Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Norwegian Perspective on Health Care in a Norwegian-American State

A Norwegian Perspective on Health Care in a Norwegian-American State

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~Betsy said...

Friends of mine in Sweden pay 46% income tax for their cradle to grave health care. Yes, their health insurance is free - but at what cost?

rilera said...

That depends on whether you place more emphasis on people or on wealth I guess. It's always a trade-off. Just because we are healthy and happy with our current health insurance situation doesn't mean that will always be the case. Costs are skyrocketing for both care and insurance premiums. How much longer will employers be able to afford to offer insurance and how much more of their income can families afford to pay for higher premiums? That's not to mention that if someone in the family gets sick, very, very sick, can the family afford to pay for the medical care that insurance does not cover? Betsy I'd like to know the costs that we are paying to cover the uninsured already as well as the costs that come out of our income to cover the insurance premium. You and your husband are small business owners, what is your situation with healthcare? Do you provide insurance to your employees and what is the cost of that insurance to your business? We either pay now or we pay later where healthcare is concerned.

~Betsy said...

The only option for health care costs to be contained in the US is tort reform. Why won't the dems agree to it? Because most of them are trial lawyers and the others receive donations from trial lawyers. The lawyers are the ones who make out on lawsuits while costs continue to climb.

I would also like to open up the health insurance to shopping across state lines. Why can't we do that? This would force insurance companies to be competitive.

The health insurance we provide to our employees is a health savings account. It is a good solution, however, the majority of our staff are young. Their costs are low in comparison to older folks.

As for the pay now or pay later, you fail to understand my comment regarding my Swedish friends. Their insurance is great for maintenance care (physicals, routine exams, etc.) but when something is a major issue, their care is substandard at best. Case in point: my Swedish friend's son injured his knee during a hockey game. To see the ortho physician, he had to wait 5 1/2 months. I am not exaggerating, Robyn. He hobbled around for 5 1/2 months with a blown ACL. He could have made a professional or semi professional hockey team (he was really good), but now his hockey career is over. Do you know how the Swedish government deals with things like that? They encourage their citizens to eat, drink and be merry. This kid parties now like you have never seen - and the Swedish government has him on the dole to pay for it. He is more than capable of getting some other form of work (since his hockey career is over), but he makes good money from the government. Is that the type of America you want to see?

My emphasis is not on wealth and I resent your implication saying so. But I'll be damned - I intend to keep what I earn and donate it where I see fit. No democrat is going to tell me how to spend my hard earned money.

rilera said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rilera said...

A health savings account. Hmm. Sounds interesting. And where is that money invested, in the stock market perhaps? Lucky for them that they are young enough and can recoup some of the money that was lost in the stock market last year. In the meantime, what are they doing for preventative care now? Youth is fleeting.

BTW, I am not a democrat. I do not agree with all of their philosophy. But why do detest democrats? Your not going to let them tell you what to do with 'your money'. Well Betsy, Republicans are spending your money just as insanely. I personally don't like paying taxes any more than you, but if I choose to live in a society then I guess I must. I agree with you about tort reform, but it definitely is not the whole solution. I also agree with you about being able to cross state lines for insurance. In the Twin Cities we have one of the largest health insurers in the country, United Health Care. Their CEO just was run out of his job because he was back dating stock options so that he could make more money. Guess who that expense was passed on to? Those insured by that company. You see, I don't want to take your hard earned money away from you. I too work damn hard for my money and if I have to pay taxes then I want it spent wisely. And your Swedish friend... why doesn't his family kick him in the butt and make him get a job? Just because the safety net is there doesn't mean you should fling yourself into it and go on the dole, especially if you can get a job. How can anyone condone that? I definitely don't support that type of behavior. Get off your butt and work if you can. But if you physically or mentally cannot then there should be a safety net for those people. I know that you work hard for your family and you deserve a chance to enjoy what you work hard for. But what about the person who works just as hard as you do, gets sick, loses their job and cannot afford health care? What do we do about them?

I looked up tax rates throughout the world. Unless wiki is lying (and it could be) Sweden's taxes don't look too bad. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_rates_around_the_world

~Betsy said...

Wikipedia shows the tax rate in Sweden to be as high as 59.09%. I assume the range is based on income brackets. My friend pays 46% as a freelance photographer. According to Wikipedia, some goods are also taxed at rates as high as 6 to 25%. I'm thinking most Americans aren't going to take kindly to these higher rates, but if they want something for nothing (free health care), this is the price they will pay.

As for my friend's son, he is now 24 and lives in his own apartment (paid for by the govt). His parents have no say-so over his life choices at this age. Because the government pays, he plays. It's a common human thing - to chose the path of least resistance. There is no question in my mind Americans will do EXACTLY the same thing.

Oh and for the record, my company pays into the health savings as well as contributions from the employees. Their routine maintenance care is also covered.

rilera said...

5The state that I live in, Minnesota, insures 90% of it's population and it always ranked near the top in healthiest populations in the country. We also have one of the highest qualities of life in the country. We also have the Mayo Clinic, which provides quality care and affordable prices. Maybe the rt of the country needs to take a look at our model.

Representative Wilson needs to realize that illegal immigrants already get free health care. We pay for them to use hospital emergency rooms for their primary care.

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