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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Healthcare For 9/11 Responders

In the Senate, the Republicans were blocking all other laws, until the "tax bill" was passed. One of the laws they blocked would have provided healthcare for police and fireman who worked at the World Trade Center attack/cleanup. Many of them are sick now, due inhaling smoke/aesbestos/other.

Jon Stewart was ridiculing the Republicans for blocking the law. Normally, the Republicans tout 9/11 at every opportunity, accusing the Democrats of being "soft on terrorism".

The total cost of the 9/11 healthcare law was approximately $7.4B. If you divide by 300M people, that comes to less the $30 per person.

There should be a way for me to pay my $30 share, without paying for all the other stupid and wasteful things that government does. If I could pay just that $30, I'd probably do it. In the present, I already pay a crushing tax burden, so I'm not donating extra.

This illustrates a common politician trick. They bundle several different things together, so that enough Congressmen will vote for it. In this case, the Republicans were blocking all other laws until they got what they wanted.

In January, the Republicans will have more seats in the Senate and a majority in the House. The incentive is for them to stall, because they'll have much more power in January. For the Democrats, this might be their last chance to pass laws they want.

The "9/11 responders healthcare law" is an excellent example of State abuse. There's no way to pay for the few useful things government does, without paying for all the waste and fraud.


Anonymous said...

Another excellent post.

I've paid taxes all my life in a high tax country. If all taxes are added up, they come to something like 50% of income (VAT, income tax, NI contributions, fuel tax and many other taxes etc....).

I've been healthy all my life, except for one relatively short period of time given my life so far.

I had a physical injury. My doctor didn't care and just wanted to get me out of his office as soon as possible without even an examination or discussion as to what had happened.

I visited him again but it was just a waste of my time.

So all the taxes I paid were for nothing. I had been healthy all my life and just for a relatively short period of time needed legal protection for my job and sick pay.

However I got neither.

It is nice to be able to collect taxes, but never actually have to pay a tiny, tiny proportion of them back when they are needed.

In the end I paid to see private medical practitioners. So much for the so-called free public healthcare. It was non-existent as far as my case was concerned.

Anonymous said...

In the United Kingdom, the Conservative-LibDem government has told us we are very much in debt and paying the interest on the debt means that government services have to be cut. The excuse of debt repayment is allowing the government to cut back on services and incrementally privatize the National Health Service.

However the media has not pointed out that if government benefits and services are going down, then why are taxes going up?

Smart people have suggested when the government wants to build infrastructure such as a hospital or railway, then it could create the money itself WITHOUT USING BANKS. This way infrastructure can be built WITHOUT CRIPPLING COMPOUND INTEREST PAYMENTS WHICH WILL NEVER GET PAID OFF.

Scott said...

The responders law is not for fireman and policemen. They already have full coverage. It's for random people that were in the area during and in the time after the attacks who feel they may have health problems from the dust. It includes bystanders, students and tourists. A lot of the hysteria is because they are promoting it as if it is to save police and fireman that were on site after the attack, but it's not. However, it is clear they are promoting it with the intention of confusing people about the law's intent.

Scott said...

Also notice that the cost was going to be paid on US corporations that try to shift incorporation overseas to avoid taxes.

They changed that and in the final bill the $7 billion will be paid for by "fees on travelers who don't present identification documents at U.S. airports". How many of us are there that do that? 100 a year? So we each owe $70 million?

Scott said...

Correction, in the final bill only all NYC residents and those who work there are covered, not people who were visiting.

Final version is here.

Yes it mentions emergency responders but they are already covered. It also adds to them everybody in all of New York City: "initial health evaluation, monitoring, and treatment benefits to residents and other building occupants and area workers in New York City who were directly impacted and adversely affected by such attack"

Scott said...

Ak, OK the tax on people without ID seems to be removed from the final version and is replaced with a 2% income tax on foreign workers working on US federal government contracts in nations that don't have some sort of treaty with the US.

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