Opinion

The Great Debate

Uncle Sam pays for middle-class health care

January 30, 2009

 Diana Furchtgott-Roth– Diana Furchtgott-Roth, former chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor, is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. –

On January 29, the U.S. Senate passed the reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), originally enacted in 1997 as an addition to Medicaid. It would have expired on March 31, potentially leaving over 7 million children without health insurance.

The bill passed 66 votes to 32, with several Republicans joining Democrats to pass the bill. The Republican leadership wanted to expand SCHIP spending by $5 billion over five years, an annual increase of 20 percent. In contrast, congressional Democrats succeeded in increasing SCHIP by $32 to $39 billion over five years, according to estimates by the Congressional Budget Office, almost tripling the program by 2013.

Democrats seek to move the government toward national health insurance that is not a low-income program but would be like national defense—available to everyone, and paid for by the taxpayers, as in Europe and Canada. This is a fundamental philosophical difference.

Since the House of Representatives passed a similar bill on January 14, the two bills will be reconciled in conference. The bills are funded by increasing tobacco taxes (assuming the smokers don’t quit in response to the higher tax). The legislation will then go to President Obama, who indicated that he will sign it, unlike President Bush, who vetoed a similar SCHIP increase as excessive.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus declared, “When President Obama signs this bill, the real victory will belong not to politicians, but to kids. The winners today are the kids who need health care.”

The losers, however, might be the taxpayers. The bills are costly because they would raise income eligibility well into the middle class. Last year, SCHIP covered about 7 million low-income children and Medicaid covered an additional 23 million. The proposed bills would add another 6.5 million children to the SCHIP and Medicaid—and, according to Census Bureau data, 42 million children would be eligible.

In addition, the bill allows states to receive federal reimbursement for adding more immigrant children and pregnant immigrant mothers, and drops the five-year waiting-period now required for legal immigrants to be eligible for the programs. This would enable immigrants to come to the United States and qualify for benefits on day one.

The bills would raise family income ceilings for states to qualify for Federal reimbursement. The present limit is 200 percent of the poverty line, or $44,000 for a family of 4 (although individual states can and do fund higher levels without the Federal share). The new bills raise the Medicaid limit to 300 percent, or $66,000. An exception for New York will include families at 400 percent, or $88,000.

According to the Senate Minority Leader, Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell, “It’s grossly unfair that a family in Kentucky making $40,000 must pay for the health insurance of a family making double that — especially if the Kentuckian can’t afford it for his own family.”

The median U.S. household income is $50,000. Sixty percent of American households earn less than $62,000. By raising government insurance eligibility to embrace three fifths of households, Congress will change government-provided health care from a low-income to a middle-income program—even as middle-income households pay lower taxes under the pending economic stimulus plan. The fiscal consequences of this new entitlement will be felt far into the future.

The SCHIP bill prefigures crucial health-care questions for Americans of all ages in the next few years: Who should be insured under federal plans, and who under private plans? Do the American people want increased nationalization of health-care financing, as they have seen increasing nationalization of the banks?

The answer to these questions will determine the shape of American health care for years to come.

Diana Furchtgott-Roth can be reached at dfr@hudson.org. For previous columns, click here.

Comments
32 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

I immigrated to the US from Canada to pursue the American dream. However, I see the nightmare is about to follow me.

Posted by Rose | Report as abusive
 

I’ve voted straight conservative republican for the past 22 years, working full-time for 20yrs. I have two graduate degrees including an MBA. After the issues our country has faced in the recent months, so much information about what has really been going on behind long trusted instutions including government has caused me to rethink how I’ve been voting all these years and how I listen to conservative politicians and conservative pundits.

A lot of what I’ve been hearing is really a lot of self serving. Pundits of anti-nationalization of helath care really only there to excite an audience that will bend and ear and try to bend it further by pushing the limits on what seems right.

I say this because, what is so wrong about making health care being available to every single citizen of this country? The cost is not too much. I pay Aetna insurance now to the tune of $12,000+ a year for my family. Most of it goes to the CEO who pockets 30 million a year. A government offical would less than $400 thousand a year, which is the president’s salary. The cost of paying a CEO is so much more than paying a government employee. Aetna’s CEO salary could pay for the health care of about 2,500 families! And also there are many executives working under the CEO making close to that so add thousands of people more who get health care. Multiply that by the number of executives at other HMO’s who get paid the same. Ultimately I would rather pay for the health of millions of people who don’t have health care, than give it to handful of executives manipulating the lives of people for the sake of their luxury vacation homes.

What a savings to have a national health system! And no it would not be hard to find qualified people to run a government agency for the lower salary. $400K is a lot of money, and there are plenty of decent people out there who would love to take on that position for the good of others, even for just a four year term.

But quality of care will degrade in a national system. Listen, I got in a motorcycle accident four years ago. My insurance sent me to the best hospital in the city. I sat in the waiting room with two collapsed lungs and three broken ribs for 12 hours. When they got to me, the surgeon started cutting across from rib to rib to make an opening to insert the chest tube to drain my lungs. Did you catch what I said? The surgeon cut across from rib to rib. I nurse stopped him and reminded him that ribs go perpendicular to the way he was cutting! What the??? No health care would get worse. It already is! And no, paying a private HMO is not better.

My elderly mother-in-law is on Medicaid and she has better doctors and better care for all her multitude of health issues that I am most of the time surprised could be done so well and completely through Medicaid cost free!

I will no longer listen to pundits (aka self absorbed or stupid talking heads on tv) who keep telling me a national health care is costly and not good quality. A recent study quantified the cost of national health care for everyone would cost taxpayers $78 billion a year. $78 billion is Microscopic compared to the $2 trillion we the American tax payers are going to blow on clue-less company executive compensation!

If you are politician and you voting on legislation that is pro-national healthcare, you will receive a lot of votes! We the American people are sick and tired of being swindled HMO’s who try every trick in the book to avoid paying. I got a medical bill recently that was sent to me by the hospital because Aetna refused to pay. After many calls I found out that I was suppose to reply to an obscure letter that they supposedly sent to me six months ago stating that if I didn’t send them a reply they would assume I had a second HMO plan that was paying my bills. What the??? I thought I had to pay this incomprehensibly written bill because it was part of my out of pocket expense!@#!#$ Private HMO’s are joke!! Pundits know it! And they only support Private HMO’s to feed their TV career and salary!

Posted by Rich | Report as abusive
 

Smokers are going to have to do a lot more.

Posted by Don | Report as abusive
 

Socialism here we come! We the taxpayers have to pay for illegal immigrants healthcare from day one! WOW! Why don’t you congressmen and women and senators give up your $93,000 petty cash (for each of you)fund and your new automobiles that are in this fraud of a stimulus plan and oh yea your automatic pay raises that you voted on and pay your taxes which alot of you don’t and fund the illegals and part of the middle class yourselves!

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive
 

This is not the answer. We need single payer insurance FOR PARENTS as well, so why not include ALL CITZENS? You expect us to go back to work without healthcare? What about citizen that need healthcare before they can get out of bed? Hello?

 

Smokers need to smoke more to help pay for the increasing cost. Hold on, that will increase the amount of kids needing help because of second hand smoke.

How are we going to pay for this when all the smokers die! What is the rate of smokers among the poor? Maybe this is the way the government plans on them paying their fair share of the taxes. I am sure this is going to work!

You know there is an option for you if you don’t like the way healthcare is in America. You can easily go south or north and get a different health plan. I bet with an MBA there would be plenty of good jobs in Canada.

We need to look back at health care and try to find out when it started going down hill, if it is. Maybe it is government involvement? Maybe it is the ability to sue at the drop of a hat? Maybe it is adding thousands and thousands of people going to the doctor for any little reason because it is not going to cost them a dime? Maybe even companies providing health insurance so once again I don’t even know what the true cost is, just what my co-pay is.

Once again I am just a few thousands away from qualifying for another government give away. I guess my three kids will have to depend on me getting off of my backside and going to work again on Monday so that I can help pay for the next group of immigrants that will now come for what is left of the best healthcare system in the world.

If you don’t think the working class pays for all healthcare you are out of your mind. Some people just wish to add more government to the equation. Name one thing that the government does well! Best I can tell we are still good a blowing things up! Ever citizen should spend one year working for the local city or state government. After about 3 months you would never dream of putting that system in control of your health.

Posted by Newby | Report as abusive
 

The Hudson Institute is of course a conservative
think tank.

National health care for US would free employers
to hire more freely and allow self employed to set
up shop without dreading the rapidly escalating
health insurance cost. I’ve been there!

Don H

Posted by Don Hoffman | Report as abusive
 

Cost to a tourist in Australia for being treated in hospital for bee-sting anaphylaxis: $35.

Cost to a tourist in the US for being treated in hospital for bee-sting anaphylaxis: $450.

Tourist crediting their VISA card for speedily opening the doors of US hospital health care… priceless.

I can see some form of rebuttal to this like “But no patient is refused care in the US even if they can’t afford to pay.” This is true. It is also true that medical bills drive US citizens to personal bankruptcy, their medical insurance not withstanding.

Better to be alive and poor then dead? Yea,I guess it is… but thats only reasonable to say if you live in a third world country.

Posted by John | Report as abusive
 

The headline is wrong. Smokers are paying for this, not Uncle Sam, by Uncle Sam raising the federal tax from 0.39 to 1.00 per pack.

Posted by Lionel Space | Report as abusive
 

To Don posted 12:55 pm.
Your are generalising a specific situation in which you find yourself to be. I have Health First an HMO in central Florida. My health care is excellent +. I pay my co-pay as agreed, they pay as agreed, and all is perfectly well. I DO NOT want any gov. half wits messing with this. Ask a Canadian an Englishman or most Europeans how they rate their health care. If the person of whom you would inquire is not an idiologe you will find that they do not rate their care well at all.

Posted by John | Report as abusive
 

Excellent! It’s about time. Medical insurance premiums for a family are way too high and cost prohibitative. Now I don’t have to have so much life insurance coverage.

Posted by George Smith | Report as abusive
 

I own and run a pediatric office.I love kids and I help out alot of families when in need. I have a office planfor uninsured patients which provides children basic healthcare for about $38.00 per month.I have offered FREE health care in exchange for tax credit. I feel this country would be better off if we simpilfied things and let healthcare providers deal more directly with patients,in many cases. Everything the government gets involved in has too much red tape, is too expensive and too slow!! Smaller federal government, people helping people,strong work ethic, FELLOW AMERICANS we need our roots backopen your eyes to the direction our country is headed!!

Posted by beaner | Report as abusive
 

To john from Florida I totally agree I don’t want government messing with our insurance.But to educate you on HMO’s just so you know you primary care physician probably only gets $12 per month to take care of you. (no matter how many visits you have)thats only about $150.00 per year! I don’t know know much you get taken out of your paycheck or how much your employer pays but if you have a GOOD physician don’t you feel his/her services are more valuable than that? ie…I agree with you but HMO’s operate somewhat like national health care
the government would be like HMO’s on steroids! many good physicians would stop practicing.

Posted by beaner | Report as abusive
 

A lot of you guys who are anti anything that resembles socialism, just wait until you are too old to work or at retirement age. When you start asking for your “social” security check, this is socialism! You’ll not want to part with it, you’ll need it to pay for health care! When you are too old to work a good paying job and you can’t afford the medicine for what-every ails you; nor the treatment you need for what-ever, you will be thankful for Medicade, which is also a social program.

My take on it is we pride ourselves on being the highly civilized great American society, yet we don’t even take care of the medical needs of the middle class who are the folks who pay into all these social programs. Since most of us in the middle class are paying into it, we ought to get some benefits from it. If you wait until you are older to qualify for Medicade, the goverment as it stands requires you wipe out your savings before they step in with any aid. we, the middle class want our aid now, not after our life savings is wiped out!

If we are a highly civilized society, we should be taking care of the medical needs of our people, not letting them die off when we could have done something about it. If you don’t consider this benefit for yourselfm then consider it for the future of your children; or the elderly people you care about who can’t afford medical care or stand to loose everything they have worked so hard for.

Posted by Rick | Report as abusive
 

I hear a lot of people say the founding father’s intended our society to be free from government intervention. Let me tell you one of the founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, had the wisdom to see the need for this young country to educate all of its children, not just those who could afford it. Jefferson pushed hard for states to initiate the public school system so the poor could learn as well. He saw it was neccessary for this country’s growth and to protect its interests. Imagine if there was no such thing as basic education provided for everyone in this country, only for the wealthy???

Posted by Rich | Report as abusive
 

Our school systems are broken. Social Security is broken and now Gov’t watns to repair our Banking System and Health Care System becuase they are better at running things than the free market system. Thirty days to schedule a physical with my GP. Now that I’m at the 50 mark my GP wanted me to hve my heart checked. Twenty days before I was able to see him. I needed to see an Opthomoligist, I was told it would be four weeks to get an appointment. I can only imagine these time frames would double or triple if the Gov’t was involved.

Doctors pay high malpractice insurance, high education costs and now their earnings will be set by the Gov’t. I’m not sure if many Doctors will want to continue or get into the practice. My wife’s Doctor will not even take insurance because she does not want the paperwork headaches. What will she do with Gov’t intervention? Discontinue her practice.

How many medical break throughs come from Europe or Canada? If we discourage the practice of medicine in the U.S., I’m not sure if we will witness the great advances in medicine. What will happen to the Cancer Centers?

Posted by trying times | Report as abusive
 

The original problem with this bill was the name. SCHIP isn’t evocative. They should have called it “The No Child Left to Die Act.” Framing is everything.

We also have to wonder a bit about all those xenophobe-exploiting republicans who say they don’t want immigrant kids to get health care. Wanna bet they are all also “pro-life”? How is it “pro-life” to deny medical care to kids who have actually been born because they don’t like their parents? Ah! It’s good old situational morality.

Posted by J. Michael Malec | Report as abusive
 

The taxpayers do not lose. They win. All the people without medical insurance use the emergency rooms of hospitals for care. We who have insurance and are of some means pay for that care by having our co-pays and other fees raised. I raised this issue with a local hospital I go to (the only one in my county) and I was told how it happened. If the government paid the cost of those people who are without health insurance and not on any kind of welfare, those of means have their bills increased.
Good health is a benefit to all. Fewer hours lost in illness, fewer hours lost in work to take young people to the hospital, fewer illness spread in the work place by people who have no insurance.

 

I am absolutely baffled why the American public are so very against national health care.

I am Australian (they have national health) and have lived in the US (legally – and at great expense for 5.5 yrs). I have two kids (both born in Aust. for FREE)

I have worked for Medicare in Aust. and worked as an office manager in the US for a psychiatrist for 4 yrs. The psychiatrist closed up the practice and got a govt. job .. private practice didn’t pay.

What amazed me the most was the horror stories I heard from patients on how much their health insurance cost in the US. I would hear of people paying up to $20,000 per year (with a huge deductible) for useless emergency coverage. My running joke is that American’s WANT to get cancer, so they can cash in on their health insurance.

I would ask them why don’t they just not pay health insurance and pay out of pocket for any minor stuff (after all if you do get cancer – just go on medicaid and they will pay for it) – use the money saved to go on a nice holiday every year. But then the fear would strike their faces … oh no ..you can’t do that, what if something drastic happens? And I would say – so what? they have to treat you anyway. I know in Fl that all hospitals must treat 5% gratis anyway.

Every patient that came through that office wanted national health. Medicare and medicaid IS national health. You have it already here!! Dr’s don’t want to take any medicare or medicaid patients in Fl as they pay so poorly. Nor do Dr’s want to take insurance – as they don’t pay either. So you pay the premiums to get what? Nothing .. as you will be forced to pay cash anyway and then try to pry a few dollars out of the insurance companies – who don’t like to pay.

Myth #1. Canadians, Europeans and all other countries are coming here because national health is so very bad in those countries.

Fact: Why would anyone who can get FREE health care come to the US to have a baby (approx. $20,000) or a bi pass (approx. $200,000) – That is because they don’t! In fact .. US residents are now going to THIRD WORLD countries to get cheap medical treatment (triple bi pass in India – $20,000 including accommodation and airfares!) Not to mention the market in plastic surgery and dental work in South America.

Myth #2: Health care is soooo much better in the US than any other country.

Fact: I met a woman in Tampa who was there for her husband getting treatment for bowel cancer. She said she had the BEST health care money could buy – yet he had to wait 3 MONTHS to get treatment!! 3 months!! Let’s hope he lived through that operation .. though it wasn’t looking that great when I left her at the hotel.

Myth #3: Health care is essential!

Fact: No it isn’t. If you don’t get sick that much – you would be better off without it. (Remember that nice holiday once a year .. hmmm). This is a true story: My neighbour, who is fit and healthy, and self employed got some gyno stuff done (she didn’t go into details). Her Dr made her pay up front and when she tried to get a reimbursement from her insurance co. they refused. Apparently menopause is a PRE-EXISTING condition! WTF???? She starting laughing until she realized they really meant it!! No .. paying large amounts for health insurance is not essential.

Health insurance in the US is a joke. It is fueled by Big Pharma feeding lies to the populous. I participated in wonderful lunches and dinners gratis due to big pharma companies. But I did not buy health insurance. And I would take generics any day over any expensive bs drug the pharma companies are pushing.

If I was king – I would get rid of big pharma lobbyists, nationalize health care, put a 1% tax on anyone earning over 25,000 to pay for it – annually paid, include drugs in the plan (like they do in Aust. – at competitive costs), install a program that you must be a resident for 2 yrs to receive govt. health ( that takes care of all you whiners who worry about illegals – but it also takes care of legals as well) and raise the wages for people – so you have plenty of people to subsidize it all!

Plus you can do something to encourage more school sports programs – if you had national health … all kids could play sports!! (thereby reducing the fat quotient).

Now I have that off my chest .. I will imbibe in more alcohol, cigs and hope that I don’t fall down and die unexpectedly tomorrow. As I cannot afford to go the Dr for a checkup!

Totally not insured, totally don’t care!
Anne

Posted by anne | Report as abusive
 

To Beaner the pediatrician – if you could treat patients without the problems of red tape, guaranteed payments by the govt. in a timely manner and reduce your office staff and costs – wouldn’t you take it?

If you could get reimbursed say $25 for a 5 – 15 min consult and charge the patient another $25 – $45 on top (and get them to pay for it at the consult) – wouldn’t you take that?

Realistically here .. you are only going to see them for 5 mins anyway (probably like you do now), so on a conservative min. – you would earn $300 per hour. But if you charged them $25 cash .. you would be getting $600 per hour.

You have one super charged office manager who files it to the govt. and collects the money (pay her/him at least $20 per hour).

You don’t need a nurse .. people want to see a dr anyway.

So you have one staff member, one dr – guaranteed income from the govt., no insurance/billing gal, no nurse. And you get to pick your hours. You refer anything major out to a specialist or send them to the hospital. Small office with small operating costs.

So now you have a practice that can earn $21,000 per wk (no one really wants to work more than 35 hrs anyway), one employee that costs around $1,000 (including all the other taxes) and a small office for say $3,000 per month.

Now you need 4 wks off a year (so does the office manager – coordinate that).

For 48 wks a year with $84,000 monthly income minus $7,000 for staff and rent. You will have a gross of around $847,000. You still have utilities and a few other expenses to pay (as well as tax).

This is the extreme .. but let’s say you only got the $25 consult .. you would still make $423,500. Now why wouldn’t you go with that????

This is a less stress, better alternative than the mess they have in the US now. No insurance co’s, flat fee for service and getting that guaranteed money from the govt. actually keeps your cash flow going.

Think outside the box. Cash practice can be successful if you do it right.

Cheers
Anne

Posted by anne | Report as abusive
 

The government, run by quasi-communistocrats are out of control. If by act of God, you were born poor, and chose not to get an education, but instead became a welfare mother by choice, why should I pay for your care and your childrens care?
The welfare state is a self fulfilling condition. I say NO MORE WELFARE, NO MORE HANDOUTS. Now, as president we have a community organizer, that assisted the groups like ACORN in getting government handouts. Now he wants to bankrupt our country so that he can give away billions to his special interest groups.
This excessive spending by OBAMA is going to wake up every crook and fraudster looking for a handout. And then there are the lobbyists!!

This is the end of our dear country as we once knew it.

Posted by JAQUEBAUER | Report as abusive
 

What isn’t being said is the “piggyback” on the bill adding more restrictions on doctors. Where and when will the people be told the whole story!

Posted by Darrin | Report as abusive
 

As a smoker I do find that this new bill is very harsh on smokers. Almost everywhere in America is smoke free, we as smokers are being huddled in the corner but then also being told that we should pay exceptionally higher taxes. We have no rights anymore, is this truly what America stands for, I remember in history class reading about a little thing called the Boston Tea Party. Taxation without representation….now it is taxation with representation for only the rich. Why couldn’t they put high taxes on the mansions, yachts, or jets that all the politicians have, maybe if they felt such a hefty tax put on their shoulders they might actually take a second look at the taxes they so easily pass against middle to lower class citizens. I mean the RYO or MYO (roll your own or make your own) tobacco, the increase is so terribly obscene that it will increase the tax on it more then you pay for it. Who do you think makes their own cigarettes the rich or the poor? We could have just stopped giving money away to countries that don’t pay us back, I mean you don’t give what you don’t have….that alone with capping all politicians salaries for I thought it was more of an honor to serve your country then about how much your paid, would solve a lot of our countries financial crunch. Politicians should be held accountable for how the spend taxpayers money.

Posted by Terri | Report as abusive
 

Anne Thanks for the advice I am thinking outside the box I mentioned in an earlier comment I offer healthcare to children for as low as 38.00 a month. Of course I can only offerv this to uninsued families because of “insurance laws” I spend an average of 15 minutes with my patients and concentrate on preventative healthcare not just sick patients. I know i could do well with this but i have to trend softly as the insurance companies are protected by lots of rules. I do need staff however,to give vaccines,and do patient workup or it would take me twice as long to see patients.They also answer the phones…about 60-200 calls per day,enter data in the immunization registry etc… I also proposed to my state representative an idea of exchange health care for tax credit..
We have a “same day sick” policy for children that is why so many parents with FREE healthcare come over the border of Canada to our office. They have to wait 2 weeks to see theirs , with a sick child that won’t work..
also I feel that if the government stayed out of this somewhat good doctors who charged reasonable prices for quality care would be able to do well, those who were too expensive or didn’t provide quality care would lose patient.. I believe the word for this is free market. Let it happen!! most healthcare providers are seeing only a SMALL fraction of what you pay the rest is eaten up by 3rd party administrators and exectives bonuses of “not profit” organizations(look at how much the president of BCBS of MI made last year!!

Posted by beaner | Report as abusive
 

Universal health care can work. It works all right in Canada and in many other countries. But Canada does not have a history of malpractice lawsuits. I think you will find that once the government has to pay for these many medical expenses, suddenly the lawsuits will mysteriously vanish. For instance, provinces that try provincially-operated auto-insurance experience fewer accident claims. A person can have his eyeballs dangling from out of his armpits is a terrible accident, but the doctors will say he looks just fine. No need to pay out anything. It is an amazing system.

Posted by Don | Report as abusive
 

It is strange discussion – everybody’s health care coverage in US.
If some people cannot get coverage for themselves and their children, it means that they are losers and should die. Meanwhile, US provides HIV assistance to many people abroad (Africa PEPFAR for example) and cannot afford to cover basics in health care at home even for children? Or for not good enough children? Middle class pays for foreign assistance and nobody argues.
So what is the real reason for this question – support inequity between people in home country? Health care is a human right, not a fancy car.
How about article for health care user’s abuses such as multiple unnecessary CT, lab tests, surgeries, prescriptions, that insured people use as health care is without any limits for services…
You may get CT/MRI scan test before treatment of simple pimple …

 

WE all need to stop coplaining about insurance companies. This isn’t an insurance company or a hospital problem. No, I don’t work for either. We need to be mad at all those people on welfare that keep having more and more kids without the ability to pay for them.

I am going to put this in simple terms. Anyone with half of a business mind will understand this. When government taxes businesses, the company doesn’t pay for those tax increases. Consumers pay for those tax increases when the companies raise the cost of their goods.

This is the same with hospitals and insurance companies. When 100′s of people go into the hospital and don’t have insurance because they keep having babies that they can’t afford, the have to raise the cost of services to cover the costs of all those wonderful people that don’t have insurance. Guess what…you guessed it, we get to pay those higher costs through premiums and deductibles. Don’t be mad at insurance companies or hospitals.

Another case in point. I live in the Memphis area, and in Memphis, my car insurance went up drastically when I moved here from Wisonsin. One would think insurance would be more in WI because of the road conditions during winter. Not the case at all. My insurance in Memphis is about 30% more because no one likes to follow the law and carry insurance. Again, the company passing that cost on to the consumer.

So, the bottom line, we need to reform welfare. We need to stop taking money away from my pocket and giving it to the worhtless people on welfare that continue to stay on welfare for generations and continue to have more and more babies so they can take more and more of my money.

True story. I recently did my taxes for 08. The sad thing is that I got a $400 credit for my child because my combined income is too high. I got no credit for my education. I got not credit for my childcare I paid. I got no credit for anything except the interest I pay on my house.

A relative of mine, who I have to say is worhtless, doesn’t work, and paid no income tax last year, but has two kids. They somewhere in the ballpark of 4K back on income taxes. How does that happen? They pay nothing into it and get a check back. No wonder why so many worthless people are on welfare.

Posted by Jeff | Report as abusive
 

So many heartless people…

With over 2 million US citizens out of work in the last year the likelihood of the welfare mother with her kids at the Dr office getting free healthcare being from a household that made over $100K in 07 is very high. Most people on welfare are not habitual welfare families. The current economic situation demands this administration provide a broader social safety net. And for those that have short term memory problems remember that it was the Bush administration that raped the Treasury to protect their elitist buddies and it is this new administration that is making it very clear that crap will not continue.

As for socialized medicine, of course it could work. Canada’s problem is that they are short on Dr’s. That happens when you have a country to the south that still grossly overpays Dr’s. Haven’t you ever wondered why there are so many foreign Dr’s in the US? Mexico, India, Canada all have socialized medicine. It is the insurance companies in this country that have driven medical costs through the roof. Their profits have been out of sight for years and nobody seems to think there is a problem. Medical personnel should be civil servants and the facilities should be capitalized by the federal government. Healthcare should be universal for all, regardless of race, religion or wealth.

We can maintain a corporate aristocracy through CEO compensation packages and nobody gives a damn. We can spend trillions on unjust wars where fear mongering and lies from elected officials swayed a nation and nobody gives a damn.
We can torture and imprison without charge and nobody gives a damn.
We can spend billions, destroy people’s lives and fund criminals aboard through the War on Drugs and nobody gives a damn.

But, let some baby of an illegal immigrant get some free medical attention and the indignant crawl out of the cracks to right this social injustice.

What a country…of fools. I just hope the future brings a kinder and gentler society.

Posted by B.Free | Report as abusive
 

to be free i”d be happy to help out people who are in need I ALREADY DO see patients with no insurance and charge little or barder if necessary, Ie exchange a haicut for medical care We are not heartless people we just want to stop wasting our $$$ I think many doctors would help out Patikents in exchange for tax credit TRUST me the red tape big government approach doesn’t work..Why do I have so many new canadian patients if their care is free??

Posted by BEANERML | Report as abusive
 

BE FREE I would love to show you my tax returns as a primary care physician I make way less than many business men I went to school for 8 years and paid for it myself to provide myself with a nice life !!NO I live in the US not to be a servent to anyone especially government officials….Canada is short cause who would want to work hard without the return for their efforts ?and FYI we have alot of Foreign doctors cause we have the best medical training facilities in the world!!

Posted by Beanerml | Report as abusive
 

I think than anyone appling for any government assistance should take a drug screen to see who is really trying out there in the world. But I always think about this comment, but then I think who’s really going to suffer (the childrens).

Posted by pat | Report as abusive
 

Yes wants every citizen in calilfornia and else were to work for peanuts and tax us like crazy and raise our hmo’s and dr’s office’s to raise their prices for all the illegals he let in our country and they get to speak their own language,what did we work hard for and pay are taxes,so we all could pay for others dream and not ours. this health plan is going to break us more . it’s cost’s us a lot of money to have these illegals here and let them get in here free tha’s not away to run a state,you think other countries would change their ways for us NO. He spends too much of our money on them selves and other members of his family,this isn’t right and all american citizens must write call and bug every politicans and call the white house and write we must make this stop. we need our national graud back to protect our borders and our troops too obama is leaving us ungrauded and whom knows if terrorist aren’t here already. I was happy for the blacks yrs ago they did get a bad deal but that isn’t are fault read mrs obama’s thesis princeton 1985 and youtube 2005 congressional swearing in ceremony for the black caucus witheva clayton danial mudd. that says alot. I just believe this country opened the door to all the citzens of america nobdy kept them down and yet the whites are blamed for that too and now in minimarkets and othe stores blacks and others from over seas and not citizens didn’t pay their way took jobs from citizens because our jobs went over seas these people come here to do the jobs we won’t do ,does this sound american ,what hapen to our civil rightsright to news papers books and tv stations and radio people that believe we are being treated wrong ,charli gibson katie corurc and a few others won’t report anything bad about obama the media is very onesideed and has been thru this whole campagin. Godbless all that love american and our citizens and god blees the true patirots our troops fighting to keep all of us safe.

 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
  •