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Their goal - END employer paid health care. Please Read.

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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 02:33 PM
Original message
Their goal - END employer paid health care. Please Read.
Edited on Sun Jan-22-06 02:40 PM by salin
For more than several weeks I have been reading articles that make it more clear in my mind what orwellian policy push Bushco is going to make next, that will severely impact the citizens of this nation. I wrote the below post on an LBN thread - finally finding the way to tie together what I see starting to unfurl, in a way that is somewhat (I hope) coherent. As we prepare to hear the SOTU speech - please keep this in mind - and pass along your insight, as predictions, to any fence sitters who might be preparing to watch the speech. Perhaps if they get a peek at the likely play-book, they will become more savvy to the rhetorical flourishes and begin to hear what is really being intended in terms of likely policy ala bush co.

In short - they want to end employer paid health insurance. Why? The huge growth in costs for insurance has become the number one concern of many corporations - there has to be a response - but under a radical right wing govt - the only response can be to just end the practice, rather than to shift costs to govt via some form of universal care or single payer program.


Their Goal - END Employer Paid Health Care.

Their means to achieve it: ending tax incentives to employers providing health ins to employees.

Their rationale/spin to sell it: Inefficiencies in the market because

a) middle men are not the best consumers for competitive markets...

Note - the middle men are the employers; the implication is that human relations departments are not shopping for competitive health insurance (huh? what it isn't in the companies best interest to get the cheapest cost health care - and that individuals would do a much better job?) Also note how WELL this "taking tons of plans to the public - in the name of competition" is doing for Medicare Plan D.

and b) that consumers of health care make unwise decisions (go to the doctor too often) because of LOW copays - and that if consumers had to pay more per visit, they would better ration their use of health care.

Note - the suggestion seems to be that preventative medicine is undesirable and that folks should wait until it is really bad; also odd is the suggestion that if folks went to the doctor less, that health care would become more affordable - as if that would create more demand for services making drs and hmos need to be more competitive (again - huh?); more likely is that there were fewer folks seeing doctors, individual trips to the doctor would cost more in order for offices to maintain the income to cover overhead costs.

Their mechanism to be sold: Under the guise of 'expanding health care coverage to Americans' they will promote an increase in the amount of money that can be sheltered (not taxed) in "health savings accounts", coupled with a push for Americans to use less expensive catastrophic coverage policies in conjunction with the savings accounts.

Note - this is a push to get insurance costs off the backs of employers - something businesses have been screaming about while health insurance costs have skyrocketed over the past several years; the implication to the public (not based in any reality) is that if employers didn't have to pay insurance, that employee pay would increase (as if corporations would shift that money back to employees rather than shift it into profit margins), and with the "extra money" (hah!) individuals could buy their own health insurance - opting for cheaper "catastrophic coverage" plans that often have lower monthly payments but very high deductibles and don't pay at all for some procedures such as... pregnancies and births; and that individuals would use the rest of the "extra money" (hah!) to invest in tax-free health savings accounts.

The reality is that no extra money is likely to come shift from employers to employees; thus the individual/family must now foot the costs of catastrophic coverage, and money to be put into the savings accounts to a) pay the out of pocket deductibles, and for emergency costs of things not covered by the very limited (in terms of coverage) catastrophic coverage. This would mean that millions of Americans who have insurance today - would suddenly have to pay out several thousand dollars a year MORE than they do today for much less adequate health coverage. Because wages are not increasing at a rate to generate these additional funds - it is likely that many working and lower middle to middle income families will not have the additional income required to get the insurance and to pay into the health savings accounts.

How they intend to get it done:
Bush is also pushing for "tax simplification" - his other major domestic policy push of 2006. This plan includes the major mechanism to shift health care costs from employers to employees. The plan will END all tax incentives/subsidies to employers that provide health insurance to its employees. Simultaneously the tax code changes would expand the amount of money allowed to be put into tax-free "health savings accounts".

Note - how many companies, already suffering due to exponential increases in costs of health care over the past ten years, are going to keep providing health insurance coverage when it becomes even MORE expensive to do so? Most likely the only company paid for health benefits would be reserved for the executive level with everyone else being dropped. Overnight the ranks of the uninsured will swell.

Salin's overall note to anyone reading this post - I have been trying a way to pull together my thoughts and concerns on this issue - as the writing on the wall has grown more clear to me since the details of Bush's push on "the strength of the economy" a couple of weeks ago were released which included this push on health care. My memory of various write ups on the work and plans of Bush's special panel on "Tax Simplification", which included the ending of tax incentives for employers providing health insurance - made the current news/themes make the hair on my neck stand on edge. I haven't been able to find a way to write this concisely - so here is a stab at it.

The mess of the medicare drug plan should put a face to the lie that taking complex plans straight to consumers = more efficiency with cheaper and better coverage - but I fear that the rhetoric will obscure the links between the president's new push - and the realities of his botched medicare plan D reform. Most frightening of all is his success throughout his presidency of winning ALL votes that are related to "tax cuts" - even when the public is no longer behind it - because of the GOPers in the senate and house. I fear that the whole details on the push to end employer health insurance will be obscured in a "tax cut" sell athon - and that the public will not be aware of the HUGE implications... until it is too late.

If anyone reads this - please respond. Does what I write make sense? What else can be added to help folks watch the boiler plate of how the bush admin and GOP in congress is going to approach "health reform" + "tax reform" in a way that will actually swell the ranks of the uninsured and put millions of Americans at even greater risk of bankruptcy, and worse than that of serious health risks due to little to no access to preventative medicine and little to no access to life-saving medicine/medical attention.

link to original lbn thread that inspired this post:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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meti57b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. I believe what you are saying is exactly what they are pushing.
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. It seems so obvious - and frightens me that no one is talking about
the obvious - this really needs to be spelled out in a preemptive way.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 02:43 PM
Response to Original message
3. then no one over 40 will have health care
if that's their goal, it's a pretty stupid goal, because it would guarantee that we would have to institute a nationalized health care program immediately

i have no pre-existing conditions supposedly yet i couldn't buy private health care in my state once i turned 45 and it was v. difficult to buy any after age 40, and i'm a slim no-smoking female w. no history of depression or pregnancy or ANYTHING to put an asterisk by my application

last time i checked, there were only two private health insurers in my state so there is no private marketplace competing for your business, there can't be any free market competition in an area where no one wants to serve the market, there is no profit in selling health insurance to middle-aged people
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. here is a poll from sept 2005
according to financial planner magazine, an industry magazine for financial planners, the greatest fear experienced by most americans is the fear of not being able to afford health insurance or health care, it is considered a greater fear than the fear of terror or the fear of losing one's job

here are the fears ranked from biggest to least--
49 percent are very worried they will have to pay more for health care or health insurance

46 percent are v. worried their income won't keep up w. rising prices

42 percent are v. worried they will not be able to afford healthcare services

32 percent are v. worried the quality of healthcare services they recieve is getting worse

23 percent are v. worried abt losing their job

20 percent are v. worried abt losing their savings in stock market (that must be the 20 percent that hasn't already, ha ha)

19 percent are v. worried abt being a victim of a terrorist attack

don't know if the poll is online, it's on pg 114 of the sept. 2005 financial planner, the reality is if osama kills you you're dead and you're out of your misery, but if you have a serious illness or accident your entire future is compromised and the future of your entire family is compromised

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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Doesn't suprise me at all.
This is insanity - and how they are approaching it is very stealth - but it I can not read their rhetoric on the tax front and that which accompanies their health care rhetoric any other way.

I assume they will be stopped - as they were with privatization of SS - at least on the tax code push. But their language is slimey and they have pulled stealth moves time and time again. The only way to be sure they will not do this - is for the public to be savvy as to what the rhetoric is gearing up for - and to loudly voice opposition to their senators and representatives.
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. It doesn't make sense - except from the corrupt corporate angle:
Corporations don't want to pay anymore. Those that have been upfront about it - by just dumping health cared - have faced some pr nightmares. So bushco rolls it into its "ownership society" bs; puts it into a tax-cut/tax-simplification package (which he is batting a thousand on getting tax cuts passed); and gives the corps what they want.

From a public policy perspective, you are correct, it makes no sense. Yet, listen to the rhetoric that accompanies the "need to make health care affordable" that he is beginning to use - and see if the themes I list above are not the ones being pushed; then do a google for bushco's tax simplification panel/commission's recommendations - and read the part that wants to end all tax incentives for employer-paid health care. There suddenly is no explanation other than - they want to end it as we know it. No where does it become more obvious that they really don't give a damn about the american people - because no end can come of such policies except throwing millions of americans off of health insurance - all for cheap political gains in the forms of corporate largesse being poured upon the GOP and all of their campaign fundraising vehicles (legal and illegal.)

We can only hope were this to occur - that there would be a counter move for universal or single payer care. Though I would venture to bet it would take years to occur and great damage will already be wraught.
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tsuki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #5
13. As an employer, I can tell you it makes perfect sense from the
insurance companies view (and I assume this is another K Street law.)

Our company plan states that their are no pre-existing conditions. I have seen our premiums go from $190.00 under Lawton to $915.00 under Jeb. The insurance companies don't want company policies because they cannot write exemptions into the policies. And company policies are monitored by law.

Private plans carry a two year exemption for any "pre-existing" conditions. The individual is at the mercy of the insurance provider.

We had to drop health coverage because of the cost. My assistant's husband qualified for Medicare, and so she bought a private policy. She had a kidney stone 7 years ago, so anything to do with her kidneys or can be linked back to her kidneys is exempt for two years.

We already know that in two years when the exemption phases out, her premium will double forcing her to go to another policy that will write exemptions.

I hated giving up the insurance, but I cannot compete with the Big Box Stores that use Medicaid as their primary health insurer.
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #13
23. For a little while a couple of years ago, it looked like
some big corps were lining up to begin to push for universal or single payer care (govt) - and not mind the increased taxes to pay for it - as it would be cheaper than the ever escalating insurance costs. Guess CATO, AEI and Heritage instead convinced them that they could have it both ways - no longer pay health insurance AND not have to pay taxes to cover a universal or single-payer type plan. The window of opportunity, at least for now, seems to have closed.
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tsuki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #23
41. Whether the public believes it or not, the insurance companies
rake in billions while crying poor. They will never allow single-payer type plans.

What they want is to eliminate all coverage by companies so that they can rake in even more money by using "pre-existing" condition to limit liability. Company plans do not have pre-existing conditions, and they are more closely monitored.

Individual plans screw the insuree and put wind-fall profits in the hands of the insurance companies. No liability, no monitoring.
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #41
42. This is one issue that has a whole lot of folks
less ready to be bamboozled - for the past twenty years insurance companies have been playing the "we don't insure preesxiting conditions" in such a way that a whole lot of the population has had first or second hand experience with it. The problem with so many issues is that it is so difficult to explain policy implications (they don't fit well with short snippet sound bites). This is one that many families have already had to confront.

Your summary is succint, resonant, and on the mark.
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Mel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #5
16. your onto something
check this out it's from the CEO John Mackey of Whole Foods.
Whole Foods Markets Consumer-Driven Health Plan
http://www.worldcongress.com/news/Mackey_Transcript.pdf .

You said read the part that wants to end all tax incentives for employer-paid health care. There suddenly is no explanation other than - they want to end it as we know it. Oh, yea Mackey talks about this when he speaks to CATO in this transcript.

Note also that Whole Foods is the largest retail employer after Wal-Mart.
Don't even get me started on his making fun of his employee's and 'the vote' thing personally, I think it's crap. I mean really how do I know if the votes are counted honestly, I don't. I'm passing this bit of information around so the employees can hopefully figure it out for their selves.
I started doing my homework on this about 2 weeks ago. I'm glad to see your onto it also Salin.

Thing is Mackey doesn't want his workers to Unionize but he makes fun of them for approaching him and asking him to hear what they want. Mackey needs to learn he can't have it both ways. Sorry dude but giving your employees a choice to vote on the shit soup or a shit sandwich is not a choice.
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 05:25 PM
Response to Reply #16
25. Glad that you found this; and that you, too
are reading up on this - it is coming and it is going to be a disaster unless enough of the public is savvy enough to put political pressure on (it is an election year, after all) to prevent the writing on the wall to be in indelible ink.
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Mel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-23-06 07:18 AM
Response to Reply #25
53. The only thing I can figure
to do is let the people I work with read it and make up their own minds. Of course, I have high lighted parts in the transcript that set out alarms on my end.
Salin when I read the transcript what I saw between the lines was John Mackey using what is ingrained into us 'the vote, Democracy' against us.
If you have any ideas as to what else I could do please suggest away!


Another thing, the book Mackey mentioned reading "Patient Power" by john goodman a book put out by Cato has anyone read this book?
I haven't but am going to make a effort to do so.

What I see, this book has the talking points that *Bush/Republicans will use to push this crap off onto the public.
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B Calm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #3
21. They are salivating over the prospect of millions of older destitute
people with no social security to hire as cheap labor!
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 05:26 PM
Response to Reply #21
26. almost as if they look at the great depression as 'the good old days'
deplorable.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #3
47. What makes you think that they will
actually care if people over 40 can't get insurance or pay for health care? There will be enough younger people and wealthy people to be able to take up the slack, which is another part of their goal. The insurance companies and health care providers really only want the young and healthy or the wealthy, everyone else is a drag on their bottom line. So the policies being implemented now are guaranteed to bring about that result.

They simply won't give a shit about those over 40 unable to get insurance or pay for health care, and certainly not enough to even consider any type of national health care system. THAT is what is really, truly frightening. And the fact that people can't even see that in time to be able to do something about it is even more frightening. The fact that most politicians don't care and are, in fact, in the pocket of the insurance, hospital, and pharmaceutical industries just makes it all that much worse.
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mailman82 Donating Member (254 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 03:08 PM
Response to Original message
7. You are so right!
I am a letter carrier and we have heard the rumors. Our contract is up this year and i firmley believe that is the plan for us. My fundie brother works for a major U.S. corp. He was complaining at News Day dinner that his co. pays 12 million a month for Health care.

They are going to take all they can from all middle class workers they can. They are trying to get rid of the middle class in this country.
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. almost makes the GOP refusal to insert an exception for health crises
expenses into the bankruptcy bill - look even more diabolical.
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #7
36. Mailman, a challenge for you
ask your brother if the company was able to dump the costs of insuring employees, would they be willing (or likely) to "give" that money to employees to be used to purchase healthcare on their own. That is the inference that is used for the public consumption - that the money would be given to them to spend and that they would do so more efficiently. I have serious doubts that this would ever happen. However, if I am trying to be fair, perhaps it would happen if the companies coudl then use a formula to stem the rate of increase in which they had to spend on the issue in coming years (eg increase at a lower rate than health insurance might rise.) It would be very interesting to hear his response.
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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 10:58 PM
Response to Reply #36
44. I wouldn't be surprised if corporations "gave" some money to employees
salin,

I retired 2 years ago, after having worked for a major corporation 33 years. For most of that time I was a management employee, and not represented by the union. And so, I am well acquainted with the tactics corporations use in trying to make it appear that they are not dismantling employee pensions and health care insurance, while they are in fact doing exactly that.

At one time long ago our health care insurance was simple. We and our dependents were covered, no premiums, no copays. We just showed the Blue Cross card and that was it. Then we were forced onto cafeteria benefits. The propaganda was sickening: This is good for you, you can save money, it's what today's employee wants, blah blah blah.

As part of their transition, they actually "gave" us a little extra in our salaries. Then we could pick whatever of their several plans we wanted. The previous Blue Cross plan was not an option. But that first year we could even come out money ahead by taking the cheapest plan.

But after they had gotten their foot in the door, so to speak, the steady drip drip drip of takeaways ensued, and it continues to this day for active employees. It seems that every year employees have to pay more and more to receive less and less. And the money that they "gave" us that first year quickly disappeared, in reduced cost-of-living raises during the years after the cafeteria benefits conversion occurred, and in increasing premiums & copays.

Corporate executives have a strong incentive to reduce or eliminate these benefits. They have already taken associated expenses into account on their corporate books, as known future liabilities. If they are able to reduce these liabilities, they can declare a profit. By plundering employee pensions and health care, ineffective executives can use these phony 'profits' to obscure their own lackluster performance. Then it's multi-million dollar bonuses, stock options galore, and slaps on the back all around for these corporate elite. It's all perfectly legal, and it really works this way. I kid you not.
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B Calm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-23-06 05:01 AM
Response to Reply #44
50. Great post Lasher and so right on!
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-23-06 06:01 AM
Response to Reply #44
51. this rings true
sadly. A world of hurt ahead.
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HockeyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 03:18 PM
Response to Original message
9. If you are poor or middle class, you don't deserve to live
You are disposable and replaceable. You need to make lots of babies to feed the military and slave wage jobs. If you die, oh, well. There will be lots of "you" for a replacement.

Again, the New World Order.
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Cobalt Violet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-23-06 07:42 AM
Response to Reply #9
56. The goal is to bring life expectancy back to the middle ages.
Life expectancy for poor, working and lower classes is too high for these people.
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wishlist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 03:18 PM
Response to Original message
10. They also want to reduce govt's share of Federal Health Insur premiums
You are on the right track, that as long as Republicans have a majority and budget deficits increase, they will find ways to cut spending and adjust tax breaks without offending businesses but at the expense of workers and retirees. There are proposals to make employees have to start counting employer health care benefits or share of premiums as taxable income.

Their budget cutting suggestions include having the govt pay a lower share of govt workers' and retirees' health insurance. Fed Gov now pays over 50% of the premiums still leaving a worker on Blue Cross having to pay over $3500 per year in premiums for family plan. As well as more contracting out, the Repubs proposed reductions in how much the govt pays for health insurance for its workers will force people into medical savings accounts or other lower cost plans that do not provide as much coverage.

Fed Govt retirees have to count the premiums deducted from their pensions as part of their taxable income even though they never see this income that is deducted for health insurance. Despite all the tax cutting going on and much lobbying and many sponsors in Congress for years, no bills to reduce this taxation have ever succeeded in coming up for a vote.

If the Repubs stay in power we can be sure they will succeed in making the health care situation worse in the coming years.
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B Calm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
11. The Corporate Lords want us desperate so we'll work cheap, because
destitute people work cheaper! What gets me is their opposition to social programs like National Health Care. The only social programs they are interested in are for corporate subsidies.
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mrcheerful Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
12. Whats even more surprising is it took DUers this long
to figure that out. I've known about it since 1979 in one of Reagan's double talk speeches, he stated that cooperations needed to follow the way Asia businesses handled their workers. Of course when that didn't go over big like Reagan expected, he just proclaimed he didn't say that and it was the liberal media that put those words in his mouth. BTW, Asians businesses provide neither health care nor retirement benefits for employees. Welcome to Reagan's legacy
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Delphinus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #12
20. What do the Asian businesses do then?
I thought we, and South Africa, were the only industrialized nations that didn't have "universal health care" for its citizens.

Thanks.
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mrcheerful Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 05:43 PM
Response to Reply #20
35. Asians like Japan and China have government health care
but it relies on family to care for its disabled and elderly. The poorer asian countries your pretty much left with home remedies and mid wives doing the health care. Thats why you see so many wanting to leave for america, canada and europe.
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 03:32 PM
Response to Original message
14. Commie Pinko Dirtbag Slogan Suggestion #984:
THE REPUBLICAN PARTY WANTS YOU TO DIE. LITERALLY.
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Catchawave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
15. Veteran health benefits are eroding too :(
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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #15
45. VA prescription drug copay has increased 300% under Bush
2002 Copay increased from $2 to $7

http://democrats.senate.gov/dpc/dpc-new.cfm?doc_name=sr...

January 1, 2006 Copay increased from $7 to $8

http://www.va.gov/healtheligibility/DOCS/CoPays.doc

And the VA started rejecting all Enrollment Priority 8 veterans who have applied on or after January 17, 2003.

http://www.va.gov/healtheligibility/eligibility/epg_all...

Support the troops, ha ha.
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Coastie for Truth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 03:48 PM
Response to Original message
17. The inevitable General Motors Bankruptcy will end employer paid hlth care
And that bankruptcy - or Chapter XI - is inevitable.

If we have GOP President and a GOP Congress - I think we will see the nightmare scenario postulated.

If we have a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress -- and vocal unions and citizens -- we will see public funded, single payer, universal health care -- and it will be no worse then California's Kaiser-Permanente or Sutter.

And I would expect it to be funded by an 8%-10% payroll tax.

For some good discussions go to National Library of Medicine Pub Med Search Engine and search on "Woolhandler" or "Himmelstein." A lot of NEJM and JAMA articles on side by side comparisons of the US non-system and various foreign, universal, single payer systems.
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #17
28. THanks for the link
it is definitely getting bookmarked.
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roseBudd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 03:58 PM
Response to Original message
18. Before I had health insurance I used to use fake names when I went
to the hospital because if you don't have health insurance you don't have a primary physician. My thinking was if I found out I had something I would obtain health insurance somehow and they would have no proof I knew about my preexisting condition.
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flaminbats Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 03:59 PM
Response to Original message
19. sample the logic of a freeper..double taxation = "tax simplification"
Edited on Sun Jan-22-06 04:17 PM by flaminbats
Never mind this proposal will ultimately lead to more uninsured workers, it allows the government to tax the money which this deduction provides to employees as the income of employers. It will ultimately lead to the government taxing the wages of employees also as income made by every company. In the minds of most neocons, increasing the tax rates on profitable corporations and individuals is a tax increase. But taxing every business expense along with the cost of living is not.

History shows that Republicans have done more to wreck capitalism in our country than the worldwide efforts of Communists and Socialists combined!
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 05:19 PM
Response to Original message
22. what inefficiencies? They say the economy is doing great!
If only they'd work on the core problem, medical costs, instead. Then none of this would be an issue.
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lovuian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 05:23 PM
Response to Original message
24. It will only collapse the Medical system which is already about
to topple over...

Americans are not going to stand by and watch their Healthcare go bye bye...
and let Civil Servants get theirs paid for...

Bush is smoking up his butt like he was smoking up his butt on social security

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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #24
30. One can only hope... frankly the only good thing about the current
Medicare Plan D fiasco - is it makes it harder for them to try to push this - as the disaster is clear - and the evidence points to the collusion of this govt to work with corps to make things enriching for the corps and even more of a disaster for workaday citizens.
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ikojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 05:26 PM
Response to Original message
27. They also want to end employer funded healthcare
and funnel people to health savings accounts, which is an investment scheme. They claim it will put consumers in charge of their healthcare but what it will do instead is make healthcare more unafordable for most people. I cannot afford a high deductible plan with copayments that's for sure.

Also, the former owner of Golden Rule insurance co (since bought out by United Healthcare) is a big time Bush supporter who favors health savings accounts over traditional employer funded healthcare.

Social darwinism at work people.
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Glidescube Donating Member (62 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 05:32 PM
Response to Original message
29. Im not worried
There would be such a back lash in this country I think it would give rebirth ot the age of strong labor uninons. And Like always it will be another Republican plan that came back and bit them in the ass. Godddam those people are stupid!
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B Calm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. Look for labor unions to be outlawed!
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 05:38 PM
Response to Original message
32. Actually, it's a good idea
Just not for those reasons.

Employer based healthcare is a historical anomaly- one which the unions bare partial blame for.

It is, in fact, a profoundly inefficient system that places burdens on American businesses and distorts the labor market market- people won't leave abusive jobs for fear of losing their health benefits.

I could go down a list and name many more reasons why it shouldn't be the predominant model- and the faster it goes down the tubes, the sooner we'll have a rational form of univeral healthcare in this country.
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B Calm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 05:41 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. You'll never see a rational form of univeral healthcare in this country
with cheap labor cons running this country!
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 05:43 PM
Response to Reply #32
34. While I follow your reasoning,
it will likely take a whole lot of years (esp given the huge deficits/debt the GOP has wracked up) to correct this particular correction to our system of healthcare. More people will be pushed into devastating poverty in the meantime. More people will likely face premature death due to lack of care, as a result. This is an area that it is hard for me to take the - "make it even more broke so that it is eventually fixed" approach.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #34
38. People are already dying
and people and businesses and hospitals are already going bankrupt (or cutting off what benefits they have).

Currently, the system doesn't have much incentive (outside some types of HMO's) to offer affordable, preventative healthcare and wellness programs. Due to adverse selection- early maintence care for chronic conditions like diabetes rarely exists- what you see instead are really expensive treatments for harmful results- amputations, end stage renal failure and the like.

The poster above notes a common sentiment- that's we'll never get something like a single payer plan- one that cuts the parasites (those who do nothing but push paper and try to deny care) and the HR folks (who try to get you covered) out of the system.

I disagree. You're correct that it'll cause some short term suffering- but I think that'll be outwieghed both in terms of suffering and economic gain from a long term fix.

And I think the only way that it'll happen is through a fairly widespread crisis- one that, incidently, would benefit the Dems, if they ever got their noses out of the same corporate asses that fund the far right.
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 05:53 PM
Response to Original message
37. Oh, it is so much WORSE than you suggest.
The idea is to restart rule by the rich.
Preferably those who grew up rich.
They understand each other. ...

. Consolidate power into a few.
.. All-powerful president.
.. Control the vote counting.
.. Cow the media.

. Consolidate money into few families.
.. No "death-tax" on any size estate.
.. Reduce salaries. Tax once tax-free retirement, health care, and insurance.
... No need for commensurate increase in wages or time off.
... Sell it:
.... Retirement is uncertain. Get a 401 instead or in case.
.... Health care runs with health accounts and not with help from each other.
..... Not selling well. Try letting the system crack.
...... Have insurance/monitors pit doctors against patient desires. HMOs. Then the rest.
Personal responsibility.
.... Insurance helps each other, no no no, it monitors costs.
.. Make unexpected debt wealth destroying.
.. Make stocks uncertain.

. Destroy the helping each other concept. Hence volunteer, paid, military.
.. Police victim-less crimes: drugs
.. Raise penalties for high crimes. Hence death penalty.

Do it slowly.
. Borrow and spend. Create a huge unpayable debt.
. Divest programs which insure people using government/democracy.

FUTURE:
.. SS cannot be payed. Must reduce costs. Must HURT PEOPLE, because we cannot afford to pay.
.. Same with Medicare. Become callous to needs of others.
.. Eliminate health, insurance, un-incarceration to all except those with larger accounts.
.. Relegate government to a toothless role, except to keep rules, the rich safe, and violators in prison -- or worse.

Only the old rich can rule.
(The new America, old rich)
It's coming.
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 06:56 PM
Response to Original message
39. this is great salin
I found the lobbyist road for the legislation led back to a medical industry front group with splinters involved in lobbying for the current batch of health inituitives: United Seniors Association

Here's the thread I'm wallowing in by myself: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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bonito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 07:57 PM
Response to Original message
40. Lets just expand the er's
On one side, health care for those with coverage or funds to cover the cost.
On the other side a crematorium, for those who are foolish enough to come to a hospital without proper coverage.
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NMMNG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 10:51 PM
Response to Original message
43. They truly want to kill off the middle-class and poor
As far as they are concerned only the rich should be afforded health care. The rest of us are not worthy.

"Compassionate Conservativism" is the biggest lie ever concocted.
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B Calm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-23-06 04:36 AM
Response to Reply #43
48. They want us poor and desperate! They are slowly turning this country
into a thirld world country.
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LiberalAndProud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-22-06 11:20 PM
Response to Original message
46. Scary but true. /nt
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Cooley Hurd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-23-06 04:44 AM
Response to Original message
49. Social Darwinism that will ultimately lead to slowmo GENOCIDE!
When faced with a choice of whether to pay for health insurance premiums or heating oil, people will prioritze based on what's needed immediately (the heating oil).

:(

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area51 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-23-06 06:39 AM
Response to Original message
52. "Does what I write make sense?"
You bet.

As other posters have said, the republinazi goal is to kill off a large part of the poor & middle class.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-23-06 07:21 AM
Response to Original message
54. I support
taking it off the backs of business (in the form of a single payer healthcare system). I could even be for a tax for a free healthcare system (even though I know the rightwing just wants the current health insurance program paid for by the citizen and without cost constraints).
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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-23-06 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #54
59. We should have free healthcare for all US citizens
Universal health care should be administered by Medicare, with no more of this private insurance company crap. Just tell employers not to worry about it any more, and take away their associated tax exemptions while you're at it. With so many of the middle men and red tape cut out of the system, it shouldn't be that expensive.
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ComerPerro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-23-06 07:25 AM
Response to Original message
55. Notice that whenever a company goes under or has to lay off,
the media is always very quick to point out that the reason for the company's financial woes is because they provided health care to their employees, and it bankrupted them.

Of course, that's bullshit.

They should have been providing health care all along. The thing that bankrupted them was providing health care (which is expensive, granted) while keeping extravagant salaries and bonuses for CEOs who put the company on the brink of bankruptcy in the first place.
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amandabeech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-23-06 07:55 AM
Response to Original message
57. No wonder the *ushies are scared s--tless over the leftward
movement in Latin America. We here in the U.S. might actually find out about it and follow along.
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bleedingheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-23-06 08:03 AM
Response to Original message
58. My company made it apparent 2 years ago they would end coverage
and they are one of the Fortune 500...

It is going to be a bumpy ride...
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