Thursday, November 20, 2008

Health Care Research Project

I saw Michael Moore's Sicko a couple weeks ago, and thought it left one major question unanswered. Nowhere in the film did they mention the tax burden of a universal health care system.

The Canadian system offers us an easy comparison. My hypothesis is that even though Canadians pay more in taxes than US residents, they do not have the equivalent of monthly car payment for health insurance, so the costs wash.

To test the hypothesis, I am looking for people to prepare tax Canadian tax returns, and compare them to their US taxes. The following link is for Quick Tax, the Canadian version of Turbo Tax


I would like to see how this works out for various income levels, types of income, and family sizes; taking the deductions you are eligible for in both countries. I also suggest we only make known our net results, and perhaps gross income ranges instead of actual incomes. Would anyone like to participate?

I'm also open to suggestions to make this study better. For example, in addition to Federal Income Tax, Canadians also pay provincial income tax, and GST (national sales tax)


RedWing said...

I saw Sicko in the theater when it came out. A very well done movie ala Michael Moore's biased style.

You are correct that he left that major question unanswered. However, he left many other things out as well.

In his attempt to show how bad the American health care system is he touted what a great system that Cuba has. This, by comparison, is ridiculous. We are LEAGUES above Cuba's health structure and he was very disingenuous (to steal McCain's words) to make it appear Cuba's healthcare was better than ours. Instead Moore should have focused on the simple fact that everyone there has it...not that it's better.

To your point though. Universal healthcare is likely a pipe dream that will never happen. The cost of it during these dire financial times will likely kill it from ever happening. This upsets me, as I approved of Obama's non mandated health care structure vs. Hillary's. I think, like in Canada, it will pay for itself. Employers will begin to adopt the "government policy" and many healh providers will go out of business (so what, right?).

So it's going to be a race if there are even HINTS that our healthcare structure may change. Many insurance companies will go out of business and other health care providers will have to lower prices, or lose their jobs.

What a glorious day that government competition could lower health care prices. Will it happen? Probably not in my lifetime. How unfortunate.

cindymb said...

Universal healthcare. If you want to set people against each other just mention this concept. Should it work, well on paper it looks good and it sounds good. Will it work, not in my lifetime. Too many special interests and too few real ways to compare how it would work here versus how it does work elsewhere.

Does our present system work? Not for everyone and not all of the time. Is there a way to make it work? No one knows. Perhaps someone should try.

radiodiva said...

A year ago I gave up my employer-provided health plan. I was paying $270.00 per month for family coverage. And for my $270.00 per month, I got crap coverage. In October 2006, my son injured his foot at school. I took him to his primary physician, who saw that he had some structural issues with his feet, possibly genetic. He referred him to a podiatrist, who concurred and put him in an air cast to immobilize his foot for an extended period of time.

As I said, this was in October. As we went into APRIL AND MAY OF 2007, I was getting calls from the medical clinic because the insurance company hadn't paid. I filled out forms. I answered questions. I made phone calls. And they still wouldn't pay. Coordination of Benefits. Medical necessity. I had never seen any company work so hard to NOT pay a bill.

I spent time on conference calls with them and the clinic, asking what the hell more they wanted from me. I filled out all their damn forms. No, it was not an injury that someone's homeowner's insurance would cover. No, his biological father did not have coverage. JUST PAY THE DAMN BILL!

I ended up going to my company's HR department and screaming that they better do something to fix this. After all was said and done, I ended up paying $200.00 out of pocket for the stupid cast. Why would they not pay for a cast? ARRRRGGGHH!

This is what I got for my $270.00 a month. A stupid bean counter deciding whether or not my son's injuries warranted the treatment prescribed by his doctor. I told my employer no thank you.

They need to take the profit OUT of medical coverage. Let the insurance companies have car insurance, life insurance, homeowner's, all the other stuff. But please - let medical professionals decide what treatment is needed - not accountants.

I would pay $270.00 a month for that. Even if it was in the form of taxes for universal health care.