The doctor fix did not get re-instated and now doctors are mad. See here.
21.3% reduction in pay for doctors! The article talks about how doctors are going to stop seeing Medicare patients and if you google this happening, you’ll even see find suggestions that doctors go on strike!
For Clarity: I can’t figure out by what they mean when they say “Reduction in pay for doctors”. I’m going to assume they mean reduction in Medicare payouts, not overall doctor pay. Since the entire gammut of governmental payouts to doctors is only 27.8% of doctor income, I find it impossible to believe that the government is only going to pay like 6% now.
Anyhow, on with the show. First some setup:
Say you make $1000 a week, and you’ve been making that for years. Suddenly, you only make $800 a week for some reason (I work with people who experience this when they regularly work overtime and then don’t for a week or two).
Your whole lifestyle changes. As you get used to that $1000 you begin living in a way that requires that $1000 and $800 is a hardship. These are just arbitrary numbers, but the point is that when your income drops by 20% it sucks.
Now… back to why doctors won’t “quit Medicare”:
According to the ever dubious Wikipedia, Government programs account for 27.8% of payment. So, here’s the issue from a doctor’s point of view:
As it is now:
- Non-Governmental Payments: 72.2 %
- Governmental Payments: 27.8%
- Total: 100% compared to today
Option one – go on strike:
- Non-Governmental Payments: 72.2%
- Governmental Payments: 0%
- Total: 72.2% compared to today
Option Two – Not going on strike:
- Non-Governmental Payments: 72.2%
- Governmental Payments: 21.879%
- Total: 94.079% compared to today
Now, I’m not a doctor or anything, but I’d rather take an overall pay cut of 5.921% rather than 27.8%. This is why doctors won’t strike, or if they do it won’t be for long.
On the other hand – instead of striking, some doctors could cut some corners, put strain on suppliers to offer products more cheaply, and take in more Medicare patients; thus, they actually increase their income. You know… if they asked a business professional what to do.
The people that want to build it bought the land and they at least claim to not want to use it to harm non-Muslims. On that, I can’t see any reason to not build it. The mainstream media seems to think this is the entire argument for or against. It is not. One thing I can agree with the media on, is that it is highly insensitive to build it there.
With that in mind, here are some better reasons why they shouldn’t build it there:
- Imminent Vandalism. I don’t like vandalism and don’t do it, but they’re asking for it. Some people are offended by the idea of it being there, and it should not surprise anyone if the mosque is repeatedly vandalised.
- Blatant Political Straw Man. The nutbags in Palestine, Iran and so forth will use the vandalism as justification of all they do against the west. They’ll never admit that their own insensitivity caused the mosque to be vandalized, so for them it is a perfect straw man.
- Either…Victimization of Muslims by Muslims. The non-nutbag Muslims who go to this mosque and have to put up with the sneering, the vandalism and the anger over the insensitivity of putting it there will become poster children for the nutbag Muslims. It would be ala “Look at how the west treats the moderate Muslims! They just hate us all, so we are justified in every act of terror and violence against the west.”
- OR…Look how weak the west is. Now, all the nutbag Muslims’ claims of “the west is weak” will be justified (in their eyes). This will put moderate Muslims in a bind between the nutbags and the west.
So what to do?
I don’t feel that it is ok to tell them they can’t build it, but I do feel that it is ok to be insensitive right back to them if they build it there. If built, the Muslims who attend should not have ANY PROBLEM WHATSOEVER being branded as the poster-child of insensitivity.
If they build it and people picket the place constantly, peacefully protest it constantly, refuse to do business with Muslims who attend, and generally despise everything about that Mosque – nobody should be surprised, shocked or otherwise care.
To turn the situation around: If I opened a crematorium right across the street from a synagogue and called it “Alt Volk Brenner” – I should not be at all surprised if the Jewish community suddenly doesn’t like me and feels that I am insensitive, stops talking to me or my friends and family, refuses to serve me in their places of business, etc. Furthermore, they would be right.
As decent human beings, the Muslims should not build it there. If they do, they will be announcing to the world that they are not decent human beings and that it is OK to treat them as such. If they don’t want that – don’t build it.
I saw this little tutorial on deflation and it went so well until the last part:
The government can inject money into the economy with massive spending.This creates jobs and incomes.
Woops. This is Keynesian economics. Sounds fantastic on paper, but in practice it doesn’t work. I will now analyze each part to explain why it doesn’t work:
The government can inject money into the economy with massive spending.
Government only gets money two ways: Taxes and Selling Debt. If the government is collecting taxes and then giving it right back… that’s just a waste of time and money with no good result. It costs the government money to handle money (wages, electricity bills, etc), so if it takes in $100 there is NO POSSIBLE WAY it can give back $100.
Selling debt is something the US government could do until just recently. The only country that has enough cash hanging around to buy massive amounts of our debt is China, and they just announced August 15th that they aren’t really going to do that anymore. This means the only way the government can get money to “massively spend” is to monetize our own debt (buy out our own debt). This could very easily lead to hyper-inflation, and I think that’s the administration’s goal.
Furthermore, we’ve been massively spending for over two years now – since Bush – and even Keynes admitted that his strategy was not to be used over an extended period.
This creates jobs and incomes.
If the money was gained via taxes it actually does the opposite of this. The government would be taking money away from companies that need it *today* and giving it back to the ones that are still in business at some point down the road. This may stimulate those few surviving companies to hire someone, but what about all those companies that went out of business in the meantime? Those are other people that are now laid off! They’d still have a job if the Government hadn’t taxed them out of work.
If the money was borrowed by selling debt to another country, then that doesn’t create the confidence that the little cartoon says it will. We’re talking about getting money from a communist country that is perfectly fine with murdering millions of its own people and treating the rest as chattel. If I needed $10 and some guy said, “here, I borrowed this from a murderer so you can use it. I’m pretty sure he’ll lend me more. I really need you to spend it wisely so that I can tax you in order to pay him back. Please don’t leave me hanging – he’s a murderer.”
The only real way to fix deflation is to lower interest rates and cut taxes, ease or remove regulation, STOP massively spending, let failing businesses fail, and in all other ways get government out of the business market. It can’t do anything but make a mess of things.
The real problem with health care:
The problem with health care today is not “why can’t all people get it” or “how do we all pay for it” – the real problem is “why is it so expensive”.
IF, when you catch some bug, all you had to do was go the doctor, pay out $30 bucks for the visit and maybe $10 for some cheap antibiotics then health care wouldn’t even be an issue. However, my doctor charges $90 for a visit if I pay out of pocket, or $320 if I let my insurance cover it (co-pay of $10). Why is that? Well, my insurance company is just barely willing to pay $320 and I am just barely willing to pay $90 – depending on who is paying is what my doctor’s office charges. You might think my insurance company is gullible for paying the $320, but how can they know? They aren’t in the office with me – for all they know that’s a good deal for the service I get.
They rely on me to shop around, but why should I? As long as I go to a doctor that accepts my insurance, I only pay $10. If it wasn’t for curiosity, I wouldn’t even care what my doctor charges my insurance company. This encourages doctor’s offices to charge as much as they can – and why not? They need the money to cover frivolous law suits, malpractice insurance, equipment, nurses, and so on. Their costs have the ability to bloom ridiculously fast in a very uncontrollable manner. Furthermore, it is socially acceptable for them to do this.
The end result is that there is pressure to push the price of health care up and not down.
Do away with insurance entirely. Hear me out – I have a plan! Instead of paying into insurance that can be taken advantage of, let these insurance companies offer medical loans for emergencies that are very accessible 24/7 and then let the patient shop around. If you have an emergency and you go to the hospital, they give you (or your loved one) a bill and you get a loan. Then you pay back the loan when you get well. When it’s all paid off – you’re done! No more payments.
For regular doctor visits – you would be tempted to shop around and get the best value for the best price. Doctors would compete for your business, which means (like all other goods or services) the prices would go down and the quality and quantity would go up. Take Lasik procedures for example – they are vastly cheaper and more available now than when they first were offered because they are NOT covered by insurance and doctors have to compete for the business.
For conditions that will never go away – there are lots of ways of defraying those costs that we could do, but don’t. I can easily imagine a Diabetes Consortium that is a group that actively shops for good deals on insulin supplies and rates doctors, finds deals, offers discounts (like AAA for car and house insurance) and offers loan services or loan discounts for club members.
What about the destitute, like the homeless? Well, they afford cell phones and drugs – so I’m pretty sure that if it only cost $30 to see a doctor they could probably swing that once in a while. They actually make fairly decent money. It’s their poor life choices that keep them homeless.
I just noticed this article:
Which, reminds me of this:
You know, because it’s kinda similar; what with the “lining up with vouchers in hand” bit and all. It used to be that in America you just went where you wanted and got what you wanted, but these days we line up with government issued vouchers.