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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:22 PM
Original message
About the cost of health care reform
Congress is fuming about the effect of health care reform on the budget -- the cost.

What is never mentioned is that the problem is not the effect of reform on our federal budget but the cost of health care for all Americans.

Whether the cost of health care is paid by individual Americans or by the government, health care costs too much right now.

One factor that contributes to that cost can be eliminated: the exorbitant administrative costs of private for-profit health insurance.

What we as a nation will have to face sooner or later is that the only way we can provide health care, even minimal health care now and in the future, is to institute a single payer system. There is a place for supplemental private for-profit insurance in a single payer system, but in general, we have to shut down the business of providing health care insurance. As a nation, we just can't afford it.

Private for-profit insurance is the problem.

The United States is in the position of the family of four that earns $45,000 per year and wants to buy a house that will cost them $3,000 per month for the mortgage. People just can't afford that kind of a house on $45,000 per year no matter what. They just have to buy a cheaper house.
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DrDan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:28 PM
Response to Original message
1. a 14% cut in the defense budget pays the bill in total
I bet we could find 14% to cut if we wanted to . . .
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Good point.
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 04:52 PM by JDPriestly
But again, my point is that someone needs to mention that, with or without government involvement in health care, Congress seems to be looking at the cost of health care in our country for the first time.

Regardless of whether the government gets involved, it is evident that, as you point out, we cannot afford to take care of ourselves and still maintain the kind of huge military that we have.

The debate in Congress is about whether to acknowledge the cost of health care in our federal budget or whether to leave it unacknowledged as a cost to taxpayers that they pay out of their own pockets after taxes. Which choice we make is less important than the sticker shock of the cost of health care for Americans.

If we want to get a health care bill, we need to really bring home to Americans what cost of health care for the nation is and what that cost for each individual American is -- Medicare and Medicaid included. Then we need to talk about how much of the money -- two figures -- one for America as a whole -- the other for the individual American -- goes to the health insurance industry when it is for profit. And how much would go for administration if the entire amount were single payer and government run.

The numbers would be approximate, but that is the discussion we should have.

I am not an economist. And I do not have the mathematical skills to figure this out. The CBO has the numbers. If someone knows how to figure this, I would appreciate it.

1) What has been calculated as the cost of covering every American with private for-profit health care insurance including deductibles, co-pays, premiums and costs that are lost to bankruptcy?

2) Dividing that cost by the number of Americans, how much does health care cost if every American gets private for-profit health care insurance?

3) If you subtracted the health care insurance companies' administrative costs and replaced them with the costs of Medicare and Medicaid and the VA -- the public systems, how much would the figure for covering all Americans be?

4) If you subtracted the health care insurance companies' administrative costs as in 3), what would the cost be per American?

That is where we need to bring the debate.

Congress is horrified at the cost of any program. That is the cost we are or should already be paying. It is horrifying. We need to talk about how to lower it so that everyone can afford health care one way or the other. For-profit insurance for health care is objectionable only because it raises the cost of health care to the point that Americans cannot afford health care.

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DrDan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 06:18 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. of it is complicated. My point is that we are spending 7 times over that in Defense.
Simply cutting 14% pays for the plan. When the other factors are considered, it will be much less than that.

AND a much better use of our tax dollars.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 04:37 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. yeah, the cost seems quite low to me
i don't see how cost is an issue, if cost is such an issue, shut down a military operation at okinawa or in korea or some other place where the locals are just as smart and first world as we are and can probably start looking after themselves

not to mention all the disgraceful waste that has been documented to take place in iraq, don't rebuild something just to get bombed again the next morning, to keep $$$ flowing to halliburton
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. +1. n/t
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TxRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. The wars are 14%+
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