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‘Remarkable’ decline in fertility rates

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11 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

Still really curious who gets to be the last person born on this earth.

While I don't believe it, there are those that have speculated it could be the Holy Ghost.

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47 minutes ago, Nofear said:

While I don't believe it, there are those that have speculated it could be the Holy Ghost.

Yeah, I've heard that.  Don't believe that myself.

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9 hours ago, Storm Rider said:

Off topic, but on insurance. My wife and I cover our own insurance cost. Just got a quote - $2000/month for both of us with a $15,000 deductible that must be paid first before insurance will pay for anything. So we get to pay $39,000 per year before insurance begins. Not only does this want me to wring Obama/Dems neck, but it makes me want to beat the Repubs over the head who have done nothing to make insurance affordable again. We have chosen to go without insurance. 

Are you under the impression insurance was cheaper before the Affordable Care Act?

Edited by The Nehor

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4 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Are you under the impression insurance was cheaper before the Affordable Care Act?

According to the charts below, medical insurance premiums have been increasing steadily.  However starting in Obama's first term, deductibles have skyrocketed.

332ce71d3968fad1b21322a40b70faa7.png?r=1700548808

Kaiser Family Foundation

There are no transparencies in the cost of medical services and supplies and prescriptions.  We need to separate out the costs for regular doctor visits, wellness care, and various other expensive services such as hospitals and catastrophic coverage.  Regular doctor visits should not be controlled by medical insurance.  Because of cronyism between Medical/Pharmaceutical/Industrial Complex and the Congress/bureaucracy, the American consumers are held captive.  We must bring true free enterprise back into health care and force insurance companies to be completely transparent.  Consumers must be given options and choices to bring about greater reductions in medical expenses.

Edited by longview
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20 hours ago, smac97 said:

Hmm.  I have six children.  Our kids-specific expenses (additional food, school expenses, sundries, etc.) seem to be not particularly horrible, at least as compared to "sunk costs" we would incur anyway (housing, utilities, transportation, etc.).

It sure would be nice to see the initial expense of having children go down.  Paying $5,000-$10,000 in out-of-pocket costs (after insurance) for a healthy, complications-free pregnancy/labor/delivery was quite a challenge.

Thanks,

-Smac

We used an experienced midwife at home for out last child. $600.

He was my wife's easiest but came out a little blue with the cord wrapped all around him. She gave him a little oxygen, and he grew as well as the rest of em... :) 

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13 hours ago, Storm Rider said:

Off topic, but on insurance. My wife and I cover our own insurance cost. Just got a quote - $2000/month for both of us with a $15,000 deductible that must be paid first before insurance will pay for anything. So we get to pay $39,000 per year before insurance begins. Not only does this want me to wring Obama/Dems neck, but it makes me want to beat the Repubs over the head who have done nothing to make insurance affordable again. We have chosen to go without insurance. 

My brother(about 50 y/o) uses a Christian Medical Cost Sharing plan with a family of four. You should probably look into that. He pays much less than that. His son recently had an emergency appendectomy, and he told me he paid about $6. 

The other thing to look into is to get a high deductible plan combined with a tax free Medical Savings Account, which provides some tax free self-insurance. 

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4 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Are you under the impression insurance was cheaper before the Affordable Care Act?

Actually, for me it was much cheaper before the affordable care act.  

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On 11/9/2018 at 4:35 PM, The Nehor said:

With dual income households now an economic necessity for so many and the rising costs of childcare, medical care, and eventually the costs of higher education for children this result was basically inevitable.

The economically wise thing to do:

family_decals.png

If we want to change behaviors we need to change the incentives.

We could probably start another thread on this, about dual incomes now being an economic necessity vs necessary to maintain a desired lifestyle.

Glenn

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9 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Are you under the impression insurance was cheaper before the Affordable Care Act?

Depends on who you work for. It was hellacheaper for us back then! It hit small businesses and self employed folks incredibly hard.

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6 hours ago, RevTestament said:

We used an experienced midwife at home for out last child. $600.

He was my wife's easiest but came out a little blue with the cord wrapped all around him. She gave him a little oxygen, and he grew as well as the rest of em... :) 

You were lucky. My first child and I would have died without medical intervention.

Edited by katherine the great
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1 hour ago, katherine the great said:

You were lucky. My first child and I would have died without medical intervention.

I don't necessarily recommend using a midwife for a woman's first delivery - especially if the pregnancy has had any complications. My wife kind of struggled in her first delivery. Subsequent deliveries normally get easier. Our last involved a few walks around the block, and maybe an hour of pushing. I don't think it was even that much - maybe a 1/2 hour. Our midwife had decades of experience, and had delivered thousands of babies. If at anytime my wife had felt uncomfortable about it, we would have done things differently, but she had prayed about it and was comfortable. At the time (20 yrs ago) we didn't have any insurance, and the money saved allowed us to move into a home with little monthly expense.

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8 hours ago, RevTestament said:

My brother(about 50 y/o) uses a Christian Medical Cost Sharing plan with a family of four. You should probably look into that. He pays much less than that. His son recently had an emergency appendectomy, and he told me he paid about $6. 

The other thing to look into is to get a high deductible plan combined with a tax free Medical Savings Account, which provides some tax free self-insurance. 

I'd be very wary of those kinds of plans. They are not insurance, are not regulated as such, and do not guarantee payment for anything. If you have catastrophic costs they can just cut you off.

They work great as long as you and everyone else in them are healthy.

7 hours ago, Danzo said:

Actually, for me it was much cheaper before the affordable care act.  

It was for me too during periods when I was employed. When I had to pay for my own it was cheaper after the ACA went into effect and I got much better coverage.

My favored possible halfway solution is to offer a buy in to Medicare for everyone under the age of 65 and then let companies compete with it. Better solutions are to get rid of insurance and let medical care compete on price (probably with some kind of catastrophic government fallback of some kind if costs are insane to prevent people dying in the streets) or to just go to a single government payer option but neither are politically possible.

Medicare spends about 2% of its money on administrative no direct medical benefit overhead. The most optimistic estimates put private insurance at around 17% spent on the same. It is one area where the free market has failed at its oft-touted efficiency. However, put them into competition and I bet those private numbers would come tumbling down.

And that is just the administrative costs for the insurance companies. Doctor's offices and hospitals have to spend big money paying for people to process all the insurance paperwork and negotiation for medical care and prescriptions. When I was young there were usually 1 or maybe 2 receptionists at a doctor office. Now it is not rare to see 3 or 4. Some successful and respected doctors who have a solid patient base will often choose not to take insurance at all to avoid the hassle and to keep costs down.

Pharmaceutical companies need to be smacked in the face.....hard. Double digit percentage increases annually for several years and somehow they got away with it. Either they need to drop prices heavily or we need to open the borders and let people buy medication from overseas at a fraction of the cost until they have to cut prices just to compete. The threat of that should be enough to scare them straight. If not, threaten to nationalize them.

Get rid of the ability of doctors and hospitals to basically make up their pricing. There are laws in place in some states where hospitals can classify their pricing as a trade secret. Utterly ridiculous.

The medical industry cannot have it both ways. They cannot pretend to be beyond economics keeping finances under the hood and spreading the pretense that they are interested primarily in people's health while in the back room they are behaving like oligopolies.

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Relevant Podcast:

Not Making Babies in South Korea

Why does South Korea have the lowest fertility rate in the world? The average South Korean woman is expected to have 1.05 children in her life - exactly half the rate needed to maintain a population. That means a shrinking workforce paying less taxes and more elderly people who will need expensive care. South Korea's government has pumped tens of billions of pounds into dealing with the problem over the past decade, but the fertility rate is still going down. In this whodunnit, Simon Maybin finds out who's not doing it - and why.
 

Edited by cinepro
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12 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Are you under the impression insurance was cheaper before the Affordable Care Act?

That's not an impression.  Mine skyrocketed immediately.  Blatant cause/effect.

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33 minutes ago, cinepro said:

Relevant Podcast:

Not Making Babies in South Korea

Why does South Korea have the lowest fertility rate in the world? The average South Korean woman is expected to have 1.05 children in her life - exactly half the rate needed to maintain a population. That means a shrinking workforce paying less taxes and more elderly people who will need expensive care. South Korea's government has pumped tens of billions of pounds into dealing with the problem over the past decade, but the fertility rate is still going down. In this whodunnit, Simon Maybin finds out who's not doing it - and why.
 

Its been many years since I lived in Korea but I recollect that their elderly people always lived with their children/grandchildren.  I don't recall seeing a single "old folks" home when I was there. Toothless grannies who looked like they were 100 years old were running (hobbling) around happily with their great grand babies strapped to their backs. They enjoyed a position of great honor and respect in their families. Its a very different culture. At any rate, why is their fertility rate going down? At least since the Korean war, Korean women have tightly controlled the number of children they have (no more than they can afford). Abortion has been widely available and commonly used for a very long time without the social stigma we have in the west. My guess is that most women only feel like they can afford one child and they invest all they have in that child. At any rate, if they want to get to the heart of the mystery, they need to ask Korean women.

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12 minutes ago, katherine the great said:

they need to ask Korean women.

The podcast spent most of the time talking to women.

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34 minutes ago, strappinglad said:

The podcast spent most of the time talking to women.

What did they say? (I can't listen to it right now)

Oh Bam! I just listened to it. I was shocked (and amused) by the last comments. The older women stated that the young people have a duty to reproduce so that Korean culture doesn't die. The feminists said, "Let it die!"

Edited by katherine the great
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On 11/9/2018 at 10:22 PM, smac97 said:

Hmm.  I have six children.  Our kids-specific expenses (additional food, school expenses, sundries, etc.) seem to be not particularly horrible, at least as compared to "sunk costs" we would incur anyway (housing, utilities, transportation, etc.).

It sure would be nice to see the initial expense of having children go down.  Paying $5,000-$10,000 in out-of-pocket costs (after insurance) for a healthy, complications-free pregnancy/labor/delivery was quite a challenge.

Thanks,

-Smac

Being from the UK, just have to say God bless the NHS.  May it be kept and treasured. 

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2 hours ago, Abulafia said:

Being from the UK, just have to say God bless the NHS.  May it be kept and treasured. 

From the article: "In the UK, the rate is 1.7, similar to most Western European countries."

This is less than the U.S. (1.8).

Also, it appears that maternity expenses vary significantly in the U.S. from state to state.  At the low end (Alabama):

Quote

Cost of having a baby:

Vaginal birth with insurance: $4,884.44
Vaginal birth without insurance: $9,013.88

C-section with insurance: $7,404.07
C-section without insurance: $12,593.60

At the high end (New Jersey):

Quote

Cost of having a baby:

Vaginal birth with insurance: $8,755.88
Vaginal birth without insurance: $16,674.62

C-section with insurance: $11,637.74
C-section without insurance: $21,297.28

I think Ben Shapiro has said some sensible things about this.  See here (discussing Australian healthcare):

And some sobering (though humorous) observations from Steve Crowder about Canadian healthcare:

And this:

Don't get me wrong.  I think the American healthcare system needs a lot of work.  I'm just not persuaded that socialized medicine is the way to go.

And I'm not sure that reduced maternity costs affect fertility rates.

Thanks,

-Smac

 

Edited by smac97
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2 hours ago, smac97 said:

From the article: "In the UK, the rate is 1.7, similar to most Western European countries."

This is less than the U.S. (1.8).

Also, it appears that maternity expenses vary significantly in the U.S. from state to state.  At the low end (Alabama):

At the high end (New Jersey):

I think Ben Shapiro has said some sensible things about this.  See here (discussing Australian healthcare):

And some sobering (though humorous) observations from Steve Crowder about Canadian healthcare:

And this:

Don't get me wrong.  I think the American healthcare system needs a lot of work.  I'm just not persuaded that socialized medicine is the way to go.

And I'm not sure that reduced maternity costs affect fertility rates.

Thanks,

-Smac

 

I've  grown up with socialised healthcare,  so for me, it is a no brainer.  I think you are right about there being uncertainty around the relationship between maternity costs and fertility rates.  I have one son, so am a walking example of the smaller family size.  Late age (36) at marriage has a lot to do with that.

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14 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

That's not an impression.  Mine skyrocketed immediately.  Blatant cause/effect.

The increases in health care and insurance costs have been rising steadily for years. While I am not a fan of the ACA arguing that it caused the continual increases over the last few decades is very simplistic. I did misspeak in my post. I should have asked the question if your insurance was cheap before the ACA rather then cheaper. Of course it was cheaper. I have never experienced a year where my premiums went down in my working life except in the short term when I switched from buying my own insurance to an employer provided insurance program but I am not sure if the total cost fell even there. The fall came because I was paying only a percentage of the cost.

Edited by The Nehor
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On 11/10/2018 at 10:07 PM, cinepro said:

Relevant Podcast:

Not Making Babies in South Korea

Why does South Korea have the lowest fertility rate in the world? The average South Korean woman is expected to have 1.05 children in her life - exactly half the rate needed to maintain a population. That means a shrinking workforce paying less taxes and more elderly people who will need expensive care. South Korea's government has pumped tens of billions of pounds into dealing with the problem over the past decade, but the fertility rate is still going down. In this whodunnit, Simon Maybin finds out who's not doing it - and why.
 

Denmark and others (Japan, etc.) are offering incentives.
Caution, the public TV commercial below may offend some (I've removed the preview image).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrO3TfJc9Qw

 

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On 11/11/2018 at 12:22 PM, The Nehor said:

The increases in health care and insurance costs have been rising steadily for years. While I am not a fan of the ACA arguing that it caused the continual increases over the last few decades is very simplistic. I did misspeak in my post. I should have asked the question if your insurance was cheap before the ACA rather then cheaper. Of course it was cheaper. I have never experienced a year where my premiums went down in my working life except in the short term when I switched from buying my own insurance to an employer provided insurance program but I am not sure if the total cost fell even there. The fall came because I was paying only a percentage of the cost.

My insurance immediately got more expensive. My premiums went up. My deductibles went up. My pharmacy co-pays went up. My insurance won't cover more drugs that we used and caused us a lot of hardship switching. Instead of a  flat rate co-pay for a months supply. Tier 2 and Tier 3 drugs are now a percentage. Everything is worse now. And like I said before, less companies are covering "families." We always had family coverage---didn't matter how many kids we had, family coverage was charged the same. Now it is all priced out per person. After the ACA, many things changed in the market and not just premiums so that is a false comparison. I get frustrated because it is not up to my doctor, which drugs he prescribes, it is up to my insurance company to decide what drugs they will cover.

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