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Author Topic: Why do politicians still fail to support the health of our kids
WeAreAllJust LooseChange
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Is it because none of them lived recently with 24000/year salary with kids to support?
I used to make this kind of income when I first came to US 7 years ago. Needless to say my wife and kid did not have insurance, as we could not afford it if we were ever to be able to save some money to live in our own house. But then - why should we be able to buy a house, right?
Let recent immigrants (legal or illegal) work themselves into the graves to support the US Empire.
There are still so many of them where they originally came from.

Gambling on your life, literally – I wish this to happen to those 156 Republicans who were opposed the bill.

http://www.abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=3747313&page=1

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LoneSnark
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You are right. They should have taken your kids away from you and raised them properly, insurance and everything, since you freely admit you were incapable of doing so yourself.

That said, we all gamble with our lives all the time (driven a car lately?). By not having insurance you were able to afford the house. Economically speaking, that house WAS insurance. If anyone became ill you could have sold it to pay for the care.

[ October 18, 2007, 11:36 PM: Message edited by: LoneSnark ]

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KnightEnder
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Boy, some people just don't get. Is ass-hat one word?

I'm with you WAJLC, the Republicans would change their tune in a heartbeat if tomorrow they were no longer rich.

KE

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winkey151
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If my son in law and daughter (In their early twenties)can afford to have insurance for their three children, on their modest salaries, I can not imagine why there are so many uninsured children out there.

I think that a lot of it has to do with priorities.

Just take a drive through your local trailer park or low rent housing areas on trash day, and count the empty beer cans, cigarette boxes, pampers and other things that can be cut from budgets. Watch the people talk on their cell phones and count the satellite dishes.

Now consider that the latest bills wanted to raise the Government coverage to 80,000 a year and continue to allow some states to include adults to their programs.

My husband and I are not wealthy and we have always provided health insurance for our children. Matter of fact we just took our youngest son off our insurance when he got married a little over a year ago. Now he and his wife pay for their own insurance.

You do what you have to do. It is not the job of my neighbors to pay for my responsibilities and I don't want to have to pay for theirs.

And that is the way this grandma sees it.

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TommySama
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Well then it depends, I know that my aunt, uncle, and two cousins family only had to pay about $180 a month on insurance (actually I'm pretty sure it was significantly lower then that, but whatever.)

Whereas my dad has to pay more like $400 just for my sister and I.

He probably works about 50 hours a week or more to pay for everything, but last I knew of he wasn't able to have insurance himself. Also, we can't get insurance through his partner/boyfriend because the state does not recognize gay relationships. Just another little **** you from old Uncle Sam.

[ October 19, 2007, 01:15 AM: Message edited by: TommySama ]

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LetterRip
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winkey151,

quote:
My husband and I are not wealthy and we have always provided health insurance for our children.
Were you insured through either of your employment or did you purchase it?

quote:
my son in law and daughter (In their early twenties)can afford to have insurance for their three children, on their modest salaries
Modest salaries - do you mean combined income of 24,000 a year or more like 50k a year? If it is in fact salary (ie professional work, as opposed to hourly wage) then it probably is no where close to the 24k line, and likely comes with full benefits. (also if you are in the mid west, cost of housing is cheap relative to coastal). Also are they paying the health insurance out of pocket or is it through their employer?

Also if you are living in the midwestern states, they are heavily subsidized by federal taxes of the rest of the country (direct federal funding for roads and such, as well as farm subsidies and such). (It bugs me when midwesterners bitch about taxes when they are net tax recepients ...)

Here are the premium costs for a number of states

http://www.microsoft.com/smallbusiness/resources/finance/business_insurance/best_and_worst_states_for_health_insurance_costs.mspx

ranging from 5,500$ or so to 8,500$ or so per family.

A two parent household on minimum wage would be about 24,000$ a year.

Subtract out food, housing, clothing, transportation, and you are probably not left with much. (estimate 300$ per head times 5 people *12 months is 18,000 possible an overestimate for where food is dirt cheap but likely reasonable for AK and HI - similarly housing costs are 900-1200 a month even for a cheap two bedroom apartment - 1000*12 = 12,000. Clothing 300$*5 is 1500$ a year, transportation - assume 5000$ a year - so for very thin living - 36,500 for a family of 5 completely excluding medical costs or any pleasantries or incidental expenses - you can adjust the food, housing, etc costs to your taste - I get minimums of around 15k for housing, 9k for food, 5k for transport, 1.5k for clothing - so 30.5k - given the costs of family medical insurance - so one needs roughly 38000 - 42000 for a two income minimum wage family with 3 kids to cover only necessities and medical insurance (and ignoring education expenses, no christmas presents, etc.) ).

Of course adult married children of middle class families also tend to get items from their parents that aren't counted as income (used cars, used tvs and other hand me down items; christmas presents; loans, etc.) that can make a huge difference in quality of life and ability to get through thin times.

LetterRip

[ October 19, 2007, 02:09 AM: Message edited by: LetterRip ]

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Mynnion
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Lone:
quote:
That said, we all gamble with our lives all the time (driven a car lately?). By not having insurance you were able to afford the house. Economically speaking, that house WAS insurance. If anyone became ill you could have sold it to pay for the care
I have a daughter who was treated for leukemia. The cost of her 27 months of tratment was somewhere around $250,000 (I have insurance so this was not financially devastating). My house was appraised recently at $120,000. Not even close. Besudes, in most cases rent is nearly as high as a mortgage and since the children would be taken away if they lived on the street your argument is simply not valid (at least with the housing choice).

Also I second what LetterRip said.

The real question is whether the goverment should be providing subsidies for medical care. I support this at least for children but there are valid arguments about this particular bill. These are already covered on several other threads.

[ October 19, 2007, 06:38 AM: Message edited by: Mynnion ]

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Everard
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Loose change-
While I support your position, usng rhetoric like "failing to support the health of our kids," promotes hostility and has a tendency to reduce productive discussion.

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KonerAtHome
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quote:
Why do politicians still fail to support the health of our kids
Politicians? Why is it the responsibility of politicians, or the governement (more to the point the American people) to support YOUR children?

That's what I don't get. My question is this. Why do PARENTS still fail to support their own damn kids? In this day and age with all of the government provided FREE birth control why are people who can't afford to have them still having kids they can't afford to support?

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Everard
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Free birth control? Really? When so many are trying to make birth control harder and harder and more expensive to get?
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KnightEnder
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BECAUSE INSURANCE IS SO DAMN EXPENSIVE!

If the damn politicians would do something to regulate the insurance companies we could insure our children. When I was young a job meant insurance through the company, nowadays most companies here don't even offer insurance. The company I'm with now would have charged us $700 dollars a month for insurace.

KE

[ October 19, 2007, 10:24 AM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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KnightEnder
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Koner is right, poor people shouldn't have kids. [Frown]

And it's OUR money. We would like it spent on our kids rather than billions to Iraq and bridges to nowhere, or paying farmers not to farm.

And what is this government birth control? I've never heard of it.

KE

[ October 19, 2007, 10:26 AM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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KonerAtHome
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KE, I'm ALL for the politicians doing something about the high cost of insurance.
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KonerAtHome
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quote:
Koner is right, poor people shouldn't have kids.

And it's OUR money. We would like it spent on our kids rather than billions to Iraq and bridges to nowhere, or paying farmers not to farm.

And what is this government birth control? I've never heard of it.

KE

I never said poor people shouldn't have kids. In your typical fashion you are once again putting words into my "mouth". What I said is that people who can't afford to have children shouldn't have children. Poor people can afford them. My wife made $10.50 per hour for 8 years. She was able to support 3 kids on that. Including insurance and paying off her house. But then again my wife has her priorities straight.

Are condoms not a form of birth control? Does planned parenthood (a government supported agency?) no give condoms away for free?

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KnightEnder
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Good. Maybe Ralph Nader will run? Cause I don't trust anybody in either of the two parties to do anything detrimental to their pocketbooks. At least this bill was something. The 80,k is too high, but capping it at 49,k would be reasonable.

KE

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KnightEnder
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"In my typical fashion" In all the time I've been here, almost 10,k posts, you are the only person that has ever accused me of that. [Smile]

Now we've dealt with that bs; "people who can't afford to have children shouldn't have children." That is saying that poor people shouldn't have kids. It may not have been what you meant, but it is how it sounds. And no way in Hell your wife able to do all that on 10.50 an hour. Unless she lives in an abandon building and serves her kids beans and Raman noodles every night. My guess is she was getting financial help from somewhere else that you weren't aware of.

KE

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KonerAtHome
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quote:
"In my typical fashion" In all the time I've been here, almost 10,k posts, you are the only person that has ever accused me of that.
Then stop doing it to me. And no "people who can't afford to have children shouldn't have children" is not saying that poor people shouldn't have them. It's saying exactly what it says. You are just interpreting it the way you chose to. I know plenty of "poor" people who have children and do just fine. It's about priorities just like someone else pointed out. Cable TV, cell phones adn expensive cars are not priorities when you have children to think about.

My wife made $10.50 per hour working as a pharmacist technician at a locally/family owned pharmacy in a very small rural town in Michigan. Her house was not a mansion but it was warm in the winter. Two of the girls get social security in the amount of $162.00 (being lowered now to $120.00) per month for their "disabled" father, but no other child support. The other gets nothing in the form of child support. They all now have medical insurance thru my entitlements.

Did she get extra help from her family? I'm sure that she did. I do know that my in-laws paid for tuition for their school. But my wife has learned to do with less wherever possible. Something that I'm now learning to do since we got married and I took on the financial responsibilty for them.

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KnightEnder
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I really didn't mean to put words in your mouth. That is one of the things I don't do, like lying, changing word meanings, etc. Because I want to be taken seriously by the members of this forum. So, I'm sorry if I misunderstood your meaning, though I would point out that it was an easy mistake to make. But if you say that wasn't what you meant I believe you.

I commend your wife. She sounds like an extraordinary woman. But there are a lot of people out there that don't even make that much nor do they have family and friends to fall back on. And a lot of them are just not extraordinary, heck a lot of them are barely functional people, for whatever reason. And 'their' children suffer. I don't pretend to know the solution. I just know we need to do something.

KE

[ October 19, 2007, 11:34 AM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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LoneSnark
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Insurance is expensive because people are spending so much of other people's money on healthcare. When a family with insurance plops down $2000 to go to the emergency room when they could get the same care at a $40 minute clinic, that money must come from somewhere; and that somewhere is our insurance premiums.

This is why insurance companies that are smart offer catastrophic insurance that only pays after a $5,000 deductable. This is what I have, and while I am young, don't smoke, etc, I get by with only $336 in premiums a year. With that I pay for my own checkups, buy my own generic medication, etc. If I ever get leukemia then I'm out $5,336.

Of course, it would be even cheaper if I still had an incentive to seek out affordable leukemia or cancer treatment, instead of taking the best on offer since I'm already out my $5,336. But I have yet to be offered such a plan, which I guess would have a $3k deductable and then only pay a percentage of everything above that, say 80%. If anyone knows of such a plan let me know.

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KnightEnder
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That sounds like a pretty good deal. Who are you with? Thanks.

KE

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TommySama
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"That's what I don't get. My question is this. Why do PARENTS still fail to support their own damn kids? In this day and age with all of the government provided FREE birth control why are people who can't afford to have them still having kids they can't afford to support?"

Sometimes people lose their jobs.

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KonerAtHome
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quote:
Sometimes people lose their jobs
Agreed. And I've said it before in other threads that I have no complaints about the government being there to catch people when they fall to help them to get back up on their feet. But I'm totally against the government supporting life long parasites.
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Lobo
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quote:
Originally posted by WeAreAllJust LooseChange:
Is it because none of them lived recently with 24000/year salary with kids to support?

Doesn't the current S-CHIP provision include children of families at 200% of the poverty level?

So this is around $40,000 for a family of four? Why do we need to provide more than this?

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WeAreAllJust LooseChange
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Winkey - as most of us you are confused on this matter (quote): "Now consider that the latest bills wanted to raise the Government coverage to 80,000 a year and continue to allow some states to include adults to their programs."

I'll quote a recent interview with Paul Krugman:
(http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/10/17/1352236 )

"JUAN GONZALEZ: But the Republicans have been continuing to argue that the changes would allow families making as much as $83,000 a year to benefit from the program?

PAUL KRUGMAN: You know, we have a real problem here with the “L” word. That’s a lie. Just flat, it’s a lie. It’s not in the bill. I mean, there have been some proposals by some people, mostly Senator -- not “Senator,” Governor Spitzer in New York, where he’s saying, well, possibly because New York is a very expensive place, we might need to do that. But it’s not in the bill. So it’s just a pure lie, and Bush repeats it over and over again. And no reporter apparently is willing to say this is just not true. Extraordinary. But, again, a teaching moment.
-----

I have not read the proposed bill myself I must admit - I'd appreciate if you can find in your resources to point to exact text showing the 80 000 coverage. Because as the current state is - I do not believe a word this president and his speakers are saying...

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LoneSnark
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quote:
That sounds like a pretty good deal. Who are you with? Thanks.
Blue Cross Blue Shield. It was the cheapest plan they were offering to students at my university. I think the closest thing they have for individuals and families is the BlueOptionsHSA.
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Redskullvw
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Wow.

#1 Tort reform.
#2 Full payment of the actual costs of a treatment by Medicare/Medicaid. The Usual and customary fee levels are almost universally never even close to being met by medicare/medicaid.
#3 Admission into a hospital via emergency room is allowed only if there is an actual medical crisis. Emergency rooms are for crisis care.
#4 Local health/county health care centers available to those who are either poor or uninsured.
#5 Solve the illegal immigration problem and you will find the money to do all this and more.


If you can't see why these 5 things would solve the "healthcare crisis", then either be responsible for your own family or dont have kids.

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The Drake
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bill

Always look on govtrack.us for the real text of bills and lots of other cool stuff.

Summary::

Section 110 -
Places a limitation on the matching rate for states that propose to cover children with effective family income exceeding 300% of the federal poverty line.


Now, if you look in the full text of the bill, section 110 was eliminated. A quick review does not reveal any strings attached with respect to income level.

If I'm reading it right, there is no federal direction regarding income levels, and states are not restricted like Sec 110 would have done.

Let's look again at what Gonzalez says:

"...the changes would allow families making as much as $83,000 a year to benefit from the program?"

In fact, the changes WOULD allow this, so I don't see how Krugman calls it a lie.

Am I seeing this right?

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The Drake
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Another interesting fact:

The House of Reps was able to pass this bill by 360-45 in February, but failed to override the veto 273-156

So almost 90 reps suddenly decided this was a bad bill 8 months later?

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Clark
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Red, you suggest ER only for crisis care. How do you define crisis? In my experience, anything requiring a doctor between 5pm and 8am, on a weekend or a holiday turns into a trip to the ER because there is simply nowhere else to go.
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LoneSnark
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The minute clinic in Wal-Mart is open on the weekends, but not at night.
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WeAreAllJust LooseChange
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Redskull - I don't see how your #4 will solve the problem.

You know why? In a city of 3-4000 people there is usually only one doctor (if you are lucky), and he is a private "health center", not a "county" health center.
As such - I don't think he will provide any service to poor or uninsured, other than for the good of his/her heart OR if he is forced to (and paid for at least some amount) by somebody (in this case the government). Hence - the Medicare, the way I understand it.

With SCHIP Program - you are providing Medicare for KIDS of the families like mine (from 7 years ago) - who are "rich" enough to not qualify for Medicare as family, but are in fact working poor, who's ONLY chance to decent living one day is to risk going broke at the first major medical incident, but to be able to save for something (a normal car or home).

Your #2 is also subject to debate - why?
When my wife comes from her dentist with a "free" toothbrush and floss plus a "special" $12 toothpaste (which she did not want) - and the bill arrives from our insurer denying these $12 charge for something she didn't need AND want - who's fault is it???
Should my Dental insurer pay for every whim of my dentist?

SAME thing with Medicare!
I'm well aware that there are numerous cases when Medicare did NOT pay for something which all doctors agree should've been paid for.
That's why what is needed is 3rd party arbiter, and not just a blind solution – pay what I tell you.

To give you another example – my son had asthma, or so one doctor said and applied 1 dose of medicine (Albiturol) at his clinic. Bill coming home – 36$ for 1 dose of medicine!!!
Cost of the WHOLE bottle/spray (200 doses) in the store - $12
You do the math and then tell me if Insurance should pay for all this.

There is NO easy solution to all this. Most people agree that what we are to protect in US is our kids. Especially with falling birth rates. It’s another question who’s kids you want to protect, right?

Rich and middle class kids – by giving their families Tax deductions (as poor families don’t pay much taxes in the first place, so you CAN’T give them deduction here)
Or Poor kids – by providing for all their health care needs directly (and not give the money to their parents, who in some cases will decide not to use them for health care but to pay off old debts and other)

It is a matter of what society you want to live in and where your social responsibility lies.

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Redskullvw
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WAAJLC

Under both state and federal law, Doctors in rural areas- which is what a city of 4000 people would likely represent, especially if there are only regional hospitals as the secondary point of health, are required to provide health care regardless of ability to pay. It gets paid eventually by the local, state, or federal government to some extent. The remainder of the cost is paid by people with insurance.

I understand your personal situation- or how your personal situation was 7 years ago. I would suggest that if you are rich enough not to qualify for Medicare- you were rich enough to provide for your own healthcare. Bluecross/Blue Shield is specifically designed for people such as you were at that time. You can't tell me that you couldn't afford basic healthcare insurance and catastrophic healthcare costs. And that is just one of the commonly available private insurance coverages.

In point #2, I wasn't refering to professional stupidity. Then again if your wife doesn't ask why its a medically needed item in the first place, don't be surprised if it is neither usual or customary. What I was referring to was the practice by which a hospital or doctor's final bill is reviewed by medicare/medicaid, each charge for a proceedure, service, medicine, or expendable is subjected to a formula which invokes the concept of a usual and customary charge. The problem is the amount applied to the bill is often much less than the actual cost. This results in cases where the implanting of a Foley Catheter for example may indeed cost $125.00 just for the appliance- but Medicare /Medicaid will only pay $75.00.

The $50.00 uncovered cost in such an example, used to be absorbed by the patients who had health insurance. The real problem in our current system is that there is an increasingly negative impact resulting from illegal aliens. 100% of the cost of their care must be covered by someone. The government isnt paying for it- people with insurance are. So now in addition to the chronic losses from Medicare and Medicaid's usual and customary clauses, you have illegals using goods and services and not paying a dime for them.

What you don't understand is that Doctors and hospitals have found that the only way they can break even is to inflate their charges for service in terms of billing. So when your son got his asthma medicine in the office, he was charged what the Doctor charges to the insurance company for his service, so that when his charges to medicare/medicaid go under review he can indicate that he charges $36 to the private sector insurer- in the hopes that Medicare/Medicaid will give him $18.00.

I find it highly unlikely that a pharmacy sale of Albiturol costs only $12. A $12 copay I can see.

The easy solutions involve tort reform. For example I wrote extensively about the insurance cost my wife has to have while working in an ICU. As I pointed out, we are one lawsuit away from poverty even if the person sueing us is an illegal alien. She sees many such people. And many of her patients see even the slimmest chance of malpractice as being their lottery ticket. One of the primary reasons why nurses leave the profession after only five years is liability concerns and the costs associated with malpractice insurance.

If medicare and medicaid would start paying for the actual costs of care- your problem with the $36 inhaler dose would nearly vanish.

Follow rule #3 and send people with colds to a health clinic instead of tying up an ER. You can't do much for a cold- or even a flu in an ER. But it costs tons of money to process someone through the ER just to tell them to go home take a tylenol and sty home from work and school until you feel better.

So how do you pay for this? Solve #5 and you wont have situations such as I described about even my wife's regional hospital or for that matter Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta which has so many illegal aliens skipping the costs of treatment that the hospital is bankrupt and is endangering the entire metro area's healthcare because its a level 1 trauma center.

Social responsibility means pay as you go. Stop the illegals, and you solve the #1 source of fiscal loss which is making it impossible to provide for legal citizens.

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Redskullvw
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This is just my personal observation, but let's say the bill had passed. The $83,000 cap, if Drake is right, would be very tempting to my family of 3. If my wife worked a few weeks less, we would fall under that cap level. Right now the cost of having our child on our insurance is $6,500 per year. By working less, we decrease our federal tax liabilities, would save $6,500 in premium costs, and increase her bi-weekly check amount by $250 every two weeks.

So we'd have more free time, less taxable income, more cash on hand- and no longer have to worry about Alex having healthcare coverage.

I love it.

Sign me up.

Of course then the rest of you wold be saying that that wouldn't be fair. SCHIP is intended only for poor children who are entitled to healthcare. Its not supposed to be for people who aren't poor.

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LetterRip
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I think a strong arguement can be made that due to the restrictions on the number of new doctors that the government has imposed for a substantial period of time that there should be required subsidy for that reason - ie if the market for medical training were freeer the equilibrium level of doctors were trained we would likely have double the number of doctors that we currently do - which would increase competition, and decrease cost.

If the government devises artificial barriers to entry which create hardship for a class of consumers for a basic service I feel that a subsidy is an appropriate response.

LetterRip

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Mynnion
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quote:
The $83,000 cap, if Drake is right, would be very tempting to my family of 3.
Remeber Red this is a theoretical high that would only affect NY and maybe NJ where the cost of living is extremely high. Your arguments have merit but only when they are based on accurate info.
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Jesse
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See, leaving it as it is would allow the next administration to set the cap at 500%, if States were willing to go for it and match the funds. Or, the next administration could refuse to allow State programs that provide coverage over 150%, or whatever.

States design the programs, and if the programs they design are within the guidelines, they get matching funds IF the program isn't blocked by the Executive.


Under the *old* bill, a family of four in Hawaii was eligible at %300 percent of the federal poverty level (71,250)*, a family of four in New Jersey at %350.(72,275)


All this BS about how the new bill would have expanded coverage to higher income persons is just that - BS. Whether you think coverage ought or ought not be expanded, it's still BS.

Fact Check .org


It's absolutely true that a lot of people can't afford health care for their children because they drink, or smoke, or throw their money away at the track, or blow it on quads or fishing boats.

I think that's irresponsible parenting, personaly.

I don't see why I shouldn't pay for the healthcare of kids with irresponsible parents in the most cost effective way. I mean, I'm going to wind up paying for it in the long run anyway, so I might as well get the best deal available.

If we were talking about giving free health care to those irresponsible parents, this would be an entirely different debate, but we aren't. Only pregnant women can qualify for SCHIP. All other adults are just out of luck.

* I know those numbers don't seem to be consistent, but Hawaii and Alaska have a higher Federal Poverty Level.

Edited to add - Of course, I wouldn't be paying for it, and neither would most of you.

[ October 19, 2007, 07:09 PM: Message edited by: Jesse ]

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Redskullvw
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jesse

Drake read the body of the bill, and unless he is making a mistake, it would seem that there was basically no upper income limit. The qualifications for this new entitlement is that you are a USA citizen, happen to be 18 or younger, and don't have healthcare.

And while you apparently wouldn't be paying for it < because you don't make a lot of money? I don't know it is unclear exactly by what you wrote> some of us will be. Probably me, simply because I make more than most people?

So its for the children? Who can argue against that?

Its the ethical thing to do for children who have no say in their own circumstance. Who can argue against that?

Its cheaper to compensate for bad parents being unable by choice or circumstance to provide healthcare to their children, by insuring all children at middle class or below. Who can argue against that?

It isn't going to cost most people a dime, because either they will be too poor to be responsible for paying the taxes to support this plan or the tax and personal income benefit of this program will offset any cost to most individuals. Who can argue against that?

Only the rich people will be paying for it. After all they wont be entitled to the benefit and the rich, all 15-20% of the population?, won't mind adding this tax on top of all the rest. Who can argue with that?

I can. I am rich. Think it is ridiculous that people don't take care of their own kids.

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Jesse
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97 isn't exactly new. This is a ten year old program. There has never been an upper limit - that's the misconception that's been promoted by the White House, that Congress was somehow raising an upper limit that never existed.

Unless you smoke, you wouldn't be paying for it. It was to be funded by a tabacco tax. I think that's bad policy, but my point stands.

The funny part is that the poor smoke the most, and their smoking is proportionately a large part of their income. In other words - they would actually have been very disproportionately paying for their own kids health care if this had passed.

I think it's ridiculous that they don't take care of their kids, too.

Thinking it's ridiculous doesn't turn them into responsible parents, or get their kids insured.

[ October 19, 2007, 11:49 PM: Message edited by: Jesse ]

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Everard
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tort reform is the LAST thing we need to fix medical care.
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KnightEnder
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Thanks LS. I had them a long time ago (back when companies payed all of your insurance) and they were great.

KE

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