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Sun Jan 6, 2013, 09:30 PM

Robert Reich: Medicare isn't the problem. It may be the solution.

The Hoax of Entitlement Reform

........................

Medicare isn't the problem. It may be the solution.

"Entitlement reform" sounds like a noble endeavor. But it has little or nothing to do with reducing future budget deficits.

Taming future deficits requires three steps having nothing to do with entitlements: Limiting the growth of overall healthcare costs, cutting our bloated military, and ending corporate welfare (tax breaks and subsidies targeted to particular firms and industries).

Obsessing about "entitlement reform" only serves to distract us from these more important endeavors.

much more:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-reich/entitlement-reform_b_2421991.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

37 replies, 3732 views

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Reply Robert Reich: Medicare isn't the problem. It may be the solution. (Original post)
kpete Jan 2013 OP
truebluegreen Jan 2013 #1
dotymed Jan 2013 #26
truebluegreen Jan 2013 #27
dotymed Jan 2013 #31
truebluegreen Jan 2013 #32
dotymed Jan 2013 #37
Faryn Balyncd Jan 2013 #2
Kennah Jan 2013 #4
Faryn Balyncd Jan 2013 #6
Kennah Jan 2013 #8
John2 Jan 2013 #22
Romulox Jan 2013 #12
Demo_Chris Jan 2013 #14
truebluegreen Jan 2013 #28
jsr Jan 2013 #23
abelenkpe Jan 2013 #3
JDPriestly Jan 2013 #5
Yo_Mama Jan 2013 #7
JDPriestly Jan 2013 #10
Yo_Mama Jan 2013 #36
Demo_Chris Jan 2013 #15
daleanime Jan 2013 #19
TexasBushwhacker Jan 2013 #34
Auntie Bush Jan 2013 #20
JDPriestly Jan 2013 #29
JDPriestly Jan 2013 #9
patrice Jan 2013 #11
hay rick Jan 2013 #13
socialindependocrat Jan 2013 #25
MissMarple Jan 2013 #16
leftyohiolib Jan 2013 #17
kentuck Jan 2013 #18
gkhouston Jan 2013 #21
Skidmore Jan 2013 #24
underpants Jan 2013 #30
spanone Jan 2013 #33
Quantess Jan 2013 #35

Response to kpete (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:14 PM

1. For Medicare and health care in general:

everybody in, everybody pays. Of course, those that wish to can have their own insurance as well.

Huge patient pool, most of them much healthier than current enrollees; huge bargaining power; and the lowest overhead in the business.



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Response to truebluegreen (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 12:04 PM

26. This is the part that shows our compassion-vs-profits

Medicare for all is great but IMO should not be profit motivated.

"and the lowest overhead in the business."

suffering and or death, should not be a business. I do not think that you are advocating this but in America, most have the profit mindset. Some things should not be profited from. Health insurance is wrong.

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Response to dotymed (Reply #26)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 01:05 PM

27. I suppose I should have said,

"lowest administrative costs."

I don't regard Medicare as a "business." It's a government program that is specifically NOT profit-motivated and should be available to everyone.

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Response to truebluegreen (Reply #27)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:07 PM

31. That is why it is so hard to find a Dr. willing to

take new medicare patients...

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Response to dotymed (Reply #31)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:02 PM

32. Um, I'm confused.

You think the problem with our medical system is its profit motive AND you think Medicare doesn't pay doctors enough?



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Response to truebluegreen (Reply #32)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:38 AM

37. IDK what is so confusing...

I don't think that medicare pays Dr.'s too little, but they do. Especially compared to non-medicare payments.
Absolutely the for profit system of health care is problematic. That is why the other first world nations provide health care for it's citizens.
Their Dr.'s are paid handsomely. A government salary. Dr.'s in Great Britain for instance, make very good salaries, are some of the "top earners" and have a much better outcome than our (U.S.) health care system. They may not be getting wealthy like the banksters, but they are humanitarians being well compensated.
On "60 minutes" (I think) they showed the Dr.'s in G.B. They lived good lives, had great homes, vehicles, etc..and they were doing a job they loved. Not for the money but to help people.
In America we have insurance companies who must make huge profits and many Dr.'s that have gotten into their profession because of the money, not the people. Not all American Dr.'s are this way, thank God.
True blue green is the quest for for many capitalists but many are more interested in humanity.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:05 PM

2. Medicare-for-All is the BEST and ONLY AFFORDABLE solution!

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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 12:11 AM

4. We're on that path, and probably will get there in the next 15 years.

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Response to Kennah (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:05 AM

6. We've gone from considering a MC buy-in option to debating whether to raise the MC age to 67...




...in a little less than 3 years.


We are now on the verge of seriously considering a plan that would be a huge move in exactly the opposite direction from what is best.


And it is not just Republicans promoting this, but Democrats such as Ed Rendell.


It appears it will not be an easy route.









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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:04 AM

8. You are of course correct

ACA wasn't anywhere near ideal, and a lot of ill effects continue to surface. That said, I still think it was a good step in the proper direction.

On MC and raising the age, I continue to toss up my hands and wonder aloud, "WTF?!"

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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 09:47 AM

22. I can see

 

right through Ed Rendell. I just have a good feel for people. He is about money. He will sell his soul to the highest bidder. All you have to do is look into his financial background and who pays his salary. Most of these politicians are the same. And believe this or not, but I find many people today in the Health professions are about profits now before their vowel to cure and help sick. A lot of people today got into it because of the money. A decent salary is not good enough now a days.

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Response to Kennah (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:08 PM

12. Citizen's United + mandatory private insurance = plenty of your own money says you're wrong. nt

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Response to Romulox (Reply #12)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:26 PM

14. Obamacare = Corporate Welfare

 

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #14)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 01:08 PM

28. +100

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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 09:51 AM

23. It really is

The only people who disagree are corporate CEOs and their personal bankers.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:56 PM

3. K&R

We need to end corporate welfare and tax all dollars the same. Capital Gains and dividends should be taxed at the same rate as income.

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Response to abelenkpe (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 12:53 AM

5. That would be great!

If I have a house and I sell it, I have earned income. Why should someone who works for years to make the money I make just selling my house have to pay taxes on his income earned from work if I don't have to pay it on a house when I sell it.

The capital gains tax breaks on the sale of a home should not exist.

I think that tax breaks -- deductions -- should continue for the interest on the first home that someone buys and lives in but should not continue for the capital gains income when a property is sold.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:48 AM

7. But then you would be taxed on income you did not get

If you live in a house for 20 years, and then sell it, inflation will generally assure that you have a hefty theoretical "profit".

But if you sell it because you need/want to move to another place, you may well find that a new comparable home costs even more than the price you got for the home you just sold. So in effect, selling your home has cost you a great deal of money if you had to pay capital gains on what is really inflation.

Inflation at even 2% a year (the Fed's long term goal) ensures that assets you have for a long time will rise in dollar value, even if the comparable value hasn't changed.

I mean think about it. Suppose a couple bought a home 30 years ago for $60,000, maintained it, paid down the mortgage, and now they are retiring and want to move south to retire. Well, the home they are looking at in AZ costs $200,000, although it is no palace. They can sell their current home for $270,000, leaving them capital "gains" of $210,000. Income that year is $50,000. With the exclusion, that moves their income into the "rich" bracket, so by your theory and Obama's recommended rates, they'd pay 35% on some of the house money. But even 28% leaves they paying taxes of $58,800 on the home sale.

I don't know why anyone would ever buy a home except for short-term speculation if they were going to be taxed like this. It's an utter loser - you wind up so much worse off than you would be if you had rented.

In the long run, lower capital gains taxes for the long term capital gains bring in more tax revenue, not less, because assets that would be unsaleable start changing hands.

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:53 AM

10. By the same reasoning, your paycheck rises not because you do more work

but because you get raises to match inflation. You still have to pay taxes on the increase.

Sadly, wage increases barely keep up with inflation. Corporations eat the increased profits from technological improvements. Workers generally don't get a share of those.

If your neighborhood improves or becomes a more desirable place to live, the value of your house increases and that is no more inflation than are the increased profits a corporation receives by saving labor costs or finding a cheaper alternative for an important natural resource.

We should pay taxes on capital gains no matter what the source.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 05:21 PM

36. Income taxes are inflation-indexed

for that very reason. Otherwise we'd ALL be paying the top rates!

The problem is the way that capital gains are taxed. If you adjusted your original investment to match a comparable asset now, or even indexed it for inflation, then you would actually be taxing income. Without that, you are taxing inflation, which leaves people having less after paying taxes then they did originally.

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:32 PM

15. No. Capital gains should be taxed as regular income.

 

If they want to add in an exemption for home sales valued below a certain amount -- say a couple hundred thousand -- okay, but other than that no way.

Capital gains are INCOME and should be taxed as such.

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #15)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 09:11 AM

19. Amen.

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:47 PM

34. The first $250K of home sale capital gains is tax exempt, $500K is you're married filing jointly n/t

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 09:26 AM

20. How about paying capital income only on sale of SECOND homes?

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Response to Auntie Bush (Reply #20)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 07:44 PM

29. Might work.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:48 AM

9. K&R.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:04 PM

11. I can't agree with this more! I wonder WHY it's not more obvious to others. nt

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Response to patrice (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:14 PM

13. WHY in two easy steps.

1. Turn on the news- any network.
2. DO NOT, repeat DO NOT hold your breath until you hear "health care costs" mentioned as a cause of federal deficits or "REDUCING health care costs" as an alternative to entitlement reform.

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Response to patrice (Reply #11)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:31 AM

25. I'd say people are being PAID to keep feeding corporations

How else can Lyan Ryan say they'll take 713B
in savings and give it to the wealthy?

They can't possibly still believe in trickle-down...

And then we have the idiotd in the middle class who still vote to
elect Republicants.

We need to outlaw special interest groups and lobbying
and maybe prosecute a few members of congress for taking bribes.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:43 PM

16. +1

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 06:27 AM

17. tag

 

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 08:53 AM

18. That's one of the reasons I like Robert Reich...

He's not afraid to think out of the box.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #18)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 09:39 AM

21. What's sad is that his position is considered "out of the box".

That wasn't meant as an attack on you, but rather on the Very Serious People.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 09:55 AM

24. Exactly!

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 07:50 PM

30. I read a piece months ago about how much Medicare and Medicaid have contributed to the recovery

Can't remember who wrote it

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:13 PM

33. just had surgery. the anesthesiologist alone was $2,000.

for a 45 minute procedure.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 05:13 PM

35. Great article!

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