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Can someone explain to me in simple terms. USA elections

415 replies

ihatethecold · 31/08/2012 07:44

What are the main differences between Obama and romney?
Is Obama like labour and Romney like very right conservative?

Why does Romney say he will get rid of the healthcare bill that Obama brought in.

Did it not work?
why wouldn't you want people without insurance to access healthcare ?

OP posts:
TalkinPeace2 · 01/09/2012 13:34

hear hear
there are times when I am proud of the country where I was born
and others where I cannot WAIT to get my UK passport

not that the voting options in the UK are much less toxic !!

dreamingbohemian · 01/09/2012 13:55

Talkin I hear ya! Smile

When Bush was reelected in 2004, I was one of the many who said, that's it, I'm leaving. I actually did leave the next year and haven't moved back. Every time I get homesick and think maaaaybe I could go back, an election cycle starts and I remember why it's so awful to be home (I lived in DC so it was particularly bad).

It just breaks my heart because there is so much that is GOOD about the US and Americans, that gets overlooked so much. But I just can't deal with the insanity anymore. I guess that makes me weak but ah well.

18 months til my French passport Smile

kateemo · 01/09/2012 13:58

Just some clarification of how healthcare works in the U.S. (I am a U.S. citizen living in UK but lived and worked in U.S. for 15 years). Healthcare is mostly offered by employers. I say mostly because you are usually required to work full-time, or 40 hours per week, in order to receive healthcare, which you still pay for as a deduction in your earnings. As a single woman, I was paying nearly $400 per month for employer-based health insurance. A family of 4 can pay as much as $2000 for health insurance.

And even with health insurance, you have to pay a co-payment to visit the doctor, for prescriptions, or any treatment you may require.

If your employment is under 40 hours per week, you will not even qualify for the company plan. So you will have to find insurance on your own if you want to have it. A lot of companies routinely offer 36-hour or 38-hour per week jobs so that they don't have to offer the healthcare benefit as it's expensive for businesses as well.

Once you are 65 years or older, you are eligible for Medicare, which is the government's healthcare program which is funded by federal taxpayer revenue. The idea is that you pay into it for your working life and then you can use it in your retirement. Some people with disabillities < 65 years old will qualify for this program, but not everyone. But even Medicare seems to be under threat.

If you are a college student and you graduate without a job (like so many), you would have had to get insurance on your own because you are over 21 years old. Obama's plan at least changed that so that these folks could stay on their parents' plans until they are 26.

Some states offer public health clinics which are funded by state tax revenue. My sister works in one of these in Florida as a paediatrician. Her appointment book is full until November.

Healthcare companies will often not insure people who have 'pre-existing conditions'--which can be anything. So people who have medical problems risk losing their coverage if they lose their employment or circumstances change.

If you are 'between jobs' or out of work, health insurance is an enormous expense. I always found it prohibitive and went without until I was in my next job. While very scary, I had to choose the ability to buy food and pay for shelter. Thank God nothing ever happened.

So many things need changing. But this is one of the biggest. Obama's just begun to transform the healthcare system. And the Supreme Court's verdict to uphold Obama's health insurance bill can easily be rescinded by the next President.

Extrospektiv · 01/09/2012 14:08

I am Actually British with family connections to USA, mainly Republican, although I have never spent more than two weeks there.

I am not a "reactionary" of any description. With regard to my saying how most of the British people are pro Obama and especially on this website...
"Metropolitan elite " neither reflect our society as a whole, this is classism against the majority
"Liberal "- liberalism is a philosophical part of the Western tradition since enlightenment and so could be seen as a core value but in the narrow political sense I intended here and thought would be understood as such is just one of numerous positions.
"Professional"- Is not a term of abuse but refers to what I have seen lurking on here that more people talk about being professional or management than lower down the employment classification, MN has been described as "(mainly ) middle class " by journalists across the spectrum. This correlates to less conservative view on average
I do not think that pro life or letting parents decide whether their children are taught sex education in school are way out of the mainstream : 1 in 4 opposed to abortion consistent across gender and age groups so a minority but hardly extreme. For parental rights the majority is with me! I do not support easy gun laws over here but there should be a personal protection license available to groups such as rape and domestic violence victims and innocent family members of undercover police for example. Healthcare, I said I support Obama's affordable care act almost fully.

Do not make the anti-American assumption they are culturally inferior to Europe or the patronizing assumption British citizens all share a narrow view and thus hate Republicans.

/extremist-baiting calmly replied to

PigletJohn · 01/09/2012 14:16

In the US, it it considered a disadvantage to be known as a draft-dodger in time of war, like for example President Clinton, President George W Bush, not-yet-Vice President Romney, and even (gasp) John Wayne?

Why is "Liberal" a term of abuse?

dreamingbohemian · 01/09/2012 14:20

Just to add to kateemo's great explanation -- many hourly paid jobs in retail and the service industry, especially for small businesses, do not come with health insurance. So even working full-time does not mean you have health care. I was a waitress for years and was never offered insurance.

This is one of the reasons why a lot of people don't have insurance, and one of the things that the Obama plan aims to change, by making it easier for small businesses and individuals to access insurance plans.

I also think that now insurance companeis can no longer refuse you insurance because of preexisting conditions. They can charge you a fortune for it though.

The greatest thing about the NHS is that it separates health care from your employment status. It's amazing!

dreamingbohemian · 01/09/2012 14:21

Piglet it used to be a big deal, I'm not sure it matters anymore.

Look at 2004, John Kerry was a decorated war veteran, Bush dodged the war, he still won.

Extrospektiv · 01/09/2012 14:25

Liberal - not so much a term of abuse as a position I do not usually support being more conservative than liberal though I have views which would go under both headings. I am not what the US pundits call a movement conservative who takes the rightwing side on all issues. I used to be.

PigletJohn · 01/09/2012 14:28

not you, you say you're British.

I mean when used in the US.

I wonder if they'd mean it as abusive to call someone (say) a Liberal Iranian or a Liberal Russian.

dreamingbohemian · 01/09/2012 14:32

Liberal has become a term of abuse from many right-wingers, I think starting in the 1980s thanks to some evil genius political marketers.

It doesn't have the same connotation as in Europe. In the US it means someone very left-wing, basically a wussy commie hippie PC bleeding heart un-American fool.

Extrospektiv · 01/09/2012 14:39

When used in USA implies out of touch with family values and belief in limited government, personal responsibility, constitution being constructed strictly

Heartland Americans have the idea of a lib as some well off privileged person in NY, Boston or California eating exotic food and drinking fancy stuff around a big dinner table and watching a lot of specialist / subtitled films and letting their teenagers have their boy/girlfriends stay in their room, and not caring about American tradition. Effectively a cultural defector to Europe. Which is spectacularly inaccurate for many left leaning people but hey, stereotypes are like that.

YoullLaughAboutItOneDay · 01/09/2012 14:56

Adding to Kateemoo's explanation as well, if at a slightly tangent. In the US, it is perfectly lawful to treat part timers less favourably than full time employees. So as well as contending with lack of health insurance, a part timer may well have to cope with lower pro rata pay, no paid holiday, etc. A particularly hard choice for mothers/fathers who would prefer to work fewer hours, and a big reason why so many mothers in the US who work do so full time. The suspicion of government means I have never seen a mainstream US politician seriously challenge this.

Three things I have seen regarding healthcare in the US shocked me to the core:

  • someone who had been in a traffic accident refusing to get in the ambulance sent as that hospital was outside plan (about 2008, so I don't know if anything has changed);
  • hearing a woman in her 20s with arthritis explaining that she couldn't get her own insurance as she had a pre-existing condition. So when she came off her parent's plan, she had no cover, and no hope of getting any, even if she were somehow able to work the full time hours needed to get it;
  • a Christian family praying that, when the mother's water's broke early,God would steer the doctors not to do too many tests (they had no insurance and couldn't afford them).
NovackNGood · 01/09/2012 17:52

Nightlurker UTAH was the last state in the US to have slaves up until 1862 held by mormon pioneer who lived there and the rules of blacks entering membership also know as the priesthood not to go through the temple in the mormon church were changd by the announcemnet of a phrophecy in 1978. These are matters of historical fact that you can easily check.

Also since Brigham Youngs proclamation that one drop disqualifies you will rarely if ever see a mix raced mormon family as one drop of non white blood disqualified anyone from the temple. Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 110

worldcitizen · 01/09/2012 18:09

The greatest thing about the NHS is that it separates health care from your employment status. It's amazing!

Not only in the UK, in all countries who have a socialised health care system. Also it is not for free, as usually referred to, of course it is financed by tax and deductions in the UK and in other Western European countries.

I have yet to meet an American who lived in Europe and didn't love this.

HmmThinkingAboutIt · 01/09/2012 18:11

Isn't it a case of being afraid of something you don't really know and don't really understand and have always be taught to mistrust when it comes to Americans and socialised healthcare?

CheerfulYank · 01/09/2012 18:12

I dunno, my friends and I are liberals and have always referred to ourselves as such. Confused Never thought it was a bad term.

I have friends who are fiscally conservative and socially liberal, as well.

mathanxiety · 01/09/2012 18:14

"Blacks were never denied membership in the Mormon church. The early mormons suffered a great deal of persecution, in part, because of their anti-slavery views."

After Brigham Young took over the Mormon Church mirrored the views of society in general about black people. Under his predecessor Joseph Smith a few black men were allegedly ordained but all that changed when Young became leader and it wasn't until the late 60s (as with the rest of American society) that the exclusion of blacks was questioned and steps taken finally during the 70s to rectify the situation.

The early Mormons may have had abolitionist views but they observed the law in slave states where they lived (mainly Missouri) and did not interfere in the relationship between slave and master by baptising slaves or preaching to them for instance, unless the owners allowed it, and by baptising slaves if the owners asked (if the owners were converting for instance).

mathanxiety · 01/09/2012 18:22

The weird thing about American opposition to 'socialised medicine' is that having to fork over for employees' health insurance and pay the administrative costs that fall to the office manager or whoever takes care of all that eats into the profit of companies of over 50 employees (who are obliged to provide employee health insurance).

In other words, American businesses are in competition with companies in 'socialised medicine' countries that do not have this drain on income because to a large extent the cost of insurance is borne by the individual employee through taxation. It puts American companies at a disadvantage.

It also makes moving your operation abroad an attractive proposition for American companies.

I don't think Republican voters of either white or blue collar varieties should be as gung ho as they are about private health insurance.

TalkinPeace2 · 01/09/2012 18:37

Americans baulk at "socialised" medicine
but consider it perfectly normal that the federal government underwrite mortgage debts
go figure ?

I'm a tad biased about the wonders of US healthcare because Medicaid paid for my sister's kidney transplant but will not pay for her anti rejection drugs so she will never be well enough to work. Do the math.

BelfastBloke · 01/09/2012 18:43

Loved the Simpsons' slogan on the Fox News helicopter:

<a class="break-all" href=",r:3,s:0,i:82" rel="nofollow noindex" target="_blank">"Fox News: Not Racist, but Number 1 with racists"

Even better when you note that Fox is the channel which funds the Simpsons.

PigletJohn · 01/09/2012 18:49

do they call it a "socialised poloce force" a "socialised road system" "socialised fire department" and "socialised street lighting"?

Are the National Parks, sea-ports and canals "Socialised?"

worldcitizen · 01/09/2012 18:58

Piglet what's your point??? If you have no clue about official health care policy terms, then please...Wink


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YoullLaughAboutItOneDay · 01/09/2012 19:01

Wasn't Piglet's point that socialised is being used as a derogatory term, but we don't label other things the government maintains as 'socialised', we accept it is best for government to do it?

worldcitizen · 01/09/2012 19:08

It is NOT a derogatory term!!!!! It is an international health care policy term!!!!!

PigletJohn · 01/09/2012 19:09

"Socialised Medicine" is not a term we use in my country, worldcitizien. I gather from your post that it is a term used in some of the countries you live in, so you attach a particular meaning to the term.

It seems to be used in a derogatory or hostile way to refer to medical service that is funded partly or wholly out of taxation, is that what it means to you?

In my country, and in many others, there are various other services that are also funded partly or wholly by taxation, such as the services I mentioned above, and, for example, many schools. Would that be described as "Socialised Education" where you come from?

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