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View Poll Results: Will Trump be a good President?
Yes 61 27.35%
No 162 72.65%
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  #7041  
Old 05.05.2017, 12:22
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Re: Will Trump be a Good President?

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Correct me if I'm wrong but that's the financing until September. Trump however is speaking about September as kind of a starting point (my impression) so he means the budget for the coming financial year that starts in October.

I won't complain if that turns out to be a non-issue, quite the contrary.
Yes, that was the continuation until September to prevent an immediate Govt. shutdown.

The negotiations about the budget for next year will start soon and as you say Trump has threatened a Govt. shutdown in September if he does not get his way.
How this will help him I do not know?
And who would believe the Democrats are to blame for this theoretical shutdown situation when Republicans have House and Senate majorities?

So far it looks like the Democrats will have a very strong influence on the next round of negotiations

There is a precedent; the majority Republican House simply ignored Obama's last budget proposal. What goes around comes around!
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  #7042  
Old 05.05.2017, 12:26
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Re: Will Trump be a Good President?

Hi MC - Interested to hear from a fellow expat American, about Swiss healthcare as you mentioned the price is "not overly expensive." In our 5 yrs in CH, the first 2 we had an excellent expat plan paid for by my US corp, that was a little pricey but covered everything 100% + dental (I think it was $1300/month). And pre-existing conditions were not an issue when it came from a Corporate Plan (much different if you are an entrepreneur or unemployed, unfortunately).

When we switched to Swiss coverage for the final 3 yrs, it was close to 1KCHF/month, seemed to be lots of copays/we had to pay the 1st few thousand before coverage kicked in, and no dental. And it went up every year; sometimes a lot. It looked to me like the Swiss system was running into a similar situation of spiraling costs, and these costs are not covered by the employer.

We left in 2011, so maybe things have changed. Hope so, because I thought the system was a pretty sane mix of public and free market. Though I still wonder how low income people manage to live in CH.



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Yes, I'm an American - but one who doesn't live there, which was one of your stipulations.

For now I live in safe cozy Switzerland, where my health coverage is guaranteed and is not overly expensive, where I don't have to worry that a job loss also means loss of healthcare, where a sudden illness can mean a choice between bankrupting my family or foregoing treatment and dying.

But the people I love may soon face this. How can I not care?

It's easy to become smug in our comfort here in the Alpine paradise, we forget that many of us landed here through sheer luck or accident. What would our lives have been like elsewhere? Why is it difficult to understand empathy, and activism, for those outside the bubble, those less fortunate?

Thanks to my citizenship, thanks to my family ties, thanks to the boatload o' US tax I pay every year, I will always have skin in the game, no matter where I live.

I also have a vote - and I urge all of you to keep up the pressure on your senators. And please: Vote in the midterms, hold those congressional republicans responsible.
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  #7043  
Old 05.05.2017, 13:21
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Re: Will Trump be a Good President?

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Hi MC - Interested to hear from a fellow expat American, about Swiss healthcare as you mentioned the price is "not overly expensive." In our 5 yrs in CH, the first 2 we had an excellent expat plan paid for by my US corp, that was a little pricey but covered everything 100% + dental (I think it was $1300/month). And pre-existing conditions were not an issue when it came from a Corporate Plan (much different if you are an entrepreneur or unemployed, unfortunately).

When we switched to Swiss coverage for the final 3 yrs, it was close to 1KCHF/month, seemed to be lots of copays/we had to pay the 1st few thousand before coverage kicked in, and no dental. And it went up every year; sometimes a lot. It looked to me like the Swiss system was running into a similar situation of spiraling costs, and these costs are not covered by the employer.

We left in 2011, so maybe things have changed. Hope so, because I thought the system was a pretty sane mix of public and free market. Though I still wonder how low income people manage to live in CH.
We, too, had one of those gold plated expat international insurance plans when we moved here. Free to us, bells and whistles in all the hotel-hospitals. But I never used it, not once. Never got sick during those 5 years.

Then we switched to Swiss insurance as required when the expat limit was reached and OH became a local employee. At first I was horrified, as it seemed so expensive. You see, I was fortunate enough never to have paid more than $50 per month for insurance premiums in all my working life in the US, and while riding the expat merry-go-round everything was free. Back then, I had no idea how much insurance really costs, even if to the company, and no idea how lucky we had been to have had it.

But eyes wide open now, I see that Swiss insurance is indeed a pretty good balance between public and private options. I've come to appreciate the absolute value of having personal insurance separate from one's job; job losses, especially in Switzerland, are a given, many people will not be able to work to retirement age anymore. That your health care is tied to your job, an accident of US history, to me, today, is illogical, ineffective on the national scale - and potential devastating on the personal.

I now pay ca 300 and change for my Swiss insurance, can't remember offhand, my husband pays somewhat less. We both have a deductable of 1500. I have basic insurance only, I do not qualify for supplemental.

I consider that pretty inexpensive. The 7K-ish we pay in premiums, and the potential for another 4400 in franchise and selbstbehalt is still a fairly small sum in relation to general cost of living here. And I do consider I pay a 'fair share', especially when you consider how low taxes are in Switzerland.

No, I don't get the bells and whistles with my plan, but I get the basics.

And when I want a few bells and whistles, having finally figured out how to better navigate the system, I have been able to pay privately at a reasonable rate.

When I run the numbers, even though I have had my share of health issues in the last year, I am still better off with a higher deductible and lower premiums, and then paying out of pocket to supplement if and when the need arises.

No, Swiss healthcare isn't perfect, there is much I don't like about the system as I have experienced it so far. Access to care can be spotty, in some areas quality of doctors, particularly GPs, seems not to be up to the standard I expect and I have seen in all the other countries I have lived in, lack of responsiveness, in some areas an attitude of unwillingness to investigate timely is worrying, navigating the ins and outs in order to access the care you need takes a lot of time to learn .

But others report none of the problems, so much of what I don't like is probably down to the quality of care available where I live.

But the one thing I cannot fault is the price tag. I do think it's inexpensive given what is offered, all things considered. Could it be better? Of course. There seems to be plenty of waste in the Swiss system that should be addressed.

By the way, if one is low income, the Gemeinde subsidises the cost of premiums.

If I were a gazillionare I'd probably rather use the US system, with top notch hospitals, specialists, research.

But I'm not a gazillionare, and so am glad I can at least access basic medical care - something many Americans will no longer be able to do.

---

Reading now more about the horrors of the new Trumpcare bill - states can now opt out of maternity coverage.

Good luck future generations...

Last edited by meloncollie; 05.05.2017 at 13:32.
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  #7044  
Old 05.05.2017, 13:35
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Re: Will Trump be a Good President?

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Hi MC - Interested to hear from a fellow expat American, about Swiss healthcare as you mentioned the price is "not overly expensive." In our 5 yrs in CH, the first 2 we had an excellent expat plan paid for by my US corp, that was a little pricey but covered everything 100% + dental (I think it was $1300/month). And pre-existing conditions were not an issue when it came from a Corporate Plan (much different if you are an entrepreneur or unemployed, unfortunately).

When we switched to Swiss coverage for the final 3 yrs, it was close to 1KCHF/month, seemed to be lots of copays/we had to pay the 1st few thousand before coverage kicked in, and no dental. And it went up every year; sometimes a lot. It looked to me like the Swiss system was running into a similar situation of spiraling costs, and these costs are not covered by the employer.

We left in 2011, so maybe things have changed. Hope so, because I thought the system was a pretty sane mix of public and free market. Though I still wonder how low income people manage to live in CH.
Not MC, but my husband and I pay chf 700 for basic with chf 300 dedutible. Pre existing conditions are never a problem. However, we could not get the supplimental - and that, for eye and dental and private, one can easily reach chf 1000 combined. And, prices increase with age. That's where pre-existing conditions matter and you can easily be refused. We've not really needed it, and have found the basic to be more than sufficient for our needs.

For basic, you pay the deductible (franchise) and then 10% of everything else up to chf 7000 (you've accumulated 7000 in cost).

You might have paid copays and so forth for supplimental service. Supplimental care is more free market.


I was treated in 2011 for breast cancer. The total cost of my care was about chf 60k, of which I paid probably chf 2000 (surgery, chemo, rads). My surgery - a lumpectomy requiring one night stay was 6000 chf, of which i paid 10%. By contrast, my husband had eye surgery in the US right before we left in 2007. apples to oranges, but we paid 20% of $10,000.


The cost of care in Switzerland is on average less. And the cost to patients is more transparent - a flat 10% of all covered services, including meds. In the US, you have co-pays and drug plans which vary by insurer and institution. It's fragmented and inefficient. (I was a hospital admin in the US before coming here).

Last edited by edot; 05.05.2017 at 15:34.
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  #7045  
Old 05.05.2017, 14:33
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Re: Will Trump be a Good President?

Personally I was never a big fan of public/mandatory health insurance--I always felt like I could manage my money better.

That being said--all insurance is to protect against something that 'might' happen at any time so one never knows.

I'm slightly bitter about the amount I pay to health care and don't use, but I guess if it's going to help other people whom for whatever reason can't afford the treatment, I guess I should feel good about it. Except for Chad, I hate that guy, and I hope he doesn't get any on my hard earned francs.
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  #7046  
Old 05.05.2017, 17:03
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Re: Will Trump be a Good President?

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Personally I was never a big fan of public/mandatory health insurance--I always felt like I could manage my money better.
You could say the same about most things that are mandatory here, including AHV and the pension system. You overpay as long as you're among the lucky (able) but the unlucky would be all the worse off without. And unless society can't be bothered, dumps the unlucky by the wayside, it has to be financed somehow anyway.

In the end I guess it boils down to whether society is considered to have a responsibility for the unlucky ones, (moderate!) altruism vs egotism if you will. The US generally say "No", western & central Europe says "Yes" and Canada is (correct me if I'm wrong) somewhere in between.
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Old 05.05.2017, 17:17
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Re: Will Trump be a Good President?

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Personally I was never a big fan of public/mandatory health insurance--I always felt like I could manage my money better.
I feel the opposite about health care, but I feel exactly the same about several other categories of government spending, chief among them excessive military/defense spending. By excessive I don't mean the bare minimum to defend ourselves, but the "my d**k is bigger than yours", show off kind of (useless) expenses.

I guess we all have different opinions, and I do feel strongly about the health care one

On the topic of why do we care if we are not US citizens, live there, etc? I think it comes down to having ties to and general interest in the country, as well as basic human empathy. I live thousands of miles away from Chios, but I still care about what goes on in the refugee camps there, and do what I can (financially or otherwise) to support my friends who are working on the ground there.
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  #7048  
Old 05.05.2017, 17:59
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Re: Will Trump be a Good President?

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I feel the opposite about health care, but I feel exactly the same about several other categories of government spending, chief among them excessive military/defense spending. By excessive I don't mean the bare minimum to defend ourselves, but the "my d**k is bigger than yours", show off kind of (useless) expenses.

I guess we all have different opinions, and I do feel strongly about the health care one

.
Totally agree with you. I've said it and will say it one more time - there's no justification against obamacare.
Why on earth there's always money for idiotic expenses but not for people's lives? A question that lots of societies should give account for.
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Old 06.05.2017, 00:11
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Re: Will Trump be a Good President?

Mark Green withdraws his nomination for Army secretary.
"It is with deep regret today I am withdrawing my nomination to be the Secretary of the Army," Mark Green said in a statement.
Green, a retired Army flight surgeon and West Point grad, was tapped in early April as Trump's pick after billionaire Vincent Viola withdrew over issues related to divesting from his financial holdings.

Source

This is the guy who gave an hour long speech "proving" the evolution theory was wrong; his basic argument was that if you leave a lawnmower outside for ten years it does not evolve, it just rusts!
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Old 06.05.2017, 00:11
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Re: Will Trump be a Good President?

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Old 06.05.2017, 02:45
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Re: Will Trump be a Good President?

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I feel the opposite about health care, but I feel exactly the same about several other categories of government spending, chief among them excessive military/defense spending. By excessive I don't mean the bare minimum to defend ourselves, but the "my d**k is bigger than yours", show off kind of (useless) expenses.

I guess we all have different opinions, and I do feel strongly about the health care one

On the topic of why do we care if we are not US citizens, live there, etc? I think it comes down to having ties to and general interest in the country, as well as basic human empathy. I live thousands of miles away from Chios, but I still care about what goes on in the refugee camps there, and do what I can (financially or otherwise) to support my friends who are working on the ground there.
Well out of pure self-interest, I want the US to continue to be inefficient and spend huge amounts of money on healthcare. In effect, the huge prices that the US pays subsidises healthcare for the rest of the world.
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Old 06.05.2017, 10:40
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Re: Will Trump be a Good President?

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Well out of pure self-interest, I want the US to continue to be inefficient and spend huge amounts of money on healthcare. In effect, the huge prices that the US pays subsidises healthcare for the rest of the world.
Really? I always imagined that it was just that the administration costs were huge and the salaries of healthcare personnel much, much higher than elsewhere.

Explain please
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Old 06.05.2017, 12:04
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Re: Will Trump be a Good President?

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Personally I was never a big fan of public/mandatory health insurance--I always felt like I could manage my money better.
It is not about you managing your money, it's about the rest of us having to carry the costs when you get sick without you having made any contribution to the system. Freeloaders plain and simple.
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Old 06.05.2017, 14:00
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Re: Will Trump be a Good President?

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Well out of pure self-interest, I want the US to continue to be inefficient and spend huge amounts of money on healthcare. In effect, the huge prices that the US pays subsidises healthcare for the rest of the world.
I think this might be a fair assessment of drug prices. The US pays high prices for prescription drugs.
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Old 06.05.2017, 14:34
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Re: Will Trump be a Good President?

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I'm slightly bitter about the amount I pay to health care and don't use, but I guess if it's going to help other people whom for whatever reason can't afford the treatment, I guess I should feel good about it.
As the old saying goes:

Everybody's healthy. Until they're not.

It's not just you paying for the unlucky, or even irresponsible, other guy. No, more importantly health insurance is you paying for your future needs, with a bit - well a lot - of help from the rest of the pool. You may not use it now... but you will, someday.

I know - when one is young and healthy one just doesn't see the need. The young feel immortal. But you will not stay young for very long, and who knows how long you will stay healthy. Odds are not with you.

How many people will always be in a position to come up with 100K, or 250K, or even much more, at the drop of a hat? Because that's what hospitalization, a serious illness, or long term care in the US can easily cost you.

What are the odds of you ending up with a serious illness? Who knows.

I look at my father, a man who was in prime physical condition all his life, ate sensibly, didn't drink or smoke, exercised regularly, the very picture of a responsible citizen... until Alzheimer's hit. Those years ran through his private insurance, his VA benefits, Medicare, and the very healthy stock portfolio my parents had set aside for such situations. None of those things alone could have provided adequate care, no it took a combination of insurance, public and private, and savings.

Those who think they would prefer to self-fund... just make sure you understand what the potential costs really are.

Last edited by meloncollie; 06.05.2017 at 16:11.
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Old 06.05.2017, 15:58
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Re: Will Trump be a Good President?

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Really? I always imagined that it was just that the administration costs were huge and the salaries of healthcare personnel much, much higher than elsewhere.

Explain please
Administration costs are huge, especially when the companies are for-profit. Liability insurance alone is astronomical. There are a few not-for-profit companies that I think manage money and care far better.

Healthcare personnel don't always make a lot. Doctors, particularly specialists, can bank some serious dough. However the rank-and-file that spend the most time with patients - home health aides, nurse aides, various technicians, phlebotomists, etc. aren't going to get rich.

According to this BIS report from 2015, the average home health aide makes just $22,400 per year and nurse aides $26,250. That's an hourly wage of about $10-13. A technician with a bit more training and experience might make about $20 per hour.

We can get into a whole debate about healthcare around the world but I'll save that for another thread.

Back to Trump and the healthcare bill passed by the House this week, here's a decent, non-hysterical summary of what it changes and leaves from Obamacare:
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/...lth-care-bill/
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Old 06.05.2017, 16:08
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Re: Will Trump be a Good President?

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Congress did not approve Trump's budget proposal for cuts for the various Govt. Depts. Where this leaves the Depts I do not know, will they start laying off people as Trump wants or wait for the next round of budget approvals?
Surprise, Surprise¨

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President Trump signed a $1.1 trillion spending bill on Friday, and used the opportunity to attach a signing statement that asserted presidential prerogatives on issues of war powers, marijuana and government spending.

Through the statement, Trump reserved the right to disregard 89 different provisions in the spending bill.
Source

Apparently George W Bush and Obama both used this formerly obscure presidential tool, the "signing statement".
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Old 07.05.2017, 19:06
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Re: Will Trump be a Good President?

Good Saturday Night live yesterday here.

Opening "cold opening" scene was good and also a game show called "where in the world is Kellyanne Conway" plus a piece on AHCA.
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Old 07.05.2017, 20:15
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Re: Will Trump be a Good President?

This will be a brief lesson in how to offend most of the planet in one fell swoop:

Trump to visit Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican on his first foreign tour.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 07.05.2017 at 20:22. Reason: typo
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Old 07.05.2017, 22:03
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Re: Will Trump be a Good President?

Grandad shuffled out of the bedroom and got on the tweet machine again

There are claims he has lost two thirds of his Twitter followers!
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