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May 13, 2009
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Cobber said:
With healthcare, I think there could be the same types of incentives built in (ie. discounts for non-smokers etc), but it would be much easier to implement this with taxes on specific products (tobacco, alcohol and maybe fast food).
Precisely. Since it would be a pain to adjust premiums to healthy lifestyle, the much easier way would be to tax unhealthy stuff (alcohol, tobacco, soda, fast food etc.) Now, of course, one has to make sure that those taxes go to health insurance.
 
This has turned into a very good thread.

Thoughtforfood said:
Compound that with an unregulated derivatives market that allowed AIG to offer up credit default swaps with ABSOLUTELY NO REQUIREMENT that they be backed by actual MONEY, and you have a MASSIVE MARKET failure. This is what happens when governments DON'T regulate enough and allow assholes who need 13% return on investment to run amok in the financial industry.
But you're only talking about half the picture. We screwed it up on both ends, in the worst way. First by letting this go on it's own to get to where it was because we believed the conservative doctrine that the government should get completely out of the way. Then, reversing that course entirely by bailing the failures out, and basically opening up the vault to the Treasury - in essence a total complete reversal, to near total government control.

This, to me, is why the GOP in this country is in shambles. The so called neoconservatives were the ones who adopted no regulation as a model of success. That government should get out of the way of flowing money, but a total failure of that system was not acceptable, and could thus be justified to have the government intervene in their eyes. This is why what we are seeing now is mostly obstructionist activity on the Republican's part with no real ideas, as the foundation of their ideas collapsed and was wholly contradicted when they supported all the bailouts. And now we're seeing someone like Peter Schiff run for Senate as a Republican in a very Democratic state (Conn) with a very good chance of winning - because he's quite unlike this pseudo neocon model, and has been highly critical of his own party for some time, at one point calling many of the Republicans "a bunch of losers".

Interestingly enough, Art Laffer, who lost the famous 1 penny bet with Schiff on the housing bubble, agreed with Schiff that the bailouts were going to be a disaster, and the market would have collapsed, but resurrected itself on it's own, and gotten rid of the worst offenders, with sound investment buying up the good assets. Instead, we insured that the same people who screwed it up are still in charge, with mostly tax payer money funded by debt. And we all did this, everyone it seems, all while screaming for change.

Oh, and one more thing about "Socialism." We have had a mixed economy in the US with Socialist structures for over 100 years...
Yes, completely true. Surprising that people don't realize this, or accept it. And this is across the board. Not just welfare and the National Park service. It goes all the way to government contracts with huge corporations, and specific tax breaks, incentives, and rule changes. All in order to better the nation. We definitely live in a mixed economy, and have for over a century.

Cobber said:
Another thing that the US population as a whole needs to come to terms with is where they think healthcare should fall with regards to necessity. In my opinion, it should not fall in the same category as car insurance, because that is not essential...
Excellent post Cobber. I think that's something else lost on people.

I think as a nation we have to decide that. All while understanding as previously noted, that everyone is already covered - one in seven people just do so by going to the ER for basic care.

Strangely enough, I think Joe "You Lie" Wilson represents the far-right quite accurately when he was reportedly looking into finding ways for hospitals to turn people in need away from the ER who don't have insurance, or can't pay. As cruel as this may sound, it coincides I think with extreme conservatism. The thinking that by doing this, the costs will be driven down, and people will be motivated to find insurance on their own by working at better jobs, or bonding together on their own, etc. Thus people would in theory pay less for health care, and lower taxes as their Medicare/Medicaid taxation would go down, thus more money being funneled into the economy. The same applies to welfare and food stamps. Cut everyone off, and they'll be forced to find it on their own, and learn to educate themselves, etc. and the rest of us can have our money to do what we want with it. Even more strange, as popular as he is in his own district, it's also a district that has a higher than normal amount of citizens with no health care living in poverty.

And yes, in case you're wondering, Joe Wilson voted "yes" on the bailouts.
 
Aug 18, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
But you're only talking about half the picture. We screwed it up on both ends, in the worst way. First by letting this go on it's own to get to where it was because we believed the conservative doctrine that the government should get completely out of the way. Then, reversing that course entirely by bailing the failures out, and basically opening up the vault to the Treasury - in essence a total complete reversal, to near total government control.
What is extremely frustrating to me is that the oversight that was supposed to be there wasn't. Look at the whole Madoff mess. Warnings were given to the SEC years in advance of the final blow up, but they did nothing. Bank regulators didn't do their job. Basically, the limited oversight that was supposed to be there was out to lunch. Would that oversight have stopped the excess? Probably not all of it, but a good portion of it.


Strangely enough, I think Joe "You Lie" Wilson represents the far-right quite accurately when he was reportedly looking into finding ways for hospitals to turn people in need away from the ER who don't have insurance, or can't pay. As cruel as this may sound, it coincides I think with extreme conservatism. The thinking that by doing this, the costs will be driven down, and people will be motivated to find insurance on their own by working at better jobs, or bonding together on their own, etc. Thus people would in theory pay less for health care, and lower taxes as their Medicare/Medicaid taxation would go down, thus more money being funneled into the economy. The same applies to welfare and food stamps. Cut everyone off, and they'll be forced to find it on their own, and learn to educate themselves, etc. and the rest of us can have our money to do what we want with it. Even more strange, as popular as he is in his own district, it's also a district that has a higher than normal amount of citizens with no health care living in poverty.
There are people who think that way, but they miss all the implications of following those policies. "Hey, no welfare, no food stamps, you're on your own! We're not paying for you. Pick yourself up by your bootstraps!" and such. Okay, so, you want a class of people, who are poor, not vested in the system and who have nothing to lose? Wow, that usually works out well.

And yes, in case you're wondering, Joe Wilson voted "yes" on the bailouts.
Surprises me not at all. If Wilson wants to say whatever about the president, that's his right. He was a douche for interrupting the President who was in the middle of addressing the Congress.
 
Part of the argument Schiff and a few others are making is this interesting thought - regulation (or lack there of) isn't the root of the problem. The root of the problem is that over the last decade we sold everyone on the idea that you didn't have to do anything with your money, just buy more houses, go further in to so called equity debt, and your money would magically grow. All while the actual physical growth of the nation remained flat. When people got sucked up into that belief, and tossed all their money into something they knew nothing about at all, against their logic, they shouldn't have acted with such surprise when it collapsed (something he predicted, actually).

A corollary to that is that over the last 20 years or so working people's wages in the US have remained fairly flat, but their health care costs have gone up, with the incomes in the upper .1% making all the real money. So a lot of people are frustrated that hard work doesn't pay anymore. Couple that with all the get-rich books and seminars out there, plus people's willingness and desire to buy crap they don't need, and you've arrived to where we are.

The guys at JibJab really hit it with this video.
 
Jun 18, 2009
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A personal example of how much waste there is in healthcare....

So today, I hope, my wife and I have finally resolved a problem we have been having with out insurance company. 3 years ago, I changed jobs and thus insurance companies. 2.5 years ago, my wife had to go to the emergency room. The hospital accidentally billed my old insurance company, and they rightfully denied it. They then contacted us and we informed them of their mistake, and they successfully billed my new insurance. My new insurance saw that the hospital billed my old insurance, claimed they shouldn't have paid, and asked for their money back. The hospital refunded them, then billed me. We have spent the last 2.5 years getting letters from insurance companies clarifying our coverage, have had conference calls with the hospital and both insurance companies and have spent probably more than 50 hours on the phone trying to resolve this. The other day, we heard from a collection agency who was threatening action. Today, our insurance company "discovered" that they had actually paid that bill 2 years ago, and the hospital had lost the record and that we were being re-billed for an already paid amount. So problem solved (I hope).

Now, the "hilarious" thing is that this bill was for only $500. How much money do you think was wasted trying to collect $500? I would argue several thousand.
 
Cobber said:
A personal example of how much waste there is in healthcare....

So today, I hope, my wife and I have finally resolved a problem we have been having with out insurance company. 3 years ago, I changed jobs and thus insurance companies. 2.5 years ago, my wife had to go to the emergency room. The hospital accidentally billed my old insurance company, and they rightfully denied it. They then contacted us and we informed them of their mistake, and they successfully billed my new insurance. My new insurance saw that the hospital billed my old insurance, claimed they shouldn't have paid, and asked for their money back. The hospital refunded them, then billed me. We have spent the last 2.5 years getting letters from insurance companies clarifying our coverage, have had conference calls with the hospital and both insurance companies and have spent probably more than 50 hours on the phone trying to resolve this. The other day, we heard from a collection agency who was threatening action. Today, our insurance company "discovered" that they had actually paid that bill 2 years ago, and the hospital had lost the record and that we were being re-billed for an already paid amount. So problem solved (I hope).

Now, the "hilarious" thing is that this bill was for only $500. How much money do you think was wasted trying to collect $500? I would argue several thousand.
it would be funny if it was Monty Python. "that parrot is not dead!"...
 
Mar 18, 2009
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scribe said:
It's a problem for sure. At the same time, you have to have some checks on authentic malpractice. I am not sure what solution is.

But the real driving cost of medical care in America is the lack of prevention, from healthy diet to identifying disease and treating them in much earlier stages.
I think you hit the nail on the head here...I am probably not in line with most on this forum..but will give my views...maybe not even eloquently.

I don't want a nationalized public option or socialized plan. And this is why...I already pay a lot of taxes for "others" to utilize. From food stamps, to other social programs. Now, I came up with the bare minimum...but my family made me work very hard to get an education...which I took all the way through post graduate work. The main problem in America is that too much of the population (and I live in rural america) sit on their collective butts doing nothing for themselves or their children. They have no respect for education, either formal or at home...hence a nation where 40% of high school graduates can't even point to Washington DC on a blank map!! This is fact...not my opinion. I am raising my kids the same way...education and hard work are what makes a person successful in life. No comment has made me more upset than the Hillary Clinton comment that it takes a village to raise a child...bull crap!! It takes 2 hard working and caring parents!! I would't trust a village in this day and age to raise my kids at all. I emphatically do not want the government to be involved in health care. They have done such a crappy job in every other thing they get involved in. For example...the mission of the DOE in the late 70's was "to reduce/eliminate the US dependence on foreign oil. 30 years later the DOE is a huge money sink, and they have done nothing about the US dependence on foreign oil. Absolute poppycock!!

I have no problem with my tax dollars going to help people who have had bad luck and are really down in the dumps...but that is where it ends. I feel like I am subsidizing abject stupidity in our country and I want it to stop. I also get sick and tired of the "morality" issue. Take it a bit further...everyone in the developed world should give up all the creature comforts (phones, cars, stereos, etc.) in order that we send every available dime we earn to the 3rd world to that we can all be just. Somehow, I just don't see that happening.

Lastly, I think the Amish have it right...give nothing to social security...and expect nothing back. Take care of themselves...strong families!
 
Mar 18, 2009
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How about this...to show that I am not a total right wing nut job...how about to qualify for any federal entitlement assistance you first have to pass a drug test? Fail...no assistance. And since Obama is so interested in National Service...if you receive federal assistance there should be some sort of service requirement. Sounds fair to me.

I hope you guys will still discuss cycling with me!!
 
TRDean said:
I think you hit the nail on the head here...I am probably not in line with most on this forum..but will give my views...maybe not even eloquently.

I don't want a nationalized public option or socialized plan. And this is why...I already pay a lot of taxes for "others" to utilize. From food stamps, to other social programs. Now, I came up with the bare minimum...but my family made me work very hard to get an education...which I took all the way through post graduate work. The main problem in America is that too much of the population (and I live in rural america) sit on their collective butts doing nothing for themselves or their children. They have no respect for education, either formal or at home...hence a nation where 40% of high school graduates can't even point to Washington DC on a blank map!! This is fact...not my opinion. I am raising my kids the same way...education and hard work are what makes a person successful in life. No comment has made me more upset than the Hillary Clinton comment that it takes a village to raise a child...bull crap!! It takes 2 hard working and caring parents!! I would't trust a village in this day and age to raise my kids at all. I emphatically do not want the government to be involved in health care. They have done such a crappy job in every other thing they get involved in. For example...the mission of the DOE in the late 70's was "to reduce/eliminate the US dependence on foreign oil. 30 years later the DOE is a huge money sink, and they have done nothing about the US dependence on foreign oil. Absolute poppycock!!

I have no problem with my tax dollars going to help people who have had bad luck and are really down in the dumps...but that is where it ends. I feel like I am subsidizing abject stupidity in our country and I want it to stop. I also get sick and tired of the "morality" issue. Take it a bit further...everyone in the developed world should give up all the creature comforts (phones, cars, stereos, etc.) in order that we send every available dime we earn to the 3rd world to that we can all be just. Somehow, I just don't see that happening.

Lastly, I think the Amish have it right...give nothing to social security...and expect nothing back. Take care of themselves...strong families!
Your have a horrible greedy view of the world. I'm alright, f*** everybody else.

ruamruam
 
Mar 18, 2009
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ruamruam said:
Your have a horrible greedy view of the world. I'm alright, f*** everybody else.

ruamruam
I look at the world how I want to because I have earned that right through my hard work. Your darn right the world is OK for me...I put family first...always. Thans for showing your true colors...you must be better than me because you show great self importance in telling me how horrible my beliefs are.

By the way...I never said how much I make...or my personal financial situation....you don't even know me. You liberal folks always want to tell me how to feel, how to act, and what I should do to be a moral citizen. You are pathetic. That is how I feel!!
 
Jul 22, 2009
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There are lots of hard working people who are simply unable to afford health insurance for themselves and their families.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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.... and to top it all off the root cause of the problem is not the government's involvement or ambition to step in, it's the health care industry as a whole that is sick and twisted. They don't make any profit if people are healthy.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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ruamruam said:
Your have a horrible greedy view of the world. I'm alright, f*** everybody else.

ruamruam
Unfortunately a lot of people in this country hold this greedy view:(

I am not confident that we will get a public option any time soon here in the US. The reality of our poor Health care system simply hasn't touched enough of these Republicans for them to care. Or the fact that every other Western country has government run health care and gives higher quality care and is cheaper than what we pay here in the US. Many more people will have to die(someone in their family) before they will do anything:( And then they will try to take all of the credit for it.

TRDean is correct about one thing, the Education system here in the US is terrible and needs to be totality reworked also.
 
Jun 24, 2009
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TRDean said:
I look at the world how I want to because I have earned that right through my hard work. Your darn right the world is OK for me...I put family first...always. Thans for showing your true colors...you must be better than me because you show great self importance in telling me how horrible my beliefs are.

By the way...I never said how much I make...or my personal financial situation....you don't even know me. You liberal folks always want to tell me how to feel, how to act, and what I should do to be a moral citizen. You are pathetic. That is how I feel!!
And you sir, are an A$$ whole. Remember me. there are "liberals" out here who will kick your butts if you spout that kind of nasty, self righteous attitude in our presence. You might work hard, but so do I. The difference between us is I give a ---- about others, you only care about your nasty self. You ought to just stick to cycling subjects. I've already protested this thread because it is too controversial. It ought to be deleted, no good comes of it, and this much personal information in the political vein just begs for problems, in a bicycle forum.:mad:
 
Jul 22, 2009
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Naw. No need to delete threads. Issues can be discussed and debated with a measure of civility.
 
A

Anonymous

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I keep asking this and none of the Libertarian group seems to be able to produce an answer. It is simple. Which modern industrialized nation has produced significant economic progress for its citizens without incorporating some socialist principles? Just one.

The Objectivist/Rand/Libertarian philosophy is interesting in its dictates. It however fails this one true test of any system, it relies on a level of honesty that does not exist. See, some people with money will always cheat and therefore deprive others of the very opportunity they profess to believe in. That combined with the necessity of low paid workers to perform more menial tasks means that poverty is a necessity for some in any market system of commerce. I prefer that system over pure socialism (something our president is not, just ask a real socialist), but it needs regulation. Period. To trust those with money and power to act within the realm of honest commerce is fanciful ignorance.

The reality is that because we are flawed inherently, we will always have to rely on a flawed system of government and commerce. Even a philosophy that espouses self interest and survival of the fittest HAS to be based on a playing field that is level for all. See, you cannot tell people that if they work harder and out perform others, they will be successful if those who already hold the money and power are protecting it by unfair means. To suggest that they are is ignorant. To suggest they will in this new Libertarian derived society is just poor observation skills.

What worries me most is that we now have people who throw around terms they do not understand showing up at rallies with guns. We are headed in a dangerous direction, and too many are looking in the wrong direction for the enemy.
 
Jun 18, 2009
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Thoughtforfood said:
I keep asking this and none of the Libertarian group seems to be able to produce an answer. It is simple. Which modern industrialized nation has produced significant economic progress for its citizens without incorporating some socialist principles? Just one.

The Objectivist/Rand/Libertarian philosophy is interesting in its dictates. It however fails this one true test of any system, it relies on a level of honesty that does not exist. See, some people with money will always cheat and therefore deprive others of the very opportunity they profess to believe in. That combined with the necessity of low paid workers to perform more menial tasks means that poverty is a necessity for some in any market system of commerce. I prefer that system over pure socialism (something our president is not, just ask a real socialist), but it needs regulation. Period. To trust those with money and power to act within the realm of honest commerce is fanciful ignorance.

The reality is that because we are flawed inherently, we will always have to rely on a flawed system of government and commerce. Even a philosophy that espouses self interest and survival of the fittest HAS to be based on a playing field that is level for all. See, you cannot tell people that if they work harder and out perform others, they will be successful if those who already hold the money and power are protecting it by unfair means. To suggest that they are is ignorant. To suggest they will in this new Libertarian derived society is just poor observation skills.

What worries me most is that we now have people who throw around terms they do not understand showing up at rallies with guns. We are headed in a dangerous direction, and too many are looking in the wrong direction for the enemy.
+1... excellent post TFF. :eek:

As I said above, it all boils down to what people think should be "guaranteed" in a civilized society. Many libertarians, with their everyone for themselves philosophy, essentially describe their ideal government as something akin to Somalia's - no government! In any society that is not complete anarchy, we are going to have to pay taxes to pay for some form of government. So, what should we get in return? What is essential to maintain a healthy, working population? I would argue, at a bare minimum, a legal system, a social security system (which includes healthcare), and infrastructure (roads etc) and a national defense (note I did not say international offense!). Every industrialized country in the world supplies these things to to their citizens in exchange for taxes except for one.... the US. Most do so for less money (per capita) than we do not. A lot of people in this country get filthy rich and pay lower tax rates than people that can barely scrape by. Warren Buffet paid 16% tax last year, his secretary paid 30%. Is that fair? Especially given the fact that Buffet needs people like his secretary (and doctors, nurses, police, restaurantnt workers, gas station attendants, etc, etc, etc) to life comfortably in this country.
 
Jun 18, 2009
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RDV4ROUBAIX said:
.... and to top it all off the root cause of the problem is not the government's involvement or ambition to step in, it's the health care industry as a whole that is sick and twisted. They don't make any profit if people are healthy.
+1.. another great post.

We see how sick and corrupt the system is right now. The goal of the president, and the vast majority of the citizens, is affordable healthcare for all. Now we see, one-by-one, the politicians that are responsible for making this happen being bought off by insurance companies. To get them back on board, the bill gets diluted down until it really isn't any different from what we already have. The politicians, as reward, get lots of money that they then use in advertising to make their constituents forget about how they were bought off. The system is a joke. Not a very funny joke, I will give you that!
 
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Anonymous

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ruamruam said:
Your have a horrible greedy view of the world. I'm alright, f*** everybody else.

ruamruam
And you have no right to the labor of others. Period. I have no right to your labor either.

In the US, charitable giving goes up when tax rates go down. The more money people have in their pockets, the better it is for everyone, including those that need help. The Government in this country has demonstrated for most of the last 100 years that it can not be effective and efficient in nearly every endeavor it is involved in. That is just a fact.

Ever wonder why Marxism/communism/socialism fails everywhere it in the world it has ever been implemented?

Capitalism is not perfect by any stretch, but it is far superior to any other system. So yeah, look after you and yours first and if there is anything left over then share with whomever you wish. But do not compel me to give you or the Government my labor. The war that established the US as a soverign nation was fought for this reason more than any other.
 
i said if before, i will say it again. healthy citizens make good citizens.
healthcare is a right,not a privilege. i have worked hard my whole life in
a profession that very few people get rich in. still, it is honest work.many,many
hardworking people have little if any health-care coverage. it is not right. it never will be.
 
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Anonymous

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scribe said:
There are lots of hard working people who are simply unable to afford health insurance for themselves and their families.
That drive nice cars and have multiple cell phones and cable tv..... this is about priorities. That's all. If the priority were to do the right thing by your family everyone would have health insurance. If it were far more difficult for med/mal lawsuits to be brought and class action suits to Pharma companies the insurance rates would be cut in half. But guess who supports the Lib Dems in Washington (among others)? You guessed it. The trial lawyers.

Just follow the money and ask yourself this; Why would the Fed Govt want to take over the private healthcare system in the US (1/8 of GDP) instead of work to fix its' problems? Answer? If the dems can get control of your ability to get medical care you will keep them in power as long as medical care is important to you no matter how good or bad it is.

This is about perpetual power, nothing more and nothing less.
 
Jun 18, 2009
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Scott SoCal said:
That drive nice cars and have multiple cell phones and cable tv..... this is about priorities. That's all. If the priority were to do the right thing by your family everyone would have health insurance. If it were far more difficult for med/mal lawsuits to be brought and class action suits to Pharma companies the insurance rates would be cut in half. But guess who supports the Lib Dems in Washington (among others)? You guessed it. The trial lawyers.

Just follow the money and ask yourself this; Why would the Fed Govt want to take over the private healthcare system in the US (1/8 of GDP) instead of work to fix its' problems? Answer? If the dems can get control of your ability to get medical care you will keep them in power as long as medical care is important to you no matter how good or bad it is.

This is about perpetual power, nothing more and nothing less.
That is simply not true. It might be true for some, but thousands of people are denied health insurance because of pre-existing medical conditions. Either that or the premiums are extremely high - thousands of dollars a month. Way more than a cell phone, cable TV and a car payment.
 
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