As I understand it corporations are people, with all the Constitutional rights of people, except for the facts that they cannot "die" or be put in jail. However, they do not have to pay double taxes on income earned overseas like flesh and blood Americans do! This is a double standard and its clearly discriminatory treatment under the 14th Amendment.
Either US citizens living overseas should be allowed to not pay taxes on income they earn there, (like every other nation does) since they already have to pay local taxes, OR, US corporations should pay US income tax on all overseas income over $90,000 annually.
How can the United States claim to be a free nation when it applies its laws so arbitrarily against one kind of person, who already have the disadvantages of death and aging, and then not tax corporate "persons", EQUALLY?
If US corporate persons paid taxes on all income, made in the US, period, and on all income made overseas over $90,000 a year, the deficit issue would be solved. If they did not like it, they could renounce their citizenship and stay there, and the US military could be freed of the obligation of protecting their interests.
We've all been told, again and again, about the damaging effects being overweight has on one's health. But how many of us realize that the gaining of weight around people's middles 'is not a cause, its an effect' ?
Research findings increasingly show that chronic stress IS literally POISON to Americans' health, causing strongly negative, lifetime damage to people's health. The black/white health gap? Lots of evidence suggests stress is one cause. (exposures to toxics are others)
Research makes it crystal clear that there isn't just "a connection" between chronic stress and health, chronic stress is a major cause of dozens of serious, costly diseases that suck trillions out of our economy.
One of them is obesity. (which scientists often call "adiposity") Obesity as well as other systemic changes to the body and brain, is caused by a feedback loop driven by the release of stress hormones - especially over time. This happens via many pathways, and the combined effects are beginning to be recognized as a cumulative phenomenon called allostatic load (or "allostasis").
How is waiting four years for a vague health care "right to purchase" like working weekends and nights for years for potentially worthless stock options?
During the 90s, some of you older Daily Kos'ers may remember, we saw the Internet bubble. Internet business became what is now known as an economic anomaly, a "bubble", when the normal rules were ignored by many in the throes of a hyped-up artificial mob psychology, Common sense economic rules were ignored and drunk on the possibilities and hope, people wagered their homes, families and futures on dreams and empty promises made by fast talking sleazy crooks, amplified by the media, promises that later, in the cold glare of reality, they realized, could not possibly have come true..
They were conned. And they should have known better.
Are we headed towards a world in which each test, each procedure, and who knows, perhaps even each prescription, comes right out of the doctors pay or bonus?
If so, there is a BIG problem! The "logic" driving this is based on several utterly FALSE assumptions and the "less is more" approach actually increases costs and misery all around.
"Lower prices for medical care are the major explanation for the much lower medical costs of all the other rich democracies relative to the United States (37). Competing explanations—that the U.S. population is particularly unhealthy or that Americans use many more medical services—are largely false. In a detailed examination of health care spending patterns, the McKinsey Global Institute concluded that the United States population is "not significantly sicker" than that of Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, or the United Kingdom (3)."
This (below) is a chart that tries to explain the new and old high risk pools, vs. single payer healthcare for all.
There are already 37 states with high risk pols but only 200,000 people use them because they are so expensive, and limited to those who were rejected by individual insurers.
The new pools would vary by state, starting out Federally funded but then, two years in, they would shifts the cost to the states. Kind of like a cable TV contract, the low introductory rate.. And, as many people find with any insurance that doesn't dilute risk on a very large pool, the costs high risk pools can be astronomical for both the states/Federal subsidizers and the insured.
I strongly recommend that you all read this description of what high risk pools are, and aren't.
The media doesn't seem to be covering this 'reverse Robin Hood' much, but evidently, the last year's HCR talks may have been a complete waste of time, if the expensive parts of the bill (read: the parts the loss of would hurt people who need help the most) are gutted. One headline states "Republicans welcome Obama's offer to put new health care law on the table in budget talks"
the problem is, the private insurance model and public healthcare funding don't mix, just as badly as expecting the embattled American taxpayer to buy health insurance that has not been affordable in over a decade. Other countries stopped coughing money up on demand long ago.
Stands to reason that given so much of it already, the big donors would want more. Letting them use "free trade" to get the government to give up cost control was a mistake. That doomed chances of success. Now they want to hide the bad decision making by killing the telltale parts of the bill and use the money for more bailouts.
Over 200,000 Americans who are currently paying as much as double normal indivividual rates, as much as $2000 or more a month, in some states, will not be allowed to switch from the state high risk pools to the new Federal pool because of the additional subsidy cost, USA Today says.
High Risk pools typically must be subsidized at greater than 50%, plus any premium subsidy. Typically, the 50% portion of the subsidy hidden, and it is for everybody, in order to bring the stated premium down to 125 to 200% of individual rates, then, those who can't afford those premiums - which are based on individual rates, may get additional subsidies in some places.
We could THEN ELIMINATE TAXES ON THE LIVING too!
The social contract would be renewed and we would see real stability, and a far greater incentive to save. Both young people and adults would get the opportunity to go to schools that were not disintegrating, online education would also become widely available, and grant degrees, and the US would be able to train the scientists and engineers of tomorrow.
Why? Why now? Because DEMOCRACY, and indeed HUMANITY IS DOOMED WITHOUT IT.
Each time I think of the millions of Americans who are growing up without access to education, I worry. Americans are increasingly scientifically illiterate. Few have any idea how wealth is created. Americans instead, are focused on easy money, a bad long term strategy. Technology creates many good jobs, but new ways of doing things are rapidly replacing far more people in low and medium skilled jobs. Productivity rises but employment doesn't, increasingly. That leads to extreme concentration of wealth.
According to Medicare economists the Federal high risk pool's 5 billion dollars will run out quickly, they estimate they will last the fund into 2011.
Because They Lose A Lot of Money, Making Them The Most Expensive (non-corporate) "Welfare" Programs, High Risk Pools Are Designed To Exclude Many Who Need Care But Who Cannot Afford Individual Rates
But, without the safety valve for the well to do provided by high risk pools, by allowing the most affluent "uninsurable" sick to get individual insurance, the system's brutality would be spread across the income spectrum and would collapse even faster.
Currently, only around 5% all Americans can purchase non-catastrophic individual insurance. Most of them can't, not because of pre-existing conditions. They can't because for those who aren't in a group plan, non-catastrophic insurance is very expensive.
An average western European or Canadian spends $3500 a year, and people live to around 75, thats $262,000 over their lifetime. They ALL get decent healthcare.
EACH typical American lives a few years less, but he or she spends at least twice that per capita- $525,000, Because we should also consider interest, often in reality, far more. Its also obvious that most Americans increasingly don't get good healthcare. :(
Gag clauses and pressure by insurers insure that. But, for the purpose of argument, lets say the average American spends $7000 a year, an old figure, on healthcare. (The real figure is probably getting closer to $10,000/year, we don't know, there is a lag on data.)
If so, COMPLETELY IGNORING THE TIME VALUE OF MONEY (which would make the amount far greater) the typical American spends more than a QUARTER MILLION DOLLARS MORE than the typical Canadian, or Briton on healthcare (they, wholly in taxes, here the government already pays 60% of medical costs)
I just stumbled across this interesting article about the roots of Obama's healthcare bill in Massachusetts, and I think it brings up quite a few interesting points.
Logic, one would think, would dictate that the right/(Blue Dogs?) opposition does not seem to be rooted in facts, (as it was written by them and mirrors their goals), and is perhaps not genuine. Knowing that REAL progress depends on the left and the right sitting down and finding common ground that works, the right's goal is gaming the system and limiting the nation's options..
This is from the article "The curious triumph of RomneyCare" by Brad DeLong
"The conservative DNA of ObamaCare is hardly a secret. "The Obama plan has a broad family resemblance to Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts plan," Frum wrote. "It builds on ideas developed at the Heritage Foundation in the early 1990s that formed the basis for Republican counter-proposals to ClintonCare in 1993-1994."
Another study came out yesterday that adds to the already huge pile of evidence that shows that our charging fees to the sick to deter them from seeking care, results in far worse, more expensive outcomes for patients. Cost worries are shown to clearly delay Americans presenting at hospitals for ALL kinds of medical conditions, costing more in the long run. (There is a conflict of interests here, can you see it?)
This latest study, published in the April 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows that Americans who are struck by heart attacks often delay seeking care for hours, because of money worries. Those money issues cause them to delay getting to the hospital for treatment, resulting in more heart injury, more deaths and more expenses in both the long and short run.
The evidence clearly shows that we should restructure the "uniquely-American" for-profit 'insurance' system, so that costs do not deter a patient from seeking care. Using costs and cost escalation to both deter sick people from seeking care and to drop customers when they seek care, is in direct conflict with a public health imperative- that early treatment saves lives and money. Ending the situation would reduce the high costs of medical care in the US.