Colorado Shooting Victims to Get Free Health Care. Why Not Everyone?

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Three of the five hospitals treating the 58 surviving victims of the Colorado movie-theater massacre will waive some or all of the medical fees involved in their care, the AP reported yesterday. The other two hospitals, which are considered “safety net” hospitals because they frequently treat the uninsured for free or at low cost, did not reveal their plans to help the victims.

It’s not clear how many of the shooting victims are uninsured, but the issue raises a larger question: why should only survivors of highly public tragedies receive affordable medicine?

Federal law requires hospitals to medically stabilize all patients who cannot pay. After that, however, patients without insurance are on their own in finding ways to afford necessary ongoing care. Often, the bills are unmanageable: the No. 1 cause of bankruptcy in the U.S. is medical catastrophe; one Harvard study [PDF] found that it accounted for two-thirds of all bankruptcy cases. Worse, in such cases, 78% of people actually had at least some health insurance. And the patients involved in these medical-bill-related bankruptcies were primarily middle class, well-educated homeowners.

(MORE: What the Affordable Care Act Means if You Are…)

In Colorado, nearly one-third of residents are either uninsured or underinsured, with a health policy that doesn’t cover basic medical needs cheaply enough to allow them to afford necessary care, according to The Colorado Trust, a health care advocacy group. Among the shooting victims, the percentage of those who completely lack insurance or whose coverage won’t be enough to avoid bankruptcy is almost certainly higher. Most of the shooting victims were young, of working age — a group most likely to forgo health insurance because they tend to be healthy and, if employed, often earn low wages.

One survivor who is known to be without insurance is Caleb Medley, a 23-year-old aspiring comedian who suffered a head wound so severe that he is being kept hospitalized in a medically induced coma. His wife Katie, 21, who was not physically injured in the shooting, gave birth to the couple’s first child, a boy named Hugo, on Tuesday. The family has been told that Medley may face $2 million in medical expenses.

Major fundraising efforts are underway to help victims like Medley, who, like other victims of shootings, may require medical care that even for many insured people is frequently not covered. Severe brain injuries tend to require the most lengthy and expensive rehab efforts, but even injuries to limbs that require rehabilitation can be costly and difficult.

(MORE: Kids’ ER Visits for Head Injury on the Rise — Why That’s a Good Thing)

The horrifying, random and highly publicized nature of the Aurora shooting means that it’s likely that victims will get all of the help they need, whether through charity or medical cost waivers. But, again, the circumstance makes you wonder about patients who aren’t victims of such tragedy: what about the working mother injured in an ordinary car accident or the innocent victim of a drive-by shooting or the uninsured diabetes or heart disease patient who isn’t harmed by a newsworthy disaster?

The U.S. is alone in the industrialized world in not providing health care coverage for all. After last year’s shooting and bombing massacre in Norway, which left 77 dead and 242 injured, the survivors did not have to spare a moment worrying about how they would pay for the expensive treatment and rehabilitation they needed. Their national health system covered everything.

A British tabloid has claimed that the alleged Colorado shooter, James Holmes, was directly inspired by the Norway mass murderer, Anders Breivik, apparently dressing exactly the way Breivik recommended in his manifesto and following his advice to have as much sex as possible before the event (Holmes reportedly hired prostitutes to do so).

(MORE: The Future of the Affordable Care Act: Uncertain, At Best)

Perhaps we can take some far more sensible advice from Norway by ensuring that any citizen who suffers medical catastrophe — whatever the cause — doesn’t also have to undergo financial distress and disaster. President Obama’s Affordable Care Act is certainly a step in the right direction. It requires everyone to have insurance and caps out-of-pocket spending on treatment. But it is under heavy political attack and some states have vowed not to implement it.

Setting aside the debate over gun control, do we really want to be the only rich country in the world where a shooting, a car accident or a major disease risks both physical and financial ruin, and where looming fears of bankruptcy haunt patients’ efforts to heal?

(MORE: Should Medicaid Be Expanded? Study Finds It May Lower Death Rates)

Maia Szalavitz is a health writer for TIME.com. Find her on Twitter at @maiasz. You can also continue the discussion on TIME Healthland‘s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIMEHealthland.

47 comments
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BankruptcyShop
BankruptcyShop

It is shameful that the greatest nation on Earth does not provide universal health care for its' citizens (which should include dental coverage as well).  How is it every other industrialized nation can do it and we can't? Millions of people declare bankruptcy every year due to medical expenses. 

http://www.thebankruptcyshop.c...

Alejandro_the_Great
Alejandro_the_Great

You have a point. I think hospitals should offer free healthcare

to everyone, provided they're willing to be shot first.

Phoenix31756
Phoenix31756

OH, So now were going to have to have a "No-Fault Medical Insurance against Murderers on a warpath" !

To be honest, I never thought about WHO, pays for a victims medical bill as a result from someone else's STUPIDITY ! 

This is almost like saying " Don't go to the movie because you don't have Medical Insurance to cover someone else's stupid mistakes !"

Patrick Timpone
Patrick Timpone

The answer to your last question is no. In my humble opinion. I think the entire health care system is broken with no change in sight.

Comomx2
Comomx2

Have you seen the tax rates in those countries?? I know I don't want to pay 50% if my income to the government- thank you very much!  FYI- most of the citizens of those countries also have private insurance because they don't want to wait months for simple tests like MRI's.... If you have gov only insurance- you wait 3 months- private- next week!  Ask anyone in the UK...

Sharpe427
Sharpe427

Here's an idea...how about everybody WORKS for what they want, and scrimps and saves to pay their OWN way? Because you deserve NOTHING but a chance to WORK to achieve  success. I know this idea will be new to the typical TIME reader, but it is worth a shot.  The tree that dies to print this drivel is better used as toilet paper.

sittenpretty
sittenpretty

my family and i,owned one of the largest medical labs in the country,the profit margin in medicine and healthcare is enormous,but y'all know that

WheresTheResetButton
WheresTheResetButton

Ms. Szalavitz, 

Your plea for free healthcare is touching, however, the

fundamental economics of “Free Health Care” don’t support anything resembling

an intelligent thought.  Take me, for

example.  Solidly in the “middle” class,

at least what is left of it.  I am married,

have one child, and we are a single income household as my spouse has elected

to temporarily forgo career aspirations in favor of caring for our child.  We have been afforded a certain level of

opportunity in this country, but we do also seek to obtain our own opportunity

as well – by creating opportunity through good old-fashioned hard work.

My spouse and I both work out – we lead active lives, as

part of maintaining our health.  It is

our responsibility to ourselves and to our child, and we take it

seriously.  However, under a truly

socialized medicine proposal, which is what you seem to be advocating, we would

also have an obligation to society to remain healthy – that decreases costs for

all.  It is not unlike the obligation

that drivers have when using public roads – drive safely, carefully, and obey

the law, or else you 1) lose the privilege to drive or 2) insurance costs you

more (because of risky behavior). 

However, where the economics of socialized medicine breakdown is with the

reliance of people to take responsibility for themselves, and not rely on

anyone else (similar to social programs that provide no incentive to wean

oneself from the public dole).  Making

healthy choices is expensive, but can be done, with a measure of resolve and

self-sacrifice.

Enough about that, though. How would you respond to this

scenario – which happened in its exact form less than a week ago, and happens in

similar forms across the country?  I was

in line at a local discount grocery, having found the best price within walking

distance from my house on certain fresh product (cucumbers, avocados, carrots,

and broccoli).  All-in, I had about $4.00

worth of vegetables in my basket that I was purchasing for snack food for my

family.  There was a woman in front of

me, with her two children, probably ages 3 and 6 or so.  Never mind the fact that it was approaching

10:00pm and the children were running around like little banshees, I will

assume that the woman is an otherwise fit parent.  In her basket, I noticed a bag of Flaming Hot

Cheetos.  Included with the Cheetos were

other snacks, (pork rinds, Doritos, Oreos, Nilla Wafers), some milk, cheese, and

a half-gallon of horchata.  Now, I like

Cheetos as much as the next person, especially the Flaming Hot variety, but

they are expensive and not very healthy, so they are a once-in-a-while treat.  This individual seemed to be loaded up on the

snacks, and was actually opening the bag of Cheetos for her children to help

calm them down while she paid.  Payment

was made in 2 forms – partially with cash, and then partially with an EBT

card.  I know it was an EBT card because

the woman was having a problem with it scanning, and the cashier had to run it

on her console.  I don’t know what food,

if any, the EBT card covered in her basket, but I do know that she was

receiving public assistance (hence the Electronic Benefit Transfer) card. 

This brings me to the fundamental problem with the economics

of socialized medicine – this woman was no taller than 5 ft and in excess of

200lbs – easy.  While she may have a “thyroid

problem”, her two children must suffer from the same “thyroid problem” as well –

they were both far heavier than is healthy for their stature.  And, we as a society are subsidizing her junk

food habit, if not directly, than by enabling her to spend her cash on junk

food and the EBT funds on milk and cheese. 

This is a problem – there is no recourse, no cost whatsoever, for her

poor decisions.  She gets to eat junk,

not take care of herself, and her rising medical costs become society’s burden.

 This is unacceptable, plain and simple,

and nothing about socialized medicine enables this risk exposure to be

reduced.  Employers can offer incentives

to be healthy (and mitigate their costs) by providing discounts to employees

that elect to go to the gym, consent to health testing and monitoring, etc…but

there is no provision for the government to do that.  Instead, families such as mine, who do

sacrifice time and money to eat healthfully and engage in more healthy activities,

still pay the same in this model.  What

incentive do I have, beyond my own moral compass, to continue to behave in this

fashion?  The same people that are for

socialized medicine decry the lack of morality in the financial industry as of

late, and say that there are no controls in place to encourage morality or

society’s best interest (think golden parachutes).  However, these same individuals speak nothing

of the inability of social programs or socialized medicine to instill controls

to encourage moral use of those programs – whether that be taking care of

oneself to reduce the insurance cost to society, or saving money to wean

yourself from the public program.

Is healthcare in this country broken? – yes, unequivocally

yes.  Are costs outrageous?  Yes, again, unequivocally.  However, is it because of greedy insurers or

greedy employers – no, at least not materially. 

It is because of a fundamental breakdown in personal responsibility and

morality that has been allowed to continue, as evidenced by the increasing

percentage of the population dependent on some form of government subsidy and

an increased obesity rate.  If this trend

continues, we as a society will become one welfare state, with no ability to do

anything for ourselves.  That is not to

say that something should not change – that is only to say that the push for

free healthcare, as it stands today, does nothing to encourage personal

responsibility, or to negate the frightening trend that has become our lazy and

entitled society, and it will ultimately fail in its objective and become

unsustainable for the long-term, like every other government sponsored social

program today.

sittenpretty
sittenpretty

Merkins dont care bout their fellow Merkins....let them die painfull deaths the good christian nation proclaims,them French,Brits Italians and Israelis are pinko commies

occams_razor_wit
occams_razor_wit

A Sweden without a Greece is like a fish without a bicycle

occams_razor_wit
occams_razor_wit

Only in the USA is there a sacred right to go bankrupt from medical bills because of someone else's sacred right to legally purchase military grade weapons. It's a nutty country.

Charlotte Evans
Charlotte Evans

 Fully agree with you! Stop violence and help the millions of people  who can afford to pay for their medical bills!

Charlotte

Cmdr_Casey_Ryback
Cmdr_Casey_Ryback

WRONG -- HARVARD LIED,  LIED, LIED!!!

http://www.theatlantic.com/bus... 

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11... 

" .. Last summer, Harvard researchers published a headline-grabbing paper that concluded that illness or medical bills contributed to 62 percent of bankruptcies in 2007, up from about half in 2001. More than three-fourths of those with medical debt had health insurance.

"But the researchers’ methodology has been criticized as defining medical bankruptcy too broadly and for the ideological leanings of its authors, some of whom are outspoken advocates for nationalized health care .."

One Harvard author got her job by LYING about being an American Indian. Great work, TIME.

Bill Collins
Bill Collins

   Life is full of risks and decisions. Some are not fair. I was born smart, but not handsome. Should the rest of you pay for plastic surgery for me to make me happy? I have 5 kids living in a tiny $800K 3 bedroom house in CA. Maybe the government should subsidize me to live in a nicer home?

   That legal right to purchase weapons was put in place to protect our way of life. It is there to make sure that some future government does not overstep its bounds. Some crazy guy abused this right. He should be tried, convicted, and executed. Anyone who commits a crime with a gun should at least be banned from living with us for the rest of his life.

   Look, we are going bankrupt as a nation. We need to increase taxes and reduce spending. Because we have been living off of artificial money for many years, we are going to have to suffer through decades of adjustments. Stop looking to the government to provide for you and realize that we became great because of our self-reliance.

occams_razor_wit
occams_razor_wit

 "we became great because of our self-reliance."

If there was any proof at all of that statement it would be interesting.

Marlowe53
Marlowe53

What an incredibly stupid comment. No one is suggesting subsidized elective plastic surgery. But no one should lose their home because they have a stroke.

Allowing the sale of guns and ammunition that are created for nothing more than killing people should be illegal. For those of you who are afraid of the government, get over it. There are little flying machines called drones that can take you out in a split second no matter how many AR-15's and hundred-round magazines you own. The government doesn't even need the cooperation of local law enforcement.  They can be operated by a computer geek from thousands of miles away.

You would do well to pay some more taxes, Bill, and spend some time and effort assuring that voters, not the obscenely wealthy, are in charge of the government. They're less likely to bomb the "little people" which you, Bill, despite your expensive home (what's that get you in CA, three BR's and 1 BA?) are.

Oh, and Bill, we did not become a great nation because of self-reliance. We became a great nation because of our ability to cooperate with one another and to transition from one presidential administration to the next without wasting our resources on wars.

Bill Collins
Bill Collins

Marlowe,

   Ha! You are passionate. I like that. So of course I was being facetious about the surgery and the house. My point was to say that there have to be limits. I am all for reducing our military spending and all about taking care of the weak. We just don't have the money to pay for everything we want. If we taxed the 1% at 100%, that would not solve our fiscal woes. We have to cut back. Picking the areas of cuts won't be easy.

   So, I don't own 100 round magazines, only 30 rounds. The 100 rounders are way too unreliable. And I had to leave my black evil looking dangerous weapons in the midwest due to CA laws.  I don't fear the government today. I respect the intellect of the founders for understanding that an armed citizenry can never be taken over. No drones, tanks, jets, etc can ever overcome 100 million armed citizens.  That is why it is in the constitution. Keeping it there will ensure that the government never is tempted to overstep its authority and it will prevent conflict.

   I will grant you that cooperation is key, but part of living is that we have to assume some risks. I wasn't implying that we shouldn't help people in need. But if you look at many of the foreclosures over the past few years, people made bad mistakes. They didn't read their contracts. They took out loans they couldn't afford. I am sorry they are suffering. It is a shame. But every decision has risks.

Oh, and I have 2 baths, thank you. I came to CA because I had a choice. I could go on unemployment and stay where I was or move my family where there was work. I will take care of me and my family no matter what it takes.

worleyeoe
worleyeoe

Marlow, you absolutely need to get a clue. Sweden is a small little country, with a nearly homogeneous society. Without going into gratuitous details, there is absolutely no country on earth like America. And with that monumental uniqueness comes enormous benefits and challenges, specifically to the tune of $1,400,000,000,000 annual deficits and $16,400,000,000,000 in debt of which Obama in four years owns approaching $7T. These are HUUUUUUUUGE numbers. 

Any journalistic hack can write a "why not piece?" The hard part is the HOW TO. With health care, PPACA is a noble goal, but the problem is that  there is no guarantee that any of the expected savings will be obtained. A more prudent manner of reforming health care would have been to implement changes that proved costs could be cut before increasing coverage. But Obama didn't choose this route why? He now has 30 million Americans increasingly dependent on his vision for America.

As for Greece's avoidance of taxes, we have a 7K+ page tax code that basically does the same thing across all income levels. Here let me ask similar types of questions:

Why do approximately 50% of tax filers not pay taxes? Why doesn't everyone pay taxes? Why don't we pay taxes on SS (i.e., it's just a gov. run pension)? Why do the low-income not pay at least a small amount of tax? Why do we have the EIC? Why is our tax code riddled with loopholes, both individual and corporate? And most importantly, why is Obama leading America down a socialist path, when any country remotely comparable to American is going bankrupt from failed socialist policies?

So to simply answer the journalists question: we can't afford it. Over the next 4-6 years, PPACA will accelerate America's lurch towards its Greece moment. IT'S THAT SIMPLE, LIKE IT OR NOT. 

worleyeoe
worleyeoe

Marlow, you absolutely need to get a clue. Sweden is a small little country, with a nearly homogeneous society. Without going into gratuitous details, there is absolutely no country on earth like America. And with that monumental uniqueness comes enormous benefits and challenges, specifically to the tune of $1,400,000,000,000 annual deficits and $16,400,000,000,000 in debt of which Obama in four years owns approaching $7T. These are HUUUUUUUUGE numbers. 

Any journalistic hack can write a "why not piece?" The hard part is the HOW TO. With health care, PPACA is a noble goal, but the problem is that  there is no guarantee that any of the expected savings will be obtained. A more prudent manner of reforming health care would have been to implement changes that proved costs could be cut before increasing coverage. But Obama didn't choose this route why? He now has 30 million Americans increasingly dependent on his vision for America.

As for Greece's avoidance of taxes, we have a 7K+ page tax code that basically does the same thing across all income levels. Here let me ask similar types of questions:

Why do approximately 50% of tax filers not pay taxes? Why doesn't everyone pay taxes? Why don't we pay taxes on SS (i.e., it's just a gov. run pension)? Why do the low-income not pay at least a small amount of tax? Why do we have the EIC? Why is our tax code riddled with loopholes, both individual and corporate? And most importantly, why is Obama leading America down a socialist path, when any country remotely comparable to American is going bankrupt from failed socialist policies?

So to simply answer the journalists question: we can't afford it. Over the next 4-6 years, PPACA will accelerate America's lurch towards its Greece moment. IT'S THAT SIMPLE, LIKE IT OR NOT. 

sittenpretty
sittenpretty

its the i got mine,y'all can pound sand school of sociopaths

Kolef88
Kolef88

Free health care for all!  Free education for all!  Free internet for all!  Free lunch for all!   Free basic housing and clothing for all!  Equal pay for all!   Make Romney and the 1% pay for it!  Why can't we be more like Sweden and Greece?   

Marlowe53
Marlowe53

Sweden is doing pretty well despite the economic crisis and Greece's culture of making it cool to avoid paying taxes is a huge part of the reason why they are on the verge of economic disaster.

Americans have begun to worship tax-avoiders. If our democracy fails, it will be because the ultra-wealthy refuse to pay their share, not because of Social Security.

Bill Collins
Bill Collins

 Marlowe,

   The reality is that we have much more of a spending problem than a revenue collection one. As I mentioned earlier, even if we taxed the 1% at 100%, we don't come near to solving our fiscal issues. Sure, make them pay more. Whatever. But we have to get to a balanced budget. And it is going to hurt almost everyone.

worleyeoe
worleyeoe

Marlow, you absolutely need to get a clue. Sweden is a small little country, with a nearly homogeneous society. Without going into gratuitous details, there is absolutely no country on earth like America. And with that monumental uniqueness comes enormous benefits and challenges, specifically to the tune of $1,400,000,000,000 annual deficits and $16,400,000,000,000 in debt of which Obama in four years owns approaching $7T. These are HUGE numbers. 

So to simply answer the journalists question: we can't afford it. Over the next 4-6 years, PPACA will accelerate America's lurch towards its Greece moment. IT'S THAT SIMPLE, LIKE IT OR NOT. 

worleyeoe
worleyeoe

Marlow, you absolutely need to get a clue. Sweden is a small little country, with a nearly homogeneous society. Without going into gratuitous details, there is absolutely no country on earth like America. And with that monumental uniqueness comes enormous benefits and challenges, specifically to the tune of $1,400,000,000,000 annual deficits and $16,400,000,000,000 in debt of which Obama in four years owns approaching $7T. These are HUUUUUUUUGE numbers. 

As for Greece's avoidance of taxes, we have a 7K+ page tax code that basically does the same thing across all income levels. Here let me ask similar types of questions:

Why do approximately 50% of tax filers not pay taxes? Why doesn't everyone pay taxes? Why don't we pay taxes on SS (i.e., it's just a gov. run pension)? Why do the low-income not pay at least a small amount of tax? Why do we have the EIC? Why is our tax code riddled with loopholes, both individual and corporate? And most importantly, why is Obama leading America down a socialist path, when any country remotely comparable to American is going bankrupt from failed socialist policies?

So to simply answer the journalists question: we can't afford it. Over the next 4-6 years, PPACA will accelerate America's lurch towards its Greece moment. IT'S THAT SIMPLE, LIKE IT OR NOT. 

worleyeoe
worleyeoe

Marlow, you absolutely need to get a clue. Sweden is a small little country, with a nearly homogeneous society. Without going into gratuitous details, there is absolutely no country on earth like America. And with that monumental uniqueness comes enormous benefits and challenges, specifically to the tune of $1,400,000,000,000 annual deficits and $16,400,000,000,000 in debt of which Obama in four years owns approaching $7T. These are HUUUUUUUUGE numbers. 

Any journalistic hack can write a "why not piece?" The hard part is the HOW TO. With health care, PPACA is a noble goal, but the problem is that  there is no guarantee that any of the expected savings will be obtained. A more prudent manner of reforming health care would have been to implement changes that proved costs could be cut before increasing coverage. But Obama didn't choose this route why? He now has 30 million Americans increasingly dependent on his vision for America.

As for Greece's avoidance of taxes, we have a 7K+ page tax code that basically does the same thing across all income levels. Here let me ask similar types of questions:

Why do approximately 50% of tax filers not pay taxes? Why doesn't everyone pay taxes? Why don't we pay taxes on SS (i.e., it's just a gov. run pension)? Why do the low-income not pay at least a small amount of tax? Why do we have the EIC? Why is our tax code riddled with loopholes, both individual and corporate? And most importantly, why is Obama leading America down a socialist path, when any country remotely comparable to American is going bankrupt from failed socialist policies?

So to simply answer the journalists question: we can't afford it. Over the next 4-6 years, PPACA will accelerate America's lurch towards its Greece moment. IT'S THAT SIMPLE, LIKE IT OR NOT. 

worleyeoe
worleyeoe

Marlow, you absolutely need to get a clue. Sweden is a small little country, with a nearly homogeneous society. Without going into gratuitous details, there is absolutely no country on earth like America. And with that monumental uniqueness comes enormous benefits and challenges, specifically to the tune of $1,400,000,000,000 annual deficits and $16,400,000,000,000 in debt of which Obama in four years owns approaching $7T. These are HUUUUUUUUGE numbers. 

Any journalistic hack can write a "why not piece?" The hard part is the HOW TO. With health care, PPACA is a noble goal, but the problem is that  there is no guarantee that any of the expected savings will be obtained. A more prudent manner of reforming health care would have been to implement changes that proved costs could be cut before increasing coverage. But Obama didn't choose this route why? He now has 30 million Americans increasingly dependent on his vision for America.

As for Greece's avoidance of taxes, we have a 7K+ page tax code that basically does the same thing across all income levels. Here let me ask similar types of questions:

Why do approximately 50% of tax filers not pay taxes? Why doesn't everyone pay taxes? Why don't we pay taxes on SS (i.e., it's just a gov. run pension)? Why do the low-income not pay at least a small amount of tax? Why do we have the EIC? Why is our tax code riddled with loopholes, both individual and corporate? And most importantly, why is Obama leading America down a socialist path, when any country remotely comparable to American is going bankrupt from failed socialist policies?

So to simply answer the journalists question: we can't afford it. Over the next 4-6 years, PPACA will accelerate America's lurch towards its Greece moment. IT'S THAT SIMPLE, LIKE IT OR NOT. 

worleyeoe
worleyeoe

Marlow, you absolutely need to get a clue. Sweden is a small little country, with a nearly homogeneous society. Without going into gratuitous details, there is absolutely no country on earth like America. And with that monumental uniqueness comes enormous benefits and challenges, specifically to the tune of $1,400,000,000,000 annual deficits and $16,400,000,000,000 in debt of which Obama in four years owns approaching $7T. These are HUUUUUUUUGE numbers. 

Any journalistic hack can write a "why not piece?" The hard part is the HOW TO. With health care, PPACA is a noble goal, but the problem is that  there is no guarantee that any of the expected savings will be obtained. A more prudent manner of reforming health care would have been to implement changes that proved costs could be cut before increasing coverage. But Obama didn't choose this route why? He now has 30 million Americans increasingly dependent on his vision for America.

As for Greece's avoidance of taxes, we have a 7K+ page tax code that basically does the same thing across all income levels. Here let me ask similar types of questions:

Why do approximately 50% of tax filers not pay taxes? Why doesn't everyone pay taxes? Why don't we pay taxes on SS (i.e., it's just a gov. run pension)? Why do the low-income not pay at least a small amount of tax? Why do we have the EIC? Why is our tax code riddled with loopholes, both individual and corporate? And most importantly, why is Obama leading America down a socialist path, when any country remotely comparable to American is going bankrupt from failed socialist policies?

So to simply answer the journalists question: we can't afford it. Over the next 4-6 years, PPACA will accelerate America's lurch towards its Greece moment. IT'S THAT SIMPLE, LIKE IT OR NOT. 

mtngoatjoe
mtngoatjoe

Then why is it that we spend more on health care per capita than any other nation, but have less coverage than any other industrialized nation? Weird.

Bill Collins
Bill Collins

 Ha! Let's add free utilities, phones, cars, vacations, gas, beer, everything. I have heard an interview where one of the OWS participants essentially said that. I have been dirt poor, lived in a mobile home, was briefly on food stamps. Now, I am one of the 2%, aspiring to be in the 1%. I have sympathy for the victims of this tragedy and for all who have difficulty through no fault of their own. But we cannot provide everything for everyone.

sittenpretty
sittenpretty

funny we provide that and more to our congresscritters

mtngoatjoe
mtngoatjoe

Personally, I think we need a constitutional amendment to limit the House of Representatives to one term.

How can they represent us if they aren't one of us?

Bill Collins
Bill Collins

For the job they are supposed to do, they are not unreasonably compensated. They are not making any more than a VP  level person in a Fortune 500 company. We have to pay them fairly or we will not find the  skill level that is required. That said, many are corrupt and are not standing firmly for the best interests of our great country. So, vote them out and get better ones. Whining about what they get paid is not the answer.

f_galton
f_galton

I know it goes against everything TIME stands for, but it should really consider hiring journalists that actually know something abut the subjects they write about.

Cmdr_Casey_Ryback
Cmdr_Casey_Ryback

WRONG -- HARVARD LIED,  LIED, LIED!!!

http://www.theatlantic.com/bus... 

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11... 

" .. Last summer, Harvard researchers published a headline-grabbing paper that concluded that illness or medical bills contributed to 62 percent of bankruptcies in 2007, up from about half in 2001. More than three-fourths of those with medical debt had health insurance.

"But the researchers’ methodology has been criticized as defining medical bankruptcy too broadly and for the ideological leanings of its authors, some of whom are outspoken advocates for nationalized health care .."

One Harvard author got her job by LYING about being an American Indian. Great work, TIME amp; OWEbama.

f_galton
f_galton

Here is a good analysis of "medical bankruptcies":

http://healthblog.ncpa.org/med... 

sittenpretty
sittenpretty

nice right wing talking points site pure BS

f_galton
f_galton

If you lived in the socialist paradise of Cuba they would jail you for having GRIDS.

badboymoviestar
badboymoviestar

But with free healthcare, our taxes pay the bill...

Therefore NO Bankruptcy. 

NOT. THAT. COMPLICATED.

f_galton
f_galton

Wrong. Try reading the linked article.

Nicholas Cobraetti
Nicholas Cobraetti

What? Didn't the president decide that not only should the uninsured pay their own bills, they should pay a fine also? And eveyone tghought that was a swell idea. Funny how things change when actual human beings are involved.

Shammit
Shammit

That's not actually how the ACA works. 

IzzyBob
IzzyBob

Thank you! I did not want to be the only person who said, "why just them?"