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  1. #181
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    To showhorsegallery -- what if you'd gotten cancer when you didn't have insurance? Would you still be responsible after you wracked up a quarter mil in bills and then many insurance companies wouldn't touch you with a 10 foot pole afterward?

    Obamacare will help with the problem of pre-existing conditions.


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  2. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fun Size View Post
    I didn't mean to insinuate that you could...I was talking about the medical bills making a person bankrupt.
    Gotcha.
    Also, at least in the US, your student loans go away after you die.
    Actually...that depends on the type of loan you have and the good graces of the IRS: There's No Escape: Death, Taxes And Student Loans

    So we're both right
    I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why I'm right
    Violence doesn't end violence. It extends it. Break the cycle.



  3. #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by mercedespony View Post
    I suppose that's one way of looking at it. Driving home from work tonight, I realized I also forgot to mention that in addition to my own personal taxes, I pay also pay corporate tax (I own my own business). I took a quick look at my dh's returns, and in 2010, he paid $23,000 in taxes.

    Why do we do it? Well - I have a great house, 2 cars, a horse and a pony, kid shows on the A circuit, 2 dogs (wouldn't mind adding a cat), we are currently visiting different universities for her for next year (which we will pay for, so she'll have no student loans), shopping for a 3rd car for the kid, AND I have the satisfaction in knowing that my neighbors, even if they make less than we do, have the ability to receive basic health care should they need.

    I sincerely believe that basic health care for all, just like education for all, benefits the entire society.
    You must not live in California, because to do all of the things you listed and still be able to eat, you'd be paying a LOT more taxes. I'm not trying to snark, really, but we pay a little more than twice the number you threw out there a year in taxes (now that includes, medicare, social security, disability, all of which I consider "taxes"), and it is because we are in a very strange tax bracket. My husband has his own corporation (sub-s), and I'm a normal w-2 employee, but we make too much to deduct my student loans or a large portion of our mortgage interest. We don't have dependents, and my husband has 1 full time employee and a few others that are seasonal. The cost of living in California is insane. Showing on the A circuit here? I don't even have kids, and I can only afford it sporadically.

    So your situation is really awesome, it really is - I hope that I can get there someday. But I've got mountains of student loan debt because my parents actually abandoned me when I was 8, and I never had any help from my parents at all - and although we do have a house that we are grateful to have, all 740 square feet of it, we're in a crazy expensive area to live. Unfortunately, that is where I went to college and in my industry jobs are very regional (and I'm only licensed in CA) so we're stuck here.

    I have been put into some situations where if I took a job for a certain salary, after I paid my student loans (which get deferred if I'm unemployed) and taxes, with the taxes my husband pays added in, we would actually be losing money for me to keep working. My entire salary, and then some, would have gone only to taxes and student loan payments. Or I could sit home and help my husband with the back office stuff and not lose money. Which I did, and spent a ton of time working for non-profits and volunteering until a salary came along which made sense.

    So I think that everyone is responsible for themselves. You have to take the numbers you're given, and make that decision. I think people should be allowed to make that decision - if I want to risk making payments on an emergency healthcare bill over $200 a month, or maybe $500 a month...I should be allowed to make that decision. I understand taxes are necessary for a functional society, but there has to be a point where we get to keep SOME of what we earn.

    Having 40% of my paycheck go to taxes is more than sufficient. Our government takes in a LOT of money - they just need to spend it better.

    As far as it relates back to the OP - again, that's an awful story. In my area, the medical providers all take cash-pay clients, especially in your situation where there is basically a guaranteed insurance pay-out. I'd prefer better regulation on the insurance companies rather than what the Obamacare legislation has done.

    Also, I wasn't trying to say you didn't have an attorney - I got that from the original post.
    "Look, I'm trying not to test the durability of the arena with my face!" (Because only GM can do that.)


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  4. #184
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    Quote Originally Posted by HighFlyinBey++ View Post
    Gotcha.

    Actually...that depends on the type of loan you have and the good graces of the IRS: There's No Escape: Death, Taxes And Student Loans

    So we're both right
    Oh, of course there's that "taxable income" issue! Our student loan system is such a stinking pile right now. That deserves it's own thread!
    "Look, I'm trying not to test the durability of the arena with my face!" (Because only GM can do that.)


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  5. #185
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fun Size View Post
    I'd rather the bankrupt and healthy than have free (well, paid for by an insane tax rate) healthcare and be waiting for treatment and sick. At a 50% tax rate, I wouldn't bother working - if you make $20, you only get to keep $10? What's the point? With student loans on that there would be nothing left. But that's an argument for another day
    Not everyone is taxed 50%.



  6. #186
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    Oh no, I know you aren't snarking, no worries. It sounds like our two households have similar incomes - I own my own business, but I'm it's sole employee (hence my personal tax payments) over and above my corporate tax; dh owns his own business (has not incorporated), and has 3 employees.

    We don't live in CA; we live in ontario, CAN. It's probably worthy of another thread, because we also have certain choices we can make when it comes to paying the taxes that you have mentioned above in your post - ie. No medicaid. We do have CPP which I'm guessing is your social security? but since I'm not counting on CPP as a retirement fund, I'm not paying into it. We do, however, get dinged in Ontario only with an HST tax - an additional 13% on all goods and services bought, but since I'm incorporated and have my own HST number, I can recuperate HST paid on my business expenses.

    Sounds like I'm older than you as well. I've been paying for a while.

    When you say 40% of your taxes - is it because you live in CA and you are really talking about your state taxes?

    eta: and yes, as Karosel says, if you are in an income bracket of less than $50/annum, pr less than $100/annum, you are paying significantly less than our household, and still have the benefit of basic health care and education. Our taxes are based proportionate to your income.

    sorry OP -- don't mean to crash your thread!


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  7. #187
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    No worries. It makes for good discussion. Canadians have such a different take on all of it, it's truly fascinating to me.


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  8. #188
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    You can get a Major Medical policy for catastrophic events. A co-workers husband has one...a15k deductibłe or something crazy like that. He is having some strange medical issues...seizures, black outs, etc and is having to have all sorts of labs, imaging studies, etc...so guess what, it's all coming out if their pocket with no end in sight.

    Also keep in mind, at least in GA, individual insurance policy's dobt have any maternity coverage...none.
    Busy Bee Farm, Ellijay, GA
    Never Ride Faster Than Your Guardian Angel Can Fly
    Way Back Texas~04/20/90-09/17/08
    Green Alligator "Captain"



  9. #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by grayarabpony View Post
    To showhorsegallery -- what if you'd gotten cancer when you didn't have insurance? Would you still be responsible after you wracked up a quarter mil in bills and then many insurance companies wouldn't touch you with a 10 foot pole afterward?

    Obamacare will help with the problem of pre-existing conditions.
    I did have insurance for that. I had catastrophic coverage. Insurance for things like cancer, broken bones etc... isn't what's makes health insurance expensive especially for young adults. It's the coverage for all the routine stuff that adds up.

    Being able to buy insurance for pre-existing conditions is like being able to buy home insurance after your house has burnt to the ground. You buy insurance in advance. If you don't have it then you're S.O.L.

    The main problem is with US Health Insurance is the mandates at the state level that make it impossible for insurance companies to compete across state lines and this idea that your health insurance should cover every little bump and scrape and that it's tied to your employer.

    Not being able to buy across state lines stifles competition which keeps prices artificially high. Individual mandates like requiring that insurance companies in state XYZ have to cover hair transplants for male pattern or baldness or whatever other special interest there is increases everyone premiums. Having the insurance company come between the doctor and you for ordinary health care creates an unnecessary third party. Doctors have to charge more to handle the extra administrative burden and because they know the fees are going to get negotiated down. This is why if you're a cash payer you typically can negotiate a lower rate of service from a doctor. And finally if it was typical for us to purchase our own health insurance on the open market rather than our employer it wouldn't cause these lapses in insurance when switching jobs. The only reason that health insurance ever became tied to our employers is because of the WWII wage freezes. Employers had to get creative to attract workers and health insurance was one way to get around not being able to offer higher wages.

    Generally if you're healthy it is cheaper to run a high-deductible plan or even just a catastrophic plan like I had and then put away money every month into a HSA with your pre-tax dollars. If everyone did this you would see the price of medical services come down. Medical pricing is inflated BECAUSE of insurance and the added administrative costs doctors have to deal with and the pricing structure they have to come up with when taking insurance payments.


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  10. #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dazednconfused View Post
    With the election looming upon us, I'm sure my story won't change anyone's vote, but perhaps it will at least make you think.

    I'm a moderate in almost every way, and think both major parties have gone pretty far off track in their extreme views ("Hand outs for everyone, damn the cost!" vs "Legitimate rape, pay your own way in ALL THE WAYS!" etc). But as of october 6th, I essentially turned into a single issue voter. Here's why.

    I was laid off from my job managing a jumper/eventer barn in the first week of september. My former employers were kind enough to pay me for october as severance (extremely rare in the horse industry and much appreciated!). I immediately began pounding the pavement looking for a new job, did lots of petsitting, piled up cash as my favorite financial guru, Dave Ramsey, would say to do. Because I networked very well and am good at what I do, I was hired almost immediately part time at a dressage barn, just two or three weeks after I was given my notice.

    I am a single 24 year old. I have been financially independent and earned my own way entirely from the time I was 19 years old. I've had three sick days in my entire working life (approx 7 years). My parents do not have health insurance so I am ineligible to be on their plan. Any independently purchased plans didn't make sense or were totally out of my reach financially. So I am uninsured, though pretty much totally healthy.

    On october 3rd, my new boss said she wanted to hire me full time beginning in late october. Great! I'm fully employed, managed things well enough that I'll be fine through october. All is well...

    And then, on my way to work on October 6th, everything changed. I was on my way to work on my Vespa, when a woman in a jeep failed to yield to oncoming traffic, and made a left directly into my path at 45mph. She t-boned me in her right bumper, I landed on my back, saw stars. Luckily she stayed, and there were several witnesses. I had a nurse friend pick me up and take me to the hospital after the cops, ambulance, firetruck etc arrived. I was xrayed and diagnosed with a severely broken wrist that went right through the joint on my right (ie dominant hand), and was referred to a specialist - an orthopedic surgeon.

    The ortho saw me the following thursday and said I would need a CT scan, and then likely surgery - several pins, and a titanium plate. Great, I had medical payments on my insurance policy, and since she was at fault, her insurance would be paying for it regardless! Thought we were good to go.

    NOT SO FAST. The orthopedic surgeon wouldn't accept third party billing (ie my car insurance), and neither would my local hospital. They offered to do it for $3,800 in cash. Now, if I had that kind of cash laying around, I could probably buy health insurance, now wouldn't I?

    Now, you say, isn't there some sort of state or county funding you could get? Yes, but I was deemed ineligible, because there was an at fault party in a motor vehicle collision.

    But, you say, shouldn't her insurance be paying for it?! Well yes, but a) the accident report was not finished until almost two weeks post accident, so there was no way to assign fault, and b) They pay out in a lump sum settlement at the end of things, not as the medical bills are coming in.

    Last week, my aunt and uncle offered to lend me the money to get it taken care of, so I called the first surgeon to see if they could still do it, to which they responded "Dr X probably does not have time on his surgery schedule to do it, and because you are three weeks from the break, you may be beyond the point where we can fix you." I'm not sure if anyone has ever told you that you were unfixable, but I can assure you that you can go almost no lower. Did I mention I'd been in the same temporary splint for over two weeks? I had to get a nurse friend of mine to change it out in a back room during her night shift.

    So in the end I had to hire an attorney, go to a neighboring county in a bigger city to find a surgeon who would put me back together again, and borrow $3,000+ as a deposit and have the attorney file a lien on the remaining insane amount of money that this surgery cost. I have had to pay for my own prescriptions, and because I don't have a GP, I cannot get them refilled.

    Had my aunt and uncle not offered this to me, I might well still be sitting here with a severely displaced broken wrist, fusing together, deformed. In the meantime, I cannot do the job that I was hired to do, though I'm hoping to at least be able to clean stalls and feed with my left hand once I have a cast. In a supposedly civilized country like this one, this is absolutely f%^$king unacceptable. I cannot be the only person that this has ever happened to, and it happening to one is too many. Every week that this wasn't dealt with was a week I wasn't working, wasn't contributing taxes, wasn't spending money.

    Oh, now I think I hit my head when it happened (despite a very protective, expensive helmet) and I'm concerned that I'm going to run into the same issues, that I can't afford a neurologist or MRI to be sure.

    Like I said, I'm doubtful this will change anyone's vote, but maybe it will make you think. Just an ordinary taxpaying american citizen, trying to go to work, doing nothing wrong, and my life was forever changed. I don't believe this is how, I, as an american citizen ought to be treated in our healthcare system.
    Hope your attorney gets you a good settlement and you can put some $$$ in the bank so you don't end up in this position again. Hopefully Obama will win and Obamacare will be fully implemented in 2014 and overall costs for health insurance will go down.
    Georgia Langsam
    Team Gauguin, LLC - www.teamgauguin.com
    Standing Gauguin du Cheval 9054, Prestige II TG, Gauguin's Impression, Gauguin's Brush and Weltfrieden TG


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  11. #191
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    Quote Originally Posted by equusaround View Post
    Hope your attorney gets you a good settlement and you can put some $$$ in the bank so you don't end up in this position again. Hopefully Obama will win and Obamacare will be fully implemented in 2014 and overall costs for health insurance will go down.
    That is absolutely my hope.

    I go in for a followup with my orthopedic surgeon a week from today actually, and hope I'll be casted and then be given some physical therapy instructions. Fingers crossed!



  12. #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by mercedespony View Post
    Oh no, I know you aren't snarking, no worries. It sounds like our two households have similar incomes - I own my own business, but I'm it's sole employee (hence my personal tax payments) over and above my corporate tax; dh owns his own business (has not incorporated), and has 3 employees.

    We don't live in CA; we live in ontario, CAN. It's probably worthy of another thread, because we also have certain choices we can make when it comes to paying the taxes that you have mentioned above in your post - ie. No medicaid. We do have CPP which I'm guessing is your social security? but since I'm not counting on CPP as a retirement fund, I'm not paying into it. We do, however, get dinged in Ontario only with an HST tax - an additional 13% on all goods and services bought, but since I'm incorporated and have my own HST number, I can recuperate HST paid on my business expenses.

    Sounds like I'm older than you as well. I've been paying for a while.

    When you say 40% of your taxes - is it because you live in CA and you are really talking about your state taxes?

    eta: and yes, as Karosel says, if you are in an income bracket of less than $50/annum, pr less than $100/annum, you are paying significantly less than our household, and still have the benefit of basic health care and education. Our taxes are based proportionate to your income.

    sorry OP -- don't mean to crash your thread!
    Yes, I'm including California state taxes as well. We pay federal income tax, social security (which is supposed to be retirement, but, like you, I'm not counting on that! We can't opt out, though), and medicare, and then to California we pay state income tax and state disability. The sales tax where I live is 8.75%. It could go back up to 9.25% within a few months depending on how this election goes. For us it ends up being roughly 40% of our gross income when you add it all up.

    The US tax system is based roughly on gross household income, with certain deductions available based also on gross income. There is a very sticky middle ground, which we seem to be stuck in, where you're not eligible for many deductions but you're stuck in a higher tax bracket (but just barely). For us, paying higher taxes right now is a make or break situation. Combination of being not that far out of college (I've only been out 6 years), lack of family support when we started, and some pretty horrific family tragedies have all contributed to the weird situation we're in. Adding more taxes would be not good - but I feel like there is some solution out there that falls between single-payer Canada system and a system with no safety net at all.
    "Look, I'm trying not to test the durability of the arena with my face!" (Because only GM can do that.)



  13. #193
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    Just checking out mecedespony's links to Ontario I see I would owe 20.5% of my gross income in tax, vs the 35% currently withheld from my paycheck (including insurance). Seems like Canada does a lot more with less.

    Obamacare isn't great, it's the first step. It's going to be a tooth and claw fight for every improvement, because of obstructionists in Congress and the "corporations are people" soft money that scares people into voting against their own best interests.
    Holy crap, how does Darwin keep missing you? ~Lauruffian


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  14. #194
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    Quote Originally Posted by axl View Post
    Just checking out mecedespony's links to Ontario I see I would owe 20.5% of my gross income in tax, vs the 35% currently withheld from my paycheck (including insurance). Seems like Canada does a lot more with less.

    Obamacare isn't great, it's the first step. It's going to be a tooth and claw fight for every improvement, because of obstructionists in Congress and the "corporations are people" soft money that scares people into voting against their own best interests.


    (in bold) Isn't that the truth..


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  15. #195
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    My husband and I have catastrophic health coverage and it doesn't kick in until 100K. Of course I don't know what yours is but generally catastrophic plans have very high deductibles. Did you have the means to pay out if you needed to? Or were you going to depend on someone to cut the price just for you?

    Generally if you're a cash payer you pay MORE than if you have insurance, not less. That's because you are covering patients that don't pay and the fact that insurance payments (which the insurance companies tie to Medicare and Medicaid payments), and Medicare and Medicaid payments aren't that high. Have you ever looked at the difference between a hospital charge for example or a procedure and what insurance paid out? When a practice has a contract with an insurance company they have to accept what the insurance company will pay, and the practice cannot charge the patient for the difference. In addition, doctors don't get paid to wrangle with insurance companies.

    You never know when you're going to get sick of be injured. Put yourself in that position before you had regular health coverage and see if you still say that it's everyone for themselves.



  16. #196
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    I still can't figure out how Obamacare, as it's currently written, would help the OP. We won't have universal healthcare, we'll have universally mandated insurance.


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  17. #197
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    It won't, which she knows. It is a step in the right direction, though, instead of turning around and going the other way, which is what Romney/Ryan has promised.
    Holy crap, how does Darwin keep missing you? ~Lauruffian


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  18. #198
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    I just want to know why parts of it kicked in ASAP and parts of it are spread out over the next few years...to me that just gives insurance companies time to find ways around it and make everyones lives miserable up until whatever date.
    Busy Bee Farm, Ellijay, GA
    Never Ride Faster Than Your Guardian Angel Can Fly
    Way Back Texas~04/20/90-09/17/08
    Green Alligator "Captain"



  19. #199
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    When you mention "catastrophic insurance", is it something like this
    http://www.sunlife.ca/Canada/sun+aff...gnLocale=en_CA ?

    What I see here is an insurance policy for a max. amount of $250K which kicks in after some conditions are met, but I don't see anywhere there is a deductible.
    Of course, the initial care is already covered by our universal health policy and this is an extra protection that people take to cover other expenses. But still... $100K deductible??? wow..



  20. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by axl View Post
    Just checking out mecedespony's links to Ontario I see I would owe 20.5% of my gross income in tax, vs the 35% currently withheld from my paycheck (including insurance). Seems like Canada does a lot more with less.
    I suspect it might have something to do with the U.S. spending 20% of our national budget on defense.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


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