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Socialized Healthcare - A Very Personal Story

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posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 10:44 AM
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Originally posted by ImaginaryReality1984

Originally posted by poedxsoldiervet
reply to post by ImaginaryReality1984
 


You been here? WE can play my dick is bigger then your all night the fact is you countrys systems works for you. You have not proven other wise. If you want to be a socialst nation thats your buisness. Stay out of our affairs


What planet do you live on? A socialised nation, the UK? We're a democracy! Just like the USA we have some socialist elements, schools, libraries, the police, and fire service. It just so happens that we have one extra thing you don't, government run healthcare.

Please don't keep calling us a socialist nation, it is utterly wrong and quite disrespectful.


Some Americans cant differ between socialized health care and a socialized country. They have no experience of living in democratic countries with socialized health care so I guess they get pictures in their heads from Eastern Europe in the 1950's or something...




[edit on 19-9-2009 by Copernicus]




posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 12:00 PM
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Dont forget that many of you also have free education. I think the thing is that americans cant really imagine what they would do if they didnt have to spend all their money on healthcare and education. They have a crisis of too much free time just thinking about it!

At any rate, its funny to me that many keep stating "why should WE pay for others healthcare, people should support themselves" but the whole POINT of society, and of tax, is a group of people working together, and pooling some of their resources to benefit the whole. We do spend comparable amounts in tax to europeans when you factor in federal and state, social security, home and car, and the mandatory insurances, and yet while many europeans get health and education for their expenditure, americans really get nothing for ours. Even our infrastructure is falling apart in many places.

Strange to see that american tax dollars go to waging war around the world, to subsidizing corporate profit and greed, to building walmarts, to giving weapons to other countries, no problem, but ask us to use our tax dollars to give people healthcare and we flip out. I think its an obvious sign that most poor and middle class have bought the line from the wealthy that corporate interest is THEIR interest, and so they support things that are detrimental to themselves, and protest things that would actually help themselves and their society out. Its manufacturing consent at its worst, and sadly most americans are undereducated and gullible.



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 01:59 PM
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To our friends across the pond, I'm grateful that the NHS on the whole has been a smashing success - at least one civilized country on this planet can make that claim and that's a start. I would, however, caution against questioning why Americans are so against socialized medicine, a public option, serious healthcare reform or any combination thereof. Collectively, we have a lot of growing up to do before we can put on our big boy pants and start taking care of one another. As of now, and as you've seen by many posters on ATS, a lot of Americans are purely selfish and don't want any of their hard-earned money going to help anyone but themselves, our politicians are corrupt beyond belief, the healthcare industry has turned from a free market enterprise into a legalized form of extortion and to top it off, our economy is in the tank thanks to some of the forementioned abusers of power. In short, save your oxygen for when Americans actually start caring about other Americans and politicians can't be bought and traded like baseball cards.



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 04:13 PM
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Originally posted by ImaginaryReality1984
The USa is a larger country and therefore has a larger research budget. It should also be noted the many of these breakthroughs came from military funding. If this funding were channeled into healthcare then the breakthroughs would be equally impressive. Medical research does happen in the UK and in fact we lead many fields. Remember that science is a joint effort and the UK has less of a population, therefore less funds and so has less research. If our population were as large as yours and we had equal land mass no doubt we'd be equal.


I can generally answer RDs questions on research.

Funding for medical research is sourced through a numbers of areas. From places like Wellcome and other large research charities. From the government side, mainly from the research councils - MRC, EPSRC, BBSRC would cover much to do with related basic science (MRC = medical, BBSRC = biological sciences, EPSRC = engineering and Physical sciences; equivalent to NIH etc in the US). The NHS also funds some research.

Although ultrasound was used by US military (a very capitalist state funded entity, lol), the first scientific article on a medical application was the UK (scottish) research for obgyn. MRI was also UK science research (MRC funded). And there's much more basic science (folic acid treatment, aspirin in heart issues etc).


The NHS is paid for by income tax. The income tax here is higher than the USA, however it is interesting to see the amount of ancilliary taxes the USA has which almost seem to level things out.


The complexity of the US system makes it hard to compare. I'm not sure that direct taxes are that much more in the UK. I tried to get someone to provide some numbers, not forthcoming. And a compare I remember doing a few years back also came out not that different.


21% @ £20,000 (~$33,000)

24/25% @ £30,000 (~$50,000)

28% @ £50,000 (~$82,000)

34% @ £100,000 (~$165,000)

Average gross family income for the UK was £32799 in 2007.

The deductions include income tax and national insurance. Covers everything from schools to hospitals, healthcare to basic pension and social security (illness and unemployment). Locally, we might have about £1500 per household (5% @ 30,000; depends on area and house) local taxes for rubbish collection and other amenities. Some at the lower end will have the possibility of lots of help for rent and council tax, and families/married get other deductions (just single calculations above), and even free school meals and help with school uniforms.


Once you add up income tax, social security, medicare, potential state taxes, and healthcare costs (extras which are not paid by employers and excess)....For example, in california, you can add almost 10% state income tax at some point below £30,000 to other taxes.

Some other interesting numbers: 60% of bankruptcies in the US are due to medical costs, 80% of those are actually insured patients. A study today suggests 45,000 people a year die in the US due to lack of medical insurance - a 40% higher risk of death in the uninsured.

Wacky system. Love the NHS, needs real tweaking and better funding, but it's got some excellent bang for the buck. Never had a real issue with it at all. Indeed, only have good things to say in general.

Nice one Nye, boyo.

[edit on 19-9-2009 by melatonin]



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 04:31 PM
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reply to post by ImaginaryReality1984

That's only the first year. Within three years they should be earning around 100,000 dollars and if they choose a speciality that can easily rise to 200,000 dollars.

As I am understanding the responses in this thread, education is also free over there? If that is so, it would indeed make a tremendous difference. I would still suggest that doctors make an exceptionally fine income in return for their time spent in school, but without the specter of tens of thousands of dollars worth of student loans hanging over their head, $200K a year sounds pretty nice!

Perhaps a more socialized approach to higher education would make a wonderful first step toward a system similar to yours. And we could actually have a citizenry who are able to think and comprehend...


I am not up to date with what research the NHS is carrying out.

It appears the good melatonin, normally my opponent, has filled those blanks in for you. So I will reserve comments on this for my response to him.


Quite amazing really. The UK's income tax is higher than the USA's and we have many extra little taxes. However someone earning say 44,000 dollars here would not pay 50% of their income out to government.

Again, melatonin has some seriously eye-opening information on this.

It actually appears that US citizens are taxed more than UK citizens...


Cut the military funding slightly. The simple fact is that much military funding goes into secret research that won't see the light of day for 50 years. Who knows what great discoveries have been made that are kept from the public, and if they're being kept from the public then what good are they really?

While I am loathe to cut military ability, there is indeed much fat and waste that could easily be trimmed from that budget.


End the war on drugs. The war on drugs is an utter failure. The USA doesn't seem to have learnt from the alcohol prohibition days. If you ended this stupid war, legalised some drugs and taxed them then you would easily pay for a nationwide system of healthcare.

Right with you on this one!


Malpractice payments are easily in the hundreds of thousands of pounds and higher, a case last year paid 5.5 million pounds. Is that on par with america?

In the absence of first-hand knowledge of exact awards here, I would have to say yes it is. It is definitely a surprisingly large amount compared to what I would have expected.

Learning can really be fun, can't it?


TheRedneck



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 04:40 PM
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reply to post by pexx421

Strange to see that american tax dollars go to waging war around the world, to subsidizing corporate profit and greed, to building walmarts, to giving weapons to other countries, no problem, but ask us to use our tax dollars to give people healthcare and we flip out.

Wars around the world are (supposedly anyway) supposed to be for the protection of our way of life. I completely agree that we frequently overstep our bounds on this subject, but that's for another thread. The American military is a necessary evil.

Subsidizing corporate profit and greed is not the purpose, nor within the legal abilities of our government. The fact that it has taken place does not legitimize the act, and if you will notice, quite a few citizens (including myself) are screaming bloody murder over the bailouts.

Tax money does not build WalMarts. That is an inane statement. WalMart builds WalMarts.


As I understand things, the government does not give weapons to other countries; weapons manufacturers do. Unless you have some evidence to the contrary, that would mean it is again private enterprise that is selling weapons to foreign governments with the approval of the State Department. This may be something that should be debated (in another thread), but I do not see where use of private funds has any relevance whatsoever to public tax dollar usage.

You really should figure out who is doing what.

TheRedneck



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 04:48 PM
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reply to post by melatonin

I can generally answer RDs questions on research.

And answer my questions you did! Thank you for your insight.

It would appear that the UK medical system has research and development well in hand after all.


The complexity of the US system makes it hard to compare.

No doubt! We actually have an entire industry devoted to filling out income tax. A shame, a real shame...

Your numbers shocked me, mel. I was expecting to see, say, 60-70% of income to be taxed away. Your income taxes appear to be only slightly higher than ours, without considering the amount of secondary taxes we are subject to. It definitely appears to me that we are paying much more for much little than is the case in the UK.

According to those numbers you posted, we should be able to have funded health care now with absolutely no tax increase! Even considering the additional global services the US provides (military and disaster aid, for instance), our present burden of over 50%, even for those at the poverty line, is ludicrous.

Thank you again for a very informative post. I have much to muse upon. Cheers!

TheRedneck



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 05:11 PM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck
reply to post by melatonin

I can generally answer RDs questions on research.

And answer my questions you did! Thank you for your insight.

It would appear that the UK medical system has research and development well in hand after all.


Yeah, we do some excellent research over here. Especially when you compare the size of our poxy country with its academic impact.



Your numbers shocked me, mel. I was expecting to see, say, 60-70% of income to be taxed away. Your income taxes appear to be only slightly higher than ours, without considering the amount of secondary taxes we are subject to. It definitely appears to me that we are paying much more for much little than is the case in the UK.


Where we likely get hit more is in sales taxes. Thus, only in some states do you have it, whereas it's the norm across the UK but doesn't cover all purchases.


According to those numbers you posted, we should be able to have funded health care now with absolutely no tax increase! Even considering the additional global services the US provides (military and disaster aid, for instance), our present burden of over 50%, even for those at the poverty line, is ludicrous.

Thank you again for a very informative post. I have much to muse upon. Cheers!

TheRedneck


No worries, dude.

For me, just the 16% GDP figures for health spending tell me what I need to know. If you have a number of insurance companies creaming off around 30% of healthcare costs, it's gotta hurt. For $13,300 average in healthcare insurance (mostly employer I would think), about $4000 of that goes into anything but healthcare. Crazy. Whereas medicare has about 4% overhead costs.

And I can also answer your education question - all general school costs are funded up to 18 (in fact, we pay 16-18s to stay in school), most HE college costs are funded. But university education is no longer free. Costs are paid for by the student via inflation level loans for tuition and living costs. Most will leave uni with around £20,000 debts in these days - depends where they study (in wales, welsh students get £1000 to study in wales, lol). However, they are not paid back until working ex-students hit a particular level of income. Was about £14,000p.a. last time I heard.

At postgrad research level, no costs. Around about £13,000p.a. grant for the graduate.

About 15 years ago, all education was free here. I can see some point in making the students pay for the education, as we need to fund universities somehow - quite costly and many departments closing now (unis are now effectively businesses and some departments are not profitable).

[edit on 19-9-2009 by melatonin]



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 05:21 PM
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It also needs to be stressed that whilst the average life expectancy is only slightly higher in the UK than it is in the USA, we pay a great deal less for our healthcare than the states do per person. So socialised healthcare has equal outcomes for less money.

Seriously why do americans often ignore this?

Also the UK as a government is able to negogiate with drug companies and push the price of drugs down, whereas hospitals in america often can't. The cost of medications in the USA is far higher, generally speaking than the UK.The other reasons for this are simple, profit margins. The insurance companies, doctors and hospitals are trying to make money and so upping the cost of the drug is a fine way of starting. This then drives up the cost to the insurance companies who pass on that cost to customers with higher premiums.

[edit on 19-9-2009 by ImaginaryReality1984]



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 05:46 PM
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Originally posted by ImaginaryReality1984
It also needs to be stressed that whilst the average life expectancy is only slightly higher in the UK than it is in the USA, we pay a great deal less for our healthcare than the states do per person. So socialised healthcare has equal outcomes for less money.

Seriously why do americans often ignore this?


I can only give an opinion, and I'm sure RD can give you a better/another insight.

In some crazy way, the corporations/corporate-interests have amazingly inverted the politics of the working/middle classes. Whereas, here the working and middle classes see the absolute benefits of partly socialising some aspects of the economy, in the US a good chunk of the same people are actually made to work against their own interests.

Essentially, anything which can be labelled 'socialist/socialism' is viewed with scorn and distrust by many of those who would benefit most from it.

And the dems are just as bad in this area. If they wanted a real solution - single-payer like medicare would seem the best option. But the dems are taking in more cash from health industry sources than the republicans, so even they will ensure the corporate interests will profit from any reform.

Although, Nye Bevan also had to line the pockets of the quacks to get the NHS going.

[edit on 19-9-2009 by melatonin]



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 06:09 PM
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IN canada its the mix of public and private thats messing everything up. We need a healthcare overhaul big time. If the health care bills pass in the states it would definatly be a kick in the ass for the politicians in ottowa to do something other then toe the party line of less spending in healthcare. we cant just throw money at it and hope it goes away. In our healthcare system you have to take resposibility for your illness. When a doctor diagnoses you go to another clinic get another opinion and the doctors will collaberate. Thats what has happened to me many times. They dont nessacarily want you doing this though it kind of strains the system already. But i can say the system right now is OK not amazing but OK. I dont have to worry about getting hospitalized and coming out with debt. I pay my taxes and Alberta blue cross has me covered. But i do need to quit smoking =[. The doctors are definatly not helping much in that aspect. They said its all up to me! I know it is but it sure would flippin help if i had a support group to go to. I asked the doctor about naturopathic stop smoking aids and he said they dont work. This doctor was from south africa! i took that with a grain of salt and am still going to try it.

IN summary the US will be the kick in the ass for every other socialized system to get on the ball.



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 07:47 PM
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reply to post by melatonin

Where we likely get hit more is in sales taxes. Thus, only in some states do you have it, whereas it's the norm across the UK but doesn't cover all purchases.

I dunno about that mel. Here in Alabama, the excise tax (sales tax) is now at 9%. Some areas of Tennessee are now at 10% sales tax. That's across the board on all purchases, no exceptions whatsoever. Some of the Northern states I know from my truck driving exempt food and other necessities from sales tax, but down here they don't.

Now, as to the question of why we dislike anything to do with Socialism, as queried by yourself and IR84:

You know that stereotype of the Americans being rude, crass, and arrogant? Well, as much as I hate to admit it, it's true! We are all of those things. But we are also compassionate and caring people in our own way. The reason behind that is, I believe, rooted in the very foundation of our country from an untamed wilderness not so long ago. Our forefathers were rough and tough, hard-working men who tamed a continent. That spirit of independence has been passed down generation to generation from them.

In some ways, I see that as a good thing. We (those who still hold to the more traditional values) are a bit stronger, a bit tougher than other people. But it also means we are more stubborn and resistant to change. That can be a hindrance to progress at times.

Another factor is our government itself. We tend to distrust governmental authority, and perhaps this also goes back to the independent streak we have. But then again, perhaps it is a reflection of the fact that almost everyone has at some time come to be on the wrong end of a governmental regulation. So more regulation gets equated in our minds to more problems.

Add in the cultural education against anything Communist that comes form the years of the Cold War. Even our comic books from that era were crammed with innuendo about the Russian bear that was going to devour us whole if we didn't fight it. Every hero from Wonder Woman to Superman battled the 'evil Communists' at some point in time. Our heroes were military men, the likes of John J. Rambo. Patriotism was always associated with military service, or at least service to those who served.

Now factor into that equation the debacle that was Vietnam. I have often said we made two mistakes in Vietnam: going in and not winning. When the soldiers came home from that unpopular war, they were traumatized by the very people they had been fighting for. Some of us saw this and became very angry with the 'hippie' movement because of this, and that anger still runs deep today. Like I said, we are an arrogant and stubborn people, and we do not soon forget such a thing.

(I should mention here as well that those same hippies who protested returning heroes from Vietnam are now working in the halls of higher government, many as Congressmen. Hence, more distrust.)

So you can see why we are so slow to embrace what is apparently a very good plan for you. Socialism in any form is the opposite of independence, and we are an independent people.

For good or evil, we simply are what we are.

TheRedneck



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 08:16 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


I understand what you are saying here redneck, however it doesn't explain the strange view americans take about socialised healthcare. Once again you guys have tons of socialised stuff, schools, police, fire service and yet there is somehow a cut off in the minds of so many that refuse to see that. They are against socialised medicine but for many of the social systems you have in place across the country.

I just can't quite wrap my head around that one.



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 08:56 PM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck
In some ways, I see that as a good thing. We (those who still hold to the more traditional values) are a bit stronger, a bit tougher than other people. But it also means we are more stubborn and resistant to change. That can be a hindrance to progress at times.


Can't say I argue with much of that post - not sure you all that arrogant, though. Always had good experiences when I've been over there (a bit loud, maybe). However, I think the idea that traditional american people are somehow stronger than others is a tad remiss, lol. Life had been dreadful for the lower classes in the UK for a long long time. Working in heavy industry earning pittance isn't a walk in the park, and the years before the industrial revolution weren't a bed of roses either. Wimps need not apply.

The US was a mecca for european emigre who couldn't handle the pressure at the time - leaving for a supposed utopian new world. The problem is that the workers had no real land to grow food or farm - they were dependent on wage slavery, which led most into poverty. Never really changed from the days of feudalism. The workers here just became more co-operative and socialistic.



posted on Sep, 20 2009 @ 12:16 AM
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ok, first the idea that our wars around the world are for stability is massively flawed. Many of our congressmen and politicians now openly admit that we went to iraq for oil....and the implications of the idea that we readily chose to invade another country to steal its natural resources, while a common theme for america, are nonetheless dumbfounding.

Secondly, yes, we do subsidize the building of walmarts in certain areas, and in fact subsidies to large multi millionaire corporations, pharma, agro, etc actually outweigh the amount we spend on social programs. Its astounding.

You questioned whether our tax dollars give weapons to other countries. You need to follow our foreign policy to find how our government takes our tax dollars, pass it off as foreign aid, and give it directly to our arms manufacturers. The fact of the matter is that a stipulation of much of our foreign aid contracts, is that the country receiving the aid must use 70% of it on the purchase of weapons from american arms manufacturers. Pretty sick!



posted on Sep, 20 2009 @ 12:23 AM
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reply to post by ImaginaryReality1984
 


Why is it so hard to understand that people should work hard and pay for their own healthcare? I make a pretty good living, but I still can't afford to start my own university, hire a private police force, fire department, or build a private road for myself. See the difference?



posted on Sep, 20 2009 @ 10:00 AM
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Originally posted by stevegmu
reply to post by ImaginaryReality1984
 


Why is it so hard to understand that people should work hard and pay for their own healthcare? I make a pretty good living, but I still can't afford to start my own university, hire a private police force, fire department, or build a private road for myself. See the difference?


Nope i don't see the difference at all. If you didn't have a socialised police force, fire department etc then your taxes would be far lower and so you could help fund them privately. Many neighborhoods already have private security and the fire service did used to be private.

Also did you read the original post? I stated quite clearly my own father has not been out of work for more than 1 week his entire life and yet there is no way he could of afforded healthcare. Why is it so hard to understand that many people simply can't afford health insurance? Should these people be left to suffer and die? Not in any society i want to be a part of thank you!

Why is it so hard for you to understand that the UK pays less per person for healthcare and yet we have a slightly higher life expectancy? Surely that itself should justify a socialised healthcare system, you would actually pay less!

You must just enjoy spending mroe money than you have to i guess.

[edit on 20-9-2009 by ImaginaryReality1984]



posted on Sep, 20 2009 @ 03:49 PM
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reply to post by ImaginaryReality1984

I understand what you are saying here redneck, however it doesn't explain the strange view americans take about socialised healthcare.

It all has to do with perception, my friend. We as a society perceive healthcare as something that should never be socialized, while we have grown accustomed to other socialized systems. Blame the powers that be for this difference.

That is exactly why I chose to ask you pointed questions about your system. I am questioning our system right now.

TheRedneck


[edit on 9/20/2009 by TheRedneck]



posted on Sep, 20 2009 @ 03:59 PM
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reply to post by melatonin

Can't say I argue with much of that post - not sure you all that arrogant, though.

I dunno, I actually consider myself as capable of some pretty high levels of arrogance. But I'll take your comment as a compliment and say thank you.


As for the 'bit tougher' remark, I am speaking of the Americans who live outside of the cities, the rural heart of the country that rarely is truly experienced on a trip or shown in news reels. While the Europeans managed to make do with their 'semi-feudal' system (as you describe it), our forefathers set out to tame a continent. They had land, yes, but that was all. There was no infrastructure, no preset hierarchy, no authority to look to for protection when this place was settled. It was a harsher life than their counterparts who stayed behind faced, but it also brought greater rewards.

None of that is to disparage the Europeans, of course, but is intended to point out the difference I was referring to. Or you could just call it a bit of arrogance.


TheRedneck



posted on Sep, 20 2009 @ 04:06 PM
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reply to post by pexx421

I'm not gonna get into a debate over our military adeptness in this thread; it is sort of off-topic and there are too many problems in that area in recent memory. I will simply say my response as to the military was not in respect to the Middle Eastern conflicts of the last two Presidents. History did not begin with George W. Bush.


we do subsidize the building of walmarts in certain areas, and in fact subsidies to large multi millionaire corporations, pharma, agro, etc actually outweigh the amount we spend on social programs. Its astounding.

I know of no kind of subsidies from tax dollars going to aid the largest retailer in the world. Do you have a link to support this claim?


You questioned whether our tax dollars give weapons to other countries. You need to follow our foreign policy to find how our government takes our tax dollars, pass it off as foreign aid, and give it directly to our arms manufacturers. The fact of the matter is that a stipulation of much of our foreign aid contracts, is that the country receiving the aid must use 70% of it on the purchase of weapons from american arms manufacturers. Pretty sick!

Again, do you have some evidence to back this up? I know of no program that requires a country receiving foreign aid to purchase arms in a set percentage of the aid received.

TheRedneck






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