healthcare as an incentive to work

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kiryan
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healthcare as an incentive to work

Postby kiryan » Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:41 pm

I'm going to take the position that free government healthcare represents a hazard in taking away the incentive for people to work.

I know several people, usually wives of small business owners that work so their family will have health insurance. I know some chronically sick people (with diabetes, cancer, ect) who only work because they need healthcare. I know 2 people who got diagnosed with serious conditions in their late teens who basically looked for a job with a company who would cover pre-existing conditions.

We provide welfare and free healthcare to poor people already and we wonder why they don't bother to get a job. Isn't because its free a big part of the problem?

Healthcare is a strong incentive to work and I believe the government's stated policy position (going back a few decades) was/is to employ as many people as possible (everyone who wants a job should be able to have a job).

I guess this has to come down to an ideological decision, are people entitled to healthcare and other basic living standards (welfare) even if they don't work?
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Re: healthcare as an incentive to work

Postby Sarvis » Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:10 pm

kiryan wrote:I'm going to take the position that free government healthcare represents a hazard in taking away the incentive for people to work.

I know several people, usually wives of small business owners


So maybe people who actually don't need to work will leave the work force and leave openings for people who do need to work? And you think that's a bad thing?

that work so their family will have health insurance. I know some chronically sick people (with diabetes, cancer, ect) who only work because they need healthcare. I know 2 people who got diagnosed with serious conditions in their late teens who basically looked for a job with a company who would cover pre-existing conditions.


I'm sure those people in their late teens would have just slept in a shack the rest of their lives instead, right? They looked for a specific type of job based on healthcare concerns, and therefore the only real effect is that their options will be more open. They can actually have a career they WANT or EXCEL at, rather than taking what they can get.


We provide welfare and free healthcare to poor people already and we wonder why they don't bother to get a job. Isn't because its free a big part of the problem?


You know what Kiryan? I'd love to try an experiment with you. Take your budget, and cut it down to whatever you would be receiving on welfare. Then live on that for a few months... put the rest in the bank or whatever (you'll have a nice nest egg when the experiment is over, consider that your reward.)

Then get back to us about people choosing to live at that level.
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Re: healthcare as an incentive to work

Postby avak » Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:31 pm

I suppose this is a valid point. However, there are roughly one billion other incentives to work. For example: money, prestige, respect, skills, a sense of purpose, travel, pride...etc etc. So yeah, those are things that you will not get by collecting government health care and not holding a job when you could.

And please don't forget the 28 people I employee that will be jobless if I have a medical emergency. Oh and that nagging logical issue with the EU having a lower unemployment rate than the US.
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Re: healthcare as an incentive to work

Postby kiryan » Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:51 pm

Are you sure that european unemployment rates are not generally higher than the US by at least 2%? In good times and bad... France, Italy, Spain, Greece generally have significantly higher unemployment. I believe Ireland is consistently lower than the US (in the past decade of boom times for them). Britain and Germany I think is generally very similar to the US levels.

A liberal article showing that employment is higher in the USA than in Europe, also points out some of the questionable aspects of the statistics that make the case that Europe has stronger economy than it appears. However, the basic graph shows that the USA has lower unemployment (higher employment rate) than the subset of the richest 15 EU countries.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/0 ... ope-vs-us/

--

money, prestige, respect, skills, a sense of purpose, travel, pride

government will give you money, who needs prestige, respect, a sense of purpose or pride, not working doesn't mean you won't or can't develop skills. If I didn't work, I'd tinker around in my wood shop a lot more, i've done a bit of traveling, really not interested.

On the other hand, working takes your time away and gives you more stress; thats basically the recipe for not enjoying life.

There was a point in my life where I looked at the pros and cons of being trailer park trash. If it had just been a little more attractive, I might've considered it. Why work when you can play video games 7 days a week and still have free government money to buy food and soda? All you have to do is give up your pride and be happy living in relative squalor.
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Re: healthcare as an incentive to work

Postby avak » Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:01 pm

So, the "best" case scenario is that the EU, with its fundamentally different approach to welfare, has 2% higher unemployment than the US...and maybe the difference is negligible? I guess that still shows that your premise is wrong. Most people want to work.
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Re: healthcare as an incentive to work

Postby kiryan » Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:38 pm

Your assumption that the Americans are the same as Europeans is suspect. Americans fierce independence is well known. Euros are of course known for collectivism bordering on socialism / communism.
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Re: healthcare as an incentive to work

Postby avak » Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:52 pm

I don't follow. You are making a claim that subsidized health care is a disincentive to work. I think that is reasonable, but not significant. I am just pointing out that the US and EU, despite fundamentally different approaches to health care, have essentially identical unemployment rates. Following your logic, on this and other social issues, the EU should have astronomically high unemployment, among other things.

BTW, your claim of our fierce independence is an just artifact of manifest destiny.
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Re: healthcare as an incentive to work

Postby kiryan » Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:07 pm

I'm claiming that free healthcare would be a disincentive to work in the USA.

I didn't really put a # on how big of a disincentive as I was coming up with this position... just arguing that it is. Your example of Europe is a strong counter argument... higher taxes, lower employment rates, but the difference is at most 2% and there are plenty of criticisms of the various comparions that indicate EU and USA have similar rates. I might have to do some research on EU vs USA employment.
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Re: healthcare as an incentive to work

Postby Yayaril » Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:12 am

I'm poised to quit my job the second free healthcare goes through. I know I can't stand having money to pay my bills or for entertainment, I just want the reduced cost healthcare I get from working.
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Re: healthcare as an incentive to work

Postby Ragorn » Tue Dec 15, 2009 7:44 am

I'm going to skip this entire thread and just take the position that perhaps we don't necessarily want terminal cancer patients to have to work.
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Re: healthcare as an incentive to work

Postby avak » Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:52 pm

So, last night I had my car towed 50 miles, despite the fact that it is in perfect working order, because I didn't want to have to deal with the logistics of getting two cars to my farm. I had to manufacture some half-assed story about a stuck thermostat. Anyway, I was driving home in my truck thinking about how stupid it all was. I have no idea how much AAA is paying to tow my car, but maybe a couple hundred bucks...maybe more? That is more than my yearly premium. So, I started thinking about all the people that have the service, but don't use it. That is how it all works...it all averages out in the end and AAA makes a decent profit.

Just like the insurance companies.

So, here's a twist on the original premise of this thread. I think that real fiscal conservatives should consider -all- insurance an abhorrence that begs for fraud.

I find it completely hypocritical that someone can hold the belief that insurance will "bail them out" if they have something terrible happen, but that same principle is considered a sign of apathy and negligence in poor people. Well, you got cancer? And it is going to cost $1 million to have all the treatments and you can't afford it because you didn't save that much despite having a $120k/yr income? Too fn bad....you die. I don't want MY premiums to go up because YOU can't figure out how to prepare for an emergency or make bad choices in your life that prevent you from saving enough money.
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Re: healthcare as an incentive to work

Postby Ragorn » Tue Dec 15, 2009 7:28 pm

Honk if your insurance premiums are paying for my cancer treatment!
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Re: healthcare as an incentive to work

Postby Disoputlip » Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:40 pm

I would definitly quit my job and become a hobo if we had free health insurance.
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Re: healthcare as an incentive to work

Postby Sarvis » Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:47 pm

Disoputlip wrote:I would definitly quit my job and become a hobo if we had free health insurance.


Plus, if you were a hobo think of all the free food you could get from the McDonald's dumpster!
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Re: healthcare as an incentive to work

Postby Yayaril » Wed Dec 16, 2009 2:20 am

Sarvis wrote:
Disoputlip wrote:I would definitly quit my job and become a hobo if we had free health insurance.


Plus, if you were a hobo think of all the free food you could get from the McDonald's dumpster!


Not to mention the awesome handkerchief/pole setup that hobos get to sport to carry their supply of overalls, tobacco, whiskey, and tins of sardines!
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Re: healthcare as an incentive to work

Postby Ashiwi » Thu Dec 17, 2009 2:41 am

Sigh.

How does everybody miss the obvious in this topic?

If you don't work, and you don't have money, there's a good chance you can get Medicaid on the taxpayer's dime. If you don't have Medicaid, you can find free clinics or income-based medical care which is typically offered at medical school clinics. You can also wander into the emergency room whenever you see fit and drive up the cost of medical care with your common cold.

If you're the kind of person who would give up working just because you can finally go to the doctor without having to worry about it bankrupting you, then you're probably already on the public dole, anyway. If subsidized healthcare was a disincentive to work, the numbers of that population would be miniscule, a blip on the census.

And yes, Avak, that's exactly how it works. Healthcare insurance is a risk pool, and most people don't understand that. There's a reason they have pre-existing conditions clauses. If everybody could go without insurance, then pick up a policy easily as soon as they get their first high-dollar diagnosis, not a single insurance company out there could afford to stay afloat. There HAS to be enough well people with policies in order to offset those who need massive medical care.

And Ragorn, everybody in the US is paying for your cancer in one form or another. The excesses and abuses in the healthcare industry spill over into nearly ever aspect of life, impacting every industry. I still have a pocketful of change, though, so next time you get a headache be sure to go have a perfusion CT run, because we can all use a little more cancer in our day.
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Re: healthcare as an incentive to work

Postby Ragorn » Thu Dec 17, 2009 7:03 am

Someone's sarcasm detector needs tuning.
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Re: healthcare as an incentive to work

Postby kiryan » Thu Dec 17, 2009 4:49 pm

Several people in my extended family are going to be sitting pretty once the government starts covering their healthcare. They don't work, they are on the public dole and now they won't have a care in teh world. Just keep living in their shacks, watching soaps, playing video games and munching on junk food. The inner city is full of people like this, as are the small rural red neck towns.

Ashiwi is exactly right about the risk pools and the premiums. Its going to be more expensive and will continue to be expensive as long as people go the doctor for everything and are willing to pay anything for life saving drugs.

Additionally, when they succeed in nationalizing healthcare, they can just drive the insurance premiums up based on the costs. really, whats the difference between the requirement to pay for healthcare insurance and a healthcare tax? Obama said something recently, our health costs are going to bankrupt the government if we don't bend the cost curve. He's absolutely right, but the way they are going to avoid bankrupting the government is just raising the insurance premiums.
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Re: healthcare as an incentive to work

Postby avak » Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:02 pm

Was my post that convoluted?

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