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VI included in Health Care Bill

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stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

Linda,

I agree with you from the practical standpoint. The "fair" way to do this is to put a tax on those without health insurance so that they put SOMETHING into the system for when they have a problem and can't pay. Good luck with that one politically, that is a tax on the poor which will never fly.

A big difference between auto insurance and health insurance is that you have an option to not drive a car of course. But given the current paradigm, where we do not deny treatment to those who can't pay I totally understand your argument.

If the program was designed to get those who aren't paying their fair share to do so I'd be all for it. Instead I think its much more likely to penalize those who have worked hard, those who have made the right choices in life and are paying their fair share and then some. I think the hard working middle and upper middle class will likely bear the brunt of this, they will not see their costs reduced much and they will likely see their level of care go down.

I was thinking about some of the things that I think would actually help with the healthcare dilemma. The first thing I would advocate is eliminating the huge tax advantage the health insurance industry benefits from. I would make employee provided health insurance taxable like any other income. I would lower the income tax though to compensate for the increased tax burden this would create. IOW at the end of the day there would be no tax increase, and also no special status for health insurance. This would be the first step towards leveling the playing field for healthcare dollars, taking a huge advantage out of the insurance companies hands.

I want health insurance to be what insurance is supposed to be, there for me when something catostrophically big happens. What I really would like is an insurance plan that is not tied to my employement, that has a very high (say $50,000 deductible) for catostrophic illness such as cancer or a horrible accident that has a much lower monthly cost. I can figure out how to pay for or finance my healthcare up to that amount but over that amount I'd likely be in trouble. Others may have different threshholds of course and could pay more monthly for a lower threshhold. In addition if I get sick my premiums should be suspended as one of the worst things about our current system is that people often lose their healthcare when they need it most since they are too sick to keep working to pay the premiums. Why does no one offer this? Part of the answer is that I don't believe it is legal to offer such coverage with all of the mandates placed by government on insurance companies today. The other part of the answer is the tax advantage full coverage health plans have as I mentioned before.

Anyway, interesting discussion and while we don't all agree it's great that we are all being civil (unlike so many other discussions I've seen on this topic). We'll see what happens one way or another.

Sean

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Posted : March 21, 2010 4:10 pm
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

STXBob, sorry we crossed posts so some of this may be a little redundant.

See my crossed post on the tax advantage given to insurance company's that ensures the current system will not be changed. This is one huge element of government intervention into the "free" market for health care.

Second, markets don't operate in a vacum. When 65% of healthcare spending is done by government that affects the other 35%. You can't pull out the 35% and say it's a free market because the actions taken by the other 65% directly effect the remaining 35%. Supply and demand is hugely skewed by the obfuscation of cost that occurs when 65% of patients in government funded medical programs have no idea and do not care what the cost of their treatments are.

Of course even in the remaining 35% of the healthcare "market" the costs are highly obfuscated by the full coverage insurance that our government continues to encourage through the regulatory environment and the tax code. To me this is the core of the problem, people don't directly care how much treatment costs so the medical establishment can get away with constantly increasing costs.

Also, government regulates every aspect of care...a simple example is that you can't go to a nurse to get an antibiotic, only a doctor or a NP can give that to you. Government (with the funding of the AMA) has long sought to prevent the expansion of the number of medical schools here in the US. This has the affect of limiting the number of doctor's, supply simply hasn't kept up with demand which means costs go up. There are other examples and I admit that I'm being a bit lazy here with my argument and not digging up sources. I'm a little pressed for time, but I don't think most people would disagree that the healthcare industry is one of the most regulated, this is well documented.

To suggest the market is a "free market" because insurance companies can drop customers as they see fit is to not see the bigger picture. A truly free market wouldn't be limited to one operating paradigm like what we have today. What we have today was created by politicians to benefit special interests (Insurance companies and the AMA). I fear that the Obama plan, parts of which I can actually understand the motive for, will only serve to continue to do the same.

Thanks for the discussion.

Sean

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Posted : March 21, 2010 4:27 pm
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

After looking over this whole thread, the one thing it seems we can all agree on is how much we HATE the current system! I think we may be choosing the devil over Satan with the Obama plan but it is amazing how unanimous even those with differing opinions are on the poor state of where we are right now!

The big lesson I'm taking from this thread is that the insurance companies HAVE really screwed up and people don't want to take it any more. I just hope we aren't cutting off our nose to spite our face!

Sean

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Posted : March 21, 2010 4:44 pm
chockman
(@chockman)
Trusted Member

Bob I don't have the stats,to back it up. It was something I heard the commentator on Fox news say. I have pretty darn good health care right now as we speak. But the bottom line is I really don't care,I am throwing it in the trash. No I am not getting any younger and I am not quite as good as I once was.

I fell for those who don't have decent health care but as a tax paying citizen for more years than I can remember,been working since I was 14 and paying taxes for everyone of those years, I am really sick and tired of those who won't lift their own fingers to better themselves, riding on my back. Times have changed and I find myself being a dinosaur in today's time and age. I worked for what I have. I see the young men who I work with,thinking they are ENTITLED to everything I have worked for,for years. They want it now !!!!!! and be damned if they will wait.

I have plans to do some charitable work on ST Croix,for those who are less fortunate. I need to get the doors open first.

We're born,we live a decent life based around our up bringing,then we die. Some live long lives and some not so long. I lost an older brother to a brain tumor,before I was born. My parents had no health care and worked to correct this problem.

Sean,I can see your point about not working so hard and collecting what is free anyway. I have watched my retirement dwindle from what it once was,as many of you have. I have put my foot down,I am not working for the Gov any longer and I will roll the dice on myself and deliver what I say I will. No double speak from me,I don't play politics. Live life as it was meant to be,FREE. Make your own choices and live a good life,until you die. I could die many ways,get run over on my bike,hit my hard head,to hard,cancer,heart attack. Dead is dead and there is no coming back and all the health care in the world won't save us.

Health care needs reform,no doubt about that and the Gov needs to step in and take action. I don't know if they are right or wrong in the direction they are going. But as I have said in the past,screw the Gov. I don't care what they claim they can save and I damn sure don't have the answers but trust them to cover my ass,not in this life,however long that may be.

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Posted : March 21, 2010 5:18 pm
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

Sean: Yes, the civility of this discussion has been quite refreshing. Thank you to all who are participating. This is a massive, complex subject, and I have learned a lot more about it by researching to make my points, and by reading everyone's thoughts.

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Posted : March 21, 2010 5:23 pm
chockman
(@chockman)
Trusted Member

Bob,I will admit to not researching it very much. It is a good thread and I just wonder where it says in the Constitution that it is an American right ?

We are a changing country,no doubt about that. I can't help but see everyone Else's failures on health care and wonder how ours will be better ?

I guess I am like most people. How much is it going to cost me ?how much of my future income will have to go towards paying employee health care ?

A police state is a police state ........ When they come calling to collect their dues, for our educations and health care benefits,they won't give a Rats butt as to weather you want to do the job or not,it is your obligation to them.

History tends to repeat itself. In the end we will all be slaves to the Gov. Free Gov cheese for laying on the beach,why work ? Is it the high Moral standards people seem to lack today or the lack of integrity ? Do you really see people volunteering for anything when the basic necessities are free ? Were not perfect but we are way better off than most country's.

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Posted : March 21, 2010 6:23 pm
chockman
(@chockman)
Trusted Member

Well the Health care bill passed. Lets see all of the good things it brings with it,for those of us who work for our paychecks anyway ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? It has the potential to do good things but the Government running it,reeks of manure.

I watch the VI everyday and I will be amongst you on St Croix within the next few months. I see all of the people complaining about the corruption in the local Governments and just can't help but wonder how much will this new found money make some of the local Fat Cats, a little fatter ????? Everyone and I mean myself included,wants to know what is in it for me ??????? I fear it will only hinder my meager cash flow.

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Posted : March 22, 2010 3:14 am
antiqueone
(@antiqueone)
Advanced Member

Yay for the VI, the biggest entitlement community in the US and territories. We deserve to have our health care paid for because we don't like to work. We produce nothing but Rum, we run into the Emergency room when our kid got the sniffles this morning and expect to be taken care of immediately. We want antibiotics for everything, including sprained ankles. We are happy our senators can get some extra needed cash from this boon. Maybe now they can get bigger houses and we can be able to see them running around in prettier SUVs. That will sure make us proud!
Um, I'm not trying to be cynical, but this government is so inept that giving them another 300 million to play with scares the begimminy out of me. Don't think for a minute the healthcare here will improve. Everyone gets free health care here already.

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Posted : March 22, 2010 10:04 am
StCroix
(@StCroix)
Advanced Member

After looking over this whole thread, the one thing it seems we can all agree on is how much we HATE the current system! I think we may be choosing the devil over Satan with the Obama plan but it is amazing how unanimous even those with differing opinions are on the poor state of where we are right now!

The big lesson I'm taking from this thread is that the insurance companies HAVE really screwed up and people don't want to take it any more. I just hope we aren't cutting off our nose to spite our face!

Sean

Amen Sean.

It's easy find fault in the Reform.... until you have been royally screwed by your own health insurance company, then lost your job, lost your health insurance, and had to decide between going to the hospital to get a broken ankle x-rayed and set, -and buying groceries. --All of which happened to me several years ago. There was a time when I seriously considered moving to Canada.

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Posted : March 22, 2010 10:15 am
A Davis
(@A_Davis)
Trusted Member

“You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation.You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”

~~~ The late Dr. Adrian Rogers , 1931 to 2005 ~~~

this bill is about affordable health care and regulating how the insurance industry treats its customers, not free health care. those who need free health care can get it. it's the middle class and the working poor who can lose everything over (as happened for noted author, tvone and sometime cnn personality roland martin) an appendectomy.

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Posted : March 22, 2010 10:52 am
Bombi
(@Bombi)
Trusted Member

Maybe my $691.50 per month health insurance policy won't go up 30%.

I think this is a first good step for the US to have a healthy population regardless of circumstance. The bill is nowhere near perfect.

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Topic starter Posted : March 22, 2010 10:55 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

swans
i didn't realize that some of those were pre-existing conditions. i have had a few of those myself. i guess i would never be covered under those plans. Oh well. I work full time temp job and have no health insurance. presently i do need an operation which i can't afford. so it will have to wait.
insurance seems to me to be organized crime.
StCroix, i too have concidered moving to a different country, denmark might be a good choice. well except for the weather. i think you have to live there 6 years before you can take the test to become a citizen.
antiqueone, you do have some good points in your last post. but i work and no health insurance and i actually do pay for the health care i get.
Bombi, i cant believe you pay that much per month. We did look into getting insurance but could not afford it.
this is a tough subject and it usually gets everyone riled up.
yep, one illness can wipe a person out. and alot of people who have coverage still have to decide between eating and paying for perscriptions. at least as far as perscriptions go we do have that perscription card that can only be used at the big k out west. i had to get three perscriptions on friday and total was only 15.00. saved my bf money too. i give copies of the card out to whoever needs it.
i still think the plan needs work though.

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Posted : March 22, 2010 12:16 pm
antiqueone
(@antiqueone)
Advanced Member

NO doubt we need health care reform. Without really knowing what is in this bill (and no one else seems to really know either) I am amazed at the stupidity of the American government to pass this bill on little more than Obama/Pelosi's say so. I think we are in real trouble here. Do not be surprised if you have to wait 6 months to have your heart cath done. Don't be surprised if mammograms no longer are necessary.

Dont be surprised when the rich people move away and the rest of us have to shoulder the burden of the cost. I am all for helping the poor, but I do not appreciate the government telling me what when and how I will do it. I can't stand it when I work my butt off, come out of work and see a bunch of jokers sitting around smoking weed waiting for their government checks in the mail. I suspect this bill is more power grab than health reform.....and what was that education thing doing in there, anyway?

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Posted : March 22, 2010 12:41 pm
stt007
(@stt007)
Advanced Member

I agree with most of what antiquone said, esp the power grab / governement control part. Personally, I'm headed to new aealand as this is certainly the official beginning of teh end. This country will never be the same again, unless this wrong headed power grab is repealed, and I don't hold out much hope for that. Do we no learn anything from the experiences of other countries who have done this and the horrible results they have had? Well, we got what we voted for!

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Posted : March 22, 2010 12:57 pm
chockman
(@chockman)
Trusted Member

I'M with you Antiqueone. Hey folks,don't worry I am from the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT and I am only here to help. I guess one can't open a bar and truly drop off the grid. Should I give free Medicinal Rum away ? It will be easy to get . How can I find a loop hole to get some of the federal tax dollars to pay for it ?

It's just like the man said. It will get a lot worse before it gets any better. Most people just thought this was a figure of speach,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA.

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Posted : March 22, 2010 1:23 pm
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

I agree with most of what antiquone said, esp the power grab / governement control part. Personally, I'm headed to new aealand as this is certainly the official beginning of teh end. This country will never be the same again, unless this wrong headed power grab is repealed, and I don't hold out much hope for that. Do we no learn anything from the experiences of other countries who have done this and the horrible results they have had? Well, we got what we voted for!

You're going to New Zealand to escape our government-run universal healthcare? They have that in NZ too.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_in_New_Zealand

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Posted : March 22, 2010 1:26 pm
stt007
(@stt007)
Advanced Member

uh-oh. maybe i'll have to keep on looking. -;)

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Posted : March 22, 2010 1:35 pm
swans
(@swans)
Trusted Member

Good morning,Speee1dy,

When you say that insurance seems to be organized crime, I agree with you 100%. I refer to them as "extortionists" and I think I am being kind. I think Bombi and I must have the same insurers: Bombi pays $691.50/ month premiums; I pay $666.00/ month and have a $3000 deductible on top of that, which they would love me to raise to $5000. The insurance pays nothing during this "meet the deductible" phase first including Dr.visits, hospital lab work, medications...nothing. In ten years, they have paid "0" dollars toward my medical. I have private insurance. I have never met the deductible in any year.

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Posted : March 22, 2010 1:53 pm
Bombi
(@Bombi)
Trusted Member

My perspective is probably very different from most. I am psyched about the reform. Everyone in the US needs a chance to stay healthy.
As I said before I pay $691. 50 per month with a 2500 deductible which is $10,798. For that I get medicine for a chronic disease that costs $36000 per year. Plus other medical related expenses my healthcare costs are nearly 25% of my after tax income.

I consider myself fortunate as I am aware of hundreds of people with the same illness that don't have insurance and can't get what they need to stay stable and continue to decline. At least now there is a chance that they can get some kind of a HI policy. I think the portability and the pre-existing condition and life time limit reform is HUGE.

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Topic starter Posted : March 22, 2010 2:15 pm
chockman
(@chockman)
Trusted Member

Did anyone else hear that the Drug companies will have 12 year monopoly on their drugs. No more new generics for 12 years.
WHO MAKES THE MONEY ON THIS ONE ?????????

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Posted : March 22, 2010 2:26 pm
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

This is great, I don't have to worry about healthcare for me or my family anymore. I'm now one step closer to fulfilling my dream of retiring at the age of say 40 and drinking myself into an alchoholic frenzy for the remaining years of my life 😉

Sorry I couldn't resist. I hope this works out, I really do. If there is one positive I see from this it may be that it frees up some people to go out on their own and start a business. Without having to worry about healthcare they may be able to quit their corporate job and do something they really love and are good at. Maybe invent something amazing or something like that. I am just trying to be positive, although I tend to think that for every one person who uses this new system to become more productive there will be 100's who's productivity will be decreased as they don't have a major motivation for working harder, aka paying for their healthcare.

Whatever this bill is now I think that it will become full blown socialized medicine within 10 years. That is the nature of these programs, the ball is in motion and hopefully by the time I'm 40 I'll be able to stop working as we'll have fully socialized universal coverage that allows us to all be as lazy as we want to be 😉

Sean

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Posted : March 22, 2010 2:33 pm
chockman
(@chockman)
Trusted Member

STIPHY. Hey,my doors will always be open for those who might have an affliction to the bottle. If I can figure out how to get money out of the program I may be able to offer you and your family free food. Of course at that point I may only be serving Government cheese. Ha,Ha.

Actually after 20 years of health care and no claims to speak of,I will be drooping mine as I open the doors on St Croix. The plan is for the wife to hopefully land a job with health care. That has been the plan all along. I did not just decide to ride the Gov's back. Still working and still opening and of course still paying.

Stiphy,come see me in a few months when I get there. I like the way you think !!!!!!!!!!!!

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Posted : March 22, 2010 2:45 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

:stiphy, loved your first line. i think i heard that even small business owners will have to start offering health insurance or get fined? is this right. if so that might make alot of them quit?? i know alot of the businesses downtown dont offer health insurance and if they had to start, it would cost them way too much money. it might make them make all of their employess, instead of a few do 1099's or just close shop.
i agree that alot of the programs that were initially designed to help those who really just needed temporary help have made ALOT of people lazy and ignorant and thinking the more kids i have the more i can get from the government. maybe it really is more fun to sit at home doing nothing and collecting food stamps and money and free medical and free housing?? i wouldnt know as i have worked since i was 17. i am willing to try the no work thing but i would actually like to do it with my own money and not the governments.:@)

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Posted : March 22, 2010 3:02 pm
chockman
(@chockman)
Trusted Member

Stiphy and Speee1dy. You guys are missing the point. Why stay at home with free heath care ? When you can go play at the beach.I'M Always looking for the bright side . But do not under any circumstances,suffer from a heat related injury. You may die before you get permission for that re-hydrating IV.

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Posted : March 22, 2010 3:11 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

Thanks for reminding me to look at it correctly, i had forgetten i could go to the beach and be lazy instead of staying home being lazy.
Chockman, Thank You

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Posted : March 22, 2010 3:19 pm
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