Greetings, Comrade!

by Sal on April 4, 2006

in Politics

The People’s Republic of Massachusetts strikes again! A new Massachusetts state law would require individuals to purchase health insurance, and charge employers $245/year per employee if they don’t provide their employees free healthcare.

Mrs. Sal, who alerted me to the article, had some words of wisdom on the merits of this bill:

I don’t know the specifics, but what if you’re one of the (statistically speaking) young, well-paid risk-takers who would rather NOT sign up for the incredibly expensive health-care plan that their employer offers? Personally, I wouldn’t do that, but it’s MY money (that is, what’s left over after the government is done picking my pockets) and I should be able to decide how I spend it.

Get this: “As for the requirement on individuals, those who don’t get coverage would first lose their personal income tax exemption. Eventually, they could face a yearly fee to the state equal to half of the lowest-cost available insurance plan.”

All I have to say is WOW. It’s one thing to say “insurance is a right” (which it’s not),
but it’s another entirely to say “you HAVE to pay for insurance.”

And you thought Communism was dead.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

rightonoz April 4, 2006 at 10:06 pm

No, that’s socialism, where you have the option of throwing the bastards out at an election.

Communism – dictatorship of the prolitariate is where you don’t have that option, and I dob you in for your unpatriotic comment and the men in black coats drop by later tonight…. to take you and your family to the gulag.

I pay a 1.5% (I think at last count) levy on top of my 48% (roughly) tax on everything I earn over $70k for Medicare here in Australia, then the company I own pays $300 Per month for private cover so I can at least get in for urgent medical before I drop dead in the Queue ( 1 in4 cancer patients get treatment within the recommended time). Some times it pays the lot, others, as in last week, for a 1 hour cardiologist visit including stress heart ultrasound, $465 of which the govt will pay $320, my private insurance, $60 and I pay the rest. A recent arterial stent with the top surgeon in Sydney, top quality stent, all up $16000 of which I pay nothing.

It gives me the shits as we say down here, to pay all that tax, then all the insurance on top of that, but then I am still alive an kicking.

Reply

Sal April 5, 2006 at 11:22 am

We pay the same type of tax (Medicare) which basically subsidizes low-income people and retirees. We get none of what we put in. I also have health insurance (of which I pay 30% and my company pays the rest…). What I object to is the forced nature of requiring individuals to have health insurance. I know some people who are young and just out of college, who do not want health insurance, would rather risk paying out of pocket, so they can sock money away to buy a house or get on their feet. Now the government in my state (the Communist thing was more of a local joke than anything else) is requiring that all workers pay for health insurance, if they have the “means”. If they don’t they’ll be fined upwards of $1000 a year.

And in MA, the way the voting district lines are drawn, we really don’t have much of a choice to throw our legislators out in an election.

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Ryan April 5, 2006 at 4:33 pm

Health care costs have nearly doubled on the average COBRA from $330 a month in 2001 to $605 in 2005. It’s not cheap and some people who want health care have to make tough choices. Also, (I hate to sound like a broken record) while R&D and advertizing costs have risen, another cost that has been transfered to the honest citizen is ER care along the borders and in area with high illegal populations.

Our system does not deny ANYONE emergency room care. So many of them just take their perfectly healthy kids to the ER for a “free” check up, screwing the system and transfering costs to the average Joe.

Deal with immigration in a serious way and I guarantee health care costs will drop. Also, introduce interstate HMO competition to the employers who offer HC and you’ll see the prices drop further. Inact tort reform on frivilious medical lawsuits and BOOM! the price drops further. All of these options are doable and would invigorate the HC industry and people’s attitudes in a market-oriented way.

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rightonoz April 5, 2006 at 8:39 pm

Ryan, you made some great points. NSW in Australia is the second most litigious state in the world (guess who’s first).

Enacting tort reform would save us all a fortune in taxes and reinvigorate health, education, you name it as so many costs would go away. One of the Sydney councils recently got taken for millions by a drunk who dove into the surf at a beach and hit a sand bar, becoming a quadraplegic. Now while I feel the utmost sympathy for his plight, why should the council have to put up signs warning drunks not to dive into the surf. Seems common sense to me.

I was recently taken by ambulance to the local hospital A&E, and while I received the absolute best emergency care, I was very aware of the large number of people who were using the A&E as a free local doctor. Yes, they had to wait hours, and while I was top of the queue (when they think you’re about to drop dead they tend to focus), there were others according to Mrs Rightonoz, coming through in a steady stream with injuries etc that required timely attention who were having to wait too long because of the overload of inconsequential cases (Tommy grazed his knee playng footie.

I might add, that despite the bad press the health system gets in Qld where I live, I received the absolute best care (and two of the female doctors were drop dead gorgeous in addition to being top line)

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Mike April 10, 2006 at 4:25 pm

I hope you’re doing better Oz.

I would’ve responded sooner but I just saw your comment now.

Reply

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