# How does Kerry plan to accomplish his agend and what is it anyway?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by truth, Aug 19, 2004.

1. ### truthRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
643
I know Kerry has talked about health care, but what exactly does he plan to do?
How exactly does he plan to reform in the intelligence community and why is his way better?
All I ever hear is that he served in Vietnam and has medals, what is his plan and how does he plan to accomplish it because I have seen nothing at all?

3. ### Repo ManValued Senior Member

Messages:
4,955
From what I can tell, he has been short on the specifics. If he does release any specific plans, the closer to the election he does so, the less time the Republicans have to attack them.

I'll leave the specifics to his campaign managers; he already has my vote, and the vote of everyone who thinks like I do. He has to try and get the votes of those increasingly disturbed by out troop casualties in Iraq, who are increasingly convinced that our involvement there was a mistake.

He will never get the votes of hardcore nationalists. Facts and evidence are an anathema to that lot. They will happily vote for a man who claims to have conversations with god.

5. ### PanglossMore 'pop' than a Google IPO!Registered Senior Member

Messages:
767
This is probably the least-likely question to be discussed by others, so I'll go ahead and address it myself. I mentioned this briefly in another thread the other day. I'm afraid the issue doesn't raise much interest -- people like to complain about healthcare, but start getting into specifics and eyes quickly glaze over. (grin) But I'll post a brief outline and some links in case anyone wants to read more.

Kerry's healthcare proposal can be found here:
http://www.johnkerry.com/issues/health_care/health_care.html

In a nutshell, what he's like to do is extend healthcare coverage to all Americans. This would include an estimated 44 million who are not presently covered. The ones who can't afford it will be directly subsidized by the government, with that to be paid for by a repeal of the Bush tax cut. (So when you hear Kerry talking about rolling back the Bush tax cut, this is what he plans to do with that money. Just something to keep in mind -- he plans to spend it -- this is a new expense, he's not putting it into balancing the budget. It's interesting.) He also wants every child covered.

There are many more important aspects of his plan, but that's the main point.

Now it's important to keep in mind that "universal coverage", as it's generally called, is quite possibly going to happen, whether or not Kerry gets elected, in the next congressional session. That was made possible recently when Republican Senator and majority leader Bill Frist put up his healthcare proposal, which also includes public funding for universal coverage. That's the first time a Republican has officially made that compromise, and so it seems likely to me that it'll happen now.

Some more details on universal coverage from a fairly non-partisan source can be found here:
http://www.centrists.org/issue_summaries/health_universal.html

The highlight of that article might be this phrase:

Anyway, that's not a total answer to your question, but I imagine eyes already glazing over. Further discussion is welcomed, and I'd be happy to participate, but thus far I've been unable to spur any discussion on the issue.

7. ### truthRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
643
Personally, I am absolutely opposed to a repeal of the tax cuts, that is not even an option as far as I am concerned.

Now, I would be for organized purchasing groups to create a sizeable pool for decent insurance rates, but in no way is subsidizing a good path to take. We do not need more taxes, I and millions of others have to pay for their own health insurance. Not to mention that all earners already subsidize medical care through FICA/Medicare/Medicaid.

Where I live there a couple of hospitals that cater to those without insurance and base fees on income and uses Medicaid. I have used it while a student and with no money, paid and accepted it. Go to any hospital in the southwestern US or inner city and you will find it filled with people in the emergency room for free treatment in that the hospitals pass the costs on to those who have insurance and to the government.

There need to be reforms, but not taxes or a Canadian system.

8. ### UndecidedBannedBanned

Messages:
4,731
Personally, I am absolutely opposed to a repeal of the tax cuts, that is not even an option as far as I am concerned.

Are you part of the upper two percentile? If not then you are quite moronic, because Kerry is not going to touch middle class tax cuts. Also if you love these truly temporary tax cuts, maybe you would love the doubling of your taxes in the future hmmm…?

Where I live there a couple of hospitals that cater to those without insurance and base fees on income and uses Medicaid.

Is the level of service even comparable to that of an insured hospital? I very highly doubt that, chances are that the Medicare hospital is overextended, and under funded.

There need to be reforms, but not taxes or a Canadian system.

Our system is working quite well, although now that the US has waited so long I don’t see universal healthcare a reality in the US ever. The rich get richer, and the poor seem to like to prop them up as you have insinuated Truth.

9. ### PanglossMore 'pop' than a Google IPO!Registered Senior Member

Messages:
767
Well the thing to keep in mind here is that "universal healthcare" under a Kerry-Frist bipartisan approach would bear little resemblence to the Canadian or, say, British systems. The only thing they would really have in common would be, well, the fact that everyone's covered.

There's good and bad in that. The "good" perhaps being that by remaining privitized, at least ostensibly (taxpayer money going only to the insured and not directly to the companies, and not to all of the insured, only to the poor ones), the corporations retain a profit motive and we might be able to avoid some of the alleged pitfalls of the socialized systems, in re waiting periods, lack of doctors, etc. (Though it's important to keep in mind that we're already seeing some of those very same problems today even though we're not socialized, and for much the same reasons they see them in Canada and Britain.)

The "bad" is that prices will likely remain high, because there's no incentive for them to come down. In fact just the opposite -- subsidizing lower-income patients means everyone is part of some health-care plan, and one of the reasons for high costs is the "fix" -- companies set rates high because you're in their system now; where else are you going to go?

But in addition to fixing the problem of having millions uninsured, it seems likely that two other problems will immediately be addressed. Uninsured healthcare, i.e. indigent care, will no longer be a burdon to society. You'll still have some, because you're always going to have strange events (like an accident involving a patient with no identification). But it won't be the massive cost it is today. This could bring prices down at the provider level (i.e. hospitals lowering the cost of a bed in intensive care, etc). And secondly, we might be able to do something about drug prices in this country.

10. ### UndecidedBannedBanned

Messages:
4,731
America isn't having a universal healthcare system because of companies’ huge profits. Companies make very little here in Canada, or other advanced states. But in the US they make up to 50% of all profits. Obviously the majority of Americans want universal healthcare because when costs are shared by everyone you will actually save money, rather then with increase private costs. Also one of the big reasons why the US is so economically uncompeitive to other states is because of benefits and in the US it costs so much more to insure people, when in Canada a person is insured without question. Huge amounts of money could be saved by companies. But if Americans think it’s cool to have 44 million without any care, and their economy and jobs put at risk…so be it.

11. ### PanglossMore 'pop' than a Google IPO!Registered Senior Member

Messages:
767
Right. Well, I don't know that Americans actually think it's "cool" to have so many uninsured, so much as they don't really care one way or the other. But that's just my take on it. But I agree with your main points.

Part of the problem has been that healthcare has arisen from the already corrupt insurance industry. I say corrupt for a very specific reason -- it's a systemic corruption. It's based on several systemic problems, including (but not limited to) the fact that insurance companies don't even use Standard Accounting Practices, nor are they subject to business rules and regulations in the same way. The insurance lobby was one of the first powerful political lobbies in this country, and it shows in the code.

(Edit: Just to expand on that a bit, if you take a look at the next-most-profitable sector of the economy, guess who it is? Insurance! Their profits are obscene, and, it's important to note, obscene because they *cheat*, not because of "honest capitalism" or whatnot. Of course, it's hard to actually determine this and show statistics for it, because, surprise surprise, insurance companies are the *only publically-held companies that are not required to show fully revealing financial statements*.)

HMOs take that as a *starting point* for business practices, and get even worse from there.

So anyway what this is going to mean for the US in the near term is that it's going to cost us a bundle for universal coverage. And we're perversely solving that problem *first*, instead of really getting to the heart of the organizational/structural systemic problems that defy solution because nobody in power seems to really understand that they're the root of the trouble.

12. ### truthRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
643
Unlike Kerry's pronouncements that only the rich benefited from the tax cuts, well, I am not rich and have benefited. Kerry has not understanding of economics. The level of health care is the same as far as I can tell at those hospitals, the same standards apply. The Brits have universal health care, yet the rich have private hospitals to serve them. Is that fair? This is a capitalist country, now if we want the "benefits" of socialism, then that is different. A purchasing pool would be the way to go, but how is our economy at risk or jobs?

13. ### UndecidedBannedBanned

Messages:
4,731
Unlike Kerry's pronouncements that only the rich benefited from the tax cuts, well, I am not rich and have benefited.

Sure well give a dog a bone

, give a crackhead more crack, etc. but that does that mean its for his own good? Of course not, and the majority of the tax cut did not touch you. It is such a sad irony that the proletariat can be satisfied so easily, when they are the ones who will bear most of the burden in the end. You think you benefited but you really haven’t and 10 years from now you will understand the folly of your ways.

Kerry has not understanding of economics.

Can anyone understand that sentence? Whoa…anyways Kerry makes much more sense then Bush. Let me explain, now according to you this must make sense:

Cut taxes dramatically, and raise spending dramatically, thus which increases inflation, then interest rates, and increases long term debt.

If that sounds like sound economic policy then it is you who doesn’t understand basic economics.

This is a capitalist country, now if we want the "benefits" of socialism, then that is different.

You don’t even know what socialism is…

A purchasing pool would be the way to go, but how is our economy at risk or jobs?

What is question trying to say?

Last edited: Aug 19, 2004
14. ### fadingCaptainare you a robot?Valued Senior Member

Messages:
1,762
"How exactly does he plan to reform in the intelligence community and why is his way better?"

From what I have seen, Kerry says he will immediately implement the suggestions made by the 911 panel. Bush has said similar things but nothing has been done yet and they are still working out the details. There is not alot different for voters to distinguish here.

As far as healthcare, I don't find it surprising that Kerry wants to repeal the tax cuts and spend the money on universal health care. Problem is that repealing the tax cuts will not give him enough $to do all he is saying. The specifics of how exactly he will have enough$ to do all he wants is lacking.

Now for the tax cuts...I do not see the evidence that the cuts have done what was promised. Namely, kick start the economy. It is no secret the cuts were mainly for the wealthy. I do not necessarily think this is a bad thing...but there is a major problem here. Cutting taxes should, by all means, equate to a reduction in government. However, in this case, we have cut taxes while simultaneously raising expenditure. I don't need to remember my intermediate economics classes back in school to see the problem with this....

At any rate you have to ask what philosophy our president maintains, small government, big government, or what??? It is strange when the democrats seem to be more interested in balancing the budget than the republicans. The labels are almost worthless now.

15. ### PanglossMore 'pop' than a Google IPO!Registered Senior Member

Messages:
767
Well actually 44 million people times, say, $6 grand a year (that's estimating$500/month per person, which is much more than most people pay) works out to, what, $264 billion? I think the typical figures for the tax cut are around$400-500 billion. Of course you have to pad a ridiculous amount of money for bureaucratic waste (grumble, gripe, complain), but that seems like a reasonable conjecture on Kerry's part.
(shrug) Of course that's just my foolish bistromath at work, and not really an in-depth analysis.

16. ### PanglossMore 'pop' than a Google IPO!Registered Senior Member

Messages:
767
The tax cuts were definitely part of the growth, accounting for something like 2-4% of the total growth rate in the first half of 2004. Alan Greenspan has supported this assertion in testimony before Congress.

It's reasonable to assert, though, that they haven't "jump-started" anything, I'll admit. They were a factor but it's reasonable to conclude that the economy would have gotten back on track without it, and we'd have a balanced budget at the moment.

17. ### PanglossMore 'pop' than a Google IPO!Registered Senior Member

Messages:
767
By the way, did you catch that, Undecided? I think that's the first time I've admitted that the deficit is equal to the tax cut. After a lot of discussion here and analysis and in hindsight, I have to admit I was wrong about that. Part of that is because the deficit is not as bad as had been feared (700+), of course, but it's pretty clear that tax cut = deficit.

18. ### UndecidedBannedBanned

Messages:
4,731
By the way, did you catch that, Undecided? I think that's the first time I've admitted that the deficit is equal to the tax cut.

22. ### PanglossMore 'pop' than a Google IPO!Registered Senior Member

Messages:
767
I've been assuming that the estimated "tax cut" is, in fact, the amount of lost tax revenue. Is it not?

23. ### UndecidedBannedBanned

Messages:
4,731
There is more money lost, the orignial tax cut + the additional revenue from growth.