November 27, 2010 at 9:45 pm #709324
Why is it that the State is discussing cuts when revenue is greater than in the past? The State needs to live within its budget like everyone else. Yes I want a new car but I drive a 10 year old car because no money exists to pay for a new car. I love asparagus but at $3.99 a pound broccoli on sale at $0.99 is what I eat.
Government is going to have to make choices invest in the future education (spent wisely) and infrastructure or consume (health care).November 27, 2010 at 9:54 pm #709325November 27, 2010 at 10:10 pm #709326
hooper, you’re watching inflation affect state budgets. the dollar just doesn’t buy as many widgets these days. so while it looks like the state’s revenue is increasing, the fact is that our budget doesn’t go as far as it used to to provide the services necessary to keep the state from defaulting during a recession; especially when the cost of those services is growing while the value of the dollar isn’t.
cost-cutting helps, but new and stable revenue streams – like higher wages! – are the only effective way to combat inflation in the long term.
so, yeah, the same thing is happening to the state that is happening to your personal finances. but instead of comparing essential services to “luxury” items like new cars and asparagus, you should be comparing it to items like running water, shelter, and health insurance. the state doesn’t really buy “luxury” items.
if you want to cut true luxury items from your budget, though, you should cancel your internet subscription and cable teevee. :)November 27, 2010 at 11:00 pm #709327
i run a small business dependent on internet. thanks to the state increasing the b & o tax i cut my employees hours. my cable is basic that would be less costly if taxes on it were less.
what inflation? costs have been relatively flat for several years.November 28, 2010 at 1:16 am #709328
Hooper, you know if the state income tax had passed, you would have received a nice credit on your B&O tax, right? I would have come out way ahead. I think the B&O tax is nuts, but did you really cut employee hours over a .3 percent increase?
And while “core” inflation remains low, health care costs have skyrocketed, and energy is quite a bit higher as well. If you’ve bought gas lately, you’ve seen that yourself. So not all costs have been flat. Health care costs are a huge portion of any employer’s budget, as you must know, unless you don’t provide that benefit.
I think your view on health care is rather oversimplified. You keep comparing it to things that are discretionary and not essential. It’s a false equivalency. If you buy a cheaper car, or you buy the veggies on sale, that’s discretionary. There are levels of expenditure that you can choose to make. You can live without the best car or the tastiest asparagus. Your health isn’t discretionary. To me, health care is a basic right and basic service that should be guaranteed to all of us. There are lots of people who have to make a choice between the roof over their head or health insurance. It’s not a matter of personal responsibility. It’s a matter of a system that is geared to profit and will inevitably leave people behind. Single payer is what we should have. In fact,we do have it, and it’s efficient and effective. It’s called the V.A.November 28, 2010 at 2:10 am #709329
Hooper…you skipped right over Jan S’s medical situation. As a civilized society, how do we take of her (and others).
“So, since I personally can’t afford to buy the insurance that I need because the insurance companies are making money hand over fist, I should pay the consequences..which are..death? Really? ‘
Are you okay with this Hooper? If she loses her health care, are you willing to pick up the tab to save her life? Or perhaps, as a society, we can provide her a safety net of health care. We are all vulnerable…including you.November 28, 2010 at 3:18 am #709330
I’m down for adding a little extra to our state budget if we can create a class called, “How to play well with others”.November 28, 2010 at 3:26 am #709331
here are 33 pages that illustrate the difference between paying for indigent medical care through a government regulated health care plan and paying for it through indigent care subsidized by health care costs.
think this one through.
would you rather pay an average of 3 times the cost of health care services and the higher insurance costs that creates..
or would you rather shell out those much cheaper public dollars?
I vote for the public dollars.November 28, 2010 at 5:17 am #709332
DOCMemberNovember 28, 2010 at 5:57 am #709333November 28, 2010 at 6:17 am #709334
I don’t have time to watch the vid right now, being on dial-up, and planning on heading to bed in a few.
But, the point of healthcare being a right vs. a privilege, brings up an interesting observation; hooper’s postings in this thread, would suggest he is in the “privilege” camp.
Yet, on another thread, he complains profusely about how his travels by car were impeded by other drivers that weren’t prepared for the snow. He was so upset about this, it’s almost as if he felt his “right” to operate a motor vehicle was totally stomped upon.
MikeNovember 28, 2010 at 8:05 am #709335
neither the US or Washington State has infinite resources – there is a new cancer treatment drug that extends the life of someone maybe three months (per what I read) but costs $100,000 per patient and the typical patient is older and will die (life sucks) regardless. the fact is tough choices will need to be made.
providing basic health coverage setting broken legs, immunizations and the like is appropriate and cost effective. but those that want coverage for expensive procedures need to carry additional insurance.
i am definitely not in the privilege camp; paying my monthly health care insurance for me and my son is a big bite every month that i would love to have someone else pay for me. if everyone paid to play (risk based smoker and overweight; controllable items) the cost for each player can be kept more reasonable.
reality is that there are not limitless resources and tough choices need to be made. health care is a consumption use of limited resources. the US consumes more than it produces and now is a huge debtor nation.
do not harp on me for bringing dialogue to the table. what i am saying is not rocket science we cannot continue to consume more than we produce.November 28, 2010 at 3:58 pm #709336
Let me understand…
you think life should only be extended by medical means if the person has the resources to do so?
that puts you in the company of your insurance company who makes all of your medical decisions…
until they decide you don’t need the treatment that will save your life.
and in company with the idiots who pay for critical care at any cost but will not pay for medication or procedures that would avoid critical care altogether.
If we could donate the difference between medical costs in other countries and what is paid in our system… every man woman and child in the United States could have the best medical care available.
Why condemn individuals to death when you could simply change the system?
If Washington opened it’s health care plan up to individuals.. the cost of the entire program could be covered by the premiums of the new members… and everyone would have cheaper more effective medical care.
imagine that.November 28, 2010 at 6:26 pm #709337
mandatory risk (controllable smokers and obesity) based insurance required to bought by all. those that don’t participate are not provided service. (subsidizing truly low income based on no smoking not overweight cost would be reasonable)
reduce medical malpractice awards that increase costs for all (doctors ordering extra procedures due to fear not medical need is a significant cost factor)
payments made to doctors based on outcome not # of procedures conducted
emphasize preventative medicine
insurance company executive pay needs to be tied to measurable success rate.
require patient co-pays
dying sucks – but spending enormous public funds to extend a terminally ill patients life by 3 months needs to be discussed honestly.
Summing up: Everyone pays to play (with risk based pricing for controllable items), cost control and an honest discussion on public spending on terminally ill patients.November 28, 2010 at 7:53 pm #709338
Hooper, what I have to say to you in this moment would get me banned.
However, let’s just leave it at this: may you NEVER have a loved one who is ill. I don’t mean with a cold. I mean a REAL, life-threatening illness. You talk about your son. What happens if he gets a rarer form of cancer that’s only beatable by way of expensive treatment? What if your insurance company said “screw you, your son only has a 30% chance anyway of beating it, we’re just going to let him die.” Would you accept that? I pray you wouldn’t. If you would, you’ve got WAY bigger issues than we can discuss here.
And just to show you I’m not just grasping at straws – my father (WHO IS NOT OLD) was diagnosed 18 months ago with a form of cancer that’s 99% deadly. Fortunately, he’s got insurance through my mother, and he opted to fight. He saw the very best specialist in this type of cancer – who happens to work in Seattle – and went through 12 months of grueling treatment, nearly dying multiple times in the process. But he didn’t die. He no longer shows any evidence of the cancer. He is one of the 1% of people who survive it. Is his life not worth it? If you still think not, apply this situation to your son. Is his life not worth it?
Think carefully before you speak.
Oh, and you want to harp on fat people? What about those of us who are fat because we have a medical condition that prevents exercise. I eat 1200 calories a day – mostly fruits, vegs and lean protein – and walk as much as I can. Do I not deserve health care? I’m healthier (despite my health issues) than some skinny kid who lives on beer and mac n cheese and video games. My blood pressure is regularly 80/60, heart rate around 70, my cholesterols are perfect and all of my other standard bloodwork is absolutely ideal. Are you saying that I, who take care of myself better than some skinny college kid, do not deserve health care that treats my inherited medical condition? Because that treatment allows me to be a VERY productive member of society, in a very well-paying job with a family. We contribute to the solution by helping others wherever we can. What do you do besides bitch on a forum?November 28, 2010 at 7:59 pm #709339
i lost my wife suddenly several years ago and i was fat but made a concerted effort to lose the weight. i am not saying you do not deserve health care but the rate needs to be risk based.
i am glad your father was a 1% success; he was properly insured and thus was given good care. those that choose not to insure themselves should not expect the public at large to pay.November 28, 2010 at 8:15 pm #709340
1. Aim–well stated
2. Hooper, sorry to hear your wife died suddenly
3. Most folks that are uninsured cannot afford coverage (often hundreds of dollars a month)
4. Medicare, as a Public Option, where everyone can buy in (sliding scale if needed), would provide risk sharing across all.
5. I think it is an ‘obligation’ of an industrialized, civilized society to provide health care.
6. Costa Rica, which is considered a third world nation, provides health care to all. Perhaps we could learn from them?
Hooper, I am very interested in your direct answer to Aim’s question:
What happens if your son gets a rarer form of cancer that’s only beatable by way of expensive treatment? What if your insurance company said “screw you, your son only has a 30% chance anyway of beating it, we’re just going to let him die.”November 28, 2010 at 8:32 pm #709341
i pay for insurance that is for that very reason to pay for the unexpected; thus your inquiry is without merit. it is those that do not pay that need to pay (sliding scale; risk based without subsidy for bad choices smoking and weight). and the inquiry is far different for a young person than it is for a elderly person.November 28, 2010 at 8:50 pm #709342
For chrissake hooper, what if your magic, probably very expensive, insurance doesn’t cover your son’s possible illness, and you even with all of your apparent wealth, don’t have enough money to cover treatment?!?
(Also, a tangential question; when all of us poor folk die off, who will be around to serve you as you shop at Safeway, Wal-Mart, and all of those other bargain stores?)
MikeNovember 28, 2010 at 8:57 pm #709343
Hooper, I get your point about the risk based behavior, but I have a problem with making individuals pay more. As an example, weight gain can be caused by medications or an inability to exercise. My brother in law had COPD, and the steroids he had to take made him gain a ton of weight, and of course he couldn’t exercise because he didn’t have the lung capacity. And there have been some studies (not conclusive) that suggest obesity may be linked to a virus. Or perhaps you’re poor and not able to afford healther foods. And if we based premiums on behavior, where does it stop? Skydiving? Motorcycle riding? Skiing? Roller blading? Maybe just riding a bicycle? How about hiking? These could all be considered “risky behaviors.”
I don’t like the judgmental factor that would be involved. I would rather see a tax on items that are known to be linked to health issues – tobacco, candy, alcohol, fast food, etc., and make sure the tax is dedicated to the Basic Health Care plan and cannot be raided for anything else.
And don’t fool yourself that just because you have insurance, you and your son will be covered. The insurance companies have all kinds of restrictions on what they’ll do for you. There are plenty of people who go bankrupt because of medical costs even with health insurance. Then what will you do?
There is some merit to what you say about weighing cost and outcomes of treatment, but that should not be left to insurance companies whose only motive is profit. They were still denying bone marrow transplants as experimental long after they were proven effective. And you’re right, an expensive experiment treatment with a low chance of success is very different in an 80-year old or a 25-year old with a spouse and child. But if we never try experimental treatments just because they’re expensive, then we won’t have any advances in treatments. Those are decisions that should be made by the doctor and patient based on quality of life and potential outcomes, along with cost. But cost shouldn’t be the only factor.
Medicare for all would be the best solution to all of this. If we had the money that is now going to insurance company salaries and profits put back into the health care system, it would be much better for everyone.November 28, 2010 at 9:15 pm #709344
risk based behavior?
what happened to genetics here?
so.. you were fat and you were able to do something about it so everyone else regardless of their medical condition and genetics should be able to do the same thing you did because after all if you could do it they could…
that concept boggles the mind.
but lets say that you are right.
do you really think that losing weight is some magic panacea for whatever genetic or environmental load is hanging over your head?
sorry.. it doesn’t work that way.
you had best hope that if your body does break it does so it a simple medically acceptable way with a long successful history of treatment.
if not.. you’re out of here.
your insurance company has no vested interest in saving your life… no matter how much money you have given them.November 28, 2010 at 9:21 pm #709345
JoB, this “If I could do it, anyone can do it!” belief system must be a pre-requisite to associating oneself with the Libertpublican Party.
MikeNovember 28, 2010 at 9:25 pm #709346
Flagged to this thread.
It’s an interesting discussion and I don’t want to close it.
But for those who don’t know our longstanding rules:
This is one of the few places online where it’s not OK to fat-bash.
That includes claiming that obesity is a “choice.”
I have been big my whole life. Trust me, it ain’t a choice. Will stack my consumption up against 50 slender people any day.
And frankly, I’d probably be smaller today if not for the fact that every time, goaded by a world that ridiculed me for being big, I tried dramatically reducing consumption/overexercising, I’d lose 10 pounds … and when attempting to no longer starve myself to the point I couldn’t work or study, returned at some point to something resembling a more normal intake, the 10 would come back with 10 friends.
Finally I gave up trying to “lose” weight more than a decade ago, and funny, my size has been stable ever since.
And I continue to be healthy as hell. Thank God.
And pissed off that the government is allowed to propagandize that fat is bad, ergo I’m bad, and every big person you see walking down the street.
Size in terms of weight is no more a choice than:
size in terms of height
size in terms of bones, feet, whatever
natural hair color
And that is where WSB rules stand.
Again, because this hasn’t veered into the usual variety of fat-bashing – ridiculing people for their size – I’m not currently planning to delete anything. But I’m putting up the big red flag.
Smoking, you can quit. I smoked for six years long ago and quit – tough as it was – a human being can live without ever smoking a cigarette.
Drinking and drugging, you can quit. Wish my dad, dead of a shredded liver at 44, had. Wish my mom, dead of a cancerous pancreas at 62 (thanks to smoking and drinking), had. A human being can live just fine without taking a sip of alcohol, a toke of a joint etc. etc.
If you have found a documented case of anyone who can live without ever putting another bite of food into their mouth, I’ll be fascinated to hear it. Meantime, I eat when I absolutely have to because I am starving and have been working for 12 hours without leaving the keyboard, or the field … and yet even if I only find time for one small meal a day, my body has decided it’s big and that’s that. I made peace with it long ago and wish that everyone else with a large body would be able to do the same. (And whatever body size you have, I wish you the same peace.)
Body size is not a choice. And not up for debate. There are a million other websites in the world that will let you declare obesity to be bad, wrong, unhealthy, a choice because somebody eats too much. Not this one. Whatever size you are, you can be healthy and I hope you are. I sure am.
Back to the discussion. Minus obesity, please.November 29, 2010 at 2:41 am #709347
i voted to keep the soda/candy tax in place. this tax made a lot of sense to me. soda pop provides zero nutritional value.November 29, 2010 at 4:01 am #709348
well, here ya go…here’s the next idea
do we really believe that employers will actually increase salaries to make up for this? Really? I have an island…cheap…
Here’s what I say. Every congressman/woman takes a 25% salary cut…and they have to pay for their health insurance out of their own pocket. Then maybe we can start talking. If they can’t do that, then we should all have the health insurance that they have, at the cost that they have. Fair is fair!
The people making these decisions are so out of touch with regular Americans that they don’t have a clue what it’s like out here for all of us. Amazing, simply amazing!
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