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Health Care 2009

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#21 Annibal

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 10:02 PM

^ Ah. I would like it more if you could have private or socialized health care, and choose which, and not have to deal with the other. Oh well!
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#22 Cardie

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 10:44 PM

It's really just like the way the US public school system works, Annibal.  We all pay taxes for public schools, even though some people send their children to private schools or home school.  That's because we believe that education is a fundamental right and that an educated citizenry is important enough that we all should chip in, even if we aren't going to use it ourselves. I don't know why people start yelling "socialism" when it's proposed that healthcare work the same way. I suppose if a multibillion dollar private education system had existed before the public schools we would have that special interest scaring everyone to death if the government then tried to get into the education business--and decrease their profits.

And since this is not the forum where I expect snark and ranting, I'll dare to say that there's nothing intrinsically evil about the socialism practiced in Europe and other developed nations.  I don't notice those folks losing freedoms and living deprived lifestyles.

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#23 Nonny

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 09:41 AM

View PostCardie, on Sep 21 2009, 08:44 PM, said:

It's really just like the way the US public school system works, Annibal.  We all pay taxes for public schools, even though some people send their children to private schools or home school.  That's because we believe that education is a fundamental right and that an educated citizenry is important enough that we all should chip in, even if we aren't going to use it ourselves. I don't know why people start yelling "socialism" when it's proposed that healthcare work the same way.
Excellent point.  

Quote

I suppose if a multibillion dollar private education system had existed before the public schools we would have that special interest scaring everyone to death if the government then tried to get into the education business--and decrease their profits.
Sadly, yes.  

Quote

And since this is not the forum where I expect snark and ranting, I'll dare to say that there's nothing intrinsically evil about the socialism practiced in Europe and other developed nations.  I don't notice those folks losing freedoms and living deprived lifestyles.
I agree, and I think the way our politicians have demonized it is a prime example of biting off your nose to spite your face.
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#24 Chakoteya

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 10:23 AM

View PostCardie, on Sep 22 2009, 04:44 AM, said:

And since this is not the forum where I expect snark and ranting, I'll dare to say that there's nothing intrinsically evil about the socialism practiced in Europe and other developed nations.  I don't notice those folks losing freedoms and living deprived lifestyles.

Cardie

:)

Many of the state schools, hospitals, libraries et al started life as charitable institutions, set up either by rich folks with endowments, or by the community getting together to establish them for the common good. As the populations grew, the larger 'state' took them over. If everyone contributing to provide for the common good is socialism or communism, that's fine by me.
It's when the very rich turn their back on the community they 'live in' and refuse to contribute by avoiding tax with offshore trusts, not providing jobs for the local people at a decent living wage and trying to pretend that even the laws of the land somehow don't apply to them because they are wealthy that I very nearly break into a quick chorus of the Red Flag....... :devil:
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#25 Annibal

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 10:32 AM

View PostCardie, on Sep 22 2009, 03:44 AM, said:

It's really just like the way the US public school system works, Annibal.  We all pay taxes for public schools, even though some people send their children to private schools or home school.  That's because we believe that education is a fundamental right and that an educated citizenry is important enough that we all should chip in, even if we aren't going to use it ourselves. I don't know why people start yelling "socialism" when it's proposed that healthcare work the same way. I suppose if a multibillion dollar private education system had existed before the public schools we would have that special interest scaring everyone to death if the government then tried to get into the education business--and decrease their profits.

And since this is not the forum where I expect snark and ranting, I'll dare to say that there's nothing intrinsically evil about the socialism practiced in Europe and other developed nations.  I don't notice those folks losing freedoms and living deprived lifestyles.

Cardie

I see nothing wrong with socialism...but they ARE losing freedoms. I can't say that Americans are free, really, we still submit to our governments. And if I had the option to pa taxes but get socialized health care, I would, but I really understand why others would want the ability to opt out of the taxes and pay for their own separately. If they are not going to benefit from paying, I don't think they should be forced to pay for others.

As for schools, I don't know. I'd kind of WANT it to work the same way.

OTOH, I get that the world can't be as simple as how I'd want it to be. :D
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#26 ilexx

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 11:24 AM

View PostAnnibal, on Sep 22 2009, 05:32 PM, said:

And if I had the option to pa taxes but get socialized health care, I would, but I really understand why others would want the ability to opt out of the taxes and pay for their own separately. If they are not going to benefit from paying, I don't think they should be forced to pay for others.

The ability to opt out of taxes and pay for their own is quite sound, basically. In fact, in Germany we have exactly this option provided you earn enough money to do it. If, however, your earnings are below a certain level, then there is reasonable doubt that without a compulsory health care system, you wouldn't "waste" your money on an insurance that - while in good health - everyone secretly believes to not need.

And this is exactly where trouble starts: what happens if you can't afford to pay for a certain treatment or other without proper insurance? You most likely end up in debt, dead or with the community having to provide the service for free for you. So - in the end - without health care the government, that is the community and thus ultimately each and every one, still will have to pay, after all no civilised country would let its citizens just untreated because they have no insurance. The treatment might be less good, less prompt etc., but there will be treatment. And it would be paid for from... well, taxes raised for other purposes, really.

#27 Cardie

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 01:21 PM

View PostAnnibal, on Sep 22 2009, 11:32 AM, said:

I see nothing wrong with socialism...but they ARE losing freedoms. I can't say that Americans are free, really, we still submit to our governments. And if I had the option to pa taxes but get socialized health care, I would, but I really understand why others would want the ability to opt out of the taxes and pay for their own separately. If they are not going to benefit from paying, I don't think they should be forced to pay for others.

Do you then believe that a society has no general obligations to its members and that no one should pay for roads that don't go where they want to go, police to protect anyone but their own neighborhood, mass transit lines that go anywhere but to and from their doorstep, etc.  Because that's the essential premise from which you seem to be arguing.

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#28 sierraleone

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 02:47 PM

View PostAnnibal, on Sep 22 2009, 11:32 AM, said:

I see nothing wrong with socialism...but they ARE losing freedoms. I can't say that Americans are free, really, we still submit to our governments. And if I had the option to pa taxes but get socialized health care, I would, but I really understand why others would want the ability to opt out of the taxes and pay for their own separately. If they are not going to benefit from paying, I don't think they should be forced to pay for others.

As for schools, I don't know. I'd kind of WANT it to work the same way.

OTOH, I get that the world can't be as simple as how I'd want it to be. :D

And if would provide incentive to the government to make the services better, would it not?

But there are huge implementation problems, as opposed to the education one.... I don't know how that would work. Obviously you can't be *without* insurance, or the public is going to pay anyways. So if you don't have insurance... say it is because you don't have a job at all... how the heck do you pay taxes for it? It can't be off income tax (what income? unless its off un/employment insurance). It can't be off sales tax, because while someone may want to tell a cashier that they have it to avoid further taxes, why would someone unemployed tell a cashier the truth when you are counting pennies? Have someone else purchase stuff for you? (and the government ends up short....).
Off property taxes? Not everyone owns property, and people shouldn't have to share that kind of info with their landlord. And again, at a time you are counting pennies. The only thing that might work, that I can think of, is have everyone pay for it, and when comes tax time, if you have proof of private health insurance, you can get a refund on the amount dedicated from your income tax that goes to public health insurance.

Education would be much easier. If off income tax, show proof to employer of child enrolled and attending private school and they can take off the deductions for public education (if it is spelled out like that). Or to your city hall if it is coming out of property tax (though again, it causes problems with tenants, though I imagine many people who put their kids in private school own their own home).
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#29 Annibal

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 03:19 PM

Annibal, you're going to make me break into a chorus of John Donne. :p

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No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were. Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

I can't look at the interconnectedness of nature without believing in the interconnectedness of mankind with itself and nature.  And if that's true, then not only does my life affect the lives around me, but I may have an obligation to help others because it benefits me.

The sermon is over. ;)

A good example, though, of why we need universal health care are the numbers of people using emergency rooms for routine medical care because they have no insurance. That costs everybody else big time - we've seen a number of hospitals go bankrupt in California for exactly that reason.

We extend basic funds for living to the elderly, disabled and unemployed - why not to everyone so that they can stay healthy?

Edited by Rhea, 22 September 2009 - 04:30 PM.

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#30 Themis

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 05:12 PM

View PostCardie, on Sep 22 2009, 06:21 PM, said:

View PostAnnibal, on Sep 22 2009, 11:32 AM, said:

I see nothing wrong with socialism...but they ARE losing freedoms. I can't say that Americans are free, really, we still submit to our governments. And if I had the option to pa taxes but get socialized health care, I would, but I really understand why others would want the ability to opt out of the taxes and pay for their own separately. If they are not going to benefit from paying, I don't think they should be forced to pay for others.

Do you then believe that a society has no general obligations to its members and that no one should pay for roads that don't go where they want to go, police to protect anyone but their own neighborhood, mass transit lines that go anywhere but to and from their doorstep, etc.  Because that's the essential premise from which you seem to be arguing.

Cardie

What Cardie Said!

Aside from the moral question, a healthy population is a more productive population.  The uninsured go to emergency rooms because emergency rooms have to treat all comers.  If you are ill or injured and can't afford to see the doctor and/or get medication, you probably can't perform well at your job.  If you have an undiagnosed communicable disease, you can spread it to lots of other people.  Just so very many reasons why healthcare should be affordable for all.  The very rich have no problem.  The very poor are eligible for a number of programs.  Seniors have Medicare (though having to pay 20% of a huge hospital bill could still cause bankruptcy).  The middle class that can't afford insurance premiums (or have pre-existing conditions and can't get insurance) or medical bills are up the creek in this country.
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#31 Annibal

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 10:26 AM

View PostThemis, on Sep 22 2009, 10:12 PM, said:

View PostCardie, on Sep 22 2009, 06:21 PM, said:

View PostAnnibal, on Sep 22 2009, 11:32 AM, said:

I see nothing wrong with socialism...but they ARE losing freedoms. I can't say that Americans are free, really, we still submit to our governments. And if I had the option to pa taxes but get socialized health care, I would, but I really understand why others would want the ability to opt out of the taxes and pay for their own separately. If they are not going to benefit from paying, I don't think they should be forced to pay for others.

Do you then believe that a society has no general obligations to its members and that no one should pay for roads that don't go where they want to go, police to protect anyone but their own neighborhood, mass transit lines that go anywhere but to and from their doorstep, etc.  Because that's the essential premise from which you seem to be arguing.

Cardie

What Cardie Said!

Aside from the moral question, a healthy population is a more productive population.  The uninsured go to emergency rooms because emergency rooms have to treat all comers.  If you are ill or injured and can't afford to see the doctor and/or get medication, you probably can't perform well at your job.  If you have an undiagnosed communicable disease, you can spread it to lots of other people.  Just so very many reasons why healthcare should be affordable for all.  The very rich have no problem.  The very poor are eligible for a number of programs.  Seniors have Medicare (though having to pay 20% of a huge hospital bill could still cause bankruptcy).  The middle class that can't afford insurance premiums (or have pre-existing conditions and can't get insurance) or medical bills are up the creek in this country.

I was going to reply yesterday but had to go to work!

Anyway, good points. And Cardie, yours is a good point too, though I didn't say that in my original response to it.

But are either of you saying that NO ONE should be able to NOT have that (specifically medical) obligation to others in society? In this democratic republic, do people really have obligations to others beyond what would effect themselves? I'm not trying to argue these--my tone isn't argumentative in my head, merely curious. What kinds of obligations DO you think we have to everyone else? :) Isn't saying we're obligated to everyone else just for living here kind of authoritative? Personally, I wouldn't even call myself patriotic anymore I sure used to be. But now I wonder why being born and living somewhere forces one to love where they happened to be born and live, and have obligations to others in the same situation. Again, this is really just inquisitorial--I don't want it taken the wrong way! :D
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On sleepless roads the sleepless go.
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#32 Cardie

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 10:46 AM

We have to decide what services are essential for the well-being of a society as a whole, and then governments (federal, state, local) collect revenues which they use to provide those services.  No citizen is going to need or even agree with every service that elected representatives decide is necessary for that well-being, which is where you get into these heated policy debates.  I'd personally rather make sure everyone has healthcare than that the Pentagon gets some multibillion dollar ship or airplane; others may feel the opposite.  But the bottom line is that you could never run a nation if everyone got to opt in or out on every service government provides.

The Bush administration believed that government should do as little as possible and decreased funding or the appointment of adequate staff to anything that didn't deal with national defense, and even there, Rumsfeld tried to outsource and downsize military operatons to an unsustainable level.  I think the turn in national mood away from Republicans was probably Katrina, when we found out there are some things only a prepared government agency can handle, even if relatively few of us are ever going to need nastural disaster relief.

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#33 Annibal

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 11:08 AM

See, I guess I think people should be able to opt out of more taxes. I think some are necessary, sure, and I agree with you that much of the money spent on "defense" should go elsewhere. But if current estimates are accurate, I won't ever be able to collect social security. But I still have to pay it? It's a flawed system, anyway.

I don't like having a large part of my meager paycheck go to medicare or caid. No one I know collects it, so my hard-earned money is going to people I don't know, and probably wouldn't think deserve it.

Those aren't really arguments against it, I suppose, but more like reasons as to why I'm on the fence. I don't like having my money taken from me and given to strangers. I'd rather be able to use it to pay for my own health insurance when I turn 25.
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May angels lead you in."

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#34 Rhea

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 11:17 AM

Annibal, you aren't subsidizing other people - you're paying into the system for yourself, if you ever need it.

I felt so bad when I had to go on Social Security Disability, until someone pointed out that I'd paid into the system my whole damn life and I was entitled to it.

I'm also eligible for Medi-Cal, the California version of Medicaid. I haven't applied for it for the simple reason that I checked around and hardly any reputable doctors are willing to accept it, primarily because the paperwork is a nightmare. So I'm now stuck for 1 1/2 more years paying a COBRA premium I can't afford until Medicare automatically kicks in for me as a part of my disability. Doesn't make Medicaid much of a deal, does it?

Again, I've been paying into the system my whole working life - I can't apologize for using it - and both Social Security and Social Security Disability are calculated based on your average earnings over your working lifetime - so the only person that paid for my disability is me. Same with Social Security.

Edited by Rhea, 23 September 2009 - 11:18 AM.

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#35 Annibal

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 02:43 PM

View PostRhea, on Sep 23 2009, 04:17 PM, said:

Annibal, you aren't subsidizing other people - you're paying into the system for yourself, if you ever need it.

I felt so bad when I had to go on Social Security Disability, until someone pointed out that I'd paid into the system my whole damn life and I was entitled to it.

I'm also eligible for Medi-Cal, the California version of Medicaid. I haven't applied for it for the simple reason that I checked around and hardly any reputable doctors are willing to accept it, primarily because the paperwork is a nightmare. So I'm now stuck for 1 1/2 more years paying a COBRA premium I can't afford until Medicare automatically kicks in for me as a part of my disability. Doesn't make Medicaid much of a deal, does it?

Again, I've been paying into the system my whole working life - I can't apologize for using it - and both Social Security and Social Security Disability are calculated based on your average earnings over your working lifetime - so the only person that paid for my disability is me. Same with Social Security.

Also true. Also why I can't claim any authority on the matter whatsoever. :) And you're also right, by paying into it all your life you are absolutely entitled to it.
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On sleepless roads the sleepless go.
May angels lead you in."

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#36 Rhea

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 08:40 PM

What I was trying to say indirectly is that paying into a single payer system means you're paying for yourself, not the whole world. And if somebody else gets helped along the way, good by me - it's a mitzvah, of sorts (Christians don't really have a word for a good deed done out of religious or moral conviction, so I borrowed the Jewish word).

Edited by Rhea, 24 September 2009 - 06:29 PM.

The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#37 Cardie

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 11:16 PM

That's "mitzvah." ;)

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#38 Themis

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 11:46 PM

View PostAnnibal, on Sep 23 2009, 04:08 PM, said:

I don't like having a large part of my meager paycheck go to medicare or caid. No one I know collects it

You don't know one single person 65 or older?  Not one????  Really?????  Because everyone 65 or older is on Medicare.
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#39 Annibal

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 12:08 AM

^ Well, not really. I mean, my grandparents are still alive, but they all are pretty darn well off, and healthy. I'm pretty isolated to being acquainted with older people, and I can't lie to myself and say I really care all that much about them (sorry if that sounds callous, it's just...me. Age happens. I don't feel sorry for many people, or sympathize, or care). Back to me not feeling any obligation ;). I mean, I don't not care enough to STOP paying my taxes. But heck yeah I'm gonna complain about it. I feel highly suspicious of the programs--I really don't think I'll ever benefit from them.
"A song for a heart so big, god wouldn't let it live. May angels lead you in. Hear you me my friends.
On sleepless roads the sleepless go.
May angels lead you in."

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#40 Nonny

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 08:37 AM

View PostAnnibal, on Sep 23 2009, 10:08 PM, said:

But heck yeah I'm gonna complain about it. I feel highly suspicious of the programs--I really don't think I'll ever benefit from them.
I had the great misfortune to "benefit" from "caid" and I can tell you that I paid out more in suffering than I ever received in help because of the mental, emotional and, yes, physical abuse I suffered from more than half of the providers I was stuck with.  When I say that the VA rescued me from Social Security, MediCal and social services, I'm talking about that abuse.  At least with the VA, we veterans get treated with basic respect, though not, of course, at every instance and from every VA employee.  But at least there is respect.
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