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Old 06-21-2008, 07:04 AM
 
162 posts, read 435,822 times
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It is a question of national philosophy, I think - the US is very kind to those who roll the dice and win, but brutal to those who do not. In France, things are very different - you pay a mandatory tax for health care & social security, but the care and cover is absolutely wonderful. No waiting, spotless hospitals, even the option to spend post-op time in a convalescent home. The UK system is flawed but still free at the point of use, which is the essential thing, but it is being swamped by the vast numbers of drunken thugs who are treated at A&E every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, with some making it a point of pride that they are taken to hospital at least once a week. Maybe if they had to pay each time, that would not happen! Vive la France!
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Old 06-21-2008, 09:15 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
10,238 posts, read 18,783,354 times
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The Boilermakers Union has it's own health insurance, Boilermaker's Health and Welfare Fund. The money that funds the insurance and pension is a part of the package negotiated with the employers and is paid by the employers to the insurance and pension funds.

The pension is controlled by the union and the contractors must pay into the fund on a weekly basis, that way the fund can't be caught underfunded or at a company's mercy. Boilermakers work for hundreds of contractors so the in any event the fund is not dependant on a single employer.

The pension is overseen by trustees from both the union and employers and is run very conservatively. The fund is very healthy and rated one of the best run and funded pensions around. Note that the Federal watchdogs involved in union controlled pensions since the Teamster pension scandals of the 1970s make union controlled pensions the safest kind.

Note that the Boilermakers pension also gives raises when the fund is doing particularly well such as in the 1990s when the stock market was booming. Not many pensions do that. That's because ALL the money that goes in belongs to the pension; there's no cap on funding as with company controlled pensions which pull out "overfunding" back to the company.

Pension payout is based on how much your local bargains to put in the pension and how much you work---a person that worked and put more in more is gonna draw more. The pension people keep track of exactly how much money was contributed to your account and your benefit is based on that.

I retired at 55, because I retired early I got 91% of my fell pension, 100% being available at 58. I draw almost as much as working 40 hours a week in Chicago.

Last edited by Irishtom29; 06-21-2008 at 09:23 AM..
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:14 AM
 
4,628 posts, read 9,287,663 times
Reputation: 4238
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishtom29 View Post
The Boilermakers Union has it's own health insurance, Boilermaker's Health and Welfare Fund. The money that funds the insurance and pension is a part of the package negotiated with the employers and is paid by the employers to the insurance and pension funds.

The pension is controlled by the union and the contractors must pay into the fund on a weekly basis, that way the fund can't be caught underfunded or at a company's mercy. Boilermakers work for hundreds of contractors so the in any event the fund is not dependant on a single employer.

The pension is overseen by trustees from both the union and employers and is run very conservatively. The fund is very healthy and rated one of the best run and funded pensions around. Note that the Federal watchdogs involved in union controlled pensions since the Teamster pension scandals of the 1970s make union controlled pensions the safest kind.

Note that the Boilermakers pension also gives raises when the fund is doing particularly well such as in the 1990s when the stock market was booming. Not many pensions do that. That's because ALL the money that goes in belongs to the pension; there's no cap on funding as with company controlled pensions which pull out "overfunding" back to the company.

Pension payout is based on how much your local bargains to put in the pension and how much you work---a person that worked and put more in more is gonna draw more. The pension people keep track of exactly how much money was contributed to your account and your benefit is based on that.

I retired at 55, because I retired early I got 91% of my fell pension, 100% being available at 58. I draw almost as much as working 40 hours a week in Chicago.
Well, thank you very much, and again, good for you guys!!!!
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Old 06-21-2008, 06:17 PM
 
Location: home...finally, home .
8,243 posts, read 18,544,310 times
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gemkeeper
Using my indoor voice; still available for comment


Heh heh, very funny ...... just what i say to the kids when they're getting loud (in my best teachery voice ) .
__________________
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People may not recall what you said to them, but they will always remember how you made them feel .
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Old 06-21-2008, 06:19 PM
 
Location: USA
4,980 posts, read 8,450,419 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nancy thereader View Post
If you have read Nickeled & Dimed in America which I recommend , you would see that sadly many of our fellow citizens are being mistreated in many ways. Health care is just one of the things to which they have no access.

If you can afford to retire, you are lucky.
If you own a home, you are lucky.
If you haven't lost all your savings to medical debt or debt accumulated by losing a job, you're lucky.

I hear people complain and they are retired at 50. What do they want?
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Old 06-21-2008, 06:22 PM
 
Location: USA
4,980 posts, read 8,450,419 times
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[quote=Rainna;3969093]
Quote:
Originally Posted by livecontent View Post
This is incorrect. Medicare coverage starts at 65 or under 65 for some people who are disabled under Social Security.

You have to be disabled for 2 years before medicare kicks in. For example if you are 58 medicare won't start until you are 60 yrs old. I know because I have been there. A friends son became disable at 43 and his started when he was 45. He had to go on TennCare for the 2 years until medicare would pay.

I had a job in healthcare that offered no health insurance.
I got sick and had pneumonia, but the doctor could not put me in the hospital because I had no insurance. It took me 2 months to get well. I had no income at the time, and racked up about 10K in debt in medical bills for Xrays, medications, pulmonologist, etc.

I never want to be that sick again. I coughed up so much blood, I feared I was going to die. Now I know something I didn't know then. Maybe that is what is supposed to happen. Because now, I am dying in debt.
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Old 06-21-2008, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Atlanta suburb
4,728 posts, read 9,097,860 times
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[quote=nebulous1;4186035]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainna View Post


I had a job in healthcare that offered no health insurance.
I got sick and had pneumonia, but the doctor could not put me in the hospital because I had no insurance. It took me 2 months to get well. I had no income at the time, and racked up about 10K in debt in medical bills for Xrays, medications, pulmonologist, etc.

I never want to be that sick again. I coughed up so much blood, I feared I was going to die. Now I know something I didn't know then. Maybe that is what is supposed to happen. Because now, I am dying in debt.
Rainna, this should never happen in America. There must be social services in place to help people in this type of situation.

Thankfully, we have never had any experience along these lines, but I did have an aunt in a similar situation battling lung cancer. Her bills, which included nursing home care for a couple of months and finally hospice, were all covered by social services. She was old enough for Medicare, but the excess was picked up by SS.

This may vary from state to state. I, personally, would be interested to know if anyone has this knowledge. It seems a total injustice that someone who holds down a job, in the end, is not helped out with catastrophic medical bills and cannot receive adequate care.

I am so sorry for your situation.

Last edited by gemkeeper; 06-21-2008 at 10:26 PM..
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Old 06-22-2008, 10:20 AM
 
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 12,066,042 times
Reputation: 2141
[quote=gemkeeper;4187874]
Quote:
Originally Posted by nebulous1 View Post

Rainna, this should never happen in America. There must be social services in place to help people in this type of situation.

Thankfully, we have never had any experience along these lines, but I did have an aunt in a similar situation battling lung cancer. Her bills, which included nursing home care for a couple of months and finally hospice, were all covered by social services. She was old enough for Medicare, but the excess was picked up by SS.

This may vary from state to state. I, personally, would be interested to know if anyone has this knowledge. It seems a total injustice that someone who holds down a job, in the end, is not helped out with catastrophic medical bills and cannot receive adequate care.

I am so sorry for your situation.
This illustrates the problem with US health care industry. There are some 48 million people in this situation. You have to be really poor to get the social services but if you work and make a modest living, you are in the hole - no health insurance but not poor enough to get the charity. Talk about a disincentive.

I count myself fortunate (partly my own doing, but still...) that I have health insurance. I stayed in a job that traded higher incomes for more security.

I count myself fortunate and smart that I own a house and it is paid for - my decisions put me here, but some bad luck could also have taken it away.

So far, I've done well with my health and I try to stay healthy and take care of myself. But it is partly luck.

I think I will be able to retire comfortably - not wealthy, but secure and comfortable. Both luck and the decisions I made above plus always living below my means so I could put aside a cushion for the unknowns.
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Old 06-23-2008, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Atlanta suburb
4,728 posts, read 9,097,860 times
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Tesaje, I don't know why my post, quoted just below, says that nebulous was the poster.

The experience quoted was concerning my aunt who received the hospice care assistance. I must have quoted nebulous just previously and the posts got tangled up!

That being said, and hopefully understood, I do agree with you. The system does TRY to assist the poor, but we have to understand that not all who are among the poor and uninsured are there because they made POOR choices in their lives.

You are to be commended for making smart decisions for yourself over the years, but also, we must accept that circumstances such as yours are not presented to every American. Not everyone has the education or physical ability to have that lower paying job in the first place in order to have better health benefits.

Some choose to be farmers who are self-employed and generally struggling to make ends meet. Some do not have the home environment that is conducive to acquiring the education or trade skills necessary to have anything but a low-paying unskilled job for life. Some may have a disability that prevents them from ever being able to set something aside for retirement years because what little bit they have just barely covers their current needs.

You and I have been very fortunate that not only good, wise choices have been made over the years to provide us with retirement security, but that circumstances and just the luck of the draw have not interferred with our best efforts to arrive at this place.

Too many older folks in this country are being swept aside and misaligned because of circumstances and environments that they had no control over, and now they are left in the sad position to have no personal healthcare provisions. They must rely on the government to provide them with, at least, minimal care.

Consider the deplorable care that our disabled veterans receive in some Veterans' Hospitals and Rehab centers. Many older retired vets have no recourse, but to depend on the veterans' medical benefits to assist them, and they probably receive some of the worst care in America. This, after sacrificing their good health to serve their country. Shameful.

I look forward to the day that no retiree, no widow, no motherless or fatherless child will have to endure substandard or no health care. I hope to see this happen in my lifetime to ease my mind that I have so much and they have so little.
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:38 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
10,238 posts, read 18,783,354 times
Reputation: 10164
The flaw with the "you're poor because you made bad choices" argument is that even if everyone made good choices there still wouldn't be enough good paying jobs for all those people making good choices. Then what becomes a "good " choice becomes narrower and narrower. In effect those who make good choices are then subsidized by those making bad ones since the good choice can only exist in relationship with bad ones.

This is social Darwinisn and those who hold with have no right to complain when the poor and frustrated rebel and put the heads of the wealthy on pikes; that's social Darwinism too just the other side of the coin.

Now personally I value hard work for it's own sake and I think people who work hard, regardless of the nature of the work, should be paid well. However the American businessman places very little value on hard work in and of itself.
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