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Let it all hang out!

Posted by stitzelweller Md (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 27, 10 at 14:58

It's obvious that this is an underutilized function of the GardenWeb Orchids Forum.

WHY?

Let 'er rip!

--Stitz--


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Let it all hang out!

I think the current group is very restrained, unwilling to take a chance and be held accountable for borderline remarks. Recently there was a post entitled: 'What is your type'. That seemed a natural for humorous remarks but 4 or 5 very straight and librarian sterile remarks were made before I made an off topic comment. That produced a little response but still very straight laced. 5 years ago there were some incredible train wrecks with very border line remarks, but really funny

I remember a guy posting a picture of some dead dendrobium canes and wanting to know if there was something wrong with them. At one point giving them an IV was suggested. The originator wanted to know the spot for the administration. I said that on a Dendrobium it's called the D-spot. That produce an instant response from an outraged female participant and away we went. I don't see any of this today which is a shame. How many times can you be motivated to save a dying Phal.

The exchange section is equally dead. I remember cutting deals all week long and posting 2 to 4 parcels every Monday, no more. It's like pulling teeth. People don't seem to realize that trading is the single cheapest way to get good plants.

I have no suggestions for change, it's all a reflection of the personalities invoved. We live in an incredible world of political humor and ridiculous public sentiments. When you see a tea party type holding up a sign saying 'Keep the governments fingers out of my medicare' or when you see Sarah Palin reading scribb notes from her palm, it's just over the top. If people would let their hair down we could have incredible discussions here but that does not seem to be the case.

Now Stitz, you know my liberal slant and I know yours, I'm not trying to start somethjing along these lines just using the instances as examples of how much is taking place before our eyes that could produce endless good discussion.

Nick


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RE: Let it all hang out!

gee nick, i never noticed any slant! :)

--Stitz--


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Hi Stitz!

I'm just a very rare ~some-timer~ at the GW Orchids forum. I'm usually at the Ponds / Conversations but even that has become very rare. Too much *real life* going on at home right now so actually this is a treat to be able to sit and type some randomness and send it into cyber space. :-)
I'm killing some time before heading off to the Cleveland Clinic for another round of that *real life* schtuff. :-/

I never used the plant exchange for the orchids. I have a VERY dear friend in Florida who will send me a box or three of orchids throughout the year and I too will send items of interest I find for her. It isn't really an exchange of plants though. I find plants she's been hunting for and she sends me lovely things as well.

Politics? Don't ask. Don't tell! LOL! ;-)


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Nick, If you think that the GW Orchid Forum Exchange is DEAD, you oughta look over at the GW Bromeliad Forum Exchange -- a grand total of 5 emails throughout 2010!

I guess that our dead forum is livelier than others!

C3D -- Politics? Let 'er rip!! Better than being labeled R.I.P. ! :)

--Stitz--


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Stitz, there are too many political blogs. Most inhabited by black and white thinkers of the left or right.

Though left and right varies a lot on where you are. The lot in power here by American standards are very left and the sun still shines.


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RE: Let it all hang out!

But I'm sure you guys really don't want to hear my views. I'm pretty sure they differ from yours. My daddy always said it was impolite to talk about religion and politics.So I try not too.

Now Arthur the bloggers might think in terms of black and white or right and left,but nothing is really all black and white,is it? I don't believe it is.ginnibug


We really need some good squirrel conversation!!!


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Yes! i used to enjoy Kevin's battles with the cute Strillels.


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RE: Let it all hang out!

ok, I'll bite...

what are "cute Strillels" ?


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Cute Strillels are those cute little beasties that the Dragon Woman loved to photograph when doing the touristy thing in the USA. Her pronunciation, not mine.


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Well at least we have some sort of interesting activity going on now that it's spring time.

Nick your efforts are always appreciated, really...keep it up. And if I lived south of the border and actually had plants to trade, I'd be swapping stuff with you left right and centre. I can't get over how cheap it is to send stuff in America...we pay disgusting costs up here for even domestic packages.

Gin - being polite and nice is boring. bring 'er on!! (although admittedly I find politics quite unentertaining...Canadian politics, especially, is like watching elementary school children fighting at recess)

I went down to Buffalo to smuggle some plants into Canada 3 weeks ago, and I saw a dude with a bumper sticker that said: "I'll keep my guns, freedom, and money. You can keep "The Change"".

I don't even understand how politics in the US can be debated...it sounds like a huge screaming match to me, and the effort to sift through it all and actually understand what the issues are seems so unbearably tedious. I mean, do the people who sport bumper stickers like the above actually know what they're fighting and screaming for, or are they just yelling for the sake of yelling?

One thing that confuses the heck out of me: why are the most fundamentally christian republicans, aka the ones who should be caring the most about the helping the poor OPPOSING the health care reform? It's so weird!!!


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Argh, squirrels! How I hate them. I can't believe I ever found them cute. Those little demons got in my roof, so I had to hear them run around and chatter and start chewing on stuff trying to actually get in my house. They ripped out insulation and dumped it out on the ground in front of my house, so it looked like I had dirty pink snow. They tore up whatever that is called that is the part of the roof in front of and under the gutter, so that part of the roof started falling down. And pieces of wood were sticking out the front, and potentially falling on people's heads as they walked down the sidewalk. My neighbor's was worse. Mine was falling down. Theirs actually fell down. Best part? We're not allowed to harm them here. You have to call in someone to humanely trap them and relocate them, or do it yourself. I don't have a car, how am I supposed to transport an angry squirrel far enough away that it won't come back??

My landlord finally sent someone to fix the darn roof, after coordinating with the neighbors, who got their roof fixed first, then he got mine fixed. But I'm not entirely certain I've seen the last of these horrid creatures. Oh, they also dug up some bulbs and ate some of what actually managed to come up. By that point, I'd had enough. Sorry, but cayenne pepper had to be used. It worked, at least. My bulbs were left in peace. Unlike at my last house, where I'd planted heirloom bulbs. They waited until they were just about to bloom, then they dug em up, took one bite out of the bulb, and tossed it on the ground. And fought all winter in my wall next to my bed. Waking up to fighting squirrels, with only a bit of wall between you and them... not fun.

Did I mention I hate squirrels?


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Calvin, one of main reason American politics is so confusing to Europeans, Canadians, Aussies and other civilized people is that we are locked into a two party system which does not clearly define striped zebras and spotted leopards. Even though Democrats are usually to the left of center and Republicans to the right, this is not written in granite. Some Democrats are conservative and some Republicans are of the liberal slant. This became very apparent during the health care debate when right leaning Democrats axed the public option and a couple of left leaning Republicans almost joined the Democrats until they closed ranks. I think the political boundaries are more clearly defined in Canada and Britain, don't know enough about French politics to comment on the only other republic in the western world.

McCain's twisting in the wind is very entertaining to watch. He is definitely a centrist and has sponsored some major legislation with partners like Feingold and Kennedy. Is he a liberal? Not really but certainly a centrists. Right now he has to get himself re-elected in his staunchly conservative Arizona. He sounds like a re-incarnation of George Wallace on the campaign trail. No one is going to out conservative him. Once re-elected he will take off his striped bodysuit and the spots will reappear. Must be entertaining for an outsider to watch and also confusing.

The Republicans were against the health care reform bill because they are in principle against anything Obama proposes. Richard Nixon was prepared to pass a bill very similar to the one we got. It was Kennedy who shot that down because he insisted on 'All or Nothing'. He got nothing, Obama realized he could not get what he wanted so he took what he could get. So 35 years ago a Republican wanted to pass a health care reform bill and was stymied by a Democrat. Certainly confusing.

Amazing how well we are actually doing despite all this. The seemingly dysfunctional system works pretty well.

Nick


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RE: Let it all hang out!

"The seemingly dysfunctional system works pretty well."

yup! I agree however, try convincing the boatloads of people holding mortgages that are worth far more than their real estate value. They were literally born a day late and a dollar short!!

"Calvin, one of main reason American politics is so confusing to Europeans, Canadians, Aussies and other civilized people is..."

c'mon, Nick....tell us the truth! you secretly wanted to be an Ambassador for the US Dept of State! OR, maybe to teach at a skool of international service and foreign affairs?

:)

--Stitz--


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Not really, if anything I'm a frustrated botanist or zoologist.

I went to school in Austria until grade 8, then completed high school in Canada. I don't believe I learned much new material from grade 9 to 12. Only in college did the education progress. This is a sorry statement for our education system.

I am well versed in geography, history, politics, sociology etc. I'm not saying this to pat myself on the back but as a preamble to the disappointing education I witness my 6 kids get in California. When they graduated from high shool I considered them ignorant of many basic aspects of the world. They knew American history but had minimal knowledge about European, Roman, Greek, Egyptian history and could not find Bangladesh on a map if their life depended on it. 2 are MDs, 3 have other college degrees, one is a licensed stockbroker with some kind of degree in busines, but their general knowledge about the world is superficial at best.

I therefore spent the last 20 years pushing these things, including political and social issues on my kids and now grandkids. 'A nickle for every country I name that you can find on a globe, loose a nickle for every one you can't find' is a favorite game for the 7/8 year olds. Of course I always name a few easy countries so they always win something and come back for more.

I may sound proffessorial but really am the opposite. I have a major bone to pick with our education system and I think I will start a new thread on the subject.

Nick


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Nick thanks for that explanation.

What's funny to observe is that some of the things our conservatives say up here would be considered left winged if taken to the south...guess we shouldn't complain too much!

I'm very poorly motivated when it comes to understanding political issues...I guess I should take a class or something. I tried to follow the health care debate but I couldn't comprehend what was going on, because all I heard were democrats wailing on about helping poor little Johnny get health insurance, and republicans moaning about the millions of dollars that would be spent.

And I think in my head - "hmm...well I agree that helping poor people without health coverage is important...but I also think that spending excessive money right now might not be best move" so then I thought "shouldn't health care be a human right? but would the costs of the plan now eventually translate into fewer medical costs in the future? and can the money be invested in something else like better preventative care rather than boosting insurance?"

But it seems like all the politicians are focused on using very primitive, emotionally driven tactics to convince the masses and garner support, rather than logical explanations and statistics.

I need someone to explain both sides in an easy, watered down, and rational way - I'm a scientist...I dumb...


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RE: Let it all hang out!

To simplify it, assume that the Democrats are the party of the people and the Republicans the party of big business. Ds want to spend more on socialized programs and burden the corporations with bothersome rules. (See the entitlement programs) Rs want to spend less and let the corporations do as they please as they know what's best for the country. (See the gulf oil spill)

Then you have a tug of war with both sides trying to pull the other into the mud hole in the middle.

This is an over simplification complicated by the fact that not all Ds act like Ds and not all Rs act like Rs. Much howling and gnashing of teeth will result from this desciption of the mission from God that both parties think they are on. Especially the evangelical Rs who think they have a direct line to JHC.

Nick


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Nick, that's the way I originally thought of the Ds and Rs. But what I don't get is, of the entire population, aren't a significant majority part of the 'people' and only a minority are 'privileged' to be involved with the big businesses?

In Canada, it's similar - Albertans are generally more conservative...primarily because they're stinking rich with their oil sands. So I can understand how they might want to protect their agenda.

But in America, I feel like there are a significant number of lower middle class people who are also screaming that they don't want health care coverage. Isn't that a little weird? What is going on??


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Let me see if I can simplify it a little more -

Democrats believe in giving hand outs to more and more people in more and more socialist programs.

Republicans believe in giving a hand up and then leaving people alone.

It is called personal liberty as opposed to federal largesse.

The USA deficit in relation to our GDP is the same percentage as Greece - and Greece is burning.

Brooke


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RE: Let it all hang out!

America has the best politicians money can buy. See the recent supreme court decision allowing corporation unlimited use of money to influence politics. There may be huge numbers of middle or lower middle class people but up add their bank accounts and their political contributions and compare that to the contributions of big business, get the picture?

I have a staunch conservative friend who also happens to be a wealthy financial adviser who manages millions of customer's funds. He recently went to a tea part gathering in Torrance, California, hoping to be inspired but was disappointed. I met him the next day to deal with some orchid issues and had a hilarious conversation with him.

He admitted that he felt a little uncomfortable at the rally as, by his own admission, there were a lot of low life types there. Also he thinks that he may have possibly been the only one there whose taxes actually increased this year. He guesses that most of the people there, screaming their heads of about taxes, should have seen a decrease in their income taxes this year.

I told him that all of this is true but only proves that these people are too stupid to think past the political talking points. He reluctantly agreed. Similarly most of the people screaming their heads off about the Health Care Reform will benefit the most from it but are to stupid to recognize this. My most favorite picture is a tea bagger type holding up a sign that reads: "Keep the government out of my Medicare." If stupidity qualified one for euthanasia, the population of certain parts of the US would see a dramatic decline. I guess you could refer to that as the 'Dough Nut Hole'.

Nick


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Once again Nick you win the prize for being able to insult many people in one short rant - good job. Civil discourse is an impossibility with you.

Brooke


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Stitz said to let it all hang out!

Nick


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RE: Let it all hang out!

yep Nick; yer hangin'!


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RE: Let it all hang out!

It's fascinating to me, coming from a country where people really don't care about their politics, to see how personal politics can get. It's actually a great thing, and it's the way that a democracy works the best, although I guess it relies on citizens that are not only passionate but also well informed.

Brooke - I guess being in the Canadian environment which is significantly more left winged than the US, my opinions are more socialist-skewed. I have, over the years, become much more conservative in many areas, particularly when I observe people abusing the health care system, and tax dollars draining into paying welfare for people who leech without doing anything productive with their lives.

Living in the city, I see many people who are jobless, mentally unstable, and addicted to drugs. Many of them eventually find themselves in hospitals undergoing expensive procedures (at the expense of the government), only to go back onto the streets. I don't know how I feel about that - on one hand, I don't like the idea that my money is going towards this kind of use when it could be used for things I care about personally, like improving the environment, or education (and of course, if my country was in the disastrous deficit that the US is in, I would be much more reluctant). On the other hand, if you leave these people out in the cold, a) what about the other people who are simply circumstantially poor, suffer an accident, and are suddenly bankrupt from their medical bills, and b) what happens to crime rates and societal infrastructure, with the baggage of the unhealthy, uninsured poor?

I'm assuming that people who have strong opinions about public health care have a good, convincing reason for picking their side.

Brooke, I do have a question for you though: If hypothetically money was available to be spent, and the US was not in it's current financial state, would you be supportive of some sort of universal health care program? I guess what I'm really asking is, do you think access to health care is something that should be a class privilege?


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Calvin you are under the impression there are people here who do not have access to health care - that simply is not true.

When you popped over the boarder to get your illegal green things, did you notice any bodies littering the streets? Did you have to step over the bodies to get into the post office? Of course not.

We do have M-A-N-Y programs already in place to care for the unfortunate. Part of the 30,000,000 current uninsured are already eligible for those programs but don't apply. Part of that number are people who DO NOT want to purchase health insuraance - they would rather have a new iPad. The number of uninsured by circumstances actually is about 12,000,000 and many of those are illegal.

If you research the Health Care program in Indiana started by Gov. Daniels, you will find a program for the poor/disadvantaged you "think" isn't available here. It is but one example of a good insurance program that doesn't break the bank. Indiana is one of the few states not running a deficit.

Research the Health Insurance program in Massassachusetts which is a mini version of the behemoth the Feds just passed. Four years in operation and the insurance premiums are the highest in the country.

This type of program needs to be run on the State level, not the Federal level. For another good read, read our Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Federal government is supposed to be small and unintrusive instead of the massive beaureucratic monster it is.

If your finger isn't tired of google, find the plan put forth by Paul Ryan, Reppresentive from Wisconsin. The Party of No actually does have ideas/plans but they are being ignored for another government take over of our lives.

The Feds now own and operate -

General Motors

Chrysler

ALL college loans to students

90% of all home mortgages through Fannie & Freddie - which are still needing billions for bail outs and THOSE billions aren't even in the deficit!

Medicare and Social Security are broke and the biggest wave of participants are just now getting ready to qualify.

US Post Office - another money losing institution

Health Care

Calvin I guess that is a long winded answer as to why I don't trust the US government to run any business successfully. We do have a problem but it cannot be fixed by more government involvement. Sorry the government can screw up a stainless steel ballbearing.

Funny, I never considered myself to be one of the "class privilege" types - just someone who worked hard and didn't ask for any handouts.

We now need Nick to rant but this time instead of only insulting conservatives, try calling homosexuals the f'word, African-Americans the n'word and Hispanics the s'word.

Brooke


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Brooke is right, no one is allowed to die in the street, they go to emergency rooms first. Despite spending 2 to 3 times as much per capita for health care, we rank near the bottom in any measure you care to evaluate. We lag far behind the other industrialized nations in life expectancy, maternal mortality, infant mortality etc etc, the list is endless.

What to do? If my car smokes and my well meaning neighbor says do this but 30 mechanics all say do that, the mechanics are probably right. All of the modern industrialized nations, without exception make health care a RIGHT for all of their citizens, not a privilege for some. All of them use the government to administer their plans. They are probably on to something, we should learn from them. They all get better results for much less money.

The party of 'NO' says otherwise. All the mechanics are wrong, the well meaning neighbor has the answer. But then the party of 'NO' also fought like crazy against Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and the Civil Rights Bill.

I'm not up to speed yet, Brooke, I'll get on people's nerve people later in the day.

Nick


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RE: Let it all hang out!

I have every confidence you will get up to speed and be more inclusive in your insulting and very selective facts.

Yes people go to the emergency room for care - do a google and discover the people in Mass. with state mandated insurance still go to emergency rooms for treatment. Why? Because of the long wait to get an appointment to see a doctor IF they can find a doctor who will accept new patients. The emergency room business is up noticeably in that state.

Your facts are faulty in regards to life expectancy, mortality, etc because all deaths, along with the ages are part of the number - this includes all car wrecks, murders, etc. These figures are not compiled with ONLY medical problems. Numbers can be manipulated to come to any conclusion you want.

Ask all those folks with premature babies that survive how inefficient the medical care they received is. Ask the people on Medicaid who are surviving after cancer.

The system isn't perfect but the government totally being the arbitor of all things medical is socialism and inefficiency to the max. You can rework the system without Big Brother being the boss.

With the addition of over 100 new agencies and thousands of additional government employees to adminster health care, with Kathleen Sebelious running it, I have no confidence the former Governor of Kansas knows squat about her new job.

Ask the people in Great Britain how satisfied they are with their government health care administered by an agency called NICE.

Why did the IMF tell Greece to privatize their socialized health care to help stop their financial problems.

Fight against Social Security - I would if I had been around but I'm not quite that old. Tell me, how is that Social Security thing working out for you - does broke sound familar as in.......next year.

Fight against Medicare - again if I wasn't just starting out with life and not paying attention I would have been against it - apply the word broke again.

You need to research who voted for Medicaid - it was a very bipartisan vote. It is an example of a hand up, not hand out but we now have generations taking hand outs - and expect more.

Civil Rights - again, check which party worked to correct some serious mistakes. It certainly wasn't the Democratic party - does the name Robert "Sheets" Byrd ring a bell? You like to throw the initials KKK around, Senator Byrd was a valued member.

The biggest mistake made regarding health care has been health insurance that includes every medical expense under the sun. Medical insurance, like car and house insurance, should only be for catastrophic expenses, not a normal doctor visit.

Your analogy of smoking car/neighbor/30 mechanics is pretty weak...........but funny. I say take your car back to Mexico for a tune up the next time you get a new crown.

Brooke


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Let's keep it simple and go to the WHO (World Health Organization) for a few statistics.

Per capita spending on health care:--USA ranks #1

Life expectancy:---------------------USA ranks #38

Maternal Mortality:------------------USA ranks #40

Infant Mortality:---------------------USA ranks #44

The WHO probably does not know what they are talking about but even if you allow room for some error these are sobering statistics.

Sobering at least to those of us who are NOT convinced that we have the best health care system in the world.

Nick


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Nick,

" But then the party of 'NO' also fought like crazy against ..... the Civil Rights Bill. "

Have you been drinking methanol again? Is there another reason for your blindness and agitation?

Oh, that's right...you were in Austria and Canada throughout your younger years. It's unfortunate that you didn't learn to listen.

If you can't bother to correctly acknowledge history, there's no need to take you seriously.

--Stitz--


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RE: Let it all hang out!

You might be right on this one. I lumped the Southern Democrats and the Republicans from the South in opposition together which is incorrect.

I was on a 2 week car trip in Texas in the summer of 1964, in the middle of this trip successful cloture had taken place. All I heard about during these 2 weeks from the radio and the people I visited was this and a situation at 'Ol Miss' where some measure of integration was being enforced which got the Texans I visited all riled up. LBJ was branded as a traitor and the Democratic party portrayed as the main instigators and movers of this bill. The sizable bloc of Southern Democrats and some Republicans who joined them, also mainly from the South provided the opposition.

I must confess that my recollection of this event centers on the opinions of the friends I visited then and is not based on astute political knowledge. Their opinions as expressed to me and absorbed by me, where obviously shaped by geography. Had I been touring New England during the same time my recollection of these events may have been different. I lived in Canada then and this Texas experience will never be forgotten.

While it is true that Social Security. Medicare and the Civil Rights Bill all passed with bipartisan support, which was not the case with the current Health Care Reform, is it not correct to state that Democratic presidents and a Democratic controlled congress made them happen.

Given the support of the GOP for all three measures, my statement that the GOP fiercely fought them is incorrect.

Nick


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RE: Let it all hang out!

I might be right? You know damn well that I'm right!

Republicans from the South? Obviously, you have no idea what you are writing about. There used to be a very, very small number of Republicans south of the Mason-Dixon Line, mainly anti-union types in "border" states.

The Civil Rights Bill of 1964 was passed with members of the Senate who were elected in the elections of 1958, 1960 & 1962.

Nick, take the time to review the composition of the US Senate at the time of the enactment of the bill. election results are included below.

US Senate elections, 1958
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senate_elections,_1958

US Senate elections,1960
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senate_elections,_1960

US Senate elections, 1962
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senate_elections,_1962

Come to rehab. Dump the ethanol. Crush your bong.

--Stitz--


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RE: Let it all hang out!

I did all that yesterday which is why I admitted that you are right. Don't get hung up on the word 'might'.

Nick


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Brooke, I agree with you that, " You can rework the system without Big Brother being the boss." MANDATORY participation in a national/state health insurance is objectionable. Whatever the financial cost might be is only a fraction of the total cost.

Our paths diverge with " The biggest mistake made regarding health care has been health insurance that includes every medical expense under the sun. Medical insurance, like car and house insurance, should only be for catastrophic expenses, not a normal doctor visit."

One of the great advantages of "insured" medicine be that Medicare, BCBS or anything else is that the providers get "negotiated" payments. The providers don't have to accept these and in fact, some don't. I know of a few locally who will not accept Medicare. I know of one in particular at Johns Hopkins/Wilmer Institute who refuses ANTHEM. That's at the top of his patient information form! My point is that it is optional for the provider as well as the patient.

We know that providers inflate their costs. Take a look at a detailed bill from a hospital stay. No one with insurance of any kind pays these exorbitant amounts be it Medicare, BCBS or other.

Brooke, I think that your outlook is too harsh. Fender benders or tree limbs falling into the roof aren't catastrophic either. Through a group, the "net" result is minimal when shared through the group. I pay extra for "comprehensive" auto and home insurance as well as "supplemental" Medicare insurance. A waste of money? My choice.

Group insurance of any kind is about "pooling" resources. There are medical procedures which are expensive and require frequent repeat visits for outpatient treatments in hospital facilities. These are hardly "catastrophic". Who determines what is "catastrophic"? Some "Board"?

I like my chances better when they are NOT determined by POLITICIANS. I have a better chance presenting my case to a medical board!


--Stitz--


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RE: Let it all hang out!

just thought i might pose a question, faced with Big Brother taking control of the last third of medical care, why haven't insurance companies stepped up to make affordable health care possible?

JMO for many insurers "profit" is their motivator,and by denying treatment, drugs,or individuals these machines can turn huge dividends and paychecks for administration. Not for profits are really no different, burying their income in redundant or flavor of the month "units"

perhaps the govt. should force their hand.

every uninsured trip to the ER effects everyone else s payment. something has to be done. i'd rather the insc. cos come up with something, still waiting to see that happen.

JMHO


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Stitz the horse is already out of the barn because 99% of people expect to pay a $10 co-pay and get treated. I did not realize you are one of the wealthy since my house and car insurance have deductibles, quite large deductibles to keep the premiums lower.

My state has a program for people who do not want the expense of full coverage but need something. It is catastrophic coverage and it is very defined.

Yes - all medical fees are negotiated including Medicare and Medicaid. Medicaid pays 72% of the Medicare fee for the same service - so who do you think has to cover the cost of doctors/hospitals who lose money on Medicaid - insurance companies. It is one reason many doctors refuse or limit the number of Medicaid patients they accept and some doctors are starting to limit their Medicare patients.

In this area we have large hospitals buying up smaller facilities in outlying areas - the reason they are doing this is to have more bargaining power with private insurance and the government.

Kwmackdog the profit margin of insurance companies is 4-6% - I don't consider that a large profit. Insurance companies don't determine the cost of a procedure, that belongs to doctors/hospitals.

Medicare refuses 65% of claims submitted to them.

Non-profit insurance companies need to cover their expenses. As mentioned in above post, Massachusetts has mandated insurance coverage and their insurance is through a non-profit company. They need another large increase in premiums to cover their costs and the governor won't let them increase it. I wonder how long before that insurance company pulls up stakes and leaves Mass high and dry?

Please see my comments above regarding ER useage in the state of Mass. Now that everyone there has mandated insurance, ER visits increased.

This reform started out being called health care reform but was soon changed to health insurance reform - we need a boogy man to blame. Health care reform is needed but it needs to be done in incremental steps not in a massive 2500 page bill that is still spitting out unintended consequences hidden in the bill.

Pelosi was correct - you needed to pass the bill to see what's in it. My favorite belly laugh - Congress made an OOOPS and they are stuck with the same lousy coverage the peons are entitled too.

Brooke


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Why shouldn't the insurers make a profit?

The hospitals do, the doctors do, the nurses do, why not the insurers?

Why is it so bad to make money now-a-days???

I guess we could let the government actually handle it all with no profits and we'll see what happens. If history counts for anything, don't expect too much help if you can already afford it or expect an unbeleiveable rise in costs for all in 5-20 years. But at least there will be a whole new slew of government employees managing it all (oops, more costs).

Personally, I think hospitals (doctors?) charge way, way too much. Maybe that is where we need to address a large part of the problem. Example: I had 2 back surgeries last year, both with less than a 24 hour hospital stay. 1st surgery $24K, second $46K. Same surgeries, second was an 'emergency' surgery. Why $22K more for the second surgery? The insurance company basically paid the same both times. The hospital called to discuss the remainder of the 2nd bill, I questioned the $ difference between the two surgeries, they never called back or billed me the difference. Hmmmmm...

Bob


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RE: Let it all hang out!

the word "PROFIT" has evolved into a dirty word among some within our society.

"make money"? heaven forbid! that's evil
"save money"? that's even more evil!

"government" = GOOD! to some


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RE: Let it all hang out!

"Kwmackdog the profit margin of insurance companies is 4-6% - I don't consider that a large profit. Insurance companies don't determine the cost of a procedure, that belongs to doctors/hospitals."

funny, but i remember reading that casinos are very satisfied by 3% profit, and guess what, sometimes their guests win!

yes, the costs are set by the docs/ hospitals, we might as well have tony soprano doing the price fixing. JMHO


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RE: Let it all hang out!

kwmackdog, sometmes the hospitals'/docs' guests not only win, they survive!

--Stitz--


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RE: Let it all hang out!

You will have to copy and paste but this article says the casino profits were UP 9% - it doesn't tell you what the previous percentage of profit was.

http://www.ogpaper.com/news/news-0222.html

This article says the profits of the Indian Casinos was UP 12% from the previous year.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Profits-of-Indian-casinos-in-the-US-hit-19-billion-3200.shtml

I'm sure there are many Tony Sopranos connected to casinos who skim profits off the top so they don't have to pay taxes.

Bob what is it with people from IN needing back surgery? For my surgery I was in the hospital for six days so my total bill was much higher than yours. My insurance negotiated fee for my surgeon was $6000, normal fee $19,000. Since the surgeon stood and operated for 8 hours, I think he earned his money.

Everything was negotiated by the insurance except for one fee - anesthesiologist. They don't negotiate - the number you see is the only fee they accept. I don't know if I even object to their stance since they pay the highest malpractice insurance fee.

Brooke


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RE: Let it all hang out! again

Here is a news article explaining why the emergency room visits will go up and not down with the health care bill.

Brooke

Here is a link that might be useful: overwhelmed emergency rooms


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Brooke,

Just a couple of spinal laminectomies(sp?) for me. Bulging 1st time/ruptured disk second time, both at L4/5. Had my last surgery 1 year ago this Friday, I'm just now getting back to where I can do most physical things (mow, flower beds, garden, ride in a car for more than 2 hours, etc...).

Mine happened originally when I was about 20 years old. Suffered through it for about 6 months back then, was able to heal it without surgery through yoga, stretching and stuff. Came back to haunt me when I turned 50 :-(

Sucks getting old and broken, but it sure beats the alternative.

Bob


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Here's an op-ed piece (linked below) in today's Washington Post which addresses the same issue as Brooke's, immediately above.

The author is an emergency physician in Calif. Among her points is to establish "clinics" which are conveniently located to patients without "regular" doctors to handle routine medical care. Fortunately for me, this is already in place here in Maryland. CVS is an active participant.

--Stitz--

Here is a link that might be useful: Keeping routine medical care out of hospital emergency rooms


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RE: Let it all hang out!

All this fuss and bother! Medicare introduced in 1975 supported by the Centre Left and Centre right parties. Notice i have not used that scare word Socialist.

The routine medical care at Hospital Emergency Departments problem still exists here even though you can visit many GP's for nix if they bulk bill. It is their choice. Do not know what you do about panicky parents and the like.

And Stitz, we do not want Rupert Murdoch back though he still owns newpapers etc. here. When we gave you Rupert, you gave us a lovely lady. Details in the link. She will be unemployed next year, not her fault as she has a sky high approval rating.

As for President Obama, he will need the Judgment of Soloman++++++++ to rule your wonderful and wacky country.

Here is a link that might be useful: Not Sarah Palin


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RE: Let it all hang out!

I'm learning a lot from reading all this, and I'm sort of getting a feel for where these perspectives are coming from and how tricky this issue is.

I was reading the wikipedia article on health care spending in the US, and it seems that spending by 5% of the population accounts for over half of the money spent on health care. In combination with the statistic that the US spends the most/GDP on health care, am I correct in assuming that in the US there are a few very rich people spending a lot of money on their health care, and a lot of poor people who aren't spending a lot?

I also have a question - how much does typical insurance cover? Brooke you mention that most people have access to health care, and many people decide not to purchase it and get an ipad instead. It's an interesting idea to me, and I never thought about this; In a way similar to how one is not obligated to buy life insurance, whether someone decides to spend money on insuring their health should be up to them to decide, right? But if the cost of the policy is prohibitive, or doesn't reasonably cover the cost of procedures, then shouldn't something be done about it?

I would be interested to compare how much tax an average Canadian pays for health care, the average money spent on insurance/health care by an American, and the differences in the care received. I have a friend who's family lives in North Carolina. Her dad recently had to get an emergency procedure done, and although he has apparently one of the best insurance plans, he still had to pay tens of thousands of dollars. Here it would have been free.

In the case of an accident where insurance is claimed, is there a discrepancy in the amount paid by the patient, whether in the form of insurance, out of their pocket, or taxes (although hard to quantify)? And if so, where does it come from? Is it the insurance companies gobbling up the money? Are procedures simply more expensive in the States? Is the government here plopping more into health care per person than the US?

On principle, I think that people should get to keep what the earn; the words profit and corporation have acquired an evil ring, but it's what makes capitalism work. On the other hand, the rich should be encouraged to help the rest of the community through taxation, because it's not going to happen out of the goodness of their hearts. Taxes go to support community expenditures like infrastructure and education. Why is health care an exception?

Our system here in Canada is flawed in it's own way - long wait times, poor access, and abuse. A two tiered system like the one in the UK has it's own problems (brain drain to the private sector, depletion of resources and further exacerbation of problems in the public sector). And a privatized system is problematic too: efficient and high quality care, but only for the rich.

I have difficulty in gaging how far along the political spectrum people here sit because everyone sounds so extreme to me. I am also hearing a lot of complaints about why a system is bad, but not a lot of suggestions as to what would make for a better system.


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Article

Brooke I just read your article about the hospital wait times. I think this is quite predictable, because we have this problem in Canada. I can also see how the health care infrastructure in the US may not be equipped to handle the extra load (perhaps more preparation and changes should have been pushed through in preparation for the reform bill before the bill was actually passed....but then again, with only 4 years and a lot to accomplish...)

What I'm wondering is, all these extra newly insured people who are clogging up the emergency rooms because they don't have primary care physicians...what did they do when they needed help before the new bill?

Are they all silly people who didn't buy health insurance because they wanted a new LV purse (and therefore arguably deserve to be left to their fates)? I am not attempting sarcasm through this example, by the way - I completely agree that if you have the money to spend on insurance and choose not to because you want to buy goodies for yourself, then that's your decision and you can deal with the consequences.

However, I can imagine that some of these people just can't afford the insurance that can cover their needs...do they also deserve to be left out in the cold? I mean, medical problems requiring expensive procedures don't discriminate between who can afford treatment and who can't...someone with only basic insurance could develop the need for a triple bypass just as likely as someone who has the best coverage out there. Does the US tell those Americans 'oh well, too bad!"?


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Calvin,

A couple of things to ponder:

1. We do have solialized medicine, but it's for the old and disabled. We call it medicare/medicaid and we pay for it through payroll taxes.

2. As far as costs, if you leave a job and need to keep your insurance, we have something called COBRA. COBRA allows you to pay premiums to your old company for a set period of time or until you can be covered by another employer or you find a private plan. I believe the cost for COBRA for a couple with 2 kids can run around $800 a month. This varies, but I think $800 is a good average, if not a little high.

When I was in my 20's, I was 10' tall and bullet-proof, I did not carry insurance when not covered by a group plan. In retrospect it was silly, but at the time I thought 'What the hell, I don't have that much to loose and if something bad happens, they won't let me die...'

Yes, there are people who can not afford healthcare, the same as there are people who can't afford to buy food. We don't let them die and we don't let them starve, that's where the contributing tax-payers or insurance premium paying people get to foot the bills, either through higher taxes or through higher insurance premiums, or both most of the times.

Now to talk about our glorified new goverment sponsored healthcare plan, it is a total joke and did not cover the biggest issue (public health options availability). Our current administration just needed to do something to uphold a campaign promise, this is the very poor result. In my mind, all they did was 'poke the insurance bear' and piss them off. Notice how their profits went sky-high when 'we' started pushing this through the government.

IMO, it's the people who can work but choose to not work and stay on government assistance programs that seems to be the issue here. A lot of right leaning working people just don't think we should be required to foot the bill for that group. Make that group pay their own way, but it's tough because they 'hide' in that group that truely needs help!!! I'm trying to better my life through hard work and they are trying to better their lives through my hard work also. No problems helping if you need it, but I'm not happy about helping when you are capable of helping yourself. I see it as givers and takers: Some people choose to be takers (obviously some don't 'choose' this) when they could be givers, and it seems there is always less and less givers trying to cover the takers. Ultimately, if they keep taking from you, you finally decide to become a taker too and then where are we? No givers and all takers, thusly the government must supply everything, hello socialism.

Bob


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RE: Let it all hang out!

good points westoh,especially concerning those who are capable, but refuse to work to stay hidden in the system. we enable these folks by "helping too much" providing no acceptable "work"or any mandatory re-training. they collect and collect further disabling themselves with lack of purpose. their productivity becomes, in many cases, creatively using their remaining skills to misuse the system sad..really sad.

actually the avg. individual cost for COBRA in 2003 was $600.00/month...so 1n 2010 it probably has risen considerably. Certainly family coverage is a bank breaker,and for those collecting unemployment back breaking.

one uninsured serious surgery or treatment for a chronic disease can decimate every family asset,and in the worst cases encumber the surviving spouse for the rest of their life.

i have few answers for my mounting frustration, but i do believe that being cured,or treated properly should not be the result of "winning" it should be a right.

don't misunderstand me on the subject of profit, i'm all for it. you build a better can opener take the profits right to the bank. human life is not a can opener.


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Thanks Bob, KM

I think there's a bit of a problem with medicare and medicaid...if I were in the States, medicare wouldn't cover me at all because I'm neither old or incredibly poor. In Canada, I know that my tax dollars go towards health care that will benefit ME, if I suddenly fall down and snap a few ribs. That seems much more reasonable, doesn't it? Everyone pays for everyone (including themselves).

Bob - your comments about those 'leeches' hiding amongst the people that actually need help is true. It's an age-old problem of any socialist/communist society has; the more handouts you give, the more people you will have abusing and taking advantage of the system.

But as KM says, we're not talking about subsidizing some luxury item...it would be a different debate if we were talking about subsidizing SUV purchases, or gas money. Health care is something that people need to stay alive - doesn't that distinguish it from other government subsidies?

And even if you have a few leeches out there who can now buy iphones instead of spending money on their health care insurance, isn't it worth it for the people who actually get screwed over financially because of a single unexpected medical issue that their insurance doesn't cover completely?

KM - that's an interesting point about chronic diseases...how is that taken care of in the US? Do insurance companies follow through if a chronic disease is diagnosed? How about something like HIV?


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RE: Let it all hang out!

We have universal, single payer health care in the US only we are very careful not to call it that. The government through Medicare, Medicaid and the VA covers more than 1/2 of the people anyway. Let's look at what happens to the rest.

'For profit' insurance companies cherry pick and only insure good risks, a family with asthmatic kids, for example, is out in the cold. Even if you have insurance and you suddenly fall victim to a serious chronic illness, the coverage usually has a cap, meaning, after spending X number of dollars, the insurance company is off the hook and you are left out in the cold. If you have something like HIV or any kind of chronic illness, you can totally forget it, you are simply uninsurably.

So what happens since no one is left to die in the street? We have a system of county hospitals where medical students, interns and residents are trained. They need bodies to practice on. Anyone can go there for care and after they seize all your meaningful assets in the case of a large bill, they are obligated to take care of you for the duration. Similarly the ERs of ALL hospitals, county, private or otherwise must treat anyone who enters their doors. So, everyone is covered and the 'single payer' is everyone, either through your taxes (county hospital), or through increased insurance premiums (private ERs who have to increase fees of the insured to make up for the losses).

This system is incredibly wasteful as a simple cold treated in a doctor's office costs so much, take the kid to an ER and it costs 100 times more. In addition, there is no preventive medicine as this type of care does not kick in until you are sick. You cannot go to an ER and request a colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer. You need to wait until you have the cancer and it causes rectal bleeding, then the system kicks into high gear and attempts to cure you. As I said earlier, no one dies in the street, you need to go to an ER first.

This is no way to run a railroad which is why our statistics are so poor.

Nick


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Nick,

I agree, the costs can be 'home-wrecking' for certain procedures. I also believe that the 'un-insured' who wait until things are so bad before they "can get" treatment is an issue. Like with most things in life, a little $ spent on preventive maintenance goes a very long way in keeping things running properly for the long haul. I think that is the key in reducing the overall expenditures.

I don't have answers, other than I think we need to spread the pain of paying for this evenly. If we all get treated the same, we should all contribute the same, either %-wise or total $-wise.

Bob


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RE: Let it all hang out!

I haven't been to CA for about 10 years but Nick's description of life in Cally is really sad - must have something to do with the billions of unfunded deficits run by his state each year.

Calvin in my state your insurance premium would be about $50 per month. You would have to pay for an office visit to a doctor to treat your cold (and you wouldn't have to wait for treatment) but if you have a car wreck, you would have insurance to pay for it.

Your statement "age old problems/socialist-communist" yada yada describes where this country is headed. Now 47% of people do not pay Federal income taxes. The dirty little secret is the more people feeding off the government teat, the more they want. No one turns down free. As Margaret Thatcher said, the problem with socialism is you eventually run out of other peoples money.

This is a country of 300,000,000 people - no other country with socialized medical care even comes close to this number. If you have long waits, access problems, multiply your problems per citizen to 300,000,000.

Please read the US Constitution

http://www.usconstitution.net/constquick.html

Here is an out of date description of our poor after the last cencus - I'm sure the poor in other countries would jump at the chance to live here. It is why we have 3,000,000+ trying to come to this country, legally.

http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2004/01/Understanding-Poverty-in-America

No one is saying there are not problems in the system but the government taking over 1/6 of our economy is not the answer. Here is another article getting deeper into the mess in Massachusetts which is a mini version of what is down the road for the entire country.

http://www.nationalreview.com/critical-condition/55763/surprise-mass-insurers-hemorrhaging-cash/avik-roy

Here is a transcript of the Healthcare Summit called by the President when Paul Ryan pointed out problems with the about to be passed law. Please note the rambling, non-sensical answer given by the President - off teleprompter he isn't very impressive.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/25/AR2010022504074.html

Here is Paul Ryan's plan to solve our budget crisis and mounting deficit (to hit 14 trillion in another month), making Social Security and Medicare solvent since they will both be broke within the year and reforming our very complicated tax system.

http://www.roadmap.republicans.budget.house.gov/

Calvin I don't know why you think Americans are not charitable and ignore the needy. We have many uber wealthy people, ie Bill Gates, who give massive amounts to charities and set up their own foundations. Nick makes it sound like "poor" people are used as guinea pigs if they receive treatment - again not true. "Poor" people needing major medical treatments receive it in some of the finest hospitals in the country - Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Shriners, the Danny Thomas hospital in Memphis (sorry having a brain fart and can't remember the name). This is not an uncharitable, kick the sick to the curb country. I'm sorry you have this impression.

Here is another interesting fact - conservatives give far more to charities than liberals, even us poor conservatives. Another interesting fact - there are more wealthy liberals than conservatives.

The purpose of this current bill is to break the backs of the insurance companies and to drive everyone into a single payer system - so much for free enterprise and the people who will lose their jobs.

I would like one example of a program run by the Feds that is successful and not a continued drain of our tax dollars to keep it afloat.

Arthur our President doesn't rule - he is elected to do the will of the people not to the people.

Brooke


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Brooke, I hope that you won't mind my selective plucking of a quote from your post.

"The purpose of this current bill is to break the backs of the insurance companies and to drive everyone into a single payer system - so much for free enterprise...."

THAT is the bottom line. Nothing more; nothing less.

--Stitz--


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actually, there is more....!

I lost my focus. There is a LOT more.

It's all about CONTROL and I don't mean Maxwell Smart vs KAOS.

--Stitz--


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RE: Let it all hang out!

just wondering what you mean by "control"? from your post we assume that we can eliminate MS vs KAOS, lol.

but even that assessment might be premature by today's standard.
an example:
scenario#1, you have a surprisingly intense abdominal pain, can't stand, can't sit, immobilized with pain, call out to 911,ambulance, ER, testing ensues, emergency surgery.
do you get to choose anything? do you have control over anything? in the case of a MI or a perforated ulcer, or pick your own catastrophe...do you really have any choice?

the answer is NO, you only pray that the on call surgeon or cardiologist comes and heals your suffering. oh and by the way and you had better have some kind of insurance, otherwise your doc. is limited in what he might choose as the best course of treatment!
while waiting around to sort out the options you might just expire from "complications". make room for the healthy 20 yr olds.

sooo, i ask what kind of CONTROL do you seek? just friendly curiosity.


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Brooke, thank you for the links - they really help and it's good to have those external sources of info.

I definitely do not think Americans are especially uncharitable, at least no more than any average person from another country. I think that people in general like to look out for themselves, and being altruistic requires some application of external pressures, whether it's social obligation ("Well Sally donated money, and I'll look like a jerk if I don't!"), social conditioning ("Well I'm a nice person and nice people donate money so I'd better donate too!"), or government intervention ("I hate taxes but I'm going to go to jail if I don't pay them.")!

But your point about the US population size is actually quite excellent and I haven't thought of that. Also, the poverty article is interesting and puts the numbers to what I suspected was the case, but didn't have anything solid to support.

I think that sort of plan that you describe in your state sounds about right: it stops people from claiming insurance (or going to the doctor for that matter) over stupid little things (a problem we have in Canada), but when real medical emergencies strike, you can rely on your insurance to cover your care. I'm just curious how it helps people who suddenly develop multiple sclerosis or any other chronic illness.

The budget roadmap link is interesting - I don't really understand how giving everyone a tax credit to apply towards health insurance will help the deficit, although I can definitely see how it is a marvelous and ingenious way to encourage people to get the best insurance plan, and also to actually obtain coverage (giving people money but saying it can only be spent on one thing is a good way to get this to happen)

I like the idea of an independent panel that regulates the market and punishes insurance companies that cherry pick. I am starting to see how third party private health insurance might actually work and serve it's purpose similar or better than a publicly funded system, provided it's not treated just like any other commodity.

The idea of a government tax credit really interests me. I wonder if this amount ($2300 for individuals, $5700 for families) is sufficient to purchase an insurance plan that offers reasonable coverage (although I have no idea what 'reasonable' means....in Canada, everything is covered.)

Also, just a quick question. In the US, is health insurance like car insurance, where if you get into an accident, your premiums go up? IE: if I fall and break my arm, do my premiums go up the next year? Or, if I have a stroke, but fully recover after a short hospital stay, do my premiums go up?


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Calvin,

Concerning the comparison to auto insurance premiums, I'll speak to that from the group insurer/third party point.
My group plans at work (been through several in 17 years)has looked at it 2 different ways:
1. I remember 10-15 years ago it was based on how much they insured the company group, if a lot of usage and costs then premiums rose, if not much they did not raise, but it was only for that 1 company.
2. The last 5-10 years or so, it seems it is based on the entire group (maybe 100's if not 1,000's of companies involved) and it always goes up.

Health care costs raise here so regardless of whether you personally use the services much, you pay the same increases with everyone else. For the first 15 years at my company, I barely even did doctor visits, let alone use the insurance, yet I paid the increases to keep the insurance. I just always thought, one day it will be my turn so I'm banking $ and helping others. That day came last year for me!

So, no it is not based on you personally, but on some type of overall usage.

Now let's talk about coverage limits, that's where it can get very expensive quickly for individuals. Hard to say which would be better: higher personal premiums or spread it out over a group and use personal limits? Both kind of suck actually, but at my age (50's) I'd pick the higher personal premium.

Keep contributing, we'll turn you into full-fledged capitalist yet, eh :-)

Bob


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Pray tell what is a "Full-Fledged capitalist"? Maybe that guy from Goldman Sachs who got the $9,000,000 bonus fits the bill. Wonder how much of that will go in tax and how much filter down to poorer citizens.

Those health insurance costs must be a big factor in employing or not employing people or is the trend over there to employ most people as contractors.

The contractor path is being more widely used here and it brings a lot of uncertainty. One example being my son, who was employed on a "contract" basis doing research for the cotton industry. Contract terminated when the cotton industry fell on hard times.

And Nick, those health league tables are a bit suspect. The old comparing apples with oranges thing probably applies. I could do some research after borrowing and reading my Daughter's copy of Statistics for Dummies but i'm too lazy.

A question, Rupert owns a couple of dreadful newspapers that are slanted heavily to the right, i suppose the ones he owns over there are similar.

I'll say it again, providing a decent health care system for citizens is not Socialism. Anyway, its not entirely free here and the private and public systems co-exist.

I have private hospital health insurance for two reasons.
1. Waiting times in the public system for non-life threatening things such as hip and knee replacements.
2. If you are a tax-payer without health insurance, you are subject to the Medicare levy at tax time.


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Arthur, regarding your question about Murdoch's newspapers....

It's not so much that the newspapers are slanted. That's nothing new in this country. The New York Times and the Washington Post have been guilty for generations.

Rupert's success in the USA began as mired in "yellow journalism". In the words of Wikipedia, "The [New York] Post has been criticized since the beginning of Murdoch's ownership for what many[who?] consider its lurid headlines, sensationalism, blatant advocacy and conservative bias. In 1980, the Columbia Journalism Review opined that "the New York Post is no longer merely a journalistic problem. It is a social problem a force for evil."

In defense of Rupert, he is to be credited with this, "Rupert Murdoch and Ted Turner are long-standing rivals. In 1996 Murdoch launched the Fox News Channel to compete against Turner's CNN." Anyone who takes on Ted Turner head-to-head can't be all bad!

"...on August 1, 2007, News Corp. and Dow Jones entered into a definitive merger agreement. The controversial US$5 billion sale added the Wall Street Journal to Rupert Murdoch's news empire, which already included Fox News Channel, financial network unit and London's The Times, and locally within New York, New York Post, along with Fox flagship station WNYW (Channel 5) and MyNetworkTV flagship WWOR (Channel 9).

On December 13, 2007, shareholders representing more than 60 percent of Dow Jones's voting stock approved the company's acquisition by News Corp."

I believe that Rupert has maintained journalistic integrity with the WSJ. Murdoch has a prized publication and he isn't messing it up.

Won't wonders ever cease?

--Stitz--


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RE: Let it all hang out!

"just wondering what you mean by "control"? from your post we assume that we can eliminate MS vs KAOS, lol."

From the Washington Post, yesterday's feature article in the Outlook section:

"The forces of big government are entrenched and enjoy the full arsenal of the administration's money and influence. Our leaders in Washington, aided by the unprecedented economic crisis of recent years and the panic it induced, have seized the moment to introduce breathtaking expansions of state power in huge swaths of the economy, from the health-care takeover to the financial regulatory bill that the Senate approved Thursday. If these forces continue to prevail, America will cease to be a free enterprise nation."

The full article is linked below:

--Stitz--

Here is a link that might be useful: America's new culture war: Free Enterprise vs government control (Arthur C Brooks)


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Arthur to answer your question regarding the capitalist with the 9 million bonus/filter down question - if he lives in the state of NY, his tax will be about 70% for federal and state income tax. The taxes collected run the state/federal government.

Blumberg, mayor of NY is complaing about federal intervention with the bonuses has greatly reduced the money available through taxes. You have to assume part of any bonus will be spent through purchases which helps businesses.

Your question on contracting - many businesses will find it more profitable to hire contractors instead of full time employees. Contractors will have to buy their own insurance. Businesses are now discovering it will be cheaper to pay the fine for not supplying health insurance than to continue offering it.

Your statement of government health care/socialism. Please reread one of my above posts regarding what our Federal government already controls - add the Crap and Tax bill they are trying to pass means the Feds will control 53% of our economy. This dumb old lady considers this much control by the government amounts to socialism.

Stitz I read the article yesterday - Brooks hit the nail on the head.

Brooke


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Free Enterprise vs Government Control

This is not the culture war of the 1990s. It is not a fight over guns, gays or abortion. Those old battles have been eclipsed by a new struggle between two competing visions of the country's future.

In one, America will continue to be an exceptional nation organized around the principles of free enterprise -- limited government, a reliance on entrepreneurship and rewards determined by market forces.

In the other, America will move toward European-style statism grounded in expanding bureaucracies, a managed economy and large-scale income redistribution. These visions are not reconcilable.

Ominous?! WE must choose!

--Stitz--


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RE: Let it all hang out!

I've already made my choice.

Brooke


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Same here,

Nick


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Me too...

I mostly like the way it has worked for the last 234+ years.

Bob


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today, i love carville!

My buddy, my pal....James Carville has accused President Obama of "political stupidity" and saying the administration has been "lackadaisical."

"It just looks like he's not involved in this," Carville said Wednesday on ABC's "Good Morning America." Visibly agitated, Carville said: "Man, you got to get down here and take control of this, put somebody in charge of this thing and get this moving. We're about to die down here."

is there a crack in the armor??

--Stitz--


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RE: Let it all hang out!

I think that the Government may as well get involved (or should have already). I mean hell, we're the ones who will pay for the clean-up either by paying higher prices for oil products or by paying higher taxes (already being discussed to add a consumer tax to oil/gas to build a fund to pay for this type of thing in the future, WTF it's always the consumer who gets screwed!!!)

No win situation for the consumer, we will pay the bill. At this point I feel the sooner it gets stopped, the cheaper the clean-up/my bill will be. Nuke it if the top kill doesn't work, how much worse can it be than what's happened in the last 5 weeks?

If BP 'has' to pay the bill, you just know the entire industry will raise their prices along with BP. So even if we boycott BP, we still pay through higher prices across the board.


Bob


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RE: Let it all hang out!

Amoco is now part of BP
(that's American Oil Co for the younger readers)

hmmmmm.....

I wonder? Did someone at Amoco know when to GET OUT while the gittin' was good?

--Stitz--


 o
RE: Let it all hang out!

This discussion has now plunged to the lows that i can expect at lunch today. Another little event where i will be under pain of death not to say anything. It is lunch with the relos at my son's place.

Lots of complaints about everything and nothing positive to say about anything.

Here is something positive. Something good has come from Wonderful and Wacky. It is the American Golf Handicapping System. So much better than the dumb system it has replaced.


 o
RE: Let it all hang out!

arthur, I hope that you enjoyed a wonderfully enlightening lunch!


 o
the economy

Today, I hired a contractor to do a job for me for ca$h dollar$. This gentleman contractor came to my attention as a referral from my next door neighbor who hired the same gentleman 15 yrs ago. He's now long-retired, needing the ca$h and obviously working "under the radar". He shows up with someone who is obviously from "south of the border". I didn't report anyone to immigration or to the IRS. Am I liable for civil prosecution by the Feds? Say it ain't so, nick and Brooke!

--Stitz--


 o
RE: Let it all hang out!

Stitz I'm not a Federal employee who's job it is to track illegal immigrants. You hired a contractor to do a job, you paid him after completion. It is the contractors job to pay the taxes and his employee.

You also don't know if the assistant was illegal. We have many people of Hispanic origins who are here legally.

Sleep easy tonight Stitz, you didn't break any law.

Brooke


 o
RE: the economy

thanks, Brooke! I will take your "brief" with me into court!

what about that ol' codger contractor? He must be well into his 70's! I'll betcha that he's dodgin' taxes!!

oh, woe is me! and, all I was tryin' to do was to stiumulate the economy!

--Stitz--


 o
Virginia Attorney-General Has Attacked the Feds, In Court!

Yes, folks. BO won the initial stage of the battle for health care legislation; now, the war is ON! I have included the first paragraphs of an article in today's Washington Post which simply reports the facts plus a link to the entire article, below.

I LOVE IT!!

--Stitz--

RICHMOND -- The legal challenge to the nation's new health-care law was launched Thursday in a courtroom in Richmond, where the office of Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II argued that the measure is an unprecedented overreach by Washington that violates the founders' intention of a limited federal government.

Arguing the case for Virginia, Solicitor General E. Duncan Getchell Jr. told a judge that it would be "unprecedented," "ahistorical" and "radical" for the federal government to require an individual to buy a private product -- in this case, health insurance.

In front of a packed courtroom -- with spectators overflowing into a second room and supporters of the federal law demonstrating outside -- attorneys for the Obama administration responded that the Virginia suit has no merit and should be tossed out of court. They said the law's mandate that Americans buy health insurance was well within Congress's constitutional power.

District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson said he will decide within 30 days whether to allow the case to proceed.

The hearing was the first skirmish in a legal war over the federal health-care overhaul that is not likely to be settled until it makes its way to the Supreme Court.

The Virginia suit is one of two major state-level, Republican-led efforts to kill the federal health-care law in court. It is a fast-attack assault that narrowly contends that Congress overstepped its authority by requiring individuals to buy health insurance or face a fine. Attorneys general in 20 other states have joined a suit filed in Florida that adds the assertion that the federal law encroaches on the sovereignty of the states by requiring them to expand Medicaid programs.

Here is a link that might be useful: Va begins courtroom assault on health law


 o
RE: Let it all hang out!

So who is going to pay for this lawyers picnic? We get the same thing here but as luck has it we do not have all that many states. Some expert looks at the constitution which folklore says has large parts pinched from from the American Constitution, finds what looks like a loophole, and Bobs your uncle. Let the picnic begin!


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RE: Let it all hang out!

arthurm, they're all on the payroll. The one from the Commonwealth of Virginia is taking a high-risk gamble with his future at no cost to my neighboring State. The ones from the Federal govt are following orders. As long as the Feds don't hire additional ones, I don't care. It'll keep 'em ALL busy. :)

--Stitz--


 o
Did someone say Squirrels?

Yes, quinnfyre, I hate em too. Threir Tree Rats really. Just have bushier tails. :)


 o Post a Follow-Up

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