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#370093 - 12/23/09 09:38 PM Re: What to do about healthcare? Can it be fixed? [Re: Jaybird]
drizzit Offline

Registered: 02/25/06
Posts: 1483
Loc: Montana
Originally Posted By: Jaybird

Apparently they can. Once this bill passes they are telling me that I MUST buy health insurance.

I have such mixed feelings about this. I have seen the damage uninsured motorists can do to a families pocketbook and I am glad that law exists.

SO I wonder should we say you don't have to have health insurance but if you get sick you pay cash or we won't treat you to the point of letting them die? Sorry you know you had your chance to buy insurance.

Why should I have to pay for a person who won't buy insurance and then expects free treatment thus driving my payments up? That is just another form of freeloading to me.
No families take so little medicine as those of doctors, except those of apothecaries.

Oliver Wendell Holmes

#370094 - 12/23/09 10:03 PM Re: What to do about healthcare? Can it be fixed? [Re: Jaybird]
Sue22 Offline

Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 21346
Loc: Upstate NY
people may not be forced to eat food that is bad for them, but they can not be blamed entirely on doing so. who else is to blame? the fast food industry, the food industry in general, restaurants that serve larger and larger portions because food is the cheapest part of their operation and with larger portions they can charge more, advertisers, the schools that serve less nutritious foods due to low cost and ease in preparation, the loss of small local farms across our country, etc. when that is what one is exposed to, when that is what is accessible, when that is what is affordable, one may either not know any different or may not have the incentive to change. however, we as a society can get involved in education, volunteering, helping to support local regional farming, etc.

you asked if there is anything in "super-size me" that is worth seeing or hearing; i wouldn't recommend watching it if i didn't think that there was.

i agree with you that there are better, healthier options than fast food, convenience foods, junk food that is just as affordable. that is largely what the slow food movement is all about. the slow food movement is more of a grass roots effort than a political photo-op. i congratulate the white house for getting involved regardless of motive.

here are a few links for the slow food movement:

60 minutes inteview of alice waters
the international slow food movement
slow food USA

i agree that obesity, diabetes, heart disease, not eating well, lack of exercise are all problems within the U.S. but rather than placing blame for the problem, lets just try to figure out ways of changing these things, and just telling people what they should or should not be doing is obviously not working. but education, volunteer programs, school programs, etc may help to make a difference.

Edited by Sue22 (12/23/09 10:12 PM)


Spondyloarthropathy, HLAB27 negative
Humira (still methylprednisone for flares, just not as often. Aleve if needed, rarely.)
LDN/zanaflex/flector patches over SI/ice
vits C, D. probiotics. hyaluronic acid. CoQ, Mg, Ca, K.
walk, bike
no dairy (casein sensitivity), limited eggs, limited yeast (bread)

#370122 - 12/24/09 09:16 AM Re: What to do about healthcare? Can it be fixed? [Re: Jaybird]
Inanna Offline

Registered: 11/15/01
Posts: 18107
Loc: UK
I had this brilliantly worded reply, full of facts and figures outlining the various expenses in relocating a family in their old jalopy as they did from the Dust Bowl during the 1930s, but I lost it. argh.

Suffice to say, the cost of gas over thousands of miles, the cost of feeding the family (I won't go into the cost of motel rooms, as they would probably end up sleeping in the car if they're poor enough), the cost of first and last month's rent and a security deposit, all add up to thousands of dollars that too many families do not have.

Jay, I say this with all respect for you, but I have to say it ... you really don't seem to have an understanding of what it is to be poor, to have to worry about keeping a roof over your family's heads on a day to day basis, to go without food yourself so your children can eat - usually cheap, crap food because that's all you could afford to buy, to decide what's more important - the heat/electricity (because usually, that's one and the same thing) or transportation to the job that pays you too little. And if you have experienced this, then I apologize for saying you don't seem to really understand.

It is a truly viscious cycle and our governmental systems seem designed to keep people down, instead of helping them get up out of the cycle. Are there some people who abuse these systems. There certainly are. But not as many as you might think. Most are just honest joes trying to keep their and their families' heads above water in a world that demonizes them for being where their society has placed them. Sometimes, someone gets a boost up and is able to rise above it. Most don't. Truly, read something like "Nickel and Dimed". It is a sobering read. The woman who wrote it did have an income, did have savings, and wasn't trapped there like the people she met and worked with, but in having made the choice to try to live on the wages that the working poor make for just a few months, she found it horrifyingly difficult and demeaning.

These are the people you say aren't worth spending healthcare dollars on when you ask why you should pay for someone else's healthcare. It's not just the migrant workers and ne'erdowells, it's people like some of our own KA family, perhaps like people you meet when you go to doctors appointments or run errands in town. That grocery clerk probably has two other jobs just to stay alive. How does she go to school and further her education? Between 3 jobs, two kids and a household to run, where does she find the time?

And I don't think anyone is saying that employers are downsizing just to keep from paying out benefits, they are downsizing due to the economic times. Getting rid of fulltimers to hire part-time contract workers who get no benefits is just one of the perqs of the financial bottom line. And if you think those benefits are going to come back enforce once the enconomy heats up again? I doubt it. Because the corporations who will be raking it in hand over fist will have discovered that they can make even huger profits by sticking to the measures they undertook to weather the recession. And their CEOs will get even bigger bonusses for having pillaged their employees. (And yes, I freely admit, I am cynical when it comes to big business.)

Anyway, enough of that. It's Christmas Eve and I think I've said enough for now.

Warm hugs,

A life lived in fear is a life half lived.
"Strictly Ballroom"

#370127 - 12/24/09 09:50 AM Re: What to do about healthcare? Can it be fixed? [Re: mig]
DragonSlayer Offline
AS Czar

Registered: 09/05/01
Posts: 6147
Loc: Reno or SFLU Philippines

Hey, mig:

The SMART way to fix healthcare is to first extract the lawyers out of the process.

Our congresspersons are not especially smart. Several are now in jail where most of them actually belong.

The current bill--now being passed--not only taxes some existing health insurance policies at a 40% rate but the "benefits" of this taxation will not be realized for four years because we shall end up with a "pay now and get fixed later" plan.

I doubt our Canadian cousins would allow such a farce.

There will probably never be a peaceful decommissioning of the US federal government. They are all a bunch of Marie Antoinettes--so out of touch with their bosses that merely firing them will not suffice, especially once it is revealed just how much of our wealth they have squandered and stolen.

Important AS Resources

Professor Ebringer: On Diet and AS;

RED ARROW --> Philippines

#370128 - 12/24/09 09:59 AM Re: What to do about healthcare? Can it be fixed? [Re: Inanna]
WendyR Offline

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 5231
Loc: BC, Canada
My personal opinion is that we measure a society by the way it treats its most vulnerable citizens - its poor, its elderly, its disabled and sick, and its children.

I'm never happy about contributing tax dollars to the war machine but I'm never troubled by the idea that my taxes go to support those in need. To me, that is a measure of a just and caring society.

When we blame individuals for their situation (obesity, poverty, inadequate parenting skills etc.) we ignore the fact that they are a product of our society and that there are a host of factors that have contributed to their situation. These factors can include intergenerational dysfunction (parents who were alcoholics, abusive, lacking in life skills etc.) but, as we all know, can also include life-altering experiences such as severe illness, loss of loved ones, job losses, and victimization by government or corporate systems (insurance companies that cut off benefits, doctors who shout at us, hoops to jump through, discrimination.....).

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Methotrexate, Celebrex, Plaquenil

#370129 - 12/24/09 10:01 AM Re: What to do about healthcare? Can it be fixed? [Re: DragonSlayer]
Inanna Offline

Registered: 11/15/01
Posts: 18107
Loc: UK
I doubt our Canadian cousins would allow such a farce.

laugh2 John, thank you for your faith in us. Sadly, while the Canadian public might not allow it, our government has recently made a habit of doing whatever it wants, no matter what the public makes clear is a priority (to paraphrase our Prime Minister - 'It's not my job to listen to what polls and the public have to say. It's my job to do what I think is best.' which he said a few short months after having been elected to a minority government - sadly, he's stuck to this). I fear that while your government is fighting for healthcare for all and a clean environment, ours is doing its utmost to weaken things beyond reckoning. As a Canadian citizen, I am embarassed beyond belief by our current government and its stance (or lack thereof) on far too many issues.

And, yes, I know I've het up some of my fellow Canucks in saying this. It is merely my opinion, which I have stated quite clearly on many occasions.

Warm hugs,

A life lived in fear is a life half lived.
"Strictly Ballroom"

#370137 - 12/24/09 11:47 AM Re: What to do about healthcare? Can it be fixed? [Re: Inanna]
moosekick Offline

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 484
“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

Inanna I am with you- HARMONIZED SALES TAX?? We will now have to pay extra taxes on tons of things that weren't taxed before.

AND we had no say in the matter.

I don't even know of the reason why? Other than the fact that the reigns just get tighter and tighter each year from the slow moving interest bullet.

We, as in the Canadian Government, had the option over the years by law, to take loans from the Bank Of Canada at 0 interest. Yet we have a 186 million $ a day interest payment to make. HOW in the world does that happen in any logical thinking brain? Factor in corruption.

Thank You for your input John, well said. Except for the fact that I think we all let things happen right before our blind eyes.

Edited by moosekick (12/24/09 11:53 AM)
Hey, somebody stole my quote! - Me

#370278 - 12/26/09 11:02 AM Re: What to do about healthcare? Can it be fixed? [Re: Inanna]
Jaybird Offline

Registered: 03/23/07
Posts: 1461
Loc: The Matrix
No, you are right, I don't know what it is to be poor first hand. I only know what it means to be financially challenged (if that is the appropriate phrase) and needing to pare back to nothing but the basics. I do, however, have an understanding of some of the challenges that face the poor.

I can only understand, appreciate, and learn lessons from people that have been poor. My (now deceased 10 years) grandmother who lived to 90 years, living through the depression and maintained many of her frugal habits throughout the balance of her life; the next door neighbor immigrant from Latvia whose family fled the Nazis (whose sister was killed in a when a ship on which she was aboard was attacked by a German U-boat), ate dog food at times, yet put himself through the electrical engineering program at Purdue University and subsequently enjoyed a successful life, built his own house, and raised a family; one of my uncles (of nine children on my mother's side whose family routinely struggled to maintain the basics) who entered the Navy at 17 years of age to fight in WWII (actually on the USS Missouri when the Japanese came aboard to finalize the terms of surrender), returned to work the night shift at a PPG manufacturing plant for decades, and was motivated enough and sacrificed enough (I routinely recall him sleeping when our family stopped to visit during daylight hours) to work into a supervisory position to better provide for his family; the gentleman team member at my first employer who lived out of his car for a period of time, married a woman with chronic health problems, managed to work his way into a factory job eventually working into an “professional” level, exempt position, raised a daughter, housed numerous foster children, and provided me with invaluable guidance.

While I haven't experienced these particular hardships, please realize that I do have a partial understanding of what it is to be poor (in an industrialized nation). Maybe these accounts speak more about sacrifice, but I'd hardly call surviving on dog food, living out of your car, or enduring the Great Depression, sacrifice.

I am a champion of self-sufficiency in contrast to continued reliance on others. I'm not foolish enough to believe that their aren't situations in which individuals that must rely on others, typically unequivocally against their own wishes/desires (with exceptions of minors). I am also not opposed to providing a helping hand to those in need; extending assistance to enable people to turn things around/right the ship. However, I am opposed to those that are able, yet unwilling, to help themselves. I am opposed to those that aren't willing to be responsible for self or their dependents. I am opposed to requiring servitude to enable another a free ride.

Also, cheap food doesn't need to be crap food. I'm not advocating that one can or need eat fine cuts of meat, fresh fruits and vegetables with great frequency, or any frequency for that matter. There are plenty of choices outside of fast food (which was the original issue) that can provide adequate nutritional needs. Though, in my eyes, if you are allocating your money for food to fast food, you aren't frugal enough. However, I've gone grocery shopping around the first of the month when I lived in an area of widely mixed incomes and I'd be floored at what I'd see in the some of carts of those receiving assistance. I do, though, appreciate that foods of questionable nutritional value are absolutely desirable to no food at all though.

One thing I can't get my head around is the following:

Most are just honest joes trying to keep their and their families' heads above water in a world that demonizes them for being where their society has placed them.

Do we, in the United States, have a rigid caste system similar to what I've learned existed/exists in India? Are people relegated to a predestined way of life that they can never rise above? I'm inclined to believe that if we keep heading down the big government/central planning road that we are, this will be true. I'd like to hear my friend from college, who came from Brockton, MA (tougher, historically working class area of Boston) who was the first in his family to attend college, take on that belief. While I've basically lost touch with him in the last five years, he was enjoying a successful career in business finance. My father would might serve as a good example also. He came from a home where his father was a linesman for a local power company, who liked the drink a lot, who'd routinely beat up on my grandmother (my father tussled with him on occasion), yet my father entered the military (back in those draft days), then went to college graduating as an electrical engineer, and successfully worked in his “professional” career for 37 years. My father never drank to any excess, never caroused at bars, and never was abusive toward my mother. I'd also like to understand my godfather's take on that too. He left college after year one, yet has been extremely successful as member of a large, international packaging company. Also, something interesting I once heard is that nearly half of the members of Forbes Magazine's 400 wealthiest people or billionaires or whatever never went for or completed post-secondary education. I just don't subscribe to the fact that people have to accept their situation and are powerless to do anything about it. I don't know about the values and beliefs of Canadians, but the individuals I grew up with and the people I know here in the States would certainly take issue with such sentiment that folks had to accept where society placed them. However, placement per “society's wishes” will be/will continue to be a prominent feature of big government/central planning by conditioning individuals to believe that they have no chance, no opportunity, no incentive.

Also, I don't believe I ever said that no one was worthy of receiving health care or having health care dollars spent for their benefit. I have only questioned why it is society's responsibility to pay for health care of able bodied individuals that might not have to contribute anything.

Regarding the reinstatement of benefits, I guess it is a difference of opinion. Talented folks won't stick around if better opportunities are to be had elsewhere. It may not impact the company immediately, but it will in the longer term. I subscribe to the Southwest Airlines approach to managing/operating a large company...employees first, customers second, shareholders last. If you have happy employees, they are going to provide superior service and value to the customers. Therefore, that makes the customers extremely happy. Perhaps this is one of the reasons, in the realm of the tough domestic airline industry, that Southwest Airlines has been so wildly successful while the “legacy” carriers routinely struggle.

I heard Jim Traficant (a former U.S. Congressman from Ohio - recently released from prison – many have said he was railroaded) say during an interview that we can judge a society by how it treats its prisoners. A subjective argument I suppose. Others say that we can judge a society by how it treats its most vulnerable. I might argue that we can judge a society by how we treat each other (regardless of gender, color, shape, size, economic status, etc.). However, it appears that this health care legislation marginalizes certain members of those vulnerable groups. The elderly and disabled that rely on Medicare will be facing cuts. It's pretty black and white in the realm of $400 billion to $500 billion over ten years. Do you really think doctors are going to continue to see the same number of patients or be able to deliver a desirable quality of care on an ongoing basis for less money? There also appears to be mandatory funding for abortion in the Senate bill. We sure aren't protecting unborn children who can't protect themselves. Additionally, it will force employers to either to offer and pay (at least partially) for health care insurance or pay a tax. Those employers very well may just cut their workforce to avoid or offset paying for something they previously weren't mandated to pay, creating more poor and/or unemployed. Or perhaps, those costs will be just passed along to the consumers, forcing more to go without goods or services for which they once had no problem obtaining. Those working ill who rely on Flexible Spending Accounts to help defray some of the expenses for over-the-counter needs will now lose that benefit. Additionally, the bill is offering protections to makers of biotech medications (one would believe this includes biologics). The legislation apparently includes preventions or deferments of generics from coming to market. I'm not sure how this benefits the sick.

I agree that there is a societal influence on the situation of everyone, however the influence of society should rarely trump the influence of the parents/family (there are exceptions, but they are exceptions and not the rule). It is not society's job to see that your child is active and eating adequately to foster proper development and health and staving off obesity. It is the job of the parents. It is not the teacher's job to babysit your child at school. It is the job of the parents to teach that child how to behave, act with respect towards others, and be responsible for their own actions. It is the teacher's job to educate. I find it highly bothersome that society casually dismisses the importance of the family; a nuclear family, many with strong extended families. I'm not looking down on anyone from some high and mighty position (contrary to what one may believe), however, I find troubling the number of single parent families (excepting the unavoidable) and the challenges such situations pose to the children. It is not to say that children raised this by single parents are deficient and cannot succeed or excel, it is just perceived that these children would be at greater risk for being denied opportunities since a parent may not be able to advocate for that child or that the child may be overlooked. This is one area where I am blessed. I have the best parents in the world. I am also fortunate to be part of a large, extended family, that despite their differences, have remained relatively close and cohesive. It's not like it was when I was growing up due to the passing of many in the previous generation and people chasing lifestyles, but many of their children strive for continuity of family ways.

OK, I'm done. Off my high horse.
Kind Regards,

Almost all of us long for peace and freedom; but very few of us have much enthusiasm for the thoughts, feelings, and actions that make for peace and freedom. - Aldous Huxley

Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now. - Thomas Jefferson

#370280 - 12/26/09 11:19 AM Re: What to do about healthcare? Can it be fixed? [Re: drizzit]
Jaybird Offline

Registered: 03/23/07
Posts: 1461
Loc: The Matrix
Driz, I'm not sure to which law you are referring. Auto insurance is regulated by the state, not the federal government. I had uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage. I purchased it to protect me. I don't, to my recollection, believe that particular coverage is mandatory here in the state of Georgia or any state in which I've been licensed. I'm not sure auto insurance is mandatory in every state of the union. I believe bare minimum mandatory is usually liability, but may vary widely state to state.

No, I don't think we should say “sorry, we won't treat you” and you will die because you should pay cash. Everyone should be treated and stabilized. Perhaps if the individual has the opportunity to buy health insurance (if mandatory under this bill – but what about the people that can't afford it?), doesn't, and falls ill, they must be culpable for the debt. If mandatory insurance is the way we are headed, perhaps there should be no special protections afforded to those individuals who can't service the debt they incurred. I mean, this legislation eliminates any reason why an individual shouldn't have insurance, therefore this should be a non-issue. Otherwise, maybe they are thrown in prison. Perhaps this is why I heard all the grumbling about 800-some FEMA prison camps. They are expecting people won't pay the imposed tax or will default on medical debt under a mandatory health insurance scheme (the operative word being scheme).

You shouldn't have to pay for an individual that won't buy insurance. However, why should you have to buy them insurance? Isn't the financial responsibility theirs, insured or uninsured? Also, who is expecting free treatment? There is no such thing as free treatment. Somebody is paying somewhere. The users/recipients just need to be accountable under your freeloading example.
Kind Regards,

Almost all of us long for peace and freedom; but very few of us have much enthusiasm for the thoughts, feelings, and actions that make for peace and freedom. - Aldous Huxley

Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now. - Thomas Jefferson

#370281 - 12/26/09 11:23 AM Re: What to do about healthcare? Can it be fixed? [Re: Jaybird]
Timo Offline

Registered: 07/16/01
Posts: 3333
Loc: BC, Canada
Question - Maybe I'm missing a lot but why is it, then, the job of employers to supply health care? Why can't people just get portable health care whether they work or not? That makes no sense to me but I don't live in the States. Or can they?

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