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Joined: Nov 2002
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Addicted_to_AS_Kickin
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I had no clue, Lisa, that they did that for people on Cobra. I am happy for you. I just don't know how it is ever going to end up. However, it goes, there will be people it helps and people it hurts. I guess that is the way life mostly is.

I do know for us personally we will be hurting if there is a Health Care package because we will be dropped from our company retirement insurance. They are gradually working us out anyway by paying less each year. This will give them the out they want. Then I don't know what we will do. Guess what we will do is not worry about it. ) I know we will be taken care of.

Hope you are recuperating from your fall.

Hugs.
Possi




Possi
*********************************************************

RUN WHEN YOU CAN,
WALK IF YOU HAVE TO,
CRAWL IF YOU MUST,
JUST NEVER EVER GIVE UP!



"A FRIEND HEARS THE SONG IN YOUR HEART AND SINGS IT TO YOU WHEN YOU CAN'T REMEMBER THE WORDS."

"A FRIEND LOOKS THROUGH YOUR BROKEN FENCE TO ADMIRE YOUR FLOWERS."

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SENSational_AS_Kicker
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SENSational_AS_Kicker
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No, I am reffering to government aid
I have now seen figures as high as 0.22% of gross national income however.

Have to admit that I'm lost in all your healthcare discussions.
I remain resolved though, that no matter a person's income, work ethic etc..., universal healthcare is the right thing to do. It's health care for crying out loud. There are always some who do not do their best to maintain good health but it seems dangerous thinking to imply that we should not take care of them too.
I disagree with a lot of Canada's spending of tax dollars but not when it comes to healthcare. In fact I wish it were extended to dental.

Maggie


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Silver_AS_Kicker
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Dow,

Hello.

You typically kill a snake by cutting it's head off. While I find the whole lobbying concept as it exists today, whether it is in relation to health insurance or another industry, rather enraging, I don't see it as the primary problem. I'm not defending lobbying groups and I certainly wish that corporations would spend their money on worthwhile causes, but it is, after all, at least until it gets mucked up by the pols, their money to spend. The problem I see is that of the politicians, the elected “representatives”. There was a time when these individuals would serve the public and then return to private life after there term was expired. I, unfortunately, don't know the history of politicians and political life, but I perceive that some of the earliest representatives didn't make a career out of being an elected “representative”. They were statesmen (or stateswomen, today). That said, cut the snake's head (career politicians) off, and the rest of the snake (lobbyists – since they are dependent demand) dies. I'm not going to get into a greater opinion piece, but I think maybe you can assume where I'm going. Change, in regard to the lobbyists and their influence on politicians, that you mention, needs to start further upstream and needs to be pretty significant.

Regarding The Lewin Group and others. I fully agree with you. However, I will also state, that nearly all entities cherry pick or spin study results in their favor. Therefore, I don't find any one entity who is that “pure” from which one can draw conclusions on that data alone. Even some vetting must be done on some of the non-profit or non-partisan organizations. This also ties into the comments you made about NBC and their sister channels (broadcast networks...another example of oligopolies, as mentioned shortly). Digressing for a moment...there was a chart I had (lost in hard drive crash) that showed how something like 90% or more of either the media here in the States or possibly the world is owned by something like five or seven corporate entities. Ridiculous! If I can find it again, I'll PM you with it as it may be of interest. Back on track...again, I don't disagree with you about the lies, deceptions, and misinformation pushed out by the mainstream media. I also find it sad that people are so disengaged or complacent on such an important issue such as their health insurance that they readily believe everything they see from a single media source without further investigation or research. It occurs to me that the vast majority of the citizens of this country would have no problem being taken care of by the government as long as they can sit on their keesters, eat their chips, drink their soda pop and watch Jerry Springer, Oprah, or Family Guy and be oblivious. That, in my opinion, is scary.

I don't see these health insurance organizations as monopolies. They seem to better fit the definition of an oligopoly in my opinion. I suppose opinions vary. I think of monopolies as the former Standard Oil, the former Bell Telephone, or the current SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Monopolies aren't just limited to the private sector. Witness Amtrak (intercity passenger rail) and USPS (letter deliver to my letter box...why not open that up to FedEx, UPS, others?). I suppose one could make an argument that health insurance is monopolistic in the fact that if you are rejected by one company for a pre-existing condition, there is a good chance that you will be rejected by the others. Although, one insurer may decide you are worth the risk and sell you a policy anyway. However, there seems to be multiple choices in nearly every state (I think I applied to four or six here in Georgia although I was denied). They all verify their information from a shared information clearinghouse (MIB), therefore I don't know how that doesn't somehow amount to collusion. It also seems to me that if the federal government gets into the health insurance business (another business in which they have no business), it may create competition for a period of time, but eventually all private industry firms will be put down and the only choice anyone will have is the federal government and that may very well be an inadequate choice when all is said and done.

While I'm an advocate of state's rights, it appears that the federal government shot the consumer in the foot with McCarren-Ferguson legislation (hey...shoot the citizen in the foot and get an airport named after you...have you ever flown into McCarren Airport in Las Vegas?). It appears on the surface that having this legislation repealed would be a very good thing and would foster COMPETITION! Currently, folks are screaming that they want the same entity (federal government) that passed this legislation to define and maybe administer our health care nationally. Seems a bit perverted to me.

There's a lot more that needs to be done/be changed than just creating competition that would lower prices for some consumers. These are heady issues (covering those with pre-existing illnesses, adequate coverage for citizens of lesser economic means, greater accountability of physicians, altering medical bankruptcy laws). I don't see the entire solution coming from the federal government. They have a role. However, I see their role as a facilitator, not a health insurer. That's just my opinion.


Kind Regards,
Jay

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
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Silver_AS_Kicker
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Silver_AS_Kicker
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While some of what you say is not that bad an idea, the actuality of much it would contradict what you say. The way I see it is that much of any new manufacturing to fill demand here in the States is going to take place overseas. It will either be outsourced or off-shored. Even if a product is assembled here in the States, many or all the components might be sourced from foreign countries. American workers are too expensive and their demands are too many in contrast to workers outside the country. I don't like it, nor do I condone it, but it is the way that the large majority of corporate America works. Corporations also find it advantageous in many situations to not bring the profits back to the U.S. due to tax laws. Therefore, they reinvest the profits in the country of origin or redeploy them for use elsewhere outside the U.S. Some if it makes sense since much of the growth is not taking place here. However, some of it is just for the benefit of the shareholders. I'm not saying that the U.S. or the Westernized world deserves to be rich, but, at least for a transitionary period of time, wages and standard of living here will be in decline while wages and standard of living will increase elsewhere.


Kind Regards,
Jay

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
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 3,233
Dow Offline
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thank you very much Brad!

I hope it didn't sound terribly pessimistic, I am actually somewhat hopeful that with all these developments, this country has some real hope of sorting out what's going on here, and make some changes that will lead our healthcare in a better direction!

Last edited by Dow; 10/26/09 08:19 PM.

Dow
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Lon Offline
Very_Addicted_to_AS_Kickin
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Dear Brother John,
It is not so much that they are dreamers, as they are unable to think apart from a government answer for everything.
John, I think Elmer is alive, he is hitting the bottle and is well armed. But I am not so sure He will achieve all the things in the way you might expect.
We need less government, more leadership at the local level. But after Copenhagen, most of this will all be mute, as I understand the 200 page document. The Phillipeans may look better very soon.
Lon


I keep the New Covenant,
when I fail....I am pulled
back into place by HIM.
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Dow Offline
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Hi Jay:

I am really seeing that we're even more in agreement than I originally thought, now I see that we're mostly talking about the same forces, but have different opinions about which ones are causing the most damage-

The way I see it, it's less a battle about partisan politics, than it is about corporatism, and all the temptations and corruption that all those billions and billions of dollars floating around there lead to..

and you are right, we can't just blame this on the lobbyists, you also have to look at the environment in which they thrive, they wouldn't exist unless they were getting hired by someone!

I am somewhat encouraged by some of the new policies that Obama has been putting into place, although not completely, unlike the previous administration, he has strictly set up shop with the policy of not hiring any lobbyists, but has already broken that policy with three (last I heard) lobbyists working for the White House, but has gotten waivers for them, a bit sneaky..but still that's the right direction!

and he also has set a very good rule, I think, that no one in his employ can go into the private sector for at least 2 years, his intent is clearly meant to stop people like Tom Ridge, former assistant to the President of Homeland Security, who got on TV and got everyone in a panic state over those "terror alert zones", and told everyone to buy duct tape and other home supplies, and very soon got awarded a 100K a year board position by Home Depot!!

Obama doesn't have direct control over the situation that exists in the other branches of government other than the Executive branch, so the these policies won't change the rules for the House & Senate, though

and regarding the Lewin Group, agree that cherry-picking stats is not exclusive to them, but really really bothered me about that, was that their stats were quoted by some high-profile representatives, and then when asked "Who is the Lewin group?" the answer was that they were a "non-partisan research firm", failing to mention the fact that they are wholly owned by United Healthcare, certainly not a unbiased party in this game!

Monopoly vs ogilopoly, yes, ogilopoly probably fits better, it would be theoretically possible for a new company to come along now and get into the health care business, unlike the situation that existed with the train and oil companies in the first half of the last century, when the rails and oil were controlled by select entities. A situation helped by passing new laws and regulations to limit this, but unfortunately as we have talked about, the health care industry has the opposite, the McCarren-Ferguson act makes them EXEMPT from current anti-trust laws!

and you make the good point that it is possible that if our government went in to the insurance game, it could potentially cause the collapse of the health care companies as we know them now...

They would DEFINITELY make less profit than they are doing now (and that is why they are fighting this so much with every power they've got)

But the argument against that is that the government one should be rightfully set up to be as close to self-sustaining as possible, a balance between needing to perform the function (provide universal health care) and not be a financial burden to our country, so it wouldn't be like private companies couldn't compete at all, because they wouldn't be up against another service provider with no regard to costs

So assuming for a moment that were to be possible, they don't screw up those bills in Washington, and that they were to create a public option plan that gives basic health care to every citizen that needs it

there would still be lots of people in this country who would want and could afford more than the minimum coverage, the "best" doctors, elective surgery, tests and procedures that they feel they want that aren't covered by the govt health plan. And companies that provided these plans to their employees, would be more desirable places to work. Still plenty of reason to attract the best doctors in the world to our country, still plenty of incentive to build and maintain great hospitals and facilities

it would still be a competitive environment, just now there would be a floor for people to land on, when they fall out of the "good hands" of the insurance providers...


Dow
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AS Czar
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Bre'r Lon:

Quote:

I think Elmer is alive, he is hitting the bottle and is well armed. But I am not so sure He will achieve all the things in the way you might expect




I know Elmer is alive and well as the flim flam man, but hiding that bottle pretty good...more like I wish I knew what he was smokin'!!

Unlike so many in this (newly) impoverished country, I have no positive expectations at all but like with any disease (we have governmentitis or governmentinoma), the game is avoiding being done to before we can become doers!

Walk away and it's my own fault, but at least walk away laughing... No chance for any statesmen, not a single Gandhi on the horizon, either. Good weather for gas masks and flack jackets.

Let's see,,,if my food lasts a year but my ammunition only lasts three months...guess I need some more calculations. Need to pour another of them cocktails make mine Molotov, bartender!

Peach,
John

Joined: Mar 2007
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Silver_AS_Kicker
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Silver_AS_Kicker
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Quote:

But after Copenhagen, most of this will all be mute, as I understand the 200 page document.




I just had to wonder aloud, as your message caught my eye, if the pen to be used will be purchased at great expense to the taxpayer...you know, just to add insult to injury when the Republic is signed away.


Kind Regards,
Jay

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
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 27
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Uno Offline
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All my personal opinion of course:

US Health Care currently is not a free market to begin with but is already controlled by governments (Federal and State) so the Health Insurance lobby mostly runs health care in America and in my opinion that is worse then socialism!

Americans seem to have this wierd idea that socialism = left and capitalism = right as we are on a straight line. Left or Right, that is 100% false.

A public option will allow MORE competition in health care and will actually be a move towards a "free market" in health care once again.

A free market would be best, but go and try to start your own "alternative care" hospital and compete with the American Medical Association and then report back on how the "free market capitalism" in America is working. LOL.

Or go and try obtain some LDN and then report back on the "free market capitalism" in USA health care!

Why do you think every health insurance company in America opposes the public option and why do you think they have spent $100 million this year lobbying against it? For the good of Americans?

Singapore is a great example. Singapore has the lowest health care costs per person in the modern world plus great care outcomes. Singapore achieved this through a public / non-profit option that COMPETES with private health care and so constantly improves care, improves outcomes, and dirves down costs.

Another issue is that small business can no longer compete in America. I have to pay a huge premium to provide heatlh insurance to my employees and that stops me from hiring top talent and stops me from competing against the huge companies that currently run America.

A public health care option nationwide will result in a huge increase in competition from small business and individuals - how many talented people do you know that keep their dead end job at some huge, inefficient corporation simply because health insurance?

Many of these huge firms, now exist as a simple roll-up of administration costs (health care, 401Ks, legal issues, ect..) and do not compete on an even playing field - in other words - worse than socialism.

America does not equal capitalism and never was intended to. Capitalism is a very broad concept taht has changed drastically since the founding fathers.

It is very important for people to put the concepts of individual freedom and liberty way about "capitalism" as it is today and once you start doing that then you relalize "regulation" that supports individuals over the state and/or large corporate conglomerates is actually a very American concept.

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