How tough is life in America now?

Jakki - posted on 06/24/2012 ( 468 moms have responded )

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This is a question for all you Americans. In Australia we hear that there are massive problems with unemployment and poverty over there now. But you guys don't seem to be complaining a lot.



What is it like for you and people close to you?



Are you struggling financially and do you worry about the future?



Thanks in advance for your honesty!

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Rosie - posted on 08/02/2012

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how will it hurt people that can't afford it? and if you were aware of who would get the penalties then why were you freaking out about some imaginary $1000 cost each month?

Sherri - posted on 08/02/2012

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@Rosie I was simply answering Janices question I am aware of who would get the penalties.

@ Jenny just because I don't advocate for UHC doesn't make me obtuse. I have repeatedly stated a revamp needs to be done with the current system, I do not however agree that UHC is that solution. It also won't benefit my family, it currently will benefit others though...that is not a bad thing. However, I don't think the way they are going about it is the right way and Obamacare is certainly going to hurt people as well as help others. It truly is a dbl edged sword.

Rosie - posted on 08/02/2012

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but i like facts!!!! *pouts*

i'll throw my 2 cents into the helmet situation as well. i live in iowa, i believe it's one of 2 or 3 states that have no helmet laws. i agree with it for adults, not for children. if you want your brains splattered out on the highway,more power to you. just as if someone wants to smoke a bowl, more power to you. i'm firmly against any law that restricts what you can or cannot do with your own body, as long as you aren't hurting anyone else (as in driving under the influence).

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/02/2012

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Isobel, pretty much what everyone else has tried to say or what I've said.

I do love how Sherri did jump to conclusions about what I had posted yesturday. I don't have my permanent resident status yet so I don't qualify for UHC. Since I don't qualify for UHC please tell me how in the hell would I purchase it? The 125$ a month would pay for emergancy services that myself or my older daughter might need NOT UHC.

Canadians do have a higher net worth than Americans- it was revealed last week by some big study. Canadians also pay less for their health care, are sick less, have more time off, are less stressed and are more likely to live longer than Americans.

So in conclusion- I'll stay here now and just visit. Thanks.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/02/2012

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Oh so this is what happens when I make my 2hr drive back from my MIL's house? Fun!

Rosie, stop trying to confuse people with facts you know we can't have that! :) But I'll check that site becuase I'm curious since my parents still live in New York.

I'm just popping in for the helmet stuff then I'm going to take a nap.

When I lived in Texas helmets were optional on people over 17 on motorcycles so we had a lot of soldiers at Ft.Hood who would come home on leave, buy a motorcycle and plaster 190 or I-35 with their brain matter and reset the board. (FYI: The board was at the entrance of the base that said how many days Ft Hood had gone without a vehicle fatality.) They would also reset the board by driving too fast or driving drunk- things that are also illegal but people do them becuase they haven't been educated.

Here in BC our province just banned the use and sale of a certain kind of motorcycle helmet because it's been shown to not to protect someone from a head injury.

I've educated my daughter on why she needs to wear a helmet while riding her bike and her scooter. I was a care aide back in NY I took care of a girl who was hit by a car and was bed ridden, on a feeding tube and couldn't even talk. I make sure my daughter knows about that.

Isobel - posted on 08/02/2012

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I just thought of the biggest proof of all that UHC doesn't cost as much as you guys think (regardless of all of our taxes), even though you guys have higher wages, Canadians have a higher net worth ;)

Rosie - posted on 08/02/2012

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i urge some of you people to read this. it's very helpful. :)http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra...



2. Families making less than 133 percent of the poverty line — that’s about $29,000 for a family of four — will be covered through Medicaid. Between 133 percent and 400 percent of the poverty line — $88,000 for a family of four – families will get tax credits on a sliding scale to help pay for private insurance.
3. For families making less than 400 percent of the poverty line, premiums are capped. So, between 150% and 200% of the poverty line, for instance, families won’t have to pay more than 6.3 percent of their income in premiums. Between 300 percent and 400 percent, they won’t have to pay more than 9.5 percent. This calculator from the Kaiser Family Foundation will let you see the subsidies and the caps for different families at different income levels.
4. When the individual mandate is fully phased-in, those who can afford coverage — which is defined as insurance costing less than 8 percent of their annual income — but choose to forgo it will have to pay either $695 or 2.5 percent of the annual income, whichever is greater.
5. Small businesses that have fewer than 10 employees, average wages beneath $25,000, and that provide insurance for their workers will get a 50 percent tax credit on their contribution. The tax credit reaches up to small businesses with up to 50 employees and average wages of $50,000, though it gets smaller as the business get bigger and richer. The credit lasts for two years, though many think Congress will be pressured to extend it, which would raise the long-term cost of the legislation.
6. Insurance companies are not allowed to discriminated based on preexisting conditions. They are allowed to discriminate based “on age (limited to 3 to 1 ratio), premium rating area, family composition, and tobacco use (limited to 1.5. to 1 ratio).”
7. Starting in 2018, the law imposes a 35 percent tax on employer-provided health plans that exceed $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for family coverage. The idea is a kind of roundabout second-best to capping the tax code’s (currently unlimited) deduction for employer-provided heath insurance. The policy idea is to give employers that much more reason to avoid expensive insurance policies and thus give insurers that much more reason to hold costs down.
8. The law requires insurers to spend between 80 and 85 percent of every premium dollar on medical care (as opposed to administration, advertising, etc). If insurers exceed this threshold, they have to rebate the excess to their customers. This policy is already in effect, and insurers are expected to rebate $1.1 billion this year.
9. The law is expected to spend a bit over $1 trillion in the next 10 years. The law’s spending cuts — many of which fall on Medicare — and tax increases are expected to either save or raise a bit more than that, which is why the Congressional Budget Office estimates that it will slightly reduce the deficit. (There’s been some confusion on this point lately, but no, the CBO has not changed its mind about this.) As time goes on, the savings are projected to grow more quickly than the spending, and CBO expects that the law will cut the deficit by around a trillion dollars in its second decade. Here’s its graph, which covers the period between 2012 and 2021:

The ACA's taxes and spending cuts make it a slight deficit reduce in its first decade. (CBO)

10. In recent years, health-care costs have slowed dramatically. Much of this is likely due to the recession. Some of it may just be chance. But there’s also evidence that the law has accelerated changes in the way the medical system delivers care, as providers prepare for the law’s efforts to move from fee-for-service to quality-based payments.
11. The law’s long-term success at controlling costs will likely hinge on its efforts to change the way health care is delivered, most of which have gotten very little attention. They include everything from encouraging Accountable Care Organizations to spreading medical homes to penalizing hospitals with high rates of preventable infections to creating an independent board able to quickly implement new reforms through the Medicare system. A partial list of these efforts can be found here.

Rosie - posted on 08/02/2012

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sherri, the penalty for not having insurance is for only those who can afford it but don't get it. there are federal subsidies to help you pay your insurance premiums if you can't afford it. plus, now adults without children at home can qualify for medicaid.

as of yesterday women do not have to pay for birthcontrol, or preventative services such as papsmears, HIV all other STD testing, breastfeeding services including pumps, and screening for gestational diabetes. you do need to check when your insurance year starts over again, because that is when it will officially begin for each person.

Jenny - posted on 08/02/2012

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"I never once said people shouldn't have healthcare, the only thing I HAVE EVER said is I am against UHC and the current system. I agree changes should happen and wish they could come up with a better solution that is all I have EVER said."



I think you are just against the idea of it. It would benefit your family immensely and you still won't admit it's a good system. We get more for less under UHC. That is a fact. We save money by having access to treatment before an ER is required. That you would look at that fact and say you still don't agree is showing you are just being deliberately obtuse.

MeMe - posted on 08/02/2012

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Karla---I would hope that with true UHC or a National HC, that employers who then cover that insurance expense would transfer that money to income, or to the new HC taxes.

What employers would do is pay for your supplementary insurance. Then you would not have to pay for anything but a 20% copay (unless you and your husband worked, then it would be 100% across the board because you can put the plans together and end up fully covered, like my husband and I) on prescriptions, optical, dental and a bunch of other things (since these things are not included in UHC, at least not in Canada).

Like we have said, out of the taxes we pay, it is a very small percentage that goes to UHC. Our tax dollars goes to many other things, just like your tax dollars do.

I was reading some stats and it goes something like this. The USA health costs per person is approx $8000 and in Canada it is $4800. You know why? Because we can go to the doctor as soon as we feel we should. We don't have to wait, due to worry of costs. Therefore we are treated sooner and get better sooner.

If anyone is interested they should go and read some stats between the current cost of the US health care and Canada. It is easy to find because these two Countries are often having their health care regimens compared to see which is best. UHC always wins, hands down. ;)

Sherri - posted on 08/02/2012

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@Janice here it is and from what I understand this is only IF you already don't have insurance privately. If you don't have insurance privately you incur a penalty by the gov't to insure you and your family and it is as follows:



The minimum penalty/tax in 2016 will be $695 per person and up to 3-times that per family. After 2016, these amounts will increase at the rate of inflation.

The minimum penalty/tax per person will start at $95 in 2014 (and then increase through 2016)

No family will ever pay more than 3X the per-person penalty, regardless of how many people are in the family.

The $695 per-person penalty is only for those who make between $9,500 and ~$37,000 per year. If you make less than ~$9.500, you're exempt. If you make more than ~$37,000, your penalty is calculated by the following formula...

The penalty is 2.5% of any household income above the level at which you are required to file a tax return. That level is currently $9,500 per person and $19,000 per couple. The penalty on any income above that is 2.5%. So the penalty can get expensive quickly if you make a lot of money.

However, the penalty can never be more than the cost of a "Bronze" heath insurance plan purchased through one of the state "exchanges" that will be created as part of Obamacare. The CBO estimates that these policies will cost $4,500-$5,000 per person and $12,000-$12,500 per family in 2016, with the costs rising thereafter.



So, basically, you're looking at penalties of approximately the following at the following income levels:



Less than $9,500 income = $0

$9,500 - $37,000 income = $695

$50,000 income = $1,000

$75,000 income = $1,600

$100,000 income = $2,250

$125,000 income = $2,900

$150,000 income = $3,500

$175,000 income = $4,100

$200,000 income = $4,700

Over $200,000 = The cost of a "bronze" health-insurance plan



The IRS will collect the penalty-tax, a fact that will no doubt further enrage those who hate Obamacare.



http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-tic...

Janice - posted on 08/02/2012

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I would really love to look at what Julie is looking at because it makes zero sense. 1K per person per month in new taxes is crazy. I want hard evidence that is the reality.

Karla - posted on 08/02/2012

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Sherri,

When we had to purchase our own health insurance, before I was covered through work, only our mortgage payment was higher then our insurance. And, with the continued increases the insurance caught up to the price of our mortgage payment.

Right now my employer pays $12,00+ for my health insurance and I pay 3,000 + , Is there any way in heaven or hell that UHC would cost that much in taxes? (I am lower middle class - we make less then the median income.)

I would hope that with true UHC or a National HC, that employers who then cover that insurance expense would transfer that money to income, or to the new HC taxes. Of course in the US we won't have a National Healthcare system until the Insurance Companies go bankrupt, and with their rates that will not happen for some time.

Sherri - posted on 08/02/2012

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@Julie those #'s are terrifying!! Is that # per person? If it is that would mean I would have to pay....OMG I think I am going to burst into tears right here. We will never make it, what is the avg. family supposed to do?? We barely make ends meet NOW. That is a $540 increase a month!!!! That is my car payment, cable bill and electric bill a month.

Sherri - posted on 08/02/2012

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@ Kelly When you say people who do not buy insurance should not have it, you are saying that I should not have insurance because I cannot buy it. When you say that people should not have healthcare unless they pay for it, you are saying that I should have died, because when I got sick, I can assure you, I saw no way of ever paying those bills. You are not speaking directly to me, but you are speaking about me, because I am those people who cannot buy insurance, who rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills.

I have never once just for the record have ever said any of that!!! I never once said people should not have healthcare unless they pay for it. I never once said people shouldn't have healthcare, the only thing I HAVE EVER said is I am against UHC and the current system. I agree changes should happen and wish they could come up with a better solution that is all I have EVER said. So before you slam me for something I supposedly said make sure your facts are correct!!!

Just an FYI the person that said those things was Julie....I am on the same side as her as not agreeing with Obama care but I don't agree 100% with her view on the current system.

MeMe - posted on 08/02/2012

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LOL - Stella, get over it. The fact is I am appalled that there is life out there, that has no damn heart or soul for other human beings. I am not trying to be insulting, I am simply showing how asinine some of your comments are. Serioulsy. If you don't show respect for all other human beings, why the hell should they show it to you? I am only using words to prove my stance, you, my dear, BELIEVE what you say. There is a big difference. I think you are very insulting with your views. They are actually very discrimanatory. Since, they tend to only veer to the positive for people that are in the EXACT same position as yourself. Everyone else, can piss up a rope, I guess.... **Sigh**



Again, charma is great until it turns and bites you in the ass!

Lakota - posted on 08/02/2012

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"Seriuosly, these things some people spew out of their mouths, shows there is not a heck of a lot of thinking going on behind their opinions!" MeMe really? Just because someone disagrees with you or others, doesn't mean they "spew" or "don't think".

Kelly, it's because of people like MeMe and other's who can't have a debate or discussion without feeling the need to be insulting. I have read a few comments by people who are offended by what is said to them because they disagree. I do have discussions with people as to why I am against it. Just no longer here because of a few people who feel like they have the right to attack with words. They aren't worth it.

Isobel - posted on 08/02/2012

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my friend is married to a radiologist in Canada and I assure you that they live in a perfectly huge, shiny white castle in the best part of Toronto (and a semi in midtown goes for over $600 k so... The doctors here are not hurting for cash lol.

MeMe - posted on 08/02/2012

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Stella---I will say one thing about the helmet and seatbelt laws. Of course I think people with any sense should wear their seatbelts and helmets. But, they are adults and don't need mommy government telling them what they have to do. Their decision not to wear them does not hurt or endanger others.



Oh, so those that choose not to and end up in the Emergency (if they live) and cannot foot the bill, so YOU as a tax payer and insurance carrier gets to, that is OK? Just as long as an adult gets the choice, right? Unfortunately, them being complete idiots has an indirect affect on EVERY single other resident of America, of whom puts any monies at all into the Government and/or insurance. You do realize that, right?



Not only that BUT when my child starts driving I want to be comforted that at the young and foolish age of 16 they WILL have to wear a seat belt and/or helmet. Since, at that age you believe you are indispensable and are more likely to NOT wear one, if it is not law.



Seriuosly, these things some people spew out of their mouths, shows there is not a heck of a lot of thinking going on behind their opinions!



ETA:

Not only that but this also brings us back to caring about more than just our friggen selves. There are idiots out there and as sad as it may be, they need looking after. Perhaps they have never had anyone to give two shits about them in their life. At least Governement can show some care for them, by keeping them from going through a windshield or having their brains smooshed all over the road!



It also provides excellent education to a Country or State/Province as a whole. Us Canadians have been widely educated on the downfalls of no seat bealts or helmets. For that I am grateful, as it means my children have too, been educated. Not just by me but by EVERYONE! ;)



Wow, the coldness from some here is shivering.....

[deleted account]

That is part of the problem, Stella, the people who are against UHC will not say why they are against it, so that we can address their concerns in future legislative ideas and actions. If we knew more about what you were against, we could find solutions that met your needs, as well as those of the millions of Americans who cannot get healthcare in our current system.



Also, those against UHC rarely have a better solution to the problem. We cannot come up with solutions if one side of the debate is only saying "No, we don't like that solutions, but we are not going to suggest anything else." We need ideas--the more people offering up ideas and solutions we have, the better the chance of finding a good solution is.



And Sherri, you are correct, you have never said anything directly to me, but you often speak about a group of people that I belong in. When you say people who do not buy insurance should not have it, you are saying that I should not have insurance because I cannot buy it. When you say that people should not have healthcare unless they pay for it, you are saying that I should have died, because when I got sick, I can assure you, I saw no way of ever paying those bills. You are not speaking directly to me, but you are speaking about me, because I am those people who cannot buy insurance, who rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills.



When you say, "it's not my job to solve your problems" you make it clear that you don't give a damn what happens to me and my family. How can you live like that? You know, I do a lot of things that it is not my job to do because I know it needs to be done--it's not my job to help homeless moms in my area get jobs, I don't like doing it, it's not fun, it's frustrating and painful, but I do it because if I don't, they will be homeless forever and their kids will grow up into crime or homelessness. Because those moms and myself are part of the same society, I have a responsibility to help them, the same should go for you--you and people like me are part of the same society, a society that has helped you tremendously, so you have a responsibility to help others in that society when they cannot help themselves.



ETA: The above is my opinion, not sure if I stated that very clearly, but I know there is no law or rule that says we should help others. I just think we should because when they are down, it can start a topple effect that brings a whole society down, but if we help each other within our societies, we can stop that and build the society up, which would benefit everyone.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/02/2012

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@ Janice, because a lot of people are set in their ways. They hear the phrase 'Socialized medicine' and they get images of nukes dancing in their heads. The people who seem most opposed to UHC like to equate health care to car insurance because as we all know EVERY bloody last person needs a car and an oil change every 3,000 miles. *eye roll*

They're also concerned with profit and what's in it for them. Hence where the idea that people who opposed UHC/ single payer health care are selfish and only care about themselves and their families. They worry that no one will get excessive amounts of money for performing a service that is necessary for people to stay healthy. FFS people and you wonder why people get the assumption that you are greedy and selfish.

One thing I find funny about the people I have debated over UHC is that they are also vehemently opposed to abortions for any reason. THey feel that it is their right to tell each and every woman not to have sex, not to use birth control and what to do with their bodies. Yet they have all told me that it's not their responsibility to make sure that my children have health insurance. Really? It's not your business to pay your taxes so everyone can have access to affordable health care which includes being able to have proper pre-natal care and affordable health care for their child. BUT it is your God given right to tell everyone that they HAVE to have a child for whatever reason, even if that child will have expensive medical bills the rest of their life. FUCK MY LIFE! How does anyone not see anything wrong with that picture?

And yes I know I swore, we're adults. Cry me a rive, build a bridge and get over it.

Janice - posted on 08/02/2012

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Krista That is absolutely obscene. OBSCENE, that you had to go through that. And the sad thing is that you're not alone...there are so many other people out there, just like you, who are going through pretty much the exact same thing.

And it's obscene that there are so many of your fellow countrymen who just don't care. They think it can never happen to them. They don't realize that it could happen to ANYBODY, and that with one bad diagnosis or bad accident, you can go from prosperity to homelessness. And in one of the richest countries in the world, that is just flat-out WRONG. NOBODY should have to go through what you went through.

And I just don't understand why more people don't feel that way. It sickens me.


I couldn't agree more! No one should have to go through what Kelly went through. People think they are immune to bad health but they have just been lucky. The mentality of only looking out for 'me & mine' is disgusting. In Meme's post the author mentioned that with all the social systems in place there is no 'welfare'. Instead of the 'poor' getting the most out of other's tax dollars, every one benefits. Why are people so blind to this?

Krista - posted on 08/02/2012

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There are more people in the US who are opposed to UHC and Obamacare than their are people who want it.

Considering how grossly misinformed people are about it (as we've clearly seen on this thread), that's really no surprise.

Lakota - posted on 08/02/2012

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There are more people in the US who are opposed to UHC and Obamacare than their are people who want it. I am against it. I am not going to debate any of you about it. Not because I can't make a good argument for my stance, but the conversation does turn into a personal attack by a couple of people on here. That is rediculous and juvenile. If some of you are confused as to who the couple of people are, scroll down and read some of it.

I will say one thing about the helmet and seatbelt laws. Of course I think people with any sense should wear their seatbelts and helmets. But, they are adults and don't need mommy government telling them what they have to do. Their decision not to wear them does not hurt or endanger others.

Janice - posted on 08/02/2012

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Hey Julie could you provide a link so the rest of us could be better informed?

And I live in NY with the seat belt and helmet laws and they are dumb. I always where my seat belt and IF I ever get a chance to ride on a motorcycle I would where a helmet. But if some asshole chooses not to that should be there choice. Obviously these laws are necessary for children but adults should not be fined for making a choice - even a bad one.

Krista - posted on 08/02/2012

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"I was 17 when I got sick. I lost my job because I could not work while receiving chemo. I could not secure another full time job while receiving chemo because who wants to hire someone who needs to be off for 6 weeks every other month? I worked part time, but I very quickly fell behind on my COBRA payments, as they were $300 more a month than my income, and I was only able to work every other month. They dropped me, and no private insurer would insure me because I had cancer. It took FOUR YEARS for me to beat that disease. I racked up over $750,000 in medical debt. Without a college education, there was no way I could land a full time job that paid enough to pay back that debt and still afford a life for myself. I'd done the homeless thing already, and I wasn't going back to that. My only option was to start my own business, which meant I would not be offered group insurance, I had to buy private, but I can't, because I had cancer. Even if I could work a regular job with a company that offered group insurance, they won't cover anything related to my pre-existing conditions--and that list is pretty long!"

That is absolutely obscene. OBSCENE, that you had to go through that. And the sad thing is that you're not alone...there are so many other people out there, just like you, who are going through pretty much the exact same thing.

And it's obscene that there are so many of your fellow countrymen who just don't care. They think it can never happen to them. They don't realize that it could happen to ANYBODY, and that with one bad diagnosis or bad accident, you can go from prosperity to homelessness. And in one of the richest countries in the world, that is just flat-out WRONG. NOBODY should have to go through what you went through.

And I just don't understand why more people don't feel that way. It sickens me.

Krista - posted on 08/02/2012

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Megan, I was offended by Krista E.'s post from 4 days ago on page 16 of this thread. I don't use such language so you can read for yourself.

You're offended by my use of the word "fuck"? Well, I'm offended by the fact that you obviously don't give a sweet damn that there are an awful lot of people in your country who are DYING because they can't afford insurance or health care.

I guess we're even.

MeMe - posted on 08/02/2012

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Yeah no laws for helmets or seat belts is a wee too far for my liking. That isn't freedom of choice, that is a Government that doesn't give two shits about its people. Since, if there are no laws, then there is no education of why it is best to do so. Honestly, that is absurd and for those reasons alone, I would never ever live in NH.

Kristi - posted on 08/01/2012

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Sherri--



You may have not specifically named Kelly, just everybody who doesn't work, whether they can or not. I don't see where anyone "bullied" you. You are trying to argue your side (however weak), and others are arguing their side. Just because they are using fact and 3rd party experience (meaning the authors do not have any vestment in this debate) to back up their opinions does not make them bullies, it makes them better at debating. And, I have to say in this case, they are making an extremely strong arguement. I just read the last few pages, to catch up, and I can't see where you have offered one, fact, just supposition based on a friend or two and what seems to me to be, just an obstinate opinion from a very closed minded individual.



Do you actually have a valid reason (besides everybody has the right to their own opinion) for your violent opposition of UHC or is it because if you change your opinion now, you think you will look like a fool? I've been on the outside of this, looking in. I didn't have enough knowledge of either system to argue so I was waiting for all sides to weigh in. Based on the information here it is a hands down, no-brainer, decision. I have a hard time believing that any rational 3rd party person, with NO knowledge whatsoever, of either US or Canadian healthcare policies, would not come to the same conclusion as I. If I were you, I would tuck tail right about now and go educate myself before I tried to convince others that my "way" is better.



ETA:



You love that you have no helment or seatbelt laws? You believe those are choices that all adults should have? That is the same as no gun control. There are many smart, safe, responsible individual gun owners who use common sense, like don't point your gun at another person unless your intent is to kill them. IE: there are smart, safe, responsible people who will wear their helmets and buckle up. Then there are always the James Holmeses of the world who use guns for mass murder. Hence, the motorcycle rider who ends up scooping his brains off the road or the adult passenger/driver who ends up going through the windshield. Thus the reason there should be laws for individuals who exercise no common sense and are a danger to themselves and others. If we ever agree on something, please don't try to help me out in a debate, I actually want people to take me seriously.

Julie - posted on 08/01/2012

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Karla, We pay $343.96 for our health insurance premiums and my husband's employer pays the other half. We do have a $1000.00 family deductible, or $500.00 individual which we always meet in January with our son and by February or March our out of pocket is met so his medical expenses the rest of the year are covered 100%. I wanted to learn more about "Obamacare" with the 2nd phase taking effect today. President Obama said the cost per working individual will be an increased $1000.00 a month in taxes to pay for all of it. This was the first I had seen a concrete number on it and I was floored. That's our grocery money for the month. There's just no way that we personally can afford "Obamacare". My neighbors who own their own orchards have never had health insurance and unlike us have had really good health. They said they have done just fine over the last 30 years by living frugally and having a medical savings account to take care of any medical bills that come up. They resent being forced to purchase insurance insurance with "Obamacare" that they say they can't afford. Anyway I guess to answer your question, my maximum out of pocket including premiums could be a little more than that if more than just my son were really sick in a given year, but so far what I've paid the last 2 years hasn't been more than the $12,000.00 a year we would pay with "Obamacare. So I would most likely be paying more. Also currently we get to deduct our medical expenses from our taxes and get a good return each year which pays for almost half of that. I haven't been able to find anything yet as to whether or not people will still be allowed to deduct on their taxes the part they are paying for the medical insurance tax. I don't know. I'm trying to read the document so I can understand more, but it's written in legalease and 1,000 plus pages so it's VERY slow going. I know it's harder for small businesses to get decent rates on insurance as opposed to the buying power of a large company, but my husband's company has maybe 15 employees and the owner hasn't had any problems getting insurance companies to work with him. Anyway I guess all I have to go on is what President Obama has said his plan will cost and what we've paid in the last several years with our own insurance and until I actually have to pay it I guess I won't know for sure what would be the better deal.

Sherri - posted on 08/01/2012

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Our roads are all redone and constantly doing construction and updating them every summer. So not sure where the heck you driving through but I have lived her for 40yrs and never had a problem with our roads ever.



Now Mass is a friggin nightmare!!! Some of the worst roads and bridges I have ever seen.



No way I love that we have no helmet law, also love that we have no seat belt law. Although I always wear it, as an adult though those things should be up to the adult to wear or not too.

Isobel - posted on 08/01/2012

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but your liquor stores are AWESOME...as are your fireworks ;) There are ups to having almost no laws



the motorcyclists with no helmets freak me the hell out though, I wish they'd legislate that.

Sherri - posted on 08/01/2012

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@Isobel Sherri, are you in NH? if so, you're infrastructure is for shit! They should start taxing you so they can fix it...but hey, live free or die, right? ;)

I am and our infrastructure is not shit and NO they should not start taxing us!! So now we are stooping so low to slam others home states??

@Kelly You know I have never once bashed you said you are lazy deserved cancer or said you should have ever worked harder. I have never said one single thing against you in the least. I am not against you in the least. It is not my job yo fix the insurance issues but that doesn't mean I have to go along with an insurance plan that I don't agree with or support. That has ZERO to do with you. You are just pissed at me for not supporting it because you do. Bully me, think badly of me think I am against you (I can assure you I am not) but no matter what you say I am not changing my stance on this.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/01/2012

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@ SHerri, yeah but I also get an HST cheque every few months which pays me back a portion of my sales tax plus CCTB and UCTB once a month. What do you get? You know other than a tax refund once a year. BTW, I get that too.

The 125$ monthly is just for temporary residents of Canada, once I have my permanent resident status I qualify for UHC here in BC. My taxes in BC aren't any higher than the ones I paid when I lived in NYS and NYS has some of the highest taxes in the country.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/01/2012

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LOL MEME! that's from the link I posted a week ago! My husband found it online when I was debating UHC with some GOP lovers back in the US. I remember reading that exact same thing! But hey maybe posting it in full will make more people read the damn thing.

They should also read that America is one of the few countries without paid maternity leave (Even PAKISTAN has 10 paid weeks off FFS!) We have one of the largest gaps between the wealthy and the middle class and many other discrepancies that make me grateful I now live in Canada.

Yes the cost of living is crazy up here, but at least I get stuff back for living here.

MeMe - posted on 08/01/2012

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A continuation of the above posted link I provided. I won't post the entire like but it is also a great read. It completely explains (as the above posted link, does) Why some Americans are so afraid of UHC. I get it, I really do BUT so many people that live with UHC are telling you how it really is.



I was afraid of Universal Health Care, because I knew nothing else but what I had been told by religious propaganda and conservative think tanks. They repeatedly spread the idea that Universal Health Care took away all choice. I was told that people were assigned doctors, and were not free to choose a different doctor. I was told that older people were denied health care and left to die because they were not a priority to the national interest. I was also told that abortion was pushed heavily on any woman who had an unwanted pregnancy or women who were pregnant with a child with disabilities. I was told that people with disabilities would be eliminated by government encouraged abortions or possibly even killed at birth (they wouldn’t want those people on the federal dole since they would “waste money” and “drain the system.”) Universal Health Care was often tied in my mind to places like China with their one child policy, places where the choice to have a large family would not be tolerated.



When I moved to Canada at the age of 23, and was forced to experience Universal Health Care and found that it was actually a good thing for pretty much every person I came in contact with, I began to question what else I had been told could be misinformation. Even the very conservative people I came in contact with in Canada were happy with their Universal Health Care. In Canada large secluded religious sects had all their health care needs met by the government and had no problem with that. The stuff I had been fed was purely propaganda. There was no cap on how many children you could have, no older people left to die, no forced abortions or elimination of special needs people. Even when Canadians complained about wait times and talked of maybe running to the states to get a service faster, after finding out that it would cost them tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket, most chose to wait instead. (And yes I am aware that optical and dental care are not covered, I wear glasses myself. And since I wasn’t spending years paying off emergency room visits or the leftover costs of my children’s births, I could actually afford to take my kids in for dental care every 6 months.) The system wasn’t perfect, but it was a decided improvement on what I had observed and experienced in the USA.




http://ayoungmomsmusings.blogspot.ca/201...



ETA: And wait times are not very long, at all. For a doc appt. at most you wait 2 weeks and that is if you want a specific time of day! Surgery 2-4 weeks. There are stats out there. So before anyone gives their uneducated two cents, read up on the reality of it, first. ;)

Isobel - posted on 08/01/2012

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and you know what? Our systems are not perfect, but they ARE a lot better than yours and until you can see that, this argument will never end. We pay less, worry less, get better care, and EVERYBODY is covered. period.



edited to add, we do not get "better" care than wealthy people...but on average better than most because doctors are free to prescribe what is needed without checking first whether or not insurance will cover it...if it exists...it's covered.

Isobel - posted on 08/01/2012

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Sherri, are you in NH? if so, you're infrastructure is for shit! They should start taxing you so they can fix it...but hey, live free or die, right? ;)

[deleted account]

"No it wouldn't they would never up employees pays just because they no longer had to pay healthcare they would simply pocket it." Sherri



Wow, either your husband works for a greedy, crappy company, or you have a really bad opinion of all of us business owners.



I never said you have all the answers, but if you don't support the one answer out there, you have to come up with a better solution, or agree that you support the current system. You mention restructuring, but I have yet to read anything about what kind of restructuring you suggest. Everyone knows UHC is not perfect, but can you honestly think of anything better? Or do you think what we have is better? What we have might be better for YOU, but for most Americans, it is not better.



Also, you are correct that you cannot be turned down for coverage of pre-existing conditions by a GROUP insurer if you have never had a laps in coverage. However, private insurers can, and will, refuse to cover you, so if you loose your job, and you have been sick, your only option is to find another job with a large enough company to offer group insurance within the next 3 months. If you are too sick to work, tough shit.

I was 17 when I got sick. I lost my job because I could not work while receiving chemo. I could not secure another full time job while receiving chemo because who wants to hire someone who needs to be off for 6 weeks every other month? I worked part time, but I very quickly fell behind on my COBRA payments, as they were $300 more a month than my income, and I was only able to work every other month. They dropped me, and no private insurer would insure me because I had cancer. It took FOUR YEARS for me to beat that disease. I racked up over $750,000 in medical debt. Without a college education, there was no way I could land a full time job that paid enough to pay back that debt and still afford a life for myself. I'd done the homeless thing already, and I wasn't going back to that. My only option was to start my own business, which meant I would not be offered group insurance, I had to buy private, but I can't, because I had cancer. Even if I could work a regular job with a company that offered group insurance, they won't cover anything related to my pre-existing conditions--and that list is pretty long!



I know, you feel I should have worked harder to keep my full time job, but until you've tried to work in the food industry while on chemo, don't even bother. Chemo makes you puke until your stomach literally feels like it has been filled with spiked shrapnel grenades and set on fire. The slightest wiff of food sends you into a prolonged fit of projectile vomiting. You are so weak you can barely stand, much less stand in a hot kitchen moving heavy pans and plates around. In fact, it is difficult to remain conscious when standing because your blood pressure drops so low.

MeMe - posted on 08/01/2012

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Oh, here is a great read! From someone that moved to Canada from the States..



How I lost my fear of Universal Health Care



When I moved to Canada in 2008, I was a die-hard conservative Republican. So when I found out that we were going to be covered by Canada’s Universal Health Care, I was somewhat disgusted. This meant we couldn’t choose our own health coverage, or even opt out if we wanted too. It also meant that abortion was covered by our taxes, something I had always believed was horrible. I believed based on my politics that government mandated health care was a violation of my freedom.



When I got pregnant shortly after moving, I was apprehensive. Would I even be able to have a home birth like I had experienced with my first 2 babies? Universal Health Care meant less choice right? So I would be forced to do whatever the medical system dictated regardless of my feelings, because of the government mandate. I even talked some of having my baby across the border in the US, where I could pay out of pocket for whatever birth I wanted. So imagine my surprise when I discovered that Midwives were not only covered by the Universal health care, they were encouraged! Even for hospital births. In Canada, Midwives and Dr's were both respected, and often worked together.



I went to my first Midwife appointment and sat in the waiting room looking at the wall of informational pamphlets. I never went to the Dr growing up, we didn’t have health insurance, and my parents preferred a conservative naturopathic doctor anyways. And the doctor I had used for my first 2 births was also a conservative Christian. So I had never seen information on birth control and STDs. One of the pamphlets read “Pregnant Unexpectedly?” so I picked it up, wondering what it would say. The pamphlet talked about adoption, parenthood, or abortion. It went through the basics of what each option would entail and ended by saying that these choices were up to you. I was horrified that they included abortion on the list of options, and fact that the pamphlet was so balanced instead of “pro-life.”



During my appointment that day, the midwife asked her initial round of questions including whether or not I had desired to become pregnant in the first place. Looking back I am not surprised she asked that, I was depressed at the time, (even though I did not list that on my medical chart) and very vocal about my views on birth control (it wasn’t OK, ever.) No wonder she felt like she should ask if I was happy to be having this baby. But I was angry about the whole thing. In my mind, freedom was being violated, my rights were being decided for me by the evils of Universal Health Care.



Fast forward a little past the Canadian births of my third and fourth babies. I had better prenatal care than I had ever had in the States. I came in regularly for appointments to check on my health and my babies’ health throughout my pregnancy, and I never had to worry about how much a test cost or how much the blood draw fee was. I didn't have to skip my ultrasound because of the expense. With my pregnancies in the States, I had limited my checkups to only a handful to keep costs down. When I went in to get the shot I needed because of my negative blood type, in Canada it was covered. In fact I got the recommended 2 doses instead of the more risky 1 dose because I didn’t have to worry about the expense. I had a wide array of options and flexibility when it came to my birth, and care providers that were more concerned with my health and the health of my baby than how much money they might make based on my birth, or what might impact their reputation best. When health care is universal, doctors are free to recommend and provide the best care for every patient instead of basing their care on what each patient can afford.



I found out that religious rights were still respected. The Catholic hospital in the area did not provide abortions, and they were not required too. I had an amazing medically safe birth, and excellent post-natal care with midwives who had to be trained, certified and approved by the medical system.



I started to feel differently about Universal government mandated and regulated Health care. I realized how many times my family had avoided hospital care because of our lack of coverage. When I mentioned to Canadians that I had been in a car accident as a teen and hadn’t gone into the hospital, they were shocked! Here, you always went to the hospital, just in case. And the back pain I had endured ever since would have been investigated and cared for with whatever X-rays, Physiotherapy or even Surgery that was needed, which would have been at no cost to me. In our particular province, even chiropractic care was provided after a car accident by the provincial care insurance.When I asked for prayers for my little brother who had been burned in an accident, they were all puzzled why the story did not include immediately rushing him to the hospital. When they asked me to clarify and I explained that many people in the States are not insured and they try to put off medical care unless absolutely needed, they literally could not comprehend such a thing.



I started to wonder why I had been so opposed to government mandated Universal Health care. Almost every western country in the world has Universal Insurance of some kind, except the USA. Here in Canada, everyone was covered. If they worked full-time, if they worked part-time, or if they were homeless and lived on the street, they were all entitled to the same level of care if they had a medical need. People actually went in for routine check-ups and caught many of their illnesses early, before they were too advanced to treat. People were free to quit a job they hated, or even start their own business without fear of losing their medical coverage. In fact, the only real complaint I heard about the Universal Health Care from the Canadians themselves, was that sometimes there could be a wait time before a particular medical service could be provided. But even that didn’t seem to be that bad to me, in the States most people had to wait for medical care, or even be denied based on their coverage. Depending on where one lived and how rural the area was, one's access to care could be limited, and that was regardless of what country one lived in. The only people guaranteed immediate and full service in the USA, were those with the best (and most expensive) health coverage or wads of cash they could blow. In Canada, the wait times were usually short, and applied to everyone regardless of wealth. If you were discontent with the wait time (and had the money to cover it) you could always travel out of the country to someplace where you could demand a particular service for a price. Personally, I never experienced excessive wait times, I was accepted for maternity care within a few days or weeks, I was able to find a family care provider nearby easily and quickly, and when a child needed to be brought in for a health concern I was always able to get an appointment within that week.



The only concern I was left with was the fact that abortion was covered by the Universal Health Care, and I still believed that was wrong. But as I lived there, I began to discover I had been misled in that understanding as well. Abortion wasn’t pushed as the only option by virtue of it being covered. It was just one of the options, same as it was in the USA. In fact, the percentage rates of abortion are far lower in Canada than they are in the USA, where abortion is often not covered by insurance and can be much harder to get. In 2008 Canada had an abortion rate of 15.2 per 1000 women (In other countries with government health care that number is even lower), and the USA had an abortion rate of 20.8 abortions per 1000 women.



And suddenly I could see why that was the case. With Universal coverage, a mother pregnant unexpectedly would still have health care for her pregnancy and birth even if she was unemployed, had to quit her job, or lost her job. If she was informed that she had a special needs baby on the way, she could rest assured knowing in Canada her child’s health care needs would be covered. Whether your child needs therapy, medicines, a caregiver, a wheelchair, or repeated surgeries, it would be covered by the health care system. Here, you never heard of parents joining the army just so their child's "pre-existing" health care needs could be covered. In fact, when a special needs person becomes an adult in Canada, they are eligible for a personal care assistant covered by the government. We saw far more developmentally or physically disabled persons out and about in Canada, than I ever see here in the USA. They would be getting their groceries at the store, doing their business at the bank, and even working job, all with their personal care assistant alongside them, encouraging them and helping them when they needed it. When my sister came up to visit, she even commented on how visible special needs people were when the lady smiling and waving while clearing tables at the Taco Bell with her caregiver clearly had Downs Syndrome.



I also discovered that the Canadian government looked out for its families in other ways. The country mandates one year of paid maternity leave, meaning a woman having a baby gets an entire year after the birth of her baby to recover and parent her new baby full-time, while still receiving 55% of her salary and her job back at the end of that year. Either parent can use the leave, so some split it, with one parent staying at home for 6 months and the other staying at home for 6 months. I could hardly believe my ears when I first heard it. In America, women routinely had to return to work after 6 weeks leave, many times unpaid. Many American women lost their jobs when becoming pregnant or having a baby. I knew people who had to go back to work 2 weeks after giving birth just to hang onto their job and continue making enough money to pay the bills. Also every child in Canada gets a monthly cash tax benefit. The wealthier families can put theirs into a savings account to pay for college someday (which also costs far less money in Canada by the way), the not so wealthy can use theirs to buy that car seat or even groceries. In the province we lived in, we also received a monthly day care supplement check for every child under school age. I made more money being a stay at home mom in Canada than I do in the States working a part-time close to a minimum wage job. And none of the things I listed here are considered “welfare” they are available to every Canadian regardless of income. For those with lower incomes than we had there are other supports in place as well.



If a woman gets pregnant unexpectedly in America, she has to worry about how she will get her own prenatal care, medical care for her child, whether or not she will be able to keep her job and how she will pay for daycare for her child so she can continue to support her family. In Canada those problems are eliminated or at least reduced. Where do you think a woman is more likely to feel supported in her decision to keep her baby, and therefore reduce abortions?



Since all of these benefits are available to everyone, I never heard Canadians talking about capping their incomes to remain lower income and not lose their government provided health coverage. Older people in Canada don’t have to clean out their assets to qualify for some Medicare or Social Security programs, I knew older people who went in for procedure after procedure, and we never heard about dwindling resources, kids paying for their parents medical expenses, or being forced to use up life insurance or funeral savings in order to get the health care they needed. I heard of inheritances being left even amongst the middle classes. Something I had only heard about in wealthy families in the USA.



And lest you think that the Canada system is draining the government resources, their budget is very close to balanced every year. They’ve had these programs for decades. Last year Canada’s national debt was 586 billion dollars, the USA has 15.5 trillion dollars in national debt. Canada has about one 10th the population of the US, so even accounting for size, the USA is almost 3 times more indebted. And lest you think that taxes are astronomical, our median income taxes each year were only slightly higher than they had been in the States, and we still got a large chunk of it back each year at tax time.



In the end, I don’t see Universal health care as an evil thing anymore.

Comparing the two systems, which one better values the life of each person?



Which system is truly more family friendly?




http://ayoungmomsmusings.blogspot.ca/201...



Edited: I decided to post the entire link, for those that may not click the link.... ;)

MeMe - posted on 08/01/2012

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Sherri--- Your child could get medicaid if you qualified no child can be denied health care if you meet the requirements.



Ummm, so ONLY if they meet requirements. That sucks the BIG one! That is NOT fair! What about those that don't AND their parent(s) cannot afford to get them some?? They just die when they get sick? That is fucking cruel!



Sherri---@Isobel yup we pay Federal income tax



So, what other taxes are you trying to say we Canadians pay a hell of a lot more of?? Our UHC is paid for by Federal (and Provincial) Income Tax. Like I said, I make over $55 000/year and I pay $8200/year in Income Tax. That allows for me and every other single permanent resident of Canada have health care and access to a bunch of other social programs, if needed. Oh and don't forget all the other Government funded things, like infrastructure and so forth... Really, only a small portion of my income tax goes to UHC. Much LESS than your $360 every four weeks.



Sure we have sales tax but I choose to live in NS, Canada. It has one of the highest sales tax. If I stayed in Alberta it would be less than half of what I pay in sales tax, here.



Oh and my husband and I only pay $20/month each for supplemental health care through our work (which gives us and each of our children - $300/year for eye glasses each, 100% prescription coverage each (we never ever pay for a prescription),100% dental each and much more, like $1000/year of massage and $2500/year of physio and the list goes on).



You know, I am beginning to see a trend, here. Those that are not in support of UHC are very uneducated of how it works. Seriously, there a couple in this thread that have absolutely NO idea of how it works. They seem to think they would be paying MORE, than they do now. LOL I am sorry but I have to laugh because it is soooo hilarious. Many people have explained it fairly well and some still don't get it. Oh well, hopefully, they never ever end up in a position where they have NO health care. Hopefully, their kids get great jobs (when they are grown) and have health insurance included, since not ALL jobs do. I see that some only think of themselves. Well, I guess that is OK, for them. ;)



**edited for clarification**

Sherri - posted on 08/01/2012

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@Isobel yup we pay Federal income tax

@Janice No probably not Janice I do not like UHC. I am all for a reform but I think there has to be some other better option other than UHC. UHC is not perfect and most certainly has its issues too. I just wish there was a compromise somewhere in the middle.

Janice - posted on 08/01/2012

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@ Sherri, I assumed you did have co-pays. Doesnt everyone? LOL.

If the federal income tax in order to fund UHC was equal to or less than what you pay in premiums and co-pays would you support UHC Sherri?

Isobel - posted on 08/01/2012

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and what she meant was that $125 is the health portion of the taxes we pay...the rest of taxes go to other programs and infrastructure and government. I'm curious that you don't pay any FEDERAL income tax...how does that work?



I know that Alberta pays almost no taxes because they have all Canada's oil and their province is rich enough to not need any...but they still have UHC AND no taxes ;p

Isobel - posted on 08/01/2012

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if only everybody were you it sounds like the system would work fine...unfortunately almost nobody is in that position...but who cares, so long as you got yours right?

Sherri - posted on 08/01/2012

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@Isobel my husbands company only has 50 employees so not very likely that they will ever downsize that is pretty much impossible to stay running. Since he is a truck driver. Also our insurance is a set amount. It is a flat $90 a week no matter how much or little my husbands check is.

@Megan yes you pay $125 but then a hell of a lot more in taxes, which I don't pay.

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