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Author Topic: blessing in disguise?  (Read 22087 times)

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Offline Dachshund

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #100 on: February 12, 2011, 07:41:21 AM »
Sorry mate, I'm never going to marry again and if by some fit of insanity I did, it wouldn't be you. Just the way it goes! You'll have to find some other fool someone else.

 

 ;D

Offline Sweet_C

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #101 on: February 12, 2011, 09:13:19 AM »
Thankfully there can be a great difference in the lives and situations of someone diagnosed and starting treatment nowadays than compared to someone who has had to deal with HIV or AIDS for many years.

However, not pointing these following comments at anyone in particular but just to the members thinking that somehow having a terminal disease has a good side or that it's a manageable situation, I would like to point out a fallacy of thinking this is a manageable.

Currently there are 6001 Americans who qualify financially and who need antiretrovirals based upon lab results and CDC guidelines who are on waiting lists. Although many are temporarily finding medications through other means, many who should be taking meds to fight HIV and stay alive have no access to meds.

As the weeks go by more and more states are failing or are unable to provide the proper support, and people who have been receiving support for their meds find that support taken away. Within the next few weeks, over 6500 people in Florida will be dropped from their bankrupt ADAP system. Thankfully a one-time stop-gap action (headed by the small non-profit org of Welvista in SC) will be taken to keep these people on meds but when this problem happens again in FY2012 there will probably be no help next time. Contrary to what some say, although the meds will be distributed through the ADAP system - FL ADAP will be bankrupt and will NOT be providing any medications.

Wednesday at the State House in Columbia SC, I was part of a rally demanding that our state legislators restore funding to ADAP after they slashed it so drastically this past year. There are currently 389 in SC alone who are on the waiting list. I and others from my ASO, none of whom is actually using ADAP or on the waiting list, spoke directly with 4 of our state legislators trying to get them to vote to provide adequate funding for ADAP, so that our fellow citizens could have the medications that would keep them from dying. And that's not just hyperbole. When this similar situation happened back in 2006, four people in South Carolina died from HIV while waiting for meds. Already one person on the wait list this time has lost her life.

With the 3085 already on the FL waiting list and another 6500 dropped that's 9585 people in Florida alone in jeopardy of having no meds. South Carolina only has 4% of that total and has held 3 rallies in the last year. I have yet to hear of any rallies in Florida where the people there are fighting to keep the drugs that will sustain their lives, but I hope they do. Nearly 10,0000 pozzies matching into Tallahassee would be quite a sight.

That's just so hard for me to understand. While some want to see blessings from being positive and others want to see it as something manageable, there are other Americans growing sicker without meds, and others losing access to meds this month. (Virginia is considering dropping it's entire ADAP membership in the hopes that Medicaid or the pharmaceutical companies will come in and save everyone's lives!)

Might I suggest that for those that are lucky enough to have access to meds, to be lucky to have found the right regimen and are lucky enough to experience little bad from being HIV positive, that you take advantage of your health and become an activist fighting to get and keep access to medications for others who aren't as fortunate or who are much sicker and unable to fight to save their own lives. You may find yourself in this boat one day and may wish the government was there to offer access to life-sustaining antiretrovirals.

This is a very good point and it does make a huge difference in your outlook on life.  It's just embarrassing that in a country that has the resources to make sure everyone has proper medical care that this type of thing happens.  This is not just an issue for people who have HIV, but anyone who doesn't have insurance and medical care, because any medical condition can be life threatening if it's not treated properly.  I've always supported UHC.
Tested positive on September 11, 2008

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #102 on: February 12, 2011, 09:27:38 AM »
So how do we in America go about getting some of this UHC?


First the majority of Americans need to agree that everyone deserves healthcare. Unfortunately not everyone shares this value and until most people feel passionately about Americans receiving appropriate, affordable healthcare the situation will not change.

Next you need to point out to people that they are already paying for other people's healthcare through taxation, expensive health insurance and artificially inflated fee for service. We are using a very inefficient system that has been pieced together out of greed and necessity. This is why Americans receive less healthcare for their dollar than other countries.

Then you need to convince people that our government, which is run by elected citizens and is not some external, controlling cartel, is the only agency with the power to effect such changes at the federal level. Insurance companies, hospitals, drug companies and healthcare providers are not going to create the most efficient system without federal oversight because they are ultimately motivated by profit and not delivering healthcare in the most economical and efficient manner.

Anyway,  those are my thoughts.

Offline Joe K

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #103 on: February 12, 2011, 11:41:13 AM »
The following chart, shows Total health care expenditures as a % of GDP (most recent) by country:

Showing latest available data.

Rank     Countries        Amount  
#    1     United States:   13.9 % of GDP    
#    2     Switzerland:   10.9 % of GDP    
#    3     Germany:           10.8 % of GDP    
=    4     Canada:         9.4   % of GDP    
=    4     France:           9.4   % of GDP    
=    4     Greece:           9.4   % of GDP    
#    7     Portugal:           9.3   % of GDP    
#    8     Iceland:           9.2   % of GDP    
#    9     Australia:           9.1   % of GDP    
#    10     Belgium:           9      % of GDP    
#    11     Sweden:           8.8   % of GDP    
#    12     Denmark:           8.6   % of GDP    
#    13     Netherlands:   8.5   % of GDP    
#    14     Italy:                   8.3   % of GDP    
#    15     Norway:           8.1   % of GDP    
#    16     New Zealand:   8      % of GDP    
#    17     Japan:           7.8   % of GDP    
#    18     Austria:           7.6   % of GDP    
=    19     Spain:           7.5   % of GDP    
=    19     United Kingdom:   7.5   % of GDP    
#    21     Hungary:           7.4   % of GDP    
#    22     Czech Republic:   7.3   % of GDP    
#    23     Finland:           7      %  of GDP    
#    24     Ireland:           6.9   % of GDP    
=    25     Poland:           6      % of GDP    
=    25     Mexico:           6      % of GDP    
#    27     Luxembourg:   5.9   % of GDP    
#    28     Slovakia:           5.6   % of GDP    

Weighted average:           8.3   % of GDP     
« Last Edit: February 12, 2011, 11:46:55 AM by killfoile »

Offline newt

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #104 on: February 12, 2011, 01:14:16 PM »
Indeed, and the average Brit lives longer than the average American by 18 months or so. Pay over the odds, end yer life in poverty, ruin your hard-earned inheritence for your kids and die younger. Principle has a high cost (but makes big pharma and the insurance companies returns to investors look good).

So, in short, what Mr GSO said.

- matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline pozniceguy

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #105 on: February 12, 2011, 01:20:00 PM »
I am the first one to ask  who is paying and how much??   having said that I cant agree  that a government run system would be more efficient....   just because US  spends more of GDP on health care doesn't  address the issues of quality / equity/ availability or affordability.   It is a very rare occurrence for any government  run system to be basically "efficient"   politics always play a part and the staffing/ operation of such systems tend to cost more than privately funded ones.....
over the past 30 yrs  more and more of the "government" systems are run under contract by private companies..... even the much maligned Medicare is run by private contractors  but the congress/health services depts  make the rules  which the contractors must follow   many of the rules are mandated by various lobby/activist groups  so their reps insert them in to the  actual contracts that are awarded for providing service.

 the basic  "fee for service" rule was built on exactly that sort of political pressure.  there have been many "models"  for efficient  healthcare done by  private companies...the most widely known is the  Kaiser-Permanente  system     this  type option has always been available to the Medicare   rule writers (  congressional committees)   but has never seriously considered because of the politics involved and the availability of groups willing to operate in that mode
when a few states tried to implement that type system for Medicaid there was huge political backlash about  "forcing" people to go to Dr's they didn't get to choose  ( keeping in mind many of these same people had no other access to  health care except  "emergency rooms"


so I see a total lack of serious political will  to  change this type of  system  no matter what the percent of GDP is....    and BTW   poking around social security.. ( which is a self funded program will not do anything to address the Medicare issue which is totally funded from appropriations...

Nick
remember the good times...honor the past but don't live there
Le stelle la notte sono grandie luminose, nel cuore profondo del Texas

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #106 on: February 12, 2011, 01:46:04 PM »
So how do we in America go about getting some of this UHC?



First the majority of Americans need to agree that everyone deserves healthcare.


Or to paraphrase Kofi Annan; when health is finally seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for.

 That's right, health care - particularly life-saving health care - should be seen as a human right. I certainly see it that way.

Perhaps if as much effort were put into gaining the human right of health care as there is put into the human right to marry who you want, ground might be gained. More effort needs to be put into the concept that health care for all - just as marriage for all - is a basic human right.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline leatherman

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #107 on: February 12, 2011, 02:11:57 PM »
Perhaps if as much effort were put into gaining the human right of health care as there is put into the human right to marry who you want, ground might be gained.
although I totally agree with your concept that health care is and should be considered as a right, I would proffer that the millions upon millions currently advocating for better health care in the US (groups concerned with breast cancer, mental illness, teen pregnancy, childrenhood innoculation and illness, HIV/AIDS, STDs, cancers, MS, diabetes, the handicapped, dental care, etc) are already a bigger crowd than the hundred of thousands advocating for marriage equality.

Many, many more diverse groups are advocating for health care while basically only LGBT groups are advocating for marriage equality.  Don't short shrift the much vaster amount of people advocating for all sorts of health care reform and the right to adequate health care. Marriage equality only comes up frequently in these forums because of the larger than average grouping of gay members. There are plenty of online forums today discussing health care issues without once considering gay mariage equality. Those for marriage equality only wish they had the numbers concerned with health care reform.

edited to add
remember to always follow the money. Queers getting married won't take money away from the health care or insurances industries; but adequate health care for all - now that'll be dipping into someone's pockets. So of course with marriage equality being less-costly, it will probably happen before health care reform. It has nothing to do with who puts how much effort into the topic as much as how much the current financial situations will be affected.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2011, 02:21:50 PM by leatherman »
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #108 on: February 12, 2011, 02:20:03 PM »
although I totally agree with your concept that health care is and should be considered as a right, I would proffer that the millions upon millions currently advocating for better health care in the US (groups concerned with breast cancer, mental illness, teen pregnancy, childrenhood innoculation and illness, HIV/AIDS, STDs, cancers, MS, diabetes, the handicapped, dental care, etc) are already a bigger crowd than the hundred of thousands advocating for marriage equality.

Many, many more diverse groups are advocating for health care while basically only LGBT groups are advocating for marriage equality.  Don't short shrift the much vaster amount of people advocating for all sorts of health care reform and the right to adequate health care. Marriage equality only comes up frequently in these forums because of the larger than average grouping of gay members. There are plenty of online forums today discussing health care issues without once considering gay mariage equality. Those for marriage equality only wish they had the numbers concerned with health care reform.

I guess maybe I wasn't clear. Rarely do I see the issue of health care referred to as a human right in the States. I'm saying if maybe it were made to be more of a human rights issue (as has been done with marriage equality), more ground might be gained.

But maybe that's just wishful thinking.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline leatherman

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #109 on: February 12, 2011, 02:35:17 PM »
you may not be hearing of it spoken of a right in the media; but thousands of advocates on the ground in every state use that language all the time: women's right to health care (often regarding abortions) or the right to sexual health care (often regarding teen pregnancy and birth control), the right to mental health care. These rights are advocated for in state and federal legislatures all the time. Sadly often the resulting budgets and law are made favoring the industries surrounding health care instead of upholding the rights of our citizens.

As an advocate for ADAP and HIV prevention, I find myself coming into more and more contact with these kinds of people. Perhaps one day we'll be able to work together in a better concerted effort to make the underlying basic cocnept of the right to health care as the main thrust of our many various agendas. But for now, everyone is having to fight too much for the limited dollars for their area of concern. :'(
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #110 on: February 12, 2011, 03:22:46 PM »
 having said that I cant agree  that a government run system would be more efficient....  

I can envision a government system that would be more efficient. If there was no private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid that would eliminate huge amount of waste. Imagine one single online billing system for everything, one medical records system, not every doctors office, clinic and hospital having their own system and department. If reimbursement for healthcare services were fixed nationally it would encourage healthcare workers to serve poorer areas where cost of living is cheaper. Control of reimbursement for medical specialties would allow for better access to healthcare, for example if PCPs get paid more than plastic surgeons you will have more people want to become PCPs. People could go to any doctor they wanted because reimbursement would be the same. Construction of new facilities could be standardize so that materials could be cheaply mass produced and assembled.  With a centralized national infection database physicians and scientists could quickly and accurately analyze epidemiology and infection control. Incentives could be provided to encourage innovation and additional education. Employers, particularly small businesses, would no longer be burdened with paying for insurance since healthcare would be taken out of people's checks the same was social security is. There are all kinds of advantages.

Yes, I know that mine is a fool's dream. There are millions of dollars spent in Washington to lobby against exactly what I'm proposing.


PS. My apologies for going completely off topic.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2011, 03:28:22 PM by GSOgymrat »

Offline newt

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #111 on: February 12, 2011, 06:34:44 PM »
The biggest improvement in mental health outcomes in the US coincided with the introduction of Medicare and Medicaid. Not new drugs, not new approaches to care, not anything else. Go figure.

Would you do defense on a need-to-insure-can-afford-it basis?

(Soz, completly off topic)

- matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline RapidRod

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #112 on: February 12, 2011, 06:51:29 PM »
Mental help in the US is atrocious. Most counties are left to deal with Mental Health themselves. In our county it is comprised of 3 counties and it may take over a month to get into the Mental health clinic. You can however sign yourself in at most of the major hospitals that do have Mental health wards. The US quit funding the majority of the Mental Health Hospitals and most have closed.

Offline thunter34

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #113 on: February 12, 2011, 07:08:42 PM »
PS. My apologies for going completely off topic.


Perhaps it's a blessing in disguise.
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #114 on: February 12, 2011, 07:11:37 PM »
Mental help in the US is atrocious. Most counties are left to deal with Mental Health themselves. In our county it is comprised of 3 counties and it may take over a month to get into the Mental health clinic. You can however sign yourself in at most of the major hospitals that do have Mental health wards. The US quit funding the majority of the Mental Health Hospitals and most have closed.

I work part time for a county mental health center. Don't even get me started.

Offline pozniceguy

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #115 on: February 12, 2011, 07:33:00 PM »
Ford  the type of Utopian system you propose has been proposed  in parts an pieces many times , the orig  "Obama care"  had most of that type of scenario...   even had a few Dr's and hospitals  sort of  supporting it......   the eventual pkg was stripped of many of the provisions for all sorts of reasons....   who /what will absorb the cost of converting /buying all the existing facilities ?  many are government owned  and many others are heavily subsidized... and others are private owners.   the "one payer system" has been proposed in many forms over the years...and to a large extent the Medicare payment schedule is the basis for many care givers(  hospitals and Dr's)     in practice a one "payer determines the payment"  system.  and the real killer is the "organization/committee/department "  that will operate such a system  is a Political Christmas present   for appointees / civil service thousands of  support people and   probably a major construction item in there as well....  even the most liberal  pols  couldn't swallow the cost for that...
even having the Government  "negotiate " drug cost with suppliers/manufacturers was killed because the Government would become the "market" for the drugs and be the determining  entity  of what could be charged by  sellers of said drugs(  some govmnt agencies already do this (  Military system, prisons, NHS, even Medicare  and Medicaid have drug price agreements)
sad but the way a "democratic" system works   compromise is the name of the game

Nick
remember the good times...honor the past but don't live there
Le stelle la notte sono grandie luminose, nel cuore profondo del Texas

Offline Joe K

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #116 on: February 12, 2011, 10:05:42 PM »
sad but the way a "democratic" system works   compromise is the name of the game

You mean American democracy, don't you. Many democratic countries have universal health care because they believe it is the proper thing to do for all citizens. America has been so corrupted, over the past thirty years and now big business and the very rich pull all the strings in DC. Take a close look at the Republican agenda and if you are a woman, a minority, gay or poor, look out, because you are in their sights. They will rape and pillage, all in the name of the almighty dollar, because nobody in government represents the average American.

If you saw the America, that I see from Canada, you would be appalled and well you should be. Republicans have started their attacks, beginning at the city and state levels and it's only going to get worse. I fear for Obama care, because I believe that if the Republicans cannot repeal the act, then they will starve the beast, by simply not funding key components. With the passing of Senator Ted Kennedy, a generation of leaders died, who could still wage political battle, but who ultimately fought for the average American and produced meaningful legislation that has stood the test of time.

Sadly, what I see is a country so divided by hate, that people would actually let their neighbors starve or die, rather than provide the necessities required to live, or would hunt them down for practicing the wrong religion. I see a country torn a sunder, and until some unity returns, Americans will never demand universal health care, because they are unwilling to speak with one voice. I want my America back.

To be honest, right now, I wish there were about 200 million irate Americans, demanding real change in our government and to reclaim our country.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2011, 10:07:22 PM by killfoile »

Offline pozniceguy

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #117 on: February 13, 2011, 12:09:54 AM »
  the following was recently   shared by  a friend  the heading says  " TAX system" but the  operational structure of the Health care issue is very similar as well  , it all boils down to  expectations, fairness and who pays  how much  vs  who gets  whatever    ... you  can add the moral issue, the  "right"  to health care or any other tag  but there will always be the cost issue  and who pays vs who receives.......    if you kill the goose (  or even beat the shit out of him) that lays the golden eggs   what will really be accomplished  ??/     will they move to Canada???.....



  Subject:  The Tax System Explained in Beer
     
      The Tax System Explained in Beer


    For those who understand, no explanation is needed.
    For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible!


    Economics Applied to Society

    Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill
    for all ten comes to $100 ...

    If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would
    go something like this ...


    The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
    The fifth would pay $1.
    The sixth would pay $3.
    The seventh would pay $7..
    The eighth would pay $12.
    The ninth would pay $18.
    The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.


    So, that's what they decided to do.

    The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with
    the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve ball.
    "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce
    the cost of your daily beer by $20. Drinks for the ten men would now
    cost just $80."

    The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes.  So,
    the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free.  But
    what about the other six men?  The paying customers?  How could they
    divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share?

    They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33.  But if they subtracted
    that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man
    would each end up being paid to drink his beer.

    So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's
    bill by a higher percentage the poorer he was, to follow the principle of
    the tax system they had been using, and he proceeded to work out the
    amounts he suggested that each should now pay.

    And so the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% saving).
    The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% saving).
    The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% saving).
    The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% saving).
    The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% saving).
    The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% saving).

    Each of the six was better off than before.  And the first four continued
    to drink for free.  But, once outside the bar, the men began to compare
    their savings.

    "I only got a dollar out of the $20 saving," declared the sixth man.
    He pointed to the tenth man, but he got $10"!

    "Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too.
    It's unfair that he got ten times more benefit than me"!

    "That's true!" shouted the seventh man.  "Why should he get $10 back,
    when I got only $2?  The wealthy get all the breaks"!

    "Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison, "we didn't get anything
    at all.  This new tax system exploits the poor"!

    The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.


    The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down
    and had their beers without him.  But when it came time to pay the bill, they
    discovered something important.  They didn't have enough money between
    all of them for even half of the bill!

    And that, boys and girls, journalists and government ministers, is how our
    tax system works.  The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally
    get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for
    being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore.  In fact, they might
    start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.
    Which is exactly what's happening.


    David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
    Professor of Economics.

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remember the good times...honor the past but don't live there
Le stelle la notte sono grandie luminose, nel cuore profondo del Texas

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #118 on: February 13, 2011, 12:24:00 AM »
How a thread about whether or not HIV can be some sort of blessing in one's life turned into Tea Bagger prattle about the US taxation system is beyond me.

MtD

Offline edfu

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #119 on: February 13, 2011, 03:17:01 AM »
All this discussion of the complete failure of the U.S. health-care system and the pernicious U.S. taxation system, while worthwhile, touches only upon symptoms of the essential problem.  Bob Herbert, for one, in The New York Times two days ago cut to the chase and nails it:


WHEN DEMOCRACY WEAKENS
By BOB HERBERT

As the throngs celebrated in Cairo, I couldn’t help wondering about what is happening to democracy here in the United States. I think it’s on the ropes. We’re in serious danger of becoming a democracy in name only.

While millions of ordinary Americans are struggling with unemployment and declining standards of living, the levers of real power have been all but completely commandeered by the financial and corporate elite. It doesn’t really matter what ordinary people want. The wealthy call the tune, and the politicians dance.

So what we get in this democracy of ours are astounding and increasingly obscene tax breaks and other windfall benefits for the wealthiest, while the bought-and-paid-for politicians hack away at essential public services and the social safety net, saying we can’t afford them. One state after another is reporting that it cannot pay its bills. Public employees across the country are walking the plank by the tens of thousands. Camden, N.J., a stricken city with a serious crime problem, laid off nearly half of its police force. Medicaid, the program that provides health benefits to the poor, is under savage assault from nearly all quarters.

The poor, who are suffering from an all-out depression, are never heard from. In terms of their clout, they might as well not exist. The Obama forces reportedly want to raise a billion dollars or more for the president’s re-election bid. Politicians in search of that kind of cash won’t be talking much about the wants and needs of the poor. They’ll be genuflecting before the very rich.

In an Op-Ed article in The Times at the end of January, Senator John Kerry said that the Egyptian people “have made clear they will settle for nothing less than greater democracy and more economic opportunities.” Americans are being asked to swallow exactly the opposite. In the mad rush to privatization over the past few decades, democracy itself was put up for sale, and the rich were the only ones who could afford it.

The corporate and financial elites threw astounding sums of money into campaign contributions and high-priced lobbyists and think tanks and media buys and anything else they could think of. They wined and dined powerful leaders of both parties. They flew them on private jets and wooed them with golf outings and lavish vacations and gave them high-paying jobs as lobbyists the moment they left the government. All that money was well spent. The investments paid off big time.

As Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson wrote in their book, “Winner-Take-All Politics”: “Step by step and debate by debate, America’s public officials have rewritten the rules of American politics and the American economy in ways that have benefited the few at the expense of the many.”

As if the corporate stranglehold on American democracy were not tight enough, the Supreme Court strengthened it immeasurably with its Citizens United decision, which greatly enhanced the already overwhelming power of corporate money in politics. Ordinary Americans have no real access to the corridors of power, but you can bet your last Lotto ticket that your elected officials are listening when the corporate money speaks.

When the game is rigged in your favor, you win. So despite the worst economic downturn since the Depression, the big corporations are sitting on mountains of cash, the stock markets are up and all is well among the plutocrats. The endlessly egregious Koch brothers, David and Charles, are worth an estimated $35 billion. Yet they seem to feel as though society has treated them unfairly.

As Jane Mayer pointed out in her celebrated New Yorker article, “The Kochs are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry — especially environmental regulation.” (A good hard look at their air-pollution record would make you sick.)

It’s a perversion of democracy, indeed, when individuals like the Kochs have so much clout while the many millions of ordinary Americans have so little. What the Kochs want is coming to pass. Extend the tax cuts for the rich? No problem. Cut services to the poor, the sick, the young and the disabled? Check. Can we get you anything else, gentlemen?

The Egyptians want to establish a viable democracy, and that’s a long, hard road. Americans are in the mind-bogglingly self-destructive process of letting a real democracy slip away.

I had lunch with the historian Howard Zinn just a few weeks before he died in January 2010. He was chagrined about the state of affairs in the U.S. but not at all daunted. “If there is going to be change,” he said, “real change, it will have to work its way from the bottom up, from the people themselves.”

I thought of that as I watched the coverage of the ecstatic celebrations in the streets of Cairo.



 
"No one will ever be free so long as there are pestilences."--Albert Camus, "The Plague"

"Mankind can never be free until the last brick in the last church falls on the head of the last priest."--Voltaire

Offline Dachshund

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #120 on: February 13, 2011, 07:36:56 AM »
  the following was recently   shared by  a friend  the heading says  " TAX system" but the  operational structure of the Health care issue is very similar as well  , it all boils down to  expectations, fairness and who pays  how much  vs  who gets  whatever    ... you  can add the moral issue, the  "right"  to health care or any other tag  but there will always be the cost issue  and who pays vs who receives.......    if you kill the goose (  or even beat the shit out of him) that lays the golden eggs   what will really be accomplished  ??/     will they move to Canada???.....


Said the guy whose health care is funded by the American tax payer.

Offline mecch

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #121 on: February 13, 2011, 08:31:49 AM »
The cost in universal health care is a real burden for us (the European 'Socialists') in the global economic competition and has a direct impact on our unemployment rates (chronically higher), but I must admit we get PREMIUM attention/monitoring/choice of combos, etc.

UHC  IS a BLESSING and it shows!

Cheers!

Eric

Is universal health care that burdensome to a rich country?  Not sure.  Not sure it impacts its competitiveness and not sure it has any relation to unemployment.  Country by country considerations, please.  
Switzerland has 100 % insurance coverage. Insurance companies are private but heavily regulated. Switzerland has very low unemployment and remains competitive.  Bet you could say the same for Germany.

I would prefer that the camp that is against 100 % garanteed insurance in the USA should receive NO false data that they can use to decry the negative effects of socialist safety nets in Europe (or elsewhere).  For every socialist state where there are negative effects another state has none.  And, in BOTH states, the citizens will have health care, so who the fuck cares about some difficulties.

Greedy greedy, stupid stupid camp, this one, the Americans against universal coverage.  
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline bmancanfly

  • Member
  • Posts: 580
  • Medicare For All !
Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #122 on: February 13, 2011, 11:47:32 AM »
 
        And that, boys and girls, journalists and government ministers, is how our
    tax system works.  The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally
    get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for
    being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore.  In fact, they might
    start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.
    Which is exactly what's happening.


    David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
    Professor of Economics.

    No virus found in this message.
    Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
    Version: 10.0.1191 / Virus Database: 1435/3393 - Release Date: 01/20/11



=

I have a masters degree in economics,  so I'm pretty good at sniffing out economic horseshit when I encounter it.  I found it hard to believe that an economics professor could write something so stupid.

In fact, this is a viral email being  spread around (no doubt by the uneducated right wing) that Professor Kamerschen Ph.D. claims to have never written.  

It's just an attempt to lend credibility to a bankrupt political philosophy by falsely attaching a Ph.D.'s name to it.

http://www.viralgrapevine.com/how-tax-cuts-work-by-david-r-kamerschen-refuted-the-real-way-tax-work-removing-the-internet-garbage/



Medicare for all.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2011, 09:56:01 PM by bmancanfly »
"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

 Bertrand Russell

Offline Joe K

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #123 on: February 13, 2011, 12:58:42 PM »
 the following was recently   shared by  a friend  the heading says  " TAX system" but the  operational structure of the Health care issue is very similar as well  , it all boils down to  expectations, fairness and who pays  how much  vs  who gets  whatever    ... you  can add the moral issue, the  "right"  to health care or any other tag  but there will always be the cost issue  and who pays vs who receives.......    if you kill the goose (  or even beat the shit out of him) that lays the golden eggs   what will really be accomplished  ??/     will they move to Canada???.....

You don't have a clue as to what I am saying, when you offer up some propaganda email, to explain to the "boys and girls" basic economics. However, what really offended me is your repeated reference to expectations, fairness and who pays how much vs. who gets what. You mention adding the moral issue of "right" to health care, but obviously what matters to you is making sure you get your fair share of the benefit, while paying the least amount of the cost.

The "right" to health care is not only a moral issue, it is a basic human need. I can decide to buy a car or house, but when I'm having a heart attack, what "choice" do I have, other than to seek medical treatment? That is where the "rights" issue comes into play. Health care is a basic human need and therefore is a right, no matter how you look at it. This is why I advocate for removing the "profit" from health care, but that's another topic.

The bottom line is that health care is a right and someday in America it will be. A system can be built that will provide health care to "everyone", not just those you deem worthy, but EVERYONE. I cannot believe you posted this tripe, as to somehow justify denying universal health care to all Americans. I am beyond disappointed in you and you have now lost my respect.

Online Jeff G

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #124 on: February 13, 2011, 05:01:39 PM »
I believe with all my heart and mind that health care is and should be a basic human right . I also am aware that thinking of it in this way is something new and revolutionary to many people .

As a LTS , healthcare as an issue is something I'm passionate about . When the subject of healthcare comes up I try and work to concept of healthcare as as a human right into to the discussion .
From what I have heard I wish others would pay more attention to this as an aspect of overall discussion about healthcare because many have never considered healthcare in any other terms except who's burden it it is .

 


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