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Controversial Michael Moore Flick 'Sicko' Will Compare U.S. Health Care with Cuba's

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Excellent posts Timothy!

I'd just like to add a couple points about "lobbyists".

* I routinely read nurses comdemning the power of lobbyists and lobbying. Comments usually run along the lines of "lobbyists should be thrown out" etc.

And yet, we congradulate ourselves when the CNA managed to get the staffing ratio passed in California. We pat ourselves on our backs everytime ANA manages to get legistlation passed throwugh Congress.

Are these not, pray tell, lobbying organizations?

I recall an article written by Dr. Paul about this very issue.

I don't believe the problem is corrupt lobbyists or even corrupt politicians per se. The fundamental problem, in my view, is the very culture of Washington. Our political system has become nothing more than a means of distributing government largesse, through tax dollars confiscated from the American people - always in the name democracy. The federal budget is so enormous that it loses all meaning. What's another million or so for some pet project, in an annual budget of $2.4 trillion? No one questions the principle that a majority electorate should be allowed to rule the country, dictate rights, and redistribute wealth. It's no wonder a system of runaway lobbying and special interests has developed. When we consider the enormous entitlement and welfare system in place, and couple that with a military-industrial complex that feeds off perpetual war and encourages an interventionist foreign policy, the possibilities for corruption are endless. We shouldn't wonder why there is such a powerful motivation to learn the tricks of the lobbying trade - and why former members of Congress and their aides become such high priced commodities.
Full article

 

 

* I read else where about the insidious nature of "Concentrated benefit, spread out cost" nature of government programs. An example was given of some steel maker lobby somewhere that had managed to win a $200 million subsidy from Congress - cost to each taxpayer? About $1 or so.

 

Now, who is going to bother their Congressman for that one dollar?

Now think about it - why else do you think lobbying organizations think it is worthwhile to spend $190 million lobbying... if they end up with that $200 billion benefit? After all, they lose nothing!

 

* Lastly, I remember a very nice quote you'd once posted Timothy about the nature of Democratic government - it had to do with something about the people voting as much of a large share they could from the public treasury. I'd appreciate it if you could repost that quote!

 

I apologize for dragging on on a tangent.

 

cheers,

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Since we are singing paens of praises to Rudy Care I think that we should really look behind the numbers: (source American Prospect at http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=a_man_with_a_nonplan )

Failure of the press aside, let's examine this "vision." What Giuliani offered is this: A tax exclusion of up to $15,000 for families, and $7,500 for individuals, to help pay for health care. What Giuliani is relying on is people reading those numbers -- $15,000 and $7,500 -- without noticing that they don't denote the amount of money he's offering them, but the amount of money he's not taxing them on. And when we plug it into my magical Rudy Translation Machine (constructed with the help of friendly neighborhood economist, Dean Baker), we can watch how $15,000 can easily become ... zero.

Let's stipulate a family of four -- a mom, a dad, and two children. The type of family Republicans like. And let's say your household income is $30,000 a year. Giuliani's tax exclusion will save you ... nothing. Your income isn't taxable anyway. Bring it up to $40,000 ... and it's still nothing. Your child tax credits are crossing out your taxable income. Indeed, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 55 percent of the uninsured don't earn enough money to have any taxable income. This proposal -- unless changed from a straight exclusion to a refundable tax credit -- will do literally nothing for them.

Don't get me wrong, some families will save a few bucks. If you make $50,000, Giuliani's exclusion will save you $1,220. And if you make $70,000, you'll get a whopping $2,250. And the higher up the income ladder you go, the more our hypothetical family unit will save. Meanwhile, here's the kicker: According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2006, premiums for family coverage amounted to, on average, $11,480. Giuliani's giveaway barely makes a dent.

So under Rudy Care-once corporate employers drop their group plans-families will in effect see compensation cuts of 8000-12000 dollars per year. I think I'll pass on this plan as yet one more attack on the living standards of the middle class.

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Where in the world does the free market work regarding education, healthcare, and such?

Has the free market ever worked?

I just cannot imagine how a profit oriented system can provide firefighting, healthcare, police, roads and such.

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I think citizens writing, calling, and e-mailing legislators, demonstrating, and encouraging their colleagues, friends, and family members to do so for safe staffing is NOT the same as millions of dollars spent by paid lobbiests who use the money WE pay for healthcare to lobby for laws to increase profits instead of providing the healthcare WE PAID FOR.

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Timothy and Viking, thanks for the different viewpoints and the links. Tim, I like alot of what I read on the freemarket system but am worried about how low income families are going to pay for health care. For that matter I wonder how I'm going to pay for health care when I go back to school next year. It seems to me there needs to be something in place for people who aren't making enough to afford health care and for those temporarily out of work due to injury or going back to school.

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Thanks for the information Timothy. At least now I basically understand the logic behind Guilani's idea. I just don't see how it would help the people whose incomes are on the lower side, unless he is saying that the insurance companies would have to sharply decrease their rates to be competative. But with his plan, those with the most money would get the best coverage/care since it would be personally purchased. And those that couldn't afford good insurance or even any with the tax cuts, would again be left without coverage. So it would not have the effect of supplying healthcare to all Americans.

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Thanks for the information Timothy. At least now I basically understand the logic behind Guilani's idea. I just don't see how it would help the people whose incomes are on the lower side' date=' unless he is saying that the insurance companies would have to sharply decrease their rates to be competative. But with his plan, those with the most money would get the best coverage/care since it would be personally purchased. And those that couldn't afford good insurance or even any with the tax cuts, would again be left without coverage. So it would not have the effect of supplying healthcare to all Americans.[/quote']

Those w/ the money will always get the best coverage, even under UHC. But there does need to be some way to cover the poor and temporarily out of work.

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I realize that this is a cartoon, and as such, is meant to point out the absurd. But it is also an example of one of the many problems of our healthcare system: People who fail to use reasonable judgement as to when healthcare services are TRULY necessary. Sniffles are NOT a reason to see a doctor. Any competent adult should know that, and ought to be required to pay out of pocket for utilizing serveces in circumstances where services are clearly NOT needed. That includes hangnails, paper cuts, ER visits for colds, etc.

Preventive services are essential, and should be covered under any privately or publicly funded plan. But seeing a doctor for sniffles does not equate to preventive healthcare!

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I realize that this is a cartoon, and as such, is meant to point out the absurd. But it is also an example of one of the many problems of our healthcare system: People who fail to use reasonable judgement as to when healthcare services are TRULY necessary. Sniffles are NOT a reason to see a doctor. Any competent adult should know that, and ought to be required to pay out of pocket for utilizing serveces in circumstances where services are clearly NOT needed. That includes hangnails, paper cuts, ER visits for colds, etc.

Preventive services are essential, and should be covered under any privately or publicly funded plan. But seeing a doctor for sniffles does not equate to preventive healthcare!

That is EXACTLY what I thought when I saw the cartoon . . . .pointing out how people misuse going to the doctor.

I agree - sniffles are no big deal. Save the Dr. visit for important things. And don't use your insurance to pay for the sniffles visit.

steph

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