Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Monday, January 07, 2019

When Nicole Smith-Holt's 26-year-old son died, he had just moved out of his parents' home and was starting a life of his own. "The hardest part is every time I tell the story, it's like reality slaps me in my face that my son is no longer here," Smith-Holt told CBS News correspondent Anna Werner.

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Snopes fact check:He made $35,000 a year as a restaurant manager, and couldn't afford his $450 a month health insurance with a $7,600 out-of-pocket deductible. The insulin he needed for diabetes was $1,300 a month.

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Capitalism + healthcare = death and suffering

#1 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2019-01-07 03:04 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Another constituent rapidly depreciated for quarterly profits. Just the way GOP Jesus would want.

#2 | Posted by IndianaJones at 2019-01-07 03:17 PM | Reply | Funny: 3

Price of insulin has skyrocketed in recent years.

#3 | Posted by visitor_ at 2019-01-07 03:23 PM | Reply

DEATH PANELS are just fine with republicans as long as they're FOR PROFIT death panels.

#4 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2019-01-07 03:27 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 5

In Africa it costs $3/month. All else is greed.

#5 | Posted by bayviking at 2019-01-07 03:43 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Insulin is very expensive. I have family that uses it. Luckily the 3K deductible they have is affordable for them. If it wasn't I think we would all help out so they could meet their deductible. The kid should have told somebody he couldn't afford it. If either one of my kids said they couldn't afford a life saving drug I would pawn everything I own to pay for it.

#6 | Posted by byrdman at 2019-01-07 03:45 PM | Reply

In Africa it costs $3/month.

It's being subsidized somewhere. Oh yea, here in the U.S.

We pay more so that Africa doesnt have to..

#7 | Posted by boaz at 2019-01-07 03:46 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

If we arent going to address why prices are raising and only concentrate on getting the service to people, we have to address how to pay for it and the only way I see, to make this not happen again, is to have a flat % of income tax, separate from all other taxes be levied to pay for single payer. No deductions, no exemptions.

#8 | Posted by boaz at 2019-01-07 03:48 PM | Reply

We pay more so that Africa doesnt have to..

#7 | Posted by boaz

We pay more so that pharma execs can have private islands and cash left over the bribe every politician to keep our broken healthcare system from changing.

#9 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2019-01-07 03:49 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 12

Insulin is very expensive*

#6 | Posted by byrdman

*in countries with corrupt failing capitalist healthcare systems.

#10 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2019-01-07 03:50 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 4

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"...is to have a flat % of income tax, separate from all other taxes be levied to pay for single payer. No deductions, no exemptions." - #8 | Posted by boaz at 2019-01-07 03:48 PM

Typical rightwing hatred: Punish the poor and middle-class.

#11 | Posted by Hans at 2019-01-07 03:54 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"is to have a flat % of income tax"

Every rich person's head will explode upon hearing that.

And the 29,000 who make more than $500,000 and pay NO income tax will be cheering like crazy.

#12 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-07 03:55 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"If either one of my kids said they couldn't afford a life saving drug I would pawn everything I own to pay for it."

Congratulations, you figured out why Capitalism is incompatible with health care.

(But you won't really figure it out until it happens to you, since you don't possess any empathy.)

#13 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-01-07 03:55 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 6

For profit healthcare is evil.

#14 | Posted by truthhurts at 2019-01-07 03:58 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 6

"we have to address how to pay for it and the only way I see, to make this not happen again, is to have a flat % of income tax"

Seeing as literally nothing else is taxed and paid for that way, can you explain why you see it that way?

You realize people with no income pay nothing under your scheme, right? Do they still get health care?

#15 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-01-07 03:59 PM | Reply

The sad part of this is that it happens more frequently than you would think.

#16 | Posted by lfthndthrds at 2019-01-07 04:00 PM | Reply

If you cut out the insurance companies, single payer healthcare pays for itself. And less

#17 | Posted by truthhurts at 2019-01-07 04:01 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Meaning healthcare would cost less.

#18 | Posted by truthhurts at 2019-01-07 04:02 PM | Reply

"We pay more so that Africa doesnt have to..
#7 | POSTED BY BOAZ"

Setting aside how wrong that is, even if it were true, you can't possibly support giving Africa handouts.

So, what's your point?

#19 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-01-07 04:02 PM | Reply

Boaz's point is that Africans should not get a discount on life saving medicines so that their societies can become even more unstable.

#20 | Posted by truthhurts at 2019-01-07 04:03 PM | Reply

Insulin is very expensive. I have family that uses it. Luckily the 3K deductible they have is affordable for them. If it wasn't I think we would all help out so they could meet their deductible. The kid should have told somebody he couldn't afford it. If either one of my kids said they couldn't afford a life saving drug I would pawn everything I own to pay for it.
#6 | POSTED BY BYRDMAN AT 2019-01-07 03:45 PM

I don't know which is more pathetic - that you think everyone in the country has $3,000 worth of stuff they can sell to pay for life-saving medicine, or that you think having to deplete your possessions to pay for life-saving medicine is a system worthy of defending.

#21 | Posted by JOE at 2019-01-07 04:04 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 9

Setting aside how wrong that is, even if it were true, you can't possibly support giving Africa handouts.

So, what's your point?

#19 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-01-07 04:02 PMFlag: (Choose)FunnyNewsworthyOffensiveAbusive

He doesn't have a point. Surprisingly, he didn't start off the conversation with all the bad choices that this person made to land him in this position.

#22 | Posted by lfthndthrds at 2019-01-07 04:06 PM | Reply

Terrible story. We hear and read stories about guys like this, but there are also tons of people that CAN afford health insurance but can't afford to use it (or triage) due to the deductible.
That's most definitely true of younger employees.
I saw a picture of the guy. Apparently he already sold a couple of toes, because he was missing them.

#23 | Posted by 101Chairborne at 2019-01-07 04:26 PM | Reply

Insulin is cheaper in other parts of the world because they manufacture animal-derived forms of it. In the US, as far as I have been able to tell, only human-derived (produced by bacteria through recombinant DNA) is currently sold, which is much more expensive (though it theoretically has advantages over animal derived insulin).

Though I am sure that Boaz feels better believing his tin-foil hat "it's other countries' fault that insulin is expensive here" paranoid theory regardless of whether there are any facts to support it.

Btw... I am not a diabetic. Just looked it up on the interwebs.

#24 | Posted by gtbritishskull at 2019-01-07 04:40 PM | Reply

" I would pawn everything I own to pay for it."

Cool. Say that gets you a year, what are you going to do for the next 20-50 years?

#25 | Posted by dibblda at 2019-01-07 05:44 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

"If either one of my kids said they couldn't afford a life saving drug I would pawn everything I own to pay for it."

Now let's say both your kids needed the exact dame medicine, but after selling your dually F-350 King Cab (with all the Freon and incandescent light bulbs you've been hoarding in the bed), you have exactly enough to buy one cure.

Which kid do you choose, Sophie?

#26 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-01-07 05:58 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

I just have one question for Snoofy:
When did dames get so expensive??

#27 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-01-07 06:08 PM | Reply | Funny: 2

In a less regulated free market he would be able to buy insulin from one of the cheaper sources.

#28 | Posted by visitor_ at 2019-01-07 06:11 PM | Reply

In a country with a national health care system he'd be able to buy insulin from one of the cheaper sources too.

#29 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-01-07 06:15 PM | Reply

"The insulin he needed for diabetes was $1,300 a month."

Probably more than his rent.

Conservatives will say he didn't exhaust all his options; he should have made himself homeless or sold his ass to make money.

Also, Boaz doesn't believe this story happened because we have charity to take care of the needy people.

#30 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-01-07 06:21 PM | Reply

In a less regulated free market he would be able to buy insulin from one of the cheaper sources.

#28 | POSTED BY VISITOR_

In a less regulated market some conservative scum would sell him fentanyl and tell him its insulin.

#31 | Posted by IndianaJones at 2019-01-07 06:27 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

In a less regulated free market he would be able to buy insulin from one of the cheaper sources.

#28 | Posted by visitor_

In a less regulated free market all makers could conspire to keep prices high. Same reason all cell phone providers and airlines rip everyone off in the same ways so there is no alternative to turn to.

#32 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2019-01-07 06:39 PM | Reply

Apparently he already sold a couple of toes, because he was missing them.

#23 | Posted by 101Chairborne

Maybe he ate them.

Everyone reacts differently you know when the food (stamps) run out and you are starving.

Especially when it is cold and snowing and you are stuck in Trumplandia where no one gives ---- about you.

#33 | Posted by donnerboy at 2019-01-07 06:40 PM | Reply

"Terrible story. We hear and read stories about guys like this, but..."

but?

But, he is dead. There is no "But". Not for him.

And I am sure Mom appreciates your fake concern.

#34 | Posted by donnerboy at 2019-01-07 06:44 PM | Reply

"If you cut out the insurance companies, single payer healthcare pays for itself."

Could you show me your math on that one?

#35 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-07 07:59 PM | Reply

I can show some of it.

UnitedHealth Group Revenue US$201.1 billion (2017)[1]
Aetna Revenue US$60.535 billion (2017)
Anthem Revenue US$90.039 billion (2017)
Humana Revenue US$41.3 billion (2013)
Cigna Revenue US$ 41.616 billion (2017)[1]

#36 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-01-07 08:05 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., US$ 72.7 billion (2017)

#37 | Posted by ClownShack at 2019-01-07 08:07 PM | Reply

But I don't see how it pays for itself, barring some sort of "lost wages due to poor health care" argument which even then I don't know is going to work.

#38 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-01-07 08:10 PM | Reply

#36 + #37

Okay...we're 16% of the way there.

#39 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-07 08:18 PM | Reply

Well hopefully the other 852 health insurance companies operating in the United States can close some of that gap!

#40 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-01-07 08:22 PM | Reply

Could you show me your math on that one?

Well there's this:

As of 2017, the U.S. was spending about $3.24 trillion on personal health care -- about 17 percent of total U.S. GDP. Meanwhile, 9 percent of U.S. residents have no insurance and 26 percent are underinsured -- they are unable to access needed care because of prohibitively high costs. Other high-income countries spend an average of about 40 percent less per person and produce better health outcomes. Medicare for All could reduce total health care spending in the U.S. by nearly 10 percent, to $2.93 trillion, while creating stable access to good care for all U.S. residents.
www.peri.umass.edu
Then there's that rightwing study that came to the same result.

Do we have any math to the contrary?

#41 | Posted by JOE at 2019-01-07 08:29 PM | Reply

Also, i don't think "will it pay for itself" should be the goal of health policy anyway. If it doesn't, we have plenty of ways to raise that money, just none of the political will.

#42 | Posted by JOE at 2019-01-07 08:30 PM | Reply

Price of insulin has skyrocketed in recent years.

#3 | POSTED BY VISITOR_

The price charged, you mean.

The cost to produce is likely pennies on the dollar.

#43 | Posted by jpw at 2019-01-07 10:07 PM | Reply

Insulin is cheaper in other parts of the world because they manufacture animal-derived forms of it. In the US, as far as I have been able to tell, only human-derived (produced by bacteria through recombinant DNA) is currently sold, which is much more expensive (though it theoretically has advantages over animal derived insulin).

That can't be the reason it's cheaper.

Production by bacteria is done in bioreactors/fermentors that contain tens of thousands of liters of bacterial cultures.

www.diabetesforecast.org

All bacteria need are water, sugars, nitrogen and oxygen. The divide every 20 minutes and are kept around for, at most, days.

And on a biosafetey level, we know the products are safer because they're not at risk of containing pathogens.

#44 | Posted by jpw at 2019-01-07 10:27 PM | Reply

#39 The cost savings of single payer come from reduced pay for health care workers and job losses for claims processing and insurance sales.
Savings to patients are losses to another.

However the unemployed can get a job that adds value in this market.

#45 | Posted by bored at 2019-01-07 10:53 PM | Reply

"As of 2017, the U.S. was spending about $3.24 trillion on personal health care"

That includes, of course, all the spending by employers on employees' health care plans...which leads to one of the huge hurdles: half of America is currently covered by employer plans. Either that entire amount would have to go to the communal pot, or be added to the workers' paychecks. However...employer-provided health care is tax-free, while additional pay would be taxable income. In addition, most of that provided health care is better than Medicare.

#46 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-07 11:13 PM | Reply

"Either that entire amount would have to go to the communal pot, or be added to the workers' paychecks."

Employers are already paying the bulk of it.

Give employers the option of letting their workers pick a public option during open enrollment, and let employees pocket the savings tax free or something. So both the employer and the employee will want to save money, except for those who don't want the public option.

It's doable, and everyone saves money except for-profit health insurance companies.

There's a pretty big runway that's going to need to be foamed as we ratchet down health care spending. But it can be done.

#47 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-01-07 11:28 PM | Reply

"Employers are already paying the bulk of it."

Yes, but the equation assumes ALL of that money will go toward paying the costs.

"Give employers the option of letting their workers pick a public option during open enrollment"

Do you believe the health insurance currently covered by workers is better, or worse than Medicare?

"and let employees pocket the savings tax free"

That would necessitate a higher increase in taxes, to cover every dollar they keep.

"everyone saves money except for-profit health insurance companies"

How many job losses should be expected in the health and insurance industries?

"There's a pretty big runway"

Yup. And that's before the moneyed interests line up against the changes.

#48 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-07 11:39 PM | Reply

"Do you believe the health insurance currently covered by workers is better, or worse than Medicare?"

I don't know but you seem to, so tell us. Does having a supplemental insurance plan in addition to Medicare help even out the imbalance?

#49 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-01-07 11:45 PM | Reply

"I don't know but you seem to, so tell us. "

The employer coverage I had over the years was head-and-shoulders better than the Medicare I saw my MIL use. A wider selection of physicians, more reasonable reimbursement rates, and lower out-of-pocket expenses. One of my insurers, SAG, had a two-tiered system, where the higher tier was really spectacular.

There was, however one huge exception:

No Medicare patient ever had to worry about losing their coverage.

#50 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-07 11:53 PM | Reply

"Does having a supplemental insurance plan in addition to Medicare help even out the imbalance?"

It does, but it comes with extra expense, to cover the 20% Medicare doesn't.

#51 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-07 11:56 PM | Reply

Thanks for the info, Danforth.

#52 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-01-08 12:03 AM | Reply

"Do you believe the health insurance currently covered by workers is better, or worse than Medicare?"

About the same.

""and let employees pocket the savings tax free"
That would necessitate a higher increase in taxes, to cover every dollar they keep."

Whatever. Numbers can be tweaked. The carrot doesn't have to be a State Fair winner to the financial incentive to be real.

"How many job losses should be expected in the health and insurance industries?"

Tens of thousands. Maybe hundreds of thousands. But it will take place over years, and we know it's going to happen, and as a whole, people who work at insurance companies have college degrees or better, and can be put to productive use elsewhere in the top tier of the economy.

#53 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-01-08 12:18 AM | Reply

That includes, of course, all the spending by employers on employees' health care plans

So what? Do you think employers care which type of insurer they have to pay money to?

Anyways, still waiting for your math.

#54 | Posted by JOE at 2019-01-08 07:11 AM | Reply

I mean surely if M4A is an expensive boondoggle that will result in substandard care, there would be study after study from rightwing think tanks proving that to be the case. So why doesn't anyone ever post them here?

#55 | Posted by JOE at 2019-01-08 07:37 AM | Reply

Did this guy ever called any social services? Even in Texas, diabetics can get their scrips free. That is a real problem here, lots of obese people here. The food is really good.

#56 | Posted by docnjo at 2019-01-08 07:51 AM | Reply

#56 Desperate to blame the dead guy? Sad.

#57 | Posted by JOE at 2019-01-08 07:53 AM | Reply

What people are not told in this country (and I wasn't aware of until literally last month) is that there is a brand of insulin which is available in both long and rapid acting versions, that can be purchased in many (possibly most) states WITHOUT A PRESCRIPTION for less than $25 per type per month.

This is not any kind of "good RX coupon" thing, either.

It's call Novalin. Novalin N is long acting, Novalin R is rapid.

If you are diabetic, obviously talk to your Dr about switching, but even WITH insurance, my prescribed insulin was $600 per month.

My Dr wasn't even aware of this brand's existence since she was hamstrung by the "preferred" insulins of various insurance companies and the existence of it is mostly covered up by them.

As much as I despise Wal-mart, this is where it's available for the least amount.

#58 | Posted by RevDarko at 2019-01-08 09:54 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

And, like an idiot, I didn't check the spelling on the packaging until AFTER I posted. It's Novolin, not Novalin.

#59 | Posted by RevDarko at 2019-01-08 10:00 AM | Reply

"Anyways, still waiting for your math."

My "math" is everyone with a no-cost, high end plan will suddenly be asked to pay more to get less. You understand that, right? For example, do the lawyers in your firm get health insurance that's better than Medicare?

#60 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-08 10:02 AM | Reply

"About the same."

My experience is very different. The quality of my plan was much better than my MIL's plan. I had a wider range of doctors to choose, more aspects were covered, and at one point my plans paid 99% of the costs.

Medicare, meanwhile, has (roughly) a 20% copay.

#61 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-08 10:05 AM | Reply

#60 That's weird, I thought "math" involved numbers to demonstrate something.

everyone with a no-cost, high end plan will suddenly be asked to pay more to get less.

How many people have that? And why should i give a ---- about them?

For example, do the lawyers in your firm get health insurance that's better than Medicare?

It's an option, at a tremendous cost that virtually nobody elects.

#62 | Posted by JOE at 2019-01-08 10:10 AM | Reply

"Do you think employers care which type of insurer they have to pay money to?"

No, I think employers will be pissed they're paying much more than average, to get an average plan.

In the big equation, some will pay more than their share, others less. High-end plans cost more than average plans, of course , so the folks offering high end plans will either be paying more than their average share, or there will be a wider gap between revenues and costs, to be made up in taxes.

Hence my point the high-end folks will be expected to pay more to get less.

For proof, look at your W-2, box 12, code DD. The average for a single person is $4500-$6000; for a family around $10,000. My bet is your W-2 reflects a higher-than-average number.

#63 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-08 10:13 AM | Reply

"As much as I despise Wal-mart, this is where it's available for the least amount."

Most Newsworthy post ever! Thank you RevDarko! Too bad that young man didn't know about it, too bad his doctor, pharmacist and insurance company didn't inform him about it.

#64 | Posted by danni at 2019-01-08 10:17 AM | Reply

the high-end folks will be expected to pay more to get less.

Again, why should i care about that? The vast majority of the lower, middle and upper middle classes have been living with substandard insurance for decades that impose after-premium costs that deter them from even seeking basic medical care and filling prescriptions. I would gladly shore up those peoples' plans at the expense of the few who maintain caddilac plans.

#65 | Posted by JOE at 2019-01-08 10:18 AM | Reply

I also dispute that Medicare is merely "average." Americans with VA, Medicare and Medicaid are more satisfied with their healthcare than anyone else.

#66 | Posted by JOE at 2019-01-08 10:19 AM | Reply

Maybe companies who wanted to could reimburse for their employees' Medicare premiums, deductibles and supplemental insurance. My friend's mother, who is on Medicare, worked for IBM back in the day. For many years they provided retirees supplemental insurance through Blue Cross-Blue Shield. (Or something like that.) After the ACA kicked in, they created individual health care accounts to retirees instead. She gets a certain amount of money each year which she can use pay her Medicare premiums and/or buy supplemental insurance, including drug coverage. Retirees with longer years of service who retired before a certain date get more money in their accounts than more recent retirees with less time served. Perhaps companies could transition to something like that if M4A came to pass?

#67 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-01-08 10:20 AM | Reply

Medicare's awesome. I've been dealing with it with elder parents and siblings for years. I'm looking forward to it.

#68 | Posted by YAV at 2019-01-08 10:21 AM | Reply

"How many people have that? And why should i give a ---- about them?"

Tens of millions, at a minimum. You should GAS because they're going to be targeted by all the folks most hurt by the changes: doctors, hospitals, insurers, pharma workers, health care workers, etc.

"I thought "math" involved numbers to demonstrate something."

Macro math simply requires knowing which way the dials turn. Greater than and lesser than means the final numbers will correspond. If everyone will have the same health insurance, it simply cannot be, say, Congressional coverage, it's waaaay too expensive. Excellent plans will give way to medium-to-good plans. Think of it as a percentile: Congressional is 95%; Medicare I'd put in the 45-55 range. Nationwide Medicare might rise to 60%, but let's pretend and say 70%. That still leaves (roughly) 30% of the covered (around 50 million) who will be asked to take lesser coverage, with more taxes and a higher co-pay, as compared to what they currently have.

"It's an option, at a tremendous cost that virtually nobody elects."

Huh? Are you suggesting you have Medicare as a default? Or something better than Medicare as a default? For example, do you have a 20% copay?

#69 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-08 10:23 AM | Reply

PS More money in the retiree's account means she can purchase a higher quality supplemental insurance plan, if she wants to, without needing to use as much of her own money.

#70 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-01-08 10:25 AM | Reply

"why should i care about that? "

Because the 70% approval rate is a mirage. None of the upcoming realities have been addressed, and when they are, a lot of folks are NOT going to like the results. And the barrage of commercials, press, social media, etc., will make political campaigns look timid by comparison.

#71 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-08 10:25 AM | Reply

"Perhaps companies could transition to something like that if M4A came to pass?"

That idea sounds great. I'm not sure how the macro math works out whether or not those distributions would have to be taxable.

#72 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-08 10:27 AM | Reply

#69 For someone who is generally good with numbers and facts, the amount of reckless and unsupported assumptions in your post is astonishing. It feels like you have something personal at stake in this debate (a cadilla plan, perhaps?) that is clouding your judgment.

#73 | Posted by JOE at 2019-01-08 10:28 AM | Reply

"everyone saves money except for-profit health insurance companies"
How many job losses should be expected in the health and insurance industries?

I'm pretty tired of this being weighed so heavily in our national thinking.

Sorry to say it, but maintaining horrid conditions for millions of people in our current medical system isn't worth it just to maintain some people's jobs.

#74 | Posted by jpw at 2019-01-08 10:31 AM | Reply

Huh? Are you suggesting you have Medicare as a default?

You're the one who brought up Medicare as a comparison standard to my own insurance. Now you're confused when I tell you that ny firm's insurance is a terrible value (as it is at most large law firms) and that nobody elects the plan that is better than Medicare?

do you have a 20% copay?

20% coinsurance, with a copay on top of it. Like i said, it's worse than Medicare.

#75 | Posted by JOE at 2019-01-08 10:34 AM | Reply

"the amount of reckless and unsupported assumptions in your post is astonishing."

Feel free to specify.

My central assumptions are
a) Congressional Plans are unaffordable for the masses.
b) Lots of employers offer excellent health plans which are also unaffordable for the masses.
c) While some will get better coverage, others will get worse.
d) The folks in "c" are generally our higher earners.
e) The M4A equation counts every penny being spent for health insurance today, plus extra taxes.

#76 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-08 10:34 AM | Reply

"Like i said, it's worse than Medicare."

Most professionals I see in my practice tell the exact opposite story. When I see outlying high numbers, I always ask about the quality of the insurance.

#77 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-08 10:36 AM | Reply

Gotta go. Dog to vet this AM.

#78 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-08 10:36 AM | Reply

""everyone saves money except for-profit health insurance companies"
How many job losses should be expected in the health and insurance industries?"

Job losses of people whose jobs are to deprive people of coverage aren't worth saving.

"That still leaves (roughly) 30% of the covered (around 50 million) who will be asked to take lesser coverage, with more taxes and a higher co-pay, as compared to what they currently have."

Oh well. Sorry, I just don't care. I do have GREAT health insurance but my kids don't. I would be happy to give up some of my benefits if they could end up with decent coverage.

#79 | Posted by danni at 2019-01-08 10:36 AM | Reply

"My central assumptions are
a) Congressional Plans are unaffordable for the masses."

Then the Congressional Plans should be adjusted to the level that can be provided for everyone. Why should taxpayers be giving them such plans if they are unaffordable for the rest of us?

#80 | Posted by danni at 2019-01-08 10:39 AM | Reply

"That idea sounds great. I'm not sure how the macro math works out whether or not those distributions would have to be taxable."

Yeah, that's way beyond my paygrade. My friend's mother is not of sound mind, so my friend had to use his POA to select a plan for her. He picked one from AARP that was billed as a plan that would pick up 100% of the 20% Medicare didn't cover for any doctor/hospital/test that accepted Medicare. My mother, OTOH, has a supplemental plan that classifies providers as being in and out-of-network, so she can't go to anyone who accepts Medicare and get covered.

#81 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-01-08 10:39 AM | Reply

"You're the one who brought up Medicare as a comparison standard to my own insurance. Now you're confused when I tell you that ny firm's insurance is a terrible value (as it is at most large law firms) and that nobody elects the plan that is better than Medicare?"

I'm old enough to quailify for Medicare but my company gives me much better insurance and EVERYONE who is my age here does the exact same thing. They'd be stupid not to.

#82 | Posted by danni at 2019-01-08 10:40 AM | Reply

"Then the Congressional Plans should be adjusted to the level that can be provided for everyone."

When pigs fly.

#83 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-08 11:03 AM | Reply

I have listened to all the right wing justifications for their hateful opposition to access to all for real health care.

It always boils down to the same things. Their hate for Obama and liberalist ideals.

I can no longer argue with them. I am losing the fight.

I have to be careful now. Because all I want to do now when someone attempts to shovel any more "Trump Slop" down my gullet like "we need a wall for our national security" or "Dems want Open Borders" is punch them in the face.

Like I said, I am losing fight I am having with myself. I can not longer tolerate the Lies.

It's not even funny any more. People are being hurt by Trumps Lies.

It has got to stop.

#84 | Posted by donnerboy at 2019-01-08 11:34 AM | Reply

"When pigs fly."

Democrats should make that a campaign slogan. "What's good enough for Congress is good enough for us and nothing less." WE have, literally, millions of American paying taxes which pay for Congressmen's healthcare who can't afford decent healthcare for themselves of their families. We should inflict the same pain on Congress that other Americans endure, such as the shut down. Congress should not be getting paid right now because of the shutdown.

#85 | Posted by danni at 2019-01-08 11:35 AM | Reply

"I have to be careful now. Because all I want to do now when someone attempts to shovel any more "Trump Slop" down my gullet like "we need a wall for our national security" or "Dems want Open Borders" is punch them in the face.

I feel your pain much more realistically than Trump feels the pain of federal employees not getting paid. His comments about that were absolutely insulting to those employees and their families. Trump has never felt real financial pain in his despicable life.

#86 | Posted by danni at 2019-01-08 11:38 AM | Reply

" Sorry, I just don't care"

That's a very dangerous attitude, especially if your goal includes convincing those folks to side with you. There are some real world consequences to the new plan.

As an example, my wife -- who has rarely had to go to the doctor in the past -- is going through some hellish medical problems. The bills are well over $50,000 already, and with Medicare's 20% co-pay that means we would owe over $10,000. Instead, because of my wife's better-than- average plan, we've only had to pay a few thousand dollars out of pocket.

#87 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-08 11:41 AM | Reply

"Democrats should make that a campaign slogan. "What's good enough for Congress is good enough for us and nothing less.""

All that will do is prove you're not willing to be realistic. And it will sabotage any good progress that might be able to be made.

#88 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-08 11:43 AM | Reply

the high-end folks will be expected to pay more to get less.

Again, why should i care about that?

So, Joe, if you are asking why should you care about them, why should they care about you? After all, their premiums are what's paying so everyone else can have a lower rate..

#89 | Posted by boaz at 2019-01-08 11:45 AM | Reply

"The bills are well over $50,000 already, and with Medicare's 20% co-pay that means we would owe over $10,000."

Only if you didn't have a supplemental plan. If you had the AARP plan my friend's mother has, for example, which I think is about $250 a month this year, you would pay nothing after the Medicare deductible is met. Just googled: Medicare deductible for this year is $185. The Medicare premium is $135.50 for folks making less the $85,000:

www.cms.gov

#90 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-01-08 11:49 AM | Reply

So, Joe, if you are asking why should you care about them, why should they care about you?

Because there are a lot more of me than there are of them. My point was that people with low-cost, high-end plans are a licky minority and we shouldn't be catering our health policy to them at the expense of hundreds of millions of others.

#91 | Posted by JOE at 2019-01-08 11:56 AM | Reply

*lucky

#92 | Posted by JOE at 2019-01-08 11:56 AM | Reply

Danforth, how much would you say the low end, medium range and high end insurance plans cost a company per worker?

#93 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-01-08 11:59 AM | Reply

Hmmm...I fail to see an article that shows how many people ARE able to afford insulin because of government assistance. Here's a hint...it's a lot.

Although any death is sad and we should always strive to do our best, spitting out biased, negative news about how bad something is without reporting ALL of the facts is irresponsible and indicative of the manure-laden media we have come to expect in this country.

#94 | Posted by humtake at 2019-01-08 12:02 PM | Reply

Oh well. Sorry, I just don't care. I do have GREAT health insurance but my kids don't. I would be happy to give up some of my benefits if they could end up with decent coverage.
#79 | POSTED BY DANNI

Those "benefits" that keep insurance high are mandates by the government.

North Carolina ...

Want Affordable Health Insurance? Scale Back On Health Benefit Mandates
www.forbes.com

but it really applies to any State that tacks on HealthBenefitMandates, sure some are good, but its abused by lobbies to get in on the HealthCare gravy train, which ultimately raises rates

#95 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019-01-08 12:07 PM | Reply

spitting out biased, negative news about how bad something is without reporting ALL of the facts is irresponsible and indicative of the manure-laden media we have come to expect in this country.

A story about a man who died because he couldn't afford insulin isn't "biased." If you perceive it to be so, it's because you have an inherent reflex to defend our current healthcare system and perceive any negative news about the same to be an attack.

Reporters don't need to point out how many people didn't die because they couldn't afford medicine in every story about someone who did. In every article about murder should they say how many people weren't murdered today?

#96 | Posted by JOE at 2019-01-08 12:09 PM | Reply

"That idea sounds great. I'm not sure how the macro math works out whether or not those distributions would have to be taxable."

Maybe if M4A became law part of that law could designate whether those distributions would have to be taxable or not. I'm just thinking we might have to think bigger and out of the box a bit and that M4A may need to be tweaked in some ways to make it more palatable to more people/employers than the current Medicare program might be.

But as I said this is above my paygrade, so as of now, I'm inclined to a Medicare option for anyone who wants it rather than forcing people who don't want it into a M4A plan.

#97 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-01-08 12:13 PM | Reply

Joe,

Success isnt always luck. Why do you envy people with money? You do realize that without the rich, social programs wouldnt happen, dont you? So you are asking a small minority to give "extra" just to make life easier for you and the poor? Why would they do that if you dont care about them?

And your veiled threat to the rich is noted.

#98 | Posted by boaz at 2019-01-08 12:13 PM | Reply | Funny: 4

I have listened to all the right wing justifications for their hateful opposition to access to all for real health care.

It always boils down to the same things. Their hate for Obama and liberalist ideals.

I can no longer argue with them. I am losing the fight.

You are losing the fight because your argument is --------.

#99 | Posted by boaz at 2019-01-08 12:14 PM | Reply

"but its abused by lobbies"

Thanks, First Amendment.
And thanks, Capitalism!

#100 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-01-08 12:17 PM | Reply

We should inflict the same pain on Congress that other Americans endure

I think EVERYONE should feel the pain of having to pay for healthcare, no matter the social level.

#101 | Posted by boaz at 2019-01-08 12:19 PM | Reply

"He made $35,000 a year as a restaurant manager, and couldn't afford his $450 a month health insurance with a $7,600 out-of-pocket deductible. The insulin he needed for diabetes was $1,300 a month. "

How much would this guy have had to pay if he had been on Medicare? I'm not sure because, in addition, to Medicare doctor and hospital coverage, there is Medicare drug coverage, and I assume insulin would fall under that coverage.

#102 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-01-08 12:21 PM | Reply

"Danforth, how much would you say the low end, medium range and high end insurance plans cost a company per worker?"

I've seen as low as ~$4500, and as high as ~$12,000 for singles, and double those amounts for families.

One of my clients is full-time (30+ hrs a week), making close to minimum wage, but getting family coverage. Every year, box 1 on the W-2--her wages--are ~$15,000; meanwhile the cost to the employer of family coverage in Box 12 is $17,000.

#103 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-08 12:22 PM | Reply

"Maybe if M4A became law part of that law could designate whether those distributions would have to be taxable or not."

And that's where I get my talking point that those folks are going to be asked to pay more than they do now, and trade their better health insurance for lesser health insurance.

#104 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-08 12:25 PM | Reply

"Those "benefits" that keep insurance high are mandates by the government. "

No, the extra benefits I receive are absolutely not mandates by the government. You don't know what you're talking about.

#105 | Posted by danni at 2019-01-08 12:26 PM | Reply

"Danforth, how much would you say the low end, medium range and high end insurance plans cost a company per worker?"

Can the low-end plan be not offering health insurance at all? ;)

My WAG numbers are about 5-8k per worker, maybe 2.5x that if the worker gets family coverage.

#106 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-01-08 12:26 PM | Reply

"And that's where I get my talking point that those folks are going to be asked to pay more than they do now, and trade their better health insurance for lesser health insurance."

If employers are no longer burdened with providing healthcare insurance AND we force employers to use the money they save to increase wages then the employees might pay higher taxes but they would still be better off than they are today and so would everyone else. They would have healthcare not holding them hostage at any job which would allow them to start small businesses if they wanted while still being secure in their healthcare and their family's healthcare.

#107 | Posted by danni at 2019-01-08 12:29 PM | Reply

"Can the low-end plan be not offering health insurance at all?"

Not under Obamacare.

But that was the basic concept of McCare: Small premiums, but very little coverage, and a super-low annual cap.

#108 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-08 12:29 PM | Reply

Because there are a lot more of me than there are of them. My point was that people with low-cost, high-end plans are a licky minority and we shouldn't be catering our health policy to them at the expense of hundreds of millions of others.

#91 | POSTED BY JOE

What you are describing is a considerable percentage of employer-sponsored plans. We are not talking about a small minority of people here and these types of plans certainly aren't limited to the extremely wealthy, just ask any UAW worker.

#109 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-01-08 12:31 PM | Reply

"And that's where I get my talking point that those folks are going to be asked to pay more than they do now, and trade their better health insurance for lesser health insurance."

But couldn't the law be written in such a way that they don't need to take such a big hit? If an insurer was willing to put the $10,000, let's say, into an employee's individual insurance account, that employee could then turn around and buy topnotch supplemental insurance. Like I said, M4A could anticipate these problems and make allowances for them. M4A doesn't have to be exactly like today's Medicare, if lawmakers decide to make useful changes.

#110 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-01-08 12:31 PM | Reply

Why do you envy people with money?

I have plenty of money, i just have bad health insurance offered to me by my employer. (I actually don't even use theirs). Do you realize it is possible for people of means to support policy that helps others?

So you are asking a small minority to give "extra" just to make life easier for you and the poor?

No, i am saying that our health policy should not cater to a small minority. Had you read the thread you'd understand what I mean by that (or maybe you wouldn't, you're quite stupid).

#111 | Posted by JOE at 2019-01-08 12:33 PM | Reply

"If employers are no longer burdened with providing healthcare insurance AND we force employers to use the money they save to increase wages then the employees might pay higher taxes but they would still be better off"

Not true.

Currently, employer-provided health insurance is a tax deduction for the owner, but a tax-free benefit for the worker. Giving the worker wages would a) be taxable income, and b) would force higher taxes on the general populace in your final equation.

"but they would still be better off "

Not if they have better coverage than the M4A plan.

#112 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-08 12:34 PM | Reply

What you are describing is a considerable percentage of employer-sponsored plans.

No i'm not. Upthread Danforth noted that people with "low cost, high end plans" would oppose being pushed onto Medicare. My response was that we shouldn't necessarily be against M4A just because those people won't like it.

#113 | Posted by JOE at 2019-01-08 12:34 PM | Reply

Gal, "individual insurance account" is not a concept that makes sense. The whole reason for insurance is to pool risk. Because rare events like a stroke or serious motor vehicle accident that don't happen to everybody cost way more than the individual can bear.

#114 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-01-08 12:36 PM | Reply

"If an insurer was willing to put the $10,000, let's say, into an employee's individual insurance account, that employee could then turn around and buy topnotch supplemental insurance. "

Yes, but as it is, every one of those dollars is already being counted to generate the needed $3.2 Trillion a year. ANY money taken out would have to be made up somewhere else, most likely in higher taxes.

#115 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-08 12:36 PM | Reply

"My response was that we shouldn't necessarily be against M4A just because those people won't like it."

And my warning is the "other side" will consist of the workers with better-than-average jobs, as well as all the folks in the health services industry...and those are some very deep pockets, especially when you're talking about ~17% of the economy.

#116 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-08 12:39 PM | Reply

"Yes, but as it is, every one of those dollars is already being counted to generate the needed $3.2 Trillion a year. ANY money taken out would have to be made up somewhere else, most likely in higher taxes."

Would there be a way to write the law so that the figure in Box 12 can become the figure in the type of employee's insurance account I mentioned without having to raise taxes?:

"One of my clients is full-time (30+ hrs a week), making close to minimum wage, but getting family coverage. Every year, box 1 on the W-2--her wages--are ~$15,000; meanwhile the cost to the employer of family coverage in Box 12 is $17,000.?"

IOW, could companies be allowed to take the money they were paying to the insurance companies for an employee and put it into an account for the employee to use on health-related expenses only? The employer would be paying the same amount of money for employees' HC, but it would be disturbed in a different way.

#117 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-01-08 12:48 PM | Reply

Gal, "individual insurance account" is not a concept that makes sense. The whole reason for insurance is to pool risk. Because rare events like a stroke or serious motor vehicle accident that don't happen to everybody cost way more than the individual can bear.

I'm talking about the individual accounts being used to buy supplemental insurance in a world where M4A exists. All individuals would have M4A for 80% of their health care costs and would use the individual accounts from their employers to buy additional coverage. Protections would need to be in place for pre-existing conditions.

#118 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-01-08 12:53 PM | Reply

PS I'm against the individual health care accounts that the GOP has been pushing as an alternative to ACA. I'm also against them as an alternative to M4A, but I was wondering how they might work as a way to bridge the gap between employer-sponsored insurance that people like and that provide greater value than Medicare.

#119 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-01-08 12:56 PM | Reply

My response was that we shouldn't necessarily be against M4A just because those people won't like it.

#113 | POSTED BY JOE

It's not about whether or not those people like it. It's the political reality of telling a considerable segment of our population that they are going to have to start paying more to get less. That is one of the biggest political hurdles M4A faces.

Bottom line is that single payer, right now, is untenable politically. Best bet is to get there incrementally. A public option would achieve that as the government could then use its powers to tilt the market in favor of the public option - paying providers less than private insurers, charging absurdly low 'premiums' with the difference being made up out of the general fund (think about the monetary advantage public schools have over private schools - a person's tax dollars still fund public schools even if they send their kids to private schools).

#120 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-01-08 12:57 PM | Reply

my warning is the "other side" will consist of

Look let's be honest here - i'm talking about what the right policy is, not what is politically possible. I don't for a second think i'll see Medicare for All in the next 2-3 decades.

#121 | Posted by JOE at 2019-01-08 12:58 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"Would there be a way to write the law so that the figure in Box 12 can become the figure in the type of employee's insurance account I mentioned without having to raise taxes?:'

Sure, but again...ANY money put back/aside for those purposes will have to be made up somewhere else to keep the equation in balance.

"could companies be allowed to take the money they were paying to the insurance companies for an employee and put it into an account for the employee to use on health-related expenses only?"

Yes, but that defeats the concept of insurance.

Take a pair of workers, each with $15K in their accounts. One has a great healthy year, the other has a heart attack. One is left with $15K in their account, the other with a bill for $85,000 more than the money in their account.

#122 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-08 12:58 PM | Reply

It's the political reality of telling a considerable segment of our population that they are going to have to start paying more to get less.

How big a segment do you really think that is?

And how much more will they pay?

And why should we assume they'll be unhappy with what Gallup says is the most popular type of insurance in America?

I provided studies upthread to support my claims. Time to put up or shut up instead of hiding behind some nebulous group of people with high end insurance plans and letting their perceived objections dictate your policy goals.

#123 | Posted by JOE at 2019-01-08 01:00 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I like the HSA model:

With more than 70 percent of Indiana's 30,000 public employees choosing to have a health savings accounts, there is growing interest in how the state's Governor, Republican Mitch Daniels, launched the ambitious cost-saving health measure that has helped save state employees more than $8 million of their own money in securing themselves health care since 2006.

"HSA customers seem highly satisfied; only 3 percent have opted to switch back to the PPO," Daniels wrote in a March 1 column in the Wall Street Journal. "The state is saving, too. In a time of severe budgetary stress, Indiana will save at least $20 million in 2010 because of our high HSA enrollment."


www.heartland.org

Here are some other sources on the same subject:

www.wsj.com

humanevents.com

#124 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-01-08 01:02 PM | Reply

I provided studies upthread to support my claims. Time to put up or shut up instead of hiding behind some nebulous group of people with high end insurance plans and letting their perceived objections dictate your policy goals.

#123 | POSTED BY JOE AT 2019-01-08 01:00 PM

Policy goals are great. However, they are oftentimes not politically realistic.

#125 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-01-08 01:05 PM | Reply

#122 Well, one could stipulate that the money had to be used in a given fiscal year or it is lost, which is the case with my friend's mother's account. Why wouldn't people buy a good plan to supplement their Medicare if the company was paying for it anyway?

#126 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-01-08 01:05 PM | Reply

"Take a pair of workers, each with $15K in their accounts. One has a great healthy year, the other has a heart attack. One is left with $15K in their account, the other with a bill for $85,000 more than the money in their account."

Again, assuming M4A was in place, this would only be true if neither bought supplemental insurance of any kind.

#127 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-01-08 01:07 PM | Reply

I don't for a second think i'll see Medicare for All in the next 2-3 decades.

#121 | POSTED BY JOE

I agree with most of what you've said throughout this thread. What you've brought up with this comment is far more important than most people realize.

If something isn't done much sooner, for-profit healthcare is going to completely break the back of this country. We currently live with a system that by design will vacuum up every remaining available dollar to keep us alive. And in many cases, said system will simply keep us alive for no other reason than to suck up those dollars.

#128 | Posted by Whatsleft at 2019-01-08 01:12 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

"Again, assuming M4A was in place, this would only be true if neither bought supplemental insurance of any kind."

Oh, and assuming that $85,000 is what was left after Medicare paid the original 80% of the heart attack HC cost.

#129 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-01-08 01:13 PM | Reply

"Again, assuming M4A was in place, this would only be true if neither bought supplemental insurance of any kind."

So is the employer paying into the general pot, AND giving the employees thousands of extra dollars?

If no to the former, that amount will have to be made up for elsewhere in the equation. If yes to both, that's a lot more than the current outlay.

#130 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-08 01:22 PM | Reply

As if the Mayor of New York is listening to this thread:

www.nbcnewyork.com

New York is going to pay for all healthcare for illegals and New Yorkers. Without raising taxes.

LOL..

#131 | Posted by boaz at 2019-01-08 01:25 PM | Reply

"ne could stipulate that the money had to be used in a given fiscal year or it is lost, which is the case with my friend's mother's account"

That leads to--no surprise--a lot of unnecessary spending, and jammed doctor's offices every December (even worse than currently). If one of the ways to pay for it is to reduce unnecessary spending, you're turning the macro dial the wrong way.

#132 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-08 01:26 PM | Reply

"That leads to--no surprise--a lot of unnecessary spending, and jammed doctor's offices every December (even worse than currently). If one of the ways to pay for it is to reduce unnecessary spending, you're turning the macro dial the wrong way."

In my friend's mother's case it really doesn't. Every month the money is used to pay for her AARP insurance, Humana drug coverage insurance and Medicare premium reimbursement. By the end of the year, the money is gone. If folks have M4A covering 80% of their costs, I don't see why they wouldn't buy supplemental insurance for the other 20% or why they would wait until December to go to the doctor, considering the Medicare deductible is only $185 so there isn't the same need to rush in before the new year and the new deductible kicks in.

#133 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-01-08 01:48 PM | Reply

"By the end of the year, the money is gone."

But if it's not all gone, it's a use-it-or-lose proposition. Which is the reason December is always the busiest month in a doctor's office.

Also, if the deductible has been met, folks go knowing there will be no additional cost.
articles.latimes.com

The year of my heart attack, I went through the maximum co-pay and maximum out of pocket in the first 5 minutes. Once I got through the ordeal, I knew enough to go get checked for cataracts, hearing loss, etc. I'm fine for the former, but have high-end loss, which can only be addressed by very expensive ($6200) hearing aids. The audiologist had just finished telling me they're never approved, and even when they are the copay is very low...when the office assistant swung open the door and announce I'd met my full deductible and out-of-pocket, so the insurance company would cover ALL of it.

She handed me the $6200 devices, and I walked out without paying a penny.

#134 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-08 01:59 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"Also, if the deductible has been met, folks go knowing there will be no additional cost."

Yes. My point is that the Medicare deductible is fairly low as compared to some other insurance deductibles. If your deductible is high, there is more incentive to get in there before the new year starts.

"She handed me the $6200 devices, and I walked out without paying a penny."

I'm glad something good came out of your ordeal.

#135 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-01-08 02:08 PM | Reply

#134 Does that not strike you as a telling example of a broken healthcare system in need of serious reform?

#136 | Posted by JOE at 2019-01-08 02:11 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Danforth, you've put a lot of thought based on your expertise into what won't work and why. What suggestions do you have for improving the inequities in the current health care system? You're good at saying what you think won't work, but what do you think would work?

#137 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-01-08 02:21 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

"It's the political reality of telling a considerable segment of our population that they are going to have to start paying more to get less. That is one of the biggest political hurdles M4A faces."

Which "considerable segment of the population" is that?

Doctors who will get reimbursed less?
Health insurance companies that will lose patients?

This concern has never struck you as politically unviable when it comes to taking money from public schools and giving it to private schools.

#138 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-01-08 02:26 PM | Reply

Danforth, you wrote to Pinch in another thread:

"What you don't realize is I'M ON YOUR SIDE. I just know you're nowhere near prepared for battle."

I believe you, but how about some positive suggestions on how to proceed? I'm trying to think outside of the box, but I don't have any expertise in this area so what I am able to envision is limited.

#139 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-01-08 02:33 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"I believe you, but how about some positive suggestions on how to proceed? "

I wish I had good news. Frankly, the annual price tag of $3.2 Trillion stunned me, particularly knowing annual US revenue is right around $3.3 Trillion.

Read the links Pinch provided regarding how to pay for M4A. They're all pretty extreme, and mostly employ fantasy and wishful thinking to get to their stated goal. However, the one stat everyone relies on is the amount currently being spent will ALL be needed for the communal pot, in addition to higher taxation.

The conclusions also employed some flying unicorns: One link even suggested there would be so much extra money, folks would get raises, and to sweeten the pot, there'd be a "spectacular" benefit no one could resist. Of course, the article didn't mention what that could be, or count the cost in their calculations.

Another problem is the gargantuan nature of the pool. Seemingly small micro changes, like an estimate off only 1%, could cost tens of billions of dollars.

#140 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-08 03:34 PM | Reply

#140 | POSTED BY DANFORTH

You realize nothing in your post actually answered Gal's question. Right?

Try taking another swing. Here's the actual question:

What suggestions do you have for improving the inequities in the current health care system? You're good at saying what you think won't work, but what do you think would work?
#137 | POSTED BY GAL_TUESDAY

Let's see if you can actually put your money where your mouth is.

#141 | Posted by ClownShack at 2019-01-08 10:06 PM | Reply

to make this not happen again, is to have a flat % of income tax,

We already have medicare which is a flat 1.45% of earned income. Open that up to interest, dividends, capital gains and S corp income and then offer medicare for all.

#142 | Posted by Nixon at 2019-01-09 07:31 AM | Reply

My "math" is everyone with a no-cost, high end plan will suddenly be asked to pay more to get less. You understand that, right? For example, do the lawyers in your firm get health insurance that's better than Medicare?
#60 | POSTED BY DANFORTH AT 2019-01-08 10:02 AM | REPLY

There is no such thing as a no cost high end plan. Somebody else is paying for your free lunch.

#143 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2019-01-09 09:53 AM | Reply

"There is no such thing as a no cost high end plan. Somebody else is paying for your free lunch."

Correct. I should have phrased it "no cost to the worker". The employer is paying, and through the nose.

#144 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-01-09 09:58 AM | Reply

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