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Thread: Human Rights Bonanza! California's Senate just passed Single Payer!!!!

  1. #51
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    Our Colorado single payer proposal, ColoradoCare, was voted down by a large margin in the last election. I pretty much stopped studying the bill after learning that the Medicare system would be left in place, but a Medicare eligible senior's income would be taxed to pay for the new system. Essentially a new tax (for an age group that I am approaching) for no additional benefits. I think anytime you talk about a big new tax it's going to scare people away, even though there were plenty of number runners saying many or most would come out ahead or break even by not paying for health insurance otherwise. I don't know about CA, but I think there is a stigma around large new tax increases regardless of the benefits received and single payer will probably always be some form of wealth redistribution. Then again, that is basically what an insurance "pool" is about.

    Comparing the exiting system run by greedy insurance companies padded with layers of middle men, and single payer with government bureaucratic waste and abuse, I'm not sure I see an advantage to either system over the other. I do like the concept of single payer if done correctly.

  2. #52
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flowerseverywhere View Post
    don't forget the smoking tax
    not exercising tax
    sex without a condom tax
    Alcohol drinking tax
    motorcycle rider tax
    high blood pressure tax
    high cholesterol tax
    driving a car on a freeway tax
    female tax (you might have a costly pregnancy)
    over 60 years old tax
    breathing LA air tax
    stepping outside your door tax
    Indeed. I remember reading, several years ago, that the Romanian government had done a study and found that because smokers die younger on average that they were actually a net benefit to the combined social medical care and old age pension programs compared to non-smokers.

  3. #53
    Low Tech grunt iris lily's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jp1 View Post
    Indeed. I remember reading, several years ago, that the Romanian government had done a study and found that because smokers die younger on average that they were actually a net benefit to the combined social medical care and old age pension programs compared to non-smokers.
    Sure, but right there I am skeptical that Romania treats their dying-of-COPD and etc patients the same way with the same products and services that we do.
    Dying is cheap. Keeping people alive is expensive.
    Last edited by iris lily; 6-5-17 at 11:29am.

  4. #54
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lily View Post
    Sure, but right there I am skeptical tah Romania teeat their dying-of-COPD and etc patients the same way with the same products as servcies that we do.
    Dying is cheap. Keeping people alive is expensive.
    We're all going to die from something. And regardless of lifestyle or how old they are the last couple of years of most people's lives is filled with expensive medical treatment no matter what the final cause of death, unless one happens to just drop dead from a heart attack out of nowhere. My dad's death from COPD was no more expensive than my FIL's death from parkinsons and aplastic (sp?) anemia. If anything it was probably less expensive since it only involved a six month final hospital stay instead of spending more than 50% of his last three years in hospitals the way FIL did.

  5. #55
    Low Tech grunt iris lily's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jp1 View Post
    We're all going to die from something. And regardless of lifestyle or how old they are the last couple of years of most people's lives is filled with expensive medical treatment no matter what the final cause of death, unless one happens to just drop dead from a heart attack out of nowhere. My dad's death from COPD was no more expensive than my FIL's death from parkinsons and aplastic (sp?) anemia. If anything it was probably less expensive since it only involved a six month final hospital stay instead of spending more than 50% of his last three years in hospitals the way FIL did.
    But a six month stay in a U.S. Hospital stay is a phenomenal expense. There is no way Romania affords that same experience.

    I am not saying that Romania "should" or that U.S. Care is superior or that we should do everything to keep people away feom death. I am saying none of that.

    I am just making comparisons of experiences. Yhe U.S. Has big ezpenses in treatment, right or wrong.

    Also, NPR did its best to convince me that COPD meds are very. very expensive, too expensive for the average bwar. This news segment ran last Friday.

  6. #56
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    From what I've read, the Senate bill basically makes a wonderful golden promise but leaves the grubby details such as who to tax to pay for it, and how to get the feds to turn over all the Medicare and Medicaid funding to California, to the Assembly. Getting their public employee unions and Medicare recipients to give up their current plans may be challenging. This could take a while.

    http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-p...605-story.html

  7. #57
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lily View Post
    But a six month stay in a U.S. Hospital stay is a phenomenal expense. There is no way Romania affords that same experience.

    I am not saying that Romania "should" or that U.S. Care is superior or that we should do everything to keep people away feom death. I am saying none of that.

    I am just making comparisons of experiences. Yhe U.S. Has big ezpenses in treatment, right or wrong.

    Also, NPR did its best to convince me that COPD meds are very. very expensive, too expensive for the average bwar. This news segment ran last Friday.
    But what I'm saying is that regardless of one's final illness that last hospital stay or multiple stays in the US is crazy expensive. I doubt that Romanians simply give up on lung cancer or COPD patients quicker than they do other patients. My guess is that the final hospital stay(s) for any final illness in the US averages to X, with smoking related illnesses not being that different from others and that the final stay(s) in Romania is Y, a number significantly less than X, but again, not too different on average for smoking related final illnesses vs. other illnesses.

    I'll have to look into that NPR story. Dad died several years ago and his COPD treatments prior to the hospital stay after getting pneumonia were not terribly expensive. His main med, advair, went off patent in 2010. Other than that his main medical expense beyond regular doc visits to monitor him was a few years of having an oxygen concentrator at home and tanks of oxygen for when he left home. Hopefully if there are newer treatments that cost significantly more they also work significantly better because even with these treatments he felt pretty lousy for the last 3 years of his life, to the point of not wanting to ever leave his tiny apartment because he didn't trust the portable oxygen tank as much as he did the concentrator.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan View Post
    Whatever sense tells you that you have a right to other's assets, educational product and skills is not necessarily common. But then again, what does an 8 year old know?

    It would be more accurate to say you prefer to vote yourself an entitlement paid for by your neighbors. That's what those other countries have done.
    Those other countries have citizens who, of their own free will, vote for higher taxes so that everybody can have health care, and education. in the long run, the common weal is the individual weal.

    Speaking of entitlement, nobody succeeds as an individual in a bubble. Individual success is built on the use of other people's assets, skills, and educational products. Any employer feels entitled to use other people's skills and talents, for personal profit. Many, sadly, chisel their employees - keeping hours 1-2 below the level at which benefits are payable; paying the lowest wage at which they can get workers; demanding unpaid overtime.

    When I first came to the USA, I worked 3 jobs, 60 hours a week. Two of those jobs were for the same employer, in different departments, 20 hours a week for each. I wasn't eligible for benefits because each department counted as a separate job and I wasn't working 21+ hours per week in either. 40 hours a week, no benefits. I couldn't get private health insurance because I have pre-existing conditions - in the bad old days pre ACA, migraine and depression could get one excluded, or quoted prohibitive premiums. After a year, after I was tipped off by a much more savvy co-worker, badgering by me, the Human Resources person reluctantly admitted that I could be included in my husband's insurance as a dependent - my husband worked for the same employer!

    Exploitation is also common in high-level jobs, where employees are expected to answer work emails in the evening and over weekends, or volunteer their time to finish a project.

    Karen Ho's ethnography of Wall Street, Liquidated, is a brilliant expose of the exploitation of lower-echelon staff, for whom an 80-hour week is the norm. They're not paid for 80 hours, of course. They're expected to demonstrate their commitment and put skin in the game. The burn-out rate is very high, as is the abuse of substances like cocaine that'll keep you going after what would normally be breaking point.

    I worked for two weeks as a doctor's receptionist. I found I was expected to arrive an hour early to prepare the consulting rooms and clean the bathroom - unpaid. Likewise, I was expected to work through my lunch hour - unpaid - if there were patients in the waiting room, which was always. I was expected to stay after hours to dip strips into pee and pack samples for the lab - unpaid. Pee dipping? Only use one rubber glove, on my right hand, to save money. I left when the creep called me into the consulting room to help with a colonoscopy! The doctor bragged about how efficient he was and how high his profit margin was. He voted himself an entitlement to my time and my skills.

    I would happily pay higher taxes on my gross pay for the sake of secure health care for all. I think that caring for the health of the populace is just plain common sense; better health all round is good for the individual as well as the population. I come into contact with many people every day, directly or indirectly. People touch things that I touch - like the grab handles when I'm standing in the streetcar. People cough and sneeze in the supermarket. The cashier in the coffee bar hands me my receipt. Conversely, others hang onto grab handles I've used; the cashier takes my cash or credit card. I might be in the early stages of an infectious disease, asymptomatic but still contagious, so I could be infecting people who have no, or very poor, health insurance.

    To my mind, the true wealth of the state or nation is its people. History shows, over and over, that the ability to make great inventions, discoveries, insights, and human rights advances, or to create great art, music and literature, is not restricted to the privileged classes.

  9. #59
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanne View Post
    Those other countries have citizens who, of their own free will, vote for higher taxes so that everybody can have health care, and education. in the long run, the common weal is the individual weal.

    Speaking of entitlement, nobody succeeds as an individual in a bubble. Individual success is built on the use of other people's assets, skills, and educational products. Any employer feels entitled to use other people's skills and talents, for personal profit. Many, sadly, chisel their employees - keeping hours 1-2 below the level at which benefits are payable; paying the lowest wage at which they can get workers; demanding unpaid overtime. ...

    I would happily pay higher taxes on my gross pay for the sake of secure health care for all. I think that caring for the health of the populace is just plain common sense; better health all round is good for the individual as well as the population. I come into contact with many people every day, directly or indirectly. People touch things that I touch - like the grab handles when I'm standing in the streetcar. People cough and sneeze in the supermarket. The cashier in the coffee bar hands me my receipt. Conversely, others hang onto grab handles I've used; the cashier takes my cash or credit card. I might be in the early stages of an infectious disease, asymptomatic but still contagious, so I could be infecting people who have no, or very poor, health insurance.

    To my mind, the true wealth of the state or nation is its people. History shows, over and over, that the ability to make great inventions, discoveries, insights, and human rights advances, or to create great art, music and literature, is not restricted to the privileged classes.
    This bears repeating. I'll never understand what appears to be the prevalent mindset in this country--the "I've got mine, the hell with you" sentiment that is what you get, I guess, when you create a society of extremes where the more fortunate among us seem to think their wealth is conferred by God himself.

  10. #60
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    It's going to happen someday somewhere because people are sick of a dysfunctional system. And perhaps even more sick of fear of losing whatever access they have to healthcare even under a dysfunctional system (I mean it's only natural to respond to threats of losing ACA benefits with concluding that: "we need single payer"). The new ACHA is horrible and people know it, know they won't be able to afford healthcare under it, unless their state at least blocks most of it's effects. People are scared of losing ACA benefits, the ACA doesn't always work that well to begin with (although it already works much better in a state like CA where the state fully supports it, and the population base is large - it works very poorly in states where they are down to 1 or no insurers).

    It probably would be a much less risky implementation on the federal level, it not easy financially for a state to pull of at all and it leaves the problem of how not to allow people from other states to just move there and get full healthcare benefits right away. And if that's allowed it's pretty disastrous IMO (because we don't need a population explosion of people who have moved here just yesterday and get free healthcare - they need to study how likely that is - not when people are being forced into homelessness already because they can't pay rent at this point). I don't' favor allowing instant full qualification. OTOH the healthcare system is dysfunctional. It's possibly whole regions could cooperate to get single payer, it would work better than states, but I'm not sure there is any mechanism for this given that's not how government is divided in this country. But since it's not going anywhere on a federal level, people will keep trying because, the current system doesn't work, and gets worse every year.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

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