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  1. Gary Kleppe commented on Tom Toles 5 days ago

    The cleaner and safer option is to leave the toxic sludge buried deep in the ground where it belongs.

  2. Gary Kleppe commented on Tom Toles 5 days ago

    And equally lame is the idea that a pipeline designed to carry Canadian toxic sludge to where it can be refined and sold to China will do anything to help US energy independence.

  3. Gary Kleppe commented on John Deering 7 days ago

    You’ve got to be kidding. Did you even read the editorial at the link?

    Yes, it is true that we supported an individual mandate. But we had in mind not a system where people who didn’t buy insurance would have to pay more money that those who don’t, but rather one in which people who did buy insurance would pay less money than those who didn’t. And new developments have changed our opinion on this, those notably being the invention of a Democratic President who championed the original idea.

  4. Gary Kleppe commented on Matt Davies 10 days ago

    Oh, yes, you’re forces to pay taxes. Poor BAY-bee.

    “Every man for himself” is not a workable approach to health care. If it were, programs like Medicare and Medicaid would never have been invented. Nor can private charity handle the load, or we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Buying health care isn’t like buying a bag of potato chips. A small percentage of the public, mostly through no fault of their own, needs most of the care. By themselves they would never be able to afford what they need. Therefore any kind of realistic approach to health care requires some sort of cost shifting.

    Where government health programs have problems, it’s because the private insurers have gamed the system. Private insurers get to cover working people and others who are basically healthy. The old, the poor, and people who are too sick or injured to work get dumped on the public. We could get rid of private insurers and cover everything for everybody in a single public plan and it would cost less than we’re spending now. Other countries, including those Marxist workers’ collectives Singapore, Taiwan, and India, have figured out that this works.

  5. Gary Kleppe commented on Matt Davies 10 days ago

    Oh, so that’s what you’re talking about. Yes, hospitals are required to provide a minimal amount of care to persons who are in life-threatening danger, and yes, this does result in costs being passed onto other people. It seems a bit odd to refer to that as socialized medicine. Perhaps next you’ll tell me that we have socialized housing because homeless people are allowed to sleep on park benches that someone’s tax dollars paid for.

    I guess you would have no problem with a system where a patient having a coronary would need to wait for the hospital to check his bank balance and credit rating. But many of us suffer from a condition known as basic human decency. (Look it up.) For most of us, the price of having to support health care for other people is worthwhile if it means that that care will be available if and when we need it.

  6. Gary Kleppe commented on Matt Davies 11 days ago

    Probably because he (she?) isn’t obligated to admit things that are only true in your very vivid imagination.

    Here’s a few clues for you: We don’t have a single-payer system in the USA. Countries that have spend a fraction of what we do while covering everyone and getting measurably better outcomes in terms of life expectancy, infant mortality, and just about any other relevant statistic you could name. And no, health care wasn’t cheap before the advent of Medicare and similar programs, or nobody would have argued for such programs in the first place.

  7. Gary Kleppe commented on Matt Davies 11 days ago

    Chuckles, in return for the tax hike on the 1%, everybody else could take that money they’re spending on medical bills and spend it on other things. I think that would stimulate the economy, don’t you? Actually we don’t have to guess because studies have conclusively shown that a real universal health care program would be a huge net boost to the economy.

  8. Gary Kleppe commented on Drew Sheneman 11 days ago

    Countries like China who think they have the right to carry out cyber espionage are annoying to ones like ours that really do.

  9. Gary Kleppe commented on Matt Davies 12 days ago

    I can’t resist throwing out some numbers here. The US population is around 300 million. Countries with sane health care systems spend around $5000 per capita annually on health care (we spend around $8500). So covering everybody in full would cost roughly $1.5 trillion per year. Now per Forbes, the average income of the upper 1% is $717,000. So if you taxed annual income over $200,000 at 90%, as we did during the reign of noted radical socialists Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard M. Nixon, instead of 40% which is the top bracket now, you would increase revenues by 50% * $517000 * 3 million or about 776 billion. Add to that the $845 billion that we’re already spending and you have more than enough to cover everybody even without asking the average person to pay any new taxes in exchange for the full coverage that he or she would now be getting.

  10. Gary Kleppe commented on Matt Davies 12 days ago

    That’s assuming prices stay the same. But they wouldn’t. When Medicare is the only game in town, it will be able to negotiate prices with providers much more effectively than now.

    It’s not exactly a novel approach. Other countries have done it, and they cover everyone while spending less money (per person) than we do. If you count the tax write-offs that companies get when they spend money on employee health care, the USA spends more PUBLIC money on health care than countries where public money pays for everything. It can work, and we know that because it does work in other countries.