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Joined: Feb 2006
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Really really really really disagree with that. Why would you give stimulus $$ to companies showing healthy profits and employment growth while other areas are collapsing??? How much more money does healthcare need when it is already growing faster than almost any other area of the economy. I don't think you understand the problem here in the US. US healthcare is not short of money it is flush with cash. I suppose you could force them to change how they spend it but then that is the point of healthcare reform then isn't it.

Stimulus saved thousands of teacher jobs and university cut backs and that was huge. 2/3 of it is just now being spent and the construction projects are getting the money now. I can rattle off at least 5 highway projects in my town funded by stimulus money. I would liked to have seen more spent on badly needed infrastructure construction but it takes a while to get those projects out to bid and going. Our national infrastructure is in pretty bad shape and that was the logical place to go with the money. Go after a big need that is underfunded and create blue collar jobs at the same time.

The car piece was nice and saved thousands of blue collar jobs but was not a huge piece of the stimulus. It actually did work and that was cool. Regardless who owns them the clunker program saved a lot of jobs and that was the point.

I mean thousands of teachers were being laid off, bridges, sewer systems and water systems all over the country are very old and beginning to collapse, huge layoffs in the auto industry almost collapse an entire state. Those were just a few of the problems. Meanwhile healthcare is doing well, showing profits, and experiencing steady employment gains even in this economy. Sorry I can't see the arguement that we needed to spend my tax dollars on stimulating healthcare related jobs. Makes no sense at all

Last edited by drizzit; 10/25/09 05:13 PM.

No families take so little medicine as those of doctors, except those of apothecaries.

Oliver Wendell Holmes
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If the US has 100% of its people getting healthcare, I believe there will be tonnes of needed growth. Covering everybody will cost $$, but instead of JUST building a building, cover the people, and let capitalism build the building. Then you've killed 2 birds with one stone.


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I don't buy the we need more hospitals arguements at all. People are getting a lot of care today. They go to emergency rooms at no cost to them, free clinics, free drugs for the poor programs etc It is a very inefficient, expensive way to provide medical care but we do it. Now I do believe many die in the US due to lack of care and access to medical care but that is for long term chronic health problems not routine visits and hospital care.

In our present model many people wait until they are very very sick to go to the hospital. This is crazy expensive. If we ge them all covered I agree we will need more dentists, family doctors, and nurses to be sure but if we keep them healthy we may need fewer hospitals and emergeny rooms.

If we focus on early care and reduce lawsuits so unnecessary care is not being provided and we focus on preventive care with reform then fewer may go to hospitals and clinics and we may be overbuilt. That is a distinct possibility.

The whole point of healthcare reform is to get everyone covered. We can do that without stimulus money in all of the plans in congress. One way it is paid for is by forcing all in the US contribute and carry insurance while many today do not. In canada you all pay taxes to support the health care program. In the US many young and healthy people choose not to contribute but want free care if they do get sick. that is a huge difference in the systems. Drug prices will fall since the companies do not need to provide free drugs to the uninsured any more and hospitals can charge less as they won't be providing so much "free" care anymore. The money is there to pay for coverage for all without a stimulus effort. If we pay less for healthcare that is a great way to stimulate the economy. Not paying more into the current system

I guess I just see this country as flat broke and the days of free programs are pretty much over. We can't give tax cuts without cutting programs anymore, we can't do any more stimulus projects without cutting programs elsewhere anymore. We can't go to war without a tax increase to pay for it anymore.

The US is about done if we don't start getting our spending under control. Healthcare reform may cost some of us more and it will reduce costs for others but overall we will be better off as a country and it will not require a huge increase in taxes or a stimulus program to support or it won't work in the first place.

Last edited by drizzit; 10/25/09 07:01 PM.

No families take so little medicine as those of doctors, except those of apothecaries.

Oliver Wendell Holmes
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Agree with all of your points and frustrations, Jay

Only difference is how I see it is what the government's role in changing the current situation could be.

Right now, our health care is being run by a for-profit free enterprise system, and while we have mentioned some of the good things that can be said for it, such as we have the best medical care in the world for people who can pay for it, it isn't working for those who can't

And it will continue that way unless something is done, because what's been happening is that those companies are using their profits and power to actually control what happens in Washington, rather than the other way around.

Their lobbyists, the money they spend on media control, the fact that companies like GE that are heavily involved in the medical industry can and do literally OWN television networks like NBC, MSNBC, CNBC...

So whenever they see a new law or proposal coming down the turnpike that they don't like, they use some of their massive profits to fight the legislation, send their lobbyists to Washington, who then give money to the campaigns of our elected "representatives" who support them and withhold contributions to those who don't, (there are currently SIX lobbyists for every ONE representative in Congress) that and how they subtly and not-so-subtly have an influence on the media, to control how we citizens perceive what's going on

they cite cherry-picked statistics to support their claims, by so-called non-partisan consulting firms like The Lewin Group, which is actually owned by United Health Care

So how can our country get out from being controlled by these private companies?

We can't legislate it, we can't just say to them that they must give up their profits, we can't say they must start for instance covering people with pre-existing conditions, we can't say they MUST give expensive operations to those who need it

Because if we did, they'd just use their monopolistic position to find other ways to protect their profits, raise premiums, invent new rules to deny coverage, charge more administration fees, create more loopholes, etc. And if the regulation really was written so carefully, so restrictively, that they couldn't make the kind of money that they now make, they could just go out of business, no law could prevent that!

So that's why I think the best proposal is one that creates COMPETITION to their stranglehold, one that uses some of our taxpayer money to support it, that way when the public option becomes a better deal for many Americans than private insurance, those companies will have to adjust their ways of doing business, or risk losing their customers completely, and therefore their profits..

Makes sense?

And I totally agree with you regarding the Baucus Bill that is the one that is getting support in congress, it requires that everyone must purchase insurance, and those that don't are forced to pay a penalty, a horrible idea that would only guarantee profits to health care companies, and put many poor families into MORE debt, and give them no coverage at all.


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Moosekick-
I just wanted to say that what you purpose makes alot of sense to me. I think you make a good point that it would benefit the economy in many ways- many industries. Building, staffing, education, maintainance and ofcourse- healthcare for the un insured.

I personally think it is the best idea I have heard on this subject- it is unfortunate that the stimulus money has been spent in a very different way.

I have high hopes that this concept could still be a possibility.

Anna


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one point on the baucus bill is that poor families will be given tax credits (not breaks) to offset the cost of insurance. If you don't get everyone involved it is very difficult to cover those with preexisting and expensive conditions and be profitable. Seems like we want to have our cake and eat it too. we want to have affordable care and get everyone covered yet we want to respect personal decisions and let people opt out and not contribute to the cause. tough call

You know those who don't contribute get sick and then we will still give them free healthcare at the emergency room and everyone with insurance or who pays the bill gets stuck with the bill. Or they declare bankruptcy and again those responsible people get stuck with the bill.

Last edited by drizzit; 10/25/09 10:08 PM.

No families take so little medicine as those of doctors, except those of apothecaries.

Oliver Wendell Holmes
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boy do I agree with the point on partisan politics. I am not sure we ever put the best interests of the american citizens ahead of partisan politics or the parties making decisions just trying to stay in power anymore.

Washington makes me very sad. I am not sure we can fix it without the rise of a third moderate leaning party to change the status quo.

Last edited by drizzit; 10/25/09 10:06 PM.

No families take so little medicine as those of doctors, except those of apothecaries.

Oliver Wendell Holmes
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I agree with drizzit, Moose. Stimulus money, no matter what you call it or how you dress it up, has to ALWAYS be a last resort. In fact, it should be an option that is SO much of a last resort that I rhink we should come up with a new name for just what type of "resort" it is. Maybe the "Cold Day in He**" resort. Or the "Get Out of Economic Jail Free Resort, Redeemable only Once per Century." Or maybe even the more drastic. "If You Morons on Capitol Hill and in the Boardrooms of America Ever Try to Pull This Crap Again, We;ll Make the French Revolution Look Like a Boy Scout Jamboree" resort. While I do believe that some of the bailouts given over the past 12 months were needed simply because to not provide them would have led to even bigger problems, I agree with drizzit that we should never even think of awarding huge stimullus packages to healthy businesses or industries. While I can certainly see the argument that "isn't it better to reward highly-motivated, functional industries with financial rewards (ie, aid) instead of "rewarding" industries that have used. at best, qustionable business policies, the real goal should be to never give ANY so-called stimulus packages again, as a robust, high-functioning economy shouldn't need them anyhow.

There is one area that I wish all parties could agree that increasing government funding in said area is a good thing, not just another form of welfare. That area is education, which I subdivide into two very different, but equally important, divisions. The first is basic education, meaning K through 12, as our only real hope to build the workforce of the future that we will desperately need is by vastly improving our school's across the board. The second goes by several names: Adult education (actually not really accurate for what I am ultimately aiming for); continuing education (yes, this would be a part of it, as technology and enhanced communication, etc. are leading to changes in very old, established industries that the U.S. must stay on top of if it hopes to remain at the forefront of the industries in which it is still a leader (I know, I know--do we even lead in making ANYTHING anymore?). To do this, even the most blue-collar industries must adapt the CE model that is so common to doctors and other white-collar professionals. My dad experienced some of this when GM built a new engine plant behind the existing plant he had worked at for more than 30 years. Designed to replace the old plant, the new facility was designed so GM could build far more, and better, engines with a much smaller workforce than it had employed at the old plant. While the loss of jobs due to technological advances that made the new plant state of the art is unfortunate, that kind of attrition has happened for as long as technology became such an important part of business and improved business practices.

The good that came out of closing the old plant and cutting hundreds, if not thousands, of workers, was the fact that those employees who kept their jobs and made the transition to the new plant receivea classes in how to use all of the new technology in the new plant. While obviously some of the things they learned were specific to just that plant, others covered new technology that was commonly used in many industries (robotics, etc.) and thus helped build a more technical, transferable knowledge base that the remaining workers could use to find jobs outside the auto industry, either because they wanted to or because they might someday be forced to. In other words, GM finally pulled it's head out of it's stodgy old rear for just a few seconds and did something that was incredibly smart and that should have been emulated across the entire auto industry.

The last kind of education I would like to see benefit from some kind of "stimulus" plan is worker retraining. trade schools, etc. To a certain extent, this is already happening, as I know government money has been made available in larger amounts to provide as many people as possible with full or partial scholarships. To me, that is an excellent use of such resources, one that should have a very direct point a to point b effect on more folks finding new jobs and careers. I say that because most of the trade schools and retraining classes that you see out there are for the hottest job fields of the future. Anything in healthcare, especially occupational and physical therapy, are experiencing incredible growth. You simply cannot go wrong right now in the States spending money and time learning to be a therapist, a nurse, or almost any other kind of medical specialist--such as a phlebotimist, x-ray tech, etc.--thanks to the rapidly aging population that is also living much longer than in the past (ie, more elderly people to begin with, and they live longer). I'm sure everyone has noticed how television and radio ads for the trade schools that specialize in the hotter careers have sprung up all over the place, and I'm sure that is in part due to the increased money they have to offer for scholarships. Again, this is just my opinion, but any money spent in this manner is money well-spent, whether is is government or private. Teaching people new skills that are actually in-demand is perhaps the best way I can think of to actually change the make-up of our workforce and to put people to work in jobs that pay better than the "unskilled," near-minimum wage jobs that are, frankly, all that are available to many of the unemployed folks here in the U.S. because they lack education (our high-school dropout rate is criminal) and don't have the money to pay for classes even if they are interested in finally attending school to create better lives for themselves. (And yes, I understand that the argument can be made that dropouts make their beds, therefore they must lie in them and that we don't owe anything to people who rejected the free education we gave them, and I can even sympathize with that position. However, I know that being more interested in telling people "Ha! We told you so!" and working to keep them down because they don't "deserve" any government assistance, let alone any government money is simply not conducive to making our society as a whole better than it is now. A simplistic viewpoint? Sure it is. But I guess I'll take a simplistic view that supports bettering people by any means necessary over an angry viewpoint about "wasting government money" on folks who don't deserve it anytime.

So there's my take on any more "stimulus packages" and where the government can stick 'em! As well as where they can actually start spending their money in a smart way. LOL

Brad


He who has a 'why' to live can bear with almost any 'how'.
--Friedrich Nietzsche

Sounds like everything takes time, discipline, and patience, and those are seven things I don't have.
--Jon Dore




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Great post Dow. I've had a hard time finding the words to explain why the system is so broke and thus why this reform is so essential, but luckily, you just did it for me. And probably more politely than I would have done it.

Brad

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I know this probly doesn't fit it here and I might have already posted it so forgive me if I have but I would like to say that the insurance status of Cobra that the house, senate, congress, or the President allowed all but save my families butt.

When Bill lost his job in september of this year we had to go on Cobra, we had been paying about $650.00 a month for sucky insurance $5000.00 deductible, $15,000 family deductible BUT we were thankful to have it given my families health history's.

We were told Cobra was going to be $925.00 a month for 4 months until Bill's new job insurance kicked in. $925.00 a month with no job was not an option we HAD to take the Cobra or we would miss the 90 day window gap for all of our pre-existing conditions to be covered.

Could not believe it when we were told that because of the stimulas package or help to people that get laid off that the government would pay 65% of our Cobra. Our part would be $325.00 a month. I wish somehow we could stay with the Cobra the full 18 months. When we qualify in 1/1/10 for Bill's new job insurance we will now be paying $800.00 a month for a $2500.00 deductible and because the company he works for has less than 200 employees.

We have no choice we HAVE to have insurance. Im just not sure how to pay the $800.00 a month insurance and then the rest of our bills. We already spend a minimum of $500.00 a month on meds and that is probly the low side, so that is at LEAST $1300.00 a month for a middle income family. If we made $100,000 a year might not be so bad but we don't. Right now I am just trying not to think about january, Im just trying to be grateful that my husband has a job when so many others out there don't.

Lisa


Speak kindly, Live simply, Care deeply, Love generously, and BLAH, HA, HA, LOUDLY! every chance you get.

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