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Old 03-04-2018, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
5,242 posts, read 3,397,122 times
Reputation: 8783

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerGeek40 View Post
It wasn't "working pretty good".... first of all it was an illegal program that forced people to buy insurance. Second - it was sold based on a pack of lies.... "like your doctor, you can keep your doctor"... remember that one? Third - did you notice the huge annual premium increases in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, before Trump was elected?

I don't claim to have all the answers and I'd even be ok with single payer rather than this Obamacare nightmare.

Your turn. Tell me why I'm wrong.
I would also rather have single payer, for the record.

"Like your doctor" was more of a failed campaign promise... nothing in Obamacare said that insurers and health-care provider networks would remain in place like an insect in amber. Clinics & hospitals switch networks all the time.

Obamacare was the result of trying to find a middle ground to fix some of our health care problems - most notably the gap in coverage, rescission, and various ways insurers weaseled out of paying on claims. It set out to make those changes but ALSO preserve the health insurance industry as it exists. That said, Obamacare could have worked but it needed the cooperation of all parties. To the credit of the health insurance industry, they have mostly done their part.

Obamacare was complex. First, it was a massive reform of thousands of health care regulations. All that happened on the back-end of your policy that you never see. Most of that has had a positive effect in that insurers are more tightly bound legally to actually pay out on claims and legally cannot drop you if you get sick as easily as before. Second, the coverage aspect designed as a 3-way handshake between insurers, the federal government and states to resolve the gaps in coverage leaving a large percentage of population uninsured - medicaid expansion including a match by the states, for example. Third, in its attempt to lower costs, it actually incorporated a lot of former Republican ideas, especially in its incentives for people to move toward HSA-based high deductible plans. The whole point of that is to make people have more skin in the game in their health care, and use less because the first 5 or 10k is on them. Recall that HSAs were a Republican invention by the GOP congress in 2003 and heavily promoted by the George W. Bush administration.

About half the states never even tried to cooperate. That was the first problem. Then the Republicans did their best to sabotage the Fed's cooperation.

After 5 years of implementation, what we have is not what was intended because of the lack of cooperation. Perhaps they were naive to the various interest groups would cooperate. Obamacare WAS the Republican solution, the "compromise to keep the health insurance industry healthy" solution. The principles of it are very similar to the Bob Dole counter-proposal to Bill Clinton's health care plan in 1994, taking much of its design from the Massachusetts reform championed by Mitt Romney in 2006.

Now the federal government has scaled back its contributions and support under Trump. The exchanges will probably collapse if the subsidies keep getting cut, especially now that tax reform takes away the tax incentive to buy a health insurance policy. That was the remaining offset that made the exchange plans financially viable.

The only way forward is something MORE comprehensive like single payer. I expect that in the future, the calls to expand Medicare to the adult population will get louder. The GOP intransigence against making Obamacare work will only embolden the Bernie Sanders's of the world.

Look at what happened when the GOP tried to repeal Obamacare. People want MORE coverage, not less. Ironically, the collapse of Obamacare will hurt Trump's on supporters worse. The first exchange plans to become unviable will be the ones for rural areas.

 
Old 03-04-2018, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Houston
1,026 posts, read 347,280 times
Reputation: 914
Quote:
Originally Posted by SportyandMisty View Post
Now is the time to get entitlement spending under control.

I find these charts compelling, and fit within the category of "any trend that cannot go on forever, won't."

The first chart shows entitlement spending per year divided by the number of US Citizens. It is the entitlement cost per person. It now stands at $7500 per citizen.



The second chart shows entitlement spending as a percent of GDP. We're now up to 13%.



Our economy is doing well: unemployment numbers are way down, employment numbers are way up, GDP numbers are up, tax receipts are up, business optimism is up, consumer optimism is up... By most economic measures, things are going well.

Except that at the federal level, there appears to be no check on total expenditures.

We have known for decades that the fundamental US problem is promised entitlement spending far beyond what our current tax system can fund. Markets have presumed that the US would fix this problem sooner or later. It's not that hard as a matter of economics. In the interim, investors buy short-term US bonds, with the anticipation that one year hence someone else will lend the federal government money to roll over the debt so that at some time in the future the US will fix the expenditure problem. This strategy works - until it doesn't.

But what's our excuse now? At 4% unemployment, after 8+ years of uninterrupted growth, if we can't sit down now and solve the problem, when will we? Markets have a right to think perhaps the US federal government is so fractured we won't be able to fix this problem in time.

Or, more accurately, markets have a right to worry that next year's markets will have that worry, and get out now.
If by “entitlements”, you mean Medicare and Social Security- COUNT ME OUT! I WORKED for that $$ and I want every penny that this lousy govt stole from me! Govt needs to stop welcoming legal/illegal immigrants who rape us out of every entitlement there is- DISQUALIFY them ALL!
 
Old 03-04-2018, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Houston
1,026 posts, read 347,280 times
Reputation: 914
Quote:
Originally Posted by parentologist View Post
I hate Medicaid! I hate SSI! I hate SNAP! I hate subsidized housing!

oops, I just got laid off. I don't have enough money to stay afloat. Quietly, I'll apply for Medicaid, SNAP, maybe I can go on SSI, since I don't think I"m gonna get another job. I just won't tell anyone.

But publicly, I'll continue to shout that I hate all those social welfare programs!

It's sort of like the person who is anti-abortion, until they or their close relative/girlfriend, whatever, needs one. THEN they're okay with it.

The only justified social welfare program is the one that I need, and only when I need it.
You may THINK that you’d qualify for all of those gravy train programs, but the case workers will LAUGH at you if you try to apply for them- YOU MADE/MAKE too much $$$!!
 
Old 03-04-2018, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Houston
1,026 posts, read 347,280 times
Reputation: 914
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdelena View Post
Both programs were not optional for most of the population. Adjustments may be needed, but the participants definitely paid for these programs.
Def so. As a single well-paid individual male, I am doomed to pay much more than I can receive from the program. If I were given the option, I would have kept the $$ to pay my own way instead of the leeches who end up receiving it.
 
Old 03-04-2018, 01:16 PM
 
608 posts, read 281,588 times
Reputation: 1932
Quote:
Originally Posted by SportyandMisty View Post
Our economy is doing well: unemployment numbers are way down, employment numbers are way up, GDP numbers are up, tax receipts are up, business optimism is up, consumer optimism is up... By most economic measures, things are going well.

Except that at the federal level, there appears to be no check on total expenditures.
It can be argued that growth in the U.S. economy since ~1980 has been due to deficit spending and increases in private/corporate debt. Others (economists fond of Modern Monetary Theory) argue that debt and wealth in the modern world are now equivalent, and we literally can borrow our way to prosperity.
 
Old 03-04-2018, 01:29 PM
 
529 posts, read 389,586 times
Reputation: 1424
Quote:
Originally Posted by SportyandMisty View Post
Markets have presumed that the US would fix this problem sooner or later. It's not that hard as a matter of economics.
The US DID fix this problem, in 1983, with graduated changes to the retirement age and an increase in the payroll tax. They did it specifically to handle baby boomer retirement. The problem is that administrations of BOTH parties saw the Social Security Trust Fund as a piggybank to pay for tax cuts and war. And now the government (yes, pretty much the GOP) is saying "Too bad. We're not going to pay that money back."

Even if the government deadbeats its own citizens (which is what people like Stephen Moore say when they say we can't afford it), all you have to do to solve the Social Security problem is to lift the cap. That's it. End of problem. But they won't do it.

Medicare is a thornier problem, but even that can be addressed with a Medicare-for-all plan that gets younger, healthier people into the system, reduces overhead, and gets rid of that big honking maximize-profit-minimize-cost middleman known as insurance companies.
 
Old 03-04-2018, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
3,010 posts, read 1,023,325 times
Reputation: 3844
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimAZ View Post
Others (economists fond of Modern Monetary Theory) argue that debt and wealth in the modern world are now equivalent, and we literally can borrow our way to prosperity.
The same way, as a prior generation noted, we could "f*ck our way to virginity"?
 
Old 03-04-2018, 01:40 PM
 
608 posts, read 281,588 times
Reputation: 1932
Quote:
Originally Posted by hackwriter View Post
Even if the government deadbeats its own citizens (which is what people like Stephen Moore say when they say we can't afford it), all you have to do to solve the Social Security problem is to lift the cap. That's it. End of problem. But they won't do it.
They're saving that one for a Sunday evening fix, probably on the weekend before the first-ever benefit reductions go into effect.
 
Old 03-04-2018, 02:36 PM
 
251 posts, read 88,008 times
Reputation: 393
Quote:
Originally Posted by EveryLady View Post
Social security is not a retirement program.

It is insurance and operates like insurance does with pooled risk. No one knows their point of death and when social security payments will stop. For individuals to try to invest to cover that longevity risk would have two major impacts:

1. Severely curtail individual lifestyle (deferring consumption until the worst-case longevity risk was funded) AND

2. Negative downstream impact on the US economy from that reduced consumption.

There is a role for insurance (again, pooled risk) in any financial structure.
OK if it's insurance that is currently mandatory and set to become non-mandatory then simply refund all the premiums as a lump sum to each individual based on what they contributed.

At the bare minimum if you are going to say "No more SS" then just start with one generation at 18 and tell them "You are now eligible to work unrestricted, please be aware there will be no safety net for you in old age. Act accordingly." It would be terribly cost inefficient to try and revoke SS for existing Seniors or people mid-work life and just provide them with that lump sum payment. Just start fresh, increase other taxes to pay for the remainder SS group.

As I mentioned before SS is not the problem. At the end of the day corporate responsibility concerning low wages and as well as automation and birth control are the key issues here.
 
Old 03-04-2018, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
5,242 posts, read 3,397,122 times
Reputation: 8783
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bodie_Bunk View Post
OK if it's insurance that is currently mandatory and set to become non-mandatory then simply refund all the premiums as a lump sum to each individual based on what they contributed.

At the bare minimum if you are going to say "No more SS" then just start with one generation at 18 and tell them "You are now eligible to work unrestricted, please be aware there will be no safety net for you in old age. Act accordingly." It would be terribly cost inefficient to try and revoke SS for existing Seniors or people mid-work life and just provide them with that lump sum payment. Just start fresh, increase other taxes to pay for the remainder SS group.

As I mentioned before SS is not the problem. At the end of the day corporate responsibility concerning low wages and as well as automation and birth control are the key issues here.
Do you think young people wouldn't care about that? Sounds like a surefire way to make the young voters want even MORE socialism than they already do.

God I hope the GOP tries something that stupid. Their intransigence on guns has already created a generation of high school activists. Please tell people in their 20s that they will pay taxes for current old people but get NOTHING in return, and see how that goes over. And you thought they swarmed to Bernie Sanders rallies before...
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