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US_Tank Wrote:As LZ6 told me a while back, our country is headed down the river to a great waterfall!   We need to look at the bigger picture and quit electing those who want to propose and implement these types of behaviors.   Simple!

He told me all people elected are selling this country off and it would probably be better if Mexico took over.....I like what he told me moreWink[lol]

I sent this out, However, I  doubt it will do much to swing the train of thought of my legislators.....pricks.
Not only do I not know what's going on, I wouldn't know what to do about it if I did.
George Carlin
Leonard Boswell (D-IA)
Bruce Braley (D-IA)
Tom Latham (R-IA)
Dave Loebsack (D-IA)

I need to write some letters...
Just curious if everyone's buying rate has increased lately because of this?
SmokyOneKenobi Wrote:
US_Tank Wrote:This SCHIP is parallel with every other issue out there today.  Seizure of freedoms for the "[color="red"]benefit[/color]" of the [color="red"]underprivildeged[/color]. 
I do not claim any political affiliation, but you should reconsider this quote IMO.  It is easy to ignore the underprivileged until you are face to face with them.  I work at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and my job is to work with our uninsured kids to get them as much assistance as possible.  Our uninsured patients make up about 40% of our total patient population, and I spend countless hours around these kids and their families.  Most of the kids I work with have just found out about their catastrophic disease, and most have to go through extremely intense radiation treatment and chemotherapy.  Just imagine if this were one of your boys.  The last thing any parent in their situation should worry about is whether or not they can afford the treatment to save their child's life.  Although I do not like the idea of paying more for my cigars, [color="red"]I am in favor of ANY legislation that helps out the kids that I have dedicated my career to helping.[/color]

Then why not tax something that affects everyone a "toilet-paper tax."  I know it might sound funny, but just about everyone uses it.  It will impact everyone, black/white, etc.  Only difference might be that some might use more expensive paper, or more of it.  Put a percentage tax on something like this that will impact the entire population for the benefit of the entire population.  If the tens of millions/billions is needed to fund this issue, and taxing may be the only way, then let's direct them to a source that can/will pay for it.

One of many issues with using tobacco as a tax is that it will be a decreasing tax base for an increasing problem (health care).

Just my .02...
Vitamin G Wrote:The key to reducing healthcare costs is to get the Government OUT of it, not further into it.  You have competition with cars, because the government doesn't pass out subsidized chevy-cobalt-care and chevycobalt-aid to people below a certain income. 

 My sister had to wait in line at the ER with a broken arm, while Aquanetta and her three children had CHICKEN POX and arrived in an ambulance. I'm not sure if it was a good or bad thing, but they actually took HER into exam rooms first. Hopefully it was just to avoid contaminating the whole general waiting room.

Guess who's going to be footing the bill for that one?  If you said "The Government" you're only partially correct.  The Government doesn't technically "pay" for anything, it only redistributes YOUR money.  YOU (and I) will be paying for that.

If people didn't have free healthcare, people would be less apt to use the emergency room for a cold, a tummy ache, a handnail, and my personal favorite (because i have staff that do this), "I just need an excuse for work cause i'm calling off 2 days in a row, and my PCP is booked"

Actually I have to disagree to some point.    There are people out there who actually need assistance and I have no problem with helping somone get back on their feet.   What I do have a problem with is those who abuse the system, driving around in a caddy sporting more gold than Mr. T and exchanging their food stamps for cash ultimately for drugs and alcohol.   Anyone applying for assistance should be drug tested before receiving benefits.   That alone would take a huge amount of deadbeats off the cash cow system.

I do agree with you about those taking their kids to the ER for a sniffle when its NOT an emergency.   If they had to pay anything then they would reconsider using the system like that.    Perhaps part of the solution is to have a co-pay on ER visits unless the doctor signs off that it was an actual emergency.   We don't want parents to stop taking their kids to the doctor for real emergencies just because they don't have any extra cash.

We have state minumum prices for many items and there is no reason why the Feds cannot put caps on common medical procedure rates nationwide.   A wrist X-Ray should not cost $200 in Pennsylvania and $500 in a San Diego, CA hospital...especially when its $75 when done at my family doctors office!

As long as the hospitals continue to be allowed to charge 2x-3x the standard reasonable & customary rate for services, the more insurance rates will rise.  

$200 Wrist X-Ray, 3 different patients with same procedure:
The hospital will bill the insurance companies $200.
Blue Cross pays $90 for one patient and Health America send $75 for the other.   Both are considered paid in full by the hospital at that point.
The 3rd patient has no insurance and gets a bill for $200.   If they are "lucky", it will have a discount for paying early...normally 25%, so they pay $150.

If the state had a cap on the wrist x-ray price, say $80, then:
Blue Cross saved $10
Heath American paid $5 more
The patient without insurance saved $70

Is it not the people who cannot afford insurance part of the SCHIP program?   By regulating common procedure prices there would be a substantial savings.   The medical bills would be reduced from the get-go.   Insurance companies would still be competitive because of their co-pays and other factors.   It would eliminate the price gouging by the hospitals to get the maximum amount of income for each procedure.   Ultimately more people could be insured by SCHIP without any increase in taxes while gaining some control on medical costs for everyone.

Actually, I'm willing to bet that the government already has a "reasonable & customary" price list that they will pay because of welfare benefits.   Why not just take that and advise hospitals they cannot charge more than the state maximum amount.   Oh, thats would cut into those CEO wages of 1-2mil a year.

They don't get a salary like that by charging reasonable rates.   You can't question the rates when it comes to a medical emergency.   You go and hope to be well again...then get a bill later and wish you died instead.

Next time you go to the hospital for anything, ask them how much it will cost.  They have NO F'N clue.   In what business can you do that and get away with it?   Wifey went to the hospital for shots in her back, a common pain relief procedure.  Upon me asking, they could not give me any idea on cost.  $100 a shot? $500?  $1000?    Your bill will come in the mail was their statement.
Quote:The key to reducing healthcare costs is to get the Government OUT of it, not further into it.
Bingo.  Anything the government touches becomes incredibly expensive.  Here is a personal example:  My parents business is homes for mentally retarded adults.  The government regulations involved with that would blow most people's minds.  I won't argue that there isn't some need for oversight, but the way the government does it is absurd. 

For example, there are rules governing the incredibly narrow window of temperatures that the water heater can be at.  A degree too high is a violation, and a degree too low is a violation.  They spend hundreds of dollars a year on every water heater making sure the temperature is exactly right (the setting is not the important part only the actual temp).  That's money that doesn't go to the care of the people at the facility, but it is money that you the tax payers have to pay.  There are literally thousands of rules like this one.  More time is spent trying to comply with the rules (some of which are contradictory because there are so many rules that the rule makers aren't aware of the contradictions), than is spent on the actual goal of the facilities, which is caring for the mentally retarded.  Rules exist about whether drinking glasses can be placed face up or face down on a cupboard (they can't be face up or face down!), rules about the types of tv shows that can be viewed, etc. etc.

Most people would find it odd to sit through an employee training video explicitly telling you not to put toothpaste in the retarded adults' eyes, but guess what, its out there and its mandatory.   As an employee you are also treated to a training session on not sexually molesting the retarded adults.  Most people would find that goes without saying (as it is against the law), but the government is involved and that means that stupidity is in charge.

Anyways, I won't go on and on (too late I know), but the point is GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION IS NOT THE ANSWER!

The other point I would like to make is with regards to the source of revenue for different programs the government decides are good for us.  I have seen a number of people suggest raising taxes in one place or another.  My solution would be cut spending elsewhere, not raise taxes!  Treat the government's budget the way you treat your own.  If you want to buy some fancy smokes, you don't instantly look to getting a part time job.  You start by looking for places in your budget that you can save money.  My example above should illustrate that we could trim our budgets if we wanted to.

Lastly, since I better at least try to address the original intent of the thread, I think that the current round of taxation of tobacco is just a step toward making it illegal.   Anyone who gets caught up in the argument of whether it is good to tax tobacco to pay for social programs is just being distracted from the real issue.  Eventually there won't be any tobacco to tax, and then the burden will just be shifted to something else.  People might not be willing to stand up for their right to smoke, and they might not be willing to stand up for whatever the next right that comes under attack is, and I won't feel sorry for those people when they have no more rights at all.


Vitamin G Wrote:The key to reducing healthcare costs is to get the Government OUT of it, not further into it.

It looks like the opposite will happen....

........."The president-elect says he wants to "create three million new jobs" -- this is a change from a few weeks ago, when he said he wanted the plan to create OR SAVE two million jobs.

He says the "No. 1 goal of my plan ... is to create three million new jobs, more than 80 percent of them in the private sector.”

If you do the math: 20 percent of three million means 600,000 new government employees."

I'd bet that some of those 600,000 new government jobs will make an impact in health care. 
If Sonny had EZ-Pass, he'd have survived that hit...

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