I'll keep this short. We need single-payer health care in this country,
NOW, just as exists in 36 industrialized countries who have better
health care outcomes than we do, for half the price. If you believe, as
I do, that our current system leaves each and every one of us vulnerable
to bankruptcy due to a health care crisis, including those who are happy
with their private insurance, then please, please, please, call and
write your legislators EVERY DAY until we get a moral and equitable
health care system in this country.
Remember, much more than half of the bankruptcies in this country are
due primarily to a health care crisis. More than half of those people
were already insured! One slip on the table saw, you can't work any
more, thus you can't work, you lose your job, you can't pay the COBRA
insurance payments (mine are in excess of $1000/month), and bingo, you
are bankrupt. Without health care for your stump.
You want an argument, change the subject.
It will be interesting to observe the process as it happens this
summer and maybe into the fall.
Before it is over, Obama will have to twist a few arms, but he can do
"Some" reform? Fifty-million with no insurance, millions more
under-insured, a tenth of health insurance premiums shifted by the health
care industry to cover their costs treating uninsured patients, U.S. health
insurance companies spending at least double on administration as in other
industrialized countries, health care costs consistently outstripping
inflation, companies moving overseas to duck the costs of employee health
coverage, hospitals closing emergency rooms to stop losing money treating
uninsured patients, people living in fear of bankruptcy from serious
illness.... "May" be in order? Just how bad do things have to get before
we decide substantial reform is certainly in order? I don't pretend to know
what the solution is, and my instinct is the govt. can always make things
worse. But I sure as hell can see that American health care today is broken
and needs more than a little tinkering around the edges.
Any reason applied is painful. U.S. health care is 37th among
industrialized nations in effectiveness and first or nearly first in
To put it politely, that is a sin, one aided and abetted by phalanxes
of adminstrators, overcharging hospitals and surgeons and insurance
companies, with the last listed being among the major problems...and
I use VA health care and am grateful for it. It's far from perfect--
hey, what the hell: it IS government run, after all--but it is
coherent, consideraly cheaper than civilian care (try 15% or so), and
in the past few years, they have tried mightily to cure the long term
ills that had built up from its being generally ignored.
My biggest objection is that VA cannot bill Medicare part B when I
need hospitalization. I'm paying, IIRC, $96 a month for something that
will only be used accidentally. The statement that one government
department cannot pay another is, first, bullshit, and second,
asinine, since that money is withheld from my SS each month, thus is
my money, not government funds. I wouldn't mind at all paying VA the
same amount monthly.
I wish to hell I could get similar care for my wife--and she is on
The insurance companies are a huge part of the problem, their administrative
overhead absorbs twice as much money as in Canada and something like eight
times as much as compared to Taiwan. Their attempts to only insure healthy
people and cut loose anyone who gets sick if they can get away with it is
revolting. That recent case in Calif. where an insurance company cut off a
woman right in the middle of cancer treatment was sickening, the
arbitrator's ruling of nine million bucks hopefully got the bastards'
attention. Press coverage of that and similar cases revealed that insurance
companies have employees whose only job is finding reasons to cancel
coverage of customers who have made claims, they pay bonuses for doing so.
So you pay your premiums for years, then you get sick and make a claim, and
they cancel your policy on the grounds that when you first signed up umpteen
years ago you under-reported your weight (though that is not in any way
related to your illness). If it was within my power that would be flat-out
And the VA negotiates lower drugs prices with the pharmaceutical companies,
something Congress in its wisdom refused to allow Medicare to do under the
previous administration. Now that the drug companies see which way the wind
is blowing they've suddenly discovered that maybe they can cut Medicare some
slack, to the tune of eighty billion dollars. Ain't it amazing what these
companies are suddenly able to do when they realize they've pushed their
greed too far?
The change is upon us.
Obama wants it.
Obama is going to get it.
It is reported that Obama has a re-election "war chest" in excess of
An organization that can acquire that kind of campaign fund, is simply
going to get the job done.
The medical status quo folks are clueless how to handle what is headed
Just him? I'd have thought umpteen million voters had something similar in
mind. IMO the mutts in Congress are going to mess up enough of what Obama
wants to do that it will be at best half-assed reform, the Dems take
campaign contributions from the same lobbyists as the Repubs.
It's also been reported that Elvis is still alive and well. That's a
They've earned it. They care *only* for their profits, and the suffering of
people who can't afford what the industry wants to charge is just too damn
bad. Yeah, the govt. is going to screw up some of this, but it can't go on
like it has, one in six Americans with no health coverage is intolerable.
Greed is intrinsically good. An ancient great worthy once said: "Were it not
for the evil inclination (greed), no man would build a home, marry, or
father a child."
'Course he didn't work for a drug company, but the concept's the same.
"Greed is good."
Gordon Gekko: "The richest one percent of this country owns half our
country's wealth, five trillion dollars. One third of that comes from
hard work, two thirds comes from inheritance, interest on interest
accumulating to widows and idiot sons and what I do, stock and real
estate speculation. It's bullshit. You got ninety percent of the
American public out there with little or no net worth. I create nothing.
I own. We make the rules, pal. The news, war, peace, famine, upheaval,
the price per paper clip. We pick that rabbit out of the hat while
everybody sits out there wondering how the hell we did it. Now you're
not naive enough to think we're living in a democracy, are you buddy?
It's the free market. And you're a part of it. You've got that killer
instinct. Stick around pal, I've still got a lot to teach you."
Here are the top wealthiest people in the U.S. What 2/3rds inherited their
William Gates III (Founder of Microsoft)
Warren Buffett (Investments)
Lawrence Ellison (Founder of Oracle)
Jim Walton (Inherited)
S Robson Walton (Inherited)
Alice Walton (Inherited)
Christy Walton & Family (Inherited)
Michael Bloomberg (Founder Bloomberg)
Charles Koch (Inherited small company)
David Koch (Inherited small company)
Michael Dell (Founder, Dell Computers)
Paul Allen (Founder, Microsoft)
Sergey Brin (Russian immigrant, founder Google)
Larry Page (Founder, Google)
Sheldon Adelson (Created Comdex)
Steven Ballmer (Founder, Microsoft)
Abigail Johnson (President, Fidelity Investments)
Jack Taylor & Family (Founder, Enterprise Rent-A-Car)
Anne Cox Chambers (Inherited Cox Entertainment)
Donald Bren (Real estate developer)
By my count, seven of the top twenty got their start via inheritance. That's
about ONE-third, not two-thirds.
Simply put, statistics lie, or, rather, one can easily interpret
statistics so that lies result, as you just did. You simply took the
top 20 richest people as being representative of the top 1 % of the tax
Another example: Vioxx. It increased the chances of death by at least
a factor 2, with a highly significant probability of causality. From 1
in 10,000 to 2 in 10,000. (Rough numbers, I am too lazy to get the real
ones). No one has as yet satisfactorily explained the mechanism by
which Vioxx caused excess deaths, although plausible theories exist.
This is the basis on which Vioxx was taken off the market. The real
crooks were the company, who (yes it is people who did this) hid
results, and the marketers who pushed a drug with limited good potential
onto many, many more who should have taken something real cheap like
aspirin, tylenol, whatever other NSAID for their pain, or a narcotic if
the pain was really too bad. And greedy consumers who said let the
insurance company pay. --
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Okay, I went through the all 400.
According to Forbes, 17 reached the Top-400 list via inheritance. That's
It may be more, because in researching this subject I ran across the amazing
statement that "the inheritance tax is a voluntary tax."
Previously I have been adamantly opposed to the inheritance tax since it was
a tax on assets that had already been taxed. I don't care if it affected
only Bill Gates, I still considered it immoral.
Then I hit the above statement and its explanation. Suitable pre-death
planning can completely eliminate the inheritance and its accompanying tax.
Members of the Forbes 400 list may be the beneficiaries of inheritance by
another name (trusts, stocks, gifts, blah-blah-blah).
From: http://www.ml.com/index.asp?idv95_7696_8149_63464_67896_67897 .
"HNWI" means High Net Worth Individuals, a fancy word for rich.
"The Report found that while business ownership or the sale of a business is the
primary source of wealth (37 percent) for the majority of the world's HNWIs,
income ranks second at 24 percent as the source of wealth, and inheritance rates
third at 18 percent"
"HNWI" means High Net Worth Individuals, a fancy word for rich.
Interestingly, both Bill Gates and Warren Buffet favor the inheritance tax.
Perhaps you can't count high enough? Try working out the average for all of
them instead of just 20. Nevertheless, what possible difference does it
Just in case anyone out there does not know who Gordon Gekko is, he is a
FICTIONAL character. Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia:
Gordon Gekko is a fictional character from the 1987 film Wall Street by
director Oliver Stone. Gekko was portrayed by actor-producer Michael
Douglas, in a performance that won him an Oscar for Best Actor. Gekko
will return in Wall Street 2 which is currently in pre-production.
Co-written by Stone and screenwriter Stanley Weiser, Gekko is claimed to
be based loosely on arbitrageur Ivan Boesky, who gave a speech on greed
at the University of California, Berkeley in 1986, and real-life
activist investor / corporate raider Carl Icahn. According to Edward R.
Pressman, producer of the film, "Originally, there was no one individual
who Gekko was modelled on," he adds. "But Gekko was partly Milken", who
was the "Junk Bond King" of the 1980s, and indicted on 98 counts of
racketeering and fraud in 1989.
In 2002 Gordon Gekko was named one of the Fifteen Richest Fictional
Characters according to Forbes who attributed him with 650 million
dollars. In 2003, the AFI named him number 24 of the top 50 movie
villains of all time.
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