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Thread: Obamanomics: Healthcare Reform or Socialized Medicine?

  1. #126

    Default Re: Obamanomics: Healthcare Reform or European-Modeled Socialized Medicine?

    Quote Originally Posted by matapule View Post
    And what about all the elderly in every country around the world? Don't they deserve the same retirement lifestyle to which those in the US aspire? I know some elderly Mexicans who would just like to just visit Hawai'i. They can't even afford to visit relatives that live 500 miles away in Mexico.
    I don't get the impression Anapuni was expecting SS to provide retirees with an income that enables them to become globetrotters.

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    Default Re: Obamanomics: Healthcare Reform or European-Modeled Socialized Medicine?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie's Market View Post
    I don't get the impression Anapuni was expecting SS to provide retirees with an income that enables them to become globetrotters.
    So, back to my original question: What is the minimum income from social security in the US to provide for a minimum lifestyle in retirement? I gave an example of someone I know (a single person) who is doing fine on $600 or $700 per month from SS, no other support than occasional gifts from friends and family.

    Should Social Security payments be based and indexed on the Cost Of Living in the State in which one retires?

    Should Social Security contributions be indexed to the Cost of Living in the State in which one is employed?

    Should retirees expect that Social Security alone provide for any lifestyle they choose in retirement?

    Again, what is the minimum standard for retirement lifestyle?

    I am grateful for my Social Security benefit. It provides for an enhanced lifestyle for me. I am grateful the US provides this benefit for most retirees. I just wonder if retirees expect too much from Social Security sometimes.
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    Default Re: Obamanomics: Healthcare Reform or European-Modeled Socialized Medicine?

    Quote Originally Posted by cyleet99 View Post
    The elderly in other countries deserve to have their needs supplied, too, but I bet they did not pay elder taxes to provide for it.
    I don't know about every country, but Mexico does have a social security system for the elderly who do contribute through payroll taxes. But the Mexican system is not nearly as extravagant as the US system.

    To get back on topic, Mexico does have a national health care program, available to anyone, including me who is not a citizen and technically an "illegal alien" residing here (I am working on getting my legal residency). Mexico also has private insurance that competes profitably with the national program.

    I wonder why the H1N1 flu has been more severe in the US than Mexico and why more people in the US have died from it (percentage-wise and actual numbers-wise) than Mexico.
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    Default Re: Obamanomics: Healthcare Reform or European-Modeled Socialized Medicine?

    Quote Originally Posted by anapuni808 View Post
    Because maybe we've earned it? Same as we've earned our measley social security which, if we are taking it, is not enough to afford medical care/meds and still have enough for rent & groceries. Let alone any quality of life. I've worked for 50 years and damn it - I've earned the right to some benefits! and Medicare is not free - we still have to pay for it. and it only covers a small % of the cost of our prescriptions.

    Sorry, this is a very touchy subject for me.
    Earned it by virtue of your long life? Someone who worked as hard or harder than you, but failed to live long enough DIDN'T earn it? Someone who didn't work half as hard as you, but did live long enough earned it? Give me a break... it's just a pyramid scheme where the suckers are the last to pay in, in addition to those who don't live long enough to benefit - they are the ones 'paying for it'. Why must short-lived persons pay for increasing the longevity of long-lived persons? In what hell [or dystopia] does that make sense?
    Last edited by salmoned; September 14th, 2009 at 11:02 AM.
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    Default Re: Obamanomics: Healthcare Reform or European-Modeled Socialized Medicine?

    I don't think you understand Social Security: we only get back what we've paid into the system over the years we've worked. We are not getting "something for nothing". And if someone passes away, there are death benefits for the family. It's not free for anyone.

    Salmoned - I don't know whether you are male or female, Young or old. I do know that you come across as a very mean-spirited, rude person. and I know that I will no longe engage with you.
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    Default Re: Obamanomics: Healthcare Reform or European-Modeled Socialized Medicine?

    Ha, Ha, I think you don't understand it. No one gets back what they pay into Social Security or Medicare. Those funds only pay for current expenditures (surpluses/shortfalls are recorded and will be 'adjusted' [paid for] in the future).

    My father is in his 80s, he's received more in Social Security and Medicare benefits than his entire lifetime earned income, even if you compound those earnings by 10% per annum. He is a SS 'lottery winner'. He gamed the system.

    My mother died at age 65. She collected 5 months of Social Security (she had paid in more than that in her last year of employment). There were no 'death benefits'. In fact, we had to return her SS payment for the month she died, even though her household expenses for that month had to be paid.

    Both worked hard, but only one got what each had individually 'earned'. Social Security is not a forced system of saving for your retirement, it's a obligatory lottery for the benefit of the long-lived, guaranteed to pay more than is 'earned' to the winners, at the expense of the losers.

    Sorry if I sound mean-spirited or rude to you, I'm not very comfortable when others proclaim irrational opinions or use unsound reasoning.
    Last edited by salmoned; September 14th, 2009 at 12:20 PM.
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  7. #132
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    Default Re: Obamanomics: Healthcare Reform or European-Modeled Socialized Medicine?

    By the way, Social Security WAS free when it began - seniors had not paid into the system, yet received benefits. It's also been free to qualifying immigrants.
    Last edited by salmoned; September 14th, 2009 at 12:29 PM.
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    Default Re: Obamanomics: Healthcare Reform or European-Modeled Socialized Medicine?

    and I'll just bet you like that book "Soylent Green" don't you?
    "Democracy is the only system that persists in asking the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be."
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    Default Re: Obamanomics: Healthcare Reform or European-Modeled Socialized Medicine?

    Anapuni, I am on your side but some of your statements are misleading.

    Quote Originally Posted by anapuni808 View Post
    we only get back what we've paid into the system over the years we've worked. We are not getting "something for nothing".
    Well, yes and no. Right now the average SS recipient takes out everything they paid into the system (plus interest on that money) at about age 82. If you or I live longer than that, we will get "something for nothing" from the system.

    And if someone passes away, there are death benefits for the family.
    I'm not aware of those SS benefits, maybe if you were in the military, but I don't know.

    It's not free for anyone.
    I know of people today who are collecting from SS (the minimum amount) and never paid a dime into the system. It is free money to them.

    I hope Salmoned is paying attention and that they are taking steps beside social security to provide for their comfortable retirement.
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    Default Re: Obamanomics: Healthcare Reform or European-Modeled Socialized Medicine?

    Quote Originally Posted by salmoned View Post
    It's also been free to qualifying immigrants.
    Salmoned we are all immigrants or descendents of same. I presume you are talking about "illegal immigrants" and your stement is not true. In most cases you only receive SS benefits if you paid into the system with a SS card - whether legal or illegal. What's wrong with paying benefits to an immigrant if they are "qualified?" But in most cases, it is not free.
    Peace, Love, and Local Grindz

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    Default Re: Obamanomics: Healthcare Reform or European-Modeled Socialized Medicine?

    Quote Originally Posted by matapule View Post
    Anapuni, I am on your side but some of your statements are misleading.[...]
    Is this what anapuni's referring to?
    http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/deathbenefits.htm

  12. #137

    Default Re: Obamanomics: Healthcare Reform or European-Modeled Socialized Medicine?

    Quote Originally Posted by matapule View Post
    Right now the average SS recipient takes out everything they paid into the system (plus interest on that money) at about age 82. If you or I live longer than that, we will get "something for nothing" from the system.
    One could also say the opposite of term life insurance. Those insured who die a few years after the policy is purchased will have "made out" financially, receiving a payout that far exceeds what was paid to the insurance company in premiums. (Of course, the deceased will not be able to enjoy the benefits of the payout. The beneficiaries will.) And then there are those who live a good, long life. Those folks who outlive the life of the term policy will not have financially profited from that policy.

    It all comes down to actuarials, statistics, and life expectancy. That's how insurance companies are able to sustain themselves. For X number of cases where the insurance company profits from policyholders who live out to and past their life expectancy, there will so many who die earlier and the insurance company will take loss.

    It's the same basic idea with social security, except it works the opposite way around. Those who die at a relatively young age reap no benefits of what they had paid into SS, while those who live long enough lives may get back more than what they paid in while they were working. That is how it is supposed to work! Of course, with people living longer than when SS first started in the 1930s, changes have to be made in the system or the program (as it is setup now) will not be able to sustain itself in the future.
    Last edited by Frankie's Market; September 14th, 2009 at 08:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Obamanomics: Healthcare Reform or European-Modeled Socialized Medicine?

    Quote Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
    Is this what anapuni's referring to?
    Thank you Anapuni and Tutu for pointing this out to me. Apparently, there is a SS death benefit of $255 to a qualified survivor.
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    Default Re: Obamanomics: Healthcare Reform or European-Modeled Socialized Medicine?

    Next section:

    Monthly survivors benefits can be paid to certain family members, including the beneficiary's widow or widower, dependent children and dependent parents.

    The following booklets contain more information about filing for benefits and can be downloaded by clicking on the title.

    •Survivors Benefits (Publication No. 05-10084)
    •Social Security: Understanding the Benefits (Publication No. 05-10024)
    "Democracy is the only system that persists in asking the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be."
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    Default Re: Obamanomics: Healthcare Reform or European-Modeled Socialized Medicine?

    Quote Originally Posted by matapule View Post
    Salmoned we are all immigrants or descendents of same. I presume you are talking about "illegal immigrants" and your stement is not true. In most cases you only receive SS benefits if you paid into the system with a SS card - whether legal or illegal. What's wrong with paying benefits to an immigrant if they are "qualified?" But in most cases, it is not free.
    Why would you assume I'm talking about illegal immigrants? If I mean illegal immigrants, I'll say illegal immigrants. I didn't say illegal immigrants, so I don't mean illegal immigrants, if you catch my drift. We are not all immigrants and don't pretend descendants of immigrants are the same as immigrants - that sort of reasoning negates the meaning of the word.

    Check out this link: http://http://www.nytimes.com/1995/04/16/nyregion/for-elderly-immigrants-a-retirement-plan-in-us.html?pagewanted=all

    Perhaps you'll argue that SSI isn't Social Security, but then again neither is Medicare. I'm lumping these programs together because the majority of beneficiaries are designated by age (over 65). Now, what exactly do you mean by 'not free'?
    Last edited by salmoned; September 15th, 2009 at 12:52 PM.
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    Default Re: Obamanomics: Healthcare Reform or European-Modeled Socialized Medicine?

    [quote=salmoned;240925]

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    Default Re: Obamanomics: Healthcare Reform or European-Modeled Socialized Medicine?

    S'ed--interesting article! Thanks for the link. Now I can make the assumption that my payments are helping not only Mama, but also folks like the women in the article.

    matapule--

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    Default Re: Obamanomics: Healthcare Reform or European-Modeled Socialized Medicine?

    Quote Originally Posted by cyleet99 View Post
    Now I can make the assumption that my payments are helping not only Mama, but also folks like the women in the article.
    Nope, different programs with different funding sources. Salmoned is mixing apples and oranges, but they already knew that.
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    Default Re: Obamanomics: Healthcare Reform or European-Modeled Socialized Medicine?

    Different programs, yes; different funding source, no. If you ever receive a paystub for employment, you'll see the primary funding souce - your withheld pay. I AM mixing apples and oranges, but it's all unearned government fruit, regardless.

    Enough of this topic drift, the point I wish to express is that if socialized medicine is good for the elderly, veterans and government employees (there seems to be majority agreement on that point), why is it not good for the entire citizenry? What's good for the goose is good for the gander, eh?
    Last edited by salmoned; September 16th, 2009 at 02:00 PM.
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    Default Re: Obamanomics: Healthcare Reform or European-Modeled Socialized Medicine?

    I say let's go for it! If it works then I smell second term for Obama. And if it fails, oh well it'll be another Republican in office in 3-1/2 years. BUT can we afford another Trillion dollars to the bill? I think Obama should have waited until the recession was officially over before selling us this health care reform. If he can swing both then more power to him. Heck I'm unemployed right now with no health benefits so I guess I'd be one of those benefitting from it.
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    Default Re: Obamanomics: Healthcare Reform or European-Modeled Socialized Medicine?

    Sorry Craig, the best we can hope for this year is to be REQUIRED to subscribe to a health insurance policy or face a fine ($950/yr for a single, more for families). Of course, if we can't afford a policy (as determined by government decree), the fine will be waived. Insurance companies are gonna LOVE this, of course, since they helped write the bill (senate bill currently in committee).

    No reform is likely to 'work' without the leverage of a single primary payer system. We don't need insurance, we need healthcare. We must collectively decide that 'basic healthcare is a fundamental entitlement for all citizens'* in order to realize the maximum benefits of reform. Anything less will be 'business as usual' in Washington. Sure, it leaves the Christian Scientists among us holding the bag, but you can't please all the people all the time.

    * Comparable to our mandate that basic education is a fundamental entitlement for all citizens.
    Last edited by salmoned; September 16th, 2009 at 02:45 PM.
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  22. #147

    Default Re: Obamanomics: Healthcare Reform or European-Modeled Socialized Medicine?

    The plan now being offered from the senate finance committee is so lacking, it is such a total dereliction of duty, I do think dedicated sincere Democrats should vote Republican in 2010 just to get these pathetic bums out of office. They have shown their true colors, they have shown themselves to be worthless, can them. A strong Republican year in 2010 MIGHT be enough to encourage the Democratic Party to nominate some worthwhile people in 2012. I expect to be screwed by the Republicans, its what they do. Democrats sing a nice tune, I expect a reasonable attempt to follow through. When Democrats fall this short their betrayal is beyond disappointing.

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    Default Re: Obamanomics: Healthcare Reform or European-Modeled Socialized Medicine?

    Quote Originally Posted by salmoned View Post
    Sorry Craig, the best we can hope for this year is to be REQUIRED to subscribe to a health insurance policy or face a fine ($950/yr for a single, more for families). Of course, if we can't afford a policy (as determined by government decree), the fine will be waived. Insurance companies are gonna LOVE this, of course, since they helped write the bill (senate bill currently in committee).
    Well $80 a month is still pretty good compared to what it costs now. Heck even my unemployment check can handle that!
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    Default Re: Obamanomics: Healthcare Reform or European-Modeled Socialized Medicine?

    just read a thought-provoking viewpoint from salon.com's michael lind on the fight against healthcare reform--that it's a continuation of racist/classist policies against those who are not white and not a certain economic status:

    From the beginning, attempts to create a universal welfare state in the U.S. have been thwarted by the fears of voters that they will be taxed to subsidize other Americans who are unlike them in race or ethnicity or culture. The original Social Security Act passed only after domestic workers and farmworkers -- the majority of black Americans, in the 1930s -- were left out of its coverage, at the insistence of white Southern politicians. Aid to Families With Dependent Children, a New Deal antipoverty program that became identified in the public mind with nonwhite "welfare queens," was a target of popular resentment for half a century before it was finally abolished by the Republican Congress and President Bill Clinton in the 1990s.
    but yet....
    ...there has been a massive expansion in government-sponsored welfare going disproportionately to the white and affluent. What the political scientist Christopher Howard calls the hidden welfare state includes the tax-favored employer-provided health insurance that most working-age Americans depend on, as well as the home mortgage interest deduction and the childcare and child tax credits. Affluent and educated workers are more likely to work for employers who provide private health benefits than are low-skilled workers and employees of small businesses. Personal tax benefits like the home mortgage interest deduction are available only to the top half of households who pay federal income taxes, and are unavailable to lower-income workers who pay payroll taxes but no income taxes. In many cases, the benefits of this tax-credit welfare state increase with income.

    There is even a nonrefundable "childcare tax credit" available only to the relatively affluent families who pay income taxes in addition to payroll taxes. There's no publicly provided or subsidized daycare to help out the nanny who takes care of the rich brat, but the taxpayers subsidize the rich brat's parents when they employ the nanny.
    the writer goes on to say that universal healthcare and other social welfare programs are more likely to be successful in nations where the people of a nation are more homogenous...

    Is it a coincidence that following the Civil Rights Act white Americans stopped expanding the traditional welfare state and instead started building a private, income-based welfare state for themselves? Could it be pure coincidence that the most generous welfare states in the world have been those of ethnically homogeneous Nordic countries where, until recent immigration, nearly everyone was related to everyone else? Is the classic welfare state really a form of ethnic nepotism most likely to be adopted by a homogeneous, indeed tribal, nation-state?

    Recent scholarship supports the hypothesis that ethnic diversity tends to be inversely correlated with generous, universal social insurance. In a 2001 paper titled "Why Doesn't the US Have a European-Style Welfare State?" Alberto Alesina, Edward Glaeser and Bruce Sacerdote wrote that "race is critically important to understanding the US-Europe differences" and that "hostility to welfare comes in part from the fact that welfare spending in the US goes disproportionately to minorities."
    garrison keillor, also a salon writer, summed up my general opinion on healthcare reform quite succinctly:

    Rich or poor, young or old, we all face the injustice of life -- it ends too soon, and statistical probability is no comfort. We are all in the same boat, you and me and ex-Gov. Palin and Rep. Joe Wilson, and wealth and social status do not prevail against disease and injury. And now we must reform our health insurance system so that it reflects our common humanity. It is not decent that people avoid seeking help for want of insurance. It is not decent that people go broke trying to get well. You know it and I know it. Time to fix it.
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    Default Re: Obamanomics: Healthcare Reform or European-Modeled Socialized Medicine?

    Quote Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
    Well $80 a month is still pretty good compared to what it costs now.[...]
    Shoot...I pay more than that for Medicare.
    Quote Originally Posted by cynsaligia View Post
    [...]
    garrison keillor, also a salon writer, summed up my general opinion on healthcare reform quite succinctly:
    Me three!

    Do we really need to reinvent the wheel? There are countries where universal healthcare seems to work great. Can't we just take the best of those ideas and tweak 'em? An over simplification, I know, but it's already working elsewhere. It's doable. Let's do it.

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