Forty-one percent of working-age adults, or 72 million people, reported a problem paying their medical bills or had accrued medical debt, up from 34 percent, or 58 million, in 2005.

Do you know that health insurance provided by an employer in the State of Tennesse on the average costs nearly $4,000 a year for an individual?

Do you know that over half of small businesses in TN do not offer health insurance?

Do you know that the less you earn the less likely you will be offered health insurance through your employer?

Do you know that over half of construction industry businesses do not offer health insurance?

Do you know that many people can't/won't change jobs because they need the employer provide health insurance?

Have you ever had private health insurance?

Have you or anyone in your family been on TennCare, CoverTN, Medicaid or other form of government provided heath insurance?

Have you ever been without health insurance?

On average, health care costs will go up by an estimated 5.7 percent next year for both workers and their employers, the study found. That repeats this year's 5.7 percent hike and a 6.1 percent jump in 2007.
...
Between 2003 and 2007, the average deductible for an individual grew from $250 to $400. For a family, it rose from $1,000 to $1,500, according to Mercer.

If you are not invincible, you will at some time in your life need decent health care. This does not just apply to senior citizens. Do you know how much it costs to ride in an ambulance? Do you know how much it costs to correctly fix a broken arm or broken leg?

The Democratic Party wants everyone to have accessible and reasonably priced health care. The Democratic Party wants to include those who earn the least as beneficiaries of health insurance. Why would you support any other platform?

(Sources: TN Dept of Commerce and Insurance and Health Insurance 2008

Topics:

Fannie and Freddie

Everything is connected. I can only wonder what the impact of this (link...) is going to be on the insurance industry.

Trust the Private Sector, Not Government

Surely this isn’t a call for nationalized health care. Can people afford adequate health care coverage? What steps could be taken to lower the costs of health care coverage? Liberals suggest a system controlled by the government, a nationalized system, would be affordable. But what about availability of services?

Currently, much of the demand for health care services is controlled by price. The problem with a nationalized healthcare system is that it gives the appearance of being free. If citizens believe that healthcare services are free, price will no longer control the demand for such services. As a result, the quantity demanded will increase. As the quantity demanded increases, the quantity supplied at this newly perceive price will decrease. Therefore, in an effort to increase the quantity supplied, government subsidies will be applied to increase the price back to the previous equilibrium price. The problem is that the previous equilibrium price only applied to the previous quantity demanded. Unless the amount subsidized by the government increases to the price corresponding to the new supply quantity needed to satisfy the new quantity demanded, a shortage will occur in the available quantity of healthcare services. As with other countries’ nationalized healthcare systems, the funding required to adequately supply new demand levels is not there. Therefore, the rationing of such services has to occur.

With rationing comes an overall lower quality of care. During an interview with Michael Moore, John Stossel highlighted some of the many shortcomings of government-run health care systems. He illustrated the low quality of the Canadian health care system resulting from the required waiting periods for particular services. The waiting period for an MRI can be as long as six months. However, there were privatized healthcare facilities where CT scans were available the following day. Ironically, these facilities were veterinary clinics. “Vet clinics say they can get a dog or a cat in the next day. People have to wait a month” (Stossel, 2007).

Would a nationalized healthcare system be beneficial to the poor? If the perceived high costs of healthcare services were replaced with long waiting periods, would not the net result be the same: a decline in the availability of services? So, is affordability of health care the real issue? Is it true that people simply cannot afford health care?

According to a Reuters report released in December 2007 titled “Over 40 million in U.S. can’t afford health care,” “More than 40 million people in the United States say they cannot afford adequate health care…” (Fox, 2007). The use of the word “say” is curious. They “say” that they cannot afford adequate health care so, apparently, that means they really cannot afford adequate health care. Is it true that they really cannot afford adequate health care, or is it more likely that they have made other decisions regarding how they wish to spend their disposable income?

Sources:
Fox, M. (2007, December 3). Over 40 million in U.S. can’t afford health care: report. Retrieved March 01, 2008, from Reuters Web site: (link...)

Stossel, J. (2007, September 19). Nationalized Health Care is Broken. Retrieved March 01, 2008,
from Real Clear Politics Web site: (link...)
socialized_medicine_is_broken.html

Lester

Trust the Private Sector, Not Government part 2

Can we afford national bank care? Conservatives suggest a system bailed out by the government, a nationalized system, would be affordable. But what about the free market?

If I am anything, I am

If I am anything, I am consistent. I don’t approve of the government bailout of the mortgage industry. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were a little different because the government has always been heavily involved with them through a quazi-governmental relationship. I though the AGI bailout was inappropriate.

Of course one has to ask, “How has all this happened?” I’m glad you asked. For years, Charlie Rangel, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee has been pushing low income loans. This is what caused the sub-prime lending market to soar. Sup-prime lending is where loans are given to people who otherwise would not have qualified for a loan through conventional means. Gone are the days when you were expected to put 20% down, plus pay closing costs, plus have a reliable income source, plus have a good credit score. Now, people who should be renting are allowed to borrow money on a house that they know they cannot afford. A lot of these no-doc loans don’t even require income verification.

Sure lenders were taking advantage of this. These high-risk borrowers were paying justifiably high interest rates because of their high risk. These borrowers were financing 105% of an over-valued home because they needed no money down and were allowed to finance their closing costs. Shockingly, they found themselves in a position where they could not make the payments and went into default. Since the homes were valued less than the amount owed, the companies were left holding the bag.

Are the lenders to blame? Partially. They are greedy capitalists, right? However, here is where Charlie Rangel comes in. Since Fannie and Freddie have a quazi-governmental relationship, they work closely with congress. Charlie would threaten to withhold government money if they did not engage in these high-risk loans. Charlie, as with most misguided liberals believe that home-ownership is a right. I must have skipped that page in the Constitution.

When you can rely on a government bailout, a moral hazard is created. A moral hazard is the irresponsible behavior that you are willing to engage in that you would not have engaged in if the safety net had not been in place. Simply put, you are more likely to engage in high-risk lending if you know you will be bailed out than you would if you understood that you would be forced to suffer the consequences. I have no problem with sub-prime lenders. Their potential for profit is great. Their potential for loss is also great and they should be expected to suffer the loss just as much as they enjoy realizing the gain.

However, the desire of many to place the blame for all of this at the feet of George W. Bush and the Republicans is factually untrue and exemplifies an extreme degree of economic ignorance.

Lester

Name on, just one

Name one government bailout under the 8 years of Bill Clinton. Just one.

They all started with Chrysler under who? REAGAN

RONALD REAGAN

There is your supply side economics lesson for today, tomorrow, and forever!

You apparently need a lesson

You apparently need a lesson in economics, so I will be the teacher. Let me draw your attention to the economic cycle of politics. Let’s go all the way back to the 70’s and acknowledge how well Carter helped us all financially with double-digit inflation. Then we elected Reagan, a man who really could care less what people thought about him. He was the ultimate Republican: a reformed democrat. So, Reagan worked to fix the problems created by Carter. He cuts takes drastically and guess what happened? Tax revenue skyrocketed.

Let’s stop here and reiterate what happened. Liberals are not capable of wrapping their brains around the notion that when tax rates are lowered tax revenue increases. They deny that it happens and I don’t understand. How can you deny a fact? You can disagree with an opinion but you cannot disagree with a fact. You can be unhappy that a fact is true; however, you cannot deny the existence of a fact.

Nevertheless, I digress. So Reagan puts into place economic policies that lead to the prosperity of the 90’s. So, naturally, Clinton gets the credit for simply showing up for work. That’s nice.

You asked about Chrysler? Do you know what led to Chrysler’s demise? Unions. That’s another thing that liberals cannot wrap their brains around. They do not accept the fact that unions are bad for business because they always lead to an increase in labor costs, they always lead to a decrease in efficiency, and they always lead to an even higher overall net increase in production costs. Yet they still support unions. Amazing.

So Clinton gets the credit for the economy created by Regan’s policies. What does he do? More government programs. We have the money, right? Let’s spend it. And spend it they do. While he’s spending, the U.S. is attacked by terrorists several times in some form. How does Slick Willie respond? He relies on the do-nothing approach to combat terrorism. That’s nice.

So at the end of the Clinton era we find the economy heading into a recession which is handed off to Bush just in time for Bush to catch the blame. How convenient. Since Clinton decided not to take Osama out during any of the several times for which he had the opportunity, he leaved Bush a country extremely vulnerable to terrorism. Then 9/11 happens and sends the economy down even further.

So Bush is forced to combat a condition that Clinton created. The war on terror costs money. Naturally, Bush is to blame because we all know that war shouldn’t cost anything.

Liberals amaze me. Their hero refused to take out Osama and now they want to elect Obama. Hey, have you noticed how similar the words Osama and Obama are? The only difference is the bs.

Again, I digress. So now the mortgage industry is in turmoil caused primarily by Freddie and Fannie. As mentioned above, Charlie Rangel had a role in that, but, surprisingly, liberals are willing to overlook that. Oh, and anther thing. Fannie and Freddie also liked to contribute to political campaigns. Guess who the recipient was of their second largest campaign contribution. Osama, I mean Obama (sorry, typo).

Liberals are in a win-win situation. They like government answers to economic solutions. They like the fact that Freddie and Fannie were bailed out because it is a chance to help those poor low-income borrowers who were forced at gun point against their will to take out naughty sub-prime loans from those greedy evil rich lenders who should be burning in the fiery pits of hell. The bail out will be bad for the economy. Although they support these bailouts, when the fact that it was a bad idea becomes obvious, who will they be able to pin the blame on? You guessed it, folks: G.W. How convenient.

Well that concludes the economics lesson for today. Tune in next time when learn why anti-price-gauging laws are bad for consumers.

Lester

So Reagan puts into place

So Reagan puts into place economic policies that lead to the prosperity of the 90’s.

That's funny, I thought George's daddy was in there after Reagan and before Clinton? I guess Reagan's prep years were still trying to take hold while big George was in the White House, right? Or does it skip a generation or something?

Let me give you a lesson half truth

Carter inherited an economy that was rocked by the OPEC crisis, a country in turmoil due to the first Neo-Con Richard M. Nixon and a military that was trying to restructure itself after the Vietnam fiasco and the end of the draft.

Talk about unifying the country, compare and contrast that with Bush and 9/11.

Why did Reagan bail out Chrysler? How far in debt was this country when Reagan/Bush left office?

Supply side economics drives the economy straight into debt, where you get off thinking anything different must come from those mail order degree schools.

Surely you jest.

Apparently you forgot that Carter, in his infinite genius, instituted embargos that were directly linked to fluctuations in price and shortages. Now, as OPEC continues to regulate supply, crude oil prices are high. They are beginning to come down; however, OPEC won’t allow that to continue.

The only way to gain independence on foreign oil is to replace it with domestic oil. Since liberals gained control of Congress, gas prices are much higher than they were before. However, I’m sure you are still not ready to blame the libs for this.

Your demand side theories truly are ignorant. We cannot conserve our way out of an energy crisis. We need oil now. Alternative forms of energy are good. However, I cannot hook my car up to a windmill in order to refuel. I need gas. Gas comes from oil. We have oil in our ground. Let’s get it out and stop living in the theoretical realm with regards to how we will fix this mess.

If the supply of gasoline increases against a either a constant demand for gasoline or a demand level that increases at a slower pace, then the equilibrium price will come down. You liberals don’t think supply levels have anything to do with price. Why?

Please learn economics so that I don’t have to keep explaining the obvious. It’s not very challenging.

Lester

Economics is not my point

My point is simply this; if there is oil in the ground, go get it. If it is my backyard, pay me first, then go get it.

Drill till you drop.

What are you going to do when the last drop is gone?

That was Carter's story 30 years ago, same story today.

If it were up to you, we wouldn't do a thing until the last drop is gone.

That is reckless, stupid, shortsided, and honestly scary.

Go drill today, but as country (minus you) we need to make major investments in alternative energy and transportation sources TODAY!

Economics is the point. Let

Economics is the point. Let the free market, not government come up with alternative energy solutions. Prior to the invention of the gasoline engine, gasoline was simply disposed of. The gasoline engine was invented because market forces demanded a more efficient means of energy production over the steam engine. Government had nothing to do with it.

Economics is the point because there is no shortage of oil. Shortages in production and changes in demand account for price fluctuation. When the private sector figures a way to utilize alternative energy sources in more cost effective and efficient ways then our reliance on oil will decrease. It is simply not the role of government to dictate this. You see what a bright idea Social inSecurity has turned out to be and how brilliantly government managed that for 70 years. You trust that same government to develop an industry that does not yet exist?

Lester

The only way to gain

The only way to gain independence on foreign oil is to replace it with domestic oil.

What are you talking about? It is estimated that we have approx. 3% of the worlds oil and that even if we were to obtain this oil we would run out by 204? something. How on God's green earth are we going to replace our oil demand with domestic oil. I suppose math is not your strong point? As for this offshore drilling that people are so into along with ANWR, we already have thousands of acres that are approved for drilling that the oil companies haven't even taken the time to search for oil in. This offshore and ANWR thing is just the big oil companies and their cohorts trying to claim additional lands for their benefit instead of spending any of their money to develop alternative fuels. It's such a scam and I can't believe that someone of your self proclaimed CALIPER would fall for. I find it extremely ironic that this new breed of Republican, so influenced by the Christian Conservative cares so little for the future and can only see what they believe will benefit them in their lifetime.
To answer your original question somewhere in this post, (I'm paraphrasing) "and you think George Bush is to blame for this?" "yes, I do believe that our sad state is due to the pitiful leader this country has had to put up with in the last 8 years. If we lacked in previous years in foreign relations, economic growth, corporate scandal, Government coruption, Government spending and waste, it has been ten fold under George W. and his cronies.

I think that we do need

I think that we do need universal health coverage of at least some minimum level. Of course, we should let people pay for something if they want to, but we can all agree that health care coverage is a great way for governement to provide for the common good.

Socialism = Bad We don’t

Socialism = Bad

We don’t all agree that universal health coverage is a great way for government to provide for the common good. Those of us who have actually read the Constitution realize that nowhere in the Constitution is the government charged with providing for the common good.

“We should let people pay for something if they want to?” What kind of ignorant statement is that? Who WANTS to pay for anything?

Remember, folks, we’re capitalists not socialists.

Lester

Hrmmmm

When discussing health care, why do we only hear about the cost of insurance and not the cost of service...

Nexium, cost 200 a month, and while there may be need for some to have, it is often prescribed for basic heart burn...

When those who are on Nexium are told about the 200 cost....the disbelief is amazing....

We have got to get the consumer involved in healthcare....single payer does not drive the market...people do...

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