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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oldpbnoob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 July 2009 at 11:40pm
Originally posted by mbro mbro wrote:

Nit pick: although your wife's insurance is through a private enterprise it is paid for by tax dollars which is what makes it socialized. Sort of like federally subsidized school loans although granted through a corporation they are still a socialist (ick) program because they are being paid for through taxes.
  Pass the skull bong, I think you've had too much. So if I work for a government contractor say, like Lockheed Martin, and as part of my pay compensation, i get health insurance, than I am taking part in socialized medicine? Tax dollars pay my salary.... Or let's broaden and say anyone that wins any contract to build something for the government is technically getting paid with tax dollars.... I'll make sure to remind the construction workers building the new school down the road to thank me for paying their insurance. We can keep going if you'd like. So now let's argue, "but they pay their own insurance". Yeah, but as PP says, 1/2 is paid by the company. By my tax dollars. And they pay the other half out of their pockets. From the higher paying job that hey have outside government, that my tax dollars paid, so they can pay for their insurance that we are already paying 1/2 of. So by your argument anyone that has their salary directly or indirectly paid via tax dollars is taking part in socialized medicine? Awesome logic Bro!


Edited by oldpbnoob - 22 July 2009 at 11:42pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peter Parker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 July 2009 at 8:27pm
Originally posted by oldpbnoob oldpbnoob wrote:

Since we are discussing the American HC system, I would think it very relevant to discuss what Americans consider a standard of living. Do American want to live in 1000sq foot home, drive a Yarus or the bus, reduce to 1.5 kids, and have their parents live with them until they die? No.


Very fair point.  Clearly we should judge American "standard of living" by American standards.

What I meant to point out was that, to a large extent, the reason why Northern European houses are smaller than American houses has less to do with wealth than with other factors, such as culture.  I know plenty of Europeans who think it is offensive to live in an oversized house.  For them, it is a matter of preference rather than cost.

That said, cost is certainly an issue for real estate, but here we run into an apples and oranges issue.  Real estate is always unique, and many factors set the price.  A crappy little 700 sq.ft. apartment on Manhattan will cost you a million bucks.  That will buy you a mansion on a multi-acre spread in an exclusive neighborhood here in Milwaukee.  That doesn't necessarily meanthat New Yorkers have a lower standard of living than Milwaukeeans.

But I digress.  Back to healthcare.

Quote I get what you are saying about streamlining health care and reducing costs, but I do not think socializing the entire system is the answer. In order to have such encompassing social programs, you must have a government that is huge, and the only way to pay for it is by..... taxes.


Define "huge" government?  Do you measure by dollars or employees, or something else?  I do not believe that a single-payer system has to be government operated, even if it is government funded.  Lots of government dollars go to programs with hardly any government employees.

And what is wrong with taxes?  I just want to lower costs.  If I could trade my $1,500/month payment to an insurance company for a $500/month tax increase, I would be silly to decline, yes?  Money is money, and a lower payment is a lower payment.

Quote And I do not beleive the government is good at social programs. Look at welfare, unemployment, child services and yes the school systems. Heck, look at NASA and the military. Most government agencies are filled to the brim with waste and poor spending choices.


And yet, even so, the military does the job for less than Blackwater.  Public schools spend less per student than most private schools (and not just the super-duper prep schools).

And for the others - NASA, welfare, unemployment, child services, and heck the military too - if the government wasn't to do it, who would?  How would these services ever get provided WITHOUT the government?

That fact of the matter is that some these practically require significant government involvement.  Would the interstates have been built without government involvement?  The space shuttle?  Child protective services? Energy transmission grid?

The reality is that there has been major and necessary government involvement in just about every significant infrastructure project ever, since the beginning of time.  Great Wall of China?  Government project.  Columbus' Westward trip to East India for spices?  Government funded.  Our near-100% literacy rate?  Government.  Satellite TV, GPS?  Government, government.  The Pyramids?  Government.  Hoover Dam?  Government.

Maybe some of these would have gotten done eventually purely by market forces, but there just are some things that government can do faster and better than the market ever could.  Most of these things relate to infrastructure and "social services."

And healthcare belongs in that bucket.

Quote And back to the point, Americans do not want to give up their 2.5 kids, 1800 square foot houses, two cars,  boats, jet skis, credit cards and on an on and on..
 
Are there problems with the current system? Yes. Is completely socialzing the system the answer? IMO, no. Now granted, I listened to the Obama speech a short time ago and some of what he is saying makes sense. If he is truly trying to push through a system where people with existing coverage can keep it and any new programs will be paid for by savings from streamlining and such, awesome. But anything that increases my overall taxes, I am not in favor of. Period.


And I don't want to give those things up either (not for healthcare insurance, anyway).  But like I said, your fixation on taxes alone without consideration of the total financial result is misguided.

But more importantly - this word "socialization" is another big part of the problem.  I outlined above what I think any system needs.  "Socialization" isn't on the list.  I think a single-payer government system is probably the best way to get there, but that is a means, not an end.  But let's look at the ends and the costs:

First, and most importantly:  True universal coverage. 

Now, I will admit that I personally find this to be a moral imperative, regardless of cost issues.  But moral issues aside, I also think this is our biggest cost sink.

Universal coverage sounds expensive, but it is almost guaranteed to be CHEAPER than what we have now.  That's right, more will cost less.  This is true because of what I mentioned earlier:  we already have universal coverage, just incredibly inefficient universal coverage.

Dealing with the guy who rolls in to the ER in the middle of a heart attack is expensive, and right now that's on the taxpayer's dime (assuming no private coverage).  So we are already paying for this guy.  So my suggestion is that instead of waiting for him to have his heart attack, we pay for annual checkups.  This will catch his heart issues early.  We then pay for his heart medication.  As a result, we don't have to pay for his heart attack, and we save buckets of money.

Same thing for pre-natal care.  Good pre-natal care leads to fewer problem deliveries.  Problem deliveries are far more expensive than a couple of ultrasounds - not to mention the cost of child unnecessarily born with brain damage.  So let's get ALL pregnant women proper pre-natal care, and we'll save buckets of money.

This list goes on forever.  Any physician will tell you that early treatment is easier and cheaper than late treatment.  Right now we (the taxpayers) are paying for the late treatment but not the early treatment.  How is that a good financial plan?

So let's get full universal coverage and save some money.

As for the rest of my list - well, it's basically the same analysis. 

 
Quote Last issue regarding my wifes insurance.. To be clear, she works for the local school district, not the state. The insurance is a consortium of the county school districts and is actually private insurance. Also as mentioned before, she took the lower paying job because it offered insurance. Could she have gotten a job that paid more and paid our own insurance? Sure, but why? Could she get a job making 12k more, most likely. If that is the case, and she had to pay 1/2 of her insurance, theoretically, the district should be thanking her for doing the job for 6k less than she is worth. You're welcome.


Oh, I appreciate the hard-working folk in government jobs as much as everybody else.  They are generally paid less than equivalent private sector positions, but mostly keep plugging away anyway.  And I don't doubt that part of the motivation for the job was the benefits.  But my point stands - her salary is independent of the number of dependents she has on her policy.  Therefore, additional dependants are covered entirely by the tax payers.

And, of course, while we are thanking people for working for less than what they are worth, I presume you remembered to thank the illegal aliens working for $10/day?   :)     Ok...  unnecessary diversion.


But anyway:  dl;dr = "socialization" is just a word, universal coverage is cheaper than not-so-universal coverage, and the gubmint is necessary for most big projects.


"E Pluribus Unum" does not mean "Every man for himself".

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote choopie911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 July 2009 at 8:46pm
I love it when people who have never been to Canada, and really know nothing about it, badmouth the medical system. It's just so ridiculous to see what they seriously think it's like here.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peter Parker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 July 2009 at 9:06pm
On a separate note - just because this is how I am, I went back to look for private health insurance.  This time I filled out the form online indicating that I currently had no insurance and had been uninsured for more than 60 days.  I also added a random collection of pre-existing conditions.  No cancer, HIV, or heart problems, just common treatable problems with prescription drugs attached:  Herpes and ADD.

And then I waited.

In about ten minutes I got a phone call.  Now, granted I have a sample of one, and I applied online for cheap insurance, but still - holy cow.  I felt like I was buying real estate in Florida and a used car at the same time.  First I had to get through the "how mucha wanna pay?" round.  Seriously - he asked me how much I wanted to pay, and what I could afford to pay.  I tried to get him to give me some numbers, but that was tough.  I eventually broke through (after being ridiculed for wanting to pay only $100/month), and he started giving me some numbers.  The cheapest he came up with was $229/month in premiums, for something he called a "cash bonus program," and it would cover everything, including my pre-existing conditions.  I thought that sounded great, and asked for details.

Well, he proceeds to tell me all about this insurance.  Now, I am a lawyer working in finance.  I work with complex financial structures every day.  Heck, I design complex financial structures.  I understand insurance.  I asked lots of questions.  And despite that, after 20 minutes of this my understanding of the policy he wanted to sell me was minimal.

But here is basically what he was selling:  I would have very low copays.  Good.  But that bad part was that this "insurance" basically had superlow caps on EVERYTHING.  Hospital stay?  Max $250/day.  ER visit from an accident?  $2,500 max.  Prescription drugs?   This part I couldn't understand fully, but it was not going to be a whole lot.  So I guess by "covering my pre-existing conditions" he meant that they would contribute a few bucks towards the drugs and pay a little more if actual sickness occurred.

Not only was this the worst insurance in the world, it basically wasn't health insurance at all.  Without insurance a car accident would bankrupt me.  With this insurance, a car accident would bankrupt me.  Awful, awful stuff.  And somebody less persistent than me would never have figured that out, and would have thought they were buying good and useful insurance.

Anyway, at the end of the schtick he asks me if I want to pay with mastercard or visa.  That caught me off-guard, even after the sales-pitch I had just had.  But yes, he wanted me to sign up right there.

So I told him I needed to do some comparison shopping first, and asked for a number I could call back, and an emailed copy of the policy, or a summary of the terms.

This is when the real fun started.  He first told me that only customers can see the policy and the terms (he said that with a straight face), so he couldn't email me anything - but more importantly, why wouldn't I just buy right now?  He went into full used-car salesman mode.  He suggested that I was just embarrassed that I couldn't afford it (he kept coming back to that).  He suggested that my kids could get sick and die tomorrow, so I should sign up immediately or I was a horrible father.  He pointed out that my pre-existing conditions were so horrendous that there was no way anybody else would possibly cover me, and I should be happy he was even still talking to me.  Besides, the name of his company was "NATIONAL Health Brokers" or something like that, which clearly meant that is there was a better plan he would know about it.  No point in calling around, because he knew what the best plan was (because he worked for "NATIONAL" - why else would they be called "National?").

And so on.  He berated me, belittled me, mocked me, practically threatened me, for a good ten or fifteen minutes before I gave up.  He then gave me a number and hung up.

Whew.

But I barely had time to catch a breath before I got a call from another agent at "NATIONAL!" following up to see if they could answer any questions.  I told him he had the wrong number (I had used a fake name in my online application as well).

Over the next 24 hours I got at least two dozen calls, from different area codes, from "NATIONAL!" wanting to talk to my fake alter ego.  I kept telling them wrong number, but they were undeterred.  My phone now appears to finally have quieted down.

So, wow.  Granted that this was budget insurance I was shopping for, but talk about the ugly underbelly of capitalism.



"E Pluribus Unum" does not mean "Every man for himself".

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gatyr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 July 2009 at 9:17pm
Originally posted by choopie911 choopie911 wrote:

I love it when people who have never been to Canada, and really know nothing about it, badmouth the medical system. It's just so ridiculous to see what they seriously think it's like here.


And based on a video done in Quebec, no less. That's like trying to buy a gun in California and saying it's tough to get a gun everywhere in the US.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote choopie911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 July 2009 at 9:18pm
Wow that sounds like a pleasant, fullfilling, and safe system. I'm sure the elderly and undereducated love it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mbro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 July 2009 at 1:05am
Originally posted by choopie911 choopie911 wrote:

Wow that sounds like a pleasant, fullfilling, and safe system. I'm sure the elderly and undereducated love it.
Especially after the Bush medicare reforms, that was a pleasant experience when my grandfather came down with alzheimer's and his meds weren't covered. Good times indeed. I had to deal with my grandfather not knowing who I was for three years and thinking I was stealing from him every time my grandma backed me a snack to bring home. Good times indeed.

Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bolt3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 July 2009 at 1:55am
Rofl, I wish I knew peter parker in real life.

Great stuff.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Linus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 July 2009 at 7:36am
Originally posted by Peter Parker Peter Parker wrote:

Dealing with the guy who rolls in to the ER in the middle of a heart
attack is expensive, and right now that's on the taxpayer's dime
(assuming no private coverage).  So we are already paying for this
guy.  So my suggestion is that instead of waiting for him to have his
heart attack, we pay for annual checkups.  This will catch his heart
issues early.  We then pay for his heart medication.  As a result, we
don't have to pay for his heart attack, and we save buckets of money.


Here's part of the fallacy-


Not all heart attacks, just as not all other diseases, can "be detected early" as is the normal train of thought. It's only a certain percentage that are 'caught' early. What are we going to do, load all people with Aspirin and Digoxin?

You can be perfectly healthy and end up getting a heart attack... happens all the time.







Now on to MY question--- Are you willing to pay a lot more in everything, such as taxes, so everyone gets healthcare? (I'm using this to set up a new point-- I know your answer)

Edited by Linus - 25 July 2009 at 7:41am

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oldsoldier Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 July 2009 at 11:52am
A lot of preventable diseases can be prevented or delayed by personal responsibility. Our high perventage of overweight people is directly coralated to heart issues. And the invividual can be more responsible in diet and other personal healthcare issues and Doctors are not required except for inexpensive annual checkups. Like mentiond the overweight individual in a hospital gown standing in the outside smoking area smoking through his trac(sp) hole should not be my problem financially.

Sit in any ER and just watch an 8 hour shift, and ask yourself if the percentage of ptroblems presented are directly associated with personal health choices. Even accident victims, the result of drunk driving, gunshot wounds due to drug problems, the 450lb heart attack victim, the HIV positive individual going into final stage AIDS, etc. Each are the result of poor personal choices. And by some peoples logic, I should be financially responsible for these problems.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peter Parker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 July 2009 at 12:15pm
Originally posted by Linus Linus wrote:



Here's part of the fallacy-

Not all heart attacks, just as not all other diseases, can "be detected early" as is the normal train of thought. It's only a certain percentage that are 'caught' early. What are we going to do, load all people with Aspirin and Digoxin?

You can be perfectly healthy and end up getting a heart attack... happens all the time.
 
No fallacy at all.  Certainly health issues vary widely.  I was merely using this guy's heart attack as an illustrative example of how regular monitoring will result in net overall savings.  Clearly we won't catch everybody early, and sometimes early detection won't make a difference, but do you really doubt that on the average, for all conditions, early stage detection and treatment is cheaper than late stage detection and treatment?

 
Quote Now on to MY question--- Are you willing to pay a lot more in everything, such as taxes, so everyone gets healthcare? (I'm using this to set up a new point-- I know your answer)
 
Kind of, depends, and maybe.
 
I do believe that there is a fundamental moral imperative for a society such as ours to provide certain services to all members.  I also believe that healthcare is one of these services.
 
BUT - healthcare is a "scarce resource."  As a matter of reality we cannot provide unlimited healthcare to everybody.  It just isn't feasible, regardless of moral imperatives.  And beyond the impossibility, at some point the cost becomes so great that it infringes on other moral imperatives.  That's the nature of moral imperatives - they compete with each other.
 
Therefore, as with any scarce resource, we have to balance.  We have to balance the benefit against the cost in terms of total availability, and we have to balance against the cost for allocation.  Basically we have to decide how much we are willing to spend TOTAL on healthcare, and then we have to decide how to allocate the healthcare we get.
 
This is the same analysis used for any scarce resouce - organ transplants, for instance.
 
So when you ask whether I would be willing to pay "a lot" more for universal coverage, I cannot answer directly, because it will always be a matter of balancing. 
 
And if true universal coverage would cost a lot more than we are paying today, I might decide that the cost outweighs the benefits.  As it turns out, however, I firmly believe, based on available evidence, that true universal coverage could and should be CHEAPER than what we have today.  And against that backdrop I find the lack of true universal coverage morally indefensible.
 
But let me ask you the return question:  First, take as a given that we already have limited universal coverage (you will get treated at the ER, regardless of insurance or finances).  Would you be willing to stop this universal coverage, and simply decline treatment to anybody without proof of insurance or a credit card, if it would save us "a lot" of money overall?  Would you, as an EMT, be willing to kick the heart attack guy out of your ambulance when you discover his insurance has expired?
 
 
 
 
 
 
Originally posted by Bolt3 Bolt3 wrote:

Rofl, I wish I knew peter parker in real life.

Great stuff.
 
Stop by any time.  I promise I probably won't charge you.
 
:)
 
 
 
 
 
 
(but IRL I am a grumpy old man.  you would find me a bore.)


Edited by Peter Parker - 25 July 2009 at 12:19pm

"E Pluribus Unum" does not mean "Every man for himself".

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peter Parker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 July 2009 at 12:17pm
Originally posted by oldsoldier oldsoldier wrote:

A lot of preventable diseases can be prevented or delayed by personal responsibility. Our high perventage of overweight people is directly coralated to heart issues. And the invividual can be more responsible in diet and other personal healthcare issues and Doctors are not required except for inexpensive annual checkups. Like mentiond the overweight individual in a hospital gown standing in the outside smoking area smoking through his trac(sp) hole should not be my problem financially.
 
No doubt.  Obviously and completely true.

Quote And by some peoples logic, I should be financially responsible for these problems.
 
Not "should," OS - ARE.  You already ARE responsible for those problems.  We already HAVE universal coverage at the ER.  I am simply suggesting that we extend that coverage to prevention medicine so that we can cut our costs.

"E Pluribus Unum" does not mean "Every man for himself".

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 July 2009 at 12:43pm
Originally posted by Peter Parker Peter Parker wrote:

Originally posted by oldsoldier oldsoldier wrote:

A lot of preventable diseases can be prevented or delayed by personal responsibility. Our high perventage of overweight people is directly coralated to heart issues. And the invividual can be more responsible in diet and other personal healthcare issues and Doctors are not required except for inexpensive annual checkups. Like mentiond the overweight individual in a hospital gown standing in the outside smoking area smoking through his trac(sp) hole should not be my problem financially.
 
No doubt.  Obviously and completely true.

Quote And by some peoples logic, I should be financially responsible for these problems.
 
Not "should," OS - ARE.  You already ARE responsible for those problems.  We already HAVE universal coverage at the ER.  I am simply suggesting that we extend that coverage to prevention medicine so that we can cut our costs.

I vote we cut our costs by letting those that are suffering from the consequences of poor personal decisions pay the penalties for those decisions by themselves.  (Whether that penalty is in additional personal medical costs, reduced quality of life or a shortened lifespan can be left up to the sufferers personal choices and financial status.)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peter Parker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 July 2009 at 1:33pm
Originally posted by Mack Mack wrote:


I vote we cut our costs by letting those that are suffering from the consequences of poor personal decisions pay the penalties for those decisions by themselves.  (Whether that penalty is in additional personal medical costs, reduced quality of life or a shortened lifespan can be left up to the sufferers personal choices and financial status.)
 
A basic position with which we can all sympathize - but need I point out the obvious flaws and concerns?
 
 

"E Pluribus Unum" does not mean "Every man for himself".

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bolt3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 July 2009 at 2:01pm
"Blue Cross of California encouraged employees through performance evaluations to cancel the health insurance policies of individuals with expensive illnesses, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) charged at the start of a congressional hearing today on the controversial practice known as rescission."

http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jun/17/business/fi-rescind17

I don't think every single service has to utilize a for-profit business model. The practice stated above, and the countless horror stories I've heard of and seen are surprising, but what's more surprising is that plenty of people like it the way it is. I like what Bill Maher had to say about this:

"If conservatives get to call universal health care "socialized medicine," I get to call private health care "soulless vampires making money off human pain." The problem with President Obama's health care plan isn't socialism, it's capitalism."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-maher/new-rule-not-everything-i_b_244050.html


Edited by Bolt3 - 25 July 2009 at 2:03pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peter Parker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 July 2009 at 2:34pm
Originally posted by Bolt3 Bolt3 wrote:


I don't think every single service has to utilize a for-profit business model.
 
This, to me, is the crux of the issue.  At some point Americans got this notion that "capitalism" and "free market system" means that any government involvement or program is bad or "socialist," when this is patently false.  Capitalism is not anarchy.  In fact, a properly running free market (as we know it) requires significant government involvement, and much of that MUST be on a not-for-profit model.
 
I have said it before, and I will say it again:  I am a staunch supporter of the free market.  I am a tremendous believer in the power of the market, and the ability of market forces to generate wealth.  But I am also aware of limitations and effects of market forces, and I think this is where many of the knee-jerk self-declared "capitalists" in this country go wrong.
 
 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote choopie911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 July 2009 at 3:13pm
Its funny I saw an article yesterday about how the US needs to get over the "everything MUST make money" thing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oldsoldier Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 July 2009 at 3:58pm
Even in true socialist or communist nations and societies the individual still believes that "everything must make money" be it done legally or in a "black market" enviornment. If doctors can not make the money they feel they should in a "universal" health care system, do not believe for a second that a "black market" form of medical care will become where care of a higher grade than "authorized" by some government beauracracy will become the norm. Underground medical care, ie abortions before legality, or legal drug underground markets are not unique to the american marketplace.
These imdividuals preaching a form of governmental health care fail to realize that it will only cause less availability as patient to doctor ratio increases, and longer waits for space and care become the norm, and a thrieving "black market" in medical care will begin, as Doctors frustrated with government run medicine conditions and turn in licenses to work underground for better conditions, for them and patients that have the ability to pay.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote choopie911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 July 2009 at 4:10pm
Hahahahhahhhahaha, wait you think there's shady underground medical procedures running rampant in Canada's black-medical-market? Haha, I think you need your meds adjusted.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peter Parker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 July 2009 at 5:12pm
Man, this topic is bringing out the long-poster in me.  Apparently I feel strongly on the subject.
 
 
Originally posted by oldsoldier oldsoldier wrote:

Even in true socialist or communist nations and societies the individual still believes that "everything must make money" be it done legally or in a "black market" enviornment.
 
But this is patently false - even in the US today.  This, of course, is the grand irony.  Americans are perhaps the most charitable people on the planet.  We give more to charity, both of time and money, than most anybody else.  We have more charitable - i.e. NOT-FOR-PROFIT - organizations than most anywhere else.
 
We, as Americans, as firm believers in the ideal that everything in fact does NOT have to make money.
 
Heck, a whole lot of hospitals are specific examples of non-profit organizations.  Are are almost all private schools.  Americans have no problem finding non-monetary motivation to do stuff.
 
We entrust our health and education to non-profit organizations all the time - but if it is a GOVERNMENT non-profit organization, suddenly we start proclaiming the need for a profit motive.
 
That doesn't seem entirely consistent.
 
 
Quote If doctors can not make the money they feel they should in a "universal" health care system, do not believe for a second that a "black market" form of medical care will become where care of a higher grade than "authorized" by some government beauracracy will become the norm.
 
Ok - two things. 
 
First, there are very few universal systems in the world that outright prohibit access to optional private medical care.  Certainly nothing that has been suggested in the US would do that.  This is a massive strawman with no basis in reality.
 
Second, why this focus on what is "authorized" by the government bureaucracy?  This is the old "ZOMG the gubmint will ration our healthcare bit."  Do you not think that your healthcare is already rationed, by the PRIVATE, FOR-PROFIT insurance companies?
 
Actually, you wouldn't know about that, because at the VA you get basically unlimited care.  But for the rest of us, our private health insurance comes with all kinds of limits, caps, and exclusions.  Tons.
 
In fact, most of us with "good" healthcare insurance still have caps that would come into play if we ever suffer a truly major injury or disease.  This is why HEALTH PROBLEMS are the NUMBER ONE CAUSE of bankruptcy in the US.  Not divorce, not job loss, not stupidity or credit cards.  No:  health problems.  Congratulations - you have cancer with a side of bankruptcy.
 
And even if the treatment itself is covered, the results are usually not.  This is why I carry supplemental disability insurance - to pay for all the costs of being disabled that are NOT covered by my overpriced health insurance (BTW, that disability insurance is not included in the $1,500/month I pay - that's extra).
 
You wouldn't know that either, because you consider disability benefits just another part of the stuff you get from your healthcare provider - the VA.
 
So I don't get the focus on government rationing.  Our healthcare is rationed now - by private sector beancounters.  Healthcare will always be rationed, it has to be.  It is a scarce resource.  This idea of unlimited healthcare is foolish.
 
 
Quote These imdividuals preaching a form of governmental health care fail to realize that it will only cause less availability as patient to doctor ratio increases
 
And you know what?  This is one of the ways we will save buckets of money.  The simple truth is that we have TOO MUCH doctor involvement in the US.  A whole lot of the procedures that are done by doctors (or 2 or three doctors) are done just fine by nurses or technicians in other places - and yet they seem not to keel over immediately.
 
This is a result of the way insurance companies pay the medical providers.  Have a physician do something?  Higher charge.  Lack of competition to get physicians to stop doing unnecessary stuff?  Physicians do everything, and they do lots of it.  In the US, we are forever testing or everything.  Tests here, tests there.  Why?  Because it is medically sound?  No, because the providers get paid per procedure.  So we have lots of unnecessary procedures.
 
Similarly, the equipment.  US hospitals have tons of equipment.  MRI machines all over the darn place.  X-ray machines in every room in the dentist office.  Full neo-natology gear in every birthing room.  That's great and all, but it is really, really expensive.  Most of these machines sit unused most of the time, but the way we pay our medical providers, equipment excess is practically required.
 
Other places get by just fine with less equipment, and instead just get more use from the gear they have.  More money saved.
 
So yes, health reform would, or at least should, result in less doctor time, and less equipment everywhere.   This is that "waste" stuff we keep talking about cutting out.
 
Quote and longer waits for space and care become the norm,
 
First off, this whole longer wait business is also way overblown.  Sure, there are ugly anecdotes.  No doubt.  And maybe there will be more of those ugly anecdotes in a reformed system.  But overall, this just isn't how any of these systems work.  Ask our resident Canadians, our Englishmen (or Scots, as the case may be), and the Europeans.  Ask them if they feel they spend a lot of time waiting.
 
And second, just as importantly - this is another case of waste.  Clearly we want our urgent procedures to be done urgently - but so much care frankly isn't urgent, or is at least infrequent.
 
I read someplace that the wait-time for a hip replacement in Canada is three months (I forget the actual number - but close enough) while it is one week in the US (same).  Ok, advantage US.  But here is the question:  how many hip replacements do you plan on having in your lifetime?  Max two, I would think.  So, twice in your lifetime you have to manage on a bum hip for another couple of months.  Sucks, but frankly it isn't the end of the world. 
 
And here is the trick:  If I offered you NOW (say, at age 25) the choice.  You can either go with the three-month wait, if and when you need a hip, OR you can choose to pay an extra $50/month for the rest of your life, and then you can have the one-week wait for your future hip instead.
 
And you know what?  For $50/month for a lifetime I don't mind waiting three months when I need that hip.  That's some old-skool accountz receevabulz skillz right there.
 
 


Edited by Peter Parker - 25 July 2009 at 5:14pm

"E Pluribus Unum" does not mean "Every man for himself".

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