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Thread: Why anybody against national healthcare is a fucking idiot

  1. #61
    Elite Member katerpillar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotncmom View Post
    Let's say that we are willing to make a major lifestyle change and move to one of these countries with great work life balance, low unemployment, and universal healthcare. Is there anywhere we can move that isn't so damn cold? (Canada, Sweden)

    How are your real estate prices? Can you get a nice house for under $300,000 American?
    Australia?

    The major cities - Sydney, Melbourne etc - are pretty pricey in terms of real estate and cost of living, but move to Adelaide. Not the most exciting city for someone my age with only a population of 1 million, but US $300, 000 will get you a pretty sweet family home in a decent middle class area (Sydney house prices are double what they are here). At the moment the unemployment rate is 5.6% and visa applications are fast-tracked if you apply to move to Adelaide, as opposed to one of the big cities everyone's heard of.

    Also, I've never seen snow in my life. Gets pretty hot in summer, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by buttmunch View Post
    That would probably be Sweden then since you don't pay for medical care there, other than through taxes which you have to pay anyway. I had several operations there and both the heathens and it didn't cost me one thin dime. Regular doctor visits cost about 5 bucks and there's a yearly cap on how much you are expected to pay. In addition, if you're a hardship case you can apply for completely free medical care and you will get it. Taxes are high but services are fantastic.
    I've been away for a while, just wanted to dip in and say Thanks, Butt! for schooling me on Sweden. But damn! There's always a catch! Superhigh taxes in exchange for kickass healthcare? Yup. I knew there was a catch.
    Bringin' up old shit since 1998.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by katerpillar View Post
    Australia?

    The major cities - Sydney, Melbourne etc - are pretty pricey in terms of real estate and cost of living, but move to Adelaide. Not the most exciting city for someone my age with only a population of 1 million, but US $300, 000 will get you a pretty sweet family home in a decent middle class area (Sydney house prices are double what they are here). At the moment the unemployment rate is 5.6% and visa applications are fast-tracked if you apply to move to Adelaide, as opposed to one of the big cities everyone's heard of.

    Also, I've never seen snow in my life. Gets pretty hot in summer, though.
    Thanks! Kind of picky about the heat, too, though...especially humidity! We'd love to visit Australia.

    I'd also prefer a place with mountains within view. Really picky, I know!

  4. #64
    Elite Member katerpillar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotncmom View Post
    Thanks! Kind of picky about the heat, too, though...especially humidity! We'd love to visit Australia.

    I'd also prefer a place with mountains within view. Really picky, I know!
    Adelaide has the ocean on one side and a mountain range on the other. Kind of like LA. It can be humid but not as often as Brisbane, for example. The further north you go the more sub-tropical Australia becomes but Adelaide has a Mediterranean climate, which is why one of our main industries is wine.

    Tasmania's colder still (it actually snows in the higher regions) and has amazing mountains and forests. The downside is the capital, Hobart, is so small it makes Adelaide seem exciting. The whole state has less than half a million people - though that could be an advantage if it's what you like. The real estate is really affordable there too.

    Public healthcare here has its problems, of course, but it's 100 times better than nothing. Also, in Australia the government pays for most of your university study and loans you the rest (interest free) until you're earning enough full-time to pay it back. So anyone with the grades to get in can get a tertiary education. All the "ZOMG socialism!" scaremongering we see from politicians in the US really seems like bizarre hysteria to us. I think the American people miss out on so much because those in power are irrationally terrified of change, or greedy, or both.

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    Super Moderator Tati's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotncmom View Post
    Thanks! Kind of picky about the heat, too, though...especially humidity! We'd love to visit Australia.

    I'd also prefer a place with mountains within view. Really picky, I know!
    British Columbia? Srsly, most of Canada's not that cold! Join us!
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    I would be willing to pay higher taxes in exchange for universal high-quality healthcare at a minimal cost, and reasonable prices for a college education. Most years, my husband and I have made decent money and paid 28% in taxes federal income tax plus approx 6% state income tax. Between the portion of health insurance premiums we're responsible for and co-pays for doctors' visits and Rx meds, we easily pay over $10K/yr for healthcare.

    College tuition and room and board runs from $20K+ a year at state schools to $50K+/year at private schools. but we still have to worry about affording college for our 2 kids. The average house in the podunk town we live in is nearly $400K USD.

    We have that constant worrying about money despite both of us working hard. Sucks. I want to be a socialist.

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    Australia does have higher income tax than some other places (top rate 48%) BUT the Govt spends those taxes on things like healthcare, education, etc. I think there's a very entrenched mindset in the US that Tax Is Bad and if you have a Govt you can't trust to spend that money on a decent health system instead of stealth bombers then I can see why.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BBDSP View Post
    I would be willing to pay higher taxes in exchange for universal high-quality healthcare at a minimal cost, and reasonable prices for a college education. Most years, my husband and I have made decent money and paid 28% in taxes federal income tax plus approx 6% state income tax. Between the portion of health insurance premiums we're responsible for and co-pays for doctors' visits and Rx meds, we easily pay over $10K/yr for healthcare.

    College tuition and room and board runs from $20K+ a year at state schools to $50K+/year at private schools. but we still have to worry about affording college for our 2 kids. The average house in the podunk town we live in is nearly $400K USD.

    We have that constant worrying about money despite both of us working hard. Sucks. I want to be a socialist.
    Ouch, ouch, and ouch to the bold!

    Quote Originally Posted by A*O View Post
    Australia does have higher income tax than some other places (top rate 48%) BUT the Govt spends those taxes on things like healthcare, education, etc. I think there's a very entrenched mindset in the US that Tax Is Bad and if you have a Govt you can't trust to spend that money on a decent health system instead of stealth bombers then I can see why.
    This seems very true to me (not from a lot of people on this board, obviously), but looking at the above numbers, I just don't get the resistance. My husband currently pays about 40% income tax, and that's being in the highest tax bracket he's ever been in. So BBDSP has paid about 34% in recent years... and here, we pay virtually zero in health care expenses, and my full-time tuition is about $5000 per year. I always call our present town a "podunk" sort of place, and we could buy a fantastic house here for about $150K.

    A little socialism is a beautiful thing, people!
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  9. #69
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    Seems to me that the anti-tax sentiment originated in the late 70s with Prop 13 in California and nationally with Reagan's presidency. Prior to that, there didn't seem to be much resistance to taxing the rich given that Nixon, Ford, Kennedy, Eisenhower, FDR, et al., all did it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by katerpillar View Post
    Adelaide has a Mediterranean climate, which is why one of our main industries is wine.
    OMG - I totally forgot about the wine industry down there! As I stand on a lethally crowded underground station platform of an afternoon, waiting for my train and a 1hr 45 min commute home due to the staggering rent prices in the city, there's a billboard proclaiming "If you lived in Adelaide you'd be home by now". That's depressing enough, now I'm reminded of the fantastic wine from the area! Looks like I may be moving a bit further south next time we don't get our lease renewed!

    I'm coming in to this conversation a little late- but that's never stopped me before, so- HECS / HELP / whatever they're calling the university loan nowadays is brilliant, esp since they've raised the salary threshold for where you have to pay it back. I still owe about 16k though ... eeek! But there is no way I would have ever been able to go to uni without HECS and centrelink Austudy student benefit payments. And I'm grateful for that massive debt every single day LOL

    Medicare is good, but working within the healthcare industry I have seen it's flaws, esp since so many people are being pushed into private cover. The scheduled fee for procedures (even GP visits) either needs to be lowered, or the 'gap' that dr's can charge needs to be capped. It's terrible to see people paying $3k a year for private cover, only to go to hospital for kidney stones (which, not being 'life threatening' are subjected to several months waiting lists in some public hospitals, despite being so painful they will hospitalise you to deal with the pain, and then discharge you without removing the stones.) and have their fund and medicare contribute about $1700 after co-payments and the scheduled fee, and then have to fork out $2k in 'gap' fees out of their own pocket.
    Having said that, i'd rather have our flawed system than none at all. I just make sure I have my ambulance insurance, if nothing else.
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    Very good read.

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