Tag Archives: profit

Another Example of How Messed up Our Health Care System is

Just another quick example of how messed up our health care system is. Bush started negotiations with New Zealand…
Now New Zealand, like every other first world “westernized” country has universal health care. Every New Zealand citizen is covered. Also included in that coverage is prescriptions. The government of New Zealand negotiates with the drug companies to get a cheap price on prescriptions. A fair chunk of this price is paid by the government, the citizen then pays a small percentage of that. Basically it is like a prescription plan we may have here, but cheaper, and subsidized by the government instead of an insurance company. If you want to eliminate wait times and other stuff that comes with the universal system, you can buy supplemental private insurance from for profit companies, as I noted before that would be about $80 NZD a month ($55 USD).
Anyhow, one of the main issues the administration had was that the government of New Zealand was subsidizing prescriptions for their citizens and negotiating such cheap rates. They wanted them to not to negotiate such low prices so that American pharmaceutical companies could make more profit. It was Bush’s view then that it is better to see New Zealand citizens suffer and pay more to protect US profits. And I think this helps point out one of the many problems we have here. The fact that too many people care about profits and not enough about sick people.

A Good Health Care Reform Video

The music on this one is a bit irritating, but the video message is great:

This video is obviously pro-reform. It is odd to see the people who want to keep the system going as it is. As if they want to protect the insane profits that the insurance companies make over the ill health of people, for those who have it. Odd how people like Glen Beck says we have the best health care system in the world, but just a year ago was talking about how all they care about is profit and they don’t care about people and it needs fixed, of course he was just released from a major hospital at that point. It’s crazy how so called “Compassionate” people don’t care that an insurance giant can deny a teenager a liver transplant, and many other fatal decisions every day, letting people die because it is better for their bottom line calling a government board a “death panel” yet that same board making a for profit decision isn’t a death panel.
Socialism isn’t Communism. They are vastly different beasts. The people complaining about socialized medicine don’t complain about other socialized stuff such as the police services, fire fighters, the military and the like. Could you imagine the disaster if the police department worked like our medical system does today?
Is socialized medicine perfect? No. Heck, that’s not what is really being proposed. What is being proposed changes nothing for most people save drastically lower costs and insure the many people who don’t have insurance now. Does it mean a bigger tax on the wealthy? Yes. However, in the end it may lower our health care percentage of our GDP, which right now is one of the highest in the world, despite being no where near the healthiest. The main focus of the bill, beyond the public option is to force insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions and not charge more for them, and this is a good thing, since people like Sara can’t get covered for the thing that most threatens her life because it is pre-existing.

Rethinking the Windfall Tax on Oil Companies

I have been an opponent of putting a windfall tax on oil companies, particularly in light of the fact that on profit per dollar basis, drug companies and banks make more than twice the profits of oil companies. However, in light of the current economic crisis, and the fact that they have risen diesel so much right before a bunch of new diesel cars come out, I have rethought my stance and think that we should put a windfall tax on them. This doesn’t mean I don’t think we shouldn’t put a windfall tax on the drug companies and banks as well, we should, but each of the three need to be separate bills. All three industries are taking advantage of average Americans, but the oil companies are the ones who probably need the biggest windfall tax of the three.
With gas at $3.60/gallon, diesel should be $3.71 (traditionally diesel has commanded a 2 to 3% premium in the United States over gas, though it is cheaper in most other countries), even if we say the new ultra low sulfur diesel costs a bit more to make then the old diesel (still cheaper than gas), we’ll allow it to be $3.78. Right now, with gas at $3.60, diesel is $4.35, a bit more than a 20% premium, not quite enough to offset diesel’s overall efficiency over gas, but almost. Clearly they are worried about the car companies coming out with diesel cars and are trying to scare average American’s away from diesel. After all, if people realized they can get better gas millage from a diesel than a hybrid, and have a lower CO2 emissions with that… then that spells thin days for the oil industry, especially since bio-diesel can be made so effectively and without sacrificing food crop space the way Ethanol traditionally does, and as a bonus, doesn’t need as much oil as Ethanol does.
Anyhow it isn’t just the diesel issue, it is the fact that gas prices are hurting the average American, and the oil companies, their investors and boards are making a killing by raping American’s wallets.