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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Big day for the US
« Reply #40 on: March 23, 2010, 09:41:10 pm »

Quote from: thebatman
... And Slobodan, I think you jumped the gun.  Just because someone opposes this spending doesn't mean they wanted to fund the war.  Someone could easily be opposed to both.
Undeniably true, agreed.

However, one can't help noticing much less oppositions to funding the war among the same constituency that so vehemently opposes the health care reform (presumably the right-leaning one). Opposition to war comes mostly from the left-leaning constituency, though on different grounds than fiscal. My amusement comes from the fact that those fiscal conservatives were nowhere to be heard when their governemnt went from a surplus to a record deficit, and when their government passed the biggest military budget in human history... the same fiscal conservatives never asked then "can we afford it?".

REZPhotos

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« Reply #41 on: March 23, 2010, 09:56:51 pm »

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If that's not enough to dissuade you from the idea of gov't-run health care, how about a case study?  ... If they treat veterans that way, imagine how they'll treat the general public.
I live in the US and have a Government-run plan.  It's called Medicare.  Works just great.
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No one has died from lack of gov't health care.  To say otherwise is simply false.  All you have to do is go the the ER.  By law, they are not allowed to turn anyone away.

Who do you think pays for the care in the ER?  Sorry but it's the Government.



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thewanderer

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« Reply #42 on: March 23, 2010, 10:02:54 pm »

You europeans should come on over and help us pay for it.

You are uninformed and ignorant.  Wealth of country has nothing to do with whether we should be picking up tabs on those who dont buy insurance..

Its a losing argument to expect supporters of this fiasco to understand that we cant continue these give away programs.  It just cant sustain itself.. Shame your maths skills are so limited.

And to the cannucks, suggesting that we have done somehting wonderful, when are yall gonna get rid of the picutre of the english queen on your money,

Still paying a  homage to britain and just cant get off the tit.

You are right, you should stay out of american politics, unless you are willing to put up some of the money to pay for all the cost of this.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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« Reply #43 on: March 23, 2010, 10:14:36 pm »

From a slightly different angle: has anyone noticed that the stock market is UP almost 2% in the last two days (i.e., after the passage of the bill)? If anything, those guys should have been sensitive to the "doom & gloom" scenarios stemming from the healthcare bill.

Slobodan Blagojevic

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« Reply #44 on: March 23, 2010, 10:21:53 pm »

Quote from: thewanderer
... when are yall gonna get rid of the picutre of the english queen on your money...
I can not speak for Canadians (I presume it has something to do with tradition, however), but I will give it a try: at about the same time we get rid of the secretive mystical symbols of Freemasonry from our money
« Last Edit: March 23, 2010, 10:34:31 pm by Slobodan Blagojevic »
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Jeremy Payne

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Big day for the US
« Reply #45 on: March 23, 2010, 10:28:01 pm »

Quote from: thebatman
Yes, I honestly believe we cannot afford it.  Not even close.

As a society, whether privately or publicly, we can most definitely afford to provide health care for ourselves ... in fact, we seem to be able to afford to pay $1.30 for $1.00 worth of outcome.

What you seem to fail to understand is that we ALREADY provide universal health care ... just not universal insurance.

If we were to provide universal care through a universal coverage system, it would cost less in total over the long-run than what we are doing now.

We can continue on the course we are on ... and end up spending 30% of our national income on providing good care for 90% of the country and send the other 10% to the emergency room when they have a cold that turns into bronchitis ... or we can do something about it and get costs under control and provide basic coverage for all our citizens.

You are correct that the true economic liability of our government entitlements is in the 10s of trillions.

So what?  We are indebted, but not overly so.  We can afford these liabilities ... you don't have to look farther that the market for US Treasuries to see that.

The US Government pays 3.7% ... do you really think the savers of the world would only demand 3.7% for 10 years if we can't afford our liabilities?  Money talks ... BS wallks ... and that money is talking loud and clear.  

The bond market didn't blink when this passed ... if you were right, Treasuries would have TANKED.

What do you pay to borrow unsecured for 10 years?

Quote from: thebatman
And in that respect Reagan was right - medicare is/was unsustainable.

It is not unsustainable ... and it is MUCH more efficient than the private market.  Medicare is the model for the single payer system we need.


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jasonrandolph

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« Reply #46 on: March 23, 2010, 10:28:22 pm »

Quote from: Jeremy Payne
Hmmmm ... Medicare is pretty popular

Medicare is popular because everyone pays into it, yet it's INSOLVENT!  So is Social Security!  Just like the United States!  How can you say we can afford it when we can't pay our bills as it is?  China and Japan are closing the spigot of money coming in and buying up our bonds because they see what's coming.  We are nearly bankrupt, and frankly, whether we do nationalized healthcare or not, we're going to have an economic collapse.  This is just one more nail in the coffin.

But no one dares to answer the question of constitutionality because the Tenth Amendment reserves powers not granted to the federal government specifically to the states and to the people.  Don't like it?  Amend the Constitution.  But that's inconvenient because it requires supermajorities and ratification by the states, and progressives know that it would fail.

And, how do you explain away the nationalization of student loans that was included in a bill supposedly about healthcare?  I'd like to see someone connect the dots on THAT one.

jasonrandolph

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« Reply #47 on: March 23, 2010, 10:37:00 pm »

Quote from: Jeremy Payne
So what?  We are indebted, but not overly so.  We can afford these liabilities ... you don't have to look farther that the market for US Treasuries to see that.

The US Government pays 3.7% ... do you really think the savers of the world would only demand 3.7% for 10 years if we can't afford our liabilities?  .

What is your definition of unsustainable?  We are about to lose our AAA bond rating BECAUSE it's unsustainable.  When that happens, there goes the 3.7%.  And what do you think will happen when the tax increases go into effect?  We're talking a double-dip recession at best, or a new depression.  A basic economics class will teach you that.  We're printing money so fast that we're making inflation a foregone conclusion.  All that's holding it at bay is China buying up our debt, but that's slowing down as of January of this year.  We're already doomed.  We cannot afford to make it any worse.

ckimmerle

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« Reply #48 on: March 23, 2010, 10:40:32 pm »

Quote from: jasonrandolph
And, how do you explain away the nationalization of student loans that was included in a bill supposedly about healthcare?  I'd like to see someone connect the dots on THAT one.

Not sure exactly why it was attached to the health care bill, but it does make a lot of sense. Student loans are big business for banks who, of course, profit from the accrued interest. The trouble is that banks earn this money, hundreds of millions of dollars annually, without taking ANY risks as these loans are insured by the federal government. It's free money for them.

Does it make good economic sense to back for-profit loans taxpayer dollars? By skipping the middle man (banks) loans may actually get less expensive and the revenue, if done correctly, can help fund the program.
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jasonrandolph

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« Reply #49 on: March 23, 2010, 10:45:26 pm »

Quote from: ckimmerle
Not sure exactly why it was attached to the health care bill, but it does make a lot of sense. Student loans are big business for banks who, of course, profit from the accrued interest. The trouble is that banks earn this money, hundreds of millions of dollars annually, without taking ANY risks as these loans are insured by the federal government. It's free money for them.

Does it make good economic sense to back for-profit loans taxpayer dollars? By skipping the middle man (banks) loans may actually get less expensive and the revenue, if done correctly, can help fund the program.

...and one more industry gets taken over by the federal government.  How can anyone reasonably deny that this isn't a move toward socialism?  You don't have to be a genius to see that it was done so that it would get pushed through without debate by the same people who voted for health care.  And now Sallie Mae will be run by the same people who ran Fannie and Freddie into the ground.  Brilliant.

Jeremy Payne

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Big day for the US
« Reply #50 on: March 23, 2010, 10:45:34 pm »

Quote from: jasonrandolph
Medicare is popular because everyone pays into it, yet it's INSOLVENT!  So is Social Security!  Just like the United States!


Medicare is popular because it cares for our elderly ... and does so well and efficiently.

It is not "insolvent" ... nor is Social Security ... nor is the US.

Medicare and SS are pay-as-you-go ... and it is no surprise that the funding formula and mechanism needs adjustment over time.

Quote from: jasonrandolph
How can you say we can afford it when we can't pay our bills as it is?  China and Japan are closing the spigot of money coming in and buying up our bonds because they see what's coming.  We are nearly bankrupt, and frankly, whether we do nationalized healthcare or not, we're going to have an economic collapse.  This is just one more nail in the coffin.

That's just nonsense ... You're being hysterical.  We are an extremely wealthy nation swimming in capital.  What we lack is leadership.

We pay our bills and are in no danger of "collapse".  Nobody is "closing the spigot" ...

Jason ... stop watching so much Fox News ... it ain't fair and balanced ...
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Jeremy Payne

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Big day for the US
« Reply #51 on: March 23, 2010, 10:46:38 pm »

Quote from: jasonrandolph
And now Sallie Mae will be run by the same people who ran Fannie and Freddie into the ground.  Brilliant.

Dude ... you aren't armed with facts ...

Who ran Freddie and Fannie?
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jasonrandolph

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« Reply #52 on: March 23, 2010, 10:50:46 pm »

Quote from: Jeremy Payne
Medicare is popular because it cares for our elderly ... and does so well and efficiently.

It is not "insolvent" ... nor is Social Security ... nor is the US.

Medicare and SS are pay-as-you-go ... and it is no surprise that the funding formula and mechanism needs adjustment over time.



That's just nonsense ... You're being hysterical.  We are an extremely wealthy nation swimming in capital.  What we lack is leadership.

We pay our bills and are in no danger of "collapse".  Nobody is "closing the spigot" ...

Jason ... stop watching so much Fox News ... it ain't fair and balanced ...

Jeremy, you really need to read the news, and I'm not talking about Fox News.  Read the European papers.  It was reported in February that the Chinese and Japanese are cutting back on buying our bonds.  And if you think Social Security and Medicare funds are put aside and not used for anything else, then you are ignorant of your history.

Jeremy Payne

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Big day for the US
« Reply #53 on: March 23, 2010, 10:52:30 pm »

Quote from: jasonrandolph
...and one more industry gets taken over by the federal government.  How can anyone reasonably deny that this isn't a move toward socialism?  You don't have to be a genius to see that it was done so that it would get pushed through without debate by the same people who voted for health care.  And now Sallie Mae will be run by the same people who ran Fannie and Freddie into the ground.  Brilliant.

Sallie Mae took cheap money from THE GOVERNMENT, made loans and kept the interest.

Sallie Mae was NOT a free market institution ... it was a SOCIALLY SUBSIDIZED operation.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were private corporations ... they were not government agencies ...


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trops

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« Reply #54 on: March 23, 2010, 10:59:26 pm »

While the cost issues and the types of techniques used to get this bill passed are extremely important, the larger and more significant issue for many Americans who are opposed to the bill is mainly a philosophical one. And whether it is characterized as big government versus small government or individual liberties versus government control of the individual, the issue has more to do with preserving America's great experiment - namely the idea that it is the individual and not the state that is all important. In all of history, that never happened before.  Of course, we are far removed from that original start, and quite honestly it is partly due to the fact that most people, once they are provided with an "entitlement" are loath to give it up.  As for the claim that health care or even education or a nice home is a right -- rights are not something that the government grants to the individual but rather stem from the fact of our very human nature.  And one guideline to distinguishing those unalienable rights from bogus rights is this: you can't claim as a right something that violates another's rights. And rights has a very specific meaning as described in the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. Everyone recognizes that you can't steal from another because you would be depriving that person of his/her right to his/her property. But if the government forces one to give up "property" so that it can give it to someone else, lots of folks don't seem to see anything wrong with that. So while most of us would agree that it would be a wonderful thing for everyone to have a nice house, or a nice car, or a great job, etc. once one realizes that if that happens by taking from others by force (which the government can do), then that just cannot be defined as a right.  There are no easy answers here, but the principle of individual liberty versus statism is very clear.  And to those who claim this philosophy leads to totally self absorbed and uncaring people - consider that Americans voluntarily donate the largest amounts to charities and aid to people in need of any people on the planet.
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Jeremy Payne

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Big day for the US
« Reply #55 on: March 23, 2010, 10:59:37 pm »

Quote from: jasonrandolph
Jeremy, you really need to read the news, and I'm not talking about Fox News.  Read the European papers.  It was reported in February that the Chinese and Japanese are cutting back on buying our bonds.

The US Government has no problems raising funds ... none whatsoever.  We borrow at 3.7% for 10 years.

What do you pay to borrow unsecured for 10 years?  

If we were in as bad shape as you say, why would people continue to lend us their hard earned savings for 3.7% a year?

You know why?  Because there is NO SAFER INVESTMENT IN THE WORLD than US Treasuries.

That's all you need to see to know you are wrong in your analysis of our position.

Quote from: jasonrandolph
And if you think Social Security and Medicare funds are put aside and not used for anything else, then you are ignorant of your history.

Do you know what pay-as-you-go means?  Do you understand how these programs work?

I know exactly how this stuff works ... I have a masters in economics and finance.
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Jeremy Payne

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Big day for the US
« Reply #56 on: March 23, 2010, 11:13:12 pm »

Quote from: trops
....

So when your house is burning down ... you'll take care of it yourself, right?  Or the volunteers will ...

I know you wouldn't dare call upon the municipal fire department ... 'cause you don't like socialism ... and you are philosophically opposed to my property being transferred to your benefit.

That's cool ... just be sure to remember never to call the cops, or fire department ... 'cause it violates your philosophy.
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jasonrandolph

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« Reply #57 on: March 23, 2010, 11:20:32 pm »

Quote from: trops
While the cost issues and the types of techniques used to get this bill passed are extremely important, the larger and more significant issue for many Americans who are opposed to the bill is mainly a philosophical one. And whether it is characterized as big government versus small government or individual liberties versus government control of the individual, the issue has more to do with preserving America's great experiment - namely the idea that it is the individual and not the state that is all important. In all of history, that never happened before.  Of course, we are far removed from that original start, and quite honestly it is partly due to the fact that most people, once they are provided with an "entitlement" are loath to give it up.  As for the claim that health care or even education or a nice home is a right -- rights are not something that the government grants to the individual but rather stem from the fact of our very human nature.  And one guideline to distinguishing those unalienable rights from bogus rights is this: you can't claim as a right something that violates another's rights. And rights has a very specific meaning as described in the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. Everyone recognizes that you can't steal from another because you would be depriving that person of his/her right to his/her property. But if the government forces one to give up "property" so that it can give it to someone else, lots of folks don't seem to see anything wrong with that. So while most of us would agree that it would be a wonderful thing for everyone to have a nice house, or a nice car, or a great job, etc. once one realizes that if that happens by taking from others by force (which the government can do), then that just cannot be defined as a right.  There are no easy answers here, but the principle of individual liberty versus statism is very clear.  And to those who claim this philosophy leads to totally self absorbed and uncaring people - consider that Americans voluntarily donate the largest amounts to charities and aid to people in need of any people on the planet.

Trops, I couldn't have said it better myself.  And so I won't try.    

jwhee0615

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« Reply #58 on: March 23, 2010, 11:20:37 pm »

Quote from: ndevlin
Photography, not least in in America, has a long and honourable tradition of bringing casues of social injustice to light. The visual truth has been a powerful force for social change in the last century.

What is truly sad and frightening, as graphically illustrated by this thread, is that,200 years after pioneering modern democracy, America has lost the ability to conduct a civil, intelligent, informed debate on any issue of public policy.  Propaganists demagogues (who masquerade as 'news' sources) have reduced the level of discussion to such a low level of lies and inane untruths, build upon the narrative of fear and threat which was fed to the nation by its central government for almost a decade, that one wonders how long it will be before the rancour simply descends into violence.  Good thing Americans aren't heavily armed or anything.

When I was young, there was often talk of how Canada would simply, inevitably become part of the US because we were so similar. Now, I look south and see a land riven by fear, hate, religious extremism, and institutionalized corporate theivery passed-off as a 'freedom from govt control',  unable even to have a civil conversation about how to achieve minimal levels of compassionate medical care for one another.  If this keeps up, I wouldn't be surprised to see America fracture into a number of smaller, poor,violent, and globally insignificant pieces within my lifetime.  

So sad.

- N.


ps. you might recall that Michael has more than a passing interest in the subject of US health-care, having held a massive print-sale on this site to raise funds to pay for medical care for a family friend with a grave illness, who had exhausted her private insurance. It's all a great government take-over, until it's your mother or sister who needs chemotherapy.....

Well said N. I truly believe that the biggest problem in this whole debate is the mis-information and outright propaganda from the so call "fair and balanced news agency" and the right wing talk show hosts. I cant believe any half educated individual would drink the cool-aid that spews from the mouths of these media outlets. Just check out the motives of the republicans and look where their money comes from.

If these people would bother to seek out real news from other sources such as the CBC, BBC, Deutsche Welle and the like maybe they would get a better balanced idea of what is really happening around the globe. I hope this country doesn't break down and fortunately I'm married to a Canadian so my kids have options!
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JeffKohn

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« Reply #59 on: March 23, 2010, 11:27:08 pm »

Quote from: Jeremy Payne
Do you know what pay-as-you-go means?  Do you understand how these programs work?
Sure, it's quite simple actually. For decades, Social Security was bringing in more than it was paying out, and congress was perfectly happy to spend that surplus like drunken sailors. But now the trend is reversing, and the "lockbox" is nowhere to be found. SS and Medicare worked great when you had 1/2 dozen or more workers paying in for each person receiving benefits. The WW2 generation got a great deal, receiving far more in benefits than they ever paid into those systems. But that's not sustainable with an aging population, and  pay as you go isn't going work going forward as the trend reverses and more and more of those baby-boomers retire.

I can agree that all citizens are entitled to basic health care; but I don't agree that they're "entitled" to free doctor's visit, free prescription drugs, and cutting edge diagnostics and treatments at the drop of a hat. It's just not realistic, which is why most single-payer systems are plagued with waiting lists and rationing.

The real problem with our health care system is the way the true costs are hidden from users. People are a lot more likely to go to the doctor for a cold when it's a $10 co-pay, after all it doesn't cost them anything right? And then doctors run unnecessary tests just to be safe and protect themselves from malpractice lawsuits, and the patients don't see the cost of that either.  Maybe if people had to actually write a check for their premiums instead of having the non-subsidized portion withheld from their paychecks, and they also had annual deductibles on their policies, they'd be a little less likely to make frivolous use of the system since they could actually see the impact to their pocket book from those unnecessary doctor's visits, or from insisting on the latest prescription drugs when there are more affordable alternatives. The current system encourages wasteful use.

As for the health insurance bill, I think a lot of people who oppose it agree that reforms were needed: things like making sure that you can't get your coverage dropped just because you get sick, or making sure that people with pre-existing conditions can get coverage, etc. But this bill is just a bad deal, and no amount of spin by the democrats changes that fact. It would have been one thing if they had said, "it's the right thing to do no matter the cost", but I find it truly amazing that Polosi et al can stand up there with a straight face and say that this bill will reduce the deficit. They can't possibly be that stupid, so the only conclusion I can draw is that they're liars. The CBO estimate is only for the first decade, in which you have 10 years of taxation to pay for 6 years of benefits, and it also double-counts savings in Medicare that have little chance of ever materializing. It doesn't take a genius to figure out what's going to happen in the second decade. The fact is this bill takes no concrete actions to control costs, it's only going to make things worse.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2010, 11:28:19 pm by JeffKohn »
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