Henry R. Savage: Krugman off-base

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— I am writing in response to Paul Krugman's Saturday column about Medicare. He presents Medicare as the shining example of single-payer government health care for the elderly that we should all want for all our health care. How ridiculous.

Is it too much to expect some intellectual integrity from a Nobel Laureate? There is none in this column, for sure. He fails to point out that private insurance is carried (required?) by Medicare recipients and that the private insurance costs paid by others subsidize the Medicare system. Otherwise, doctors and hospitals could not make it.

The Medicare shortfall in pay is made up by others in the health care system. He also fails to point out that the Medicare system is bankrupt and completely unsustainable. The size of the unfunded liability is enough to make your head swim. I have Medicare, and I am healthy, so I experience few problems. My mother, who is 95 years old, is also in pretty good shape, but she needs health care on a regular basis. She has to have private supplemental insurance, and then she has to find a doctor who will accept what she has.

Oh, by the way, Krugman also fails to discuss the problems of access and ultimately supply of health care in the system he proposes.

There certainly is room for improvement in health care insurance, and the poor need to be helped by the rest of us in this area, as well as the other areas of basic needs. This kind of blatant dishonesty or deliberate deceit from people such as Krugman damages the efforts to achieve needed changes because credibility is so badly contaminated. We need good, honest thinkers in the community. They seem to be missing in the government for the most part. We also need to stop trying to kill a fly with a bazooka if meaningful improvements are to be had.

Henry R. Savage

Steamboat Springs

Comments

seeuski 5 years ago

Exactly right Mr. Savage, one step at a time. Why Americans would want to turn their medical care over to bureaucrats when the issue is of a financial nature and can be dealt with through regulating insurance programs is mind boggling. Steny Hoyer(D) of MD found out yesterday as even his Democrat constituents were in loud opposition to this Government takeover. The media is reporting this as right wing planned disruptions but the fact is that these are Americans from all political persuasions who are increasingly agitated by the lies that are being told by their elected representatives. End of life counseling, taxpayer funded abortions, free coverage for illegals, rationing etc. etc. It's in the bill. What's not in the bill? Tort reform. Another coddling of unions by this Administration. All of a sudden the left loves Lawyers. I for one am sick of the ambulance chasers and their TV commercials, Mr. Mesothelioma Sakolov.

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seeuski 5 years ago

One example of the lies being told is in regards to pre-existing conditions. The law is that a person must have had continuous coverage over the previous 12 months and they are covered. The bill supporteres are spouting that insurance companies won't cover pre-existing conditions at all. Just not true. I have personal experience with pre-existing conditions from one carrier to another. You can't have no insurance get injured and then sign up and pay your first months premium and go in for a $50,000 operation. That is a pre-existing condition that should not be covered as that is exploitation.

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Fred Duckels 5 years ago

The administration wants a foot in the door ever so slight, this will provide the needed opening for single payer to blossom. O and Barney are on record, letting the cat out of the bag in conversations.

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seeuski 5 years ago

Many are coming to understand the true motives thank goodness. Power through control.

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BoatNative 5 years ago

Seeuski,

Democratic constituents of Steny Hoyer were opposed to the health care reform bill? Why don't you pay attention for one second before you post lies? First of all, the Majority Leader was in Utica, New York, not his district in Maryland. Those were not his constituents. The people yelling at the town hall meeting were from Rome, New York, not Maryland. There were there to simply disrupt a town-hall being held by a Democratic member of the US Congress. I'm not denying that Hoyer has constituents with similar beliefs, but come on seeuski, don't lie.

And you are calling them Democrats? Those people in the video to which you are referring are carrying a sign identifying themselves as the "Fort Stanwix Tea Party Patriots." Their website proudly claims that their top discussions are: Glenn Beck, The 9/12 Project, and Conservatism. Sounds like a Democratic group, huh?

Democrats may have their concerns with the legislation that is still being debated, but they do not show up at town hall meetings and disrupt a civil debate where they have the outlet to ask questions and raise concerns respectfully, but rather choose to shout and interrupt others.

Why watch Fox News when you can just go to the steamboatpilot.com comment section? Don't go on this platform and lie, seeuski. We live in a Democracy where all ideas are welcome into the the marketplace, but capitalism teaches us that bad ideas do not work and are quickly disposed of.

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Fred Duckels 5 years ago

I wonder where this wacko tea party bunch ever got the idea of protesting? I also wonder why we have not built nuclear power plants for the last thirty years?

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seeuski 5 years ago

Your right boatnaive, Hoyer was at a town hall in another district and I missed where he exactly was. But the Man who was speaking out adamantly exclaimed that he is a registered Democrat so who is the liar here? You need a spoonfull of sugar with your koolaid. I will tell you this much boatnaive, this Government takeover of our health care system scares the hell out of most Americans like me and I think when you have the Congress people out there dancing around the questions being asked at these town halls they are creating anger and fear. So you may be happy using the left wing talking points in your description of these fearful Americans but who is the one that is naive? Cap and Tax and spread the wealth is one thing, but keep the Government's greasy paws out of my personal health files and my Doctors files. This nightmare that we are experiencing under Obama won't last forever, but the damage done with this health care bill will be a legacy of horror.

And for anyone who is interested ,this is the web site boatnaive busted on. See for yourselves if everyone who sees things differently than boatnaive are right wing wackos or America loving regular folks.

http://www.meetup.com/Fort-Stanwix-Tea-Party-Patriots/

As far as Glen Beck, yea be fearful, cause he is at work uncovering what the heck is going on in DC. Sorry you don't like that I guess you will have to go and join the Alinsky attack the messenger crowd.

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seeuski 5 years ago

I think people should realize that the anger being seen at town hall meetings around the country are the result of people finally standing up to the Socialism that is being shoved down our throats. The cash for clunkers is another example. Our tax money being used to supposedly reverse so called global warming. Gotta go watch Glen Beck now.

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JLM 5 years ago

This is a country which was formed at the point of a bloody bayonet in rebellion against the most powerful military force in the world. I think we can sustain a bit of loud talking about what is going on just now. It is long past time for another revolution in America.

The Federal government derives its power from the states themselves. Remember our country is the "United States" of America. We are not the Federal Republic of America.

The states retain all powers not explicitly given to the Federal government by the states themselves.

The root cause of our problems is the concentration of power --- not freely given by the states --- in the hand of the Federal government.

One only has to look at the current fate of California and Texas to see the difference that a philosophy of governance can wreak on an economy.

Texas --- conservative government, low taxes, low cost of living, low unemployment --- relative prosperity

California --- the chemistry lab of liberal politics, weird policies, high/crushing taxes, high cost of living, high disasterous unemployment --- a freakin' economic basket case

Where is the energy for revolution coming from? Primarily the states that are suffering because no revolution ever got started on an empty stomach.

Given the reality of the situation we currently face would you really begrudge just a smidgen of loud talking?

Not me! Bring it!

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Tim Scannell 5 years ago

Wed August 5th Newsmax.com

"A serious credibility gap has emerged between President Obama and voters over healthcare, with 72 percent saying his promise to enact a deficit-neutral overhaul of healthcare is a whopper.

A new Quinnipiac University poll finds that by a 72 to 21 percent margin, Americans do not believe the president will keep his promise to enact healthcare reform without adding to the federal budget deficit.

And by 57 percent to 37 percent, voters say healthcare reform should be dropped if it is going to add "significantly" to the deficit. Based on interviewed with 2,400 likely voters, the poll reflects a deepening skepticism toward Obama's plans to transform the nation's healthcare system, which accounts for one-sixth of U.S. economic activity."

That's the hope I was looking for! Hope in the American people to see through the rhetoric

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Tim Scannell 5 years ago

From CNN 8-5-09: "The debate to overhaul the nation's healthcare system has split the country into two camps, according to a CNN poll. Half of those surveyed in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation said they supported the president's plans to revamp the nation's healthcare systems, with 45 percent opposed. "

"Obama's plan is most popular among younger Americans and least popular among senior citizens," said CNN polling director Keating Holland.

"A majority of Americans over the age of 50 oppose Obama's plan; a majority of those under 50 support it."

Is "Divide and Conquer" a sustainable a political strategy?

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Tim Scannell 5 years ago

July 27th report by Brian Riedl

Spending Per Household "Washington will spend $33,932 per household in 2009--$8,000 per household more than last year. While much of this spending is a temporary result of the recession and financial crisis, President Obama's 2010 budget would replace this temporary spending with permanent new programs. Consequently, by 2019--a time of assumed peace and prosperity--Washington will be spending $33,000 per household (adjusted for inflation), essentially making permanent this year's $8,000 per household spending hike. These numbers do not even include the cost of the President's health plan, estimated to be over a trillion dollars." View report http://bit.ly/USSpending

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theKid 5 years ago

I can see your point. Your side loses an election - a fair one this time - and it's time to break out the bayonets and pretend you're the wolverines. Good luck with that.

Post here when you're planning to go up against the 1st Armored Division (my Dad's old outfit), and I'll rent a video camera.

theKid

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Tim Scannell 5 years ago

Not sure what you mean theKid? Lets have a duscussion. Make your case for the proposed plan.

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seeuski 5 years ago

Real nice kid,

With Obama's poll numbers dropping like a lead balloon I wouldn't bask in your ACORN driven fraudulent victory too much.

Eat this kid: From CNN:

A rather surprising finding from the newly released CNN poll. Question three on the national survey of 1,136 adults (which includes an oversample of African-Americans) asks, "Do you consider the first six months of the Obama administration to be a success or a failure?"

Thirty-seven percent (37%) said they believe the Obama administration is a "failure," while 51% consider it a "success" and 11% say it's still "too soon to tell."

An identical question was asked of the Bush administration in an August 2001 CNN/Gallup/USA Today survey. At the time, 56% said the Bush administration was a "success" while only 32% considered it a "failure."

Bask at your own peril.

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theKid 5 years ago

I'll put it this way:

The republican agenda is nothing more complicated than to see the Obama administration fail. That is the only way that the right can regain power, and resume the upward transfer of wealth that has been the hallmark of American society since Reagan.

To that end, we have lie after lie after lie after lie. The sad part is that most Americans are not equipped to recognize these lies, and react to them as if they are part of some intellectually-weighty discussion. The media is part of the problem.

The result? Many of our fellow citizens believe that there is some body of evidence that supports intelligent design. Young earthers, teabaggers, birthers, GW deniers: the list of people who function on emotion rather than facts goes on.

I can't remember whose quote this is , but it illustrates the point pretty well:

"If George Bush was to state that he believed the earth to be flat, the next day's headlines would read 'Shape of the Earth: Views differ'".

The only shred of good news (for me) is that, while you're correct that BO's numbers are dropping, most Americans (outside of the South) still see the republican party as something to be shunned.

Perhaps there's hope for America after all.

theKid

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theKid 5 years ago

Tim:

The proposed healthcare plan is another cringing democratic-party attempt to appear to be doing something about a serious problem, without actually doing something that would fix the problem ('cause of all the campaign contributors that would rile).

Universal coverage is, IMHO, the only way we're going to see real improvement in the country but, given that pretty much everybody in congress is financed by the health care industry, it will take a popular movement of great strength to induce real reform.

Perhaps the teabaggers and birthers could take time out from their busy schedules of chanting FauxNews-supplied nonsense and help with something worthwhile...

Nahhh...

theKid

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Tim Scannell 5 years ago

Thanks for the reply theKid. I don't agree with you about Universal coverage, but I respect your right to believe what you do and vote the way you choose. I agree with you that the proposed plan doesn't address the problem.

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seeuski 5 years ago

Tim, I give you a lot of credit for maintaining a gentlemanly response to the bile that kid spews post after post. Referring to people as "teabaggers" etc. The Saul Alinsky book, rules for radicals, is what guides these left wing attack artists. The desire to see Obama's policies fail is because 52% of Americans and growing see them as a move to a Socialist big brother Government takeover of their lives. And we don't want that teabag of poop hanging over our heads.

thekid, "Universal coverage is, IMHO, the only way we're going to see real improvement in the country but, given that pretty much everybody in congress is financed by the health care industry, it will take a popular movement of great strength to induce real reform." Good luck with your popular movement as 52% say they don't like Obama's plan.

Will someone on the left please give us your opinion on tort reform or would that be counter to the huge takeover that Obama wants and his pandering to the Lawyer Unions?

And I want to get this "Breaking News Headline" to thekid.

Bush is not the President any more. The controls belong to BHO. And he is doing a terrible job which is causing his once beloved approval rating of 76% in February to drop to 50% now and sinking. It's his actions and agenda and not the news from Fox or the radio talk from Limbaugh that is causing this huge shift. Sorry for you on that one.

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theKid 5 years ago

"Real nice kid,

With Obama's poll numbers dropping like a lead balloon I wouldn't bask in your ACORN driven fraudulent victory too much.

Eat this kid:"

Bile, eh?

What is it you want me to eat?

I will give you credit, Mr. seeuski. You do stick to the talking points.

But I suspect you've got, as they say, nothing.

Have a great day!

theKid

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seeuski 5 years ago

http://www.heu.org/~DOCUMENTS/Miscellaneous/Research/Health_Care_Waitlists_1.pdf

Michael M. Rachlis is a physician, health policy analyst and author in Toronto. His own study in regards to the rationing of Canadian health care shows that we are not crazy in wanting to keep the Government out of our Doctors offices. Good try though kid.

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theKid 5 years ago

I'll give you, Mr. Seeuski, the benefit of the doubt, and read all 38 pages tonite.

theKid

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theKid 5 years ago

Wow!

It is interesting that Mt. Seeuski would post the SAME article as the one referenced in my post.

theKid

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seeuski 5 years ago

Eat the facts my man, eat the facts. My bile comment refers to your Alinsky style of personal attacks that you started with way back having to do with bloggers Military service or lack there of. I don't make it a practice to post personal attacks just my own opinions . But thanks for insinuating I have some inside connections and receive some talking points, that's great. Anyone who watches the news from any source can decide who it is that has talking points. Pelosi, Obama, Boxer , Hoyer, Olberman, Maddow and the rest are all in lock step calling people who disagree with the Presidents policies stooges, astroturfers and Pelosi even saying they carry swastikas. What a sad time it is indeed.

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theKid 5 years ago

To the Moderators here:

I'm done with idiots.

Please delete my user identity.

theKid

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Boatperson 5 years ago

Right vs. Left We as citizens of the United States of America need to snap out of the cliche right-wing, left-wing idiocracy we wallow in year after year. Capitalism Or Democracy?

"capitalism |Ë kapÉtlËizÉm| noun an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state."

Capitalism Or Democracy, which is it? What was this Nation founded under? Capitalism Or Democracy? Private owners for profit, or by majority vote? Capitalism Or Democracy?

I get it now, if the company becomes so big that if it fails, the whole world fails thats okay, but if we participate and vote on overseeing the companies actions and regulate to avoid misconduct to protect the majority vote (Democratic System vs. "industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state", all our Health Care needs will be met if we keep Democracy out of the equation and rely upon Capitalism to let the chips fall where they may.

Outstanding! And who says Americans are arrogant? We know exactly what we're doing. Every Representative in our National Government has known for decades that Capitalism makes you rich and your constituents happy. Therefore, why would you bring up an issue that would put a frown on those you represent that just don't get it, nor ever will?

We need our Representatives in the House and Senate to ask us which direction based on available info on what to do, and not committee, sub-committee gangs consisting of a select minuscule representation in number of its citizens making the decisions for us. Capitalism Or Democracy? Which is it?

I grew up in a home where my Father was a staunch Republican and my Mother a tried an true Democrat so I know and believe that I have a balanced view and approach to every issue.

Universal Health Care? We can't debate anything until we know what the committees have concluded. Sadly, there are a number of Nations that do have Capitalism and have Universal Health Care and yet we refuse to utilize any of those examples or lessons. Americans arrogant?

"democracy |diË mäkrÉsÄ| noun ( pl. -cies) a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives : capitalism and democracy are ascendant in the third world. • a state governed in such a way : a multiparty democracy. • control of an organization or group by the majority of its members : the intended extension of industrial democracy. • the practice or principles of social equality : demands for greater democracy."

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Boatperson 5 years ago

I have a question for any brainiacs out there. The Senate Finance Committee has stated that the plan their working on would cover 95% of Americans. My question is, where does the 5% of those not being covered lie? The 5% of the can affords or the 5% of the can't affords?

And where does responsibility of prevention/diagnosis/maintenance fall within the plan? Such as obesity and mental health.

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seeuski 5 years ago

Still waiting for an answer on tort reform. Why is that so hard to deal with when it is a major cause of the expense of health care? When a Dr. spends up to a quarter of a million a year on Medical malpractice insurance and is forced to order unneeded tests to cover his butt from lawsuits why would that be left out of the health care reform discussions that the White House and Congress are having? That one issue alone would create huge "change" for the better of the country. Oh well, just a dream I guess.

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trump_suit 5 years ago

See, what would the numbers on the question about the Bush administration look like in August 2009?

Torte reform is a necessary part of Healthcare reform. Seeuski is correct that without that, any effort to control costs will fail.

JLM makes an excellent point about Nurse Practioners and getting more people into Med Schools so we can produce more medical professionals.

Bottom line is that everyone needs to recognize that our Health Insurance system is broken. When drug companies spend billions on advertising and lobbying something is broken. It should be a little eye opening to the american public that health insurance companies are positng extremely high profits and spending those profits to fight this legislation. That does not pass the smell test.

What we need is not a Gov't run single payer program, what we need is Guaranteed coverage at competitive rates for ALL americans. Leave the insurance companies in place but force them to compete equally for our business instead of letting them break us up into employer groups that have no bearing on the level of risk being assumed by the insurer. Can any tell me that GM employees are healthier that small business owners?

The Conservatives want to tell us that this legislation will kill small business. What is really killing small business is Health costs that are escalating at 20% per year while large companies are seeing much smaller increases. Individuals would carry better insurance if they could get the same rates as employees of Frito Lay. Why is is so much more expensive to get a individual policy?

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seeuski 5 years ago

trump, I agree with most of your post except the part about the proposed bill not hurting small business. Business's will have to provide coverage for all employees or be fined something like 8%. Individuals would also be fined if they don't get on the Government plan. I am not sure about your claim of huge insurance profits being spent to fight this bill but either way most people, if not all people that are in opposition of this bill are just simply reading it or hearing about the laws in it. For Seniors the eugenics part is a big problem along with the $600 million cut from medicare. For me personally, I like my current health care and my insurance actually went down about 20% recently from a change in insurance companies. I do like the proposals to make insurance policies portable and for tort reform. I believe those 2 things along with a Government subsidy for American uninsured who are unable to pay for insurance would be the answer.

As far as your first question, the answer is available from polls taken at the end of his term. We shall see where Obamas numbers end up if the agenda he is pursuing continues.

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ybul 5 years ago

--The republican agenda is nothing more complicated than to see the Obama administration fail. That is the only way that the right can regain power, and resume the upward transfer of wealth that has been the hallmark of American society since Reagan.--

Hey Kid you probably still look at the thread. Maybe you ought to think that there is an underlying force that has served to transfer that wealth from the middle class for longer than the Reagan years. In 1913 the federal government failed to uphold the constitution and granted authority to coin money to a private group of international bankers.

The foundation of this country and its belief in the individuals right to own property had provided the most equitable distribution of wealth the world has seen (even in communist countries the distribution of wealth was more divided).

The bankers took over and the flawed paper monetary system our country has today has served to funnel wealth into the hands of the international bankers.

Jefferson put it well "If you give the bankers the ability to coin your money the corporations that grow up around them will take back everything your forefathers fought for."

This is not a democrat versus republican debate, it should be centered around restoring this country to the foundations that made it the envy of the world. That does not include socialized medicine. I will give my neighbor the shirt off of my back if I felt it would serve them better, however, I do not need to be forced into charitable contributions through the legislative actions of those who may make mistakes themselves, and have proven that the government is inept when it comes to doing most things at the federal level and really is not looking out for its citizens!

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Boatperson 5 years ago

Consensus?

My Grandmother used to have a few sayings two of which are, "The World's going to Hell in a Hand Basket!" and of course the old favorite, "Lights are on an Nobodies home!".

I can only thank all of you here today for making these light hearted attempts to see beyond the less insightful a startling reality.

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JLM 5 years ago

The widespread distribution of any physical commodity or service by the government mandates mediocrity as the commodity or service is always dumbed down to the lowest common denominator.

If for no other reason than they cannot attract and retain the highest possible talent. They don't pay enough.

You can have the IRS and I will take Costco.

You can have the EPA and I will take the Mayo Clinic.

You can have the DMV and I will take Mercedes.

You can have the socialized medicine and I will take my chances with our current system. Sure there are a few things I would like to experiment with or tinker just a bit --- but put it into the hands of those a$$ clowns like the US Congress? No thank you, sir!

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freerider 5 years ago

JLM ....dumbed down to the lowest common denominator..?? you mean like the police dept. or fire dept. or the dept. of transportation , or our public school system ??? the bureau of land management , the army , navy , marines , air force , national guard ...??? these are all government paid , we already have socialism , I don't hear anybody squaking about these things . The insurance company's have ruined health care. They deny claims as standard operating procedure to see who gives up first...sad but true. Capitolism has created a dog eat dog world out there for Americans, and spawned nothing but corruption in the system. Obama is trying to fix it

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JLM 5 years ago

Obama, the only honest politician ever spawned by the Chicago machine, is "trying to fix it"? LOL

You really are a silly goose, freerider!

Dog eat dog capitalism has brought America the highest standard of living in the world and has created more personal wealth than any other economic system ever created.

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Boatperson 5 years ago

"jlm" I see that you have not seen the world and those that live in it. The Highest Standard of Living in the World? Yes? We are also the most wasteful nation in the world and only rank 18th out of 36 nations in education. Only 75% of High School students receive diplomas... shall I go on? Wait, isn't China a Communist country thats kicking our ass at Capitalism? God forbid the U.S.A. would think it became a little more social to take care of its citizens.

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seeuski 5 years ago

It's the realism of what Boatperson is representing in his/her desire for Communism and the scent of it from the current Administration with the 40 some czars and Socialist agenda that is showing up in the polls. Americans are realizing what some of us saw early on and they don't want it. The schools that are doing poorly in the US are the public schools which are under the thumb of the Teachers Unions. The voucher programs, which Obama scrapped, were a huge success for poor inner city Black youths. Obama is so indebted to the unions that no program takeover whether it be GM, Chrysler, AIG or Healthcare will improve because it will be unionized and we know where that leads. Fraud!!!(AIG bonus's along with all the others) Lawyers Unions are why tort reform has been extinct from the lips of everyone pushing Obama's plan including everyone on this forum who favors it. And Boatperson, what exactly is it you need today from your country? A new skateboard? Americans have had to stomach over a trillion dollars of their future being spread around the world in the form of so called stimulus that Obama said we must have or the unemployment rate would go over 8%. Less than 10% has hit the streets here in any form and Obama said on TV a few weeks ago "we are broke" so where did the other 90% of America's money go? And you want more. A large portion of our society has become spoiled by Congress with all of the entitlements that have been thrown at them. Go to work earn some money and donate a portion to those you want to help.

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JLM 5 years ago

bp ---

Not to confuse a good rant with the facts but let's focus on just a few basic facts:

China has about 1.3-1.4 billion folks --- approximately 20% of the entire world's population is Chinese! Wow!

The US has about 304 million folks. Hmmm, we are comparatively pretty small, right?

The US has the world's largest economy and nobody else is really close. Our local economy arguably really includes all of N America (our Canadian friends and our Mexican friends too). Not dissimilar to the European Union?

The Chinese economy is about 15% the size of the US economy (applying yuan - dollar exchange rates) and Chinese workers produce about 4% of the GDP per capita (GDP divided by population) of American workers.

China is 4 times more populous than the US.

China's economy is less than 15% the size of the US economy.

Chinese workers have a 4% productivity rate comparison to US workers.

So, no, the Chinese economy is not "kicking" anybody's butt just yet.

Now, if you are a bit of a student of economies you might argue that a more apt comparison would require one to apply the concept of "purchasing power parity" or PPP which is an attempt to take a market basket of goods and services and apply the cost without using international currency exchange rates --- a purely theoretical approach but a good one nonetheless. Interestingly enough this approach seems to prove the concept that the Chinese are artificially manipulating the value of the yuan to make it "cheap".

In a PPP comparison, the Chinese economy is arguably about half the size of the US economy but the problem with that approach is that while the goods and services in the market basket are readily available to US citizens they are not readily available to Chinese citizens.

You are correct about a very, very, very important thing --- the improvement and progress and growth in the Chinese economy is completely the result of the application of free market capitalism.

While the Chinese become free market capitalists, the US becomes socialists.

It's the wisdom and quality of leadership which is determining the futures of our countries. The Chinese have seen the virtue of capitalism and the Obama administration is blind to the possibilities preferring to randomly favor one group or industry against the other.

Sorry to ruin your rant.

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JLM 5 years ago

bp ---

Your comments about America's position in the world as it relates to education are shallow, uninformed and naive.

The real education battle in the world is not about the "masses" but rather about the "elites".

Look only to our President and First Lady to see what the American education system can really do.

Snatched from obscurity, snatched from poverty, devoid of opportunity --- through affirmative action educated at the world's best schools (Occidental, Columbia, Princeton, Harvard). The POTUS and FLOTUS. What other country could provide such opportunity?

Where are their children being educated? At the DC public schools? Or at Sidwell Friends --- one of the 50 best private schools in America?

The education of America's elites is the best in the world and America will continue to educate the world's best brains.

The public schools? Hmmm, not too good. America's private schools? Unequalled in excellence.

Look only to Barack H and Michelle Obama, their education and the education of their children to see the truth of this statement.

Who really cares how the public school are doing or how the "average" kid is doing? Not the Democrats --- where do their kids go to school? LOL

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Boatperson 5 years ago

JLM

I graduated from a public school. Steamboat High. I was not a Trustafarian and could not afford (Lowell) Whiteman School. I was accepted to United States Naval Academy, but had to withdraw due to acquiring Type I Diabetes the same summer of my graduation. I was 18. My nut today is $1,800 a month for healthcare to stay alive.

I'm not real interested in what a Republican or Democrat can spin to win, I'm interested in my well being as well as yours or anyone you know.

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JLM 5 years ago

bp ---

Okaaaaay, so what? Everybody has lived through some bad breaks but playing the pity card does not make you more informed on the subjects of the day.

Keep on keeping on and good luck w/ your Type I diabetes.

The issue should be health "care" while the Obama administration has made it into health "insurance" and "free" health care.

The outcome of this debate will have a profound impact on the quality of the care available to all Americans and it is important enough to focus on winning it. The "right" solution is worth fighting for and it will have a huge impact on the quality of our citizens' lives.

The right solution is not to Federalize the practice of medicine and to dumb down the world's best medical system.

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Boatperson 5 years ago

JLM

Yes I couldn't agree more with doing it right the first time, why waste the time and energy. I see it being a difficult task at best and hope that every aspect to preserve the Medical Care we are entitled to today be maintained.

No matter how you view the world and the way in which it operates there will always be some sacrifice to achieve gain.

I can only gather that you are well versed in economics and may even have a law degree. So attempting to dissuade your course and action to be fruitless. In insight, that is. You have your mind set, and there's no changing it now.

I am above all a Citizen of the United States and will fight for the rights granted me as such till death if need be.

I should add I learned a great deal more about the Health Care topic by JLM @ "On Conservative commentary: Let's work together"

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Clearsky 5 years ago

I just want the same health care coverage as our elected leaders, federal employees, medicare/medicaid recipients and I'll even settle for the Veterans coverage(if I was a Veteran). The point is that we already have government medical coverage but it is not available for everyone. I'll even pay for it. The federal government pays 25 % of a medical bill and the rest is "written off", the insurance company pays about 60% of a medical bill,and the rest is "written off" , but if you are part of the working poor without insurance then you must pay 100% plus collection costs!!! Wacky? to say the least.

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aichempty 5 years ago

Clearsky,

The health care coverage enjoyed by federal employees is all private insurance, provided by an array of companies such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield, various HMOs in places where federal employees reside, etc. Employees have a choice of which plan they take, or to not take one at all.

Some ballpark numbers show that an employee pays between $150 and $200 every two weeks for "family" coverage, with the federal government picking up another $200-$300 of the cost. That rounds out at $700-$800 per month and the employee still has copays for office visits, prescription drugs (brand names are now $65 per prescription) and an out-of-pocket limit of around $5000.

The "write-off" issue is a red herring. In-network providers agree to a fee schedule, and that's what they pay. Smart customers go to in-network providers, OR they get "pre-certification" from the plan to go out of network.

Rates for a single individual are about 1/2 of the family rate. It's easy to see that a young, healthy single person can get coverage for about $150-$200 per month with the federal government picking up another 1/2 to 2/3 of the cost. So, a single individual, if they could get the same deal as a federal government employee (but without the federal contribution to the premiums), would be paying around $500 per month out of their own pocket, with an additional out of pocket maximum of around $5000 for a single year.

For a family, count on $1000 a month and $5000 out of pocket maximum, so be prepared to pay up to $15,000 a year for the same deal the federal employees get.

There are a lot of federal employees who are not worth the cost of a body bag, but then there's NASA, NIH, CDC, U S Park Service, etc. Salaries and wages are generally lower for federal employees than private sector jobs, and one way the feds retain employees is by making health care affordable. It's part of the compensation they get for doing their jobs, whether they deserve it or not.

So, I think that your reasonable solution is to find a job with the federal government and put up with the pain in return for the medical benefits, or pay the whole cost of insurance just like the federal government and its employees do.

Or, did you want the government to pay 2/3 of the cost and you pick up the balance just "because?" There's no free lunch. Somebody pays the costs, and I don't think that expecting the government to shell out over $200,000,000,000 a year (that's two-hundred billion) just to contribute $450 per month to 40 million uninsured people is a viable option. That would cost 150,000,000 taxpayers over $1,400 each per year.

So, it's a "deal" for people who don't pay tax, but it's $1,400 that won't be spent on a ski vacation in Steamboat. Is that what we want?

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Boatperson 5 years ago

aichempty,

As a government employee or an employee of a company that provides health coverage you are not denied coverage. The fact that the all are entitled to the same coverage is a misnomer. If you have the leverage individual coverage and family coverage is less expensive. If your are an individual with no Government or Corporate leverage and opt for the same coverages provided by the same Health Care Companies you will pay three to four times the cost and can be denied coverage. The advantages are limited to those outside of the loop some of which include your local market place and farmers etc...

Deciding the costs you will pay is only an interest of self centered motives when not determining the benefit to having healthier individuals to buy your product(s) to sustain your/our lifestyle.

"Members of Congress receive retirement and health benefits under the same plans available to other federal employees. They become vested after five years of full participation. Members elected since 1984 are covered by the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS). Those elected prior to 1984 were covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). In 1984 all members were given the option of remaining with CSRS or switching to FERS."

2009 Federal Employees Health Benefits Program

Rates ( Non-Postal Monthly )

Self - Aetna HealthFund -CDHP - $87.71,
Aetna HealthFund -HDHP - $67.01

Family - Aetna HealthFund -CDHP - $201.72, Aetna HealthFund -HDHP - $146.75

Rx Mail Order --Supply Size Per Copay - 90 Days Rx Brand $50, Rx Generic $20

Rx Brand Local Pharmacy - $25

Rx Generic Local Pharmacy - $10

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