Universal healthcare (California)

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Re: Universal healthcare (California) (California) (California)

Postby art... on Sun Aug 02, 2009 3:26 am

Before we go getting all excited about how Conservative economic policy is innately superior, let's take a look at growth in GDP and federal debt as a % of GDP from the Roosevelt/Truman admin. through Bush #2.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_debt_by_U.S._presidential_terms

As the above link shows every Democratic admin. reduced the debt as a % of GDP while aside from the "I Like Ike" years, every Republican admin. since 1951 saw an increase with 3 of the 4 terms being double–digit and the +9.2% of Reagan's 2nd term close to making it 4 out of 6. The Nixon/Ford admin. was the best Republican showing and essentially neutral.

Fiscal Years Party of President Federal Spending Federal Debt Gross Domestic Product
1978-2005 Democratic +9.9% +4.2% +12.6%
1978-2005 Republican +12.1% +36.4% +10.7%

Sorry, these line up ok in Preview but are misaligned when posted. Beats me...

Hmmmmmmmmmmm...!?!? Not quite the common perception/stereotype of those tax and spend Dems. Go figure...

[url]Then we have this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gramm-Leach-Bliley_Act[/url]

Widely accredited with removing the regulations whose absence ultimately led to the recent/current Wall Street fiasco.

Introduced and passed when the Rep controlled both Houses of Congress (Mostly along Party lines in the Senate and bi-partisan in the House). Although voted for by many Dems and signed by Clinton, it is a simple example of modern politics where the parties knew Clinton couldn't sustain a veto so it would pass anyway and both sides instead made a deal where everyone got what they wanted while agreeing not to complain too heartily about what the opposition was up to.

From Wikipedia:
"Respective versions of the legislation were introduced in the U.S. Senate by Phil Gramm (Republican of Texas) and in the U.S. House of Representatives by Jim Leach (R-Iowa). The third lawmaker associated with the bill was Rep. Thomas J. Bliley, Jr. (R-Virginia), Chairman of the House Commerce Committee from 1995 to 2001."

"As of 2009, Gramm is employed by UBS AG as a Vice Chairman of the Investment Bank division. UBS.com states that a Vice Chairman of a UBS division is "...appointed to support the business in their relationships with key clients." He joined UBS in 2002 immediately after retiring from the Senate."––Guess we can guess on whose behalf he was acting in sponsoring the deregulation of the financial sector.

And, being responsible for the quote "We have sort of become a nation of whiners. You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness."––We can at least rejoice that his public service landed him a nice, cushy very well paid job instead of adding to the record high unemployment like a lot of his constituency. For some of UBS's financial shenanigans see:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UBS_AG

As for any Mercedes and BMW's manufactured in the U.S. resulting in too high a MSRP I'll note the following: Since BMW introduced their Z4 roadster in 2002 the entire worldwide production for this slick little beast has been in Spartanburg, S.C.. (Both the coupe and the later convertible model). This ended in late 2008 when a new model Z4 (a convertible hardtop) was introduced and production went back to Germany. In its place BMW announced that it would build the replacement for their X3 SUV and their X6 crossover at the Spartanburg plant. If BMW had pricing and/or quality issues from manufacturing in the U.S. I doubt they'd stay here.

As for Mercedes (Daimler–Benz), they nearly destroyed Chrysler singlehandedly after buying it for $36B in '98. Touted as a "Merger of equals", the reality was much different with most of the U.S. mgmt. left out of the loop and the Germans unsure how or where to take the brand. After the stockholders realized the fiasco that was up they took legal action and watched the stock drop and drop until Benz finally sold Chrysler in '07 for only $7.4B.

And yes, BMW, Honda and Toyota all make cars cheaper in the U.S. than the Big Three. Two or three major reasons for that: 1) Local and state govs. have fallen all over themselves in offering long-term tax-breaks to lure the new manufacturers, 2) Most U.S. plants are older designs and not as efficient as the brand-new ones of their competitors and 3) Most importantly, being new operations they haven't yet acquired the financial burden of retirees and health benefits. Once they have the playing field will be a tad more level.

(Anyone see the delivery company Airborne any more? Nope, similar to Chrysler they were bought by a German firm, DHL. You don't see DHL either since on 10/08 "DHL announces that it is cutting 9,500 jobs as it discontinues domestic air and ground operations within the United States to deal with economic uncertainty."–via Wiki)

From the Forbes article linked above: "These days President Obama is overseeing the largest increase in the U.S. government's share of the economy since it was conducting a world war almost seven decades ago. Economic stimulus, bailouts and expanded health care will all have to be paid for someday with either taxes or inflation. Borg is pushing Sweden in the opposite direction, encouraging the legislature to cut taxes, cap spending and privatize parts of health care."

1) Well, as Dubya was always reminding us we were fighting two wars (Thanks George); 2) The economic collapse and bail-out started under Bush; and 3) The Obama plan was intended to be revenue neutral by centralizing healthcare into a single, more efficient non-profit core program. Those who wished could buy supplemental policies to expand upon the universal one.

Thus two of the three fiscal issues raised by Forbes are the legacy of the prior administration (Of which they were a major supporter.) and the third would be a non–issue if it weren't for industry lobbyists (Currently spending $2–$3 Million per day to not loose their cash-cow) and the disinformation of partisan politics.

This country already spends $1000+ per person on non–reimbursed health care, much of which is rendered through ER's, the most inappropriate and expensive delivery method. Certainly we're bright enough to find a solution. Henry Kaiser found it cost-effective to start a program to provide his employees with healthcare at his shipyards in WWll. His plan cut costs through economy of scale. It's interesting that the non-profit foundation he started (http://healthreform.kff.org/) is so convinced on the need for reform. A very informative site.

This ex-Cigna CIO tells an interesting story: [url]http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/07102009/profile.html
[/url]
See who is buying your political representatives: http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/07102009/profile2.html

One final note or two re: the Forbes article. Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg is quoted "If you're working yourselves upwards in taxes and deficits, we're working ourselves downwards.". The historical record at the top of this post clearly shows which party drives taxes and deficits.

Forbes says: "His hippie appearance hides a dyed-in-the-wool free marketeer who champions the idea of "making work pay." That is a revolutionary concept in a country where the penalty for working has historically been high taxes and the reward for staying home a comfortable welfare or unemployment check.". (That may be there, in the U.S. those programs aren't exactly cushy.)" Borg's idols were free marketeers Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan." (When Reagan took office we were the largest creditor nation on Earth and its largest debtor nation when he left.) How does that make for a healthy domestic free–market?

"Though no longer the rabble-rouser he was in his youth, Borg has a penchant for throwing listeners off-balance with an impish smile and unstatesmanlike comments. He chides the U.S. for its huge deficits and ballooning entitlements. "The U.S. needs to produce more, export more and save more," he suggests...)--Wow, what a great idea! Too bad it's been public and corporate policy to export/out-source everything they can. (Look up how Walmart has nearly destroyed Rubbermaid because they refused to export manufacturing to China from the U.S..)

So it goes...
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Upton Sinclair’s adage comes to mind: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”
"Things are more like they are now than they ever were before."---Dwight D. Eisenhower
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Re: Universal healthcare (California)

Postby Billy Blanks on Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:47 pm

I think that under a single payer system such as exists in most of the industrialized world there may be an elimination of the need for industrial medical treatment. However, the plan currently in place in Massachussetts and being contemplated by Congress provides the option of a government health insurance plan as an alternative to private health insurance and also more tightly regulates private insurers. As a result, it is unlikely that this would have a direct impact on the California Worker's Comp system. I think the indirect impact will likely be fewer worker's comp claims and less pursuit of treatment by injured worker's. This is due to the fact that they would be more likely to pursue treatment for industrial injuries and to pursue future medical care under their private (or govn't) insurance rather than the worker's comp system due to less concern about the costs and increase in premiums due to pre-existing conditions, etc..

Just my two cents.
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