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catoismymotor (33.80)

As a married couple do you have annual income of $64,000 or less? You'll get Medicaid.

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June 21, 2011 – Comments (29)

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110621/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_health_overhaul_glitch

 

President Barack Obama's health care law would let several million middle-class people get nearly free insurance meant for the poor, a twist government number crunchers say they discovered only after the complex bill was signed.

The change would affect early retirees: A married couple could have an annual income of about $64,000 and still get Medicaid, said officials who make long-range cost estimates for the Health and Human Services department.

 

If I was not so nauseous over this relevation I'd be smug.  

29 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On June 21, 2011 at 11:50 PM, zCreator (94.75) wrote:

I don't know, seems like good news to me, it's tax dollars spent to help us out. It's a lot better than our tax dollars being spent on politician golfing trips. Plus if a loved one gets cancer it can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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#2) On June 22, 2011 at 12:08 AM, catoismymotor (33.80) wrote:

It means 3,000,000 people who should be able to afford their own insurance will get a virtual freebie. That will add stress to the entitlement program, and drain the coffers at a much faster pace than previously projected. This is not good. Not good at all.


 

 

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#3) On June 22, 2011 at 12:25 AM, Mstinterestinman (< 20) wrote:

To be honest that isnt that high of a combined income some professors at universities make nearly that much on their own.

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#4) On June 22, 2011 at 1:28 AM, FleaBagger (29.77) wrote:

In New York, that's desperately poor. Likewise in northern VA. In the midwest, the rust belt, Texas, or the Old South, that's high life money. Just goes to show why things should be decided locally instead of by one central Federal bureau.

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#5) On June 22, 2011 at 4:49 AM, blesto (31.81) wrote:

Cato,

You're right about "should be able to afford" , but unfortunately health care premiums are sky high and still rising. Then add on the copays and heaven forbid that you need longer term care and are staring bankruptcy in the face, even with insurance.

I'm not for the free ride. The ride shouldn't be cost prohibitive though. We have the best medical care and technology in the world. The problem is how we administer it. IMHO the system is still broken, even witth all the new changes.

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#6) On June 22, 2011 at 8:22 AM, blesto (31.81) wrote:

Another twist for the story Cato.

Man robs bank to get medical care in jail

Some people who need medical care but can't afford it go to the emergency room. Others just hope they'll get better. James Richard Verone robbed a bank.

I think we're gonna see more and more stories like this.

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#7) On June 22, 2011 at 8:25 AM, catoismymotor (33.80) wrote:

Re #5:

I agree.

My gripe revolves around the fact that this healthcare law was unread, unreviewed and forced upon us. Now the devils in the details are starting to surface. I feel as though someone was handed a bucket and told to douse a fire with the contents all the while not knowing if the sloshing liquid is water or kerosene.

 

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#8) On June 22, 2011 at 8:30 AM, ChrisGraley (29.75) wrote:

Who pays if everyone gets it for free?

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#9) On June 22, 2011 at 8:35 AM, soycapital (< 20) wrote:

"Who pays if everyone gets it for free?"

I guess you don't understand Chris, the govt. is going to pay for it so it's free!

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#10) On June 22, 2011 at 8:38 AM, catoismymotor (33.80) wrote:

Re #6:

I read the story on Yahoo! last night after I posted this link. I wish I had not. It kept me up thinking just how bad things are and will continue to be. The healthcare animal as we know it needs to be changed. This case must not be treated as just an odd footnote. In a way the story reminded me of the man in his late 30's that joined the army for the benefits so his wife could continue with her cancer treatments.

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#11) On June 22, 2011 at 8:43 AM, catoismymotor (33.80) wrote:

I guess you don't understand Chris, the govt. is going to pay for it so it's free!

In case you are not kidding: YOU and I will pay for it. We the people fund the government. The government then sprinkles or floods programs of its choosing with cash. If the tap runs dry they raise taxes, we pay more to keep the programs afloat. Since governemt runs these programs there is little to no accountability built in to the system.

 

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#12) On June 22, 2011 at 9:38 AM, Turfscape (43.84) wrote:

Cato wrote:
"In a way the story reminded me of the man in his late 30's that joined the army for the benefits"

Or married couples considering getting divorced for the same reason...

It's a messed up, messed up industry on all fronts.

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#13) On June 22, 2011 at 9:58 AM, Jbay76 (< 20) wrote:

I'm with flea bagger on comment #4.  I also think that the definition of what is the lower, middle and upper class should also be regionally defined.


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#14) On June 22, 2011 at 10:55 AM, lemoneater (78.89) wrote:

#4 Yes, I'm glad the cost of living is lower where I live. I would be enjoying the "high life," but two of the majors my husband teaches for are getting phased away in two years. 

We are saving as much as we can in anticipation of an essential job change. He may need to go on for more education to be able to stay in the teaching field or go back into industry. If we have to have a temporary cut, we at least will have a health care safety net.

 

 

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#15) On June 22, 2011 at 11:04 AM, catoismymotor (33.80) wrote:

Re #14:

Lemon,

You have the blessing of being aware ahead of time the change is going to come. Plus you are a skilled investor, have the ability to plan ahead and see the forest for the trees.

Has your hubby expressed a desire to return to the private sector or does he wish to stay in the classroom?

Cato

 

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#16) On June 22, 2011 at 11:29 AM, cizastro (< 20) wrote:

The saddest part of this entire story is that they feel $64k annually between two people is considered "Middle Class"

 

 

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#17) On June 22, 2011 at 11:38 AM, miteycasey (30.86) wrote:

@#16 +1

I'll just echo what's already been said. It totally depends on where you live. 

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#18) On June 22, 2011 at 12:27 PM, dwot (67.78) wrote:

The US health care system is insane.  One of the biggest problems we have with the Canadian health care system is the comparison of some of the insane and totally unsustainable wages in the US health care system.  It has tended to push health care wages up faster then wages in other occupations in Canada, and then there's the increasing need for health care as the population ages.

But, how insane is this, there are only nurses where I live and we get some specialists that come to town for say 1 day to maybe a week at a time, depending on the specialty and need.  We might get dentists coming to town 2-3 times per year for 2-5 days, a doctor maybe once a month for 1-3 days and that kind of thing.  All medical testing is done out of Yellowknife, which is two flights to get there, a charter that typically costs a couple thousand, and then a scheduled flight that costs another $600.  Often you have to stay over night.  If I have an appointment I also have to arrange for two day of classroom coverage.  It costs about $4000-5000 for appointments with specialists, and that is all covered by our medical system.

So, I end up in a city center where I can just go to an appointment and do you think the system will let me save taxpayers thousands of dollars and do that?  It is so totally f--ked.  I have simply refused to go for appointments because I don't think the need justifies the cost, but the entitlement philosphy is amazing.  People are just, "it's covered, so what's the problem?" 

Seems a lot of people fail to understand when government pays for it the translation is taxpayers pay for it.  

I really wish we'd start using more appropriate language, get rid of this "government pays for it" nonsense and use "taxpayers pay for it" and see more "what would you cut to pay for this" or "and so you don't mind paying more taxes to pay for this" when the media goes out and prints this stupid "government should pay for it" crap. 

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#19) On June 22, 2011 at 2:18 PM, Formula51 (< 20) wrote:

To all you guys saying $64,000 is not middle class for a couple.

Go here and look at the median income for your state:

 http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/data/statistics/index.html

Click on Tables: Income of Housholds by State Using 2-Year Average Medians.

 You might be very surprised what "middle-class" is in this country.

 FYI, I have seen both sides as I was born and raised in Maryland through high school (parents still live there) and have lived in South Carolina through college to present.  In my opinion, LIFE (in all ways) is better by leaps and bounds in South Carolina.

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#20) On June 22, 2011 at 2:25 PM, CluckChicken (34.43) wrote:

Dwot - Yeah it sucks having to live next to the US's screwed up healthcare system.

 

First I do not think the Obamacare is perfect but I do think it is better then what we are currently doing and a good place to start to create a system that works well for the US.

Just to point out how screwed up the us system is. I used this chart to get estimates of the % of GDP spent on healthcare and this site to get GDP and population numbers to get a rough amount for what is spent per person.

US = 7028

CH = 4942

NO = 4633

DE = 3953

CA = 3856

FR = 3584

AU = 3505

UK = 3154

Some will say that the US has the best healthcare in the world, some health stats say otherwise but I doubt anybody with good knowledge would claim that the US system is about twice as good as the French system.

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#21) On June 22, 2011 at 2:30 PM, CluckChicken (34.43) wrote:

Sorry should have also posted the % I used for each place since I did round the value on the chart.

US - 15, CH - 12, NO - 9, DE - 11, CA - 10, FR - 11, AU - 9, UK - 9.

As you can see most were rounded up except the US which was rounded down.

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#22) On June 22, 2011 at 3:12 PM, Jbay76 (< 20) wrote:

Formula51

Thanks for the links.  If those values are median values, i.e middle class, at what point do you go from middle class to upper class, and vice versa?

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#23) On June 22, 2011 at 3:49 PM, Formula51 (< 20) wrote:

CluckChicken, the Canadian system (buddies wife grew up and Canada and anyone who can afford it gets private care) is very screwed up as well and Obamacare is FAR FAR from perfect (we are still finding out what is in it, ahh Pelosi's comments come to mind and make my laugh and then cry).  You think it is better and others think it is worse than the current system, but either way it will be changing over the next few years, hopefully for the better.

There is no debate that the US has the best healthcare.  Now best SYSTEM, is highly debated.  Listen to any CEO of a medical company and you will hear that the US gets the best technologies and treatments and they get them first (many of which are developed here).  Period. Now why do you think that is?  Couldn't have anything to do with our healthcare SYSTEM now could it?  Ahh, and then the debate rages on.  Perhaps we should be like the European countries so we can what, not get the latest and greatest technologies and treatments....ahhh, that's the ticket!

Based on your breakdown of cost per citizen (which I did not verify) it sounds like you believe Obamacare will lower the cost of healthcare.  Many would disagree with you and history is not on your side.  Any sweeping change which shifts a social program to more government control and meddling has ALWAYS wound up costing more.

Also, some of the countries you named have deficit problems as bad or worse than ours and many of them suffer from doctor strikes, extremely long patient waits, and generally lesser care and approval/coverage of procedures.  

Ask yourself this one simple question: why do we keep wanting to model ourselves after countries with failing financial systems?  I guess somehow we think that is going to fix our situation and we will "do it better than them" and not suffer the same consequences.

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#24) On June 22, 2011 at 4:31 PM, lemoneater (78.89) wrote:

@ #15 my husband really enjoys teaching which is more active and interactive than a desk job, but to improve his credentials for other faculty positions would cost us $27,000 to $50,000 unless he got a fellowship.

If he did work in industry, I can see him still teaching in some venue because that is one of his gifts. We are weighing pros and cons. As you say, we have time to plan which is great.  

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#25) On June 22, 2011 at 4:35 PM, CluckChicken (34.43) wrote:

"There is no debate that the US has the best healthcare."

- No I would defently say that their is a very strong debate as to how good US healthcare is, especially since the New England Journal of Medicince ranks the US as 37th (in 2010). I would agree that US facilities do most likely get the newest technology first but it does not appear that it is being used well. I would agree that getting the new technology first defently has something to do with our current system given that there is very little if any effort for the system to actually control any costs.

Fun little fact. One of the easiest ways to measure a health system is by infant mortality rate. This takes into consideration a significant number of different types of care. The US has 6.06 deaths per 1000, France 3.29 and Cuba has 4.9. If that doesn't scream that there is something wrong with our most technologically advanced system then I am not sure what does.

 

"Based on your breakdown of cost per citizen (which I did not verify) it sounds like you believe Obamacare will lower the cost of healthcare.  Many would disagree with you and history is not on your side."

- Not exatly sure what history you are going to quote in reference to healthcare costs and being run by governments since my previous list, plus our world ranking, shows that it can be done better and cheaper when run by a government. If our system of care is so great why can you not find a single country that is making any effort to match our system? Medicaid has cheaper admin costs then private (8% vs ~16%) and has had it's cost go up at a slower rate then private (8.8% vs 9.9% - that is roughly a 150 billion difference).

I understand your agrument but there is zero evidence that keeping the current system would be better then switching to a government run system. What works in France or Germany or Japan or Fiji probably won't work here and it will probably be decades before we find the optimal solution but we know that our current one is just throwing good money into a bottomless pit.

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#26) On June 22, 2011 at 4:52 PM, outoffocus (22.85) wrote:

Ok there is a great discussion going on here however some of the commenters are making blanket claims but not backing them up with any argument as to why.  If you believe Obamacare is better than the current system, please explain how.  If you believe that Obamacare will lower the cost of healthcare, please explain how that is. 

Last time I checked, Obamacare's main objective is to get the uninsured insured.  It does not offer to pay for said insurance, it just requires everyone to be insured.  While it may lower the costs caused by uninsured emergency room care, but by how much?  What are the exact numbers for people getting emergency care because of lack of insurance?

Also, the argument that requiring everyone to have health insurance will lower the cost of health care fails to take into account how health insurance itself is largely responsible for the momentous rise in healthcare cost over the years. Health insurance has created a slowly growing healthcare bubble that once it does burst, it will probably be uglier than any other bubble in history. 

How you ask?

Its simply supply and demand.  When consumers were paying for healthcare out of pocket, the healthcare price (e.g. supply) was limited to the consumer's ability to pay for said services.  Once health insurance came into the picture, those consumer prices controls slowly began to erode because then the healthcare insurance company (who has virtually and unlimited ability to pay do to the insurance company being able pass increasing costs onto the consumer in the form of higher premiums) stepped in the place of the consumer.  As a result the consumer price control went away, allowing the healthcare suppliers to raise prices indefinitely.  

(This is why it pays to pay attention in Econ 101)

So requiring people to have health insurance allows the insurance companies to collect more premiums, which gives them more cash to fund the increase in prices from the suppliers, in essence raising the cost of healthcare, not lowering it. 

But I'm an open minded person.  So if someone can give me a concise logical argument as to how Obamacare lowers healthcare costs and is an improvement over our current system, I am willing to hear it.

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#27) On June 22, 2011 at 4:53 PM, outoffocus (22.85) wrote:

(who has virtually and unlimited ability to pay do to the insurance company being able pass increasing costs onto the consumer in the form of higher premiums)

(who has virtually an* unlimited ability to pay due* to the insurance company being able pass increasing costs onto the consumer in the form of higher premiums)

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#28) On June 23, 2011 at 1:50 PM, outoffocus (22.85) wrote:

Can someone answer my question please?

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#29) On June 23, 2011 at 2:16 PM, catoismymotor (33.80) wrote:

If you believe Obamacare is better than the current system, please explain how. 

Allegedly no one could be turned down for coverage. If that is indeed true it would be an upside.

If you believe that Obamacare will lower the cost of healthcare, please explain how that is. 

Logan's Run* will become the basis for the real healthcare law. No outlay of healthcare money on the old will save tens of trillions of dollars.

 

* = Not true. I still had some snark on the stove, had to serve it up.

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