Debate and Discussion

Health Insurance in America!
simonitro at 2:40AM, July 4, 2007
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Hello all,

I'm being very concerned over this for the past week about the health insurance in the US!

I'm not in America but I'm planning to live there sometime in the future and I want people's opinion about this! I've been very skeptic because I was watching stuff by Michael Moore and I've been reading comments which are not so encouraging!

What do you think of this issue and how's the hospital services in the US?


Enjoy… Las Vegas-y
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:37PM
marine at 3:25AM, July 4, 2007
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It sucks. It sucks real bad. If I was near death, is the only time I would consider, just consider, going to the doctor.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:52PM
lothar at 5:49AM, July 4, 2007
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i agree with Marine ! loads of people are without any form of insurance (somewhere around 40 million is what i heard) but even for many of those who have insurance it doesn't realy cover much or has an obscenely high deductable ! and worse yet , a lot of times insurance companies will try to get out of paying your bill if they can, often times claiming it was a “pre-existing” illness or some other bullsjhit! The US ranks somewhere around #27 out of the world as far as health care and is one of the few industialized nations to NOT provide health care for all of it's citizens ! perscription drug prices and doctors fees are highly inflated ! and many times you have to wait many hours to see a doctor for just a few minutes while he quickly writes you a perscription and ignores your questions !

If you are the kind of person who cares about your health - DON'T go to the US !!!
besides that, the food is full of chemicals that will make you Sick !
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
Will at 7:18AM, July 4, 2007
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go to canada or come here to australia… thats all i can really say. :D

you care about health, i'd avoid America.
Will
putting your own quote into your sig is the post pretentious and pathetic thing anyone could ever do.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:49PM
silentkitty at 7:20AM, July 4, 2007
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*raises hand*

I'm an American without health insurance. =p I agree with marine (did I actually just say that?) - the only time I would see a doctor is if I was on the verge of death. I haven't had a “checkup” since I was in grade school when it was mandatory. :/ It's just not something I can afford to do regularly.. if it's between buying groceries and paying rent that month or getting a physical, I'll be buying groceries. People that rush to the doctor every time they have a stuffy nose annoy me.

I haven't had a lot of experiences with hospitals since I avoid them like the plague. My father had a stroke a few years back, and the hospital that we brought him to made us sit in the hallway - not even a room! - for eleven hours, while I sat there watching a whole parade of people (including a kid with a broken finger) be whisked past him and treated right away. :/
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:37PM
Nicotine at 7:41AM, July 4, 2007
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silentkitty
I haven't had a lot of experiences with hospitals since I avoid them like the plague. My father had a stroke a few years back, and the hospital that we brought him to made us sit in the hallway - not even a room! - for eleven hours, while I sat there watching a whole parade of people (including a kid with a broken finger) be whisked past him and treated right away. :/

I've seen this before. In the hospital I went to, they were laying people out in the hallway because they didn't have health insurance.

My family doesn't have health insurance anymore either, so we have to be really, REALLY sick before we consider going to the doctor. I'm due for a new pair of glasses, too. But of course, no insurance = I'm going to pay an arm and a leg for them.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:16PM
lothar at 9:32AM, July 4, 2007
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hah ! i knew this would be moved ! but strangely i don't see any Debate here. i think we are all in agreement that American health care SUX !!! Tragic, so many people think they live in the “best country in the world” right up untill they die from something that was prolly treatable, if only they had the access to basic health services that the citizens of so many other countries take for granted ! but, Hell, at least we have more Bombs than anybody else !
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
Vindibudd at 9:50AM, July 4, 2007
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This is really intellectually bankrupt what is going on here. First of all, if you don't like your doctor or think he is a dick, then you have the full freedom to go and find someone who isn't a dick. With government health care, you WILL NOT HAVE THAT CHOICE. Why is it that people who live in the AWESOME Canadian health care system routinely come to the U.S. to get major things taken care of? Ever think about that? Because the service sucks. You think waiting 11 hours in an emergency room is bad? How about 11 MONTHS? That is what you are going to get when you nationalize health care. You people can all seem to pay car insurance, what is so difficult about health insurance? Hell, most companies already provide health care benefits. There is nothing that is preventing any U.S. citizen from getting the health care that they want to get. It is a matter of paying for it. Just because your insurance company sucks, doesn't mean that you have the right to make EVERYONE submit to the government's idea of what you should do. Yeah that's right, if you had a major illness, the government bureaucrats would tell you to go to X doctor, and if you didn't want to because you thought he sucked and went to another, then you would go to JAIL. How about them apples? Every single one of these complaints here can be remedied by each and every one of you. And using Michael Moore of ALL people as an authority on anything is really unwise. You all complain about HMOs and yeah they can suck, but then you advocate nationalized health care and completely ignore that you are trading a bunch of little HMOs for ONE GIANT INESCAPABLE ONE. Unreal.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
marine at 10:18AM, July 4, 2007
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Vindibudd
This is really intellectually bankrupt what is going on here. First of all, if you don't like your doctor or think he is a dick, then you have the full freedom to go and find someone who isn't a dick. With government health care, you WILL NOT HAVE THAT CHOICE. Why is it that people who live in the AWESOME Canadian health care system routinely come to the U.S. to get major things taken care of? Ever think about that? Because the service sucks. You think waiting 11 hours in an emergency room is bad? How about 11 MONTHS? That is what you are going to get when you nationalize health care. You people can all seem to pay car insurance, what is so difficult about health insurance? Hell, most companies already provide health care benefits. There is nothing that is preventing any U.S. citizen from getting the health care that they want to get. It is a matter of paying for it. Just because your insurance company sucks, doesn't mean that you have the right to make EVERYONE submit to the government's idea of what you should do. Yeah that's right, if you had a major illness, the government bureaucrats would tell you to go to X doctor, and if you didn't want to because you thought he sucked and went to another, then you would go to JAIL. How about them apples? Every single one of these complaints here can be remedied by each and every one of you. And using Michael Moore of ALL people as an authority on anything is really unwise. You all complain about HMOs and yeah they can suck, but then you advocate nationalized health care and completely ignore that you are trading a bunch of little HMOs for ONE GIANT INESCAPABLE ONE. Unreal.

People are stupid Andy, sorry to say it, but we're America, and we failed.

For me, I just don't like hospitals. Not so much needles or waiting in line, its just the whole experiance kills me. I always see those commercials where they show sad kids dying in other countrys, but they always show them playing and laughing too. I guess they don't have worry about bird flu, sars, killer bees, weather or not countries have things they shouldn't have, if Quinten Tarintinos latest movie is a box office bomb, or any of the other stress that gets put on us by the “news”.

I've got health insurance, but its only going to cover so many hundreds of thousands of dollars. If I was in worse shape than I am, I think I'd just accept death. At a certain point, you've just gotta say fuck it. If its something like cutting your fingers off with a knife or something like that, I might go get them re-attached or I might just wrap it in a towel and finish what I was doing. I'm a manly man who doesn't give a good god damn one way or the other.

Our country's greatest problem is that people see problems that don't exist.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:52PM
Phantom Penguin at 11:30AM, July 4, 2007
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marine
It sucks. It sucks real bad. If I was near death, is the only time I would consider, just consider, going to the doctor.

Even then I would have to be flatlineing.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
maritalbliss at 11:30AM, July 4, 2007
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The state of Health Care in this country is a joke. And not a funny one. I feel so strongly about this topic that I'm choosin' not to type anymore than that.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:53PM
Vindibudd at 11:52AM, July 4, 2007
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maritalbliss
The state of Health Care in this country is a joke. And not a funny one. I feel so strongly about this topic that I'm choosin' not to type anymore than that.

Divorce your emotion from it and give us a succinct reasoning why free market health care is so awful. Thanks!
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
Roguehill at 12:22PM, July 4, 2007
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I can't say I have any problems with the health care in this country. Not one. I work for the state and haven't had any problems obtaining appropriate health care in a timely fashion. Of course, I live in a small town, were people are just more connected and concerned than in a major metropolitan area.

I do suspect at times that the insurance companies are the ones contributing to the problem of high healthcare costs. I mean, does a single MRI actually cost $17,000, or do the doctors charge that because they know that insurance companies will pay for it?

I have the feeling that if there were no insurance companies around and the doctor could only get the money you actually had, he'd say “Hmm…technician operates the machine for 30 minutes, I read the results for 15, then there's supplies. ‘How about 350 bucks?’”

GHOST ZERO
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:09PM
skoolmunkee at 12:37PM, July 4, 2007
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I've lived in the US and the UK and I have to say I haven't noticed a significant difference as far as service goes. Because they take more taxes out in the UK (and Canada) to pay for socialized health care, you end up paying the same amount as health insurance would cost anyway. At least there's no deductible, but they don't do dental. You also don't really get to choose your doctor, but you call the same day you need an appointment (for some reason they don't like to do bookings ahead of time here). I've not needed anything major, but I was with someone here who needed their appendix out and it WAS a relief not to have to worry about bills or getting hurried out of the hospitals.

For the most part you will get excellent doctoral and hospital care in the US - but it's expensive because doctors need to pay their bills (including incredibly expensive malpractice insurance). Cities are more expensive and problematic than rural areas. It depends on what type of health care you can get as well. If you're an overwieght smoker you're not going to get good premiums. If you're young and healthy it won't be too much. I fractured my arm in the US one summer, and the hospital and follow-up bills added up to almost $2000, but after health insurance I only had to pay $150. (However, that probably didn't make up for the amount I'd been paying in over the years.) I think the difference will come when you need something major. People who go without health insurance don't expect to get sick, or prioritize their car insurance/etc over health care. That works for some people. Most people's jobs will offer them some kind of health insurance package though so there's not too many reasons not to take them up on it.
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:40PM
ccs1989 at 6:54PM, July 4, 2007
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Vindibudd
This is really intellectually bankrupt what is going on here. First of all, if you don't like your doctor or think he is a dick, then you have the full freedom to go and find someone who isn't a dick. With government health care, you WILL NOT HAVE THAT CHOICE.
Of course you do. People in France and England and Norway always have the option of a second opinion. Besides, the chance that the doctor might be a dick far outweighs the fact that health insurance companies in America can refuse to cover someone for 37 pages of reasons.
Also in America you can't go to a place that isn't covered by your insurance, which may mean you can't switch doctors anyway.


Why is it that people who live in the AWESOME Canadian health care system routinely come to the U.S. to get major things taken care of? Ever think about that?
Because they can still get covered by their plans from Canada and can get US health service without paying our costs. All they have to do is fill out a form in Canada that covers the cost of health care outside of the country itself.

Because the service sucks. You think waiting 11 hours in an emergency room is bad? How about 11 MONTHS? That is what you are going to get when you nationalize health care.
That might be one of the “horror stories” from a socialized nation, but that's nothing compared to the horror stories from the US, where people are turned away from emergency rooms because they're not at the “right” hospital, or where surgery can't be done because the insurance company still considers it “experimental” .

You people can all seem to pay car insurance, what is so difficult about health insurance?
Car insurance doesn't tend to carry with it the chance that you could end up getting your service taken away because Medical insurance agencies don't want to cover sick people, especially those who develop chronic illnesses such as diabetes.

Hell, most companies already provide health care benefits.
Which is why big business is a big supporter of universal health care. Businesses don't want to deal with insurance company shit either.

There is nothing that is preventing any U.S. citizen from getting the health care that they want to get. It is a matter of paying for it.
Yeah, too bad about poor people. Sucks to be them. But hey, we're not poor and never will be! It's not like anything could happen to us upper middle class people that would plummet us down unexpectedly to the ranks of those peasants. Ha! The thought alone!

Just because your insurance company sucks, doesn't mean that you have the right to make EVERYONE submit to the government's idea of what you should do.
I agree. That's why I like England's system, where the two (public and private) coexist. The UK has the NHS and the private sector.

Yeah that's right, if you had a major illness, the government bureaucrats would tell you to go to X doctor, and if you didn't want to because you thought he sucked and went to another, then you would go to JAIL.
Uh huh. Please find an example of that actually happening.

How about them apples? Every single one of these complaints here can be remedied by each and every one of you. And using Michael Moore of ALL people as an authority on anything is really unwise. You all complain about HMOs and yeah they can suck, but then you advocate nationalized health care and completely ignore that you are trading a bunch of little HMOs for ONE GIANT INESCAPABLE ONE. Unreal.

You bring up a good point, but that's why the public (Universal) and private sectors should co-exist. Of course I'm sure if the rich do utilize the universal health care it will get up to snuff faster than if it's ignored, but there's no reason they can't both exist together. I mean, both public and private schools are able to function independently of one another. It's like that, only with health.
http://ccs1989.deviantart.com

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:38AM
Vindibudd at 7:28PM, July 4, 2007
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ccs1989
Of course you do. People in France and England and Norway always have the option of a second opinion. Besides, the chance that the doctor might be a dick far outweighs the fact that health insurance companies in America can refuse to cover someone for 37 pages of reasons.
Also in America you can't go to a place that isn't covered by your insurance, which may mean you can't switch doctors anyway.

1. A national healthcare system will dictate to you a finite amount of doctors you can see. What if you don't like any of those doctors? you are screwed. 2. You can always change your health insurance company. So in fact, yes you can switch doctors currently.

Because they can still get covered by their plans from Canada and can get US health service without paying our costs. All they have to do is fill out a form in Canada that covers the cost of health care outside of the country itself.

No, the reason is because the Canadian health care system has them on some obscene red tape waiting list.

That might be one of the “horror stories” from a socialized nation, but that's nothing compared to the horror stories from the US, where people are turned away from emergency rooms because they're not at the “right” hospital, or where surgery can't be done because the insurance company still considers it “experimental” .

Again, you can switch your insurance company. There is no law that says you cannot. For emergency room care, all hospitals are required by law to treat imminently life-threatening conditions.

Car insurance doesn't tend to carry with it the chance that you could end up getting your service taken away because Medical insurance agencies don't want to cover sick people, especially those who develop chronic illnesses such as diabetes.

Again, find an insurance company that does what you need. On top of that, there is also the idea that you can just actually pay for your own medical care out of pocket. Expensive, astronomical, yeah, but still you have that freedom.

Which is why big business is a big supporter of universal health care. Businesses don't want to deal with insurance company shit either.

Which is neither here nor there as to whether nationalized health care is superior to privatized health care.

Yeah, too bad about poor people. Sucks to be them. But hey, we're not poor and never will be! It's not like anything could happen to us upper middle class people that would plummet us down unexpectedly to the ranks of those peasants. Ha! The thought alone!

There is absolutely no reason someone cannot get health insurance or pay for it themselves, even if they are poor. It is a matter of taking personal responsibility. Why is it always the government's job to wipe everyone's butt?

Uh huh. Please find an example of that actually happening.

This was a feature of the failed Clinton healthcare overhaul.

You bring up a good point, but that's why the public (Universal) and private sectors should co-exist. Of course I'm sure if the rich do utilize the universal health care it will get up to snuff faster than if it's ignored, but there's no reason they can't both exist together. I mean, both public and private schools are able to function independently of one another. It's like that, only with health.

I am for less government, and that includes healthcare unless it is for government employees. There should not be a national health care agency that pays for everything from a paper cut to a sex change. This is a matter of personal responsibility.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
ozoneocean at 8:11PM, July 4, 2007
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Heh, there's more options out there than just Canada or the US, -The UK has been brought up, France, Norway etc. Face it though, people complain about EVERY healthcare system. Go to any country and you'll see news about how terrible the healthcare system is for some reason… It's true.

But looking at it dispassionately, the US is probably the worst in that money = you're more likely to live. It's too mercenary. It's a system that discriminates against the poor. And what if a family member is dying of a terminal disease? For a poor family that means a dying child could cost them $30,000 or even over $100,000. Yep, it happens. May as well just let them die and not bother getting treatment if they're going to die anyway… That's a horrible thought but the system encourages it. Either that or the family gets buried in a financial grave along with their child. A nice thought at such a time.

I can't speak in detail about other systems but Australia's system seems fairly good to me. We have private and public systems working at the same time. I pay a levy through my taxes for public healthcare, but I also pay monthly for my private healthcare that gets a rebate through the government. All costs are manageable. When you go to a doctor or hospital there are a lot of options, it's a good compromise! You can pay more for private hospitals with private rooms etc or go on waiting lists for non-urgent operations you need through the public system. But the bills are never too astronomical thankfully! The poor aren't screwed to death, everyone has a good chance ^_^

But like all the systems, there's always complaint… But without complaint I suppose standards would slip and with something like healthcare it's important enough that it can always improve and can never be left to slip! So it's your duty to complain about things.- just hope your complaints don't make things worse… ;)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
Ocka at 1:21AM, July 5, 2007
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Health care wise… I have no problem… then again I have never bled.. however.. I have a hate for this hospital:

http://www.ibnlive.com/videos/42962/.html

Whenever I walk into a hospital I always see alot of people waiting, some of them don't even
look bad while other seems like they really do need a doctor…. so what I'm really saying is…
I think the problem are always the hospitals themselves >.> (and sometimes the insurance)

last edited on July 14, 2011 2:20PM
DemonSaintDante at 6:52AM, July 5, 2007
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Yah something i have not heard mentioned is jobs who really only give insurance. My dad works for the state and his pay sucks, but his benefits are awesome. What kind of impact will nation wide health insurance have on those jobs. Will they raise their pay, give something else. What effect on the economy could this kind of shift take.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:10PM
lothar at 6:28PM, July 5, 2007
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i have lived in the US and Japan , and i have to say the Japanese health care sysytem wins hands down !!! and its (OMG) government health care !
ask yourself - Why does the US media/government spend so much time and energy trying to make the American people afraid of government intervention in health care ? who is behind this ? Who stands to make a profit under the current system of inflated medical/insurance costs ?
and Vinbud , those horror stories are just propaganda to scare people , when you repeat them , you become a tool of the medical/industrial complex! it's very simple - it's all about money, insurance companies, drug companies, and yes, even doctors are getting rich at the expense of the citizens of your country !
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
DemonSaintDante at 4:58AM, July 6, 2007
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yah but the American government is pretty stupid… if they got into health care they would probably end up paying twice as much for a doctors appointment… lol
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:10PM
Black_Kitty at 9:16AM, July 6, 2007
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Just wanted to add some kind of Canadian experience onto this thread. (For those of you who don't know, Canada has universal health care. It's not “free” however since we all pay for it through our taxes.)

First of all, you will not go to jail if you see another doctor or anything like that. I can see a different doctor every other month if I wanted to. It's just not practical since my medical file wouldn't be in one place. (Additionally, this is an option for me only because I live in the city. If I lived in a less populated area, there wouldn't be as many family doctors or walk-in clinics and thus there would be less choices.)

Not all of my health care is covered but I do not have to pay for doctor visits. When my mother did her chemotherapy, she did not have to pay (but if she did the pill version, she would.) Neither did she have to pay for the CT scans, weekly blood work, or the x-rays. But she did have to pay for the ambulance ride and that came up to $45. The only fee I have to pay for my mother's hospital stay is the $4 a day telephone use and the request for documentation that my mother insisted on having which came up to $25.

You have to pay for prescription drugs but there is the Trillium Drug Plan which is some kind of government organized drug program for those with low income. Most people from what I've heard have had good experience with them. I unfortunately, have had a terrible experience with them. I registered in February and my mother passed away just recently. They STILL have not sorted out my application because they keep hounding me for documentation I've already sent. But the way Trillium works is that you pay a certain amount through prescription and after you hit that amount, they'll pay the rest.

There is wait time and my mother had the unfortunate timing of needing scans and tests during the Christmas season. But that's really how universal health care works if you think about it. It takes longer because EVERYONE is covered. In a private health care system, it takes shorter because ultimately there will be people left out of it. Not everyone is going to be covered or covered in the same way.

Regardless of my experience, I still do like the health care here. I think in very simplistic terms, the health care here does very good with preventative measures (doctor visits, vaccines, etc) but not so well in treatment (due to wait time.) In contrast, while Americans can choose to do preventative measures, most simply do not and instead are involved with medical treatment (example: accidentally cut off finger, go and reattach it kind of thing.)

Oops, gotta run.
  
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:24AM
freefall_drift at 3:15PM, July 6, 2007
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I'm in a crappy mood so…..
In the states, If you are really rich, the health care system is great. If you get a job with benefits for you and the kids, you never leave that job unless you have benefits lined up at the new job.
If you are poor, too bad.

America won't get different health care until we change our mind set. We have been trained by a boomer generation with the mind set of “I got mine, to hell with you”. We are desperately afraid that someone somewhere is getting something better than them, for free. So instead of letting that small fraction benefit, we punish everyone. We won't get health care for all because some San Francisco commie pinko hippie might get better health care than a working stiff in Nebraska. Really, America is pathological about that. We are currently the exact opposite of the shared sacrifice of the Greatest Generation. I don't know to call it, maybe the we are miserly pathologically individualist.
- Ian
Freefall Drift - A sci fi space opera of a starship's mission of stopping the Endless Kings.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:31PM
GinckPress at 3:34PM, July 6, 2007
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In a free society, a person's health is that person's sole responsibility, including their ability to pay someone to help them regain their health in the event of it's reduction for whatever reason. But alas we no longer live in a free society. As long as government can legally steal the products of our labor in the form of taxes, as long as government chooses to use that stolen wealth to subsidize the industries it chooses, as along as government uses it's power of violent force to protect established companies from free market competition, and as along as government has a monopoly on the money supply, quality, affordable healthcare will never be in reach to the poor here in the U.S..

Reduce the size of the government, let the Free Market live again, get rid of all the subsidies and protectionism, and allow everybody to keep their rightful earnings, and healthcare will work itself out on it's own.

The U.S. didn't have a healthcare problem 150 years ago ( as per the medical knowledge of the period ), since Corporatism took over in 1913 and Socialism merged with it in the New Deal this problem has slowly grown into the ugly abomination that it is today.

J.
www.planetaeruen.com
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:36PM
DemonSaintDante at 7:27AM, July 7, 2007
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The problem with the government and taxes is that taxes where originally. “We defend you you help support the very guys defending you.” But now the government is in everything from roads to industry. So they charge us more and more for things that most people don't want them in.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:10PM

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