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Old 08-10-2009, 08:46 PM   #141
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How can you budget adequately for what you can't see coming?
Exactly. I have a genetic disorder (an enzymatic defect) that wasn't diagnosed until I was a teenager. How would my parents have adequately budgeted for that? And furthermore, how would I do so once I attained the age of majority when I had no means of ever really being in a position to save up for it?
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:56 PM   #142
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how would I do so once I attained the age of majority when I had no means of ever really being in a position to save up for it?
Well didn't someone in here tell us that if this is the case then all we have to do is go back to school to get a higher paying job?
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:05 PM   #143
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Well didn't someone in here tell us that if this is the case then all we have to do is go back to school to get a higher paying job?


it's all about personal responsibility.

don't try to guilt trip me about kids who have leukemia who's parents aren't The Edge.

those parents should have been responsible enough to learn how to play the guitar and write "where the streets have no name" their goddamned selves.
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:22 AM   #144
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Again the confusion between health insurance and health care.

So what is the goal here? To be protected from financial ruin due to rare, unexpected, high-cost and possibly debilitating diseases and accidents. Or to have everything from sore throats to brain cancer paid for from birth until death by a collective third party?
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:31 AM   #145
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Again the confusion between health insurance and health care.

So what is the goal here? To be protected from financial ruin due to rare, unexpected, high-cost and possibly debilitating diseases and accidents. Or to have everything from sore throats to brain cancer paid for from birth until death by a collective third party?
Is brain cancer not a "rare, unexpected, high-cost and possibly debilitating disease"? Would you not want someone you love, whom does not have insurance and cannot afford it, and has brain cancer to receive treatment - without it bankrupting that person?
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:45 AM   #146
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And come on, how many people go to the doctor at the first sign of a sore throat? People old enough to decide for themselves whether to go to a doctor are old enough to know from experience that most sore throats will pass after a few days and can't be 'treated' except with rest anyway. If you're talking an intensely sore throat accompanied by high fever and nausea for several days on end with no improvement, then yeah, at that point many might go. But that's not why we have the most expensive healthcare system in the world.
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Old 08-11-2009, 02:51 AM   #147
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If you're talking an intensely sore throat accompanied by high fever and nausea for several days on end with no improvement, then yeah, at that point many might go.
And this type of sore throat can be strep, which if untreated can develop into rheumatic fever, which in turn can damage heart valves which can then cause life-long problems.

My mum had rheumatic fever when she was very young and it did damage her heart valves. She took multiple medications every single day for decades. She had heart failure and was hospitalized many, many times over the years when it would get bad. She had loads of tests and procedures -- electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, etc., etc. She had endocarditis twice. She had valve replacement surgery. She had several heart attacks (luckily they were all fairly minor). She had a pacemaker implanted. A course of penicillin, given at the right time, would have prevented all of that. Of course, her rheumatic fever and subsequent heart valve damage happened in the 1930's before penicillin was developed for use, so it is a moot point in her case, but now we can treat it -- easily and relatively inexpensively.

She actually lived a pretty decent life, both in quality and in length (she died one month shy of her 77 birthday), but the costs -- both human and monetary -- were high. For me it's awful to think there are people in this country who will face the complications she had to face simply because they put off treating a "sore throat" because they couldn't afford it.

And from a strictly financial view it also is awful because instead of paying for a simple diagnostic test and a shot of penicillin for those unable to afford it themselves, the taxpayer some are so worried about gets to pay for the treatment the now very sick person requires.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:53 AM   #148
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The real issue here is whether basic health care is right or privilege.

My understanding is that conservatives see basic health care as a privelege, not a right. The question then is who gets access to that privelege? Should basic health care only be available to those who can afford it?

Discussing this with a conservative friend of mine a few months back, once we really began to unpack this it became apparent that she believed that those who couldn't afford basic health care had somehow brought this situation on themselves. Those who couldn't afford health care, in a sense deserved what they got by being too lazy, or having poor spending priorities, or whatever. It seems that a market approach to health care depends on demonizing the poor. Perhaps I've misunderstood, and if so I invite any of our conservative posters here to clarify for me.

But at least as I understand it now, I can't subscribe to the conservative position in good conscience. I know this neither here nor there to many FYM posters, but for me personally, such a disparaging attitude towards the poor doesn't fit with my Christian faith.

And yet. . .a massive government-funded health care program also has problems--as Irvine has pointed out, there is the big question of how we will pay for it.
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:14 AM   #149
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The real issue here is whether basic health care is right or privilege.


i guess i'd say that it's neither -- it's a need.

we need public schools. we need roads. we need a modicum of public transportation. we need a military. we need organizations like FEMA (even when they don't work).

this is a basic requirement of civilization. citizens can't be expected to view education, war, basic transportation, etc., as matters of "personal responsibility" where every man has to pull himself up by his bootstraps. how would we feel if every time a Republican wanted to invade a Muslim country we had to raise taxes in order to pay for the invasion?

taxes are the cost of civilization. civilization is basic human organization where individual rights and collective rights are assembled to be in general harmony with one another. it is not in our best interests, as individuals or as a society, to have people who can't afford health care go without health care. we don't want to see people bleed to death in gutters. we don't want people who have HIV to not get tested and infect many more people before they die. we don't want mothers of children to be unable to afford to get treatment for breast cancer.

we all benefit when we are all healthier. we'd all benefit even more with a better diet, more exercise, fewer cars, better tracking of overweight children, etc.

while cost is the big question, cost should not be a barrier.
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:24 PM   #150
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And why shouldn't you save up for a broken leg or diabetes? What right do you have not to expect to have to pay for their treatment in part or in whole?
Not all diabetes is brought on by being overweight/obese, I'm sure you must know that. There is plenty of type 1 that is genetic-it runs in my family and my brother has it. He just woke up one day in his 30's and he couldn't even raise his arms above his head.

So it's not "his fault"-but his insurance doesn't cover many of his diabetes expenses. He should not have had to "save up for it". He has paid in ways far worse than monetary for having it, I can assure you of that.
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:32 PM   #151
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Washington Post

Like Your Health Insurance? Maybe You Shouldn't.

By Simon Johnson and James Kwak
Tuesday, August 11, 2009 12:35 AM

If we fail to reform our health care system this year, a major reason will be that a majority of Americans are satisfied with their health coverage and believe that reform could hurt them. According to a recent (unscientific) Consumer Reports survey, 64 percent of readers are satisfied with their plans -- down from 67 percent in 2007, but still a clear majority. A recent New York Times poll found that 59 percent of Americans do not think that health-care reform will benefit them personally; 69 percent are concerned that reform could harm the quality of their own care and 68 percent are concerned that it could limit their access to treatment.

This is deeply misleading, for two reasons. First, what does it mean to say that you are satisfied with your health insurance? Consider homeowner's insurance. Until you need it -- your house burns down -- you have no way of judging its quality. The same goes for health coverage; until you have a serious illness, the kind where your plan's limits and exclusions may kick in, how do you know if your health coverage is any good?

For one thing, as the House Energy and Commerce Committee uncovered, some insurers go out of their way to revoke coverage for people with serious health problems by looking for mistakes on their original applications. For another, you could be underinsured, like 29 percent of all people with health insurance, according to Consumer Reports. It is politically relevant that two-thirds of Americans seem to like their health coverage, but whether they should like it is another question.

The second problem is that the health coverage that most satisfied Americans have -- employer-based coverage -- is less secure than they think. In America today, we have three main health insurance systems. At one end we have Medicare and the Veterans Health Administration, which (although many anti-reform protesters don't realize it) are government-funded and government-run programs, and generally popular ones. At the other end we have the individual market, in which individuals buy insurance policies directly from health insurers. The individual market is completely broken; according to a recent Commonwealth Fund study, 73 percent of people who tried to buy individual coverage in the last three years did not end up buying a plan.

In the middle we have the employer-based system, which according to the U.S. Census Bureau covered 59 percent of the population in 2007. The employer-based system is good and bad. On the plus side, it solves the fundamental problem of the individual market. Again, think about homeowner's insurance. The insurance company figures out how much your house is worth, estimates the chances of it burning down, multiplies those numbers together, and charges you that much (plus a little to cover expenses and profit) in premiums. That is, the cost of a policy should be related to the expected costs of that policy to the insurer.

Now translate this to health insurance and you'll see why the individual market is broken. If you have a serious illness, like cancer, your expected annual costs could easily be $60,000. The insurer has to charge you at least $60,000 for coverage, or else it will lose money. You can't afford that, so you go without insurance. According to the Commonwealth Fund, 70 percent of people with health problems found it impossible or very difficult to find affordable coverage in the individual market. In short, a "market" for health insurance works only if you prevent insurers from doing what insurers naturally do -- discriminate among people according to how risky they are.

The employer-based system solves this problem. Employers can spread the cost of health insurance across their workforces, so that all employees are treated equally, regardless of their medical history. Furthermore, the tax rules governing employer-provided health care require that employers offer plans that treat all employees equally. The result is that if your employer provides health coverage, you can probably get it.

However, the employer-based system has two major weaknesses. First, and most obviously, it means keeping your health insurance is dependent on keeping your job. That means that your health is only insured to the extent that your job is insured -- and your job isn't insured. If you lose your job, or get a divorce from the spouse whose employer covers you, you have to find a new employer who offers a health plan, or you will be stuck in the individual market. Alternatively, if you get sick, you may be stuck in your job, no matter how much you may want or need to leave it.

Second, employers are dropping their health plans; the percentage of people covered through an employer has dropped from 64 percent in 2000 to 59 percent in 2007, and that decline is likely to accelerate. Why? Because, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey, the average annual premium for family coverage has already increased from $5,791 in 1999 to $12,680 in 2008 -- a 9 percent annual increase -- and a study published in Health Affairs forecasts that national health spending will grow at an average annual rate of 6.7 percent until 2017. Arithmetically, with each year that passes, it becomes harder for companies to keep their health plans without reducing benefits, reducing wages or increasing employee contributions to health plans.

The bottom line is that your current health plan may not be as good as you think it is, and there is a good chance that it will not be around when you need it.

Health-care reform comes in several different flavors these days, but the basic minimum is that it allows all people to buy health insurance regardless of medical history, and it provides subsidies to help poor and middle-income families buy health insurance. That means that if you get sick and lose your job, you w
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:42 PM   #152
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Health-care reform comes in several different flavors these days, but the basic minimum is that it allows all people to buy health insurance regardless of medical history, and it provides subsidies to help poor and middle-income families buy health insurance. That means that if you get sick and lose your job, you w
What, exactly, is wrong with this idea again?
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Old 08-11-2009, 01:38 PM   #153
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What, exactly, is wrong with this idea again?


it will cost a trillion dollars over the next 10 years.

so it's expensive.
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Old 08-11-2009, 01:44 PM   #154
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it will cost a trillion dollars over the next 10 years.

so it's expensive.

And what's the alternative again?
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Old 08-11-2009, 01:46 PM   #155
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And what's the alternative again?
Don't be so poor?
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Old 08-11-2009, 02:05 PM   #156
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Don't be so poor?
Got it. :makes mental note to be less poor:
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Old 08-11-2009, 02:07 PM   #157
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Don't be so poor?


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Old 08-11-2009, 02:11 PM   #158
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Got it. :makes mental note to be less poor:
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I like this attitude fellas. This is how we keep America great.
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Old 08-11-2009, 02:13 PM   #159
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All kidding aside, this is what I was saying earlier. It seems to me that the underlying belief behind the conservative approach to these issues is that the poor have somehow "earned" their poverty and we are therefore absolved of responsibilibty for their plight. Their lack of health care for example is on their own heads, and I'll be damned if I'm going to have my taxes pay for someone who is in their situation because of their own laziness, etc.

Such a belief makes the argument that basic health care should be reserved for those who can pay for it a logicalone.

But again, perhaps I'm misrepresenting the conservative approach. Perhaps INDY or 2861 can clarify?
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Old 08-11-2009, 02:14 PM   #160
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I like this attitude fellas. This is how we keep America great.
I mean heck, there's always Amway right? I mean ANYONE can get rich that way. There's no excuse for poverty people!
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