Third Party & Independents Archives

Where's your health care plan?

Everyone’s debating what someone else will do. What will you do? Where’s your plan? My plan is God’s plan. It is! For Real! My plan starts and ends with the individual.

Before you Liberals gather to make protest signs, hear me out. This is my plan in simple form.

It starts with a trip to the future. A future where 2 people make a decision. They have a choice, and they make it. They decide, one way or another, to produce a child.

..and God said, "IT IS DONE.".

My plan begins when these 2 people were conceived.

No matter what, a new born is a burden on society. Anyone putting themselves in the position to add to society's burden should be expected to contribute to relieve that burden. It is a choice they make at that time. By making that choice they sign a social contract to provide the relief for the consequences of their choice calculated by a formula established to determine the individual's cost to society.

This contract with society consists of an account set up for the child, to be honored by the parent until the child can assume that burden on it's own.

The cycle builds upon itself. It is a contract between the parents, the child, and society that is signed at conception. It is a health savings account, set up by the parent, within guidelines set up by society, in the name of the child. It belongs to the adult child, not the parent or the government.

That's my plan. Where's yours?

Posted by Weary_Willie at March 4, 2017 7:59 PM
Comments
Comment #414132

What if, when we become adult at age 26, our parents bestow on us our health savings account. It contains the value of 26 years worth of premiums paid by our parents since our conception. What would a dime a day, or a dollar a month, amount to after 26 years in a secure account? Let’s use Yellen’s projected interest rate increase as an interest rate on our health savings account. Do the math over 26 years. That’s quite a large savings account if it is unmolested.


Posted by: Weary Willie at March 4, 2017 9:00 PM
Comment #414133

When you consider what the amount of value transferred into savings accounts would mean to inflation rates we could consider that tax dead and buried.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 4, 2017 9:01 PM
Comment #414143

So what happens when the “burden on society” needs surgery at 17 and is left without enough in the BoS’s account at 26 to deal with the chronic condition or whatever?

Posted by: j2t2 at March 5, 2017 11:48 AM
Comment #414150

Good question.

A percentage goes toward the insurance pool to deal with catastrophic expenses.

The focus is on health, not spending. Spending your own money is harder than spending someone Else’s money.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 5, 2017 2:12 PM
Comment #414180

Here’s my preferred plan: You are on your own.

Want to buy health insurance? Great, buy it from the insurer of your choice. Just don’t ask me to subsidize the cost of any health benefits paid to you by your employer.

Want to go without health insurance? Great, but if you get sick or hurt and can’t pay for lifesaving treatment, RIP.

Repeal EMTALA and the tax subsidy for employer-paid health insurance and I will be a happy camper.

As for WW’s HSA nonsense? That money is better spent providing people with a Universal Basic Income (UBI). That way the individual is empowered to spend the money in the manner he or she thinks is best.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 5, 2017 8:29 PM
Comment #414181

Agreed. However, couldn’t that insurance policy start at the moment of conception and continue until death, no questions asked?

It is a condition of procreation that an insurance policy be maintained by the parent until age 26 and then by the person until death. No exceptions. Everyone pays.

If it takes a UBI, then so be it. We can assign those unable or unwilling to work a position that will enable them to make a living and pay the insurance premium.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 5, 2017 9:12 PM
Comment #414183

Conception? Health insurance doesn’t make sense for the unborn. Pregnancy as a condition, is the responsibility of the mother.

Also, I misread your initial entry. I thought the government was supplying these HSA contracts. No, it is absurd to pass a law to require every single parent to post an escrow of thousands of dollars in order to pay for their newborn’s health expenses. That’s a certain way to push an already anemic fertility rate even further down and it will delay childbirth until much later in life when health complications are far more common.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 5, 2017 10:03 PM
Comment #414186

Employer based health insurance is a waste anymore. To think the employer gives a s**t about the health of most of the employees is naive IMHO. It keeps wages low as the insurance companies gain record profits by charging the employer so much more every year.

The only decent answer i single payer health insurance, medicaid/medicare. The insurance industry can go to h**l.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 5, 2017 11:29 PM
Comment #414187

We’re talking about a social contract signed when the parents make the decision to have a child. You save money to buy a house. You save money to buy a car. Why shouldn’t you save money to buy a child’s health. Not pay for, but buy/insure your child’s health. Also, if it’s your own money you’re going to spend it wisely. You’re not going to pay three dollars for a band-aid or three different people for an x-ray.

Costs will go down if people purchase health care responsibly. The need for health care will be reduced if people are taught to live a healthy life and make decisions that make the expenditure not needed. Saving your own money would be a great motivator.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 5, 2017 11:51 PM
Comment #414188

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Posted by: telugu latest political news at March 6, 2017 12:23 AM
Comment #414189

WW,

The problem is that it is easy to enforce laws that prevent people from occupying homes/cars they cannot afford to rent or buy. There’s no feasible way to prevent two fertile adults from producing children while respecting the individual rights enshrined in our Constitution.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 6, 2017 8:52 AM
Comment #414190

My plan: Personal responsibility.

No more government handouts rewarding irresponsible behavior. No more government handouts promoting further irresponsible behavior. No more government handouts encouraging dependency.

We should have a ‘Volunteer Responsibility Program,’ funded totally by voluntary donations. For collection and distribution purposes, government could oversee the program.
People could finally put their money where they mouth is and actually do something about what they pretend to care about. Maybe then they would seek support in a civil manner, instead of the name calling they do now.

Posted by: kctim at March 6, 2017 9:43 AM
Comment #414195

Some plans …”personal responsibility” because the only problem with health insurance is birth control pills? How does “personal responsibility” play into a cancer from the environment, you suggest we don’t breathe the air or drink the water? This crap is why we can’t have a decent health insurance/health care system. Always blaming the victim. Always blaming the government and claiming people who pay into medicare are some type of leech shirking “personal responsibility”.

The guilt trip doesn’t work kctim. People get sick and injured. People are humans give em a break. The rest of the world does. This view that people are consumers not people is wrong.

The invisible hand fails when insurance companies are to big and hospitals are ran by hedge funds. We have lost our way health care is a profit making business and the profits are great.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 6, 2017 12:31 PM
Comment #414197

“How does “personal responsibility” play into a cancer from the environment, you suggest we don’t breathe the air or drink the water?”

No J2, I suggest people choose whether to have insurance or not and then to live with their choice. And for people who pretend to care, to actually put their money where their mouth is and actually help them, instead of using it to call those who disagree with them names online.
A ‘guilt trip’ isn’t needed IF you guys believe in actually helping others and not just giving them lip service.

The only victims here are those burdened with the irresponsible behavior of others and the selfish greed of those who pretend to care.

Posted by: kctim at March 6, 2017 1:37 PM
Comment #414200

kctim,

So, if I read you right, you believe we should repeal EMTALA? This means that hospitals would not be legally obligated to provide lifesaving care to people who enter unless said person proves that they have the means to pay for said care.

Earlier, you tried to have it both ways and said,”create a new law to address actual life saving measures as needed.”

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 6, 2017 2:58 PM
Comment #414202

Warren, as before, create a new law to address actual life saving measures as needed, would be a compromise, not a requirement. If a hospital spends its time, money and resources saving your life, the least you can do is pay them back.

Posted by: kctim at March 6, 2017 4:48 PM
Comment #414207

kctim is correct when he says that people who use health care should pay for it. People shouldn’t be able to walk into an emergency room with a runny nose and walk out expecting the government to pay for it.

The same should go for people who break a bone. It shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg because you broke one of them. Hospitals are a big part of the problem with the way they charge for every little thing at 3,4,5,10 times the amount to replace it. Doctors used to take cash, but they didn’t have to worry about getting sued at every turn.

People need to have some skin in the game just so they don’t over use and take advantage of the others who make up the difference.

j2t2, I think kctim may have been referring to the people who have children just to get extra money from the government. That’s not a reason to have a child and it should never happen. There should be punishments, not rewards for having another child when someone else is supporting you.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 6, 2017 9:59 PM
Comment #414208
create a new law to address actual life saving measures as needed, would be a compromise

The problem is that you are in for a penny, in for a pound in this situation. Once you start having government pay for people’s “actual life saving measures” then the genie is out of the bottle and you get the expensive mess we have today. Only with the discipline necessary to turn away the destitute, even if they are in a life or death situation, can you truly excoriate the government from the health care business.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 6, 2017 11:20 PM
Comment #414210

It’s a shame we’ve forgotten how the health care industry got it’s start. The hospital and all that evolves around it was created and nurtured by the church and its charity and benevolence. Perhaps we should turn toward that approach instead of relying on government.

How can you say definitively that it wouldn’t work?

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 6, 2017 11:48 PM
Comment #414219

Define, “work”.

I’m fall for getting the government out of the health care business and relying on private charity to fill in some of the gaps. But, I’m not under any delusion that this wouldn’t result in the premature deaths of millions of innocent and well-meaning people.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 7, 2017 8:41 AM
Comment #414220

I agree, Warren. But being such a big softie, I am willing to work with those who would rather rule by emotion because they lack such discipline :)

Posted by: kctim at March 7, 2017 9:33 AM
Comment #414221

How would you treat a person who held another captive for 9 months and force fed them cocaine and heroin the entire time?

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 7, 2017 10:15 AM
Comment #414222

How would you treat a person who laid in bed for years until the weighed 700 lbs?

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 7, 2017 10:16 AM
Comment #414223

Do we owe a criminal health care when they get shot by a victim?

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 7, 2017 10:17 AM
Comment #414224

There’s a lot of people who expect government to pay for the consequences of their bad behavior. Take the diabetes of an obese person who got fat off of poor food stamp purchases and a lack of exercise from not working, or the obese person who broke her ankles numerous times because of her weight.

Destructive behavior shouldn’t be rewarded.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 7, 2017 10:21 AM
Comment #414225
I agree, Warren. But being such a big softie, I am willing to work with those who would rather rule by emotion because they lack such discipline :)

kctim,
The problem is that once you start covering those life-saving measures, you quickly discover that the wheels come off the bus unless the government pays for everything. Hence, why I endorse government guaranteed universal healthcare as the “least worst” options available.

WW,

Destructive behavior shouldn’t be rewarded.
You can take an absolute moral stand, but I am going to deal with the real world and view things practically. It’s inevitable that a few bad actors will get a free ride on the backs of the rest of us and I don’t have a problem with that. Poor health leads to a pretty shitty standard of living regardless of whether or not the government pays for health care or not. So, I wouldn’t consider it a “reward” for bad behavior.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 7, 2017 10:34 AM
Comment #414237
It’s inevitable that a few bad actors will get a free ride on the backs of the rest of us and I don’t have a problem with that.

Then what you’re doing is condoning that behavior and allowing it to multiply. If there are no consequences for gaming the system then others will see it and also take advantage.

Perhaps “punishment” is the wrong word, but there should be consequences none the less. Let’s take the welfare mother getting pregnant with her second/third child while on welfare. There should not be a reward for that. If the woman realizes there will be no extra money for another child she will reconsider having one.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 7, 2017 5:01 PM
Comment #414238

Weary, you’re never going to win the battle with the Left over personal consequences for bad choices.

Can anyone even count the federal, state and local agencies that exist to help those who can’t, or won’t help themselves?

I’m OK with helping those who can’t, but there absolutely must be consequences for those who won’t. I suggest work for benefits.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 7, 2017 5:23 PM
Comment #414242

It seems to me that the standard Republican response is to break apart quite ancient social responsibilties to lighten the load on the upper class, and then answer any objections with “MAGIC MARKET FAIRY MAKE PONY!”

The modern Conservative view of the individual is of a cog in a machine who is to be run through the system until they wear out. Then they are to be thrown away. This is actually not the best way to run a machine, as regular maintenance helps machines function for much longer, but somebody people want profit upfront, gratification instant, rather than actually outlaying money to run businesses with common sense.

Ryan’s approach is externalizing the costs of healthcare back to the average citizen. Trouble is, they don’t have the money to pay for all that. What you will see as a result is a health crisis, and a return to a reprehensible status quo.

I’d say if you want to run a capitalist society where people work for a living, and are expected to stay on the job as much as possible, you need a maintenance plan, in terms of a health care system, that makes it as affordable as possible. We shouldn’t fool ourselves into believing that in a society where we’ve already made most people reliant on credit to function that people have the savings to weather healthcare crises on the basis of savings alone. We should not be so naive as to think that healthcare problems are predictable enough that people can avoid misfortune in terms of saving for the issue.

If the market was going to solve the problem by itself, it would have already. The pure market solution had its chance.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 7, 2017 6:43 PM
Comment #414244

Does my Lefty Pal Stephen have any evidence for his outrageous comment;

“The modern Conservative view of the individual is of a cog in a machine who is to be run through the system until they wear out. Then they are to be thrown away.”

Then we have the next doltish comment comparing machines with humans; “regular maintenance helps machines function for much longer…”

The implication that passes right over our Pals head is that the “machine is working”. The human being “oiled by tax money” is not working.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 7, 2017 6:59 PM
Comment #414245
If there are no consequences for gaming the system then others will see it and also take advantage.

Did I say ‘no consequences’? No, I didn’t. I am confident that the non-monetary consequences of such bad behavior are sufficient enough of a deterrent.

Let’s take the welfare mother getting pregnant with her second/third child while on welfare. There should not be a reward for that. If the woman realizes there will be no extra money for another child she will reconsider having one.
It’s hard to construe that as a reward. The financial benefits of public assistance are smaller than the financial costs of raising a child. It’s a net loss proposition. Posted by: Warren Porter at March 7, 2017 7:05 PM
Comment #414247

The financial benefits of public assistance are smaller than the financial costs of raising a child. It’s a net loss proposition. Posted by: Warren Porter at March 7, 2017 7:05 PM

Really? How does that work Warren? If the care costs more than the resources available for that care; then…

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 7, 2017 7:25 PM
Comment #414248

Royal Flush-
You promote a system that essentially replaces expensive American workers with Non-union, then foreign workers, and then automates it all. You promote a system that keeps wages and benefits stagnating or declining, that supports diminishing benefits and compensation, and writing in all kinds of exceptions to the costs that insurance companies have to take on.

In general, your policies treat the average person as a balance sheet liability, a part of the system that constitutes a necessary evil to be removed at first convenience.

So, to say you treat us as worse than machines is only to speak the kind of truth that inevitably outrages the guilty consciences of people on the right.

Humanity is what the system is supposed to serve, and yet you let humanity become subservient to the system that makes a few people rich at everybody else’s expense. All so we completely contradict soviet communism, rather than create a version of capitalism that balances necessary systemic interests with the interests of human beings.

Don’t dare to think that you can defer the reckoning on those interests forever. Sooner or later, our system is designed to turn that outrage into a change in the direction of policy. You can either guide that shift, or watch as things change without your help.

Or, put simply, don’t expect to push a healthcare system that costs people more and gives them less coverage and keep your jobs. You’ll only end up reminding people why they sought healthcare reform in the first place.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 7, 2017 7:29 PM
Comment #414249

Another thing I’d say is that if you make raising kids and getting them educated a net loss, you can expect that to slow down fertility, especially among the poorer, more rural voters. I daresay that Republicans have succeeded in strangling their own constituency, demographically speaking. It sure pleased the millionaires and billionaires, but there aren’t so many of them to vote Republican when the time comes.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 7, 2017 7:32 PM
Comment #414250

Good Grief Stephen, I couldn’t read past your first sentence without finding nonsense.

“You (who is this) promote a system that essentially replaces expensive American workers with Non-union (right to work), then foreign workers (who is outraged by attempts to keep illegals out), and then automates (demands for ever higher minimum wages) it all.

Second sentence, more of the same nonsense. “You (the Left, under Obama had only one quarter of GPD of more than 2%) promote a system that keeps wages and benefits stagnating…”

Again he writes; “…the system that makes a few people rich at everybody else’s expense.”

Really? Have you never hear of the middle class Stephen? Get off your pity-pot, get an education for a job that pays well. You are too young to stagnate and whine.

He attacks our version of “capitalism” yet is unaware of our prominence in world wealth and health care. Tell us Pal, which country has a blend of capitalism with some other “ism” that suits you?


Posted by: Royal Flush at March 7, 2017 7:46 PM
Comment #414253

Thanks for you input, Stephen Daugherty. How is it that Republicans are the root cause of all evil on earth and the Democratics are as clean and pure as the wind driven snow?

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 8, 2017 5:07 AM
Comment #414254
The financial benefits of public assistance are smaller than the financial costs of raising a child. It’s a net loss proposition.

I don’t see how you can justify that statement. The financial benefits of public assistance consists of 100% of a person’s income when on assistance. Having another child while on public assistance results in an increase in the assistance. It is not a net loss. It is a gain exceeding 100%.

100% equals the monetary value of public assistance. An increase is given to that person who has children. 100%+. Then another child results in another increase. 100%+ +.

There is no net loss.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 8, 2017 5:15 AM
Comment #414255

WW,

You do realize that the increase in “income” that comes from additional children doesn’t accrue to the parent, right? It gets spent raising the child. Additional children does not increase the per person household income.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 8, 2017 8:52 AM
Comment #414259

Sure it does. Income for the child goes to the parent. I don’t see any children with WIC cards in the checkout line. It’s the parent that buys the donuts and pop.

Let’s not forget the “income” the parent receives in the way of housing, energy, telephone, food, cash, head of household deductions, earned income credits, ect. All of that goes to the parent.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 8, 2017 2:15 PM
Comment #414261

WW,

Who eats the food purchased with WIC? Just the parent? Or does it get eaten by both the parent and the child?

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 8, 2017 2:50 PM
Comment #414262

Royal Flush-
Let me tell you what I think YOU think.

You TRUST. That’s what you do, and it’s the worst possible thing you can do with your government. Why do you people keep acting surprised when things don’t go as planned, when people don’t submit, when costs and other estimates aren’t what you hoped they would be? You put fulfilling an agenda before the basic responsibilities of government. They’re not one and the same. Simply implementing your political wishlist will not create good government, even if your principles are right! There are good and bad ways, well-informed and naive ways, of running policy. Some ideas you think will work, won’t. Some you thought would never work, will. And sometimes, tragically, sometimes, the principle, the idea itself is wrong, and just needs to be put out to pasture.

Rhetoric and campaign promises are always treacherous things. They’re like battle plans at best, snake-oil promises at worst. The latter will never be proven right, and the former… well, the former never survives contact with the forces we deal with.

Here’s the thing: you can pay well for work, or you can have people dependent on government (or worse, stuck in destitution or lives of crime). You can promote education and training for today’s skilled labor categories, and pay people what it takes to educate them, or you can continue to import workers from abroad or export jobs overseas to do the work.

We no longer live in a society where folks can just screw off back to the farm if their career in the big city doesn’t work out. You’ve gutted the factories and manufacturing jobs to which people were supposed to return to when the economy recovered, driving further growth and job creation. You’ve set things up in a way that perniciously wears away at the rewards for working hard… then expect people to do it anyways.

You want people to pay for healthcare rather than their iPhone, but you also want a prosperous consumer economy. You want people to be able to take a market approach to who they work for, bargain as free agents for their jobs… but at the same time you want corporations to take away all real power to negotiate with them, allow them to treat people like commodities.

You tell us the market will police bad behavior, it happens anyways.

If you Republicans were any damn good at actually getting things done, you wouldn’t have to constantly sell the cure-all effects of your policy.

It’s always next year that you’ll succeed, but as we see in Kansas and Louisiana, as we see with so many radical experiments in radical policy, the next year never comes. You’re good at talking about how governing should be done, but you fail to do it, because you set a higher priority on fulfilling the policy wet-dreams of a bunch of old men in the last decades of their life, than getting actual results and judging the worth of policy by those results.

Weary Willie-
If you read what I wrote for more than the value of being offended at “democratics,” you might realize that my diagnosis of what’s happening with Republicans is largely centered on their emphasis on the success of partisan agenda fulfillment at the expense of practical, evidence based policy.

Or, put another way… I think the GOP as an organization has become corrupted so badly that it no longer even functions to create sensible policy. The agenda is set by a bunch of moneyed interests who carpet bomb voters with ads to stampede them in whatever direction they want. The trouble is, without a sort of public interest sort of results orientation, the Republicans just fail to filter through all those business agendas, and actually work out what would actually work, make sense, do well in the real world.

Put another way, just because Wall Street wants restrictions on proprietary trading undone, doesn’t mean that it will end well for either the public or the Wall Street firms. Rather than being the ultimate knowers of the public good, of their own corporate good, the people leading these companies may instead just be glad-handers trying to play the system for their best short-term profit.

We need to do more and better thinking, and the states have to become something better and stronger than just a playground for ALEC to push business wishlists. We’ve let corporate American and the American Government become too blurred together. We need to separate them out more, acknowledge that they each need to serve a different purpose, even if it means they’re sometimes at odds, and everybody can’t get everything they want.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 8, 2017 3:08 PM
Comment #414265

Both. What’s your point?

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 8, 2017 5:04 PM
Comment #414268

Sorry Stephen, there is no appropriate response to the comments that appear to fester in your mind until an explosion of bullshit fills the column.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 8, 2017 6:27 PM
Comment #414272

WW,

It means that additional children do not increase a welfare recipient’s disposable income.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 8, 2017 7:28 PM
Comment #414275

You’re splitting hairs, Warren Porter.

They get more money when they have more children. They shouldn’t be having more children if they can’t take care of themselves.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 9, 2017 5:04 AM
Comment #414288

Weary Willie-
I guess you have no patience to pick apart details. That might require an organized, consistent viewpoint on the world, rather than just being against everything people like me are fore.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 9, 2017 7:05 PM
Comment #414290

Based on what I’ve seen from government in the last 40 years, it all comes down to not being able to trust anything I hear from government.

Based on what I’ve seen and heard in the last 2 years, I think people like you who support government unconditionally should bow your head and apologize.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 9, 2017 7:41 PM
Comment #414292

Methinks hell hath finally frozen over.

How is it even remotely possible that Warren Porter and I could be in complete and utter agreement about anything?

Warren says:

Here’s my preferred plan: You are on your own.

Want to buy health insurance? Great, buy it from the insurer of your choice. Just don’t ask me to subsidize the cost of any health benefits paid to you by your employer.

Want to go without health insurance? Great, but if you get sick or hurt and can’t pay for lifesaving treatment, RIP.

Repeal EMTALA and the tax subsidy for employer-paid health insurance and I will be a happy camper.

As for WW’s HSA nonsense? That money is better spent providing people with a Universal Basic Income (UBI). That way the individual is empowered to spend the money in the manner he or she thinks is best.

Damn straight. Amen and well said.

It is not the government’s job to provide and pay for an ever growing list of services. Repealing EMTALA is also the key to managing illegal immigration. If you don’t have to treat illegal aliens who sneak in, or pay for housing or utilities or anything else, they will walk right back out, or be thrown out if they commit a crime. No harsh policies or round-ups required, just CUT OFF THE CASH and the problem will fix itself.

Posted by: Yukon Jake at March 9, 2017 8:16 PM
Comment #414295
Methinks hell hath finally frozen over.

How is it even remotely possible that Warren Porter and I could be in complete and utter agreement about anything?

I think you missed the part where I endorsed a Universal Basic Income…

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 9, 2017 11:23 PM
Comment #414301

His Tellarite tendencies are coming out again, Yukon Jake. He has to disagree with you on something!

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 10, 2017 8:04 AM
Comment #414306

I know of a young female who is 20yrs old. A little over a year ago she sought out a male to make her pregnant. She gets all her expenses paid for. She does not work. That is housing, food, etc. She came from a family that games the system. She now wants another child so she can get more money. Her intake at the present time is about $2,000 a month. Her next door neighbor is on SS as a sole income. His income is about $1,000. He must pay his own medical expenses after medicare which is 20% of the billed expense. He must pay for his own housing, and food.

These are facts. So you big government clowns that want more of my money to help pay for lazy people who know how to game the system, I got may things to say but I’ll just say take a hike and don’t forget to tie your shoes.

Posted by: tom humes at March 10, 2017 11:26 AM
Comment #414307

Weary Willie-
I don’t think your distrust is anywhere near as consistent or healthy as you think.

As people have distrusted government more, they’re lowered their standards as to who is given that responsibility, lowered their standards for responsibility. We assume the system is broken, send people to Washington who say the system is broken, who then break it further.

Now you put Trump in Charge, and all his people are basically in their jobs NOT to do their jobs, to break down whatever department they’re in. You have to be naive to expect anything functional out of that.

Yukon Jake-
Sure it will solve the problem. SURE. Because people will tolerate being turned away at the emergency room, will accept sons and daughters dying for lack of care. Your constituents will really enjoy being told to take a hike.

Every time somebody’s said “the market will fix this,” they’ve been committing what I’d like to call Murphy’s Market Fallacy: that the market is NOT obligated to provide incomes for us that are humane, sensible, or even contribute to the stability or prosperty of the market it self. Humans are fallible, are fully capable of picking short term fixes and get-rich-quick fads like flipping houses or investing in tech stocks that end up creating bubbles that get punctured when some inconvenient truth lances the illusion propping things up. Say, that the tech stocks are for companies without a real business model, or that the people being sold all these wonderful mortgages are defaulting on them, and the financial instruments based on them are so opaque, you can;’t tell whether the mortgage in it has been defaulted on or not.

At the heart of Murphy’s Market Fallacy is the central truth that if it is possible to do things two ways, and one of them is wrong, somebody will do it the wrong way. And if it’s profitable, at least in the short-term, to do things the wrong way, THEY’LL DO IT! Yes, it might punish things after the fact, but by then, it’s too late. It punished people who got mortgages they couldn’t afford, and those who gave it to them, but because of the structure of the market, this only came AFTER all the bad mortgages had been sold, after the foreclosures spiked, after that started driving down home prices, and after that broke the secondary mortgage market.

This notion that the Market needs to create an ideal result, if it’s just free to do that, is absurd. It assumes that people will learn from their mistakes. Some mistakes, though, are literally or figuratively fatal. You might learn from somebody else’s mistake, but if you’re the subject of the lesson, that will kill you, or disable you.

You want people dying in the streets, fine. But people aren’t wired to be easy with that. You will inspire a counter-reaction.

Tom Humes-
The irony is, back when welfare was first created, the very point of the way welfare was structured was to keep women at home with the children, to keep a woman from having to go out and get a job in the absence of a bread-winning husband, leaving the care of the children uncertain. It does need to be changed, but humanely.

As for the man on Social Security? He is as much a beneficiary of big government as the woman is. The character of what he has to pay for is the result of the way Republicans have written the policy. He worked for that money. He paid taxes out of his income for that. He might not have had the money to set up a retirement account. Too often, conservatives assume that people will make use of retirement and investment benefits that lower class Americans simply don’t have the income to sock money away in.

America needs to stop playing schoolteacher to a nation of adults. This business of having government policy built around moralizing to grown people is just arrogance. Deal with the moral hazards, best you can. Encourage education, encourage people to retool their lives. We shouldn’t be just paying for the continuation of bad situations, but the hope of better situations.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 10, 2017 12:11 PM
Comment #414309

SD
Wrong on all counts
not your first time

As for the man on Social Security? He is as much a beneficiary of big government as the woman is. The character of what he has to pay for is the result of the way Republicans have written the policy

you need to get educated on these matters

Posted by: tom humes at March 10, 2017 1:56 PM
Comment #414310

Tom,

Your 20 yo friend is not doing her math right. If she has another child, it will reduce her standard of living unless she finds a nongovernmental source of income. The marginal increase in food stamp benefits is less than the cost of feeding another mouth. The marginal increase in her housing subsidy is less than the cost of another bedroom to house another child. Etcetera.

According to your numbers, the per capita “income” of your friend’s household is identical to that of her retired neighbor. So why is there a fuss? You say that the neighbor has to pay a fifth of his medical bills, but if SS is his sole income, he is undoubtedly “dual eligible” for both medicare & medicaid. Medicaid will cover what Medicare does not.

Neither of these people seem to be living any sort of glamorous lifestyle. For the retired man, it is probably too late to reverse the life decisions that left him destitute in his old age, but for the young woman there are plenty of opportunities to change. A lifetime on the dole is quite pathetic and doesn’t result in a happy life. I’m sure she craves a higher standard of living as much as the rest of us. If an opportunity presents itself whereby she can wean herself off the government teat, she will take it.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 10, 2017 2:47 PM
Comment #414314

You simply don’t know what you’re talking about, Warren Porter. Who are you to talk about what a third generation welfare mother thinks?

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 10, 2017 8:21 PM
Comment #414315

The lack of honesty in this or any current discussion of health care is disturbing. The general public is rightfully alarmed and fearful of the enormous cost of health care/insurance and the potential for being priced out of the market. Politicians from both sides are going to continue to pay a heavy price until they come clean on some simple truths. These truths are not difficult to discover since they reflect the experience of the vast majority of Americans who receive their insurance from their employers (60% of non-Medicare age eligible) and the retired (Medicare).

First, Americans want a dependable and reasonably priced third party payer system. It’s what the vast majority are accustomed to. Whether it is employer group insurance or Medicare, a third party pays the bills. Does anybody really think that the majority cares whether it is some private health insurer managing an employer group policy or the government that is the third party payer? Only a minority of conservative ideologues, in truth, really care about that issue. The overwhelming popularity of the proposed “public option” should have been a clue.

Second, Americans want a pure community rating system of insurance (risk premiums averaged across entire pool). It is what the vast majority are accustomed to under employer group insurance and Medicare. The older worker in an employer group policy doesn’t pay substantially more than the younger employee. The sicker Medicare patient doesn’t pay more than any other Medicare enrollee.

Third, the government has been subsidizing private employer health insurance for the majority of Americans for decades. The concern over government intrusion into private health insurance is laughable. Tax subsidies for private employer group insurance is the largest single tax expenditure of the federal government. In 2017, it is estimated that it will cost the federal government $260 billion in lost income and payroll taxes. http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefing-book/how-does-tax-exclusion-employer-sponsored-health-insurance-work While this subsidy has been generally hidden from the majority of Americans, politicians from both sides are fully aware of the federal subsidies for “private” employer subsidized health insurance (ESI).

Fourth, Americans are clear that pre-existing conditions should not be a barrier to obtaining affordable health insurance. For the majority who receive health insurance through their employer, this has been the law since the 1995 HIPPA law. Obamacare simply extended to the minority in the individual market protections that those receiving employer group insurance have had two decades.

Fifth, Americans are not going to let people die in the streets for lack of health insurance. They are not going to demand repeal of EMTALA.

So, what do Americans want? They want a third party payer system employing a non-discriminating pure community rating pool for premiums and one that doesn’t let anyone die in the streets or in some hovel for lack of financial resources.

This not a difficult problem conceptually. Americans like Medicare and they like their employer sponsored health insurance. The model is simple. Most of the advanced industrial world has adopted it. All it takes is some courage among our politicians to accept reality and to have the courage to take on vested interests (health insurers, Big Pharma, etc.).

The tragedy of this situation is that real measures of cost control go unattended while we argue about basic individual health insurance financing. Where is the discussion about increasing the supply of doctors and nurses? Where is the discussion about patent reform in pharmacueticals, ability for Medicare to bargain for drug prices, etc. Where is the discussion about eliminating competitive impediments to competition in medical technology, hospitals, etc.

Posted by: Rich at March 10, 2017 8:31 PM
Comment #414316

Thanks, Rich. That was an excellent comment.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 10, 2017 9:29 PM
Comment #414318

Weary Willie-
It is a habit of people on the right these days to accuse other people of ignorance without checking first to see whether the ignorance is theirs.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 10, 2017 10:10 PM
Comment #414320

What are you referring to, Stephen Daugherty?

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 11, 2017 7:30 AM
Comment #414322
What are you referring to, Stephen Daugherty?

I think this might qualify:

Who are you to talk about what a third generation welfare mother thinks?

I am not going to claim expertise regarding the circumstances of people on the public dole, but I am quite incredulous to the notion that you or Tom are less ignorant than I.

Rich,
Excellent comment, you have the correct diagnosis. Hypothetically, I am a bit of an outlier with my endorsement of the extreme libertarian position, but for practical purposes there is no way EMTALA ever gets appealed. Given that, the march to single-payer healthcare or some sort of socialized medicine is quite inevitable.

That said, I quibble with your second contention:

Second, Americans want a pure community rating system of insurance (risk premiums averaged across entire pool). It is what the vast majority are accustomed to under employer group insurance and Medicare. The older worker in an employer group policy doesn’t pay substantially more than the younger employee. The sicker Medicare patient doesn’t pay more than any other Medicare enrollee.

I think a significant portion of Americans can oppose a pure community rating system. It all comes down to messaging. I’m pretty sure asking a chain smoker to pay more for his insurance would poll very well. Substitute a type I diabetic and opinions change. Americans have a strong notion of personal responsibility and if a person’s lifestyle choices, habits or behaviors lead to worse health outcomes, I am certain a constituency can be assembled to penalize them.

I will even go out on a limb and say that a significant portion of Americans oppose ignoring age-related distinctions. While it can be argued that nearly every young American will one day become an old American, thereby balancing everything out, I still believe the nonzero chance of premature death is significant enough to dispute that idea. Thousands of American adults under the age of 40 die each year in accidents and other ways that do not consume much in the way of health care resources. I think it is unfair to expect such a person to contribute funding to a health care system that provides him little benefit. Remember, even the ACA’s community rating scheme exempted age-related discrimination, capping it at 3:1 ratio instead of eliminating it completely as you propose.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 11, 2017 11:48 AM
Comment #414326

How many healthy people do you think would pay for an insurance policy that covered catastrophic conditions if it costs about 10 dollars a month?

If it was promoted as a “just in case” policy that only covered stuff like cancer and tumors and such. A healthy person would think it a good precaution to pay a pittance instead of having to pay $400 a month for something he thinks he’ll never use.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 11, 2017 7:21 PM
Comment #414327

Another thing that irks me to no end..

My brother worked his entire life and paid his payroll taxes, and his employer paid right along with him. He died when he was 46.

He never saw a dime of that money!

Where did it go? Who’s spending my brother’s money?

Do you really believe the lie that makes retirees say, “It’s my money!”? If the money my brother paid into medicare and social security was his it should have been included in his estate when he died.

That’s a big deal with me. How many hard working single adults pay into the system believing they’re “saving” money for their retirement, but die before they reach the age to claim that “benefit”? A lot, I’ll bet.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 11, 2017 7:34 PM
Comment #414328

Ha! How is Social Security just like the Democratic Party?

It needs dead people to make it work.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 11, 2017 7:40 PM
Comment #414329

For all of us who endure the retarded notion called Daylight Savings Time, I have a little prank you can pull on your toddlers.

Tell them they can stay up an extra hour tonight.

Then change the clocks forward.

Tell them the government in charge of our free country said we had to.


Posted by: Weary Willie at March 11, 2017 7:51 PM
Comment #414330

OK. I’m done. My apologies to Rich for stepping on his very enlightening comment.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 11, 2017 8:23 PM
Comment #414331
Do you really believe the lie that makes retirees say, “It’s my money!”?


How many healthy people do you think would pay for an insurance policy that covered catastrophic conditions if it costs about 10 dollars a month?

Check your math, $10/month is not a good estimate for a catastrophic insurance plan unless there are hidden government subsidies involved.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 11, 2017 10:16 PM
Comment #414332

Why do we never consider addressing the skyrocketing cost of healthcare? Why does health care cost so much? Answer that question, Warren Porter.

If the American People said they would all pay 10$ a month for catastrophic health insurance they would do it. Would they all use it? Human nature dictates they will not! Self preservation will be the best and most utilized regulator of this program.


Posted by: Weary Willie at March 11, 2017 10:53 PM
Comment #414333

One thing that is ignored in public debate is if a person or a citizen are indistinguishable.

There are a finite number of citizens of the United States. There are an infinite number of persons.

At some point there needs to be a line drawn between the two.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 12, 2017 12:08 AM
Comment #414335
Why does health care cost so much?

Because a critical mass of Americans are always willing to pay thousands of dollars each month for the health care they want. As Publilius Syrus once said, everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it.

There are an infinite number of persons.

Last I checked, 7.5 billion is much smaller than infinity.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 12, 2017 10:35 AM
Comment #414336

Are you willing to invite 7.5 billion people into this country, Warren Porter? It sounds like there is no limit to the number of people you want to enter this country. You’ve even states as much.

As for the cost of healthcare, there are far more people who can’t pay the price of healthcare in this country. That’s why they purchase insurance. Those who don’t or can’t depend on the government and that supports the high costs. The people who actually pay for their healthcare are far fewer in number than those who expect government or insurance companies to pay for them.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 12, 2017 12:19 PM
Comment #414337

Weary and Warren, thank you for your kind comments.

The issue that has perplexed and frustrated me for the past eight years is why the ACA has been such a lightening rod for political divisiveness.

My thoughts are that the Dems vastly overreached when touting the ACA as a massive reform of our insurance and health care system. They invited speculation and concern over substantial changes in the manner in which the average American receives their health care, i.e., employer subsidized insurance (ESI) and Medicare. The Dems failed to delimit the scope and purpose of the ACA. Hence, Tea Party cries of don’t mess with my Medicare. Hence, attribution of any and all changes in ESI costs to the ACA.

Republicans gleefully hoped onto that train fueling speculation that the ACA was going to destroy the average American’s source of health insurance. A minor provision in the ACA relating to end of life planning (living wills) for Medicare recipients became “death panels.” The inclusion of the individual mandate was a Constitutional crisis, etc.

In reality, the ACA was narrowly designed to assist the minority of Americans who fell outside the scope of employer subsidized insurance and Medicare/Medicaid. Compared to the 1965 Medicare and Medicaid acts, it was small potatoes. It was for the self employed and the marginally poor. But, you wouldn’t know it from the anger and tone of the debates over the ACA. The controversial individual mandate was simply designed to replicate the group employer and Medicare worker pools.

It would have been far better in my estimation for the Dems to have touted the ACA as an effort to bring the same benefits that the majority of Americans enjoy to hard working Americans shut out of the ESI/Medicare market or too poor to afford any form of self funded insurance.

Now, Republicans are feeling the political backlash of overreach on opposing the ACA. How do they provide a package that maintains the provisions for pre-existing conditions without the inclusive risk spreading pool provisions of the individual mandate?

As I said in my previous post, health care reform is going to be a third rail of politics until politicians come around to the obvious desires of the American public. It wants what it has been getting for decades. Not a great mystery. The fact that the majority of working age Americans get their third party community rated insurance through ESI and not through the government is simply an anomaly of WWII wartime wage controls and tax policies of the 50s.

Perhaps you are correct Warren that Americans will agree to some type of modifications to pure community ratings based upon life style issues. But, I bet that the majority would reject modifications based upon age, gender, pre-existing conditions.


Posted by: Rich at March 12, 2017 12:54 PM
Comment #414338

A number of people rejected the ACA because it was touted as “free”. Then they found out they were being lied to. Some called it fraud. When the shakedowns and bribery to Democratics to vote for it the American People decided it couldn’t be good. Now insurance companies are pulling out and it’s collapsing around itself, just like the people said it would before they voted for it. It turned out to be the last nail in the Democratic’s coffin.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 12, 2017 1:55 PM
Comment #414339

Rich writes; “It (ACA) was for the self employed and the marginally poor.”

Perhaps, why then did it affect everyone else either in changes of coverage or premium increases? Millions of Americans, happy with what they had, are now very unhappy.

Rich wrote; “…the obvious desires of the American public. It wants what it has been getting for decades.”

Yes, that is true. Those unable to afford insurance could have been dealt with without affecting everyone in the country. Medicare was robbed of over $700 billion as seed money for the ACA.

Obama robbed me when he took the $700 billion; as I have paid premiums on Medicare since it was established. He gave it to those who have not paid a cent.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 12, 2017 4:54 PM
Comment #414340

“Perhaps, why then did it affect everyone else either in changes of coverage or premium increases?”

Royal,

You make my point. It didn’t in any significant manner. Medicare remains virtually the same. The employer subsidized market has been roiling for many years before the ACA. If you worked for any large company, you would realize that insurance options, carriers or managers have been switching out for decades. One year a company is employing UHC, the next year Aetna, etc. Benefit cuts and increased deductibles/co-pays have been the norm well before ACA.

Like I said, the Dems made themselves vulnerable to any and all negative aspects of the health care market by overstating the scope of the ACA. It was not a major overhaul of the health care system. It was a fix for a segment of the population left out of the main insurance systems.

Now, the Republicans find themselves in the shoes of the Democrats having over promised on repeal and replace. Easy to say, very hard to do. Uh, oh, this is a lot more complicated than a one line slogan. I am not sympathetic to their belated caveats. Like the Democrats, it was an unforced error to promise a glorious and cheaper alternative to Obamacare.

Posted by: Rich at March 12, 2017 5:44 PM
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