What do libertarians think of health insurance companies who deny coverage or demand high co-pays?

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What do libertarians think of health insurance companies who deny coverage or demand high co-pays?

If you seek health care, there are only 3 ways to pay:

1. Out of pocket which is extremely expensive (eg. an MRI can cost a few thousand dollars)

2. Private health insurance with the understanding that certain services may not be covered (as per the company's discretion) and a possibly high co-pay.

3. Government funded/controlled healthcare with the problems of bureaucracy, long waiting time for services and no individual choice in health care coverage.

I have been practicing Neurology in the United States for about 10 years and despite the problems with #3, I don't fully understand the libertarian joys over #2. If your health care coverage is at the mercy of which insurance company your employer chooses, then how is this an advance in individual freedom. Instead of the government controlling your healthcare (and you have the right to vote that government out) then how is a private corporation (to which the individual has no control over) more benevolent. I have seen so many hard working individuals whose insurance plans denied services which I as a physician recommended. For example, if a patient has multiple sclerosis an interferon (which can prevent relapses) would cost $15000 out of pocket. I have managed patients whose insurance companies have either refused to pay (if the condition was pre-existing before the patient received the health insurance) or that the co-pay is enormous. Yet north of the border in Canada even though a patient may have to wait 3 months for an MRI to diagnose multiple sclerosis, the provincial governments fully cover cost of the drugs. Yet here in the United States, the epithets never cease ie. universal health care is totalitarian or Stalinist if we allow the government to control the individual's health.

I have duel citizenship for both Canada and the US. My children are eligible for Canadian citizenship and for their health, I am seriously planting the idea in their heads that moving to Canada may be an option in the future. Can someone give me a convincing libertarian argument that this would be a mistake? Or is there a #4 on my above list that libertarians have to offer?


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As knowledge of human

As knowledge of human genetics becomes more advanced health insurance is going to be unsubstainable. If you have 'good' genes you won't bother with health insurance, if you have 'bad' ones insurance companies won't touch you.

Its the government (American English ) society (British English) prime role to ensure its citizens get decent health care any country which does not supply it  (if it can afford it) is simple not civilsed

 


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 i THINK libertarians think

 i THINK libertarians think if you dont have the money then too bad. im not sure but that is the impression i have gotten from neil bortz. maybe a lib could chime in, i would like to know as well.


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Agreed mrjonno, and why

Agreed mrjonno, and why don't doctors have much more influence running health care. Do most doctors become doctors to become super wealthy? ... I don't think so. Occams Razor, "eat the rich", and it's military, etc.  Simple ain't it? 


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As an Australian I am almost

As an Australian I am almost fully availed of a nationally run health scheme (the major exception being dental), although there is sometimes frustration involved in this as it regards to wait times and choices there are untold benefits.

The essential goal of capitalism is personal gain and economic lassez faire puts the definition and value of personal gain squarely under the heading of financial solvency. So in short, the point of anything and everything in a libertarian society is to produce a financial benefit. In turn that entails that the purpose of providing health care and health cover is financial benefit underlined and ultimately. In this case resources are pooled towards creating the desired end, the upshot of this is competition for the big dollar which applies pressure on the institution to increase skill levels, the down side is that it also provides pressure to increase prices and limit markets to high dollar clientele.

In a socialistic structure the purpose of providing health care and cover is an end unto itself, the only provision is that it exists. So in this case the national body of government is under pressure to pool resources toward one end, making it possible.  The downside of this is first of all that it costs the people ultimately in taxes, the system becomes an insurance body requiring mandatory contributions from everyone with an income, and if there's anything a libertarian hates most it's that word 'mandatory', the small upshot of this which provides little comfort to libertarians is that the system is not required to produce a profit, ideally the solitary aim is to provide a service - this doesn't always work perfectly in practice but the principle generally wins the day in a cooperative and enlightened society.

There is OTOH another huge upshot in pressure on that system to make possible the end of providing an health service and this really cannot be ignored. In order to ensure the service is provided as set out by the principle the national body must invest in a base system supporting the health care system. This puts untold pressure on the national body to pool massive investment into medical research, technological development, and secular education. Such is the only way to ensure that the system exists and continues to exist as long as it is demanded by the taxpayer.

Who knew a government funded health care system could be a boon to education? Well it is. If the state of education does not work towards the ends of the system the system fails, and since the only objective of the system is to succeed as a provider education policy becomes the recipient of a quite significant spill-over momentum.

Just thought I'd throw in my liberal socialist $0.02 on the issue, hope it doesn't derail the topic.

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Cool Eloise, makes simple

Cool Eloise, makes simple good sense to me, a can do healthy approach. Geezz, why doesn't the U.S. adapt the best ideas and working models from the other countrys? The fucking rich like it the way it is, I must shout. Errrr.  Thanks for thinking and sharing.


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I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:Geezz,

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

Geezz, why doesn't the U.S. adapt the best ideas and working models from the other countrys? 

I'm a libertarian, but I would support socialized health care if we slashed military spending to fund it. I think that without raising taxes we could fund a lot of great government programs if we cut spending to certain needless programs (DEA, ATF, no longer imprisoning non-violent criminals, most of the military's budget).  For that matter I wish that much more of our taxes was spent on education and scientific research. Unfortunately I think that we will hike taxes or take money away from other important programs to fund socialized health care. Come up with a way to fund socialized health care that DOES NOT increase taxes and I will support it. Of course the problem is that we will keep squandering money on the War on Drugs, the War on terror and bloated government bureaucracies rather than spending it on what we really need.

Also, if there was socialized health care I would want people to be able to opt out of it. So you could pay less taxes (the taxes that would have gone to health care) but in turn could never use the socialized health care system. Mandatory socialized health care is something that makes me wary, but unfortunately is the kind we will likely end up getting.

For that matter I wish I could opt out of social security. I will save and invest my own money for my own retirement. I don't need the government to take it from me and then give it back to me when they feel I deserve it.

 

As a disclaimer to all that I wrote above: yes, I really wish we had MUCH lower taxes. What I proposed above is just what I wish would happen in our current tax system. I realize that libertarianism is very unpopular, and in all likelihood we will have to do as best we can with our current tax system rather than merely wish taxes would conform to our standards. Also I do not speak for other libertarians, don't think that my opinion is the libertarian opinion.

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Jormungander wrote:Also, if

Jormungander wrote:

Also, if there was socialized health care I would want people to be able to opt out of it. So you could pay less taxes (the taxes that would have gone to health care) but in turn could never use the socialized health care system.

We have something like that in Aus at the moment, one of the Howard Government's better moves was to increase the 'opt out' incentive which has, as projected, provided competition pressure on the private insurers to offer more extensive and proactive (basically better) cover to a growing middle class market. There are still probably some creases in the policy to be ironed out but in essential practice this has come out win/win for us, so I agree. Options work.

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Sure Jorm. I'm not schooled

Sure Jorm. I'm not schooled on much, but my sincere frustrations comes from not believing that major sweeping helpful changes are some how complicated. I see the problem as basically rich greed and induced public apathy. The military is a glaring example of imperialistic out of control greed, and public induced fear. 

I am missing something? Nader and Chomsky and so many caring thinkers are hardly heard by the public, thanks to the frigging FCC.    


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I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:Nader

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

Nader and Chomsky and so many caring thinkers are hardly heard by the public, thanks to the frigging FCC.    

Hmmm...how do I express my disgust of Nader and Chomsky without sounding like a douche bag? I guess I'll just leave that rant for another day. Its not the FCC that keeps them from being popular. They are unpopular by their own efforts alone.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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I was kind of baiting you,

I was kind of baiting you, because I especially like to hear objections to these guys. Let her rip.

Hey, about taxes, tax the rich, the churches, and nail it to the corporations. 


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Being able to opt out of a

Being able to opt out of a national health services automatically makes it no longer national and will inevitably lead to it failing. If people wish to pay for extras its one thing but saying I want faster treater and I'm not going to pay for the oink down the road ro have any treatment would mean any system was unfundable.

Quite a lot of variation in how national medicine works , the French that well known bastion of radical capitalism have it always entirely privately run (but government funded).  Generally considered to be the best of the world by most international reviews (also expensive in terms of taxes)


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It's a bummer that taxes

It's a bummer that taxes this day are still a bad word. Taxes should be willing  community effort for what active social people want. I'm more than willing to pay my fair share. What is fair is the problem, and social confusion.

No wonder people call this stuff a conspiracy of the rich and what not, but the problem is the innate nature of humankind, and serious education and devotion to all sciences is obviously the best we can do to ending the hell on earth .... So let's keep yelling atheists, at the neighbors .... 


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mrjonno wrote:Being able to

mrjonno wrote:

Being able to opt out of a national health services automatically makes it no longer national and will inevitably lead to it failing.

So exposing national health services to the competition of the free market would destroy them? That speaks ill of national run health care. I just don't like monopolies. Imagine if all health care in the US was run by one corporation. People would hate it with all their hearts. How is having all health care run by the government any better? Competition-free monopolies hurt us all. And I suspect that when people talk of "national health care" that they really mean "competition-free government run monopoly on health care that allows little to no personal choice".

 

mrjonno wrote:

the French that well known bastion of radical capitalism have it always entirely privately run (but government funded)

Hmmm.....that would allow for competition and it would have the government funding that people want. I would still opt out though. And I would only grudgingly accept a mandatory national health care system. Also I suspect that the government would try and heavily regulate hospitals by threatening to cut funding unless hospitals bow to their every whim. The government does that in other situations; I would hate to see what that would do to health care.

 

Quote:

Taxes should be willing  community effort for what active social people want.

Taxes really should be that way, but unfortunately they just aren't. Taxes are just the way the government gets you to contribute to its bloated and inefficient bureaucracies and wasteful ideological wars. Also some small part of your taxes will go to things that benefit your community (right after $20billion is spent on the war on drugs per year, $341million on the war on terror PER DAY, $17billion in farm subsidies per year, $980million to the ATF per year, etc).

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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It speaks ill of the free

It speaks ill of the free market system, not national health care. The difference between that and a corporate monopoly is the government isn't in it for profit, while a corporation is and would be denying care and charging high prices all over the place in order to placate the greed of rich motherfuckers. Also, with NHC those that can afford to pay pay for it.

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MattShizzle wrote:It speaks

MattShizzle wrote:

It speaks ill of the free market system, not national health care. The difference between that and a corporate monopoly is the government isn't in it for profit, while a corporation is and would be denying care and charging high prices all over the place in order to placate the greed of rich motherfuckers. Also, with NHC those that can afford to pay pay for it.

 

well put matt! thats exactly what i was thinking.


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I think having health care

I think having health care part of the free market is as stupid as having the police or fire department so. Personally, I hate the free market. A fair market would be much better. But if we need to have a free market we need to keep essential things out of it.

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If anyone has been watching

If anyone has been watching the stock market you'd realise that we are now officially (IMO) a socialist country, but without a national health program.

 

Last March, Bear Stearns collapsed and was swallowed whole by J.P. Morgan Chase with a $30 billion credit line from the USofA.

Just in the past week the government took over Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
These two companies collectively back half of the nation's $12 trillion mortgages, and 70% of new mortgages and lost $14 billion over the past year.

Yesterday, Lehman Brothers went bankrupt  and Merrill Lynch, to avoid going bankrupt, sold themselves to Bank of America for pennies on the dollar.

American International Group (AIG) will receive an $85 billion bridge loan from the Federal Reserve aimed at keeping the giant insurance company out of bankruptcy and preventing the acceleration of a world credit crisis.

The failure of AIG would have resulted in a world wide depression.

These companies are (were) bigger than several countries combined.

In the last couple of weeks we have nationalized 60% of the financial system of the United States.


Billionaires and millionaires have been fucking everybody for years and now the tax payers are holding the bag, not that I mind paying taxes; its just that a handful of incompetent greedy shitballs screwed everybody because people are brainwashed into being afraid of government regulations (that are supposed to keep people honest).

All the stock markets all over the world are now reeling. Today the Russian stock and bond market was halted indefinitely.

This is not over yet. From what I understand even if a solution is implemented this is not going to blow over soon.

Why is this happening?
A: deregulation by free market capitalists extremists in congress and the lack of enforcement of what is left of regulations by the laissez-faire Bush administration.

 The fact of the matter is that when it comes to money people throw out the book on morals if there are no regulations.

 

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MattShizzle wrote:A fair

MattShizzle wrote:

A fair market would be much better.

What is a fair market? Is it government enforced economic equality? The phase 'fair market' reminds me of an article I read on government enforced economic equality: http://www.fff.org/freedom/0292d.asp

Having posted that link, I understand that few people here will take Milton Friedman's statements to heart.

 

Quote:

In the last couple of weeks we have nationalized 60% of the financial system of the United States.

I wonder if the government will make things better or worse. It seems hard to outmatch the poor decision making of major financial groups, but I'll bet the ol' Feds have a few tricks to make this situation worse than it already is.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
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Jormungander wrote: Also, if

Jormungander wrote:

Also, if there was socialized health care I would want people to be able to opt out of it. So you could pay less taxes (the taxes that would have gone to health care) but in turn could never use the socialized health care system. Mandatory socialized health care is something that makes me wary, but unfortunately is the kind we will likely end up getting.

For that matter I wish I could opt out of social security. I will save and invest my own money for my own retirement. I don't need the government to take it from me and then give it back to me when they feel I deserve it.

Couple of things here.  Social security is not a retirement plan.  Please do not ever view it in this light.  Social security taxes that you pay today go to keep Grandma and Grandpa from living under a bridge today.  That's great if you can save and invest for your retirement, but, quite frankly, most people are not capable of doing a good job with this.  How many people lost their life savings in the S&L debacle, the tech crash, or in the current economy?  Our economy has gotten really large and is something the average person (even well educated) cannot fully understand well enough to protect themselves from the unexpected.  Even thoughtful, not greedy investment professionals get blind-sided by moves in the economy occasionally.  If you allow people too opt out of social security, what do you do when they have failed to save properly for retirement?  Do you just say "Well, you're stupid.  There's the bridge?"  Programs such as social security were created precisely because we found that it was not easy to plan for old age.  If you want to save for retirement, great.  Open an IRA, but do not think the balance automatically is going to grow exactly as you have planned.

aiia wrote:

If anyone has been watching the stock market you'd realize that we are now officially (IMO) a socialist country, but without a national health program.

This is not over yet. From what I understand even if a solution is implemented this is not going to blow over soon.

Why is this happening?
A: deregulation by free market capitalists extremists in congress and the lack of enforcement of what is left of regulations by the laissez-faire Bush administration.

 The fact of the matter is that when it comes to money people throw out the book on morals if there are no regulations.

While I get what you are saying, it is quite a stretch to say that we are socialized.  While a certain amount of risk has certainly been socialized, the running of these companies is still going to be largely left to the private sector. 

You’re spot on regarding deregulation.  There are other factors though.  Much of what goes on in business is driven by quarterly reporting and relatively short-term movement in a company’s stock price.  At high levels bonuses are given if targets are met and failures often result in firings that include generous pay outs and the opportunity to just move to another company.  There is relatively little incentive to focus on a good long-term plan for a company with so much focus on this quarter’s figures.  Now, boards or governmental regulators can remedy this situation.  They don’t as boards are generally occupied by the senior members of corporations who personally benefit from the current system and pay lots of money to Washington to be allowed free rein.  This doesn’t mean that CEOs are actively cannibalizing good companies for short-term gain.  It does mean that decisions are weighted more heavily towards the short-term and that does often have the unintended consequence of negative long-term impact for a company.

You’re right that this is not going to blow over soon, but it’s also not the end of the world for the current economic system.  Financial folks have been watching Lehman Brothers for some time now, so this was not unexpected.  If Washington Mutual goes it will not be a surprise either.  There are currently about 100 banks on the FDIC watch list, compared to the approximately 2000 banks that failed from 1982-1992 during the whole S&L debacle.  And most of these 100 banks are regional lenders with ties to their local home builders.  We are getting through the current down cycle. 

I think the important thing to keep in mind here is that you will see this exact same scenario play out again in another sector of the economy in 10-20 years if we do not seriously look at problems with deregulation and incentives for the long-term management of companies.

 

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A fair market would be much

A fair market would be much more equality. Not everyone making the exact same ammount but keeping the income gap from being anywhere near as high as it is. And cutting the benefit being born rich and the handicap being born poor from being so strong. Also, cutting taxes more for the poor and increasing them for the rich, etc. Basically to make things as equal as possible.

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MattShizzle wrote:A fair

MattShizzle wrote:

A fair market would be much more equality. Not everyone making the exact same ammount but keeping the income gap from being anywhere near as high as it is. And cutting the benefit being born rich and the handicap being born poor from being so strong. Also, cutting taxes more for the poor and increasing them for the rich, etc. Basically to make things as equal as possible.

I thought that might be it: not perfect economic equality, but as much economic equality as is reasonably possible. How does one reduce the income gap? Make maximum wage laws or perhaps tie a CEO's wages to his employees' wages I suppose. I can see how that could work, but I am against it and lobbyists will make sure that never happens.

 

Quote:

Social security is not a retirement plan.

We all know that. That's why we all have to plan for our own retirements as though social security does not exist. I also understand that the money I spend on social security today is not saved up for later, but is immediately spent. Should I ever receive social security in the future, it will be the future's youth giving it to me.

 

Quote:

How many people lost their life savings in the S&L debacle, the tech crash, or in the current economy?

Diversify your savings, or lose them all the first time there is a crash or sharp downturn in whatever you invested in. If you invest all of your savings in one thing, then I foresee homelessness in your future.

 

Quote:

If you allow people too opt out of social security, what do you do when they have failed to save properly for retirement?  Do you just say "Well, you're stupid.  There's the bridge?"

I would phrase it nicer, but yes. If you do not fund your own retirement, or if you lose all of your investments due to not diversifying them, then you will be a very poor old person some day.

 

Quote:

Financial folks have been watching Lehman Brothers for some time now, so this was not unexpected.

I think that the saddest part of all these problems is that economists tell us that they are going to happen before hand, but no one seems to listen. Didn't economists tell us that the subprime mortgages would be a disaster? We were told well before hand that this would lead to a financial crisis, but loaning companies did not listen. In a way I think I understand why loaning companies don't heed these kinds of warnings: if they fuck up too badly the government will jump in and save them with a gigantic amount of taxpayer money. They just can't lose no matter how poorly they perform. Unless they create a financial crises so large that the government can not bail them out, but then we are all in trouble. Having written all of that, I can see why economics is called the 'dismal science;' it is making me a little depressed.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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Jormungander wrote:Having

Jormungander wrote:

Having posted that link, I understand that few people here will take Milton Friedman's statements to heart.

 

Try reading the Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein. Milton Friedman's statements and economic policies have far reaching consequences, often negative and unintended when put in place.

 

The massive deregulation of the financial institutions, mortgage lending, cash requirements, and credit lending is what led us here. Deregulation is the freer market uncle Miltie was talking about. It has left us with  a collapsing economy because equilibrium in the system doesn't happen magically like supply siders think. It would be nice if those who took risks footed the bill when things went bad, ie Bear Stearns, AIG, but Conservatives in power have seen fit to once again privatize gains and socialize losses. That is their idea of the free market apparently. Fannie Mae was a socialized institution created by FDR to compress economic inequality through expanded home ownership using governmental assistance to help average americans afford a house. LBJ(a liberal) privatized it to help offset the cost of the vietnam war. Now it is being deprivatized because when they were making a ton of money during the housing boom, all of the money got fed into CEO and investor pockets, when it goes bust there was no money to sustain the loss.  The problem with this and most big business bailouts is that the idea of accepting the pratfalls of risk has become less and less tenable when these companies see the government will bail them out. Deregulation of post FDR laws on the books that didn't let companies get away with these practices or allow unfettered risk have been stripped away over the last 30 years. Libertarianism, Conservatism, Free Market, supply side economics....call it what you will. Unchecked capitalism creates markets that have one goal, extricating as much profit from the system as possible while accepting the least amount of risk, while pursuing as little outside regulatory oversight as possible. That system is doomed to fail, because it usually races to its own extinction because of the inherent unsustainability flaws in its construction.

Capitalism can be great, but it needs checks and balances so it doesn't consume itself whole. Friedman never saw a check or a balance that he thought was beneficial. His philosophy has been debunked as we are seeing in this current financial fiasco. With respect, please read some other economists than uncle Miltie, Jormungander.

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The Idea I had would be that

The Idea I had would be that a CEO/owner couldn't make more than (for example) 25 times whatever the lowest paid full time employee made. Anything over that would go directly to taxes (I'd also limit corporate profits along the same lines. If they wanted more money they'd have to pay employees more. I would also outlaw outsourcing and ANY raises or bonuses if there was any downsizing whatsoever. I completely abhor capitalism and would love to get rid of it altogether but this would be a decent compromise.

 

I hate deregulation. Ever notice when something gets deregulated, the prices skyrocket and the service gets much worse? Airlines, cable, etc....

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 Since the US gov is taking

 Since the US gov is taking over AIG, i wonder if the upper level mgt salaries will go down and by how much if they are lowered.


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The free market only works

The free market only works when the consumer has a choice on whether to buy the product or not to buy the product.

Health care is not  like buying a car, if you get cancer you have to be treated whether its its private or state run (dying is not a genuine consumer choice in my book). That is not a free market that is in effect give me money or die, who cares if you have a choice if who you give your money to you still need to give it.

 

Private health care has its role, I don't see why the state should be paying for private rooms, cosmetic plastic surgery and satellite tv. If you don't want wait a couple of months to get a hip replacement not objecting if you want to go private (you still as member of society have to support those who are prepared to wait).

 

The very best private health care is obviously going to be better than the best public care but this is about a nations health (which effects everyone even the healthy, welfare for the sick is one example).

 

I put having a national health service along with running water and electricty as a sign of a civilized society

 

 

 


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HeyZeusCreaseToe wrote:The

HeyZeusCreaseToe wrote:

The problem with this and most big business bailouts is that the idea of accepting the pratfalls of risk has become less and less tenable when these companies see the government will bail them out. Deregulation of post FDR laws on the books that didn't let companies get away with these practices or allow unfettered risk have been stripped away over the last 30 years.

I agree 100%. Bailouts teach companies that they can make retarded decisions and then the government will save them from their stupidity. We need to allow risk and failure. But we have to balance that against preventing massive failures that will cripple our economy. That is a hard balancing game to play.

 

HeyZeusCreaseToe wrote:

Libertarianism, Conservatism, Free Market, supply side economics....call it what you will.

Whoa there. Libertarianism != supply side economics != conservatism != free market. For that matter, I don't think many conservatives argue for supply side economics anymore. I'm sure that some still do, but we all know that those people are wrong. Supply side economics made some predictions that turned out to be wrong. It really was just wrong. Also, I view supply side economics as a government attempt to manipulate the free market. That is a case of the government making sure that the free market does not function properly by creating stagflation.  I do find it odd that many conservatives are hostile to the free market and want to regulate it in ways that are more harmful than the regulations that progressives support. In theory conservatives should be against a strong government influence in economic matters; in practice they want as much or more than the progressives do.

 

HeyZeusCreaseToe wrote:

It has left us with  a collapsing economy because equilibrium in the system doesn't happen magically like supply siders think.

I think we all agree that supply side economics is bad for just about everyone, but are you implying that Friedman supported supply side economics?

 

HeyZeusCreaseToe wrote:

Capitalism can be great, but it needs checks and balances so it doesn't consume itself whole. Friedman never saw a check or a balance that he thought was beneficial. His philosophy has been debunked as we are seeing in this current financial fiasco. With respect, please read some other economists than uncle Miltie, Jormungander.

Come on, man. I DID NOT claim that Friedman was an economic guru, and I DID NOT claim that I followed him in all matters. Don't pretend as though I did. All I said is that this topic reminded me about something I read that he wrote and that I knew that few people here would take it to heart. I understand that certain regulations are necessary for the free market to function. I do not want to have all safeties stripped off of the market. Should I ever claim that we should remove all checks and balances from the free market or perhaps should I claim that I am a Monetarist, then your response is appropriate. With respect, don't put words in my mouth, it is something of a pet peeve of mine.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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MattShizzle wrote:The Idea I

MattShizzle wrote:

The Idea I had would be that a CEO/owner couldn't make more than (for example) 25 times whatever the lowest paid full time employee made. Anything over that would go directly to taxes (I'd also limit corporate profits along the same lines. If they wanted more money they'd have to pay employees more. I would also outlaw outsourcing and ANY raises or bonuses if there was any downsizing whatsoever. I completely abhor capitalism and would love to get rid of it altogether but this would be a decent compromise. 

I hate deregulation. Ever notice when something gets deregulated, the prices skyrocket and the service gets much worse? Airlines, cable, etc....

Funny thing about CEOs, they determine how much they get paid up front, competence doesn't matter.  Recently a CEO from HP was essentially fired (causing the stock price to jump).  She ran the company into the ground.  When she was fired she walked away with a $21 million bonus.  When average chumps are fired (like all those from a recently failed bank) you walk away with jack.  The notion that shareholders can prevent this is absurd because these same CEOs are given millions worth in stock (which when sold is taxed at 15%, unlike salaries which have a top 34% rate).  So any attempt to limit CEO pay is blocked by the CEOs.

So back to health care, what is McCain's view.  McCain thinks those with health benefits should have those benefits taxed as part of your income.  The result is to make health care more expensive for the company and for the employee.  As a result companies will drop their health care plans in order to save money.  But McCain wants to give corporations huge tax breaks (Exxon, for example will get a $4 billion tax break).  So the end result is higher taxes on the middle and working class.

Right now if I were to sign onto the health care plan it would consume 25% of my income.  So McCain's plan would mean that not only do I lose 25% of my tax home pay but I'm considered to be making more according to the IRS so I have to pay more in taxes.

We could easily afford universal health care.  Our country has no problem with a $3 trillion dollar war, hundreds of billions in bailouts for banks, etc.  McCain wants to spend $365 billion in taxpayer money to build nuclear plants.  That much alone could easily pay for health care.  We spend $12 billion a month in Iraq when that could be going to health care.  We have 800 overseas military bases, many of those could be cut (Japan and Germany pay us to be there so those can stay).

So why is universal health care opposed?  Simple, people make billions selling insurance.  They don't provide the health care, they just take a cut out of your health care cost. William McGuire, of UnitedHealth Group, walked home with a $124.8 million paycheck in 2004 without working on one suture or dispensing one prescription, but by denying a lot of claims.  Cut out the middleman and you cut out a lot of the expense in health care, saving doctors and patients a lot of time and money.

In the end McCain will vote against universal health care but he'll leave D.C. to go back to seven homes and three governmental health care plans (VA, medicare and his senate plan).


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Jormungander

Jormungander wrote:
HeyZeusCreaseToe wrote:

Libertarianism, Conservatism, Free Market, supply side economics....call it what you will.

Whoa there. Libertarianism != supply side economics != conservatism != free market. For that matter, I don't think many conservatives argue for supply side economics anymore. I'm sure that some still do, but we all know that those people are wrong. Supply side economics made some predictions that turned out to be wrong. It really was just wrong. Also, I view supply side economics as a government attempt to manipulate the free market. That is a case of the government making sure that the free market does not function properly by creating stagflation.  I do find it odd that many conservatives are hostile to the free market and want to regulate it in ways that are more harmful than the regulations that progressives support. In theory conservatives should be against a strong government influence in economic matters; in practice they want as much or more than the progressives do.

 

HeyZeusCreaseToe wrote:

It has left us with  a collapsing economy because equilibrium in the system doesn't happen magically like supply siders think.

I think we all agree that supply side economics is bad for just about everyone, but are you implying that Friedman supported supply side economics?

 

HeyZeusCreaseToe wrote:

Capitalism can be great, but it needs checks and balances so it doesn't consume itself whole. Friedman never saw a check or a balance that he thought was beneficial. His philosophy has been debunked as we are seeing in this current financial fiasco. With respect, please read some other economists than uncle Miltie, Jormungander.

Come on, man. I DID NOT claim that Friedman was an economic guru, and I DID NOT claim that I followed him in all matters. Don't pretend as though I did. All I said is that this topic reminded me about something I read that he wrote and that I knew that few people here would take it to heart. I understand that certain regulations are necessary for the free market to function. I do not want to have all safeties stripped off of the market. Should I ever claim that we should remove all checks and balances from the free market or perhaps should I claim that I am a Monetarist, then your response is appropriate. With respect, don't put words in my mouth, it is something of a pet peeve of mine.

Sorry, to conflate your Friedman reference to a wholesale adoption of his policies. That was a straw man inference with not enough info to go on. Fair point, I assumed a bit too much from your response. Friedman was someone who believed when it came to monetary policies, supply side held more weight than the demand side, but he was not a supply sider. I think that "Libertarianism, Conservatism, Free Market, supply side economics....call it what you will." quote wasn't an equating of all those terms to be the same, but rather, most of the philosophical economic underpinnings of those schools of thought, in my opinion, are not beneficial to the US economy as a whole. There is a lot of overlap between those terms, but they are not synonyms by any means.


 

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Yoda


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Jormungander wrote:mrjonno

Jormungander wrote:

mrjonno wrote:

Being able to opt out of a national health services automatically makes it no longer national and will inevitably lead to it failing.

So exposing national health services to the competition of the free market would destroy them? That speaks ill of national run health care.

You are misrepresenting his argument. Just because a social system has trouble working in a capitalist one says nothing of the merits of the social system. Private health care in a communist society would be just as effective as social health care within a capitalist society.

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D-cubed wrote:We could

D-cubed wrote:

We could easily afford universal health care.  Our country has no problem with a $3 trillion dollar war, hundreds of billions in bailouts for banks, etc.  McCain wants to spend $365 billion in taxpayer money to build nuclear plants.  That much alone could easily pay for health care.  We spend $12 billion a month in Iraq when that could be going to health care.  We have 800 overseas military bases, many of those could be cut (Japan and Germany pay us to be there so those can stay).

It makes me sad to think how easily we could fund health care by cutting funding to needless programs. I don't even want a mandatory national health care system, but  I see how easily we could have one with no increase in taxes. Though I do support the nuclear plants. Anything to get us to burn less coal.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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Single payer healthcare

Single payer healthcare means there is one payer of healthcare...the government. Socialized medicince(ie healthcare) means all those in the healthcare system are government employees, ie nurses, doctors, plastic surgeons. We already have socialized insurance with medicare and medicaid. Expanding that socialized insurance to include everyone  seems to be the best plan. Having the government bargain effectively for pharmaceuticals, drugs, and services seems to be the most effective way to bring down costs. Just like when you buy a butterfinger from costco you pay less than a buck, but when Costco buys that butterfinger from Nestle distributors they buy in bulk and they can effectively bargain for the lowest price because of the massive size of their demand.

Cutting out HMOS and insurance companies that have created a market that makes money off of denying healthcare claims rather than providing healthcare is obviously preferable. They make money when they deny care, the profit based system tailored toward that end means you are always less likely to get the best care because they will try to deny any claim they possibly can. Making those people compete in a single payer healthcare system will have the true gougers exposed and ultimately let the market decide what parts of the system are necessary because they provide a service at a reasonable price.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Yoda


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Jormungander wrote:It makes

Jormungander wrote:

It makes me sad to think how easily we could fund health care by cutting funding to needless programs. I don't even want a mandatory national health care system, but  I see how easily we could have one with no increase in taxes. Though I do support the nuclear plants. Anything to get us to burn less coal.

Electricity from solar and wind is much cheaper than nuclear (at least half the cost).  Plus there is no waste storage (more taxpayer expense), and no fuel costs (uranium costs will certainly rise with 45 more plants).

Getting off of coal would be great but the cheaper route is for wind, solar, geothermal and increased efficiency.  The production tax credit means alternative energy gets subsidies for the power they produce, nuclear gets subsidies for construction, production, waste storage, security and dismantling.

Back to universal health care.  When health care gets subsidized there will be encouragement to increase the health of the public, therefore reducing health care costs.  The end result will mean thinner people.  So there's a good chance the overall attractiveness of people will improve.  That alone makes the program seem worthwhile.


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HeyZeusCreaseToe

HeyZeusCreaseToe wrote:

Single payer healthcare means there is one payer of healthcare...the government. Socialized medicince(ie healthcare) means all those in the healthcare system are government employees, ie nurses, doctors, plastic surgeons. We already have socialized insurance with medicare and medicaid. Expanding that socialized insurance to include everyone  seems to be the best plan. Having the government bargain effectively for pharmaceuticals, drugs, and services seems to be the most effective way to bring down costs. Just like when you buy a butterfinger from costco you pay less than a buck, but when Costco buys that butterfinger from Nestle distributors they buy in bulk and they can effectively bargain for the lowest price because of the massive size of their demand.

Medicare used to bargain for drug prices, then Bush changed the policy so the drug companies set the price.  The end result was an increase in Medicare costs of $500 billion.  The VA still negotiates their drug costs and the cost for VA care didn't have the huge price jump.  Going back to the pre-Bush plan will instantly reduce the health care costs.


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Quote:Electricity from solar

Quote:

Electricity from solar and wind is much cheaper than nuclear (at least half the cost).

You are dead wrong on this one. Solar and wind power is WAY more expensive than nuclear. Solar and wind can't even compete with coal in terms of cost.

 

Quote:

Getting off of coal would be great but the cheaper route is for wind, solar, geothermal

You meant to say: "the extremely more expensive route." It is factually incorrect to claim that wind, solar or geothermal power is cheaper than nuclear.

 

Quote:

alternative energy gets subsidies for the power they produce, nuclear gets subsidies for construction, production, waste storage, security and dismantling.

I don't think we should be subsidising any of them at all. If we really want to end coal plants we can tax them out of existence, rather than subsidize other methods. Electricity costs would jump, but it is no different from having more taxes fill the same cost gap. Also higher electricity costs would force people to be more efficient. With subsidies there is no need to be efficient, since the least efficient power producers would get the same amount of free government cash as the most efficient power producers.

The sad fact is that if we don't want coal then we will need to pay a LOT more for electricity. I would prefer for consumers to pay that cost, but instead we could have those same consumers pay that cost in the form of taxes that would be given to a bureaucracy and then given to the electric company.

 

Quote:

The end result will mean thinner people.

No it won't. Having health care does not remove hot dogs and big gulps from society. There would be just as many obese people. They ignore obvious medical facts about their unhealthy lifestyle now, they will ignore obvious medical facts about their unhealthy lifestyle then.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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The economic system is so so

The economic system is so so complicated that it can't be figured out how to make it run decently, .... is MOSTLY a BIG LIE. This recent book "The Predator State", seems good at again, making that point etc. It was discussed favorably on commercial free KPFK radio a few hrs ago. Geezz, the people are so overwhelmed by bullshit from the rich. Some of the negative reviews make me fighting mad .... (yeah mom, you were right to be so friggin pissed ...)

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&sa=X&oi=spell&resnum=0&ct=result&cd=1&q=the+predator+state&spell=1

Umm, that old saying, about "killing the messenger of truth" .... and,

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
George Orwell

 and "Eat the Rich" ..... da


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Jormungander wrote:You are

Jormungander wrote:

You are dead wrong on this one. Solar and wind power is WAY more expensive than nuclear. Solar and wind can't even compete with coal in terms of cost.

You meant to say: "the extremely more expensive route." It is factually incorrect to claim that wind, solar or geothermal power is cheaper than nuclear.

Nope.

At 12 to 17 cents a watt nuclear is more than twice as expensive than solar, wind or geothermal.  Unlike nuclear these sources of power don't have to worry about fluctuating fuel costs or waste disposal.

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/06/02/nuclear_power_price/

Quote:

No it won't. Having health care does not remove hot dogs and big gulps from society. There would be just as many obese people. They ignore obvious medical facts about their unhealthy lifestyle now, they will ignore obvious medical facts about their unhealthy lifestyle then.

Like with tobacco use consumption of unhealthy products will become more expensive.  Those who want to eat junk food will pay a junk food tax which, will in turn, aid in paying health care costs.  Those who want to forgo the tax will, in turn, eat healthier and be thinner.  We'll be letting those who want to finance their own demise.  The tax on tobacco decreases consumption therefore it's reasonable to assume a similar policy would work for junk food.


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Like with tobacco use

Like with tobacco use consumption of unhealthy products will become more expensive.  Those who want to eat junk food will pay a junk food tax which, will in turn, aid in paying health care costs.  Those who want to forgo the tax will, in turn, eat healthier and be thinner.  We'll be letting those who want to finance their own demise.  The tax on tobacco decreases consumption therefore it's reasonable to assume a similar policy would work for junk food.

 

Using the tax system is an excellent way of trying to shape the society we live in (its generally a lot better than banning things) and I can see some sort of of tax on 'bad' food being almost inevitable


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mrjonno wrote:Like with

mrjonno wrote:

Like with tobacco use consumption of unhealthy products will become more expensive.  Those who want to eat junk food will pay a junk food tax which, will in turn, aid in paying health care costs.  Those who want to forgo the tax will, in turn, eat healthier and be thinner.  We'll be letting those who want to finance their own demise.  The tax on tobacco decreases consumption therefore it's reasonable to assume a similar policy would work for junk food.

 

Using the tax system is an excellent way of trying to shape the society we live in (its generally a lot better than banning things) and I can see some sort of of tax on 'bad' food being almost inevitable

Or we could do away with both vice taxes and bans. I don't need to pay a bonus fee just to eat a burger. I don't need a mommy state making sure that I do not make poor decisions.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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I have to agree with

I have to agree with Jormungander here. I would say better would be some kind of subsidy for healthy food. One reason the lower classes tend to be more obese is that junk food and/or highly processed food tends to be much cheaper than healthier food - many people simply can't afford it. But I disagree with making people pay more for things they like just because they aren't as healthy - especially alcohol which it's actually better for you to drink in moderation than not drink at all. I would make an exception for tobacco because of how extremely bad for the health it is, inlcuding to people who happen to even be nearby (except, of course for chewing tobacco, but it's disgusting. ) I also don't like seat belt and motorcycle helmet laws (though I would be in favor of keeping them but having a "no seatbelt/helmet required" license that would cost a bit more (only with universal health care - if not it would cost the same but the insurance company could charge more. )

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MattShizzle wrote:I have to

MattShizzle wrote:

I have to agree with Jormungander here. I would say better would be some kind of subsidy for healthy food. One reason the lower classes tend to be more obese is that junk food and/or highly processed food tends to be much cheaper than healthier food - many people simply can't afford it. But I disagree with making people pay more for things they like just because they aren't as healthy - especially alcohol which it's actually better for you to drink in moderation than not drink at all. I would make an exception for tobacco because of how extremely bad for the health it is, inlcuding to people who happen to even be nearby (except, of course for chewing tobacco, but it's disgusting. ) I also don't like seat belt and motorcycle helmet laws (though I would be in favor of keeping them but having a "no seatbelt/helmet required" license that would cost a bit more (only with universal health care - if not it would cost the same but the insurance company could charge more. )

The reason junk food is cheaper is because it is subsidized.  Corn syrup, one of the more fattening foods with no nutrition is subsidized just like real corn.  Corn, being the main food for fattening up cattle, makes beef cheaper and beef isn't the healthiest thing.  So if we tax the end product, junk food, then the incentive for subsidized food that is healthier will be a cheaper end product.

The cheaper food is less nutriotious (sp?).  Hamburgers are essentially beef fat in the guise of being meat.  People eat more because they are malnurished (sorry, I just came back from the pub so my spelling is bad), so they get overweight and develop health problems like diabetes.  Soda is cheap because the main ingredient, corn syrup, is subsidized.  Fruit juice, on the other hand, isn't subsidized so the healthier drink alternative is more expensive (the farm subsidy law just changed so prices may be altered).

So yes, a change is needed.  The healthier food should be cheaper, the junk food should be more expensive.  There is no reason for everyone to foot the bill of those who choose to be unhealthy, and there is no reason why that junk bill should be subsidized to promote bad health.

However the entire system is influenced by lobbyist cash.  Tobacco growth is still subsidized although the only end result is a product which is harmful and leads teenagers to believe that if they smoke in coffee shops they are cool.  Yet the end product is also heavily taxed.  It's one of those weird things, kinda like how we export as much lettuce as we import.

Social engineering, it's not just for after school specials.