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Affordable (health) Care Act


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The new law doesn't affect me, but I live on the border and there are so many uninsured, so my county tax burden will drop now that sick people don't have to go to the ER where everything is triple the price. In Texas everything is tied to property taxes so if you own a home you get shafted every year, and somehow during this crazy housing recession my property value has gone up every year for five years.


I used to have federal gov't insurance when I worked at White Sands and it was so good and cheap, less than $100 a month. Now I get the Texas state employee BS which is double the money for less care, but I guess this is the land of Jesus and you know how he hated cheap healthcare. Alright I'll stop my rant before I get to carry away, at least my TA can get covered now for only 45 bucks a month.

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All in all, $126.30/mo for health, dental and eye insurance isn't that bad; although, it is really stretching my budget. I only have about $100 left of wiggle room. I hate having a roommate, but if anything else goes up I'll probably have to start looking for one. :ermm:

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I pay $132/mo. That's with a $5000 deductible (and my insurance doesn't pay a cent until after I max out that deductible). Also, it does not include eye or dental. There are a lot of great things about being self-employed, but health insurance isn't one of them. I haven't yet compared to see what other plans might now be available for me. I'm in the process of paying off some major medical bills from this summer, so even if there is a better plan, it probably won't be worth it for me to switch before January.


Earlier this year, Time published a very good article about our health care system. It received a lot of praise and is definitely worth reading.

Here's a link for anyone who is interested: https://www.uta.edu/faculty/story/2311/Misc/2013,2,26,MedicalCostsDemandAndGreed.pdf

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I'm an outsider too, but I've been following this story, as ultimately it really does have implications for the global economy.


It looks to me like vested interests have used the usual stooges to create a phony debate about the government imposing itself into people's health care choices. This seems a very disingenuous line of argument. To argue against government imposition is perfectly reasonable in itself, but the forces that control the ridiculously inefficient and profiteering health system today surely represent a power bloc every bit as immane as a government. To put it another way, I can understand why some people might say, "Keep the government out of my doctors office!" But, take a look at the nature of the entity that is currently "in your doctor's office" with you, and the objection makes less sense.


These vast corporate interests have arguably even more control over people's lives, have absolutely no duty to anyone but themselves, are unelected and unaccountable, and spend billions bending the actual government to their will. The fact is that big money has gone global - the money doesn't have to "trickle down" when it can trickle out. These interest groups have no qualms about driving the US into the ground, and the current health care spending could do just that.


The big problem with Obamacare is that it didn't have the tenacity to root these buggers out, but merely forces them to offer more coverage and better terms - which means they just pass these costs on to the struggling middle class, and carry on with business as usual.


That's how it appears to me, anyway.

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Such a funny thing. People want welfare, but they do not want to pay the cost of it.

Where I live most health care and general welfare is paid by taxes... this also means that the average tax pressure is in the area of 40-50%.


Americans would never accept to pay that much, and even here then more and more people tend to vote for parties that try to lower the taxes. Yet if they lower the taxes they have to reduce the welfare, and then people get pissed and they do not get elected the next time around. Hence nobody is willing to do any major reforms since they know its a political death sentence.

The current government is most likely not going to last another period, since they have been reducing taxes for companies, and the middle class, but they have also reduced welfare quite a bit.

Its en evil circle.... too much welfare and people get complacent and ineffective. Too little and people get selfish and ineffective.

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That's true, and the political dance around tax and spending will always go on, in every country, and health provision costs are always a challenge. But, when you look at health spending as a fraction of GDP, in most developed countries it's around 10%, whereas in the US it's nearer 20%. That difference is largely an obscene and destructive profit margin.


The German health system was mentioned, and I believe it does work well. I think the reason for this is something that has made Germany particularly successful - they tend to have rational and functional internal business relationships. They have this in their industries, where the trade unions tend to sit on the boards of companies in a co-operative and productive way. The also have this in their healthcare system, where prices, terms and complex agreements are worked out regularly between industry, doctors, local government, patients representatives, and so on.


This seems to be a cultural advantage - they are certainly not "socialist", but they seem to consider the value of society as a whole, rather than rather dementedly (and perhaps fearfully) trying to make a fast buck at everyone else's expense. I'm afraid we see rather more of that mindset in the UK and the US.

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The difference between most countries and the US is that we have states with their own gov't and then cities with their gov't and even counties with their own gov't. Each state has a different way to generate revenue through taxes, Texas does a sales tax, 8.25%, and property tax, which is tied into city/county taxes for schools, roads...


Every state is different, some do state income tax, and even some cities/counties do taxes on their own, like NYC. The top earners in NYC pay about 55% tax rate, but they are mostly bankers, so I say raise it even higher!


The way I see it is that a county ER is going to charge triple what a doctor's office will and that people that can go to a doctor will mostly get preventive care or catch things soon enough to treat. If you are uninsured then you basically wait until you have to go to the ER, and you probably cannot afford that so the tax payer gets stuck with the cost. If I'm going to pay for it anyways, I want people to get the cheaper healthcare and the ER is not where that happens.


I used to have the same plan that our lovely federal gov't has and it is the best health plan you can get, cheap and covers everything. It is almost like they don't want people to have that amazing plan so they can horde all the good coverage to themselves. IDK maybe I underestimate how immoral the morality police in this country can be.

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The UK is very similar to the US in that regard - we are made up of four united states, each with their own government, their own taxation powers and budgets, and each of those broken down into county councils, again with their own arrangements.

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