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  • scottbwest2000 scottbwest2000 Dec 21, 2009 2:34 PM Flag

    Looks like a Christmas present from DC!

    Hoorah for national health care. Wonder who is going to be buying this deficit spending from our Treasury? Even with higher taxes, which will lead to slower GDP growth, we won't be able to pay for the increase starting in 2014. Wonder if the expansion of the program will accelerate the collapse of Medicare, or delay the day of reckoning?

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    • Dav, you wrote:

      "Incidentally, the U.S. Post Office is one of the most efficient in the world. If you send something with the wrong postage, they'll either deliver it anyway or you'll get it back without charge. If something is lost, they will do their utmost to track it down (I know this first-hand)."

      I had a tenant move out of my law offices nearly a year ago. The name of her firm is: Law Offices of XXXXXXXXX", mine is "Law Offices of __________Levine". Of course, the Post Office can't seem to tell the difference, and my mail periodically ends up in her office. The postal worker throws up her hands and says to talk to her supervisor. I would love to do so, except the Supervisor will never answer the phone or respond to my letters.

      This is the level of accountability that you want administering your health care?

      Mlevine.

    • You seem to think that the worst thing that can happen to you is to go broke. I strongly disagree.

      "(The naivete on this board is startling in this regard.)"

      YOUR niavete is what startles me. The reason why we have the worlds best health care in this country is precisely because of capitalism. The profit motive has rewarded the risks taken to develop new treatments and cures. Those treatments are responsible for increasing the quality (and quantity) of life for the vast majority of our population. But, you would rather pursue an unrealistic utopia where everyone is treated for free. Even if that system prevents those innovations. If medicine had progressed under your system since the beginning of time, the "free helthcare" that everyone would be recieving would be the only healthcare known to the society -- bloodletting.

      Did government bureaucrats invent organ transplant techniques? How about laser eye surgery, joint replacements, angioplasty, heart valve replacement, pace makers, arthroscopic surgery, bone marrow transplants and MRI machines?

      Which president or congress mandated the discovery of cholestorol lowering or blood pressure medicines that PREVENT the need for surgery and prolong quality lives for those who take them?

      I'm afraid of people like you. The useful idiots who are trying their damn level best to destroy the best this country has to offer.

      My wish is that someday there will be life saving treatments available for me or my family member if needed -- for which I might have the opportunity to go broke paying for if necessary.

    • <<. . . It’s wonderful in theory to think that everyone will be taken care of, but I don't see how it is possible for anything that would be considered a “reasonable cost.” It seems like no matter what is done, someone will be left out or negatively impacted. Changing the system just so it isn’t the status quo won’t automatically make it a good change. In any case, this healthcare bill is one of the most important things (IMO) that Congress has, and I don't think it is something that needs to be rushed through in the name of politics.>>

      I don't disagree with this.

      However, once our government policies stop favoring the wealthiest 5% of Americans, costs for the vast majority will be more easily covered. And yes, it all comes down in the end to cost, i.e., the ability to pay. That was my point about the framers of the Constitution not knowing what medicine would have to offer, or the nature of disease itself---or the idea that a single big company's demise could bring down the entire financial system.

      One major problem with medical costs is the infamous "unnecessary procedure" problem---especially too many imaging scans. You either need more of a burden on the consumer's co-pay for such procedures (so they'll question them) or stricter regulation.

      There are many things to discuss, but almost no one (but Rush Limbaugh, apparently) doubts the need to change the current system so that everyone---or at least the vast majority---is included, especially those with "pre-existing conditions" who need care the most.

      Incidentally, the U.S. Post Office is one of the most efficient in the world. If you send something with the wrong postage, they'll either deliver it anyway or you'll get it back without charge. If something is lost, they will do their utmost to track it down (I know this first-hand). There are advantages to not having to make a profit and satisfy shareholders every minute of the day.

    • This is a very powerful topic with passion on both sides. I've had this out (healthcare issue) with Warprofits and to a less extent, Davenport, on the BBY board.

      I love to hear about police, fire and the post office as great examples of well run government programs/entities that demonstrate how well the government could run our universal healthcare. No doubt, they are taken for granted as part of our lives today, but they are definitely not well run in the sense that everyone who gets robbed or whose house burns down will be served in a timely, efficient manner (if at all). If your mail is lost, you will be hard pressed to get a satisfactory resolution when you complain. You'll just get the late fee from the credit card or utility company-doesn't matter if it's lost in the mail. I doubt healthcare controlled by the government would be much different. We'll get the promise of coverage, but it doesn't guarantee you'll get the service or good service for that matter.

      It's wrong to go broke because of an illness, and it’s terrible that it ever happens. I don't think anyone wishes for that. Universal healthcare is indeed complicated (I'm not sure "complicated" does it justice). It’s wonderful in theory to think that everyone will be taken care of, but I don't see how it is possible for anything that would be considered a “reasonable cost.” It seems like no matter what is done, someone will be left out or negatively impacted. Changing the system just so it isn’t the status quo won’t automatically make it a good change. In any case, this healthcare bill is one of the most important things (IMO) that Congress has, and I don't think it is something that needs to be rushed through in the name of politics.

    • Exactly.. and it's more than 30m, more like 40-45m

    • <Including minimizing the ability of big corporations, including the insurance industry, to influence Congress and make a mockery out of our so-called democracy? Our current priorities are destroying the middle class.>

      Corporations in the name of "economies of scale", and benefits, convinced the masses it was all in our best interest because it lowered costs. Then offshore labor was discovered.

      ..and I'll rant about the builders now;

      IF WE HAD LENDING LIMITS CALLED FRACTIONAL RESERVES, and banks that are accountable for their losses, maybe corporations wouldn't be so powerful.

      The builders little game with the money pooled from SIV's, killed the demand side of housing for years. Add in the debt overhang that cannot be serviced and we have a middle class on life support.

      Because money is the end all that sustains and defines us <gee>, those without really don't care if it comes via a government handout. We'll deal with the consequences later is the new mantra and why not? If the corporations that are to big to fail get a free pass why shouldn't the little guy? Oh I forgot, they are saving us.

      end rant.... :)

      What are we breeding here? I don't see the end game as pleasant.

      Is greed and stupidity the defining nature of man?

      <My brother-in-law became habituated to a dozen Cokes a day.>

      I had a friend as well that was having heat trouble from drinking mass cokes (gas pressure ). Have you seen Cokes income? Advertising? Another investment that is creating diabetes and tooth decay.

      <It's a messy world, ain't it, E-man. Happy New Year!>

      Amen to that brother!

    • <<That does not change the fact we need a total fiscal reform policy that re-prioritizes our
      modern day needs.>>

      Including minimizing the ability of big corporations, including the insurance industry, to influence Congress and make a mockery out of our so-called democracy? Our current priorities are destroying the middle class.

      It is the middle class I'm primarily concerned about---especially in the matter of health care---for most middle-class people cannot afford a single slip-up. Furthermore, it is they who stand to lose the most. It is the middle-class that is most vulnerable to the loss of income, savings, home and family.

      The Bush years did more to wreck middle-class security than I can begin to describe. Bush's tax policies alone.

      We have created a country in which 1% of the population controls nearly 50% of the wealth. This oligarchy of the wealthy controls Congress---as Mlevine says, "the best Congress money can buy." This kind of democracy is a sham. And this oligarchy has, through media manipulation, convinced a large portion of the country (e.g., the "teabaggers") that what's good for the rich is good for them.

      <<The debt will kill the system long before Miss Jones gets her free transplant.>>

      That may or may not be true. But I give Miss Jones's transplant (and whatever may befall our TessTickle after she goes broke shorting the Ford Motor Company) a far higher priority than Wall St. bailouts or Donald Trump's mansions and the income of his ex-wives.

      <<Should we buy a kidney for someone who drinks multiple pops with 40 grams of sugar in each can everyday?>>

      Funny you should mention this. My brother-in-law became habituated to a dozen Cokes a day. Glad to say he finally kicked the habit without major health trouble. He is not an idiot. He simply got addicted to pop. It's a human trait, addiction---even "sports addiction," which causes taxes to go up to pay for gigantic sports stadiums.

      It's a messy world, ain't it, E-man. Happy New Year!

    • <<Regardless of how you feel about granting everyone health insurance, whether or not they can pay and whether or not they want it, is not the point. IT IS ILLEGAL. . . .That is why we have laws that govern us. States are the only units which can, through the voters, elect to put in place a health system.>>

      You believe, then, that the Department of Health and Human Services, including the Center for Disease Control (and hence the distribution of the H1N1 flu vaccine) is unconstitutional.

      It would seem that you must believe this.

      Or might it be possible that the framers of the Constitution could not see 240 years into the future---the germ theory of disease, open-heart surgery, or "too-big-to-fail" businesses that could single-handedly take down the entire country---and that reasonable interpretation might be applied to the wishes or intentions of the Constitution regarding public safety or a functional democracy?

    • <<The government has yet to "solve" a problem without creating more. I like to keep me and my money as far away as possible.>>

      From the government, in other words, because they so clearly mismanage everything they touch, right?

      But we can all see the great management skills of the private sector!---insurance companies (like AIG), Wall St. brokerages, big automobile companies, big corporations like Worldcom, etc. Unlike government services like the U.S. Post Office, they have done a wonderful job in keeping things well managed.

      Let us continue to keep everything in the hands of big corporations. They are the defenders of democracy, the ones who influence Congress, the democratic institutions that are doing such a good job for the public, including health care.

      After all, we in the middle class are safe. Only the poor are vulnerable to real trouble.

      And are there not workhouses? Are there not poorhouses?

    • <There is no such thing as a "solution" to healthcare or anything else.>

      Many good points. We need private enterprise who actually balances their checkbook, and a huge reduction in government.

      On another note...

      The solution has been clear for centuries. War and higher taxes.

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