Imminent crisis for MediCare

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Re: Imminent crisis for MediCare

Post by Thunktank » Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:04 am

Del wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:35 am
wosbald wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:57 am
+JMJ+
Del wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:30 am
Socialism is the practice of taking wealth from the wealthy and distributing it to the poor, so that there is general equity all around. California is a wealthy, socialist state. They should be happy that they can share with the citizens of poorer states, right? "Working as intended."

[…]
That's a bit facilely preemptory, innit?

If what you say is true, then the practical recommendations — let alone their theoretical foundations — in the Magisterially-promulgated, doctrinally-authoritative document, Oeconomicae et pecuniariae quaestiones, would seemingly need to be qualified as "Socialist".
The Catholic Magisterium wrote:[…]

5. Although global economic well-being appears to have increased in the second half of the twentieth century with an unprecedented magnitude and speed, at the same time inequalities proliferate between various countries and within them.[9] Moreover, the number of people who live in conditions of extreme poverty continues to be enormous.

The recent financial crisis might have provided the occasion to develop a new economy, more attentive to ethical principles, and a new regulation of financial activities that would neutralise predatory and speculative tendencies and acknowledge the value of the actual economy. Although there have been many positive efforts at various levels which should be recognized and appreciated, there does not seem to be any inclination to rethink the obsolete criteria that continue to govern the world.[10] On the contrary, the response seems at times like a return to the heights of myopic egoism, limited by an inadequate framework that, excluding the common good, also excludes from its horizons the concern to create and spread wealth, and to eliminate the inequality so pronounced today. [bolding added]

[…]
And calling this document "Socialist" would seem to be as ill-advised as calling earlier Magisterial pronouncements — ones which affirmed the qualified legitimacy of certain Western, individualistically-inflected dispositions — as "Capitalist".
I'm not so foolish as to believe that there are only two economic systems, called capitalism and socialism, and that these are the opposites of each other. I'm not a starry-eyed liberterian who believes that free-markets solve every problem. I am not a zealous Marxist who believes that socialism will inevitably bring utopia.

But the Church is concerned with the whole world. And in many nations and regions, the poverty of the mass of population is profound -- while the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few is unconscionable.

America is not like that. Our poor struggle, but they have apartments & food & cars & telephones. Our poor are richer than 80% of the world's population. The difference between rich and poor in America is not so outrageous. The rich have nicer cars and bigger houses, but most Americans of the "rich" and "poor" classes are just one or two steps up or down from the Middle Class lifestyle.

If America were to heed the Church's advice, we'd be far more concerned about charitable help to Africa and South America -- and less concerned about paying for healthcare of Californians.
Which church advises this? :lol:

Listen you’re the one who started this thread all worried about your healthcare. No one is keeping you from selling everything you own to help the poor in Africa. The result might be that you would net less giving down the road though. That’s how wealth works. Of course the Scandinavians are already charitably giving to the Africans at a higher rate than anyone and they provide basic healthcare for all.

The point is, “they” which are the powers that be in California, including those of us who participate in society at various levels. Are seeking solutions to the problems you mentioned. I think what will happen is that there will be a phasing in of new programs at the state level to compensate for the failure of Medicare at the federal level. It’s probably a good thing that local control will have more responsibilities to cover for those needs.

The debt and liabities California faces along with most states is less than the price of a new car per person. Not insurmountable. Given what we’re already paying anyway, it might be cheaper to just work toward a single payer system for all, so long as we don’t have too many people demanding that we ignore our own requirements in favor of giving charity to currupt entities in Africa. :wink:

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Re: Imminent crisis for MediCare

Post by FredS » Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:18 am

Thunktank wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:04 am
. . .The debt and liabities California faces along with most states is less than the price of a new car per person. Not insurmountable. Given what we’re already paying anyway, it might be cheaper to just work toward a single payer system for all, so long as we don’t have too many people demanding that we ignore our own requirements in favor of giving charity to currupt entities in Africa.
I know this thread isn't necessarily about health insurance, but:
It's not the relative costs of a single payer system v a private system that worry's me. I spend almost $16,000/year on health insurance premiums so a single payer system will almost surely save me money. The problem is that such a system will decide what health care practices/procedures it will pay for, who it will pay, and how much will be paid for those services. To some extent, private health insurers do this already and it's harmful when they won't pay for certain treatments or medicines. But we can switch insurers or plans to find one better suited to the types of services we need. With a single payer system that 'choice' goes out the window.
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Re: Imminent crisis for MediCare

Post by Del » Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:19 am

Thunktank wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:04 am
Del wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:35 am
wosbald wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:57 am
+JMJ+
Del wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:30 am
Socialism is the practice of taking wealth from the wealthy and distributing it to the poor, so that there is general equity all around. California is a wealthy, socialist state. They should be happy that they can share with the citizens of poorer states, right? "Working as intended."

[…]
That's a bit facilely preemptory, innit?

If what you say is true, then the practical recommendations — let alone their theoretical foundations — in the Magisterially-promulgated, doctrinally-authoritative document, Oeconomicae et pecuniariae quaestiones, would seemingly need to be qualified as "Socialist".
The Catholic Magisterium wrote:[…]

5. Although global economic well-being appears to have increased in the second half of the twentieth century with an unprecedented magnitude and speed, at the same time inequalities proliferate between various countries and within them.[9] Moreover, the number of people who live in conditions of extreme poverty continues to be enormous.

The recent financial crisis might have provided the occasion to develop a new economy, more attentive to ethical principles, and a new regulation of financial activities that would neutralise predatory and speculative tendencies and acknowledge the value of the actual economy. Although there have been many positive efforts at various levels which should be recognized and appreciated, there does not seem to be any inclination to rethink the obsolete criteria that continue to govern the world.[10] On the contrary, the response seems at times like a return to the heights of myopic egoism, limited by an inadequate framework that, excluding the common good, also excludes from its horizons the concern to create and spread wealth, and to eliminate the inequality so pronounced today. [bolding added]

[…]
And calling this document "Socialist" would seem to be as ill-advised as calling earlier Magisterial pronouncements — ones which affirmed the qualified legitimacy of certain Western, individualistically-inflected dispositions — as "Capitalist".
I'm not so foolish as to believe that there are only two economic systems, called capitalism and socialism, and that these are the opposites of each other. I'm not a starry-eyed liberterian who believes that free-markets solve every problem. I am not a zealous Marxist who believes that socialism will inevitably bring utopia.

But the Church is concerned with the whole world. And in many nations and regions, the poverty of the mass of population is profound -- while the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few is unconscionable.

America is not like that. Our poor struggle, but they have apartments & food & cars & telephones. Our poor are richer than 80% of the world's population. The difference between rich and poor in America is not so outrageous. The rich have nicer cars and bigger houses, but most Americans of the "rich" and "poor" classes are just one or two steps up or down from the Middle Class lifestyle.

If America were to heed the Church's advice, we'd be far more concerned about charitable help to Africa and South America -- and less concerned about paying for healthcare of Californians.
Which church advises this? :lol:

Listen you’re the one who started this thread all worried about your healthcare. No one is keeping you from selling everything you own to help the poor in Africa. The result might be that you would net less giving down the road though. That’s how wealth works. Of course the Scandinavians are already charitably giving to the Africans at a higher rate than anyone and they provide basic healthcare for all.

The point is, “they” which are the powers that be in California, including those of us who participate in society at various levels. Are seeking solutions to the problems you mentioned. I think what will happen is that there will be a phasing in of new programs at the state level to compensate for the failure of Medicare at the federal level. It’s probably a good thing that local control will have more responsibilities to cover for those needs.

The debt and liabities California faces along with most states is less than the price of a new car per person. Not insurmountable. Given what we’re already paying anyway, it might be cheaper to just work toward a single payer system for all, so long as we don’t have too many people demanding that we ignore our own requirements in favor of giving charity to currupt entities in Africa. :wink:
I am actually more in agreement with you than it appears. Wosbald hit me with a Catholic document, and I wanted to point out that America is very different from the rest of the world.
- I don't think that the American government should tax us to death in an attempt to overcome Africa's social and economic situation.
- And while I am doubtful that Americans will be satisfied with European-style socialized medicine, I have no objection to Californians who want to give it a try.

(My guess is that doctors will flee California for Texas, where they will get paid more and pay less taxes.)
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Re: Imminent crisis for MediCare

Post by Thunktank » Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:24 am

FredS wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:18 am
Thunktank wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:04 am
. . .The debt and liabities California faces along with most states is less than the price of a new car per person. Not insurmountable. Given what we’re already paying anyway, it might be cheaper to just work toward a single payer system for all, so long as we don’t have too many people demanding that we ignore our own requirements in favor of giving charity to currupt entities in Africa.
I know this thread isn't necessarily about health insurance, but:
It's not the relative costs of a single payer system v a private system that worry's me. I spend almost $16,000/year on health insurance premiums so a single payer system will almost surely save me money. The problem is that such a system will decide what health care practices/procedures it will pay for, who it will pay, and how much will be paid for those services. To some extent, private health insurers do this already and it's harmful when they won't pay for certain treatments or medicines. But we can switch insurers or plans to find one better suited to the types of services we need. With a single payer system that 'choice' goes out the window.
Yep, that’s my beef with it too. Our current California Medicare will only cover the most needed things. Preventative measures are often not even covered. Of course “we” mean to improve on that continually. But the actual solution will come by way of supplemental private insurance for elective services, no matter how needed they are. In the end, we will still pay to play one way or another. The elderly, poor and very sick will still have the short end of the deal for a long time to come. Del should be worried.

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Re: Imminent crisis for MediCare

Post by Del » Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:29 am

FredS wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:18 am
Thunktank wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:04 am
. . .The debt and liabities California faces along with most states is less than the price of a new car per person. Not insurmountable. Given what we’re already paying anyway, it might be cheaper to just work toward a single payer system for all, so long as we don’t have too many people demanding that we ignore our own requirements in favor of giving charity to currupt entities in Africa.
I know this thread isn't necessarily about health insurance, but:
It's not the relative costs of a single payer system v a private system that worry's me. I spend almost $16,000/year on health insurance premiums so a single payer system will almost surely save me money. The problem is that such a system will decide what health care practices/procedures it will pay for, who it will pay, and how much will be paid for those services. To some extent, private health insurers do this already and it's harmful when they won't pay for certain treatments or medicines. But we can switch insurers or plans to find one better suited to the types of services we need. With a single payer system that 'choice' goes out the window.
It devolves into a situation like England, where hospital officials overruled the parents of Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans. Even when foreign hospitals were willing to provide care and comfort, the parents were not able to remove their children from hospitals where the government officials refused to provide continued care.

The situation happens more often regarding elderly patients with chronic health concerns. I don't want a government official deciding when my healthcare too costly to suit him.
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Re: Imminent crisis for MediCare

Post by wosbald » Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:37 am

+JMJ+
Del wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:35 am
wosbald wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:57 am
Del wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:30 am
Socialism is the practice of taking wealth from the wealthy and distributing it to the poor, so that there is general equity all around. California is a wealthy, socialist state. They should be happy that they can share with the citizens of poorer states, right? "Working as intended."

[…]
That's a bit facilely preemptory, innit?

If what you say is true, then the practical recommendations — let alone their theoretical foundations — in the Magisterially-promulgated, doctrinally-authoritative document, Oeconomicae et pecuniariae quaestiones, would seemingly need to be qualified as "Socialist".
The Catholic Magisterium wrote:[…]

5. Although global economic well-being appears to have increased in the second half of the twentieth century with an unprecedented magnitude and speed, at the same time inequalities proliferate between various countries and within them.[9] Moreover, the number of people who live in conditions of extreme poverty continues to be enormous.

The recent financial crisis might have provided the occasion to develop a new economy, more attentive to ethical principles, and a new regulation of financial activities that would neutralise predatory and speculative tendencies and acknowledge the value of the actual economy. Although there have been many positive efforts at various levels which should be recognized and appreciated, there does not seem to be any inclination to rethink the obsolete criteria that continue to govern the world.[10] On the contrary, the response seems at times like a return to the heights of myopic egoism, limited by an inadequate framework that, excluding the common good, also excludes from its horizons the concern to create and spread wealth, and to eliminate the inequality so pronounced today. [bolding added]

[…]
And calling this document "Socialist" would seem to be as ill-advised as calling earlier Magisterial pronouncements — ones which affirmed the qualified legitimacy of certain Western, individualistically-inflected dispositions — as "Capitalist".
I'm not so foolish as to believe that there are only two economic systems, called capitalism and socialism, and that these are the opposites of each other. …

[…]

If America were to heed the Church's advice, we'd be far more concerned about charitable help to Africa and South America -- and less concerned about paying for healthcare of Californians.
Yet … you are "so foolish as to believe" that there is only one way for America to heed the Church's advice?

C'mon, man! The First Law of Holes and all that jazz.

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Re: Imminent crisis for MediCare

Post by Del » Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:45 am

Thunktank wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:24 am
FredS wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:18 am
Thunktank wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:04 am
. . .The debt and liabities California faces along with most states is less than the price of a new car per person. Not insurmountable. Given what we’re already paying anyway, it might be cheaper to just work toward a single payer system for all, so long as we don’t have too many people demanding that we ignore our own requirements in favor of giving charity to currupt entities in Africa.
I know this thread isn't necessarily about health insurance, but:
It's not the relative costs of a single payer system v a private system that worry's me. I spend almost $16,000/year on health insurance premiums so a single payer system will almost surely save me money. The problem is that such a system will decide what health care practices/procedures it will pay for, who it will pay, and how much will be paid for those services. To some extent, private health insurers do this already and it's harmful when they won't pay for certain treatments or medicines. But we can switch insurers or plans to find one better suited to the types of services we need. With a single payer system that 'choice' goes out the window.
Yep, that’s my beef with it too. Our current California Medicare will only cover the most needed things. Preventative measures are often not even covered. Of course “we” mean to improve on that continually. But the actual solution will come by way of supplemental private insurance for elective services, no matter how needed they are. In the end, we will still pay to play one way or another. The elderly, poor and very sick will still have the short end of the deal for a long time to come. Del should be worried.
My only "worry" is that millions of people have made their plans over the decades on the assumption that Medicare will be available as promised. Medicare is a single-payer, socialized medicine program. And it is going to run out of money now, in the short-term. Less than 10 years.

Whether we fix the program, or replace the program, or repeal the program -- people are going to have to pay. And people are not prepared.

<zederated>
============================================

One option that is available to us now is the Healthcare Savings Account (HSA). Payroll money goes in, tax-free. It can be invested in the market. And it can be withdrawn, tax-free, if used for medical expenses. It's better than a Roth IRA.

Personally, I would like to see the Medicare tax phased out. And mandatory contributions to an HSA phased in. Instead of paying into the government for a promise of future healthcare, we would be providing for ourselves.

My wife and I are making the maximum contributions to our HSA. And we are paying our current deductibles and such out-of-pocket, so that the HSA has an opportunity to grow as much as possible. Hopefully, it will be enough to fund many decades of retirement healthcare costs.
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Re: Imminent crisis for MediCare

Post by UncleBob » Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:49 am

Please read the Terms of Use.

Slack is open.
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Re: Imminent crisis for MediCare

Post by Del » Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:07 am

Noted. Thank you, Bob.

The moderated portion made reference the balanced budget that our government achieved briefly in the '90's, and hopes that our current tax policy might replicate those economic conditions. This could give us some room in the fiscal policy to extend Medicare.
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Re: Imminent crisis for MediCare

Post by Thunktank » Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:10 pm

Del wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:45 am
Thunktank wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:24 am
FredS wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:18 am
Thunktank wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:04 am
. . .The debt and liabities California faces along with most states is less than the price of a new car per person. Not insurmountable. Given what we’re already paying anyway, it might be cheaper to just work toward a single payer system for all, so long as we don’t have too many people demanding that we ignore our own requirements in favor of giving charity to currupt entities in Africa.
I know this thread isn't necessarily about health insurance, but:
It's not the relative costs of a single payer system v a private system that worry's me. I spend almost $16,000/year on health insurance premiums so a single payer system will almost surely save me money. The problem is that such a system will decide what health care practices/procedures it will pay for, who it will pay, and how much will be paid for those services. To some extent, private health insurers do this already and it's harmful when they won't pay for certain treatments or medicines. But we can switch insurers or plans to find one better suited to the types of services we need. With a single payer system that 'choice' goes out the window.
Yep, that’s my beef with it too. Our current California Medicare will only cover the most needed things. Preventative measures are often not even covered. Of course “we” mean to improve on that continually. But the actual solution will come by way of supplemental private insurance for elective services, no matter how needed they are. In the end, we will still pay to play one way or another. The elderly, poor and very sick will still have the short end of the deal for a long time to come. Del should be worried.
My only "worry" is that millions of people have made their plans over the decades on the assumption that Medicare will be available as promised. Medicare is a single-payer, socialized medicine program. And it is going to run out of money now, in the short-term. Less than 10 years.
Well that’s my point. New programs will come along and supplement what you already paid into it simply because more money will be needed for it. Demographics. But the real problem comes in the form of current expenses that insurance companies and for profit healthcare providers have created.


One option that is available to us now is the Healthcare Savings Account (HSA). Payroll money goes in, tax-free. It can be invested in the market. And it can be withdrawn, tax-free, if used for medical expenses. It's better than a Roth IRA.
Like energy, the future holds many coexisting solutions. The boomer generation and probably X will still probably rely on some sort of Medicare unless states like California take up the expenses themselves. How, I’m not entirely sure and neither does anyone else. Necessity is the greatest inventor. There will be a market for some private options I’m sure, but a small one perhaps. Your HSA will still be useful in the tangle of expenses already in place.
Personally, I would like to see the Medicare tax phased out. And mandatory contributions to an HSA phased in. Instead of paying into the government for a promise of future healthcare, we would be providing for ourselves.
That assumes healthcare itself will be able to pay for itself and it doesn’t address the inflation rates our health premiums require already. It also does nothing for the millions who can’t simply contribute to an HSA, which will only grow to be a larger problem. The markets has failed us here. You still want to ride the train that got us into this mess in the first place.
My wife and I are making the maximum contributions to our HSA. And we are paying our current deductibles and such out-of-pocket, so that the HSA has an opportunity to grow as much as possible. Hopefully, it will be enough to fund many decades of retirement healthcare costs.
I hope it works out for you too. We’re the lucky ones in that we have the means and wherewithal to take care of our needs despite the gross social negligence of our current set up. But still, it’s outrageous whether we can pay for it or not.

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Re: Imminent crisis for MediCare

Post by TNLawPiper » Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:48 pm

An HSA or some other form of voluntary contributions will never cover catastrophic expenses or prolonged illnesses. Those are what put a drag on the health care system, what run up insurance costs for the healthy, and which ought to be paid by the public trust.

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Re: Imminent crisis for MediCare

Post by Jocose » Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:50 pm

An HSA or some other form of voluntary contributions will never cover catastrophic expenses or prolonged illnesses. Those are what put a drag on the health care system, what run up insurance costs for the healthy, and which ought to be paid by the public trust
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Re: Imminent crisis for MediCare

Post by TNLawPiper » Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:57 pm

Jocose wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:50 pm
An HSA or some other form of voluntary contributions will never cover catastrophic expenses or prolonged illnesses. Those are what put a drag on the health care system, what run up insurance costs for the healthy, and which ought to be paid by the public trust
I see your point of view and I accept it as fact although I did not deliberate on the matter.

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Re: Imminent crisis for MediCare

Post by Del » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:01 pm

TNLawPiper wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:48 pm
An HSA or some other form of voluntary contributions will never cover catastrophic expenses or prolonged illnesses. Those are what put a drag on the health care system, what run up insurance costs for the healthy, and which ought to be paid by the public trust.
We will always need catastrophic care insurance. That's what insurance is supposed to be for.

I would use my HSA to pay the catastrophic care premiums.

"Public trust" is another name for "insurance company."

It's really a quibble as to whether we want a free-market provider or a bureaucratic provider. Quite frankly.... the guy at the desk who is dealing with your paperwork doesn't care whether he is working for the government or a corporation. It's all the same to him.
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Re: Imminent crisis for MediCare

Post by TNLawPiper » Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:43 pm

Del wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:01 pm
TNLawPiper wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:48 pm
An HSA or some other form of voluntary contributions will never cover catastrophic expenses or prolonged illnesses. Those are what put a drag on the health care system, what run up insurance costs for the healthy, and which ought to be paid by the public trust.
We will always need catastrophic care insurance. That's what insurance is supposed to be for.

I would use my HSA to pay the catastrophic care premiums.

"Public trust" is another name for "insurance company."

It's really a quibble as to whether we want a free-market provider or a bureaucratic provider. Quite frankly.... the guy at the desk who is dealing with your paperwork doesn't care whether he is working for the government or a corporation. It's all the same to him.
Agreed. The insurance company's profit motive is the lynch pin.

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Re: Imminent crisis for MediCare

Post by Del » Sat Jun 09, 2018 9:23 am

TNLawPiper wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:43 pm
Del wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:01 pm
TNLawPiper wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:48 pm
An HSA or some other form of voluntary contributions will never cover catastrophic expenses or prolonged illnesses. Those are what put a drag on the health care system, what run up insurance costs for the healthy, and which ought to be paid by the public trust.
We will always need catastrophic care insurance. That's what insurance is supposed to be for.

I would use my HSA to pay the catastrophic care premiums.

"Public trust" is another name for "insurance company."

It's really a quibble as to whether we want a free-market provider or a bureaucratic provider. Quite frankly.... the guy at the desk who is dealing with your paperwork doesn't care whether he is working for the government or a corporation. It's all the same to him.
Agreed. The insurance company's profit motive is the lynch pin.
I think the whole "insurance model" is faulty. The solution is to have major medical insurance, and to encourage people to pay for their regular care from their own savings. HSA's are a solution.

For-profit v. government providers. That is a philosophical division within the "insurance model."

You live in California, where libertarians abound. So you have certainly heard the argument that this motive for profit causes insurance companies to be efficient and provide better service, else the paying customers will transfer to a better provider. The primary advantage of the for-profit model is that customers get served.

Government bureaucrats have little incentive to work hard for the benefit of non-customers. I don't blame the workers at the desks, but the government offices are notoriously understaffed, overworked, back-logged, and inefficient.

I have been working with the on-going rescue of a capable homeless woman who was begging at stoplights. We needed to replace her Social Security Card, because no one can hire you without a copy of your Card in their file ("I-9 Compliance").

It took two months and several phone calls to get a copy of her birth certificate from Cook County, Illinois (Chicago). They lost track of the self-addressed envelope and would not process her app without it.

Then it took over nine months to get a copy of her SS Card. She made weekly calls to the local SSA office looking for progress, and we even got our US Senator's office involved. (Meanwhile a homeless veteran died of exposure last winter in Madison, long-waiting for SSA to approve his disability claim.)

So I am not at all surprised that people have to wait months to see a doctor in England or Canada. And I'm not convinced that insurance is any cheaper, when paid as a tax rather than as a premium.
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Re: Imminent crisis for MediCare

Post by wosbald » Sat Jun 09, 2018 9:45 am

+JMJ+
gaining_age wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:47 am
wosbald wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:57 am
Del wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:30 am
Socialism is the practice of taking wealth from the wealthy and distributing it to the poor, so that there is general equity all around. California is a wealthy, socialist state. They should be happy that they can share with the citizens of poorer states, right? "Working as intended."

[…]
That's a bit facilely preemptory, innit?

If what you say is true, then the practical recommendations — let alone their theoretical foundations — in the Magisterially-promulgated, doctrinally-authoritative document, Oeconomicae et pecuniariae quaestiones, would seemingly need to be qualified as "Socialist".
The Catholic Magisterium wrote:[…]

5. Although global economic well-being appears to have increased in the second half of the twentieth century with an unprecedented magnitude and speed, at the same time inequalities proliferate between various countries and within them.[9] Moreover, the number of people who live in conditions of extreme poverty continues to be enormous.

The recent financial crisis might have provided the occasion to develop a new economy, more attentive to ethical principles, and a new regulation of financial activities that would neutralise predatory and speculative tendencies and acknowledge the value of the actual economy. Although there have been many positive efforts at various levels which should be recognized and appreciated, there does not seem to be any inclination to rethink the obsolete criteria that continue to govern the world.[10] On the contrary, the response seems at times like a return to the heights of myopic egoism, limited by an inadequate framework that, excluding the common good, also excludes from its horizons the concern to create and spread wealth, and to eliminate the inequality so pronounced today. [bolding added]

[…]
And calling this document "Socialist" would seem to be as ill-advised as calling earlier Magisterial pronouncements — ones which affirmed the qualified legitimacy of certain Western, individualistically-inflected dispositions — as "Capitalist".
Do you want your government to be your "church"? Some do or think that way in regards to "helping the poor through the mechanism of government". But decrying that there are other mechanisms-- i.e. the church(es).. and that the government wouldn't need to be the method of socialism doesn't exclude the validity of the churches' efforts in helping the poor. Right?

I suppose it's a difference of whether you believe any socialist act is inappropriate vs. who carries out the socialist act.
What, exactly, is the definition of a "socialist act"? Which is to say, the definition beyond that of "an act of a Socialist", such that even a Socialist's eating of a Big Mac® would be a "socialist act"?
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Re: Imminent crisis for MediCare

Post by Cleon » Sat Jun 09, 2018 9:56 am

TNLawPiper wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:43 pm
Del wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:01 pm
TNLawPiper wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:48 pm
An HSA or some other form of voluntary contributions will never cover catastrophic expenses or prolonged illnesses. Those are what put a drag on the health care system, what run up insurance costs for the healthy, and which ought to be paid by the public trust.
We will always need catastrophic care insurance. That's what insurance is supposed to be for.

I would use my HSA to pay the catastrophic care premiums.

"Public trust" is another name for "insurance company."

It's really a quibble as to whether we want a free-market provider or a bureaucratic provider. Quite frankly.... the guy at the desk who is dealing with your paperwork doesn't care whether he is working for the government or a corporation. It's all the same to him.
Agreed. The insurance company's profit motive is the lynch pin.
And providers' profit motive too. The richest guys in town are always doctors (and lawyers).
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Re: Imminent crisis for Medicare

Post by durangopipe » Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:45 pm

Cleon wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 9:56 am
TNLawPiper wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:43 pm
Del wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:01 pm
TNLawPiper wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:48 pm
An HSA or some other form of voluntary contributions will never cover catastrophic expenses or prolonged illnesses. Those are what put a drag on the health care system, what run up insurance costs for the healthy, and which ought to be paid by the public trust.
We will always need catastrophic care insurance. That's what insurance is supposed to be for.

I would use my HSA to pay the catastrophic care premiums.

"Public trust" is another name for "insurance company."

It's really a quibble as to whether we want a free-market provider or a bureaucratic provider. Quite frankly.... the guy at the desk who is dealing with your paperwork doesn't care whether he is working for the government or a corporation. It's all the same to him.
Agreed. The insurance company's profit motive is the lynch pin.
And providers' profit motive too. The richest guys in town are always doctors (and lawyers).
And the drug companies,
And the surgical appliance companies,

Etc.

Congress has protected them from negotiations to reduce the prices paid both by private citizens and government healthcare agencies.

Corporate profits are what drive production and innovation, but this has to be a two-way street. There is no free market if consumers (both governmental and private individuals) are prevented from negotiating prices for necessary drugs (drugs are mandatory not discretionary) and such negotiations would significantly lower end consumer costs (and government agency costs) while preserving realistic corporate profit and research incentives.

Drugs that cost little in other countries often cost a fortune in the US.
This applies to other parts of the healthcare system as well.

Congress members have been protecting excessive corporate healthcare industry profits (a fortune is spent by those companies on political contributions, perks to politicians and lobbying) and are complicit in keeping healthcare costs in the US the highest, by a wide margin, in the world - even while American healthcare outcomes are the worst in developed world.

I’ll add this regarding wealthy doctors: medical practitioners in specialties are usually quite well off while those in general practice are most often not; that, plus general practice care providers are often grossly overworked. This greatly reduces the number of physicians choosing to practice family medicine and this, too, drives up medical costs while making health care availability in rural America sometimes difficult to obtain. This reimbursement inequity needs to be addressed.

While researching a bit to make sure this post would be accurate, I stumbled across a chart (that for some reason won’t link) that showed that the cost of medical care for the elderly in the United States was significantly higher, again by a wide margin, than in other developed nations - and the cost of eldercare (per capita, so these numbers are not primarily a function of the number of elderly) for this population has grown most rapidly here in recent years and far more than in other developed nations. The rapidly rising cost of eldercare in the US (again, far more than elsewhere) is driving the Medicare insolvency problem as much as demographics and those costs are all out of proportion to the rest of the world.

Bottom line: politicians like to frame the discussion in terms of socialism vs. capitalism, free enterprise vs. government run healthcare knowing where the majority of their constituents stand, ideologically, on this issue; however, in reality we have all pieces of the corporate health care system benefitting from a one-sided agreement with politicians (that they’ve purchased with lobbying and direct contributions to politician’s campaigns and other perks) that results in higher costs and poorer outcomes for American citizens.

They want us to think this is free enterprise, and we should protect it.
But it isn’t.
And we shouldn’t.
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Re: Imminent crisis for MediCare

Post by TNLawPiper » Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:52 pm

Del wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 9:23 am
TNLawPiper wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:43 pm
Del wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:01 pm
TNLawPiper wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:48 pm
An HSA or some other form of voluntary contributions will never cover catastrophic expenses or prolonged illnesses. Those are what put a drag on the health care system, what run up insurance costs for the healthy, and which ought to be paid by the public trust.
We will always need catastrophic care insurance. That's what insurance is supposed to be for.

I would use my HSA to pay the catastrophic care premiums.

"Public trust" is another name for "insurance company."

It's really a quibble as to whether we want a free-market provider or a bureaucratic provider. Quite frankly.... the guy at the desk who is dealing with your paperwork doesn't care whether he is working for the government or a corporation. It's all the same to him.
Agreed. The insurance company's profit motive is the lynch pin.
I think the whole "insurance model" is faulty. The solution is to have major medical insurance, and to encourage people to pay for their regular care from their own savings. HSA's are a solution.

For-profit v. government providers. That is a philosophical division within the "insurance model."

You live in California, where libertarians abound. So you have certainly heard the argument that this motive for profit causes insurance companies to be efficient and provide better service, else the paying customers will transfer to a better provider. The primary advantage of the for-profit model is that customers get served.

Government bureaucrats have little incentive to work hard for the benefit of non-customers. I don't blame the workers at the desks, but the government offices are notoriously understaffed, overworked, back-logged, and inefficient.

I have been working with the on-going rescue of a capable homeless woman who was begging at stoplights. We needed to replace her Social Security Card, because no one can hire you without a copy of your Card in their file ("I-9 Compliance").

It took two months and several phone calls to get a copy of her birth certificate from Cook County, Illinois (Chicago). They lost track of the self-addressed envelope and would not process her app without it.

Then it took over nine months to get a copy of her SS Card. She made weekly calls to the local SSA office looking for progress, and we even got our US Senator's office involved. (Meanwhile a homeless veteran died of exposure last winter in Madison, long-waiting for SSA to approve his disability claim.)

So I am not at all surprised that people have to wait months to see a doctor in England or Canada. And I'm not convinced that insurance is any cheaper, when paid as a tax rather than as a premium.
I live in Tennessee, where conservatives abound, and where the failure to expand Medicaid has caused the closure of dozens of rural hospitals all across the state.

I tend to agree that the profit motive drives efficiency in a competitive marketplace. The insurance companies have virtually no competition, so they have no reason to keep prices low or to insist that doctors keep prices low. All the last health care reform effort did was give them more power. It's time for a change.

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