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Taxes and fiscal cliff

Races for the Senate, U.S. House, etc. and other issues of national importance.

Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby DCB » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:06 am

Huckleby wrote: And if somebody gets cancer and incurs huge bills, the rates for the whole group go up dramatically the next year.

And that's why we have to kick retired 65-year-olds off Medicare, right?

No, the reason the Very Serious People who are trying to negotiate a Grand Bargain want to raise the retirement age is because they think everyone on Medicare is a parasite. And if billionaires have to cough up some extra tip money to pay down the debt, then retired old people are just going to have to give up a few of their medications for a few years. Shared sacrifice and all that.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby Huckleby » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:11 am

wack wack wrote:My expert laughed at your suggestion that cost of insurance is a consideration in individual hiring. As successful as her career was, I'm confident she knows what she's talking about.


Your expert is taking a narrow view based on her situation.

Use your common sense: the human body starts breaking down after 50. Purchasing insurance on the individual market after 50 is increasingly expensive. Pre-existing condition - forget it. The chance of getting a serious disease is much higher as we age. If you or your expert are unaware that rates for group plans depend on the risk factors of the group, you are uninformed.
Last edited by Huckleby on Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby Huckleby » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:24 am

DCB wrote:
Huckleby wrote: And if somebody gets cancer and incurs huge bills, the rates for the whole group go up dramatically the next year.

And that's why we have to kick retired 65-year-olds off Medicare, right?


Where did this come from?
BTW, there is no proposal to kick anybody off medicare, the proposal is to raise the age of eligibility by 2 or 3 years, phased-in over 50 years.

Obamacare addresses the above problem by preventing insurance companies from raising rates for a group when somebody gets cancer.

But really, the long term effect of Obamacare will be to phase-out employer-based insurance.

DCB wrote:No, the reason the Very Serious People who are trying to negotiate a Grand Bargain want to raise the retirement age is because they think everyone on Medicare is a parasite. And if billionaires have to cough up some extra tip money to pay down the debt, then retired old people are just going to have to give up a few of their medications for a few years. Shared sacrifice and all that.

"retirement age" refers to social security, not medicare, right?

I can't speak to anyone else's motives. I want 100% universal coverage, by whatever way that can work.

Speaking of rasing taxes on the wealthy to keep medicare just the way it is probably doesn't work.

There's an underlying problem/conflict. The only way to have a generous safety net is to increase taxes on the middle class. I'm OK with that, but the middle class - not so much, especially with income taxes. My solution is to add a VAT tax to pay for health care.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby Huckleby » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:28 am

BTW, social security is not is no much trouble, can be fixed easily without raising retirement age. Medicare is the problem.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby wack wack » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:37 am

Huckleby wrote:
wack wack wrote:My expert laughed at your suggestion that cost of insurance is a consideration in individual hiring. As successful as her career was, I'm confident she knows what she's talking about.


Your expert is taking a narrow view based on her situation.

Use your common sense: the human body starts breaking down after 50. Purchasing insurance on the individual market after 50 is increasingly expensive. Pre-existing condition - forget it. The chance of getting a serious disease is much higher as we age. If you or your expert are unaware that rates for group plans depend on the risk factors of the group, you are uniformed.


Appeal to "common sense" = grasping at straws

Let's review: you asserted that the primary reason for age discrimination is insurance costs. Narrow or not, I gave you a solid example disproving your assertion. The idea is absurd. You're welcome to rely on what you think, I'll go with what is known.

Not sure what is "narrow" about the health care industry. And I assure you, like most industries, "health care" has it's standards and practices, my expert wasn't operating on an island.

BTW, on a somewhat related note: my expert just called to ask, "is your governor on drugs?" Apparently Walker's made claims that the health care industry is having trouble finding "qualified candidates." According to my expert, there has never been a bigger supply of qualified professionals at all levels of health care. Why? Well, when the economy tanked, lots and lots of people decided, "I'll go into health care, we'll always need that."
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby Huckleby » Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:15 pm

wack wack wrote: Narrow or not, I gave you a solid example disproving your assertion. The idea is absurd. You're welcome to rely on what you think, I'll go with what is known.


You did not disprove my assertion, you gave an example of an organization with a large enough risk pool that it is not sensitive to hiring a person with a high risk profile. I never suggested that all employers have small group insurance plans.

You & your "expert" suffer from a know-it-all condition, perhaps hereditary.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby Stella_Guru » Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:32 pm

Huckleby wrote:Speaking of rasing taxes on the wealthy to keep medicare just the way it is probably doesn't work. There's an underlying problem/conflict. The only way to have a generous safety net is to increase taxes on the middle class. I'm OK with that, but the middle class - not so much, especially with income taxes. My solution is to add a VAT tax to pay for health care.

SS and Medicare are currently funded disproportionately by low and middle income wage earners, thus making them a regressive tax extending only to the first $107,000 or so annually in wages, exempting any aditional wages and all other income. Why not extend the tax to all wages and ALL ADDITIONAL NON-PENSION INCOME?
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby Huckleby » Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:58 pm

That fix will work for social security, just raise the cap.

Medicare is bigger problem, the taxes collected explicitly to fund it fall far short of the labilities, and gap is growing.
I just took a look at Wikipedia, and they say that the payroll taxes that fund medicare are not capped, the cap was removed in 1994. So the obvious fix for SS doesn't apply to medicare.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby Huckleby » Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:52 pm

http://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/res ... urance.pdf

Here's a detailed analysis of the impact of healthcare costs on employability. My guess that health care costs are the most important cause of age discrimination is likely wrong in general, but I suspect I am right for small companies that have their own risk pools.

Here are conclusions of that report:

This brief shows that health insurance costs are one of the reasons that employers are less likely to employ older workers. Demographic groups that have higher health insurance costs are less likely to be employed.

However, four of the five most expensive state mandates for health insurance increase the relative cost of younger to older workers. In states where older workers cost relatively less, employment rates for these workers are higher than in other states. Older men, in particular, are more likely to be employed; they also are not apt to take wage cuts to compensate for their higher health insurance costs.

Nevertheless, for the most part, employers treat all workers with higher health care costs similarly and do not specifically target older workers. Older men respond to high health insurance costs when deciding whether to work and for how many hours.

Policy makers need to consider potential effects on health care costs and employment when they develop new policies for health insurance and entitlement programs. Human resource managers can trim their high health care costs, without reducing employment, by trying strategies such as more part-time positions and onsite clinics.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby DCB » Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:30 pm

I realize that the deficit is the most critical problem ever faced by mankind, but do we really need to impose radical austerity measures?

maybe not:
Believe it or not, the federal deficit has fallen faster over the past three years than it has in any such stretch since demobilization from World War II.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby Stebben84 » Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:46 pm

Well, now a law that hasn't even been fully implemented is on the table. Boehner and these assholes will stop at nothing to repeal the ACA.

"The president’s health care law adds a massive, expensive, unworkable government program at a time when our national debt already exceeds the size of our country’s entire economy. We can’t afford it, and we can’t afford to leave it intact," he wrote in the Cincinnati Enquirer. "That’s why I’ve been clear that the law has to stay on the table as both parties discuss ways to solve our nation’s massive debt challenge."


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/2 ... 70722.html

Jeebus Christ. They'll put every goddamn thing on the table but taxes. I have little hope that anything can happen in the next four years when these assholes are part of the picture.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby Huckleby » Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:14 pm

Stebben84 wrote:Well, now a law that hasn't even been fully implemented is on the table.

The Republicans know damn well that universal healthcare can never be reversed once it is implemented, and worst of all, it will cement many voters into the Democratic side. So of course to them this is "Armageddon", as John Boehner famously wailed before the House. Now is their time to cripple it.

Some people are saying that the red states will eventually have to succomb to medicaid expansion. I'm not so sure they won't hang on for years or decades. Badger Care may be excluding childless adults for a very long time.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby Henry Vilas » Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:52 am

Some Republicans move away from no-tax pledge

Nothing riles up the tea party chattering class like a broken pledge against raising taxes.

Just ask Sen. Saxby Chambliss, a veteran Georgia Republican who this week turned his back on the Taxpayer Protection Pledge he signed years ago as a rite of passage in right-wing politics.

Immediately labeled "worthless" and "a liar" on the website Tea Party Nation, Chambliss symbolizes the political conundrum facing GOP leaders after President Barack Obama's re-election.

After years of opposing higher taxes on anyone, Republicans now are under pressure to work out a comprehensive agreement to reduce the nation's chronic federal deficits and debt.

That means a compromise with Obama and Democrats, who insist on more tax revenue being part of a package that includes spending cuts and entitlement reforms.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby snoqueen » Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:44 pm

I know the affordable care act is a giant political football, but can anybody explain in 25 words or less what it is about it the Republicans hate so much?

Insurance companies are pretty much for it. So are a lot of healthcare corporations. So the corporate angle is questionable.

Funding healthcare by emergency room for the poor, which is basically free-riding on wealthier people's healthcare insurance, doesn't make sense. Why would I as an insurance premium payer want to underwrite "free" healthcare for all these other people? (unless I actually cared about their well-being, I mean)

Many R voters (older whites, that is) are Medicare recipients, so they can't wholeheartedly hate getting healthcare from the federal government. Medicare is a halfway-decent program.

Spending federal money doesn't bother 'em when it's about sending war material and troops to obscure places like Afghanistan, so what's wrong with bringing some of it home, especially when running the numbers shows it might actually help our own economy?

I don't get it.

My only understanding is they hate anything Obama has done, but that's thin ice to build a whole resistance movement on. What are they telling their people to convince them the ACA is so awful?
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby rabble » Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:33 pm

Beats me. I keep coming up with the same thing you are. It didn't come from their side, therefore it is hatred of all that is good.

The only other reason I can think of is that sooner or later it's going to cut into the USA profits of the medical industry and that can't possibly be it.
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