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  Reply # 906995 3-Oct-2013 12:00
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Over in less than 2 weeks and my tickets to Alcatraz and Yosemite are in limbo


Meh, that sucks mate. I'll keep my fingers crossed to ensure they re-open asap.
I'm just thinking of all the people that paid big bucks to make a once-in-a-lifetime journey and then find the landmarks & parks closed.

The Alcatraz tourboats are currently just going round the Bay so you can see the island just not set foot on it..
Yosemite is currently closed however through traffic can use the Tioga road (although with it being October that will soon close due to snow)
People stopping or pulling over will be tracked down according to what I read on another website

Klipspringer:
Behodar: I must be missing something here. Why are they expending extra effort to keep people out of a park that essentially runs itself (nature)?


Because there will probably be no park rangers around.
They have wildlife, unlike us here in NZ where the most dangerous predator is a possum


Heh yeh, Yosemite's got bears.. Yellowstone has got bears and buffalo's and a lot more
The Grand Canyon actually doesn't have that many hazards but the biggest hazard is the climate (it's scorching hot down the bottom of the canyon and it takes 2 days to hike back up to the top) and if you get disorientated or lost there won't be any ranger to spot you





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  Reply # 906999 3-Oct-2013 12:09
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DarthKermit:
mrphil: what is obamacare? is it like our ACC?


A law that Obama passed three years ago to ensure that everyone can get health insurance there.


Couple of thoughts:

Lots of working poor people in the US don't get health insurance with their employment, and they aren't quite poor enough to qualify for Medicaid (Government safety net). This group of uninsured is about 15% of population of the US.

The other problem is pre-existing conditions. There are a number of people who can't get insurance because they have had cancer or are smokers etc. The law meant that no one had to insure them, and so no one would, most of these people are old and most of these people aren't poor enough for Medicaid.

From what I understand Obamacare basically means it is illegal for people not to have health insurance. The consequence of this is that if someone is employed they get health insurance which can't be denied for pre-existing conditions. People can choose their provider including Medicare (the provider from Medicaid's funding).

It is thought that this will have two effects:

Increased care provided to the public which increases the overall wellness of the population which means increased productivity which means increased GDP
Reduced per capita costs for healthcare (the US has the highest per capita cost of healthcare in the world by a massive margin). This will be brought about by forcing young people and healthy people to have insurance, which improves the risk pool.

Effectively they end up with a screwed up/complicated version of of universal healthcare (eg. Netherlands), but not single payer healthcare (eg. NZ, Australia, Canada, UK, France etc)

Jon

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 907003 3-Oct-2013 12:21
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Reduced per capita costs for healthcare (the US has the highest per capita cost of healthcare in the world by a massive margin). This will be brought about by forcing young people and healthy people to have insurance, which improves the risk pool.

Effectively they end up with a screwed up/complicated version of of universal healthcare (eg. Netherlands), but not single payer healthcare (eg. NZ, Australia, Canada, UK, France etc)


I'd like to share some insight as I can contribute from 2 perspectives (having lived in The Netherlands for 28 years and in the UK for 4 years now).

- healthcare in NL used to be provided by the state, you could purchase additional private insurance that would cover more (lower excess) and use services the government system wouldn't cover
- in 2002 when I was going to Uni I paid 39 euro (NZ$63) in private healthcare per month (voluntarily)
- the government then continued to make healthcare obligatory in 2006 and privatised the entire system
- consequentially the private healthcare cost then rose to around 75 euro per month (NZ$122), nearly double compared to just 4 years before that
- the private healthcare cost has kept on climbing and is on a current level of around €110 (NZ$180) per person per month - triple the cost of 2002, in just over 10 years!
- hold on stop the story here for a sec

This means that in 2013, in The Netherlands, you are paying €110/$180 per person per month, this means for a family of 4 it costs €440/$718 per month! Multiply this by 12 months and your annual private healthcare charge is €5280 or NZ$8620 .. **SLAP** .. yep that hurts

- before it reached these extremes I got a job offer in the UK and moved over here where I pay £0 per month to receive free NHS treatment
- if I want to get better treatment, coverage and lower excess on any charges not covered I can get a private healthcare service here for around £29/NZ$57 per month .. waay more tolerable

but
- it's not ever yet.. what happens if you can't afford the ridiculous cost that the state forces you to pay in NL?
well after 3 monthly warnings, the tax department will take over and they will levy the healthcare charges as a tax over your income.
this means that it will be taken right off your pay-check without your intervention
if you are not working it will be decreased from your benefits and if you are studying you won't be able to take out a full student loan
the only way to escape the forced healthcare charge is to leave the country and notify your council that you are no longer a citizen, that's the only way to get rid of it..

hmm..





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  Reply # 907059 3-Oct-2013 13:26
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ScuL: The biggest bummer is for tourists visiting the US!!

Parks like the Grand Canyon are now officially closed.
I don't have a trip booked over there until March 2014 but I do hope things will be sorted by then!


I'd be willing to bet you could still somehow manage to see the Grand Canyon if you are in the area.

 

 

 

I found it pretty hard to miss!

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  Reply # 907070 3-Oct-2013 13:43
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There were officials putting up fences around war memorials in DC that are normally open to the public 24/7...! Visiting veterans righteously knocked them down and got to pay their respects

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  Reply # 907110 3-Oct-2013 13:57
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jonherries:
DarthKermit:
mrphil: what is obamacare? is it like our ACC?


A law that Obama passed three years ago to ensure that everyone can get health insurance there.


Couple of thoughts:

Lots of working poor people in the US don't get health insurance with their employment, and they aren't quite poor enough to qualify for Medicaid (Government safety net). This group of uninsured is about 15% of population of the US.

The other problem is pre-existing conditions. There are a number of people who can't get insurance because they have had cancer or are smokers etc. The law meant that no one had to insure them, and so no one would, most of these people are old and most of these people aren't poor enough for Medicaid.

From what I understand Obamacare basically means it is illegal for people not to have health insurance. The consequence of this is that if someone is employed they get health insurance which can't be denied for pre-existing conditions. People can choose their provider including Medicare (the provider from Medicaid's funding).

It is thought that this will have two effects:

Increased care provided to the public which increases the overall wellness of the population which means increased productivity which means increased GDP
Reduced per capita costs for healthcare (the US has the highest per capita cost of healthcare in the world by a massive margin). This will be brought about by forcing young people and healthy people to have insurance, which improves the risk pool.

Effectively they end up with a screwed up/complicated version of of universal healthcare (eg. Netherlands), but not single payer healthcare (eg. NZ, Australia, Canada, UK, France etc)

Jon


that makes things a lot clearer for me

Thanks Jon

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  Reply # 907114 3-Oct-2013 14:00
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mrphil:
jonherries:
DarthKermit:
mrphil: what is obamacare? is it like our ACC?


A law that Obama passed three years ago to ensure that everyone can get health insurance there.


Couple of thoughts:

Lots of working poor people in the US don't get health insurance with their employment, and they aren't quite poor enough to qualify for Medicaid (Government safety net). This group of uninsured is about 15% of population of the US.

The other problem is pre-existing conditions. There are a number of people who can't get insurance because they have had cancer or are smokers etc. The law meant that no one had to insure them, and so no one would, most of these people are old and most of these people aren't poor enough for Medicaid.

From what I understand Obamacare basically means it is illegal for people not to have health insurance. The consequence of this is that if someone is employed they get health insurance which can't be denied for pre-existing conditions. People can choose their provider including Medicare (the provider from Medicaid's funding).

It is thought that this will have two effects:

Increased care provided to the public which increases the overall wellness of the population which means increased productivity which means increased GDP
Reduced per capita costs for healthcare (the US has the highest per capita cost of healthcare in the world by a massive margin). This will be brought about by forcing young people and healthy people to have insurance, which improves the risk pool.

Effectively they end up with a screwed up/complicated version of of universal healthcare (eg. Netherlands), but not single payer healthcare (eg. NZ, Australia, Canada, UK, France etc)

Jon


that makes things a lot clearer for me

Thanks Jon


And me, thanks for the well thought out explanation.

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  Reply # 907131 3-Oct-2013 14:05
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Or you can look at all the people/companies that are reducing worker hours to below 30 to avoid Obamacare costs; pushing the middle class closer to that poverty line and into the modern day bread and soup queues of the depression (EBT cards/food stamps). Last time I checked some 47 million Americans were on these

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/30/us-employers-slash-hours-avoid-obamacare
http://conservatives4palin.com/2013/07/small-business-owner-obamacare-forced-me-to-close-my-restaurants.html
http://www.infowars.com/obamacare-claims-another-victim-as-company-forced-to-close-down/

F
ood stamps claim at Washington Post:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/09/23/why-are-47-million-americans-on-food-stamps-its-the-recession-mostly/

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  Reply # 907135 3-Oct-2013 14:11
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P1n3apqlExpr3ss: Or you can look at all the people/companies that are reducing worker hours to below 30 to avoid Obamacare costs; pushing the middle class closer to that poverty line and into the modern day bread and soup queues of the depression (EBT cards/food stamps). Last time I checked some 47 million Americans were on these

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/30/us-employers-slash-hours-avoid-obamacare
http://conservatives4palin.com/2013/07/small-business-owner-obamacare-forced-me-to-close-my-restaurants.html
http://www.infowars.com/obamacare-claims-another-victim-as-company-forced-to-close-down/


Yes look at these individual cases, of businesses who probably weren't going to survive anyways vs the benefit that millions of people in America will have healthcare to the same level as all the REST of the 1st world countries in the world already have!

Like with any change, there will be those who throw their toys from the cot, in protest, those who will proclaim the end of the world is coming, but 10 years on people won't know any better. 

It's like the whole asset sales thing in NZ. Obama made VERY VERY clear (As in you would have to be a Moron to not have noticed) he intended to pass this bill if he was elected. He was elected by a comfortable margin (TWICE) and this indicates he has a mandate by the people to implement this. 

The thing about this situation, is that it's not about Obamacare, it's about Obama. There are fringe groups within the Republican and almost the entire Tea Party, who will oppose everything Obama does, just "because" and those people have no space in politics. 

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  Reply # 907161 3-Oct-2013 14:38
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Klipspringer:
The US is ranked the highest when it comes to external debt. $US 16,737,246,099,998

Interesting though that when looking at the per capita and per GDP figures, New Zealand is actually worse off.

New Zealand debt per capita 52,300
United States debt per capita 52,170 (They actually better off)

New Zealand debt % GDP: 126
United States debt % GDP: 106 (Again they better off)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_external_debt

If they broke. What are we?


Except those are total debt numbers.  Both government and private, and we are talking about the US government here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_public_debt

NZ public debt % GDP: 34.1
US public debt % GDP: 80.7

We are also doing a hell of a lot better and heading in a better direction on statistics like unemployment.
If we could only kick the addiction to property investment, the nation wouldn't be in such a bad shape.

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  Reply # 907448 3-Oct-2013 20:26
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ScuL:

Reduced per capita costs for healthcare (the US has the highest per capita cost of healthcare in the world by a massive margin). This will be brought about by forcing young people and healthy people to have insurance, which improves the risk pool.

Effectively they end up with a screwed up/complicated version of of universal healthcare (eg. Netherlands), but not single payer healthcare (eg. NZ, Australia, Canada, UK, France etc)


I'd like to share some insight as I can contribute from 2 perspectives (having lived in The Netherlands for 28 years and in the UK for 4 years now).

- healthcare in NL used to be provided by the state, you could purchase additional private insurance that would cover more (lower excess) and use services the government system wouldn't cover
- in 2002 when I was going to Uni I paid 39 euro (NZ$63) in private healthcare per month (voluntarily)
- the government then continued to make healthcare obligatory in 2006 and privatised the entire system
- consequentially the private healthcare cost then rose to around 75 euro per month (NZ$122), nearly double compared to just 4 years before that
- the private healthcare cost has kept on climbing and is on a current level of around €110 (NZ$180) per person per month - triple the cost of 2002, in just over 10 years!
- hold on stop the story here for a sec

This means that in 2013, in The Netherlands, you are paying €110/$180 per person per month, this means for a family of 4 it costs €440/$718 per month! Multiply this by 12 months and your annual private healthcare charge is €5280 or NZ$8620 .. **SLAP** .. yep that hurts

- before it reached these extremes I got a job offer in the UK and moved over here where I pay £0 per month to receive free NHS treatment
- if I want to get better treatment, coverage and lower excess on any charges not covered I can get a private healthcare service here for around £29/NZ$57 per month .. waay more tolerable

but
- it's not ever yet.. what happens if you can't afford the ridiculous cost that the state forces you to pay in NL?
well after 3 monthly warnings, the tax department will take over and they will levy the healthcare charges as a tax over your income.
this means that it will be taken right off your pay-check without your intervention
if you are not working it will be decreased from your benefits and if you are studying you won't be able to take out a full student loan
the only way to escape the forced healthcare charge is to leave the country and notify your council that you are no longer a citizen, that's the only way to get rid of it..

hmm..



Yep, the Dutch system is quite interesting, I had someone come and talk to me in the last couple of months about the system there and how they could improve, she was trying to learn from what we are doing as NZ has probably the best value for money health system in the world.

Also you realise you are paying for the NHS as part of the "national insurance" in your paycheck...

Jon

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  Reply # 907478 3-Oct-2013 21:23
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jonherries:
Yep, the Dutch system is quite interesting, I had someone come and talk to me in the last couple of months about the system there and how they could improve, she was trying to learn from what we are doing as NZ has probably the best value for money health system in the world.

Also you realise you are paying for the NHS as part of the "national insurance" in your paycheck...

Jon


Yes but the lowest income tax band in the UK is only 20% (up to nearly $80.000) whereas the lowest income tax band in NL is 37% (up to $30.000) most people pay 42% or higher plus the costs of healthcare... So whichever way you look at it, it is a very very expensive system and draining on the poorest in the country. I reckon it could be ok to have obligatory healthcare if the government monitors the charges that the insurers put behind it but they don't really seem to care





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  Reply # 907503 3-Oct-2013 22:10
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ScuL:
jonherries:
Yep, the Dutch system is quite interesting, I had someone come and talk to me in the last couple of months about the system there and how they could improve, she was trying to learn from what we are doing as NZ has probably the best value for money health system in the world.

Also you realise you are paying for the NHS as part of the "national insurance" in your paycheck...

Jon


Yes but the lowest income tax band in the UK is only 20% (up to nearly $80.000) whereas the lowest income tax band in NL is 37% (up to $30.000) most people pay 42% or higher plus the costs of healthcare... So whichever way you look at it, it is a very very expensive system and draining on the poorest in the country. I reckon it could be ok to have obligatory healthcare if the government monitors the charges that the insurers put behind it but they don't really seem to care



Sorry, wasnt trying to point out that the Dutch system was cheaper, just noting that the UK system wasnt free either.

Both do provide free Primary Care at POC which is better than here I reckon (we seem to have an obssession with nice hospitals ahead of preventing illness.

Jon

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  Reply # 907510 3-Oct-2013 22:21
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It's all good. But to go back to the original subject - what I'm still not clear about is if Obamacare will create the same effect as obligatory healthcare has had for the Dutch? Health insurance is already skyhigh in the US so will this actually bring the burden per capita down or will the pricing go up?




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  Reply # 907519 3-Oct-2013 22:34
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ScuL: It's all good. But to go back to the original subject - what I'm still not clear about is if Obamacare will create the same effect as obligatory healthcare has had for the Dutch? Health insurance is already skyhigh in the US so will this actually bring the burden per capita down or will the pricing go up?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_total_health_expenditure_(PPP)_per_capita

Here is the classic table on healthcare spend per capita, the best option would be to find the mortality for the same countries and plot a scattergram. The US stands out like a sore thumb as does NZ for a different reason.

http://ucatlas.ucsc.edu/spend.php

Based on adding people who cant/dont have insurance to the risk pool, this should spread the insurers risk reducing cost. There should also be more universal preventative care, so less need for high cost interventions.

Jon

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