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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » "Obamacare" (Page 4)

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Author Topic: "Obamacare"
Foust
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Oh, you all must read the comments from Cap's yahoo link.

quote:
Our presadent can do anything he want's Just type in Barry Soetoro on Yahoo and hit search. It's worth the effort.

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capaxinfiniti
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quote:
Originally posted by Foust:
Oh, you all must read the comments from Cap's yahoo link.



yes. some of them are almost as stupid as harry reid's statement as quoted in the article.

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AvidReader
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I'll be curious to see what SCOTUS does with this [the law being challenged]. Because they only let you buy insurance in your own state right now, how could it be interstate commerce?

Congress might have to first open up insurance so you can buy from any state and then regulate it.

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Geraine
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I'm glad the President saw how the 1099 law would affect businesses. While I understand that they believe it will raise $17 billion dollars, it is important to note that the $17 billion is over a 10 year period of time. Per year, $1.7 billion may be raised. It is likely that the $1.7 billion the government would receive would be offset by the additional people needed by the IRS to audit and process these transactions. Most analysts believe that it would cost the economy many times more than the $1.7 billion per year to comply to the law. I am very happy that the President recognizes this and called for it to be removed.

As for the Supreme Court, I really don't know which way they will rule. AvidReader has a very good point about the interstate commerce.

I think if Congress is going to take a look at the Healthcare bill to improve it, they really need to look at the loopholes it creates. Under the new Healthcare Law, I can just pay the fine each year and not get insurance. If I actually get sick, I can just sign up at that time, get all the treatment I need, then drop the coverage again. There are loopholes for businesses as well. They can either provide Health insurance or drop it completely and pay the 8% payroll tax fine. In a tough economy, employers are going to try to save money by dropping health coverage completely and paying the fine, as it will cost less than providing insurance. The employees may complain, but at least they have a job.

I don't know what a good solution to solving the loopholes is. I REALLY hope the bill doesn't get voided due to the courts. I think positive changes can be made without throwing the whole thing out.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by AvidReader:
I'll be curious to see what SCOTUS does with this [the law being challenged]. Because they only let you buy insurance in your own state right now, how could it be interstate commerce?

Congress might have to first open up insurance so you can buy from any state and then regulate it.

SCOTUS has generally understood healthcare to have the essence of interstate commerce, even though healthcare regulation has largely, historically, been a matter for states.

The real question here isn't whether the Commerce Clause allows Congress to regulate healthcare - it's fairly well understood that it does - the question is whether or not the Commerce Clause can be interpreted to compel you to engage in business with private companies. It would be one thing if the law created a tax and forced everyone onto a government plan. But forcing you to purchase insurance from a private company is a whole different ball of wax, and that's what the crux of the debate is going to come down to.

Personally I have a real problem with it when framed like this.

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Ron Lambert
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My mother, who is 89, just received word from the managers of her annuity (she retired from the U.S. Post Office), that because of the increased costs for health care under the new Health Care Act, $50 will be deducted from her benefit payment each month. If Obamacare is repealed--by any means--that would be good news for her.
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MattP
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Note that there is no claim that healthcare would be cheaper for everyone under Obamacare. It's most optimistic claim is that overall costs will decrease and that more people will be insured. Those of us who already have health insurance may very well pay more.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
My mother, who is 89, just received word from the managers of her annuity (she retired from the U.S. Post Office), that because of the increased costs for health care under the new Health Care Act, $50 will be deducted from her benefit payment each month. If Obamacare is repealed--by any means--that would be good news for her.

Well, stop the presses. One person is out $50- we better scrap this plan to cover millions of people with affordable care so that so many of them don't die so young while pursuing a longer term strategy to lower overall costs that will eventually be recouped in savings because your mother who is covered by an annuity has to pay an extra $50.

I mean, $50! Jesus Jumping Jehosiphat $50! she's 89, after all. 89!

Yeah, definitely, the repeal of health care reform in its entirety, along with the prospect of all the protections it is meant to confer on the nation's 89, and 26, and 43 year olds, would be good news for you mother.

You know something? I imagine the defunding of all public works projects, the selling of all publicly held lands and parks and the closing of all the schools would be good news for your mother as well. Imagine how much she could save then, not having to pay for that stuff! Might as well cut out the FDA, while you're at it. And the cops- she doesn't need those guys anyway, she lives in a decent neighborhood, why pay 'em? In fact, I bet your mom could do without public sanitation as well, right? She could just bury the waste in the yard- money saved! Hell, it would be fantastic news for her if all those things just went away. Gee wiz Ron.

I know how she could really save money! OMG! We could eliminate the postal system! And then we wouldn't have to pay all those pesky annuitie.... oh my god...

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TomDavidson
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You know, I don't begrudge Ron's mother for being upset that she's suddenly going to be receiving $600 less each year. That's a non-trivial chunk of change.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
My mother, who is 89, just received word from the managers of her annuity (she retired from the U.S. Post Office), that because of the increased costs for health care under the new Health Care Act, $50 will be deducted from her benefit payment each month. If Obamacare is repealed--by any means--that would be good news for her.

A lot of that isn't directly the law's fault. I've read a lot of complaints from people whose premiums increased virtually overnight because the law would freeze their ability to jack up rates after the fact. In essence, a lot of what we're seeing is pre-emptive price gouging.
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Belle
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To someone living on a fixed income, $50 a month is significant.

I also don't begrudge Ron's mother for being upset over it.

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DDDaysh
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Belle - while you're right, I wonder if the costs are REALLY do to the new law, or if that's just a convenient excuse. After all, I'm sure the health plan for an 89-year-old will use any excuse it can to increase the premiums!
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MattP
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And premiums have been going up every year for a couple decades.
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Raymond Arnold
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Anyone have data on how much they've been going up, and whether/how-much-more they went up this year?
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MattP
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A report, for which I can't vouch:
http://www.hewittassociates.com/Intl/NA/en-US/AboutHewitt/Newsroom/PressReleaseDetail.aspx?cid=9106

quote:
Next year, Hewitt projects an 8.8 percent average premium increase for employers, compared to 6.9 percent in 2010 and 6.0 percent in 2009.
quote:
Hewitt estimates that the most immediate applications of health care reform—including covering dependents to age 26 and the elimination of certain lifetime and annual limits—contributed approximately 1 percent to 2 percent of the 8.8 percent projected increase for 2011.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
You know, I don't begrudge Ron's mother for being upset that she's suddenly going to be receiving $600 less each year. That's a non-trivial chunk of change.

Nor I. But bemoaning big government over $50 that's coming out a government administered and payed annuity? Yeah, that's laughable.
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Ron Lambert
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We'll see if its LAUGHABLE to you when you reach retirement age, and are in the same boat. If you only receive $1200 a month, and all the bills you have to pay (such as mortgage and utilities) leave you scant margin for any discretionary spending, let alone for food, $50 a month matters a great deal.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
We'll see if its LAUGHABLE to you when you reach retirement age, and are in the same boat. If you only receive $1200 a month, and all the bills you have to pay (such as mortgage and utilities) leave you scant margin for any discretionary spending, let alone for food, $50 a month matters a great deal.

Social security was never meant to pay for all that.

Besides, by the time I retire, Social Security probably won't even exist because your generation couldn't summon up the will to fix it.

PS. I'm only a college student, but I live on a heck of a lot less than $1,200 a month.

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BlackBlade
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Lyrhawn: Our old people need to live in houses bigger than the ones they raised their children in. It's the American way! You can't downgrade to a single apartment when your children move out and your spouse passes on. That's just absurd!!

This isn't really a jab at Ron's mother. I have a bit of a pet peeve with my countrymen's need to leave home and move into an apartment, but die in a mansion.

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TomDavidson
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Again, to be fair, $1200 a month is an absolute pittance, especially if you're also paying for medical expenses.
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Ron Lambert
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Actually I live with my mother and my sister and her husband in the same four-bedroom house my mother has lived in for 54 years. We all help with the expenses, but all our budgets are tight.

Lyrhawn, what do you mean, Social Security was never meant to pay for all that? What else was it ever for?

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Actually I live with my mother and my sister and her husband in the same four-bedroom house my mother has lived in for 54 years. We all help with the expenses, but all our budgets are tight.

How Asian! [Smile] Me likes.
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Mucus
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I'm not too familiar with the American system, but do you actually *have* an annuity if your total income is only $1200 per month? In Canada, that income level works out to roughly the same as the Guaranteed Income Supplement which is given to all seniors as a base-level of income just in case there is no pension or other retirement income. I would have thought that the US would have an equivalent system.
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Ron Lambert
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Mucus--the annuity is a retirement benefit from the U.S. Post Office, where my mother worked for about 22 years. Sort of like a pension. She also gets Social Security, but it is reduced in proportion to her annuity. I may not have the exact amount right, but the annuity is about $1200 a month.
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Samprimary
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"obamastroid"
http://www.theonion.com/articles/republicans-vote-to-repeal-obamabacked-bill-that-w,19025/

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Ron Lambert
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Sigh. That article is from the Onion, where everything is a satire. By the way, the photo featured as being that of the asteroid, looks to me like the asteroid Eros. Eros is not presently on a collision path for earth, though Wikipedia notes: "Simulations suggest that Eros may evolve into an Earth-crosser within 2 million years." Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/433_Eros

Note that Eros is named after the Greek god of love (romantic love). So what the article in the Onion should have said is that Obama wants to launch an all-out attack on Love, and the Republicans acted to save Love from the wrath of Obama.

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Raymond Arnold
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*blink* *blink*
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Juxtapose
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Now I'm absolutely certain we're being trolled.
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MattP
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Wow.
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Samprimary
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Ron, buddy, you're flat-out bonkers.
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Ron Lambert
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Hey, at least I refrained from calling him "the Dark Lord." (Someone might have complained it was racist.)

You folks do understand what satire is, right? And that anyone can play?

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TomDavidson
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Not everyone plays well, is the thing.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
You folks do understand what satire is, right? And that anyone can play?

Anyone can try. Some will just confuse the hell out of everyone.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
Actually I live with my mother and my sister and her husband in the same four-bedroom house my mother has lived in for 54 years. We all help with the expenses, but all our budgets are tight.

Lyrhawn, what do you mean, Social Security was never meant to pay for all that? What else was it ever for?

Social Security was not designed to pay for every life expense, and certainly not at the rate in which certain aspects of our system are increasing in price. It was a system designed to make it so old people wouldn't die in poverty, it wasn't meant to fully replace your income. It's supplemental income, designed for a time when most people who retired had a pension or kids to help them in their old age, but make the burden considerably less.

It was also designed for a time when medical costs were incredibly cheaper than they are now, and food was the most expensive thing you bought, where today, food is relatively dirt cheap, and housing and medical care have skyrocketed. We're living off a formula that was designed in a totally different society, and we're expecting it both to do things it was never intended to do, and to last years longer than it was expected to.

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Ron Lambert
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Lyrhawn, you do realize that the majority of retirees do depend upon Social Security for all the things you dismiss as not having been intended--don't you? It is great if they have pensions or annuities in addition. But I think a survey would probably show that the majority of retirees depend upon Social Security as the sole source of income, period. This was the original contract that was used to justify taking 20%-30% of a person's income out of their paycecks to provide for their future "social security." Just think about what that term means--social security.

Yes, it is a Ponzi scheme, and yes Congress keeps raiding it in one way or another. But for many seniors, it is all they have.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
Lyrhawn, you do realize that the majority of retirees do depend upon Social Security for all the things you dismiss as not having been intended--don't you? It is great if they have pensions or annuities in addition. But I think a survey would probably show that the majority of retirees depend upon Social Security as the sole source of income, period. This was the original contract that was used to justify taking 20%-30% of a person's income out of their paycecks to provide for their future "social security." Just think about what that term means--social security.

Yes, it is a Ponzi scheme, and yes Congress keeps raiding it in one way or another. But for many seniors, it is all they have.

Right, which means we need to revisit the costs seniors are being required to pay on their own in the absense of pensions and retirement funds. Is the income your average American can expect to have reasonably sufficient for their needs? I would argue Social Security is flagging in that regard, quite badly in fact. So we need to offer assistance in very specific ways. Healthcare, living arrangements, food.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
Lyrhawn, you do realize that the majority of retirees do depend upon Social Security for all the things you dismiss as not having been intended--don't you? It is great if they have pensions or annuities in addition. But I think a survey would probably show that the majority of retirees depend upon Social Security as the sole source of income, period. This was the original contract that was used to justify taking 20%-30% of a person's income out of their paycecks to provide for their future "social security." Just think about what that term means--social security.

Yes, the term means social "security," which is intended as a failsafe against indigence, not as a sufficient means of living. It was not intended to be the sole means for retired people, it was intended to insure that those who had not saved enough for one reason or another had something minimal on which to survive. That's why we shouldn't privatize it, by the way, because if we did, we would end up having to pay out of pocket *again* for anyone who screwed *that* up as well.

Part of what makes you such a poor authority on all this stuff, is that you're really not given to caring what any of it actually means, as opposed to what you yourself perceive. It is very sad that so many people live on social security alone- but I find it very amusing that you are still against the idea, and also that you somehow think liberals, for supporting the system, are somehow in collusion to get these poor seniors living on intolerably low amounts of money in their old ages. As if were social security not in place, every family in America could somehow manage to cover their own relatives into retirement if they hadn't managed to save anything. Damn the ones who never had children, I suppose.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
Lyrhawn, you do realize that the majority of retirees do depend upon Social Security for all the things you dismiss as not having been intended--don't you? It is great if they have pensions or annuities in addition. But I think a survey would probably show that the majority of retirees depend upon Social Security as the sole source of income, period. This was the original contract that was used to justify taking 20%-30% of a person's income out of their paycecks to provide for their future "social security." Just think about what that term means--social security.

Yes, it is a Ponzi scheme, and yes Congress keeps raiding it in one way or another. But for many seniors, it is all they have.

Well, reality versus intention. That may be how things ARE, but it's not how the system was designed. So when people say "how am I supposed to live on this?" The answer is; You aren't. When people cry about raising the retirement age or cutting benefits and they say "how can I live on less? Why do I have to work longer?" The answers are; you aren't supposed to, and because you're living longer.

If we refuse to cut benefits or raise the retirement age, then we have to raise taxes. It's really extremely simple. If you want Social Security to function as a living wage, then we have to dramatically increase the tax that supports it.

And, by the way, I'll vote against any politician who supports that as a solution, regardless of his position on almost any other issue.

PS. The tax for SS back when it was first established was like 2%. I think even into the 70s it only rose to 6%, and there's a cap on taxable income. Maybe you're including all entitlement programs in that 30% figure, but even then I don't think the number is that high.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
This was the original contract that was used to justify taking 20%-30% of a person's income out of their paycecks to provide for their future "social security." Just think about what that term means--social security.
Since when are social security taxes 20-30% of a person's income. Right now, social security taxes are 6.2% from the employee and 6.2% from the employer for a total of 12.4%. Not even close to 20 to 30% of a person's income.
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natural_mystic
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
The answers are; you aren't supposed to, and because you're living longer.

I gather that the increase in life-expectancy is concentrated on those who are less reliant on social security. Before I'd support cutting benefits across the board or raising the retirement age I'd consider some decrease in benefits based on, say, income from 401Ks and the like. [Or does this already happen?]
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fugu13
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No, increase in life expectancy is broad across the board, in populations of all socioeconomic levels (around the world, even).

Means testing does not currently occur, but it would significantly improve the long term viability of social security, as would a mild increase in eligibility age plus making the tax not regressive. The combination of those three would make social security viable into the indefinite future.

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natural_mystic
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I'm basing my comment on table 4 of this:
http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/workingpapers/wp108.html, which I have skimmed in very cursory fashion. When I google "life expectancy by income US" I do see other I do see other papers claiming that income is not a significant indicator. So I don't know.

As far as entitlement spending goes, the growth curve on Medicare/Medicaid is far more alarming than that of social security. I'd address that first.

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fugu13
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It's an exploratory study with a weak instrument. Plus, by studying birth cohorts, it will discover an effect if there's a large increase in life expectancy that has even a slight delay in spreading to poorer populations -- in each year, the richer people would live much longer, even if next year the poorer people lived nearly as long.

There could also be temporary effects -- for instance, the population at the end of the study also sent significant numbers to Vietnam, proportionately more from poorer families. By the time the survivors reached sixty (the age from which their life expectancy was considered), social support networks would be weakened a lot. That could explain a significant part of the life expectancy.

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natural_mystic
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What's your source for life expectancy being independent of income level?
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fugu13
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I didn't say it was independent, I said increases in it were broad across the board. If you want to check out how broad, I suggest watching Hans Rosling's videos on global health.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by fugu13:

Means testing does not currently occur, but it would significantly improve the long term viability of social security, as would a mild increase in eligibility age plus making the tax not regressive. The combination of those three would make social security viable into the indefinite future.

Hey! LET'S ****ING DO THAT!
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natural_mystic
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quote:
Originally posted by fugu13:
I didn't say it was independent, I said increases in it were broad across the board. If you want to check out how broad, I suggest watching Hans Rosling's videos on global health.

OK, but notice in my original post I did not claim that life expectancy was not up for everyone; only that the greatest increase was among those who least needed social security which you disagreed with.

Anyway, I will check out those videos tonight.

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AvidReader
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
Yes, the term means social "security," which is intended as a failsafe against indigence, not as a sufficient means of living. It was not intended to be the sole means for retired people, it was intended to insure that those who had not saved enough for one reason or another had something minimal on which to survive.

While you and I know this now, I've been told by a lot of Boomers that that's not how it was presented for a lot of people for a lot of years. I have no sources, but the perception is absolutely there that SSI was supposed to be retirement.

So either the government did wrong and needs to fix it, or they fell down on the job keeping public perception aligned with reality. I definietly feel there isn't enough out there on how easy it is for a 20 something to retire well. 12% of what you make needs to go into a tax-deferred account, and you employer probably provides some of that. Mine still matches a full 6%, but the 401k rep said that's rare these days.

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Ron Lambert
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Orincoro, you said: "It was not intended to be the sole means for retired people, it was intended to insure that those who had not saved enough for one reason or another had something minimal on which to survive."

Are you aware that in that sentence you contradict yourself?

Blackblade, you said: "Is the income your average American can expect to have reasonably sufficient for their needs? I would argue Social Security is flagging in that regard, quite badly in fact."

That is why some seniors eat cat food.

The Rabbit, the IRS currently uses a sliding scale, where your taxes, FDIC withholding, etc., are calculated based on your income level. For most people, they can count on either having withheld from their paycheck or paying additional tax at income tax time an amount more like 20%--with the present top limit being about 30%.

I still say that what would be most fair to most people would be a flat rate percentage of net income. Then we could throw away the thousand plus page book of Income Tax Rules and tell people what they owe in one sentence.

God only asks for a flat rate--a 10% tithe on increase (net income). That is fair to everyone. What right does government have to demand any more?

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scholarette
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Ron- I don't think anyone has ever suggested your full taxes are being paid to help guarantee retirement. Those taxes are hyped as paying for roads, the army, court system, etc. Only the 6% that is specifically labelled social security is supposed to go towards that system.
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