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Government shuts down as Congress fails to prevent Funding Bill

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First off, good that they reached a deal. That said, this does nothing about the deficit that continues to soar. The money is worthless, all the government does is spend spend spend and print more money to pay it off. Social security is going to dry up in a few decades. It's all a shell game or ponzi scheme. The gov't continues to spend more money and borrow from the future. It's a wonder we don't end up like Greece in defaulting or zimbabwe with the insane inflation ($1trillion bill, etc) at some point because the money is worthless.

 

So I'm not saying I'm picking a side here, but the GOP did expose (indirectly) how much waste the government has (including the EBT card glitch issue at Walmart). So perhaps rather than just raising the limit, maybe they need to look at certain programs that needs to be cut back.

Edited by Grand Concourse
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OK being somewhat relative at this point. My personal take on this shutdown/default "show" is that there are many people in one party who are ignorant beyond belief. They may wear the American flag lapel pins but they have made the US government look inept in the eyes of the world. The financial world looks upon the US government as a bunch of bozos whom would bring financial ruin on the country and world economy just to prove a point. Senator Cruz and the nitwits who followed his lead in trying to defund " Obamacare" didn't have a snowball's chance in Hades in achieving that outcome yet for 16 days they drove the reputation of the USA into the ground. Tea Party and patriot should never be used together as synonyms, ever. The outcome of this display of stupidity was a foregone conclusion, IMO. Numbers don't lie. They (Cruz and company) never had the votes to start with. The funny/sad part of the whole debacle is that every employee will be paid for the time they didn't work. I refuse to condemn the whole GOP but, to me anyway, Tea Party=Stupid. I can't wait to head south and argue politics . I have a Tea Party neighbor in NC that I've told time and time again that my Mom's cat has a higher IQ than many people in the GOP. Just my opinion. Carry on.

Oh please.  The way this country spends money (Republicans and Democrats alike) if nothing is done to deal with the out of control spending, we're going to look like more than bozos financially.  We'll be completely BROKE.  Obamacare is a HUGE financial risk that relies on young people like myself who are relatively healthy funding a program (and paying MORE for their healthcare I might add) for those with pre-existing conditions or the elderly who cost more to cover and this is a risk that may cause us to spend much more money than we have when we already have debt in the trillions.  Since you support this insane program that hopes enough young people will enroll to cover those with higher healthcare costs to then lower the overall healthcare costs to each American taxpayer, I'd like to know how you would've dealt with Obamacare?  Forget about the merits of the program. I'm talking about dollars and cents here and currently, the math simply doesn't add up.

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Oh please.  The way this country spends money (Republicans and Democrats alike) if nothing is done to deal with the out of control spending, we're going to look like more than bozos financially.  We'll be completely BROKE.  Obamacare is a HUGE financial risk that relies on young people like myself who are relatively healthy funding a program (and paying MORE for their healthcare I might add) for those with pre-existing conditions or the elderly who cost more to cover and this is a risk that may cause us to spend much more money than we have when we already have debt in the trillions.  Since you support this insane program that hopes enough young people will enroll to cover those with higher healthcare costs to then lower the overall healthcare costs to each American taxpayer, I'd like to know how you would've dealt with Obamacare?  Forget about the merits of the program. I'm talking about dollars and cents here and currently, the math simply doesn't add up.

 

 

Yes Ted Cruz we know you hate Obamacare.

 

 

Am just glad that the Government employees are back to work, the shut down didn't have to be if little john put hes big boy pants and stood up to the tea party.

Edited by MTARegional Bus

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Here's the thing; if we really wanted to address runaway healthcare costs in this country the first step would be to establish some form of single-payer system akin to what Canada or much of Europe has. If you take a look at healthcare expenditures as a percentage of GDP across Canada and Western Europe most of those countries are between 9 and 12% and don't seem to be showing much in the way of runaway growth; by contrast, we're currently at 18% of GDP and we're only beginning to attempt to slow that growth down now through Obamacare.

 

For the record, Obamacare is not what I would have preferred; I feel we would have done better with (at the very least) some sort of public option, which would hold insurance prices to reasonable levels and quite possibly have turned Uncle Sam a small profit when everything was said and done (which could have proved rather useful as a means of reducing the budget deficit, for all you debt-hawks in the audience). Still, as imperfect as the ACA turned out to be it was in fact able to provide a framework for universal affordable insurance coverage while reducing the deficit by $210B or so over the next ten years.

 

I find it hilarious that the Heritage Foundation (which created Obamacare in the early 1990s as a conservative alternative to Hillary Clinton's proposals) has put so much effort into nerfing the law (especially after the stripping out of the public option proposal during negotiations in 2009-2010). I find it even funnier that Mitt Romney (who put this law through in Massachusetts seven years ago) basically ran in 2012 on reversing it on a national level. We've basically had a Democratic president implement a sensibly conservative plan for universal healthcare only to have the very party that came up with it shut the country down to block it, all the while howling about socialism and treason.

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Here's the thing; if we really wanted to address runaway healthcare costs in this country the first step would be to establish some form of single-payer system akin to what Canada or much of Europe has. If you take a look at healthcare expenditures as a percentage of GDP across Canada and Western Europe most of those countries are between 9 and 12% and don't seem to be showing much in the way of runaway growth; by contrast, we're currently at 18% of GDP and we're only beginning to attempt to slow that growth down now through Obamacare.

 

For the record, Obamacare is not what I would have preferred; I feel we would have done better with (at the very least) some sort of public option, which would hold insurance prices to reasonable levels and quite possibly have turned Uncle Sam a small profit when everything was said and done (which could have proved rather useful as a means of reducing the budget deficit, for all you debt-hawks in the audience). Still, as imperfect as the ACA turned out to be it was in fact able to provide a framework for universal affordable insurance coverage while reducing the deficit by $210B or so over the next ten years.

 

I find it hilarious that the Heritage Foundation (which created Obamacare in the early 1990s as a conservative alternative to Hillary Clinton's proposals) has put so much effort into nerfing the law (especially after the stripping out of the public option proposal during negotiations in 2009-2010). I find it even funnier that Mitt Romney (who put this law through in Massachusetts seven years ago) basically ran in 2012 on reversing it on a national level. We've basically had a Democratic president implement a sensibly conservative plan for universal healthcare only to have the very party that came up with it shut the country down to block it, all the while howling about socialism and treason.

What's your definition of reasonable?  Mitt Romney helped to off set the costs for healthcare by CUTTING taxes in Massachusetts.  Obamacare will ultimately cost taxpayers more not only with higher healthcare costs but also higher taxes.  It's a lose lose situation overall.

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What's your definition of reasonable?  Mitt Romney helped to off set the costs for healthcare by CUTTING taxes in Massachusetts.  Obamacare will ultimately cost taxpayers more not only with higher healthcare costs but also higher taxes.  It's a lose lose situation overall.

 

The CBO says that as implemented now the ACA will cut deficits by $210 billion over the next 10 years assuming all other things were held constant. It would be possible to do more to cut deficits by adding a public option to the mix (a government-run health insurance plan that would set the standard for premia and coverage levels across different demographics and income levels); that would drive consumer costs down even farther by setting a minimum bar that all insurance companies would have to meet as far as coverage for cost (and might even be able to turn a profit for taxpayers depending on who signs up and for how much).

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The CBO says that as implemented now the ACA will cut deficits by $210 billion over the next 10 years assuming all other things were held constant. It would be possible to do more to cut deficits by adding a public option to the mix (a government-run health insurance plan that would set the standard for premia and coverage levels across different demographics and income levels); that would drive consumer costs down even farther by setting a minimum bar that all insurance companies would have to meet as far as coverage for cost (and might even be able to turn a profit for taxpayers depending on who signs up and for how much).

Okay fine, but you still didn't answer my original question, which was what is your definition of reasonable?  

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Okay fine, but you still didn't answer my original question, which was what is your definition of reasonable?  

 

My definition of reasonable is:

 

1) Deficit-neutral or deficit-reducing over a ten-year timescale; that can be accomplished either through cost savings as a result of the bill itself or through increases in taxes bundled onto the bill to pay for the rest of it.

 

2) Significantly improves access to healthcare (and quality thereof where possible).

 

3) Reduces everyday healthcare costs for low- and middle-income Americans (although reduced costs for everyone are desirable, cost savings should first go to the people who need it most).

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My definition of reasonable is:

 

1) Deficit-neutral or deficit-reducing over a ten-year timescale; that can be accomplished either through cost savings as a result of the bill itself or through increases in taxes bundled onto the bill to pay for the rest of it.

 

2) Significantly improves access to healthcare (and quality thereof where possible).

 

3) Reduces everyday healthcare costs for low- and middle-income Americans (although reduced costs for everyone are desirable, cost savings should first go to the people who need it most).

I should've been more specific... I was referring to the cost to pay for the plan for healthcare for each American, which currently IMO can't be affordable for low and low middle class people if the prices are going up.

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Signing up as a single 25-year-old man making over 50K a year points me to an array of decent plans on the order of $220-$250 a month; these plans charge something like $25 to see a PCP, total annual out-of-pocket maxima around 5K-6K, and cover 70% or more of my total expenses incurred beyond that. Apparently after subsidies for most middle- and lower-income people kick in they'll be paying $100 per month or less (which isn't all that bad, especially considering that people under 133% of the poverty line will be covered by either Medicaid or fully subsidized healthcare).

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Signing up as a single 25-year-old man making over 50K a year points me to an array of decent plans on the order of $220-$250 a month; these plans charge something like $25 to see a PCP, total annual out-of-pocket maxima around 5K-6K, and cover 70% or more of my total expenses incurred beyond that. Apparently after subsidies for most middle- and lower-income people kick in they'll be paying $100 per month or less (which isn't all that bad, especially considering that people under 133% of the poverty line will be covered by either Medicaid or fully subsidized healthcare).

LOL! How many 25 year olds do you know are making over 50K in NYC in this economy??? Seriously, I don't know too many unless they're working at some financial firm or specialized field. Most folks out of college can't even find jobs these days.  Hell most of my friends don't even make that and they're pushing 30 or older.  More and more people of my generation are still living at home, so Obamacare is not remotely affordable for them.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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LOL... How many 25 year olds do you know are making over 50K in NYC in this economy??? Seriously, I don't know too many. Most folks out of college can't even find jobs these days.  Hell most of my friends don't even make that and they're pushing 30 or older.  More and more people of my generation are still living at home, so Obamacare is not remotely affordable for them.

 

Here's the thing; the calculation I did deliberately searches for the highest-cost plan group I could think of; young, single, healthy, and too well-paid to get subsidies. A family of four making a combined income around $86K will be paying no more than $680 per month (about $170 per month per person). If that same family makes only $35K per year, then they're paying $110 per month (about $30 per month per person), and if their income drops below that then they get free coverage through Medicaid. A single 25-year-old making $30K a year has to pay about $200 per month for a bronze plan (which is a bit much; that number should be a fair amount lower, or more heavily subsidized).

 

The only annoying part of this whole thing is that I can see unsubsidized costs just fine on the calculator but seeing the subsidized stuff requires making a real application (which apparently means facing penalties for inputting fraudulent information; technically, that seems to mean that inputting a range of different income and family size values to get a sense of the variance in subsidies is illegal). I wound up using a WebMD widget to get the numbers above, after giving it Bronx zip codes and the parameters above.

Edited by engineerboy6561

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Here's the thing; the calculation I did deliberately searches for the highest-cost plan group I could think of; young, single, healthy, and too well-paid to get subsidies. A family of four making a combined income around $86K will be paying no more than $680 per month (about $170 per month per person). If that same family makes only $35K per year, then they're paying $110 per month (about $30 per month per person), and if their income drops below that then they get free coverage through Medicaid. A single 25-year-old making $30K a year has to pay about $200 per month for a bronze plan (which is a bit much; that number should be a fair amount lower, or more heavily subsidized). FYI, all of these calculations are using a WebMD widget because I can't actually see subsidized costs for things without making a real application.

lol... $200 a month for someone making $30K a year vs a $90.00 penalty for the year?  That seems like an easy answer.  Hell I was paying over $300 a month for my coverage and I don't even use it.  Mind you I had the same exact plan with my previous company and it was almost half of that not that long ago. Granted the old company had a lot more employees (over 70, not including anyone in the field), but still.  It just goes to show how astronomical these plans are.  Also think about how much student loan debt college grads have now (regardless of their income) and it's hard to justify paying $200.00 a month when that can go to a student loan payment.  That's what I'm saying.  Everything is going up and so that's why these prices are astronomical, esp. with the cost of living here in NYC.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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lol... $200 a month for someone making $30K a year vs a $90.00 penalty for the year?  That seems like an easy answer.  Hell I was paying over $300 a month for my coverage and I don't even use it.  Mind you I had the same exact plan with my previous company and it was almost half of that not that long ago. Granted the old company had a lot more employees (over 70, not including anyone in the field), but still.  It just goes to show how astronomical these plans are.  Also think about how much student loan debt college grads have now (regardless of their income) and it's hard to justify paying $200.00 a month when that can go to a student loan payment.  That's what I'm saying.  Everything is going up and so that's why these prices are astronomical, esp. with the cost of living here in NYC.

 

I personally would rather that we just set up a single-payer system and were done with it; I'd gladly pay the higher taxes if it meant that I could simply cut out the insurance middlemen and just get the care I needed within a reasonable time frame.

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I personally would rather that we just set up a single-payer system and were done with it; I'd gladly pay the higher taxes if it meant that I could simply cut out the insurance middlemen and just get the care I needed within a reasonable time frame.

I agree.  That seems much more reasonable.

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I'd back a single-payer system easily.  I hate dealing with insurance companies on principle.  I can say Medicaid has been good to me when I need it but I frankly don't like where i have to be in order to use it.  

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@ VG8 and engineerboy6561

 

Been watching your back and forth in the thread since early this afternoon and this is the first chance I've had to respond. I was going to respond to VG8s post #203 but engineerboy6561's responses took my argument to another level. Since "Obamacare" doesn't affect me personally I've been following the whole ACA, Romneycare, Obamacare story from another perspective. I've seen the numbers from the Congressional Budget Office and I understand the premise behind them. Simply put the idea is" economy of scale". The more people enroll the lower the cost per person. That is sound economics. The problem I see with Obamacare is in it's implementation, especially in the early stages of the program. VG8, I won't belittle your concerns however it appears that you and a few others feel that you are subsidizing the old folks (Medicare) and the indigent and/or working poor. ( Obamacare). As I've pointed out in numerous threads I've been paying Federal taxes for 50 years and Medicare taxes for 48 years or so. In essense I've been subsidizing other people for half a century because for most of that time I was a single taxpayer with no dependents. With this program it's all about taxes and credits unfortunately so each individual or family has a different situation. Like engineerboy and Urbanfortitude I personally think the single-payer system was the way to go. My argument was with some of the politicians and the grandstanding they did during the shutdown. Being that the ACA was the law of the land it's my opinion that you implement the program as written and smooth out the rough edges and kinks as you go along. You sure as heck don't dismiss what the majority of citizens voted for because your faction doesn't like it. That's my beef with the whole shutdown and it's backers. Carry on.

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I agree.  That seems much more reasonable.

 

The problem is that when they were first discussing healthcare reform, Democrats considered doing single-payer. At that point, the healthcare providers, insurers, their lobbyists, and the politicians being funded by them did the press rounds and talked about how socialism was evil.

 

The amount of vested interests in this country is dangerously high.

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 The problem I see with Obamacare is in it's implementation, especially in the early stages of the program. VG8, I won't belittle your concerns however it appears that you and a few others feel that you are subsidizing the old folks (Medicare) and the indigent and/or working poor. ( Obamacare). As I've pointed out in numerous threads I've been paying Federal taxes for 50 years and Medicare taxes for 48 years or so. In essense I've been subsidizing other people for half a century because for most of that time I was a single taxpayer with no dependents. With this program it's all about taxes and credits unfortunately so each individual or family has a different situation. Like engineerboy and Urbanfortitude  

 

I personally think the single-payer system was the way to go. My argument was with some of the politicians and the grandstanding they did during the shutdown.

 

Well not getting into VG8's POV (he's entitled to his opinion as much as I do NOT agree with it) or the political party issues in itself, at this point, but I can see as you can in more astute awareness then myself, that the larger problem has to do with the Tea Party's overall agenda in trying to initiate a default and widen the social gap which is sickening and outright disgusting. The actions made confirms that they actually want a shutdown and default to force the government into a budget reform that enforces breaks on the wealthy with the poor at the short end of the stick. They actually want to widen the gap between the rich and the poor. Psychotic case of extreme narcissistic thinking out of blind greed and extremist prejudice and elitism. Hey they said it in the blogs - The comments? Shocking. We should not entertain nor support what is turning into a modern day caste system. This is a democracy, not a police state, not a medieval monarchy. 

 

I am happy to see that as MVH9218 and CenSin elegantly pointed out that democracy went into action to stop this tragic event from happening and now I am relieved. Now I have peace of mind. The US government did their job to put a halt to a socio-economic bomb and I am grateful. I will proudly submit my Form 1040 as a middle class citizen come April knowing the government structure still works, thank goodness.

Edited by realizm

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The problem is that when they were first discussing healthcare reform, Democrats considered doing single-payer. At that point, the healthcare providers, insurers, their lobbyists, and the politicians being funded by them did the press rounds and talked about how socialism was evil.

 

The amount of vested interests in this country is dangerously high.

That's the problem when it comes to any kind of change that would benefit the middle and lower class.  The upper class that have been making bank off the way things are find themselves butthurt.  Lobbyists are a big example as to why places like LaGuardia Airport will never see any kind of rail service; because the taxis currently make a killing transporting passengers to and from it.   

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I don't doubt the taxis and such being a reason, but I think an LGA airtrain could still work as long as they use the highways the way they used the Van Wyck for the JFK AT. It's the astoria line extension that will never happen because of the damn NIMBY's.

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@Trainmaster: It's not about feeling. It's about facts. All of the media outlets agree that Obamacare can only work and become reasonable IF about 2.5 million young people enroll in the program, otherwise it won't work, as you need enough people enrolled with minimal or no pre-existing illnesses to offset the older folks that are more likely to be ill or have pre-existing conditions. A large majority of young people ARE poor, so how can the government expect those people to actually be able to afford to supplement the population that is more prone to be ill or have pre-existing conditions? The numbers don't add up. That means even higher prices for the few young people that can afford these egregious "affordable" packages.

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@Trainmaster: It's not about feeling. It's about facts. All of the media outlets agree that Obamacare can only work and become reasonable IF about 2.5 million young people enroll in the program, otherwise it won't work, as you need enough people enrolled with minimal or no pre-existing illnesses to offset the older folks that are more likely to be ill or have pre-existing conditions. A large majority of young people ARE poor, so how can the government expect those people to actually be able to afford to supplement the population that is more prone to be ill or have pre-existing conditions? The numbers don't add up. That means even higher prices for the few young people that can afford these egregious "affordable" packages.

 

I mean, the current status quo is 'healthy' young person ends up getting injured/sick, sent to ER, and hospitalized for a stay that costs tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. Being poor, they're unable to pay, and they end up creating a financial drain on hospitals that forces higher costs on those who are insured. Someone has to suck up that cost - it's not exactly ethical to kick uninsured people to the curb. Let's face it - the current mentality of "I don't need insurance because nothing bad ever happens to me" is just a very foolish mindset to have in general, especially with something as expensive as an American hospital stay.

 

This country has the worst cost-of-living squeeze for young people - you got student loans on one side (and you can't cancel them through bankruptcy), and health and housing on the other. If they live in the burbs, throw in the cost of car insurance (which would be extremely high because young drivers are statistically more likely to be in an accident, especially if they're male). Within the next two decades, something is going to have to give.

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@bob... I think it's more about the fact that they simply can't afford healthcare. They've been interviewing young people here in NYC asking them if they will sign up or take the penalty, and many are saying that they will take the penalty. As you just said and I mentioned earlier, student loans are skyrocketing and the cost of living continues to increase... Something has to give...

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