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Author: JoelCairo Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 1949676  
Subject: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/14/2012 7:41 PM
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Unbelievable.

Today, Romney said about the ACA:

“You can imagine for somebody making $25,000 or $30,000 or $35,000 a year, being told you’re now going to get free health care, particularly if you don’t have it, getting free health care worth, what, $10,000 per family, in perpetuity, I mean, this is huge,”

Free? I didn't know health insurance was free under Obamacare? I just thought ACA made it available.

The story, from this afternoon, just confirms how arrogant, at root, Romney was, and how clueless. And how contemptuous he was of the American people, who chose not to let him be the Big Daddy of us all.

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/14/romney-blames-...
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Author: lindytoes Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1836753 of 1949676
Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/14/2012 7:48 PM
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I was going to post this, too. It was on the national evening news, too.

Today President Obama reached out to Romney with an olive branch and Mitt Romney decided to light it on fire and send it back.

I guess Mitt won't be joining the administration after talk like that.

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Author: albaby1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1836759 of 1949676
Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/14/2012 7:59 PM
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Free? I didn't know health insurance was free under Obamacare? I just thought ACA made it available.

No, you were incorrect. Many - possibly the majority - of the people that obtain health insurance because of the PPACA, it will be free.

The largest tranche of folks who obtain insurance will do so because they will be added to Medicaid. That was originally projected to be slightly more than half of the newly insured, though the refusal of some states to participate in that part of the program.

There is also a large segment of the population that will receive insurance that is heavily subsidized - but given the income ranges that Romney was referring to, he was likely speaking of the Medicaid expansion.

Albaby

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Author: markand4504 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1836770 of 1949676
Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/14/2012 8:39 PM
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Today President Obama reached out to Romney with an olive branch and Mitt Romney decided to light it on fire and send it back.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Romney was later fined for not purchasing carbon credits before burning the branch.

Mark

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Author: JoelCairo Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1836777 of 1949676
Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/14/2012 9:06 PM
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No, you were incorrect. Many - possibly the majority - of the people that obtain health insurance because of the PPACA, it will be free.

Here's my problem with your remark. It doesn't fit Mitt. Mitt made no distinctions. Mitt did not say that a family of 4 earning under $30K would be eligible for Medicare. He said anyone with a salary of $25K, $30K, or $35K would get health care free forever.

A single person earning $20K would not be eligible.

And half the people on Medicare are children. If that continues, then that, too, is another factor with which to judge the accuracy, or the high-mindedness of Romney's remark.

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Author: albaby1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1836868 of 1949676
Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/15/2012 8:10 AM
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Here's my problem with your remark. It doesn't fit Mitt. Mitt made no distinctions. Mitt did not say that a family of 4 earning under $30K would be eligible for Medicare. He said anyone with a salary of $25K, $30K, or $35K would get health care free forever.

Is that what he said? That's not what the quote you excerpted said, but he might have made other comments.

But I'm not trying to defend Romney - I was responding more to the thread title and your OP. A very large number of people will be getting their health care for free under ACA. It doesn't just make insurance available - it pays for that insurance, in whole or in part, for most of the newly insured.

Albaby

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Author: SGIZ1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1836926 of 1949676
Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/15/2012 10:46 AM
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"I guess Mitt won't be joining the administration after talk like that."


Join?

Now is the time to fight, not join.. There is no liberal mandate on the country, conservatives need to stand strong against any/all liberal policies bad for America, period, end of story.

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Author: lindytoes Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1836930 of 1949676
Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/15/2012 10:59 AM
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Here's my problem with your remark. It doesn't fit Mitt. Mitt made no distinctions. Mitt did not say that a family of 4 earning under $30K would be eligible for Medicare. He said anyone with a salary of $25K, $30K, or $35K would get health care free forever.

albaby: "Is that what he said? That's not what the quote you excerpted said, but he might have made other comments. But I'm not trying to defend Romney - I was responding more to the thread title and your OP. A very large number of people will be getting their health care for free under ACA. It doesn't just make insurance available - it pays for that insurance, in whole or in part, for most of the newly insured."
..........
I really don't know the details of the ACA, aka "Obamacare", but the "free" health care insurance will more than likely cost US taxpayers less over time, won't it? The idea is that we pay for the uninsured NOW when they go to the hospital for simple things that then cost enormous amounts, e.g., a child with an ear infection. Also, when they get no preventative health care many times the uninsured are in dire straits and costs soar when they finally get care for serious problems. They enter the system, mostly through hospitals, and the cost which is free ONLY FOR THEM at that point--is passed on to us in health care costs. Insurance companies are not interested in health care. They are interested in money for their company--their stockholders, their CEOs and employees. Someone needs to be interested in ACTUAL health care, not the financial bottom line.

Now we will invest in making the uninsured healthier so our individual costs will go down as we make the system better. Some of the ACA is to build and support health care clinics, too (I believe). Some of the uninsured will be paying for their health care. Does anyone here know right now how many will get free health care and how many will be paying? Does anyone know how much our health care stops going up once 2014 rolls around and the medical "system" stops paying so much for the uninsured? One last point. Mitt Romney is an idiot. He supposedly should know something about this subject since he is the instigator of Romneycare. He just doesn't care about people. That is why he lost the election.

If anyone really cares about health care in this country, they should listen to the doctor from this Commonwealth Club appearance (link below). This was eye opening. If you are a man or someone who is facing cancer, you should listen to this; he also has a book How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick in America. I'm not sure anyone really saw the post. Of course, you have to listen to a long audio. Maybe some of you listened to this on NPR already. I highly recommend it.

Finance, Brawley asserts, is inextricably linked to health care in America’s current system. Even the very procedures patients undergo, he says, are frequently determined more by doctors’ expected payment for performing them than their actual appropriateness in mitigating the ailment with which the patient is afflicted. Brawley will discuss the extent of this problem as well as possible solutions.

http://boards.fool.com/fighting-patient-mistreatment-in-amer...

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Author: FoolinGrapeApe Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1836938 of 1949676
Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/15/2012 11:10 AM
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The idea is that we pay for the uninsured NOW when they go to the hospital for simple things that then cost enormous amounts, e.g., a child with an ear infection.

The questions that come to mind Lindy are: 1) How many uninsured use this type of care (ER) on an annual basis; 2) How many of those pay all or a part of their bills; 3) How much of the remainder is covered by charity?

They enter the system, mostly through hospitals, and the cost which is free ONLY FOR THEM at that point--is passed on to us in health care costs.

A portion, yes, but not all. Speaking strictly from a cost perspective, if what you are saying is true then how do you reconcile MA premiums being the highest in the nation? MA has a 97% coverage rate. The driver has been higher consumption. Insured people consume more health care than uninsured people do.


Grape

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Author: JoelCairo Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1836950 of 1949676
Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/15/2012 11:30 AM
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I appreciate your added nuances, but let me repaste what Romney is quoted as saying:

“You can imagine for somebody making $25,000 or $30,000 or $35,000 a year, being told you’re now going to get free health care, particularly if you don’t have it, getting free health care worth, what, $10,000 per family, in perpetuity"

$35K. Anyone. In perpetuity. Lots of people making $25K won't qualify for Medicare, even at the 133% bump.

And aren't at least half the new members of Medicare children?

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Author: albaby1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1836959 of 1949676
Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/15/2012 11:47 AM
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I really don't know the details of the ACA, aka "Obamacare", but the "free" health care insurance will more than likely cost US taxpayers less over time, won't it?

No, probably not. The uninsured consume less health care than the insured, both in terms of dollars and in services. That's part of why they have poorer health outcomes than the insured. They don't consume zero health care, of course. Some care is paid for by state or local funding, some by federal funding that goes to hospitals for treating the uninsured, some comes from charities, and some is paid for by the uninsured out-of-pocket (they typically pay about 35% of their current cost of care). So while some of the cost will be recouped from elsewhere in the system, not all of it will be. That's a big reason why the PPACA has to include a sizable amount of revenue to cover the costs of coverate, both from new charges and from other government programs.

Does anyone here know right now how many will get free health care and how many will be paying?

Original estimates were that of the 32 million or so that would gain coverage from the PPACA, about 17 millions (slightly more than half) would get added to Medicaid rolls, and thus get free health care. However, since the SCOTUS decision gave states the right to opt out of that expansion, the actual amount might be different:

http://bipartisanpolicy.org/blog/2012/08/our-health-care-fut...

There's another 6-9 million that were expected to qualify for federal subsidies. A small proportion of those will be able to have their entire premium covered by those subsidies. The subsidies are capped such that a person would have to pay up to a certain amount of their income for a premium (ranging from 2% up through 10%, based on the poverty line) - however, that's based on the second-cheapest silver plan. Some small number of people getting the largest subsidies might be able to cover the full cost of the very cheapest silver plan, depending on how the numbers work out. Of course, keep in mind that the subsidies are enormous at lower income levels relative to the premiums - such households will only have to pay a few hundred dollars per year in premiums, for policies that are worth many thousands of dollars.

Only a minority of folks who gain coverage under the PPACA will be fully paying their own way.

Albaby

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Author: albaby1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1836965 of 1949676
Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/15/2012 11:57 AM
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I appreciate your added nuances, but let me repaste what Romney is quoted as saying:

“You can imagine for somebody making $25,000 or $30,000 or $35,000 a year, being told you’re now going to get free health care, particularly if you don’t have it, getting free health care worth, what, $10,000 per family, in perpetuity"

$35K. Anyone. In perpetuity. Lots of people making $25K won't qualify for Medicare, even at the 133% bump.


He didn't say anyone. He said for somebody who is making 25-35K per year who is given free health care, it is a really big deal. He did not say that everyone who is in that income threshold qualifies for the free healthcare - just that the people who do qualify for free health care are receiving a very significant benefit relative to their financial straights.

At no time did he make the assertion that anyone making less than $35K would qualify for Medicaid.

And aren't at least half the new members of Medicare children?

I don't think so - I certainly have never seen anything to suggest that (I assume you meant Medicaid). Half of existing Medicaid recipients are children, which is (in part) a function of the fact that under the current system it is much easier to qualify for Medicaid as a minor than an adult. Children only make up about 15% of the uninsured population so it's pretty unlike that they would make up half the new Medicaid population. It should be noted that a fair number of those children are already eligible for Medicaid, but are simply not enrolled - about 11 million individuals (more than 20% of the uninsured) are eligible for Medicaid but haven't signed up, primarily minor children and their families.

Albaby

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Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1836972 of 1949676
Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/15/2012 12:07 PM
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I still find it amusing that he criticizes what is, in essence, exactly what he did in MA. And his criticisms are frequently wrong (i.e. the program won't do what he claims, or not in the way he claims).

Makes me wonder if he was paying any attention when it was being implemented in MA.

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Author: SGIZ1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1836974 of 1949676
Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/15/2012 12:24 PM
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"I still find it amusing that he criticizes what is, in essence, exactly what he did in MA. And his criticisms are frequently wrong (i.e. the program won't do what he claims, or not in the way he claims)."

What's even more amusing is you believe the program will do what Obama/Democrats claim.

Even after they reminded us they never read the bill, and we have to pass it to see what's in it. lol...

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Author: jwiest Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1837027 of 1949676
Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/15/2012 1:41 PM
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“You can imagine for somebody making $25,000 or $30,000 or $35,000 a year, being told you’re now going to get free health care, particularly if you don’t have it, getting free health care worth, what, $10,000 per family, in perpetuity, I mean, this is huge,”

What's huge is Romney makes almost 1000 times that, yet thinks these people should have to pay for health care when they're barely scraping by, and health care costs are going up 3-5 times faster than inflation. Clueless.

Every other industrialized nation makes health care a right. The US needs to catch up with the 50-year-ago past. Single-payer/universal is the only way to resolve this for the nation permanently.

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Author: SaintPatrick1 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1837031 of 1949676
Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/15/2012 1:45 PM
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The US needs to catch up with the 50-year-ago past. Single-payer/universal is the only way to resolve this for the nation permanently.

That would be good. Maybe President Hillary can do that in four years.

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Author: JoelCairo Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1837104 of 1949676
Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/15/2012 4:12 PM
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He didn't say anyone. He said for somebody who is making 25-35K per year who is given free health care, it is a really big deal. He did not say that everyone who is in that income threshold qualifies for the free healthcare - just that the people who do qualify for free health care are receiving a very significant benefit relative to their financial straights.

Fine. Somebody making 25K, 30K, 35K means it is not anybody making more than that. But it does mean anybody making that. In fact, many of the somebodies at those income rates won't qualify, and will have to pay. And it won't be into perpetuity, unless, I suppose, one feels that they all lack ambition to improve their lots.

You place qualifications on it specific to the law. Other than income, he did not. He could have said "many people" or something that would suggest he knows the distinctions you raise -- but he did not. So he earns whatever grief he gets. He could have been careful and precise, like you, but he chose not to be.

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Author: albaby1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1837113 of 1949676
Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/15/2012 4:22 PM
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Somebody making 25K, 30K, 35K means it is not anybody making more than that. But it does mean anybody making that.

Exactly. He didn't claim that it meant everyone making that. I'm not sure why you're imputing to him a statement that all people earning less than $35K (or whatever) would get free health care.

He could have said "many people" or something that would suggest he knows the distinctions you raise -- but he did not. So he earns whatever grief he gets. He could have been careful and precise, like you, but he chose not to be.

Neither did he say "everybody." He said "somebody." If I make the following statement:

"Somebody who texts while driving is putting themselves at a greater risk of getting into an accident."

....I am not saying that everyone who drives is texting. The context is clear that I am making a statement about people who meet both conditions - driving and texting - without offering comment as to how many of the former also meet the latter.

Romney's comment is the same structure - if you're someone who earns a modest salary, and you're told you're going to get free health care, that's a huge benefit. The plain reading of his language contains no assertion - express or implied - that everyone who earns a modest salary is getting the free health care. I certainly agree that he didn't lard his statement with enough qualifiers so that people couldn't misconstrue it. But I don't think there's anything in that statement to rationally support a claim that Romney believed that everyone earning less than $35K is getting free health care.

Albaby

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Author: JoelCairo Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1837119 of 1949676
Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/15/2012 4:33 PM
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The questions that come to mind Lindy are: 1) How many uninsured use this type of care (ER) on an annual basis; 2) How many of those pay all or a part of their bills; 3) How much of the remainder is covered by charity?

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in 2007, 55% of US emergency care goes uncompensated.

And since ERs only have to stabilize, not cure, whatever they do is late in the day and not enough.

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Author: MadCapitalist Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1837126 of 1949676
Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/15/2012 4:43 PM
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“You can imagine for somebody making $25,000 or $30,000 or $35,000 a year, being told you’re now going to get free health care, particularly if you don’t have it, getting free health care worth, what, $10,000 per family, in perpetuity, I mean, this is huge,”

Free? I didn't know health insurance was free under Obamacare? I just thought ACA made it available.


What do you mean "made it available"? Health insurance has always been available.

Not to defend Romney, but it is obvious that he meant that employees would be getting health insurance from their employers without having to pay for it, so therefore it's "free." This isn't difficult to figure out, so I can only assume that you are deliberately being obtuse.

In any case, you are right that health insurance technically isn't "free." Competition in the labor market will cause wages to decline or grow more slowly as total compensation is re-allocated from wages to health insurance benefits (there is no free lunch, no matter how hard politicians try to provide one). In other words, employees *effectively* pay for their "free" health insurance. It will increase unemployment for those close to or at minimum wage since there is little or no flexibility to reduce wages. It will reduce the number of hours for many employees to under 30 hours a week to avoid the mandate. This is all very predictable based on basic economic principles.

However, most people still *perceive* health insurance benefits received from an employer as being free. That is obviously what Romney is getting at.

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Author: lowstudent Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1837131 of 1949676
Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/15/2012 4:48 PM
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ot to defend Romney, but it is obvious that he meant that employees would be getting health insurance from their employers without having to pay for it, so therefore it's "free." This isn't difficult to figure out, so I can only assume that you are deliberately being obtuse.

In any case, you are right that health insurance technically isn't "free." Competition in the labor market will cause wages to decline or grow more slowly as total compensation is re-allocated from wages to health insurance benefits (there is no free lunch, no matter how hard politicians try to provide one). In other words, employees *effectively* pay for their "free" health insurance. It will increase unemployment for those close to or at minimum wage since there is little or no flexibility to reduce wages. It will reduce the number of hours for many employees to under 30 hours a week to avoid the mandate. This is all very predictable based on basic economic principles.

However, most people still *perceive* health insurance benefits received from an employer as being free. That is obviously what Romney is getting at.
_________________

You hit upon what was one of Romney's two Achilles heels, treating the electorate as if they were functional adults for the most part, the other heel? Not as much free stuff

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Author: FoolinGrapeApe Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1837142 of 1949676
Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/15/2012 5:10 PM
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According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in 2007, 55% of US emergency care goes uncompensated.

I assume you mean for the uninsured?

And since ERs only have to stabilize, not cure, whatever they do is late in the day and not enough.

That's a different issue, but I suppose it could be used in the argument for preventative care diminishing that 55% number. I have seen figures that say preventative care, in some cases, costs more than dealing with an issue when it shows itself. My main point, however, was that simply getting the uninsured off ER care wasn't going to lower our premiums because they would consume health care in other areas. It was strictly a cost analysis view that I was taking.


Grape

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Author: JoelCairo Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1837170 of 1949676
Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/15/2012 6:02 PM
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Not to defend Romney, but it is obvious that he meant that employees would be getting health insurance from their employers without having to pay for it, so therefore it's "free." This isn't difficult to figure out, so I can only assume that you are deliberately being obtuse.

Even I don't think so little of Romney to think that he would be referring to a practice which has been going on for decades, and which every employee with a pulse knows is part (or not, as the case may be) of a compensation package. And for which the employee has, for many years, paid an ever-increasing portion. So, now, I wasn't being obtuse. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt in mis-reading it.

As for availability, that is my word, and its what I mean -- insurance is not available to people with pre-existing conditions, period end of subject.

Overall, ACA will extend health insurance to most of the uninsured in this country. It won't be free to many of them -- Romney implied all, and he was simply wrong.

As for the impacts on employment, employers in low margin high employee businesses such as fast food chains have been squeezing wages for years. Right or wrong, its what right-to-work laws and cynical manipulation of state employment laws causes. Its why they don't have vacations, many are on part time, etc etc. This is nothing new, and it is cynical and dishonest and, I might add, typical, of these wealthy people to do it, and try to avoid responsibility for their acts.

No one ever said Obamacare was a free lunch, except the people who wanted to tear it down because it was going to squeeze them. That's why taking third-party cost out of the federally-mandated single payer system for the elderly was falsely called a reduction in care -- it isn't, and never was, yet Ryan happily twirps it every chance he gets. But then, anyone who claims that we don't need Obamacare because we have emergency rooms certainly in not concerned with lowering the costs of health care in this country.

Maybe one of these days the right is going to say an honest word about Obamacare and the economic principles it follows, since they came out of the Heritage Institute and Romney himself, but I ain't going to hold my breath.

I will say this, though: I am willing to abandon it in return for a program similar to Medicare, but for all people. Now THAT would lower the cost of health care and be a huge boost to the economy, but I don't expect "conservatives" to accept it. That would make too much economic sense and be too helpful to the free market society we live in.

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Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/15/2012 6:06 PM
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"Somebody who texts while driving is putting themselves at a greater risk of getting into an accident."

Not a good example, or the same structure. Romney's somebody earns $35,000 a year. Your somebody drives, and may or may not text. Romney is talking about everyone who makes $35K a year. And he is simply wrong.

A better example would be if Romney said "Somebody who gets pregnant can have an abortion," ignoring any limits placed on that by Roe v Wade.

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Author: JoelCairo Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1837181 of 1949676
Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/15/2012 6:16 PM
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I assume you mean for the uninsured?

It is federal law that ERs have to treat anyone in danger/distress, whatever the formal definition of emergency care in the law is. And the result, over the years, is that 55% of the cost of emergency care goes uncompensated.

Except that it gets paid another way, through increased overhead costs applied by the hospitals to all the other services they provide, which are paid through insurance companies or by wealthy people.

The federal law on ERs is not complete -- it does not force them to be clinics for people who cannot afford health insurance and need preventative or early care -- and it is probably more in the area of early care, regular monitoring, etc., that this approach drives up costs. I get your point that taken to extremes, preventive care does not lower costs, but there are examples where it does -- many, many, many -- so let's not get sidetracked on that.

The study I saw said that the per capita cost in this country of that uninsured population was over $400 per person per year, over $1100 per family - and this was six years ago. So, in theory, adding 30-40 million people to the premium-paying base should do two things, eliminate that subsidy that we all pay through our premiums, and ease the demand on emergency and critical costs of providing health care. One takes steps to allow future disease sufferers who can avoid the full blown disease by early monitoring and prevention and to spread the overall cost to a broader portion of the population. Neither of these things will necessarily stop costs from increasing, but they should slow it down, no?

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Author: albaby1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1837184 of 1949676
Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/15/2012 6:18 PM
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Not a good example, or the same structure. Romney's somebody earns $35,000 a year. Your somebody drives, and may or may not text. Romney is talking about everyone who makes $35K a year. And he is simply wrong.

It is the same structure. He's not talking about everyone who makes $35K per year - he's talking about everyone who makes $35K per year and is given free healthcare under the PPACA. At no point does he state that everyone under $35K gets free health care - that the two sets are identical. Not everyone earning less than $35K gets free health care, no more than everyone who drives engages in texting. He states that for all people who make less than $35K per year and get free health care, that's a huge deal. His statement relates to the intersection of those two sets of people, and is not a statement that the two sets are equivalent.

Albaby

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Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/15/2012 6:21 PM
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So, in theory, adding 30-40 million people to the premium-paying base should do two things, eliminate that subsidy that we all pay through our premiums, and ease the demand on emergency and critical costs of providing health care.

They said that with the MA health care reform too. It didn't pan out that way. It actually increased costs because the cost of insuring them based upon their increase health care consumption ate up that subsidy plus some.


Grape

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Author: MadCapitalist Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1837203 of 1949676
Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/15/2012 6:58 PM
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No one ever said Obamacare was a free lunch, except the people who wanted to tear it down because it was going to squeeze them. That's why taking third-party cost out of the federally-mandated single payer system for the elderly was falsely called a reduction in care -- it isn't, and never was, yet Ryan happily twirps it every chance he gets. But then, anyone who claims that we don't need Obamacare because we have emergency rooms certainly in not concerned with lowering the costs of health care in this country.

Maybe one of these days the right is going to say an honest word about Obamacare and the economic principles it follows, since they came out of the Heritage Institute and Romney himself, but I ain't going to hold my breath.


What about all the companies that are reducing the number of employees who work 30 or more hours in low wage jobs because of ObamaCare? Do you deny that it is happening? Or is it a small price to pay to force employers to shift wage compensation to health insurance benefits?

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Author: JoelCairo Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1837227 of 1949676
Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/15/2012 8:08 PM
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What about all the companies that are reducing the number of employees who work 30 or more hours in low wage jobs because of ObamaCare? Do you deny that it is happening? Or is it a small price to pay to force employers to shift wage compensation to health insurance benefits?

What about them? This isn't the first time they've cut costs by lowering benefits instead of salaries. I mean, unless you believe that they are doing this to end their employer-funded or provided healthcare.

These people didn't have healthcare, and under this they still won't, so they'll be able to get it in an exchange.

Is it right for the employer to manipulate the system to make the taxpayer give them a subsidy?

I don't see how there is any shift from wages to health care benefits. If the employees already had health care under an employer-provided plan, then their situation wouldn't be impacted directly by ACA. or am I missing something in all this?

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Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/15/2012 8:10 PM
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Fine, we'll agree to disagree.

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Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/15/2012 8:15 PM
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They said that with the MA health care reform too. It didn't pan out that way. It actually increased costs because the cost of insuring them based upon their increase health care consumption ate up that subsidy plus some.

Does that mean that the insurance companies under-estimated what their increased customer base would cost in increased care?

I guess I can see that if the newly-insured now get regular, modern healthcare, that would increase their contact with the healthcare system, and this might result in overall greater costs than the reduction in ER costs, but I would be surprised if it has settled down into a regular pattern yet. Has it?

You know, I looked at comparative per capita costs between MA and CT on a Kaiser data site, and there wasn't much difference.

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Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/15/2012 8:33 PM
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Is it right for the employer to manipulate the system to make the taxpayer give them a subsidy?

Is it right for the government to continually burden businesses with more and more costs? Of course not. Don't blame businesses for lousy government policy.

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Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/15/2012 9:53 PM
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Does that mean that the insurance companies under-estimated what their increased customer base would cost in increased care?

There were two theories. One was that young healthy people would have insurance and water down the pool lowering rates and the other was that reduced ER costs would do the same. Instead rates ran up faster than the rest of the country.

You know, I looked at comparative per capita costs between MA and CT on a Kaiser data site, and there wasn't much difference.

Nor is there much between MA and NH, but MA does have the lead in all 50 and their reform has been in place for 6 years now. The MA legislature recognizes this and is working to find ways to reduce costs since the original reform didn't. I wish it had worked the way they hoped. I would have saved a ton of money on premiums. I'm afraid that the ACA will have a similar outcome.


Grape

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Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/16/2012 12:36 PM
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Is it right for the government to continually burden businesses with more and more costs? Of course not. Don't blame businesses for lousy government policy.

C'mon. That logic could be used to oppose government requirements that employees at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory had unlocked fire escapes available to them.

Or to the notion that somehow a free market can exist without government regulation and assurance of a level playing field.

Don't blame government for (a) bad businesspeople (evil or incompetent) or (b) for the built-in excesses and criminality of unfettered enterprise.

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Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/16/2012 12:39 PM
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C'mon. That logic could be used to oppose government requirements that employees at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory had unlocked fire escapes available to them.



Oh come on, Joel. Everybody knows those employees were just a bunch of whiners that wanted everything handed to them. They should have been grateful for the employment. Unlocked fire escapes, too? How like a bunch of 47%-ers. (Except that, back then, it was probably more like 98%-ers.)

AM

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Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/16/2012 12:42 PM
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Nor is there much between MA and NH, but MA does have the lead in all 50 and their reform has been in place for 6 years now. The MA legislature recognizes this and is working to find ways to reduce costs since the original reform didn't. I wish it had worked the way they hoped. I would have saved a ton of money on premiums. I'm afraid that the ACA will have a similar outcome.

The Kaiser data says DC is higher, but then, DC has a more fundamental problem than any of us -- taxation without representation.

Do you hold little hope that the legislature can make changes which will impact the outcome? There must be some who believe they know what the problem is.

As for your premiums, can we at least say that they didn't get worse under the MA plan yet extended coverage to a larger portion of the state, excuse me, commonwealth?

Since you have much greater experience and visibility into this laboratory of the states experiemtn, I am also wondering -- when Romneycare (does anyone call it that?) went into effect, was there a spate of nasty, self-serving acts by fast food franchisees and the like changing hiring practices and cutting staff, so as to blame the Governor for their cost-cutting actions?

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Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/16/2012 12:44 PM
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C'mon. That logic could be used to oppose government requirements that employees at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory had unlocked fire escapes available to them.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yes, and that logic could be used to have the government dictate the work rules and employment terms of every employee at every private business.........except they wouldn't be private businesses at that point.

Mark

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Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/16/2012 2:49 PM
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Oh come on, Joel. Everybody knows those employees were just a bunch of whiners that wanted everything handed to them. They should have been grateful for the employment. Unlocked fire escapes, too? How like a bunch of 47%-ers. (Except that, back then, it was probably more like 98%-ers.)


Maybe you're right, Angel. This is the centennial year of that fire, which I thought a lot about when the event was replicated, almost to a T, recently in Pakistan. In a plant being used to provide products to American and European companies that had outsourced production from their countries to places where the labor was cheaper, had no rights, and the regulatory regime is non-existent, weak, or corrupt.

How things have changed in a century.

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Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/16/2012 5:30 PM
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Do you hold little hope that the legislature can make changes which will impact the outcome? There must be some who believe they know what the problem is.

Well, since it was modeled after the MA reform and since I'm hearing the same arguments as to why it will lower costs, let's just say I'm skeptical. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I hope I'm wrong because we'll all benefit, but I've seen this story before.

As for your premiums, can we at least say that they didn't get worse under the MA plan yet extended coverage to a larger portion of the state, excuse me, commonwealth?

Initially they did. Growth in premiums shot up faster than the rest of the nation. It's been leveling out.

Since you have much greater experience and visibility into this laboratory of the states experiemtn, I am also wondering -- when Romneycare (does anyone call it that?) went into effect, was there a spate of nasty, self-serving acts by fast food franchisees and the like changing hiring practices and cutting staff, so as to blame the Governor for their cost-cutting actions?

The term Romneycare didn't come into being until the Presidential campaign. To answer your question about hiring practices, etc, I think some companies moved out of state, but I don't recall any "Romneycare" surcharges that were placed on the menu. That's kind of dumb if you ask me. Adjust your prices and be done with it. Although it has been widely reported that the ACA isn't a good fit for the hospitality industry. Population in MA pretty much flat lined since the law and even decreased one year. MA continues to lose Congressmen as a result. Now, was that the result of the health care reform? Possibly. Locally the business owners that I'm friends with came back from a seminar regarding the ACA shaking their heads at the bevy of new regulations they now need to try to navigate. They are worried about the costs and what it means to their businesses. Anecdotal, but very real for them.


Grape

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Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/16/2012 5:49 PM
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Thanks for the info. Let me say that Massachusetts has been falling back in Congress for a long time. from 1960 to 1990, the state's population grew about 20% while the US grew about 40%. The commonwealth has grown another 10% in the ensuing two decades. In 1960, Massachusetts had 14 members in the House, dropping to 11 by 1990 and 9 today. Nothing new. Probably should blame the migration to the Sun Belt, the Asian immigration explosion, and the leaky southern borders for all that.

Of course, the fewer members a state has in the House, the greater the proportional influence of a citizen of that state in the national election, since your two Senators represnt one sixth the people my two senators represent.

And let's not get started on the Granite State.

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Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/16/2012 6:00 PM
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And let's not get started on the Granite State.

The Granite State is my state. I work in MA and grew up in northern MA in the city that borders Atkinson NH which is where I live.


Grape

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Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/16/2012 8:44 PM
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I knew that. I've been going there for 40 years. Its a state that, ironically, favors income over capital, doesn't it? Couldn't property taxes be lower if there was an income tax? :-)

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Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/16/2012 10:09 PM
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I knew that. I've been going there for 40 years. Its a state that, ironically, favors income over capital, doesn't it? Couldn't property taxes be lower if there was an income tax? :-)

Funny you should say that. NJ thought that would work way back when too and they have some of the highest taxes in the country. MA property tax rates aren't much lower when you factor in that they have a sales tax (6.25%), an income tax (5.3%), and an excise tax. Haverhill's residential rate is $14.76 per thousand and their commercial rate is $24.68 per thousand. Atkinson NH has a single rate and that is $18.80 per thousand. MA spends WAY more than we do.


Grape

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Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/17/2012 10:12 AM
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Is it right for the government to continually burden businesses with more and more costs? Of course not. Don't blame businesses for lousy government policy.

C'mon. That logic could be used to oppose government requirements that employees at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory had unlocked fire escapes available to them.

Or to the notion that somehow a free market can exist without government regulation and assurance of a level playing field.

Don't blame government for (a) bad businesspeople (evil or incompetent) or (b) for the built-in excesses and criminality of unfettered enterprise.


It's absolutely ludicrous to make your anti-free market argument on the fact that bad people would do bad things in a free market. We don't have anything resembling a free market, and plenty of people still do bad things. What's worse, government intervention causes *good* people to take actions with bad consequences as they respond to the poor incentives of government policy. The housing bubble and subsequent financial crisis is a predictable result of government policy, not bad businesspeople. This isn't to say that there weren't some bad businesspeople. It's just that severe economic problems require getting far more numerous *good* people to also behave badly, which is a result of government policy.

The one thing that I have noticed about anti-free market people is that they always criticize something other than free markets and *pretend* that it is the free market that they are criticizing. For example, they will say that health care is expensive due to a free market failure. This is just sad. Health care has more government intervention than just about any other market except for possibly financial services. It's not a free market when you have massive government intervention. A free market requires *freedom* to be a free market. To argue otherwise is to reject reason.

Or they will pretend that *anything* goes in a free market. That is simply not true. A free market is one in which individual rights are protected. For example, you can't use fraud in dealing with people. The government is right to prosecute fraud when it occurs. The government is *not* right, however, to treat everyone as if they are criminals and regulate them in *anticipation* that they might commit fraud.

The fact is that regulation and government intervention inflicts a *staggering* cost on good people, which goes a long way to explaining why countries with higher economic freedom are more prosperous.

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Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/17/2012 2:24 PM
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It's absolutely ludicrous to make your anti-free market argument on the fact that bad people would do bad things in a free market.

Well, let me acknowledge that the record of people doing bad things -- to their customers, their fellow citizens, their neighbors, their country -- in an unregulated market is so firmly established that it needs no proof.

We don't have anything resembling a free market, and plenty of people still do bad things.

So what? Some of the bad things they did in the past they have to outsource to Pakistan.

What's worse, government intervention causes *good* people to take actions with bad consequences as they respond to the poor incentives of government policy.

Yeah, they are not responsible. They had no other options. They are enslaved. Which religion supports that point of view? That's another non-starter from you.

The one thing that I have noticed about anti-free market people is that they always criticize something other than free markets and *pretend* that it is the free market that they are criticizing.

Its possible that (a) they have a better knowledge of the history of un-regulated free market capitalism than you do, and (b) also know that we have not had a "free market" for a long time, and who would want it? It is so bogus and sterile to argue for something that does not exist and which has a terrible record.

For example, they will say that health care is expensive due to a free market failure. This is just sad. Health care has more government intervention than just about any other market except for possibly financial services.

This kind of argument would also work as support for a private armed forces or a private municipal police force. On several levels. The main one being that some sectors of society shouldn't be burdened by the selfishness, greed, self-interest, threat, lack of accountability and cost burden which private industry adds to the equation. I think, as do many, that health care is one of those areas. Electricity generation, water and sewage supply, and other areas are similar areas. I remember back in the day when there were a lot of municipal utilities, they almost without exception offered cheaper power to their customers than for-profit utilities, aligned their plans with the public needs, and complied with national and local health, safety and public welfare laws faster, cheaper, and with more honesty and care.

A free market is one in which individual rights are protected. For example, you can't use fraud in dealing with people. The government is right to prosecute fraud when it occurs.

Sorry, you are too naive and unrealistic, which is about the nicest thing I can say here. The criminal in your instance is innocent until proven guilty, and can continued his fraudulent practices until caught -- its why criminal laws never were useful in regulating such behavior -- never. Even civil law doesn't work, when the parties are not equally rich.

Why should I have to breathe the pollution you create in order to make your money, pollution that gets me sick, shortens my life, reduces its qualit? You think that would have stopped through a combination of civil and criminal law? Don't insult us with such nonsense.

And anyway, why should I have to prove anything? But for the polluter, I wouldn't be expose to the toxins he spews. Where is it wrong for society to decide that the polluter has to deal with this if he wants to stay in business.

The fact is that regulation and government intervention inflicts a *staggering* cost on good people, which goes a long way to explaining why countries with higher economic freedom are more prosperous.

You mean like China? Russia? Good luck with that.

The real fact is that any semblance of a free market delivering the societal benefits which people like you claim for it can only happen in a well-regulated market. Its mind-boggling that any intelligent or rational or free-thinking person could think otherwise.

Indeed, it is mad. So maybe it is beyond you.

The government is *not* right, however, to treat everyone as if they are criminals and regulate them in *anticipation* that they might commit fraud.

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Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/17/2012 2:34 PM
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Funny you should say that. NJ thought that would work way back when too and they have some of the highest taxes in the country. MA property tax rates aren't much lower when you factor in that they have a sales tax (6.25%), an income tax (5.3%), and an excise tax. Haverhill's residential rate is $14.76 per thousand and their commercial rate is $24.68 per thousand. Atkinson NH has a single rate and that is $18.80 per thousand. MA spends WAY more than we do.

But the property taxes are lower. 22% comparing the two towns you mention. And there are sales taxes in New Hampshire. And Massachusetts does spend more on its populace than New Hampshire. And asks more of the populace to pay for it. As an out-of-state property owner, I would love to see the tax burden shared by more of the residents. (And I would also like to see them freed from the yoke of Wal-Mart which, when it came to Berlin, drove out at least half a dozen businesses which paid their employees more.)

It seems to me that many in New Hampshire who complain a lot about citizens who pay no federal income tax yet get benefits (putting aside the FICA payments they make, plus gas tax, etc) are the same who would never tax the income of these same people at the state level, and would oppose it rigorously. Just a point of irony, no?

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Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/17/2012 2:46 PM
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But the property taxes are lower. 22% comparing the two towns you mention.

If Haverhill had a flat rate for residential and commercial, it would be about a wash. You're only looking at the residential rate while ignoring their commercial rate.

And there are sales taxes in New Hampshire.

Room and meals (higher than MA), cigarette tax (lower than MA), alcohol (lower than MA), gas. Those are the only ones I can think of. There is no general sales tax on items you would buy in stores.

As an out-of-state property owner, I would love to see the tax burden shared by more of the residents.

Any income or sales tax would be regressive to renters, who are more likely to be in the lower quintile.

It seems to me that many in New Hampshire who complain a lot about citizens who pay no federal income tax yet get benefits (putting aside the FICA payments they make, plus gas tax, etc) are the same who would never tax the income of these same people at the state level, and would oppose it rigorously. Just a point of irony, no?

Maybe. I personally don't get too tied up with who does or does not pay income tax, nor do I hear others even comment on it. NH's tax structure is cultural and we tend to be a very frugal state. Other than a pension liability that is facing most every state (we're slowly chipping away at ours), financially we're in decent shape.


Grape

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Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/17/2012 5:11 PM
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Interesting points. I've enjoyed the exchange and thank you for the info. It is rare, yet very refreshing, to not have a politically-tinged conversation on this board. Thanks.

Did Sandy cause much damage in NH?

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Author: FoolinGrapeApe Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1837863 of 1949676
Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/17/2012 5:21 PM
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Interesting points. I've enjoyed the exchange and thank you for the info. It is rare, yet very refreshing, to not have a politically-tinged conversation on this board.

Thanks. I try to stay away from the highly partisan stuff. It tends to devolve into my side/your side where neither is really paying any heed to what the other is saying and they both get into why the other side sucks. Seems pointless to me. I look at some of these posts and can only wonder if some of what gets said on this board would be said if we were all in the same room together.

Did Sandy cause much damage in NH?

Not too much. Downed trees and plenty of power outages including Atkinson. I have a generator fortunately. It wasn't like Irene was where roads were taken out due to massive flooding.


Grape

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Author: MadCapitalist Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1837963 of 1949676
Subject: Re: Did you know ACA is free? Mitt says so Date: 11/18/2012 12:15 AM
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t's absolutely ludicrous to make your anti-free market argument on the fact that bad people would do bad things in a free market.

Well, let me acknowledge that the record of people doing bad things -- to their customers, their fellow citizens, their neighbors, their country -- in an unregulated market is so firmly established that it needs no proof.


Unregulated markets are so rare that I don't see how you can say it is firmly established. And I don't mean markets without the rule of law. I mean unregulated markets with the rule of law. However, even if it is firmly established, the record of people doing bad things -- to their customers, their fellow citizens, their neighbors, their country -- in a REGULATED market is DEFINITELY firmly established. Every time someone does something bad in a regulated market, some idiot says that it was obviously because it wasn't regulated ENOUGH. What's worse is that they invariably blame a *non-existent* free market for the problem.

What's worse, government intervention causes *good* people to take actions with bad consequences as they respond to the poor incentives of government policy.

Yeah, they are not responsible. They had no other options. They are enslaved. Which religion supports that point of view? That's another non-starter from you.


Give me a break. Do you REALLY want us to believe that incentives created by government policy don't matter because people are ultimately responsible for their own actions? Personally, I think that is asinine. Policies create certain incentives, and incentives cause people to respond to those incentives. Cause and effect. Ignoring it won't make it go away.

I will stop here because I have little patience for nonsense.

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