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Taxes: America compared to other countries


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See, that's the big "bug-a-boo" here in the states.  Someone says something like, "socialized medicine" and right away, they think the country will convert to  something like the Soviet Union.  :rolleyes:

Then the nay-sayers go on about how much higher our income taxes will climb in order to pay for it all, which makes sense here because in this country the people who can easily afford to pay for any medical needs they might require pay far less a percentage of income tax than do the people who can barely afford the tax rate they pay now.  

Sepiatone

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Some Canadians do indeed elect to go the States to get an MRI because they don't want to wait a couple of weeks.   But private services for MRI's are also available in Canada which operate outside of the "free"  health care system.  If you have additional private insurance that may cover this sort of thing especially if you get it done in country.

Here is one I was able to find online in a 30 second search and the prices don't seem to be too bad either...

https://canadadiagnostics.ca/services/mri/

 

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1 hour ago, Bogie56 said:

I'm afraid I don't know the answer to these questions.   In Ontario we currently pay a direct tax toward health every year.  It is something like $100.

Personally I wouldn't say that it is any burden on taxpayers.  I would hate to be paying up to $1000 a month for health insurance.   And if you are not a top earner you may not pay much tax at all with your yearly personal tax deduction.

Of course, there are those in the U.S. such as military vets who are probably very happy with the system as is.  But sadly there are still millions without any insurance whatsoever.

Where I got dinged was paying into the Canada Pension Plan.  As a self-employed person my entire life I had to pay double into the plan.  The employee's plus the employer's contribution to the pension.  I never had to contribute to unemployment insurance tax but then I was never eligible for unemployment insurance when I was "resting between gigs" as they say.

I think that "self-employment penalty" is common in most countries.  My parents had the same thing in the US - they had to pay both the employer and employee contribution towards their OASDI tax.

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3 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

As a GM retiree after near 30 years seniority, I haven't had to worry about healthcare coverage since Nov. '71.   What I'd like to know is.....

Since the "socialized" medicine program started in Canada(if I stated that right) what, if any, pros and cons were outstanding?  And how much more of a burden on taxpayers did it add? 

Sepiatone

See my original post at beginning of this thread.  Of course not all of that is for medical care, but much of it is.

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Wasn't my query.   You posted tax rates as they are NOW.  My interest was as to how much was any tax increase SINCE the "socialized" medicine program began in Canada.  Not how much of their taxes are appropriated for it. 

Sepiatone

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4 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

Wasn't my query.   You posted tax rates as they are NOW.  My interest was as to how much was any tax increase SINCE the "socialized" medicine program began in Canada.  Not how much of their taxes are appropriated for it. 

Sepiatone

Probably difficult to answer, because it started province-by-province after WWII, and then was taken national in 1961.   Other factors could account for changing tax rates that far back.

As an example, in the US, the highest federal tax bracket in 1961 was 91% and the lowest was 20%, and there were over 20 brackets.  

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4 minutes ago, txfilmfan said:

Probably difficult to answer, because it started province-by-province after WWII, and then was taken national in 1961.   Other factors could account for changing tax rates that far back.

As an example, in the US, the highest federal tax bracket in 1961 was 91% and the lowest was 20%, and there were over 20 brackets.  

If it's that difficult, my guess would be the increase was so that it must not have come as a shock to taxpayers, which then begs the question:

What about it then that makes it so scary to the right?

Sepiatone

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Just now, Sepiatone said:

If it's that difficult, my guess would be the increase was so that it must not have come as a shock to taxpayers, which then begs the question:

What about it then that makes it so scary to the right?

Sepiatone

I can rattle off a few:

  • They don't like the government and government-run programs
  • They fear "death panels" and health care access/rationing (but as I mentioned, this already happens for most - controlled by your insurance company)
  • They believe, mostly, that the market is the solution to all problems

I've often said people in the US hate socialized medicine until they turn 65, and then they love it.

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Wow.  That sounds familiar.  Harking back to the TERRI SHIAVO "incident",  When republican congressmen and senators chose to interfere  with a personal family matter, publicly using the phrase; "God gave us TerrI Shiavo".  as an excuse to get the SCOTUS involved in stopping her spouse from signing papers to have her removed from life support as she was otherwise non responsive and in a terminal vegetative state, and many felt her removal from the machinery keeping her alive was the merciful thing to do.   But republicans(for whatever gain they perceived from the action)  tried turning it into a matter of trying to claim it would open the possibility  of the "heartless" left to pass laws that would make it OK for  family members to have elderly members of their families "put to sleep" if they felt those elderly family members were too much of a burden for them to care for.  Which of course would never happen, but it didn't stop republicans to roll out old people in wheelchairs to attend their protest rallies  against the husband signing those papers, thereby needlessly instilling unfounded fear in the shamelessly exploited senior citizens.  

Sepiatone

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1 hour ago, Sepiatone said:

What about it then that makes it so scary to the right?

 

I can not speak with authority as my political beliefs do not align with: 'right' or: "left' but I have heard it said that the most persuasive argument against government health programs is: the VA. What hope does the average citizen have of receiving proper care if veterans consistently and constantly suffer neglect at the hands of bureaucrats?

A question which I have often heard posed is: "If socialized medicine is so great, why do NHS workers demand their benefit package include private health insurance?"

 

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10 minutes ago, SansFin said:

I can not speak with authority as my political beliefs do not align with: 'right' or: "left' but I have heard it said that the most persuasive argument against government health programs is: the VA. What hope does the average citizen have of receiving proper care if veterans consistently and constantly suffer neglect at the hands of bureaucrats?

A question which I have often heard posed is: "If socialized medicine is so great, why do NHS workers demand their benefit package include private health insurance?"

 

I favor the Swiss system.    Providing healthcare does require a layer of administration and this is best done by non-government employees.    Therefor I favor non-profit privately held administration companies.  Note that I don't call them insurance companies because these entries do not underwrite risk (that is the Federal government) but just handle the administration.

 

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2 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

I favor the Swiss system.    Providing healthcare does require a layer of administration and this is best done by non-government employees.    Therefor I favor non-profit privately held administration companies.  Note that I don't call them insurance companies because these entries do not underwrite risk (that is the Federal government) but just handle the administration.

 

I tend to agree.

Note that today some "insurance" companies just provide claims processing services; self-insured companies assume the risk but employ an insurance carriers to do the paperwork.  My employer was self-insured.

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1 hour ago, txfilmfan said:

 

I tend to agree.

Note that today some "insurance" companies just provide claims processing services; self-insured companies assume the risk but employ an insurance carriers to do the paperwork.  My employer was self-insured.

My career is within the US Workers Comp industry and I work with many of the Third-party-administrators that service employers that are self-insured (as well as WC insurance companies).     

The US WC system  is a closed-system where the dollars,  going in and out are highly regulated to ensure "reasonable" profits by all.    A system type of general healthcare system could be established.       The administrator layer within such a system is necessary to reduce and control fraud,   approve medical services (e.g.  deny approval of cosmetic services,  or non-medical relate services),   impose and enforce a medical-provide-fee-schedule (similar to the one Medicare uses),   as well as a rating bureau to determine the premium levels each citizen has to pay into the system.       

 

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I have been made aware of a situation which speaks powerfully also against government control: at least two major cities have opened vaccinations to people of all ages. Officials bemoan how few people are scheduling appointments. People bemoan how appointments for weekends are rare or non-existent. The bureaucrats strongly feel the world must march to their Nine-To-Five Monday-through-Friday timetable and treat people who have children or have to work during the day as subhuman undeserving of care.

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20 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

If it's that difficult, my guess would be the increase was so that it must not have come as a shock to taxpayers, which then begs the question:

What about it then that makes it so scary to the right?

Sepiatone

Not only scary to the right, but many moderates as well.  Politically, the problem is that the majority of people who actually vote can easily perceive "socialiazed" Medicare For All and similar programs as distasteful and therefore will oppose them.  

If the US were to embrace the Candadian, Swiss, et. al. systems, there would be a huge increase in taxes for somebody.  It is very unlikely that this large increase would not filter down to the working and middle class taxpayers as well.  They already think they pay too much in taxes.

Incidentally, The Affordable Care Act, as limited as it is currently, created an extra "tax" on Social Security recipients at certain income levels.  It is taken out as an extra Medicare charge, but it there to fund ACA.  Hasn't hit us, but I have heard from those that it has and they are not happy about it.  

18 hours ago, SansFin said:

I can not speak with authority as my political beliefs do not align with: 'right' or: "left' but I have heard it said that the most persuasive argument against government health programs is: the VA. What hope does the average citizen have of receiving proper care if veterans consistently and constantly suffer neglect at the hands of bureaucrats?

A question which I have often heard posed is: "If socialized medicine is so great, why do NHS workers demand their benefit package include private health insurance?"

 

The VA does have problems which the Trump administration did little to nothing to fix.  Nor did the Obama administration.  The problem is the huge number of veterans (and some spouses) eligible for services or payment for services.  Mind you, the patients basically pay nothing for services, so the taxpayers have to pay for it.  That is not wrong, but it is the way it is.

I use the VA for some services and biggest problem is getting in touch with your medical provider.  Another example is that while private medical providers, hospitals and so forth began providing all services months ago, the VA is still very restrictive.  Locally, you can call a private provider and get an in person appointment within days or weeks depending on what is needed.  The VA does not even let you enter the buildings unless you have an appointment and in most cases, "appointments" are a telephone call to you  from your medical provider at his/her convenience.

As for NHS workers, probably because without including private health insurance, they would have no realistic coverage.  

16 hours ago, SansFin said:

I have been made aware of a situation which speaks powerfully also against government control: at least two major cities have opened vaccinations to people of all ages. Officials bemoan how few people are scheduling appointments. People bemoan how appointments for weekends are rare or non-existent. The bureaucrats strongly feel the world must march to their Nine-To-Five Monday-through-Friday timetable and treat people who have children or have to work during the day as subhuman undeserving of care.

Are the week-end appointments limited because they fill-up so quickly or because the facilities are not open?  What about the people administering the vaccinations, should they be required to work 60+ hour weeks for the convenience of some people?  What does having children have to do with it?  The children are still there on the week-ends and probably more of a problem than during the week.

What do these people do when they need to see a medical person or facility on a non-emergency basis?  These are almost all operated on a M-F, 9-5 basis.

The government is offering something for free that may save your life.

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2 hours ago, ElCid said:

 

If the US were to embrace the Candadian, Swiss, et. al. systems, there would be a huge increase in taxes for somebody.  It is very unlikely that this large increase would not filter down to the working and middle class taxpayers as well.  They already think they pay too much in taxes.

 

That's a large "if" and an assumption.  I still haven't heard from anyone living with those systems and can tell me with surety how much, if any, of a tax increase was levied once the program was implemented.   As for "the working and middle class taxpayers"....We don't THINK we pay too much in taxes, we KNOW we do in comparison to the far more wealthy in this country.

Sepiatone

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1 hour ago, Sepiatone said:

That's a large "if" and an assumption.  I still haven't heard from anyone living with those systems and can tell me with surety how much, if any, of a tax increase was levied once the program was implemented.   As for "the working and middle class taxpayers"....We don't THINK we pay too much in taxes, we KNOW we do in comparison to the far more wealthy in this country.

Sepiatone

Of course there would have to be a new method to fund a Swiss type healthcare system,  and that is likely a new tax on parole.    In a transition period (which would be somewhat complex),  this new revenue stream would replace the current Medicare tax,  as well as preimums paid to insurance companies by employers and employees.   Like unemployment and social security employers would have to pay a percentage.

The sums one has to pay into the new system would likely be less than what is being paid into the current system today by tax payers,  both for employees and employers.

 

 

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Do not a lot of studies show that Americans pay an exorbitant amount for their health care in comparison to other countries?  Not just because of taxes but because of insurance.

I can understand why some who have health care because of being in the service are happy with the way things are.

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Depends on one's situation.  I'd suspect anyone working for or retired from any of the "Big Three" companies pay nothing out of pocket for their healthcare coverage.  Possibly the same for anyone working for a competently organized union corp.   And there may be a very few non-union companies that provide a healthcare package for their employees that doesn't cost workers anything or not much out of pocket. 

Sepiatone

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1 hour ago, mr6666 said:

 

Of course, you can say the same thing for ALL taxes collected by governments in US compared to other industrialized countries.

Incidentally, people in the military do have co-pays and deductibles for medical coverage, especially dependents.  And Congress tries to raise them every year.

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