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Commentary :: Environment : Media : Politics : Social Welfare
The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
06 Apr 2006
The precedent of compelling drivers to purchase private auto insurance is bad enough, but one can opt out. One doesn't have to drive, they say. The only way to opt out of compulsory health insurance, however, would be to die.
A small, sinister, April 5 Inquirer item was headlined...."In Mass., universal health insurance?"
(Note the interesting question mark. Even the paper 'raises its eyebrows'.)

http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/nation/14264550.htm

The item reports the alarming news that, in Massachussets, unless one is really poor, one will be compelled by tax penalties etc to patronize private health insurance businesses! This is no one's idea of Universal Health Insurance...and it sure isn't Single Payer. It's more like Universal Compulsory Customer.


Do Bay Staters realize that this also would compel them to pay for insurer advertising, CEO bonuses, redundant administrations, campaign contributions, corporate jets and headquarters maintenance, legal suits, conventions, etc? Do they realize that money spent on such non-health-related things is money taken from their health care? Do they ask what possible Public Interest justification there is for compelling such support of non-health related things?


Do they also realize that they would be compelled to simultaneously supply funds for insurers' Wall Street investments in businesses the insurance customers may not even know about or that they may disapprove of for any number of moral, religious, political, or business reasons?


If their health insurer is Cigna, for instance, they may be inadvertently and unknowingly supplying millions of dollars in investment money for top cigarette manufacturers....if Cigna hasn't divested since the PBHP report on this scandal. Would our "anti-smoking" friends agree to help support Big Cig in this way?
(Same applies to Prudential, MetLife, Aetna, Travelers, etc.)
http://www.pnhp.org/news/2000/march/insurers_are_major_i.php

That a state may compel patronage of any private industry is what Mussolini preferred to call Corporatism---at its worst. It raises serious Constitutional questions regarding Freedom of Speech by requiring speaking, with words and/or money, to insurers or any entity.

This is a serious assault on the idea of Single Payer...of getting private insurers out of the way of a Public Health System. Not much is being done to stop this because, for one reason, many like the sound of "universal insurance". If private insurers co-opt that term, we need to change our rhetoric. The distinction must now be clearly between Corporate Insurance and Public Insurance.

*******

Regarding the insurer investment point, this affects many interest groups...groups that must consider joining in opposition to such programs.

Peace Activists could be second-handedly investing in military contractors if they were not told where their health insurer placed investments...or if there were no insurers that did NOT invest in such industries.

Environmentalists could be 2nd-handedly investing in Exxon, Mountaintop removal mining or polluting chemicals and so forth.
Prisoner Rights activists could be supplying investment loot to the Prison Industry and its suppliers.

Organics Activists could be unwittingly supporting Big Chlorine, Pesticides, Agri-business etc.

Critics of Corporate Media could be economically supporting Corporate Media.

And, Investors in Business A could be counter-productively funding Business B, their competitor.

And so on.
See also:
http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/nation/14264550.htm
http://www.pnhp.org/news/2000/march/insurers_are_major_i.php

This work is in the public domain.
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Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
05 Apr 2006
What I find interesting about this is that, if you earn more than three times the poverty wage in MA, and do not have insurance, when this law goes into effect, you will be in violation of the law. Not a criminal law, but a civil law, just like undocumented immigrants now. Will MA residents who do such a thing then be called "illegal?"

And this is certainly bogus, in forcing everyone in MA who chooses to be alive to support the insurance industry, the same worthless thieves who have screwed over thousands of Americans in Louisiana and Mississippi over the last months, saying their homes were damaged or destroyed not by Hurricane Katrina, but by flooding (which, if those homeowners had bought flood insurance, is paid for by the Feds). This after years of paying premiums, and would be tantamount to someone with accident insurance being denied coverage because their injuries were caused by "an impact with the steering wheel," not by a vehicular collision.
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
06 Apr 2006
Man, I hope this story has legs. It seems like so far the Mass. legislature is getting a total pass on this one from the media: national and local.

You know, I think the thing that's most instructive about these schemes for mandatory health insurance is that they are neither Republican nor Democrat, neither Left nor Right. No good Republican (at least not one in the old, "reality-based" less-government-is-better public base) would go for this. No Democrat would support a bill that requires, under serious threat of punishment, people to have something that the state refuses to provide, ever. It's the worst of both worlds: all the bureaucratic muscle of the Dems, coupled with all the pro-corporate, anti-working-class fervor of the Republicans. State and big business fusing completely.

The compulsory insurance machinations do not have any ideological pedigree beyond the fascist will-to-power. Because they don't come from the public. They are imposed from above by bureaucrats and corporate special interests. They don't spring from any ideology. They have no real justification.

It's like Mickey Spillane once wrote: "'Shut up,' he explained."

And to zoom out, how many times does it have to be said that America is not a democracy. We are so far from it it's hilarious that anyone would still maintain we are. We're no more a democracy than the USSR was a worker's paradise.
nice exposé!!
06 Apr 2006
And you confirmed them. The government passing a law benefiting the people? What was I thinking??
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
06 Apr 2006
Yeah, I'm glad this is getting some attention here. My wife and I had some doubts too about this new law. Are there any groups or campaigns forming against it?
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
06 Apr 2006
I wonder if people who want to opt out can establish out of state residency?
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
06 Apr 2006
I like the article, I think we need more of a theoretical investigation on this. The point that you brought up about social insurance vs. corporatism is a very good point.
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
06 Apr 2006
Am I missing something here? Wouldn't this bill allow health insurance coverage to the poor and uninsured through government subsidy? Is this writer against this because it doesn't create a new "government insurance department"?

Isn't the point of the insurance debate to get the uninsured insured? It was never about creating more government bureaucracy? I also don't understand why one wouldn't carry health insurance if they can afford it. If you use it only once in your lifetime...it's definitely worth it.

If you would choose to go uninsured and cannot afford any medical bills, that would just increase your debt and possibly cause bankruptcy. Sure, now it is your choice, but if the only viable choice is to be insured (to protect doctors and patients) then I don't see a problem with mandating it.
The Carrot and the Stick. (But is there really a carrot?)
06 Apr 2006
So Jones, okay, the latest wrinkle in this story is that now, after months of deliberation, Mass. legislators ARE talking about providing minimal state health insurance to those who can't afford it. But the insurance provision is an afterthought. The original law I'm talking about only established the punishment of those who refused to get health insurance, no healthcare provision whatsoever. Just the stick, no carrot.

So it has changed, on the surface. Okay. I guess I'm jumping the gun too much-- surely the legislature is a wonderful institution with all our interests at heart. Ha ha ha.

There is also the question of what this state healthcare would be like. It could be worse than having no coverage at all. This may be counterintuitive to Lefties, but, from what I've heard from a surgeon friend of mine, many of the cheapest insurance plans are actually worse than having no coverage. The runaround and premiums of some of the cheaper private providers are unimaginably horrible. If this is a Clinton-style health care bill, one that would assign people to big corporations, no choice in the matter, then people could be extremely fucked. Imagine all the runaround of a state health care system, plus price gouging, plus the usual corporate and state corruption. It is, as I said, the worst of both worlds.

So I for one am very cynical about the recent hedging by Mass. legislators-- saying that they'll provide this and that, if only they can pass their important bill criminalizing not having health insurance. I don't trust them. And I don't think you should either, Jones.
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
06 Apr 2006
The business community is up in arms about Mass Universal Healthcare and conservatives are already calling it the "demise" Romney's candidacy for Pres.:

http://www.businessweek.com/investor/content/apr2006/pi20060404_152510.h

But I think the writer's point is that this will supply big bucks to insurance companies... But it also includes subsidies for the poor (according to Business Week... reported as a "bad" thing... Boy, I love reading bt. the lines of mainstream media):

"The bill aims to cover 95% of the state's 500,000 uninsured within three years. To do that, Romney and the legislature split them into three categories. One group is comprised of nearly 100,000 poor people who qualify for Medicaid but haven't yet signed up. Covering them will cost about $225 million a year, although the federal government will pick up half the tab.

The second group, numbering around 200,000, are low-income families and individuals who don't qualify for Medicaid but are too poor to buy health insurance on their own. Nationally, this is the core of the uninsured, since more than 70% of the 45 million uninsured Americans have family incomes under $50,000, according to Families USA. Massachusetts plans to cover these people with big subsidies.

Those earning up to 100% of the federal poverty level would get what amounts to a free ride -- they wouldn't have to pay any premiums or any deductibles. Those making between 100% and 300% of the poverty level would pay part of their premiums, based on a sliding scale."
"Compulsory Insurance," Emphasis on the Compulsary
06 Apr 2006
One more post, then I'll shut up.

Yo: the Business Week article you cite may reflect the biases of the corporate community, but just because they don't like something doesn't mean it's good. For instance, they hated the Clinton plan and, actually, the plan sucked. It was NOT socialized medicine; it was a giveaway to HMOs w/ all the burdens placed on the indivdual.

The Business Week article states quite bluntly in a subheader: "PENALTIES AS MOTIVATION." That's the heart of this legislation. It's yet another crackdown; the only way our govt. knows how to deal with problems anymore. The burdens/responsibilities are placed squarely upon the shoulders of individuals. They are compelled to do X, Y, and Z under threat of punishment. They are not necessarily provided with jacksquat by the state. The state may or may not provide insurance. But it looks like it will probably subsidize big business regardless. When you say those under 100% of the federal poverty level will get "what amounts to a free ride," there's an important point hidden within that statement. The free ride will also go to big businesses, which will have every incentive to bilk both the state and their new "customers." And why can't people get an ACTUAL free ride, as in state-run health care without penalties and corporate middlemen? Why is that not on the table?
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
06 Apr 2006
nice points Wadoo, nice points
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
06 Apr 2006
Whooooaaahhhh hold the phone! All you wing nuts have been clamoring for universal health care. Now you have it! What's the problem?
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
07 Apr 2006
in basic training we were promised (with an honerable discharge) to have the best medical care that money could buy. well you can see where that went. i'll bet with forced insurance the med care will degrade the same way. you will have to get coverage on each group of problems. and then the companies will decide which tests they will cover. and you will have to sign to go under the knife before they will run the tests! thats what is happening in the v.a.!!!
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
07 Apr 2006
Isn't the answer to pray to Jesus and to go to Heaven? "Death, where is thy sting"?

Does a Christian society need health care? Where's the Faith? Where's the Love?
Smart A**
07 Apr 2006
@ & Hopeful have really made this discussion constructive. Are you both bored?

Wadoo,

I just want to give you my opinion on some of your statements. I'm attempting not to "argue", just exchanging opinions.

"They are not necessarily provided with jacksquat by the state. The state may or may not provide insurance...And why can't people get an ACTUAL free ride, as in state-run health care without penalties and corporate middlemen? Why is that not on the table? "

I would firmly believe that a state-run health care insurance company would be un-constitutional. To my knowledge, the constitution doesn't give the government the right to take over any private industry...this is what would happen if the government took over the health insurance industry. If there is a perceived corruption in any corporation, the government can legislate the rules in which the industry abides, but cannot "take over" the industry.

Secondly, why do you want the state to give anyone a free ride? I understand helping those in need, I wouldn't want to stop that from happening. My question to you is, why create a state where somebody can never strive for excellence, but come to the same end as those that do?
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
07 Apr 2006
great, now i can add compulsory corporate health insurance to the list of things the Massachusetts Nanny-State imposes on my life...already including seatbelts, helmets on bikes, drug laws, etc. I'm movin' to new hampshire...live free or die.
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
07 Apr 2006
This also strikes me as a neo-con attack on what massachusetts already had so far- our free care system as it has been covers you FOR FREE if you need it even if you make %200 MORE than the poverty level. Then, between $200 and %400 percent aboive teh poverty level earning folks could get it on a sliding scale - that is IF THEY CHOSE!!So it kills that right off. We were one of two staes in the country to have such a program- the other, as i undertsnad it, beign oregon. . . .


also, as far as teh business requirement goes- wouldn't that mess up all the local businesses who are running at such extreeme overheads because of the insane RENTS around here that they, too, cannot afford health insurance, and be sort of a boon and favor to bogus places like Starbucks or Wholefoods that "Offer" health insurance to their workers at prices non of thenm can afford on the wages they get?

This is BAD BAD BAD BAD!! Romney, man, SO DANGEROUS, along with that Travelgini charecter, jesus. . . . Does ANYONE know of any efforts to STOP this thing? Compusory purchases from huge corporations for EVERYBODY, really really SCARY and DANGEROUS- god, man, I know democrats SUCK, but this is NEO CON shit, compulsory corporate purchases, destruction of state programs that help people, youd' think they'd care enough about getting re-elected. .. oh well, i oughta know better. . . . . how do we STOP this thing????
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
07 Apr 2006
You can thank all the left-wing loons for clamoring for universal health care. Now they have it.
yeah, how dare the people expect the government to INSURE any kind of fringe benefits to ALL of its citizens!!as if!
07 Apr 2006
My husband works so that we can afford health insurance by getting it through his company. Poor people just have to work harder then they are apparently working now. In fact, the other moms in my book club all agree--the poor just keep getting lazier! One even says she worries that her Latino gardener has gotten involved with a subversive group ... she says it's kind of exciting to be in such danger-- he's even flirting with her. oh. my. god.ya know? =o)
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
07 Apr 2006
Isn't this a violation of the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution?
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
08 Apr 2006
Massachusetts politicians are still screwing the SINGLE working people. (Which are the majority of slaves, for corporations.) When it comes to health care.
Until EVERYONE pays the same? AND cut the insurance industry from the equation? The legislators of Massachusetts are feeding us some bad medicine.
Think about it...
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
08 Apr 2006
Katt: Part of the political motivation behind this is that even with the old system, obviously a decent number of people weren't getting health coverage, and a reasonable percentage of the uncovered were people who could afford it but chose not to (typically younger people who don't expect to need health coverage, but from time to time a huge accident happens . . .).

When people without health coverage go to a hospital with a big problem, the hospital typically has a policy to help them out at a cost to the hospital (and hence taxpayer). So part of the motivation to incentive people who can afford health care to buy it is that people who have preventative care are less likely to have major problems and in the long run, on the average, cost less to the health care system. So for this group of people it may actually be cheaper to the taxpayer if they have health coverage than if they don't. (And they will, on the average, consume more preventative care if they have insurance than if they don't.)

So while our old plan was nice, it was failing because not enough people were taking advantage of it.
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
08 Apr 2006
When I first heard about this last year, I had a thought that this was a neo-con push to get the same sex marraige supporters off the talk about equality (via marriage) with respect to health care. (I.e. I couldn't figure out why Romney would be into something like this, unless it was something that they could then hold up to show people who claim that it's important to have marraige equality because people get married in order to qualify for each other's health care).

I raised this possibility with one of my professors, and he called my mind "Byzantine," and the more I read about it, the less likely my original scenario seems.

I noticed that one person commenting mentioned Oregon. I just moved here from Oregon, and there hasn't been affordable heatlh care for all since 2004. The entire program was dismantled because they couldn't fund it. What the city did during the dismantling period was increase the number of beds in the jails, because they realized that people not being on psych meds would mean an increase in crime.
Re: Smart A**
09 Apr 2006
"To my knowledge, the constitution does not give the government the right to take over a private industry"

The constitution does not prohibit the government taking over a private industry. In fact, the Federal government did take over the railroads during World War I. Government takeover of the banking industry was proposed during the Great Depression (by the banking industry!). During World War II, the War Production Board dictated auto plant production, forcing the auto industry to manufacture military vehicles at a loss (this resulted in the consolidation of the American auto industry into the Big 4, which may not have been an entirely positive development).

The Tenth Amendment states "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states, or to the people."

There is no expllicit prohibition within the body of the Constitution, and none in any of the amendments, against government takeover or confiscation of an entire private industry, so long as compensation is made.

In addition, revocation of individual corporate charters (as opposed to takeover of an entire industry) is still a legal action which the people, or the states, could take. Corporate charters are a privilege, not a right. Revocation of charters is a common law right which has never been outlawed. It hasn't been used in years because of gutless, corporate-controlled governments, but its still constitutional.

In addition, there is no reason to take over the entire health insurance industry to provide socialized medicine. The government could easily set up a competitive health insurance system for the underserved, and people could choose. This is what happened with rural electrification with the Tennessee Valley Authority. And its what exists with the U.S. Postal Service, a government entity which competes in the marketplace with private corporations.

None of this is to say a corrupt government would be better at health insurance than corrupt corporations. I just wanted to point out that government takeover or competition is not unconstitutional. I also don't want to come across as flaming; we can be respectful of debate and opinion here when discussing this legislation. It's an important conversation to be having; the rest of the U.S. is watching what's happening in Massachusetts.
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
09 Apr 2006
whose business is it to decide what you or i or anyone else can or can't afford, and force us to BUY THINGS accordingly?? your own or the government's? idealy that is-- isn't that one of the basic rigths we have to have even in a capitalist country? i mean, before you even GET to basic individual liberties, which you may or may not agree with if you are here to debate matters with folks who think about things differently from you-- one of the basic ideas of a capitalist country is that people can buy and sell WHATEVER THEY WANT. they can work for someone else, or work FOR THEMSELVES-- something our health "care" system has effectively made impossible for many, many people.

Now, I happen to believe that deciding what and what NOT to BUY it should be a basic freedom no matter what kind of economic system you're in- but don't conservatives do boycotts, too?! what if it were suddenly illegal? what happens when a christian scientist is forced to buy health insurance? how 'bout a pro-lifer who has to buy it from a company that fights for abortion rights?

As for me, of course, I believe that health care should be a government service covered ENTIRELY by taxes, as it is in england and canada. and i believe that peopele with more money should pay more into the system- they''ll still come out on top fo someone making $2-300 above teh POVERTY LINE, and that ought to be PLENTY of reward. the fears i might have in canada or england about lines, waits, and so forth dont' even come close to the terror i have of getting sick and LOSING EVERYTHING I OWN and being in debt THE REST OF MY LIFE because I want to do something with my life other than piss away my days working 40-50 hours a week at some horrible secratarial job for people I hate who do destructive things that i ferverently ethically and viscerally detest--

Forced to buy something froma job you're effectively FORCED TO WORK AT? thats not how healthcare should work. people shouldn't be forced to spend their lives as wage slaves to only a VERY SPECIFIC class of business- the huge corporate kind taht can cover its employees ONLY if they work FULL time- because of their MORTALITY-- but thats exactly how the system is set up.

this new measure makes it worse. this means that you'll come out farther "ahead "living below the poverty line than actualy doing well enough one year to cross over into that $325 a MONTH for an INDIVIDUAL mark!! What a CORPORATE HANDOUT! And it keeps the impoverished in poverty, needing state health insurance. And the people who couldn't afford it- and who is the governmetn to determine that?!- get to afford EVEN LESS- get to be punished a SECOND TIME for not finding one of thsoe jobs with health insurnace(a shrinking pool, and unless you are Priveledged enough to have a dregree in somethign lucrative, alot of it is SHIT WORK)
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
09 Apr 2006
what is this, a free country.. no..? oh, everyone HAS to get insurance...? huh? yeah , thats the "Land of the FREE" thgat I grew up in, eh?

Jesus Jesus, take me away...
(sung to the Calgon commercial tune)
Looking for clarification...
10 Apr 2006
Katt...if you would clarify your points, your reasoning seems to contradict itself at a few areas in your post...I want to ensure that I understand you correctly and possibly give you a different perspective.

"Now, I happen to believe that deciding what and what NOT to BUY it should be a basic freedom..." and "As for me, of course, I believe that health care should be a government service covered ENTIRELY by taxes..."

Wouldn't your belief that the government should take away your choice of health insurance providers contradict your 1st statement? Right now we have the feedome to choose who our health insurance provider is...if it was government run, we wouldn't have this freedom.

"and i believe that people with more money should pay more into the system..." and "because I want to do something with my life other than piss away my days working 40-50 hours a week" and "people shouldn't be forced to spend their lives as wage slaves to only a VERY SPECIFIC class of business"

You aren't forced to work this much or be a "wage slave", you can choose to do something else. But that choice may come with consequences that you have to accept, which may include being poor and not having health insurance. You still have the choice to be the "wage slave" and have the same things they have.

What you seem to be asserting is that it is acceptable to over tax those who choose to be a "wage slave". Their profit will cover you so you can choose to go your merry way and not have to work to achieve anything. Wouldn't this plan also " keeps the impoverished in poverty, needing state health insurance?"

What if you worked 40-50 hour work weeks and earned every penny of your money to only have over 1/3 of that money be taken from you and your family to support those who chose not to work? Would you consider that fair? If so, please explain how.
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
10 Apr 2006
This is a very simple example of "be careful what you ask for you might get it." For years, led by Frau Hillary, the left has been clamoring for universal health care. Well you've got it and I hope that you're happy. So even if you never get sick and you want to roll the dice that the 100 dollars that you may pay to vidit the doc when you have the flu will be cheaper than the five thousand dollars that you will pay to the insurance companies - but still just make just one trip to the doctor, you can't. Thanks for nothing lefties. You should have thought this one out a bit more. nevermind.
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
10 Apr 2006
ha ha ha fake @
this plan isnt being brought to us entirly by "the left"
there is no "left" really in this country. Not really. The powerstucture is playing us all like a piano... this is just another trick to get working class folks frighting with POC, when we should unite.

and the person pretending to be Black and skanking on Immigrants wont fly: Black folks know that yes, this is all related to Civil Rights, Human Rights, Earth Rights, Soul Rights, and Peace.
Without Justice, how can we have true Peace? the injustice must be addressed, and the people are rising to be seen. Its time.
Peace
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
11 Apr 2006
In reality, I am not a fake @. I am a real @. There is another left leaning ideologue who goes by the handle @. There are many Tom, Dicks, and Harrys out there not just one. I would also venture to say that there are many Dicks out there. There are also at least three people here who go by the handle @.
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
12 Apr 2006
* Uh...no one wanted "Universal Insurance" in the sense of making everyone purchase it. It's about tax based health coverage for all (universal) paid by a PERCENTAGE of everyone's income taxes...unless they are too poor to pay taxes.
But...for the welfare of all, if not for pure human decency, the poorest persons (EVEN immigrants) must be provided health care. ...unless we like the idea of epidemics and desperate sick people wandering around.
No One paying that percent of income taxes gets it "free", obviously, any more than we get "free" police protection etc.

What Mass. has (the Gov signed it) is dictionary definition fascism. That people aren't yet in the streets, a la French students and unions etc, is a tribute to the psycho power of corporate media.
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
13 Apr 2006
hello johnson--

hmmm. . . . If health care were not tied to work at all, and was offered free to EVERYONE regardless of work status, it would be far more equitable and thus cause alot LESS resentment. I don't resent the roadways because I don't have a car. I dont' resent the national forest service because I haven't been to one of their parks in fifteen years. I don't resent the fire department. If my house catches fire tonight, the fire department will BE HERE, regardless of whether I'm working 80, 40, 20, or 0 hours a week. Would you resent that? I certianly wouldn't.. . . Hence, I believe Health Care should be like that.

I don't chose my fireman, when he comes to rescue my house. They are all trained to a certain standard which they must adhere to. Do they mess up sometimes? Sure! Do they get sued sometimes? You betcha! But do I have to work at a job, of a kind offered only by a very specific and narrow margin on businesses, paying out $200 of my check IN ADDITION to taxes, which in turn limits my choices pretty horrifically, in order to know the fire department will be there when I need them? Of Course not!

This is how I think health care and hospitals should work as well.

I definitely DON'T think wage slaves should get taxed any more than they already are, god someone working 40 or 50 hours a week as someone else's employee has done enough. I think Loopholes that let people get away with paying lower rates on things like capital gains, and "economic stimulation" and so forth should be closed. i believe in a really GRADUATED tax structure. . . .. and, of course, i dont' think we should have gone billions of dollars in debt to be at war in the middle east when we could use that money to feed, house, educate, and medically care for people here.

And more on choices-- for a long time my mom worked her proverbial tucus off, and we had health insurance, and you know what happened? Two of us got sick-- and used up some limit or another- and after that we had NO choice what so EVER which doctor we went to see, or where or how or when-- i mean, worse than ANYTHING in a government system that i've read about. . . . . . two of my family are dead and gone, in no small part because of this situation. i knew another person who was killed by health insurance companies, too, and i read of more. . . . . so the whole thing is a scam as soon as you need it. at least the governemtn has to PRETEND to be beholden to someone other than a pack of shareholders. . . so i'd rather take me chances there! i've doen beautifully with taht so far- i'v ehad better medical care on medicaid than my mom could EVER buy for us-- she spent a year working not 40, not 50, but EIGHTY hours a week- and at a pretty "good" job, too- all for nothing.

i don't believe ANYONE should be forced to go without certain things in this country. those things are housing, food, health insurance, and access to education. not when we have folks like bill gates living here. it just seems irresponsible to me, for society to allow a bill gates(by this i mean someone of such enorumous wealth) while most of the population works 50 hours a week or freezes or starves or sickens to death. If this is really a country where life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are the spoken edict(i'm assuming that these are things you cherish on some level?), then it can't just be empty talk. There have to be systems - but VOLUNTARY systems, not what is going down in our state- in place that will free people up to DO those things. How can anyone pursue happiness or have "liberty" while working a 50 hour a week job they hate with an hour or two commute on either side of it? Sure, you can say they chose it- but if they have to worry about whether or not they can see a doctor or not freeze to death, what kind of choice is that?

(whew that was long- its good to have some actual discourse with someoene who doesn't agree with what i think without all the animosity and unintellegible insults that usualy fly on here(and yeah i do it too sometimes). . . . . anyway! well, whats your perspective on that?
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
13 Apr 2006
and right on JJ, i'll second ALL of that!

(sigh, i'm trying to learn to be more eloquent, hellfire, i'm tryin. . . . . )
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
13 Apr 2006
This is essential;ly a state version of "Hillerycare," the notorious Clinton-era Federal program that along with gun control was responsible for Newt, Trent, Delay, and all the rest of those thugs gaining power.

It makes the PURCHASE of a PRIVATE INDUSTRY product(health insurance) mandatory. It combines all the downsides of socialized medicine with all the downsaides of capitalist "heathcare," with few of the best features of either one.

In a "single payer" system, the private, for profit health insurance firms are cut out of the game. Medical school costs are regulated, PRESCRIPTION DRUGS ARE PRICE-CONTROLLED, and so on. In addition, all socialized health care systems practice resource allocation to, say, prioritize vaccination over, say, liposuction.

With the Mass system, there is NO PRICE CONTROL, so insurnace stays just as expensive as before! The ONOY change is it becomes a civil (like in credit-card debt) issue not to purchase insurnace if you have income, but it is offered to you subsidised if you do not.

The cut in rates from forcing healthy young sungles to pay premiums will be small unless insurance companies are forced to group them with less healthy individuals! Otherwise they will be "cherry-picked" while people wiht, say, HIV face bankruptcy even if they do not wiwh to use HIV meds.

There are of course several ways to opt out. If you do not have garnishable wages or seizable propery, you are immune to civil judgements-but exempt from premiums anyway. There is a fair case to be made that people should choose NOT to make three times the povery income anyway so long as people are poor.

I suspect this will affect few serious activists in any negative way, as few of us have large enough incomes to owe premiums, and if thois program spreads nationwide it will just be one more reson NOT to jump on the career bandwagon!
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
14 Apr 2006
The choice should be EVERYONE who is a resident of Massachusetts, should pay the same contribution for health care. And every resident of Massachusetts have health coverage.
Universal would be the best answer to the problems of health care in our country.
We shouldn't have to get robbed by Wall Street. Who's country is it?
THANK YOU HILLARY
14 Apr 2006
She started this whole mess.
NewStandard article exposes Mass. Health Sham
15 Apr 2006
<p><a href="http://newstandardnews.net/content/index.cfm/items/3050">Critics Blow Holes in Mass. ‘Universal’ Health Plan</a> brings the story the establishment media should be providing everyone.
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
16 Apr 2006
Hello again Katt...I don't know if your last post was a response to me or "johnson"... I didn't see a Johnson so I'll assume it was me. If not, disregard.

"If health care were not tied to work at all, and was offered free to EVERYONE regardless of work status..."

First...what do you mean by free? If the health care industry was "free", meaning that the government paid and we didn't pay insurance or for doctors visits or surgury, then our taxes would have to be increase to cover the entire nations medical expenses. This would force everyone's taxes to be increased to not run a deficit. Meaning that it's not free, we'd all just be paying the government instead of private companies that we choose.

I see where you stand on this and the fire depatment analogy is well thought and well received...our society doesn't let people burn, so why should we let them suffer if they need healthcare? My response is that we don't, firemen respond to emergencies as do hospitals. If you don't have insurance and you go into a hospital for an emergency, they will treat you to preserve life. So in essence, the only difference is that the fire department is a division of the local government and the hospitals are not...most are for profit.

"i believe in a really GRADUATED tax structure." Ok, please explain the logic or fairness to the "rich" in this philosophy, I honestly do not grasp this at all. I see where it benefits the "poor", but it definitely penalizes the "rich". You want to tax those who earn more at a much higher rate than those that earn less. Aren't the "rich" being taxed solely because they make more money than a "poor" American? Couldn't a case be made that a graduated tax is discriminatory as it taxes Americans based on "monetary" variable? What you seem to be proposing is more communistic/socialistic in struture...which our ancestors faught long and hard to not have in America...maybe we need to remember that?

" don't believe ANYONE should be forced to go without certain things in this country. those things are housing, food, health insurance, and access to education."

I agree, you aren't FORCED to go without these thing. Everyone is or was fully capable of making their life an economic buffett in America...this is the land of opportunity for all. You must go out and make your own way. If you make bad choices and you fail, then we have safety nets, but there are no gaurantees in this country. That's not within the federal governments power to institute, per the constitution. You said that it seems irresponsible to allow economic extremes in our society...please explain why? Your example of Bill Gates revolutionized a computer industry that has revolutionized the way EVERY company in America does business. This man's vision and product has changed America forever...he's earned every penny he's every made. Can you honestly say that he deserves to be taxes at a much higher rate than anyone else and that a person on the other end of the spectrum (no job, drug addict, burglur) deserves any of his money? Or your money for that matter? I sure don't...but I'd love for you to expand your opinion so I can attempt to understand.

Thanks...sorry for the book and hope you still monitor this post.
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
19 Apr 2006
Once again, it's really all about corporate interests!
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
23 Apr 2006
Jones I find your fireman analogy interestin. I can't think of a better reason to move towards a single payer system than this ill concieved bill. It's true, we don't put out fires based on a persons abiltiy to pay because it's an emergency. However it's a pretty costly business and the same applies to healthcare. The main problem with the system right now is that people wait until their health issues become emergencies before they deal with them. This makes the system really expensive to all of us taxpayers. If people had good health coverage they would be more interested in preventative care- saving us all money. I understand your idealogical concern that we should all be responsible for ourselves but it seems like this is a classic case of cutting your nose off to spite your face. A single payer system would be cheaper for just about everyone. If bill gates doesn't like it he has the ballot box to voice that opinion just like the rest of us. By the way do you really think our ancestors were fighting agianst socialism? Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't it agianst a corporate system that disregarded the needs of the people? Maybe I read the wrong history books.
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
23 Apr 2006
Tea Drinker,

"By the way do you really think our ancestors were fighting agianst socialism? Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't it agianst a corporate system that disregarded the needs of the people? Maybe I read the wrong history books."

Keep reading...you stopped at the American Revolution...see the Cold War circa 1950's-1980's. Also Korea, Vietnam are other examples to stop the spread of communism...which is a doctorine based on Marxian socialism. It is undeniable that our ancestors faught and died to stop America from being socialist.
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
23 Apr 2006
I probably shouldn't have responded to that part of your remarks. If you're saying that America was in Vietnam and Korea to stop the spread of communism then I agree, but that isn't the same as fighting communism in America. My main point was about the whole healthcare thing. I believe there's a difference between something being socialized and socialist. Universal heathcare (not this rediculous bill that only benifits the hmo's) would make financial sense, even for the rich, who right now are paying for thousands of preventable emergency room visits. I do not think that universal healthcare is a human right any more than a fire service is but both are great things to have if we can afford them (and we can) . We're a civilized country and we have the capability of having an excellent heathcare system that would be the envy of the world. In as much as none of us are arguing that those who can't afford healthcare should be left to suffer and die on the streets, wouldn't it make sense to develope a system that actually prevents this?
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
23 Apr 2006
Ahhh Tea Drinker, you speak of that wonderful land that is out of reach of this world, Utopia.

"...I believe there's a difference between something being socialized and socialist." Aggreed, but once the ball gets rolling with the government,it's hard to stop. At this point in time Americans have the right to have health insurance or not, to work or not, to do many things or not...my main concern with socializing anything is that we are handing over those "rights' to the government. Essentially saying, we don't want to choose for ourselves anylonger, you do it for us. Sorry, I'm not for that, NEVER will be.

"We're a civilized country and we have the capability of having an excellent heathcare system that would be the envy of the world"
Agreed, and I believe that we already do have a system envied by other countries. However, handing this over to the government would not make our level of healthcare any better. All it would do is make it paid for by tax dollars and it would create more bureacracy...and increase taxes on EVERYONE.

If you want to solve the situation with poor, un-insured workers, don't band-aid the problem. Their problem isn't that they don't have health insurance, it's that they can't afford it. Is the best solution to help these people really to provide affordable insurance (in the long run)? Or would it be to educate them and their future generations so they could provide themselves with their own insurance?

Welfare and any other socialized benefit from the government is a very noble concept, we just need to ensure that these benefits aren't utilized as crutches. What our system has achieved, as a whole, is a viscious cycle of citizens, generally minorities, dependent on the government to meet their needs. Universal health insurance is just another spin of this cycle...stop the cycle, that should be our nations goal. NO MORE BAND-AIDS.
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
23 Apr 2006
Jonesy. If your argument is an idealogical one then I respect that, although I think that it's misguided. However if you're making an argument for economic reasons.....
HMO's spend much more on beaurocracy than medicare does. Check how much of your policy goes towards actual healthcare. This is always the argument put forward against universal healthcare and it's missleading. The reason that healthcare is so expensive in America is because so much money that goes into the system never actually pays for services, and that because so much treatment is done in emergency rooms because people with no insurance wait 'till the last minute before getting assistance.
Just to get a little idealogical agian (sorry I can't resist) I don't think that being poor or sick is the same as bieng stupid or undeserving.
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
23 Apr 2006
Jonesy. If your argument is an idealogical one then I respect that, although I think that it's misguided. However if you're making an argument for economic reasons.....
HMO's spend much more on beaurocracy than medicare does. Check how much of your policy goes towards actual healthcare. This is always the argument put forward against universal healthcare and it's missleading. The reason that healthcare is so expensive in America is because so much money that goes into the system never actually pays for services, and that because so much treatment is done in emergency rooms because people with no insurance wait 'till the last minute before getting assistance.
Just to get a little idealogical agian (sorry I can't resist) I don't think that being poor or sick is the same as bieng stupid or undeserving.
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
23 Apr 2006
My main point is an ideological one...but also personal economics. Personal economics in the fact that I believe that I should pay my way and you should pay yours. Simple enough...if I can't afford something, then I go without.

Ideologically, I don't expect or feel that I'm entitled anything but to be left alone by our government. As long as I abide by their law, I make my own way and I'm proud of that. If I have surplus, then I will contribute to the charitable organization that I want to sponsor...not have my funds support programs that I do not support.

Ideological in the healthcare sense that I'm fine choosing to cover myself or not...I'm not fine with not having a choice.

The universal coverage would probably be taken from your paycheck much like Social Security? I don't like that. I would rather be in control of the money I make, rather than letting the government decide what to do with the money that I earned with my blood, sweat and tears.

My question to you is...why do you want to give up that freedom to the government?

"I don't think that being poor or sick is the same as bieng stupid or undeserving. "
Agreed, I didn't say that. Being uneducated doesn't make you stupid, it means that you aren't as marketable as someone with a formal education. Education is directly correlational to your income level, many studies have shown this.

I also never said a thing about undeserving...but I would argue that we aren't entitled to it. We would probably all argue that we deserve the best. If you can afford better coverage than what I have, God bless you. If you can't afford any...that's when we'd need to discuss a temporary, sensible supplemental coverage. Maybe even having the coverage be a tax write off. Not a crutch...and once your on it, it won't increase if you add more dependants (have more babies)...it wouldn't decrease, but this would not directly suport you having more children that you already cannot afford. I'm not insensitive, but I'm also not an idiot.

To say that the government should just jump in and take over, scares me...all Americans would be losing a freedom.
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
23 Apr 2006
You suggest that socialized medicine should simply be a safety net but most of the uninsured in this country are working people. The problem right now is that we actually have a crisis that needs to be dealt with. Idealogically what you suggest doesn't seem unreasonable but it hasn't worked so far. What you suggest would probably just about tip the balance towards the uninsured taking matters into there own hands. They're a big enough voting block to change the face of american politics resulting in more loss of freedom that you suggest (yeah right, who am I kidding?)
Re: The Threat Of Compulsory Insurance
23 Apr 2006
By taking matters into their own hands, do you mean getting a second job? Do you mean not having any more children until they can afford it? Do you mean making short term sacrifices, going back to school to get a job that will provide benefits? If that's what you mean, that's what I want.

However, if you mean, we must appease the masses or face shock and damage...and you are asserting that we "meet their demands" to keep peace. Sounds a bit like a form of terrorism to me.

Also, if you look at the statistics (http://www.census.gov/prod/2005pubs/p60-229.pdf) page 18 shows that nearly 1/3 of US citizens not covered by health insurance have a household income of $50,000.00 or greater. Depending on the size of their household, wouldn't you assume that they could afford, but didn't want insurance? Kinda puts a dent in the "crisis" talk? A supplement for the other 2/3 would work fine.

This also shows approx 1/4 without insurance did not work at all during the year...you honestly can say that those of us who work should be picking up their healthcare tab?