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The American people want to tax the rich to save SS, reject Bush's plan.

  1. Feb 8, 2005 #1


    "More than two-thirds of 1,010 adults contacted from Friday to Sunday said it would be a good idea to limit benefits for wealthier retirees and for higher income workers to pay Social Security taxes on all their wages.

    About 55 percent of respondents thought Bush's proposal that would allow wage earners to invest some of their Social Security taxes in private investment accounts in the future is a "bad idea" -- the same percentage as a month ago before the president began his campaign for the plan.

    Forty percent said it was a good idea in both polls."

    Some other interesting numbers from the poll:
    - 67% think requiring higher income workers to pay Social Security taxes on ALL of their wages is a good idea
    - 30% think that private accounts would provide more money than SS currently promises, 27% think it'd be about the same, and 37% think it'd be less.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 8, 2005 #2
    cutting the military's budget by 90% would also save a lot of cash for the government. so would creating things like a single-payer health system like canada's & europe's.
  4. Feb 8, 2005 #3
    Slashing anything by 90% would save cash. Doesn't mean it's a good idea. We only spend 3.5% of GDP on military, and that's less than a percentage point higher than many European nations (the same ones you mention in your next suggestion).

    Oh god this gripes me. Skipping the fact that

    1> what right do you have to force doctors to become government employees?
    2> Wait times in ALL countries that don't have cost sharing (USA, Japan,etc.) have the world's highest wait times (across the board, including basic surgeries that we take forgranted here)
    3>Canada's system uses the USA has a overflow valve for their stretched subfunded system that has already cost more than it was originally meant to
    4>The USA, if nothing else, pumps creates technologies in the medical field that wouldn't exist right now otherwise due to our freemarket system

    SKIPPING ALL OF THAT, and just getting the to the economic side: Prove to me that a single payer system in the United States right now would be the most cost effective solution to American Healthcare problems and prove that insured Americans are willing to take the service reduction for that cost effectiveness in order to fund SS
  5. Feb 8, 2005 #4
    As for the original post. I don't know what to say - Of course the general populous is going to say "Have someone else pay for it". Is that a surprise? I personally wish that I could put my retirement into any number of IRA's instead of SS, but I don't get that option - what a shame that I am now busting my ass to be put into a tax bracket that will have me pay even MORE of other peoples' expenditures.
  6. Feb 8, 2005 #5


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    Patients told to go to U.S.



    "Windsor, Ontario, doctor Albert Schumacher believes it's his ethical and moral responsibility to tell patients they can cross the border for faster tests. The president of the Canadian Medical Association said the country's doctors have no choice when waiting times get unhealthy for their patients.

    "Right now physicians scramble to get their patients the treatment they need," Schumacher said.

    "Getting it in a timely way is virtually impossible."

    In a speech to the Toronto Board of Trade yesterday, Schumacher said the shortage of health professionals and the inability to access timely care for patients is undermining confidence in the system.

  7. Feb 9, 2005 #6


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    Staff: Mentor

    I know what to say: "Tyranny of the majority."
  8. Feb 9, 2005 #7


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    This also applies to :

    "Would you rather have tax cuts or tax increases ?"

    "Should we explore more diplomatic options or just go ahead and kick some butt ?"

    "Mind if I take away your guns ?"

    "Should we start giving gay couples some basic human privileges ?"

    "Would it not be best if I also taught you Creationism (as a viable scientific theory) in Science classes ?"

  9. Feb 9, 2005 #8
    Wouldn't government be so much more straightforward if we stuck to core constitutional principals of using the government to stop the use of force from one individual against a citizen, and then left it at that?

  10. Feb 9, 2005 #9
    It would certainly be more straightforward, but apparently that's not what the American people want, since they haven't voted in Libertarians en masse.
  11. Feb 9, 2005 #10
    "We offer 2 reasons why our results may actually underestimate the association between private for-profit hospitals and higher payments for care. First, all but 2 of the studies in our systematic review adjusted for case mix. Therefore, our results do not capture any increase in payments for care resulting from inappropriate upcoding of patient diagnoses to enhance reimbursement. Private for-profit hospitals manifest higher upcoding of patient diagnoses than do private not-for-profit hospitals.

    Second, the studies in our systematic review did not explicitly address issues of fraud (e.g., performance of unnecessary surgeries, billing for services not provided, inappropriate detainment of psychiatric patients for billing purposes), which can increase both the direct costs of care and the indirect costs related to investigating and prosecuting offenders. The multimillion-dollar fraud lawsuits in the United States have overwhelmingly been against private for-profit hospitals. It is likely, therefore, that we are underestimating the true association between private for-profit hospitals and higher payments for care.

    Many countries, like Canada, are debating choices about private for-profit and private not-for-profit health care delivery. How important is a relative increase in payment for care of 19%? Canada currently spends $120 billion annually on health care, and hospital care accounts for 32% of overall expenditures. If we were to convert half of our hospitals to private for-profit institutions, our results suggest that we would pay approximately an extra $3.6 billion annually."

    that's from Payments for care at private for-profit and private not-for-profit hospitals: a systematic review and meta-analysis , published in www.cmaj.ca, probably the most sober & prestigious medical journal in canada (& also peer-reviewed)

    & doctors aren't government employees. rather than bill the patients, they bill the government. that how a single-payer system works.
  12. Feb 9, 2005 #11
    yeah, the problem with a single payer system seems to be, that people aren't getting treatment and are then getting sent down ot the US to be treated, not a problem for the US, as long as they can pay, but definately shows a problem in Canada's health care industry.

  13. Feb 9, 2005 #12
  14. Feb 9, 2005 #13
    fourier jr, you don't address a single payer system in the USA, but instead focus on a private pay system in Canada.

    One thing you did say, that is complete semantics, is that a single payer system (in which doctors aren't allowed to practice outside of it, like the one you propose) DOES effectively make doctors government employees.
  15. Feb 9, 2005 #14
    Costs of Health Care Administration in the United States and Canada

    Results: In 1999, health administration costs totaled at least $294.3 billion in the United States, or $1,059 per capita, as compared with $307 per capita in Canada. After exclusions, administration accounted for 31.0 percent of health care expenditures in the United States and 16.7 percent of health care expenditures in Canada. Canada's national health insurance program had overhead of 1.3 percent; the overhead among Canada's private insurers was higher than that in the United States (13.2 percent vs. 11.7 percent). Providers' administrative costs were far lower in Canada.

    Between 1969 and 1999, the share of the U.S. health care labor force accounted for by administrative workers grew from 18.2 percent to 27.3 percent. In Canada, it grew from 16.0 percent in 1971 to 19.1 percent in 1996. (Both nations' figures exclude insurance-industry personnel.)

    Conclusions: The gap between U.S. and Canadian spending on health care administration has grown to $752 per capita. A large sum might be saved in the United States if administrative costs could be trimmed by implementing a Canadian-style health care system.

    & yet more, from the journal of the american medical association:
    The United States spends more than twice as much on health care as the average of other developed nations, all of which boast universal coverage. Yet more than 41 million Americans have no health insurance. Many more are underinsured. Confronted by the rising costs and capabilities of modern medicine, other nations have chosen national health insurance (NHI). The United States alone treats health care as a commodity distributed according to the ability to pay, rather than as a social service to be distributed according to medical need. In this market-driven system, insurers and providers compete not so much by increasing quality or lowering costs, but by avoiding unprofitable patients and shifting costs back to patients or to other payers. This creates the paradox of a health care system based on avoiding the sick. It generates huge administrative costs that, along with profits, divert resources from clinical care to the demands of business. In addition, burgeoning satellite businesses, such as consulting firms and marketing companies, consume an increasing fraction of the health care dollar. We endorse a fundamental change in US health care—the creation of an NHI program. Such a program, which in essence would be an expanded and improved version of traditional Medicare, would cover every American for all necessary medical care. An NHI program would save at least $200 billion annually (more than enough to cover all of the uninsured) by eliminating the high overhead and profits of the private, investor-owned insurance industry and reducing spending for marketing and other satellite services. Physicians and hospitals would be freed from the concomitant burdens and expenses of paperwork created by having to deal with multiple insurers with different rules, often designed to avoid payment. National health insurance would make it possible to set and enforce overall spending limits for the health care system, slowing cost growth over the long run. An NHI program is the only affordable option for universal, comprehensive coverage.

    canada has a PRIVATE system. the doctors aren't government employees. end of story.
  16. Feb 10, 2005 #15
    The Health care system is not private in Canada, it is a public Health Care system. Doctors are paid by the Canadian Government, and are not allowed to practice privately.

    Doctors, with their singular skins and souls handed to them at their creation, create the values we seek via the heated exertion of their finite singular lives. The Government of Canada has asserted that those values are birthright, to be 'redistributed' by the tribal elders. Munificence at the cost of slavery of any kind is too expensive to tolerate. By that, do I mean to argue against the concept of welfare, or a safety net, or even public health care? No.

    By that, I mean to argue against the concept that health care providers should be prohibited from voluntary commerce, or health insurers should be prohibited from voluntary commerce, or providers of hospital services should be prohibited from voluntary commerce, or drug companies should be prohibited from voluntary commerce. To the extent that the tribe sticks its nose into that commerce to weed out fraud, the intrusion is justified. To the extent that the tribe sticks its nose into that commerce to control, manipulate, or distribute it according to some pygmy armed grasp of the world, it is statist folly.
  17. Feb 10, 2005 #16
    what do you ****in idiots not understand? canada's system is private, not-for profit. all doctors have a private practice (ie not government employees), and they bill the government. it's publicly-funded national health insurance. get a ****in clue you friggin idiots. what do you not understand about that. i type in english, you understand english don't you?
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2005
  18. Feb 11, 2005 #17


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    “…African-American babies fare better than Canadian babies, except at the very top end of the range, where they are essentially equal. In short, among low birth- weight babies, you are better to be born to an African-American family than you are to be born to the average Canadian family.“


  19. Feb 11, 2005 #18


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    … in a system in which health services are free at the point of consumption, queuing is the most common form of rationing scarce medical resources. And since patient satisfaction plays no part in determining incomes or other economic rewards for health care providers and administrators in the public system, patients' time is treated as if it has no value. There are no penalties in the system for making people wait…
    even Mr. Romanow would agree that someone who died while waiting for care may have waited a tad too long.
    According to the World Health Organization, Canada ranks 30th in the world…
    In fact, when Canadians do express a preference for either private or public approaches to health reform, the majority are willing to fund their future medical needs themselves rather than pay higher taxes to expand the Medicare model of health care…
    Canadian Medicare is not sustainable on its present course. A modest slowdown in the rate-spending increases has been bought chiefly through reductions in services, closure of facilities, fewer health professionals, dissatisfaction among those who remain, increased waiting times, and forgoing innovative (but expensive) new technologies…
    By and large, people have access to ordinary, relatively low-cost services like general practitioner office visits, but find it increasingly difficult to get vital services such as sophisticated diagnostics, or many types of surgery and cancer care, where the waits can be measured in months, if not years…
    Indeed, the health care system in Canada staggers from crisis to crisis in which new funding is promised by the federal government. But the federal government put something like $20 billion into Medicare just before the 1997 federal election, and, as Mr. Romanow himself remarked in his press conference on the release of his report, everybody wants to know what we got for that money. The queues have lengthened, not shortened, the shortage of diagnostic equipment has got worse, and people are less able to find a family physician than they were five years…
    In fact, one of the "brilliant" research papers for the Romanow Commission argued that, in fact, technology need not be a cost driver for the health care system because it was only a cost driver if we actually used these technologies…
  20. Feb 11, 2005 #19


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    As a comment on Canada's healthcare system, especially it's monetary problems, this article serves a purpose.

    As a comparison between Canada's and the United States' health care system, it isn't nearly as strong. The United States ranked 37th in that same report the article referenced. That low ranking is mostly due to uneven distribution of health care, not the quality that is at least available - health care is great for the upper class, good for middle class, not so good for lower income folks.

    You have to look at the overall health 'attitude' when you're looking at those rankings, as well. The United States has the most responsive, most expensive health care system in the world. Unfortunately, that leaves us far from the top in overall health and longevity. The US ranks 72nd in level of health. Americans tend to have unhealthy lifestyles (over-eating, little exercise, etc) and hope good medical care and miracle drugs will compensate for not taking responsibility for their own lifestyles.

    The UK is normally the preferred country to compare US health care to. They have a reputation for lousy medical care (at least for a developed country) due to inefficiently run socialized medicine. They must have made some improvements in their system. The UK ranks higher than the US and Canada in both overall health and longevity of its people and performance of its health care system - people in the UK have healthier lifestyles and, while the best health care in the UK isn't close to the best in the US, the UK provides better medical care to the majority of its people than the US does.

    You never hear the US health care system compared to countries like Japan, France, or Italy, or Spain. When you look at overall health and medical care, the US is way behind, ranking in the same ballpark only in responsiveness and cost. (UK still hasn't caught up to most of Europe, but at least Germany has replaced them as a better example of a bad medical system).

    Here's the link to section that has WHO reports ( World Health Organization ). I gave this link instead of just the report because, if you search for other references to this report, you'll find it raised quite a bit of controversy over whether it was fairly done and if the standards were fairly set.
  21. Feb 11, 2005 #20
    Well, you lost the chance to debate me :smile: goodbye.
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