I was slowly sinking in health insurance hell ($674 a month for a $10,000 deductible, while simultaneously paying about $350/month to hospitals on payment plans for debts accrued from everything under that deductible, which we never hit). Self-employed middle-class with a family of four is a sinking ship. My salvation came when my wife reentered the work-force as a teacher, and teachers still have the best health insurance around, thanks to their powerful union. Thus, the approximately $16,000/year premium for our outstanding coverage - the cushy kind with measly $20 co-pays and such - is paid for 75% by the employer, which is the school, which means the taxpayers, including myself - and you. That's pretty much socialism I reckon. What people don't realize is that wealth transfer is already commonplace. It is conducted by the hospitals and health insurance companies instead of government. Insurance companies charge the healthy higher premiums to pay for the sicker policyholders. Hospitals charge payors more to offset services to non-payors. So what's that? Free-enterprise socialism? Private socialism? The difference between that and government-run socialism is that we have to accomodate a profit-margin in there also. In the same world where our fellow citizens will put money in a coffee can, or hold spaghetti dinners to help a kid fly to another state for an exotic medical treatment to give him a last ditch chance at survival that his insurer won't pay for, those same citizens recoil at the "horror" of all Americans paying some taxes to build a system where we can have a uniformly healthier, and therefore more productive, country. And yet we're obediently paying taxes for wars in godforsaken foreign lands and the wasteful and hopeless pursuit of drug-prohibition. I don't object to paying taxes, if there is a tangible return on investment. As for the wealthy, none of whom I know (well, maybe one) they need to realize the difference between self-interest and selfishness. Self-interest involves intelligence and foresight. It is in the self-interest of the wealthy to have an America full of healthier citizens working to keep the cow producing milk, so to speak. Warren Buffett realizes this, and has spoken on the point. It is in the self-interest of the rich to keep the middle-class and lower-class at least placated enough not to do something...very...uncomfortable for the rich. It's happened many times in history, but the lesson is never learned. Selfishness is just taking more and more and more, in blind greed, until you hear the villagers storming the gates with torches and pitchforks.
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