Posted by Charity on April 25th, 2006

Last Friday on “She’s Right” my guest was former State Representative Frank Mazur of South Burlington. You can listen to the podcast here.

The topic was affordability. Frank outlined five areas affecting affordability from Governor Douglas’ State of the State Address.

They are:

Containing/lowering health insurance costs
Keeping property taxes down
Making housing more affordable
Funding higher education
Creating more good paying jobs

We touched upon a few things, but we focused our discussion on property taxes and Frank discussed some of the things that we could do to lower property taxes. It all boils down to containing education spending.

I was disappointed that we didn’t have more time. The half-hour went by quickly.

We skipped over the healthcare cost issue because Frank had been on channel 17 the Friday before on “Ideas Have Consequences” discussing that issue. You can listed to that broadcast here.

Frank also has a really interesting piece on his website, www.frankmazur.com, about consumer-driven healthcare, which is a move away from excessive government regulation toward a free-market healthcare system.

Take a read. I would be interested in all your thoughts on that.

50 Responses to “Consumer-Driven Healthcare”

  1. Poopsie and I are “choosing” not to have health insurance in May. Even at $150 per month for both of us, we still can’t afford it every single month.

    Well, I guess we could but we finally needed to buy a dresser this month. We’ve had our clothes all over the floor for two years, and sooner or later there comes a point… you know?

    If we didn’t have a Koko, Poopsie would work full time too, but the way it is, I’m the main breadwinner, and I make the starting wage at the taxi co. which apparently hasn’t risen here in ten years. (Not that I’ve found anything better- but I’m keeping my eyes open…)

    For our two-year wedding anniversary, Poopsie and I get to end the two year contract with Verizon Wireless we foolishly got into when she was preggers. Yay!

    Maybe well get health insurance again then. I hope nothing horrible happens to us before that.

    “Everybody gonna die. But at least if you have coverage, you get to die on a mattress.” -Chris Rock

  2. BTW- One the Mazur piece-

    Health savings accounts:They drain $ from the collective pool. Plus- you need to be able to afford “savings” and a high deductable. Good for rich people. Bad for everybody else.

    Mini-Clinics: Very good. Why pay for the bells and whistles when all you need is a f*cking antibiotic.

    Interstate Insurance Buying: Whatever. Probably just distracts from the ultimate goal of universal health insurance, which we’ll get to eventually… unless we collapse into bloody class-based civil war first.

  3. The point of the interstate buying is that insurance is much, much cheaper in some states compared to others.

    For example, a family plan with a $500 deductible in NJ costs $5,948/month and the same plan in Maine costs $1,470/month.
    (Those are Jan. 2004 numbers.)

    Different states mandate different things. Like VT mandates chiropractic, but if you didn’t want to pay for that, you should be able to buy insurance from a state that does not make you pay for something you won’t use.

    It’s an interesting idea.

    What they should really do is just stop mandating what insurance has to cover and let people buy only what they want/need.

  4. Bob and I have been married for 3 and a half wonderful years and we still don’t have a dresser.

    I totally understand the struggles of living on a single income. Still, going without insurance is a careless choice. But, I’m sure you knew that. ;)

    Oh, BTW, the starting wage at the taxi co. seven years ago, when I worked there, was $21,500. Don’t tell me it hasn’t risen in ten years!

  5. $21,500? Hmmm. Maybe that was just for the women ;)

    I heard 24K in 1998 with a 15% adjustment upward for everybody that year.

    I guess there’s a reason people aren’t allowed to talk about this at work. They divide and conquer us. I don’t think there is a single “starting wage” actually. They hire each person as cheaply as they can on a case by case basis.

    Yeah, 21,5 sucks, but gas and money were cheaper then. I make 3,5K more than that but it it don’t go far. VT Gas just raised its prices 18%. Things might get tougher this winter.

    Complain Complain Complain…

  6. When I was growing up in the 80s I had such a false idea what my future would be like.

    I always assumed my parents would put me through college and when I got out I’d start out making at least 30K.

    Wow, were those assumptions wrong. Koko won’t be raised with the same illusions. He’ll be getting a job as soon as he turns two…

  7. I think things will be tougher in the winter, so enjoy the sunshine while you can! And quit complaining!

    (The big payscale increase happened in 1999 when I was still there.)

  8. You think that’s bad – I thought I would be working in R&D at some big company. I was going to come up with a revolutionary invention and make my first million by the time I was thirty.

    Kids are stupid. You’re a grown-up now. Life’s a lot harder, but much more rewarding, too.

  9. “Good for rich people.”

    Wow, saving money for health care is only for rich people? Interesting definition of “rich.”

    “universal health insurance, which we’ll get to eventually… unless we collapse into bloody class-based civil war first.”

    This “peasants with pitchforks” fantasy always cracks me up. You will never get health care for less than $75 a month.

  10. Ahh, Haik’s anonymous arch-nemesis. I wondered when you’d show up.

  11. Hey! Why don’t you address the Mazur piece directly, anonymous?

    Off-Topic!! Off-Topic!!

  12. Can’t control your urge to leave unacountable comments in the blogosphere?

    Join ‘Anonymous Anonymous’

    We’re here to help. But who are we?

  13. “Koko won’t be raised with the same illusions.”

    That’s right, don’t let your kid learn from your mistakes, just tell him that life sucks. BTW, I don’t know anyone who made less than $30K two years out of college from the late ’80′s on.

    “Why don’t you address the Mazur piece directly, anonymous?”

    Sorry I have to interpret for you. Savings accounts good, interstate insurance buying good. Read that to yourself in a caveman voice, if it helps.

    “Can’t control your urge to leave unacountable comments in the blogosphere? Join ‘Anonymous Anonymous’”

    Is that where you learn to leave comments in your own name, then delete them all later, rendering entire comment threads incomprehensible? No thanks.

  14. I wonder how the interstate buying thing would really play out. It seems like the insurance companies in states that had high regulation, therefore higher prices, would go under.

  15. Wow. You’re a really angry person. Your clearly have problems that have nothing to do with me. Maybe try yoga, or something. Harboring all that rage and venom isn’t good for you.

  16. “Your clearly have problems that have nothing to do with me.”

    Luckily, leaving inane comments indelibly etched into a Google search on my name isn’t one of them.

  17. “Luckily, leaving inane comments indelibly etched into a Google search on my name isn’t one of them.”

    Good for you. It isn’t a problem for me either.

  18. “Good for you. It isn’t a problem for me either.”

    Wow, that’s a lot of deleting you’ve got ahead of you.

  19. “I don’t know anyone who made less than $30K two years out of college from the late ’80′s on.”

    This quote tells me you’re in your late thirties, early forties, and that you’ve lead an insular life, so far. You’re ignorant of what low income people deal with.

    Are you trying to make me feel like there must be something wrong with me because I make less than thirty grand? Did you not hear Charity say she only made 21,5 at the cab company when she worked here? You should be careful not to throw a wide net when you make spiteful comments. You might catch someone you like in it too.

    BTW How much do you make now? And what’s your name?

  20. “This quote tells me you’re in your late thirties, early forties,”

    …or that I know college grads that DID make less than $30K two years out of college before the late ’80′s, genius.

    “and that you’ve lead an insular life, so far. You’re ignorant of what low income people deal with.”

    What an incredibly stupid thing to say. Do you think at all before you hit the “publish” button?

    “Are you trying to make me feel like there must be something wrong with me because I make less than thirty grand?”

    No, I’m telling you that the notion that it’s an “illusion” – your word – that one can make $30K out of college is ridiculous.

  21. No. I said what I believed would be true in my own life was an illustion- not what can or can’t be true in general.

    Why are you always trying to play “gotcha” with me?

    “You can’t hold a man down without staying down with him.”- Booker T. Washington

  22. No. Wait a minute. I said “Koko won’t be raised with the same illusions” But Whatever, Same diff.

    My point was that I don’t want him to have false expectations like I did, not that I want him to be a pessimist.

    What do you teach your kids? Do you have any kids? What do you do for a living? What’s your name?

  23. Booker T. Washington
    April 26th, 2006 at 9:00 pm

    You can’t hold a man down without staying down with him.

  24. “But Whatever, Same diff.”

    It’s not at all. There’s a big difference between teaching your kid to believe that he will fail because that’s just the way it is, or because things didn’t work out for you. Both are pretty screwed up.

    “My point was that I don’t want him to have false expectations like I did”

    So the likelihood that one can earn $30K right out of college is a “false expectation?”

  25. It’s not at all. There’s a big difference between teaching your kid to believe that he will fail because that’s just the way it is, or because things didn’t work out for you. Both are pretty screwed up.

    Sure, there’s a big difference between those two things, neither of which I do, and neither of which you’ve accused me of explicitly. You’re obviously implying that though, which impugns me as a parent and that’s uncalled for.

    ‘Teaching my kid to believe he will fail?’ Who said anything about that? Just because I want him to be realistic and have his eyes open wider than mine were doesn’t mean I’m ‘teaching him to believe he will fail.’ That’s just mean spirited. I teach my kid every day that he can succeed. And he does!

    So the likelihood that one can earn $30K right out of college is a “false expectation?”

    No. Not necessarily. But what I want to teach my son is that nobody is just going to hand him 30K, or five bucks for that matter. He needs to have a focus and a plan for how he’s going to make that money. I just want my son to do better than me.

    Is that OK with you, Mr./Ms. POOPIE PANTS??!!!

  26. “I always assumed my parents would put me through college and when I got out I’d start out making at least 30K… Koko won’t be raised with the same illusions.”
    “I don’t want him to have false expectations like I did”

    I don’t have to imply anything when you can just scroll up and read your own posts, revisionist historian. Your statements that it’s an “illusion” and a “false expectation” that a kid will be financially successful once graduating from college speaks for themselves. Odd that the “focus and a plan” bit didn’t pop up until the third time you tried to defend your statements, but I’m glad for your kid that you’ve started to rethink the whole thing.

    I wish “Koko” the best of luck.

  27. You’re rediculous. I wish you’d stop responding to anything I say. Please don’t talk to me. Don’t quote me. Follow your own advice and focus on the topic of the string. Don’t worry about what I do. Leave me alone.

  28. hey anonymous,

    after reading the entire string, its clear that you’re a jirk…and it is very tiring reading your personal, seemingly baseless crusade against Haik.

    what’s wrong, did he dump you or something?

    anyway, you points might seem clever if they didn’t reek of mindless hostility…

    give it a rest….for everyone’s sake

  29. “Didn’t you hear me? I said the protesters were idiots! …Nothing? How about Anonymous1? No?”

    “Is that OK with you, Mr./Ms. POOPIE PANTS??!!!”

    “I wish you’d stop responding to anything I say.”

    Sure, when you stop asking me to.

  30. pathetic

  31. “pathetic”

    I know, this “look at me, don’t look at me” business is really a cry for help.

  32. Hey anonymous,

    So Haik did dump you I see…

    Sad..Sad…

    Also, if you are so into answering Haik when he asks you too:

    “Sure, when you stop asking me to.”

    I would think that you would be equally inclined to service him by stopping you small, boring jabs when that is his request…Your life clearly revolves around him.

  33. Thanks :)

  34. “Sad..Sad…”

    Sort of like referring to yourself in the third person?

  35. “Sort of like referring to yourself in the third person?”

    anonymous…
    Trust me, this isn’t Haik. Believe it or not, your are anoying more than one person.

    You should at least consider the possibilty that your comments are tiresome and pointless to the average reader.

    Here’s a tip to help you generate comments that are more valuable and interesting to others…Make a point that isn’t completely based on Haik or his views.

  36. “this isn’t Haik. Believe it or not, your are anoying”

    Odd, then, how two out of about eight people who have ever commented here have exactly the same spelling deficiencies. Just give it up.

  37. Thanks for trying, other anonymous. Some people will only believe what they want to believe. Who cares what he,she, it thinks? I know you’re not me, regardless. :)

  38. Now that was definitely someone else – not a single misspelled word.

  39. anonymous,

    You’re totally wrong on this one… But it is starting to amuse me that you are totally committed to the notion that you couldn’t be generally bothersome. Its ok…its much easier to just attribute an unattractive opinion to Haik..another sign that you are strangely dependent and fixated on him.

    newsflash:
    You’re not alone in the universe with Haik, yet you seemed suspiciously determined to behave that way.

    You obviously put a ton of stock in your powers of deduction. If you’re half as smart as you try to be, you will, at this point, start to consider the possibility that I am not Haik.

    “Odd, then, how two out of about eight people who have ever commented here have exactly the same spelling deficiencies.:

    Not true at all. Still, you’re affinity for studying everyone’s blog writing style in-depth is notable and a bit sad. Do you know Haik’s favorite color, too?

    Perhaps you should pay more attention to the content of what everyone says…no?

    The easier, more logical, more realistic, and correct route would be to accept you’re bothering more than on person.

  40. “Do you know Haik’s favorite color, too?”

    A lot of people confuse “your” and “you’re,” as you do in your comment. I’ve never seen anyone else confuse “you” and “your.” It’s jarring to the literate reader, and leaves an impression.

    Interesting that you seem to have no real interest in “you” stated purpose in ending this thread – or you would have simply left it alone four comments ago – and seem much more interested in a feeble attempt to save face for someone who is “not you.”

  41. hmm…

    I’m still not Haik though…and you’re still annoying.

    Who said anything about ending the thread? I just want you to know your comments are boring, pointless, and one-dimensional.

    When someone asks you to back off as Haik did, you should show some class. Clearly you’re lacking in that department.

  42. Very impressive mastery of the use of your and you’re. Is it me or is this whole thread totally stupid at this point?

  43. “When someone asks you to back off as Haik did”

    I’ve been replying to you for the last several posts. I wonder why this doesn’t qualify as “backing off of Haik” for you. Hmmm…

  44. “I wonder why this doesn’t qualify as “backing off of Haik” for you.”

    Because you responded to him directly, immedietly after he asked you to stop, genius….

    you are going down with the ship, I see….

    sad…sad…

  45. “Because you responded to him directly”

    I last responded to “Haik” about five comments ago. Since then I’ve been responding to you. Nice to see you finally admit they’re one and the same.

  46. you:
    “I wonder why this doesn’t qualify as “backing off of Haik” for you”

    answer:

    Haik wrote:

    “I wish you’d stop responding to anything I say. Please don’t talk to me. Don’t quote me. Follow your own advice and focus on the topic of the string. Don’t worry about what I do. Leave me alone.”

    then you wrote:

    “Sure, when you stop asking me to.” and “I know, this ‘look at me, don’t look at me’ business is really a cry for help.” blah blah blah

    Your comments don’t qualify as “backing off” by any standard…

    You have obviously lost, but it was worth laugh.
    I actually don’t blog that often and have never been accused of being someone I’m not…so that was interesting and amusing.

    Take care and I hope that you’ve learned a bit a about manners. It was a pleasure….

    Thanks for the fun, anonymous!

  47. “but it was worth laugh.”

    It’s good to be able to laugh at yourself. Say hi to your ESL teacher for me!

  48. Way to lower the bar for comment quality.