Is health care a right.

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Is health care a right.

The US health care system will never be fixed without first answering this question, because the answer will dictate what the next step would be. 

I say yes, without a doubt, it is a right.

Firstly we have Article 25 of the UDHR, which classifies health care as a right.

Secondly I would argue that health care is a public good, on the same grounds that we have a public fire service and a public police service. 

I remember read or hearing centuries ago England used to have a fire insurance, and if you didn't have a plaque placed on your house confirming that you had insurance the fire brigade wouldn't drive right by(!), consequently this lead to fire spreading to the properties of people who DID have fire insurance. (I cannot remember where I heard this, by for some reason Tony Ben comes to mind.) Clearly it is in every ones best interest for fire service to be a public service.

Likewise, it is in everyones best interest to have a public police service. If someone house is being burgled, or someone is being harmed, it is the entire neighborhoods best interest for the police to act without confirming insurance details since the criminal may turn to them or their home.

Similarly, it is in everyones best interest to ensure all people have the ability to get health care, regardless of their financial situation. In addition, those providing insurance should not be acting for-profit, which can (and does) cause them to deny treatment, or even deny insurance altogether. A sick person cannot work, and when we get to the issue of contagious illness/diseases, I think it is quite clear that they should be treated.

I have two questions:

1. Is health care a right?

2. What do the Americans here think about government involvement in health care. Whenever I've discussed this with Americans I either get one of two responses... (a) universal/single-payer/socialised health care is no good (something which is completely refuted by the health care systems in other countries) or (b) they just seem to think the US government is incapable of running anything successfully.

 

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Yes, I think the government

Yes, I think the government should provide health care, but I don't think they should have a monopoly on it. I think that covering people that can't cover themselves is good, but have it open to private as well.

 

 

For example, a private company can host MRI scans. That way, the people have insurance can get their scans done there, which would lower the waiting time at the public hospitals for the people who can't afford it.

 

 

Another solution would be to have private health care but have the government hire them. That way, everybody gets care, and if a hospital is in efficent, the government can find a company that can do better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Topher wrote:I say yes,

Topher wrote:

I say yes, without a doubt, it is a right.

Firstly we have Article 25 of the UDHR, which classifies health care as a right.

Secondly I would argue that health care is a public good, on the same grounds that we have a public fire service and a public police service.

I would agree intrinsically and on the grounds you list. I think the common phrase is "part of the public trust".

Topher wrote:
I remember read or hearing centuries ago England used to have a fire insurance, and if you didn't have a plaque placed on your house confirming that you had insurance the fire brigade wouldn't drive right by(!)

It wasn't centuries ago, it was 1865 (in London, at least). Insurance companies actually controlled the fire services. They would put the fire out if it encroached on a paying customer's house, but not before.

Topher wrote:
Likewise, it is in everyones best interest to have a public police service. If someone house is being burgled, or someone is being harmed, it is the entire neighborhoods best interest for the police to act without confirming insurance details since the criminal may turn to them or their home.

A nice, tidy argument against libertarian sentiment, that.

Topher wrote:
Similarly, it is in everyones best interest to ensure all people have the ability to get health care, regardless of their financial situation. In addition, those providing insurance should not be acting for-profit, which can (and does) cause them to deny treatment, or even deny insurance altogether. A sick person cannot work, and when we get to the issue of contagious illness/diseases, I think it is quite clear that they should be treated.

So really, your argument is that health treatment should be available for the common good, whether it is somehow intrinsically a right or not. If it is, fine, but the benefits outweigh the costs.

I would agree with that.

The objection that there would be some kind of inefficiency if the US government ran a healthcare program is bogus, as far as I'm concerned. Considering the fiasco that is the HMO handling of people's health, I can't see anything being worse than that. That's the "efficient" solution, and it completely sucks. All it does is create a condition where your population is unprepared for emergencies.

Don't even try to tell me that they should have saved up for emergencies. The same people who say that are the ones who say the population should spend more in order to save the economy. That's just cruel.

 

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I wouldn't say it's a right,

I wouldn't say it's a right, per se, but I would definitely say it's in the best interest of society. Not strictly the same thing, but close enough, so I don't know why I'm drawing the distinction.

I'm in a transition period where I'm not sure what "rights" really are. I'm not even sure the concept of "rights" is rational. All I can think is that my Hedonistic Morality of the Common Good And Right Just Joyousness results in good public health care.

I'm holding out for publicly-funded hookers, myself.

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nigelTheBold wrote:I'm

nigelTheBold wrote:

I'm holding out for publicly-funded hookers, myself.



That's only a benefit available to soldiers right now.

However ... in Brazil, boob jobs are covered, so I guess that would be publicly-funded hooters. That's one letter off, so it can't be far away.

 

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HisWillness wrote:So really,

HisWillness wrote:
So really, your argument is that health treatment should be available for the common good, whether it is somehow intrinsically a right or not. If it is, fine, but the benefits outweigh the costs.

I would agree with that.

I guess a bit of both.

I think it is a right, insofar that everyone deserve, at the very least, a minimal standard of healthcare. We wouldn't (or shouldn't) think it is okay for people to suffer, mentally or physically, and I would contend that having health problems does cause people to suffer.

I would say that is the biggest reason, in my view, for free universal health care.

Having said that, there is also benefits to a healthy nations: the ability to work; not spreading disease; happier people, etc, etc.

So even if someone does not think it is a right, there is still reason/need for a universal system.

I also have a big problem with the for-profit nature of health care in the US. In fact I think that is worse that it not being universal (although I guess one could argue that the reason all people are not covered is precisely because it is for-profit). Health care isn't a commodity. It's a immoral to treat someones health as a money making business.

 

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:3

It is a right.

 

Without health care available, you will have the average lifespan and quality of life degenerate considerably.


Hardly anyone in my generation finds offered medical coverage that is any good. The kind available through employers offers almost no catastrophic coverage, and is expensive.

 

Essentially, you are covered unless something important is needed. Then you are not, and are shit out of luck.

 

 

 

I would be happy to pay any kind of tax to ensure health care so I don't see friends suffering from problems for extended periods of time that are easily treatable, but can't find coverage for a pre-existing condition.

 

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Topher wrote:Is Health Care a Right ?

   I'm not sure if it's a right,but I do think that it is the right thing to do. I guess that it would be more of a privilege in our society the way the system is structured in an Industrial society.Not to have free health care has been a deterrent for foreign car manufactures.(they prefer to invest in a country that has Universal Health Care,like Canada) So by not building their plants in the USA,we lose in this capitalistic system that so many people depend on. I'm not sure ,but I think that back in 1948,when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was created at the United Nations,Health -Care was one of the rights,I'll have to check it out  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Declaration_of_Human_Rights  I think that it is one of the four freedoms and also in article 25 of this document

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ClockCat wrote:Essentially,

ClockCat wrote:
Essentially, you are covered unless something important is needed. Then you are not, and are shit out of luck.

Right. As long as you don't need it that much, coverage is available.

ClockCat wrote:
I would be happy to pay any kind of tax to ensure health care so I don't see friends suffering from problems for extended periods of time that are easily treatable, but can't find coverage for a pre-existing condition.

That's because you're sane. The idea that there would only be health care for healthy people is about as good as that other American tradition, where real welfare only exists for wealthy people.

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Health care is a right for

Health care is a right for us Canadians, I'm all for you guys having the same. Just keep it in government hands or wait times and costs will increase and quality will degrade. There is no way to prevent it.

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It should be a right if it

It should be a right if it isn't. Just have public and private hospitals. If you can afford and want better treatment go to a private but if you poor you still can get free treatment. Just how it is here, privates hospitals are run better.

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Topher wrote:I say yes,

Topher wrote:

I say yes, without a doubt, it is a right.

What does this mean when something is a right? Does this mean it must be so no matter what? So if we decide and then pass a law the living forever is a 'right', that we will never die?

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It's a Christian God given

It's a Christian God given right, of course.  Just like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

If you disagree you'll be sentenced to execution.  However, you're free to pursue happiness while being confined in your prison cell.

Edit (since you edited your post, sneaky bastard): Rights are granted by governments, and it's up to those governments to ensure them.  Kind of hard for a government to ensure a right to life, though...idiotic "right."


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EXC wrote:Topher wrote:I say

EXC wrote:

Topher wrote:

I say yes, without a doubt, it is a right.

What does this mean when something is a right? Does this mean it must be so no matter what? So if we decide and then pass a law the living forever is a 'right', that we will never die?

Living forever is impossible, so your analogy is ridiculous. Even if it were possible, I see no reason why living forever would be a human right.

A human right is something which all humans should be guaranteed, at least to a minimal standard, so things like the right to life, liberty, privacy, right to and from religion, equality before the law, right to education, and so on.

I think health care should be a right unto itself, however if anyone wants to challenge that it would still be a right via the right not to suffer.

Human rights should require laws to begin with; they should be automatic.

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Topher wrote:A human right

Topher wrote:
A human right is something which all humans should be guaranteed, at least to a minimal standard, so things like the right to life, liberty, privacy, right to and from religion, equality before the law, right to education, and so on.

There are other rights that are perhaps more illustrative: the right to personal property and the right to compensation for labour. Without either of those rights, people have the potential to become serfs or slaves, respectively.

They're guidelines, EXC. If we can all agree on the basics, then we can all agree that the trafficking of young women, for instance, is against our principles, without ever spelling it out specifically. Clearly, those young women are deprived of personal property, dignity, freedom, and a whole host of other things we'd call rights.

I guess the difficulty would come when saying that rights are "guaranteed". Naturally, nobody can guarantee life. But in the sense that the state can attempt to facilitate the avoidance of death, the principle applies. Naturally, it's not perfect: seatbelt legislation would be an interesting point of contention between two rights: freedom and preservation of life.

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Topher wrote:Living forever

Topher wrote:

Living forever is impossible, so your analogy is ridiculous. Even if it were possible, I see no reason why living forever would be a human right.

A human right is something which all humans should be guaranteed, at least to a minimal standard, so things like the right to life, liberty, privacy, right to and from religion, equality before the law, right to education, and so on.

I think health care should be a right unto itself, however if anyone wants to challenge that it would still be a right via the right not to suffer.

Human rights should require laws to begin with; they should be automatic.

I think that guaranteeing health care is like guaranteeing you will live forever. It is not possible, especially since the right to breed is apparently granted to everyone. If you 'guarantee' something, you must prove you have the resources to provide this. If an insurance company issues a policy, they need to prove they can provide this.

So how do we guarantee that making health care a right will not cause the government to go bankrupt? Do people have a right to not have nearly all their income taken in taxes to pay for it? Do doctors and medical workers have a right to refuse to work if the wages are too low? Do pharmaceutical companies have a right not to sell their products if the government does not adequately compensate them? Do medical researchers have a right to expect the government will allow them to become rich if their hard work results in new treatments?

I think you need to adequately answer all these questions before deciding that providing health care is a right.

Also suppose medical science invented a way to stop the aging processes, so that one could 'live forever'. But if treatment was expensive and only the rich could afford it, you would then say 'living forever' is a right, correct?

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EXC wrote:So how do we

EXC wrote:

So how do we guarantee that making health care a right will not cause the government to go bankrupt?

Case history in several societies shows it doesn't (not even nearly), EXC, isn't that enough?

EXC wrote:

Do people have a right to not have nearly all their income taken in taxes to pay for it?

People have every right to quibble naively over whether a world class society to live sufficiently compensates a tax hike or not.

EXC wrote:

Do doctors and medical workers have a right to refuse to work if the wages are too low?

Que? I should think they wouldn't find any need to. What a misanthropic thing to say. There's no point creating a system of universal health care with such a flaw in it to begin with, it's sabotage, why would anyone do this?

EXC wrote:

Do pharmaceutical companies have a right not to sell their products if the government does not adequately compensate them?

They always have the right not to sell, but it's in serious doubt that any business would consider exercising it. 

EXC wrote:

Do medical researchers have a right to expect the government will allow them to become rich if their hard work results in new treatments?

There are ways to keep freedom of enterprise open, sure. But I suggest it might be just a little narrowminded to esteem superior liquidity of individuals so urgently.

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EXC wrote:So how do we

EXC wrote:

So how do we guarantee that making health care a right will not cause the government to go bankrupt? Do people have a right to not have nearly all their income taken in taxes to pay for it? I think you need to adequately answer all these questions before deciding that providing health care is a right.

While it isn't specifically spelled out as a "right", in actual practice it pretty much is. In general no one is turned away at a hospital. Here in Seattle, homeless people routinely use the emergency room for all their health care needs. And we all get to pay for that. Believe me I'm not crazy about paying for someone who refuses to contribute to society, by paying for their own insurance and services, but we already are. Formally establishing a system that gets people without health care insurance out of the ERs expcept for bonafide emergencies would be more fiscally responsible with our tax dollars.

 

Topher wrote:

1. Is health care a right?

2. What do the Americans here think about government involvement in health care. 

No it isn't a right and shouldn't be one. But it should be a duty of the government to provide at least a basic level of health care. As has been pointed out already, it benefits society in general to not have all kinds of sick and diseased people walking around amongst us. I strongly believe that it should also be a duty of everyone that can work to contribute to the cost of society providing those services. Nothing pisses me off more than all the junkies on Social Security claiming they can't work but sure as shit able to get around enough to get busted for stealing everything under the sun to pay for their habits.

 

Topher wrote:

I also have a big problem with the for-profit nature of health care in the US. In fact I think that is worse that it not being universal (although I guess one could argue that the reason all people are not covered is precisely because it is for-profit). Health care isn't a commodity. It's a immoral to treat someones health as a money making business.

The profit nature of health care is shameful. You have any idea how much they charge for a plastic bed pan? Me either but I know it's at least 50 times more than than extruded plastic pan costs to make. But I also have no desire to be treated for anything in a "public" hospital. Absolutely, disgustingly filthy they are. I'll pay to be seen in a clean place where the staff give at least a passing glance at "customer service". ;p

 

 

 

 

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Lenny

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Yah, I too am not

Yah, I too am not comfortable with saying that something is a right until we have an adequate definition of what that even means. Topher hit the nail on the head when he observed that rights ought to precede the laws that may be made to enforce them.

 

Consider the UDHR. In some sense, it is a piece of paper. In another sense, it is the body of thought that went into what is written down. Yet in both senses, any rights that are codified therein must have existed before the people who compiled it got together.

 

When we speak of health care in the modern world, we are talking about what it has developed into from the past. This is part of the problem. Three hundred years ago, health care was largely one thing. Today, we have tiers of health care based on one's ability to access it. Is one of the lower tiers the point that people have a right to and can other people pay for better service? If so, what is the level of health care that people have a right to?

 

Seriously, if you have ever been to a free clinic, you would know what a nightmare that can be. Sitting in a waiting room with dozens to hundreds of people who can only see a doctor when they are already partially incapacitated, coughing and sneezing is just messed up. You will want to get out of there fast so that you don't end up infected with several new diseases.

 

What we need is not a right to a defined minimum standard. What we need is to get people to see a private doctor once a year for a physical and a one-on-one conversation about how to stay healthy in the first place. If we have that much in place, then the emergency rooms can take care of real emergencies.

 

We are not going to get to that point with the current tiered system. In a nation where employees of AT&T pay $100/month for the same care that my small employer has to shell out $300/month for, we are going to have people who do not have health care because it is too expensive.

 

The government is going to have to do something. The question to my mind is what has to happen. If we let HHS and the FTC call the shots, then we will probably end up with a mess of a system that may actually be worse than what we have now. On the other hand, the VA does quite a good job of taking care of veterans. We should study how they do it and see what works out so well for them.

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EXC wrote:I think that

EXC wrote:
I think that guaranteeing health care is like guaranteeing you will live forever.

That's ridiculous. The right in this case is having access to health care, not immortality. How could you even confuse the two?

EXC wrote:
So how do we guarantee that making health care a right will not cause the government to go bankrupt?

What Eloise said: Canada, Denmark, Germany, Australia, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, and all the wealthy Western powers other than the United States have universal health care. Between that and the metric system, I seriously wonder about you guys.

EXC wrote:
Do people have a right to not have nearly all their income taken in taxes to pay for it?

Are you high? The maximum people can get taxed in theory in Canada is 47%. In reality, most people in that tax bracket (250,000+, if I remember right) have a corporation or holding company that gives them closer to a 33% tax load. And if they, or any other citizen or landed immigrant in Canada gets seriously sick, you can be treated here without a moment's hesitation. I happily pay for that every year.

EXC wrote:
Do doctors and medical workers have a right to refuse to work if the wages are too low?

When you decide to be a doctor in a socialized system, you know what you're getting into.

EXC wrote:
Do pharmaceutical companies have a right not to sell their products if the government does not adequately compensate them?

Uh, are governments not huge pharmaceutical customers, and thus easier for a pharmaceutical company to negotiate with than multiple independent customers?

EXC wrote:
Do medical researchers have a right to expect the government will allow them to become rich if their hard work results in new treatments?

NO! No entrepreneur can expect success! That's an unreasonable expectation.

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Its the duty of any

Its the duty of any civilized society (which includes all members of the public) to ensure its members are as healthy as such a society can afford but the whole concept of 'rights' is silly.

 


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Subdi Visions wrote:But I

Subdi Visions wrote:
But I also have no desire to be treated for anything in a "public" hospital. Absolutely, disgustingly filthy they are. I'll pay to be seen in a clean place where the staff give at least a passing glance at "customer service". ;p 

You've never been to a public hospital then. When I was last in hospital a few years ago I got my own room and every bed had TV and internet access. Not to shabby.

There was a study I was looking at recently which found the publicly run British NHS was of superior quality than the US private health care system. I'll dig it out.

 

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When we speak of health care in the modern world, we are talking about what it has developed into from the past. This is part of the problem. Three hundred years ago, health care was largely one thing. Today, we have tiers of health care based on one's ability to access it. Is one of the lower tiers the point that people have a right to and can other people pay for better service? If so, what is the level of health care that people have a right to?

I think people have a right to at least a minimal standard of health care. By minimal standard of care I mean you shouldn't be flat out ignored. If you're not being ignored then you're being given care, by definition. More specifically I mean emergencies and life threatening conditions. If you get hit by a car, or are struck with cancer or parkinsons, typically at no fault of your own,  then you should be treated. You shouldn't be left for dead. I would also include elective/non-emergency procedures like knee and hip replacements on the grounds that these too are typically no ones fault.

Where it gets a bit more muddy are things which were preventable but where the person continued despite being aware of the possible impact, so things like respiratory illnesses/needing a lung transplant due to smoking, needing a liver transplant due to drinking, or the various obesity related conditions. Here I think there are more legitimate concerns regarding whether the public should provide such treatment.

I would probably still come down on the 'yes, they should be treated' side on the grounds that for a long time we as a society made smoking, excessive drinking, over eating/not exercising acceptable, so society as a whole must take some of the responsibility for that, so at the very least they should be given the medical help to overcomes the results of this.

Private health care, where you pay a premium, is without a doubt superior to public health care, so people should always have the right to opt to pay for private health care, however there should always be a free option.

 

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Seriously, if you have ever been to a free clinic, you would know what a nightmare that can be. Sitting in a waiting room with dozens to hundreds of people who can only see a doctor when they are already partially incapacitated, coughing and sneezing is just messed up. You will want to get out of there fast so that you don't end up infected with several new diseases.

I live in Britain, so I use the free NHS all the time. I have no problems with it whatsoever. I don't really know what you mean by only being allowed to see a doctor once you're already incapacitated. I can go to the doctor when ever I want. If it is an emergency I can go the same day, otherwise it may be next day or a few days for the appointment. The NHS is big on preventative care so they would encourage you to seek help before it becomes a big issue.

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Topher wrote:  Subdi

Topher wrote:
  

Subdi Visions wrote:
But I also have no desire to be treated for anything in a "public" hospital. Absolutely, disgustingly filthy they are. I'll pay to be seen in a clean place where the staff give at least a passing glance at "customer service". ;p 

You've never been to a public hospital then. When I was last in hospital a few years ago I got my own room and every bed had TV and internet access. Not to shabby.

There was a study I was looking at recently which found the publicly run British NHS was of superior quality than the US private health care system. I'll dig it out.

In my second career as a jail guard I actually am "blessed" with working at the largest public hospital in the Pacific Northwest on a fairly regular basis. I see things there, on a regular basis, that would make a billy goat puke. I was hospitalized last year for a run away infection of cellulitis that I can't prove but have no doubt came from Harborview Medical Center. It is without a doubt the premier tramua center from Alaska down to Oregon and east as far as Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. Aside from that though its filthy and the homeless all but live there when not actually admitted. Nasty, filthy place.

 

Respectfully,
Lenny

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Madmen fed on fear and lies, To beat and burn and kill"
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HisWillness wrote:That's

HisWillness wrote:

That's ridiculous. The right in this case is having access to health care, not immortality. How could you even confuse the two?

That's the direction were're headed. Longer and longer life spans, more and more technology to keep people alive longer.  Is there a limit on how much society is required to pay to keep people living on another year? Or is this right to live unlimited by time and money?

HisWillness wrote:

What Eloise said: Canada, Denmark, Germany, Australia, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, and all the wealthy Western powers other than the United States have universal health care. Between that and the metric system, I seriously wonder about you guys.

Yes, but you have to ration health care. You can't let the patient have whatever treatment they feel is their right to have. So it's not a full right. And what should extremely poor 3rd world countries do? Pay whatever medical costs there are at the expense of buying food or building infrastructure?

HisWillness wrote:

Are you high? The maximum people can get taxed in theory in Canada is 47%. In reality, most people in that tax bracket (250,000+, if I remember right) have a corporation or holding company that gives them closer to a 33% tax load. And if they, or any other citizen or landed immigrant in Canada gets seriously sick, you can be treated here without a moment's hesitation. I happily pay for that every year.

Then why do Canadians come to the USA for treatment? Why is care rationed? When there are new expensive treatments developed you just keep jacking up taxes to pay for whatever medical science can invent?

HisWillness wrote:

When you decide to be a doctor in a socialized system, you know what you're getting into.

So they don't have a right to stike for higher wages or is society obliged to pay them whatever they want to avoid going on strike? How do you solve the nursing shortage problem if people can refuse to train to be a nurse because of low wages?

HisWillness wrote:

Uh, are governments not huge pharmaceutical customers, and thus easier for a pharmaceutical company to negotiate with than multiple independent customers?

So they have a right to refuse to sell if they think the government price is too low? Do they have patent rights over the drugs and treatments they develop? Or can the goverment take away these rights if they ask for too much money?

HisWillness wrote:

NO! No entrepreneur can expect success! That's an unreasonable expectation.

I'm asking if they develop proven sucessful drugs treatments. Is the govenment going to give them patent rights such that they can become rich by selling their intellectual property at the price they want.

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Are you a doctor

Are you a doctor EXC?

 

 

Because nearly my entire family works in medicine. My grandfather is a surgeon, mom is a nurse...hospitals are a common environment for me to visit to see family.

 

 

The biggest complaints they have, have to do with how they want to help people but are not allowed to. They see problems, and can't fix them...even though the treatment is readily available. So many people either do not have insurance, or are not covered..so their problems degenerate, and they are forced to watch.

 

 

When you take an oath to help people, then go out and work and find out you are actually watching people suffer most of the time and can't do anything for them because they aren't covered by insurance and can't afford it....yeah. They have repeatedly mentioned that they would rather anything else than that, as it is the largest share of stress they had to shoulder nearly every day.

 

 

Before you speak for someone else, make sure you know what it is they want.

 

 

Many professionals in the medical field decide to LEAVE the USA to practice elsewhere simply because of the added stress of not being able to treat patients after diagnosing them.

 

As for nurses, my mom didn't have any problems with pay. She had problems that the hospital would intentionally understaff to boost profits. The thing is, insurance for nurses has to be covered by the hospital, and they can be paid just as much as doctors. This results in nurses costing the same or more than doctors a lot of the time for hospitals. Doctors, unless they are specifically covered by the hospital in a deal, have to pay their own practitioner insurance.

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There are reasons why a

There are reasons why a public hospital may not be in great condition, and they ALL stem from one of 3 factors: privatization, corrupt or incompetent management, and available resources(which is tied in part to both). Health care needs to be kept out of the hands of profiteers to work at peak efficiency. Same with all emergency services. Privatization is simply introducing further cultural barriers between the rich and everyone else, as well as driving up costs by obscene amounts and lowering response time and efficiency.

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ClockCat wrote:Are you a

ClockCat wrote:

Are you a doctor EXC?

 

No. Logic designer. So always looking for a logical answer.

 

ClockCat wrote:

The biggest complaints they have, have to do with how they want to help people but are not allowed to. They see problems, and can't fix them...even though the treatment is readily available. So many people either do not have insurance, or are not covered..so their problems degenerate, and they are forced to watch. 

 

Why don't they have insurance? Isn't it because they couldn't get a good job because the education system failed them, or social services/welfare programs failed to fix their problems? Or society allowed them to have children at a young age before they could afford to take care of them. So basically government screwed up big time their education and rehabilitation if they were on welfare, right?

So your solution to the government fucking up is to give the government more money for welfare for the poor and the medical industry. Basically reward failure. Why would the government run health care any better than our schools, prisons and welfare system?

I would support medical services for the poor/uninsured if it was part of an effective rehabilitation program. So you would get medical coverage if you followed the instructions of the social workers that were putting you on a program to get you off welfare.

So if I'm going to support any government services, shouldn't just be an effective education/rehabilitation system that gets people good jobs that enable them to buy their own insurance?

 

ClockCat wrote:

As for nurses, my mom didn't have any problems with pay. She had problems that the hospital would intentionally understaff to boost profits.

 

So, why don't people go to hospital that do not understaff? You don't go to a restaurant with bad service do you? Why can't I go online and see hospital ratings like I do restaurant ratings?

 

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EXC wrote:That's the

EXC wrote:
That's the direction were're headed. Longer and longer life spans, more and more technology to keep people alive longer.  Is there a limit on how much society is required to pay to keep people living on another year? Or is this right to live unlimited by time and money?

I'm not sure I can take the thought experiments. Let's deal with the current reality, shall we? Access to health care. Access. That doesn't even say anything about the quality of the health care. That means you aren't barred by virtue of not being able to pay. Immortality is completely irrelevant to the point.

EXC wrote:
Then why do Canadians come to the USA for treatment? Why is care rationed? When there are new expensive treatments developed you just keep jacking up taxes to pay for whatever medical science can invent?

Jesus. Look, I don't know what fantasy world you live in, but Canadians go to the US for convenience. Sometimes US hospitals just aren't as busy. My dad's done it for an MRI. And it's covered by Canadian health care!

When there are new expensive treatments? Most health care hasn't changed in terms of expense for 40 years! Yeah, we got better imaging and better instruments, but laparoscopic surgery has reduced rehabilitation expenses across the board, freeing up beds. In fact, new techniques usually reduce costs, for the very reason that in most countries, doctors are working without a huge budget, so anything that's faster to heal, cheaper to perform, and generally more effective gets adopted by everyone.

EXC wrote:
So they don't have a right to stike for higher wages or is society obliged to pay them whatever they want to avoid going on strike? How do you solve the nursing shortage problem if people can refuse to train to be a nurse because of low wages?

Nurses have unions; doctors have political clout in the form of medical associations. Everyone on the political side plays nice with both, and when there's a shortage, the government raises incentives like wages to increase recruitment. You make it seem so catastrophic.

EXC wrote:
So they have a right to refuse to sell if they think the government price is too low? Do they have patent rights over the drugs and treatments they develop? Or can the goverment take away these rights if they ask for too much money?

The government pays the market price for pharmaceuticals, unless they have a special deal with a company. Look, you make it seem like pharmaceutical companies in the states aren't heavily subsidized. They're subsidized for millions of dollars each, so unless you think pharmaceutical companies should just get to run away with that tax money you consider so sacrosanct, maybe you should remember that Americans pay for companies to stay afloat all the time. Airlines, banks, pharmaceuticals, oil, power generation, factory agriculture, and the list goes on. The US is just as much of a mixed economy as Canada is, there's just less honesty in the application, and seemingly less compassion for its own people.

Like black people pretty much anywhere in the states. Seriously, what the fuck? Is there no universal health care because black people might get some?

EXC wrote:
I'm asking if they develop proven sucessful drugs treatments. Is the govenment going to give them patent rights such that they can become rich by selling their intellectual property at the price they want.

I'd love to visit your fantasy world, where successful treatments for serious and pandemic diseases are what make people rich. No money in such things, big guy. Viagra -- that's a money-maker. Fosamax, for rich old women who would rather not exercise (and the occasional legit case); Advair and Serevent, for asthma; Sonata, for insomnia; Effexor, anxiety; and let's not forget the weight-loss drugs, which together are probably now making pharmaceutical companies richer than ever. It's not about the third world, that's for sure.

Do you see antibiotics, anti-virals, chemotherapy drugs, or anything of that nature on the list of big money-makers? No, because they're straightforward to manufacture, cheap to develop (subsidized) and have predictable volumes of demand from government organizations. They're not $10 a pill to get a hard-on.

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:3

EXC wrote:

ClockCat wrote:

Are you a doctor EXC?

 

No. Logic designer. So always looking for a logical answer.

 

ClockCat wrote:

The biggest complaints they have, have to do with how they want to help people but are not allowed to. They see problems, and can't fix them...even though the treatment is readily available. So many people either do not have insurance, or are not covered..so their problems degenerate, and they are forced to watch. 

 

Why don't they have insurance? Isn't it because they couldn't get a good job because the education system failed them, or social services/welfare programs failed to fix their problems? Or society allowed them to have children at a young age before they could afford to take care of them. So basically government screwed up big time their education and rehabilitation if they were on welfare, right?

 

Whoa whoa whoa. That is a lot of assumptions at once. How do you know they didn't go to a private school, have no children, and are working for a company that either provides terribly BAD insurance (not worth copaying as it doesn't cover anything) or are being worked 39.5 hours to NOT have insurance? Why do you assume everyone fits into your little idea?

 

EXC wrote:

So your solution to the government fucking up is to give the government more money for welfare for the poor and the medical industry. Basically reward failure. Why would the government run health care any better than our schools, prisons and welfare system?

Where do you get that a person's lack of insurance or not being covered by their insurance is a "government fucking up"? And what do you have against social programs, like fire departments and the postal service?

EXC wrote:

I would support medical services for the poor/uninsured if it was part of an effective rehabilitation program. So you would get medical coverage if you followed the instructions of the social workers that were putting you on a program to get you off welfare.

Rehabilitation of what? Why do you assume the poor or uninsured have problems with them?

EXC wrote:

So if I'm going to support any government services, shouldn't just be an effective education/rehabilitation system that gets people good jobs that enable them to buy their own insurance?

 

Why do you assume it is education that prevents people from getting good jobs? And why do you assume that having insurance means you are covered? Or that the insurance provided by your company isn't completely useless for catastrophic (Read: Most of them are useless for this.) so when they actually NEED insurance, they go "Oh. Well we cover that for $2000. After that you are on your own."

EXC wrote:
ClockCat wrote:

As for nurses, my mom didn't have any problems with pay. She had problems that the hospital would intentionally understaff to boost profits.

 

So, why don't people go to hospital that do not understaff? You don't go to a restaurant with bad service do you? Why can't I go online and see hospital ratings like I do restaurant ratings?

Because starting a restaurant is not starting a hospital. Building a hospital costs a lot more money. It is like starting an automotive company: competition doesn't come easily because the startup costs are too high.

 

If there was a hospital on every corner, then you might have a choice.

 

 

 

Besides, that is like asking "If you don't like your fire department, just call a different place a few hours away to send a truck over!"

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 EXC wrote:Yes, but you

 

EXC wrote:
Yes, but you have to ration health care.

Of course. Resources are limited so health care is rationed, but this isn't unique to universal health care systems. Health care is rationed in far worse ways in the US: money. You may have to wait for elective treatment in universal health care systems, but you will be seen, unlike for-profit systems where millions simply don't get any care at all. This is one of the deceptions of the 'waiting line argument', illustrated here:

"In light of the "Health Affairs" data, smugness about our speedy access to care seems a bit peculiar. If someone can't afford care, we record their waiting time as zero. You don't wait for what you can't have. But a more accurate accounting would record that wait as infinite, or it would record when the patient eventually ends up in the emergency room because the original ailment went untreated. Research like this raises a simple question: Would you rather wait four months for a surgery or be unable to get it altogether?"

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-klein7-2009apr07,0,3092824.story

As the article states, the reason for queues for elective treatments in countries like Canada and Britain is largely due to under funding, however since American will spend far more than these countries (even if they reduce costs) they can eliminate long waits.

EXC wrote:
You can't let the patient have whatever treatment they feel is their right to have.

This is honestly something of a straw man. No one is saying the patient can just demand what ever they like. Patients should have choice, but under the discretion of doctors who advise them of the best course of action to take.

EXC wrote:
So it's not a full right.

Can you define what a 'full right' is as opposed to some other kind of right. I fail to see a distinction. Something is either a right or it isn't.

EXC wrote:
Why don't they have insurance? Isn't it because they couldn't get a good job because the education system failed them, or social services/welfare programs failed to fix their problems? Or society allowed them to have children at a young age before they could afford to take care of them. So basically government screwed up big time their education and rehabilitation if they were on welfare, right?

So your solution to the government fucking up is to give the government more money for welfare for the poor and the medical industry. Basically reward failure. Why would the government run health care any better than our schools, prisons and welfare system?

I would support medical services for the poor/uninsured if it was part of an effective rehabilitation program. So you would get medical coverage if you followed the instructions of the social workers that were putting you on a program to get you off welfare.

So if I'm going to support any government services, shouldn't just be an effective education/rehabilitation system that gets people good jobs that enable them to buy their own insurance?

I think you should do some more research. Being unable to get insurance isn't purely down to a lack of job. That view completely ignores the fact that the issue is largely with how the US health care industry is run! Some people do work but still cannot afford coverage due to high prices (a ramification of the profit nature of the system), others are either denied insurance altogether due to pre-existing conditions (or which ramp up the costs such they cannot afford it), or they have insurance and then find out the insurance company will not cover them and so have to declare themselves bankrupt.

Here's an investigation into this issue:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/05/23/cbsnews_investigates/main2843007.shtml

[T]he Commonwealth Fund, found that 89 percent, or 52 million, of those looking for individual health insurance didn't get it because it was too expensive or they were turned down.

"Insurers are getting double the profit that they make in the group market. Why is it so lucrative? Because they exclude anybody and everybody who has even a remote sense of risk associated with their health care," says Dr. Bryan Liang, who has studied the insurance industry for more than a decade.

The investigation also notes that as well as asking ridiculous questions like "Have you ever had a head ache?" they also delve into every aspect of your life, hoping to find some reason to reject your application.

Check out the videos on the left of that page.

Here is an article examining denial of care for people who think they are covered:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/05/23/fyi/main2843052.shtml

But even if you have health insurance, are you sure that if you get sick you'll be covered? Two major long-term care insurance providers are uncer Congressional investigation for denying an extremely high number of insurance claims.

Again, also check out the video on the left.

More on suspicious the activity of the insurance companies:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/05/24/cbsnews_investigates/main2850054.shtml

[Connecticut Attorney General Richard] Blumenthal's office has investigated dozens of the more than 500 complaints nationwide against Assurant, a Milwaukee-based company that specializes in individual policies. Blumenthal charges Assurant has a pattern of "bad faith" when it comes to its customers. 

"What this company did was create the illusion of coverage, when in reality, it would challenge almost any expensive procedure as a pre-existing condition," he said.

CBS' investigation of Assurant found a pattern of questionably denied claims and cancelled policies — and what a South Carolina judge called a culture of "secrecy, concealment … and shredded documents." 

A video deposition from another court case describes what may have been cash incentives to the company’s medical director to deny claims after the fact.

"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring" -- Carl Sagan


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Now, the physician will chime in

I'm a physician and have looked at both sides of this debate. Neither a private or public health system in this day and age is physician friendly in the US. Private insurance companies, hospitals, trial lawyers and the government have their own personal agendas and end up being antagonistic to doctors, physician assisstants and nurse practioners.

I am a Neurologist. It is one of the few specialties that have limited procedures and physicians devote most of their time talking with patients. It is not a money making field anywhere on this earth. Why did I become one then? You guessed it. I find the brain fascinating and enjoy taking care of folks with neurologic disorders.

That said, I still need to earn a living and provide for a family. Health care providers like me have to be compensated for services. Sheer interest and joy of medicine combined with altruism alone unfortunately will not put your kids through college. And if the forces I listed above continue their relentless self-preserving money hungry antagonism towards physicians, society will suffer in the long run. Fewer young adults will pursue medicine as a career and that amounts to less doctors. If you come to the emergency room with leg paralysis do you want Neurologists who can say whether you have Guillain Barre Syndrome versus West Nile virus infection? Do you want a future devoid of such specialists because of shortsighted selfish bureaucrats in both the private and public sector? That is the situation currently in the United States.

I have yet to hear of Neurologists or other healthcare providers in other nations complain. I have yet to see physicians in poverty in countries such as Canada, Britain or the Scandinavian nations. They take care of patients and get reasonable compensation for something they enjoy doing. They may not be flying to Tahiti every 3 months to play golf, but I think they're happy earning a comfortable living for the services they provide.


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:o

ragdish wrote:

Neither a private or public health system in this day and age is physician friendly in the US. Private insurance companies, hospitals, trial lawyers and the government have their own personal agendas and end up being antagonistic to doctors, physician assisstants and nurse practioners.

 

^

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HisWillness wrote:Do you see

HisWillness wrote:

Do you see antibiotics, anti-virals, chemotherapy drugs, or anything of that nature on the list of big money-makers? No, because they're straightforward to manufacture, cheap to develop (subsidized) and have predictable volumes of demand from government organizations. They're not $10 a pill to get a hard-on.

OK then it's so cheap to provide catastrophic health insurance. I still don't have an answer as to why we don't have non-profits and low cost for-profit insurance then, if your theory is true. Who is stopping a low cost competitor from coming into the US market? Why don't you start an insurance company in the USA if it is so easy for them to make big bucks? Why must the government run it? Why don't we have the government run Wal-Mart if the government can provide low cost products and services better than the private sector?

The only answer is that you want to have welfare, you want to take money from people that have it and give it those that don't. Government run health care is just a way to get around to a direct cash transfer from the rich to the poor, because too many people wouldn't like this method. Why must we use the health care system to do wealth redistribution? Just have the rich write a check to the poor so they can buy their own medical insurance.

Also your argument is completely contradicts Zues' argument. He essentially says companies like CIGNA deny coverage and won't write policies for life threatening conditions. So their customers die every day because of lack of coverage. Therefore we need the government to run health care.

Now you say covering all life-threatening conditions is not that expensive and won't bankrupt the government or lead to higher taxes. If this is the case, it seems CIGNA would be happy to cover these cheap life threatening conditions rather than get the bad publicity and customer loss that comes when they let their customers die. Why not just pass a law that all insurance policies must cover all life threatening conditions. It should be no big deal to the insurance carriers according to your theory, right?

Whose story should I believe, you or Zues?

 

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ClockCat wrote:Whoa whoa

ClockCat wrote:

Whoa whoa whoa. That is a lot of assumptions at once. How do you know they didn't go to a private school, have no children, and are working for a company that either provides terribly BAD insurance (not worth copaying as it doesn't cover anything) or are being worked 39.5 hours to NOT have insurance? Why do you assume everyone fits into your little idea?

I didn't list all the reasons someone may be without insurance. If someone is without insurance, I think they should first see a social worker to evaluate their situation. There should be a government/private sector program then to get people out of poverty so they can buy their own insurance. But some people with refuse to get with the program, they people would need to be cut off from being able to receive expensive medical services.

The problem is now the health care industry is being used to treat our poverty problem. Treat poverty and unemployment as a seperate problem.

ClockCat wrote:

Where do you get that a person's lack of insurance or not being covered by their insurance is a "government fucking up"? And what do you have against social programs, like fire departments and the postal service?

Well then why have public education and welfare if it doesn't lead to people being able to afford their own insurance?

I don't like government programs I'm forced to pay for even if they suck. You don't go to overpriced restaurants, so why am I forced to pay for overpriced fire protection I don't want or need?

ClockCat wrote:

Why do you assume it is education that prevents people from getting good jobs?

Even with the recession, there are still labor shortages for professions like nursing. Why can't people without insurance get these jobs then? Part of the problem to is overpopulation leading to labor oversupplies. This is a separate problem that needs to be fixed.

ClockCat wrote:

And why do you assume that having insurance means you are covered?

Why don't people buy full coverage policies then, if this is what they want?

ClockCat wrote:

As for nurses, my mom didn't have any problems with pay. She had problems that the hospital would intentionally understaff to boost profits.

 

Then why didn't she work for a hospital that didn't do this? If hospitals make obscene profits, why don't capitalists build more to cash in?

ClockCat wrote:

Because starting a restaurant is not starting a hospital. Building a hospital costs a lot more money. It is like starting an automotive company: competition doesn't come easily because the startup costs are too high.

 

In case you haven't read the news, there is plenty of competition in the automotive industry. The startup cost for a medical clinic are relatively low. If hospitals and insurance companies are making such obscene profits as you claim, in the free market competitors will come in, doctors can get a business loan to start their own clinic if necessary.

And how do new hospitals get built if we have gov. run health care? The government is totally broke, in case you haven't read that news. The only way we would have money to build new ones is with private investment with a profit motive.

Health care reform is all a rouse for wealth redistribution instead of fixing the problem with our education and social services.

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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EXC wrote:If hospitals make

EXC wrote:

If hospitals make obscene profits, why don't capitalists build more to cash in?

Well, that's just it isn't it EXC, essential health services just aren't attractive to capitalists, and what doesn't fit a capitalist model will ultimately suffer under it, that's the way of things there.

With essential health the cash return tends to be light, its the humanitarian return and societal resilience that is the boon.

For capitalists there is a profitable market in non-essential health trends, but as someone, I think it was Will, noted earlier there is not so much one in general medicine.

Moreover we have essentially the same story with education, the return diffuses over time and apart from the state of countable cash this is of no interest to capitalism.

Where capitalist investment can basically be taken to count for nothing, in all probability, it's because the party with the most to gain from investing is, not an individual, but the people's community - so a social model is logical. Or else we can resign ourselves to having nothing in the way of services that isn't a darling of all capitalists alike; another logical alternative.

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Here we go again. Positive

Here we go again. Positive rights and negative rights are in opposition to one another. Negative rights are saying that people can not do some thing to you or prevent you from doing some thing (ie. "I can say or think what I want and no one can stop me from exercising my right to free speech&quotEye-wink. Positive rights are an obligation on others that demand that they give you free goods or services (ie. "I have a right to eat, if people don't give me free food when I am hungry, then they have violated my rights&quotEye-wink.

So, has someone's rights been violated if they are not given free food even though they are real hungry? If you answered "yes" then you are a proponent of positive rights. But a "right to eat" or a "right to health care" really means an obligation on others to give you free food and health care. And if they fail at providing these free goods and services, then they have wronged you in just the same way as a government denying you freedom of speech or religion. If you honestly believed in a "right to eat," then you must think that a supermarket not giving free food to a starving person is violating their rights.

I personally don't believe in positive rights. No one owes you anything. No one holds any obligation to help you no matter how badly you need the help and no matter how easy it is for them to help you. You can argue public goods in these matters. You could say that no one has a "right to eat" or a "right to health care," but we are all better off if poor people aren't dying in the streets from starvation and easily prevented or cured diseases.

Quote:

Firstly we have Article 25 of the UDHR, which classifies health care as a right.

The UN doesn't define rights. Rights are fundamental and can not be granted or invented by a government or an intergovermental body. And the UN is so full of shit on so many issues that I doubt many people care about their inane blatherings. Also, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights denounces the use of any of those rights in opposing the UN. Talk about hypocrytical. "Oh, here is a list of rights that all people have. Just one thing: these rights don't count if it means opposing our will. Obviously your rights don't count if it means that you can excercise them to oppose us on any matter."

 

Quote:

they just seem to think the US government is incapable of running anything successfully.

This year and last year the IRS doubled my income on my tax form for me and has demanded that I pay extra taxes. I place down the amount that I make, they DOUBLE it exactly and then mail me a collection notice saying I owe them more. I simply did not make the amount that they claim I made. They literally took the number that my employer told me to write down as my yearly income, doubled it and then send me collection notices warning me that fees and interest are going to pile up (though the interest rate is low). It will take at least 12-15 weeks to resolve this matter. When I called them to complain I had to wait on the phone on hold for the better part of an hour and then was disconnected. I then had to re-call them, wait the better part of an hour again, and then I finally told the name of the very confusing form that I had to fill out to resolve this matter. I think you know where I'm going with this. These jokers can't even process my 1040 with out catastrophically fucking it up. And of course: it is like pulling teeth to reverse their gigantic and obvious fuck up. So I owe the government taxes on income that I never earned, my employer agrees with me that I earned exactly half of what they claim I did, and it will take at least months to resolve the issue. Can I trust these people with my health? I think not. I am pretty scared of a future in which health care in the US is like a mix of the DMV and the IRS. I really hope that I get to opt out of whatever bloated, slow and infuriating beaurocracy that is invented to run health care in the future.

"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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Topher wrote:  

Topher wrote:

 

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:
Seriously, if you have ever been to a free clinic, you would know what a nightmare that can be. Sitting in a waiting room with dozens to hundreds of people who can only see a doctor when they are already partially incapacitated, coughing and sneezing is just messed up. You will want to get out of there fast so that you don't end up infected with several new diseases.

 

I live in Britain, so I use the free NHS all the time. I have no problems with it whatsoever. I don't really know what you mean by only being allowed to see a doctor once you're already incapacitated. I can go to the doctor when ever I want. If it is an emergency I can go the same day, otherwise it may be next day or a few days for the appointment. The NHS is big on preventative care so they would encourage you to seek help before it becomes a big issue.

 

Ah, I should have specified going to a free clinic in a country where the health care is just appalling. We will call that my fault. Anyway, if a free clinic meant that you could show up and if you needed something, it would happen, I would be fine with that. Such is not the case on this side of the pond.

 

Many years ago, I did not have health insurance so if I wanted health care, anything at all would have been out of pocket. Against that, you need to also be aware that those who control access to such services are into playing fun and games to limit what services people get.

 

One time, I was in a relatively minor bar fight and I ended up with ten stitches in my lip. Well, suture removal can be had at the free clinic but only on Wednesday. In my case, Wednesday was a couple of days too soon. So I showed up on Friday, which was minor surgery day. Really, you would not think that I was asking for something that was so different from what they had planned on. However, I was told to leave and come back the following Wednesday. By Sunday or Monday, the stitches were growing over and with no other option in sight, I took them out myself in a bathroom with a set of nail clippers.

 

While I was there, I had to sit in a waiting room with a couple hundred people who also would only go there because there simply was no other option open to them and they had waited until they were desperately sick. I had to sit there among all the other sick people for a couple of hours waiting to be told that they would not provide a simple two minute job.

 

As far as sick people go, think people who are coughing and sneezing with no control because the colds or flus had progressed to pneumonia. Think oozing wounds that had not had bandages changed because they were somewhere the patient could not easily reach (and no nursing service was available to them, nor were antibiotics prescribed). I could go on but I think that you get the point.

 

If that was your only way to see a doctor, you would avoid the place as well, if for no better reason than the odds of you leaving there with more disease exposure than you had when you walked in.

 

Topher wrote:

 

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:
When we speak of health care in the modern world, we are talking about what it has developed into from the past. This is part of the problem. Three hundred years ago, health care was largely one thing. Today, we have tiers of health care based on one's ability to access it. Is one of the lower tiers the point that people have a right to and can other people pay for better service? If so, what is the level of health care that people have a right to?

 

I think people have a right to at least a minimal standard of health care. By minimal standard of care I mean you shouldn't be flat out ignored. If you're not being ignored then you're being given care, by definition.

 

<snip>

 

Private health care, where you pay a premium, is without a doubt superior to public health care, so people should always have the right to opt to pay for private health care, however there should always be a free option.

 

On the whole, I would tend to agree with you. However, I have seen how bad we have allowed things to become over here. Part of which comes from people who make the rules being those who make an upper class living and never seeing what comes from their miserly behavior deciding just what the minimum they can do and still get to sleep at night.

 

Really, in my world view, the benefit to the individual can be a benefit to society at large if the proper discussion happens and it can be understood that spending a bit of money can save a lot of other money in the long run. Sadly, we need to have that discussion over here and we are not doing even that much for the major part.

 

We are dealing with insurance companies who are able to remove people from the system for the demonic “pre-existing condition”. Basically, if you change insurance companies, they will not pay for your medication if it is something that you are already taking. An example could be hypoglycemia. The medication might cost some amount of money but the rules of the game are that your new insurance company does not have to fork over the cash. Never mind the fact that that could mean a kidney transplant several years from now. It is far more important for them to avoid the smaller payment today.

 

So yah, if the “acceptable minimum” was that companies were not allowed to drop people to save a couple hundred bucks today and save many tens of thousands of dollars later on, that might be acceptable. However, that is a raising of the bar from what currently passes for minimal service over here.

 

Topher wrote:
Where it gets a bit more muddy are things which were preventable but where the person continued despite being aware of the possible impact, so things like respiratory illnesses/needing a lung transplant due to smoking, needing a liver transplant due to drinking, or the various obesity related conditions. Here I think there are more legitimate concerns regarding whether the public should provide such treatment.

 

I would probably still come down on the 'yes, they should be treated' side on the grounds that for a long time we as a society made smoking, excessive drinking, over eating/not exercising acceptable, so society as a whole must take some of the responsibility for that, so at the very least they should be given the medical help to overcomes the results of this.

 

That is one of the things that I think we need to be really careful about. Should we tell drunks “no, you may not have a new liver”? Sure, it is tempting to do that on “moral grounds” but I question whether such ideas are really moral. It is an easy argument to make but it is not one that I am sure that we should be in the business of making. Really, I don't have to approve of the fact that they spent thirty years destroying their original liver. However, I am reluctant to condemn people to an early death on the basis that I don't personally approve of what they did.

 

Against that, we also have the fact that it does take thirty years to destroy a liver from drinking. However, certain form of hepatitis can destroy a replacement liver in less than a year. In fact, there are cases on the books where hepatitis patients have gone through three or four replacement livers before their system is cleaned out of the virus. The average drunk only needs one liver for whatever the full life expectancy might be after decades of hard living.

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Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."

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Eloise wrote:  

Eloise wrote:

 

Moreover we have essentially the same story with education, the return diffuses over time and apart from the state of countable cash this is of no interest to capitalism.

 

Where capitalist investment can basically be taken to count for nothing, in all probability, it's because the party with the most to gain from investing is, not an individual, but the people's community - so a social model is logical. Or else we can resign ourselves to having nothing in the way of services that isn't a darling of all capitalists alike; another logical alternative.

 

I can't agree with you on that one Eloise. Nobody really tries to argue that a good education pays off society in the long run while paying off the individual in the short run. So we have a system of private for profit universities mixed with publicly funded universities.

 

Also, generally, the government provides quite a decent package of grants, loans and outright tuition reductions to encourage people to get a good secondary education. Anyone who has the skills to make it through secondary education should be able to find a way to get it, often at no cost to the individual or at least at a substantially reduced cost.

 

The problem that we are dealing with in the USA is that the publicly funded education for children is broken, in many cases to the point where people graduate primary school with few skills that place them in the running for a good secondary education. Really, we have no loss for adults who can't read basic instructions on a microwave dinner and can't add two thirds and three fourths.

 

One does not have to want to be a doctor or astronomer to be successful in life, although we are fully willing to make that happen if that is what you want. However, we are turning out people who instead of fixing lawnmowers are content to drive them for a living.

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."

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Eloise wrote:Well, that's

Eloise wrote:

Well, that's just it isn't it EXC, essential health services just aren't attractive to capitalists, and what doesn't fit a capitalist model will ultimately suffer under it, that's the way of things there.

OK, so insurance companies and hospitals are not making obscene profits at the expense of good customer care. I seem to get to two different points of view on this. So then, under government run health care things wouldn't be much cheaper because they don't make much profit now?

What about non-profit co-ops that don't have to answer to share holders only policy holders? Why can't they get the same level of efficiency and cost savings as any government run program?

I'm trying to understand the economic theory behind all this. I'm trying to understand what is so different about health care that the laws of supply and demand don't work to maximize efficiency and cost. If single payer is a more efficient economic model for delivery of essential services,  why don't we make grocery stores single payer also? Where we all show up to get our food every week and the grocery store manager decides what you will have this week to eat, and then the government pays the bill. Grocery stores operate on low-profit margins as well. Is there any economic paper from a respected rational economist you can point me to that would explain this to me?

A problem with delivery of essential services in a free-market system is that when you have shortages, you have huge spikes in the price. When there is a small food shortage, the prices spike because people can't stop eating just because the price went up. With non-essential services, if the price goes up a bit, the demand decrease so you don't have price spikes.

So governments will often subsidize farming to make sure we don't have production shortages because food shortages could lead to a price inflation disaster. Now if health care is overpriced such that people can afford to buy comprehensive insurance, isn't the answer to make sure we have an oversupply of medical services and lots of competition between suppliers. So if the government is going to do anything, why not pay for free education of doctors, nurses and build a lot of hospitals? How is government run health care monopoly going to reduce the nursing shortage which leads to high prices and bad service?

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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EXC wrote:HisWillness

EXC wrote:

HisWillness wrote:

Do you see antibiotics, anti-virals, chemotherapy drugs, or anything of that nature on the list of big money-makers? No, because they're straightforward to manufacture, cheap to develop (subsidized) and have predictable volumes of demand from government organizations. They're not $10 a pill to get a hard-on.

The only answer is that you want to have welfare, you want to take money from people that have it and give it those that don't. Government run health care is just a way to get around to a direct cash transfer from the rich to the poor, because too many people wouldn't like this method. Why must we use the health care system to do wealth redistribution? Just have the rich write a check to the poor so they can buy their own medical insurance.

Your argument really is unbelievable! Have you not heard of solidarity? I guess we should just end charities, I mean, why should they exist if giving to the less well off is bad? We should just end socialised police and fire services and go to an insurance system. If you cannot afford it, tough, you're gonna burn! 

 

Societies are made up of people, societies do not exist without people, therefore it is in the best interest of the society to ensure its people are well. This requires all members of society to contribute to the upkeep of their society, via tax, for both infrastructure and human well being.

 

Quote:
Also your argument is completely contradicts Zues' argument. He essentially says companies like CIGNA deny coverage and won't write policies for life threatening conditions. So their customers die every day because of lack of coverage. Therefore we need the government to run health care.

 

Now you say covering all life-threatening conditions is not that expensive and won't bankrupt the government or lead to higher taxes. If this is the case, it seems CIGNA would be happy to cover these cheap life threatening conditions rather than get the bad publicity and customer loss that comes when they let their customers die. Why not just pass a law that all insurance policies must cover all life threatening conditions. It should be no big deal to the insurance carriers according to your theory, right?

Whose story should I believe, you or Zues?

Here the problem with your argument here: a government run health care system is more efficient than a privately run health care system, so the fact it is cheap for government does not mean it will be cheap for private insurance companies.

The reason it is more expensive for private health care is because you have the cost of the actual treatment PLUS more staff (bigger admin department) and typically high salaries PLUS added costs to cover non-payments PLUS marketing costs PLUS legal costs and higher malpractice fees PLUS additional costs in order for the company to make high profits.

All this inflates the final cost, meaning more expensive premiums.

Since a government run system covers everyone (eliminating non-payments), is typically more streamlined (requiring less staff), does not require marketing or massive legal departments, and since a government run system only need it to be self-sustaining rather than profit making, the cost is greatly reduced.

 

"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring" -- Carl Sagan


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EXC wrote:Eloise wrote:Well,

EXC wrote:

Eloise wrote:

Well, that's just it isn't it EXC, essential health services just aren't attractive to capitalists, and what doesn't fit a capitalist model will ultimately suffer under it, that's the way of things there.

What about non-profit co-ops that don't have to answer to share holders only policy holders? Why can't they get the same level of efficiency and cost savings as any government run program?

Look at Japans health care system, which is one of the best in the worlds. Insurance is provided by social non-profit organisations, doctors and hospitals are privately run, but government determines the price. 

 

Quote:
I'm trying to understand the economic theory behind all this. I'm trying to understand what is so different about health care that the laws of supply and demand don't work to maximize efficiency and cost. If single payer is a more efficient economic model for delivery of essential services,  why don't we make grocery stores single payer also? Where we all show up to get our food every week and the grocery store manager decides what you will have this week to eat, and then the government pays the bill. Grocery stores operate on low-profit margins as well. Is there any economic paper from a respected rational economist you can point me to that would explain this to me?

Because heath care is not a commodity like groceries! Everything doesn't have to fit into a single economic theory. The fact is some things should not be profit-based and so should stay out of the capitalist hands; things that are required for society, like health and safety. Peoples safety and health should not be something that is seen to be a personal profit making business. Other things on the other hand are better run via markets, things like commodities.

Also, the alternative to the current US health care system doesn't necessarily mean a government run health care system. There are other like the Japanese system.

 

Here's a good paper on the NHS, how it works, and what can be learnt from it:

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1447686

Especially this section:

Quote:
Transferable Policy Lessons From the United Kingdom

The British have made a number of good decisions that are transferable to other systems. Some of these are mentioned in the text and others come from a more comprehensive list.27

1. Health care should be “free at the point of service,” a founding principle of the NHS. Although this is precisely opposite the principle of American employers and politicians as they increase co-payments, the evidence from the United States and abroad supports the British position. Co-payments create inequities, raise barriers to access, and usually do not achieve their goals.28,29They are not very effective in containing costs, because patients have discretion over just a small percentage of ambulatory and elective choices. Most “cost containment” efforts focus on minor, front-end costs rather than addressing major, back-end costs.30 Moreover, co-payments undermine the goals of appropriate and effective care and discriminate against the working and lower classes. Such evidence seems ignored by advocates of co-payments in Congress and the business community.

2. Fund health care from income taxes. Whenever the British have reviewed the option of using health insurance instead of income tax financing, they have found evidence that an insurance-based health care system costs more to operate, is more inequitable, controls costs less effectively, and provides no basis for population-oriented prevention or public health gains. By sharp contrast, US employers are moving the other way, from large group insurance toward individuals buying their own policies on a voluntary basis, long known as the most costly and inequitable way to structure health insurance, with few means to contain costs, raise quality, or improve the health status of the population.

3. Establish a strong primary care base for a health care system.Every UK resident chooses a personal physician or practice. The system provides incentives to practice in underserved areas and prevents new GPs from setting up in saturated, affluent areas. The primary care base of the NHS is widely celebrated 31 and has been consistently strengthened over the decades. For example, as recruitment into general practice and morale waned and sub-specialty medicine grew in the postwar years, the British raised GP lifetime incomes to equal those of subspecialists. Other changes were made to strengthen primary care by providing more practice staff and nurses in order to encourage solo practitioners to come together into teams. More recently, these teams have been further enlarged by bringing together geographic clusters of GP practices into large Primary Care Trusts that include all community health care services and many social services as well.

4. Pay GPs extra for treating patients with deprivations and from deprived areas. Almost 20 years ago, Brian Jarman developed a deprivation scale based on factors that affect clinical care, so that living alone is a factor as well as low income.32 The British have long paid GPs considerably more for taking care of patients who are more likely to have more problems and whose care is more demanding. American health policy researchers are still debating whether it can be done.

5. Reduce inequalities in historic funding that usually favor the affluent. Regional inequities in the United Kingdom are much smaller now than 20 to 30 years ago, and all major budgets are risk adjusted, in sharp contrast to the United States. Reductions have been achieved through national planning, building up hospitals and resources in underserved areas, and giving disproportionately more new funds to less well-funded areas.

6. Devise a set of bonuses for GP practices that reach population-based targets for prevention.Starting in 1990, the government added a new element to the GP contract—lump sums or bonuses for carrying out preventive measures on a high percentage of the patient panel (enrollees). For example, a practice could receive about $1250 if it completed the childhood immunization series for 70% to 89% of all eligible children registered and $3700 if it completed the series for 90% or more. The result has been high levels of immunizations and other preventive measures. Another incentive rewards GPs for using generic drugs for 70% of their prescriptions. Why don’t US health plans follow suit?

7. Pay all subspecialists on the same salary scale. This policy conveys the sense that psychiatry is as important and complicated as cardiology and pediatrics as challenging as orthopedics. On what defensible grounds should one specialty (cardiology) be paid more than another (psychiatry)? Equal pay signals to young doctors that they should specialize in what they do best and enjoy. Yet in many systems pay differs greatly by specialty. This decision has many cultural, organizational, and clinical benefits, even though some subspecialties have more opportunities to supplement their incomes than others.

8. Control prescription drug prices while rewarding basic research for breakthrough drugs. Like most other countries, the British have a national board that negotiates with the industry. Pharmaceutical companies like to portray this approach, which is nearly universal outside the United States, as “price controls” that can “never work.” In fact, nationally negotiated price schedules have worked well for years and saved billions. The British approach goes further, by rewarding breakthrough research and discouraging “me too” research or patent manipulation. It regulates profits, not prices, by having companies submit financial records and by determining set proportions for expenditures (e.g., a limit of 7% of sales for spending on marketing) on in-patent branded drugs.33,34 If prices result in higher profits than allowed, the excess profits are paid back. The British approach both ensures and limits profits. 7,8 Meanwhile, providers are given drug budgets within which they have to live. Any other nation or large buyer can learn from this system.

This should explain some of the incentives behind the system.

"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring" -- Carl Sagan


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Topher wrote:Your argument

Topher wrote:

Your argument really is unbelievable! Have you not heard of solidarity?

What is the difference if the rich write a check to the poor to buy their health insurance or the government does the same through taxes?

I guess we should just end charities, I mean, why should they exist if giving to the less well off is bad?

Topher wrote:

We should just end socialised police and fire services and go to an insurance system. If you cannot afford it, tough, you're gonna burn! Charities are great, I wish socialists would use them if there so compasionate. But instead they're only compassionate with other people's money.

Sure, then we could avoid crappy overpriced services. You can buy a security firm now to come since the police are not always available, what wrong with that? I can install fire sprinklers that pretty much eliminated the need for fire protection. Why can't the governent instead train people with the skills they need to make enough money to buy insurance and whatever else they need?

Topher wrote:

Societies are made up of people, societies do not exist without people, therefore it is in the best interest of the society to ensure its people are well.

So does this mean I can no longer skydive or paraglide? These are too dangerous and I need the nanny state to look after me because I too immature to make my own decision and live and die with the consequences?

And if I'm forced to be part of this great society that tells me how much tax I should pay, do I get to tell other people when they can breed and how many kids they can have?

Topher wrote:

This requires all members of society to contribute to the upkeep of their society, via tax, for both infrastructure and human well being.

And if I want to left alone because the rest of society takes way more than it gives back to me, can I do that?

Topher wrote:

The reason it is more expensive for private health care is because you have the cost of the actual treatment PLUS more staff (bigger admin department)

I disagree I think they have more staff because they have higher service. That's why we'll have to wait longer with gov. run health care. Plus with lower staff, they'll be less accounting so more room for fraud. The reason why insurance companies have a lot of paperwork is to prevent fraud.

Topher wrote:

and typically high salaries

OK, so we pay nurses less, so this makes the nursing shortage worse. Which means worse service.

Topher wrote:

PLUS added costs to cover non-payments

The poor are still paid for under goverment run, so there is no net gain.

Topher wrote:

PLUS marketing costs

This would not be the case with non-profit coops.

Topher wrote:

PLUS legal costs and higher malpractice fees PLUS

So my doctor screws up and I have no legal way to get compensation. Bad doctors just keep on practising. Where do I sign up?

Topher wrote:

additional costs in order for the company to make high profits.

Again not the case with non-profit coops. And the high profits made in the for profit businesses would encourage more competition.

Topher wrote:

Since a government run system covers everyone (eliminating non-payments), is typically more streamlined (requiring less staff), does not require marketing or massive legal departments, and since a government run system only need it to be self-sustaining rather than profit making, the cost is greatly reduced.

No it just elimintates competition and choice. It provides us with crappy service, does not promote innovations that improve care or lower cost. It will eventually bankrupt the government because it is socialism and the rich and industry will find another place to take their money and jobs.

 

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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:o

So I take it EXC you want all social programs to be abolished. Public schools, Fire Departments, Postal Service...everything?


You make it sound like they are so terrible. But when the alternative would be mass amounts of children that never attend school, fires running rampant across town, and security officers that only side with who flashes the money...

 

Yeah. It doesn't sound so fantastic to me. Sorry.

 

We may as well not pay for roads either. Right? Everyone should pave their own driving areas.

 

Libraries aren't any use to anyone too then. Why should I have to pay for them when the majority of people won't be able to read? I can buy my own books.

 

Add to this monuments, museums, sidewalks, public transit, military...

 

In fact, lets remove agencies that regulate things too. What a waste of money! Let the power companies, telephone, and internet corporations all manage themselves. When there is no competition they can do what they want, right? If they develop any competition they will just crush or buy the little startup. You don't need power all the time, right?

 

Or running water. Lets nix that too, and make it open to the free market. How much should water cost? Hmm....well, unless you get someone else to run pipes...that'll be 20 cents a gallon. What, it's still cheaper than buying water at the store!

 

Oh, and installation fees are charged if you have to have your water turned on. $300 or $400 seems about right doesn't it? In addition the fee for breaking your contract is another $200. Don't forget the surcharge for "premium" quality water. And water insurance, of course has to be tacked on.

 

Remember that your usage plan only allows 50 gallons at this rate. If you go over that, you have to pay $3/gallon overage fees. If you have any problems, we have to send our water specialist out to you. At a $75 per trip charge, not including charges for any work done.

 

I'm sure they will be fine self-regulating themselves too. Especially when they merge with DOW chemical which has a plan just upstream. I'm sure they will be entirely honest with the public.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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EXC wrote:OK, so insurance

EXC wrote:

OK, so insurance companies and hospitals are not making obscene profits at the expense of good customer care.


To begin with, Insurance isn't a model of providing health care, it's a corporate share conglomerate; completely different rationale. Second, look again at what you said - the obscene profits are turned by the exercise of withholding health care, not by providing it. So the point stands. The provision of general medicine is not attractive to capitalists, there's not really a substantially profitable market for providing health care to speak of, if there was then americas bankers wouldn't be relying on insurance models to line their pockets with, they'd just put the revenue straight into promoting the service to that market.

Exc wrote:

So then, under government run health care things wouldn't be much cheaper because they don't make much profit now?

I'm confused? It will be free for the user and the payer doesn't need to factor in profit which raises the cost because they are basically the same party. So in what way can it not be cheaper? 

EXC wrote:
  What about non-profit co-ops that don't have to answer to share holders only policy holders? Why can't they get the same level of efficiency and cost savings as any government run program?


Huh? Do you mean as an alternative model?     

                             

EXC wrote:
  I'm trying to understand the economic theory behind all this. I'm trying to understand what is so different about health care that the laws of supply and demand don't work to maximize efficiency and cost.          

  


Because in health care the relationship between cost and efficiency is completely different to that; with the exception of non-essential health trends which can be quite easily and ethically marketed, there is no way for a corporation to exercise a significant influence over demand for health services through the supply market. It's like everything works backwards with health, inefficiencies drive up demand, and supply can reduce market share by making people better. For the most part good medicine just bucks all bean counter reason.

                     

EXC wrote:

If single payer is a more efficient economic model for delivery of essential services,  why don't we make grocery stores single payer also?


I agree with Topher, there really isn't a one size fits all answer to these questions, but we could do this if we chose to and it possibly might be just as much more efficient but it's a big change in the social structure that many aren't keen to make.

EXC wrote:

Where we all show up to get our food every week and the grocery store manager decides what you will have this week to eat, and then the government pays the bill.


Eww that's an awful idea. It should be in the vein of good working healthcare models - the community pools payment ensuring the supply then present to the outlet as it suits their needs. It's the supply that needs to be quality regulated, not the demand.
 

EXC wrote:

A problem with delivery of essential services in a free-market system is that when you have shortages, you have huge spikes in the price. When there is a small food shortage, the prices spike because people can't stop eating just because the price went up.


It is true that demand for food cannot ever really slow, but with health care there are slightly different bends to negotiate. It's reasonable to assume that the demand for general health will have a constant non-zero bottom level, as would be the case with all essential services but shortages aren't so much a cost issue in health as they are a logistic one. In health a shortage is more readily remedied with parallel strategies and innovations than with spending to increase supply. 

EXC wrote:

isn't the answer to make sure we have an oversupply of medical services

Yes, absolutely.

EXC wrote:

 and lots of competition between suppliers.

No, competition in medical services is frivolous and verges on unethical. A universal high standard is the only way to get any lasting benefit out of having the system in place at all.

EXC wrote:

So if the government is going to do anything, why not pay for free education of doctors, nurses and build a lot of hospitals?

That's exactly what a socialist health and welfare model ideally would be designed to do.

EXC wrote:

How is government run health care monopoly going to reduce the nursing shortage which leads to high prices and bad service?

It kind of doesn't, nurse shortages are a workplace relations and education issue and a strategy should come out of that portfolio, separate but in complement to the health system.

BTW, social health care isn't a monopoly, private providers can exist and build a profitable gig aside a social system. It just rules out ubermonopolies like health insurers coopting people's misfortune for fast gains. And truly this is what bugs the libertarian capitalists the most isn't it?

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 EXC wrote:What is the

 

EXC wrote:
What is the difference if the rich write a check to the poor to buy their health insurance or the government does the same through taxes?

The former is called giving to charity, the latter is called taxes.

 

EXC wrote:
Charities are great, I wish socialists would use them if there so compasionate. But instead they're only compassionate with other people's money.

What are you talking about!?! Charity IS about other peoples money. How can you both support charity AND chastise the principles of socialism, which is inherently about helping and providing for society, i.e. CHARITY!

 

EXC wrote:
Sure, then we could avoid crappy overpriced services. You can buy a security firm now to come since the police are not always available, what wrong with that? I can install fire sprinklers that pretty much eliminated the need for fire protection. Why can't the governent instead train people with the skills they need to make enough money to buy insurance and whatever else they need?

You sound like an anarchist!

 

EXC wrote:
So does this mean I can no longer skydive or paraglide? These are too dangerous and I need the nanny state to look after me because I too immature to make my own decision and live and die with the consequences?

Where did I say this? Please stop making red herrings and strawmen! NO ONE is forcing you to do anything you don't want to or stopping you from doing what you do want to do. If you don't want to use public health care, guess what: DON'T FUCKING USE IT! The fact you don't want this does not mean it should not be there for the people that do want it, or who need it.

 

EXC wrote:
And if I'm forced to be part of this great society that tells me how much tax I should pay, do I get to tell other people when they can breed and how many kids they can have?

Do you think you should? You already pay tax, do you think this grants you the right to control other people? Please stop making ridiculous responses!

 

EXC wrote:
And if I want to left alone because the rest of society takes way more than it gives back to me, can I do that?

Your taxes give you a return more that you know. If you don't realise this then I suggest you educate yourself.

 

EXC wrote:
I disagree I think they have more staff because they have higher service. That's why we'll have to wait longer with gov. run health care. Plus with lower staff, they'll be less accounting so more room for fraud. The reason why insurance companies have a lot of paperwork is to prevent fraud.

No, there is higher staff is due to the vast administration departments. It's little to do with service, after all, millions of Americans not even allowed health care to begin with! 

Regarding universal health care causing long waiting times... this is a myth! Britain's waiting times for elective treatments have been reduced and continue to be reduced after increased spending. There is still a wait for elective treatment but then I don't think anyone would demand they go before someone need emergency treatment when only need an elective procedure. Other systems like Japan, Germany, and France have no waiting times.

What fraud are you talking about?

 

EXC wrote:
OK, so we pay nurses less, so this makes the nursing shortage worse. Which means worse service.

Please do educate yourself for once instead of spouting nonsense. Read that paper I linked to in my previous post.

 

EXC wrote:
The poor are still paid for under goverment run, so there is no net gain.

And? Should we just let poor people die in the gutter?

 

EXC wrote:
So my doctor screws up and I have no legal way to get compensation. Bad doctors just keep on practising. Where do I sign up?

The point is malpractice insurance costs far more in the US than other countries. This increased cost is passed onto patients.

 

EXC wrote:
No it just elimintates competition and choice. It provides us with crappy service, does not promote innovations that improve care or lower cost. It will eventually bankrupt the government because it is socialism and the rich and industry will find another place to take their money and jobs.

Yet more nonsense. There can still be competition and choice. There is in the NHS, where hospitals compete with each other for patients.

As for crappy service. You do realise that British health care system is of better quality than the US system? Here's the study via Wikipedia:

In an international comparative study of the health care systems in six countries (Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and the United States), the British health care system was ranked in first place for quality of care. It also gained first rank position for equity and efficiency and a top place ranking for performance overall.[77] Donald Berwick the American Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health and who assisted in the modernization of the NHS begun by Tony Blair was particularly involved in the area of health quality. This was an area he admits that, at that time, he was a novice in, but acknowledged that "in the decade between about 1998 and 2008, the UK accumulated more knowledge and more expertise per capita than almost any other nation I know about how to improve healthcare as a system". He went on to say "In some ways the period between the publication of the Modernisation Plan for the NHS in 2000 and the third election of Tony Blair seems to me a golden era for the pursuit of improvement in the NHS. I daresay that no other country did quite so well at a national scale.". [78]

Study link PDF

As for bankrupting the government. The NHS is 60 years old has not bankrupt the government. Other governments with similar systems are not bankrupt.

 

Your comments make you sound like a complete moron to be honest. I look forward to the day when you insurance company fucks you over. Maybe then you would have a change of heart. Maybe.

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Topher wrote:Your comments

Topher wrote:
Your comments make you sound like a complete moron to be honest. I look forward to the day when you insurance company fucks you over. Maybe then you would have a change of heart. Maybe.

Sorry if that sounded harsh but capitalists just piss me off.

Capitalists to me are like hippies to Cartman!

"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring" -- Carl Sagan


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Insurance companies make lots and lots of money fucking people and forming loose alliances with other companies where the status quo is to keep fucking people.

 

That is the point of their existence. They take money to try and prevent health care when it is needed, so they gain better profits.

 

 

 

That is why so many people that THINK they are covered, really aren't when they go to try and use it.

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Quote:No it just elimintates

Quote:
No it just elimintates competition and choice. It provides us with crappy service, does not promote innovations that improve care or lower cost. It will eventually bankrupt the government because it is socialism and the rich and industry will find another place to take their money and jobs.

Not making sense. Other countries have have it and are far from bankrupt. Maybe if the USA didn't spend 7 times money money on its military than its closest rival there would be plenty of money. Just spend 6 times as much and hey its sorted.

 

You know Im begining to think people think socialism is like rape or the race card, say the word and win the arguement. There is nothing wrong with socialism, It is just a differant way of doing things, not my prefered but then again capitalism is full of flaws aswell. Tbh both have merits and both have draw backs.

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Tapey wrote:You know Im

Tapey wrote:

You know Im begining to think people think socialism is like rape or the race card, say the word and win the arguement. There is nothing wrong with socialism, It is just a differant way of doing things, not my prefered but then again capitalism is full of flaws aswell. Tbh both have merits and both have draw backs.


Ironically, EXC is, like most Americans, a victim of theist lies about socialism that sprung up right after WW2 to combat the Soviet's. That's why all his arguments are strawmen or just wrong. He's never bothered to really LOOK at socialism. All this crap is shit I shot down in another thread: http://www.rationalresponders.com:80/forum/17033#new

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Here's a post from someone

Here's a post from someone from another web site I've been reading. This captures just how much distrust some people have in government.

 

Quote:
In the interest of full disclosure, I'm speaking as an (until three years ago) licensed insurance broker in the sate of California, who dealt in health, life, property and casualty so take that as you will. I'm also speaking as someone who, growing up, dealt with MediCal, a government health care system for those with very low income as my mother couldn't actually afford health insurance for us so take from that what you will as well.

First, the VA (military) healthcare system is most definitely NOT something to be emulated. Regardless of what you may have heard, if you talk to anyone who has actually had to deal with this system, it is a Byzantine mess. Bureaucratic incompetence coupled with long waits and highly desensitized administrative staff make for one of the most frustrating systems in the world to deal with. Is it better than nothing? Sure. But it's not something anyone would aspire to deal with. And the quality of care leaves much to be desired. Ask anyone who's seen a Navy doc or even worse a Navy dentist. Fillings are supposed to last about 20 years. Navy fillings last about five. San Diego is a military town and more than half my friends are current or former military (It's almost hard to live here and have otherwise. In a county of over 5 million, 30% of all payrolls are Military, let alone the discharged who stayed here and the retirees). To the last one, they complain about the health care, some for very good reason. 

The reason many people are wary of government run health care in the US is the examples we've seen of government run insurance programs to date have all been very poorly managed. Let me give some examples of this to demonstrate the point, and set a background for people on the other side of the pond. Hopefully, this will at least help build a common frame of reference to draw from for those who don't live here. 

Example one: the Florida state hurricane insurance program, provides P&C insurance coverage for structures and property damaged in hurricanes. The system is currently bankrupt due to political tampering. Consitituants have repeatedly lobbied to prevent rate increases in this coverage and, by and large, they have been very successful. The problem is the rates being charged by the state program haven't been actuarially sound for some time, and the system has had to be bailed out by the federal government. Let me not make too fine a point of this, because politicians could manipulate the price of the insurance, they used it as a political tool to get re-elected. Because of the manipulation, the insurance program is basically worthless now. The rest of the country ended up paying for the fiscal incompetence of the Florida state program. 

Example two: US Medicare. The Medicare system will go bankrupt sometime around 2019 according to the last estimate by the Medicare trustees themselves. Check out an article by the Boston Globe for further details on this rather grim situation: LINK For those who want to take me to task on my source, the Globe is one of the most respected nationally circulated newspapers in America, and is not known for right wing political spin. I'm going to excerpt a passage straight out of the article that deals with the funding issue rather well here:

...there are few, if any, incentives to prudently control the cost of medical treatment. It is well documented that retirees will undertake treatment as long as the value of that care is more than the co payment for which they are responsible. As for providers of medical care, such as doctors, nurses, and hospitals, any desire to restrain costs through cheaper treatment alternatives is often overridden by self-interest or the perception that more expensive treatments are in order.

Finally, politicians have virtually no short-term incentives to tackle the Medicare problem. The reason is clear: any change that leaves the elderly worse off than before will lead to swift condemnation and ballot box reprisals by a large and vocal segment of the population. Meanwhile, pressure from much younger workers who fund Medicare is nearly non-existent.

The above basically sums up the problem with government run healthcare in the United States. It's never been proven to be a sustainable system, while for all it's flaws, private healthcare has. 

Example three: Social Security. This case is a bit different from that of Medicare. Medicare's issues lye in costs that are growing faster than the economy, wages and inflation (out-pacing wages by about three percentage points per year for the last few years) coupled with the fact that the system is underfunded. Social security is in slightly better condition than Medicare, and isn't predicted to run into bankruptcy until 2049. The key point here is the system was misdesigned from the beginning, assuming human life expectancy would stay flat and most people wouldn't live to actually collect Social Security for long. It was for all intents a giant ponzi scheme from the the word go, though a well intentioned one. The real problem is because Social security is a giant government bureaucracy, and the overall voting public isn't keen on tax hikes, it has proven almost impossible to overhaul this system effectively to bring it into the modern era. Some political observers have described Social Security as a political "third rail." Touch it and you get fried. 

Private insurers of all stripes by contrast, have been fairly adept at responding to market conditions, and dealing with the reality of the modern world. The reason of course is if they don't they will quickly go out of business. 

Example four: California state children's medical insurance (currently called "healthy families&quotEye-wink. Due to the current California budget crisis, this program largely exists in name only at this point. Thousands of kids are being dis-enrolled, those still on the program are having their benefits reduced. The state is also reducing payments to service providers, causing fewer and fewer providers to accept this insurance. Because the state budge was mismanaged, those who rely on the state health insurance program suffer.

Given the above examples that Americans have to work with, it's not very surprising they're somewhat leery of a government run health care system. 

I think the best solution for this country lies somewhere between our current system (with an unacceptable number of people uninsured and unacceptable cost), and the UK system, which seems to resort to rather severe rationing of healthcare in some cases. If I had carte blanc to redesign the US healthcare system I would do it with a series of mandates something like these:

1. All US citizens would be required to have private health care insurance, just like we require private auto insurance. It's a fundamental tenant of insurance science that a larger risk pool will drive down the cost for each individual insured. A universal mandate maximizes the risk pool and therefore (on this level at least) reduces the cost to the lowest possible level.

2. For those at the poverty level this would be 100% subsidized by the government. The subsidy would taper off as incomes rose up to as much as 300% of poverty level. For all those who want to complain, we already pay for the healthcare of those at this income level to some extent anyway through government programs (the federal poverty level as of 2009 is only $10,830/year for one person) so the cost wouldn't change too much.

3. Insurers would not be allowed to deny coverage for reasons of age or preexisting conditions. They would not be allowed to rate for anything they are not allowed to rate for today (such as ethnicity). 

4. For those who could not find coverage at a reasonable price, an Assigned Risk Pool would be created, much like exists in the P&C markets today. Basically the way this works is the government would have to use sound actuarial science (not likely I realize, but this is a thought experiment, not the real world. Scientists and mathmatitions get listened to in my nice neat little world here) to set maximum acceptable rates for these people. If they couldn't find coverage for less than that with any company, the government would then assign them to an insurer at those rates. The number of ARP insureds each company would be required to take would be based on their overall market share. All ARP candidates would be given coverage, none would be left out. 

5. There could be no annual or lifetime maximum benefit.

6. All insurance policies would have to meet certain basic minimum coverage levels set by the government to be sellable by an insurer. This is very similar to how states currently set basic minimum coverage for auto insurance. An insurer simply can not sell a policy that covers less. 

7. Private groups of citizens would be allowed to set up mutual insurance groups (think a health insurance version of credit unions) so long as they also complied with government standards and regulations. These groups could then either form their own co-insurance Not For Profit, or bargain collectively with the insurers for lower rates. Membership and other issues would be subject to the individual Mutual's bi-laws. 

8. If your employer provided a health policy for you as a benefit, this would of course, fulfill the coverage requirement. However, the value of the coverage provided by the employer would be taxed to pay for the system. The fact is anyone who is getting a healthcare benefit from their employer right now is essentially getting a government subsidy on it. These benefits are a form of income, and should be taxed as such. It's sadly ironic to me that people complain about the "free handout" the poorest people in our society get in the form of (highly inadequate) healthcare, but don't even think about the fact they're being subsidized by the government to pay for their own. 

Most the rest (such as price) would be regulated by market forces. What those who lambaste for-profit insurance companies are missing, is it is not in the best interests of a for profit insurer to deny very many claims. If they do, their clients will change insurers and they will soon enough be out of business. 

Of those here in the US with private insurance, how many have ever actually been denied for a claim? I never have. I've had to go through some red tape once to prove a claim was necessary and justified, but neither I nor anyone in my extended family nor anyone I know as a friend who has private insurance has ever actually been denied a claim. Certainly it does happen, but not nearly so much as some would make it seem. I think this gets blown out of proportion and used as a bogeyman by the opponents of private insurance. Granted, business practices would have to be regulated, much as they already are by the State Insurance Commissioners Office, to watchdog for abuses. This isn't anything new though and doesn't really require any additional government bureaucracy, and little extra cost if any. State insurance commissioners already regulate life and health insurers.

Is the US government really this inept and functionally useless as this person seems to think?

"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring" -- Carl Sagan