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January 26, 2007


Richard VanDyk

The first is that in my opinion the Federal government is an incompetent bureaucratic entity. To reduce it to simple terms it cannot operate with anything approaching the efficiency of an HMO such as Kaiser Permanente.

I've seen estimates for the overhead costs of healtcare in Western Europe countries to be about 10%.
This might seem high but pales in comparison to similar estimates for us that range in the area of 20-25%.
I am all for private competition but that is not what our "free market" economy provides. It tends to support corporate welfare to a large degree because the big lobby dollars ultimately funded by you and me support this. People are so against "welfare" for the poor but somehow turn a blind eye to the rampant corporate welfare that is so pervasive in our society? Perhaps because many of us have jobs created by this inefficiency?
I say if the Western Europeans can do it, so can we. We might have to cut back a bit on being policeman to the world
but it can be done. You should be ashamed to live in the "greatest country of the world" as many say when a basic human need such as access to healthcare can't be guaranteed to all.

You must be a Republican?

Dick Lepre


You sort of ran away from me here. I said that IF we were going to have Universal Health Care we needed to first address the fiscal problems with other entitlement programs such as social security and medicare/medicade.

I also said that I found it acceptable and regarded it as a "why not?" proposition.

My suggestion is more about fiscal sanity as a necessary condition for the success of such a program.

If the essence of your post is diasgreement with my contention that Kaiser Permanente is an effecient model that is a seperate discussion. I have no information that Kaiser is somehow a beneficiary of "corporate welfare."

I am not disagreeing with you that there are stupid tax breaks which some folks in Congress get for corporations in their state or district but that really obfuscates my main point about the necessity of fiscal sanity and my opinion that we should first get social security and Medicare/Medicade correct before proceeding with universal health coverage.


We could readily pay for it with our money WASTED in IRAQ!


Its really easy. Get out of Iraq and use the money to help the US. Medicare is the most cost effective buyer and administrator of health care costs in this country -- no private insurance company comes close. Why not Medicare for all?

Dick Lepre

Some comments on comments.

Making this a political issue is silly. Medicare/Medicade takes in money and spends money and those two cash flows should balance.

My appeal here was to do that before addressing universal health care.

There is an additional demographic problem superimposed on this.

John Rowe

The recent dive in equities is of no concern to long-term investors. The price-to-earning ratios remain sensible and are improving. Ultimately, an investment is worth a multiple of the income it produces, nothing else. I suspect the sudden dive in equities had more to do with computer programs than changes in economic climate.
Periodically we need to shake the turkeys out of the market.

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