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Old 10-04-2013   #31
Grand Junction, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 434
Originally Posted by cstork View Post
Someone used to have a great quote here on the buzz. It was something like this: People don't get the government they deserve, they get the government they vote for. Is this correct? You guys who complain about the government, you have responsibility too. Don't wimp out and just say all I blame everyone equally. Have an opinion and express it.
Agreed CStork,

It's disingenuous to blame both sides equally. This injustice, perpetrated on the American people by Faux News portrays that each side has an equally valid argument on virtually all controversial issues. In reality, some things are pretty clean cut. It's as if the Rethuglicans won't recognize that a blue sky is blue. Instead they want to point a gun to your head to say the sky is green. If you refute their claims, they'll stick a gun to your head and say you must compromise and meet them in the middle. If you refuse to agree to their compromise (no matter how crazy), they'll shoot. This is not democracy. It's extortion and at worst, terrorism. The truth is not necessarily somewhere in the middle on many issues including this government shutdown.

When we quit believing in our corrupt political system, it will finally fall apart. REVOLUTION!!!
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Old 10-05-2013   #32
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
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Originally Posted by GoodTimes View Post
So, with that, what do you think is in the thousands and thousands of pages of this legislation??? I'll admit I haven't read the entire thing (as I'm assuming you have)...but I'm pretty sure a good portion of it is telling the insurance companies exactly what will be in their offered plans, what can be excluded from their plans, who they must accept (which I agree with...pre-existing should not be grounds for denial), certain company and individual mandates...etc etc etc...on and on.
Here is a fact: The vast majority of the ACA legislation was written by a former insurance executive at Wellpoint. Her name is Liz Fowler and she was appointed by Senator Max Baucus (who received the majority of his campaign funding from insurance and pharma) to be the policy wonk. Fowler has been revolving back and forth between working in government and for private insurance companies for years now. To say that the government is telling the insurance companies exactly what it can do is an inversion of what is really happening.

Originally Posted by GoodTimes View Post
I'm sorry, I used the wrong word "Gov't RUN Healthcare...". My bad...I'll change that if it makes you feel better. Gov't controlled healthcare, Gov't Mandated healthcare, Gov't (insert your favorite term here) healthcare.
How about Gov't coercion to help bailout the insurance industry with their failing business model? To understand this requires understanding how the insurance business model works and why it was failing. The failure in economic speak is called a death spiral. Surprisingly this wiki link does a good job summarizing this economic phenomenon.

One way to reverse the death spiral is for the government to intervene and require all citizens to buy into the risk pool through an individual mandate. This is the central concept of the ACA bill. The insurance industry doesn't care about the ACA bill abolishing rescission, or the denial of coverage because of pre-existing conditions (remember they wrote it in themselves!!). The reason they don't care is because the individual mandate will bring in 30 plus million new customers - which equates to hundreds of billions of dollars in new revenues for the insurance industry. The theory is that this new surge of money into their risk pools will allow them to lower overall premiums to their customers. The test to see if the theory proves to be correct began on Oct. 1., and it will take months for this to unfold as the individual mandate pushes people into the risk pools. So calling the ACA bill a failure because your premiums today have not decreased is incorrect. The increase in your premiums throughout the past year are the result of the death spiral phenomenon I mentioned above. Will people's premiums lower in 6 months from now? We will find out soon.

Obviously, if the government is going to require all citizens to buy insurance they will have to find a way to make sure the low wage, lower middle-class and poor can afford to buy insurance coverage. Insert legislation that requires massive amounts of tax dollars to subsidize these people. This creates, yet another, public-private partnership in America where public money is funneled into private coffers. To be sure, the Republicans don't have issues with public-private partnerships... in fact, they love them (i.e.: military contractors, private prison contractors, security contractors, etc.) No, what the majority of Republicans hate about this new public-private partnership is that it expands the welfare net. The destruction of the welfare net is the ultimate end goal for Republicans. The irony, of course, is that they don't see the other public-private partnerships that they vehemently support as a form of welfare; but it is if you boil down all the rationalizations they use to prop it up.

But don't worry... if I had to guess, the compromise to end the government shutdown will most likely be Obama offering cuts to Social Security and Medicare. This will negate the expansion of the welfare net.

Originally Posted by GoodTimes View Post
Oh...and that cute little word "subsidy". That's a convenient word for "handout", "freebie", "call it what you want"....it's your taxes and my taxes paying for someones healthcare.
Now this sentiment is getting closer to the core of the problem with healthcare in America. But it is not entirely an economic issue... It's mainly a moral issue. The majority of European countries, and our fair and descent neighbors to the north, have already hammered out the moral issue of healthcare in their countries. Overwhelmingly, they decided that their countries would be better off if ALL of their citizens had basic healthcare. They don't look at their tax money as paying for some faceless "other" over there in the slums, or somebody down and out because of unforeseen circumstances. They look at it as their tax money being used to help their fellow citizens, their neighbors, and people with faces because it strengthens the health of their society as a whole. It isn't perfect in these countries, but a few things are for sure: none of their citizens have to worry about going bankrupt because of health issues; their healthcare costs are overwhelmingly much cheaper than here in the US; and a vast majority of them support their healthcare programs.

I'd argue, as do other political and social thinkers, that many of our biggest issues facing this country are not purely economic issues, but moral and political issues. If the people of this country don't re-learn what it requires to be citizens, and not faceless consumers, this country won't be recognized as it once was known throughout the world.

The current gov't shutdown is an example of political issues "intruding" upon the river culture. The massive floods a few weeks ago was another example. I think this "intrusion" is a good thing because it is waking many up to why it is important to be a more active citizen. And while I love the river culture as much as anybody, I was seriously distraught by how too many people in the river culture entirely ignored the political realm. To be sure, this lack of attention on politics in the river culture is a microcosm of the overall society. But the point is that if we want crap like the gov't shutdown to stop intruding upon your river vacations then we all need to start taking a few extra minutes out of our day to become active citizens.

The thing that CStork mentioned is right. This is supposed to be "a government of the people, by the people, for the people." And just like Lincoln I really don't want to see this perish from the earth. The biggest check on government is... We the People! Where are all the people? Does anybody realize that only 11% of the Colorado Springs population showed up to vote in the re-call election? In fact, does anybody even realize that there is a state government? So much attention is paid to the federal circus show, but few realize how important it is to participate in state and local governments too. And the state and local governments happen to be the most responsive to public pressure and participation. In fact, state governments generally offer more protection of rights than the federal government, and are far ahead of the federal government in adapting to the ever changing needs of their populations. But the only way these changes can occur are through participation and popular pressure.

Anyway... that's all I've got to say on this matter.

Take care everybody!

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Old 10-07-2013   #33
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The only way I see it ending is for a massive protest to occur in front of the capital. I'm sure it will get ugly.
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Old 10-07-2013   #34
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Huson, Montana
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The house voted to pay all the furloughed employees. So now we are paying wages through taxes to people while they stay home.
And for the record, the furloughed federal employees that I know are sort of pissed. They believe that they are there to do good and they are not able to take care of "their forest" because they are not allowed to.
"You're gonna be doin a lot of doobie rolling when youre LIVIN IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER"
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Old 10-07-2013   #35
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 2011
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Posts: 185

This situation is sad and frustrating so I'm venting by chiming in with my $.02

Shutdown tactics are unacceptable in general, shame on anyone who would intentionally cost taxpayers billions of dollars, cause real harm to millions of Americans and damage our economy and reputation. If you must resort to such extremism the country must be in real peril to justify it.

The House Republicans have not made a case for why the ACA would damage our nation or our economy worse than their negotiation tactic already is. I think the ACA sucks, but why wouldn't they let it go into effect and watch it fail to prove they were right? Because they care too much for America to let it damage our country? That makes absolutely no sense.


What they really fear is that the law will improve health care, people will start to get health insurance, and people will like it. They are so scared the law will be successful they are completely desperate to stop it before it takes effect. They backed themselves into a corner and are willing to take us all down.
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Old 10-08-2013   #36
Old Guy in a PFD
Tucson, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1967
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Since, no matter what, the discussion keeps coming back to the merits of ACA and how could anyone hate/love it, I thought I'd give some perspective from a couple of major employers (Fortune 500) who have been figuring out how to deal with ACA and what it all means.

They offer a better than average health care package to employees, and pay half of the premium for whatever particular package an employee selects.

New employees and many part time employees (about 18% of their total workforce) don't qualify for coverage. Another 12% qualify, but decline coverage. The company surveyed the 12% of employees who qualify, but decline coverage, to determine why they decline. The company didn't count survey responses for employees who are covered under another plan, like a spouses plan.

The interesting thing they found was that
A) Almost half of employees declining coverage did so because they didn't want to spend money on coverage. They could afford it if they had to, they simply declined because they had other "priorities" and didn't feel like spending money on health care.
B) About 25% said they can't afford it; they would buy it if they could afford it, but they can't.
C) About 15% said they were healthy, didn't need coverage, and would worry about it when they were older and might need it.
D) About 8% said that they could get free health care through an emergency room or free clinic, and saw no reason to pay for coverage.
E) Most of the remaining indicated that as a matter of principle they didn't believe they should pay for health care. In their opinion health care is as much a right as "life Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness". They wouldn't buy health care coverage at any price.

The other major employer, a Fortune 1,000 employer, sent a letter to the administrator of HHS.

Their points were;
1) Under ACA they were obligated to offer coverage to any who qualify under rules yet to be established under ACA; at present they believe that will be anyone working more than 30 hours a week, but failure to comply with rules not yet published, will get themfined; at present they have no idea how to even track compliance, given that their part time force works varying hours every week, from 25 to 35 hours a week.
2) They will pay a tax of about $400,000 a year to fund parts of ACA; again the rules specifying the amount of tax and how it will be computed is not clear, this is their best guess. They pointed out that $400,000 would go a long ways towards lowering premiums for their employees who can't now afford coverage.
3) ACA provides for penalties for health plans that are labeled "Cadillac Plans" I.E. plans that offer greater than average benefits. Without specific rules they do not know specifically what benefits would need to be eliminated to comply, but they assume that in the future they will be forced to curb benefits, since one provision of the bill mandates that the cost of plans (one factor in determining what a "Cadillac plan" is) will be tied to inflation, and since health care premiums are increasing faster than inflation, they anticipate that they will have to annually reduce benefit offerings or face additional taxes.

Overall, the letter explained that the company would expect to pay at least $1 Million in additional taxes and levys, even assuming they avoid fines for failing to comply with ACA provisions that have not yet been defined, published or even discussed in any detail.

So, without taking sides, name calling, or pointing fingers, this is what two employers have discovered since ACA was passed.

Have at it. I'm getting my popcorn and a beer now.
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Old 10-09-2013   #37
Golden, Colorado
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Originally Posted by marko View Post
So much attention is paid to the federal circus show, but few realize how important it is to participate in state and local governments too. And the state and local governments happen to be the most responsive to public pressure and participation. In fact, state governments generally offer more protection of rights than the federal government, and are far ahead of the federal government in adapting to the ever changing needs of their populations. But the only way these changes can occur are through participation and popular pressure.
This is why nothing except what is outline in the Constitution should be provide by the Federal Government. Obamacare should be replaced with Hickenloopercare if that is what Colorado wants. Let each state figure out what works and what doesn't. Good models will get emulated and poor models will die. And corrupt politicians in the pockets of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries 2000 miles away won't be in charge of it. With a constitutionally limited federal government, the circus will leave town. And if they try to set up the tent at Colfax and Broadway, they better watch their backs.
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Old 10-11-2013   #38
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conifer, Colorado
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[QUOTE=Roy;337464]This shutdown isn't about the merits of ACA, a law passed by Congress, signed by the President and vetted by the Supreme Court per the process set forth in the Constitution.

This shutdown is about the integrity of the Republic. Do we follow the process set forth in the Constitution, or do we allow a minority of the minority party to hold the economy hostage in order to dictate policy? Even in the House of Representatives, as gerrymandered and dysfunctional as it is, there is a majority today which would pass the clean C.R. that has already cleared the Senate. Enough Republicans have already openly stated they would vote for the bill and that's enough to pass it with Democratic support. I'd bet several dozen more would join them in voting for it if it were to make the floor, but that's just speculation. Boehner won't allow that vote, because he's afraid of the Tea Party.

Frank C did your knee break your jaw when you argued the govt. is easier to deal with then a private business? Roy, the ACA was inserted and passed under a Continuing Resolution since we haven't had a budget in I think 5 years. This was done to allow a simple majority to pass as law vs. the generally accepted method of such weighty bills being passed separate which would require a 2/3 vote. The President usually, and by law presents a budget, then Congress votes on. Obama hasn't presented a budget in several years.

Hostage tatics? This has happend somewhere near 50 time since the 50's. Your good Liberal Tip O'neil did it somewhere close to 10 times. I'll congratulate you when your Party turn this one great nation into a debtor, slave to the world. Nice going, I hope it happens sooner than later. This is the perfect scenario to expose left wing fallacies.

You guys make me sick. Back to work to fund all your stupid programs....
Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. Winston Churchhill
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Old 10-11-2013   #39
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Originally Posted by mr. compassionate View Post
Roy, the ACA was inserted and passed under a Continuing Resolution since we haven't had a budget in I think 5 years. This was done to allow a simple majority to pass as law vs. the generally accepted method of such weighty bills being passed separate which would require a 2/3 vote. The President usually, and by law presents a budget, then Congress votes on. Obama hasn't presented a budget in several years.
Bullshit. Every single sentence in that paragraph is complete and utter crap.

ACA was passed under the reconciliation process, not a "continuing resolution". This is far from unprecedented. Saint Ronald the Reagan himself used reconciliation to pass the largest tax cut in US history over 30 years ago. In doing so, he not only pioneered the tactic for passing massive and contentious legislation, but he also invented the modern mega-deficit. You know what didn't happen next? Democrats didn't threaten to blow up the global economy by forcing the US government to renege on its debts unless that law was repealed, that's what. Maybe because doing so would have been truly unprecedented in US history, or maybe because such an irresponsible tactic could properly be called be extortion.

As for the remaining BS, this President has in fact submitted a budget every single year he's been in office. They simply haven't been passed in the face of a recalcitrant Republican opposition, forcing the reconciliation process.

Where you come up with this imaginary "2/3 vote" for "weighty bills", I have no idea. Perhaps you refer to the Senate filibuster, but that's just 60 votes of 100 and there's no weight limit on what can be kept from coming up for a vote in one house of Congress. But yeah, GOP abuse of the filibuster since this President took office is in fact unprecedented. Perhaps it's time to return to the Constitution, which only requires a simple majority, regardless of bill weight.
I've a suggestion to keep you all occupied...learn to swim!
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Old 10-16-2013   #40
Grand Junction, Colorado
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Let this be a precedent, NEVER NEGOTIATE WITH TERRORISTS!! This could have turned out much worse had the Democrats caved into the terrorist demands of Ted Cruz, the TEA party and Heritage Foundation. Democracies don't function when a group threatens to blow up our way of life, unless they get their way.

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