More federal welfare for ranchers close to passage

The states demand ‘management’ over wolves.  The states largely have ‘management’ over wolves under 10(j) – largely paid for via federal dollars.  Now, ‘compensation’ for ranchers via federal dollars will enable livestock producers to avoid taking responsibility for their ability (or inability) to deal with the conditions of the natural world.  State management to kill wolves and placate Livestock – bought and paid for with federal dollars. That’s ‘states rights’ for ya… go figure…

Senate panel approves federal pay for wolf killsAP

100 Responses to “More federal welfare for ranchers close to passage”

  1. John Says:

    Utterly ridiculous, if its not done one way – it’ll be done another. Have these people learned nothing from last century – the events that are in place now and the the events that took place over 52 years ago are almost identical.

  2. Barb Says:

    Thank goodness for organizations like Keystone Conservation out of Bozeman, MT and Wildearth Guardians.

  3. Katharine Macaulay Says:

    Ralph,
    Do you know the monetary values of a cow and a sheep? in the states of MT and WY. It seems to me that you mentioned this awhile back… is the monetary value inflated above market price? my reason for asking is… is this a way for the 2 states to cheat the federal government out of money but inflating the cost of lost livestock.

    $50 to 200 for a ewe. Cattle vary a great deal. Wildlife Services people will tell you that frequently the person who lost the cow or whatever will claim it was somehow very special. RM

  4. Barb Says:

    And I have to buy loss insurance for my business but they get it free?

  5. kim kaiser Says:

    Barb, not to start an argument, but why would feel like buying insurance for your businesss and someone getting insurance (heath for example for free) is any different,, why dont you feel the same way about paying for health, you pay your own way, let others pay there own way,

    i just cant understand the conflicting ideology you pay for your buisness insurance and another group essentiall gets a govt hand out for free, and yet you want the public to pay the insurance for everyone else who wont pay for it, for what ever reason,,

  6. Barb Says:

    You’re just a troll wanting to start arguments — I’ve put you on ignore, Ms. Kim
    *********************************************
    Folks, I wanted to share with you that you can now view meetings on line with the Colorado’s Dept of Wildlife:

    http://wildlife.state.co.us/WildlifeCommission/

  7. catbestland Says:

    Kim,
    You questioned, “you want the public to pay the insurance for everyone else who wont pay for it, for what ever reason,,”
    What if that reason is that they can’t afford to pay for health insurance or that it means they would have to choose between paying for the insurance or paying the mortgage or rent or even groceries? And not having health coverage means that their treatable illnesses will go untreated? Should they be condemned to die because they can’t afford what every other industrialized country (except one, I believe) provides to its citizens? Shouldn’t we recieve what we need from our tax dollars instead of giving it all to big industry in subsidies?

    FYI according to a news report, of the 19 “industrialized countries”, the US rated 19th on the health care scale. Amoung the reasons the US rated so low is the fact that so many people went untreated for diseases that can easily be cured with treatment. The reason being–they couldn’t afford it. So yes, health care should be nationalized even if it means something else has to go, like the war, subsidies for oil companies and/or the beef industry. It’s criminal that in this country and in this day and age that people cannot get health care.

    You have no problem with the government paying for its citizens to go to school so why not pay to keep its citizens healthy? You don’t have a problem giving fire and police protection, also paid for by tax dollars, why not health care? Another obscene fact is that this country spends more in one day on the war in Iraq than it does in an entire year on cancer research. This is unforgivable.

  8. kim kaiser Says:

    well Catbestland, what if a rancher cant quite make the notes on his business and needs to use the public lands (welfare) to make his family run,, run a few hundred head on public lands for a few months in winter,he is off welfare and he pays his own insurance, would you support that? he just needs that couple hundred acres to cover those grazing cost that his land cant support,, thats the difference in your interpretation and mine, i dont believe in ANY< corporate or individual, you pick and choose.

    face it folks, our society has so many people there is just no way to cover it without adding burdens to those who already ar e paying the bills, and where do you suggest these billiions come from, the iraq war cost would nowhere near cover it, it is would, hillary and bill would have dont it, you simply dont have enough people available to continue to milk to add to the pot, you dont have the numbers,

    you simply cant compare canada france germany to the populations of the united states, its not a legitimate comparison, like why cant we do things like norway or sweden ( iforget which,, with 1% unemployment and free healthcare, there are just too many factors involved to make a legimate comparison.

    so , would you let those couple hundred rancher families with 4 kids use public land to run cows, if it kept them of the welfare and health care free rolls??its a legitimate question..

  9. kim kaiser Says:

    not trolling Barb,, i have been on this forum a long, time, and its MR;

    i simply want to know how you distinguish between the two, yo dont like paying for insurance, nor do I, but in the same breath you support a lot of free benefits as long as it meets certain ideological beliefs, address the questions,,

  10. Brian Ertz Says:

    kim,

    the difference between the two, without getting into whether either is “right” or “wrong” is that while everyone would enjoy the benefit and have the opportunity for access – should they need it – to universal healthcare, and everyone contribute to it — there are merely a few priveleged/landed elite who hold exclusive privilege to the benefit of welfare ranching – whether they need it or not, and you, me or the vast majority are SOL if we needed or wanted to make a living trashing the natural world on the public’s dime.

  11. Brian Ertz Says:

    p.s. – all-too-often it’s corporate welfare. Simplot holds most public land, then there’s the examples of wealthy Hewlett (of Hewlett Packard) with significant holdings on public lands. So many multi-millionaires.

  12. kim kaiser Says:

    Brian, welfare is welfare,,

    welfare, whether ranching or otherwise, as you said, drains the systems on which we depend,

    and i would argue that ranching use of public lands by ranchers doesnt have an effect on the general public or on systems of the united states which the general public depends, only a small sectin of the country, wy, id co an mt, its not a problem in the south, or midwest, only up here, people in the south have little dependence on the systems you describe that are affected by welfare ranching, in fact, people in the south have no idea what you would be talking about, same as the issue with bison, wolves, elk,, dont get me wrong, i try to tell people about it when i head home, but its simply a non issue,, and you cant even get a question out of them, the issue and the land is too far away to mean anything,

    its why you cant have some welfare for some and none for others, maybe some do need it, ie a small rancher, and i have done some reading and small ranchers who use the public lands, but are you really willing to run them out of business, and then put them on another welfare system, force the ot leave there lands and business,because that is what you will do if you dont give them access for there small herds to feed.

    i think the whole lot of you has misunderstood my beliefs, i will again say, how are you gonna differentiate between the little guy, the medium guy, or the big guy, and make a formula to appease all three, you cant, with out pissing of two of the three, welfare creates dependency, whethere social, ranching or what ever, you cut it out to everyone, and you will see structural and behavioural changes. \\\

    I appreciate your and everyone efforts on the issue, and i agree wholeheartedly on the ranch thing, the bison culls, etc, but the point i make is where do you draw the line for who can and cant use the land for recreation or ranching or what ever,

    as for politics, well, thats a different animal, but your specific knowledge is appreicated, i assure you, i take the things as thye relate to wildlife to my home state, but little is gained, its just not a issue, too far removed,

  13. Brian Ertz Says:

    kim,

    i respect your opinion, though i disagree.

    welfare ranching has a significant deleterious effect on both the quality and the quantity of water in the Western US. It’s a huge piece of the water pie – and at the source. Then there’s wildlife. Similarly, everyone loses when the carbon sequestration potential of public lands (significant) is mitigated and lessened in various biomes, some of which we’re finding have similar if not more sequestration potential than temperate forests, by the effects of welfare ranching. These are just a couple of the systems upon which we depend.

    further, the way that you group “welfare” into one big lump is difficult for me to grasp. People demand services of governing organizations – we can’t stop that. Why is “healthcare” more ‘welfare-esque’ than public education, the post office, or even the defense department for that matter ? These services our governments provide because society demands or does not demand it of them. When we consider this – I think that we can say that “welfare ranching” IS different than all of the examples I provide because this welfare is granted a marginal few – it’s exclusive – whereas the others everyone enjoys or has equal access to the benefit.

  14. JB Says:

    Brian said: “…I think that we can say that “welfare ranching” IS different than all of the examples I provide because this welfare is granted a marginal few – it’s exclusive – whereas the others everyone enjoys or has equal access to the benefit.”

    I think you’re wasting your breath. I’ve pointed this out to Kim several times and he keeps coming back with the same argument, “welfare is welfare.” Doesn’t make for much of a conversation.

    Kim said: “…face it folks, our society has so many people there is just no way to cover it without adding burdens to those who already are paying the bills…”

    Kim, you’re premise is completely off kilter. Insurance and social programs work better with more people paying into the system. Our biggest problem, at the moment, is that we are spending all of our collective wealth on war and defense instead of health care and social security (as the European countries that you say we can’t compare do).

    As I asserted before the choice in this election is about priorities. Republicans will give you big government, make no mistake; and their priorities will be defense spending and the unending war on “terror.” Spending will be similar under Democrats (and so will taxes), but they will spend our money on keeping our citizens healthy rather than spreading “freedom.”

  15. Dave Ausband Says:

    Just as a contrast and back to the headline — Italy and others routinely reimburse ranchers PRIOR to the grazing season every year. Losses due to wolves are assumed and ranchers are pre-imbursed for that. And when sheep die, they die. Meaning, domestics are a recognized food source for those wolves. Totally different way of approaching this issue.
    I think we can all agree that it is well past time to think outside our boxes on this one.

  16. catbestland Says:

    Kim,
    If a rancher can’t quite make the notes on his business, he always has the option of seeking out other forms of income. If a US citizen cannot afford health care he generally has no other option than to go without. As others have mentioned. We all pay into the system so that money should provide benefits for all. It should not go to support private industry, oil or ranching. Isn’t the right to life one of those inalienable rights along with liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Well that right to life may depend on whether health care is available or not. If it is available, it should not be denied because someone can’t afford health insurance. And one should not have to part with his home in order to recieve it. Health care should be a public service available to everyone like fire and police protection.

  17. Ralph Maughan Says:

    I paid $5 to camp on the national forest last night. Had I not earlier bought the federal recreation pass, it would have been $10.

    For the same $5, a livestock operator could camp 3 cows and 3 calves on the national forest for a month!

    That is an enormous welfare benefit to the livestock owner.

    I don’t really care about the $5, but I do care about the pitiful $1.35 per animal unit month (AUM) the livestock operator pays.

  18. Barb Says:

    Brian, you probably know that Simplot himself died recently but I’m sure his organization goes on …..

  19. outsider Says:

    So because you were smart enough to buy a FRP then it cost you less to camp, sounds like a good idea. But when the livestock operators bought their permits so they can graze for less its a scam and called welfare? Its not like all they ever paid was the 1.33 per AUM, I’m pretty sure that they had to buy the permits to begin with.

  20. Barb Says:

    Catbestland, you said: Isn’t the right to life one of those inalienable rights along with liberty and the pursuit of happiness?…. Health care should be a public service available to everyone like fire and police protection.”
    ********************
    I absolutely believe everyone should have access to health care but your assertion makes it seem as if the founding fathers thought the government should pay for health care for people. Not sure if that was the intention then. Your argument is a little slippery, though, as where would this kind of “service” end? Is everyone also entitled to a car, a house, etc, etc, etc. If someone can’t get to work and there is no public transportation, and they will die if they can’t earn a living…. do you see what I mean about saying it’s a “right?”

    I don’t think it’s a “right.” BUT I absolutely think it should be available and accessible to all not depending on their income, or if they have no income. No one should be denied.

  21. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Outsider,

    Livestock operators on federal lands do not buy their grazing permits. They merely pay a fixed fee per AUM. This fee changes yearly, but it is currently at its lowest legally allowed level — $1.35 AUM. See “BLM and Forest Service Announce 2008 Grazing Fee.”

    Those operators not so favored as to have federal grazing permits have to pay higher fees if they graze on state lands. The majority, of course, own or rent private pasture where the cost of grazing depends on the cost of land plus the cost of upkeep on the land plus the cost of any additional feed purchased. This comes to many times the cost federal land grazers pays.

    Why should one group of livestock operators be so lucky or privileged? It makes no economic sense to the state or the country.

    In additional, hunters, anglers or other wildlife advocates would probably willing to pay more to keep the cows or sheep off the allotments, but offering more not to graze than to graze is not allowed under federal law.

    The grazing fees are so low that even a person who is not very wealthy such as myself could afford to elect to protect an creek entire drainage by paying perhaps, for example, a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars a summer to outbid the livestock operator.

  22. Maska Says:

    “In additional, hunters, anglers or other wildlife advocates would probably willing to pay more to keep the cows or sheep off the allotments, but offering more not to graze than to graze is not allowed under federal law.”

    Exactly, and some conservation organizations have done precisely that on state lands (not federal) in states where it is allowed. In most cases they have had to go to court to establish their right to do so.

    A number of years ago Forest Guardians (now part of WildEarth Guardians) bid on and won the lease on some New Mexico state land along the Rio Puerco. They have elected not to run livestock, but instead, have done extensive streamside restoration along the river.

    Unfortunately, federal law does not allow this sort of action. If a permittee chooses not to run cattle or sheep, the lease is offered to somebody else. Only federal legislation will allow the voluntary retirement of grazing leases. At least that’s my understanding. Ralph, please correct me if I’m wrong.

  23. Ralph Maughan Says:

    The Western Watersheds Project got its start by outbidding an Idaho rancher for a section of Idaho State lands. He bid $40 and WWP, then named Idaho Watersheds Proect, bid $1000.

    Outraged the Idaho Land Board give the bid to the rancher. Outraged too, citizens of Idaho began to join the Idaho Watersheds Project.

  24. outsider Says:

    “Livestock operators on federal lands do not buy their grazing permits. They merely pay a fixed fee per AUM.” So how do they determine who can have permits if they don’t have to buy them to begin with?

    If WWP outbid the rancher for buy 960 dollars on a state lease, but was not going to run livestock, wouldn’t the state lose money over the 10 year lease due to the lack of yearly revenue from grazing fees? Maybe my math is fuzzy

  25. Ralph Maughan Says:

    The grazing permits usually come with the base property when it is sold. They do have a “shadow value,” adding somewhat to the value of the private property sold.

    WWP was also going to pay the grazing fees for the number of cattle permitted on the state land, although there would actually be none. Each lease has a number of cattle (or sheep) figure assigned to it.

  26. outsider Says:

    So what would that value be, 20$-200$ per aum?

    I was not aware that WWP was going to pay the grazing fees for the whole amount, I thought all they wanted to do was graze one goat, for one day, each year, and that was all they were going to pay for.

  27. catbestland Says:

    Barb,

    Health care is a fundamental necessity, a requirement for survival. It can in no way be compared to the luxury of having private transportation. There are numerous options if a person does not own his own vehicle. He will not die. If the technology exists to treat any given ailment, it should be available to all without the fear of one’s losing their home to recieve it.

    You say it should be available to all with no regard to income. What is the difference? Tax paid public services like fire and police protection, public schools etc., are there to protect and improve the lives of the taxpayer and are considered a right in this country. Health care is every bit as important and should be considered as much a right.

    Recently, on another thread, someone (Jeff E, I believe) posted a comment with a European’s opinion of the US ellection process. We are considered barbarians to much of the world not just because of our aggressive foreign policies but because we, as an afluent nation, will not even provide necessary health care to our citizens. Health care IS considered a right in the rest of the world. The US and one other industrialized nation, (South Africa, I believe but don’t quote me on that) are the only ones who do not have a nationalized health care program. Indeed, available health care should be considered a right.

  28. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Outsider,

    I think the current change per AUM on Idaho state “school” lands is about $4 an AUM.

  29. Dave Ausband Says:

    What do folks think about the idea that a federal/state reimbursement program is GOOD for wolves? I usually hear less tolerance for killing wolves if people know the producer gets reimbursed for the dead livestock.
    Maybe a gigantic reimbursement program will result in lower tolerance (i.e. fewer dead wolves) for killing wolves that depredate.

  30. Ralph Maughan Says:

    One trouble is that too much compensation promotes using livestock as wolf bait to fish for money (compensation)

  31. JB Says:

    Dave,

    I think the reimbursement program was and is great politics from the folks at Defenders of Wildlife. As Brian has pointed out, the idea of “paying for tolerance” seems not to really have an effect on the attitudes of ranchers. However, I think (and I have no data to support this) that it does help sway the minds of the uninformed (which, frankly, is almost everyone) when they hear that ranchers are reimbursed for confirmed and probable losses. In this way, reimbursement is good for wolves.

    I do not like the idea of state or federal reimbursement programs because: (1) it sets an extremely bad precedent (it’ll only be a matter of time before they will be clamoring for $$ for cougars, coyotes, and bears), and (2) they can encourage ranchers to leave sick/dying cattle out in order to try and get a reimbursement (Ralph’s “bait scenario).

    I would NOT oppose a government program to reimburse livestock AND pet owners who loose animals to ANY predator on PRIVATE lands.

  32. Ryan Says:

    One thing that never seems to be brought up is the costs put out by ranchers, which contrary to popular belief most are not rich but trying to maintain a lifestyle passed down from generation to generation, associated with public land ranching. Costs associted with round ups and periodic checks are much higher than on private ground. Its not the great deal its made out to be in many cases.

    Cat,

    Why should I support people who make piss poor life decisions? The vast majority of my friends who work, went to college, or made the right life decisions have health insurance. My only friends that dont are the ones who F’ed up there lives.. Why should I pay for that in the form of higher taxes. Why should my sister who just graduated medical school be forced to work for the goverment for half the salary she could make in the private sector. Call this callous, but I believe many of the handouts the goverment gives now encourage people to be less productive and self sufficient. IMHO opinion if you don’t contribute to society, why should one prosper from it.

  33. Brian Ertz Says:

    outsider,

    the whole point of WWP’s out-bidding for state allotments was to demonstrate that those lands could be more valuable without livestock than with livestock. Because the state of Idaho has a fiduciary responsibility with regard to it’s administration of state lands (the money is held in trust for Idaho schools) the state constitution held that the state has a fiduciary responsibility to get the most value. The good ol’ boys refused to take more money for lease of state lands, thus they were depriving Idaho school children that differential with their cronyist gifting of those lands to Livestock.

    WWP (formerly IWP) have always offered significantly more money to rest the lands than Livestock would be contributing — that’s the whole point.

  34. Brian Ertz Says:

    Ryan says:

    One thing that never seems to be brought up is the costs put out by ranchers, which contrary to popular belief most are not rich but trying to maintain a lifestyle passed down from generation to generation, associated with public land ranching. Costs associted with round ups and periodic checks are much higher than on private ground. Its not the great deal its made out to be in many cases.

    crocodile tears. then don’t use the federal allotments, retire them – and certainly don’t hold a huffy-puffy notion of entitlement suggesting that because this enterprise is not economically feasible (that’s the message of your comment) it’s somehow the government’s responsibility to help these folk play cowboy.

  35. outsider Says:

    Ralph I understand the anual fee thing, but what would the “shadow” value be per aum 20$- 200$

  36. Ryan Says:

    Brian,

    Im just stating that there are more costs than just the 1.35 per AUM. Also there is a possibility that the economic effects to local communitites create a much larger value than WWP’s bid did with the money just stopping in the coffers of the goverment. Where as the 40.00 of private money went to the Goverment, the over economic impact to the local community with most likely a couple thousand times that. Thats just simple economics, the economics that many small western farm towns depend on for there lively hood.

  37. outsider Says:

    brian, so wwp would pay the same or more than the ranchers were paying every year? would they do this on all state ground or just cherry pick stratigic parcels?

  38. Brian Ertz Says:

    Ryan,

    of course there are more costs than the $1.35 AUM – that’s the federal fee. WWP doesn’t/can’t bid on federal permits, it and its supporters bid on state lands.

    As for the economic benefit – where do you get your figure that the “economic impact to the local community with most likely a couple thousand times that.” ? You didn’t get it from anywhere Ryan, the statement was drawn from thin air.

    Using these “simple economics”, I could posit that the overall economic benefit to local communities of dropping bundles of cash amounting to $10,000 each out of cargo planes into rural communities would generate thousands of times the economic value of those $10,000 bundles – but wait, if we make those $100,000 bundles, then we’ve instantly increased that value at an exponential rate – so why not make them $1,000,000 bundles Ryan ?

    During the dawn of this nation’s history, the whaling industry of this country was regarded with reverence the world over. These whalers had themselves a “custom & culture” – a “livelihood” and the economic vitality of this industry largely contributed to the opportunity for those renegade colonies to acquire the international credit they needed to win the revolutionary war. Who cries for the loss of this “livelihood” ?

    “Simple economics” tells us that when there are better ways of doing the same thing — more economic ways — that the old way fades and the industry changes to become more efficient. The only reason that this would not happen is if the heavy hand of government interferes. That’s what’s happening. The only reason these public lands allotments are grazed is because of the economic drain of federal and state subsidy – the unfair tax exemptions, the production infrastructure largely bought and maintained by government, the “wild” culled out of the way, and the remarkably below market valuation of public AUMs. That same “value” trickled through rural communities could be achieved at a vastly lesser cost to the public if we were to skip the middle step involved in destruction of the natural world and instead handed checks out directly.

    outsider,

    brian, so wwp would pay the same or more than the ranchers were paying every year? would they do this on all state ground or just cherry pick stratigic parcels?

    Supporters of WWP paid more – that’s how they got the permit – WWP demanded that the permits be distributed by competitive bid, and won the right of all Idaho’s to competitively bid for state allotments, by taking the issue to the Idaho Supreme Court.

    State allotments go up for bid individually when the term is up. Supporters of WWP bid on the allotments giving preference to allotments given their ecological importance/value.

  39. outsider Says:

    Brian I understand they outbid the ranchers to get the lease, but would they then pay the same amount every year that the ranchers where paying for the yearly grazing.

  40. Ryan Says:

    “As for the economic benefit – where do you get your figure that the “economic impact to the local community with most likely a couple thousand times that.” ? You didn’t get it from anywhere Ryan, the statement was drawn from thin air.”

    No not at all, I understand that your edcuation and views are enviromentally based and your economic understanding is very limited. So lets see, WWP pays the state 1000.00.. The value of the money stops there with regards to the local economy in the town where the rancher lives as general rule.

    Now the rancher has to hire 2 ranch hands and a truck driver to haul the stock out to the range. Lets just assume that costs 5000.00, that the local ranch hands in some part spend in the local economy, the truck driver most likely bought his gas there which helps the local economy too. Lets figure the ranch hands make 2 trips a month to check on there cattle at a cost of 300 a trip. Lets assume 33% spent in the local community. Roughly 800 for the season and then 10,000 to round up and get the cattle off the lease. If we assume that the ranch hands live in the local area, there wages is some part go directly to supporting local services (local taxes) and monies spent in small communities would go to support businesses and employees in said small town. Much more than 1000.00 from some group of enviromentalists heading to boise.

    My thousand times estimate may have been off, but there are externalties that I didn’t account for like local farmers able to sell more hay to over winter the ranchers cattle, additional ranch hands employeed to maintain a bigger herds and additional farm help from the raise in hay sales. Heck it could even lead for the need to purchase additonal equipment from local dealers which all in turn creates more jobs.

    How does the thousand dollars WWP wants to give to the govement come close to this in economic value? I’m not saying I’m for public land ranching, but the big picture needs to be looked at.

    So do you want to go personally knock on these ranchers and farm hands doors tell them how innefficient they are and how you could do it better and bring economic benefit to there community? Or better yet tell them they should move to a big city and work in an office. As much as I don’t care for the effects of public land ranching, any type of welfare that promotes people working instead of mooching I am all for.

  41. catbestland Says:

    Ryan,
    I understand your concern for shelling out money to support others who will not work. Unfortunately the system we have now encourages some to remain enslaved to the welfare system. Nationalized health care is not welfare. It is a service just like fire/police protection and public schools.

    You think that the only ones who can’t afford health care are the ones who “f’ed” up their lives as you put it but this is not the case. Millions cannot afford it because of a wide variety of reasons. Those suffering from preexisting conditions face exorbitant premiums, as much as $2000 dollars a month. They are often denied jobs that would provide some health care insurance because of their conditions. Others who are dealing with the current economic crisis have had to let their health insurance lapse in order to make their house payments. Start up businesses cannot afford insurance for themselves or their employees. Insurance often cancels when a maximum pay-out is reached. There are millions of middle class citizens in this country without insurance through no fault of their own.

    If the war were ended and subsidies to the oil, beef and pharmacuetical (not research grants) industries and weapons manufacturers were stopped there would be more than enough to support nationalized health care. And, your sister would still make a very comfortable living without having to pay such high malpractice premiums, which are a major reason health care is so expensive.

  42. Barb Says:

    One of the big problems i s– for example, right now Colorado is giving out about $350 million per year to the oil industry.

    I am completely against that — don’t know why they ever did it, maybe they needed to some time ago for reasons unknown?

    If they take them away (which they should) the oil companies will simply hike up their prices to compensate.

    There needs to be laws against this type of blackmail.

    Yes, healthcare is expensive because of lawyers. And from what I understand, Obama is not for legal reform. This definitely bothers me.

  43. Ryan Says:

    “Nationalized health care is not welfare.”

    Yes it is.
    The millions you speak of are there because they couldn’t manage there money in most cases. The contant urge to by bigger houses and fancier cars on credit put many in that situation. A little fiscal responsibility would have gone a long way in most cases. If we stopped weapons manufacturer and disarmed the nation, how long do you think it would take before someone invaded us? The large US military force has been a stabilizing force in the world for last 5 decades. Who does the UN use for “peace keeping” missions. I’ll give you a hint its not the french. As for the Malpractice suits, on another thread a few pages back, it was said that lawyers haven’t raised the cost of healcare, Im so confused. So which is it?

  44. Barb Says:

    Catbestland said: “You say it should be available to all with no regard to income. What is the difference?”

    Big difference in the way the system is designed.

    Because I don’t believe in using taxes to create a system where everyone automatically gets it “free” where it is administered by the federal government.

    Those that can afford to pay for it should pay for it. The rest should be on a sliding fee scale (or free for those who need it)

    You leave the private system intact and see what happens when the government gets involved. The insurers will be forced to be more COMPETITIVE. There is a very big difference.

    You want to throw away the baby with the bathwater, which is what Hillary wanted to do, and that is exactly why her plan was not supported by many Dems as well as Republicans.

    That system would totally get rid of competition — in new technologies, new drugs, R & D, which is what makes healthcare in the U.S. superior to that of other countries.

    It’s not our healthcare itself that is screwed up, it’s the 3rd party insurance companies and laws that make it a mess!

    As far as “other countries considering us ‘barbarians,’ let them think what they want. I don’t base my opinions on what other countries say, rather than what is good for Americans.

    The health care system needs improving for sure on the administrative side, not the medical side. You are confusing the two.

    Yes, the USA has its problems, but I will defend it to the end despite its problems (and those that want to make it into a mediocre socialist nation). I’d rather live here than anywhere else in the world. We have the best climate of any place on earth, the most diverse terrain, the most incredible places (and the best wildlife –and wolves if people would just let them be!)

  45. vicki Says:

    Barb,

    “The health care system needs improving for sure on the administartive side, not the medical side. You are confusing the two.” Right on the mark. I couldn’t agree more.

    Social welfare, as it pertains to socialized health care, is different than ranching because it pertains to the betterment of the many…ranching just pertains to the betterment of the few. Social…in and of it’s self….refers to the good of society. Ranching on public lands is not about the good of society at all. The ranchers being relocated or retrained in another field would be a lot less damaging to “society” than the damage of, and inavailability to use, public lands by the public.

    There needs to be national reform of a national problem. Health care needs to be made available, because a healthy society is a far more productive society, which reaps many more rewards. So, unlike ranching, making public health care more readily available is for the good of the people as a whole.

    Just for reference, the population that is struggling to pbtain health care and insurance the most are the middle class, as I have seen it. As more and more employers struggle to meet costs, they are cutting insurance or purchasing insurance with huge deductables and copays. If you are poor enough, you can get aid to help with it If you are rich enough, you don’t need the help to pay. If you fall in the middle…you get the screws. No help, no hope.

  46. catbestland Says:

    Barb,

    According to a recent survey presented by several news agnecies, the US is 19th on the list of 19 industrialized nations in both the ability to deliver health care and the quality of that health care. Again health care is a right it is not a priviledge and should not be subject to competive barganing. Privatized health care could still be available much in the same way that private schools are available to those who prefer not to send there children to public ones. I assure you I am not confused by anything escept maybe some of your back and forth reasoning.

  47. catbestland Says:

    Ryan,
    Do you consider police protection, fire protection and public schools welfare? I doubt it. They are public services paid for with tax dollars. So should health care be. I am not advocating, nor did I say that weapons manuracturing should be stopped. I said that subsidies to them should be stopped. Let them compete on a level playing field with the rest America’s privately owned businesses for their share of consumer dollars. They will still have huge government contracts, why should they recieve subsidies as well. No one subsidises my business. I have to work for what I make. The same will apply in part to the western beef industry Trust me, Lawyers HAVE raised the cost of health care. Not alone, but they have raised it.

  48. vicki Says:

    Cat,
    You have a right to own a gun too, but that doesn’t mean the government has a specific obligation to supply you one.
    How the laws are worded is everything in how they are inforced and implimented. You can receive emergency care, and cannot be turned away, at any hospital. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay.
    The problem with basing it on income is that it punishes people for getting ahead, or being in the “tween”. I am a “middle class” tax payer. I qualify for next to none of the credits etc. currently available. In order to even write off my healthcare expenses, I have to pay out over 8000 dollars before I can claim them. I can’t afford to pay 8000 dollars, and if I had that many bills, I would be homeless if I chose to pay them.
    Perhaps a suggestion would be that business making a certain dollar amount provide insurance that would pay a certain percent of uninsured healthcare costs of employees. That would give them incentive to get better coverage. And perhaps then legislate a sliding scale for businesses to purchase that insurance? And then we should give a tax credit for all monies spent on non-cosmetic healthcare (excluding reconstruction.) I say credit because a deduction isn’t much help.

    Heck there are many things that would help.

  49. JB Says:

    Ryan said: “My thousand times estimate may have been off, but there are externalties that I didn’t account for like local farmers able to sell more hay to over winter the ranchers cattle, additional ranch hands employeed to maintain a bigger herds and additional farm help from the raise in hay sales. Heck it could even lead for the need to purchase additional equipment from local dealers which all in turn creates more jobs.”

    Ryan, you’re making the same logical error you’ve just accussed Brian of making–that is, you’re assuming there are no “external” (i.e. indirect) benefits associated with ending public lands livestock production. The hypothetical money paid by WWP to buy out a permit may not go directly into the local economy, but there may indeed be benefits to locals. For instance, increased forage for ungulates could result in more hunting/guiding opportunities and/or increased tourism. These types of indirect economic costs and benefits are notoriously hard to calculate.

  50. catbestland Says:

    Vicki,
    I agree completely, there are any number of these plans that we are talking about that could be implimented with success. I don’t see that any of them can be implimented without some form of social program overseeing the process. And that, like it or not is a public service. There is already a public service health care plan in place, it just needs to be increased and reorganized. So those who argue that there should not be ANY socialized health care. That ship has sailed. Yes, I believe we need MUCH more. Private health care will not necessarily be threatened. There could still be a demand for it. Private security firms and personal protection business do well even though there is public police protection. Private schools are available for those who can afford it. The same could be true with health care? There is absolutely no reason a free market system could not work right along with a social system.

  51. vicki Says:

    Cat,
    The argument with most people I know would be that you lose quality.
    There also needs to be competition to assure advancement…ie: we wouldn’t have many drugs that we use if there was no monetary motivation in discovering them. That is a flaw that we all should recognize in human nature. It is the very reason why the quote “money talks” is timeless. It is also the very reason why we still have welfare ranchers and grazing on public lands. It is the very reason why bison are needlessly slaughtered or forced to starve and hault their instinctual migration. Money talks, and those who want money listen.

  52. catbestland Says:

    Vicki,
    I agree. There is no reason pharmaceutical companies could not remain private. After all companies that have contracts to public school systems and police departments are private. I’m sure the argument that there would be loss of quality would soon be resolved. After all there are at least 18 other industrialized nations with socialized health care whose programs rated higher in quality than the US’s private system. There is no reason the health care should suffer. There would always be private providers if the paitient were not satisfied. By cutting subsidies to big oil, weapons producers and the beef industry among others, and by ending the war, all this could be accomplished.

  53. Ryan Says:

    “Ryan, you’re making the same logical error you’ve just accussed Brian of making–that is, you’re assuming there are no “external” (i.e. indirect) benefits associated with ending public lands livestock production. The hypothetical money paid by WWP to buy out a permit may not go directly into the local economy, but there may indeed be benefits to locals. For instance, increased forage for ungulates could result in more hunting/guiding opportunities and/or increased tourism. These types of indirect economic costs and benefits are notoriously hard to calculate.”

    JB,
    Mine can be calculated and measured in large part, the possibility of increased tourism and hunting are possibilities, but they will not support an economy for 12 months of the year in most cases.

    Cat,

    Where does it say anywhere that sociaized healthcare is a right?

  54. Ryan Says:

    Cat,
    Whats your business if you don’t mind me asking?

  55. catbestland Says:

    Oops, Vicki, I forgot to address one other point. Owning a gun is not a basic necessity, health care is. So of course the governent should not be expected to provide guns to anyone. Health care is necessary for the sustenance of life. It is unforgivable for a government that has the technology and the fiscal means to meet its citizen’s medical needs, to deny that citezenry health care or make them have to choose between their home and their health. Would anyone with the ability to help, deny help to someone who has fallen in the street because the person could not pay for it? Governments are entities comprised of humans and should be held to the same human standards of compassion.

  56. catbestland Says:

    Ryan,
    Click on my name. You will get my website

  57. catbestland Says:

    Ryan,
    There is something called “Natural Law”. It is a legal term and is just as binding as Statutory and/or Common Law. For instance, No one has to be told that they have the right to the air they breath even if that air is not on their property. It is not mentioned in the constitution It is, however necessary for life. It is “Natural” to assume the individual has the right to that air. So it is with health care by the vast majority of the world..

  58. Ryan Says:

    “There is something called “Natural Law”. It is a legal term and is just as binding as Statutory and/or Common Law. For instance, No one has to be told that they have the right to the air they breath even if that air is not on their property. It is not mentioned in the constitution It is, however necessary for life. It is “Natural” to assume the individual has the right to that air. So it is with health care by the vast majority of the world..”

    No its not, not even in the vast majority of the world. You would have to look no farther than india, sub saharan africa, and many many other countries.. When refering to natural law, no hospital can turn you down when you arrive.. Regardless of ability to pay. Roughly 30% of the us is covered by some form of goverment sponsored health care anyways. I don’t buy it for a second that it is a right..

    Also where does the wood come from for your doors and furniture. Wouldn’t cheaply sold timber off of USFS lands and BLM count as a subsidy?

  59. catbestland Says:

    I guarantee you that the wood I work with is not “cheaply sold wood” It is normally the very best hardwood that my client”s money can buy and is provided to me by that client.

    I believe health care is a right, you do not. I’m not sure what point you are making when you said, “No its not, not even in the vast majority of the world. You would have to look no farther than india sub saharan africa, and many many other countries.. .”

  60. vicki Says:

    Cat,
    I am all for better health care. But, as for a gun being a necessity…the Bosnians burried in mass graves and the Kurds and the Sunis, and the Jews who were slaughtered because they could not take up arms against a tyranical government would likely differ in that summary. The right to have a gun assures that the rest of our rights stay intact. I know it’s hugely open to interpretation, but the “militia” who would be armed would be an army of the people, and by the people. That is the beauty of the constitution, it assures us a safety net against the abuses it prohibited, and the ability to help it to evolve as we need it to.
    But I am no civil litigation or history buff…just one of those middle of the road types. Save the trees, keep my guns, and make the world a better place!

  61. catbestland Says:

    Vicki,
    I have absolutely no problem with owning guns. I own one myself. But I won’t die without it. There are millions in this country who don’t own guns and they won’t die because they don’t own them. (barring some sort of foriegn or demestic terrorist takeover, and if that happens, we have a lot more problems than private or social health care) People will die without healthcare. It is a basic necesity, and one that this nation can afford to provide can its citizens.

  62. vicki Says:

    Cat,
    I agree that this government should do more to help provide good and ready healthcare. But what limits do you place upon it? If we stopped giving freebies o illegal imigrants, we’d have enough money to fund better education and healthcare too. But there is a very fine line that we have to walk.
    For instance, the agriculture industry in the USA is kept afloat on the cheap labor that many legal and illegal workers provide. DO we kick them all out? What about closing borders so that we are providing citizens with the care?
    What aboutthe already vast shortage of nurses? How would we accomodate the demand for more? How would we assure them educations with such a shortage of teaching facilities?
    I am not arguing one iota that something needs done. I just doubt it is a simple undertaking and it will have consequences. Those consequences are a huge obstacle in passing legislation. When you already have an over taxed mid-class base, and they figure out that theywill be paying taxes for this, it won’t float far. Though it is a no brainer to see that we could reorganize taxes so they’d pay little or nothing more, when folks hear thatthings are funded by taxes, they’ll be a much harder sell.
    What they willhear is that their taxes are funding low income health care…when they’d rather it went to something like cheaper green beans…a tangible pay off that they can measure with goods or cash.

    p.s. I already know you don’t have an issue with owning guns:). I was just making an analagy. Different people will value different types of social welfare. It depends on how it will effect them personally.

  63. vicki Says:

    you’ll get the arguers that say “why should I pay taxes so Johnny No Work from the hood can sit around and get free healthcare?”

  64. vicki Says:

    sorry, I hit submit too soon. Anyhow, it is the same principal argument ranchers give. I pay taxes therefore I am entitled to use public lands to graze. I pay taxes so I am entitled to healthcare. Or, our government supports many degenerates, I am willing to work and can’t now…so they should compensate me for my inability to work…It’s an entitlement thing, and it is very hard to differentiate between what is a justified entitlement and what is not.

  65. catbestland Says:

    Vicki,
    No argument that it would be a trememdous undertaking and there will be many nay-sayers who will have to be made to understand that we will all be better off in the long run. It may even take a thorough gutting of the “powers that be” and complete policy restructuring, but wasn’t it Jefferson that once said . . . ” A little revolution every now and then is a good thing.”?

  66. JB Says:

    “Mine can be calculated and measured in large part, the possibility of increased tourism and hunting are possibilities, but they will not support an economy for 12 months of the year in most cases.”

    Nor will the <15,000 of indirect benefits you cited. All I’m saying is that we can compare direct benefits (apples) and we can compare total benefits (oranges), but we shouldn’t compare apples to oranges. 😉

  67. Barb Says:

    Cat, Can you please provide a link to that “survey” you are referring to?

    You said: “After all there are at least 18 other industrialized nations with socialized health care whose programs rated higher in quality than the US’s private system.”

    I don’t think anyone thinks the quality of healthcare in the U.S. stinks. This just does not sound credible. Just because you don’t like the way it’s administered, does not mean it’s “bad” health care. My background is in business and real estate and public relations — believe me I read this kind of thing.

  68. Barb Says:

    Some links re: healthcare in US:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_in_the_United_States

    http://dll.umaine.edu/ble/U.S.%20HCweb.pdf

    When 3rd party insurers stepped into the mix, offering “plans” for “Well Baby Care” etc etc prices rose. When I was a child, my dad had just “Major Medical” through BC/BS. and limited Rx coverage. No one heard of doctor’s visits “being covered” — they were reasonably priced and you would just pay at the end of the visit. It was no big deal then.

    After these 3rd parties got involved, that is when I remember prices rising. Lawsuits (obviously) have caused prices to rise dramatically. Everyone wants to sue. Some doctors and other medical practitioners deserve to be sued, but there is also a lot of abuse.

    I think we need to get back to basics — more “major medical” plans without all the “fluff” added on.

    And in all seriousness –Americans need to get off their lazy butts and start exercising and taking care of their health instead of driving everywhere and stopping at fast food places and smoking.

    We have a responsibility to eat properly and take care of our bodies — in fact, aren’t Americans the “fattest” of them all? I bet that has a lot to do with our system being rated low by surveys.

  69. Barb Says:

    This is quite enlightening —

    Childhood obesity has tripled (!) in the last 20 years.

    http://www.americansportsdata.com/obesitystats.asp

    It sure seems to me that Americans are requiring more “health care” than other industrialized nations because we’re a bunch of “fat slobs.” I do not mean this personally to anyonoe — I am talking figuratively.

  70. catbestland Says:

    Barb,
    As I stated, I saw the report on at least 2 different news agnecy channels. I’m sure you could go to either CNN or ABC websites and research the subject. It was a week or 2 ago that I saw the report.

  71. catbestland Says:

    Barb,
    Here are some of those links of the study for you.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSN0765165020080108

    http://www.dvorak.org/blog/?p=15535.

    I will try to find more.

  72. catbestland Says:

    Barb,
    Her’s another. There were actually dozens of links to articles about the US’s poor ranking. Just Google it.
    http://www.naturalnews.com/023429.html

  73. kim kaiser Says:

    Catbestland said
    “Isn’t the right to life one of those inalienable rights along with liberty and the pursuit of happiness?”

    if you are a small rancher and your pursuit of happiness is cows and sheep, and use of public land, do you want him to give that up,,??

    i am getting kicked out of th lobby, wil continue tomoreow

  74. kim kaiser Says:

    as far as JB saying the more who contribute the better!! wel by god, i think we found a point of agreement, but the caveot there is, we arent getting more to contribute, the current proposals require the contributing few to contribut more, Hillary required MANDAToRY contributio above and beyond person contribution,,,, THAT IS A TAX in wolf clothing,, and husssein is not far from that,,

    personally, i pay over 300 permonth for heath insurance with a 5k, yep 5k dedcutible, so i only file or plan to file for cancer, heart attack or major long term illness, and quite franklly that iis what its for, not for the doctor visit with a headcold and send in the bill for reimbursemt of 8.oo dollar copay,,

    on the same vein, i shamefully admit i know people, who have means and money, self emplyoed adn dont pay for health insurance, it was nt a counldnt, just a wouldnt, and i am sure he isnt th only one in the USA, but he had a heart attack at 55, over 60k in bills, simply told the hosppital he couldnt pay them..he was absolved of 50 k of prime hosptioal amd medical care, and i am paying my bills, and contributing,, that is a total crock and i dont speak to him anymore, they were bragging about it, so dont think this is a poor thing, lots of folks who can dont, or wont, so if you just dont render the treatment with out it or without a ck or cash in hand, you sit in the lobby till the paying folks get taken care of,, that is how it should be, nothing should be free,,

  75. dbaileyhill Says:

    About health insurance;

    Most people refer to Canada when speaking about nationalized health care, and i have to say that they probably don’t know any details about Canada’s health care.

    For instance, someone has a heart condition that requires surgery, one might say that is just “preventative” medicine, but in Canada, that surgery is considered “elective”. Yes that’s right, i said “elective”. Until that person’s heart actually stops, will they get surgery, but not before that.
    I had an emergency while in Canada, but since i was actually going to die they without surgery they were going to do it. I lived in Bellingham, WA at the time, and opted for a huge dose of painkillers, and anti-nausea medication to get me to the B’ham hospital. Probably not the best way to do things but i am no less stubborn even when death is involved. I just wanted to get back to my own country, and no one was going to get in my way! I am guessing that Canada’s ins. plan, may be why prescription painkillers are over-the-counter?

    Also, when Canadians travel outside the country, they are NOT insured. That mean’s if they have any health problem needing regular treatment, they have to get insurance at the location they are visiting. An artist friend of mine has a health issue that requires regular treatment. He and his wife used to go to Arizona once or twice a year. They can no longer afford the trips because getting insured in the US became way too expensive.

    Anyway, i thought those of you discussing this topic might like to know this.
    Be careful what you wish for.

  76. JB Says:

    Kim says: “as far as JB saying the more who contribute the better!! wel by god, i think we found a point of agreement, but the caveot there is, we arent getting more to contribute…”

    –And that is why you require them to contribute; the same way you are required to have car insurance to drive. It removes the cheaters from the system.

    Kim Said: “the current proposals require the contributing few to contribut more, Hillary required MANDAToRY contributio above and beyond person contribution…”

    –Contributing few? Huh? Look, making health care MANDATORY is good. You can socialize medicine (pay to the state, have the state reimburse for costs) or you can privatize (again, similar to car insurance). Personally, I could care less which system we chose, as I don’t have a problem with social programs.

    “…i only file or plan to file for cancer, heart attack or major long term illness, and quite franklly that iis what its for, not for the doctor visit with a headcold and send in the bill for reimbursemt of 8.oo dollar copay…”

    –Preventative care helps keep costs down (and the nation healthier) in the long run. It means fewer days off for illness or long-term disability, and thus, a more productive society.

    “…i know people, who have means and money, self emplyoed adn dont pay for health insurance, it was nt a counldnt, just a wouldnt, and i am sure he isnt th only one in the USA, but he had a heart attack at 55, over 60k in bills, simply told the hosppital he couldnt pay them..”

    And that is why health care should be mandatory! 🙂

  77. vicki Says:

    DBH is correct. Though many refer to Canada’s model. It is not the only one, and each have flaws. But they also have huge benefits too.
    The socialized countries have easier access to meds, which is a benefit for elderly and children. It shows a tremendous amount in that these countries often (not always) have more children immunized than we do. That pans out in education rankings due to better attendance and also in higher employment productivity because parents don’t miss work. Every action really does have a reaction folks.
    JB,
    You could make insurance available, but you will never get anyone to madatorilly get the care they need. I am presuming you meant that we should make insurance availability mandatory?

    One thing we should note with DBH’s statements is that, although ittakes longer to see a specialist (due to the fact that all docs make about the same $ it is not a beneft to specialize), people require less specialized care because they receive more preventative care. A key factor in that is also lifestyle. America is FAT!!! We lead stagnent lives in that we sit in front of …computers and televisions. We really need to bring back morning calistenics and arts programs….those kids who are involved in arts watch less t.v. and play fewer video games…also have healthier cholesterol, and higher GPA’s.

    There is a lotto be desired about the US medical system, but there are also some perks, like wait time for surgeries, etc. No one idea is perfect, but we all should know that routine preventative care needs to be available to every American. That is a huge deal.

  78. Buffaloed Says:

    I’m going to interject one point that I can’t expound upon much more after this because I will be out of town for a while.

    What services do the insurance companies actually provide to the health care system that a socialized system couldn’t do for cheaper? Really? Who doesn’t know someone who has been screwed out of coverage for health care that they really need and have coverage for? The insurance companies make more money by restricting coverage to people than by providing that coverage. They simply muck up the system by restricting coverage, requiring much more paper work, kicking doctors out of their system who provide “too much” coverage, and outright stealing money from the system.

    I submit that the INSURANCE COMPANIES are the biggest problem in the system and are driving costs up for the patients and doctors. People who hold coverage get screwed, people who don’t hold coverage can’t afford it, and doctors are restricted in how they care for their patients.

    Patients are not consumers, they are patients. They should never be viewed as a consumer of health care because in many cases they have no choice, coverage or not, whether they need health care. Health care is much different than any “product” and should be managed, by the government, for the general welfare of the people.

    Regarding the differences in public lands ranching and the general welfare. Public lands ranching is welfare for people who make a choice to use the public’s land to graze their cattle. They have that choice whereas patients don’t have the choice whether or not to go into the health care system when they have an accident, disease, or other malady. When people go to the doctor they are not destroying entire ecosystems for their personal benefit. They may be using general funds from taxpayers but they are, in many cases, able to contribute to society further.

    I say we have a government run health care system that does not include the insurance companies.
    I also say that we provide for a voluntary/mandatory buyout for public lands ranchers. Until then, I think that public lands ranchers must accept the restrictions placed on them by the laws of the land and meet the standards that they agreed to meet in their grazing permits. At this time very few of them meet those standards and they have stacked the deck in trying to muddy the waters about what those standards obviously are. Public lands ranching in the desert does not work. It destroys the land, habitat, and wildlife that has an intrinsic value. It also destroys necessary environmental functions that even the human environment depends upon.

    Don’t forget that the word WELFARE does appear in the preamble of the constitution: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general WELFARE, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

  79. catbestland Says:

    Buffaloe,
    I concur, wholeheartedly.

  80. jimbob Says:

    Ralph, I was reading your earlier post about camping and paying $5 (instead of $10) to camp on the national forest. Great point about the difference in price for the livestock operator. I DO however object to the $5! I remember not too long ago when we were all denied access to national forest lands. Roads were gated and locked and trespassing signs were posted. It seemed that by right of grazing livestock operators “owned” the land.

    What I find difficult to swallow is the fact that the government charges us for access to land which we the taxpayer own. They build unwanted and unneeded facilities to attract more visitors to pay for that which we didn’t want or need in the first place. Improved camping areas is one thing, but I was traveling to my favorite fishing creek the other day wondering if I was about to do something illegal. I saw all of the signs leading up to the area that said “National Forest passes available at local businesses.” I was parking in an unimproved area and using no facilities in what is a very remote area. There were no signs stating what these passes were needed for. Is this what we want our forests to become? Profit-making amusement parks? It may be off-thread a bit, but your post made me think!

    I object too. The other day I passed by a FS site that said you had to pay to park by the river (just a river!). RM

  81. dbaileyhill Says:

    It seems to me that “welfare”, (as stated in the preamble), is inter-changeable with “well-being”. I do not believe that the US government is capable of “managing” health care. The gov’t can’t even manage the current medicare system.
    My dad was so sick with cancer, unable to eat, and he looked no different than the photos of the starving Jewish men in the Nazi concentration camps, and it was a fight to get his social security disability benefits even though he had worked and paid into the system his entire life. And then after all of that he had to literally give away his car and truck to continue his medical treatment. A short time later, he was required to even give away his house. The reasoning being that he owned too much- a house, a car, and a pick-up truck and no money. If he sold those things then he could not continue getting benefits. He had to be homeless and broke. That’s a hell of a way to get medical treatment.

    Buffaloed stated it correctly that “doctors are restricted in how they care for their patients.”
    Insurance companies; their pharmacists determine whether or not you are covered. They are not even doctors, let alone a specialist, and they know absolutely nothing about the patient, and will deny coverage because a medication costs too much. In the mean time the patient is suffering, and can’t even function. It goes back and forth as the “pharmacist” comes up with some other thing to “try” when the doc knows better. My doctor is one of the best specialists in the nation and was the president of the Oregon American Medical Association for a number of year’s. I got the treatment i needed, because my doc called and told the pharmacist “what was what” and gave the guy a “proper dressing down”. I feel very fortunate to say the least.
    I will end with this; someone who is not a doctor, a complete stranger has no business determining a patient’s needs or treatment.

  82. JB Says:

    DBH:

    Government agencies manage many, many programs. Some programs are managed well and others are not. I don’t think its safe to assume that because “the government” is poorly managing one program that this will translate into poor management of socialized health care. Alternatively, I would also argue that there are good and bad medical insurance companies. We should not assume that privatized medical coverage doesn’t work just because there are some bad apples out there. There is no perfect system! To reiterate: I’m a proponent of mandatory health coverage (thanks for the correction Vicki)–I don’t care if its the State or the private sector (or some combination therein) that provides it–I just think its crazy that our government provides services like free predator removal (Wildlife Services), but does not provide any help to citizens in meeting their most basic needs.

    – – – –

    FYI: I attended a seminar on health benefits for new employees at work today. It took them two hours to attempt to explain the basic choices we have in health care (and we didn’t even get to the forms). A colleague who was from Canada looked at me and said, “…I prefer the Canadian system, it is a whole hell of a lot simpler.”

  83. vicki Says:

    To clarify, pharmacists don’t deny anyone coverage or meds. They get the specifics of coverage from your insurance companies. When the pharmacy (some pharmacists are docs too…just not M.D.) tells you that something has been denied, you have the option of paying cash, or having a different medicine/ You as the patient have insurance which regulates how and what meds are a covered benefit. But you ALWAYS have the option of paying cash. I cn tell you t hough, 99 percent of the time people opt not to do that, in fact my staff gets regularly cussed out by folks who are plain pissed that they have to pay anything for their meds.

    As far as socializing the whole system…big no no. Doctors won’t buy it. And as for insurances saying what will and won’t be covered…they practice under very specific industry standards and a lot of what they do is very regulated. If you resent them for profitting, so be it, but you have to acknowledge a problem with capitalism as a whole. You cannot mandate how everything profits someone, that simply defies the American way of life.
    Insurance companies are only a PART of the problem. Doctors could charge less if they didn’t have the cost of collections for people who just refuse to pay, or the elevated cost of mal-practice insurance because everyone thinks it’s easy to get rich if you sue someone else, or the joy of paying legal fees to attorneys to collect money from people who bounce checks.
    Even if you socialized all of medical care here, people will still be just as bad, because we are a country filled with people who want something for nothing. You’d have to raise taxes…that won’t fly. And then you will get what the government says you get, and if you don’t like the medicine, expect to pay even more for a different one.

    Doctors are no limited in their ability to treat patients, patients are limited as to what treatments they can afford. You can, as a doctor, recommend specific treatments, and patient being unable or unwilling to pay for them will refuse what is in their best medical interest.

    And I am sorry to burst any bubbles, but patients are absolutely consumers. You have a buyer beware scenario every time you pick a doctor, or a hospital. And though many of you are not responsible for picking healthcare benefits being provided, someone is. So someone has to make the choice as to which policy you get. That is a consumer choice, usually based on cost and not on quality. If you want to be ticked about what options you have, take it up with your employer, they supply it to you. And, it is a direct write off of their taxes. I speak from experience…I am the employer, the patient, the clinical manager, and the consumer.

    Yes, Canada’s system is simpler, and works better for most people…because MOST people have very simple healthcare needs. But if you want any real options, social healthcare will shoot you right in the foot.

  84. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Social Security disability sucks because Bush wants it that way to undercut public support of Social Security.

    Here is today’s news on that very issue. Sept. 16

  85. dbaileyhill Says:

    JB,
    I agree with you completely! This is a very “hot topic” with me for obvious reasons. I am happy with my insurance and feel very fortunate to have it. Even though our “out of pocket expense” has gone up with the company cutting costs, the alternative would be frightening. No citizen should be denied this basic need. But i have no idea how to solve the problem. The people that can solve the problem are too busy pointing fingers. Because, darn it! someone has to be blamed! (lots of sarcasm.)
    With “welfare ranching”, wildlife services, etc, the gov’t’s priorities need a serious reshuffling. It is deplorable that they do not, as you stated, “provide any help to citizens in meeting their most basic needs.” I think that the problem is not being solved because everyone (who could actually get things moving), is too busy trying to pin the blame on someone or something.
    I am just not sure that “socialized” health care is the answer. What i do know is that nothing is being done and it needs to change.
    At the community level, being “neighborly” can go a long way. In the county that i live we have an annual fundraiser/auction/ dinner, in which the sole purpose is to raise money to continue operating a clinic just for school kids. So, no student will go without health care, meds, etc. The dinner service/food is donated, as is the facility to have the event. It continues to be successful. However, that is not even “a drop in the bucket” in the grand scheme of things.

    ———-The Canadian system is much simpler, as long as one has no serious conditions and /or complicated. With all that i have been through over the past ten years, i would rather die than subject myself to Canada’s health plan. Patching me up until the next surgery needed to prevent death is no way to live.

    ———-I can’t remember which senator, about 8 or 9 years ago, proposed a nat’l health plan, in which basically persons having serious illness’s or conditions, would be low priority. The idea being that if one is that sick, why bother, because there would be no guarantee the patient would then become a “productive” citizen. After a few weeks or maybe months this proposal was never spoke of again. Sorry i can’t remember who the person was. I think it was someone from the east coast-maybe one of the “Carolina’s” ??

  86. dbaileyhill Says:

    Ralph,
    Thank you for the link, and for letting us discuss off topic!

  87. Barb Says:

    Those that are wishing for nationalized health care, I agree with whoever said BE CAREFUL what you wish for. My husband works for a Canadian company (we live in colorado) and his Canadian co-workers are not all happy with their system. It sounds all great before you actually are in it.

    Heck, the US govt can’t even manage social security! And you want them to manage health care too? I don’t get it.

    It will make no difference who is in power either — the Dems or Republicans — don’t kid yourself!

    Govt cannot run most things very well. They need to just make sure laws are in place to regulate private business. And we need a safety net for uninsured or underinsured, based on a sliding fee scale.

    I did look at those links and “quality” is based on many things, including access, which is the biggest problem of all in the U.S.

    I also think that the sedentary lifestyles of most Americans these days is adding to our health care costs. People regularly eat at fast food restaurants now, drive everywhere instead of walking, that is unhealthy and leads to serious health issues, obesity being just one of them — diabetes Type II is on the rise (in children and adults) from our diets. There has to be tie between our high health care costs and our nation’s obesity. Nationalized health care will not make people live healthier lifestyle.

    The way I see it health care is a mess because:

    1. Insurers and other 3rd parties getting involved raising costs
    2. The need for legal reform
    3. Unhealthy lifestyles

  88. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Neither candidate is talking about a federal health care system. Such a system might have merit given the sorry state of the American system, but Obama, and certainly not McCain are advocating such.

    Obama simply wants everyone able to buy some kind of health insurance. It would not be free,

    As it is now only the lucky, well off, or people not likely to get sick (such as young people) don’t have to worry about health care insurance.

  89. frank mayfield Says:

    You can act like lack of healthcare only affects people unwilling to work, but that is simply not true. I am a teacher who cannot afford the price. Wanna call me lazy? That is what most of you people do. It must make you feel better.

  90. dbaileyhill Says:

    frank mayfield,
    I think most of the folks posting on this site know that is not the case. I agree with you- there are many people who work and cannot afford insurance. My dad was unable to afford health insurance. He was a hard worker with no health problems, until his “flu-like” symptoms persisted for many weeks, he made a visit to the doctor and found out he had cancer.

    It does seem that at times folks just want to focus on the “bad apples”, the people who take advantage of various services. They may know of someone who is lazy, and they wrongfully assume that everyone is like that. I have heard people say that people who are uninsured simply do not make getting insurance a priority. I wonder if some of the negative responses stem from the issue because of it’s complexities. People don’t want to think about it. And of course that doesn’t make it right. They find it easier to make generalized comments/ assumptions, as you stated, to avoid the issue altogether. It seems that when the dollar sign enters the picture, as with health care, companies stop caring about a patients well-being. That also applies to the wanton destruction of the environment, and many, many other situations.
    I hope you stick around and join the discussion and share any ideas you may have.

  91. JB Says:

    Barb said: “Heck, the US govt can’t even manage social security! And you want them to manage health care too? I don’t get it.”

    Barb, the federal government runs A LOT of things, sometimes it runs them well, sometimes not. The same can be said of private industry. Again, I never said that I want the feds to “manage health care too,” I said I don’t care who provides access to health care, so long as everyone has access.

    It’s silly to suggest that because you don’t think the Social Security program is run well that the federal government can’t run anything else well either. By that logic, everything should be privatized (including the military) and the federal government should only make, interpret, and enforce laws. Perhaps that’s what you’re suggesting? If so, I wholeheartedly disagree.

    – – – – –

    Frank:

    I don’t think you’re lazy. I’ve been in the same position myself.

  92. vicki Says:

    JB,
    Barb is right to question the ability of the government to manage healthcare. Frankly, the few programs in place now are badly run and seriously lacking in substance. Could they do it? Well, it is a valid question. Probably the one person who is at all in a political light right now that would have a clue is Michelle Obama. She is already involved in the business of medical administration. Wasn’t this Hillary’s way to step in to the political lime light when she was the first lady?

    As far as sliding scales…applying them to people is not ver helpful, and many of the people placed on them negate their payment arrangements. They lack because they still place the burden of costs and monies lost on the medical provider or facility. That is a cost thatis unfair to the provider, as they are not a government entity and already pay a great deal of taxes. We already have sliding scales in place. In Colorado we have the Colorado Indigent Care Program. We also have low income insurance Colorado Healthy Child Program, and Medicaid. None are very substaintial in acceptance or in reimbursement for the provider, but even as important…it takes a miracle to get the system to pay you at all. When you do get paid, it is many months down the road, and it is often after more man hours are spent to attempt to colect or resubmit claims. It is simply not worth what it costs to impliment the plans if you are the provider.

    If you apply a sliding scale, it should be a scale that provided laws for the employers and assistance to them that would make providing good insurance affordable and required. That would level out the prices of insurance as the government could them apply legislation to pricing of insurance- a lot like how the Public Utilities Commision regulates energy costs- but hopefully more in favor of the citizen as opposed to the corporation.

    It would have huge short term(five to ten years atleast) ramifications though. Which is why there is such hesitation to reform healthcare as it is. It would have effects on small businesses, job numbers, healthcare providers, and all those insurance companies and their employees too.

    If you watch the news, you will see that socializing things is happening right now. All these bail outs are socializing things…allowing Uncle Sam to control so many markets…housing, insurance, and banking. It is a matter of time before healthcare is on that list, so people please, please, influence how it happens NOW. Don’t wait until it is done to try to change it, as we see here all the time, that is way more work, way less productive, and a huge financial and socio-economic headache.

    Frank,

    The USA has one of the worst track records when it comes to education and the treatment of it’s educators. Few other civilized countries place such low regard on their teachers and education in general. Not only are teachers treated with no respect and forced to endure children who are spoiled, disrespectful, rude, lazy and violent, they are expected to be and often made responsible for those children’s actions. No teacher ispaid enough to tollerate and endure that b.s.

    I am floored when I go to conferences and hear parents say “why did my child fail this class? Why didn’t you help him more? Why did you let this happen? This is because you don’t like my child.” I have to physically remove myself before I go off! Where was that concern when the teacher made phone calls, sent home letters, the student denied having any homework even when the syllabus says they’d have some every single day? Where is the student’s accountability ? Or the parents? Where is the accountability when the student is texting or causing a disturbance during class?

    The problem with eduction and treatment of educators is so much more than just healthcare.

    That is atronomical in it’s self…my dad is a teacher and he cannot afford to retire because he can’t afford prescription meds he has to take. He makes a low end middle income, and has a 2000 dollar deductable and then pays 20 percent on top of a 40 dollar copayment…not to mention his payroll deduction for the insurance to begin with. All that and he is supposed to be saving for retirement? How?

    When you figure out how much teachers get paid, and apply that to the number of students they teach…you all average less than a dollar an hour per child. Sick. Sad. Wrong. You are treated as a glorified baby-sitter, but they get paid an average of five dollars an hour per child. Where is the logic in that? Teachers literally change the course of history and mold the future….and we treat them with complete indifference.

    As for lazy, heck no. People may throw out the “you get three months off” arguement. That is so bogus!!! You don’t get paid over-time for conferences, for continuing education required to maintain your licenses, or for the average of 2-4 hours a day spent at home grading papers and making lesson plans, etc. Teachers work so much more than the 9+ hours a day spent at the school. ANd three months off is a stretch, most kids get about ten weeks off during summer now. My kids get out about June 6th and go back about August 16th.

    I am behind you Frank….you’ll get no lazy call from me!

  93. outsider Says:

    Its called health insurance people not heath pay. You don’t haved the right to have every little bump and brusie paid for. I happen to have a very high deductable to help keep my premiun down at a resonable cost. Its inurance against haveing a “major”problem. No I don’t have dental, brush my teeth and pay for visits out of my pocket. Don’t have eye car, just go to costco, or walmart and buy glasses when they are on sale, or get package deals. No one in this county will ever be denied care if they are sick, but we also need to stand up a demand that people quite going to the emergency room for the sniffiles, and yes it happens all the time, happen to have a several doc friends, really miffs them. This drives cost up for all of us. We also need to get some tort reform, malpratice insurance is through the roof due to “low life” lawyers sueing anything and everything they can. I know there is a time and place for some of these lawsuits but really most are a joke and the payouts are even worse. Bottom line I know that some of our health care system is broke but lets remember that when people from around the world want top notch care where do they go, the old US of A.

  94. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Here is this morning’s comparison of the candidates’ health care plans. TV never bores us with the details. They assume all we care about is the state of the campaign “horse race.”

    New Studies Report Wide Disparity in Health Care Plans. By Perry Bacon Jr. Washington Post.

  95. JB Says:

    Vicki said: “Barb is right to question the ability of the government to manage healthcare. Frankly, the few programs in place now are badly run and seriously lacking in substance.”

    Vicki, you might want to take a look at this (https://wolves.wordpress.com/2008/09/08/jb-republicans-and-small-government/) which details the Republican’s spending priorities. I would argue that the quality of health care, education, and other social welfare programs have suffered because Republicans have controlled the Executive branch for 27 of the past 39 years, and during that time, have not wanted to fund them (underfunding a program is a sure fire way to ensure it is not successful). As Ralph argued (above): “Social Security disability sucks because Bush wants it that way to undercut public support of Social Security.”

    The Republicans don’t want social programs, and the best way to get rid of them is to convince people that the Federal government can’t run them. So the Republicans have slowly reduced the funding for social programs, federal land management agencies, the endangered species program, etc. and let the American people watch them languish. This strategy works for several reasons, but I think the two biggest are: (1) it demoralizes the people that actually run the programs as they watch their colleagues get laid off and their salaries decrease, and (2) few people ever look at the budget, and no one holds them accountable. When the programs finally fail the Republicans can stand back and say “see I told you big government doesn’t work,” laughing all the while.

  96. vicki Says:

    JB,
    I totally agree that this is all the result of years of mis-management by republicans. I don’t think that the problem will get better by socializing everything though. But I do know that it needs a lot of work.
    However, if you say mis-management…those handy republicans will say “that is excalty what we plan to do, end mis-management.” Whatever, I won’t buy it.

    Economic changes takes seven to ten years to be reflected in the economy’s growth. SO all the crap we see now is a result of what happened some time back. Not that what goes on in the short term has no immediate effect…it just has less permanence or signifigance now than it will ten years from now.
    We can blame lots of crap on republicans with good reason, but we can’t let Clinton off the hook entirely, he and his adminstration had eight years to change things…and what did they do? Politics as usual. We are seeing effects from his time in the WH too. It is a situation where major change needs to occur with minimum impact on the oevr all economy. It won’t happen soon, or if it does, it won’t happen well.

    I personally think that employers need tax breaks and sliding scales, not the people. It would cause less upheaval and work faster with easier implementation. The FDA needs an overhaul, and there needs to be stronger punishment for companies hiring illegals, and we need new Malpractice laws.

    I want people to get good quality affordable care and medicine…. but I don’t think socializing everything works. We should have residencies for docs at clinics and hospitals for indigent patients. We need more nurses, so the government should be opening schools that make becoming nurses easier to do. (Our nursing shortage is not due to lack of interest rather burn out from over worked nurses and lack of educatioal availability.)

    Bush and what he is doing is no more a “task from God” than anything else is,,,, and what he is doing now is making a stand so people will believe that he actually thought he was doing the right thing…he has to know it is a bunch of horse pooh. If he doesn’t , well that is even worse.

    I am with you, I just think we really need to know what changes we should make and stop using middle class America and our elderly and kids as an experimental model in trial and error. Get a plan, a good one, and do it right.

  97. Barb Says:

    Well said Vicki! I think what we really and truly need is a 3rd party to REALLY SHAKE things up in Washington — not a so-called Maverick who has voted with Bush 90% of the time. And that’s not the same old thing? Please!

  98. Barb Says:

    Thanks for posting Ralph — I must need reading glasses!

  99. Barb Says:

    “Republicans have controlled the Executive branch for 27 of the past 39 years, and during that time, have not wanted to fund them.”

    The Executive branch can veto bills, but that can be overridden by Congress with 2/3 vote by the Senate I believe. So that argument doesn’t really hold water.

  100. frank Says:

    Actually, that argument does hold water. Never in that same period of time have Dems. held TWO-THIRDS of the houses. Kinda tricky to override a veto that way.


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