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View Diary: Freedom means burning your non-existent Obamacare card. Like the hippies would have (152 comments)

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  •  the ACA isn't a step towards universal health care (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Heavy Mettle, dennis1958

    The mandate, and the Roberts Court's carefully crafted verdict on it, is a template for future laws that will allow the government, under the aegis of the taxation power, to force Americans to pay part of their income directly to private corporations. Now Congress can pass a law that requires us to pay two percent of our income to Goldman Sachs, for instance. And, according to the Roberts Court, such a law is perfectly constitutional.

    In the next ten years--perhaps even in the next two years--we will see this precedent used in sweeping ways to take our money. This is the real heart of the ACA, the real reason it was passed.

    The rest is just a giant, convoluted exercise in cost-shifting that will take years to shake out fully. Many of the little bits of sugar they sprinkled on top of this steaming pile (such as Bernie Sanders' community health centers) in order to get people to go along have already been de-funded or eliminated. And more are sure to follow.

    The administration seems highly reluctant to enforce anything like a reasonable minimum standard that the plans have to meet. Many things are left up to the states (indeed some exchanges will be state-run) which means that many insurance companies will be able to exploit inconsistencies in the laws to fleece customers.

    Some states, like Washington, are strapped for cash and considering slashing their state public insurance rolls and dumping those people onto the exchanges--which would create a whole new group of people that would need subsidies if they're not to be undercovered. Given that our Congress is currently sitting around debating whether to cut food stamps, I have no faith that they will agree to subsidize those people, should this dumping occur.

    So we could end up considerably worse, in some ways, if these sorts of things happen.

    Bismarck was a conservative who admitted that his goal in creating a national health insurance system was to dampen revolutionary sentiment and buy support for his foreign policy by bribing the working classes with benefits. Would that our politicians were so pragmatic!

    But since we already have a single-payer system that covers the elderly, why not simply lower the age of coverage to zero?

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 09:04:31 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I totally agree, and my bringing up the Bismarck (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      limpidglass, Heavy Mettle

      model was on purpose. It should appeal to us. But we're even further right than the 19th Century Imperial Germans. WTF? I mean , really ask yourself that.

      I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

      by commonmass on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 09:16:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In Britain - pension auto-enrollment (0+ / 0-)
        You open your payslip and your salary is less than usual, quite a bit less. This could be you come October when 10 million employees not currently in a workplace pension scheme will be auto enrolled into one.
        There will though, from October, be a minimum standard with, initially, employees contributing 0.8 per cent of salary (rising in 2018 to 4 per cent), employers 1 per cent (rising in 2018 to 3 per cent) and tax relief accounting for another 0.2 per cent (rising to 1 per cent in 2018).

        But experts say that although most would be best going with the flow of auto-enrolment some should opt-out at the earliest opportunity, preferably within a month. And it seems these groups come from diverse parts of the earnings spectrum.

        "People with expensive debt that needs paying off, for example those who are relying on payday loans or credit cards to survive, may be best getting this in order first
    •  In Britain (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      June 2010

      The Government has announced that it will end the effective requirement to use a pension fund to buy an annuity by age 75 with effect from December 2011. Pending implementation of the necessary changes, legislation will be introduced in Finance Bill 2010 to increase to 77 the age by which members of registered pension schemes have to buy an annuity or otherwise secure a pension income. This change will also apply for the purposes of the inheritance tax (IHT) charges that specifically apply to pension scheme members aged 75 and over. The increase in the age by which the member must secure an income has effect on and after 22 June 2010.
      •  With that stunt (0+ / 0-)
        members of registered pension schemes have to buy an annuity...[at age 77]
        If medical technology advances so people normally live to 120 you'll have an annuity funded enough to provide for you until around age 82.

        Expect the US to follow on when the Republicans regain national power. It would apply to public pension plans and Social Security.

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