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View Diary: Health Care By The Numbers (340 comments)

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  •  "Democratic Party abandons the working poor." (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    proud2Bliberal, CMYK

    This "big progressive victory" MAY help lower costs on upper middle-class workers, but it does so by placing a huge burden on the "working poor." I've been playing with this calculator for days and talking with friends about it. Nate Silver might think someone at 150% of poverty (considered below the 200% "financial independence" level) can afford an additional $1,500/year, but let me tell you, it's blood from a fucking turnip. It will force them to purchase insurance that's WORTHLESS to them while taking away their freedom to make healthier choices. That 15 hundred bone could buy a CSA, pay for healthier food, Doctors visits, preventative healthcare, help provide shelter for a family that's been evicted...

    If you know anything about the way people in this bracket live, you wouldn't call this a victory. This bill will HURT their health care while allowing politicians to prance on teevee saying "universal coverage!!!"

    •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

      But all the other posters are claiming it will help the working poor at the cost the middle class...  

      •  Then it hurts both--look at the numbers. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CMYK

        YOU may make a value judgment that I'm just not spending my money well, that really, I should be able to afford an additional $1,500 a year, but I'm telling you, if you're poor, that's a lot of money!

        •  I broke down what a family of 4 (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          luckymortal, CMYK

          needs to pay just to maintain a house, food and clothing at $70k a year.

          They would be required to spend $7k after subsidies.

          They can't make it either, nor the working poor.

          So any argument about, you spend too much, goes out the window.

          You can shear off some of the costs incurred by the this $70k family by getting them to sell their house, rent a 2 bedroom apartment for $1200 a month, and their costs go from $24k for housing to $15k, and that gives them an extra $9k a year which makes health care affordable.

          But I seriously doubt that the bill was put in place to counsel modest homeowners (family of 4) into selling their homes and moving into small 2 bedroom apartments that rent for 1200 a month.

          American Dream?

          There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

          by upstate NY on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 08:01:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Again... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            john culpepper, CMYK

            Your numbers are simply whacked.  Almost everyone making that sort of money is currently finding a way to pay for health insurance, and at costs far higher than the subsidized rate you are claiming is impossible to meet.  

            All those people with insurance right now will all see their costs go down after the subsidies kick in.  And those who currently make that much but don't have insurance will see it become far more affordable.

            •  You have no clue, frankly (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CMYK

              My numbers are on target. They are exactly what a New Yorker would pay for the house I outlined.

              New Yorkers live this reality.

              You don't.

              Obviously.

              There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

              by upstate NY on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 08:37:29 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Dodge Faster? (0+ / 0-)

                So I guess you're going to continue dodging my points?  Lets leave NY out of it.

                300 million people in this country.  People in the 400-499% poverty bracket make up roughly 30 million of them.  Only about 3 million of the uninsured are in that bracket.  

                That means we have essentially 30 million people making roughly that much money in this country, and able to afford insurance while doing so.  Roughly 3 million are making that much money and either aren't able to afford it, don't want it, or have been kicked out of the system.

                The senate bill will reduce the premiums that 30 million are already paying, let those who are sick back into the system, and reduce the premiums after subsidies for that 3 million.  How is that a bad deal for that group of people?

                •  Man, let me say this again... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  badger, CMYK

                  A huge chunk of those 3 million people will bear a disproportionate burden.

                  They will be taxed $2500+ and receive no health insurance for their troubles.

                  We can slide the scale down to people making $55k who would need to buy $4500 worth of insurance, and we come to the same conclusion, especially since the $55k family has an even smaller margin of extra money to work with.

                  You're willing to penalize a good number of people to make this work.

                  I think it's totally wrong to do that.

                  There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                  by upstate NY on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 09:13:07 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Say It All You Want... (0+ / 0-)

                    It's still bullshit.  

                    If 90% of the people making that much money can afford insurance right now before it's been subsidized by the government, why won't the remaining 10% be able to better afford it after the subsidies kick in?  

                    That of course ignores the fact that some of that 10% are uninsured for for reasons other than cost.

                    •  90% can afford it because their employer (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      badger, CMYK

                      provides it.

                      I broke down the math with actual costs and you came back with nothing, nothing to refute it.

                      You imagine a family of 4 making 45k or 55k or 70k has $4k or $4.8k or $7k respectively to spend on health care. They don't.

                      It's totally out of touch with reality.

                      There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                      by upstate NY on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 09:40:02 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

                        They can't afford 4k?  

                        According to The Kaiser Family Foundation, the average cost of an insurance plan offered by an employer was roughly 14k last year, and the average worker paid 4k of the premium themselves.  

                        And once again, $70k is well above average.

                        You're simply wrong about this.  People making this kind of money can afford insurance, and most are currently doing so.  And the senate bill will make it even easier for them.

                        •  I used the Kaiser Foundation (0+ / 0-)

                          calculator to come up with that $7k

                          That was the number for a family of 4!

                          Again, what are you talking about?

                          There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                          by upstate NY on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 10:29:15 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Fairly Simple... (0+ / 0-)

                            I'm saying that right now (or rather, last year), the average cost an insurance plan offered by an employer was 14k, and that the average employee paid 4k for it.

                            You claimed that families couldn't afford that much, and I showed that was clearly wrong.  

                          •  I never claimed such a thing anywhere in my posts (0+ / 0-)

                            You excel at making stuff up.

                            Clearly--and the evidence is there for ALL to see--I was addressing the self-employed or employeesn of small business without health insurance.

                            You just make stuff up.

                            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                            by upstate NY on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 10:41:06 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yeah You Did. (0+ / 0-)

                            You imagine a family of 4 making 45k or 55k or 70k has $4k or $4.8k or $7k respectively to spend on health care. They don't.

                            Once again- virtually everyone making the kind of money you're talking about has insurance right now and is paying for it, inspite of the fact that you claim it's impossible for them to do so.

                            Your totally made up budget is belied by the facts of who is and isn't insured in this country.

                          •  No you're wrong again (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            CMYK

                            You make a habit of it. I did not address anyone getting insurance through their employer, which is what you're doing.

                            Your stats are phony baloney because they take the avg. of what each worker is paying into employee health insurance, and yet we know that lots of people earn a huge amount of money and can afford that $4k.

                            If you totally wiped out the salaries of people who do not work for companies that provide insurance from the average wage, the average wage would skyrocket. You'd completely eliminate people that work at McDonald's from figuring into the average American wage.

                            This is why the numbers are phony.

                            As for my totally made up budget, you can't challenge a single # there, even though you called my housing # bullshit and then said that you know all about property taxes in NY state, which effectively means you ADMIT that my housing numbers are correct, and yet you called them bullshit.

                            I call bullshit on you.

                            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                            by upstate NY on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 10:57:29 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So... (0+ / 0-)

                            Do you deny that 90%+ of people in that income bracket have insurance?  Do you believe they pay no premiums, that all of their employers pay all of the costs themselves?

                            I certainly hope not.  Most people around here could quickly correct that assumption.  Workers in that income bracket are paying premiums, they're significant, and they're going to go down after the subsidies kick in.  These same subsidies will make the insurance affordable, or at least more affordable, for those in the remaining 10% who aren't able to afford coverage.

                          •  Huge difference between $7,000 and $2,000 (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            CMYK

                            Huge huge difference.

                            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                            by upstate NY on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:41:19 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Now, are you going to respond? (0+ / 0-)

                            ?????

                            You totally ignore the heart of this discussion.

                            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                            by upstate NY on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:41:49 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Again... (0+ / 0-)

                            Not once did you challenge a single one of my numbers.

                            This means you have no credibility.

                            You challenged my housing numbers, I said property taxes were high, and you said you had family in Oneonta so you know how high they are.

                            That means you were totally untruthful when you said my numbers were bullshit. If you know about property taxes in Oneonta, then why in the world would you say my numbers were bullshit?

                            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                            by upstate NY on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 10:42:02 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  Be careful, Mr. thrift police... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      badger, CMYK

                      LOL, look, we're on the same side, we both want more, better health care for more people. This Senate bill, especially the mandate, it costs too much for too little in return. And it puts the Democratic party in the very unpopular position of playing thrift police, and deciding for people that they're not spending their money responsibly enough. Dangerous, dangerous place.

                      YOU may be of the opinion that someone making $20,000 (which is bellow the "independence" level of 200% of poverty, the definition of "working poor") can afford an additional $1,153/year. But these are people who by definition already cannot afford their basic needs! Democrats are dealing these people a set of very sucky decisions to make.

                      Worse still, for members of the Democratic base like me, who happen to see run-away corporate power as the biggest root problem of the day, this is a giant leap in the wrong direction.

                      So what do we get for that HUGE cost?

                      Everybody is "insured" but there's no change in health care!

                      For most of the new insureds, all this does is TAKE AWAY their health care money and use it to buy them insurance they can't afford to use. IF they get REALLY SICK, they'll still probably go bankrupt! All that's changed is that the Insurance Corps will be protected on paying out on the insurance policies they sold the doctors to cover non-payment! The level of health care will be the same for the patients, but the cost burden will be lessened on the insurance companies.

                      Even for the biggest set of "winners," the chronically sick, there isn't much change. For those too sick to work, they can currently apply for Medicaid. For those with existing conditions who can work, most will probably now be allowed to turn almost all their incomes over to insurance companies for the privilege of constantly fighting to receive the care they're paying for. And they'll still probably go bankrupt.

                      What we should have had is a smaller bill to expand Medicaid to also include all the chronically sick.

                      •  poverty (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        CMYK

                        People at or around 200% of poverty are in a perpetual scramble. Even if persuaded they could and should pay insurance premiums they are never going to make every payment and make it on time. When they get sick they will continue to line up at the free clinic. There will be endless comedy where insured persons try to access care no longer designed for them. Most will throw their hands in the air and get on with life confident in the knowledge their social betters are without a clue.

          •  2BR/1200/month? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            badger

            If such things were available there'd be lines around the corner for them.

            The truth is we're not just counseling families of 4 (or five or six, for that matter) into 1200/month 2BRs, we're also counseling them to move to a low-cost area where they will have no ability to earn an income.

            We need to have a grown-up conversation about how people at different incomes can/should live.  A family making $80k in NYC will not have a 1200/month housing option.  Doesn't exist.

            •  What I simply did was look to clear an extra (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CMYK

              $7k so the family could afford the insurance.

              I did that by subtracting $7k for insurance from the costs of owning a $150k house (also not available in NYC), and that's how I got to the $1200 a month rent.

              I agree with you, by the way.

              Maybe the family of four can all live in a studio apartment?

              They do it in Japan, no?

              There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

              by upstate NY on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 09:16:30 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You're Making These Numbers Up. (0+ / 0-)

                That's the basic issue here.  

                Moverover, you're still ignoring the fact that we know for a fact how many people making that much money are currently able to afford insurance.  And it's almost all of them.  If insurance is unaffordable for people making that much money, why do almost all of them have it?  

                And given that almost all of them currently have it, why would giving them and those who don't have it subsidies to reduce the cost be a bad thing?

                •  You're a troll (0+ / 0-)

                  Because you keep accusing me of making things up without refuting ANY of those numbers ONCE.

                  Put up or shut up, if you have anything to back up your points whatsover.

                  There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                  by upstate NY on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 09:41:05 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I also see you totally ignored my previous post (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  CMYK

                  above relating to Oneonta.

                  How convenient. You're dodging.

                  There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                  by upstate NY on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 09:42:21 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I Got Tired... (0+ / 0-)

                    Of trying to play games with your cherry picked numbers, so I got back down to the bottom line.  Which for me, is that almost everyone making the kind of money you're talking about already can afford insurance, the senate bill will reduce their costs, and make it more affordable for that sliver of people who aren't able to afford it at present.  

                    You want to get into a pissing match over exact household budgets in a particular state, I'll pass.

                    •  And yet not once did you challenge a single (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      badger

                      one of my numbers.

                      This means you have no credibility.

                      You challenged my housing numbers, I said property taxes were high, and you said you had family in Oneonta so you know how high they are.

                      That means you were totally untruthful when you said my numbers were bullshit. If you know about property taxes in Oneonta, then why in the world would you say my numbers were bullshit?

                      There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                      by upstate NY on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 09:55:11 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

      •  It depends on what you think the working poor (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CMYK

        are, and what constitutes a middle class.

        There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

        by upstate NY on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 07:57:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  35K is not poverty but premiums unaffordable (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          badger, CMYK

          We had this discussion yesterday.  35K income means take home pay of about $2250 in a state with income tax.  Add in about about $150 per month self employment tax if the person is working 1099.  Add in rent $900 (too high for the South, too low for the Northeast and for much of California).  Also, rents are increasing $40/month every year.  Then add in $100 utilities, $75 for phone & internet, no cable, then add in a $150 student loan payment and car expenses, assume a very modest used car, not a luxury or brand new car.  You will see that the premium of $280 or $310 competes with food in the monthly budget.  According to the IRS guidelines, a person is allotted a monthly budget of $277 for food.

      •  Donut hole $20K-$40K income range (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        luckymortal, CMYK

        There is a huge donut hole of people above the poverty level but working with low incomes, and that is the $20K-$40K age range.  Add in the problem of people over 50 being charged more (community rating is not achieved).  These people are the substitute teachers, tutors, waiters, home health care aids, people with small businesses, people working as 1099 rather than W-2 because the W-2 vs. 1099 laws are basically unenforced and the employer requires that they work as a 1099, hairdressers, ultrasound and radiology techs who are paid hourly, contract workers employed only part of the year, day care employees ...

        •  No, start that hole at $16,000 (0+ / 0-)

          Someone making 16,000 will have to pay almost $900 for insurance they can't use. If you're only making 16,000 that's a LOT of money!

          •  Where is $300 premium @16K (0+ / 0-)

            Where is there a premium of $300 for an income of 16K?

            •  Someone 55 making 16K, under the Senate plan... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CMYK

              Oops. I goofed the number from memory.

              Actual Premium: 6,606
              Subsidy: 5,892

              The point still stands. I think $715 is a lot of money when you're just wee above the poverty level. Certainly , it doesn't leave any room for co-pays, and out-of-pocket medical costs.

              •  6606-5892 =714/yr < $60/mo (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                CMYK

                A person on a 16K plan isn;t paying $300/mo - The $715 is < $60/mo but that still makes health care unaffordable for someone at $16K.  The leve for Medicaid eligibility for a single person is in the 14K range and the probelsm start above that level.  I don't see how a person at that income level can pay anything.

                •  Never said $300 per month... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  CMYK

                  Must have been someone else. I said 900/year instead of 715/year--a memory glitch--I've been playing with the calculator for days and running people's numbers over the phone. Still, the concept applies, and that we both seem to agree.

                  $715/year could pay for yearly check-up+CSA membership+other preventative care, or a whole month's rent and utilities....

                  When you're that poor, $715 is a LOT of money.

    •  Unaffordable on $35K income, age > 50 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      luckymortal, CMYK

      I have posted two diaries on this in the past week.  According to the calculator, a person earning 35K per year and not having an employer plan would be charged $280-$310 per month.  This is not affordable on the budget of a person in this income category, older than 50, when you consider the rents in some areas plus utilities, self-employment tax, student loan payments which are also mandated, etc.  And then such a worker cannot afford the deductibles and copayments.  

      •  AMEN! These Democrats don't KNOW any poor people! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        proud2Bliberal, CMYK

        Coming from Michigan, I know a lot of people in this same situation. I've been running their numbers through the calculator and asking them if they can afford it. They tell me they'll probably end up seeing the doctor less often, eating less healthy food, etc.

        This bill TAKES AWAY their health care to "give" them insurance they can't use.

        •  35K isn't poor (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CMYK

          A 35K income is not poverty.  This is the working class and not the poverty class.  The problem is that the premiums are unaffordable for working class, especially since older workers have to pay more.

          •  It's goddamned poor in NJ (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            proud2Bliberal, CMYK
            •  Bullshit. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              greenbastard

              Median household income in NJ is 65k, and per capita is 31k.  A family making 35k is goddamned poor.  A single person?  Not so much.

              And once again we see Dailykos posters with a ridiculously skewed perspective on class in this country.

              •  You are right about the Northeast. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jerseydan

                $35K is poor in the Northeast, but not in the rest of the country, except possibly the Bay Area, but there are affordable apartment complexes in Silicon Valley.

              •  It's obvious to everyone who lives here (0+ / 0-)

                and hard for people in other states to understand how little 35k is to live on here. As an example, many school districts are now paying starting teachers over 50k. Teacher salaries are a good barometer because teachers are never paid overly well; if 50k is a starting salary for a teacher, then 50k is about what it takes to get by here.

            •  You are right (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jerseydan

              In most of NJ the rents are higher and there is no public transportation, and people have to spend a lot of money on gas to get to work.  This is why so many people have moved out of NJ, to the point where the state is losing a Congressional seat.

              •  and yet the pop. is up 3.5 % (0+ / 0-)

                According to the papers, anyway. It's not the cost of NJ that should be the worry, it's the godawful cancer rate, to the point where just having lived here for awhile seems enough to increase the cancer risk. All those costs certainly have not involved enough cleanup of the air and water. But where else to go? The South? Nah. Been there, done that. Michigan? Have friends forced to relocate there; worse economy than NJ. California? No way. In the end, we are spoiled here by access to NYC and Philly, and even close distance to Baltimore, DC and Boston. Only place I'd like to stay in would be Maine, but much as I like winter, it's a bit too much there and there are not enough jobs to go around.

            •  Calculation was - need $23/hr in NJ (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jerseydan, CMYK

              I read a newspaper article - I don;t remember whether it was the newspaper or government who did the calculations - but it was determined that one needs an income of $23/hr to pay for basic necessities and live in one's own apt in NJ.

              •  Well, tell it to Brillo above (0+ / 0-)

                because Brillo thinks i am being ridiculous. I know someone with a broke down ramshackle rental property and he gets 950 a month for an absolute slum. And he had to borrow money to pay the taxes and insurance on the place, as the local factories have closed andleft him without the kind of tenants he had, dicorced blue collar workers. The business that have moved in, Sam's club, Wal Mart, and Target, don't pay people enough to even rent on their own. hence, people are living with in laws, parents, siblings.

          •  Depends on nubmer of dependents. "Working poor:" (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            badger, proud2Bliberal, CMYK

            Is generally considered to be 200% of poverty level, which is what is required to be able to afford all your basic needs.

            In the new post-foreclosure landscape, in states like Michigan, you often have many people living off one or two incomes. My mom is now single without any claimable dependents but a half-dozen out of work and out of home family members are subsidized by her one income.

            They're poor.

    •  Bingo. (0+ / 0-)

      Effing bingo, lm. And the prancing, my god the prancing. I see it all over teh kos, too.

      Party like it's 1929, baby.

      by CMYK on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 12:05:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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