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Old 03-25-2010, 07:57 PM   #556
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I did not/will not ever claim to have some vast knowledge of how any European country's health system works.


but, if you do that, how will you be able to casually dismiss them all with sweeping generalizations and bold assertions about the superiority of America in everything ever?
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:14 PM   #557
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I've seen the documentary about other nation's health systems. It's pretty interesting and informative. And it puts a huge spotlight on just how much the US has fucked up (until now).

Frum was dead on about the Republicans: no compromise attempts whatsoever. Bitching about the lack of compromises? Sure. But actual attempts? Never.

Honestly, the deal ended up being Obama negotiating with Democrats. It's not his fault that the GOP turned their back on attempting to get something done.
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:36 PM   #558
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Correct me if I am wrong, every advanced European country has a government provided single payer health care system?
I'm pretty sure you're wrong - don't Germany and France have multi-payer? And Switzerland isn't single payer either as far as I recall.
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:41 PM   #559
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Indeed, fully 'socialist' health care systems are the exception rather than the rule in Europe. It is mainly a mix of private and public.
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:53 PM   #560
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It doesn't make sense to me to have such a tax that eliminates jobs and sends them overseas

Beware the ‘jobs killer’

Companies threaten to quit state over new tax on medical devices

By Jay Fitzgerald | Thursday, March 25, 2010 | Home - BostonHerald.com | Business & Markets

A dire warning from Bay State medical-device companies that a new sales tax in the federal health-care law could force their plants - and thousands of jobs - out of the country has rattled Gov. Deval Patrick, a staunch backer of the law and pal President Obama.

“This bill is a jobs killer,” said Ernie Whiton, chief financial officer of Chelmsford’s Zoll Medical Corp., which employs about 650 people in Massachusetts. Many of those employees work in Zoll’s local manufacturing facility making heart defibrillators.

“We could be forced to (move) manufacturing overseas if we can’t pass along these costs to our customers,” said Whiton.

The threat - echoed by others in the critical Massachusetts industry - had the governor vowing to intervene to block the sales tax impact.

“I am obviously concerned about the medical device burden here on the commonwealth, which has a very robust industry around medical devices,” Patrick said yesterday.

He ticked off his past support for the life-sciences industry. But he added that “you better believe I will work to make modifications” if the bill is found to be an “impediment to that industry.”

Medical-device makers - part of the life-sciences sector that’s been one of only a few fields creating jobs during the recession - are warning that the new sales tax could cripple many companies, especially small firms with razor-thin profit margins.

Under the legislation signed by Obama, medical-device companies would be slapped with a sales tax of about 2.9 percent to raise about $2.2 billion a year to pay for the health-care overhaul. Under a companion “reconciliation” bill now being debated in the Senate, the tax is set at 2.3 percent and would start Jan. 1, 2013.

Most political observers expect the reconciliation bill to pass - with the 2.3 percent medical-devices tax. The tax exempts eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing aids and all products generally found in drug stores, from bandages to toothbrushes.

But it hits more sophisticated medical instruments and equipment, a specialty of hundreds of firms in Massachusetts.

“They’re beating up on the guys doing the best to create jobs,” said Tom Taylor, chairman of the Massachusetts Medical Devices Industry Council and founder of Roush Life Sciences.

U.S. Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) is pressing for elimination of the proposed sales tax, as part of a larger, last-ditch effort by Republicans to stall specific aspects of the historic $940 billion health-care overhaul signed into law on Tuesday by Obama.

“With unemployment in my state near 10 percent, placing a tax on medical devices is the absolute last thing we should be doing right now,” said Brown in a statement, as he filed an amendment that would repeal the tax.

Despite his concerns, Patrick stood by health care reform yesterday, saying the law is “very good for the people of America and the people of the commonwealth.”
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:12 PM   #561
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From what I know about medical device companies(I've worked for two) this sounds like a bluff.

Out of everyone they are probably the ones that will feel it the most, but in the big scheme of things that's not saying much. Medical device companies that manufacture anything outside of soft goods do not survive outside the US. They can't for many reasons, we use to outsource our braces, but there was no way to outsource implants.
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Old 03-25-2010, 11:27 PM   #562
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but, if you do that, how will you be able to casually dismiss them all with sweeping generalizations and bold assertions about the superiority of America in everything ever?
Again, I was responding to Indy and using his frame of reference. Plenty of countries have single payer, and its clear that this is what he was trying to insinuate the US Democrats, myself included wanted. No secret, he has been doing it for months rather publicly. Again, having already been accused of being a wind bag, I did not want to start looking up the design of every European country's health care system.

I stand corrected 1, 2, 3 and however many more times over I need to be corrected about broad brushing every single European country. I'll just remind you again, I was responding to how it was characterized by Indy.

In so far as single payer and government administered systems are used, I think what was passed by Congress and signed by the President is superior. The US health care system has always been and will continue to be excellent on quality. The major problems of course were cost and as a direct result of cost, access. Also, the shocking ability of the health care companies to do whatever they want, i.e. arbitrarily drop coverage that policyholders paid for. I think we have kept what works and in the coming years, will make alot of progress toward fixing what doesn't as reform phases in.

I would not say and did not say that America is superior in everything all the time. Hell, looking at the filibuster obstruction, the one man Bunning hold up on government, etc, our very system of governance probably has something to learn from parliamentary systems in Europe and elsewhere. You know, where compromise, coalition building and getting something done is actually the rule as opposed to the exception. Staying in our mechanics of government discussion, the way we finance elections has to end. Special interests of the left and the right have both been responsible, at one time or another, for trying to slow down or kill this health care effort because it did not have anything or everything they wanted. The lobbyist influence is a big reason why we are where we are now with respect to health care, etc.

How about culture? I am all for responsible gun ownership, responsible, clean record citizens carrying guns for self defense, etc, and so are many other countries. There are more guns in Canada and some European countries. However, the culture of street violence and shooting someone for looking at you the wrong way or for running with the wrong group is largely a unique blight on American society. Remember Bullet from the Elevation DVD? We are certainly not superior there.

Stay on culture- it is hard to imagine an honest to God anti intellectual, ignorant worshipping movement developing in today's society in countries of Western Europe. The tea partiers are simply an extreme version of that all American of ideals- populism, and the idea that the people know better than some "elite power structure." A good ideal, but its been perverted into anti intellectual know nothing activism in America for quite some time now. As if people elected by a majority, responsive to a majority every 2, 4 or 6 years represent some kind of elite power structure that is recklessly ignoring the people.

Now, think In God's Country here. There is something great about America both in ideals and in practice, and though we do not always live up to our ideals as a government or as a people, I think most of us here who are Americans are very proud of it. I am sure yourself included, Irvine.

The US has the largest economy in the world and the best military and have done numerous great things, along side some not so great things.(WWI, II, The Marshall Plan, Berlin airlift, etc) The largest, strongest economy has certainly been challenged and will continue to be by the rise of the EU,India, China, Brasil, etc, etc. We have always held as our ideal equal opportunity and a chance to climb the ladder, GI Bill, etc. This commitment and our commitment to education and infrastructure has fallen, European and other countries are ahead of us here now. That will have implications for our economy. As Obama said in the 3rd debate with McCain, no country has ever led the world in military and diplomatic terms without maintaining their economic strength. So we're a great nation worthy of praise, respect, etc, but certainly not perfect.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, IF YOU READ NOTHING ELSE READ THIS:

Whether one country is better than or superior to another is:
1.)Difficult to define and

2.) a rather moot point, and is stupid in the grand scheme of things as a wise person once said "one love, one blood, one life..."

In the end, criticisms justifiably in place and imperfections readily acknoweldged, I am glad to live in a country developed on the very notions of freedom, self governance, private property, checks on government, democracy, etc that people all over the world aspire to.

Hope I cleared things up.
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Old 03-25-2010, 11:38 PM   #563
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From what I know about medical device companies(I've worked for two) this sounds like a bluff.

Out of everyone they are probably the ones that will feel it the most, but in the big scheme of things that's not saying much. Medical device companies that manufacture anything outside of soft goods do not survive outside the US. They can't for many reasons, we use to outsource our braces, but there was no way to outsource implants.

Of course it is a bluff.

Show me someone who wants to be taxed, and I'll show you my secret bootleg evidence of U2 having played Acrobat full band live just this year.

I would worry if I found a bunch of independent objective sources telling us that the medical device tax is a job killer, will lead to outsourcing(any more than we have now...) et cetera, but I have not found that anywhere. More health care system use equals more demand more medical devices so they'll more than make up for the tax.

Besides, these companies would not have had this scrutiny brought on to them and been such low hanging fruits so to speak had they not been in cahoots with the insurance companies and lobbyists for so many years rigging the system.

It is a modest exicse tax assessment, and maybe they'll pass a little bit of it along to consumers(though they have pretty hefty profits to absorb a tax) but it will not be enough to cancel out the net cost reductions consumers will see from this bill for health care services.

The premise of health care reform is that, in order to work, everyone must share in the responsibility of paying for it. In the end, it is better than saddling consumers with a direct tax, better than taxing small businesses, better than taxing large companies who are already doing the right thing, etc.

In short, I am not worried and its the same kind of bluffing that all industries use when faced with a fee or tax or regulation of any kind. The sky has never fallen after modest assessments were levied on anyone.
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Old 03-25-2010, 11:57 PM   #564
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“With unemployment in my state near 10 percent, placing a tax on medical devices is the absolute last thing we should be doing right now,” said Brown in a statement, as he filed an amendment that would repeal the tax.
Mr Brown missed the memo that the tax would start in 2013.

Unemployment will be a little less than 10% in Massachusetts then.

The exemptions seem to cover a lot of what is made by companies headquartered or having significant presence in Massachusetts anyways.

The more sophisticated makers generally have higher margins, but even with the lower margin companies, you are talking about a 2.3% sales tax, not exactly something that will shake the earth. Lets look at the low profit margin little old lady who goes out to lunch with her friends once per week in South Burlington Vermont or Chicago Illinois or any place with a local sales tax on meals, on top of the state rate. Have people stopped going out to eat? Have new restaurants stopped opening, even during the recession? Absolutely not.(not saying I support local option meals taxes, but you get the idea)

It will affect some people, but in terms of their ability to provide jobs, make money, etc, that is threatened alot more by the insolvency of many hospitals, the many who can not afford health care and therefore, the devices, etc.

Ultimately, they can still buy a device or component parts to a device and have a high demand for it that allows them to sell it to a pretty steady industry- health care that will most likely be alot better off than it is now under reform.

I will be surprised, no I will be shocked, if the life sciences industry in Massachusetts or elsewhere is noticeably affected by this in terms of quality/quantity of product and ability to hire and pay employees and contribute to the state's economy.

If the negative affects somehow materialize, then as Patrick said, we can make modifications. I can think of about 100 other ways to get $2billion per year.
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:43 AM   #565
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I did not/will not ever claim to have some vast knowledge of how any European country's health system works.
That's OK. It's even difficult for me to have a good knowledge how the Dutch health care system works.
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:55 AM   #566
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as a Dutch person, you might enjoy this article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/03/ma...uropean-t.html
Thanks, that was an interesting read. It also addresses all these 'socialist' comments that are again showing up in the health care debate:
Quote:
This points up something that seems to be overlooked when Americans dismiss European-style social-welfare systems: they are not necessarily state-run or state-financed. Rather, these societies have chosen to combine the various entities that play a role in social well-being — individuals, corporations, government, nongovernmental entities like unions and churches — in different ways, in an effort to balance individual freedom and overall social security.
The Dutch health care system is more capitalistic than the US system (we don't have a Medicare-like insurance anymore), but with some balancing it has become universal.
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:34 PM   #567
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Indeed, fully 'socialist' health care systems are the exception rather than the rule in Europe. It is mainly a mix of private and public.
Thanks, I didn't know this. I live in the U.S. Have private insurance through my place of employment. I, like many Americans. Are not sure what this new health care bill will cover. And what will happen if you already have insurance. I would appreciate any info.
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:55 PM   #568
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Indeed, fully 'socialist' health care systems are the exception rather than the rule in Europe. It is mainly a mix of private and public.
So is Canada.
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Old 03-26-2010, 01:37 PM   #569
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Hope I cleared things up.


i was totally kidding.
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Old 03-26-2010, 05:44 PM   #570
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i was totally kidding.




Reading it in retrospect, I completely understand. I was tired last night, haha.
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