• WELCOME Grumblers
    Backup is now done at 3PM EDT. You may find the server down for up to two minutes at that time.

Small Business Health Insurance

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Let me first say that I don't think anyone in Washington is doing what it takes and we have so much demagagory. It bothers me when we start it here, too

Paul mentioned that we have so many million that can not afford insurance

I say "BULL"

We have so many that do not want to pay for it. Sure, there are many that cannot and we have many that have better helath insurance than I that never spend a cent. This past year has had me a little sensitive to the costs of medical care with my own family

How many people drive without car insurance simply because they choose not to "afford" it?

In this state, we all pay more for insurance than most staes because so many drivers, even though the law mandates it, do not have auto insurance. Perhaps we should have universal auto insurance?

Anne-My mother in law works at the AZ Heart Hospital. World class care. Patients from all over the world come. The largest percentage, by far, come from Canada. And, they pay 100% out of pocket. Why? Because they can neither get the level of care or the timeliness in Canada

Perhaps as a fun drill we ought to determine what multiplier is fair to apply to our bodies as oppossed to our cars or our homes. Then use that multiplier to see how "fair" our medical insurance is vs our auto or home.

I think my body sees "it's mechanic" much more often that does my car or my home, so if that multiplier is 3x or 4x is 4x my auto insurance a "fair" price?

My situation is a tad extreme, so I'll use my kids

Low 30's age, two kids, mom and dad-Medical is $320/mon

Two cars-auto insurance is $138/mon

Nice home-Home insurance (they think) about $300/yr

What comparatives do you see in your own situation? We always talk about extremes to make a point, but how many of us are "extreme"?

My take is that many uninsured do so by choice. I have no problem with those that have no choice as we presently cover millions in that case. But, how about not paying Iraqi's (I agree) but how about the millions of Mexicans, Guatemalans, Hondurans, that flood our emergency rooms

I do not have any real answers either, but we ought to be honest (even if it is an election year)
 

CAframer

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
One of the things I often hear about in debates over health care is how poor the system is in other countries that do have universal health care. I grew up in the UK with their National Health System, and still have family living in the UK. Yes there are certainly issues, no doubt about that, but there are huge advantages also. Let me mention just two situations in my family:

(1) My nephew was born prematurely with a birth weight of 583 grams ... that's about 1.1/4 lbs to you and me!!!! At birth his hand was about the size of the nail on my little finger! As you might imagine, he has had massive complications this last seven years or so, with multiple surgeries, special education requirements, etc. Care and treatment has been outstanding. Not only has the health system covered every medical procedure but also they provide special taxi transportation to and from hospital when needed. This has cost nothing, zero, nada.

(2) My brother-in-law had a kidney disease. Initially he was on dialysis. Then he had a transplant. After some time that failed, and he was severely ill. He is now back on dialysis awaiting another transplant. Not only has the National Health system covered all of this treatment but also provided a dialysis machine to install in his home. Beyond that, they covered the cost of upgrading a bedroom to accomodate the dialysis machine which requires a number of special considerations including a separate electrical supply. Again not a penny has it cost David. They also cover cost of dialysis overseas when he travels on vacation. They also cover transportation to and from hospital when required.

Also for those who wish to afford it, there are private medical practioners and insurance policies in the UK. When I was on buisness in the UK in the 90's I had a couple of occasions when I needed medical atention, and the care that I received was excellent.

Just my two pennyworth.
 

PaulSF

PFG, Picture Framing God
Andrew, the difference between the UK system and how a patient would be treated here is instructive. If the patient has insurance, they may get some of those benefits, but probably not all. Dialysis yes, but the transplant, probably not.

If the patient doesn't have insurance (because he's unemployed, or poor, or homeless), he certainly won't get a transplant, and won't even get regular dialysis. He'll have to go to the ER and get emergency dialysis, and then they'll put him out on the street again as soon as he can stagger. Maybe he'll get to stay one night. And his situation will get worse and worse, until his kidneys fail altogether. But he won't get a transplant. He'll get put on a gurney in a corridor until he dies.
 

Paul N

In Corner
Politicians who are in bed with pharmaceutical companies have no business creating a health care system for the rest of us.

One system that works well and everybody conveniently forgets to mention, Social security, is mandatory, no one can opt out and I don't see people whining they don't want it (well, except some politicians who want to privatize the only system that works here, and they will keep trying for the benefit of Their Wall Street genius friends who would love to fool around with it.

As long as for-profit companies' employees can decide between you either having a new kidney and their bonuses if you don't, it's a joke to discuss such health coverage.

And for a president or other politicos to claim, with straight faces, that we have a system and it's called the Emergency Room, is a cruel joke.

Let them use it and see how they like it.

It's always funny how the opponents of universal health care always jump on a mediocre system to compare to (such as Canada's) but never mention the one that work well, say Germany, France, and every Scandinavian country.
Sad indeed.

And please don't preach to me about "socialized medicine".

After all my taxes pay for everybody's kid's schools although I have no kids, but I don't mind. I'd rather pay those taxes than have dumber kids running around and eventually running the country.

The results could be more expensive.
 

JRB

PFG, Picture Framing God
I have to agree, I've never heard a Canadian complain about their health care as much as Americans complain about theirs.

I know we have some UK, Canadian, Australian, etc. members on this forum, please jump in and tell us your thoughts.

John
 

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Guys-Can we agree that the medical care in this country is the finest in the world? Our hospitals are filled with spectacular professionals, and by and large, we get taken care of quickly, correctly and professionally. It's why people all over the world come to this country for the absolute best

Complaining is a national sport; some of you take it All-Star levels

Reminds me of the traffic in LA. They move millions of people over unbelieveable distances every single day. Sure a snag here, a delay there, but move the masses they do. Given the scope, it's remarkable. Yet, complain, we do

The political argument over health care really is all about who will pay for it. The answer most provided by politicos is as long as we can paint a villain, it shows how much we care. All the while, nothing gets done

So, let's do look at Canada or Sweden or England and let's see how much each of us will pay more in individual taxes to support just such a plan. What is the average person going to pay in Sweden, for example, to have such a plan. 40% of his pay? 50% of his pay. We are not interested in paying anywhere near that now in terms of a private premium

I'm suspecting that it might just be a little bit of an eye opener

Personally, I can't imagine anyone seriously wanting to frame this discussion in terms of a person dying on a gurney. So, maybe we can get back to the original question of how best for the self-employeed framer to afford insurance

There are "relatively" moderate priced priced plans, but you will have to pay something. And, it's likely to be more than you want

As a matter of interest, there are several posters here passionately debating this. Do they have insurance and what do they pay? We do and I pay a ton ($1200/mon and BCBS is losing money on me), but my condition is so much different than virtually anyone

But, it is an expense that I simply would not be without
 

Paul N

In Corner
Bob:

No one is denying we have the finest hospitals and doctors and this is not the issue. The showrooms are full of Porsches and BMWs also, but not everybody is driving one either!

Affordability I believe is the word here. Who can afford the best hospitals and best doctors? Last time I read this thread I saw people staying in jobs or marriages they hated because they couldn't afford the fancy hospitals on their own.

Without a good system, it takes one catastrophic health problem to make one lose his house, his IRAs and everything else. People want affordable health-care.

And it's easy to sit here and pity those poor Germans and Swedes paying higher taxes for their health-care system.

Last time I looked (I lived there, by the way), they did pay more, but at the end of the day, they had more disposable income, more vacations and a good, worry-free health-care system. Now, who is better off??

And where did this 40-50% more taxes come from, by the way?? And, assuming it's true, how much will a person have of his income after a self-paid-for quadruple bypass operation?? Kidney dialysis machine required daily? $200 per day medications?? Still the same income bracket??

Those who are against such a system, scare the people with higher taxes worries to keep the current system (or lack thereof) in place.

People think they're really saving money without a universal health-care system, till they need a major operation.
 

CAframer

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Guys-Can we agree that the medical care in this country is the finest in the world? Our hospitals are filled with spectacular professionals, and by and large, we get taken care of quickly, correctly and professionally. It's why people all over the world come to this country for the absolute best
Many Americans are under the delusion that we have “the best health care system in the world,” as President Bush sees it, or provide the “best medical care in the world,” as Rudolph Giuliani declared last summer. That may be true at many top medical centers. But the disturbing truth is that this country lags well behind other advanced nations in delivering timely and effective care.

Seven years ago, the World Health Organization made the first major effort to rank the health systems of 191 nations. France and Italy took the top two spots; the United States was a dismal 37th. More recently, the highly regarded Commonwealth Fund has pioneered in comparing the United States with other advanced nations through surveys of patients and doctors and analysis of other data. Its latest report, issued in May 2007, ranked the United States last or next-to-last compared with five other nations — Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and the United Kingdom — on most measures of performance, including quality of care and access to it. Other comparative studies also put the United States in a relatively bad light.

The United States ranks dead last on almost all measures of equity because we have the greatest disparity in the quality of care given to richer and poorer citizens. Americans with below-average incomes are much less likely than their counterparts in other industrialized nations to see a doctor when sick, to fill prescriptions or to get needed tests and follow-up care.

In a comparison with five other countries, the Commonwealth Fund ranked the United States first in providing the “right care” for a given condition as defined by standard clinical guidelines and gave it especially high marks for preventive care, like Pap smears and mammograms to detect early-stage cancers, and blood tests and cholesterol checks for hypertensive patients. But we scored poorly in coordinating the care of chronically ill patients, in protecting the safety of patients, and in meeting their needs and preferences, which drove our overall quality rating down to last place. American doctors and hospitals kill patients through surgical and medical mistakes more often than their counterparts in other industrialized nations.

In a comparison of five countries, the United States had the best survival rate for breast cancer, second best for cervical cancer and childhood leukemia, worst for kidney transplants, and almost-worst for liver transplants and colorectal cancer. In an eight-country comparison, the United States ranked last in years of potential life lost to circulatory diseases, respiratory diseases and diabetes and had the second highest death rate from bronchitis, asthma and emphysema. Although several factors can affect these results, it seems likely that the quality of care delivered was a significant contributor.

So Bob, yes if you are in the right place with the right income and the right insurance, but taken overall it's a very very different story.
 

PaulSF

PFG, Picture Framing God
Here's an interesting link to health care spending per capita, from 2000:

http://ucatlas.ucsc.edu/spend.php

You can pretty much be sure that spending hasn't gone down in the 8 years since then. Check out the graph comparing life expectancy to health care spending per capita across various countries. The US spends $4500 per person, way more than any other country listed, yet life expectancy is at the low end of the list. We don't seem to be getting our money's worth. But a lot of our spending is wasted. Like I said before, look behind the counter when you next visit your doctor. You'll see 4 or 5 people back there, but none of them are nurses or doctors. They are all there to process your insurance paperwork. So let's say each of those 4 or 5 people is paid $40,000/year in salary and benefits. That's $160,000 to $200,000 in HR costs at your local doctor's office, just to do paperwork. And that's going on all over the country, in every city and town.

Wonder why your premium is so high?
 

PaulSF

PFG, Picture Framing God
Andrew, why do you hate America? ;)

Just teasing. That's scary information you present, but people need to see it. Yes, we have great doctors and hospitals, filled with dedicated, hardworking professionals. But if you don't have insurance, don't expect to have great access to them.
 

gemsmom

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
The only real issue I see here is that health insurance is too expensive. Unless, of course, you need to use it.

One catastrophe could wipe out most people financially, no matter how well off you are. If you have medical insurance, no matter how expensive you think it is, if it saves you from financial ruin, you would consider it cheap by comparison. If you put the money you spend on health insurance away and didn't touch it, do you think there would be enough there to cover a major medical emergency?

I don't see universal health care as being "free". The cost will eventually get put on the backs of every taxpayer in America. Those in the lower income brackets won't care. In their eyes it will be the "rich" paying for it.

I'm all for the privatization of Social Security. If people took some of that money and invested it themselves, they would do better. I don't see how anyone can go wrong with long-term investing. The problem is, when people have extra money, they don't say "WOW! I think I'll save THIS for retirement!". They say "WOW! I think I'll go buy an I-Pod".
 

AnneL

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Thanks Andrew for clearing that up for me. I didn't have time to go find the all the studies done over the last decade that continually rate our health care system behind those of comparable nations. There are many good facilities here but there are also many that are not up to standards. Unfortunately, only the rich or those with good insurance can usually afford the top facilities, the rest of the population takes their chances. The ranking of health care in the US isn't based on all the facilities and data, not on just the top few.

There are many other countries in the world that also have top notch health care facilities. There is a growing trend of health tourism to these places, which often have better facilities and services and top notch, US and European trained doctors. After all, if your income depends on attract people with money, you want to give them the 4 star hotel treatment. Some US insurance companies even cover these trips and others are looking into it since it costs less to send someone overseas to have major surgery even with the travel expenses factored in. Follow up is a bit of a problem but they are working on ways to coordinate with US doctors via internet.
 

Maryann

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
My daughter's last 5 day stay in the hospital was $97,000....and that was one of seven last year. Who can afford to pay that out of pocket? Not too many people. The health insurance premium may hurt but I don't know how you can take the chance of not having insurance.
 

PaulSF

PFG, Picture Framing God
150 years ago, there was not much of a public education system in the US. Prior to the mid-1800s, it wasn't widely considered something the government should take care of. All that changed, and this country is the better for it. Our standards evolved.

Same thing with health care. Oddly, public health has never been considered a matter for the government to be involved in. It's been shucked off onto the shoulders of big business, by and large, but there's no real logic behind that. In just about every other country, however, the decision was made that public health should be a public responsibility, and the government is the most effective and efficient means to achieve it. As Andrew's post points out, their coverage is more extensive, and their quality of care is at least as high as ours if not more so.

We are lagging behind the rest of the world, but those days are ending quickly. The insurance companies and pharmaceutical industry want to maintain the status quo, because they've gotten absurdly wealthy off it. The politicians prefer to do as little as possible for their money, and campaign contributions from the insurance and pharma industries reinforce that. I'm too lazy to be a revolutionary, but if there is a revolution brewing, it's going to be over health care. Count on it.

There's nothing anti-American in examining our current system and identifying flaws and faults in it. In fact, it's more patriotic to do so than to hide one's head in the sand and shout "AMERICA IS THE BEST AND IF YOU DON"T LIKE IT, LEAVE!"

You want an analogy? The streets in San Francisco suck. I've seen potholes big enough to house a frame shop. Some roads are in such bad shape, you could easily lose control of your car. Easily. I used to live on a dirt road in Santa Fe, and that road was in better condition than many of the paved roads I've driven on in this city. Does pointing that out make me hate San Francisco? Does it make me unpatriotic? No, it does not. Pointing out the bad condition of the roads is the first step towards getting them repaved.

Same with health care. Our system is deeply flawed. Anyone who can't see that either has a vested interest in the status quo, or isn't paying attention.
 

AnneL

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I'm too lazy to be a revolutionary, but if there is a revolution brewing, it's going to be over health care. Count on it.
If there is a revolution brewing then the way wages are going down; prices for food, gas, and heating are going up; and increasing lay offs and job loses will also be factors.

The streets in San Francisco suck. I've seen potholes big enough to house a frame shop.
Wonder how much they rent for?
 

PaulSF

PFG, Picture Framing God
I dunno, Anne. The one I've had my eye on, we're first going to have to evict a family of 5 that's been living there.
 

Tim Hayes.

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Here are the websites for both the US Senate and House of Representatives. It is relatively easy to find and then contact your senator and representative. I know at times it seems futile but if enough constituents write(email) them often enough it may help influence change. We need to be consistent and work hard to get their attention. It is a free and relatively easy way to way to contact them. If we do little or nothing we will continue to be victims of a dysfunctional health care system and other issues facing our nation.

U.S. Senate http://www.senate.gov/
U.S. House http://www.house.gov/

I respectfully urge you to visit these sites, become familiar with them, bookmark them on your computers, and contact both your U. S. Senator and U. S. Representative regarding your concerns for health care and all other issues they can influence. In your correspondence let them know that you are a voting member of their district and that you strongly urge them to ... So please take a few minutes of your "Grumble time" and direct it to those in office who "run" OUR country. Make this a frequent part of your weekly routine.

Thanks.

Best,
Tim

This thread has produced a myriad of posts commenting on the health care system here in the US. Open discussion of a topic can be valuable but if it is merely that, discussion with out acting to change what you might perceive to be an issue the it becomes rather insignificant. Therefore I encourage those who want change, whatever it may be, to act to realize that change.

Best,
Tim
 

AnneL

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
We currently have our own lobbyist in Washington working for change in health care for small businesses. No we're not rich enough to afford them ourselves, but part of our professional photographic organization's dues go toward paying for them. The dues are more than PPFA's but we get more bang for our buck and the PPA is nonprofit, so all our dues go toward providing member services.
 

David N Waldmann

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Low 30's age, two kids, mom and dad-Medical is $320/mon

Two cars-auto insurance is $138/mon

Nice home-Home insurance (they think) about $300/yr

What comparatives do you see in your own situation?
Mid-40s, two kids - Medical is $872/month ($3k deductible, $30 co-pay for doctor visits, 50% off prescriptions)

Two cars - Auto ins is $94/month (a two year old Honda plus a 10 year old van with liability only)

Modest home - House ins $375/yr (4 BR ranch on 2 acres)

Yes, medical insurance is expensive. More expensive than it ought to be. But it's necessary. I agree with Bob that there a lot of people that don't want to afford it. They'd rather have their HD TV, take-out lunches, Friday night beer bashes or what have you. America has been on a self-gratification stint for several decades now and some time along it's going to really hurt.
 

Jerry Ervin

PFG, Picture Framing God
I guess I'm just real lucky.

My BCBS (Blue Cross Blue Shield) policy only cost me $180 a month and is tax deductible when paid with a company check. I am however a smoker, and for those in my age bracket that doesn't smoke I think the advertised rate is around $129 a month. It has went up a bit from when I started this policy seven years ago. It was $89 a month then. Then again, I'm in another age bracket now.
 

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Guys-I am not the poster child for this medical system

You are getting way too emotional about things none of us will ever change

I am not defending nor decrying Sweden, but let's be open and honest. What does a typical Swede pay in taxes? Are they happier? I don't know and don't much care, but we never answer the basic questions of what it will cost us

I spend a fair amount of time inside the medical system, probably a lot more than most. I see physicians and nurses from all over the world that have left their homes to work in this system. There must be a reason

I am certain that we can find surveys and studies that will prove the earth flat if we look hard enough and have an agenda
 

AnneL

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Bob, who mentioned Sweden? But since you brought it up, Swedes are actually some of the happiest people in the world. Most of them don't mind their higher taxes because they like what they get in return.

I did mention Switzerland, which up until recently had a health care system like ours and was seeing some of the same problems. They chose a solution that still uses private insurance, but with controls on it so everyone has insurance.

It's only by getting emotional that change will happen. If we couldn't change things, we wouldn't be living in a democracy. It was because our founding fathers got emotional about things they didn't feel were right that we exist.
 

Jay H

PFG, Picture Framing God
I haven't seen this much complaining since New Coke.

I pay more for child care than I do my house and thats a fact. While we're all making out our government Christmas list, I'd like to toss Socialized Child Care in. Bob make plenty of money. He doesn't need it all and plus his kids are grown. I think its time he kick in a little for my kids. Same for the rest of you.

I have a friend who has complained for years that he CAN'T get health insurance. What he means to say is that nobody will give it to him.
 

Framing Goddess

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Boy, oh boy, Val, see what a hornet's nest your simple question has stirred up?

Zowie.

I don't know what the answers are, but there sure are a lot of questions.

Thanks to everyone for the kind emails about my marital strife I mentioned earlier in this thread. Rest assured that this goddess is no victim and is well versed in Doin' What Needs To Get Done.

Bob, talk about heartbreaking; you being unavailable...!:faintthud:

edie the wrongplacewrongtime goddess
 

Val

PFG, Picture Framing God
They'd rather have their HD TV, take-out lunches, Friday night beer bashes or what have you. America has been on a self-gratification stint for several decades now and some time along it's going to really hurt.
His employer pays his premium, but not mine...about $500/month.
Car insurance for 2 cars, $200/mo. We don't drink, so no beer bashes! No dinners out, either, except maybe a once-a-month take-and-bake-pizza. We have no extras, right now.

Update: He has rescinded his resignation, after we talked about trust and security and pre-existing conditions. Reality check!

He read these responses.,...thanks for those....it put the fear of reality in him. He respects the Grumblers' responses. Sometimes, doesn't like them, but we fear what we know is true, ddn't we?. Oh well. He's not a framer....he's a baker, and darn good at it.
 

AnneL

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Glad you were able to work things out Val.

I finally got a chance to look up the name of the program about health care around the world. It was a Frontline called "Sick Around the World". If you get a chance to see it, do. It's very interesting how other countries have dealt with the same problem we are dealing with. The journalist that did it has a book coming out next year on the topic.
 

Paul N

In Corner
I am not defending nor decrying Sweden, but let's be open and honest. What does a typical Swede pay in taxes? Are they happier? I don't know and don't much care, but we never answer the basic questions of what it will cost us
I find it interesting that the amount of taxes paid or not paid, translates into happiness!!

I am sure those US citizens with say 15% tax bracket but faced with enormous medical bills are happier than the Swedes, Norwegians or the Germans.

I'd be happy to be in the 50% tax bracket and be assured of good schools and education system that doesn't rely on property values, good roads, FDA and EPA and other guvment agencies that are not lackeys and beholden to certain industries, functioning airports and traffic control systems, no hidden fees everywhere (as a result of cutting taxes to please the sheep!), good functioning public transportation (so our healthy senior citizens are not stuck a home), a firm retirement system and lastly a good health care system that is affordable not only to the filthy rich.

But hey, that's me.

And Bob "those physicians and nurses from all over the world that have left their homes to work in this system", are mostly from India, Philippines and other third world countries, are here not because of our "exemplary health care system". They're here for one single reason: Because they can earn more (aka economic reasons).
 

Peter Bowe

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
I'm 52. I've paid for my own health insurance for all my adult life. I've paid for my family for the last 25 years and I've paid for my employees for the last 20. I currently pay for health insurance for myself, my wife and two daughters and for four employees.

I just got my rate for next year. My premiums have increased 9%. The year before that they increased 12%. 2 years ago 10%. Health insurance is by far my largest fixed expense and is rising faster than any of my other expense categories - including fuel & heat.

The rate of increase is not sustainable. It affects my hiring decisions and I foresee a day where it will no longer be feasible, in my business model, to cover my employees. I have an employee with pre-existing conditions who is a single mother supporting an adult autistic son. I pay her $14.00 an hour for about 30 hrs a week. Her health insurance costs, if she had to pick up a non group individual policy, would be un-affordable.

I don't expect any one to pay my way. I have take that responsibility very seriously as a adult and as an employer. I do expect that, as a society, we do not let a hard working woman become either bankrupt or be shut of decent medical care.

I think our system is deeply broken. We have managed to develop a model where we have many of the evils of socialized medicine - de facto rationing, care decisions made by insurers and endless red tape and yet still pay dearly for it.

I am healthy (thankfully) but just had a dear friend die of cancer a week before her 50th birthday. I spent some time with her family (her husband was my college roommate) helping out in the weeks preceding her death. I was not overly impressed with our medical system. Individuals were tremendous, her oncologist and the hospice people were as good as can be but the operated within a system which sucked. Navigating the bureaucracy was almost a full time job for my well insured, well educated, well supported friends. The overwhelming impression was of great professionals operating within a system that hampered them more often than helped them and that seemed busier with billing complexities than with user friendliness.

As an aging baby boomer I fear the future. I think that our medical system is going to be progressively more expensive and more chaotic and that it will chew many of us up and spit us out.

Peter
 

acrompton

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Here in Massachusetts we get to pay for the invetro fertilization of infertile couples. A couple we are friends with exhausted their three tries w/o getting pregnant. But they did have the money to adopt a baby from China. I'm sorry, but having a child is not life threatening.
Most insurances do not cover IVF....if they did, "I" would have a child right now. The same arguement could hold true for any illness. And maybe insurance shouldn't cover birth control or sterilization either?

Should I not get to have my colostomy reversed because someone deems it a "vanity" cost? I can live forever with it, but should I have to because someone thinks that's not life threatening?
 

Jay H

PFG, Picture Framing God
I am sure those US citizens with say 15% tax bracket but faced with enormous medical bills are happier than the Swedes, Norwegians or the Germans.
Not just this thread but in many you mention what others are paying in taxes. Ignoring the fact the the weathiest pay almost all taxes, how are you helped by having somebody pay more taxes? Are you harmed one bit if I pay say 1/2 the taxes I currently do next year?

I'd be happy to be in the 50% tax bracket and be assured of good schools and education system that doesn't rely on property values, good roads, FDA and EPA and other guvment agencies that are not lackeys and beholden to certain industries, functioning airports and traffic control systems, no hidden fees everywhere (as a result of cutting taxes to please the sheep!), good functioning public transportation (so our healthy senior citizens are not stuck a home), a firm retirement system and lastly a good health care system that is affordable not only to the filthy rich.
Huh?

Is that really one sentence? Anyway we already spend more on education than any other nation. So we're the best right? Hardly our government fouls up everything they touch and you want them to have more control. Now in light of a mediocre school system you want socialized retirement and health care? We come from two different backgrounds to be sure. I was taught that welfare was to be avoided unless you really needed. Then it was nothing to be proud of and temporary as possible. You seem to be demanding it.
 

DVieau2

PFG, Picture Framing God
We shouldn’t brag because the quality of our health care is inconsistent.

If you go to the hospital with a heart attack you’ll be treated with the latest medical miracles and you will conclude that our health care is the greatest in the world.

If you go to the hospital with a mental health emergency you will be treated like a criminal and likely turned away because there are no beds available. Mental health care is worst today than it was 25 years ago!

If we could lower the cost of health care by 15% it would stimulate the economy in a unprecedented way. Experts say that bureaucracy accounts for at least 30 percent of total U.S. health spending. The first step is to simply cut down on the complex paperwork.

Instead we are now beginning the biggest political pandering scheme ever devised. Most everyone is getting a big check to jump start the economy. It's all borrowed money and our kids will be paying it back with interest. How sad and greedy we are!

Health Care is fixable if we have the will and elect the right people.


Doug
 

PaulSF

PFG, Picture Framing God
Unfortunately, Doug, none of the right people are running.
 

Framar

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Wow! What a riveting thread. And OMG - Val!!! Edie!!! Yikes!!!!!

I sit here in Canada feeling very hugely grateful for their deeply flawed "socialized medicine." So even though I had to wait for a year for the first surgery, two cataract procedures cost me less than $200 (for wrap-around shades, eyepatches, tape and eye drops - I have to pay for my own prescriptions) and the government pays for one eye exam a year.

If I lived in the US I would be one of the ones without coverage - hardly anyone I know has any medical insurance of any kind - not because they are out boozing all the time - they simply have no extra money lying around - here's the choice: buy food to eat or pay health insurance.

I was talking to someone in Buffalo just today - he has emphysema and is "between" medical coverages so his friend who works at an old folks home stole a couple of inhalers for him from the dead residents' store-room*.

I saw that Frontline special on healthcare around the world - it was very illuminating.


*the store room where they keep the personal effects of the residents who have died - they don't keep any dead residents in there - I hope!
 

Pat Murphey

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
PaulN,

Interesting you should want to be in a 50% tax bracket - I'm already there - no one (D) running for president or congress is proposing anything other than to further raise my taxes and lower those in the 15% bracket (Didn't W already lower the 15% to 10%?). Maybe, if everyone paid 50% of there income in taxes there might be a realization of what's going on here. I quote Obama's answer to why is it fair to increase payroll taxes for those making over $102,000 by $12,400 for each and every additional $100,000 that they earn. "Well, they only represent 3-4% of the population." IMHO those people will go play golf rather than expand their businesses and hire more people.

I'm already p***** that if I show more than $12,000 profit in my little business, each $1.00 will cost me $1.02 in tax and reduced SS payments. I guess thats my reward for funding my own retirement and insurance through my employment over 38 years.
 

Paul N

In Corner
Well Pat, you're already in the 50% bracket and there is not health are system to speak of. Other countries who allegedly are in that bracket, have much more to show for it than we do. What does that tell you?

And this is suddenly now an election discussion with candidates none of whom will offer a viable health care system. Nice.
 

Paul N

In Corner
Not just this thread but in many you mention what others are paying in taxes. Ignoring the fact the the weathiest pay almost all taxes, how are you helped by having somebody pay more taxes? Are you harmed one bit if I pay say 1/2 the taxes I currently do next year?
Nope, I'll be happy for ya.

And this is a totally different discussion, it's about health-care and not taxation.

Huh?

Is that really one sentence?
No, it's actually a paragraph.

Let us know how you feel though if your wife's company stops medical coverage someday.
 

Jay H

PFG, Picture Framing God
Ok Paul. When she worked at a bank and I was an electrician we used my insurance. It was a socialized policy and I paid $6 per hour for insurance. I couldn't opt out of it and I asked. Unlike Bob the policy wasn't loosing money on me. When I was laid off and my insurance expired, I wouldn't dare make the COBRA payments. It was like $1200 a month. A couple of times a year we got a BCBS plan for much much less than the union socialist plan. Rather you had 20 kids or AIDS or was a healthy 20 year old, you paid the same. How's that fair? Or was that coy comment a jab as if I had no idea what I'm talking about? Unlike many Americans I have paid for my own health insurance and I will do it again when the time comes. I certainly won't sit around crying that somebody else should pay for it.
 

AnneL

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Not to get this too far off track on the issue of taxes, but if you really believe the rich pay their fair share you need to read David Cay Johnston's books, Perfectly Legal and Free Lunch. I've listened to interviews with him and what he has found makes my blood boil. I haven't read the books yet but hope to soon.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=17808622
 

PaulSF

PFG, Picture Framing God
Ok Paul. When she worked at a bank and I was an electrician we used my insurance. It was a socialized policy and I paid $6 per hour for insurance. I couldn't opt out of it and I asked. Unlike Bob the policy wasn't loosing money on me. When I was laid off and my insurance expired, I wouldn't dare make the COBRA payments. It was like $1200 a month. A couple of times a year we got a BCBS plan for much much less than the union socialist plan. Rather you had 20 kids or AIDS or was a healthy 20 year old, you paid the same. How's that fair? Or was that coy comment a jab as if I had no idea what I'm talking about? Unlike many Americans I have paid for my own health insurance and I will do it again when the time comes. I certainly won't sit around crying that somebody else should pay for it.
Ah, but would you have traded in that union socialist electrician pay scale and benefits for the lower, non-union, capitalist electrician pay scale?
 

Jay H

PFG, Picture Framing God
That would be a good read Anne. When you read it help me understand how they justify the fact that the rich pay almost all the total collected taxes.
 

Twin2

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Wow! What a riveting thread. And OMG - Val!!! Edie!!! Yikes!!!!!

I sit here in Canada feeling very hugely grateful for their deeply flawed "socialized medicine."
I have to agree with Mar. I too am feeling hugely grateful for our health care system in Canada. I realize that we do pay more in taxes and I agree that the system doesn't work perfectly, but for the most part it is pretty darn good.


My daughter had an emergency appendectomy last summer - it didn't cost us a cent.

And just recently, we found out that my daughter has Grave's disease (a form of hyperthyroidism). My daughter had been feeling extremely tired the last couple months, though I initially thought it was just due to teenage tiredness. However, after doing a unit in gym class, she found out that her resting heart rate was quite fast (ranging from 100-120 beats/min). I took her to her family doctor and she ordered blood tests (no charge). The results came back in a couple days and showed a problem with her TSH level. She had more specific thyroid hormone blood tests done (no charge) and got an appointment with an endocrinologist at our local children's hospital within a week. The endocrinologist ordered more blood tests and a thyroid scan was done within another week (again at no charge). The results confirmed that her hyperthyroidism was caused by Grave's disease. She is now on medication, and we are hoping she'll be back to her normal self soon.

My husband does pay for additional health insurance through his work, which covers 100% of all prescriptions (it used to be 80% until his company was merged with another company), 80% of dental expenses, to name just a couple of the benefits. For this extra coverage he pays less than $800 per YEAR.

We have the piece of mind knowing that our life savings won't be used up if one of us experiences a health care problem. And for that, I'm willing to pay more in taxes.

Val... So glad to hear your husband came to his senses!
 

Pat Murphey

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Actually PaulN, there is a huge difference between a 50% tax bracket and paying 50% of income in taxes. The former simply discourages economic growth, the latter represents socialism.
 

DawnStendin

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
wouldnt it be nice if.. in this country as in many European countries ..when you found that tumor you didn't have to worry about coming up with the monthly premium, your co-payment, your deductible and your portion of the bill...not to mention that one little chemo pill that can cost $4000 for a single dose? I for one would rather pay more taxes now and not have the additional stress on my family and income if I were to get sick. Just my 2 cents.
 

Maryann

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
you're already in the 50% bracket and there is not health are system to speak of.

I would be willing to bet that we're all in the 50% tax bracket if you did the math.

15% federal tax (average - some pay more, some pay less)
15% social security
3.07% state tax (in PA)
1.5% local tax
$52 per year privledge to work tax here (what's that about!?)
real estate taxes
6% sales tax in PA
In addition to the sales tax, we pay extra taxes for:
Gas
Entertainment and Amusement
utilities
tire disposal tax
cigarettes
alcohol, beer and wine
motor vehicle registrations



And we pretty much do it without a whimper. In the 18th century, when England taxed the colonies on molasses and tea, it raised the average taxes that a family paid to 1% of their income.....and that started a war.
 

AnneL

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
That would be a good read Anne. When you read it help me understand how they justify the fact that the rich pay almost all the total collected taxes.
Maybe you should read it Jay and find out how they get away with not paying or with appearing to pay but actually getting the money back through government entitlements aimed at the rich and coporations. I guarantee if you knew the truth about where your money actually goes, you'd be mad.
 

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I do get a little tired of the shrill, scare tactics by both sides

I will promise that no one on this forum has dealt with the medical issues my family has the last year. No one

We trot out the Frontline-induced horror tales to scare us when so many of us get great care. I love it when we hear about these huge procedures that "didn't cost a penny", when we all know better

May we use some real world numbers as posted here?

No one seems willing to say how much more the Swedes or the Canucks or Italians pay, as a percentage, for personal income tax than we.

For fun, lets say, as MaryAnn suggests (probably correctly) that we pay around 15%. We hear rumors of the Euros at 40-50% (I called our good friends in England today and he says he pays right at 40%). Let's say someone like Jerry earns $60K. That difference is about $15K in taxes. I think he said he pays about $200/mon for a pretty good plan with BCBS

If he paid an extra $1200-1300/month (the difference between his likely witholding presently and his UK counterpart) what kind of plan might he expect if purchased on his own? Zero deductible? Savings plan through a MSA?

I have no problem with protecting those most vulnerable because we already do

In AZ, from memory, the ACCHS system paid out over $5 Billion last year to uninsured qualifying Arizonans (working poor). That doesn't include the amounts (guesstimated around $4 Billion) of services provided to illegal aliens at Arizona hospitals that are simply gratis nor the various programs for unemployeed, etc. People do get cared for no matter the insurance-payment; that's different

I am simply not attempting to be hard hearted, but these are not insignificant numbers and AZ is a smaller state

So, it comes down to who is going to pay for what we all agree is needed.

It sure appears that the less you earn, the more you "expect" it to be "free". While the more you earn, the "more" it will probably cost. If a plan went into affect tomorrow, I probably would see a reduction in my "net" costs, and if I truly had the ability to "pay extra" to get "extra", I would do it in a heartbeat

Kind of like buying a luxury car or flying First Class; that choice ought to be mine

If that is the plan, sign me up

Anne-The numbers simply support Jay's point. Sure, there are farmers that get money back for not planting any crops and did you see Bill and Hillary's returns? They spent more money on Tax Avoidance Consultants than you probably will ever make. If these people truly think the rich are underpaying, why do they spend so much money on thes goofball "Foundations" and simply write a check for the underpaid amount to the IRS.

Or, better yet, take that $10 mil in speaking and Book deals and buy every framer on the Grumble a prepaid hospitalization plan for one year

BTW, I am not rich by anyone's standards, but I will swap Tax Bills with anyone here
 

PaulSF

PFG, Picture Framing God
In AZ, from memory, the ACCHS system paid out over $5 Billion last year to uninsured qualifying Arizonans (working poor). That doesn't include the amounts (guesstimated around $4 Billion) of services provided to illegal aliens at Arizona hospitals that are simply gratis nor the various programs for unemployeed, etc. People do get cared for no matter the insurance-payment; that's different
Apples to oranges, Bob. Those uninsured Arizonans probably aren't getting regular checkups and preventive care. They fear going to the doctor because they can't afford a regular office visit, so their health problems get worse and worse, until they have to go to the ER. So right away, they are seeking the most expensive kind of care, and they are seeking treatment after the problem has gotten worse and more complicated. If they went to the doctor earlier, the total spending burden would be less.
 
Sponsor Wanted
Top