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John Smith
05-29-2009, 09:05 AM
I believe I understand Obama's "first step" toward single payer, but it looks like he won't get it.

His plan, as I understand it, is to let us keep what we have, open the Federal Employees Health Benefits program to all, and add Medicare as a government run plan as an option.

Medicare, due to lower overhead, would give more coverage for the same premium dollar. Obviously, many would choose this, and the private carriers don't want that competition.

Moreover, no matter how successful he is at stimulating the economy, Obama is absolutely correct that it will not be sustainable if we cannot make substantial changes in healthcare.

What saddens me here is the most powerful lobby in the country, the people, don't take the trouble to simply write their senators. A few do, but the vast majority remains silent, which makes the noise of lobbyists louder to the senator's ear.

It is a simple thing to go to www.congress.org (http://www.congress.org) and, with one click, to email the president, your congressperson, and your two senators. Or any combination thereof.

It would be my humble suggestion at this point to write them and ask they support Medicare as an option.

As a ps: I'm in the Federal Employees system, so I have the same health insurance options members of Congress have. Nothing to brag about. I think we should all ask for the same healthcare the president has.

John Smith
05-29-2009, 09:17 AM
Taking my own advise, I just sent this to my reps:

I find it quite depressing that the congress, who is supposed to represent the people, looks like it will not support Obama's healthcare plan, in that they will not, apparently, support Medicare (or similar) as an option for the people.
I'm guessing that the private insurance companies are against this, as they don't want the competition from a provider with lower overhead. If Medicare can give us better coverage, at a lower cost, why would the people in Congress, who are supposed to be representing us, oppose it?
If private industry can do a better job of providing health coverage than the government, what are they afraid of?

Rigadog
05-29-2009, 03:19 PM
His lack of advocacy for single payer is pissing me off. He's being dumb not trying to get the public behind the single payer system. This piecemeal approach reminds me of the Clintons, it lacks the lift you get from big, radical change and makes it hard to make your case. It's like a hybrid car, gets you halfway where you really want to be. It really looks like the Dems are as bought and sold as the Republicans. Where is the progressive voice? 50 million w/o insurance. How high must it go before the uninsured take to the streets and demand something for their taxes other than perpetual war, and endless bailouts?

John Smith
05-29-2009, 04:34 PM
His lack of advocacy for single payer is pissing me off. He's being dumb not trying to get the public behind the single payer system. This piecemeal approach reminds me of the Clintons, it lacks the lift you get from big, radical change and makes it hard to make your case. It's like a hybrid car, gets you halfway where you really want to be. It really looks like the Dems are as bought and sold as the Republicans. Where is the progressive voice? 50 million w/o insurance. How high must it go before the uninsured take to the streets and demand something for their taxes other than perpetual war, and endless bailouts?
I agree with you to an extent. I, too, want a single payer plan, but that is, at this point in time, simply not possible. I don't like that, but I can accept the concept that we can make changes that work us in that direction, but we're not going to get those, either.

I don't think it's fair to say "the dems", with a broad, all inclusive stroke have been bought off, but some of them have, and that's all it takes. 60 dems in the senate means nothing if they don't all vote for cloture.

I am also aware that the insurance companies hav unlimited resources to scare the people via tv ads; Harry & Louise revisited.

We will see.

Rigadog
05-29-2009, 09:12 PM
We should all march on the Capitol and demand representative democratic government. It is criminal that corporations are running the show. Every other modern country, and some not so modern, provide universal healthcare. If Obama can't muster the passion and the arguments to win the day on this, he will be a failure in my eyes.

Tom Galyen
05-29-2009, 09:52 PM
John,

I don't want to change your thread, but I think its funny when I see such statements on this forum as you posted here.

"I don't think it's fair to say "the dems", with a broad, all inclusive stroke have been bought off, but some of them have, and that's all it takes."

It seems that it is perfectly all right to paint Republicans or conservatives with as broad and black a brush as you wish but Lord-love-duck not a "Dem." Actually more of them have been bought off then you think. When it comes to taking graft there is no difference between parties, they are equal opportunity partakers.

I don't want government involvement in the healthcare industry (and that is what it is). Do want the same people who write the tax code to write a health code? I sure don't. To paraphrase an old saying "A camel is a horse designed by congress" and instead of a horse we'll get a camel. And this goes for either party or government bureaucratic functionary who thinks they can write a program that will solve the problem. I can guarantee who will get screwed in such a program and thats the middle class. The benefits for the poor will be paid for by the middle class, the middle class will be told they earn to much to get the same benefits which means they will have to pay twice, once to cover the poor and once for themselves, and the rich will be able to pay for what they want. It will turn into a two tier system as is seen in many socialist countries in Europe, with the middle class squeezed out.

I could be wrong but I don't think I am, but what if I'm right? By the time enough people recognized it, it would be too late the laws would be written the bureaucrats would be in place and they never, never give an inch. So your children and your childrens children would be socialist slaves to an ever stronger government agency.

John Smith
05-29-2009, 11:36 PM
We should all march on the Capitol and demand representative democratic government. It is criminal that corporations are running the show. Every other modern country, and some not so modern, provide universal healthcare. If Obama can't muster the passion and the arguments to win the day on this, he will be a failure in my eyes.
The brutal truth is that he doesn't have the money to get his message out. He can make a speech and get it covered, but he can't bombard the airwaves with "Harry and Louise" commercials. The insurance companies can.

If you can't get people to write letters, how do you expect them to join a march?

John Smith
05-29-2009, 11:46 PM
John,

I don't want to change your thread, but I think its funny when I see such statements on this forum as you posted here.

"I don't think it's fair to say "the dems", with a broad, all inclusive stroke have been bought off, but some of them have, and that's all it takes."

It seems that it is perfectly all right to paint Republicans or conservatives with as broad and black a brush as you wish but Lord-love-duck not a "Dem." Actually more of them have been bought off then you think. When it comes to taking graft there is no difference between parties, they are equal opportunity partakers.
Normally I'd say you have a point. However the republicans have been very good at voting in lock step of late. the dems have not. If the dems hold 59 seats in the senate, and a vote is lost because 10 of them vote with the republicans, it's hardly fair to make a statement that "the dems" have been bought off.
I don't want government involvement in the healthcare industry (and that is what it is). Do want the same people who write the tax code to write a health code? I sure don't. To paraphrase an old saying "A camel is a horse designed by congress" and instead of a horse we'll get a camel. And this goes for either party or government bureaucratic functionary who thinks they can write a program that will solve the problem. I can guarantee who will get screwed in such a program and thats the middle class. The benefits for the poor will be paid for by the middle class, the middle class will be told they earn to much to get the same benefits which means they will have to pay twice, once to cover the poor and once for themselves, and the rich will be able to pay for what they want. It will turn into a two tier system as is seen in many socialist countries in Europe, with the middle class squeezed out.

I could be wrong but I don't think I am, but what if I'm right? By the time enough people recognized it, it would be too late the laws would be written the bureaucrats would be in place and they never, never give an inch. So your children and your childrens children would be socialist slaves to an ever stronger government agency.
I strongly disagree here. My neighbor doesn't want government in the healthcare business, but he loves his medicare. Strange, Medicare IS the government running healthcare.

Obama's proposal is to simply add to the other choices we all have, Medicare. Fact is Medicare does not have huge CEO salaries, virtually no advertising budget, doesn't need to make a profit or pay dividends to stock holders. Overhead is much lower for Medicare, so it can give more coverage for the same premium dollar.

The private companies are fighting this very hard. If they can provide better, more effiecient health insurance than the government, why are they against me having the government run opton?

Bill Maher, when asked recently, if he wanted healthcare to work like the post office, responded, "Yes. I put a 42 cent stamp on a letter to my mom, mail it in California, and she has it in two days in NJ. Every time."

Much of our life is underwritten by government services: fire fighters, police, courts, etc.

Why are you afraid of a government run plan being one of numerous options for each citizens?

PS As a retired postal employee, I HAVE the same health insurance plans to choose from that members of Congress have, and they stink. Every year the premiums go up and the benefits go down.

PPS: if you are right, and the government run plan is worse than the private plans, market forces will send people back to the private companies. Obama isn't tryiing to eliminate private plans, only add the government plan to your list of choices. Frankly, it's hard to imagine a system worse than the one we've got.

John Smith
05-30-2009, 12:01 AM
Some thoughts:

Medicare spends less than 5% of it's budget on administrative costs. Private companies as much as 50%. Big difference.

Medicare's clientel are all over 65, and most are suffering from those maladies that accompany living into those years. This mean the average Medicare member is in poorer health than the average private company member who's getting insurance through work while he's young and healthy.

The reason the private companies don't want Medicare for all as an option, is they'll lose some of their younger, more profitable members to the government system, which will be able to put a much larger percentage of its premium dollars into benefits.

We, the public, are about to get overdosed with commercials presented by the insurance industry designed to convince us we don't want that.

Rigadog
05-30-2009, 06:48 AM
John,

I don't want to change your thread, but I think its funny when I see such statements on this forum as you posted here.

"I don't think it's fair to say "the dems", with a broad, all inclusive stroke have been bought off, but some of them have, and that's all it takes."

It seems that it is perfectly all right to paint Republicans or conservatives with as broad and black a brush as you wish but Lord-love-duck not a "Dem." Actually more of them have been bought off then you think. When it comes to taking graft there is no difference between parties, they are equal opportunity partakers.

I don't want government involvement in the healthcare industry (and that is what it is). Do want the same people who write the tax code to write a health code? I sure don't. To paraphrase an old saying "A camel is a horse designed by congress" and instead of a horse we'll get a camel. And this goes for either party or government bureaucratic functionary who thinks they can write a program that will solve the problem. I can guarantee who will get screwed in such a program and thats the middle class. The benefits for the poor will be paid for by the middle class, the middle class will be told they earn to much to get the same benefits which means they will have to pay twice, once to cover the poor and once for themselves, and the rich will be able to pay for what they want. It will turn into a two tier system as is seen in many socialist countries in Europe, with the middle class squeezed out.

I could be wrong but I don't think I am, but what if I'm right? By the time enough people recognized it, it would be too late the laws would be written the bureaucrats would be in place and they never, never give an inch. So your children and your childrens children would be socialist slaves to an ever stronger government agency.


At least Europe's squeezed out middle-class has health care....

BTW, we have alot of other areas to worry about government powers infringing on our civil liberties; ever heard of the so-called "Patriot Act? Or how about corporations basically writing our laws and regs on a daily basis that we live by? Okay with that?

downthecreek
05-30-2009, 06:51 AM
John,
The benefits for the poor will be paid for by the middle class, the middle class will be told they earn to much to get the same benefits which means they will have to pay twice, once to cover the poor and once for themselves, and the rich will be able to pay for what they want. It will turn into a two tier system as is seen in many socialist countries in Europe, with the middle class squeezed out.


May we know which countries you have in mind?

The rich helping the poor. Now what an unChristian notion that would be! ;)

Harry Miller
05-30-2009, 07:37 AM
You're going to see some ads featuring Dr. Brian Day (the former head of the CMA - doctor's union) I'm here to tell you they're full of crap.

I'm at the stage of life where, even though I'm healthy, I spend a lot of time in hospitals visiting friends who are palliative.
I hear lots of complaints. Virtually every one is about the high cost of visitor parking at hospitals.
President Obama shoud be so lucky.

John Smith
05-30-2009, 07:50 AM
You're going to see some ads featuring Dr. Brian Day (the former head of the CMA - doctor's union) I'm here to tell you they're full of crap.

I'm at the stage of life where, even though I'm healthy, I spend a lot of time in hospitals visiting friends who are palliative.
I hear lots of complaints. Virtually every one is about the high cost of visitor parking at hospitals.
President Obama shoud be so lucky.
IN my area, there is no charge for parking at our local hospital.

I wish I had a dollar for every time I've heard someone say they love their Medicare, but don't want government in health insurance.

In many respects it is unfair to compare Medicare to Blue Cross, as Blue Cross has members that come from all age groups. Medicare only has seniors, most of which have some chronic problem.

However, Medicare need not make a profit, pays no exhorbitant CEO salaries, and does nearly no advertising, meaning out of a dollar of premium money, 95 cents or more goes into benefits.

The private insurer may spend up to 50% of it's premium dollar on benefits.

The proposal on the table is to give the public a choice of plans, and include Medicare in those choices.

Why do you all believe that the private insurance companies are so afraid of this?

Also, keep in mind, that unless we eventually get health insurance off the backs of the employers, they'll NEVER be comptetitve with companies over seas.

Seems we'll not make the first step.

One of the nighmare scenarios that repeats itself in this country is the patient finds a surgeon and a hospital that are preferred providers in his plan. Later, he gets bills from the anesthesiologist, who isn't, and other people who aren't. Ends up with several thousands of dollars that are his responsibility.

David W Pratt
05-30-2009, 11:13 AM
I haven't heard him say anything which makes me think he is competent to design a health care system. Perhaps if he improved the existing government health care system, the VA medical system, he could gain experience.

Tylerdurden
05-30-2009, 11:23 AM
We should all march on the Capitol and demand representative democratic government. It is criminal that corporations are running the show. Every other modern country, and some not so modern, provide universal healthcare. If Obama can't muster the passion and the arguments to win the day on this, he will be a failure in my eyes.

Did you watch the Obama deception? A clear case is made to show who's side he is really on.

John Smith
05-30-2009, 12:13 PM
Did you watch the Obama deception? A clear case is made to show who's side he is really on.
Obama's been pretty clear, for his whole campaign, that he wants to add a Medicare type option to the mix. This is a step, he believed we could take, toward ultimately having single payer.

He cannot do this by executive order, and it looks like he's not got the support needed in the senate.

This is, to me, incomprehensible, other than the insurance companies "own" too many senators of both parties.

And the public is too easily swayed by the tv ads they put on, and the republican's "socialized medicine" theme.

Like all are happy with their private insurance.

John Smith
06-04-2009, 09:02 AM
I sent this to the President and my democratic senators today:

I continue to be confused at the inability of a democratically controlled government to consider true healthcare reform. I have the same insurance you have, as I'm part of the FEB program. Every year my premiums go up and my coverage goes down. I'm not happy with it.

I can accept that a "Medicare for all" is a big jump from where we are, but I also take cognizance of the fact that healthcare MUST be taken off the backs of employers if they are to be competitive and our economy thrive.
We need a single payer system, even it it's a compromised one.

My suggestion is to have a taxpayer funded premium system wherein we each get a given amount of dollars to buy health insurance. This amount would be sent directly to the carrier the individual chooses.
We, the people, should then be able to choose from among whatever private insurers wish to compete AND a government run program, such as Medicare, if not Medicare itself.

HOW TO FUND; Employers who currently cover their employees could sent that money to the government's insurance fund, and that amount can be lowered over a decade until it disappears entirely. As the employer's healthcare funding is cut, he makes more profit, some of which can go into hire wages, or maybe a reduction in the price of his goods or services.

I don't think this is a tough call. If we don't get the cost of healthcare off the backs of employers, it means more unemployed people. My suggestion not only gets the cost of healthcare off the backs of employers, those millions of uninsured people will be able to enroll, and companies can get premium dollars from them, which they don't get now.

You, in office now, have a marvelous opportunity to make meaningful in this area. The window of this opportunity may be short, and it may not come again for some time.
Please do this right.

Bruce Hooke
06-04-2009, 09:08 AM
While I very much favor a single payer system, my understanding is that he poll numbers make it very clear that the public is not behind it, and is far enough from not being behind it that Obama would be wasting his time and energy if he tried to push a single-payer system.

John Smith
06-04-2009, 09:42 AM
While I very much favor a single payer system, my understanding is that he poll numbers make it very clear that the public is not behind it, and is far enough from not being behind it that Obama would be wasting his time and energy if he tried to push a single-payer system.

I haven't seen the poll numbers. What I do know is that there's no sense in changing the system if the cost is still on the backs of employers.

Most people fear "socialized medicine." Even people who LOVE their medicare don't want the government involved in healthcare; kind of contradictory, don't you think?

FACT is that a very large percentage of our premium dollars go into the "administration" of private plans, which means a smaller percentage goes into covering people who get sick.

I liked Bill Maher's answer when he was asked if he wanted healthcare to work like the post office. He replied, "Yes. I put a 42 cent stamp on a letter, mail it in California, and my mom in NJ has it in two days"

Unfortunately, the folks with the greatest ability to communicate (lobby) with the American people are the insurance companies. They don't want the system changed, and will spend millions and millions on tv/radio ads scaring us.

As I've said, I have the same insurance members of congress have, and it's pretty piss poor.

And, my mom's medicare worked a whole lot better than my Blue Cross.

Kaa
06-04-2009, 09:48 AM
What I do know is that there's no sense in changing the system if the cost is still on the backs of employers.

Somebody's got to pay for it.

Are you arguing for shifting healthcare cost from corporations to individual tax-payers?

Kaa

George Roberts
06-04-2009, 10:41 AM
John Smith ---

You seem to have no understanding about economics, but you know how you want economic problems solved.

Consider Social Security. Great idea. The economics argue against it. The economics are becoming truer every day.

Consider Medicare. Great idea. The economics argue against it. The economics are becoming truer every day.

And now consider nationalized health care. The economics argue against it. The economics are becoming truer every day.

---

The health insurance companies are publicly traded companies. Despite my belief that people should invest locally, most people make investments in publicly traded companies. The profit in health care goes to those who invested in it - a bunch of retired people, a bunch of pension plans, a bunch of individuals who saw health care as a good investment.

By all means make those people poor. (I guess we saw what happened to the people who invested in GM stocks and bonds.)

Economics is much more than "it's a good idea to ..."

John Smith
06-04-2009, 10:51 AM
Somebody's got to pay for it.

Are you arguing for shifting healthcare cost from corporations to individual tax-payers?

Kaa
Don't we pay for it either way? Isn't the cost of providing healthcare as part of employment passed on to the consumer?

As a taxpayer or as a consumer, WE pay. Under my proposal, the employers who provide healthcare today would immediately pay that money into the government fund. Their contribution would be phased out over a few years.

Paying via taxes has advantages over paying as consumers. It allows OUR businesses to be more competitive and hire more people. It lets us keep our health insurance when we lose our jobs.

What we're doing isn't working. Any change that continues to have employers as the primary provider of health benefits, is just chasing windmills.

John Smith
06-04-2009, 10:53 AM
John Smith ---

You seem to have no understanding about economics, but you know how you want economic problems solved.

Consider Social Security. Great idea. The economics argue against it. The economics are becoming truer every day.

Consider Medicare. Great idea. The economics argue against it. The economics are becoming truer every day.

And now consider nationalized health care. The economics argue against it. The economics are becoming truer every day.

---

The health insurance companies are publicly traded companies. Despite my belief that people should invest locally, most people make investments in publicly traded companies. The profit in health care goes to those who invested in it - a bunch of retired people, a bunch of pension plans, a bunch of individuals who saw health care as a good investment.

By all means make those people poor. (I guess we saw what happened to the people who invested in GM stocks and bonds.)

Economics is much more than "it's a good idea to ..."
HORSEFEATHERS!

Explain to me how it is economically sound for health care to be a cost of doing business in this country, while it is not in any other country.

Kaa
06-04-2009, 11:18 AM
Don't we pay for it either way?

Yes, society as a whole pays for it either way.


Isn't the cost of providing healthcare as part of employment passed on to the consumer?

Depends. Profit margins vary. Export industries pass the cost of providing healthcare to a foreign consumer. Etc.


Under my proposal, the employers who provide healthcare today would immediately pay that money into the government fund. Their contribution would be phased out over a few years.

For these few years it screws them over, doesn't it? Providing healthcare is an important benefit, people often enough prefer jobs with health insurance and a smaller paycheck to jobs without insurance and a bigger paycheck. Now your advantage in hiring better people (or paying less) goes away, yet you still must pay money into a government fund..?


Paying via taxes has advantages over paying as consumers. It allows OUR businesses to be more competitive and hire more people.

Huh? I don't see why would it reduce unemployment.

As you said, the society pays the healthcare costs regardless. Your suggestion shifts the source of funding somewhat -- from one group to another, overlapping group. Why would that make US businesses more competitive?

And if you're arguing that you're lifting a financial burden from US corporations, why, that burden has to go somewhere, right? On whose shoulders do you want to place it?

Kaa

Kaa
06-04-2009, 11:19 AM
Explain to me how it is economically sound for health care to be a cost of doing business in this country, while it is not in any other country.

So when Toyota built car assembly factories in the US it was being stupid?

Kaa

John Smith
06-04-2009, 11:30 AM
Yes, society as a whole pays for it either way.



Depends. Profit margins vary. Export industries pass the cost of providing healthcare to a foreign consumer. Etc.



For these few years it screws them over, doesn't it? Providing healthcare is an important benefit, people often enough prefer jobs with health insurance and a smaller paycheck to jobs without insurance and a bigger paycheck. Now your advantage in hiring better people (or paying less) goes away, yet you still must pay money into a government fund..?
Yes, but if you're paying $100 today for insurance for your employees, and continue to do so for a year, but then it drops to $80, then $60, etc. until it's gone, there is an end in sight to the "screwing"


Huh? I don't see why would it reduce unemployment. With healthcare costs out of the picture, it's easier to afford an additional employees.

As you said, the society pays the healthcare costs regardless. Your suggestion shifts the source of funding somewhat -- from one group to another, overlapping group. Why would that make US businesses more competitive? As they lose the cost of healthcare, it's simply cheaper for them to do business. We could divide the savings into three parts: profit, wages, lower prices

And if you're arguing that you're lifting a financial burden from US corporations, why, that burden has to go somewhere, right? On whose shoulders do you want to place it?Ultimately, it has to be on the taxpayer, rather than the consumer. It's the only real way you get to keep your insurance if you lose your job. Making it legally possible for you to keep it, doesn't make it financially possible. By putting a public option in the mix, like Medicare, if not Medicare, with much lower overhead and more bang for the buck, we should eventually be able to insure everyone for fewer premium dollars than we are paying now.

One of GM's largest liabilities is healthcare for their retirees. Given the bankruptcy, those people may no longer have that health insurance. Also, as an individual, it will be easier to take another, better job, if you don't have to consider what the job change does to your health insurance.




KaaFar as I know, we are the ONLY country where our health insurance is directly connected to our job. It's not working out very well.

John Smith
06-04-2009, 11:37 AM
So when Toyota built car assembly factories in the US it was being stupid?

Kaa

No, I think it was smart. I'd bet, however, if health insurance wasn't part of the labor costs here, they'd build more factories in the USA.

There are many reasons, some political, for these foreign auto makers to assemble cars here. It's likely a lot cheaper to ship them in parts, as opposed to shipping assembled autos. Same reason all the furniture comes in pieces to be assembled at your home; they can fit more units on the ship/truck/train.

It's not just jobs assembling cars. How about jobs making tires, brakes, windshields, engines, various glass and lenses, etc.?

Imagine making all those car parts here again. We keep hearing about the difference in wages between here and "there" as the major reason these things aren't made here. Well, the cost of health insurance is a large part of the cost of employing an American worker.

There has simply got to be a better way to do this.

Kaa
06-04-2009, 11:41 AM
...there is an end in sight to the "screwing"

So you accept that for the first few years your plan is unfair to those companies which have offered health insurance and actually rewards those which didn't?


...it's easier to afford an additional employees.

:eek: I don't understand this. What do you mean, "afford"? You think a business employs as many people as it can afford? That's what determines the number of employees, how much unused money is floating around??


As they lose the cost of healthcare, it's simply cheaper for them to do business.

Of course you can achieve exactly the same effect by reducing the corporate tax rate and increasing the individual tax rate to compensate. Right?

Do you think it would be a good idea?


Ultimately, it has to be on the taxpayer, rather than the consumer. It's the only real way you get to keep your insurance if you lose your job. ... we should eventually be able to insure everyone for fewer premium dollars than we are paying now.

Yep, that's one of the main arguments for government healthcare.

I can see reason in arguments that a single-payer system will be significantly more efficient. But I have strong doubts that it will make US companies significantly more competitive.

Kaa

Andrew Craig-Bennett
06-04-2009, 11:50 AM
Americans are weird.

I like my Government healthcare, free at the point of delivery. I don't see why anyone not in the pay of, or duped by, the insurance companies, would have a problem with it.

But then I've just seen otherwise rational people say they will never again buy a GM car because the Government took a stake in GM.

Very weird.

John Smith
06-04-2009, 11:52 AM
So you accept that for the first few years your plan is unfair to those companies which have offered health insurance and actually rewards those which didn't?

The only people I see it "rewarding" are those who don't have insurance today that will have it when my plan goes into affect. As to the phase out, I'd be open to an immediate cut, so that only 75% of what they now pay is healthcare goes into the fund, then phase out from there. This gives them an immediate shot in the arm by cutting this expense, and gives them time to consider how to best use future savings.

:eek: I don't understand this. What do you mean, "afford"? You think a business employs as many people as it can afford? That's what determines the number of employees, how much unused money is floating around??
[/color=blue] It cost my employer $1000 for my health insurance. If you have a company and have 10 employees and are paying similar for their coverage, you would save $10000 a month, which could be used to hire a couple of more people. This frees up money for those companies who have been providing these benefits.[/color]


Of course you can achieve exactly the same effect by reducing the corporate tax rate and increasing the individual tax rate to compensate. Right? NO. Not unless you mandate the employer to provide health insurance, which would insure premiums go up, as insurance industry would have captive customers.

Do you think it would be a good idea?



Yep, that's one of the main arguments for government healthcare.

I can see reason in arguments that a single-payer system will be significantly more efficient. But I have strong doubts that it will make US companies significantly more competitive.

Kaa

That, admittedly, would be up to the companies. They could use the savings to give CEO's larger bonuses. They could use the savings to lower prices and sell more units. They could use the money to hire more people and/or pay a bit better.

Hopefully, they'd do some of each.

It would certainly make a significant cut in their cost of doing business, and that should make them more competitive, should it not?

John Smith
06-04-2009, 11:54 AM
Americans are weird.

I like my Government healthcare, free at the point of delivery. I don't see why anyone not in the pay of, or duped by, the insurance companies, would have a problem with it.

But then I've just seen otherwise rational people say they will never again buy a GM car because the Government took a stake in GM.

Very weird.

It's the years of anti-socialism rhetoric and the power of advertising. The insurance industry spends millions to convince us change will be bad. They've got the most money, so they create the "squeakiest wheel".

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
06-04-2009, 11:56 AM
But entertaining.

Kaa
06-04-2009, 12:05 PM
The only people I see it "rewarding" are those who don't have insurance today that will have it when my plan goes into affect

Consider two companies, A and B. They are in a similar business and compete for talented employees.

Company A pays $50K/year and provides health insurance which costs it an additional $15K/year. Company B pays $65/year but provides no health insurance.

Your plan goes into effect. Everyone has government health insurance now. Company A is obligated to pay $10K to the government. Company B is not obligated to do anything.

So, at this point, would you go work for company A which can offer you $55K/year or company B which offers you $65K/year?

Don't you think company B got rewarded for not offering health care to its employees?


It cost my employer $1000 for my health insurance. If you have a company and have 10 employees and are paying similar for their coverage, you would save $10000 a month, which could be used to hire a couple of more people.

Um, how about you look up basic economics.

Essentially, the number of people I hire is determined by how much I want to produce. How much I want to produce is determined by how much I can sell. How much I can sell is determined by the demand.

If my cash flow suddenly improved by $10K/month, why would I hire additional people if the demand (and consequently my output) are still the same?

You might point out that I could lower my prices. But since the burden of paying for healthcare has been moved over to the taxpayer, the disposable income of the consumer has become less. Less disposable income, lower prices = a wash. No change in demand, no additional hires.


It would certainly make a significant cut in their cost of doing business, and that should make them more competitive, should it not?

Again, if you just want to reduce the companies' cost of doing business, it's easiest to do it with a tax cut.

Any reason you don't want to make the US companies more competitive by cutting their taxes?

Kaa

Kaa
06-04-2009, 12:06 PM
But entertaining.

If you think Americans are entertaining, you haven's seen the Brits! :D :D

Kaa

Brian Palmer
06-04-2009, 12:12 PM
Read this article:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/06/01/090601fa_fact_gawande?yrail

The Cost Conundrum:

What a Texas town can teach us about health care.


Brian

John Smith
06-04-2009, 01:12 PM
Consider two companies, A and B. They are in a similar business and compete for talented employees.

Company A pays $50K/year and provides health insurance which costs it an additional $15K/year. Company B pays $65/year but provides no health insurance.

Your plan goes into effect. Everyone has government health insurance now. Company A is obligated to pay $10K to the government. Company B is not obligated to do anything.

So, at this point, would you go work for company A which can offer you $55K/year or company B which offers you $65K/year?

Don't you think company B got rewarded for not offering health care to its employees?



Um, how about you look up basic economics.

Essentially, the number of people I hire is determined by how much I want to produce. How much I want to produce is determined by how much I can sell. How much I can sell is determined by the demand.

If my cash flow suddenly improved by $10K/month, why would I hire additional people if the demand (and consequently my output) are still the same?

You might point out that I could lower my prices. But since the burden of paying for healthcare has been moved over to the taxpayer, the disposable income of the consumer has become less. Less disposable income, lower prices = a wash. No change in demand, no additional hires.



Again, if you just want to reduce the companies' cost of doing business, it's easiest to do it with a tax cut.

Any reason you don't want to make the US companies more competitive by cutting their taxes?

Kaa
It doesn't address the other side of the problem: the uninsured and the underinsured. We spend more money for worse healthcare, and that seems a bad way of doing things.

If we cut taxes on businesses, that revenue will come from somewhere else

The question is: if we can provide more efficient healthcare and cover everyone for less dollars in premiums, are we not better off?

Admittedly, this is a complex issue. My view, bottom line, is a taxpayer system of paying for healthcare is a huge improvement. A monkey off the back of the employer, and people actually can keep their health insurance if they lose their job.

If my taxes go up, but my healthcare expenses go down, I can live with that.

As for your business, if you can lower the cost, you can lower the price, and likely do more business.

Those places I know of that don't provide healthcare are NOT paying anyone higher wages, so I'm not sure your example holds up. Of course, those I know are only a few.

Like with same sex marriage, we seem to be behind the world's curve here.

John Smith
06-04-2009, 01:17 PM
Read this article:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/06/01/090601fa_fact_gawande?yrail

The Cost Conundrum:

What a Texas town can teach us about health care.


Brian
I thought that was great.

Some here, however, will think the guy who wrote it should take a course in economics:D

Kaa
06-04-2009, 01:22 PM
We spend more money for worse healthcare, and that seems a bad way of doing things.

True. That's why there is general consensus that something has to be done with the current healthcare system.

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a consensus on what that something should be.


The question is: if we can provide more efficient healthcare and cover everyone for less dollars in premiums, are we not better off?

Admittedly, this is a complex issue.

Yep. There are lots of details with lots of devils in them :D

To my mind, the main issue -- even more important than the question of who will pay -- is how will the escalating medical costs be contained and who will be doing the containing.


As for your business, if you can lower the cost, you can lower the price, and likely do more business.

Not if my customers are paying higher taxes and have less disposable income.


Those places I know of that don't provide healthcare are NOT paying anyone higher wages, so I'm not sure your example holds up.

Then they are getting less capable people. There is competition for good employees and offering health insurance is a very big carrot.

Kaa