Thank you everyone. Very informative and thought provoking. My keenest interest (and background) is international affairs and warfare - but I was unaware and shocked to see that chart (thank you 1GL).
I'm reminded of a quote by Sun Tzu Wu: The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Both countries are not exactly our enemies, nor are they exactly our "friends" especially as they are both wooed tirelessly by the the Russians, AND the Chinese. (Thank you Robbie - I was a tad "hot" there - appreciate the clarification).
Of the two (forms of policy), double policy and alliance, double policy (i.e. making peace with one and waging war with another) is preferable; for whoever adopts the double policy enriches himself, being over attentive to his own works, where as an allied king has to help his ally at his own expense. (As America has done).
Arthasastra of Kautilya: India, 321-296 B.C.
I understand full well the necessity to stabilize and render assistance to war torn nations (who are occupied by our active forces ) and do not begrudge the citizens per say - however this is guerrilla warfare and many of the local populous are double and tipple agents. The bottom line is - whether is be one child, one person, or 20 million, or 45 million - no one who is a landed immigrant or legal citizen of this nation should be forced by draconian economic manipulations by the pharmaceutical companies and the fraudulent insurance companies who manipulate our government by relentless nefarious lobbying and kick backs to be denied health care - when we are providing it to people in the third world countries that protect terrorists (by accepting funds and weapons from our two "former" enemies ) who seek to destroy us.
It galls me that I was listening to sanctimonious cant by men and women elected by us who have exemplary health care benefits thanks to our tax dollar (we pay for their health care !!!) rant that our middle class and our poor (and trust me - the economic crisis is ongoing - and is NOT improving - hence the "middle class" is not so middle anymore) can afford health care if "they" just work harder, whilst the cost of drugs and insurance sky rocket.
Germany gave us HItler, Italy gave us Mussolini, Spain gave us Franco and France took Jerry Lewis off our hands. They, along with some Third World nations, are definitely the nations we should aspire to become more like...great group.
This whole scenario is scary. What it amounts to is nationaliize our insurance and pharmaceutical companies.
Our insurance companies in 2008 showed a profit of 35% to a low of 4%. The government wants the whole pie. They have not ran anything before and made a profit, this will get interesting.
Wonder if this will crash the stock market tomorrow.
Utilities are heavily regulated and only allowed to make a 10% profit.
So, Darroll? What is your problem with only making a 10% profit. When I was a contractor, I was very happy with a 10% profit. Hell, right now I would be pretty happy to get a 4% profit on my investments.
Great point Dottie. How many voted for this bill without reading it? How many voted against it in hopes of winning the "game"? How many voted for it in hopes of winning the "game"? Am I the only pissed off about the "game" being played with 300 million American lives at stake?
Well, all I can say is that just now I could not afford to come back to live in the US because of the insurance/health care cost issue. As a foreigner (one who has not contributed through salary deductions during my working life), I pay about $600/yr (400 euros), means-based, for my basic health insurance here, which gives me 70% coverage for medical and basic dental and 65% on pharmacy. Once declared, a chronic illness is 100% covered; all of my husband's bills for that were paid retroactively. Complementary insurance is available, of course, but I find it cheaper for now to pay my own minimal difference. Preventive testing - every-2-year mammograms, every-5-year total checkups - are covered.
When I turned 65, Medicare informed me that I was eligible for their basic coverage at $93 per month. I can't remember how the details of that coverage compared, but as I remember it was not favorable.
When you consider that a visit to a GP is under 25 euros, you see the big difference in my costs. Doctors do not work out of fancy offices with nurses and company in attendance. A dentist may or may not have an assistant. If they are in a group, they may share a receptionist. But the care is good, and that is what counts.
Of course I am out in the country, where rent is cheap, and my opthalmo in Paris is a bit more expensive. It takes a long time to get an appointment with a decent one around here; one of the drawbacks is that medical pros may not care to bury themselves in a backwater without much incentive. But I suppose that's a problem in the US, too.
The thing that concerns me is this: I hope that the programs will be affordable enough and that folks who 'make too much' won't get caught in the middle. I'm not talking about the wealthy, but those like me, who are certainly not at the poverty level but don't have enough income to cover high premiums. It needs to be reasonably priced so that you don't end up paying, in the long run, so much more than your actual medical costs could ever be.
PS TeeBubba - me, too. I think a lot of people are in your boat. I hope this helps.
I agree, Aggie, this is one of the big problems. Those who are profiting from the high costs of medical care are not necessarily the practitioners themselves, but those who drive up their ancillary costs - malpractice insurance, lawsuits, and the patients themselves, indirectly: the fact is that the doctors feel obliged to throw everyone into a scanner to avoid being sued later.