Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.

Right now we have N people with insurance and Y doctors.

Obama’s plan would be N+40 million with the same number of doctors.

That doesn’t sound like a good deal to me.

The counter argument is always that we’re already paying for those 40 million people.  Well, if that is truly the case, then problem solved we don’t need to provide them with health insurance.  But in reality, no, those 40 million uninsured don’t have even remotely the same access as those with health insurance. They may get emergency care abut not much beyond that.

So what do you do if you don’t increase the supply of health care providers but do increase the supply of health care consumers? You get rationing. 

The second big problem has to do with who is paying for it.

Right now, people who have health insurance are overwhelmingly paying for it themselves – either through their employer or on their own.

But if we hand over this to the government, then we get back to the top 1% paying for 40% of it.  Sure, it’s a good deal for people who barely pay taxes but for the rest of us, do we really want to get into a situation where “society” is deciding what care we need or don’t need and paying for fundamental personal responsibilities? What’s next? Housing? Food? Clothing?  Why stop at health care?

There are so many other reasons to object to universal health care but those are a couple of the most basic reasons I oppose any government involvement in health care.


Comments (Page 2)
on Jul 26, 2009

Great points! Enjoy that 1.83 years longer you have to live. You'll need it to pay your tax burden.

Example of Canadian earning  80K for 2008. http://www.pwc.com/en_CA/ca/tax/publications/tax-facts-figures-2008-en.pdf

Federal Income Tax: 13,677.00

Provincial/Territorial tax (range highest to lowest): 24, 078.00 (Quebec) 17,771.00 (Nunavut) 

Nonresident Federal: 22, 374.00

Unadjusted taxes for person making 80K and living in Quebec 47.19375%

The US earning 80K for 2008

Federal Income Tax: $16,385 single $ 12,694 married http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040ez.pdf

State Taxes: California (Used highest rate of 10.3%) $8240.00 http://www.bankrate.com/yho/itax/edit/state/profiles/state_tax_Cal.asp

BTW my state of Virginia the tax burden on 80K is $ 4343.00 in contrast.

Unadjusted taxes for single person making 80K and living in California 30.78125%

Today's currency rate: 1.00 USD = 1.08601 CAD or $24,625.00 USD = 26,742.75 (in case anyone was wondering), percentages are unaffected.

So if your paying $11,012.25 (CAD) more (in comparison to California) in taxes for the economical, scientific, industrial. military, and cultural power house that is Canada, your health care should be top notch, right? In fact it must be the "Platinum" level you alluded to in your comments. So tell me why do some Canadians come to the US for treatment? Keep your Canadian national heath care, peddle crazy somewhere else.

BTW even fast food outlets (McDonald's, Hardy's, etc.) offer health care for their "minimum wage" employees.

 

 

on Jul 26, 2009

Now, basic health insurance for a family will cost in the ballpark of 13,200 dollars.

Could you provide the company that charges that amount for basic health care? The most expensive my employer offered was in the neighborhood of $3500.00 per year (after their contribution of course).

on Jul 27, 2009

Nitro-

Great points! Enjoy that 1.83 years longer you have to live. You'll need it to pay your tax burden.

You're absolutely right. My tax burden is excessively higher than a counter-part in the States would have. And it needs to be.

Let's take a look at the details. Canada has 1/10th the population of the States and geographically, is larger. So, we have far fewer people spread out over a much larger area. And, if our tax rate wasn't what it is, we couldn't function as a nation. We have remote communities of a few hundred people for which -no business case exists-

In order to have potable water, phone system, internet and power grid for one of these towns that is fly in access only (so remote that there are no roads to it) subzidization is necessary to provide those services. So, why do we even keep a town there?

1) History has proven that forced relocation of an entire population rarely has a good end-outcome

2) The community is usually nearby a very large mineral deposit of say, uranium. Or in the case of where I live, a few hundred miles north there are three large diamond mines and less than sixty miles south they've found a whole bunch of rare earth elements that currently are only being mined in quantity in places like China and Congo (Lithium, Tantalum, etc, etc)

So while there is no direct reason to have a community there, indirectly there are a thousand reasons that benefit the whole nation, so it makes sense to keep it alive via subsidization. Therefore higher taxation required.

But the real bonus? Higher taxation means there are more opportunities for everyone that otherwise, wouldn't have those opportunities. I went through college on federal student loans which are pretty much better than anything I could ever dream of getting from a bank. It's a loan which cannot be defaulted on, if I have trouble re-paying....and can prove I'm not trying to bilk the system.... they'll drop my interest rate to zero and the monthly payment to 10 dollars a month. Or even temporarily suspend re-payment depending on my situation.

Here's another incentive. If I start a family and raise my kids in the northern part of the country, they will be able to go to any university or college they want to in Canada, and the government pays the way, as well as providing living costs for them while they're there. This is a government incentive to keep population in the north, so that one day we may realize our dream of conquest and invade Alaska (kidding)

Seriously though, this is a huge burden that my kids wouldn't have to worry about. Quality post-secondary education costs tens of thousands of dollars which puts young people in a severely disadvantaged situation when they graduate. Unless, of course you're going to become a doctor or lawyer and then it's not such a big deal. My brother is going to have approx 90-100K in debt once he graduates, but he's then going to be an optometrist and make enough income to be able to repay that.

Anywho, off-topic I know. Yes, we pay much higher taxes. But the trade-off is that I'll never have to worry about medical bills or coverage.

BTW even fast food outlets (McDonald's, Hardy's, etc.) offer health care for their "minimum wage" employees

Indeed. And I wonder what exactly that coverage offers? I wonder what kind of claims they can make and get coverage for, what the deductibles are and so forth? It is a documented fact that many of the folks who declare bankruptcy due to medical bills actually -had- coverage, just not very good or complete coverage. And I highly doubt that McDonald's springs for the gold package for it's employees.

Could you provide the company that charges that amount for basic health care? The most expensive my employer offered was in the neighborhood of $3500.00 per year (after their contribution of course).

I do believe that 13,200 dollar figure I got was for the average rate someone would pay if they approached an HMO directly as an individual. It does make sense that a company would get a "group" rate that would be much better than individual, just like buying in bulk. However, if enough employees of a company make claims that start hurting the HMO's bottom line it can (and has in the past) told the company it's going to up the premiums, or tighten the criteria, etc etc.

on Jul 27, 2009

Furthermore, the assertion presupposes that all montly checkups would detect a pancreatic cancer at an early stage, and they wouldn't.  It would be great if everyone got Supreme Court Care with monthly checkups paid for by somebody else, but that ain't what's being proposed.  The amount of money expended to detect one case of pancreatic cancer using that approach would be astronomical.

I didn't use the ALL statement where you have a contention.  If I had your assessment would be correct.  Just looking at facts you can tell treatment of diseases in the later stages is usually more expensive than if it could be caught in the earlier stages.  I was just using her as an example.

Research has shown that preventive medicine could possible lower health cost due to the fact that it tries to catch illness/diseases in the early stages.  Since there are humans involved there is going to be exceptions to that.

Artysim


But the real bonus? Higher taxation means there are more opportunities for everyone that otherwise, wouldn't have those opportunities. I went through college on federal student loans which are pretty much better than anything I could ever dream of getting from a bank. It's a loan which cannot be defaulted on, if I have trouble re-paying....and can prove I'm not trying to bilk the system.... they'll drop my interest rate to zero and the monthly payment to 10 dollars a month. Or even temporarily suspend re-payment depending on my situation.

Here's another incentive. If I start a family and raise my kids in the northern part of the country, they will be able to go to any university or college they want to in Canada, and the government pays the way, as well as providing living costs for them while they're there. This is a government incentive to keep population in the north, so that one day we may realize our dream of conquest and invade Alaska (kidding)

Seriously though, this is a huge burden that my kids wouldn't have to worry about. Quality post-secondary education costs tens of thousands of dollars which puts young people in a severely disadvantaged situation when they graduate. Unless, of course you're going to become a doctor or lawyer and then it's not such a big deal. My brother is going to have approx 90-100K in debt once he graduates, but he's then going to be an optometrist and make enough income to be able to repay that.

Anywho, off-topic I know. Yes, we pay much higher taxes. But the trade-off is that I'll never have to worry about medical bills or coverage.

Hold on there with the bonus.  I was able to get ton of grants for Undergrad and I didn't do much of anything to obtain them.  In fact, it was my high school guidance couselor who got me most of them.  No, I didn't go to a rich upper class high school nor did I go to a private school.  I went to a high school that was right on the border of the urban/suburbs.  On top of that , you're assuming that everyone should go to college. Which is not the fact of the matter or should just go to college just because you can take the money out (which I've seen a lot of people do).  Any debt that I did accumulate I was able to pay it completely off when I went to grad school due to the fact that I had my tuition waived and got a stipend.  So there are other ways to go about it then taking out huge honkin loans.

Do you actually trust other people with all that money? I have little trust in people anymore.  This by no means means that I don't trust people.  The States would be the largest country to get UHC, when you just look at the UK system they've recently had to inject several billion pounds (they've done this several times) Furthermore, In the States taxs were not necessarly intended for those purposes.  I am glad that you are really happy to be paying high taxes.  GOOD FOR YOU!

I'm not against people getting cheap affordable health care and I know circumstances do happen when you could use health care. 

Our government has shown time in and time out that it does not know how to handle large sums of money properly or resourcefully. 

on Jul 27, 2009

I didn't use the ALL statement where you have a contention. If I had your assessment would be correct. Just looking at facts you can tell treatment of diseases in the later stages is usually more expensive than if it could be caught in the earlier stages. I was just using her as an example.

I'm an advocate for effective preventive care and early detection as well, but not for the same reason.  There have been several actuarial studies which have posed that widespread prevention & early detection programs would actually be more expensive when the costs of the programs and the costs of subsequent healthcare consumption over a longer lifetime are considered, even allowing for the 'continued productivity of the patient.'  The fact is, even if your pancreatic cancer is detected early and 'cured' you will die from something else and the cost of care for your final year of life will be just as high as it would otherwise have been, on average.  It'll just occur in a different year.

Since I approach the moral question from the standpoint of the individual, I favor preventive measures & early detection efforts, but from a public health perspective and societal cost perspective, it is a problematic issue.  If the decisions are being made at the level of the federal government based on what the tax base can afford, anonymous individuals will suffer the consequences.  If the decisions are being made by individual patients and their physicians, the market with 'suffer the consequences'.  It all boils down to what you value more: individual freedom of choice or sacrificing individual freedom of choice for the 'greater good' with the greater good being determined by self-designated elites.  It's one thing to choose the latter approach voluntarily, which is the case with our military for example, but another to be forced to do so.