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 Universal Health Care 
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Modmin Dude
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Freep wrote:
July 25, 2009
White House using class warfare to sell health reform plan

By MITCH ALBOM
Free Press columnist

In explaining why it was OK to sock a new 5.4% tax on the highest earners in this country — to pay for health care reform — President Obama’s press secretary, Robert Gibbs, said this:

“The president believes that the richest 1% of this country has had a pretty good run of it for many, many, many years.”

Ah. So that’s it. The old “You’ve had it good enough for long enough” policy. That’s why a family earning a million dollars a year should now cough up $54,000 of that — in addition to all the other taxes it pays — to cover health care for people who may not pay a penny of new tax themselves.

Because, after all, those rich folks have had a pretty good run of it.

Now, it is not that I don’t think we need health care reform. We do. It is not that the rich should not pay fair taxes. They should.

But to justify a grossly overweighted tax by saying “You people have had it good long enough” is to engage in the worst and most destructive form of politics: class warfare.

By making a snarky comment like that, Gibbs suggests that the top 1% are a bunch of Bernie Madoffs, that they’ve been scheming their way to riches, evading the system, hiding their money in complicated offshore deals. You know — wink, wink — they’ve had it “pretty good.”

This is every bit as insulting as saying all poor people are lazy welfare cheats. Imagine the uproar if he’d said that. What’s the difference?

Both are dangerous lies.

One nation, taxes for all

For a moment, let’s take Gibbs and Obama at their words. “A pretty good run of it for many, many, many years.” OK. In what way? Did those people earn their money? Yes. Did they work for it? Yes. So in that regard they are no different than a schoolteacher or postal worker. They worked, they got paid.

Presumably, then — unless he’s suggesting they’re all crooks — when Gibbs says “a pretty good run of it” he means in taxes. Hmm. Let’s see. Those high income earners currently shell out around 35% in income taxes, the highest rate, plus state income taxes, local income taxes, property and other taxes that likely chew up between 45% and 50% of their money. If Obama’s tax-related plans all go through, it could, for some, approach 60%.

How is that a “pretty good run”? It’s clearly a bigger chunk than poor people pay. In fact, those evil one-percenters pay about 40% of all income tax in this country.

So if they’ve had a pretty good run, so has the other 99% of the country that’s been using their money.

Look. It would be one thing if we had a flat tax in the United States or if you could shelter your income or hide it offshore. But most wealth experts will tell you tax shelters for individuals are long gone, and offshore is a rapidly disappearing corporate trick.

For the most part, if you earn a lot of money in America today, you have to pay your taxes on it. Capital gains are taxed at a lower rate, but in most cases, before you have money to buy and sit on stocks, you have to earn it and therefore pay taxes on it.

Watch what you say

On the other hand, would you tell people who pay no taxes that they’ve had a pretty good run? Would you say it to people who never really look for work, who don’t bother in school, who look for ways to live off the state?

Yet all such people, under Obama’s plan, will get health care — paid for by those lousy, conniving rich people. And please, let’s not imagine that all poor people are noble single mothers with two jobs, three kids, good credit and an ailing mother. Unless you’re naive enough to believe that all wealthy Americans are greedy pigs.

You don’t get a country behind you by pointing fingers. And you don’t inspire effort and ingenuity by always milking the rich. Suggesting that if Americans do too well they’ll be resented is not how this country became a prosperous nation. After all, the dream of being rich is often being dreamed by the poor.

Mr. Gibbs and President Obama should realize they are no longer only speaking to rooms full of giddy campaign volunteers. It’s the nation. All of us are in this together. That means poor and yes, rich — if there are any left once this is all done.

http://freep.com/article/20090725/COL01 ... 3jYU5pk%3D

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July 27th, 2009, 1:21 pm
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Look, we are all going to have to pay for this. They ARE pitting the rich against the poor to get it passed but it will end up being WAY over budget as people have incentive to drop what they have and buy into a cheaper plan that is offset by our tax dollars. They then will have to raise taxes again after they blunder this first round and we all will be paying for it...

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July 27th, 2009, 5:14 pm
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Mitch Albom is a faggot.


July 29th, 2009, 8:23 pm
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casskid wrote:
Mitch Albom is a faggot.


Classy :rolleyes:

With such an articulate argument, who could disagree with you.

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July 29th, 2009, 10:16 pm
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TheRealWags wrote:
casskid wrote:
Mitch Albom is a faggot.


Classy :rolleyes:

With such an articulate argument, who could disagree with you.



Um..that would be Me.. :twisted:

as a citizen who paid for my own education, worked hard to get where i'm at, and already gets bent over the barrel to pay my taxes.

my retort ( non vulgar worded for a public forum) : get some ambition,
and stop expecting the goverment to force us to pay your way through life.


July 30th, 2009, 1:43 pm
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kskfordfleet wrote:
TheRealWags wrote:
casskid wrote:
Mitch Albom is a faggot.


Classy :rolleyes:

With such an articulate argument, who could disagree with you.



Um..that would be Me.. :twisted:

as a citizen who paid for my own education, worked hard to get where i'm at, and already gets bent over the barrel to pay my taxes.

my retort ( non vulgar worded for a public forum) : get some ambition,
and stop expecting the goverment to force us to pay your way through life.


I completely agree. I have no desire to 'pick up the tab' for folks who can't afford their own health care. Rather than tax the rest of us (and believe me, you tax the rich and it WILL trickle down to the rest of us) for the health care bill, why not address the outrageous costs within the health care industry? That seems to be the root cause of the issue.

And Casskid....you may not like Mitch Albom. I don't really like Mitch Albom. But like it or not, he hit the nail on the head in that article.


July 30th, 2009, 2:40 pm
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If they can't afford it now, why would they be able to afford it after we "lower" prices? Isn't there some sort of minimum human dignity factor that we all should get on helping everyone live at least a semi decent life? I'm not talking top end cancer treatment from the top surgeon for every person, but really, you lose your job and form a lump on your testicle. Instead of going to the doctor, which you can no longer afford, you let it go and such it up. Pretty soon your left nut is the size of a grapefruit and you go to the emergency room. Bills pile up, your health get awful because of how far the cancer has spread. Who now foots the bill, taxpayers. instead of paying a 60 dollar visit to a family doctor, a few thousand for surgery or chemo, and a good recovery... you now have expensive emergency room care, expensive hospital bills, etc all payed for by us now anyways. So what could have been a "quick" fix and kept you healthy and able to work... you now have a half dead, useless man whos medical bills are payed by us.

We need to fix BOTH the cost and the poor. No solution will fix the system alone.

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July 30th, 2009, 2:48 pm
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steensn wrote:
If they can't afford it now, why would they be able to afford it after we "lower" prices? Isn't there some sort of minimum human dignity factor that we all should get on helping everyone live at least a semi decent life? I'm not talking top end cancer treatment from the top surgeon for every person, but really, you lose your job and form a lump on your testicle. Instead of going to the doctor, which you can no longer afford, you let it go and such it up. Pretty soon your left nut is the size of a grapefruit and you go to the emergency room. Bills pile up, your health get awful because of how far the cancer has spread. Who now foots the bill, taxpayers. instead of paying a 60 dollar visit to a family doctor, a few thousand for surgery or chemo, and a good recovery... you now have expensive emergency room care, expensive hospital bills, etc all payed for by us now anyways. So what could have been a "quick" fix and kept you healthy and able to work... you now have a half dead, useless man whos medical bills are payed by us.

We need to fix BOTH the cost and the poor. No solution will fix the system alone.


But if you address the cost of healthcare and bring it down, won't the insurance then become more affordable? That is what I am alluding to. People don't go to the doctor or get prescriptions because the costs are too high. People don't have healthcare because the insurance premiums are too high because the costs of healthcare are so high. And I can feel pretty confident in saying that in your example, the person with the growth would certainly have visited the doctor if the cost of visiting him or her would have been $10 or $15 rather than just $60 for walking in the door. Often times, that $60 visit becomes $300 or $400 due to the testing, prescriptions and follow ups. Make the insurance affordable, make the visits affordable, and more folks will have better health care coverage. Also, let us not forget about those people, often the poor and uneducated, who just won't visit a doctor at all, regardless of the issue. Not because of cost, but because of trust. Not too much can be done about that, unless you want to make doctor visits mandatory for free coverage.

Here's the problem with just giving healthcare coverage to the poor: where is their drive to improve their station in life? Most are already getting food stamps and other government benefits. They now get medical care for nothing while the rest of us pay for it. Some get subsidies for the cost of their housing. What next? The cost of healthcare MUST be put in check, and brought down to a more affordable level. And before you tell me that the poor don't want to stay poor, that's not always true. There are people out there who choose to be where they are at, either because of their laziness, addictions, or personal philosophy of life (money is the root of all evil, therefore I don't like money). How do you weed those folks out from those who, through no action of their own, are just having a difficult time of it?

And I think that just doing a blanket coverage for people considered "poor" is the wrong approach as well. There are many folks who are genuinely struggling financially and doing the best they can. They are trying to gain employment, or work whatever jobs they can. Those are the folks that deserve our help. However, there are also those who want something for nothing, who REFUSE to work or claim some sort of issue with being able to work. Those are the people who should be denied ANY and ALL social financial help. No foodstamps, no medical care, no social subsidies of any kind. There are too many of them that are draining the finances of these programs. And unfortunately too many who learn how to "work the system" and as such have no reason to work for a living.

It needs to end. Healthcare costs have increased ten fold in less than two decades. A $500 procedure in 1990 now costs $5000. The costs associated with a visit to a hospital are staggering. Even the cost of a trip to the hospital in an ambulance are ridiculous. As the medical community charge more and more, knowing that it is the insurance companies that will pay, the cost of healthcare insurance continues to rise.

Imagine if the cost of a car had increased over that same span, or the cost of other consumer goods. The only comparable market is that of housing, where the price of any given house increased dramatically over the course of a few years. But that has come crashing back down. And the difference is, you can sell that house. You can't sell your apendectomy.


July 31st, 2009, 10:11 am
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There is a presumption that if we bring healthcare cost down that insurance will be affordable. That simply has yet to be proven or happen. We can always have a sliding scale based on cost and income, that is the best solution. The first step of getting cost down is to get people without health insurance into a regular doctor. It will bring EVERYONES cost down quicker because there won't be unpayed expensive emergency room bills we have to pay for in our everyday cost. It's overhead that helps everyone in the short and long term.

But I'm not saying throw money at it and get everyone health insurance, there is smart ways of going about it, including a sliding scale of cost and income to say how much someone needs to pay or not pay. That way when cost go down, the gov't gets a reduction in what it pays and more of the financial load starts to be taken over by the individuals.

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July 31st, 2009, 10:38 am
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More food for thought........

WSJ wrote:
OPINION
JULY 30, 2009, 11:23 P.M. ET

Health Reform and Cancer
The danger is that ObamaCare will stifle medical innovations that could save patients like me.


By MYRNA ULFIK

I have been battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, an incurable blood cancer, for the past nine years. Last year, I was also diagnosed with uterine cancer.

I didn’t run to Canada for treatment. Medicare took care of my needs right here in New York City. To endure, I just need the freedom to choose my insurance, my doctors, and get the diagnostic scans and care I need. And one more thing: I need hope that a treatment will be developed that can control my diseases the way insulin controls diabetes.

Every cancer patient needs these things, especially hope. But the government’s plan to reform the health-care system in this country threatens all of this—particularly the development of new treatments.

When I was first diagnosed in 2000 I had chemotherapy. It put me in remission, but nearly killed me.

Three years later the lymphoma was back and I faced more chemo. This is so often the pattern of cancer: recurring disease and repeated chemo. In the end patients often die not from the disease, but from the treatments.

I took a different path, seeking a cancer vaccine. One had been developed at Stanford University 12 years earlier that had given 90% of patients very long remissions and cured some entirely. Unlike chemotherapy, there were no severe side effects.

But I couldn’t get the vaccine because the Food and Drug Administration required another trial that would take nine more years. Over-regulation has kept this treatment from patients for 21 years, as some 24,000 lymphoma patients died each year.

My husband and I searched the Internet and found another vaccine being tested at Freiburg University in Germany. That vaccine has helped me avoid chemotherapy for years. My oncologist says he’s never seen another patient do so well with the type of lymphoma I have.

I am still here because my care was managed by doctors—not a government agency. My doctors do what the bureaucracy can’t: They see me as a human being.

Patient-as-person will be a lost concept under the new health-care plan, where treatments will be based not upon individual patient needs, but upon what’s best for everyone. So cancer drugs for seniors might take second place to jungle gyms and farmers’ markets—so-called preventive care—which are covered under both the House and Senate versions of the health bill.

The stimulus package passed earlier this year allocated $1.1 billion for hundreds of “Comparative Effectiveness Research” studies. This project will compare all treatment options for a host of diseases in order to develop a database to guide doctors’ decisions. Research of this sort typically takes years. But the data will likely be hastily drawn conclusions that reflect the view of the government agencies that fund the studies: Cheap therapies are just as good as expensive ones.

In order to finance health-care reform, Democrats in Congress have proposed cutting $500 billion from Medicare over the next 10 years. Yet in his press conference last Wednesday, President Barack Obama denied that Medicare benefits would be cut. He has surrounded himself with advisers who believe otherwise.

Tom Daschle, Mr. Obama’s original pick to head Health and Human Services, argues in his book “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis,” that we should accept “hopeless diagnoses” and “forgo experimental treatments.” Mr. Daschle blames the “use and overuse of new technologies and treatments” for runaway health-care costs. He suggests a Federal Health Board modeled after the British “NICE” board to make decisions on health-care rationing.

But the British system is infamous for denying state-of-the-art drugs to cancer patients. Thus cancer-survival rates in Britain are far below those in America, just as they are in Canada.

Canadian cancer patients told to wait months for treatment and diagnostic scans frequently go south and pay out-of-pocket for care in the United States. A number of Quebeckers even sued their government for violating their “right to life and security” under the Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Canada’s Supreme Court has acknowledged the pervasive rationing that occurs. In the 2005 case Chaoulli v. Quebec (Attorney General) , the majority opinion stated: “The evidence in this case shows that delays in the public health care system are widespread, and that, in some serious cases, patients die as a result of waiting lists for public health care.”

Despite such evidence, the Obama plan is likely to target various treatments—including radiology scans—in order to cut costs. I survived this long because my radiologist examines each of my scans with me in detail.

One of those scans also saved my life by picking up unsuspected uterine cancer. The congressional majority seems blissfully unaware that all cancer patients need those scans to monitor their diseases.

Also uneasy with the cost of medical progress is Dr. David Blumenthal, Mr. Obama’s new head of Health Information Technology. It is not reassuring that he stresses that two-thirds of the annual increases in health spending result from medical innovation, as he has written in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Cancer patients need nothing more than such innovation. Yes, developing more effective, less toxic treatments is expensive. The prices of new cancer therapies reflect the billion-dollar cost of developing each new drug. But such treatments can be life-saving, as they have been for me.

Despite its warts, our system works. Carelessly tinkering with it will have a world-wide penalty—the stifling of new drug development. What company would spend a billion dollars to develop a drug that will not be reimbursed by the new health plan? This would be a direct, devastating blow to the most vulnerable Americans.


In spite of the president’s assurances, there is every sign that this plan will be financed by deep cuts to Medicare, which, like the public option, will limit payments for specialists, radiology scans, and cutting-edge cancer drugs. These are prime targets because they are more expensive than other services. But are we really expected to forgo new medical technology and return to the cancer care of the 1970s?

When members of Congress are asked if they will opt for the public plan, they say no. That’s for the rest of us.

The number of Americans who have cancer exceeds 10 million. It’s time for cancer patients and their families to remind those on Capitol Hill that health-care reform is a matter of life and death for us.

Ms. Ulfik is a writer in New York.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... lenews_wsj

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July 31st, 2009, 1:00 pm
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It is true, going to far in the other direction will kill our research and development. That is why we need an in between system.

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July 31st, 2009, 1:02 pm
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steensn wrote:
It is true, going to far in the other direction will kill our research and development. That is why we need an in between system.


Yup and the HUGE problem is that I don't trust any of the jerks in DC to come up with the right system, and I don't know many that do. After all, what have they done lately to prove that we should trust them with anything???

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July 31st, 2009, 1:09 pm
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TheRealWags wrote:
After all, what have they done lately to prove that we should trust them with anything???


THE CAR CLUNKER PROGRAM!!! DUH!!!

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July 31st, 2009, 1:18 pm
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steensn wrote:
TheRealWags wrote:
After all, what have they done lately to prove that we should trust them with anything???


THE CAR CLUNKER PROGRAM!!! DUH!!!


:lol: Oh yeah, I forgot about that one :shock: :lol:

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July 31st, 2009, 2:01 pm
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well to be honest I wouldn't be moving into my new house in sept if it wasn't for the federal RD program....so....

I realize that this has NOTHING to do with healthcare...I just wanted to add my 2 cents

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July 31st, 2009, 2:56 pm
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