Healthcare: Yay or nay.

Discussion in 'Politics and other "Messy" Stuff' started by goaljnky, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. goaljnky

    goaljnky New Member

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    I figure I get the ball rolling for this forum. Surely this should be a complicate enough of a topic to keep us talking for a while. :devil:
     
  2. docv

    docv Well-Known Member
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    Nay nay nay,
    yes we need some kind of reform,being self insured the monthly premiums are getting a little steep but having the government control health care, you have to be kidding, look at the things the government already controls, Medicare is broke, Amtrack has never been profitable,the US post Office is a money pit, cash for clunkers, well just ask a dealer who participated in it.
    It will bankrupt our already broke treasury.
    :frown2::frown2: No thank you...
     
  3. Nitrominis

    Nitrominis Banned

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  4. TT_Zop

    TT_Zop Club Coordinator

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    Government should just run the country,not my personal life. I dont need them to make personal choices for me,which goes all the way back to the seat belt law. Grown man here,I own the car, if I wanna risk it, my choice! I dont need them to save me from myself!
     
  5. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

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    #5 Nathan, Sep 4, 2009
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    Switzerland. The trains run on time, everyone has guns, taxes are low... and they have universal health care that's NOT administered by the government

    Consider the achievements of the Swiss system:

    * Everyone is covered
    * Health outcomes are excellent
    * Health costs are reasonable
    * Patient satisfaction is high

    Although more expensive than the British and French systems, the Swiss system is much less expensive than the American system. Mortality rates are lower, waiting times are shorter, and technology is advanced. Not surprisingly, patient satisfaction is among the highest in Europe.

    The Swiss system works by regulating commercial insurance. People buy insurance directly from insurance companies, so businesses are out of the loop. Everyone must carry insurance, and those who don’t pay a penalty.

    The government subsidizes the cost of insurance for low-income individuals (about one-third of the population). The affluent are not subsidized. (Contrast that with Medicare, which covers everyone over the age of 65, including wealthy people who don't need government assistance.)

    In Switzerland, insurance companies must provide basic insurance to all recipients and cannot deny coverage on the basis of poor health. Premiums are not affected by health status. "Basic insurance" is defined by government, which decides which drugs, lab tests, and devices will be covered. Deductibles and premiums are tightly regulated and cannot exceed certain limits. Insurance companies cannot profit from the basic plan, though they may profit from supplemental insurance.

    The Swiss health care system costs 40% less than the American system (on a per capita basis). Health care costs rise at a slower rate than in America. Healthy lifestyles (e.g. not smoking) translate into lower premiums, and people keep their coverage when they change or lose jobs.

    The Swiss system has been criticized by right-wingers, who hate government, and by left-wingers, who hate insurance companies. But facts are facts, and results are results. By any standard, the system delivers. And the result is a nation of healthy, satisfied people.

    So why are we not talking about a system like this. We are if you look closely, the problem is the people that are against anything the president proposes. This screwed up two party system that is more concerned about their own hides and where their next free junket is coming form instead of their own constituents is the biggest holdup in getting anything done.

    I for one am fed up with our current elected officials. Term limits for all I say, get rid of these career politicos and their sucking at the teat of lobbyist staffs.

    It's time again for gov't to afraid of us, not us afraid of gov't


    I am indebted to Paul Krugman for his indispensable analysis of the American and European health care systems that this post is based on.
     
  6. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

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    There are no Class items in the bill. It is broken down by Title, Subtitle and Division. If you are going to try and quote something please post the exact area it can be found or quote the actual text in your post.

    It looks like you are trying to say that the gov't want to implant a chip in every one of us. I guess they can use that RFID tag to scan us to see who is ready for the Death Panel as well....
     
  7. Nitrominis

    Nitrominis Banned

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  8. goaljnky

    goaljnky New Member

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    I just got done watching Bill Mahr (sp) show, who for a liberal I find extremely entertaining. He had some older guy from back in the Kennedy administration who seemed very genuine and intelligent and who was making some very good and interesting points on a variety of subjects including health care.

    One of the points that was brought up (and Nate already covered it) is cost per capita. US leads the industrialized nations in that category and yet we do not have 100% coverage. The giant, blinking, red light for me is the cost of medicine. Thankfully, I stick to the Viagra on date nights and Vicodin the day after, but why does the same pill cost less in Canada than it does in US? No, it is not government intervention. It is collusion on behalf of the pharmaceuticals.

    My credentials for discussing government health care are first hand. Having grown up under the Communist health care system up until the tender age of 13, I vividly recall my mother having to pay the ENT doctor in imported canned goods (which she got from the government ran warehouse) to take care of my recurring ear infections. The bi-weekly antibiotic shots by the visiting nurse were covered by the top sirloin cuts that my butcher father was appropriating from the local farmers market that he was managing.

    P.S. I am not joking.
     
  9. goaljnky

    goaljnky New Member

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    #9 goaljnky, Sep 4, 2009
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    This is my forum. Neither of those have contributed tot he discussion.

    Lynn, please do not post innuendo. A relevant quote and your interpretation will allow for a discussion. Conjecture will only breed needless argument.

    P.S. Nate, leave Lynn alone.
     
  10. goaljnky

    goaljnky New Member

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    Interesting comment. I felt the same way about seat belts and helmet laws. No I do not ride a motorcycle. And yet I have cheered the California cell phone laws and now I lament the lack of their enforcement.
     
  11. DixonL2

    DixonL2 New Member

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    TT and Goaljinky: re "Grown man here,I own the car, if I wanna risk it, my choice! I dont need them to save me from myself!" and any objection to seat belt and helmet laws: I'm right with you, provided you agree not to increase any of my (and our society's) costs for your "personal" choices. You want the responsibility, you got it. Here, sign this:

    "By refusing to use proven safety devices, I hereby release from liability and hold harmless any other party in any accident, and agree not pursue, via lawsuit or any other means, any compensation, revenge, or any other form of repayment for injuries (including death), whether from any other party directly, or any insurance agency."

    That way YOU, and you ALONE, are 100% responsible for your actions, your health and safety, and the results of your actions. You don't become a drag on the healthcare system, anyone's insurance payments, or make lawyers rich. Don't mean to come across harsh, but that's pretty much the way it is. Those are the type of decisions necessary to reduce healthcare and insurance costs - prevent the cost in the first place by applying known preventive measures.

    Seriously, would you make that same decision if you knew your healthcare and auto insurance wouldn't cover ANY costs of your choice? Interested in your take on the matter.

    BTW, agreed on the Swiss matter. Oh - and our healthcare system is NOT all it could be, given the costs and large number of people without health care.
     
  12. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    #12 BlimeyCabrio, Sep 5, 2009
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    <RANT>

    Nathan - you had me sold on the Swiss system until the line about Krugman. :lol:
    You might want to leave that part out of your pitch next time. There is no economist I respect LESS. ;)

    But otherwise, I think the Swiss system has some merit.

    And no question the current system is facacta - for pretty much the same reason as quite a few other systems in this country:
    1) government attempts to not just "regulate", but to "control", "for the benefit of all"
    2) companies hire lobbyists to advance their interests within this system of "control'
    3) John-Edwards-types smell children stuck on the bottom on the swimming pool and fabricate higher risk exposure for all companies in the market, even if they only manufacture the plastic that the swimming pool drains are made from (a non-healthcare analogy, but you get the gist).
    4) through the government's system of "well intentioned" control, individuals are buffered from personal responsibility - and tangible link between behavior, costs and outcomes
    5) With no incentive to care about trivial things like "costs" and "fees" and such, individuals always want the best available for free... and mostly ignore the growing clusterfark gordian knot of a system that drives costs higher.

    Sooooo....
    * Yes, to term limits and no more career politicians. The Founders had a hard time imagining why anyone would want to leave their country estate for decades to serve in the swamp. They didn't understand leeches very well.
    * Yes, to tort reform. Individuals certainly should receive compensation for negligent performance that truly injures them. But arbitrary windfalls granted by "sympathetic" juries increase the costs for the rest of us.
    * Yes, to INDIVIDUALS buying insurance - not employers. Yes to portability, sense of personal responsibility, and awareness of costs that would result from this.
    * Yes, to *some* regulation concerning pre-existing conditions, re-rating based on health conditions, etc. I like the Swiss system of compulsory "basic" standardized coverage, and optional supplemental coverage. But it's not rational to expect any insurer (even the gov't) to sign up a person for coverage who is already undergoing treatments costing $500,000 per year, for a premium of $2,000 per year. Does not compute.
    * Yes, to getting back to what "insurance" really is - a pooling of risk against unexpected losses. Insurance should pay for catastrophic, high cost procedures - not check-ups, not allergy meds, not head colds, not normal aches and pains. Auto insurance doesn't pay for my tires and oil changes - UNLESS I pay much more for "maintenance coverage" at what the market has determined to be a fair rate for that coverage.
    * Yes to individuals actually WRITING CHECKS or SIGNING IOUs for ALL medical costs, and being reimbursed by the insurer for covered expenses. Just like cutting up your credit cards and going to a cash-based system "cures" many from spending beyond their means, pay-as-you-go would drive down unneeded treatments and ultimately drive down costs through customer awareness. Would patients REALLY opt for the $100/month allergy med vs. the $20/month one if they had to pay it out of pocket? Even if the $20/month one worked *a little* less well... would they put up with a little sniffling for $1,000 per year?

    </RANT>
     
  13. goaljnky

    goaljnky New Member

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    Dixon,

    I cannot argue against your point. I agree that if you make that decision then your healthcare and auto insurance should not cover ANY costs of your choice.

    But that option is not there and it should be. Stupid, or not.
     
  14. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

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    Blimy...Krugman may not be my first choice when it comes to economic opinion but now and again he does hit upon a gem.

    This is the column I refer to. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/17/opinion/17krugman.html

    What it did was open my eyes to what other wealthy countries health care "plans" are like. From there I did the research for more specifics.

    Where I think we are really going wrong is the dis-information that is floating around out there promulgated by the mass media. I was flipping channels the other night and Sean Hannity on Fox News had this panel discussing health care yet again. Someone needs to explain to me how Mark Fuhrman, the ex LAPD Detective, has become a go to person for a panel such as this.

    The really sad part of all this is so many of our fellow Americans buy the crap these guys are shoveling. They disagree to disagree. Fox News is so far from being News it should be labeled a fictional entertainment. They are not the only ones, far from it. Everyone has their own agenda with these shows, and thats to keeping getting paychecks.

    I'm not saying that we roll over and let Obama-care be the end all but there really does need to be an honest attempt to reform health care. Between the haters in the media and opposing parties that can't look beyond the fact it's not from "their guy" to special interest groups that think they are entitled we really cannot find an honest debate on the issues.

    The real shame is the overall dumbing down this country is experiencing.
     
  15. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    #15 BlimeyCabrio, Sep 5, 2009
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    Plenty of crap being shoveled from all directions. No question there.

    While we departed from the principles of "limited government" and the "republic" long long ago, and while both parties have pretty consistently steered us further away from these concepts for a long time, that's still where my guiding principles come from. I believe in enumerated powers. I believe, in general, that BOTH state and federal governments are about 100x (maybe 1000x) larger and more complex than they need to be to provide the services they were created to provide. I believe that the free market works. I believe that breaking the free market via "mandates" and over-regulation creates problems. I believe that it's convenient but intellectually dishonest to blame the free market in this country for ANYTHING when we in fact almost never allow the free market to operate without policitically motivated intervention.

    I believe that making government larger, more powerful, and more regulatory solves almost nothing. If it solved anything, we'd be all better now, because the degree to which we've attempted those types of solutions over the past 60 years (and the money we've spent on it) should have solved ALL our problems by now. The fact that it hasn't leads me to question any and all "government" solutions from now until I'm dead and in the ground.

    Again, not just aimed at "Democrats" or "Republicans" - neither party has shown much regard for the founding principles of this republic, for the Constitutional sovereignty of the states, nor the Constitutional protections of the individual for decades.

    We can agree to disagree on the relative factual ratings of the various "news" networks. All have their time slots devoted to "news" - and other time slots devoted to "opinion" and "entertainment".

    Where were we? Oh yeah - healthcare. I'm 100% for healthcare. :lol:
    But I'm close to 0% for US government provision of healthcare.
    Though we can certainly point to great successes like Medicare (other than the fact that it's bankrupt), the VA (other than the fact that they have some severe quality issues), and the Indian Health Service (other than the fact that it's a disaster).

    I'm still waiting for the comprehensive list of government services which are provisioned at a higher quality level and lower cost than free market alternatives.

    Now, as a practical matter, can all regulation be removed from the healthcare industry? Of course not. Nor should it be. But I'm doing quite a bit of work these days in the healthcare sector - and the costs of compliance with current levels of regulation, as well as the costs of mitigating risks driven by the current tort system, are staggering.
     
  16. Nitrominis

    Nitrominis Banned

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  17. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

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    Well when it comes to health care I am the worst consumer.

    I have no health insurance, none, not a lick.

    I don't visit doctors or any type, traditional, holistic, or .....

    Why? I'm not employed in the traditional employer / employee manner and for an individual the costs are just to great to justify. Now if I had kids that would be different, but being it is just me and I am willing to accept the risks...

    I also know if I was to have a heart attack right now I could leave my wallet at home, drive or get a ride to the ER and claim indigent. While I won't get a private room and the very best care I'd still get care...

    That is a HUGE flaw in our system. $2000 a year for care with me paying for wellness at reasonable rates I can swing. But a $250 doc visit for basic wellness care + the cost of meds they all like to freely write scripts for is beyond a mid-level income.

    It's 19 years till I qualify for medicare, I'd better hope nothing big happens till then or I go swiftly and not be a burden to anyone.
     
  18. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

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    Ok this is not going to go over well but....

    We need a good epidemic. A year or two of suffering and mass deaths will reduce the weak and those unable to care for themselves. The planet is over populated and our Gov't is in a rush to the bottom to try and care for all.

    As with no child left behind...some children do need to be left behind...dumbing down everything to the lowest denominator ruins it for all.
     
  19. Nitrominis

    Nitrominis Banned

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  20. Batrugger

    Batrugger New Member

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    #20 Batrugger, Sep 5, 2009
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    After more than 20 years I still like my Government run health care:

    DefenseLink News Release: NEW HEALTH CARE SATISFACTION SURVEY RATES MILITARY MEDICAL SYSTEM HIGHER IN SATISFACTION THAN CIVILIAN HMOS

    This is by far the closest thing we have in the US to a "Health Care for All" program and it works. It is one of the biggest reasons I have stayed in the Army all of these years and I'll be there until they tell me I have to leave. In less than two years, I'll have it for the rest of my life :Thumbsup:. The problem with health care is that the insurance companies make billions in profits and there is no way that they are going to give it up unless there is some type of govt or legal intervention.
     

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