible will raise, not lower, health-care spending because the policy will make the price of direct medical-care purchases cheaper relative to all other goods and services. As our empirical analysis with Daniel Kessler demonstrates, the critics are wrong. The cost-reducing impact on health-care expenditures of individuals shifting into health plans with higher copayments swamps by a large margin the cost-increasing impact of making out-of-pocket purchases cheaper.

The benefits don't stop with reducing the growth in health costs. As employer premiums decline, the savings will accrue to workers in the form of higher money wages. In competitive labor markets, workers--not employers and not insurance companies--bear the burden of paying for employer-provided health-insurance premiums. Although employers might write the check for premiums, workers ultimately pay by foregoing money wages.

We estimate that making out-of-pocket expenses tax deductible, combined with Mr. Romney's other proposals, will reduce the average premium of employer-provided family health plans by around $2,300 per year. Workers' wages will rise by this amount on average. To be sure, higher out-of-pocket expenses will offset part of this increase--$1,000 of it. But workers will still experience a net increase of $1,300 in (taxable) income. Mainly because of this economic effect, we estimate that the U.S. Treasury's revenue loss will be modest--about $10 billion per year.

Terrye

I am not talking about elective plastic surgery. I am talking about things like long term health care that can costs tens of thousands a year. Most of that will not be paid to take care of smokers or people who drive without a helmet. It will be paid to take care of old people who have taken good enough care of themselves that they now have the good fortune of dying in degrees.

As for centrists, it might be remembered that people who consider themselves Independents are the fastest growing political party right now and they pay taxes too. Moderates are self described as the largest group as well, something like 47%. So if fiscal conservatives want to blow this issue off they can, but they might find themselves in a minority, after all they are not the only taxpayers out there and this is an issue that effects everyone.

I got the impression from Brit Hume's panel tonight that this plan is Hillary is talking about now is not like her old plan and is in fact very much like the plan Romney put forward in Mass.

I am not crazy about mandatory programs however.

jon burrows

Why is this even being discussed?

First point, there is no right to health care. (I know it's not what you were tought in a government school, but look it up.)

Second point, the federal government has no enumerated power to provide health care, force health care, require I buy health care or even live a healthy life. (That would also mean you looking it up as in reading the Constitution of the United States of America. {Available online or in very old history books.})

It's not in my constitution (From a very old history bood). And amazingly, not having health care was not a grievence mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. (Again, available online or from a very old history book.) Go figure.

Terrye

Patrick:

I don't know if I can find the link, but I read not long ago that average premiums for a family of four were about $11,000 a year. That is just insane.

Terrye

jon:

It is being discussed because literally tens of millions of American taxpayers are concerned about the issue whether it matters to you or not.

In my job I see ordinary people suffering from disease, accidents, maladies and many of them lose their homes, their independence, everything.

I am not comfortable with state funded health care, but the rise in costs has been so outrageous in recent years that it has begun to effect everyone.

BTW, you may say that health care is not a right, but in this country people are expected to take care of people who are dependent on them, whatever the cost.

syn

Lately I been wondering.....since life without Art means death and fulfillment is a Human Right why not Nationalize Arts and Entertainment, free up that hard-earned income spent on Enlightened Entertainment so that individually we can pick and choose what health care insurance we want for our own health care needs?

Extraneus

There are supposedly 40+ million uninsured citizens (nevermind illegals). For the cost of insuring them to be $110B/yr, that would mean either forcing many of them to pay out of their own pockets (oh sure, that's what the Democrats will want), or asking us to believe that somehow their premiums will cost under $3000/yr. I haven't read any of it, but that doesn't compute.

Terrye

Extraneous:

Supposedly this plan is supposed to allow an alternative to people, but it is not solely supported by the state.

I think Hillary's negatives are so high that not even this issue can save her, but I do think that Republicans need to come with some initiatives of their own because this is problem is not going away.

Clarice

terriye, I believe that no matter how spare the plan is, before you can blink, the coverage will expand to cover elective surgery, expensive treatments and tests that are of limited efficacy..and very quickly we will all be paying MORE for health care as the best health delivery system in the world is destroyed--and then , when the costs become truly staggering (and they will unless we can all agree on what it reasonable care and shoot all the trial lawyers) health care will be rationed as it is in every place with national health care.

Barney Frank

--Hillary's plan may not thrill lefties but it won't terrify righties either.--

I took a look and it is a joke. Most of her 'savings' come from 'streamlining' and new 'efficiencies'. Yes indeedy, those are always hallmarks of increased governmental involvement. When they don't materialize the cry goes out that we just need a little more government and presto, ten years down the road, Hillary Care Deux looks just like Hillary Care, circa 1994.
The Beast got her shins kicked with her over reaching in the 90's so now the Beast creepeth.

Terrye

Clarice:

Well you could use that argument for health insurance as well or Medicare or any kind of health coverage.

But it does not change the fact that the government is already taking care of people. My mother lost everything. She lost her home. She went through her insurance. She was a widow, I had to work and she needed 24 hour a day care. I signed her entire Social Security check over the Convalescent Center and state picked up what was left. I paid for what I could, but the costs just got so high it was beyond my means. And I could not just let her go without care. That would have been cruel, not to mention endangerment.

So the state ends up paying, you just have to go completely broke first. Unless of course your family managed to cut you off first in which case they can protect their assets.

Terrye

Barney:

According to Charles Krauthammer this is not the same program as Hillary Care at all.

steve sturm

It will, as it did 14 years ago, come down to whether the vast majority of people who have health insurance/coverage feel they will be worse off under Hillary2 than if things stayed the same.

If people feel the costs of subsidizing health care for the currently uninsured is going to make things worse for them, then expect as much of a roar as before. And since it's physically impossible to allocate more resources to a group of people without reducing one's own share, people ought to figure they'd be worse off.

We'll see how good Hillary's packaging and promotional skills are...

Extraneus

Personally, I'm with jon burrows.

the federal government has no enumerated power to provide health care, force health care, require I buy health care or even live a healthy life.

The only reason this is even being discussed is that the government has already stepped in to cover the uninsured, so that nobody can ever be turned away from a hospital emergency room. In an Atlas Shrugged world, the solution would be to refuse to treat anyone not already covered, thus motivating them, just as the rest of us are motivated to fend for ourselves.

We've come a long way from John Adams and Alexander Hamilton, baby.

Extraneus

And that means you'd be responsible to get your own catastrophic care insurance, too, btw.

Rick Ballard

Steve,

That might be an a bit of an oversimplification. The geezer portion of the electorate has changed rather dramatically since '92. In '92 that component had a huge segment who were raised during the Depression and relatively susceptible to the suggestion that government had at least some competence (plus there were scads of Yellow Dogs). Today's geezers aren't quite the same - plus there a gazillion boomers right on the edge of geezerdom. This time around the arguments should be directed toward the fact that every nationalized health system deals with the problem of very expensive end of life care by flatly denying all but the absolute minimum.

They don't draw it out at all. A nice warm cuppa and off you go. There will never be a shortage of free lunch suckers but I believe that Miz Clinton is going to be a bit shocked at how poorly the new shade of lipstick on her tired old pig of plan is received.

RichatUF

Terrye-

According to Charles Krauthammer this is not the same program as Hillary Care at all.

A good thing she didn't listen to Magaziner this time around. Anyway her plan is the "Third Way" salami slice approach-further expand SCHIP, Medicare, and extend FEHBP to non-government workers and pretty soon what little private capital remains will be displaced. It would probably even encourage business to drop health coverage all together which is the point of the plan[kind of like the unions forcing companies to make promises they can't keep, then the company goes into bankruptcy and dumps the health and pension benefits-wonder if the union members ever thought if they had set aside their income into savings plans and not union dues would they be better off]. I read somewhere that the federal government already picks up the tab for about half of medical costs in the US so the right plan should grease the skids just right.

Clarice

Rick, is right--though the cuppa is probably tepid, served in a broken, dirty cup by someone who could care less .

Clarice

Ahem**********could NOT care less***********8

lurker

Hey, Rick Ballard, can you predict now who would win the democratic and republican primaries?

And how would the Senate and House seats go? Which way?

Rick Ballard

Lurker,

Nope. Too many skeletons rattling in too many closets.

centralcal

Any solutions to any problem offered up by Hillary Clinton, simply make me very worried and sick to my stomach. And, that includes health care.

PaulL

The BIG money in health care goes to the last months of people's lives. And it's futile. I'm sure hospital administrators love it, thousands of dollars spent per day per patient, to postpone the inevitable.

Without intrusive medical intervention, these people would have died relatively quickly and peacefully at home, just like they always have since the history of mankind, except for the last 50 years or so. They'd die with some dignity, too.

I heard a story just a couple weeks ago in which a family, against their mother's will, had her taken to the hospital after a fall. She had a couple operations, was in intensive care, and died in a couple weeks anyway. But the hospital was better off, and the kids got to tell everyone about how they helped good old mom. I don't know who paid the tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands (?) of bills. Probably taxpayers.

Sara

Speaking of geezers and Boomers and changes since '92 --

With people living longer, we Boomers are in the position of being sandwiched between children still needing financial help and elderly parents who, even if they planned well for their future, never expected to live so long and have run out of money and health. All this happening just as we Boomers are transitioning from upward moving regular salaries to fixed retirement incomes.

My Mother planned well for her retirement years, lived rather frugally in order to save and make sure she could remain independent. She also supplemented her Medicare with Blue Cross/Blue Shield. She did everything right.

What she didn't expect was to live to the age of 94 and at 90 have a catastrophic incident that landed her in the hospital for 4 months and another 3 months a year later plus 7 months in a rehab facility. She continued to pay her share out of her savings for that purpose, but in addition to paying her share, she had the BC/BS premiums each month of $450 plus all her other regular expenses. Her fixed income only went so far and there was no way to make more, so little by little her savings was depleted.

That is what we are facing with even the most responsible of individuals, imagine what a disaster is coming when all those who did not plan as well as someone like my Mother or Terrye's mother are also needing health services.

My Mother's biggest fear was losing her dignity and part of that dignity was pride in being able to remain independent and pay her own way in life. I don't think that is any different from most of us, but we don't begin to realize it until we are no longer working and replacing our income on a regular basis. I know I didn't see it until I watched my Mom and heard the other elderly patients talking when I'd attend her rehab therapy sessions. None of them wanted to be a burden, but they didn't want to die either.

Even when I was a child, families took care of their elderly, they didn't look to the state to do it for them. That is not the case today. Over and over, I had doctors, nurses, therapists and my Mother's peers ask me, "Why are you doing this (giving up my life to care for her)? My own friends just told me I was nuts. And maybe I was, but I wouldn't trade those years for all the free health care in the world or any amount of money. I just don't like being penalized for doing so by the government who was financing the very people who wanted me to leave her in the nursing home.

This problem is only going to get worse as the full Boomer contingent enter retirement. The vultures (especially the nursing/rehab homes) are out there just waiting for the next patient to walk through the door so they can take everything they own in return for medieval care that borders on torture. The doctors and pharmaceutical types are poised to pounce with prescriptions for all kinds of drugs. At one point they had my Mother on 17 different meds and had I not done an Internet search and discovered that some were causing the symptoms that the others were supposed to cure, she would have had a monthly prescription bill of over $1000 mo. I made them take her off all but two, and lo and behold, she improved dramatically. They had her so drugged up she barely knew her own name and they called it dementia. It wasn't dementia at all, it was 4 different tranquilizers and two different sleeping pills. They took my Uncle's house and both his retirement and social security checks each month until my cousin discovered that he was entitled to VA care as a WWII vet and Purple Heart recipient and got him out of the private nursing home his ill wife let him go to because she could no longer care for him. Then when they took the house, she too ended up in the home with him and died there. That's how it goes and spirals on and on. Fortunately, my cousin got her Dad out of there and under VA care, which is still government, but earned with his blood. They understood he was better at home and provided their services to him there with medical supplies and even a visiting nurse and the use of a wheelchair van to take him to their facility for therapy and checkups with his doctor.

I'm sorry this is so long, but this is a subject dear to my heart. The VA has a pretty good system of elder care that allows a patient to remain at home and provide help to the family so they can still go to work and earn a living to be able to take care of themselves. They even provide day care facilities, which is especially helpful to those caring for Alzheimer/dementia patients. But the bulk of the ongoing care remains at home and this saves very big bucks. They don't order lots of expensive and unnecessary tests or excess prescriptions. They do provide the things necessary for good basic care and need medications.

We need a system that doesn't penalize those who try to keep the burden off the system while rewarding those who are using the system to enrich themselves.

lurker

Darn!

Interesting that the polls favor the Democrats. There are increasing talk among those of the MSM that the Democrats will win more seats. Just like Murtha.

Ha!

Clarice

Florida has a good system. In many jurisdictions they've contracted for hospice care under the Medicare program --it costs far less to have those last days tended by teams of nurses who stay at the home than to hospitalize the dying.

Clarice

Vitas is the agency Florida contracted with for the community my parents live in.

The point is, some creative work on the part of the state has provided pensioners there with better care at less cost.

Aaron

The bright side of forcing everyone to get health care is that we never have to hear about "the millions of uninsured" again.

Personally, I am for mandatory insurance since we have to pay for people who decided not to buy their own (and who very well could have afforded it.) But I'd want to decouple it from employers, set the limit low for subsidies.

hoosierhoops

Terrye:In my job I see ordinary people suffering from disease, accidents, maladies and many of them lose their homes, their independence, everything.

I am not comfortable with state funded health care, but the rise in costs has been so outrageous in recent years that it has begun to effect everyone.

BTW, you may say that health care is not a right, but in this country people are expected to take care of people who are dependent on them, whatever the cost.

First off: Sorry about your mom..you posted about how difficult it is for the elderly and poor to survive.
There must be an answer to this madness of ever rising prices to healthcare.
Someone posted earlier that healthcare isn't a right..oh no?
I thought i read something like we had the right to LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If we look to europe and canada and take the best of thier programs and eliminate the bad parts..Well I think that would be a good starting point.
Everybody worries about high taxes with healthcare for the folks that really need it..Trust me..there won't be any millionaires in soup lines because they paid another grand in taxes..I'm not trying to simplify a complex issue but there are answers..there are solutions..
We visit Holland every year to visit dear friends and guess what? they have great healthcare and unemployment benefits there
and every other car on the road is a Benz..
Somehow that little country seems to do just fine...Jobs pay really good and they take care of thier own..
THEY take care of thier own..
Let's take care of Americans....

centralcal

Completely off topic, but damn, it caused me to have a really hearty chuckle (and, that in itself is healthy without Hillary) ... Instapundit links to Kaus with this:

"If you were a member of the Times-owning Sulzberger family, or a top NYT reporter, or Steve Rattner, and you saw the famously rapacious Australian press lord headed your way with murderous intent, and then you saw that your champion was ... Pinch ... well, how terrified would you be?"

Gawd, sometimes Mickey just nails it so good!

hoosierhoops

Excellent comments Sara. Simply excellent.
These are the issues we face as children, parents, friends and colleagues in this healthcare crisis.

Clarice

hoosier--Americans would never accept this:
"Catholic Doctors Criticize Nonconsensual Euthanasia of Children in Holland
Reaction of World Federation of the Catholic Medical Associations
Rome. Sept. 3, 2004

(Zenit.org) The International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations (FIAMC) issued a public statement against the decision to allow Groningen University Hospital to euthanize children under 12 when their suffering is intolerable, or if they have an incurable illness.

The "decision proposes a death solution in situations which could be addressed by modern palliative care," the Catholic doctors stress.

Moreover, "the decision raises the suspicion of a financial interest of the public authorities, since it decreases the 'burden' of prolonged and expensive care in clinical conditions for which any extension of life duration is considered meaningless," the statement continues.

Worse yet, "it opens the door on a national scale to the 'mercy killing' of other mentally incompetent persons, to be eliminated without their consent for reasons based on an external appreciation of their quality of life," said the federation. "

http://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache:0ayJoN-DaN8J:www.acim-asia.com/news_euthanasia.htm+Dutch+system+forced+euthanasia&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=6&gl=us>Kill your kid

Rick Ballard

Well, that's what "they take care of thier own.." winds up meaning every damn time - why would it be different here?

You can always tell when "Big Rock Candy Mountain" time starts. And there are always buyers.

kim

I think 'could care less' is perfectly fine idiomatically or dialectically. It invokes the following ironic clause 'but doesn't', so I sort of prefer it. Either works for me.
======================================

Terrye

A friend of mine lost his job and with it his health insurance. So he started doing work on his own to make money. He has never in his life ask anyone for anything. So he tried to get health insurance on his own too...they sent back his check. He has a history of high blood pressure and asthma and he can not find anyone who will cover him, he is 55 years old.

These are the kinds of problems people face.

I am not comfortable with nationalized medicine. I can not imagine what would induce me to vote for Hillary Clinton, but Americans are honestly concerned about this issue and Republicans need to do more than scoff at it.

Just treating people who are concerned by the high cost of health care like they were looking for something for nothing will not help in the next election.

No doubt some of the people who do not have health insurance are young and don't feel they need it. Some just don't want to spend the money, but if the costs themselves were not so high it would not be such a critical issue.

I don't know what the answer is, but I know that ignoring the issue is not going to make people feel any better.

You might be surprised what Americans would accept if tens of millions of them felt they could not take care of their families.

And Hillary knows that. Republicans blow it off at their peril.

Extraneus

One reason healthcare costs are so high is related to the malpractice lawsuit sweepstakes. It wasn't that long ago when Republicans were talking about "tort reform" as a way to help tame spiraling healthcare costs, but the trial lawyer lobby seems to have gotten that squashed pretty easily. So now we're now left with the accepted fact that healthcare costs will always rise at a far higher rate than inflation. But this only makes sense from a supply & demand point of view if the demand is outpacing supply. Is it?

Milk would cost $100/gal if the producers could get away with charging that much. So why can doctors and hospitals can do it while dairy farmers can't? It must have something to do with lawyers, politics and taxpayer money.

HoosierHoops

Kim:
I think 'could care less' is perfectly fine idiomatically or dialectically. It invokes the following ironic clause 'but doesn't', so I sort of prefer it. Either works for me.


Careful Kim, You're letting your Compassionate conservatism show...

HoosierHoops

Clarice:
Interesting..
So i asked my wife this morning..Hey can you get Henk on the horn for me? Moments later I asked him.. So how does your healthcare work over there in the Netherlands? He said it's national healthcare but it's not free.. It costs each person 112 euro's for the basic plan each month and then 25 extra euro's for the upgraded plan. By law everyone must buy it..
Even if you are unemployed you must buy it.. ( but they have a really good unemployment plan there..In fact if i was a young man in Holland I'd play guitar all day and live off the Dole, write a book and hang out in the park and pick up girls )
Henk says it's annoying that many people abuse the system..He pays 52% of his Salary to taxes.plus fuel taxes and road usage taxes.
He would prefer a lower tax rate and pay for his own healthcare. He said the tax rates are something like 32%, 46% then 52%.
I said that's outragious..But he said we are so used to it we don't complain anymore...weeee!!
Clarice, I asked Henk about the Nonconsensual Euthanasia of Children in Holland.. He said there is alot of procedures in place but the one thing is the Parents MUST Approve before proceding.
Maybe that article left out that little detail.. Well that's all i have to Report on.. Conclutions: Holland is great, but they can keep thier 52% taxes and healthcare system..Love visiting there every year that's for sure.

syn

So if the government mandates health care and is required to provide the neccessary means to providing for my health won't the govenment also have to regulate my lifestyle choices as well.

Say my happiness involves having multiple sex partners within a relatively short period of time and don't use condoms because they interfer with sexual pleasure then I contract AIDS/STDSs, will the government deny me access to health care because compassionate taxpayers such as Terrye or HoosierHoops don't believe that THEIR tax dollars should be paid for my 'unhealthly' lifestyle?

THis is what bothers me most about government controlling my health, I'll have to worry about the 'do-gooders' judging my life, the choices I make, and whether or not I will be granted access to medical care based up upon their ideal of what is considered 'healthy' .

Considering the reaction towards non-helmet wearers or smokers I fear the nannys will only get more restrictive as the government takes greater control of the issue.

That said, Terrye my father lived the ideal 'healthy' lifestyle (he was determined to live to 110) taking good care of himself by eating the correct foods, having bi-annual physicals, exercising, meditating, and was a non-smoker. He did all the correct things required by 'preventive maintainance' which are suppose to prolong life yet was diagnosed with stage four terminal lung cancer and died at the age of 69.

If disease is genetic then no matter what I do I will most likely face the same fate dying of terminal lung cancer. Obviously I am more concerned with better treatment than I am of preventive health care.

No doubt if I am diagnosed stage four terminal lung cancer and am denied access to medical care no doubt it will be because people like Terrye and HooierHoops will say I don't deserve THEIR tax dollars going to someone who deserved the fate received.


SO much for "Government stay our of our bedrooms' since everyone is demanding 'Government give us free health care'

syn

Hey HoosierHoops I have a friend who must come to NYC four times a year to conduct week long yoga seminars in order to make enough money to live in Coopenhagen.

Europe is a grand place to live as long as one can make money in America.

HoosierHoops

Syn:
I don't mind paying reasonable taxes..
I don't think 52% is reasonable.
I don't recall posting that i would want to regulate your lifestyle..If we can provide heathcare for a reasonable cost, i will be all for it.. ( And i won't begrudge you the multiple sex partner thingie..) :)

boris

regulate your lifestyle

One suspects given the already intrusive health nannyism it would get far far worse when the nannies have control of the health care system.

Maybe you want credit for not being one. Fine, granted. Want to make the case that they don't exist? Fugetaboudit.

bio mom

Logically, it doesn't make any sense for employers to be responsible for providing health care to employees. How did such a wacky system happen? They don't pay for your children's education, for your automobile, for your food, etc. So why your health care? Why should a for-profit company be expected to do this? For sure, as soon as government is available to foot some of the bill, any sane company will shift their employees and retirees to that system to save themselves money. Perfectly logical. I favor everyone getting their own healthcare with a fund availble for those who really cannot afford it.

I have always felt that we cannot rationalize from afar about old age and whether it is wise or not to prolong it. What one might feel as a younger person may be absolutely not what one might feel when they are the one who is sick and old. I'm not so sure I wouldn't want people giving me every chance in the world to keep on living.

bio mom

Logically, it doesn't make any sense for employers to be responsible for providing health care to employees. How did such a wacky system happen? They don't pay for your children's education, for your automobile, for your food, etc. So why your health care? Why should a for-profit company be expected to do this? For sure, as soon as government is available to foot some of the bill, any sane company will shift their employees and retirees to that system to save themselves money. Perfectly logical. I favor everyone getting their own healthcare with a fund availble for those who really cannot afford it.

I have always felt that we cannot rationalize from afar about old age and whether it is wise or not to prolong it. What one might feel as a younger person may be absolutely not what one might feel when they are the one who is sick and old. I'm not so sure I wouldn't want people giving me every chance in the world to keep on living.

boris

How did such a wacky system happen?

(1) It is easier for government to oversee large businesses with accounting departments by making them do the work. So that's where government applies the tax advantage.

(2) Without an accounting department that can be "trusted" to comply with regulations, the risk to tax revenue from "cheating" is too great.

(3) Insuring a large base of "able bodied" employees is an easier risk for HMOs to manage and make money from.

Jane

OT: Gateway Pundit is reporting that Kerry met with the Iranians.

Sue

Once again, I'm probably going to be on the side that is considered "far right", but here goes...

...I don't care if your parents have to use all they own to take care of themselves in their old age. I don't care if they need it all and you wind up with no inheritance. The alternative is you get the inheritance and I help subsidize you retaining your inheritance. Once it is gone, I will gladly pony up to make sure your parents are taken care of. I see it daily, people putting their assets in trusts, transferring real property to children, etc. in order to keep the "nursing home" from "getting it". It really pisses me off that people expect me (average taxpayer) to pay for their parents care because their parents protected their assets.

kim

The Devil is in Davod.
====================

kim

I don't know the timing, but I'll bet Kerry's Davod meeting was before the Iranian/Syrian nerve gas accident in Northwest Syria and the Israeli takeout of the North Korean nuclear facility in Northeast Syria, recently. No wonder Kerry was so sensitive about the Betray Us ad. Talk about being over the top. Kerry might top Paris with this one. Watch the Democrats try to bottle him up, like our Navy has Iran.
=========================

Clarice

Perhaps we need to set up a pool for people who are unable to obtain insurance for catastrophic illnesses--much as we set up one for drivers. That's about as far as I'd be willing to go.

And it might not be a bad idea for the Public health service which has been shrunk considerably to be increased to provide basic health care for those in need. (When I was growing up, all the public schools in Milwaukee offered well baby clinics on Saturdays--to check on the health of infants, provide vaccinations, etc. I'd rather have such preventative care for the poor handled this way than in more expensive hospitals and private clinics.)

I think that people have grown used to thinking that health care should be completely covered by insurance--as if rotating your tires and gassing your cars were covered by car insurance. And the elimination of any co-pay is a prescription for even more fraud.
I checked the vitas.com site last night--if you are on medicare and medicaid and they have facilities in your area--whatever reimbursement they get from those plans is deemed to cover 100% of your costs. Should you have an elderly relative in the terminal stages of their lives, call them before you roll up to the nearest hospital. It's bette, more humane care in any event.

Clarice

James Lewis has the best round up on the situation in Iran/Syria/No Korea in today's American Thinker.

boris

It really pisses me off that people expect me (average taxpayer) to pay for their parents care because their parents protected their assets

Understandable, however the existence of assets to pass on is often the result of personal sacrifice for savings. Overreliance on your POV would argue in favor of squander it now to gain maximum advantage of taxpayer generosity forcably volunteered by government on the basis of next generation forced generosity.

By being generous to the previous generation they "entitled" to the generosity of the current.

Wrong as hell, but don't penalize the savers for dimorat gov perfidy.

kim

When Kerry was treating with the enemy in Paris he didn't know he was dickering over a two million person holocaust. When treating with the enemy now why doesn't he know he is dealing with weapons of mass holocaust?
===================================

kim

What more fundamental to cede to the government than one's own personal wellbeing? What fools we be.
==================

Sue

boris,

Understandable, however the existence of assets to pass on is often the result of personal sacrifice for savings.

I see. So I should sacrifice so others will inherit? Gotcha.

kim

Wow, C. Medecins sans peur. Well, it's about time.
=========================

kim

It has been my contention for awhile that the NoKo generals do exactly as China tells them, and that they are allowed to pose as a nuclear power as a reminder to the 'Coalition of the Willing' that China owns a junkyard dog. Is the Syrian facility nuclear and what connection to it have Iran and China?
================

boris

I should sacrifice so others will inherit?

My preference would be change away from increased socialist generosity. The idea that each generation subdizes the previous on promised generosity of the next is just another government empowerment based on co-dependency. IMO everthing works much better based on self-care with "generosity" based on need and accountability.

Just sayin' in the present system place the blame where it belongs. Given the choice most of those you express resentment for would have covered both self-care and inheritance. That choice was taken away for most.

memomachine

Hmmmmm.

1. Is it possible to discuss healthcare insurance reform without first discussing medical tort reform?

2. Do we need to codify in law the precise formula for deriving the value of a human life in order to engage in medical tort reform?

i.e. is the old concept of "weregild" something that needs to be brought forward?

kim

Well, I'm invaluable, but your sorry carcass isn't worth rendering.
=========================

Sue

Just sayin' in the present system place the blame where it belongs.

I do place it where it belongs. On a system that allows it to happen in the first place.

I also hate a system that allows the government to tax you for dying. No matter what it is called, it is a death tax.

Rick Ballard

"So I should sacrifice so others will inherit?"

That's not what Boris is saying. The people who create asset protection trusts are making a rational economic decision based upon the governments privileging of the indigent through means testing for the provision of Medicaid. The government (being wholly amoral) makes no distinction regarding the cause of indigence. Misfortune, profligacy and acumen all pay the same.

You cannot inject ethical or moral arguments into an amoral situation, especially concerning government programs where judgement has been deliberately excised in favor of vote purchase.

Asset protection trusts are a very rational recognition of governmental amorality and they exist because, while pols never hesitate to use our money to purchase votes, we in turn are smart enough to use a portion of our money to rent pols to create loopholes.

It all works out in the end.

Mostly.

boris

Misfortune, profligacy and acumen all pay the same.

Exactly. Nobody wants misfortune and acumen pays its own way in all situations so the subsidy effectively goes to profligacy.

If change is to be made, let's change that.

Ralph L

kim, how'd you know I'm as thin as a rail?

To pay his medical bills in his 80's, my great-grandfather was talked out of some stock which my grandfather knew would have made us very rich. Then I could get even more furious watching my stepmother squander it all.

What kind of economy & society would we have if the government weren't punishing savings and success and rewarding recklessness and profligacy? Krugman would say another Gilded Age, and he's right that we'd probably suck in another 20 million poor foreigners.

Clarice

Because our health care provision developed so differently than it did in Europe and because we have a more litigious society, there is no question Americans demand a different standard of care than those with government health services. That's a fact, Jack.

Look at what state legislatures do to health insurers to see what will happen:Everyone with an interest will demand insurers cover more and more..from abortions and birth control devices to the most expensive new medical treatments. There will be no end to the requirements until, as Rick sagely notes, we, too, will severely ration care.In the UK, for example, you will be denied efficacious drugs if they are too expensive. Period. The health service will not stock or perscribe them.

And that's just the beginning--pharmaceutical companies will be under greater financial pressure and will be unable to continue to develop the life saving drugs that they provide to the world.

hoosierhoops

Clarice:
Because our health care provision developed so differently than it did in Europe and because we have a more litigious society,

I don't know that we have a litigious society..BTW, Can I sue the guy using my handle 'hoosierhoops' over at politico?
Just wondering.....

Clarice

You'll have to trust me on this one, hoosier, or spend some time reading about those glorious national health systems and the legal systems under which they live. For one thing, plaintiffs' counsel here can offer contingency fees which they cannot elsewhere. The standard of care is far different and that effects the possibility of recovery. And don't forget they all have loser pay rules. Here you can file a malpractice suit of dubious validity and still win thru settlement because the defense costs are so high.
Finally, you'd have to see if those cases are heard by juries there--I expect not in most cases.Nor are punitive damages so high and so easy to get.

A large part of increased costs here are occasioned by defensive measures to avoid malpractice suits. (A woman lawyer who is pregnant is I believe far more likely to "need" a C-section in most urban hospitals than a waitress if you get my drift.)

clarice

"Government rationing of health care in Canada is why when Karen Jepp was about to give birth to quadruplets last month, she was told that all the neonatal units she could go to in Canada were too crowded. She flew to Montana to have the babies.

"People line up for care; some of them die. That's what happens," Canadian doctor David Gratzer, author of The Cure, told "20/20". Gratzer thought the Canadian system was great until he started treating patients.

"The more time I spent in the Canadian system, the more I came across people waiting. ... You want to see your neurologist because of your stress headache? No problem! You just have to wait six months. You want an MRI? No problem! Free as the air! You just gotta wait six months."

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2007/09/socialized_medicine_is_broken.html>Stoessel rocks

Now, tell me if this occurred here, how long would it take for class action suits to be brought ?

Rick Ballard

"If change is to be made, let's change that."

Boris,

The foundation of Hegelian historicism is compounded of envy, fear and greed. No rebuttal founded upon reason has succeeded in completely overcoming the base emotional appeal (always enhanced by reference to the pathetic particular) provided by historicism. The left side of the bell curve continues to hold 50% of the votes and always will.

It may be more effective to pen The Beast by turning her chosen weapons back upon her. A compilation of articles such as this one would probably be more effective than an appeal to rationality concerning effective means testing. Fear of being judged ranks pretty high among left siders - not too popular at all.

If The Beast wishes Americans to die from cancer at the rates achieved by nations who have successfully peddled free lunch health care then she needs to explain to the electorate all the benefits of dying sooner than one might wish.

try hang gliding

I don't know why we don't treat healthcare the same way we do for food. The government disburses food stamps to those that qualify; they don't tell grocers what they can charge for hamburger meat.

The government should just give out insurance vouchers to those that can't afford healthcare coverage and then get out of the way, which would eliminate a whole layer of bureaucracy.

I'm sure it not some big industry secret regarding the percentage of healthy vs not so healthy subscribers an insurance company needs to remain profitable. The government can work with insurance industry to try to make sure that those percentages stay intact when it comes time to accept the vouchers.

We do something like that already with mandatory car insurance. Bad drivers are put in a pool and then distributed out to the various companies.

clarice

Ah, but public service employees unions--along with Burkle, Lewis, Soros, Hsu and Lerach--are what keep the Dems in business. If we picked such a simple solution and one largely in the private sector who'd keep the good times rolling, hang?

Sara

Sue: You are forgetting that elderly patients who have worked hard for 30 or 40 years, managed to save and/or invest wisely so that they can live independently once they reach their nonearning senior years are still paying taxes. I had to file my Mother's last tax return 8 months after her death for the income she had up to the time of her death in August of the previous year. She still paid on her interest, her social security, a small retirement annuity and any capital gains she had on stock I had to sell to pay her medical or for her ongoing care. She worked for 50 years and in that time she barely saw a doctor. During her retirement, she saw her doctor maybe 5 times in 25 years and then she had a catastrophic health problem at the age of 90. Again, the only money the government contributed was Medicare, which she had paid into since the day it went on the books as part of the SS system.

If she had gone to a nursing home, Medicare would have paid them $100,000. They didn't have to because I stepped in and did the same thing, but I didn't get a dime as reimbursement.

So, all the time she was paying her own way and wanting to perserve her assets so she could continue to pay her own way, she was also still having to pay into Medicare and her own health insurance premiums and pay her taxes. Those taxes went down because she was depleting her own assets at an alarming rate in the last 4 years of her life.

Neither my Mother nor I wanted the government to pay for her, but it sure would have been nice to get a tax break on our own expenses for that care. I would have liked to get some credit, either through a fixed credit toward my own SS quarters for the services I was providing at my own expense, but instead, Medicare saved their $100,000 and any ongoing expenses and I paid out of pocket or out of my Mother's savings pocket while we both still had to pay our taxes.

Like I said last night, I don't want government health care, but there is something unfair when the government penalizes you for saving them money.

And, before you complain about people preserving assets, you might want to put your energies toward stopping the abuses and scams the nursing homes run and stop the incredible over prescribing of medications that cost enormous amounts of money.

Twice my Mother stopped breathing and even despite a DNR on file, they worked feverishly to revive her and then billed huge amounts for that specialized care. Then twice, yes twice, they let her fall out of bed at the hospital and she broke first the right and then the left hip in the two falls. Who picked up the cost of surgery and recovery, she did and then I did.

Yes we could have sued the hospital, but no one had the money to do that and frankly, when you are in those life/death situations, unless you are a total creep, you aren't thinking about lawsuits. You exist from day to day and pray every night that the phone won't ring telling you about another crisis.

My Mother died 3 days after I sold her last share of stock and her savings was depleted down to less than $500. It was as if she knew that she'd run out of money. What I never told her was that I also depleted my own savings in order to support myself during the 4 1/2 years I cared for her. So when she died, I had just enough left to bury her, but it took me two years to get a marker on her grave.

She was in far better financial shape than most and it left her broke and me broke as well. There was nothing left for inhertitance except family heirlooms and some jewelry, which I would have sold if she had lived longer. My best friend had to borrow $1700 from me many years ago in order to pay the burial tax for her Mother, who died indigent and my friend was a single mother of 4 children and lived from paycheck to paycheck. A burial tax. They wouldn't dig the grave until the tax was paid.

I know individuals abuse the system, but God help anyone who has to deal with the healthcare system as it stands now. The biggest abusers are the doctors and hospitals and nursing homes. They order unnecessary tests and medical procedures and if you question an almighty doctor, they treat you as a criminal. If they get a patient who wants to be involved in decisions about their own care, they treat that person as crazy. It is a nightmare.

All I can do is tell everyone in the strongest possible terms to make sure you have your own affairs in order with Powers of Attorney and most especially a Power of Attorney for Healthcare and Directive to Physician. Designate someone you trust to speak for you or you will end up under government care, most likely tied into a chair, put in diapers, and pushed into a corner and ignored while they pocket the money. Shoot they took my Uncle's house and every dime he had and then tied him into a recliner and left him. Not even a bed. Then they somehow got him to sign over his Power of Attorney to them, even though his daughter held one duly executed. She was in another state and once they got the new PofA, they wouldn't even let her see her Dad. It cost her thousands in attorney's fees and travel to extract her Dad from that situation. There was no inheritance because those people got it all. Her Dad was lucid, but they kept him drugged to oblivion and then played the dementia card. By the time she got him home to Pittsburgh and under VA care, his leg muscles were so atrophied from disuse, it took months of therapy just to get him standing again. The doctors said had she not rescued her Dad, he probably would have been dead in less than two weeks, he was in that bad shape. Under her care, he lived another two years and once they got him treated, those were good years.

I was called in and told my Mother wouldn't live another 24 hours. I got her out of their clutches and she lived another 4 years and those are the most special years of my whole life. I sent the doctor a picture of her in line at Disneyland celebrating her 92nd birthday, two years after they told me she wouldn't live 24 hours. He was snotty about the picture and bordered on accusing me of "forcing" my Mother to do things that were "detrimental" to her health. They have no respect for the elderly, no respect for the families, and they certainly don't think anyone should be allowed to determine their own care.

Your solution is to force people into those situations where they are at the mercy of the government and the few they designate as having the authority to decide what expense will be covered and what won't. Their solution is to keep the patient drugged and just bleed them dry and then let them die.

Extraneus

In a far-ranging discussion of healthcare, one thing to consider when thinking of turning more of it over to the government is privacy. Someday soon, experts will be able to know a lot more about you from your pre- or post-natal DNA than they do now, including your predilection for various diseases, likely lifespan, etc. In addition, from your routine medical tests, insurance companies already know all about your cholesterol level, blood pressure, substance usage, and a lot more, and they can plot these things over time. (I learned recently that they even have things like incentive plans which reward doctors who reduce the cholesterol levels of their clients.) Socialists (i.e., central-planning wolves in Nurse Ratchet clothing) would like the government to collect all of this information, and use it. How will they use it?

Sara

Oh and one more thing. If your situation is one where you have to put a loved one in a nursing home and can't take care of them yourself, make sure it is one you can easily visit regularly. Patients with family coming in at unannounced times are better treated than those whose families are far away or who have no one to speak for them. It also helps if you can make friends with other visitng family members of other patients and exchange info with them. I found out thru the daughter of another patient that one of the aides was slapping my Mother in the face at night when she would awake scared and confused and start yelling my name. Rather than call me, they were physically abusing her. When I complained, I was told by the administrator that patients suffering from dementia lie and that no one was abusing patients. It is the "blue wall" of the industry.

Rick Ballard

Both Thompson

“What is it that makes liberals think the best way to help somebody is to punish them?”

“I understand Hillary Clinton has just acknowledged that her new health care plan could require somebody to actually prove they’ve got insurance before they can get a job. You know, a job - the thing that would help you get health care. That kind of mindset is that the government knows best and if you don’t agree, then you’re just going to have to pay for it, one way or the other. The best way to improve the best health care in the world, which is what we’ve got right here in the United States, is to expand choice, not punishment.

“To some Democrats, choice to them is like a cross is to a vampire - they don’t like to see it coming down the road. Hillary says, don’t worry about it - the punishment - because the exact punitive measures they’d come up with would be worked out by congress. That’s a thought scary enough to make you sick.”

and Giuliani

“There’s going to be an individual requirement that everyone have health insurance,” Giuliani said of Clinton’s plan. “I don’t know exactly how that’s going to be enforced. Is there going to be a tax, a fine, a penalty? I don’t know. That’s government command and control…My approach is to encourage people to buy their own health insurance.”
peg the Big Sister aspect of The Beast's scheme. There's nothing like turning the "pro-choice" sword around and smacking a protofascist with it.


clarice

"What is it that makes liberals think the best way to help somebody is to punish them?”

“I understand Hillary Clinton has just acknowledged that her new health care plan could require somebody to actually prove they’ve got insurance before they can get a job. You know, a job — the thing that would help you get health care. That kind of mindset is that the government knows best and if you don’t agree, then you’re just going to have to pay for it, one way or the other. The best way to improve the best health care in the world, which is what we’ve got right here in the United States, is to expand choice, not punishment.

“To some Democrats, choice to them is like a cross is to a vampire — they don’t like to see it coming down the road. Hillary says, don’t worry about it — the punishment — because the exact punitive measures they’d come up with would be worked out by congress. That’s a thought scary enough to make you sick.”

Fred Thompson...http://stoptheaclu.com/archives/2007/09/19/fred-thompson-slams-hillarys-socialized-health-care-plan/>Fred!


Sara, it's too late now, but did you look into hospice or home care? Does medicaid and medicare in Southern California have some provisions as Florida does for this? I have to think that had you continued to work and had a home caregiver while you did so, the financial ruination wouldn't have occurred.

clarice

Vitas does have locations throughout California.http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:d9ZRWhzXtN8J:www.vitas.com/+vitas.com+California&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us>Home and hospice care

I can't say enough for their work.

Barney Frank

Gee, I made the mistake of looking at my dogeared copy of the Constitution again and darned if I could find any mention of a role for the federal governement in health care.
Of course what is more irrelevant in discussing the role of the federal government than the Constitution?

centralcal

Clarice: Hospice care is among the best in California's central valley. Several of my friends in years past were RN's, who later became stay at home mom's, and then as the kids got older, returned to nursing via hospice. All great, and caring, ladies.

Extraneus

Of course what is more irrelevant in discussing the role of the federal government than the Constitution?

Do you realize what a crackpot you risk sounding like to even bring this up?

Now if Ron Paul would enter the fray...

Sue

Sue: You are forgetting that elderly patients who have worked hard for 30 or 40 years, managed to save and/or invest wisely so that they can live independently once they reach their nonearning senior years are still paying taxes.

No I'm not, and I'm not sure what that has to do with what I said anyway.

And, before you complain about people preserving assets, you might want to put your energies toward stopping the abuses and scams the nursing homes run and stop the incredible over prescribing of medications that cost enormous amounts of money.

I don't care if people preserve assets to keep the government from getting them, what I don't like is making me pay for their stay in a nursing home so you can inherit. (me and you used generally, not personally).

I'm not sure what yours and your mother's story has to do with what I said.

clarice

(Rich)Canadian liberal MP Stronach has cancer..she came to the US for treatment while claiming she's just fine with the Canadian system.
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070914/belinda_Stronach_070914/20070914?hub=Health>What's next in the playbook hospital offsets?

Sara

Clarice: When my Mother was released from the hospital on two different occasions and from the rehab facility as a third time, she was entitled to a visiting nurse for so many visits after release. But, she didn't require hospice care. Other than the stroke damage that took her eyesight and caused language aphasia, she was healthy with a BP at 120/70 and no other health problems. The nurses would come, evaluate the home for things like grab bars and shower seats and sign her off. She was also entitled to several visits by physical and occupational therapists, but once they'd gone thru their checklists and she was able to do each item, she was signed off that too. Once I got her off the tranquilizers and sleeping pills, she was alert and able to make her own decisions.

She didn't qualify for hospice care until the last couple of weeks of her life and by then it seemed rather senseless. She was left 95% blind (she had peripheral vision in her right eye only) and had trouble making herself understood, but there was nothing wrong with her intellect. She just could not live alone or speak for herself. After her second stroke, she lost the ability to recognize danger and I had to put alarms on the doors to keep her from wandering and we put gates up so she wouldn't accidentally tumble down the stairs or go into the kitchen and try to fix her own meals and burn the house down. It was surreal because my Mother understood what was happening, yet had no control over her actions. It was like having a genius level 2 year old. She'd lost all sense of self. Lost her ability to use proper nouns or distinguish gender. Everything was either him, he or it. She developed autistic-like symptoms and she suffered from what is called "left side neglect" which means she was totally unaware of anything on the left, including food on a plate. She'd eat everything on the right and I'd have to rotate the plate so she knew there was more there. Yet, you could touch her on the left side and she would feel it or she would hear you, but unless she turned her head, she would not know you were there. Once she turned her head, it adjusted the left side 90 degrees and then she would be totally aware. It was very weird. There is no cure, although one reference book I found said try pouring ice water in the left ear as a therapy.

You've mentioned the good care you are experiencing from Florida. My Uncle's story was at a Florida facility that is highly rated on paper and studies show that the two best places for elder care are Florida and, of all places, Pittsburgh, PA. My Aunt on the other side of the family was in an excellent facility that gave her her own studio apartment, meals in the dining room and lots of activities. They monitored her and made sure she got her meds each day. When she got bad enough where she had to be moved to the care unit which was covered by Medicare rather than privately paid for, things changed drastically. However, she paid dearly for the privilege of living in that facility to the tune of $7500 per month. My Mother didn't have that kind of money to spend and neither did I.

PeterUK

"“There’s going to be an individual requirement that everyone have health insurance,"


It's quite easy really,the government extorts "contributions",actually taxation,then rations health provision.
Government exhorts you to live a clean healthy life,but not too long,ideally remaining fighting fit until you keel over on reaching retirement age.

Ralph L

So the government should encourage smoking and motorcycle grandmas to reduce pension outlays.

Sara

Ralph, neither my Mother nor my Nephew road motorcycles or smoked and yet they both suffered hemorrhagic strokes that flooded their brain with blood and did irreparable damage. My Mother at 90, my Nephew at age 6. He died within 10 days, my Mother lived 4 1/2 years after the strokes. It could happen to any of us, at any age. Shoot my Dad died at age 49 from a blood clot to the heart. Instant death. The blood clot released from a thirty year old football injury to his leg. He didn't smoke or ride motorcycles either. Should we put college football on the list, how 'bout soccer or tennis or track and field. Yeah let's do that and produce a country of couch potatoes. They don't have any problems now do they?

Terrye

Sue:

I am not talking about some inheritance. That has nothing to do with it.

I am saying that when someone's health care costs are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars that is not the market, that is something else entirely.

And if the government did not help pay these costs and families had to the lifestyles of a lot of people in this country would be a hell of a lot different.

I know people who pay more for a power chair than I paid for my car. If they had to pay that out of pocket, they would not buy the damn thing. There is nothing rational about these costs.

And if Republicans want to respond to this by saying screw you if you can't pay your medical bills that is your tough luck then they better be ready to lose some elections.

Terrye

I think people are forgetting we are all mortal, we all die. Everyone and anyone can and will get sick or have an accident. It is not a sign of bad estate planning, it is inevitable.

Terrye

And I think they should also remember that they might not be able to send their kids to college or live in a nice house or retire early if they had to come up with $50,000 a year to keep Granny in a nursing home, or $600 a month to buy Mom's medicine.

The point is the costs are too high for ordinary people to pay without insurance or help from the government. It is not about who has the better quality of care. I know Americans get a better quality of care, but if you can not afford it you either do not get it or you have to go broke and go on welfare and hope they will pay it for you.

clarice

Of course, it's the market, terrye--the staff has to be paid, the doctors' malpractice insurance has to be covered, etc. Look, if you buy long term health coverage when you are young, the premiums are low. They generally cover 5 years of home care assistance and somewhat shorter nursing home care. And once you have it, the premiums and coverage cannot change. Anyone under 50 who doesn't have it, should.
Your situation may be more complicated because outside the major cities where there are lots of retirees the local govts do not put much effort into setting up help.Move to Southern Florida and you will see an entirely different situation. They even have all day programs for the elderly who need watching--including bus pick up and delivery so family members can continue working.

clarice

Here's more information on long term health insurance. The younger you are when you buy it, the cheaper it is. http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cic_text/health/ltc/guide.htm

Barney Frank

My wife's cancer treatments have cost several hundred thousand dollars, but guess what? I bought health insurance in case something like that happened.
A car or home accident can cause hundreds of thousands in liabilities as well. Why shouldn't Sue be paying for my car and house insurance as well as my grandma's nursing home? Heck, why shouldn't Sue pay for all our expenses? Isn't that the essence of liberalism; asking the government to coerce your neighbor into giving you a good sized chunk of his labor?

hoosierhoops

Clarice:
I don't know that we have a litigious society..BTW, Can I sue the guy using my handle 'hoosierhoops' over at politico?
Just wondering.....

I posted that in a sense of ironic banter..
Yes, i know we have a litigious society..If you can sue mcdonalds for spilling hot coffee on yourself..then why can't i sue that other hoosierhoops?
He is slandering my handle.. hehehe
Kind regards clarice

Terrye

clarice:

No it is not the market. The costs of health care has outpaced inflation by an alarming degree, there is no denying that. The increase in the costs of health care has been staggering in recent years, there is nothing else in the market than can even come close.

And btw when there are high prices in home prices or virtualy any other area, we call it a boom or a bubble and chances are the prices will come down.

The prices never come down in health care and if it were not for the government picking up the costs there are a lot of middle class people out there who would not be middle class.

Terrye

Barney:

That is just great, but what if {like my friend} you had lost a job and with it your insurance? And if like him you had been denied coverage? What would you have done to pay for your wife's care then?

I am not saying we need nationalized medicine, but there is a problem with the rising cost of health care in this country and it needs to be dealt with.

If there was some way to restraing costs, or open up the kind of program federal employees have to people so that they can pay into the system or something it might give some people coverage. Because if they can not pay the government will and that is probably one reason the costs are as high as they are.

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