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Author Topic: Economy  (Read 12347 times)

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Offline atlq

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  • Posts: 518
Re: Economy
« Reply #50 on: October 11, 2008, 06:47:37 PM »
They are speaking up here:
http://www.barackobama.com/issues/economy/

Invest in the Manufacturing Sector and Create 5 Million New Green Jobs
Invest in our Next Generation Innovators and Job Creators: Obama and Biden will create an Advanced Manufacturing Fund to identify and invest in the most compelling advanced manufacturing strategies. The Fund will have a peer-review selection and award process based on the Michigan 21st Century Jobs Fund, a state-level initiative that has awarded over $125 million to Michigan businesses with the most innovative proposals to create new products and new jobs in the state.
Double Funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership: The Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) works with manufacturers across the country to improve efficiency, implement new technology and strengthen company growth. This highly-successful program has engaged in more than 350,000 projects across the country and in 2006 alone, helped create and protect over 50,000 jobs. But despite this success, funding for MEP has been slashed by the Bush administration. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will double funding for the MEP so its training centers can continue to bolster the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers.
Invest In A Clean Energy Economy And Create 5 Million New Green Jobs: Obama and Biden will invest $150 billion over 10 years to advance the next generation of biofuels and fuel infrastructure, accelerate the commercialization of plug-in hybrids, promote development of commercial scale renewable energy, invest in low emissions coal plants, and begin transition to a new digital electricity grid. The plan will also invest in America's highly-skilled manufacturing workforce and manufacturing centers to ensure that American workers have the skills and tools they need to pioneer the first wave of green technologies that will be in high demand throughout the world.
Create New Job Training Programs for Clean Technologies: The Obama-Biden plan will increase funding for federal workforce training programs and direct these programs to incorporate green technologies training, such as advanced manufacturing and weatherization training, into their efforts to help Americans find and retain stable, high-paying jobs. Obama and Biden will also create an energy-focused youth jobs program to invest in disconnected and disadvantaged youth.
Boost the Renewable Energy Sector and Create New Jobs: The Obama-Biden plan will create new federal policies, and expand existing ones, that have been proven to create new American jobs. Obama and Biden will create a federal Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) that will require 25 percent of American electricity be derived from renewable sources by 2025, which has the potential to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs on its own. Obama and Biden will also extend the Production Tax Credit, a credit used successfully by American farmers and investors to increase renewable energy production and create new local jobs.
New Jobs Through National Infrastructure Investment
Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe that it is critically important for the United States to rebuild its national transportation infrastructure – its highways, bridges, roads, ports, air, and train systems – to strengthen user safety, bolster our long-term competitiveness and ensure our economy continues to grow.

Create a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will address the infrastructure challenge by creating a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank to expand and enhance, not supplant, existing federal transportation investments. This independent entity will be directed to invest in our nation’s most challenging transportation infrastructure needs. The Bank will receive an infusion of federal money, $60 billion over 10 years, to provide financing to transportation infrastructure projects across the nation. These projects will create up to two million new direct and indirect jobs and stimulate approximately $35 billion per year in new economic activity.
Technology, Innovation and Creating Jobs
Barack Obama and Joe Biden will increase federal support for research, technology and innovation for companies and universities so that American families can lead the world in creating new advanced jobs and products.

Invest in the Sciences: Barack Obama and Joe Biden support doubling federal funding for basic research and changing the posture of our federal government from being one of the most anti-science administrations in American history to one that embraces science and technology. This will foster home-grown innovation, help ensure the competitiveness of US technology-based businesses, and ensure that 21st century jobs can and will grow in America.
Make the Research and Development Tax Credit Permanent: Barack Obama and Joe Biden want investments in a skilled research and development workforce and technology infrastructure to be supported here in America so that American workers and communities will benefit. Obama and Biden want to make the Research and Development tax credit permanent so that firms can rely on it when making decisions to invest in domestic R&D over multi-year timeframes.
Deploy Next-Generation Broadband: Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe we can get broadband to every community in America through a combination of reform of the Universal Service Fund, better use of the nation's wireless spectrum, promotion of next-generation facilities, technologies and applications, and new tax and loan incentives.


Vote for Obama



 ;D ;D ;D
“Keep up the good work....   And God bless you.”
  --  Sarah Palin, to members of the Alaskan Independence Party, 2008

Offline Assurbanipal

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Re: Economy
« Reply #51 on: October 11, 2008, 06:58:06 PM »
Its related to the universal health care issue.  The only way the USA is going to manage universal health care is if a higher proportion of GNP is spent on it, on the level of the countries who do have universal health care.  France, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, etc, all shell out between 30 and 40% of GNP on their welfare states (including free education through university).

Not clear what point was trying to be made but the above statement is misleading.  The US actually already spends a greater percent of GDP on health care than countries that have universal health care (approximately 1.5 to 2 times the percent of GDP elsewhere).  The above appears to be comparing US health care spending to the equivalent of health care plus social security plus unemployment plus educational benefits in other countries.
5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%

Offline mecch

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Re: Economy
« Reply #52 on: October 11, 2008, 07:08:28 PM »
Link to article about possible impact of financial crisis on healthcare in USA

http://www.medpagetoday.com/PublicHealthPolicy/HealthPolicy/tb/11237
Financial Crisis Will Impact Healthcare Heavily
By Emily P. Walker, Washington Correspondent, MedPage Today
Published: October 10, 2008
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline atlq

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Re: Economy
« Reply #53 on: October 11, 2008, 07:14:20 PM »
Link to article about possible impact of financial crisis on healthcare in USA

http://www.medpagetoday.com/PublicHealthPolicy/HealthPolicy/tb/11237
Financial Crisis Will Impact Healthcare Heavily
By Emily P. Walker, Washington Correspondent, MedPage Today
Published: October 10, 2008


Thanks, meech. An interesting article with some perspectives on the issue that we don't normally think about.
“Keep up the good work....   And God bless you.”
  --  Sarah Palin, to members of the Alaskan Independence Party, 2008

Offline mecch

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Re: Economy
« Reply #54 on: October 11, 2008, 07:19:55 PM »
French Nobel prize winners suggest danger to HIV/AIDS research and medication for Africa

Laureates: Financial crisis may hit AIDS funding
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_FRANCE_NOBELS_AIDS?SITE=FLPET&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2008-10-08-16-32-30
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline atlq

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Re: Economy
« Reply #55 on: October 11, 2008, 07:33:16 PM »
And here comes the cavalry...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081011/ap_on_go_co/second_stimulus


Let's just hope they are packing enough....


modified for typo....
« Last Edit: October 11, 2008, 07:39:25 PM by atlq »
“Keep up the good work....   And God bless you.”
  --  Sarah Palin, to members of the Alaskan Independence Party, 2008

Offline mecch

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Re: Economy
« Reply #56 on: October 11, 2008, 07:37:57 PM »
Financial crisis in First World banking may threaten First world support for HIV/AIDS funding to developing and "third" world countries.

http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/politicshiv/
End of an Era - A High-Water Mark in AIDS funding?
Posted on September 21st, 2008

(See - the poorest will suffer. But no suggestion of cuts to universal health care for those in rich countries. Except fears for the sick in the USA - where health care is not garanteed - until near death, that is, and even then not always...)
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

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Re: Economy
« Reply #57 on: October 11, 2008, 07:57:51 PM »
Cost of Iraq war to the US (and small percentage billes to Iraq) tax payer:

588+ billion to date

http://zfacts.com/p/447.html

Annual Cost (to first world payers, combined) of providing GLOBAL universal HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention (for the year 2015, if it could be structually implemented and supported) - 41-58 billion a year

http://www.unaids.org:80/en/KnowledgeCentre/Resources/FeatureStories/archive/2007/20070925_Resources_needs.asp
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Economy
« Reply #58 on: October 11, 2008, 07:59:51 PM »
mecch, you are not turned away in the US if you are unable to pay.  

Offline mecch

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Re: Economy
« Reply #59 on: October 11, 2008, 08:15:54 PM »
mecch, you are not turned away in the US if you are unable to pay.  
Quite true, I know that. 
However, there are posters in this thread who report
1) waiting lists in some states for ADAP
2) the original posters fear that an economic crisis could threaten treatment because of funding cuts for people receiving goverment assistance, or instability in treatment continuity due to insurance company squeezes or bankruptcies, or unemployment and thus massive turn to public assistance.

The ADAP waiting list appear to be only in Indiana and Montana, with only 35 total, nationally.
http://www.statehealthfacts.org/comparetable.jsp?ind=552&cat=11
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Economy
« Reply #60 on: October 11, 2008, 08:26:24 PM »
ADAP is not the only program that one can get medications from. I don't use ADAP for my medications.

Offline BT65

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Re: Economy
« Reply #61 on: October 11, 2008, 08:29:43 PM »
Concerning ADAP, I can tell you here (in a city in Indiana) I just spoke with a guy Thursday who had to wait a little over a year to get accepted; his partner will only have to wait nine months. :P
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline mecch

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Re: Economy
« Reply #62 on: October 11, 2008, 08:31:13 PM »
Rapid,
I know that as well.
I am NOT the poster who spoke about ADAP waiting lists and fear.

"It should concern us. Many people on this board receive meds through state ADAP programs. Even in the recent "good times" those programs have been severely strained. In some states there are long waiting lists now."
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline MitchMiller

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  • Posts: 464
Re: Economy
« Reply #63 on: October 11, 2008, 08:36:25 PM »
It's good at least Congress has allocation some extra $$$ for medicaid.  TV news had a segment on how the credit crunch is affecting states.  The example was Illinois, who now owes 1.8B in bills, many to health providers.  Why?  Because they can't get short term credit to fund their operations between quarterly tax collections.  Also many states heavily rely on sales taxes that are seasonal.  States are heavily involved in the short term credit market that has now dried up.

As a result, providers that once accepted medicare may become even fewer than they are now.  They also depend on credit if they can't get prompt reimbursement... and they may be forced to accept only paying patients.  It's a visous cycle building. 

Unfortunately, this crisis is unlikely to provide the impetus to change our health care system.  60+% of our working population has coverage from their employer and have little incentive for change.  That's why Obama's plan has never called for full coverage of the adult US population... only children.  It is purely politcal... just a few tweaks here and there around the edge.  McCain's plan would fail miserably.  His plan is to revoke employer tax breaks for health care premiums and hopefully create a completely individual insurance market, free of what we know now as "group" insurance.   In the short run, what a watershed for the insurance industry!   Sounds a lot like another one of GW's privaitization plans!   

The REAL problem here is that the government is trying to force private industry to provide social services.  Private companies are for profit.  They shouldn't be expected to undertake money losing propositions (like HIV patients).  That should be the province of gov't or quasi gov't not-for-profit companies.   In some countries, insurance providers function as "not-for-profit" entities that are closely regulated by gov't.  It seems to be a model that bridges the gap between a purely single payer gov't system and a purely private system.

Offline Assurbanipal

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  • Taking a forums break, still see PM's
Re: Economy
« Reply #64 on: October 11, 2008, 08:39:19 PM »
The idea that ADAP waiting lists will be directly affected by this freeze is a little hard to credit.  ADAP is a very small part of a very large budget and the most important effect on how budget dollars will be allocated is dependent on the coming election.  We know some of what the presidential candidates think from the debates:

McCain has proposed freezing funding for everything except defense and entitilements

Obama has said some programs need more money and others should be cut more but that we need to increase access to medical care.

Of the two it's pretty clear which is more likely to lengthen ADAP waiting lists

edit -- punctuation
5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%

Offline atlq

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  • Posts: 518
Re: Economy
« Reply #65 on: October 11, 2008, 08:41:25 PM »
The idea that ADAP waiting lists will be directly affected by this freeze is a little hard to credit.  ADAP is a very small part of a very large budget and the most important effect on how budget dollars will be allocated is dependent on the coming election.  We know some of what the presidential candidates think from the debates:

McCain has proposed freezing funding for everything except defense and entitilements

Obama has said some programs need more money and others should be cut more but that we need to increase access to medical care.

Of the two it's pretty clear which is more likely to lengthen ADAP waiting lists

edit -- punctuation


I am certainly not an expert on state ADAP programs....I stand corrected...
“Keep up the good work....   And God bless you.”
  --  Sarah Palin, to members of the Alaskan Independence Party, 2008

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Economy
« Reply #66 on: October 11, 2008, 11:33:01 PM »
What Obama has said is, Make insurance affordable. You fight with YOUR insurance companies to get the costs down. No where does he say that the government is going to do it for you.

Offline LordBerners

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Re: Economy
« Reply #67 on: October 12, 2008, 05:10:50 AM »
...If US just pump more money for increasing M0 and M1 supply, inflation will immediately follows.

But on the other hand - if the whole banking system can be nationalized by an urgent bill, by comparison nationalizing the health care system doesn't seem so impossible afterall.

That's sort of my point - during a crisis is when reforms occur: as in the 1930s.  Nearly all of the institutions, regulations, redistributions, and reforms which made the average american reasonably well off from 1940s-1970s were put in place in the 1930s.  There were a few minor addenda added in the second golden age of liberal dominance - the 1960s - with LBJ's Great Society, but mostly we owe whatever well being we have to the actions that FDR and the Democrats implemented during a period of what was considered dire emergency (and I think accurately so as many were dying). 

Therefore, I welcome this depression as an opportunity for the moderate Left (American 'liberalism') to regain some power.  All of the destruction which took place from Reagan to GW Bush was done, essentially, without even the cognizance of most Americans.  They don't understand economics, never heard the name John Maynard Keynes, and don't realize they owe whatever economic well being or security they have to him and to the left of the Democratic Party.  You know how Americans are - they always want to believe they got things by 'hard work', personal ability, and all that puritan calvinist nonsense.  Hubris reigns, and thus no one understands how our hierarchical society really works.

Without crisis, we (by that I mean the working class majority) would have been squeezed downward forever.  Now a goodly number of people are waking up to who and what they are - hunger pains seem to be the only thing that drives away the hubris.  Of course the ultimate reason that liberal (left) reforms were allowed in the 30s and will be allowed now are that Keynes devised them carefully to benefit the rich as well as, if not more than, the workers. 

As I believe Foucault described it, the post-war compact was a move from a penal society to an 'assurational' society - one where the majority, while still exploited and bearing the rich upon their backs, felt that society was going to guarantee their basic needs and take care of them when they got old and sick.  Reagan/Bush et al (even Clinton) made huge strides in moving us back to a purely penal society (all stick and no carrot), which offered no 'assurance' to workers.  While in the short term this benefited the rich with an immediately greater share of the national income, in the long term it isn't very workable - wild fluctuations of boom and bust, and long term intractable depressions being the most obvious of many shortcomings.

As for 'pumping money' causing immediate hyper-inflation, no I don't think so.  Demand is so slack in a depression/deflation environment, that one would have to print enough money to more than make up for all the lost demand in order for inflation to set in - the goal would be to print enough to more or less precisely make up for it.    In any case overshooting a bit is no biggy - we definitely need to err on the side of inflationary policy now rather than too little money-creation.  I'd say 1979 was a hell of a lot better year to be living in than 1930, eh?



« Last Edit: October 12, 2008, 05:14:12 AM by LordBerners »
Please, just call me Berners.. or Baron.

Offline mecch

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Re: Economy
« Reply #68 on: October 12, 2008, 06:29:03 AM »
Not clear what point was trying to be made but the above statement is misleading.  The US actually already spends a greater percent of GDP on health care than countries that have universal health care (approximately 1.5 to 2 times the percent of GDP elsewhere). 
Also misleading but the end argument is the same, I think.  The problem is that the US is spending more than other rich countries on health care, but at the same time, a huge portion of the US population has inadequate health care because the whole private/public funding is too complicated and leaves too many at risk.  Maybe if one has HIV one has a better chance of getting HAART in the usa than if one has other very serious diseases, but which go undiagnosed and or untreated until far too late.  And for HIV as well, fear of being tested is sometimes quite related to having no insurance, were the feared diagnosis to come.
If the spending was on universal health care, period, in other words - one payer system -- then the price of health care charged to that system HAS to be price controlled downward, as in Canada. Same qualified doctors, make less money. Same prescriptions drugs, cost less, less profit to the pharmas.  But in Canada drugs are NOT paid by the state, unless they become very expensive.  Lots of effects, good and bad (I wouldn't want to be the upper middle class doctor having to swallow that bitter pill - I would welcome the effect however if i were a struggling working class or lower middle class mom or dad trying to make ends meet and keep well).

The question remains the same - what is a country's commitment to "assuring" and therefore "insuring" its citizenry of the health and well-being benefits that should come from living in a "first world" country.

Amercans pay more, but receive less (as a population, not as individuals, mind you):

http://www.chiff.com/a/HLFH703cost.htm

Another:
"So this year, two researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine measured something called the "amenable mortality." Basically, it's a measure of deaths that could have been prevented with good health care. The researchers looked at health care in 19 industrialized nations. Again, France came in first. The United States was last."

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=92419273

France does not have "socialised medicine" in the proper sense, such as Canada or UK do.  Nor does Switzerland. But all citizens are nonetheless insured. Lessons USA could learn from France (god forbid, learn from France!) are in the above article.  Keeps it "private" but univeral.  Hillary's plan under Bill was based on the Swiss solution (again private but universal).  She was chased off the hill. 
« Last Edit: October 12, 2008, 07:02:27 AM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Economy
« Reply #69 on: October 12, 2008, 07:10:57 AM »
mecch, we don't stand in lines in the US to visit a doctor, for elective surgeries, tests or treatment. I don't know where you are getting your information on the medical care we get in the US.

Offline mecch

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Re: Economy
« Reply #70 on: October 12, 2008, 07:20:03 AM »
Rapid, many Americans have great experiences with health care, and many do not.  One of the main causes of bankruptcies and home foreclosures is unpaid medical bills. OK, so you don't stand in line, but when you get the bill, you loose your home. 

Unpaid medical bills strain working families, studies say
Analysts see the need for US to intervene
By Reed Abelson
New York Times News Service / September 25, 2008
http://www.boston.com/news/health/articles/2008/09/25/unpaid_medical_bills_strain_working_families_studies_say/

Are you saying nothing needs fixing in the USA?.  Are you saying their is not too much fear and insecurity about health expenses in the USA?

I am saying something needs fixing, for the many who do not have the good care and experience you fortunately have.

As to the myth that Canadians are waiting on line, its the same: some are, some aren't. America does not have universal coverage. You want to argue the reverse? Then why is health care an issue in the Presidential campaigns, and in these threads.

Here is an article by a person with dual citizenship, such as i have. Our compartive experiences are valid and cannot be undercut by those who would say, "who are you to talk, you are not American."

10 Myths About Canadian Health Care, Busted
By Sara Robinson, TomPaine.com. Posted February 5, 2008
http://www.alternet.org/healthwellness/76032/10_myths_about_canadian_health_care,_busted/

You yourself have pointed out that Obama's plan does not garantee coverage:

"What Obama has said is, Make insurance affordable. You fight with YOUR insurance companies to get the costs down. No where does he say that the government is going to do it for you."

You seem to think I am somehow arguing against you (?) or against the USA generally (?). Not.  I am, rather, contributing more information to the discussion.


« Last Edit: October 12, 2008, 07:37:52 AM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Economy
« Reply #71 on: October 12, 2008, 07:51:15 AM »
I happen to be one American who does stand sits for hours to receive the bare minimum for healthcare. I lost my health coverage (TennCare) in 2003. It's been downhill ever since. I don't have to worry about waiting for Dr. visits, tests or treatments because none of that is covered by Ryan White, and I simply can't afford to pay out of pocket. When I was covered by TennCare my doc noticed a white hot spot the size of a quarter on my scapula during a routine xray. After a MRI and a cat scan confirmed, he ordered a bone scan (biopsy). Unfortunately, the state of TN suspended coverage and I cancelled the test. Not only that, but TennCare retroactively went back and charged me $6100. I paid the bill off this past September, and still have no idea what was on my scapula.

I've been around here long enough to know that most of the people posting have some kind of healthcare coverage. Be it private, Medicaid, Medicare, SSDI, whatever. A few of us must rely on Ryan White/ ADAP to basically stay alive. I get a couple a visits a year for labs and refills and that is it. Granted I don't have to wait around, cuz there ain't nothing to wait around for.

If you don't have healthcare coverage in America, you do nothing but wait.

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: Economy
« Reply #72 on: October 12, 2008, 10:07:47 AM »
mecch, we don't stand in lines in the US to visit a doctor, for elective surgeries, tests or treatment.

Most of the time. Where I live if you want an appointment to see a psychiatrist you are going to wait 4-6 weeks no matter what kind of money or insurance you have. After losing 30 lbs due to GI issues I had to wait 3 weeks to have an endoscopy performed and I had insurance. Sometimes unless it is an emergency you are on a list.

Offline Buckmark

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Re: Economy
« Reply #73 on: October 12, 2008, 11:08:30 AM »
I think this comment is relevant to what is discussed here, but forgive me if I'm straying too far.  What frustrates me most is that the US government has no problem reacting to an economic crisis, and swooping in and spending what is almost certainly going to be in the trillions of dollars.  Yet we can't seem to get any actions taken to address a healthcare crisis in the US.  And when I read stories like Dach's, and read that a major cause of bankruptcies are due to medical bills, I don't think it is an exaggeration to call it a crisis.  Compared to what we are spending on bailing out banks, a few hundred million more for Ryan White seems paltry.

I think the current economic crisis will hamper any attempts to address healthcare in the near term.  Unless possibly there ends up being so much unemployment and so many uninsured that healthcare become a hugely visible crisis in its own right, and elected officials finally pay attention like they have to the economic crisis.  Unfortunately, I think it takes that level of crisis before action is taken.

Regards,

Henry
"Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things:
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Offline Graywolf

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Re: Economy
« Reply #74 on: October 12, 2008, 02:48:59 PM »
I served my country during Vietnam, which was where i learned who really runs the country, multinational banks and corporations who could give a flying rat's behind aobut the little person, remember Ike's parting warning, "beware the military industrial complex"

I am also concerned....no scared, yes when things get worse I'll bet the elderly, people with illnesses like HIV, etc will be cut off with clear conscience by those in power, so as to maintain the status quo. Remember america has become a self centered, insanely youth oriented place where to many SOcial Security, Medicare, HDAP Ryan White are disposable. How many "millions" of people will wind up on hte street when this happens and will anyone make a sound of protest....probably not

I had called the HDAP office to straighten out transitioning form COBRA to individual BCBS which so far seems to be ok, and asked the person about my concerns she said that many have alled concerned they will lose benefits, but she said so far, HDAP here is stable. I've been on HDAP now for 3 years  and they have been very helpful and responsive. If it wasn't for HDAP I could never afford the BCBS premiums or copays seeing I am on SSDI and Private LTS insurance which is always in jeopardy of curtting me off.

I never dreamt in my worst Sustiva or Chantix dreams that I'd see my country in such dire straights, especially when the pirates on wall st are getting a free ride, bailout. I have this horrible suspicion that they'll raid SSI and Medicare to finance the bailout, reagan/bush raided it, clinton raided it to balance the budget and junior has....why because they know that most americans, especially the young could care less.

Of course we currently are dealing with a  chronic case of Pentagonorrhea which can only be treated with more money for the MI conplex.

God (if there is one) help us all
"If we don't learn to live as brothers, we will perish as fools" - Dr martin Luther King Jr

Offline LordBerners

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Re: Economy
« Reply #75 on: October 13, 2008, 11:33:29 AM »
mecch, we don't stand in lines in the US to visit a doctor, for elective surgeries, tests or treatment. I don't know where you are getting your information on the medical care we get in the US.

Perhaps because some 30% of the population is not allowed to get in the queue, RR. 
Please, just call me Berners.. or Baron.

Offline Joe K

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Re: Economy
« Reply #76 on: October 13, 2008, 01:25:11 PM »
This thread has veered so often that it is hard to pick a portion to respond to, so I'll just throw out some thoughts.

First, to Meech.  Please stop with the generalizations and making comments about programs (Canada's), that you obviously know so little about.  Many of your comments regarding Canadian health care are false.  I know, because I was raised in America, and spent years struggling with ADAP and Ryan White as my only insurance.  I can attest to what Dachshund says, because Stephen and I were forced into bankruptcy, last year, because of medical bills.  And this happened, even though Stephen, a retired federal employee (with the same insurance that Congress has) and he was still left with thousands in copays for services and especially for drugs.  When Medicare Part-D kicked in, his drug copays were changed to reflect those of that program.  His drug copays went from $1,800 per year to $5,600.

After we filed, we moved to Montreal, where we are married and since I am also Canadian, we are now making this our home.  And we have both used the Canadian system for one year and I can confidently say that no health care system is perfect, but some are more effective as others.  You are wrong in that the Canadian system pays for ALL DRUGS and while drug prices are controlled, we still pay about the same as the US, in the cost of first patent, newer drugs.  I pay $73.71 per month as my drug copay, regardless of the amount of drugs I use, which averages about $2,800 per month.

A large problem with the Canadian system, is because incomes are somewhat limited, there is a huge shortage of doctors and nurses.  However, we go to a hospital HIV clinic, with specialists and have received excellent care.  You do wait, for many tests, if you want them covered, or you can arrange to pay for private tests, if you do not want to wait.  However, if you need emergency care, you get it, so waiting for more mundane tests, is not a real problem.

As to the US, I do not think we are headed for a recession or depression.  If you look at most other segments of the US economy, other than financial, they are doing great.  Plenty of companies are making record earnings and I think that the worse effect of the financial crisis, will be that companies will simply delay capital projects, for six to nine months, to let the credit crunch loosen.  The same for much of the US population.  Many people can simply wait a few months, for that new car or home improvement.  The problem right now is that nobody knows what any assets are worth and so they cannot determine those that are still healthy financially.

I believe the best course (and only for now) is for the government to inject cash into banks, while taking an owning interest, until that money is repaid.  The idea that the government would spend $700 billion to buy bad assets is terminally stupid.  Nobody knows what those assets are worth, so how are you going to buy them.  They seem to forget that the market is like Mother Nature, it always bats last and it always bats a thousand.  The market will reprice almost everything and nobody can stop it.  So rather than gamble, on how far we have fallen, it is better to forget the valuation of questionable assets and leave those corrections to the market.

I believe that the fundamentals of the American economy are sound and believe it is reflected in the fact that it is the financial sector that is in tatters, not the entire economy.  And since the net effect of the financial collapse is the tightening of credit, you need to counter that by injecting cash directly into the financial markets through banks and not financial firms, who caused this entire mess in the first place.  This whole things reminds me of the rise of the machines.  This whole derivative market, was formulated by computers, using algorithms that only computers, or maybe Warren Buffet, understand.  I do not believe we will ever fully understand what happened, but we know we are paying the price.

As to the state of HIV care in the US, I would also hope that a Democratic majority might finally address the dire situation of health care for pozzies.  To think that we have spent almost $2 trillion on an illegal war and financial bailouts, but we cannot find a couple of billion to stabilize HIV care is disgusting.  But this is America, where perceptions often color what we get, as opposed to what we believe is fair and just.  I do not think that most Americans would support underfunding of most diseases, but I also know that most Americans know nothing about it and so, why should they care?

The dismal state of HIV care in America, correlates directly with the attitudes and stigma that surround the HIV community.  History shows us that what Americans believe, greatly influences what our government does.  Based on recent history, it is far more important to defeat terrorism, than to ensure that every American has basic health care.  We can spend $500 billion each year on defense, yet refuse to invest in converting the US health care system to a more inclusive system.

We have been trapped, for eight years, under an administration that believes government is bad and the market is good.  However, that same administration has produced record deficits that will continue for decades.  Congress failed America by allowing the financial markets to operate under minimal regulations.  There are solid reasons why banks should not deal with certain financial products and the market is reminding us of that reality.

I believe that universal health care will come to America, but not until, not doing it, will become paramount, because we just cannot afford the current system.  If you look to the current presidential campaign, you can see a vast difference in perceptions.  McCain believes health care to be a responsibility, whereas Obama believes it to be a right.  I believe that once enough Americans share the health care as a right attitude, change will come.

Offline David_CA

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Re: Economy
« Reply #77 on: October 13, 2008, 02:22:03 PM »
Most of the time. Where I live if you want an appointment to see a psychiatrist you are going to wait 4-6 weeks no matter what kind of money or insurance you have. After losing 30 lbs due to GI issues I had to wait 3 weeks to have an endoscopy performed and I had insurance. Sometimes unless it is an emergency you are on a list.

It's hard to believe the difference in my experiences and Ford's.  The city where I live is probably 1/3 the size and I've had no waits for anything.  It did take me about a week to get an appointment with a highly recommended psychiatrist, but that's acceptable to me; after all, it wasn't an emergency.  Others I know who've had endoscopies performed here have a wait of one to three weeks (again, non-emergency).  The delays were due to scheduling.  Of course, all these people have good insurance, so maybe that makes a difference.  Perhaps it's one of the benefits of a smaller city. 
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Offline Dachshund

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Re: Economy
« Reply #78 on: October 13, 2008, 03:06:07 PM »
Of course, all these people have good insurance, so maybe that makes a difference. 


Understatement of the year.

Offline MYSTERY

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Re: Economy
« Reply #79 on: October 13, 2008, 04:35:29 PM »
NEW YORK - Wall Street stormed back from last week's devastating losses Monday, sending the Dow Jones industrials soaring a nearly inconceivable 936 points after major governments' plans to support the global banking system reassured distraught investors. All the major indexes rose more than 11 percent.

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The market was likely to rebound after eight days of precipitous losses that took the Dow down nearly 2,400 points, but no one expected this kind of advance, which saw the Dow by far outstrip its previous record for a one-day point gain, 499.19, set during the waning days of the dot-com boom.

Still, while the magnitude of Monday's gains stunned investors and analysts, no one was ready to say Wall Street had reached a bottom. The market is likely to have back-and-forth trading in the coming days and weeks — and may well see a pullback when trading resumes Tuesday — as investors work through their concerns about the banking sector, the stagnant credit markets and the overall economy.

John Lynch, chief market analyst for Evergreen Investments in Charlotte, N.C., said Monday's rally was encouraging but he doubted it signaled the worst has passed.

"My screen in completely green and I love that, but I'm not doing any backflips yet. We still have many challenges up ahead," Lynch said, noting the ongoing strains in credit markets and forecasts for poor corporate earnings for 2009.

Denis Amato, chief investment officer at Ancora Advisors, said it's too soon to say whether the market has started to carve out a bottom and that the credit markets where many companies turn for day-to-day loans will need to loosen for stocks to hold their gains. With the U.S. bond markets and banks closed Monday for Columbus Day, it was difficult for investors to gauge the reaction of the credit markets to actions by major governments.

He said the severity of the selling last week was one possible signal that the market might be nearing a bottom and that the stepped up intervention of the government is a welcome sign for the markets.

"I think we had enough negatives last week that if the government steps in we could have a pretty nice run. Is it off to the races? No, I don't think so. We have a lot of stuff to work through."

The market did appear to take heart when the Bush administration said it is moving quickly to implement its $700 billion rescue program, including consulting with law firms about the mechanics of buying ownership shares in a broad number of banks to help revive the stagnant credit markets and in turn get the economy moving again.

Neel Kashkari, the assistant Treasury secretary who is interim head of the program, said in a speech Monday officials were also developing guidelines to govern the purchase of soured mortgage-related assets. However, he gave few details about how the program will actually buy bad assets and bank stock.

A relatively tame finish to Friday's session and a weekend off gave analysts and investors some time to reassess last week's tumultuous trading. And stock prices that were decimated by frenetic selling are now looking attractive.

Jim King, chief investment officer at National Penn Investors Trust Co., said the fear that took hold of the markets last week was overwrought and could signal that a bottom is near. When selling turns so frenetic that it hits a broad swath of stocks indiscriminately, as it did last week, many market watchers say a market low is at hand. That creates opporunity, King noted.

"We have exceptional companies at fire sale prices," he said.

Still, King cautioned that any market rebound likely will be choppy.

"Even if this is the beginning of a recovery we're not just going to have up markets from here on in," he said. "We're not through the woods. We think there is collateral damage from this debacle." King pointed to an increase in unemployment and nervousness among consumers that could, for example, hurt retailers and in turn, take stocks lower.

According to preliminary calculations, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 936.42, or 11.08 percent, to 9,387.61. It was the Dow's largest-ever point gain during a session, surpassing the jump of 503.45 points seen on Sept. 30.

The Dow's previous record for a point increase by the time the closing bell sounded occurred March 16, 2000, when the blue chips closed up 499.19, or 4.93 percent.

Broader stock indicators also jumped Monday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index advanced 104.13, or 11.58 percent, to 1,003.35, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 194.74, or 11.81 percent, to 1,844.25.

 ;D
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Offline mecch

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Re: Economy
« Reply #80 on: October 13, 2008, 04:42:45 PM »
First, to Meech.  Please stop with the generalizations and making comments about programs (Canada's), that you obviously know so little about.  Many of your comments regarding Canadian health care are false. 

Dear Killfoile, I am glad you have found the health security that you so very much need in Canada. 

It seems that you want to put me in my place – well in fact all your information about your experiences in the USA and Canada is most welcome.  I only said a few things, and they are to the best of my sources, correct, and it was in order to get the international comparison more accurate for those selected Americans who do not want to face up the fact that the USA isn’t doing the best it could, compared to other industrialized countries. 

In fact I helped translate and edit a report for the UN High Commission on AIDS and do know the figures, programs, and laws, my “generalisations” are based upon.

I said some Canadians wait on line, some do not – this was to defend Canada’s good and universal coverage against the USA’s system which leaves a lot of people in the shit.   Americans tend to have a knee-jerk defense of the US system – they blindly refer to a myth about wait times in countries with universal care.  Canada suffered a bad reputation for wait times, (partly based on fact), but the PM’s Wait Times Reduction Fund has been addressing this in many areas.  Waits are not such a big deal if you are getting the health care you need and its not bankrupting you. 

In another post, I said that Canada has price controls on drugs and this is true.  You disagree?  The Patent Medicine Prices Review Board controls this.  “Breakthrough” drugs cannot be initially priced higher than the MEDIAN of the drug in other first world countries. This is unlike Switzerland and the US, of course, where breakthrough drugs are the most expensive.  (Pharma countries, after all).  All drugs price increases, as well, are legally fixed to the Consumer Price Index. Overall, patent drugs are almost 40% cheaper in Canada than in the USA. (In France, 45% cheaper than the USA, in Italy amost 50% cheaper.)

I said the federal government (i.e. “national health care” in the form of the Canada Health Act) does not pay for all drugs because of several reasons -- in fact more than 60% of Canadians have some employer based health care with prescription drug benefits.   

Also, you may be mistaken in believing that all drugs are paid -- because you are “inpatient”, as an HIV or AIDS patient???  Outpatient drugs are paid out of pocket or by various insurance schemes, such as private or quasi-government or the provinces.  There is a lot of variance across the provinces, as well, as to how and who is paying for health coverage, and sometimes it works as in the USA – except that at the end of the game, everyone is insured in Canada.

Finally I said that doctors make less and this has been shown in census data that specialists make on average US 100,000 less than in the USA.

It seems that somehow you think I am criticizing Canada, I don’t know why.  In fact it a great working model of a country providing for the health and well-being of its citizens.

I wish you all the best and sorry if I've made mistakes in my generalisations - only to say good things about canada...
« Last Edit: October 13, 2008, 05:01:18 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline madbrain

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Re: Economy
« Reply #81 on: October 13, 2008, 07:12:47 PM »
I certainly hope people with the authority to take action (and all of us) are reading Krugman:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/10/opinion/10krugman.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

Looks like Paul Krugman just won the Nobel prize in economy.
http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/2008/

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: Economy
« Reply #82 on: October 14, 2008, 11:07:54 AM »
The city where I live is probably 1/3 the size and I've had no waits for anything... Perhaps it's one of the benefits of a smaller city. 

And of living near the beach. Doctors like living near the beach.  :)

Offline Basquo

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Re: Economy
« Reply #83 on: October 14, 2008, 12:46:50 PM »
 Americans tend to have a knee-jerk defense of the US system 

Christ Almighty! There you go again. Here's a tip:  try saying "some Americans" or "most Americans" instead of just "Americans" and your fellow Americans will probably stop having knee-jerk reactions and calling you out for generalising.

Offline mecch

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Re: Economy
« Reply #84 on: October 15, 2008, 06:09:16 AM »
Christ Almighty! There you go again. Here's a tip:  try saying "some Americans" or "most Americans" instead of just "Americans" and your fellow Americans will probably stop having knee-jerk reactions and calling you out for generalising.

Here is another link, this time to an interesting and SHORT report from a lefty think tank about:
The Specter of Socialized Medicine
What Is It and Is It Invading Our Country?

Quote:
"It’s a concept that has been embraced, demonized, and misunderstood since the early 20th century in the United States. We’ve stood by and watched the entire industrialized world turn to varying forms of government-supported health care systems for all their citizens. But, in part because of fears about socialized medicine, similar policy changes have been blocked here. What exactly is socialized medicine, and why is it slander in the current health reform debate?"

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2008/05/socialized_medicine.html

There is fear in the original post, and some anger and some confusion in the subsequent discussions.  It seems hard to stick to the topic because it seems so technical (how to change a health care system that is so entrenched, and serving some people well, and leaving many out in the cold.)  (SOME) People who have had disastrous experiences with American health care affordability and access are (SOMETIMES) ignored or marginalised in such discussions.  Comparisons to other countries' solutions are undercut, (such systems can't last in a crisis, or the proponents of such systems are yankee haters).

"The public’s view of socialized medicine is no longer rooted so heavily in the fear of our country becoming a communist or socialist state. The new specters conjured by enterprising politicians are bureaucratic inadequacies that lead to poor medical outcomes, horrendous waiting periods, lack of choice of providers, overuse and abuse of limited resources, excessive taxation, and damage to private, free enterprise. As in past debates, the reality of health reform proposals is far from the truth: none of the presidential candidates supports a government run or single-payer system."
http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2008/05/socialized_medicine.html

Basquo, we have all understood you are piqued about my word choice.  When I wrote "Americans" it refers to "the public", not the individual you, or me, or anyone..   

Basquo, thanks for the tip on how to best express myself.  Why not also contribute your own thoughts as to the original posters comments - does an economic crisis threaten health service in the USA?  Your input to the discussions would be so much more interesting than your offense to my writing style in my contribution to this discussion.

"History has a way of repeating itself and I think the Great Depression would definitely mean an end to the medications many of us need to survive."
« Last Edit: October 15, 2008, 06:18:34 AM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline bocker3

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Re: Economy
« Reply #85 on: October 15, 2008, 08:00:22 AM »
Here is another link, this time to an interesting and SHORT report from a lefty think tank about:
The Specter of Socialized Medicine
What Is It and Is It Invading Our Country?

Quote:
"It’s a concept that has been embraced, demonized, and misunderstood since the early 20th century in the United States. We’ve stood by and watched the entire industrialized world turn to varying forms of government-supported health care systems for all their citizens. But, in part because of fears about socialized medicine, similar policy changes have been blocked here. What exactly is socialized medicine, and why is it slander in the current health reform debate?"

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2008/05/socialized_medicine.html

There is fear in the original post, and some anger and some confusion in the subsequent discussions.  It seems hard to stick to the topic because it seems so technical (how to change a health care system that is so entrenched, and serving some people well, and leaving many out in the cold.)  (SOME) People who have had disastrous experiences with American health care affordability and access are (SOMETIMES) ignored or marginalised in such discussions.  Comparisons to other countries' solutions are undercut, (such systems can't last in a crisis, or the proponents of such systems are yankee haters).

"The public’s view of socialized medicine is no longer rooted so heavily in the fear of our country becoming a communist or socialist state. The new specters conjured by enterprising politicians are bureaucratic inadequacies that lead to poor medical outcomes, horrendous waiting periods, lack of choice of providers, overuse and abuse of limited resources, excessive taxation, and damage to private, free enterprise. As in past debates, the reality of health reform proposals is far from the truth: none of the presidential candidates supports a government run or single-payer system."
http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2008/05/socialized_medicine.html

Basquo, we have all understood you are piqued about my word choice.  When I wrote "Americans" it refers to "the public", not the individual you, or me, or anyone..   

Basquo, thanks for the tip on how to best express myself.  Why not also contribute your own thoughts as to the original posters comments - does an economic crisis threaten health service in the USA?  Your input to the discussions would be so much more interesting than your offense to my writing style in my contribution to this discussion.

"History has a way of repeating itself and I think the Great Depression would definitely mean an end to the medications many of us need to survive."

You continue to amaze me --- if you actually go back and REREAD the origingal poster's question, it was if the crisis would affect insurance companies and Pharmaceutical companies -- NOT US Health Care as a whole.  You have taken the discussion there.  You have consistently made sweeping generalizations here and in other posts -- when you are called on it you back down and say you "meant" something else.  Why not simply write what you mean.
Also, while I'm at it, I have not seen any "American" in this thread stand up to defend the American Health Care system -- I think we've seen in many posts over the years here that the vast majority of us would love to see a change to Universal coverage.  I think when folks point out flaws in other systems it is to help you see that there is no panacea out there.

Mike
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Offline Basquo

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Re: Economy
« Reply #86 on: October 15, 2008, 08:09:23 AM »

Basquo, we have all understood you are piqued about my word choice.  When I wrote "Americans" it refers to "the public", not the individual you, or me, or anyone..   


Huh?  I'm part of the public. So are you.



Basquo, thanks for the tip on how to best express myself.  Why not also contribute your own thoughts as to the original posters comments - does an economic crisis threaten health service in the USA? 


Because I obviously can't see past the fact that you're typing out of both sides of your mouth.  You refer to "Americans," but you don't mean me, or you or anyone?


Your input to the discussions would be so much more interesting than your offense to my writing style in my contribution to this discussion.


I doubt it.

Offline mecch

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Re: Economy
« Reply #87 on: October 15, 2008, 08:11:46 AM »
Mike
You are reacting to me, personally, for some reason, and not my discussion points. I have reread the OP many times and in my last post, before yours, even quoted it again.

The second post by Atiq took the discussion to health care coverage.

"The worst case? Massive employment could move thousands of us into a public health system that is already completely overburdened. I think the pharmaceutical industry will continue to supply the meds, but access will become a huge, huge problem."

The OP also discussed health care:
"People with chronic illnesses would obviously be affected if pharmaceutical companies no longer made the medications because they did not have any money, or if insurance companies no longer provided insurance.  Therefore, all medication costs would have to come out of your own pocket because the insurance company would not be paying for them anymore.
empasis added

His second point is that coverage might dissappear. This is a fear about health care not providing...

I follow the points as they are introduced by others.

Everyone's contributions are interesting.  
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

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Re: Economy
« Reply #88 on: October 15, 2008, 08:19:32 AM »
Bocker, Basquo, looking for a catfight with me:
1) won't get you one,
because
2) I find the subject more interesting than your hijack to diss my debating style.
lol

I am not the only one who dares talk about a "public" or "americans" in the general sense without recognising that OBVIOUSLY there are differing individual opinions and camps within that public. Geez.

I expressed my own opinions in this thread and elsewhere using appropriate language.

When the discussion moves to the general, language changes.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

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Re: Economy
« Reply #89 on: October 15, 2008, 08:30:10 AM »
I think we've seen in many posts over the years here that the vast majority of us would love to see a change to Universal coverage.  I think when folks point out flaws in other systems it is to help you see that there is no panacea out there.

I agree with you 100%!  And as to helping me ("you" = mecch?) see there is no panacea, read my posts and you will see that I know there is no panacea. That is the interesting question - how to get over whatever roadblocks are preventing the USA from creating universal health coverage.  One is fear of socialised systems.  I helpfully posted very clear articles that discuss this from expert points of view.  I have never said there is panacea. And I have always tried to add more useful information to keep the discussion on topic.

Best to all
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline atlq

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Re: Economy
« Reply #90 on: October 15, 2008, 08:54:12 AM »


The second post by Atiq took the discussion to health care coverage.




A fact I now regret more and more each time I read this trainwreck of a thread.... Sorry to have inflicted many of these posts on everyone!.. :)
« Last Edit: October 15, 2008, 08:59:20 AM by atlq »
“Keep up the good work....   And God bless you.”
  --  Sarah Palin, to members of the Alaskan Independence Party, 2008

Offline MitchMiller

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  • Posts: 464
Re: Economy
« Reply #91 on: October 18, 2008, 01:18:08 AM »
We all discuss health care as if all Americans are in favor of health care coverage for everyone.  However, a poll published in AARP magazine ask the question of whether you favor health care for all if it means a tax increase.  On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being YES, McCain supporters averaged a 3.  If you assume 40% of the population supports McCain, thats 26+% of the US population that doesn't really support full health care coverage for all.   Sad but true.


Offline XGoodBuddyX

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  • Posts: 2
Re: Economy
« Reply #92 on: October 18, 2008, 01:26:16 AM »
just upset and need to talk                     if u can direct me or help  that would be GREAT

Offline hivsweden

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  • Posts: 81
Re: Economy
« Reply #93 on: October 19, 2008, 03:56:57 PM »
Its related to the universal health care issue.  The only way the USA is going to manage universal health care is if a higher proportion of GNP is spent on it, on the level of the countries who do have universal health care.  France, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, etc, all shell out between 30 and 40% of GNP on their welfare states (including free education through university).

This may be news to you, but according to OECD, the costs for healthcare in the US 2004 was 15.3% ($6102) of GNP compared to for instance Sweden's 9.1% ($2825) and Canada's 9.9% ($3165).

Even if we compare the publicly financed part the US still pays more ($2728 / capita /yr) compared to Sweden ($2398) and Canada ($2209).

The US has the highest administrative costs and insurance overheads of all countries ($911 admin, $212 insurance) compared to Canada ($270 + $34).

No other country in the world spends as much on healthcare as the US, still lots of people do not have access to proper healthcare.

The US can have better AND cheaper healthcare if only someone has the guts to make the necessary changes.

 


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