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The sky has finally fallen...

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by ctjcad, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. taneepak

    taneepak Regular Member

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    Frankly, I don't see any serious problem in the level of debt of the US. You need this debt to inflate your economy. The alternative would be the end of America.
    Today's world has changed. The debt would have been suicidal many years back when the US was the only global economic engine. Today we have China who right now is the sole global economic driver. This alone is an insurance against any default by the US on its debt.
    But the US has to do something to stop the red ink, and the old health care system was bleeding America to death. The new health care Bill is intended to stop this bleeding.
    As Warren Buffett has so succinctly described, the US health care system places the country at an economic disadvantage vs other countries, spending 17% of its GDP on health care vs 9% of GDP of its developed competitors and having fewer doctors and nurses per person too. Buffett likens this to a tapeworm eating at the US economy. Republicans apparently don't buy this.
     
  2. taneepak

    taneepak Regular Member

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    Here are some troubling data about the current health care in the US.
    The top 1% of the population in the US accounts for 27% of its total health care costs.
    The top 5% accounts for 50% of its total.
    Perhaps the rest is left to suffer and die?
     
  3. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    *cough*
    you are twisting the statistics.
    In fact i wish and pray i am in that bottom percentage where i am healthy and dont require healthcare. If it make u feel better, are you jealous that u r not in that top 1%?
     
    #83 cooler, Mar 27, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
  4. taneepak

    taneepak Regular Member

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    Cooler, let us say you are in the other 95% category. You are also claiming this 95% are healthy just like you and do not require health care.
    However, this does not square with the lower life expectancy and poorer infant mortality rate, both of which are almost solely determined by this 95%.
    The 5%, whether they die young or old, have almost no effect on the nation's life expectancy and infant mortality rate-they are just too small to show up.
    Now, who is twisting statistics?
     
  5. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    i didnt say the 95% group are ALL healthy. Spending less on healthcare could be both involuntary and voluntary class of population. Also, i doubt the meaning of infant morality rate is defined and counted the same between nations.

    If americans eat more craps like fries and burgers than people from other nations, would spending a dollar of healthcare in the US get the same health benefit than a dollar spent else where??? U are incorrect to correlate money spent to amount of health benefits. Maybe the americans are so unhealthy, it might take 10$ to yield equal benefit of 1$ healthcare spent elsewhere.
     
  6. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Cooler, you do know that it's the rate of increase - i.e. the aim is to decrease the dx/dy *cough* Even that would be a success
     
    #86 Cheung, Mar 28, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2010
  7. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Some interesting points. I'd just like to point out (before Yoppy gets jumped upon), that the bolded part is not quite what influences our thinking on healthcare as a basic right. The basis comes from the American John Rawls and his theories on fairness in his work called "A Theory of Justice". I'd hope many of us agree that every person, even the ones not old to vote, have basic liberties. Is health included in that? Quite a few of us think so, and if you think so, then the bill is a good thing.


    Free, yes. Equal? .....
     
  8. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    i was basing it on taneepak's post as i admit i have not read obama's health bill itself in its entirety.

    Although i don't have a PhD in math, i do see taneepak's statement of 'new health care bill would cut the federal deficit by US$138 billion' as meaning a reduction of a numerical value of $138e9 in federal deficit. Even if that is a small change or smaller +dx/dy as u have alluded it would still add to the federal deficit but obama new health bill(as in taneepak's quote) said it would CUT the deficit. Only a -dx/dy can reduce something, a smaller +dx/dy health cost change will absolutely still adds to the deficit.

    Secondly, i also doubt that the new health bill would cut their federal deficit and therefore i can not believe the claim of a smaller +dx/dy in health cost. In canada (which the obama bill try to patch job copy to), our health cost is running at 1.5X rate of increase than our tax revenue. I don't see a -dx/dy a possibility here i'm afraid.

    in case u misunderstood what i said above, let me use an example of a car heading in the direction of a wall.

    1. at a reduced rate of positive acceleration or velocity the car will still hit the wall. Only a negative acceleration or velocity (ie braking) will prevent the car hitting the wall.

    i am not knocking healthcare or a heartless SOB, i just hate politicians lying about it to get our vote.
     
    #88 cooler, Mar 28, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2010
  9. pBmMalaysia

    pBmMalaysia Regular Member

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    very interesting indeed!
     
  10. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Basically your first (and second argument) is that the bill is useless because it would not cut the deficit. However, if the smaller +dx/dy contributes to decreasing the +dx/dy of the budget deficit, surely that is a meaningful purpose.


    Your car example means that negative acceleration will produce less damage to the car when it hits the wall. Even a reduction in acceleration will reduce the velocity and increase the chance of survivors. Without the bill, there was no hope of reduction in acceleration.
     
  11. silentheart

    silentheart Regular Member

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    Dear Dr. Chung,
    I respect very much of your opinion from the provider side. Since I am not on your side with same interest. I would like to propose my darker view of the bill.
    1) I am not against health care reform in US. I am just against the current bill. I am an actuary and when I look past all the accounting issue and lack of enforcement of this bill. What I feel is this bill will not slowdown the rate of increase in health care cost. In fact my prediction is 10 years from now, the rate of increase will be same as what BO administration predicted without this bill. Just look at his track record. He and his econ advisers predict with his stimulus bill, we will have most 8% unemployment rate. Without it, we would have 10%. Guess what he was wrong. Now he claim the rate would be higher w/o the bill. Yes, he is prob right on the picture would have been worse. However, how much did it help? Most of academia say, it helped very little to not a lot. So he has to revise it and throw in stimulus part 2. This is after $700B+ of throwing sh*it on the wall and see what stick.
    2) I think and hope you agree with some of my posts from the other thread. I am not saying insurance company is good or right. I am just saying insurance company is a necessary evil in US. We are not bad, we are just try to make some money within boundary of the law. Why BO pick health insurance industry and call them evil? Why not call out the MedMal lawyer evil for charging the patient 30~40% of the winning amount? Why not calling out the dr who will not take HMO patients? Why not pointing out the people avoid buying health insurance till they are really sick? Health insurance industry is one of most regulated business in the US. BO use the example of some (less than 2% of all insured people) insured got a 30% increase in their premium. Guess what, should you pay for what you going to use? Insurance company filed rate increase with state gov. State Dept of Ins (or commerce) has the authority to disapprove the filing. Yet, the state approved. It even passed the California black box test.
    If the reform is going to work, everyone has to take a hit. Everyone has to scarify. What DamACrap proposed is not going to work. Just look at MA system which this is based on. It is fiscally broke after 3 years. I am not against reform. I am just against a bill that is not going to work and add to more budget deficit.
     
  12. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    i think u misunderstood me.
    Any initiative that is gonna help the sick and poor is a plus for the society, i never see the bill as useless. I just can't see how spending more money (in this case, the health reform bill) is going to CUT the federal deficit. Many many economists and accountants see the big wall down the road. A truly good health bill should be sustainable today AND for the long term. Yes, this bill will help the uninsured 32 millions now but as a society overall, it will be paid or burdened by the future generation. Robbing peter to pay paul isn't a real solution to end poverty or to help the sick. It's only a quick fix.

    on the car analog, there is a better solution, steering away from the wall. Throwing more and more money to fix healthcare is like only using the brake and accelerator pedal. There are many other alternatives to avoid a collision. (for ex., a runaway toyota where the driver only know to apply the brake)
     
  13. silentheart

    silentheart Regular Member

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    Sorry. There was a question floating around. Yes, GOP in senate proposed the mandate that every one has to buy health insurance. It is to spread the risk load. Without it, it will be gov option. It is lesser of 2 evils.
     
  14. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    goggle support my post:p
    ____________________________________________________

    THE INFLUENCE GAME: Drug lobby's health care win
    By ALAN FRAM, Associated Press Writer Alan Fram, Associated Press Writer Mon Mar 29, 6:31 am ET
    WASHINGTON – Chalk one up for the pharmaceutical lobby. The U.S. drug industry fended off price curbs and other hefty restrictions in President Barack Obama's health care law even as it prepares for plenty of new business when an estimated 32 million uninsured Americans gain health coverage.

    ...(deleted for brevity)

    "Pharma came out of this better than anyone else," said Ramsey Baghdadi, a Washington health policy analyst who projects a $30 billion, 10-year net gain for the industry. "I don't see how they could have done much better."
    ......

    Pharmaceutical interests spent $188 million lobbying last year, more than all but a handful of industry sectors, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. They employed an army of 1,105 lobbyists.

    And after years of funneling most of its campaign contributions to Republicans, the industry has favored Democrats with 56 percent of the $5 million it has handed candidates so far this year. The biggest recipient, by far, of the industry's 2008 election cycle contributions of $13.8 million was Obama, who received $1.2 million for his presidential campaign.

    "They're certainly going to get a very high return on that investment," Waxman said in a recent interview.

    ______________________________

    Bottomline, donate $1.2 million to obama, pharma reaps $30 billion in 10 years.

    Looks like a great investment for the big pharma!!! Wish i can find deals like this..
     
    #94 cooler, Mar 29, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2010
  15. taneepak

    taneepak Regular Member

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    Gentlemen, opinions, opinions with no end in sight, as far as I can see! Now let us calm down and watch and monitor the new bill on a 6-montly basis. Only then are we ready to say something and form opinions that are more informed and less coloured by strong emotions.
    In the midst of the increased spending, do you see a new stream of income that, at the end of the day, promises to reduce the deficit? I like the idea of spending more to reduce the overall total costs. This is looking at the overall picture, not finishing off your year's food rations in one week. Now, let the arguments begin.
     
  16. OneToughBirdie

    OneToughBirdie Regular Member

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    US deficit for this fiscal year is already at US$1.6T, an all time record in American history...so can next year's deficit get any worse than US$1.6T, and if the deficit 'shrink' to US$1.55T, so you call it a reduction?:rolleyes:
    You advocate spending more, sure, you have nothing to lose...US tank/implode won't affect you...sure spend more, and more. HK has a huge foreign reserve, no foreign debt, so what do you have to lose than to talk the talk, you don't dance the walk.
    I am strongly against 30 years of consecutive deficits, every Prez involved in these deficit and debt building scheme should be taken to task...Govt should learn to live within her means, Medicare is not a right, it is a privilege provided the country can afford one, right now, USA is in serious financial problem and the last thing she needs is more debt...contrary to what you say, I can guarantee you Medicare will go up and up...if Medicare is to be included in this year budget, then BO has to cut from somewhere else to pay for this...USA does not have a revenue problem, USA has a serious spending problem...short term deficit I can understand, long term deficit is a definite no-no and with a debt of this magnitude which will never be paid back, it represents a serious threat to the economic security of the USA..this yearly US$800B interest payment (or transfer of wealth) is worse than any carbon tax that lefties are championing for...if USA does not have this debt in the first place, the US$800B annual interest will sure buy lots of healthcare and any other goodies you crave, and USA will maintain her position as a world military and economic power...and if this is the end of the American Empire, then it is the economy that did her in...one thing, I don't know if you are a businessman or a working stiff like me, do you run your business or family finances this way i.e. spend, spend and having debt is good, and pass your debt to your kids to pay?
    But I do agree with you not to get emotional, after all, we don't really know each other, our discussions will not change anything...but I just don't think it is fair (I would say dishonest) to download the debt to the next generations.
     
    #96 OneToughBirdie, Mar 29, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2010
  17. taneepak

    taneepak Regular Member

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    Empires and dynasties rise, ebb, wane, and then decline. The Chinese Dynasties is a textbook history to this. So too with the American Empire, which had earlier replaced the British Empire, the latter at one time referred to as the Empire in which the sun never sets.
    The key is to manage the decline by slowing down the rate of decline. Just like the British, have a look at useless spendings like spendings on empire building.
     
  18. OneToughBirdie

    OneToughBirdie Regular Member

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    Other than promoting to spend more on Medicare in all your posts, you offer no idea of what to cut back, so, you advocating to speed up US spending is to see USA decline...your wish will come true as Prez after Prez have robbed USA of her econmic might and reducing the 'golden mountain' era of USA fast becoming a rubble of dust...you are such a strong advocate of free Medicare in US and western countris, so what have HK and CHN offer in free Medicare, after all these 2 countries have vast foreign reserves and surpluses every year?
     
  19. taneepak

    taneepak Regular Member

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    Good health is good wealth. If you are sick or run a high risk of being bankrupted because of medical bills you cannot perform well. If you cannot perform well you are counter-productive and a burden to your country. Now that everyone is covered productivity of the nation will improve.
    Maybe America should have a hard look at its budget. What is so sacred about so called non-discretionary expenditure that cannot be reduced? Look at your defence spending, so called discretionary expenditure, which is more than the rest of the world combined, and its chews up to a staggering 30% of total budget receipts.
    A big dose of good diplomacy backed up by minimal military might/spending always wins the day.
    Let me take you on a history tour.
    The British had their Empire and were successful too, that is for as long as they could get get more economic benefits than outlays from the colonies occupied. This is called self-financing plus a little left over for the Crown. But that all changed when the colonies became self-independent. Without those bounties to support its 'the sun never sets' empire, the British empire collapsed but it managed the decline gracefully.
    Earlier, the Chinese Ming Dynasty sent out huge armadas of ships to distant lands for diplomacy. But without exploiting the wealth of thsoe lands to pay for those voyages, it was a matter of time the Ming Dynasty realized it could not go on bleeding its treasuries.
    Now we have the Americans who build a global network of military bases for 'security' reasons but without exploiting the resources/wealth of these countries to pay for their upkeep. Just the Ming Dynasty armadas the costs of such military power projection are like tapeworms that will bankrupt the country.
    Hong Kong health care is the least of our worries. We are blessed with good management that we can afford almost universal health care for a song, without any sales tax, profits tax, dividends tax, capital gains tax, death duty tax, this tax, that tax; and btw very few people in Hong Kong pay any income tax.
    How do we do it? Simple, just be more productive.
     
  20. Yoppy

    Yoppy Regular Member

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    The US is in the current position because it has neglected the health issue for so long. Now when Pres OB tried to correct it, guess what? Its too expensive and cant afford it? What a lame excuses. For so long Americans have let their countrymen died without proper help, for the benefit of who?? For the benefit of all who did not have to pay extra tax on health and hence can have more money to buy extra bugers.

    Im getting a bit sick reading all these, for those who oppose to the new health bill, when do you think US deficit will be small enough for you to think that its affordable to have a public health care? 100 years?? C'mon just be honest, you just dont want to pay more on tax, do you? Even if its to save the lifes of your neighbour.

    On health insurance companies that charge sky high rocketed prices and blame it on the cost required to pay hospitals and doctors, please dont tell me tens of billions have been recorded at your P/L report. While others went bankrupt you guys went sailing. Do i sound like a leftist? I hope not, but this is what happend if you dont have a sound public health system (just like all other developed countries have) in place. What a waste!!

    As mentioned before, there is not much point we're now debating about the merit of the new health bill now. It has passed the house, so implementations are on its way. If most Americans dont agree with this bill, then just dont vote for BO on the next election. But my prediction; BO will be re-elected for the second term and health care bill will stay for good.
     

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