Health

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$700,000 A Day

Posted 60 months ago|37 comments|921 views
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What could you buy with $700,000 dollars?

Arthroscopy - $17,700
Hip replacement - $41,400
Coronary bypass - $94,500

All numbers are *list* prices for each procedure. I intentionally chose those very high prices instead of the negotiated prices that typically come with an insurance policy.

At the highest price for each of these common, invasive procedures, $700,000 would buy:

* Approximately 60 arthroscopic procedures
* Approximately 15 hip replacements
* Approximately 10 coronary bypasses

By now, you're probably wondering what I'm talking about. Why medical procedures? Why $700,000? Well, I'll tell you.

That's how much the insurance companies and HMOs are spending - from the money *you* gave them - to prevent health insurance reform.

Per day.

In a month, that money could buy 1800 arthroscopic procedures, 450 hip replacements, or 300 coronary bypasses. That is the money you earmarked for medical purposes being spent for political purposes. How many canceled policies and how much in denied benefits could $700,000 per day pay for?

Insurance is a shared value pool. Few individuals can pay list price for a coronary bypass. You aren't *buying* anything when you pay into insurance, except the peace of mind of knowing - incorrectly, as the case may be - that should you be in medical dire straits, the cost will not be an additional burden.

$700,000 per day. Try to absorb that number. It's unlikely you'll even pay that much into insurance in your entire life. So that's at least one person's worth of payment for medical care spent instead on political advertisements.

Left, right, middle... It doesn't matter. This is an outrage, and it's an outrage to anyone who pays the ever-increasing costs of insurance for less and less coverage.
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COMMENTS
60 months ago: heynnnnn.

If necessary, I hope they spend more than that.
The Cypress Gang
The Cypress Gang
60 months ago: If ACORN get the 8.5 Billion it would equate to

23,287,671.23 (millions) per day.
Chris D
Chris D
Seattle, WA
60 months ago: TCG, why would ACORN get a blank check for 8.5 billion? Now you're just being silly.

HNN, nice post. Really made me think.

By the way, does anyone know when Congress is going to vote on the bill, or a similar one? TCG's post on the gang of 3 made me think that we'll see an actual later this month, but I'm not so sure.
The Cypress Gang
The Cypress Gang
60 months ago: Yeah, your probably right since their corruption is all over the news. ACORN won't get the money. One of their sub-corporations will.
The Cypress Gang
The Cypress Gang
60 months ago: Burn this number in to your brain.

13%

It is not very have to figure out what your next tax increase will be.

Do us a favor and add up your taxes today.

Federal Income
State Income
State Sales
County Sales
City Sales
Road
Gas
School
Medicare
Medicade
Social Security

Now add 13% to that and deduct it from your gross income.

You will have about 4,000 usable dollars for every 10,000 you earn. I can't beleive you people continue to eat at the trough.

That is the middle class tax rate.

60 months ago: TCG, tell me where you're getting that absurd 13% from?
Out Of The Box
Out Of The Box
 Moderator
60 months ago: $40 billion per month. No, lets look it this way. $40,000,000,000.00/month. That is the interest payments. Not any capital, just the interest, the minimum payments the government pays each month on the out of control spending our society needs to provide all the services everyone thinks government needs to pay for. In ten years, at our current rate of indebtedness, the interest payments are scheduled to go up to as high as $800 billion per month.

But by all means, let's look out for ourselves now, because tomorrow always has a way of taking care of itself. One way or the other.
60 months ago: @scotmanster
"But you have to ask yourself why are insurance companies so afraid of change?"

I see the most likely cause of fear here to be competition. As is, the insurance industry has what amounts to a monopoly on a service literally everyone needs. Can you even imagine how much we'd be paying for shipping if FedEx and UPS didn't have to compete with the postal service? They survive - in much the way insurance companies would - by innovating. When was the last time an insurance company had to innovate anything?

As for taxes, unless you're making quite a bit of money the bill doesn't raise them. Unless you're in the upper tax brackets, you will end up saving money, as insurance companies slash profits in a bid to keep your business.

I feel no sympathy for them about that, by the way. Every dollar of an insurance company's profit is a dollar that didn't go to pay for someone's medical procedure or service.

@OOTB
Reaganomics failed. Bushonomics failed. Trickle-down didn't trickle down. So you don't like the debt? Me neither. The solution, as much as you hate it, as much as your ideology demands that this be an unacceptable answer, is to raise taxes on the wealthy back to pre-Bush levels.

Wanna call it redistribution of wealth? So be it. The economy can't survive if the wealth is only distributed to the wealthy.
60 months ago: Ahh, now we're getting to the heart of it. Fear. If we demand that the money we put into medical care actually go to medical care, the insurance companies will abandon us.

No, they won't. They want our business, and they still will after the bill passes. I mentioned the postal service earlier... We haven't lost FedEx or UPS because of the postal service's existence.
60 months ago: Ummm, scotmanster? You're confusing rich people and the businesses they own. A tax on a private individual's income isn't the same as a corporate tax, and I've lost track of which you're talking about.
Out Of The Box
Out Of The Box
 Moderator
60 months ago: "Fear. If we demand that the money we put into medical care actually go to medical care, the insurance companies will abandon us."

No, they won't abandon us. They will be out of business within ten years. But the scotmanster was referring to the rich, not the insurance companies.
I'm personally not rich, and I pay my fair share of taxes and then some, and even I am taking steps to insure that my personal accumulation of wealth can not be be pilfered by a tax hungry government. I didn't work all these years just to give my money away to be wasted by government bureaucrats.

There is no difference between a business owner's personal income and the income of his business. Just because it separated on paper, for tax purposes, the bottom line is, if a business loses money, the owner or owners lose money.

If it costs more a for business to conduct that business, whether through higher wages or benefits, increase in cost of supplies or taxes, you, the consumer, is the one who is going to pay for it through higher priced products and services.

When the already strained profit margins are stretched beyond what the employer deems as acceptable, the business will simply close its doors, as seen by the millions of jobs lost over the last eight months.

Trickle down economics is a fact of life, whether you wish to recognize that fact or not.
60 months ago: Wow. I am astonished, I must say. The level of trust in, and fear of, large corporations and what they will do if the field is leveled simply boggles my mind. I look at other countries that have high tax rates on personal wealth and corporate income, such as Sweden, and I'm left scratching my head. Somehow, they still have businesses. By the logic you two are displaying, they ought not. Yet they do. Why is that?
Out Of The Box
Out Of The Box
 Moderator
60 months ago: That is because Sweden does not feel the burden belongs on the rich. They are also one of the highest per capita income nations in the world. But the taxes are shared all the way to the bottom of the scale.

http://payroll.aurenav.com/tax-example.php


Also, interesting reading

http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2004/04/facts_about_swe.html

1. No new net jobs have been produced in the Swedish private sector since 1950.

2. "None of top 50 companies on the Stockholm stock exchange has been started since 1970."

3. "...well over 1 million people out of a work force of around four million did not work in 2003 but lived on various kinds of public welfare programs, such as, pre-pension schemes, unemployment benefits, sick-leave programs, etc."

4. "Sweden has dropped from fourth to 14th place in 2002 among the OECD countries (i.e., affluent industrialized countries) in terms of GDP per capita since 1970."

Dispute it if you can, I really didn't have time to fully research it, and I have some capitalism to attend to.
60 months ago: Heynnnn.

Without high taxes, Sweden would have 10 fold corporations than the do now. They'd prosper 10 fold.
60 months ago: @OOTB
Heheh... OK, I'll give you that the "capitalism to attend to" comment made me laugh.

Sweden has tax credits for various purposes (including earned income tax credits) that render the tax rate for the very poor nil, much like in the U.S.

Now for some counterpoints:

1. I can't confirm or deny that. It's a statement in your link without any evidence, and I'm having trouble finding any reliable evidence of my own for or against. But I would like to direct you to the CIA factbook entry on Sweden. Take a look over its economy: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sw.html

2. Correct! Now here's the top 50 on the NYSE to compare: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0104630.html How many young, fresh-faced companies do you see on it? I spotted two.

3. Just plain wrong. Sweden's unemployment rate is around 6%, and has been for a while.

4. Just plain wrong, or at the very least very not current. Sweden and Australia are tied for 9th place in the OECD. Here's the list of OECD countries: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OECD#Member_countries. And here is the list of countries by GDP per capita: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2004rank.html?countryName=Sweden&countryCode=sw®ionCode=eu&rank=26#sw. Sweden is 26th in the world.
Out Of The Box
Out Of The Box
 Moderator
60 months ago: 3. ttp://www.swedishwire.com/business/349-swedish-unemployment-rate-hits-9-pct-

"In figures released last month for April, 403,000 were unemployed in Sweden.

In May, 4.48 million Swedes had a job, a drop of 107,000 from the same period last year."

Yeah, I figured it would be inaccurate, to say the least.

I am still very busy, and don't have a lot of time for reading, but I have included this link for your viewing pleasure. I scanned over it, but did not digest it fully. Let me know what you think.

http://www.fco.cat/files/imatges/Butlleti%2062/Economist.pdf
60 months ago: Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I didn't think 25% unemployment was very likely in Sweden. Actually, that top article you listed showing 9% unemployment is a sign of how bad the global economic slump has been. For a country as stable as Sweden to go from 6% to 9% unemployment so quickly is very disconcerting.

I'll read over your other link when I can.
Out Of The Box
Out Of The Box
 Moderator
60 months ago:
Some more Sweden bashing.

http://truckandbarter.com/mt/archives/000589.html

"The right in Sweden has for some time complained about the government hiding the unemployment in ‘programs’. But the question only came to the public knowledge when LO, the immensely powerful blue-collar union had one of it’s own turn against them. Hans Karlsson, a leftwing heavyweight, concluded that true unemployment was more in the ballpark of 20-25%, not 5% as the government was claiming. To make things even worse this guy happened to have the name as the Minister for Labor!

A few weeks later another labor movement veteran actually become a whistle blower, resigning and exposing that LOs left wing research institute had pressured him not to include the estimated true unemployment figure in a study. Embarrassing stuff indeed. "


"One key to understand this figure is that we have seen in the past few years is that the already high rate of sick leave has exploded. Yes, you wouldn’t guess it if you saw us, but Sweden has the sickest population in the world. Some 14% of the adult Swedish population does not work due to reported sickens. 540 000 were early retired (officially for health reasons) December 2004, fully 10% of the adult population. In addition more than 5% of the working population is on sick leave any given day."


60 months ago: OOTB, I make it a point not to ever link a blog here, unless the blog contains two very important elements:

1) The blog explains with great accuracy my position.
2) The blog links to or references sources that are not in and of themselves blogs.

I followed your link, and the only source it cited was another blog.
The Cypress Gang
The Cypress Gang
60 months ago: Hey Noni, 13%

You can't find it? Are you not the one that like to tell everyone you found someting in 2 seconds? What you can't Google? Too funny. Your even more worse off than I thought.

Your progressive party is using 13% as a trigger. I don't know about you but that would mean their cost ceiling would be 13% to me. Progressively of course.
60 months ago: TCG, I googled "health care 13%" and found diddly even vaguely resembling whatever it is you're talking about. Be specific, and please don't link to a right-wing blog for your (and I use the term loosely) facts.

The closest thing I could find was something from today on WSJ talking about the maximum amount of someone's income that ought to be going to health insurance.

If I was spending 13% of my income on health insurance, that would be substantially less than I'm spending now.
Out Of The Box
Out Of The Box
 Moderator
60 months ago: http://www.heritage.org/research/taxes/wm1219.cfm#_ftn9

This is a well referenced article, written in 2006, just after the Swedes voted the Social Democrat Party out of power, in favor of the Moderate Coalition Party, formerly known as the Rightist Party.

I realize you won't give the Heritage article itself much credence, but the references supplied are credible. A few of the references will need to be translated into English.

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