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#1 Jun 17 2004 at 9:37 AM Rating: Default
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Would you pay 5 percent higher taxes for national healthcare for all Americans?
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#2 Jun 17 2004 at 9:54 AM Rating: Good
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Being that my healthcare costs amount to more than a 5% increase in my taxes I would have to heavily lean towards yes all else being equal
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#3 Jun 17 2004 at 9:59 AM Rating: Decent
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I most defintley would seeing as it cost 300+ every 2 wks just to cover myself an my wife an 1 child. Yep my office health plan sucks.
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#4 Jun 17 2004 at 10:18 AM Rating: Good
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You're **** right I would.

My only concern is its regulation. I don't want a health care system where I have to fill out tons of forms and then get half-assed service delivered by someone who acts like they're better than me because they chose a profession that means they muck about inside of other people.

Wait, I've got that already......

Yeah, I'd pay 5% higher taxes for that. I'm already a single male with no deductions to speak of so I'm used to carrying the load for everyone else. A little more wouldn't hurt and I see potential for me to actually benefit.
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#5 Jun 17 2004 at 10:19 AM Rating: Good
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Although I'm not 100% convinced a national healthcare plan is the ultimate solution to our woes. I think a little price regulation is definatly in line. Or possibly offering more tuition assistance to put more doctors in the field.

There is also something to be said for putting a cap on lawsuit awards. Doctor assed up your surgery, yup you deserve some compensation at least what you would have been expected to make in your lifetime with expected economical growth. $25,000,000 I don't f'ing thing so...
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#6 Jun 17 2004 at 11:20 AM Rating: Decent
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Would you pay 5 percent higher taxes for national healthcare for all Americans?


You mean lose more of my paycheck to get less service? Ill vote yes to that.
#7 Jun 17 2004 at 11:26 AM Rating: Good
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Considering some of the problems I have right now are not covered under my healthcare (and why the F*ing **** not? If I get breast cancer, do you think I can really afford to get chemotherapy myself? a$$holes...), I'd pay some more in taxes in order for me to have the assurance that if I did get sick, I'd be taken care of.
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#8 Jun 17 2004 at 11:54 AM Rating: Decent
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Well under my current situation I would have to say no, but I have the advantage of a wondeful healthcare plan and I am single. A 5% hit to my paycheck would cost me $200 more a month so its pretty obvious. Perhaps if I had a family my sentiment may be different since the cost for 2+ is pretty **** high.
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#9 Jun 17 2004 at 11:57 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
There is also something to be said for putting a cap on lawsuit awards. Doctor assed up your surgery, yup you deserve some compensation at least what you would have been expected to make in your lifetime with expected economical growth. $25,000,000 I don't f'ing thing so...


I have to agree. Malpractice suits are a bunch of crap, it coincides with many ppls longing to sue someone just to make a quick buck. I am not saying that doctors are perfect but a cap on malpractice would be nice.
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#10 Jun 17 2004 at 12:19 PM Rating: Good
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I just think that Mr. Nader has one good idea:

All punitive damages go to the state

That would allow a jury to punish someone by taking money from them, but nobody could sue for malpractice just to get rich.
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#11 Jun 17 2004 at 4:57 PM Rating: Excellent
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Well, seeing as I am one of those unfortunate Americans without health insurance, this may just have gotten my attention!
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#12 Jun 17 2004 at 7:20 PM Rating: Decent
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YES.
#13 Jun 17 2004 at 7:47 PM Rating: Decent
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#14 Jun 17 2004 at 8:34 PM Rating: Good
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#15 Jun 17 2004 at 9:14 PM Rating: Good
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Smasharoo wrote:
Would you pay 5 percent higher taxes for national healthcare for all Americans?


It would depend on a lot of factors:

What is that 5% in relation to? The tax I already pay? Or is this an overall 5% increase in the total "personal" taxes collected, and we'll scale the amounts in some way? Or some other method?

It's easy to say "would you pay X amount more", but since this is a national healthcare plan, I have to assume this will increase taxes for everyone. If I and only I had to pay 5% more taxes and that would somehow magically pay for everyone in the US to get healthcare, then I'd be willing to bite that bullet for the good of mankind. I'm relatively certain you didn't mean it that way though.


Additionally, where's the future impact report? IE: Where did that 5% increase figure come from? Is that based on current health care costs? Some kind of projected need? Does it include all care that people might want? Or is it restricted to only proceedures currently being performed by HMOs and such? What guarantees do we have that once we institute a national healthcare plan that the actual cost per person for care wont skyrocket? If you don't think the mere fact that people are given "free" health care wont result in an increase in total health care costs per-person, you are very naive.

Can you guarantee me that in 10 years, we wont be paying closer to 20 or 15 percent of our income on average to pay for this?


I'd say that if you could guarantee all of that, I might go for it. However, I'm pretty much certain that those costs will go up, and the program will get larger and consume more of the "income" across the board over time. But then, that's why I'm an advocate for a free market instead of a socialist. It's not that I don't think free medical care for everyone wouldn't be a great idea. I just know that in the long run, the costs of the program, and the reductions in the quality of the medical care provided wont make it worthwhile.
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#16 Jun 17 2004 at 9:25 PM Rating: Good
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Worked just fine when I was living in the UK.

I'll vote yes. But keep the option to go private too, to cut back on ****

Edited, Thu Jun 17 22:25:37 2004 by Crimanosuke
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#17 Jun 17 2004 at 11:24 PM Rating: Good
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Free health care is the r0xx0r so to speak.

Though im sure the transistion from private to public would be a pain in the **** of monumental proportions.
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#18 Jun 17 2004 at 11:48 PM Rating: Decent
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Do any other countries have free health care?
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#19 Jun 18 2004 at 3:11 AM Rating: Good
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Canada's healthcare system isn't exactly perfect.

Google something like "healthcare problems in canada" and you'll find a lot of info on it. I don't have the energy or interest to research it myself, but as with any socialist program, it has its flaws.

I can't really say whether I'm for or against it, maybe a middle-ground compromise between our current system and national free healthcare would be a good option.

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#20 Jun 18 2004 at 3:49 AM Rating: Good
Smasharoo

Can you please quantify the 5% increase? Would it be across the board on everything like income, sales, property, gas, B&O, keyboard, etc. taxes or what?
#21 Jun 18 2004 at 6:22 AM Rating: Default
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Quote:

It would depend on a lot of factors:

What is that 5% in relation to? The tax I already pay? Or is this an overall 5% increase in the total "personal" taxes collected, and we'll scale the amounts in some way? Or some other method?

It's easy to say "would you pay X amount more", but since this is a national healthcare plan, I have to assume this will increase taxes for everyone. If I and only I had to pay 5% more taxes and that would somehow magically pay for everyone in the US to get healthcare, then I'd be willing to bite that bullet for the good of mankind. I'm relatively certain you didn't mean it that way though.


Additionally, where's the future impact report? IE: Where did that 5% increase figure come from? Is that based on current health care costs? Some kind of projected need? Does it include all care that people might want? Or is it restricted to only proceedures currently being performed by HMOs and such? What guarantees do we have that once we institute a national healthcare plan that the actual cost per person for care wont skyrocket? If you don't think the mere fact that people are given "free" health care wont result in an increase in total health care costs per-person, you are very naive.

Can you guarantee me that in 10 years, we wont be paying closer to 20 or 15 percent of our income on average to pay for this?


I'd say that if you could guarantee all of that, I might go for it. However, I'm pretty much certain that those costs will go up, and the program will get larger and consume more of the "income" across the board over time. But then, that's why I'm an advocate for a free market instead of a socialist. It's not that I don't think free medical care for everyone wouldn't be a great idea. I just know that in the long run, the costs of the program, and the reductions in the quality of the medical care provided wont make it worthwhile.


Only you would be unable to answer a simple yes or no question without 300 words of random dross.

Quote:

Smasharoo

Can you please quantify the 5% increase? Would it be across the board on everything like income, sales, property, gas, B&O, keyboard, etc. taxes or what?


It's irrelevant. 5% more in taxes. If you pay 1000 in taxes per year from all sources, you'd pay 1050.


Edited, Fri Jun 18 07:26:23 2004 by Smasharoo
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#22 Jun 18 2004 at 11:20 AM Rating: Good
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Yes.

Problems would be created, but many would be solved. I think it would be a trade up for the general well being of every individual.
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#23 Jun 18 2004 at 11:53 AM Rating: Decent
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Do any other countries have free health care?
Most, if not all industrialized nations have some form of national health care system.

Except the United States.
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#24 Jun 18 2004 at 12:02 PM Rating: Default
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The US is the only industralized country without it, although of course we do have certain, massively expensive "safety nets" of mandatory treatement of the seriously injured. That doesn't stop people fron dying because of lack of health care however.
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#25 Jun 18 2004 at 12:20 PM Rating: Good
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It's irrelevant. 5% more in taxes. If you pay 1000 in taxes per year from all sources, you'd pay 1050.

If it's 5% more total out of my pocket, then yes. However, you also didn't mention if businesses would be dinged 5% more. Keep in mind, those businesses would increase their prices to cover the added 5%. Or would they be exempt from this?

I use to be co-owner in a sausage and cheese distributorship. We paid the manufacture $2.35 a pound for mild cheddar cheese. We sold it to the stores for $3.05 a pound. Most stores sold it for $3.95 a pound.

If I get your meaning correctly, the manufacturer would have sold us the cheese for $2.47 to cover the added 5% to their cost of added taxes. In order to make up for the added 5% and the cost we purchased it for, we would then sell the cheese to the stores for $3.42 a pound. The grocery store takes their typical mark-up on cheese, calculates things out and decides to sell it for $4.37 a pound plus an added 5% sales tax.

Or would you take that example and say the manufacture, middleman and retailer wouldn't pay the 5% but the consumer would pay an additional 5% sales tax on top of the origional $3.95 a pound?

Last question for you Smasharoo. Although you and a lot of other people might have a pretty decent grasp on what's taxed out there, do you think everybody on these boards knows how much they pay in taxes - both directly and indirectly? I know about a nice handful of them but I'll bet there's a lot more out there that I don't know about.

To everybody a little less, about the same or more slightly more enlightened as me when it comes to taxes. Do you think sales tax, income tax and property tax are the only taxes that impact you?
#26 Jun 18 2004 at 12:23 PM Rating: Default
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Why is it that the conservative posters have to construct an elaborate imaginary case scenario to answer a simple yes or no question?
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#27 Jun 18 2004 at 12:48 PM Rating: Good
Why is it that the liberal posters have to construct an oversimplified imaginary case scenario to ask a question that isn't a simple yes or no?

I take it you didn't read my first sentence of my previous response. Here you go:

Quote:
If it's 5% more total out of my pocket, then yes.


I'm still curious, which of these two scenario's were you referring to:
Scenario A:
Quote:
If I get your meaning correctly, the manufacturer would have sold us the cheese for $2.47 to cover the added 5% to their cost of added taxes. In order to make up for the added 5% and the cost we purchased it for, we would then sell the cheese to the stores for $3.42 a pound. The grocery store takes their typical mark-up on cheese, calculates things out and decides to sell it for $4.37 a pound plus an added 5% sales tax.

Scenario B:
Quote:
Or would you take that example and say the manufacture, middleman and retailer wouldn't pay the 5% but the consumer would pay an additional 5% sales tax on top of the origional $3.95 a pound?

Both are a 5% increase in tax. Scenario A hits the consumer harder than Scenario B. Scenario A Will provide more money to the health care system. If neither of these two models is what you had in mind, are you willing to elaborate?
#28 Jun 18 2004 at 12:52 PM Rating: Default
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Why is it that the liberal posters have to construct an oversimplified imaginary case scenario to ask a question that isn't a simple yes or no?


When did that happen? I just asked a very simple question. I didn't build any scenario's at all. I was just arbitrarily curious if people felt they spent more than what 5 percent more in taxes would be for them on healthcare.
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#29 Jun 18 2004 at 12:53 PM Rating: Default
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Quote:

Both are a 5% increase in tax. Scenario A hits the consumer harder than Scenario B. Scenario A Will provide more money to the health care system. If neither of these two models is what you had in mind, are you willing to elaborate?


5 percent more in taxes than you pay now total. Which word is the confusing one?
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To make a long story short, I don't take any responsibility for anything I post here. It's not news, it's not truth, it's not serious. It's parody. It's satire. It's bitter. It's angsty. Your mother's a whore. You like to jack off dogs. That's right, you heard me. You like to grab that dog by the bone and rub it like a ski pole. Your dad? Gay. Your priest? Straight. **** off and let me post. It's not true, it's all in good fun. Now go away.

#30 Jun 18 2004 at 1:05 PM Rating: Decent
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If you are willing to pay 5% more taxes, why not just go ahead and pay more money right now for a different plan? Why do you have to have a tax increase to pay more for something? Why not just take extra money and invest it, or set it aside, or pay for a higher plan to get the coverage you want? The people at the Boston Tea Party would be **** at the taxes in this country. It's easy to see income taxes since those numbers stand out on your paycheck, but start adding in all the taxes you pay and it is completely outrageous. If you think taxing is the solution to issues...well, I'll keep the rest of that to myself. Research, innovation, new technologies, EDUCATION; these are the long-term solutions that we need to invest in, not these finger in the **** approaches. If you work in, for, or with the government you should know that anything the government touches gets screwed up. Politicians' are first and foremost driven by their own ambitions and agendas. They tell you they care about you because they have to. Increasing taxes is not the solution. Why not stop spending on BS and free up existing tax capital to fund these things. Stop trying to take MY MONEY!!!
#31 Jun 18 2004 at 1:11 PM Rating: Decent
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Why not just take extra money and invest it, or set it aside, or pay for a higher plan to get the coverage you want?


You dont do this because the question was about a national health care plan which would require funds from all citizens.

Quote:
The people at the Boston Tea Party would be **** at the taxes in this country.


No they wouldnt. They were angry because the British were imposing taxes that were not represented. The taxes we have are represented.

But if you are suggesting that you personally know these people and can tell me that they have the temprament that is ired by any and all taxes, then yes. They would be **** off.
#32 Jun 18 2004 at 1:16 PM Rating: Default
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Paragraphs are your freind.

Quote:

If you are willing to pay 5% more taxes, why not just go ahead and pay more money right now for a different plan? Why do you have to have a tax increase to pay more for something? Why not just take extra money and invest it, or set it aside, or pay for a higher plan to get the coverage you want?


Well, there's a lot of diffrent answers for that question depending on income. Most people probably pay more than that 5 percent number for minimal health care coverage now. Many people have no health care at all, and couldn't afford it with the money in question. For people who would likely pay less than the tax load than theyh do for private healthcare (like me) I guess it's a question of if they're willing to pay a little to increase the human conditionof the rest of the country. Personally, I am.


Quote:

The people at the Boston Tea Party would be **** at the taxes in this country. It's easy to see income taxes since those numbers stand out on your paycheck, but start adding in all the taxes you pay and it is completely outrageous.


You know, I really don't think they would. They didn't have a problem with taxes, remember, they had a problem with taxation without representation. We don't have that problem. (well if you live in the District I guess you could argue that you do)

Quote:

If you think taxing is the solution to issues...well, I'll keep the rest of that to myself. Research, innovation, new technologies, EDUCATION; these are the long-term solutions that we need to invest in, not these finger in the **** approaches.

I don't find providing a basic level of human rights in the form of healthcare any more of a "finger in the **** approach than I do providing sewage systems.


Quote:

If you work in, for, or with the government you should know that anything the government touches gets screwed up. Politicians' are first and foremost driven by their own ambitions and agendas. They tell you they care about you because they have to. Increasing taxes is not the solution. Why not stop spending on BS and free up existing tax capital to fund these things. Stop trying to take MY MONEY!!!


When you reach a tax burden where you pay for all of the services you extract from the Government, let me know. Then we can talk about taking your money.
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#33 Jun 18 2004 at 1:29 PM Rating: Decent
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You many have asked a "simple" question, but it is a loaded question. You are either simple minded and unable to formulate or process complex questions and answers or you are, as I believe, a troller.

Your simple question of a 5% increase is the Single Payer approach to National health care. This is the system implemented by many other countries and does not work like everyone thinks it does. To the person who said it worked well for him in England, just do a search on UK's health care and read article after article of how this system is failing and cannot possibly keep up unless MORE taxes or a complete reformation of the system is done. The Single Payer system is what was proposed by President Clinton just to add context to what this approach is.

There are two other common appoaches to National health care, Play or Pay and Managed Competition. If you have the time AND want to answer this "simple" question with an educated Yes or No, please read this study from the Cato Institute.

http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa184.html

Is our system perfect? **** no. Can it be improved. Yes. Does it need to be improved? Yes, 40 some odd million Americans not covered is unacceptable. Where do the wealthy from around the world go for their HUGE health care issues? You guessed it. Not perfect, but pretty **** good.
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#34 Jun 18 2004 at 1:33 PM Rating: Decent
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Yes, I would pay more. I'd go 7%.

Someone mentioned that businesses would also have to kick in extra taxes. Just look at corporate income taxes. There are so many loopholes in the code the share of total tax revenue to the federal government (from corporations) has declined even with the massive tax cuts given to individuals.

There are loopholes for individuals, but the loopholes for companies make those look tiny.

Further, many companies pay the *bulk* of health care costs for their employees already, thus even if they did have to pay something, it could be far, far less then what they pay now.

This is excepting companies like McDonald's and Wal Mart which do not currently pay for health care. Yes, they would pay more. Your McSpecial may cost $4.15 instead of $3.95 - but the person behind the counter would have health care, and thus you are safer.

My primary reason for voting yes is not the exact percentage increase Smash cited. I don't know if 5% would do it. My primary reason is that the US spends a fortune on health care per person - far more then, say, Canada or England or the Netherlands, and the care we recieve is far, far worse by any objective standard such as rate of surgical errors, rate of infant mortality, availability of drugs, etc.

Where does all the money go? I've written extensively about this before so I'll be brief. First, we have an enormous ammount of overhead. The medical billing industry is huge. Also, we fund the discovery of new drugs and treatments effectively for most of the whole world. Yes, if we spend less on drugs, those companies have less money available to invest back into research. Lastly, a significant ammount is spent advertising to doctors and the public directly (which is illegal in other countries - the EU just considered this recently and rejected it, again).

As Ross Perot noted back in 1992, we pay for a front row seat and we're not in the building.

If there were no other nations doing it, I would be very skeptical. If only some other industrialized nations were doing it, we could compare how well our "insurance" system compares to others. Yet neither of these are the case. All other industrialized nations have gone to nationalized (socilized) health care - and none have the shoddy service and high costs we have. And none pay nearly as much. To continue our current system is really a poor decision.
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#35 Jun 18 2004 at 1:42 PM Rating: Default
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You many have asked a "simple" question, but it is a loaded question. You are either simple minded and unable to formulate or process complex questions and answers or you are, as I believe, a troller.


No, I was genuienly just curious. Complex answers to simple questions are mainly used to obfuscate things.




Your simple question of a 5% increase is the Single Payer approach to National health care. This is the system implemented by many other countries and does not work like everyone thinks it does. To the person who said it worked well for him in England, just do a search on UK's health care and read article after article of how this system is failing and cannot possibly keep up unless MORE taxes or a complete reformation of the system is done. The Single Payer system is what was proposed by President Clinton just to add context to what this approach is.


No, my simple question didn't mention a Single Payer approach. It didn't mention quality of care. It didn't mention admnistrative impact on the Government. It didn't mention impact on drug research.

That's why I intentionally asked a simple question.



There are two other common appoaches to National health care, Play or Pay and Managed Competition. If you have the time AND want to answer this "simple" question with an educated Yes or No, please read this study from the Cato Institute.


The Cato institute is a partisan right wing "Libertarian" think tank. If they had ever once, in the entire history of their operation generated any impartial research, I'd read that. Since they haven't, I'm not going to bother. I could read it and refute the obvious logical constructs and faulty assumptions, but I'm not in the mood.



http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa184.html

Is our system perfect? **** no. Can it be improved. Yes. Does it need to be improved? Yes, 40 some odd million Americans not covered is unacceptable. Where do the wealthy from around the world go for their HUGE health care issues? You guessed it. Not perfect, but pretty **** good.


We have a great healthcare system if you can afford it. I'd prefer to have a great healthcare system for everyone.

That's just me though.
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To make a long story short, I don't take any responsibility for anything I post here. It's not news, it's not truth, it's not serious. It's parody. It's satire. It's bitter. It's angsty. Your mother's a whore. You like to jack off dogs. That's right, you heard me. You like to grab that dog by the bone and rub it like a ski pole. Your dad? Gay. Your priest? Straight. **** off and let me post. It's not true, it's all in good fun. Now go away.

#36 Jun 18 2004 at 1:55 PM Rating: Good
Very simple yes or no question for you Smasharoo.

I only want one of two responses: "Yes" is one option. "No" is the other option.

Have you, Smasharoo, stopped beating your wife?


I do not want 300 words of random dross. I do not want an elaborate imaginary scenario. I just want:

Yes

or

No

I will wait for your yes or no response.
#37 Jun 18 2004 at 1:56 PM Rating: Decent
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I could read it and refute the obvious logical constructs and faulty assumptions, but I'm not in the mood.


LOL, but instead you will wage your pseudo intellectual arguments on the Allakhazam message boards. Hats off to you, that's the ultimate grass roots approach. Your inability to not even identify your 5% tax increase as the Single Payer approach is laughable. Just because you say, "I didn't mention Single Payer" somehow magically means it's not the Single Payer approach is a joke. That's the definition of the Single Payer approach. Read the article; then come back here and rip it apart for the whole Allakhazam world to read. Show them how you are single handedly smarter than a think tank that consists of PhDs and experts whose bodies of work are respected and drawn upon from leaders around the world.
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#38 Jun 18 2004 at 2:04 PM Rating: Default
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Quote:

LOL, but instead you will wage your pseudo intellectual arguments on the Allakhazam message boards. Hats off to you, that's the ultimate grass roots approach. Your inability to not even identify your 5% tax increase as the Single Payer approach is laughable. Just because you say, "I didn't mention Single Payer" somehow magically means it's not the Single Payer approach is a joke. That's the definition of the Single Payer approach. Read the article; then come back here and rip it apart for the whole Allakhazam world to read. Show them how you are single handedly smarter than a think tank that consists of PhDs and experts whose bodies of work are respected and drawn upon from leaders around the world.


Cato is a partisan think tank with an agenda. Ask them, they'll tell you as much. For the record, I have a PhD too. But since you're determined to assume that something from an agenda driven partisan source is a valid representation, sure, I'll read it and tare it apart.
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#39 Jun 18 2004 at 2:05 PM Rating: Default
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Quote:

Have you, Smasharoo, stopped beating your wife?


/Yawn. My question was nothing of the kind.
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#40 Jun 18 2004 at 2:11 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
For the record, I have a PhD too.


That's why you have to love the internet and public message boards.

The Cato Institute is a known entity, you are not. Read the article and learn. 5% wouldn't get you the national health care you speak of.
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#41 Jun 18 2004 at 2:38 PM Rating: Default
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From Cato:

I'll just adress the single payer part, as the entire document is terribly long and would take hours to go through.


Single-Payer Systems

One of the most dangerous health care reform proposals currently being considered is the call for a single-payer, government-operated, tax-funded system--the type of system, generally referred to as national health care, currently operated in Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and elsewhere.


The word "dangerous" instantly alerts any reader that what follows is biased oppinion.



The legislation generally cited as the classic example of a single-payer health care plan is sponsored by Rep. Marty Russo (D-Ill.) and Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.). That legislation specifically establishes health care as an entitlement for every American citizen. Every person would be issued a national health card. Payment for all medically necessary services would be provided through a government- operated program, which would be funded by taxes. Benefits would include a plethora of medical services, including long-term care. The federal government would establish a national budget and individual state budgets for operating expenses, capital outlays, and medical training. Individual hospitals would operate on preset yearly budgets. Physicians would be reimbursed on the basis of fees determined by the government. The national plan would replace all current government programs, including Medicare and Medicaid.(1)


A good summary of one particular bill adressing national health care. Not terribly relevant to the argument as a whole, as it's a single flawed example that even proponets of National Health Care had many issues with, but let's go on.


A single-payer national health care system would come at enormous cost to American taxpayers. For example, Russo- Wellstone would require employers and the self-employed to pay a tax equal to 7.5 percent of wages.


Disregards the lack of medicare/medicaid taxes currently paid by workers at present. The 7.5 percent number is intentionally misleading if not expressed as the diffrence between current medicare/medicaid taxes allready being paid. The number when considered as the diffrence is closer to 1.5 percent.



The top individual tax rate would rise from 31 to 38 percent. Corporate income taxes would increase from 34 to 38 percent.


I'd be in favor of this regardless.


Social Security benefits would be taxed at 85 percent rather than the current 50 percent. And the elderly would be assessed a $55 per month fee for long-term care.(2) Even those levies may not be enough to pay for national health care. Some economists put the cost as high as $339 billion per year in additional taxes.(3)


The tax structures bandied about in this arcitle, are let me say again, completely arbitrary and based on a failed bill.

The number from "some economists" comes from the Robbins, who currently work for the Heritage Foundadtion, a thinktank with an even more clearly articulated right wing bias than Cato. They're not close to impartial and not close to accurate. It's a worst case scenario number and may as will read "manny bajillions"



For all that tax money, we would buy surprisingly little health care. The one common characteristic of all national health care systems is a shortage of services.


Conjecture. Also inacurate. By all measurable statistics, many countries with national health care have signifigantly better services than HMO members in the US. Norway is a good example.


For example, in Great Britain, a country with a population of only 55 million, more than 800,000 patients are waiting for surgery.(4) In New Zealand, a country with a population of just 3 million, the surgery waiting list now exceeds 50,000.(5) In Sweden the wait for heart x-rays is more than 11 months. Heart surgery can take an additional 8 months.(6) In Canada the wait for hip replacement surgery is nearly 10 months; for a mammogram, 2.5 months; for a pap smear, 5 months.(7) Surgeons in Canada report that, for heart patients, the danger of dying on the waiting list now exceeds the danger of dying on the operating table.(8) According to Alice Baumgart, president of the Canadian Nurses Association, emergency rooms are so overcrowded that patients awaiting treatment frequently line the corridors.(9) Table 1 gives the average wait for various types of physicians' services in five Canadian provinces.


All footnotes are from sources typically tainted and anecdotal. It's a good example of what's called "echo chamber research". That is, only citing research from sources that have the same bias as the presenter of the article.

Not one is peer reviewed.

(ignoreing the table because it's a pain in the **** to work around typing-wise.)


Sometimes the rationing of care is even more explicit: care is denied the elderly or patients whose prognosis is poor. In Britain kidney dialysis is generally denied patients over the age of 55. At least 1,500 Britons die each year because of lack of dialysis.(10)


Sourve (10) is, unsuprisingly from a WSJ post written when Britian was in a bit of a health care crisis. It's over fifteen years old and not accurate at present, topical, or relevant. It would be like citing a source stating that US inflation was out of control from 1978.



Countries with national health care systems also lag far behind the United States in the availability of modern medical technology. It is well documented that in Canada, high-technology medicine is so rare as to be virtually unavailable.(11)


Vauge beyond belief. "High Technology medicine" could mean cloning for all the information the author offers to substantiate.



That comparison holds for other countries as well. Advanced medical technology is far more available in the United States than in any other nation.(12)


That's probably true, but there's nothing that ties that fact to anything but the enormus wealth of the United States. Certainly it's not an argument for or against any method of health care administration.


In addition to being biased against new medical technologies, national health care systems generally discriminate against nontraditional practitioners, such as naturopaths and chiropractors.


Conjecture, again. There's nothing to indicate that national health care systems are "biased" against new technology. The other argument is qualified with "generally" making it virtually meaningless. Were both arguments accurate, which they're not without massive qualifications, they still wouldn't have much to do with national health care in the US.



(13) Figure 1 shows the availability of some high-tech medical technologies in the United States, Canada, and Germany.

Furthermore, national health care systems do not control the rising cost of health care.


This is ture, allthough the article fails to mention that the main reason is that the US drives nearly all of the rising costs of health care.



Proponents of national health care make much of reported differences in the proportion of gross domestic product spent on health care by Canada and the United States. It is true that Canada spends only about 9 percent of its GDP on health care, while U.S. costs have skyrocketed to more than 14 percent of GDP.(14) However, such comparisons are seriously misleading.


I find it particularly ironic for the author to cite a misleading comparison here, but let's see where it goes.


Between 1967 and 1987 the Canadian GDP grew at nearly twice the rate of the U.S. GDP. Therefore, any comparison of health spending should be adjusted to compensate for the different rates of economic growth.


That's a ludicrous proposition. It makes as much sense as arguing that the REASON Canada's GDP grew so much faster was because of national health care.


Additional adjustments should be made for such factors as population growth; general inflation; currency exchange rates; the larger U.S. elderly population (the elderly require more, more expensive, health care); higher U.S. rates of violent crime, poverty, AIDS, and teen pregnancy; and greater U.S. investment in research and development. When all such factors are taken into account, Canadian health spending is virtually identical to that of the United States and has actually been rising faster over the last several years.(15) Indeed, Canadian public policy experts warn that health care costs are rising so rapidly that "they are crowding out every other public spending priority--social services, the environment, education. All are being shortchanged to feed an inefficiently organized health care system."(16)


An arbitrary qualification of hard numbers by creating the one single stucture where Canada's spending outpaces the US by manipulation of multiple factors without cause.

All in all the article tells me absolutely nothing on a factual basis, except that the position of Cato is that national health care would be a disaster.

I knew that, as I said previously, before reading it.

Happy now?
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#42 Jun 18 2004 at 5:58 PM Rating: Good
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yossarian wrote:

Someone mentioned that businesses would also have to kick in extra taxes. Just look at corporate income taxes. There are so many loopholes in the code the share of total tax revenue to the federal government (from corporations) has declined even with the massive tax cuts given to individuals.


Ok. That's part of the problem though. Are we calculating that "5%" increase in taxes based on the assumption that businesses will use loopholes to get out of them to some extent? Or not? If not, wont we end up short somewhere? And if we are, then what ripple effect does that have on everything else? How much do we increase the cost of *everything* in order to pay for this?


Quote:
Further, many companies pay the *bulk* of health care costs for their employees already, thus even if they did have to pay something, it could be far, far less then what they pay now.

This is excepting companies like McDonald's and Wal Mart which do not currently pay for health care. Yes, they would pay more. Your McSpecial may cost $4.15 instead of $3.95 - but the person behind the counter would have health care, and thus you are safer.



So which segment of the society will be hit harder? I'm reasonably sure that "the poor" are more likely to be affected by rising prises at places like McDonalds and MalMart, right? Yet prices on things like cars and computers and cell phones wont go up because for the most part the comapanies that make them already provide health care for their workers.

Congratulations! This health care program, aimed at helping the lowest income people, has cost them, not a 5% increase in taxes, but a 5% increase in taxes *and* a a probably much larger increase in the cost of the staple goods that they can barely scrape by to afford today. Wow. Way to help out there...

Quote:
My primary reason for voting yes is not the exact percentage increase Smash cited. I don't know if 5% would do it. My primary reason is that the US spends a fortune on health care per person - far more then, say, Canada or England or the Netherlands, and the care we recieve is far, far worse by any objective standard such as rate of surgical errors, rate of infant mortality, availability of drugs, etc.

Where does all the money go? I've written extensively about this before so I'll be brief. First, we have an enormous ammount of overhead. The medical billing industry is huge. Also, we fund the discovery of new drugs and treatments effectively for most of the whole world. Yes, if we spend less on drugs, those companies have less money available to invest back into research. Lastly, a significant ammount is spent advertising to doctors and the public directly (which is illegal in other countries - the EU just considered this recently and rejected it, again).



Much of the money goes towards new advancements in medicine. Sure. You can all scoff at stuff like Viagra, but we also get advances in every type of medicine for our money. We get new cancer treatments. We get new proceedures and equipment. Today, you can get a MRI relatively cheaply (as in anyone who can afford *any* level of care can get one). If we'd had socialized medicine for the last 40 years, it's likely that MRIs would never have been invented.

One of the things to remember about socialism in general is that it is very efficient about providing what you have *today* to your people. It is very inefficient about giving the people something better *tomorrow*.


Quote:
If there were no other nations doing it, I would be very skeptical. If only some other industrialized nations were doing it, we could compare how well our "insurance" system compares to others. Yet neither of these are the case. All other industrialized nations have gone to nationalized (socilized) health care - and none have the shoddy service and high costs we have. And none pay nearly as much. To continue our current system is really a poor decision.


Sure. Compare away. For normal everyday things, they are better. But the general rule is that quality if what you pay for, and socialized medicine is "free". It's quantity over quality, really. There's a reason why people wait for years to get proceedures done in Eropean nations, and also a reason why wealthy Eropeans come to the US to get anything more serious then a flu-shot done.
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#43 Jun 18 2004 at 6:05 PM Rating: Good
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My question was nothing of the kind.

It was still very oversimplified, just like my question was. Get the point?

Food/misc: $30/month
Gas: $25/month
Property: $150/month
Income: $595/month*
Truck sales tax: $10/month**


*this includes federal, medicade, oasd, state industrial, fica.

**this is the amount of sales tax I paid divided by the number of months I've owned the truck.

$810 a month in taxes now or $850 a month in taxes using this imaginary plan of yours. To me, $40 a month just means I'm eating ramen noodles 10 times a month for dinner rather than 4 times a month. However, my company should be able to drop their health care coverage for me because I'm now covered by your new plan - right? That money will go back into my pocket and in the long run I'll be better off, correct? So because of this extra income, the ramen dinners will drop back to 4 a month - woohoo.

I guess the only flaw in this is, $480 a year won't cover my medical costs. Hell, it'll barely cover my dentist and optomotrist appointments for a year - not to mention new contacts and/or glasses. So rather than my insurance paying for some of those things and me paying for the rest in order to get good health care, my eye doctor will be forced to accept a fraction of what he use to make.

If you were told to do the same job for less than what you're making now, would you be slightly **** If you had no choice (ie, were going to get paid the same regardless of which company you worked for) because the government demanded it, how would you feel?

Edited, Fri Jun 18 19:09:36 2004 by Madahme
#44 Jun 18 2004 at 6:10 PM Rating: Default
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Quote:

It was still very oversimplified, just like my question was. Get the point?


No, your question didn't provide a choice. Both options were the same.

Mine was very simple. If you wouldn't pay 5 percent more in taxes for national healthcare just answer "no". What's confusing about that. If you're incapable of answering without an elaborate specification don't answer.

/shrug.

Building these elaborate castle in the air arguments assuming things ad infinitum has nothing to do with the question.

Gbaji, your entire post is built on faulty assumptions that have no basis in fact or logic, it's not even worth responding to.
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#45 Jun 18 2004 at 6:22 PM Rating: Decent
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And if we legalize **** marriage the next logical step is for poligamy and bestiality being legalized as well.

Cripes, the extrapolations around here are amazing.

To my knowledge, none of the other industrialized nations' economies have collapsed under the weight of their health care systems.

We are already paying for the health care services of the uninsured and underinsured, directly and indirectly.
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#46 Jun 18 2004 at 6:29 PM Rating: Good
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Smasharoo wrote:
Gbaji, your entire post is built on faulty assumptions that have no basis in fact or logic, it's not even worth responding to.


Ok. Riddle me this then batman:

One of my co-workers is married to a guy from Portugal. His family comes to this country about once or twice a year. Almost very single time they come here, they've scheduled appointments for various medical treatments they've wanted/needed.

The reason? They could get them for free, but there's a 3 year waiting period for the proceedures (only one I can remember offhand is a vericose vein removal thing his mother needed).

She's always commenting about how her inlaws praise the medical care in Portugal, yet come to the US to get most of their stuff done. Basically, the system is great for emergency care, and for basic examinations and prescriptions, but sucks for anything else.

You've got theories. I've got first hand information from people who've used both systems. Socialized medicine is a nice theory. however, it *always* costs more then those promoting it say it will costs, and it *never* provides the quality of care that they promise either. Doesn't mean it doesn't have merit. Just that your overly simplified "5% increase in taxes" is a really naive way to approach the issue. It wont be that cheap, and it wont be that good.
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#47 Jun 18 2004 at 6:32 PM Rating: Default
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There's dozens of posters from the UK and Canada on this forum, that's first hand. You telling me about your coworkers inlaws or whatever is third hand at best. Forgive me if I don't assume that your personal experience with a single perons is representative of the entire experience of the rest of the industrialized world.
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#48 Jun 18 2004 at 8:16 PM Rating: Good
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Brit here. First hand experience, like Smash said.

Yes, a lot of Brits, Canadians e.t.c whine about their National Health services. Because they don't know what it's like without one.

Since I came to the US nearly two years ago, I have really come to appreciate the NHS and what it does for Britain.

I'm the sole source of income for my family. As such, while we can survive relatively comfortably we cannot afford the extra $200 per month my company requires for basic Health Care benefits. Note that this $200 does not inclide optical and dental insurance and literally does mean basic.

The list of doctors we would be able to visit is pathetic, and many of them refuse to refer you to anyone outside of their own little circle. As such, you often wind up with inferior treatment.

To cite an earlier example - no, $480 a year won't cover your medical costs. But not ever single person in the states has medical costs exceeding that. I believe the average is lower than that, although I freely admit that I don't have the facts on hand to back it up, I'm just working from memory. And of course, these totals would have to discount the "safety nets" mentioned earlier, which are already coming out of the Government's coffers anyhow.

Since I came into this country, my health has taken a serious downslide, largely due to the fact that I am unable to visit a doctor, optician or dentist. I was truly astounded the first time I learnt that America does not have a National Healthcare plan. I had no idea how people in the country could operate without one.

Now I have my answer.

They don't.


Quote:
At least 1,500 Britons die each year because of lack of dialysis


Really. I'd love to see a figure of how many Americans die each year because they couldn't afford healthcare.
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#49 Jun 18 2004 at 9:00 PM Rating: Good
Quote:
No, your question didn't provide a choice. Both options were the same.

I disagree. There were 2 very distinct options.
1. You still beat your wife.
2. You no longer beat your wife.

Pretty straight forward. Have you raised your fist to your wife and decked her a good one in the last 7 days Smashypoo? If more than 168 hours have passed since you have raised your fist and levelled your wife, then it may be safe to assume option 2 is more accurate. Otherwise, option 1 might be a more appropriate answer.

Asking somebody a question that's as open as your origional post isn't as cut and dry as asking somebody if they currently own a brown 1976 Chevy Nova.

Crimanosuke
Ok, so you're paying more than I am for health care coverage. Would you really think it's fair and equitable if you were paying some of my general (ie, dental check-ups) medical care just because you made/spent more than I did? One other question, do you have any idea how much one general check-up runs at the optomitrist or dentist?
#50 Jun 18 2004 at 9:35 PM Rating: Decent
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Smasharoo wrote:
Would you pay 5 percent higher taxes for national healthcare for all Americans?


if the gov. HMO, and insurance companies were not involved and only dedicated Dr., hospitals, extended care facilities (edlerly or handicaped facilities), and Rx facilities (again no drug companies have their foot in the door either, all generic drugs, or non-pattented drugs) to deal and oversee things. yes i would be interested in paing an extra 5% increase in my Fed. income tax.

also provided it is for Americans only, and not imigrints who are here illegaly. if you are not native born, or have not received your green card, then you have zero access to my tax dollars.
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#51 Jun 18 2004 at 10:50 PM Rating: Default
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Quote:


Pretty straight forward. Have you raised your fist to your wife and decked her a good one in the last 7 days Smashypoo? If more than 168 hours have passed since you have raised your fist and levelled your wife, then it may be safe to assume option 2 is more accurate. Otherwise, option 1 might be a more appropriate answer.


Here's a smpler one for you then: Are you allways this much of as..ahh, this OOT. The point being, I didn't ask a question like "When should we impliment national healthcare" which would be similar to yours. There's no cmoparison.
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To make a long story short, I don't take any responsibility for anything I post here. It's not news, it's not truth, it's not serious. It's parody. It's satire. It's bitter. It's angsty. Your mother's a whore. You like to jack off dogs. That's right, you heard me. You like to grab that dog by the bone and rub it like a ski pole. Your dad? Gay. Your priest? Straight. **** off and let me post. It's not true, it's all in good fun. Now go away.

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