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kuririn

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Seems to be a secure job also cuz I don't foresee the guvmint abolishing income taxes any time soon.
If only.
 

John Kemker

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Ha, the IRS of down under. To the OP who just got a job with IRS, congratulations. As a Federal retiree, welcome to the work force, unlike politicians, we do support the citizens of USA. Too bad some politicians do not appreciate the IRS because without, they could not get their paycheck.
This will be my second time working for the Feds. Back in the 90s, I worked for the Dept. of Veterans' Affairs.
 

John Kemker

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Well, welcome back
Thanks!

It'll be good to have a steady paycheck (inventories are not consistent hours each week), regular schedule (schedule changes daily with inventories) and benefits.

I'll also be getting a grade (not a step) each year, up to a certain point. All said and done, it's a good move for me.
 

dr wogz

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DR....what I read and this is contrary to what Bernie wants Medicare-for-all...is that private insurance is a BIG component of Canadian system. Your Health care does not cover vision and Dental benefits..is this true? If Yes....that is what the USA should do.....will still keep some private insurance companies afloat with Optical and Dental.
Yeah, I should elaborate a bit more on "our" system...

It all used to be free, free free..

but the more common & simple things now require a bit of $$..

We all have "provincial health insurance". This covers the big ticket items, the hospitals & clinics, and most specialties (Cancer, ear surgery, cardiology, etc... So, break a leg, stitches, a pulled muscle, etc. If you walk into 'Emergency' it's typically covered. And most of the big specialties will also be covered, such as the oncologist, the mammogram, being followed by a proper doctor / surgeon..

The things that cost are the things we do every year (or there abouts), and are typically performed by a 'tech':
  • Dentist (Typical cleaning & exam visit is about $120. A root canal is about $1200-$2000)
  • Eye exam is $75
  • Hearing test is, $75
  • physiotherapy can be $75+ per visit, depending on what it is, how you sustained it, and what is needed.
  • Mental therapy an be anywhere from $20 a session to a few hundred..

And there are a few other "things' that require payment. So, we are expected to pay for these, but they can be reimbursed.. Or, depending on your financial state, may be waved & paid for but the state, er, province.. (on welfare, procedure is deemed necessary for comfort of life, etc..)

Prescription drugs you need to pay for, mostly. Some plans do cover drugs. And most drug prices are pre-set..

But most 'better' jobs do have 'health insurance' for these costs (Dental is typically 50% - 80% covered, the others things are dependent on the plan you have) and these plans are usually thru work; a private health plan / insurance. Good jobs typically always have these benefits. Where I work now, we have a "US' benefit package. so, if I do go south, and fall, the costs to get my leg set are covered by said insurance. (But it is apparently a bit of a pain, as the hospital want their $$ NOW, and will make you / trick you into paying for a few of the tings right away. Then there are always "errors" that you need to sort out as the claim progresses..)

Some of these plans will cover drug costs too..

I have heard of people vacationing in the US, drive the few hours with whatever ailment just to get back into Canada.
I have done (and have heard others) buy one-day health insurance for just the one day they intend to go to the US; to go shopping, to go visit the museum for a few hours, etc..

So, it may not be "free" in the true sense. I may have to pay for my dental check ups, and pay for my yearly eye test. But if I need eye surgery, it's free. Or if I need to have that 'lump' looked at, it's free, Or, even if I pull my shoulder while mowing the lawn, the initial consultation at the ER, and the 2 days of pain meds & muscle relaxants are covered. But the 2 weeks of physio aren't..
 

Philip Tiberius D.

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Being Canadian (Watching "your" [US] politics & Covid response & the state of some of your cites [rioting & such]...)


Seriously though:
Health (despite it isn't what it should be for a 50+ year old)
Happiness (I have enough toys & $$, so I can't complain. Covid has put a damper on our spending, so a lot is getting paid off & invested!)
Wish I could watch from a distance... in some ways I miss my years in NZ
 

Philip Tiberius D.

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Thanks!

It'll be good to have a steady paycheck (inventories are not consistent hours each week), regular schedule (schedule changes daily with inventories) and benefits.

I'll also be getting a grade (not a step) each year, up to a certain point. All said and done, it's a good move for me.
+1 for Gov jobs (and Healthcare), especially now. I’d like our organization to move to GS Scale but not sure that will ever happen.
 

kuririn

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I always wondered why anyone would be opposed to free nationalized health care like in Japan and Canada.
The sense I'm getting is that mainly the rich are opposed to it.
Something like the analogy of getting a high priced lawyer instead of a free public defender when you are threatened with incarceration.
So if you can afford the best insurance and the best doctors you wouldn't want your health care to be "dumbed down" by a national plan you would be forced to join.
 

Antares JS

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I always wondered why anyone would be opposed to free nationalized health care like in Japan and Canada.
The sense I'm getting is that mainly the rich are opposed to it.
Something like the analogy of getting a high priced lawyer instead of a free public defender when you are threatened with incarceration.
So if you can afford the best insurance and the best doctors you wouldn't want your health care to be "dumbed down" by a national plan you would be forced to join.
Middle class here. I oppose nationalized health care for a few reasons.

-I am unconvinced that it would not result in an overall decline in quality and especially availability.
-It is not "free." It would be paid for with higher taxes and/or higher deficits.
-I am just individualistic and prefer to take care of business myself rather than relying on the government for my needs.

That said, the health care and health insurance are really screwed up in this country and I in no way advocate for leaving it as it is.
 

dr wogz

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Middle class here. I oppose nationalized health care for a few reasons.

-I am unconvinced that it would not result in an overall decline in quality and especially availability.
-It is not "free." It would be paid for with higher taxes and/or higher deficits.
-I am just individualistic and prefer to take care of business myself rather than relying on the government for my needs.

That said, the health care and health insurance are really screwed up in this country and I in no way advocate for leaving it as it is.
hey Antares (and others!), can we talk? I know my system. and hear stories about yours. (Mainly horror stories: not being able to pay, becoming bankrupt, living with the condition, and (sadly) certain individuals who hike the price of some medications just to make a buck!)

I've heard many instantly say that government run health care (as we have it) equals "socialism", so I'm a little confused, and want to get that clarified. But also, to clarify your points:

Yeah, we have issues, but the overall quality of the care you can get is above par. Once you are ins 'the system' you get teh care & and are followed up with to ensure a high quality of care & life style) Yeah, the buildings are falling down, and our nurses & orderlies are in dire need of a raise, recognition, and in greater numbers. The doctors themselves also have a bit of a hill to climb when they first start out, but the quality they give is spot on! Aside from a few other issues, I know I will get up-to-date care.. mostly! I would expect a certain level of care is expected, and that level of care would be pretty high, regardless of the other variables that make us #1 in medical treatments & research.. Do you get 'tiered' levels of care; do you get less care if you are a $15/hr worker vs. the COO of the company?

Are your hospitals well staffed and the buildings well maintained & modern? Just curious as to where all this money does go. (And I assume mainly to the pharma-care companies..)

Yeah, we pay thru our taxes. Quebec is the highest taxed province in Canada, (and some say in N. America) I pay close to 35% in taxes, both federally & provincially. I guess that's stupidly high compared to your tax level.. But a portion does go towards healthcare, and roads, and police and.... (And the OQLF!! see below) And, I accept that while I may never need it (dedicated health care) I know others will. so, we all put into the pot that all can take from. I guess that's where the "socialism" notion comes from..

You prefer to take care of business yourself. I assume this means some private health insurance.. Did you always have it? Were you always covered for anything? From what I hear, you pay a premium for health insurance, and if you have an underlaying condition, you can be refused or will pay higher fees.. (Such as a family history of heart failure or breast cancer) or if you were a smoker for 20+ years, or .. I assume your case is different / unique, in that you can afford, have been able to afford, or have a benefit thru work for said insurance? What if you (or a family member) develops Diabetes? or comes down with Hepatitis B? is this routinely planned for in insurance policies?




"Language cops"
 

Not Quite Nominal

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I always wondered why anyone would be opposed to free nationalized health care like in Japan and Canada.
The sense I'm getting is that mainly the rich are opposed to it.
Something like the analogy of getting a high priced lawyer instead of a free public defender when you are threatened with incarceration.
So if you can afford the best insurance and the best doctors you wouldn't want your health care to be "dumbed down" by a national plan you would be forced to join.
I've been through all parts of the income distribution, up and down, and I've always been opposed to "free" nationalized health care, simply because I see what it ends up being: a tool of control.

Nothing in this world is ever free. You don't pay for nationalized health care with dollars, you pay with obedience.

Dissidents in every Communist country have been denied access to health care. If a doctor was to treat a dissident, that doctor would get fire, and that doctor would quickly be denied access to the system as well.

We're already seeing people getting doxxed, fired, hounded out of their jobs, and expelled from university because they once offended some purple haired 22 year old activist.

If you think it's bad enough when the cancel culture activists can make it impossible for you to earn a living, imagine a world where they can cut off your access to life-sustaining medication.
 

Antares JS

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I don't mind talking about it at all.

Do you get 'tiered' levels of care; do you get less care if you are a $15/hr worker vs. the COO of the company?
I have never heard of or experienced "tiers" of care in the United States. I've been treated the same as everyone else anytime I had to go to a health care facility without an appointment. I guess VIP's like the president can expect immediate care, but I imagine the Canadian PM would be the same.

our nurses & orderlies are in dire need of a raise, recognition, and in greater numbers.
Same thing down here - and I believe nationalized health care would only exacerbate this.

Are your hospitals well staffed and the buildings well maintained & modern? Just curious as to where all this money does go. (And I assume mainly to the pharma-care companies..)
Depends. Hospitals vary wildly in quality. I've been in both nice ones and crappy ones.

Yeah, we pay thru our taxes. Quebec is the highest taxed province in Canada, (and some say in N. America) I pay close to 35% in taxes, both federally & provincially. I guess that's stupidly high compared to your tax level.. But a portion does go towards healthcare, and roads, and police and.... (And the OQLF!! see below) And, I accept that while I may never need it (dedicated health care) I know others will. so, we all put into the pot that all can take from. I guess that's where the "socialism" notion comes from..
My taxes aren't much less than that and I don't get "free" health care. You can see why I don't want them going any higher.

You prefer to take care of business yourself. I assume this means some private health insurance.. Did you always have it? Were you always covered for anything? From what I hear, you pay a premium for health insurance, and if you have an underlaying condition, you can be refused or will pay higher fees.. (Such as a family history of heart failure or breast cancer) or if you were a smoker for 20+ years, or .. I assume your case is different / unique, in that you can afford, have been able to afford, or have a benefit thru work for said insurance? What if you (or a family member) develops Diabetes? or comes down with Hepatitis B? is this routinely planned for in insurance policies?
Yes, we pay a lot for health insurance, and ever since Obamacare was implemented, it's become worse and worse with higher premiums and higher deductibles being the norm. The problem is that the insurance isn't "insurance" anymore in the sense that they protect you from large financial losses. They still do that to an extent, but health insurance in the United States has become a middleman who tells you what doctor you can see and what health care you're going to get, and they are expected to cover everything you do at a doctor's office. And if you don't like it, you can pay double or more costs by going out of network. It also doesn't help that you don't generally get to choose your insurance - your employer does. Unfortunately it's too expensive for most people to get on their own without the employer's contribution as part of your pay.

Pre-existing conditions, I know Obamacare made it illegal to deny coverage based on that, but that's part of why premiums went up for everyone. Healthy people were forced to subsidize the people with pre-existing conditions. It sucks when people have pre-existing conditions, but expecting health insurance to cover one is like buying car insurance for a car that is already wrecked. Either you're going to pay a premium for them to get it fixed, or they are going to refuse to repair the damage from before your coverage started. This goes back to what I said about health insurance not really being "insurance" anymore. It's not fair either to demand that healthy people subsidize other's astronomical costs. I'm 33, have a good job, and am generally healthy, but I still have astronomical student debt AND a mortgage to pay. It shouldn't be for the government or insurance companies to decide how much I can/have to pay to help other people.

Now, if I were to somehow gain dictatorial control over the health care system in the United States, this is what I would do (not an exhaustive list and in no particular order):

-Make health insurance "insurance" again, rather than an all-controlling middleman. You will be protected from a large financial loss from an expensive illness or injury, but you are expected to pay for things like routine checkups and basic diagnoses, exams, and prescriptions out of pocket, much like you have to pay for your oil changes and new tires out of pocket. This would bring down costs of insurance.

-Separate health insurance from employment. This would allow people more freedom to choose their insurance provider and exactly what they want coverage for. I could expect this measure and the previous one to dramatically reduce insurance premiums.

-Reform patent laws so that one company can't maintain the patent for a drug for a century by incrementally improving it every time the patent is going to expire. This is literally what is happening with insulin in the United States and it's insane. The insulin company would be allowed to keep their patent on the latest unexpired version of insulin, but all the old versions that worked just as well become public domain.

-Require medical facilities to be up front about costs. One of the huge problems causing me continual frustration is that you get medical care, and then you get a bill in the mail for whatever the insurance didn't cover a few months later. You have no idea when the bill is going to come or how much it's going to be for until it's in your lap.

From these measures, I could reasonably expect that medical facilities are forced to compete on price and quality of service, because they won't have their insurance network funneling them a steady supply of patients with no other choice anymore. This causes a dramatic drop in cost of routine care and increase in quality. Also, an explosion of inexpensive generic drugs hit the market. All except the latest and greatest become affordable out-of-pocket.
 

Blast it Tom!

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I don't know if anyone else has said it yet, but I am thankful for this forum, and my WWI flight simulator forum as well. Great bunch of people at both sites, helpful, civil, and fun to converse with.

I have a much longer list, but don't want to be boorish.
 

boatgeek

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I'm thankful for one of my company owners--he just sent me an email "Whatever resources you need for [small job], let me know. We've been trying to get [Client company]'s business for some time and want to make sure their first project is a good experience."
 

dcastle

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This has been the "year of tears" for my family. We lost 4 family members, all unexpectedly. In February, my aunt who was having cancer treatment but was doing very well, passed very suddenly from internal bleeding. Two weeks later my uncle died from the flu that he caught at her funeral. In July my baby sister, the youngest of the 4 of us and only girl, was found deceased by her husband when he came home from work. She was 41 years old, 17 years my junior. She had a blood clot in her leg that moved to her heart and caused sudden arrest. She was a vibrant, beautiful woman who was active in her community and with our family. In September, the 24 year old son of one of my first cousins took his own life.

Our family has been through hell this year, not to mention another aunt and cousin and his wife who survived covid and my own father who survived a bout of sepsis right before my sister passed.

I am thankful for my family and the closeness and rediscovered relationships with my large extended family that we have discovered this year as we've come together through all of this. My own kids have gotten to know parts of the family that I grew up with that they didn't know and that they now appreciate. The loss of my sister is a gaping hole in my heart but there is a new appreciation of life and the time that we have. My youngest daughter is getting married in December and the wedding will be on would have been my sister's 42nd birthday. We will end the year on a happy note and for that we are thankful.

I'm thankful that I've remained employed with a supportive group of people who've all had their own struggles as well this year and who've stood with me. I'm thankful that I've been able to have a hobby such as rocketry to engage my hands when I've had hours of alone time at home. I also am a musician and I've spent more time with my guitars and found a creative outlet there as well.

In this year of tears, there is much to be thankful for and hope for the future. I hope that for all of you.
 

OverTheTop

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That's a tough year dcastle. Sorry for your losses. I hope you and your family have a better future than you have had this year.
 

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