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The ACA encouraged the formation of nonprofit co-ops by offering subsidies. I bought insurance from a co-op in the hope of changing the healthcare system. Then the Republican-controlled Congress didn't fund the subsidies, and the co-ops went out of business. Hard to say how the ACA would have fared if it had been allowed to work.

sean martin

Just FYI...

Healthcare insurance costs in Canada vary from province to province, but the coverage, as mandated by law, remains the same. In Alberta, for example, it was forty a month, then — when oil prices spiked — it was actually free for a while. I dont know what it is now, but I suspect it's fallen back down to the forty/month range.

The rest is made up in general taxes, but the bottom line remains: everyone participates, and as a result everyone gets access. And that access is pretty damn good, despite the hysteria Blue Cross tries to shill out when your ACA was first under discussion.

And let us not forget that rates are not covered by the ACA; those were left to the individual company — as a result of one of the over 200 "industry friendly" amendments the GOP put into the bill as poison pills before they walked away from it in lockstep. Sadly for them, the bill's history is documented, if anyone wants to read the terrorizing they did on it before saying it was all Obama's fault.

And doctors in Canada arent exactly hurting. Their base salary is 250K, more than any member of Parliament (including the PM, by the way). plus allowances. No, a successful doctor in Canada doesnt make as much as his counterpart in the US, but the ones I've met over the years arent complaining about it any more than anyone else who grumbles about his/her salary never being enough. :-)

Not saying our system is perfect, but having experienced both yours and ours first hand, upclose and personal, I'll take ours any day of the week, thanks. And this ridiculous "plan", no doubt written after a long night of drinking and the subsequent hangover, just underscores how far behind the US stands when it comes to simply taking care of its citizenry.

As we say in rodeo circles, "Love your chaps. Hope ya win."

Mark Jackson

The Republican leadership is facing what happens when you lie, lie, lie - then have to govern in a way that's consistent both with your lies and the reality on the ground. This is complicated by the "Freedom" Caucus, which views spending money to provide health insurance to those who cannot afford it as a socialist evil.

Yes, single-payer for the US would be more expensive - but we already pay much more per capita than any other industrialized country. Single-payer offers the best tools for bending the cost curve (a process that started, albeit weakly, during the ACA).

By the way the threshold for medical deductions is 10% of AGI - 7.5% only for those over 65, and only through 2016.

Mike Peterson

The Democrats formed a basketball team, the Republicans insisted the players wear lead shoes with the laces tied together. Then they blamed to coach when the team didn't win.

Sean, I asked a fellow who was both a CPA and a Chartered Accountant for a firm that helped Canadian companies set up branches here if we could sit down and analyze what Canadians pay in taxes vs what Americans pay in premiums and co-pays, but he said it was more complex than a quick story for a daily paper. Too many variables and "yes, but .." side issues. However, I've no doubt we end up more out of pocket if we access the healthcare system at all.

And thanks for the update, Mark. I had a chance this year of finally deducting something, but I'm not sure I'll make it under those figures. For those who aren't up on how it works, if you make $50,000, you have to have $50,001 in medical costs to get any deduction. Then you can deduct that one dollar. Not the rest.

Hence my suggestion that it all be fully deductible in lieu of an across-the-board tax credit.

Mark Jackson

$5,001 - although for most people it might as well be $50,001. (I think we passed the threshold - then 7.5% for all - exactly once, the year of major dental implant work.)

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