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View Diary: My experiences with single-payer medicine: Norway (241 comments)

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  •  Minnesota's sales tax will go up again shortly... (4+ / 0-)

    ... by some one or two tenths of one percent, I think.  On top of federal income tax, there is the Minnesota state income tax AND the Minnesota state sales tax which is something over 6.5%... inching closer to 7%.  Hennepin Co. alone has a little sales tax (forced upon them by the state legislature a couple of years ago; they had no say-so in the matter and were not allowed to vote on it) on top of the regular state sales tax, and that's all because a new sports stadium is being built in Hennepin Co. on top of the new sports stadium that was built on the U of M campus in the Cities at the same time (two sports stadiums were approved in the same legislative bill).  Since I'm not a math whiz, I don't know how much the combined federal and state income taxes come to, but the state sales tax is on top of that again.  So far..., food is not taxed - prepared foods in restaurants is, but not food ingredients one buys at the local grocery store.

    I flatly refuse to buy anything in Hennepin Co. and spend as little as possible in this state just because of that f**king stadium issue.  No one wanted them built on taxpayer money (lots of polls were conducted through the years until after a few years they finally got one that "approved" of state tax funds magically became over 50%); it was finally rammed through the state legislature anyway.  Now a second pro sports team with yet another billionaire owner is trying to get MN residents to pay for a third new stadium for their overgrown spoiled boys who regularly make the top of the news hour for criminal offenses.  The day the bridge collapsed a meeting between politicians and the latter sports team owners had been scheduled.  They hastily called it off and then tabled the stadium money issue.  Getting a new bridge built was much more important... but now that the bridge has been built, the jock owners are back to pestering the state legislature for that third stadium for their juvenile delinquents.  The baseball owners got their open-air stadium which advertisers are promoting as wonderful....

    ... but I still remember when there was a huge push for a domed stadium so the poor widdle boys wouldn't have to play outdoors when it was 20 below zero and there were blizzard conditions outside in the fall or early winter (I just don't remember who paid for that stadium, whether it was state or local taxpayers or money was raised by bonds or what).  That stadium is still perfectly good, BTW, and it's used for other things besides sporting events.  They only built it some 20 years ago or so.

    Gov. Timmy Pawlenty in his 'no new taxes' mania vetoed the last recent budget bill, so he's been busy slashing the budget, including money for schools throughout the state, medical care for the poor who have been forced to apply for state aid for help.  "Line-item veto" has terrible disadvantages.

    Oh..., Y'know that "waiting period" legislators and others hysterically warn about under "socialized medicine"?  Well, I know something about the falseness of that false hysteria.  I'm now on long-term monitoring for my blood pressure and have to take periodic fasting blood tests because one of the side effects of one or more of my high blood pressure meds is the potential for liver damage (I'm also being monitored for osteopenia and take a weekly med and daily vitamins for that).  As I leave the office each time, the doctor or the nurse practitioner writes down that I have to come back in three or four months (it was monthly at first until my b/p went down to a normal range after dosage were gradually increased).  I've had appointments on the books at three and six month intervals.

    Now I have to figure out why an additional $180 was tacked on to my co-pay (after Medicare paid) for my "physical" in March, since there are certain tests I refuse to get - right now it seems adding the word 'physical' to an appointment means paying extra).  The clinic now has an urgent care 'walk-in' (same day service) facility that I've not used yet... the hospital's ER entrance is only two blocks from where I live and the clinic is a couple of miles away, so it would be easier for me to go to ER.  Too bad the hospital doesn't have a clinic for this end of town.  I informed the doctor I wouldn't be having any appointments for a "physical" if it meant being charged an additional $180 for the same blood tests I have every three months.  On a limited income, I can handle a $10 or sometimes $20 co-pay; when it gets to triple digits, that's unreasonable for an office call with blood lab work.

    Besides, I'm old enough to remember office calls that were only $5 each and that included blood or urine testing every month for bladder infections when I was pregnant... and my childhood physican knew (and remembered!) my entire immediate and extended family's medical history...!  I spent seven days in hospital for an appendectomy and a year+ later a week in the hospital after giving birth.  Each was only $100 for the entire week, and no one had to have insurance to take care of any of that.

    Once upon a time, long ago and far away, even the US had a medical system that used to be run on common sense... not corporate profit motives....

    Thanks, ssundstoel, for a wonderfully informative diary.  It's nice to hear from someone who has experienced both systems.


    by NonnyO on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 07:29:25 AM PDT

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