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Americans want universal health care. Why can't we get it?





handfleisch
It's like a Katrina disaster that happens every month, but the gov't has never responded to the fact that the US is the only first world country in the world without a national health care system. It was Clinton's big failure and now it's Obama's big challenge (of course nothing at all happened on it during both Bushes). Despite the ongoing national disgrace of the status quo and even the fact that Americans are willing to pay more taxes to fund it, it's still going to be an uphill battle since Republicans and conservative Democrats will never really support it. But is this the time when enough factors are in place that the supposed democracy and the so-called representatives of the citizens finally get it together?

Quote:
In Poll, Wide Support for Government-Run Health

By KEVIN SACK and MARJORIE CONNELLY
Published: June 20, 2009

Americans overwhelmingly support substantial changes to the health care system and are strongly behind one of the most contentious proposals Congress is considering, a government-run insurance plan to compete with private insurers, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.


The poll found that most Americans would be willing to pay higher taxes so everyone could have health insurance and that they said the government could do a better job of holding down health-care costs than the private sector.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/21/health/policy/21poll.html?_r=2&hp
sheedatali
Europe and especially in UK health service is free to everyone. But then again we pay National Insurance, each and everyone of us who is earning. This works very well and no one has any issues in doing so, private health plans are still available but most people get enough from NHS that there is no point in getting private health insurance at all. Once the Americans get into habbit of paying taxes then probably the government will be able to build infrastructure to give free health care to everyone. Of course it has taken years to get to the stage in UK where the system works well, you can not expect it work right away in America since the challenges are bigger, there are more of you and getting the taxing right is not going to be that simple.
Triple_7
Let me know when our pathetic excuse for a government actually listens to the people and gives a crap about someone other then the rich. Nothing will ever get done until greedy politicians are out of this picture.

I for one would support higher taxes under the circumstances that free health care is offered to everyone and not just those that "qualify" like it is now, in Indiana if your single with no kids and so much as make $5 a month you can forget getting any kind of help for anything. Hell, I'm single, unemployed, and was refused unemployment because I worked on a farm...I paid my taxes, but fighting it did no good, I have NO income now, yet still can't get any kind of aid for anything. Why pay taxes if you don't see anything for it...oh wait, they did spend over a $250,000 and 6 months over at the local park to pour an 8x8 foot concrete square, slap up a little cheap fence around it, and then called it a skate park....My tax dollars HARD AT WORK Rolling Eyes I could have done the exact same job by myself in 2 days and for under $1,500 labor included...I know this because I priced the material and placed a bid of $2000 for the job, but it went to a contractor somebody on the town counsel knows instead for the price of $250,000...if that's not corruption in politics then I don't know what is. Rolling Eyes The thing is the entire government runs like that, has been for a long time.

So basically a system like what is in the UK and many other countries will probably never happen, the private health care sector will just pay off the government to keep it the way it is so they can keep bringing in billions from people who are forced to use their service as there is no alternative.

Obama talks more of a national health insurance plan, not so much a national free health care plan. But even if it does go into effect despite the private sectors moaning about profit losses...I look for it to be just like the Indiana version is...it sounds so good on paper...but the people who actually need the care still wont be able to get it...so why get hopes up Confused
deanhills
sheedatali wrote:
Europe and especially in UK health service is free to everyone.
Nothing is free in life if you really look at it properly. It may have the appearance of being free, but it isn't really free. Everything comes at a price. In the UK it comes with higher prices, and lesser quality health services. Quite a number of the more wealthy UK citizens go outside the UK for health care. So do Canadians. Guess where they are going?
sheedatali
deanhills wrote:
Nothing is free in life if you really look at it properly. It may have the appearance of being free, but it isn't really free. Everything comes at a price. In the UK it comes with higher prices, and lesser quality health services. Quite a number of the more wealthy UK citizens go outside the UK for health care. So do Canadians. Guess where they are going?


I never said it was free, I said we pay National Insurance, but I certainly do not have to pay a premium or be refused from NHS for a life threatening condition where as an insurance company would try everything to get out of it without paying. To be honest people will always moan about a good system or bad system, I have never been refused treatment although I have not had any serious conditions, however my friend has been treated all his life for serious illness and he does not even pay National Insurance, same goes for all those old people who are treated by NHS. Wealthy people will always find excuses to get treatment from somewhere else and kudos to them, because they have the money to spend so they can do what ever they want with their money. I rather look at NHS positively than moan about small issue that are present in every large system.
deanhills
sheedatali wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Nothing is free in life if you really look at it properly. It may have the appearance of being free, but it isn't really free. Everything comes at a price. In the UK it comes with higher prices, and lesser quality health services. Quite a number of the more wealthy UK citizens go outside the UK for health care. So do Canadians. Guess where they are going?


I never said it was free, I said we pay National Insurance, but I certainly do not have to pay a premium or be refused from NHS for a life threatening condition where as an insurance company would try everything to get out of it without paying.
I had a friend in British Columbia Canada (Vancouver) who had almost died of back pain, before she was admitted for surgery. And the Hospital was in complete disarray. Lack of nursing staff, sanitation not too good. The surgery was very good, but the rest a great recipe for germ infestation. I had another friend in Vancouver, who did his hip replacement surgery in Belgium, as the equivalent was not to be found in Canada. I had another friend in the UK who could not get immediate surgery (was on a waiting list) for cancer. Once one starts with this kind of insurance, then something does suffer as a consequence. And the system also is abused of course. In the UAE they started with compulsory medical insurance for the first time two years ago, and the hospitals were immediately swamped by people making full use of their insurance, and hospitals making FULL use of what the insurance allows them to do. Prices are of course increasing as a result, as hospitals are now focused on insurance and what it covers.
Voodoocat
There are major problems with government run medicine. According to Canada's own Ministry of Health, the median wait time for open heart surgery is about 7 weeks. If you need open heart surgery, you are in bad shape, yet you will wait almost TWO MONTHS FOR SURGERY! Do you think Americans want that kind of health care?

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/09/international/americas/09cnd-canada.html

It gets worse. Read this quote from the New York Times:
Quote:
The court ruled that the waiting lists had become so long that they violated patients' "liberty, safety and security" under the Quebec charter, which covers about one-quarter of Canada's population.

"The evidence in this case shows that delays in the public health care system are widespread and that in some serious cases, patients die as a result of waiting lists for public health care," the Supreme Court ruled. "In sum, the prohibition on obtaining private health insurance is not constitutional where the public system fails to deliver reasonable services."


Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/09/international/americas/09cnd-canada.html

I hope you got that: Canadians are dieing while waiting for their government healthcare! Why would you do that unless American health care is superior to Canadian health care? Of course it is!!!!

Not everyone is suffering- the wealthy do quite well. How? They come to America, of course!
Quote:
The system, providing Canadians with free doctor's services that are paid for by taxes, has generally been supported by the public, and is broadly identified with the Canadian national character.

But in recent years, patients have been forced to wait longer for diagnostic tests and elective surgery, while the wealthy and well connected either seek care in the United States or use influence to jump ahead on waiting lists.


Not only getting ahead, but getting the treatment they need to survive. Of course they come to America for timely and effective treatment:
Quote:
There is a saying in the field, that with regard to coronary procedures, “Time is Muscle”. The heart being a form of muscle, the longer one waits to have proper blood flow restored to the heart, the more heart muscle will die (literally). In many cases, a day is too long to wait. Which is why we have set up arrangements with facilities in the US where our clients can be seen within 24 hours when necessary.


Source: http://www.timelymedical.ca/private-CT-CAT-scans.html

Image that, sometimes a day is too long, but the Canadian wait list is 7 weeks long.

I Hope you don't need a CAT scan if you are Canadian:
Quote:
Why do I have to wait so long for my CT scan
?
Although CT scanners are more common in Canada than some other non-invasive diagnostic tools, there are still not nearly enough to meet demand. Per capita, Canada has fewer of these machines than most other countries in the developed world. As a result of rationing of care by the Canadian public health system you may be required to wait weeks or even months for your scan. If your case is urgent or the required wait is unacceptable to you, Timely Medical Alternatives can help you find a private clinic to expedite the test you need.


Source: http://www.timelymedical.ca/private-CT-CAT-scans.html

Did you get that? Canada has fewer CAT scan machines per capita than MOST OTHER DEVELOPED COUNTRIES! Americans don't want that kind of health care!

Unfortunately I don't believe that most Americans that claim to want a government run health care system understand the problems that come with it.

How about a personal experience? I had a very bad sinus infection, so I went to the doctor ( called at 7:30 in the morning and talking to the doctor at 9:00 a.m.), he didn't like what he saw and referred me for a sinus CAT scan. The machine was in the same building as his office and my scan was completed an hour later. The next week I was in an ENT's office getting the treatment I needed. How much did the CAT scan cost? $30.00. I have private insurance.

Is America's healthcare system perfect? Of course not! However, Americans should be educated about the drawbacks of government operated healthcare before any change is made.
Solon_Poledourus
Not to burst anyone's bubbles, but people die while waiting for care in the private sector of American health care too. My own Grandfather, a WWII and Korean War veteran was neglected in a hospital for weeks, after waiting months, to get taken care of. A woman in Florida died in the waiting room as hospital staff stepped over her(she was lying on the ground) to attend to those with insurance. My friends Mother died while waiting for heart surgery in our nations capitol. And she was insured.

As a person who works in the medical industry, I have no illusions about our health care system being this great wonderful thing, even compared to other countries. People have mentioned how citizens of other countries come to the US to get taken care of. While that's true, it really only works out for the wealthy. You know what alot of middle class Americans do? They go to other countries for health care.

The waiting list for heart surgery in Canada may seem long, but try getting an organ transplant in America as a middle class citizen. And if you don't have insurance, you might want to go ahead and call a priest.
deanhills
Solon_Poledourus wrote:
Not to burst anyone's bubbles, but people die while waiting for care in the private sector of American health care too. My own Grandfather, a WWII and Korean War veteran was neglected in a hospital for weeks, after waiting months, to get taken care of. A woman in Florida died in the waiting room as hospital staff stepped over her(she was lying on the ground) to attend to those with insurance. My friends Mother died while waiting for heart surgery in our nations capitol. And she was insured.

As a person who works in the medical industry, I have no illusions about our health care system being this great wonderful thing, even compared to other countries. People have mentioned how citizens of other countries come to the US to get taken care of. While that's true, it really only works out for the wealthy. You know what alot of middle class Americans do? They go to other countries for health care.

The waiting list for heart surgery in Canada may seem long, but try getting an organ transplant in America as a middle class citizen. And if you don't have insurance, you might want to go ahead and call a priest.
I was referring to wealthy people. And where they go for specialist treatment. Which are generally situated in a system where doctors can make a lot of money. They can't really make a lot of money in Canada or the UK. But they can in the US.
Solon_Poledourus
deanhills wrote:
I was referring to wealthy people. And where they go for specialist treatment. Which are generally situated in a system where doctors can make a lot of money. They can't really make a lot of money in Canada or the UK. But they can in the US.
Well that's not exactly a shining display of loyalty for the American private health care system.

Forgive my tone. It has been a rough couple of days. In fact, I need another beer before I even send this post... wait...

The lightning made me stub my toe...
deanhills
Solon_Poledourus wrote:
deanhills wrote:
I was referring to wealthy people. And where they go for specialist treatment. Which are generally situated in a system where doctors can make a lot of money. They can't really make a lot of money in Canada or the UK. But they can in the US.
Well that's not exactly a shining display of loyalty for the American private health care system.

Forgive my tone. It has been a rough couple of days. In fact, I need another beer before I even send this post... wait...

The lightning made me stub my toe...
Actually what I meant is that the wealthy in Canada and elsewhere in the world would most likely visit the US for specialist treatment.

Sorry about the rough going and no apology necessary as there was nothing in your postings that reflected what you thought they may have reflected. Hope you had the other beer as well Laughing
Solon_Poledourus
Quote:
Actually what I meant is that the wealthy in Canada and elsewhere in the world would most likely visit the US for specialist treatment.
Sooo... are we in agreement then? Or did I get lost?
Quote:
Sorry about the rough going and no apology necessary as there was nothing in your postings that reflected what you thought they may have reflected.
Comes with the territory. Some days are better than others. Today happens to be a very bad. Not only am I doubting myself, but some kids family is probably wondering if I did everything I could have. And honestly, I don't really know the answer to that one.
Quote:
Hope you had the other beer as well
And then some, my friend.


And then some...
deanhills
Solon_Poledourus wrote:
Sooo... are we in agreement then? Or did I get lost?
I don't think so.


Solon_Poledourus wrote:
Some days are better than others. Today happens to be a very bad. Not only am I doubting myself, but some kids family is probably wondering if I did everything I could have. And honestly, I don't really know the answer to that one.


Sounds like something out of ER! Difficult for people to appreciate sometimes that a man is not made out of stone, practising medicine especially in emergencies you can't ever please people, and if you do, it is often in a least expected way for something completely different that you could have imagined. People always come with huge surprise packages, and when they are in emergencies those surprises more often are on the negative side as they are acting out of fear, sometimes lack of trust and quite often hopelessness. The medical staff are also the closest at hand to offload all this negative energy on. And then when the medical staff are full of the offloaded negative energy of the patients, they start offloading on one another. Tough place to be. You have to be genuinely in to service to others to stick it out.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
(of course nothing at all happened on it during both Bushes).

Check your facts!

What about Bush's addition of prescription drug benefits to medicare?
jmi256
handfleisch wrote:
Despite the ongoing national disgrace of the status quo and even the fact that Americans are willing to pay more taxes to fund it, it's still going to be an uphill battle since Republicans and conservative Democrats will never really support it. But is this the time when enough factors are in place that the supposed democracy and the so-called representatives of the citizens finally get it together?


It looks like the survey from the NY Times misrepresented the actual numbers. I thought the survey was suspect since it seemed to defy reality, but apparently NYT oversampled Obama supporters and were therefore able to support their position.

Quote:

New York Times Poll Showing 72% Support for Obama's Health Care Plan Was Stacked With Obama Supporters
A New York Times/CBS News poll released Saturday that showed broad bipartisan support for President Obama’s health care reform, over-sampled Obama voters compared to McCain voters, critics say.

Source = http://www.cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=49999
deanhills
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
Despite the ongoing national disgrace of the status quo and even the fact that Americans are willing to pay more taxes to fund it, it's still going to be an uphill battle since Republicans and conservative Democrats will never really support it. But is this the time when enough factors are in place that the supposed democracy and the so-called representatives of the citizens finally get it together?


It looks like the survey from the NY Times misrepresented the actual numbers. I thought the survey was suspect since it seemed to defy reality, but apparently NYT oversampled Obama supporters and were therefore able to support their position.

Quote:

New York Times Poll Showing 72% Support for Obama's Health Care Plan Was Stacked With Obama Supporters
A New York Times/CBS News poll released Saturday that showed broad bipartisan support for President Obama’s health care reform, over-sampled Obama voters compared to McCain voters, critics say.

Source = http://www.cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=49999
I wonder who are serving on the Board of the NY Times, and supporting political lines. Guess everyone is fiddling stats however and using what they can use to make true that which they wish to be true.
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:


It looks like the survey from the NY Times misrepresented the actual numbers. I thought the survey was suspect since it seemed to defy reality, but apparently NYT oversampled Obama supporters and were therefore able to support their position.


The CNS report does a good job in using the trappings of journalism to cover up its baloney, but it is still baloney. The polling methods were sound; even CNS admits that nonpartisan critics said so. You might want to take issue with polling methods in general on another thread.

The CNS report itself is not sound, however. It gets all its points against the NYTimes poll from a polling expert who turns out to be -- surprise! -- a Republican strategist.

jmi256 wrote:
I thought the survey was suspect since it seemed to defy reality


These fake news outlets (CNS is the kissing cousin of Townhall.com, if you didn't know) perform the most ridiculous twisting of reality when they accuse someone else of bias, which if it exists at all is slight, while themselves being the most heavily biased sources this side of the Great Wall of China.

The reality is, as polls, common sense and dispassionate observation will tell you, that it is a disgrace that the US is the only industrialized country without a national healthcare system, and that at least 45 million Americans don't have medical insurance. And that's the point of this thread.
Voodoocat
More bad new for the NYT healthcare poll: a very recent Rasmussen poll contradicts the NYT poll results. This gives more credence to the fact that the NYT poll was flawed:

Quote:
41% Favor Public Sector Health Care Option, 41% Disagree


Source: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/business/healthcare/june_2009/41_favor_public_sector_health_care_option_41_disagree
handfleisch
Voodoocat wrote:
More bad new for the NYT healthcare poll: a very recent Rasmussen poll contradicts the NYT poll results. This gives more credence to the fact that the NYT poll was flawed:

Quote:
41% Favor Public Sector Health Care Option, 41% Disagree


Source: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/business/healthcare/june_2009/41_favor_public_sector_health_care_option_41_disagree


No, this poll doesn't directly contradict the NYT poll; it asks different questions.

I'd be curious about the results of a poll with this question: Given that the USA is the only industrialized country without a national health insurance system, do you think it should have one? I have a feeling the results would be very much in the affirmative.

Here's a poll from way back in 2003. There really isn't any argument that a majority of Americans want a basic national health care system like those that exist in so many other (sometimes less rich, sometimes supposedly less developed) countries.
http://abcnews.go.com/sections/living/US/healthcare031020_poll.html
Quote:
Oct. 20— Americans express broad, and in some cases growing, discontent with the U.S. health care system, based on its costs, structure and direction alike — fueling cautious support for a government-run, taxpayer-funded universal health system modeled on Medicare.

In an extensive ABCNEWS/Washington Post poll, Americans by a 2-1 margin, 62-32 percent, prefer a universal health insurance program over the current employer-based system. That support, however, is conditional: It falls to fewer than four in 10 if it means a limited choice of doctors, or waiting lists for non-emergency treatments.

Support for change is based largely on unease with the current system's costs. Seventy-eight percent are dissatisfied with the cost of the nation's health care system, including 54 percent "very" dissatisfied.
Voodoocat
handfleisch wrote:

Quote:
Given that the USA is the only industrialized country without a national health insurance system, do you think it should have one?


Your question is a great example of exactly the kind of question that should not be asked: your wording leads the respondant. By stating that America is the only industrialized nation without national healthcare you imply that we should also have it.

Quote:
No, this poll doesn't directly contradict the NYT poll


The Rasmussen poll does contradicts the NYT poll: it indicates that less than half of Americans favor a government administrated healthcare system while the NYT poll clearly indicates the opposite.
Bikerman
Err...it is precisely about the question asked.
For example, if I pose the question;
"do you support a national system of healthcare, funded by direct taxation, that offers treatment free at the point of need?"
then I'm pretty sure that a majority would go for it.
The question about 'state controlled' health provision is misleading and pulls in all sorts of negative connotations regarding big government. Health delivery in the UK is not a 'direct function' of the state - it is devolved to regional health authorities.
The difference is that there is a national insurance model, rather than numerous private insurance models, to pay for the system.
deanhills
Voodoocat wrote:
The Rasmussen poll does contradicts the NYT poll: it indicates that less than half of Americans favor a government administrated healthcare system while the NYT poll clearly indicates the opposite.
This is interesting. Does it mean that no one needs to vote on this, as a poll has already decided that half of Americans want a government administrated healthcare system? So leave it for Obama and his consultants to work out?

From where I am, polls like that are used to convince people in believing that half of Americans want a government administrated healthcare system. The message is one of "well this is what Americans want so it is reasonable to expect that all other people should be going along with these findings". In other words this is lobbying on a very grand scale.

Hopefully US citizens will give a little more careful consideration to this bill than they had in January with the bail-out package, the latter legislation of which was barely studied by those who voted on it on behalf of the citizens.

This is a quote from Wikipedia showing three years of consistent public hearings and debates before the Canada Health Act was adopted in 1963 (the Act has been modified a few times after that). By the time when this Act was introduced, its basics had been deliberated, discussed, hearings were held and reported on, everyone was involved lock, stock and barrel.

Since an Act like this is going to have an awesome impact on all its citizens, employers, medical health care system in the US, one would hope that there will be something of the same, over a decent length of time, before final decisions are made.

Quote:
The federal reaction was to appoint a Royal Commission on Health Services. First announced by Prime Minister Diefenbaker in December 1960, it was activated in the following June. Its chair was Justice Emmett Hall, the chief justice of Saskatchewan, and a life-long friend of Mr. Diefenbaker. Three years later, following extensive hearings and deliberations, it released an influential report, which recommended that Canada establish agreements with all provinces to assist them in setting up comprehensive, universal programs for insuring medical services, on the Saskatchewan model, but also recommended adding coverage for prescription drugs, prosthetic services, home care services, as well as optical and dental services for children and those on public assistance. (None of these have yet been added to the formal national conditions, although most provinces do have some sort of coverage for these services.)

By this time, the Liberals, under Lester B. Pearson were in power. Following intense debate, the Pearson government introduced the Medical Care Act which was passed in 1966 by a vote of 177 to two. These two Acts established a formula whereby the federal government paid approximately 50% of approved expenditures for hospital and physician services. (The actual formula was a complex one, based on a combination of average national expenditures and spending by each province. In practice, this meant that higher-spending provinces received more federal money, but that it represented a lower proportion of their expenditures, and vice versa for lower-spending provinces.) By 1972, all provinces and territories had complying plans. However, the fiscal arrangements were seen as both cumbersome and inflexible. By 1977, a new fiscal regimen was in place.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada_Health_Act
bigt
So, the government can't run anything efficiently and you want them to be in charge of national heath care? Sure, if you want one big FAIL. If national health care is so great, why do people come from these other countries that have it and get their procedures done here in the U.S.? The polls are skewed and don't get it. Yes, people are fed up with the way the current system, but I think most of us don't want Government-Run health care.

handfleisch wrote:
It's like a Katrina disaster that happens every month, but the gov't has never responded to the fact that the US is the only first world country in the world without a national health care system. It was Clinton's big failure and now it's Obama's big challenge (of course nothing at all happened on it during both Bushes). Despite the ongoing national disgrace of the status quo and even the fact that Americans are willing to pay more taxes to fund it, it's still going to be an uphill battle since Republicans and conservative Democrats will never really support it. But is this the time when enough factors are in place that the supposed democracy and the so-called representatives of the citizens finally get it together?

Quote:
In Poll, Wide Support for Government-Run Health

By KEVIN SACK and MARJORIE CONNELLY
Published: June 20, 2009

Americans overwhelmingly support substantial changes to the health care system and are strongly behind one of the most contentious proposals Congress is considering, a government-run insurance plan to compete with private insurers, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.


The poll found that most Americans would be willing to pay higher taxes so everyone could have health insurance and that they said the government could do a better job of holding down health-care costs than the private sector.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/21/health/policy/21poll.html?_r=2&hp
handfleisch
bigt wrote:
So, the government can't run anything efficiently and you want them to be in charge of national heath care? Sure, if you want one big FAIL. If national health care is so great, why do people come from these other countries that have it and get their procedures done here in the U.S.? The polls are skewed and don't get it. Yes, people are fed up with the way the current system, but I think most of us don't want Government-Run health care.


You're saying America couldn't run national insurance just as well as dozens of other countries run theirs? What are you, anti-American?

Or look at this way. With the current system, almost 20% of Americans have no health insurance. If private industry was running the US postal system, and doing the same job, it would be losing 20% of the mail. You think that's a good record?

Or here is one more example of how well the private corporations run health care in the USA:

Quote:
Health Insurance Insider: 'They Dump the Sick'
Retired Health Insurance Executive Blows the Whistle on His Former Industry
By ALICE GOMSTYN
ABC News Business Unit

June 24, 2009—

Frustrated Americans have long complained that their insurance companies valued the all-mighty buck over their health care. Today, a retired insurance executive confirmed their suspicions, arguing that the industry that once employed him regularly rips off its policyholders.

"[T]hey confuse their customers and dump the sick, all so they can satisfy their Wall Street investors," former Cigna senior executive Wendell Potter said during a hearing on health insurance today before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

Potter, who has more than 20 years of experience working in public relations for insurance companies Cigna and Humana, said companies routinely drop seriously ill policyholders so they can meet "Wall Street's relentless profit expectations."


http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=7911195
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
What are you, anti-American?
We've seen this before, every time when someone has a different point of view they are either branded un-patriotic or anti-American! History has shown that it is very good to have different points of view on serious issues like these, as usually the end-product is much better reasoned through. Preferably there should be hearings held all over the States with pro and con points of view. Somewhere in the middle there would be a good solution that can come out of this. If the Bill is properly digested in this way, and acceptable to all of the US citizens, not in a superficial way, but actually reading through it properly, by the time it gets introduced it should be a piece of cake. What is happening instead is marketing of something in a one-way approach (take it or leave it) similar to how the bail-out package was marketed, without working through it properly, discussing it, digesting it, fighting over it and putting it up for debate by the citizens of the US.
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
What are you, anti-American?
We've seen this before, every time when someone has a different point of view they are either branded un-patriotic or anti-American! History has shown that it is very good to have different points of view on serious issues like these, as usually the end-product is much better reasoned through.


C'mon, it was a joke. But the joke held a truth, which was that there is no reason to think the US cannot run national health insurance, since so many other countries do so successfully.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
What are you, anti-American?
We've seen this before, every time when someone has a different point of view they are either branded un-patriotic or anti-American! History has shown that it is very good to have different points of view on serious issues like these, as usually the end-product is much better reasoned through.


C'mon, it was a joke. But the joke held a truth, which was that there is no reason to think the US cannot run national health insurance, since so many other countries do so successfully.
Maybe you missed my point in previous postings. Health insurance is something that goes deep, and those countries you are talking about worked on it as a long process. They involved all the people in debates, hearings and deliberations prior to the submission of their Bills. This is one time where the people of the US should not give it "to someone else (Congress and Senate)" to rush through. This should be at least a 3-year process with a Federal Commission of Enquiry and Panel of Judges. The Bill needs to be debated on State level and then Federal level.
ocalhoun
Go ahead, sell a little bit more of yourself to the government... I'm starting to not care about it anymore.

What I don't like is how it's sure to increase the cost of health care even more.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
Go ahead, sell a little bit more of yourself to the government... I'm starting to not care about it anymore.
I'm sure this is the case with millions of others too. They do not know what is in the Bill, really, they do not know how the Bill is going to impact them, as they have no participation in it. All they get to do when it is voted in via marketing and lobbying ways, is to criticize it once it is there and comment on all the errors that have been made. Correction, they don't even do that, they allow the media to do that for them, and then choose those statements in the media that they like the most and repeat them to others as "opinion" or "quotes".

The system is not working very well, and is not efficient. It is for that reason that I hope that the Bill does not get voted in, as I don't think it has undergone real intense scrutiny by everyone in the US as it should have. More than in the polls about what people think, there should be an opinion by the people that shows insight and reflection, and the government needs to give them forums for that. Such as presentations and hearing panels on a regional and state basis.
sondosia
Short answer?

Because it sucks.

In the UK, people often have to wait hours or days in the emergency room to receive "urgent care." A poll shows that 23%--almost a QUARTER--of people in the UK are "very dissatisfied" with the quality of their healthcare, and another 33% are "somewhat dissatisfied". Only 11% are "very satisfied," and the remainder are "somewhat satisfied". (http://www.gallup.com/poll/8056/healthcare-system-ratings-us-great-britain-canada.aspx)

In other words, being HAPPY with their healthcare system is the minority opinion. Hardly the utopia we imagine nationalized healthcare to be.

I recently read a book called "Welcome to Obamaland", in which a British writer shows what a liberal/socialist government has done to Great Britain and what could now happen in America. He describes an incident when he burned his hand in the oven and then spent several hours trying to do everything possible to AVOID the hospital, because he knew that once he got there, he would have to wait for hours without getting painkillers and then receive poor treatment.

To be sure, the healthcare system in America needs some serious work. But nationalizing it is NOT the answer. Americans who say they want that just don't know what they're talking about. It has been proven time and time again that the government ALWAYS does things less efficiently (and, ultimately, in a lower-quality way) than private interests. Something as vital as healthcare should not be left to the government, which has nobody to compete against and therefore has no incentive to do a good job.
Bikerman
sondosia wrote:
Short answer?

Because it sucks.

In the UK, people often have to wait hours or days in the emergency room to receive "urgent care." A poll shows that 23%--almost a QUARTER--of people in the UK are "very dissatisfied" with the quality of their healthcare, and another 33% are "somewhat dissatisfied". Only 11% are "very satisfied," and the remainder are "somewhat satisfied". (http://www.gallup.com/poll/8056/healthcare-system-ratings-us-great-britain-canada.aspx)

This is propagandist nonsense.
A&E waiting times are, on average, a couple of hours. That is for ALL admissions including minor injuries. There is a national target maximum of a 4 hour wait.
If you want to see how individual authorities perform, then the stats, targets and attainments are published routinely on the web:
http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Statistics/Performancedataandstatistics/AccidentandEmergency/DH_090005
Sure, there have been a few well publicised cases of very poor standards of care. They are a tiny minority - such as exist in ANY system - not the norm. I'm sure I could find similar cases in any health system.

Here in the UK you will generally be seen, free of charge, with ANY injury or emergency within a couple of hours. If your condition is very serious or life threatening then you will be triaged in the Accident and Emergency unit (or on route, via paramedic staff) and you will get immediate treatment.

As for the majority being dissatisfied with the health provision - that is universal. You will find that people ALWAYS want a better service than they actually receive. I notice that you produce no equivalent statistics for the US. Do you think that the majority of US citizens, in any such poll, would indicate that they were 'satisfied' or 'very satisfied' with the US health-care they received? I have my doubts.

A far more insightful question would be - 'does the average UK citizen support the national health service and would they like to replace it with a privately funded system of health'? The answer to those questions have been given comprehensively in every study and every general election since WW2. (Yes and No in that order).
You will find that is the view of the huge majority, to the extent where any proposals to mess with it (such as introducing elements of private care into the NHS) have to be hidden away from the public, because they would be smashed in the next election.

Then we could examine more objective stats - expenditure per capita on health, outcomes in terms of life expectancy, infant mortality...and so on. I think you will find that the UK does pretty well on the latter two and FAR better than the US on the first. I can quote figures if required....
handfleisch
ocalhoun wrote:
What I don't like is how it's sure to increase the cost of health care even more.

Bikerman wrote:
...expenditure per capita on health, outcomes in terms of life expectancy, infant mortality...and so on. I think you will find that the UK does pretty well on the latter two and FAR better than the US on the first. I can quote figures if required....
Bikerman
Well, you can look at various sources for health spend per capita...
For example:
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_spe_per_per-health-spending-per-person
http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/full/24/4/903?ijkey=Tjqt6ve3LQZ3I&keytype=ref&siteid=healthaff
The simple fact is that the US spends at least 20% more per capita on health than ANY other country - using the most generous stats, and two to three times as much as comparable countries (in terms of standardised outcomes 'per dollar' such as life expectancy, infant mortality, specific mortalities for diseases - and so on).
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
What I don't like is how it's sure to increase the cost of health care even more.

Bikerman wrote:
...expenditure per capita on health, outcomes in terms of life expectancy, infant mortality...and so on. I think you will find that the UK does pretty well on the latter two and FAR better than the US on the first. I can quote figures if required....



What keeps medical people from just raising prices? We see this problem a little with the advent of work-sponsored health care insurance... what would keep the government program from causing the same effect, only worse?
Bikerman
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
What I don't like is how it's sure to increase the cost of health care even more.

Bikerman wrote:
...expenditure per capita on health, outcomes in terms of life expectancy, infant mortality...and so on. I think you will find that the UK does pretty well on the latter two and FAR better than the US on the first. I can quote figures if required....



What keeps medical people from just raising prices? We see this problem a little with the advent of work-sponsored health care insurance... what would keep the government program from causing the same effect, only worse?
Well, in the UK we have statitutary wages for health professionals. They can charge what they like in the free-market but in the NHS the prices are (reasonably) fixed. That immediately puts a ceiling, for most purposes, on the free market side of practice. More accurately it gives a fixed comparison. It also imposes a ceiling on spending - since spending on the NHS is fairly transparent (unlike US health spending) it is relatively easy to see where money is going. People are aware of how much they are spending on NHS provision roughly - they see it in their national insurance contributions.

The simple fact is that your assertion that a national health system would lead to an increase in cost is directly contradicted by the evidence.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
What I don't like is how it's sure to increase the cost of health care even more.

Bikerman wrote:
...expenditure per capita on health, outcomes in terms of life expectancy, infant mortality...and so on. I think you will find that the UK does pretty well on the latter two and FAR better than the US on the first. I can quote figures if required....
How do you compare the two? And specifically how do you see the culture of the two countries being the same to the extent that what works for the one country, would automatically at the sign of a bill, work for the other? A system like this did not develop overnight, it is not like a dress you can go out and buy in a store. It is something that has been developed over many decades, and necessarily is not as perfect as you may perceive it to be. It is imperative that US citizens at least get to try the dress out first, by given a chance to deliberate the actual pros and cons in public presentations and hearings (through Commissions of Enquiry on regional and State levels) BEFORE they allow their representatives in Washington DC to vote for the Bill.
handfleisch
Bikerman wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:

What keeps medical people from just raising prices? We see this problem a little with the advent of work-sponsored health care insurance... what would keep the government program from causing the same effect, only worse?
Well, in the UK we have statitutary wages for health professionals. They can charge what they like in the free-market but in the NHS the prices are (reasonably) fixed. That immediately puts a ceiling, for most purposes, on the free market side of practice. More accurately it gives a fixed comparison. It also imposes a ceiling on spending - since spending on the NHS is fairly transparent (unlike US health spending) it is relatively easy to see where money is going. People are aware of how much they are spending on NHS provision roughly - they see it in their national insurance contributions.

The simple fact is that your assertion that a national health system would lead to an increase in cost is directly contradicted by the evidence.

Those pesky facts always seem to have a liberal bias.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:

What keeps medical people from just raising prices? We see this problem a little with the advent of work-sponsored health care insurance... what would keep the government program from causing the same effect, only worse?
Well, in the UK we have statitutary wages for health professionals. They can charge what they like in the free-market but in the NHS the prices are (reasonably) fixed. That immediately puts a ceiling, for most purposes, on the free market side of practice. More accurately it gives a fixed comparison. It also imposes a ceiling on spending - since spending on the NHS is fairly transparent (unlike US health spending) it is relatively easy to see where money is going. People are aware of how much they are spending on NHS provision roughly - they see it in their national insurance contributions.

The simple fact is that your assertion that a national health system would lead to an increase in cost is directly contradicted by the evidence.

Those pesky facts always seem to have a liberal bias.

Or perhaps the US just spends more on health care because it's full of fat, unhealthy people, and the bias was added in in the interpretation...

I'm just against it because government health care and small government don't go together at all. I want the government to get smaller and less intrusive, not grow much larger and take over yet another aspect of our lives.
Bikerman
That is a coherent view - much though I disagree with it. What is NOT coherent is to argue that it would necessarily increase the cost of health provision, or that it would lead to some 'third world' system.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
The simple fact is that your assertion that a national health system would lead to an increase in cost is directly contradicted by the evidence.


I don't have numbers to give you. However perhaps the United Arab Emirates is a good and most recent example of a country that has made health insurance for all compulsory. This happened two years ago. The first thing that happened is that one could hardly get to see a doctor in the Hospitals, as all the waiting rooms were full of people, huge line-ups. "Poor people" regard health insurance as a "benefit" that has to be used. Next in the "benefit" line were the Hospitals themselves. Doctors ticking off test after test for the long line-up of patients seeing them. Charging full prices for all of those, even when some of the tests are not properly taken, as of course nobody is really checking up on these. When I went last year, one of my tests had a delay in it, as the equipment was not working well, and when I questioned it, the doctor pooh-poohed me, saying he is sure everything is in order. Yet of course the medical insurance was going to pay a full price for the test. Since everything is covered, whereas when people had to pay for the tests themselves, these were judiciously employed and their existence questioned, but now it is liberally done. Like a cash cow. Since medical insurance is covering all the tests, people do not really feel when the prices are upped, as medical insurance will cover that. So no protests for price increases of the costs. AND the costs DID go up. Even expats over here cannot afford prices of operations and hospital care if they should have to be operated on without medical insurance.

I cannot agree with you that there is no increase in cost in this. As this money has to come from somewhere. For those employed by Government, Government had to find the money somewhere, but since that is a huge cost, it had to take it from somewhere else, likely less jobs perhaps?
Bikerman
What possesses you to assert that the UAE is 'is a good and most recent example of a country that has made health insurance for all compulsory', in this context? Are you seriously contending that the UAE offers a good model with which to compare US health care vis-a-vie the effects of national health insurance?

You have much more valid comparisons already given - countries with a similar history and social culture - without resorting to comparisons with stone-age economies that have, this past few decades, entered a global framework. The comparison is not only ridiculous, it is rather surreal..

The simple fact is - despite your obfuscation - that the UK National Health System is WAY better value in terms of per capita spending when measured against internationally valid comparators such as life expectancy, infant mortality, waiting times....etcetera.
I seriously think that you have no case to make, therefore you resort to some bogus comparison with an emerging economy that didn't even exist until 1971. Similar crappy arguments are deployed by various republican 'defenders of the US faith'.
Why not debate the known facts in comparable economies? I actually think that it is possible to construct a case for private health care (though I believe it is based on some wrong assumptions) but if you want to build a coherent case then you (and other right wing commentators) have to do a LOT better than this....

I can respect Ocalhoun when he says that this is a matter of an overall belief in small government. I fundamentally disagree with him, but the view is at least coherent. The sort of bogus comparisons used by you here, and by others in this debate, are not coherent - they are propagandist nonsense that insult the intelligence.

Let's deal with the specific issue of treatment cost.

In a US private funded system then who controls the cost? Who says 'this condition is so improbable that I'm not going to order the tests for it'?.
Answer? The costs are, to a large extent, controlled by litigation. Defensive medicine is the order of the day - you had better order that test, no matter how ridiculous, in case the patient (or, more importantly, the patient's medical health insurance company) decides to sue.

In the UK we have national guidelines on cost. We have the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) who take a view on what drugs and treatments are cost effective and should be therefore sanctioned by the NHS for general use. Now, of course, this leads to complaints by many that an effective treatment has been 'banned' by NICE. That is an ongoing debate here. The point is, however, that there is some mechanism for controlling costs. (If private patients wish to go ahead and purchase the treatment for themselves then fine - they can do so.)

The NHS has a HUGE amount of consumer power - it has the power to effectively drive down the cost of drugs and treatment - particularly when that 'consumer power' is coupled to other EEC health systems. What controls costs in the US? What stops the drug companies charging what they like? Poorer consumers are not really worth worrying about anyway - far better to target the rich consumer and the illnesses that go with that....

Now, explain why YOU think the US spend nearly three times as much on health service as the UK does (per head of population). Do you seriously contend that US health-care is three times better? What metrics are you using?

Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. OECD Health Data 2006, from the OECD Internet subscription database updated October 10, 2006. Copyright OECD 2006, http://www.oecd.org/health/healthdata.
deanhills
Well Chris, perhaps we should recommend to Obama that he consults you for expert advice. You seem to have it all pretty much wrapped up. He'd definitely go for the type of stats that you quoted and add it to his marketing, although a little dated perhaps.

I have a number of friends from the UK, who do not share your very generous and positive views of the UK National Health Care system. I have already mentioned some of the criticism (I've found examples below as well). But who knows, maybe those critics are as inadequate in their thinking and reasoning as you found mine to be? By the way, thanks for all the compliments. Evil or Very Mad

I thought this article in the Telegraph was pretty much indicative of what I had mentioned before. Particularly noteworthy also the comments under the article by similar minded UK citizens who are unhappy with the UK national Health Care system:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/yourview/1567630/Would-healthcare-in-Britain-force-you-to-go-abroad.html
Quote:
Record numbers of Britons are flying abroad for essential medical treatment, in order to avoid long NHS waiting lists and the rising threat of deadly hospital superbugs.

Patients needing vital surgery are travelling as far as India and Malaysia, where operations cost half the price charged in Britain’s private hospitals.

According to shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley, "this is a terrible indictment of this Government, which has turned the NHS into a nationalised bureaucracy, instead of something that is able to focus on what patients want."

Do fears of infection or despair over long waiting lists make you avoid the NHS?



The article below is representative of a friend from Scotland who elected to have her surgery in the UAE (for reasons of delays, and this being a germ-free operating theatre environment). She is scheduled for surgery on Saturday:
http://www.thetimesonline.com/articles/2008/10/19/get_healthy/get_healthy/doc779d93147c5a09cc862574e30072e867.txt
Bikerman
It is simply more anecdote. As I said previously ANY health system has people who get a bad deal. Do you really want me to print a couple of pages of anecdotes from US citizens who are deeply unhappy with their own system? Should I publish anecdotes of people dying because of lack of health insurance?

The simple fact is that, for all its faults, the NHS is OVERWHELMINGLY supported by the public in the UK - survey after survey shows the same. Any political party that proposed privatising the NHS would not just loose a general election - they would be crushed. The public HAS spoken on this.
So the first point made by critics - that national health care systems fail the people - is simply wrong - the overwhelming majority think and say otherwise.

The second point - that national health care systems inevitably cost more - is demonstrably wrong and not worthy of any more serious thought - it is a no-brainer.

So what do we have left? Arguments from the wealthy and the private corporations and other vested interests, which do not stand up to serious scrutiny.

PS - the telegraph is a reasonable newspaper but is regarded as the organ of the Conservative party here in the UK. The quote in the article is from Lansley - the opposition spokesman on Health. Since we are now running up to a general election you can expect to see all sorts of similar claims by Tory MPs over the next weeks and months - on health, education and other social services. This is simply normal electioneering. The critical thing to note, however, is that not even the Tories are suggesting replacing the NHS with privately funded healthcare - they wouldn't dare.

The last link to the anecdote about a 'Scottish friend' was nothing more than an ill-informed opinion piece. Notice that she (the writer) naturally assumes that her friend had sought medical attention and somehow slipped through the net, and it was her 'heroic' intervention that saved the day, with a pep-talk over the phone. Not a scrap of evidence that her 'friend' actually did get refused treatment (or that she even SOUGHT treatment) before her intervention. If this woman had REALLY presented to her GP with severe chest pains, nausea and weakness, then she would have been immediately booked in to her local hospital for ECG, angiography and other tests - in fact she would probably have been admitted right there and then. Any doctor would immediately recognise that these were symptoms of coronary distress and would require very urgent intervention.
I find it impossible to believe that any GP would simply issue 'pain pills' in such a case. Even if the woman was on a waiting list for coronary bypass surgery then she would have been given various drugs to keep her stable - not simply 'pain killers'.
The whole account;
Quote:
My message was direct and simple: "Go see your doctor right away. Tell him your friend from America says you need to have an angiogram done immediately and ... If they are incapable or unwilling to perform the procedures, then we will bring you back with us to America, admit you to St. Catherine Hospital, and have the appropriate tests, procedures and follow-up done here."
Interestingly, the ultimatum must have worked, as within a week or so they had performed the angiogram and found that she had severe coronary artery disease.
is simply not credible to anyone who knows anything about health care here. Why on earth would her GP be concerned that she might go abroad for treatment? What possible 'ultimatum' does this represent? The whole article smells of a self-important journalist making a political point, and being extremely economical with the truth (if not downright lying).

If you want statistics about waiting times in Scotland for coronary investigations and operations then here you go:
http://www.isdscotland.org/isd/5625.html

On the general issue of 'health tourism' - yes some (generally more wealthy) people choose to go abroad for their treatment. Not many I think (after all we have world-class private clinics here as well). It is also true that many people come here for medical treatment. Sure, for elective and non-urgent surgery there is a waiting list. The average waiting list in the NHS varies in different authorities. There is a national maximum of 18 months, but few people would wait anything like that long. Yes, it is not ideal - if you want a hip replacement then waiting a few months would no doubt seem unreasonable. If you have sufficient money then you might well choose to have it done privately. I can understand that - there are limits to how much care you can provide within any system of health. The point is, though, that when stick comes to lift - when you have that heart attack on the street, that accident in your car, or whatever life-threatening emergency - then you will be treated at an NHS hospital, not a private one (unless you are really stupid). The lifesaving surgery will be provided by some of the best in the world, free of charge.

I actually have little interest in whether the US adopts a nationalised healthcare system or not - that is a matter for US citizens and their government. What I DO mind about is commentators using the NHS here as an example of what is wrong with such a system, and using blatantly false data in their arguments. It seems to be a common condition in the republican party - I remember Giuliani making very similar ill-informed comments a couple of years ago:
Rudi Giuliani wrote:
I had prostate cancer, five, six years ago. My chance of surviving prostate cancer, and thank God I was cured of it, in the United States: 82 percent. My chances of surviving prostate cancer in England: only 44 percent under socialized medicine.’
How inaccurate does something have to be before you call it a lie? This is simply a lie.*


* The UK '5 year survival rate' for prostate cancer is 74.4% - that is the measure he used for US statistics. The 'deaths attributable to prostate cancer' figures are even closer - 15.4 per 100,000 people in the United Kingdom and 12.0 per 100,000 in the United States.
Voodoocat
Bikerman, you said: Now, explain why YOU think the US spend nearly three times as much on health service as the UK does (per head of population).

One explaination is healthcare rationing. It is very easy to spend less on healthcare by not offering healthcare in the first place!

According to the Telegraph:

(http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2613653/Cancer-specialists-blame-Nice-over-drug-rationing.html)

A group of 26 professors said guidance issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) to deny patients four kidney cancer drugs on the NHS was 'poor' and 'unsuitable'.

And how about this:

Nice said the drugs were too expensive, at about £24,000 a year per patient, for the benefits they offered and would mean the health service was less able to afford more cost-effective drugs for other illnesses.

Apparently the British government has put a price on human life:

Under Nice rules any treatment that costs more than £30,000 a year is deemed too expensive, if it is unable to offer sufficient extra longevity and wellbeing to the patient.

The DailyMail has even more examples of British healthcare rationing:

(http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1174592/Kidney-cancer-patients-denied-life-saving-drugs-NHS-rationing-body-NICE.html)

Kidney cancer patients denied life-saving drugs by NHS rationing body NICE

Thousands of kidney cancer patients are likely to lose out on life-prolonging drugs.

He said: 'This one dimensional approach will leave some patients without potentially beneficial treatments, indeed some patients will not be eligible for any effective treatments whatsoever.'

Sorry Bikerman, but I think we just found one very obvious reason why American's spend more on healthcare than the British: rationing. I for one will stick with my private insurance.
Bikerman
Voodoocat wrote:
Sorry Bikerman, but I think we just found one very obvious reason why American's spend more on healthcare than the British: rationing. I for one will stick with my private insurance.
As is your right - either in the US or here in the UK. Nobody denies that there is health rationing (well, a few politicians might try) - I absolutely accept the necessity for such rationing and it will mean difficult choices about which treatments can be offered on the NHS. This isn't an argument against national health coverage - such coverage will ALWAYS be resource limited. National health coverage offers a general level of care. If you have the resources to go outside that then you are perfectly free to do so.

I actually think it is reasonable, within a resource constrained system, to say - look, I know this drug could possibly offer you another month or two of life, but it costs £30,000 (or whatever) and we cannot justify it in terms of the overall budget. You call that putting a price on human life - I agree, but I call that mature debate. A similar debate would be useful in the US, if there was sufficient honesty to have it. What we have at the moment is a great deal of dishonest 'pretending'. Take an uninsured person in the US - do you seriously think they would get the £30,000 drug? Even many insured people would not, because of limits imposed by their health contracts.
Here is the UK we have a system - NICE - by which we make those difficult decisions. The debate is open to anyone to join and naturally ANY decision will affect some people. If you are willing to spend unlimited funds on an individual then I have no doubt that you can offer them much better care. No system does this - every system is resource constrained to some extent. The NHS is simply honest about that and NICE does the best it can to ration available resource, based on the best available data. I think that is a very 'adult' way to proceed.

The simple fact is that when you do the statistics (proper comparisons, not anecdotes) then you see that the US has slightly higher standards of care in some areas, average in others, and below average in yet others. It currently rates about 37th out of the 191 W.H.O. surveyed countries in an overall comparison.*
When it comes to certain metrics - infant mortality for example - the US does very badly indeed - 19th out of 19 in the Commonwealth Fund study (2008).

50% of US health spending goes on 5% of the population.**
(you might want to read that statistic again)
Now, you may support that system - I don't, but as I have already said, I'm really not that bothered - that is a decision for US citizens and their government. My contribution is to refute lies and misleading data used by either side - at the moment I am seeing those lies and that misleading data from the 'anti' camp. If similar lies are peddled by the 'pro' camp then I will try to refute them too.

* http://www.who.int/whr/2000/en/annex01_en.pdf
** 1996 OECD study. http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/abstract/20/2/9
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
The simple fact is that, for all its faults, the NHS is OVERWHELMINGLY supported by the public in the UK - survey after survey shows the same.
It would be interesting to see who were included in those surveys. I have not come across one UK citizen yet either in the UK or as an expat in the Middle East, not only the UAE but also Oman, who have said one good thing about the NHS. I've never believed in surveys, and if it is true as you say, that surveys have shown an overwhelming support by the public in the UK, then I'm even more cynical about surveys than I have been before.
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
The simple fact is that, for all its faults, the NHS is OVERWHELMINGLY supported by the public in the UK - survey after survey shows the same.
It would be interesting to see who were included in those surveys. I have not come across one UK citizen yet either in the UK or as an expat in the Middle East, not only the UAE but also Oman, who have said one good thing about the NHS. I've never believed in surveys, and if it is true as you say, that surveys have shown an overwhelming support by the public in the UK, then I'm even more cynical about surveys than I have been before.

It's an interesting technique, to reject all surveys, info and knowledge that do not support one's opinion or belief. It reminds me a bit of the interview I recently heard about the guy who runs the Creationism Museum. The museum has exhibits with cavemen and dinosaurs hanging out together (impossible of course, as dinosaurs were long gone before the advent of mankind). The museum owner also has theories about how dinosaurs could have been accommodated on Noah's Ark (God could have turned T.Rex into a vegetarian during the cruise.) Apparently the guy is quite likeable and smart in his own way, and the museum is very popular with a surprisingly large number of Americans, who prefer no scientific evidence interfering with their orthodox ideas.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=FDACA16A-E7F2-99DF-323D104DD12EFCAE
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
It's an interesting technique, to reject all surveys, info and knowledge that do not support one's opinion or belief.
If you read my posting properly, you may not find "reject" in it. Again, as in so many cases before, this is your putting words in my mouth for obvious effect. Evil or Very Mad

I have yet to see you quoting an article or accepting a survey that does not support your own views Handfleisch. You did not ask any questions about the surveys Chris referred to, so I imagine you accepted them without question as they supported your opinion and belief? I have not heard a good report yet about the UK Health Care system, however that does not mean that they do not exist. The points of criticism of the system in the UK by UK citizens are very real ones. They have been reported in the press as well. These points do not really concern me as they are for UK citizens to work out, however I could not understand Chris's more than positive views about the system, when I have heard so many negative ones. So Handfleisch, there are more than two opinions about the UK health care system and enough evidence to support their reality base.

When Presidents get elected, survey results change from day to day, polls go up and down all the time. So in my own experience I rarely pay attention to that kind of statistic as how reliable can it be to say Hillary Clinton is winning in the polls, when in the end she lost? Surveys are like that too. People's attitudes change from one day to the other, up and down and sometimes by wide margins. People's opinions are less than an exact science and there is always room for lots of error.
Bikerman
There is no great mystery - people whine about all sorts of things on a routine basis - that is the very essence of much small-talk. British people love to whine about the health-service, the price of beer, the weather and just about anything else. That is not a test of whether people support the health service or not - you test that by ASKING them.

I repeat (for the third or fourth time) the fact that UK citizens support the health service has been shown in every general election since the war and in every survey commissioned where a realistic alternative option was offered (ie private health coverage). Not only do UK citizens not want to replace the NHS, they will not vote for anyone who proposes doing so. The evidence is clear and indisputable - despite the moaning you frequently hear.

Now, there are certainly some right-wing 'theorists' who would like to get rid of the NHS. These are normally found in 'Think Tanks' associated with the Tory Party. They are kept out of the public gaze (and certainly out of public earshot) by the Tories, because they know fine well that any such talk in public would be electoral suicide. We DO have radical right-wing freemarket supporters in the UK, but not very many. They tend to gather around the fringe-parties like UKIP (though that is not, of course, to say that UKIP has a policy of replacing the NHS - it doesn't, because as I have said it would be electoral suicide).
Bannik
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
The simple fact is that, for all its faults, the NHS is OVERWHELMINGLY supported by the public in the UK - survey after survey shows the same.
It would be interesting to see who were included in those surveys. I have not come across one UK citizen yet either in the UK or as an expat in the Middle East, not only the UAE but also Oman, who have said one good thing about the NHS. I've never believed in surveys, and if it is true as you say, that surveys have shown an overwhelming support by the public in the UK, then I'm even more cynical about surveys than I have been before.


I am a UK citizen and the NHS is the top shizzle dizzle, I think what people whine about NHS is how poorly its run, they love the fact that its free, think about it most the ppl in NHS whine and complain but they will still sit in a waiting room for 5 hours too be redirected too another hospital...


ps - British folks love too whine...
deanhills
Bannik wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
The simple fact is that, for all its faults, the NHS is OVERWHELMINGLY supported by the public in the UK - survey after survey shows the same.
It would be interesting to see who were included in those surveys. I have not come across one UK citizen yet either in the UK or as an expat in the Middle East, not only the UAE but also Oman, who have said one good thing about the NHS. I've never believed in surveys, and if it is true as you say, that surveys have shown an overwhelming support by the public in the UK, then I'm even more cynical about surveys than I have been before.


I am a UK citizen and the NHS is the top shizzle dizzle, I think what people whine about NHS is how poorly its run, they love the fact that its free, think about it most the ppl in NHS whine and complain but they will still sit in a waiting room for 5 hours too be redirected too another hospital...


ps - British folks love too whine...
At least they have a good sense of humour (... most of them ... Smile ) We probably need to get back on topic however. I found this Web page on a recent survey by Medpagetoday.com. It is not so much the survey, but the comments on the survey that were interesting for me. The impression I got was "confused". People do not have a clear idea of how the problem can be solved. I still maintain that the solution has to come through thorough regional debates and hearings in all the States, with the appointment of Commissions of Enquiries. Rather than giving this for Government to work out. Probably very important for US citizens to get involved, and the only real way they can, is if the US Government could create legitimate forums for their participation.

http://www.medpagetoday.com/surveyIFrame.cfm?tbid=14164
handfleisch
Nearly every wealthy nation in the world uses the single-payer method of national health insurance. It's not rocket science and there is no need to reinvent the wheel. If America has anything left of the "Can Do" spirit it once had back when it was truly a world leader, before it started losing ground to the rest of the free world, it will implement a single-payer national health insurance plan. If American's health is left to market forces, it will get Enron-style, AIG-type failure in the health insurance system.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
Nearly every wealthy nation in the world uses the single-payer method of national health insurance. It's not rocket science and there is no need to reinvent the wheel. If America has anything left of the "Can Do" spirit it once had back when it was truly a world leader, before it started losing ground to the rest of the free world, it will implement a single-payer national health insurance plan. If American's health is left to market forces, it will get Enron-style, AIG-type failure in the health insurance system.
As far as I can see Obama wants to overhaul the current Medicare system and make it into a Government controlled system. The biggest concern for critics is concentrated Government control over medical services. Some say that Government has already made a mess of Medicare in a micro sense, and that is an indication of what to expect if they should control all of the services. The following are some of the concerns about a single payer system:

Quote:
Result in substantially lower payments to physicians and other health care providers compared to a multiple-payer system;

Reduce the quality of care by limiting the ability of physicians to invest in advanced medical equipment that takes advantage of new technology;

Limit access to care in the near term, as current physicians and other professionals retire earlier or otherwise leave the profession;

Limit access to care even more substantially in the long term, as the prospect of lower lifetime earnings reduces the incentive for talented people to choose careers in health care; and

Reduce the rate of medical progress, because fewer talented people receiving medical training decreases the supply of talented medical researchers.

Source: "Single Payer: Why Government-Run Health Care Will Harm Both Patients and Doctors" - 3 April 2009
http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/wm2381.cfm
Bikerman
Regardless of whether those claims are true (and I would certainly be willing to argue that they are not - similar self-serving claims were made by doctors when the UK first proposed the NHS in the 1940s), is it not the fact that Obama was elected on a manifesto that included reforming health-care?
We didn't get huge coverage of Obama's pre-election manifesto so I can't say for sure. If it WAS included as a pre-election item then I really don't see that there is an argument - if he said he would reform the health system then obviously he should do so. It seems to me that the majority of the US population are in favour of such reform and the main protests are coming from either vested interests or right-wing dogmatists.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
Regardless of whether those claims are true (and I would certainly be willing to argue that they are not - similar self-serving claims were made by doctors when the UK first proposed the NHS in the 1940s), is it not the fact that Obama was elected on a manifesto that included reforming health-care?
We didn't get huge coverage of Obama's pre-election manifesto so I can't say for sure. If it WAS included as a pre-election item then I really don't see that there is an argument - if he said he would reform the health system then obviously he should do so. It seems to me that the majority of the US population are in favour of such reform and the main protests are coming from either vested interests or right-wing dogmatists.
Yes, it is in his manifesto and earned him plenty of votes. It seems to be an issue that is popular to include in presidential election campaigns. Clinton promised it in 1992:
Quote:
ONE OF the most important issues in Clinton's 1992 campaign was health care reform. When he took office, 37 million Americans were without any form of health insurance, and the crisis of the health care "non-system" was front-page news in the mainstream media. Early on in his first term, polls showed seven out of 10 Americans supporting a system that would guarantee health care for every person.

But the Clinton administration frittered away this support. Its task force for writing reform legislation--chaired by Hillary Rodham Clinton--compromised again and again under pressure from the health care bosses. The resulting proposal was such a mess that Republicans were able to turn public support against it, and the Clinton "reform" plan died before even coming to a vote. By the time Clinton left office, there were at least 3 million more people uninsured in the U.S.


Source: http://socialistworker.org/2003-2/460/460_08_Clinton.shtml
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
As far as I can see Obama wants to overhaul the current Medicare system and make it into a Government controlled system. The biggest concern for critics is concentrated Government control over medical services. Some say that Government has already made a mess of Medicare in a micro sense, and that is an indication of what to expect if they should control all of the services.


This is sort of the contemporary version of the Know-Nothings. It's impervious to common sense arguments, and in this case, evidence against the bizarre belief that, though all rich industrialized countries have nationalized, single payer health insurance, there is somehow something drastic, extreme or unworkable about the idea. When told that the UK public overwhelmingly supports it system, the Know-Nothing will ignore the word "overwhelmingly" and say they are "cynical about surveys". Buzzwords like "Government controlled system" and "concentrated Government control over medical services" are used (by the way, the word "government" is not usually capitalized), when in fact the proposals in the US so far fail to include the single payer system and will leave much of health insurance to market forces.

I have to repeat that it's like the techniques that Creationists use to support their belief that the earth is only 6000 years old, or even the Flat-Earthers use to support their denial that the earth is round. It's really interesting, actually.
Bikerman
[MOD Warning. This is in danger of becoming overly-personalised. Let us avoid that please..]
Bikerman
The objection to the points Deanhills raised is not that they are based on ignorance, but that they are entirely self-serving arguments by the doctors and their lobbyists.
Look again at the argument;
Quote:
Result in substantially lower payments to physicians and other health care providers compared to a multiple-payer system;
In other words we will get less dosh
Quote:
Reduce the quality of care by limiting the ability of physicians to invest in advanced medical equipment that takes advantage of new technology;
In other words we will have less dosh to spend on new toys. The counter argument, of course, is that needless duplication of expensive equipment for small competing businesses is wasteful and unnecessary.
Quote:
Limit access to care in the near term, as current physicians and other professionals retire earlier or otherwise leave the profession;
In other words if you pay us less then we will throw our toys out of the pram. Consider that the average NHS doctor earns a salary of around £118,000 per year - about 4 times the national average wage. I really don't think they have much reason to moan.
Quote:
Limit access to care even more substantially in the long term, as the prospect of lower lifetime earnings reduces the incentive for talented people to choose careers in health care; and
Same argument used by bankers to justify obscene salaries - 'if you want the best you have to pay the best'. Interesting that we don't tend to apply the same argument to teachers, nurses and other public servants. Could it be because we rightly feel that public service is reward in itself, and worthy of respect? The notion that the student deciding on a career pathway is motivated entirely by potential earnings is rather depressing to me...The notion that a national health system would 'limit access to care....' is surely a joke?
Quote:
Reduce the rate of medical progress, because fewer talented people receiving medical training decreases the supply of talented medical researchers.
Just a rehash of the previous argument, but wrong and demonstrably so. Scientific research is VERY badly paid. Ask any post-doc research assistant whether they think that they earn 'good' money? Academia is certainly not well paid, by any measure, and the notion that academic research would be stifled by a drop in salary is based on the false notion that the existing salaries are 'market value' - whatever that means.
deanhills
Thanks Chris. You were right on with your comments. The quotes are from an article that expressed concerns by medical practitioners who are worried they are going to lose income, and through that some practitioners may retire early, and those talented people who previously would have opted for a career in medicine, may go for alternative careers. I was hoping the points that I quoted would generate comment of substance by experts on the topic. I'm clearly not a specialist, and am trying to learn. The little bit I have checked up on the Web says that the majority of US citizens would like a complete change, however there is confusion as to what the change should be and concern about Government control. If it was as simple as Handfleisch indicated it to be, then there would have been a new system in place quite a number of years ago. Concerns about the medicare system have been around long before the last presidential campaign. The Clintons were also working on a plan and could not get it off the ground.

The system that is in place in Canada was not implemented from the top down. It was generated from the bottom up. In other words, a formal Commission of Enquiry was set up and hearings were conducted all over the country in all the Provinces over a period of three years. It went through quite a lot of struggles, but there was a forum created for participation by everyone and people could debate the issues at levels where it mattered. By the time the Bill was submitted to Parliament it was adopted by an overwhelming majority.

All countries are different and as far as I can see primary health care in the United States is mostly privately operated for a profit. Whereas in Canada there were strong federal Government and Provincially-controlled primary health care systems already in place when they were working on their Health Plan. This has to be one of the reasons why medical practitioners in the United States are so worried about receiving less income and why there has been so many delays in getting it all together. It is not a simple situation and it would require much more than marketing the President's plan to get it to be accepted by everyone else.
lagoon
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiSPRkq28iU&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gofourth.co.uk%2Fback-him-or-sack-him&feature=player_embedded

Take a look at this Tory right-wing nutjob on American television rubbishing the NHS. Pure craziness.
Bikerman
LOL...as I said, there are a few right-wing Tories who secretly want to get rid of national health provision. They are normally UKIP rather than Tory members (UKIP tends to be the right-wing of the Tory party anyway..) and Hannan's views seem to fit that mould.
Now, I'm a fairly political person, and I have to tell you that I have never heard of Hannan before. Seems he is a Tory MEP who likes to be interviewed on Fox. If he wants to speak with any authority on the NHS then I suggest he should stand as an MP. He seems to me to be not much more than a self-publicist in search of an audience...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Hannan
deanhills
lagoon wrote:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiSPRkq28iU&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gofourth.co.uk%2Fback-him-or-sack-him&feature=player_embedded

Take a look at this Tory right-wing nutjob on American television rubbishing the NHS. Pure craziness.
I thought he made some good points. The point that the US is structured completely different to the UK with a dispersal of power amongst the States. If a mistake is to be made it would be easier to overcome than in the UK, where the National Health Services (NHS) have become too entrenched to be fixed in a meaningful way. I also like his point where adding lots of money for health practitioners in the NHS system was not having the effect that was hoped for, i.e. improving services overall. Also that it would be impossible to make significant changes to the NHS as it is the World's largest employer of people after the Chinese Red Army. I thought he said everything that he had to say well. The criticisms he made of the system are the same ones I've heard from other UK citizens. Whether his views represent a majority opinion is of course another matter.
lagoon
Bikerman wrote:
LOL...as I said, there are a few right-wing Tories who secretly want to get rid of national health provision. They are normally UKIP rather than Tory members (UKIP tends to be the right-wing of the Tory party anyway..) and Hannan's views seem to fit that mould.
Now, I'm a fairly political person, and I have to tell you that I have never heard of Hannan before. Seems he is a Tory MEP who likes to be interviewed on Fox. If he wants to speak with any authority on the NHS then I suggest he should stand as an MP. He seems to me to be not much more than a self-publicist in search of an audience...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Hannan


Erm... he's not just any Tory MEP. He was TOP of the Tory list in the South East, the safest Tory constituency, and was invited to be THE keynote speaker at the Tory Spring Conference, such is their infatuation with the man. Furthermore, it was his idea to create the brand new far-right group in the Euro Parliament and the rest of the Tory group promptly followed.
deanhills
lagoon wrote:
Erm... he's not just any Tory MEP. He was TOP of the Tory list in the South East, the safest Tory constituency, and was invited to be THE keynote speaker at the Tory Spring Conference, such is their infatuation with the man. Furthermore, it was his idea to create the brand new far-right group in the Euro Parliament and the rest of the Tory group promptly followed.
The Fox News presentation was the first time I ever heard him speak. He came across genuine and sincere. A nice soft-spoken person. I could actually understand what he was saying, as he said all he had to say very simple, honest and direct. Which is quite a novelty for a politician. Is he really that far-right?
lagoon
deanhills wrote:
lagoon wrote:
Erm... he's not just any Tory MEP. He was TOP of the Tory list in the South East, the safest Tory constituency, and was invited to be THE keynote speaker at the Tory Spring Conference, such is their infatuation with the man. Furthermore, it was his idea to create the brand new far-right group in the Euro Parliament and the rest of the Tory group promptly followed.
The Fox News presentation was the first time I ever heard him speak. He came across genuine and sincere. A nice soft-spoken person. I could actually understand what he was saying, as he said all he had to say very simple, honest and direct. Which is quite a novelty for a politician. Is he really that far-right?


Yes. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/jun/22/conservatives-new-eu-group

The man was even expelled from the old Conservative group for being so Euro-sceptic and trying to destroy the Lisbon Treaty.
Bikerman
I don't want to (and won't) engage in a debate about this particular politician. As I said earlier, I had never heard of him before his mention here. I'm not going to set-about a personal attack on this chap simply to defend a point I'm making.
I stick to the original point - the NHS is overwhelmingly supported by the UK public and any proposal to replace it with a private health system would be electoral suicide for any party to propose. That is why the Tory party (which one might expect to support private health, since that is their general political philosophy) do not, have not, and will not propose any such thing in any election manifesto. The fact that a particular Tory MEP might advocate it is of little relevance to this - since he is speaking to a different audience and not as an official Tory spokesman on this. If he had, then I guarantee that David Cameron would have had him on the carpet, out of the door, and out of the Tory party so fast that his feet wouldn't have touched the carpet.
jmi256
Bikerman wrote:
I don't want to (and won't) engage in a debate about this particular politician. As I said earlier, I had never heard of him before his mention here. I'm not going to set-about a personal attack on this chap simply to defend a point I'm making.
I stick to the original point - the NHS is overwhelmingly supported by the UK public and any proposal to replace it with a private health system would be electoral suicide for any party to propose. That is why the Tory party (which one might expect to support private health, since that is their general political philosophy) do not, have not, and will not propose any such thing in any election manifesto. The fact that a particular Tory MEP might advocate it is of little relevance to this - since he is speaking to a different audience and not as an official Tory spokesman on this. If he had, then I guarantee that David Cameron would have had him on the carpet, out of the door, and out of the Tory party so fast that his feet wouldn't have touched the carpet.


If you're looking to get back to the original point, the OP started with the premise and question "Americans want universal health care. Why can't we get it?". The premise has been debunked as the source poll cited was designed to elicit a certain response. In fact, most Americans DON'T want government-controlled system. Whether the British have become so dependent on their nanny-state government that they can't fathom living is a without it is a tragedy, but not the original point.
Bikerman
Quote:
In fact, most Americans DON'T want government-controlled system.

And your evidence for this is?
I presume you think the poll cited below is also supportive of your contention?
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/21/health/policy/21poll.html
Poll wrote:
The national telephone survey, which was conducted from June 12 to 16, found that 72 percent of those questioned supported a government-administered insurance plan — something like Medicare for those under 65 — that would compete for customers with private insurers. Twenty percent said they were opposed.

Quote:
Half of those questioned said they thought government would be better at providing medical coverage than private insurers, up from 30 percent in polls conducted in 2007. Nearly 60 percent said Washington would have more success in holding down costs, up from 47 percent.

Sixty-four percent said they thought the federal government should guarantee coverage, a figure that has stayed steady all decade. Nearly 6 in 10 said they would be willing to pay higher taxes to make sure that all were insured, with 4 in 10 willing to pay as much as $500 more a year.
jmi256
Bikerman wrote:
Quote:
In fact, most Americans DON'T want government-controlled system.

And your evidence for this is?
I presume you think the poll cited below is also supportive of your contention?
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/21/health/policy/21poll.html
Poll wrote:
The national telephone survey, which was conducted from June 12 to 16, found that 72 percent of those questioned supported a government-administered insurance plan — something like Medicare for those under 65 — that would compete for customers with private insurers. Twenty percent said they were opposed.



I suggest you go back and read previous posts....

jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
Despite the ongoing national disgrace of the status quo and even the fact that Americans are willing to pay more taxes to fund it, it's still going to be an uphill battle since Republicans and conservative Democrats will never really support it. But is this the time when enough factors are in place that the supposed democracy and the so-called representatives of the citizens finally get it together?


It looks like the survey from the NY Times misrepresented the actual numbers. I thought the survey was suspect since it seemed to defy reality, but apparently NYT oversampled Obama supporters and were therefore able to support their position.

Quote:

New York Times Poll Showing 72% Support for Obama's Health Care Plan Was Stacked With Obama Supporters
A New York Times/CBS News poll released Saturday that showed broad bipartisan support for President Obama’s health care reform, over-sampled Obama voters compared to McCain voters, critics say.

Source = http://www.cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=49999
Bikerman
Ahh...OK, so it was the same study (I hadn't realised since I was looking at different stats from it).
OK - so you contend that the study was heavily skewed and therefore inaccurate. Fair enough..let's see what that implies:
Quote:
Out of 895 respondents, 24 percent were Republicans, 38 percent Democrats, and 38 percent were independents, according to a June 20 release from CBS News.

Quote:
those numbers are significantly below the 32.6 percent who identify themselves as Republican according to a May survey from the nonpartisan Rasmussen Reports.

Now, let us make the HUGELY generous concession that, had the poll questioned 32.6% Republicans that THEY ALL would have voted otherwise - in fact let us assume they all would have voted for the opposite, where applicable.
That gives us an 8.6% swing.
Even with that huge (and I think unwarranted) concession, the majority polled would have supported a national health system, it would just have been 59.7% instead of 64%
jmi256
Bikerman wrote:

OK - so you contend that the study was heavily skewed and therefore inaccurate.


Right, I would also contend that the very basis of the argument that "Americans want universal health care." is flawed since the "evidence" for it is a poll that was created to elicit a certain response. It's as simple as the theorem:

If A = B, and B = C, then A = C. If you go back and find that A ≠ B, it can't be that A = C.

Perhaps my logic is somewhat of stretch, but I would reason that if the numbers really were as close as you believe, why would there be a need to doctor the numbers?
Bikerman
jmi256 wrote:
It's as simple as the theorem:

If A = B, and B = C, then A = C. If you go back and find that A ≠ B, it can't be that A = C.
No, that is an entirely inappropriate analogy.
Quote:
Perhaps my logic is somewhat of stretch, but I would reason that if the numbers really were as close as you believe, why would there be a need to doctor the numbers?
But there is no suggestion that the numbers were doctored - simply that the sample group was not properly representative of the general population. If you correct for that supposed error then, as I said, you still get a majority answering 'yes' to the question:"should the Federal government guarantee health coverage?".
That, to me, is a national health insurance system....
jmi256
Bikerman wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
It's as simple as the theorem:

If A = B, and B = C, then A = C. If you go back and find that A ≠ B, it can't be that A = C.
No, that is an entirely inappropriate analogy.


How so? The OP's argument goes somehing like this:
Poll = Majority of Americans want government-run program, Majority of Americans want government-run program = Government should implement program, then Poll = Government should implement program.

But since the poll is incorrect, and Poll ≠ Majority of Americans want government-run program, then it follows that Poll ≠ Government should implement program.

Bikerman wrote:
jmi256 wrote:

Perhaps my logic is somewhat of stretch, but I would reason that if the numbers really were as close as you believe, why would there be a need to doctor the numbers?

But there is no suggestion that the numbers were doctored - simply that the sample group was not properly representative of the general population. If you correct for that supposed error then, as I said, you still get a majority answering 'yes' to the question:"should the Federal government guarantee health coverage".
That, to me, is a national health insurance system....


I think that is the suggestion. You have a left-wing/liberal newspaper that comes out with a poll that props up a left-wing/liberal issue (SURPRISE!) by making the claim that the majority of Americans support the left-wing/liberal position. And on top of that it is coordinated with a major media push (Obama's infomercial on ABC "News", etc.) on the part of the Dems to sell their agenda. But when a quick look at the available data shows that the poll was conducted in a faulty manner, at the very least it throws into question the entire poll.
Bikerman
jmi256 wrote:
I think that is the suggestion.
From whom?
Quote:
You have a left-wing/liberal newspaper that comes out with a poll that props up a left-wing/liberal issue (SURPRISE!) by making the claim that the majority of Americans support the left-wing/liberal position. And on top of that it is coordinated with a major media push (Obama's infomercial on ABC "News", etc.) on the part of the Dems to sell their agenda.
Ahh..a conspiracy rant...
Quote:
But when a quick look at the available data shows that the poll was conducted in a faulty manner, at the very least it throws into question the entire poll.
Actually it doesn't. The poll was conducted using a particular sampling method that did not correct for 'vote at last election'. Different polls use different sampling techniques and this one doesn't seem (from the limited info I have on it) to be particularly flawed. Any sample group will correspond more or less to different indicators in the general population - that is just a fact of how polls work. You could probably also find that only 1% of the sample were Jewish whereas the 'global' figure should be 2.2% (just to pull an example out of the air). Any proper poll includes a 'confidence' figure - a statistical measure of certainty. This one had a 'plus or minus three percent' sampling 'error'. It wouldn't change the fact that the majority said yes.
Now, you contend that the majority DON'T want nationalised health insurance. What support have you for that?

PS - I had a quick scout around for some more data on this debate. I came up with very little, but here is an interesting little poll conducted (as best I can tell) buy a drinks company and a political publisher (strange mix...).
http://www.diageohotlinepoll.com/documents/diageohotlinepoll/FDDiageoHotlinePollrelease_June09.pdf

Seems to show strong support for health reform, but they didn't put the specific question of a national health insurance scheme - so I guess we can't tell from that....

Actually the point is that in the only opinion poll that matters - the election - Obama won a mandate. His policies clearly included health reform as a priority...
jmi256
Bikerman wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
I think that is the suggestion.
From whom?

Not reading again? If you look up you'll see that I made it. We're all allowed opinions, right?


Bikerman wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
You have a left-wing/liberal newspaper that comes out with a poll that props up a left-wing/liberal issue (SURPRISE!) by making the claim that the majority of Americans support the left-wing/liberal position. And on top of that it is coordinated with a major media push (Obama's infomercial on ABC "News", etc.) on the part of the Dems to sell their agenda.
Ahh..a conspiracy rant...


No, and I suggest you look up the meaning of "conspiracy" before you try throwing it around. I'm just saying that it's no surprise that a left-wing/liberal newspaper who has been a staunch supporter of liberal schemes through the years would come out in support of yet another stupid liberal idea. There isn't anything sinister or secretive about this, but it's just a common sense view.


Bikerman wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
But when a quick look at the available data shows that the poll was conducted in a faulty manner, at the very least it throws into question the entire poll.
Actually it doesn't. The poll was conducted using a particular sampling method that did not correct for 'vote at last election'. Different polls use different sampling techniques and this one doesn't seem (from the limited info I have on it) to be particularly flawed. Any sample group will correspond more or less to different indicators in the general population - that is just a fact of how polls work. You could probably also find that only 1% of the sample were Jewish whereas the 'global' figure should be 2.2% (just to pull an example out of the air). Any proper poll includes a 'confidence' figure - a statistical measure of certainty. This one had a 'plus or minus three percent' sampling 'error'. It wouldn't change the fact that the majority said yes.
Now, you contend that the majority DON'T want nationalised health insurance. What support have you for that?


You're right, there are a lot of ways to conduct a poll. But if you're going to use a poll to claim legitimacy for action, you should make sure it's accurate and fair. As far as my contention that majority DON'T want a government-run program, it was in response to the whole basis of this argument. If you're going to claim that the majority want it and therefore it should be implemented, I would say the oneness is on you to make the argument and make it with reliable and trustworthy information. If it makes you feel better, I can modify my statement to say "There is no reliable evidence that most Americans want a government-controlled system." Feel better?
Bikerman
jmi256 wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
I think that is the suggestion.
From whom?

Not reading again? If you look up you'll see that I made it. We're all allowed opinions, right?
Certainly.
Quote:
No, and I suggest you look up the meaning of "conspiracy" before you try throwing it around. I'm just saying that it's no surprise that a left-wing/liberal newspaper who has been a staunch supporter of liberal schemes through the years would come out in support of yet another stupid liberal idea. There isn't anything sinister or secretive about this, but it's just a common sense view.
I know the meaning of the word, which is why I used it. What you are saying is that CNS and the New York Times deliberately commissioned a study to support a political agenda. OK, that's a conspiracy but not an unbelievable one. Then we have to believe that the poll was deliberately conducted in a way to give the answer needed, politically on several dozen questions. Now we are into conspiracy theory land. You are impugning the professional integrity of many people.
Quote:
If it makes you feel better, I can modify my statement to say "There is no reliable evidence that most Americans want a government-controlled system." Feel better?
It is not about how I feel - as I have already said I'm really not too bothered what you decide to do - that is a decision for US citizens not me. My interest is in seeing the debate is conducted using some measure of 'honesty' - or at last that claims made, so far as they can be tested, are true.
Certainly that modified statement passes that test.
jmi256
Bikerman wrote:
What you are saying is that CNS and the New York Times deliberately commissioned a study to support a political agenda.


I never said that. But if I did, please show me where I did. I'm just saying that the NYT would be more likely to publish a report that supports their own agenda, which just happens to align closely with left-wing liberals.
Bikerman
jmi256 wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
What you are saying is that CNS and the New York Times deliberately commissioned a study to support a political agenda.


I never said that. But if I did, please show me where I did. I'm just saying that the NYT would be more likely to publish a report that supports their own agenda, which just happens to align closely with left-wing liberals.
Well, the poll was commissioned jointly by CBS (not CNS - my mistake) and the New York Times ; so you did, by implication, say that.
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
If it makes you feel better, I can modify my statement to say "There is no reliable evidence that most Americans want a government-controlled system." Feel better?


OK folks, you want evidence? here we go:
(BTW, Bikerman, thanks for carrying the water on this one.)
http://abcnews.go.com/sections/living/US/healthcare031020_poll.html
Quote:
Americans by a 2-1 margin prefer a universal health insurance program over the current employer-based system.

Public Preference:
Current System or Universal Coverage?
Current system: 32%
Universal coverage: 62%
Universal, with waiting lists for non-emergency treatment: 39%
Universal, with limited choice of doctors: 35%

http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/PollMemo.pdf

Quote:
"When given a choice of the current system or one "like Medicare that is run by the government and financed by taxpayers," voters overwhelmingly chose the latter. A solid majority (59%) say they would prefer a national health insurance program that covers everyone, over the current system of private insurance offered to most through their emloyer."


http://www.boston.com/news/politics/2008/election_results/ma_localquestions/
Quote:
"....local ballot initiatives supporting single payer and opposing individual mandates passed by landslide margins in all ten legislative districts where they appeared. With almost all precincts tallied, roughly 73 percent of 181,000 voters in the ten districts voted YES...."


http://www.pnhp.org/docsurvey/annals_physician_support.pdf
Quote:
Study of Physician Support of National Health Insurance.
"...59 percent of them 'support government legislation to establish national health insurance,' while 32 percent oppose it and 9 percent are neutral."


http://news.yahoo.com/page/election-2008-political-pulse-voter-worries
Quote:
AP - Yahoo Poll
14. "Which comes closest to your view?
34% - The United States should continue the current health insurance system in which most people get their health insurance from private employers, but some people have no insurance
65% - The United States should adopt a universal health insurance program in which everyone is covered under a program like Medicare that is run by the government and financed by taxpayers
2% - Refused / Not Answered"


http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/pdf/SunMo_poll_0209.pdf

Quote:
Americans are more likely today to embrace the idea of the government providing health insurance than they were 30 years ago. 59% say the government should provide national health insurance, including 49% who say such insurance should cover all medical problems.


http://i.a.cnn.net/cnn/2007/images/05/09/rel6e.pdf
Quote:
CNN/Opinion Research Poll
30. Do you think the government should provide a national health insurance program for all Americans, even if this would require higher taxes?
64% - Yes,
35% - No,
2% - No opinion



http://www.chwhealth.org/stellent/groups/public/@xinternet_con_sys/documents/webcont
Quote:
Catholic Healthcare West
May 9, 2007
72% - The time has come for universal healthcare in America.
63% - We need universal healthcare in America, even if it means increasing taxes.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/national/03022007_poll.pdf
Quote:
New York Times/CBS News Poll

27. Do you think the federal government should guarantee health insurance for all Americans, or isn't this the responsibility of the federal government?
64% - Guarantee
27% - Not responsibility
9% - DK/NA

30. If you had to choose, which do you think is more important for the country to do right now, maintain the tax cuts enacted in recent years or make sure all Americans have access to health care?
18% - Cutting taxes
76% - Access to health insurance
1% - Neither
2% - Both
4% - DK/NA


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB112973460667273222.html

Quote:
WALL STREET JOURNAL/Harris Poll
Poll Shows Strong Public Support For Range of Health Practices

“Please indicate whether you support or oppose the policy.”
“Universal health insurance”
75% - Strongly/Somewhat Favor
17% - Strongly/Somewhat Oppose


It's a slam dunk.
jmi256
Bikerman wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
What you are saying is that CNS and the New York Times deliberately commissioned a study to support a political agenda.


I never said that. But if I did, please show me where I did. I'm just saying that the NYT would be more likely to publish a report that supports their own agenda, which just happens to align closely with left-wing liberals.
Well, the poll was commissioned jointly by CBS (not CNS - my mistake) and the New York Times ; so you did, by implication, say that.


Again, I maintain that I did not say that anyone "deliberately commissioned a study to support a political agenda." If you want to claim/believe that I implied it, go ahead. But you're wrong.
Bikerman
jmi256 wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
What you are saying is that CNS and the New York Times deliberately commissioned a study to support a political agenda.


I never said that. But if I did, please show me where I did. I'm just saying that the NYT would be more likely to publish a report that supports their own agenda, which just happens to align closely with left-wing liberals.
Well, the poll was commissioned jointly by CBS (not CNS - my mistake) and the New York Times ; so you did, by implication, say that.


Again, I maintain that I did not say that anyone "deliberately commissioned a study to support a political agenda." If you want to claim/believe that I implied it, go ahead. But you're wrong.

I think it was a reasonable conclusion but since you say that was not your intent then, of course, I believe you and accept that.
deanhills
jmi256 wrote:
"There is no reliable evidence that most Americans want a government-controlled system."
What about common sense? How is it possible for a country whose present health care system is mostly "for profit", to have a majority view that all medical services should be controlled by Government? I cannot see medical practitioners in the United States saying it's OK as that would be like committing supuku with regard to their lucrative incomes. The culture in the United States is completely different to that in Europe and the UK. People in Europe and the UK who hate Government control, emigrate to the United States. That is how the country got started in the first place, to get away from Government control. Just sounds very illogical and out of character to me that the majority in the US would like Government to control all medical services.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
"There is no reliable evidence that most Americans want a government-controlled system."
What about common sense? How is it possible for a country whose present health care system is mostly "for profit", to have a majority view that all medical services should be controlled by Government?
So you think ALL the studies listed above are bogus? Based on....common sense?
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
deanhills wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
"There is no reliable evidence that most Americans want a government-controlled system."
What about common sense? How is it possible for a country whose present health care system is mostly "for profit", to have a majority view that all medical services should be controlled by Government?
So you think ALL the studies listed above are bogus? Based on....common sense?
Bogus sounds a bit strong. I would say there are some who would like Government control, but it does not make sense to me that the majority would like Government control. For the reasons I have already stated.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
deanhills wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
"There is no reliable evidence that most Americans want a government-controlled system."
What about common sense? How is it possible for a country whose present health care system is mostly "for profit", to have a majority view that all medical services should be controlled by Government?
So you think ALL the studies listed above are bogus? Based on....common sense?
Bogus sounds a bit strong. I would say there are some who would like Government control, but it does not make sense to me that the majority would like Government control. For the reasons I have already stated.

So, let's get this straight - you reject the findings of the (8 or more) surveys listed above, because....it doesn't make sense to you?
Are you serious?
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
deanhills wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
"There is no reliable evidence that most Americans want a government-controlled system."
What about common sense? How is it possible for a country whose present health care system is mostly "for profit", to have a majority view that all medical services should be controlled by Government?
So you think ALL the studies listed above are bogus? Based on....common sense?
Bogus sounds a bit strong. I would say there are some who would like Government control, but it does not make sense to me that the majority would like Government control. For the reasons I have already stated.

So, let's get this straight - you reject the findings of the (8 or more) surveys listed above, because....it doesn't make sense to you?
Are you serious?
That the majority of US citizens would like Government to control US medical services? Yes, I'm serious. I can't believe it is true. What I do believe is that as passive as US citizens have been to allow the 1.2 trillion bail-out package to be passed as quickly as it did in January, that Obama's proposed Health Plan Bill does stand a chance of being passed. I can imagine Americans telling themselves, who cares, as long as we have health care coverage, who cares whether it's the Government or anybody else who controls it? If 1.2-trillion did not make a dent in anyone's pocket, why worry about 2-trillion over 10 years? Obama is doing well. 250 billion must sound a lot less than 1 trillion. He is only into single digits.

I thought this cartoon said it quite well:



In addition, found the following interesting information, which may be a logical consequence of Government control of all health services. Which is of course is a centralized electronic records of all US citizens' health information shared with 600,000 covered entities:
Quote:
“The utilization of an electronic health record for each person in the United States by 2014.”
“The National Coordinator shall perform the duties…consistent with the development of a nationwide health information technology infrastructure that allows for the electronic use and exchange of information and that…facilitates health and clinical research…”
The result.

“…the economic stimulus bill mandates electronic health records for every citizen without providing for opt-out or patient consent provisions.
“…records could be shared—without their consent—with over 600,000 covered entities through the forthcoming nationally linked electronic health-records network…”

Source: http://quipster.wordpress.com/2009/01/30/private-health-information-will-become-shared-under-stimulus-bill/
Bikerman
Quote:
That the majority of US citizens would like Government to control US medical services? Yes, I'm serious. I can't believe it is true.
So there is no real point debating with you is there? If you refuse to accept evidence because 'you can't believe it' then there is clearly nothing that would persuade you that you are wrong and further discussion is a waste of my time.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
Quote:
That the majority of US citizens would like Government to control US medical services? Yes, I'm serious. I can't believe it is true.
So there is no real point debating with you is there? If you refuse to accept evidence because 'you can't believe it' then there is clearly nothing that would persuade you that you are wrong and further discussion is a waste of my time.
If there were a proper referendum conducted amongst all the US citizens in all of the 50 States and the outcome of that referendum is a majority vote for US Government control of all health services, then I will believe it. And no, I don't see this discussion as a waste of time. I find it very interesting as well as educational. As I always do.
handfleisch
Bikerman wrote:
Quote:
That the majority of US citizens would like Government to control US medical services? Yes, I'm serious. I can't believe it is true.
So there is no real point debating with you is there? If you refuse to accept evidence because 'you can't believe it' then there is clearly nothing that would persuade you that you are wrong and further discussion is a waste of my time.

I told you we were in a Flat Earth Society/Creationism territory here. And you thought I was getting personal!
Bikerman
handfleisch wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Quote:
That the majority of US citizens would like Government to control US medical services? Yes, I'm serious. I can't believe it is true.
So there is no real point debating with you is there? If you refuse to accept evidence because 'you can't believe it' then there is clearly nothing that would persuade you that you are wrong and further discussion is a waste of my time.

I told you we were in a Flat Earth Society/Creationism territory here. And you thought I was getting personal!

Well, I won't stand by and watch threads degenerate into name calling, which is why I issued a gentle warning.
In this particular case it seems futile to continue that particular conversation since the 'demand for evidence' is clearly bogus. I think you have provided sufficient evidence to establish the point, from a neutral perspective.
handfleisch
Bikerman wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Quote:
That the majority of US citizens would like Government to control US medical services? Yes, I'm serious. I can't believe it is true.
So there is no real point debating with you is there? If you refuse to accept evidence because 'you can't believe it' then there is clearly nothing that would persuade you that you are wrong and further discussion is a waste of my time.

I told you we were in a Flat Earth Society/Creationism territory here. And you thought I was getting personal!

Well, I won't stand by and watch threads degenerate into name calling, which is why I issued a gentle warning.
In this particular case it seems futile to continue that particular conversation since the 'demand for evidence' is clearly bogus. I think you have provided sufficient evidence to establish the point, from a neutral perspective.

Well it was Jmi who said there was no evidence, so we'll have to see how he replies to the plethora.
ocalhoun
Deciding such important things by majority rule is questionable:
Quote:

About 1 in 4 Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment (freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly and petition for redress of grievances.)

Really? Less than 25% can name 2 of them?
That means 75% have little or no idea what the first amendment is about.
Quote:

Encouragingly, today the number of Americans who can correctly identify and name the three branches of government is up to 40%.

So, still, 60% don't know the three main branches of the government...

(The scary statistics were that 40% thought the president could (legally) suspend the constitution, and that 60% of them believed that revolutionary speech was punishable under the constitution. (both very, very wrong))
--------------------------------------------------------
So, these people, the majority of whom don't know basic facts about their government, are qualified to make a decision like this?

They're not thinking about what's best for the country, they're just thinking that their health insurance will be cheaper if the rich pay for most of it.

I really doubt they're taking into consideration how it gives the government even more power, authority, and control.
Bikerman
ocalhoun wrote:
Deciding such important things by majority rule is questionable:
But that does not detract from the point in question - which is that the majority of US citizens, when asked, express a wish for a nationalised system of health insurance. The evidence for that statement seems to me (as a reasonably impartial observer) to be conclusive.

As for whether rule by majority is always a 'good' thing - I think it was Churchill who said
Quote:
Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Deciding such important things by majority rule is questionable:
But that does not detract from the point in question - which is that the majority of US citizens, when asked, express a wish for a nationalised system of health insurance. The evidence for that statement seems to me (as a reasonably impartial observer) to be conclusive.

Oh, I'm sure that the majority wants it. I'm just saying that the majority is also stupid and willfully ignorant, and doesn't realize all the long-term consequences of getting what it wants.
Bikerman wrote:

As for whether rule by majority is always a 'good' thing - I think it was Churchill who said
Quote:
Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.


Quote:

# The national government is a dangerous necessity to be instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people, nation or community; it should be watched closely and circumscribed in its powers.

# Republicanism is the best form of government and representative democracy is needed to prevent the tyranny of the majority, as Madison explained in Federalist No. 10. Jefferson maintained that, "[a] democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine."


The quote war is on! ^.^

The quote gave me an interesting idea, which may become another post.
Bikerman
Well, that particular debate could run and run. We would have to start by defining 'democracy', and that would lead us into a minefield. Now, I'm perfectly willing to take a walk between the explosives with you, but I'm not sure this is the thread for it, so I look forward to any thread which results and I promise to at last try to contribute...
handfleisch
To apply the "tyranny of the majority" idea to universal health care, a norm in all wealthy democratic countries, is a real grasping of straws.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
http://www.diageohotlinepoll.com/documents/diageohotlinepoll/FDDiageoHotlinePollrelease_June09.pdf

Seems to show strong support for health reform, but they didn't put the specific question of a national health insurance scheme - so I guess we can't tell from that....

Actually the point is that in the only opinion poll that matters - the election - Obama won a mandate. His policies clearly included health reform as a priority...
There were 800 registered voters in the poll, the analysis does not show from which States they are from, and I would imagine that would have to be important in a poll like this. Given that there are 50 states with a diversity of opinions. It would be interesting if one could see which States the 800 registered voters had been from. Given also that there are approx 350-million people in the US, a sample of 800 is really very small. But even more important for me then the small sample would be to know which States they are from and how representative the sample is of the whole of the population and the 50 States.

Bikerman wrote:
I presume you think the poll cited below is also supportive of your contention?
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/21/health/policy/21poll.html
This poll had a sample of 895 adults, again we do not know from which States the adults are from and how representative the sample is of all the 50 States.

The quote below in the NY Times analysis (refer link above) of the poll serves to support Ocalhoun's point of view that the general public is not really that well educated on the issue:

Quote:
It is not clear how fully the public understands the complexities of the government plan proposal, and the poll results indicate that those who said they were following the debate were somewhat less supportive.
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
That the majority of US citizens would like Government to control US medical services? Yes, I'm serious. I can't believe it is true. What I do believe is that as passive as US citizens have been to allow the 1.2 trillion bail-out package to be passed as quickly as it did in January, that Obama's proposed Health Plan Bill does stand a chance of being passed. I can imagine Americans telling themselves, who cares, as long as we have health care coverage, who cares whether it's the Government or anybody else who controls it? If 1.2-trillion did not make a dent in anyone's pocket, why worry about 2-trillion over 10 years? Obama is doing well. 250 billion must sound a lot less than 1 trillion. He is only into single digits.

I thought this cartoon said it quite well:

http://michellemalkin.cachefly.net/michellemalkin.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/ocare20.jpg


You reject series of polls, including one from the Wall Street Journal, that are remarkably consistent given the different places and time (roughly 60 to 70 percent of Americans want universal health care) but you accept cartoon arguments from a certified right wing loonie like Malkin.

Your so-called common sense is very interesting, too. To me, it's common sense that, since it is a fact that almost 1 out of 5 Americans have no health care and those that do have a lot of horror stories concerning such things as "rescission" and denied claims, that this American tragedy has touched the lives of the majority of the people and they recognize that national health insurance, like in all the other civilized countries, would obviously be a good thing.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
To apply the "tyranny of the majority" idea to universal health care, a norm in all wealthy democratic countries, is a real grasping of straws.

To imply that the USA must have it because 'all wealthy democratic countries' have it...
What is that?
handfleisch
More information and education on the subject:

This is what happens when you get cancer in America vs. in France
http://www.alternet.org/blogs/healthwellness/141205/this_is_what_happens_when_you_get_cancer_in_america

CNN report featuring a good Republican Congressman (!) on insurance companies canceling the insurance of patients with cancer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBMU3DTqXKA

Watch Kucinich destroy an insurance company shill with facts: http://crooksandliars.com/logan-murphy/dennis-kucinich-pummels-doctor
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
To me, it's common sense that, since it is a fact that almost 1 out of 5 Americans have no health care and those that do have a lot of horror stories concerning such things as "rescission" and denied claims, that this American tragedy has touched the lives of the majority of the people and they recognize that national health insurance, like in all the other civilized countries, would obviously be a good thing.
Or as Ocalhoun so correctly pointed out, and which was proven by the poll I mentioned before, people were not really following the healthcare debate. Those who did study Obama's healthcare plan, leaned towards no Government control.

We still don't know who they interviewed. I still maintain that 800 people are a very small sample out of 350-million citizens and we do not know which states they are from. I wonder how workable it is going to be for the Federal Government to control the medical services of each of the fifty states? Perhaps this would then be good grounds for scrapping State Governments, and have only one Central Government? The savings would be quite awesome!
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
We still don't know who they interviewed. I still maintain that 800 people are a very small sample out of 350-million citizens and we do not know which states they are from.
You keep repeating this as though it were true, and not a complete fabrication by you.
You have been invited, several times, to look at the links provided on various surveys yet you ignore them completely. Since you can't be bothered, I've collected the sample sizes for the first 6:
ABC poll - 1000
Grove Poll - 863
Boston Poll - 123,900
Associated Press Poll - 1800
CBS Poll - 1112
CNN Poll - 1028
etc..

If you repeat the canard that only 800 people were surveyed again, I will be forced to assume that you are deliberately trying to mislead.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:

If you repeat the canard that only 800 people were surveyed again I will be forced to assume that you are deliberately lying.
I found the 800 from a document that you cited Chris:
Quote:
New York, June 10, 2009 – With President Obama’s push for health care reform stirring
debate about the costs of a plan, the Diageo/Hotline Poll of 800 registered voters conducted
by FD from June 4 – 7, 2009, finds that the majority of voters support a major overhaul of
health care.

This is the document:
Quote:
http://www.diageohotlinepoll.com/documents/diageohotlinepoll/FDDiageoHotlinePollrelease_June09.pdf
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:

If you repeat the canard that only 800 people were surveyed again I will be forced to assume that you are deliberately lying.
I found the 800 from a document that you cited Chris:
Quote:
New York, June 10, 2009 – With President Obama’s push for health care reform stirring
debate about the costs of a plan, the Diageo/Hotline Poll of 800 registered voters conducted
by FD from June 4 – 7, 2009, finds that the majority of voters support a major overhaul of
health care.

This is the document you quoted from:
Quote:
http://www.diageohotlinepoll.com/documents/diageohotlinepoll/FDDiageoHotlinePollrelease_June09.pdf
That was just one survey. What about the surveys provided by Handfleisch in this same thread?
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:

If you repeat the canard that only 800 people were surveyed again I will be forced to assume that you are deliberately lying.
I found the 800 from a document that you cited Chris:
Quote:
New York, June 10, 2009 – With President Obama’s push for health care reform stirring
debate about the costs of a plan, the Diageo/Hotline Poll of 800 registered voters conducted
by FD from June 4 – 7, 2009, finds that the majority of voters support a major overhaul of
health care.

This is the document you quoted from:
Quote:
http://www.diageohotlinepoll.com/documents/diageohotlinepoll/FDDiageoHotlinePollrelease_June09.pdf
That was just one survey. What about the surveys provided by Handfleisch in this same thread?
We're talking a total of 350 million people here. 800 or 123,000 are still small numbers for using the poll as irrefutable scientific evidence that the majority of American citizens would like Government to control medical services. I thought that the Government in the US was a Federal Government, and as such that medical services would be controlled by the individual State Governments. If the Central Government is indeed Federal and a poll is taken as irrefutable evidence that the majority of American citizens want the Federal Government controlled medical services, then surely there should be a representative sample of each of the 50 states (as a percentage of the total population). Before you can make this claim.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
We're talking a total of 350 million people here.
You may be - I'm talking about the USA which has a total population of around 300 million, of which about 197 million are registered to vote.
Quote:
800 or 123,000 are still small numbers for using the poll as irrefutable scientific evidence that the majority of American citizens would like Government to control medical services.
No - actually those are very large sample sizes. Surveys are designed to take into account various factors such as political affiliation, income etc and any properly designed survey will include a confidence level and a potential error range. The simple fact is that EVERY survey conducted shows similar levels of support for a nationalised health insurance system. Not one single poll (that I can find) shows anything different.
If you want to dispute this then provide some evidence.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
deanhills wrote:
We're talking a total of 350 million people here.
You may be - I'm talking about the USA which has a total population of around 300 million, of which about 197 million are registered to vote.
Quote:
800 or 123,000 are still small numbers for using the poll as irrefutable scientific evidence that the majority of American citizens would like Government to control medical services.
No - actually those are very large sample sizes. Surveys are designed to take into account various factors such as political affiliation, income etc and any properly designed survey will include a confidence level and a potential error range. The simple fact is that EVERY survey conducted shows similar levels of support for a nationalised health insurance system. Not one single poll (that I can find) shows anything different.
If you want to dispute this then provide some evidence.
OK Chris, do you then say that we do not really need a Presidential election any more? You take a survey, and if it looks as though the majority of those in the survey favour one of two candidates, the one with the majority in the survey automatically wins? Why have an election if a survey can do such a good job? I'm saying that the survey does not represent the total population of the US, I can imagine if these people were interviewed, quite a number of those were unprepared as well, whereas like in an election, when you cast your vote, you would have studied what was going on much more thoroughly. Hence why there is a need to educate US citizens about Obama's health care plan so that they can make informed decisions before surveys are conducted.
Bikerman
And the US has recently HAD such an election with two candidates who took a different line on this issue.
Which one won?
Obama can quite accurately claim that he has a popular mandate for a national health insurance scheme - since it was in his manifesto.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
And the US has recently HAD such an election with two candidates who took a different line on this issue.
Which one won?
Obama can quite accurately claim that he has a popular mandate for a national health insurance scheme - since it was in his manifesto.
People did not elect a manifesto, they elected Obama for President. It was a Presidential election. You still have not answered my question though. Why have a Presidential election when surveys can do the same job so well?
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
And the US has recently HAD such an election with two candidates who took a different line on this issue.
Which one won?
Obama can quite accurately claim that he has a popular mandate for a national health insurance scheme - since it was in his manifesto.
People did not elect a manifesto, they elected Obama for President. It was a Presidential election. You still have not answered my question though. Why have a Presidential election when surveys can do the same job so well?

Surveys are a useful tool but the essence of a representative democracy is that everyone registered gets a vote. The opinion polls are normally pretty accurate in forecasting the result but it is essential, for participatory democracy, that everyone is allowed to vote.

The same does NOT apply for every individual policy issue. You elect a President based on his/her manifesto. The winner has the right to implement (or try to) that manifesto. The alternative would be to have a separate referendum on each policy issue - in which case you may as well do away with the entire apparatus of government.
Bannik
Bikerman wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
And the US has recently HAD such an election with two candidates who took a different line on this issue.
Which one won?
Obama can quite accurately claim that he has a popular mandate for a national health insurance scheme - since it was in his manifesto.
People did not elect a manifesto, they elected Obama for President. It was a Presidential election. You still have not answered my question though. Why have a Presidential election when surveys can do the same job so well?

Surveys are a useful tool but the essence of a representative democracy is that everyone registered gets a vote. The opinion polls are normally pretty accurate in forecasting the result but it is essential, for participatory democracy, that everyone is allowed to vote.

The same does NOT apply for every individual policy issue. You elect a President based on his/her manifesto. The winner has the right to implement (or try to) that manifesto. The alternative would be to have a separate referendum on each policy issue - in which case you may as well do away with the entire apparatus of government.


technically the president is someone who puts a face too the power, he really is not needed, he signs documents already passed by other politicians etc...but the pres is also the man you place in charge in times of need and fast decisions i.e a terrorist or country attacks usa you ar not going too wait for a survey to be done..you need a fast decision...hence the pres...

look at it this way Britain is still a monarchy (technically the queen is still in power as she needs too sign each law that passes through the houses of parliament) but she really doesn't do shit does she?
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
The same does NOT apply for every individual policy issue. You elect a President based on his/her manifesto. The winner has the right to implement (or try to) that manifesto. The alternative would be to have a separate referendum on each policy issue - in which case you may as well do away with the entire apparatus of government.
The healthcare plan will affect medical services in the United States in such a fundamental and enormous way, that there should at least be an attempt to educate all US citizens in exactly what the plan entails, much more than simply marketing it through the media. Some people have a vague idea what they want out of it, but quite a number of people have not followed the debate and need to know what the plan means. Once they have been educated, and know what it means, and since it is going to make a complete fundamental change, they should have the opportunity to vote on this. Commissions of enquiries should be set up in each State, so that people can have a vehicle where they can debate on the plan so that those issues that need to be addressed will be addressed properly, and people can learn what it is all about.

A survey/study to ascertain the general level of knowledge and comprehension of the President's health care plan, what it is, and how it works would give a completely new meaning to the surveys that have already been conducted. If people had been educated better on the details of the President's plan, some might have responded differently.
handfleisch
Without bothering to comment on it, I will point out that this argument -- that relying on surveys questions the need for or threatens democracy -- is a wildly off topic diversion from the point.
Bikerman
Bannik wrote:
technically the president is someone who puts a face too the power, he really is not needed, he signs documents already passed by other politicians etc...but the pres is also the man you place in charge in times of need and fast decisions i.e a terrorist or country attacks usa you ar not going too wait for a survey to be done..you need a fast decision...hence the pres...

look at it this way Britain is still a monarchy (technically the queen is still in power as she needs too sign each law that passes through the houses of parliament) but she really doesn't do shit does she?
No, that is a bad analogy.
a) The Queen is unelected
b) The President of the US has significantly more 'real' power than the Queen.
Yes it is true to say that the Queen is a figurehead rather than a 'real' political power - that is the way our unwritten constitution was designed to function after the middle-ages and the civil war.
The US is different. The President is head of the executive branch of the Federal Government...that is real and significant political power.
lagoon
No Chris, if a policy is in a manifesto and the candidate to whom the manifesto belongs is elected, it does not mean that the candidate has a strong mandate to carry out that policy. The Labour Government could put something in its manifesto that the country doesn't really like, but if the majority of the manifesto advocates fairness, equality, and more buzzwords, the people may elect Labour into power. That doesn't give the Government a strong mandate for carrying out that single policy.
Bikerman
lagoon wrote:
No Chris, if a policy is in a manifesto and the candidate to whom the manifesto belongs is elected, it does not mean that the candidate has a strong mandate to carry out that policy. The Labour Government could put something in its manifesto that the country doesn't really like, but if the majority of the manifesto advocates fairness, equality, and more buzzwords, the people may elect Labour into power. That doesn't give the Government a strong mandate for carrying out that single policy.
Err, actually yes it does. The potential government says to the electorate:'this is what we will do if we win power'. The electorate votes. The winner now has the legitimate right to say - this is what we said we would do, so now we are going to do it.
That is how representative democracy works. You may not like it, but that is another issue...
handfleisch
Michael Moore's film "Sicko" is an invaluable source of info on this subject, and before the yahoos start howling at the mention of Moore's name, here is what the global health insurance company CIGNA Public Relations Chief Wendell Potter said about the credibility of the film:

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/07102009/profile.html

Quote:
BILL MOYERS: You were also involved in the campaign by the industry to discredit Michael Moore and his film "Sicko" in 2007. In that film Moore went to several countries around the world, and reported that their health care system was better than our health care system, in particular, Canada and England. [..]

So what did you think when you saw that film?

WENDELL POTTER: I thought that he hit the nail on the head with his movie. But the industry, from the moment that the industry learned that Michael Moore was taking on the health care industry, it was really concerned.

BILL MOYERS: What were they afraid of?

WENDELL POTTER: They were afraid that people would believe Michael Moore.


more

Quote:
Looking back over his long career, Potter sees an industry corrupted by Wall Street expectations and greed. According to Potter, insurers have every incentive to deny coverage — every dollar they don't pay out to a claim is a dollar they can add to their profits, and Wall Street investors demand they pay out less every year. Under these conditions, Potter says, "You don't think about individual people. You think about the numbers, and whether or not you're going to meet Wall Street's expectations."
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:


Quote:
Looking back over his long career, Potter sees an industry corrupted by Wall Street expectations and greed. According to Potter, insurers have every incentive to deny coverage — every dollar they don't pay out to a claim is a dollar they can add to their profits, and Wall Street investors demand they pay out less every year. Under these conditions, Potter says, "You don't think about individual people. You think about the numbers, and whether or not you're going to meet Wall Street's expectations."

And a government system is fundamentally different how?
Bikerman
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:


Quote:
Looking back over his long career, Potter sees an industry corrupted by Wall Street expectations and greed. According to Potter, insurers have every incentive to deny coverage — every dollar they don't pay out to a claim is a dollar they can add to their profits, and Wall Street investors demand they pay out less every year. Under these conditions, Potter says, "You don't think about individual people. You think about the numbers, and whether or not you're going to meet Wall Street's expectations."

And a government system is fundamentally different how?
Quite simple - it gives coverage to every citizen.
It really isn't rocket-science. It works in the same way that defence, education and other public services function. A certain amount of money, from general taxation, is allocated to the provision of national health coverage.
ocalhoun
^Yes, yes of course, instead of denying coverage to expensive clients, they just deny coverage of expensive treatments... I get that part.

I was asking what would make them see people as individuals, and not as numbers?
Bikerman
ocalhoun wrote:
^Yes, yes of course, instead of denying coverage to expensive clients, they just deny coverage of expensive treatments... I get that part.

I was asking what would make them see people as individuals, and not as numbers?

I don't see why that is an issue. The article makes that quote in context of denying treatment to individuals. A national health system doesn't deny treatment to individuals. If the administrators want to imagine people as numbers within the system then fine - but no 'number' is given priority over another 'number' on anything other than clinical grounds. The fundamental difference is that the 'target population' is the number of citizens - something which the administrator has no control or influence over.

PS - you really shouldn't make too much of this idea of "deny coverage of expensive treatments". Most private insurance policies do exactly the same thing.
At it simplest, a national health system is just a more inclusive version of private health insurance. The difference is that your insurance policy is paid for by the state rather than being paid for by you directly...
lagoon
Bikerman wrote:
lagoon wrote:
No Chris, if a policy is in a manifesto and the candidate to whom the manifesto belongs is elected, it does not mean that the candidate has a strong mandate to carry out that policy. The Labour Government could put something in its manifesto that the country doesn't really like, but if the majority of the manifesto advocates fairness, equality, and more buzzwords, the people may elect Labour into power. That doesn't give the Government a strong mandate for carrying out that single policy.
Err, actually yes it does. The potential government says to the electorate:'this is what we will do if we win power'. The electorate votes. The winner now has the legitimate right to say - this is what we said we would do, so now we are going to do it.
That is how representative democracy works. You may not like it, but that is another issue...


I think you misunderstand my point. The electorate does not vote on one policy, and so the results of an election cannot be used to gauge public opinon of one policy.
Bikerman
lagoon wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
lagoon wrote:
No Chris, if a policy is in a manifesto and the candidate to whom the manifesto belongs is elected, it does not mean that the candidate has a strong mandate to carry out that policy. The Labour Government could put something in its manifesto that the country doesn't really like, but if the majority of the manifesto advocates fairness, equality, and more buzzwords, the people may elect Labour into power. That doesn't give the Government a strong mandate for carrying out that single policy.
Err, actually yes it does. The potential government says to the electorate:'this is what we will do if we win power'. The electorate votes. The winner now has the legitimate right to say - this is what we said we would do, so now we are going to do it.
That is how representative democracy works. You may not like it, but that is another issue...


I think you misunderstand my point. The electorate does not vote on one policy, and so the results of an election cannot be used to gauge public opinon of one policy.
No - we have opinion polls for that (which also show public support). The point is, however, that the election gives Obama a mandate. He is perfectly entitled to turn round to critics and say "I said I was going to do this and the majority of the electorate voted for me - I am therefore going to do it."
deanhills
Thought this cartoon was really cute and reflected some of the views that have been expressed Smile

handfleisch
Yes, that cartoon^ cutely expresses your incorrect view (and others) that public opinion is against national health insurance, despite what many polls and other evidence says. It comes from yet another fake grassroots website that is in fact funded by a New York real estate mogul. In other words funded by a representative of the megarich that are feeling threatened by uninsured working people getting access to health insurance and are running dishonest PR campaigns like the one where you found your cartoon.
deanhills wrote:
Thought this cartoon was really cute and reflected some of the views that have been expressed
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
Yes, that cartoon^ cutely expresses your incorrect view (and others) that public opinion is against national health insurance, despite what many polls and other evidence says.
If you look back at the discussion I was saying that your point of view was not completely proven. Furthermore, the people who were interviewed were in general uneducated as to the details of Obama's healthcare plan. The New York Times found that those who were educated, were in general against the plan. The whole process is going much too fast. Possibly the priority should be to educate everyone as to the contents off and what the ramifications of the plan will be, rather than pushing the Bill through quickly, in order for Obama to tick it off on his Manifest, and work on his ratings in the "polls" so that he can get re-elected for a second term. There should have been at least a three year investigation, education, discussion, negotiation, etc. etc. deliberation about the plan, before rushing it through. Why is Obama in such a hurry? Is it because of your famous polls? And did he take note that people are not as educated about his plan as they should be? And this is working in his favour?
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
If you look back at the discussion I was saying that your point of view was not completely proven.


About as much as the moon landings are "not completely proven" and there are those who argue that, too.

BTW I fixed your cartoon:
deanhills
The wording in your improvised version is just so NOT Obama's. Also, I can't see him in the public role of punishing insurance CEOs when he has them "in effect" reporting to him after signature of bail-out packages. What happened with AIG in March is a case in point:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIG_bonus_payments_controversy
Vrythramax
My own opinion is that Universal Health Care won't happen anytime soon in the US because the Insurance companies won't allow it, as it would drastically drive their profit margins down. They also have much more money than the normal consumer to spend on lobbyists to influence politicians.

The same could be said for prescription medications, the consumer has to pay for all the R&D that went into the product many times over before big business sees a profit (in their eyes), and will drop the price.
Voodoocat
A 9-month wait for arthritis treatment: Delay can mean a lifetime of agony for victims

Source:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1199714/A-9-month-wait-arthritis-treatment-Delay-mean-lifetime-agony-victims.html#ixzz0LKw2236S&D

Quote:
A national health system doesn't deny treatment to individuals.

You are correct: healthcare is not denied, just delayed. Unfortunately, healthcare is not a luxury item that can be delayed.

According the the Dailymail:

Quote:
Thousands of rheumatoid arthritis sufferers face a lifetime of agony because they are not being treated quickly enough, a report says.


Quote:
GPs lack the specialist knowledge required to diagnose the condition quickly, and on average it takes four visits before a patient is referred to a specialist for diagnosis and treatment, the report adds.


Quote:
The report found that the average length of time from the onset of symptoms to treatment has not improved in the past five years
Bikerman
I really don't see your point. Let's compare countries:
US - if you have private health insurance you can, presumably, be treated for your arthritis quicker than 9 months (depending on your policy cover).
If you don't then you have to wait until it is certified as a medical emergency (probably never) before it will be treated in an emergency room.

UK - if you have private health insurance - the same applies as in the US
If you don't you will get treated but you will have to wait (9 months is excessive, but the Daily Mail is a Tory newspaper and will therefore tend to print worst-case scenarios in the run-up to the next General Election).
lagoon
Bikerman, is it possible to ban the use of the Daily Mail website as sources in the politics forum? I can cite many pages on there which contained blatant lies.
Bikerman
lagoon wrote:
Bikerman, is it possible to ban the use of the Daily Mail website as sources in the politics forum? I can cite many pages on there which contained blatant lies.

LOL...much though I personally might like to do so (I regard it as a 'rag' of the worst kind), I'm not in the business of censorship (unless the Terms and Conditions are breached).
The best policy is simply to refute the untruths Smile
Voodoocat
Uh oh! I didn't know it was a rag Embarassed My apologies!
Bikerman
Voodoocat wrote:
Uh oh! I didn't know it was a rag Embarassed My apologies!

No need to apologise. The Daily Mail is a widely read tabloid in the UK. If I had to characterise the readership it would be 'Tory Wives'. (the husbands tend to read the Telegraph).
It takes familiar right-wing editorial positions - anti-gay, anti-immigration, anti-liberal..etc
lagoon
He has it spot-on. Its sole purpose is firstly, to enrage the middle classes, so they take up arms against such minorities as immigrants, gypsies, and young people, and secondly, to distribute Tory propaganda for free.
deanhills
Vrythramax wrote:
My own opinion is that Universal Health Care won't happen anytime soon in the US because the Insurance companies won't allow it, as it would drastically drive their profit margins down. They also have much more money than the normal consumer to spend on lobbyists to influence politicians.

The same could be said for prescription medications, the consumer has to pay for all the R&D that went into the product many times over before big business sees a profit (in their eyes), and will drop the price.
This sounds like good news to me Vrythramax, and an excellent point. Almost like a bottomline one. Smile One probably always has to keep the self-interest motivation in the forefront. Obama wants to get re-elected vs insurance companies who would loose money. I've just thought about it, Obama has made a rather hefty bail-out investment in AIG in March of this year. Do you think there could be a power of persuasion and motivation to follow his lead along "I pat your back, you pat my back" lines? Smile
Vrythramax
deanhills wrote:
... One probably always has to keep the self-interest motivation in the forefront. Obama wants to get re-elected vs insurance companies who would loose money. I've just thought about it, Obama has made a rather hefty bail-out investment in AIG in March of this year. Do you think there could be a power of persuasion and motivation to follow his lead along "I pat your back, you pat my back" lines? Smile


You just summarized what is refered to as "Pork Barrel Politics". One politician doing for another in order to sway a future vote (I'll vote in your favor for a vote of my choosing at a later date). The Haliburton scandal is a prime example...look at the major players in that and explain why and how they escaped not only jail but prosecution completely!

That bailout smells to high heaven of corrupt politics...but in a grand scheme it also made sense. Same for the car companies. I wonder when we (meaning the US government) will turn a sympathetic eye of big tobacco and bail them out too. Evil or Very Mad

My tax dollars hard at work. meh Sad
deanhills
Vrythramax wrote:
deanhills wrote:
... One probably always has to keep the self-interest motivation in the forefront. Obama wants to get re-elected vs insurance companies who would loose money. I've just thought about it, Obama has made a rather hefty bail-out investment in AIG in March of this year. Do you think there could be a power of persuasion and motivation to follow his lead along "I pat your back, you pat my back" lines? Smile


You just summarized what is refered to as "Pork Barrel Politics". One politician doing for another in order to sway a future vote (I'll vote in your favor for a vote of my choosing at a later date). The Haliburton scandal is a prime example...look at the major players in that and explain why and how they escaped not only jail but prosecution completely!

That bailout smells to high heaven of corrupt politics...but in a grand scheme it also made sense. Same for the car companies. I wonder when we (meaning the US government) will turn a sympathetic eye of big tobacco and bail them out too. Evil or Very Mad

My tax dollars hard at work. meh Sad
I'm hoping that over the longer term and in the big picture that this will sort itself out. That there are always cycles in these things, Obama trying his hand at socialism, and I am hoping against hopes that the US will not subscribe to it in the longer term. That for now the bailout and universal health care may make sense to some, but only as short-term measures. Bottomline is the question whether the general culture in the United States is really compatible with socialism? I can see society accepting some of the perks of socialism in the short term, but not the whole package for the longer term. Your wealthy, or those on their way to wealth will ALWAYS work their way around things, including "socialism". Obama cannot do it without the wealthy as he has been spending trillions, which have to come from somewhere? The poor?
Vrythramax
Politics will never change as it works for the individules involved in the process while keeping the people it affects most at bay. Socialism, now there's a new and creative idea. What was that little group in Germany called during the 1920's - 40's...national socialists? It also seemed to have worked out quite well for the USSR. Socialism is a grand idea that I doubt can be made to work on a large scale. certain proponants of it yes, but not en masse.

Well...we voted for CHANGE...and in a sense we are getting it. He's a whole new typical politician, new to his current office that is.

Remember when we used to vote for the person who would do the best job? Now we are reduced to voting for the person who won't stick it to us as hard as the other guy.
handfleisch
Will national health insurance cover the epidemic of misspelling "lose" as "loose"?
deanhills
Vrythramax wrote:
Politics will never change as it works for the individules involved in the process while keeping the people it affects most at bay. Socialism, now there's a new and creative idea. What was that little group in Germany called during the 1920's - 40's...national socialists? It also seemed to have worked out quite well for the USSR. Socialism is a grand idea that I doubt can be made to work on a large scale. certain proponants of it yes, but not en masse.

Well...we voted for CHANGE...and in a sense we are getting it. He's a whole new typical politician, new to his current office that is.

Remember when we used to vote for the person who would do the best job? Now we are reduced to voting for the person who won't stick it to us as hard as the other guy.
This was an awesome posting, so much on the mark Vrythramax. I especially liked the last paragraph. For me the democracy of the voting system is bordering on an autocracy. There is no one that is really "good" from the two that is available, so people sometimes vote for the "lesser evil" or "better good" of the two. Then let him do what he wants to do, crossing their fingers that he won't muck it up too much.

I thought this cartoon was also very good:
http://imgsrv.gocomics.com/dim/?fh=242b08548553a8e853ac79c12a4e464a
Vrythramax
handfleisch wrote:
Will national health insurance cover the epidemic of misspelling "lose" as "loose"?


Nah...nor will it cover affects or effects, nor to and too. Not misspelling exactly, but misused quite frequently. Welcome to the joys of a text based forum. Razz
handfleisch
Here's Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders in the current Congressional hearings exploding a few more Republican talking points while talking to John McCain. To wit: The VA is socialized medicine. Do all you anti-national health insurance types want to toss it out? Do you claim it to be shoddy? Do you therefore advocate privatizing VA? (which could lead to 20% of veterans without health insurance, as is the case with private citizens now.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSM8t_cLZgk

Or here's my entry in the cartoon wars. This one references reality
Moonspider
handfleisch wrote:
Here's Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders in the current Congressional hearings exploding a few more Republican talking points while talking to John McCain. To wit: The VA is socialized medicine. Do all you anti-national health insurance types want to toss it out? Do you claim it to be shoddy? Do you therefore advocate privatizing VA? (which could lead to 20% of veterans without health insurance, as is the case with private citizens now.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSM8t_cLZgk


Senator Sanders makes a poor argument in my opinion. Veterans, having served the United States government, are owed health care by the United States government. Veterans did something to receive medical treatment furnished by the U.S. government. Citizens who have not served their country, in my opinion, are not owed health care by the government. It is not an entitlement. It is not a right. People do not somehow deserve it by virtue of their existence.

My point derives more from my views on governmental theory. This notion that citizens "deserve" anything is nonsense. For me government should be minimal, just large enough to provide a few things. For example, citizens have a right to security. Citizens have a right to live in a country where the playing field is level for each person.

I do not deserve health care from the government any more than I deserve to have them rebuild my home after a flood or earthquake if I don't carry insurance for either (another argument). That's my responsibility. "Equality" does not mean everyone receives the same stuff. It means everyone has the same opportunities; the laws of the land do not favor one group over another.

Everyone getting everything is a laudable notion. But it's idealism, not realism. I too wish we lived in a society where everyone worked for the good of others, where money and the forces of capitalism were found only in the history texts of the college classes no one wanted to take. Suitable for Star Trek, yes. But it does not work in reality.

Programs like this cost money. Non-discretionary spending already makes up 75% of the U.S. federal budget! And supporters of this health care plan want to increase that? Its becoming too burdensome as it is. California, where I live, may be the canary in the mine at this rate.

Respectfully,
M
deanhills
Moonspider wrote:
This notion that citizens "deserve" anything is nonsense. For me government should be minimal, just large enough to provide a few things. For example, citizens have a right to security. Citizens have a right to live in a country where the playing field is level for each person.

I do not deserve health care from the government any more than I deserve to have them rebuild my home after a flood or earthquake if I don't carry insurance for either (another argument). That's my responsibility. "Equality" does not mean everyone receives the same stuff. It means everyone has the same opportunities; the laws of the land do not favor one group over another.

Everyone getting everything is a laudable notion. But it's idealism, not realism. I too wish we lived in a society where everyone worked for the good of others, where money and the forces of capitalism were found only in the history texts of the college classes no one wanted to take. Suitable for Star Trek, yes. But it does not work in reality.

Programs like this cost money. Non-discretionary spending already makes up 75% of the U.S. federal budget! And supporters of this health care plan want to increase that? Its becoming too burdensome as it is. California, where I live, may be the canary in the mine at this rate.

Respectfully,
M
I totally agree with this Moonspider and like the way you put it. An expectation that the Government is there to look after its citizens in this way could amount to a Welfare State. Additional medical insurance is guaranteed to make services more expensive. It is also guaranteed to reduce the quality of standard health care. However, since most of the primary health care is not under government control, I would be very surprised if this Bill is going to get a plain sailing. If Government already was playing a heavy role in primary care, then it may have been easier, but Government would first have to get past those with real vested interests on the bottomline side, to maintain the status quo so that an alternative plan can be drawn up without additional Government control.
Vrythramax
deanhills wrote:
I totally agree with this Moonspider and like the way you put it. An expectation that the Government is there to look after its citizens in this way could amount to a Welfare State. Additional medical insurance is guaranteed to make services more expensive. It is also guaranteed to reduce the quality of standard health care. However, since most of the primary health care is not under government control, I would be very surprised if this Bill is going to get a plain sailing. If Government already was playing a heavy role in primary care, then it may have been easier, but Government would first have to get past those with real vested interests on the bottomline side, to maintain the status quo so that an alternative plan can be drawn up without additional Government control.


I'm not sure as I agree here. I believe there is already an implied expectation of some sort of "looking after", and rightly so. We pay for all of the government spending in one way or another, if not directly through our tax dollars, then through profits made off of the investment of our tax dollars. We see nothing in return in the way of real services that we don't pay for ourselves, not highways, education, national parks, nothing that isn't already paid for by us. So why shouldn't we expect some health care?

We can pay for all sorts of superfluous spending and have absolutely no say in the matter beyond voting for the miscreants who blow through our tax dollars and force the country into an almost impossible state of affairs. So if we can pay for all the crap, why not spend some of our money on keeping us alive to make more money, so they can spend more, so we have to work more, so we can .... ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

*Edit - I didn't even mention those already mentioned - our veterans. I mean WTH? The government that put them in a position to get screwed up in the first place cuts corners on their health care? You'll never hear of a bill to reduce spending for Congressional, or Senatorial Health Care....and look what we pay them in salary and benefits! Mad
ocalhoun
Vrythramax wrote:

I'm not sure as I agree here. I believe there is already an implied expectation of some sort of "looking after", and rightly so. We pay for all of the government spending in one way or another, if not directly through our tax dollars, then through profits made off of the investment of our tax dollars. We see nothing in return in the way of real services that we don't pay for ourselves, not highways, education, national parks, nothing that isn't already paid for by us. So why shouldn't we expect some health care?

At that point we get to differences in opinion about the ideal role of government.

Some people want a small, limited government that gives little help and has little power, while others want a government that does everything and has nearly unlimited power.

I would have the health care program, if it had to exist at all, be an optional program. You have the option of paying taxes on it, and benefiting from it, or you can opt out of it, pay nothing and get nothing. There would have to be limited opportunities to change your mind about that, of course.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
I would have the health care program, if it had to exist at all, be an optional program. You have the option of paying taxes on it, and benefiting from it, or you can opt out of it, pay nothing and get nothing. There would have to be limited opportunities to change your mind about that, of course.
Applause Applause This is an excellent suggestion. I like it. That should be able to make both happy. Also, it would give a clear indication of how much it would cost when you opt into the programme. If everyone is forced to participate, we may never know what the cost per head would be. Whereas the option would make it quite clear how much it would cost for an individual. And perhaps make things more accountable too.
handfleisch
Vrythramax wrote:
deanhills wrote:
I totally agree with this Moonspider and like the way you put it. An expectation that the Government is there to look after its citizens in this way could amount to a Welfare State. Additional medical insurance is guaranteed to make services more expensive. It is also guaranteed to reduce the quality of standard health care. However, since most of the primary health care is not under government control, I would be very surprised if this Bill is going to get a plain sailing. If Government already was playing a heavy role in primary care, then it may have been easier, but Government would first have to get past those with real vested interests on the bottomline side, to maintain the status quo so that an alternative plan can be drawn up without additional Government control.


I'm not sure as I agree here. I believe there is already an implied expectation of some sort of "looking after", and rightly so. We pay for all of the government spending in one way or another, if not directly through our tax dollars, then through profits made off of the investment of our tax dollars. We see nothing in return in the way of real services that we don't pay for ourselves, not highways, education, national parks, nothing that isn't already paid for by us. So why shouldn't we expect some health care?

We can pay for all sorts of superfluous spending and have absolutely no say in the matter beyond voting for the miscreants who blow through our tax dollars and force the country into an almost impossible state of affairs. So if we can pay for all the crap, why not spend some of our money on keeping us alive to make more money, so they can spend more, so we have to work more, so we can .... ad infinitum, ad nauseam.


You are right, especially your point about the waste of the current system and its effect on the economy:
Quote:
Harvard Study: 60% of Bankruptcies Caused by Health Problems
Most victims are middle-class and have health insurance

A new study finds that more than 60% of personal bankruptcies in the United States in 2007 were caused by health-care costs associated with a major illness. That's a 50% increase in the number of bankruptcies blamed on medical expenses since a similar study in 2001.

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2009/06/bankruptcy_medical_costs.html#ixzz0LR8hbmQU

I think most arguments about the size of gov't are academic, along with the provocative statements about what people "deserve". One way to look at it is that basic health care is not being provided for adequately in the USA, and is in fact an ongoing tragedy, like a national disaster (the majority of bankruptcies in the USA are due to medical costs!) which must be dealt with on a national level. Another way to look at it is that the citizens of the USA want it because the current system is simply not working, and it is not exactly an exotic, dangerous or unreasonable thing to want given that all the other rich democracies have them. Another way to look at it is that if taxes are going to be taken for something, then let it go to getting the US health system up to speed, up to the 20th century (a decade too late).

Let Halliburton run it and Cheney's cronies cash in on the new national health insurance instead of on wars and killing. As long as the system finally responds to the times and the needs of the citizens.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
Another way to look at it is that the citizens of the USA want it because the current system is simply not working, and it is not exactly an exotic, dangerous or unreasonable thing to want given that all the other rich democracies have them. Another way to look at it is that if taxes are going to be taken for something, then let it go to getting the US health system up to speed, up to the 20th century (a decade too late).
I am still not in agreement with your statement that the citizens of the USA want Obama's health plan. I would agree that the majority would like to have a change, but they have not had a chance yet to study and absorb the ramifications of a Government controlled system. I can't understand why you would have a problem with Ocalhoun's suggestion however. If someone should elect not to be part of the system, that should take a burden off the Government for at least one stat. The more who are opted out the better.
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
I am still not in agreement with your statement that the citizens of the USA want Obama's health plan. I would agree that the majority would like to have a change, but they have not had a chance yet to study and absorb the ramifications of a Government controlled system.

Yes, we know you think this, as you have written so many times. Despite all evidence that Americans want a national health insurance plan, you "just can't believe it" (I believe those were your words), sort of like the people who can't believe that men landed on the moon or that species on earth evolve and so look for any excuse to dismiss these things they cannot believe it. But that is just not considered credible in terms of basic rationality, no matter how many times you repeat it.

60 percent of US bankruptcies caused by medical problems! Even though the people involved had private health insurance! This is another fact not to ignore.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
deanhills wrote:
I am still not in agreement with your statement that the citizens of the USA want Obama's health plan. I would agree that the majority would like to have a change, but they have not had a chance yet to study and absorb the ramifications of a Government controlled system.

Yes, we know you think this, as you have written so many times. Despite all evidence that Americans want a national health insurance plan, you "just can't believe it" (I believe those were your words), sort of like the people who can't believe that men landed on the moon or that species on earth evolve and so look for any excuse to dismiss these things they cannot believe it. But that is just not considered credible in terms of basic rationality, no matter how many times you repeat it.

60 percent of US bankruptcies caused by medical problems! Even though the people involved had private health insurance! This is another fact not to ignore.
I would like to see the actual questionnaires that were used to interview, a breakdown of demographics of the population that was interviewed, study the questions, and study the answers before I blindly take it as fact. I totally believe that if you go to a study with the theory that most bankruptcies are caused by medical problems, that if you tune the questions right, and limit your questions to elements of that theory, that you will get your 60 percent answer. I actually read the articles that came from the study, and one wonders at the coincidence of its timing just slightly ahead of President Obama's big announcements and marketing of his healthcare bill in mid-June. Where there is smoke there is a fire. And no doubt health care costs are high, and I'm sure that they can make a great contribution to personal bankruptcies, but equally when we had the bail-out bill and all kinds of bail-out campaigns going on from last September to January, people were talking real estate problems and how that made a contribution to personal insolvencies. I am sure if they were polling people then, the cost of loans for housing would have featured as the greater factor in personal bankruptcies.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
deanhills wrote:
I am still not in agreement with your statement that the citizens of the USA want Obama's health plan. I would agree that the majority would like to have a change, but they have not had a chance yet to study and absorb the ramifications of a Government controlled system.

Yes, we know you think this, as you have written so many times. Despite all evidence that Americans want a national health insurance plan, you "just can't believe it" (I believe those were your words), sort of like the people who can't believe that men landed on the moon or that species on earth evolve and so look for any excuse to dismiss these things they cannot believe it. But that is just not considered credible in terms of basic rationality, no matter how many times you repeat it.

60 percent of US bankruptcies caused by medical problems! Even though the people involved had private health insurance! This is another fact not to ignore.

I notice you side-step my opt-out suggestion...

What is you opinion on the variation of the program that would give 100% of people what they want?
Vrythramax
ocalhoun wrote:
... I would have the health care program, if it had to exist at all, be an optional program. You have the option of paying taxes on it, and benefiting from it, or you can opt out of it, pay nothing and get nothing. There would have to be limited opportunities to change your mind about that, of course.


I like the opt out option, at least it would give those in need something to fall back on, while allowing others to have nothing to do with it if they choose not to. The only problem I could see, and this happens frequently, is that as long as there is an option for someone else, the other side will cry foul claiming they have been mistreated or they did not receive what they were supposed to.

I doubt there is a way to please everybody. Sad
deanhills
Vrythramax wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
... I would have the health care program, if it had to exist at all, be an optional program. You have the option of paying taxes on it, and benefiting from it, or you can opt out of it, pay nothing and get nothing. There would have to be limited opportunities to change your mind about that, of course.


I like the opt out option, at least it would give those in need something to fall back on, while allowing others to have nothing to do with it if they choose not to. The only problem I could see, and this happens frequently, is that as long as there is an option for someone else, the other side will cry foul claiming they have been mistreated or they did not receive what they were supposed to.

I doubt there is a way to please everybody. Sad
I can't agree with this one. Ocalhoun's suggestion has the greater chance of pleasing 100 percent. With regard to people "crying foul" and that they "have been mistreated", I'm almost certain that is going to happen anyway. People who receive Government aid always moan and groan about its imperfections. As it stands right now there are probably going to be more moans and groans than we think, as it would appear from the polls that people are not really that educated as to what Obama's nitty gritty plans are. Perhaps it would have been in Obama's interest to have spent a little more time on educating everyone and providing forums for discussions, deliberations, debates, and feedback BEFORE rushing a Bill of this magnitude through. If he had taken the time, the end-product would have been easier to sell to everyone, and since people would have had a chance to study it better, there may be less moans and groans after the fact.
Vrythramax
deanhills wrote:
Vrythramax wrote:

I like the opt out option, at least it would give those in need something to fall back on, while allowing others to have nothing to do with it if they choose not to. The only problem I could see, and this happens frequently, is that as long as there is an option for someone else, the other side will cry foul claiming they have been mistreated or they did not receive what they were supposed to.

I doubt there is a way to please everybody. Sad


I can't agree with this one. Ocalhoun's suggestion has the greater chance of pleasing 100 percent. With regard to people "crying foul" and that they "have been mistreated", I'm almost certain that is going to happen anyway. People who receive Government aid always moan and groan about its imperfections.


Shocked

Ummm...dean? It seems you did agree with that one. At least my part of it anyway Razz

I don't see ocalhoun's suggestion being able to please 100% either (no offense ocahoun, I like your plan, but human nature would doom it to failure)...it is simply impossible to please everyone.
deanhills
Vrythramax wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Vrythramax wrote:

I like the opt out option, at least it would give those in need something to fall back on, while allowing others to have nothing to do with it if they choose not to. The only problem I could see, and this happens frequently, is that as long as there is an option for someone else, the other side will cry foul claiming they have been mistreated or they did not receive what they were supposed to.

I doubt there is a way to please everybody. Sad


I can't agree with this one. Ocalhoun's suggestion has the greater chance of pleasing 100 percent. With regard to people "crying foul" and that they "have been mistreated", I'm almost certain that is going to happen anyway. People who receive Government aid always moan and groan about its imperfections.


Shocked

Ummm...dean? It seems you did agree with that one. At least my part of it anyway Razz
My reference to moans and groans were more of the big picture variety, in that they are given and will always be there. Ocalhoun's plan is a big picture one, where if you do not want to participate, you have a choice to get out. So those who wish to have government controlled medicare can receive it, and those who are against, can have the choice to get out. In that specific sense it has a greater chance to make 100% happy.
ocalhoun
Vrythramax wrote:


I don't see ocalhoun's suggestion being able to please 100% either (no offense ocahoun, I like your plan, but human nature would doom it to failure)...it is simply impossible to please everyone.

95% would be a more accurate estimate, probably. I suppose there will always be some who don't like it, as there would be for anything.

Interesting that nobody dislikes it yet...

I'm used to having ideas controversial enough to get disagreement from somewhere...
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:


Interesting that nobody dislikes it yet...
We're waiting ..... Laughing

Last night I was kind'a meditating on this one, having a picture of Obama and his team shortly before all his media announcements and presentations in mid-June, deciding on how they are going to market the Bill. I am almost certain that professional organizations and lobbyists are involved with the marketing of the bill, and wonder whether there is a budget of a kind for marketing bills?

Then thinking about it a little further I just thought how the focus was more on marketing of the bill and presentation to the media in a "rush rush" "hurry hurry" urgent way, rather than educating the public on its pros and cons and creating forums so that the public can actively participate in discussions, deliberations, debates and hearings and giving them a timeframe so that their feedback can be processed. This seems to be a marketing dominated culture, but trying to sell a bill that is socialist based. Sort of at variance with one another?
handfleisch
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83FvLjsUOJg
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Weekly-Address-President-Obama-Says-Health-Care-Reform-Cannot-Wait/

Obama's address to the nation this week responded to a lot of the concerns on this thread. Read the full transcript at the link above.

Quote:
Right now in Washington, our Senate and House of Representatives are both debating proposals for health insurance reform. Today, I want to speak with you about the stakes of this debate, for our people and for the future of our nation.

This is an issue that affects the health and financial well-being of every single American and the stability of our entire economy.

It’s about every family unable to keep up with soaring out of pocket costs and premiums rising three times faster than wages. Every worker afraid of losing health insurance if they lose their job, or change jobs. Everyone who’s worried that they may not be able to get insurance or change insurance if someone in their family has a pre-existing condition.

It’s about a woman in Colorado who told us that when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, her insurance company – the one she’d paid over $700 a month to – refused to pay for her treatment. She had to use up her retirement funds to save her own life.

It’s about a man from Maryland who sent us his story – a middle class college graduate whose health insurance expired when he changed jobs. During that time, he needed emergency surgery, and woke up $10,000 in debt – debt that has left him unable to save, buy a home, or make a career change.

It’s about every business forced to shut their doors, or shed jobs, or ship them overseas. It’s about state governments overwhelmed by Medicaid, federal budgets consumed by Medicare, and deficits piling higher year after year.

This is the status quo. This is the system we have today. This is what the debate in Congress is all about: Whether we’ll keep talking and tinkering and letting this problem fester as more families and businesses go under, and more Americans lose their coverage. Or whether we’ll seize this opportunity – one we might not have again for generations – and finally pass health insurance reform this year, in 2009.

...
Finally, opponents of health reform warn that this is all some big plot for socialized medicine or government-run health care with long lines and rationed care. That’s not true either. I don’t believe that government can or should run health care. But I also don’t think insurance companies should have free reign to do as they please.

That’s why any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange: a one-stop shopping marketplace where you can compare the benefits, cost and track records of a variety of plans – including a public option to increase competition and keep insurance companies honest – and choose what’s best for your family. And that’s why we’ll put an end to the worst practices of the insurance industry: no more yearly caps or lifetime caps; no more denying people care because of pre-existing conditions; and no more dropping people from a plan when they get too sick. No longer will you be without health insurance, even if you lose your job or change jobs.


Big news:

Quote:
July 17, 2009

CBO Scores Confirms Deficit Neutrality of Health Reform Bill

Washington, D.C. -- The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released estimates this evening confirming for the first time that H.R. 3200, America’s Affordable Health Choices Act, is deficit neutral over the 10-year budget window – and even produces a $6 billion surplus. CBO estimated more than $550 billion in gross Medicare and Medicaid savings. More importantly, the bill includes a comprehensive array of delivery reforms to set the stage for lowering the future growth in health care costs.

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/104xx/doc10464/hr3200.pdf
Vrythramax
deanhills wrote:
... This seems to be a marketing dominated culture, but trying to sell a bill that is socialist based. Sort of at variance with one another?


You answered your own question by calling it a "marketing dominated culture". Whomever was trying to "sell" the idea of a socialist based anything would have to word it very carefully.

In order for any product to be sold it has to be marketed properly, getting a bill passed is much the same. You would need to convince potential customers that your product is the best choice available for the job at hand. If someone were to right out and say (in the United States) "Check this bill out, It's New...It's Improved, It's...SOCIALISM!!"....the only thing that would get to the hospital before them would be the headlights on the ambulance they were in.
deanhills
Vrythramax wrote:
In order for any product to be sold it has to be marketed properly, getting a bill passed is much the same. You would need to convince potential customers that your product is the best choice available for the job at hand.
Right, and by doing so they will add to their tools anything that makes the Bill look good, publicizing polls that have a positive view, staying away from that which does not support the Bill. And if it is in the Bill's interest to keep the public largely uneducated about the details, then you will keep them uneducated. Right now the positive part of the bill is that people do want change in healthcare, they are obviously ready for change. If they really knew what changes are contained in the Bill however, perhaps they would have thought twice about having it pushed through in a hurry?
Vrythramax
deanhills wrote:
Right, and by doing so they will add to their tools anything that makes the Bill look good, publicizing polls that have a positive view, staying away from that which does not support the Bill. And if it is in the Bill's interest to keep the public largely uneducated about the details, then you will keep them uneducated. Right now the positive part of the bill is that people do want change in healthcare, they are obviously ready for change. If they really knew what changes are contained in the Bill however, perhaps they would have thought twice about having it pushed through in a hurry?


Welcome to the fun-filled Capitalistic, market driven, free market society we call the United States. Before you stat pouncing on me, take this into consideration...if you were trying to sell something would you point out it's flaws to a potential buyer, or perhaps even consider mentioning that a competitor even exists?
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
Vrythramax wrote:
In order for any product to be sold it has to be marketed properly, getting a bill passed is much the same. You would need to convince potential customers that your product is the best choice available for the job at hand.
Right, and by doing so they will add to their tools anything that makes the Bill look good, publicizing polls that have a positive view, staying away from that which does not support the Bill. And if it is in the Bill's interest to keep the public largely uneducated about the details, then you will keep them uneducated. Right now the positive part of the bill is that people do want change in healthcare, they are obviously ready for change. If they really knew what changes are contained in the Bill however, perhaps they would have thought twice about having it pushed through in a hurry?

How can you talk about people being educated or not, since you don't believe in evidence anyway? You talk about a one-side publicizing of polls, but that is not true. There simply are no polls that show anything other than that Americans, well educated by the reality of having a lousy and damaging private healthcare system, want a public one (if there are any polls to the contrary, please tell us about them.) Because you reject evidence that contradicts your beliefs, you question all the polls. Because you are uneducated in details, you think everyone is. Or you are reading Malkin and the shills for the illness profiteers again, since this one of the tactics of those shareholders profiting off of other's illness via PR agencies-- to make us wait and go slow and nitpick every detail until a few more years go by and Americans still have no healthcare system. The evidence-based, reality-based community -- still a majority of Americans -- reject this.

The new proposal is fair, it let's people keep their private insurance if they want, it is deficit-neutral. Let's go for it, America.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:


The new proposal is fair,

How can that possibly be?

The only possible argument for a socialist program is that alleviating suffering is more important than fairness.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Vrythramax wrote:
In order for any product to be sold it has to be marketed properly, getting a bill passed is much the same. You would need to convince potential customers that your product is the best choice available for the job at hand.
Right, and by doing so they will add to their tools anything that makes the Bill look good, publicizing polls that have a positive view, staying away from that which does not support the Bill. And if it is in the Bill's interest to keep the public largely uneducated about the details, then you will keep them uneducated. Right now the positive part of the bill is that people do want change in healthcare, they are obviously ready for change. If they really knew what changes are contained in the Bill however, perhaps they would have thought twice about having it pushed through in a hurry?

How can you talk about people being educated or not, since you don't believe in evidence anyway? You talk about a one-side publicizing of polls, but that is not true. There simply are no polls that show anything other than that Americans, well educated by the reality of having a lousy and damaging private healthcare system, want a public one (if there are any polls to the contrary, please tell us about them.) Because you reject evidence that contradicts your beliefs, you question all the polls. Because you are uneducated in details, you think everyone is. Or you are reading Malkin and the shills for the illness profiteers again, since this one of the tactics of those shareholders profiting off of other's illness via PR agencies-- to make us wait and go slow and nitpick every detail until a few more years go by and Americans still have no healthcare system. The evidence-based, reality-based community -- still a majority of Americans -- reject this.

The new proposal is fair, it let's people keep their private insurance if they want, it is deficit-neutral. Let's go for it, America.
Perhaps you should read my postings better Handfleisch. There is a HUGE difference between saying that I said that people are uneducated, and saying that they are uneducated in what Obama's bill is about. A HUGE difference. How I came to this, was through one of the polls that Chris had listed when he was referring to a New York Times Analysis of a Poll (refer link below). The analysis of the poll reflected that those people who thought they were uneducated in Obama's healthcare debates were pro Government control, and those that were educated on the Bill were against Government control.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/21/health/policy/21poll.html

Quote:
It is not clear how fully the public understands the complexities of the government plan proposal, and the poll results indicate that those who said they were following the debate were somewhat less supportive.


In short my criticism is that Obama should have spent time first to educate everyone before he launched the Bill, before he started to "sell" it. Because he wants the Bill to go through very quickly he can't educate people about the bill without being biased about it. So whatever tools he would be using would be biased towards getting the Bill through. And using the example of the above analysis again, it would seem to be in his interest to keep people as much in the dark as possible. The more they know, the more critical they may become. That was the message I received from the New York Times analysis anyway.
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
And using the example of the above analysis again, it would seem to be in his interest to keep people as much in the dark as possible. The more they know, the more critical they may become. That was the message I received from the New York analysis anyway.

Yes of course that is what you would take away, one cherry-picked factoid from one poll to support a view against all the evidence from the many polls. At this point I have to agree with Bikerman that you are being deliberately misleading, and so it's a waste of time to reply to your posts.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
Yes of course that is what you would take away, one cherry-picked factoid from one poll to support a view against all the evidence from the many polls. At this point I have to agree with Bikerman that you are being deliberately misleading, and so it's a waste of time to reply to your posts.
In other words you are only interested in the polls that support your own opinion?

If the Canadians were successful in getting their Bill through it is because they first deliberated about it. There was a Commission of Enquiry set up that had to submit a report about it. Everyone participated in discussions, debates and hearings for about three years. They had a role model to go by too in one of the Provinces (Saskatchewan I think). By the time that the Bill was put together, it was already sealed as it had been digested by everyone. If you want to point to countries like these as being successful in having Government controlled healthcare systems, then you have to follow the process by which they introduced their system. This is why I have said too that the culture in Canada was the right one for a Government controlled Healthcare system that was created in the end as they did it from the roots upwards. Marketing of a Bill of this magnitude from the top down is incompatible with the processes that were followed in those countries with Government controlled healthcare systems.
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
Yes of course that is what you would take away, one cherry-picked factoid from one poll to support a view against all the evidence from the many polls. At this point I have to agree with Bikerman that you are being deliberately misleading, and so it's a waste of time to reply to your posts.
In other words you are only interested in the polls that support your own opinion?

There you go again. Either you can't read or you're being deceptive. Whatever.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
Yes of course that is what you would take away, one cherry-picked factoid from one poll to support a view against all the evidence from the many polls. At this point I have to agree with Bikerman that you are being deliberately misleading, and so it's a waste of time to reply to your posts.
In other words you are only interested in the polls that support your own opinion?

There you go again. Either you can't read or you're being deceptive. Whatever.
Perhaps we need to accept that we have different points of view on this. To be truthful, I'm completely uneducated on the Bill. The little I learned about it in the media and press has me completely baffled. I wonder whether the general public is any better off than I am? I get the broad picture, but none of the details of how it is going to work on a day to day basis.
handfleisch
Obama responds to Republican DeMint's divisive words on the heathcare bill.

http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/obama-challenges-gop-on-healthcare-2009-07-20.html
Watch it here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfxNmHWL12o

Quote:
On a conference call last week, DeMint said that if the GOP can stop Obama's healthcare push, it will be Obama's "waterloo."

"It will break him," DeMint said.

Obama did not mention DeMint by name but did reference that quote.

"Think about that. This isn't about me," Obama said. "This isn't about politics. This is about a health care system that is breaking America's families, breaking America's businesses and breaking America's economy. And we can't afford the politics of delay and defeat when it comes to health care. Not this time. Not now."


A pretty straightforward response to more hope-to-failism by the Republicans, who don't give a squat about the state of the country as long as they can score a political obstruction.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
Quote:
we can't afford the politics of delay and defeat when it comes to health care. Not this time. Not now."


This artificial sense of urgency disturbs me greatly...
Is he going to pull the same trick he did with the stimulus bill, rushing it through so it can't be debated properly?
Why is it so urgent? What would be wrong with debating about it and improving it over the course of years before implementing it? We've gone 223 years without nationalized health care, A delay of just a couple more years wouldn't be a great hardship, especially if it resulted in a better system.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
Quote:
we can't afford the politics of delay and defeat when it comes to health care. Not this time. Not now."


This artificial sense of urgency disturbs me greatly...
Is he going to pull the same trick he did with the stimulus bill, rushing it through so it can't be debated properly?
Why is it so urgent? What would be wrong with debating about it and improving it over the course of years before implementing it? We've gone 223 years without nationalized health care, A delay of just a couple more years wouldn't be a great hardship, especially if it resulted in a better system.
I find the statement of Obama's that has been quoted very dramatic, and clearly written as part of marketing, i.e. get people fearful and give them a sense of urgency, and I completely agree with Ocalhoun. Why is there a need for the rush? The consequences of not thinking it through properly, from the roots up, i.e. region by region and State by State, may be much worse than what Obama is trying people to believe. When he did his marketing of the bail-out bill in January it was along similar urgent fearful lines of saving the economy, saving everyone. If a little time had spent in going through all the details, it could have been much more improved, but perhaps Obama rightly thought that if people do not have a chance to think through things, and you rush them, they would have a greater chance of supporting the Bill. Again, having them less educated on it on the details would make them more likely to support it, than knowing too much. Almost the equivalent of the saying: "strike while the iron is hot".
handfleisch
Obama answered all of you who say that joining the 20th century on health insurance in order to save lives and livelihoods now, is somehow too much, too fast. This debate has gone on years, this bill has been debated and worked on for six months in countless hours of testimony in Congress and probed with millions of words throughout all the media and hearings and negotiations. We're done tinkering. The Demo naysayers and the Repubs didn't even bother to create a counterproposal in the form of a bill, and in fact have no solution whatsoever except to obstruct and to delay. We can't let the hope-to-fail crowd win. People are sick and dying and broke because of America's regressive status quo. It's time to go with this plan.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Not-This-Time/

Quote:
Now, we've talked this problem to death, year after year. But unless we act -- and act now -- none of this will change. Just a quick statistic I heard about this hospital: Just a few years ago, there were approximately 50,000 people coming into the emergency room. Now they've got 85,000. There's been almost a doubling of emergency room care in a relatively short span of time, which is putting enormous strains on the system as a whole. That's the status quo, and it's only going to get worse.
If we do nothing, then families will spend more and more of their income for less and less care. The number of people who lose their insurance because they've lost or changed jobs will continue to grow. More children will be denied coverage on account of asthma or a heart condition. Jobs will be lost, take-home pay will be lower, businesses will shutter, and we will continue to waste hundreds of billions of dollars on insurance company boondoggles and inefficiencies that add to our financial burdens without making us any healthier.
So the need for reform is urgent and it is indisputable.
...
There are too many lives and livelihoods at stake. There are too many families who will be crushed if insurance premiums continue to rise three times as fast as wages. There are too many businesses that will be forced to shed workers, scale back benefits, or drop coverage unless we get spiraling health care costs under control.
Vrythramax
handfleisch wrote:
...We can't let the hope-to-fail crowd win. People are sick and dying and broke because of America's regressive status quo. It's time to go with this plan.


Oh man, you are starting to sound like an Army recruiter I once knew. Think
deanhills
Vrythramax wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
...We can't let the hope-to-fail crowd win. People are sick and dying and broke because of America's regressive status quo. It's time to go with this plan.


Oh man, you are starting to sound like an Army recruiter I once knew. Think


The wording seems to have become typical too. It could have equally worked for the bail-out package in January/February. Whip up some fearfulness and push the panic button.

Quote:
But unless we act -- and act now --


Quote:
There are too many lives and livelihoods at stake.


Quote:
Jobs will be lost, take-home pay will be lower, businesses will shutter, and we will continue to waste hundreds of billions of dollars on insurance company boondoggles and inefficiencies that add to our financial burdens without making us any healthier.


Quote:
Just a few years ago, there were approximately 50,000 people coming into the emergency room. Now they've got 85,000. There's been almost a doubling of emergency room care in a relatively short span of time, which is putting enormous strains on the system as a whole. That's the status quo, and it's only going to get worse.
Why this large number? That is an enormous hike. Is it real though? Are people getting sicker and sicker by such an enormous percentage? Has this hike been bugetted into the Government's healthcare plan? And does preventive health care feature anywhere, i.e. expectation that people will take care of themselves, and that the Government will only be bailing out sick and needy people.
deanhills
Felt a little better after I read the article below - the article from the Washington Post is dated 17 July:

Quote:
Lawmakers Warned About Health Costs
CBO Chief Says Democrats' Proposals Lack Necessary Controls on Spending
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/16/AR2009071602242.html

Congress's chief budget analyst delivered a devastating assessment yesterday of the health-care proposals drafted by congressional Democrats, fueling an insurrection among fiscal conservatives in the House and pushing negotiators in the Senate to redouble efforts to draw up a new plan that more effectively restrains federal spending.

Under questioning by members of the Senate Budget Committee, Douglas Elmendorf, director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, said bills crafted by House leaders and the Senate health committee do not propose "the sort of fundamental changes" necessary to rein in the skyrocketing cost of government health programs, particularly Medicare. On the contrary, Elmendorf said, the measures would pile on an expensive new program to cover the uninsured.

Though President Obama and Democratic leaders have repeatedly pledged to alter the soaring trajectory -- or cost curve -- of federal health spending, the proposals so far would not meet that goal, Elmendorf said, noting, "The curve is being raised." His remarks suggested that rather than averting a looming fiscal crisis, the measures could make the nation's bleak budget outlook even worse.

Elmendorf's blunt language startled lawmakers racing to meet Obama's deadline for approving a bill by the August break. The CBO is the official arbiter of the cost of legislation. Fiscal conservatives in the House said Elmendorf's testimony would galvanize the growing number of Democrats agitating for changes in the more than $1.2 trillion House bill, which aims to cover 97 percent of Americans by 2015.


Source of quote and article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/16/AR2009071602242.html

Am relieved to see that there are people who are looking critically at cost, especially whether there would be savings in the overall spending on healthcare, as has been promised.
handfleisch
More answers to the "wait and fail" crowd.

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/32024198/ns/today-white_house/

Quote:
Vieira asked why the president is so insistent on a hard deadline.

"Because if you don’t set a deadline in this town, nothing happens,” Obama replied. “The default in Washington is inaction and inertia. And there’s a reason why we haven’t had health care reform in 50 years. The deadline’s not being set by me; the deadline’s being set by the American people.”

Some Republicans have grabbed on the President’s crusade and made it a political battleground, with Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina going so far as to say, “If we are able to stop Obama on this, in new health care reform, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.”

When Vieira repeated that comment, Obama laughed.

“This is all about politics,” he explained. “That describes exactly an attitude that we’ve got to overcome, because what folks have in their minds is that, somehow, this is about me. It’s about politics and the ability to win back the House of Representatives. And people are thinking back to 1993 when President Clinton wasn’t able to get health care, and, right after that, the House Republicans won.”


Finally a president trying to get things done in Washington, putting people ahead of politics.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
Finally a president trying to get things done in Washington, putting people ahead of politics.
I only see marketing and selling in the wording, no substance of note. It is also not completely honest and perhaps even insulting, suggesting that those who differ in opinion are only differing because of politics, and that his interest is completely pure. Some people who differ from his point of view have real and fundamental issues about cost. The US has just put itself into the red to the tune of 1.2-trillion dollars in January, to BAIL OUT the economy. Why is Obama in such a hurry, is the hurry sincere or has it more to do with democratic politics?
Moonspider
I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination when it comes to national health care, but it seems to me that I have yet to see any "reform." I hear everyone talking about "reform" because our current system is "broken." However, where in this plan is there reform?

Does not the national health care plan of the Obama administration simply create a new, separate health care insurance entity while leaving all of the "broken" system's parts completely intact? If so, that's not reform, is it? Would not reform mean attempting to fix what's broken?

Respectfully,
M
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:

Quote:
Now, we've talked this problem to death, year after year. But unless we act -- and act now -- none of this will change. Just a quick statistic I heard about this hospital: Just a few years ago, there were approximately 50,000 people coming into the emergency room. Now they've got 85,000. There's been almost a doubling of emergency room care in a relatively short span of time,

No we haven't! This is the first year it has come up as a likely-to-actually-happen proposal. Once this bill is in place, it will NOT be easy to change! That means it has to be done right the first time.
Again, dead wrong. This will also change if we act next year. It'll still change if we act 300 years from now. This is not some kind of critical juncture in time. Any sense of urgency added in is artificial, trying to push it through to get it done sooner, with fewer changes.
Actually, it has increased by a factor of 1.7; it's kind of a stretch to call it 'doubled', which would be 2.0...
Vrythramax
deanhills wrote:
The US has just put itself into the red to the tune of 1.2-trillion dollars in January, to BAIL OUT the economy.


It's amazing how we can spend more of the money we owe to others all over the place to "bail us out". Seems we are just getting further in debt.
handfleisch
Shills and Republicans delaying the health care bill just for profit or politics should publicly apologize to the families of the people who are going to die because they didn't get health insurance in time.

At least 16% of Americans don't insurance at all, 20 percent of poor children don't have it, insurance premiums have gone up four times faster than wages.n According to the Institute of Medicine, more than 18,000 people die per year due to lack of health insurance. That's like a 9/11 attack every other month across the USA! And that means thousands more people suffering who don't die.

Americans like up by the hundreds to get their teeth pulls in animal stalls. That's the system you're defending.



ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:

Americans like up by the hundreds to get their teeth pulls in animal stalls. That's the system you're defending.

Why, yes, actually.

These people should be helped by private charity instead of government interference!
deanhills
I don't know whether there is an element of the same here, but in some countries medical students as part of their training would have public "clinics" in malls or tents, that look the same as the above photos. They may invite the public to participate so that they can practice their skills in taking non-invasive tests. As well as teach the public about ways to combat certain allergens, or public health education in allergies or other environmental causes of illness. Etc.
handfleisch
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:

Americans like up by the hundreds to get their teeth pulls in animal stalls. That's the system you're defending.

Why, yes, actually.

These people should be helped by private charity instead of government interference!


Thank you for being honest about the fact that these third world conditions are the likely and accepted result of your politics. I have noticed that the free market extremists, Ayn Rand cultists and libertarians in general advocate a system which would quickly lead the USA to become a full-fledged third-world country, but usually they don't admit it.

deanhills wrote:
I don't know whether there is an element of the same here, but in some countries medical students as part of their training would have public "clinics" in malls or tents, that look the same as the above photos. They may invite the public to participate so that they can practice their skills in taking non-invasive tests. As well as teach the public about ways to combat certain allergens, or public health education in allergies or other environmental causes of illness. Etc.

What are you trying to say, that the photos are not what I said they are? They are photos of Remote Area Medical's programs in the USA, where thousands of suffering people show up to get basic medical that they cannot otherwise get in the USA's rotten health care system. It is indefensible, unless like the above person, you advocate a total dismantling of the US gov't services even if it would lead to total poverty and disaster.
handfleisch
Voodoocat wrote:
According to the most recent Rasmussen poll, 53% of Americans now oppose the Congressional health plan.

Link:
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/business/healthcare/july_2009/53_now_oppose_congressional_health_care_reform


One poll done by the Rasmussen agency which is infamously skewed toward Republican voters, which uses robocalls, and shows a slight opposition to the current plan, does NOT mean that Americans don't want national health insurance. Although it might show that the repetition of million of dollars of talking points all over the media (Obama wants to kill old people, it's a government takeover, it's too fast, and all the rest of the nonsense) might be having a deleterious effect on people. Which would be a shameful testimony to the power of lies, money and propaganda, but another proud day for Republicans and shills.

On edit, a new poll shows my speculation above was correct, and that the Rasmussen poll is skewed. People are being deceived and confused by Republican/insurance company lies, but support for health insurance is still strong.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/30/us/politics/30poll.html?_r=1&hp

Quote:
(Obama) continues to enjoy relatively high levels of public support even after seeing his approval ratings dip, and because there appears to be a strong desire to get something done: 49 percent said they supported fundamental changes, and 33 percent said the health care system needed to be completely rebuilt.

The poll found 66 percent of respondents were concerned that they might eventually lose their insurance if the government did not create a new health care system, and 80 percent said they were concerned that the percentage of Americans without health care would continue to rise if Congress did not act.

By 55 percent to 26 percent, respondents said Mr. Obama had better ideas about how to change health care than Republicans in Congress did.


There is overwhelming support for a bipartisan agreement on health care, and here again, Mr. Obama appears in the stronger position: 59 percent said that he was making an effort to work with Congressional Republicans, while just 33 percent said Republicans were trying to work with him on the issue.

Over all, the poll portrays a nation torn by conflicting impulses and confusion.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:

On edit, a new poll shows my speculation above was correct, and that the Rasmussen poll is skewed. People are being deceived and confused by Republican/insurance company lies, but support for health insurance is still strong.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/30/us/politics/30poll.html?_r=1&hp

Quote:
(Obama) continues to enjoy relatively high levels of public support even after seeing his approval ratings dip, and because there appears to be a strong desire to get something done: 49 percent said they supported fundamental changes, and 33 percent said the health care system needed to be completely rebuilt.

The poll found 66 percent of respondents were concerned that they might eventually lose their insurance if the government did not create a new health care system, and 80 percent said they were concerned that the percentage of Americans without health care would continue to rise if Congress did not act.

By 55 percent to 26 percent, respondents said Mr. Obama had better ideas about how to change health care than Republicans in Congress did.


There is overwhelming support for a bipartisan agreement on health care, and here again, Mr. Obama appears in the stronger position: 59 percent said that he was making an effort to work with Congressional Republicans, while just 33 percent said Republicans were trying to work with him on the issue.

Over all, the poll portrays a nation torn by conflicting impulses and confusion.


These polls don't refute the one deanhills mentioned, they ask entirely different questions!

(It is also interesting that you only take the idea of skewed polls seriously when they disagree with you...)





handfleisch wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:

Americans like up by the hundreds to get their teeth pulls in animal stalls. That's the system you're defending.

Why, yes, actually.

These people should be helped by private charity instead of government interference!


Thank you for being honest about the fact that these third world conditions are the likely and accepted result of your politics. I have noticed that the free market extremists, Ayn Rand cultists and libertarians in general advocate a system which would quickly lead the USA to become a full-fledged third-world country, but usually they don't admit it.

I stand by my statement. This is a GREAT way to do things.

Look at the pictures, what is actually happening there? Lots of needy people are getting the medical care they need. They're getting it from doctors who care about them, and they're getting it as efficiently and as cheaply as possible; a minimum drain on society. and, the whole thing's being funded by people who want to pay for it, not people who were forced to pay for it!

Could it possibly get any better?
deanhills
So Handfleisch, Obama got quite a lot of money voted for bail out at the beginning of the year, 1.2-trillion. Obviously it must have been considered at the time that the banks and the economy were much more needy than the health care situation. If the health care system is as bad as you say it is, would the health care bill not have been considered first?

The only logical assumption is that it could not have been that critical, as obviously Obama must have known that 1.2-trillion for bail out means 1.2-trillion less for other bills?
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
obviously Obama must have known that 1.2-trillion for bail out means 1.2-trillion less for other bills?

Actually, I'm not sure he really understands that...
handfleisch
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
obviously Obama must have known that 1.2-trillion for bail out means 1.2-trillion less for other bills?

Actually, I'm not sure he really understands that...

Uh... Somehow, I don't think Obama needs to be schooled by Heckle and Jeckle.

Back on topic
Quote:
After weeks of head-banging negotiations, House Democrats finally got the breakthrough they needed on health care.

A quartet of moderate Blue Dog Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee agreed to support the Democrats' sweeping health care bill as long as party leaders postpone a House vote until the fall and Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) cut its costs by $100 billion, exempt more small businesses from a requirement to provide health care to their employees and allow doctors, hospitals and other providers to negotiate their payments directly with the government under any public coverage plan.

"After two weeks of very long and intense negotiations, I'm proud to report that we've reached an agreement that will allow health care reform to move forward," said Arkansas Rep. Mike Ross, a top negotiator for Blue Dog Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee.

The deal removes one critical hurdle that has paralyzed the committee - and, by turn, Congress - for more than a week. The breakthrough allows Waxman to move the bill out of his committee before lawmakers leave town for the summer on Friday.


http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/25570.html
jmi256
deanhills wrote:
So Handfleisch, Obama got quite a lot of money voted for bail out at the beginning of the year, 1.2-trillion. Obviously it must have been considered at the time that the banks and the economy were much more needy than the health care situation. If the health care system is as bad as you say it is, would the health care bill not have been considered first?

The only logical assumption is that it could not have been that critical, as obviously Obama must have known that 1.2-trillion for bail out means 1.2-trillion less for other bills?



That reminds me of a quote from Margaret Thatcher:
"The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."

All these scare tactics around the liberals' attempt to socialize healthcare are just that: scare tactics. They were successful in using them to manipulate the American public into accepting a bailout that has led to greater unemployment and a worse economy, despite repeated promises and assurances that passing the bailout was the only way to avoid disaster. So why not use the tactic again?

Two questions, however, keep coming to mind, and they represent a sort of Catch-22:

1. If the US has the best health system in the world, why would you want to destroy it by fundamentally changing the way it functions? (The Democrats in power can't even effectively manage the "cash for clunkers" program, so don't tell me they will be able to effectively manage our healthcare system.)

2. If the US doesn't have the best health system, why would you want to ensure that everyone has free access to it?
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:

That reminds me ...
That reminds me about how your last wild claim -- that there was no evidence that Americans want national health insurance, I believe was your statement -- was absolutely refuted, but you never responded. You might want to scroll up and catch up in the credibility department before making new extremist assertions.
jmi256
handfleisch wrote:
jmi256 wrote:

That reminds me ...
That reminds me about how your last wild claim -- that there was no evidence that Americans want national health insurance, I believe was your statement -- was absolutely refuted, but you never responded. You might want to scroll up and catch up in the credibility department before making new extremist assertions.


Sticks and stones... handfleisch

I said there was no RELIABLE evidence to support Obama's scheme for government-controlled healthcare.
It's probably one of the reasons his approval rating is plummeting. It's lower than Bush's was at this point in his presidency.

From another thread:
Quote:

Fifty-three percent (53%) now oppose the Congressional health care reform package.


Quote:




Source = http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-108817.html
Voodoocat
handfleisch said:
Quote:
20 percent of poor children don't have it


Many of the uninsured already qualify for Federal aid, they just are not enrolled. Why not encourage those eligible for Federal assistance to enroll? It would save money and utilize a system already in place


Children's Federal health care elibibility (SCHIP):

http://www.statehealthfacts.org/comparemaptable.jsp?cat=4&ind=204

Why don't the Democrats work at improving the current system? Why do we have to have a completely new system?
ocalhoun
Voodoocat wrote:

Why don't the Democrats work at improving the current system? Why do we have to have a completely new system?


They want control... They're already gaining control of auto manufacturing and banking... now healthcare... where will it stop?

Why not enact a Massachusetts-style healthcare plan, which gets 98% of people covered, and would only cost around $17.5 billion, instead of the $1 trillion proposed?
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:

I said there was no RELIABLE evidence to support Obama's scheme for government-controlled healthcare.


Yes you did say that, and you were completely wrong.

jmi256 wrote:


That reminds me of a quote from Margaret Thatcher:
"The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."


Oh yes, please keep quoting Thatcher and endorsing the deregulation that led to the collapse of so many banks and companies. Thatcher and her party's disastrous privatization of British Rail is another prime example of how wrongheaded the free market zealotry is. It's a good thing Thatcher never managed to privatize national health insurance, or else Brits might be lining up to get basic medical treatment in animal stalls like in the USA.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
or else Brits might be lining up to get basic medical treatment in animal stalls like in the USA.

I noticed you conveniently ignored my post about that...
Much like the last one...
What's wrong with a $17.5 billion plan that utilizes the private sector?
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
or else Brits might be lining up to get basic medical treatment in animal stalls like in the USA.
I notice you did not provide a link for your posting on people being treated in animal stalls. I Googled it and could not come up with any links. Can you provide us with the source for your posting on medical treatment in animal stalls in the US?
LostOverThere
jmi256 wrote:
That reminds me of a quote from Margaret Thatcher:
"The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."

Because the people in Norway and Sweden are completely broke now. Rolling Eyes

jmi256 wrote:
1. If the US has the best health system in the world, why would you want to destroy it by fundamentally changing the way it functions? (The Democrats in power can't even effectively manage the "cash for clunkers" program, so don't tell me they will be able to effectively manage our healthcare system.)

Because the US doesn't have the best health system in the world. In the year 2000, the World Health Organization published a list of best to worst health care systems in the world. The United States appeared at number 37 on the list, just above Slovenia and Cuba. France appears first.
handfleisch
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
or else Brits might be lining up to get basic medical treatment in animal stalls like in the USA.

I noticed you conveniently ignored my post about that...
Much like the last one...
What's wrong with a $17.5 billion plan that utilizes the private sector?


I've said more than once that I ignore your posts both due to your troll-like tendencies and because your views often are so inhumane or lunatic (the statement that Obama "might be" a terrorist sympathizer was a clincher) as to be self-discrediting. Like above when someone else exposed Jmi's nonsense with facts, in this case I hoped Bikerman would show up to patiently explain, since I am at a loss of words for someone who thinks that thousands of sick people regularly lining up and sleeping in their cars at makeshift camps to get their teeth pulled (and other basic medical services) by an organization created to help developing countries is a good health care system for the USA.

deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
or else Brits might be lining up to get basic medical treatment in animal stalls like in the USA.
I notice you did not provide a link for your posting on people being treated in animal stalls. I Googled it and could not come up with any links. Can you provide us with the source for your posting on medical treatment in animal stalls in the US?


Thanks for the excuse to quote insurance company whistleblower Wendell Potter again. I urge everyone who cares about the USA to read and/or listen to this interview.

http://www.democracynow.org/2009/7/16/former_insurance_exec_wendell_porter

Quote:
“They Dump the Sick to Satisfy Investors”: Insurance Exec Turned Whistleblower Wendell Potter Speaks Out Against Healthcare Industry


I happened to learn about a healthcare expedition that was being held at a nearby town across the state line in Virginia. And I was intrigued, borrowed my dad’s car and drove up to Wise County to see what was going on there. And this expedition was being held at the Wise County fairgrounds, and it was being put on by this group called Remote Area Medical that got its start several years ago taking volunteer doctors from this country to remote villages in South America, where people really don’t have any access to medical care. The founder realized pretty soon, though, that the need in this country is very, very great, and he started holding similar expeditions in rural communities throughout the country. And this one was nearby. I decided to check it out.

I didn’t have any idea what to expect, but when I walked through the fairground gates, it was just absolutely overwhelming. What I saw were people who were lined up. It was raining that day. They were lined up in the rain by the hundreds, waiting to get care that was being donated by doctors and nurses and dentists and other caregivers, and they were being treated in animal stalls. Volunteers had come to disinfect the animal stalls. They also had set up tents. It looked like a MASH unit. It looked like this could have been something that was happening in a war-torn country, and war refugees were there to get their care.It was just unbelievable, and it just drove it home to me, maybe for the first time, that we were talking about real human beings and not just numbers.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
or else Brits might be lining up to get basic medical treatment in animal stalls like in the USA.
I notice you did not provide a link for your posting on people being treated in animal stalls. I Googled it and could not come up with any links. Can you provide us with the source for your posting on medical treatment in animal stalls in the US?


Thanks for the excuse to quote insurance company whistleblower Wendell Potter again. I urge everyone who cares about the USA to read and/or listen to this interview.

Thanks Handfleisch. Perhaps the article below is a much more sober minded one than the dramatized personal opinion one (in your posting above) that you seemed to have needed to bold and enlarge in parts for greater effect.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-sullivan/the-uninsured-line-up-for_b_245705.html

The services provided are ones for poor people in remote and outlying areas who can't get to medical services as they live far away from medical centres. Also, the services are free. Are you sure that all the people who lined up could not get the health services elsewhere, as that is not clear from the article. This issue may be one of strategic significance in that people in outlying areas have problems to get health care. That is obviously of concern, but even if there were a nationalized health care system, how would those people in the outlying areas get to healthcare centres, if there are none located in their immediate areas? They would be too poor to get to the places where there is healthcare available. Maybe the case you are using as an example requires a different solution that should be addressed on the Regional and State level, as they usually do in all other countries. Maybe if one did research in the other States such as Massachusetts you may find that they have addressed this problem successfully, and have mobile or special systems for medical services for outlying regions?

I can't see the Brits ever lining up as you had said they may have to do, as the Brit system has most of its primary health care in Government hands. I.e. along the lines of Government Hospitals and Government Health Care Centres. You will find that in Canada and Australia too. Also, the distances in the UK are much smaller than the remote areas in the US. In the US it would appear that most of the primary health care is in the hands of private practitioners and hospitals. Hence to build hospitals in remote areas and/or provide services would need a solution other than just health insurance. Ideally States should receive per capita funding to ensure that medical care is provided to remote areas. There is an essential component of infrastructure that has to be addressed, and who would be funding those? Federal health insurance will not solve this problem at all. State Governments will need to go out and build primary health care service centres in the remote areas where they are needed. Would it not be better to channel those trillions on a per-head basis in the direction of the States to sort out their own problems as Massachusetts apparently has already done in a big way?
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
Thanks Handfleisch. Perhaps the article below is a much more sober minded one than the dramatized personal opinion one (in your posting above) that you seemed to have needed to bold and enlarge in parts for greater effect.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-sullivan/the-uninsured-line-up-for_b_245705.html

The services provided are ones for poor people in remote and outlying areas who can't get to medical services as they live far away from medical centres. Also, the services are free. Are you sure that all the people who lined up could not get the health services elsewhere, as that is not clear from the article. This issue may be one of strategic significance in that people in outlying areas have problems to get health care. That is obviously of concern, but even if there were a nationalized health care system, how would those people in the outlying areas get to healthcare centres, if there are none located in their immediate areas? They would be too poor to get to the places where there is healthcare available. Maybe the case you are using as an example requires a different solution that should be addressed on the Regional and State level, as they usually do in all other countries. Maybe if one did research in the other States such as Massachusetts you may find that they have addressed this problem successfully, and have mobile or special systems for medical services for outlying regions?

I can't see the Brits ever lining up as you had said they may have to do, as the Brit system has most of its primary health care in Government hands. I.e. along the lines of Government Hospitals and Government Health Care Centres. You will find that in Canada and Australia too. Also, the distances in the UK are much smaller than the remote areas in the US. In the US it would appear that most of the primary health care is in the hands of private practitioners and hospitals. Hence to build hospitals in remote areas and/or provide services would need a solution other than just health insurance. Ideally States should receive per capita funding to ensure that medical care is provided to remote areas. There is an essential component of infrastructure that has to be addressed, and who would be funding those? Federal health insurance will not solve this problem at all. State Governments will need to go out and build primary health care service centres in the remote areas where they are needed. Would it not be better to channel those trillions on a per-head basis in the direction of the States to sort out their own problems as Massachusetts apparently has already done in a big way?


No, this is not mainly about physical access. Many of these people drive for hours to get this medical care. Some even fly, since a $200 plane ticket is more affordable than a $500 deductible. Also, many of these people are the working poor who have no insurance or are under-insured (again, they have insurance but cannot afford the deductible), so having a hospital in their area doesn't make any difference.

Did you read the articles you cite?

From your link:
Quote:
More than one thousand people arrived before sunup this Friday or camped out in their vehicles for a chance at health care they cannot afford to buy. Most are the working poor and hail from Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky and other surrounding states.


deanhills wrote:
I can't see the Brits ever lining up as you had said they may have to do, as the Brit system has most of its primary health care in Government hands. I.e. along the lines of Government Hospitals and Government Health Care Centres.

Your point about Brits is exactly the point I am making. In response to someone citing Thatcher in an argument against national health insurance, I said that if Thatcherism and privatization had messed up UK medical insurance the way it messed up the UK rail system, you might have now been seeing disasters like this in the UK too. But Brits don't have to sleep overnight in their cars and line up outdoors by the thousands to get basic medical care, because the UK offers primary care in its national health insurance in government hospitals.

Here is the 60 minutes TV news program on the subject. Everybody watch it now.
http://www.ramusa.org/learn/media.html
handfleisch
Voodoocat wrote:
handfleisch said:
Quote:
20 percent of poor children don't have it


Many of the uninsured already qualify for Federal aid, they just are not enrolled. Why not encourage those eligible for Federal assistance to enroll? It would save money and utilize a system already in place


Children's Federal health care elibibility (SCHIP):

http://www.statehealthfacts.org/comparemaptable.jsp?cat=4&ind=204

Why don't the Democrats work at improving the current system? Why do we have to have a completely new system?


Yes, Obama did just expand SCHIP, a small victory.

But many DON'T qualify for federal aid. They are the working poor. Many even have insurance through their jobs but they cannot afford the deductible.
Voodoocat
You did not answer the question: why don't the Democrats work to improve the existing system? Why do we need a completely new system?

The obvious first step would be to ensure that all eligible citizens are enrolled. After all, if people will not take advantage of the current system, what makes you think that they will use a new system?

I believe that Ocalhoun is correct- this debate is less about providing healthcare and more about grabbing and consolidating power. If the prime reason was to provide healthcare, the Democrats would be out in force registering everyone that was eligible for Federal or State assistance. This is not happening.
handfleisch
Voodoocat wrote:
You did not answer the question: why don't the Democrats work to improve the existing system? Why do we need a completely new system?

The obvious first step would be to ensure that all eligible citizens are enrolled. After all, if people will not take advantage of the current system, what makes you think that they will use a new system?
I answered but apparently I was unclear. Your concern is about ensuring all eligible citizens are enrolled in available programs, and of course there may some out there who fall into this category (do you have any data on this?) But that is not the issue, because from all accounts, the people in these photos are overwhelmingly the under-insured or uninsured working poor who don't qualify for government programs. The whole national debate right now is about the many millions of Americans who are in this position, and also about the uninsurable due to so-called pre-existing conditions, insurance companies who cancel people's insurance for bogus reasons once they develop a serious illness, premiums that going up four times as fast as wages, etc. etc.
Voodoocat wrote:
If the prime reason was to provide healthcare, the Democrats would be out in force registering everyone that was eligible for Federal or State assistance. This is not happening.
Again, do you have any evidence of this?
Voodoocat wrote:
I believe that Ocalhoun is correct- this debate is less about providing healthcare and more about grabbing and consolidating power.
Jumping to this conclusion reeks of paranoid they-gonna-take-our-guns conspiracy theory that leads to Obama's birth certificate obsession and claims that Obama wants to kill old people. Please, let's not go there.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
Jumping to this conclusion reeks of paranoid they-gonna-take-our-guns conspiracy theory

It isn't difficult to see the pattern of the federal government taking more and more power and control...

Do you really have such benign ideas of our leaders that you trust them with that kind of power?
handfleisch
ocalhoun wrote:
It isn't difficult to see the pattern of the federal government taking more and more power and control...

Do you really have such benign ideas of our leaders that you trust them with that kind of power?


Nice strawman. Do you really have such evil ideas of our leaders that you fear them too much to get health insurance for a sick kid?

The ways that the US gov't has more and more power and control is in how the police can arrest anyone at anytime as seen recently in the Harvard professor case, the fenced off "free speech zones" in cities holding political conferences (used to be that all of America was a free speech zone), how the Bush admin got away with wiretapping citizens, micro-managing arrests of supposed terrorist for PR purposes, instigating a war on the shakiest of pretenses, to cite a few examples...

But in terms of health care, you have it exactly backward. It is precisely the lack of health insurance that takes away people's freedom in the USA. People are afraid and unable to change jobs because they will lose insurance. People choose a lousier job or worse conditions because the job comes with insurance. 40+ million Americans being unable to obtain health insurance makes for a large segment of the population that is desperate and willing to accept most anything if they can just get dental care for their kids. It's wage slavery, the opposite of freedom.

I recently met a visitor to the US from Europe. She said she had learned that many people in the USA relocate to places she considered quite dismal -- Oklahoma I believe it was -- because they go where the jobs are. She said she was shocked, because in Europe, people choose where to live and then they find a job. Single-payer nationalized medical insurance throughout Europe is a big part of that difference.

Some more facts:

Quote:
50 percent of all bankruptcy filings were partly the result of medical expenses. Every 30 seconds in the United States someone files for bankruptcy in the aftermath of a serious health problem.
http://www.nchc.org/facts/cost.shtml
Quote:
She had health insurance. Then she got cancer. Now she's bankrupt with little hope of soon restoring her credit rating or of ever retiring.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20201807/
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
Did you read the articles you cite?
Absolutely, and every word, not once but twice, as well as related articles that came up in my Google search. Which should show you that I don't only cite articles to support my own opinion. My objective is to learn more. I never said that I did not agree there was a problem. Obviously there is, otherwise people would not be as concerned as they are. What I did say was that Government controlled insurance system is not the answer. There is a very good pilot system available to work from (as Ocalhoun pointed out) in Massachusetts, as a good start. Medicare has to be something that comes from the States as well, not imposed by the Federal Government on the States. All States are different and unique, so what works in Massachusetts may not always work as a template in all other states, and would need some variances. But it would be a good study and starting point, rather than getting Government control everywhere.

handfleisch wrote:
No, this is not mainly about physical access. Many of these people drive for hours to get this medical care. Some even fly, since a $200 plane ticket is more affordable than a $500 deductible. Also, many of these people are the working poor who have no insurance or are under-insured (again, they have insurance but cannot afford the deductible), so having a hospital in their area doesn't make any difference.
I don't agree with you Handfleisch. There are people who are genuinely poor and who can't afford a bus fare, or time away from getting to medical facilities. Something like that has to be fixed on the State Government level, and the State of Virginia apparently is using this Remote Area Medical (RAM) system to help them. It is being done on an annual basis, and would be great if they could expand on this. The article mentioned that this service is also operating successfully in Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky and other surrounding states, but obviously needs to be improved upon. It is a good idea however for remote territories, which I believe is the aim of that particular service. I'm not an expert on what the other States are doing, but it would probably be a good subject for research, i.e. how to get medical services to outlying areas. If they really worked hard on it, they could come up with some wonderful solutions, like getting dentistry students to do field work as part of their training for example. Apparently simple extractions were the bulk of dentistry needed and students would be good at this as well.

handfleisch wrote:
Your point about Brits is exactly the point I am making. In response to someone citing Thatcher in an argument against national health insurance, I said that if Thatcherism and privatization had messed up UK medical insurance the way it messed up the UK rail system, you might have now been seeing disasters like this in the UK too. But Brits don't have to sleep overnight in their cars and line up outdoors by the thousands to get basic medical care, because the UK offers primary care in its national health insurance in government hospitals.
Brits have a much smaller country than the United States, and their Government has been different for a number of centuries. You cannot make sweeping statements like that. On a simple comparison, the distances to medical care centres and hospitals are much MUCH shorter than in the United States country side. There is also a much narrower gap between the rich and poor in the UK than compared with people in the United States, which is a logical consequence of the differences in the two societies.
LostOverThere
Quote:
Do you really have such benign ideas of our leaders that you trust them with that kind of power?

Would you rather trust private companies instead? The only thing companies are interested in is benefiting their shareholders. They have no interest in the welfare of others, and are simply in it to make money. Yes, it's a bleak outlook on the situation but it's true.

Why would one want to trust these sorts of people with their health?
ocalhoun
LostOverThere wrote:
Quote:
Do you really have such benign ideas of our leaders that you trust them with that kind of power?

Would you rather trust private companies instead? The only thing companies are interested in is benefiting their shareholders. They have no interest in the welfare of others, and are simply in it to make money. Yes, it's a bleak outlook on the situation but it's true.

Why would one want to trust these sorts of people with their health?

Because there are more than one to choose from. Competition forces them to attempt to give better service at lower prices... If a specific company gets a bad reputation in one of these areas, that company will suffer.

With the government being the supplier though, there's only one choice. No competition means that they have no fear of loosing customers, and are free to be as lousy as they can get away with.

A private insurance company always has the worry of loosing clients, but a government agency has no reason to fear loosing its tax income.

handfleisch wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
It isn't difficult to see the pattern of the federal government taking more and more power and control...

Do you really have such benign ideas of our leaders that you trust them with that kind of power?


Nice strawman. Do you really have such evil ideas of our leaders that you fear them too much to get health insurance for a sick kid?

Frankly, yes.
Power corrupts. Always.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:


With the government being the supplier though, there's only one choice. No competition means that they have no fear of loosing customers, and are free to be as lousy as they can get away with.
Agreed. Furthermore, this increases the passivity of people to find their solutions. People may either be encouraged to get as much healthcare as they can as "it is free", or potential health care givers, such as dentistry students or others who can be made to play a role, would no longer be an option as Government will be taking care of that too. It takes the initiative away from individuals in society who need health care and it takes the initiative away from health care givers, the onus is put on Government to come up with solutions, and that would usually be in the form of regulations.
silverdown
If this did go through i am sure it would both help and hurt the economy, because 1) people would have medical bills and 2) not all will go through painlessly. People already have issues where there PAID insurance monkey them around to get there bills paid. Yes it will get you medical attention, but make more problems for medical centers and patients. I think there should be a low income or have it based on the income level that your pay to get/use the insurance. However all this is my OPINION.
deanhills
silverdown wrote:
If this did go through i am sure it would both help and hurt the economy, because 1) people would have medical bills and 2) not all will go through painlessly. People already have issues where there PAID insurance monkey them around to get there bills paid. Yes it will get you medical attention, but make more problems for medical centers and patients. I think there should be a low income or have it based on the income level that your pay to get/use the insurance. However all this is my OPINION.
Since the administration could potentially be a nightmare, maybe it would be better to start with one State first to iron out all the difficulties. If it is implemented nationwide and instantly, it could be an absolute nightmare to get off the ground.
jmi256
handfleisch wrote:
At least 16% of Americans don't insurance at all, 20 percent of poor children don't have it....




Voodoocat
I bet Barbara Wagner would not choose government insurance again if given the choice.

Barbara Wagner was diagnosed with cancer. She was a member of Oregon's state run healthcare plan. Her doctor prescribed Tarceva:

Quote:
Her doctor offered hope in the new chemotherapy drug Tarceva, but the Oregon Health Plan sent her a letter telling her the cancer treatment was not approved


You will not believe this, but it gets worse!

Quote:
Instead, the letter said, the plan would pay for comfort care, including "physician aid in dying," better known as assisted suicide.


That's right- the government health plan would not pay for the expensive drug that might save her life, but would pay to euthanizer her! Unbelievable!

Of course the government official in charge of the program says that Ms. Wagner got it all wrong.

Quote:
Dr. Som Saha, chairman of the commission that sets policy for the Oregon Health Plan, said Wagner is making an "unfortunate interpretation" of the letter and that no one is telling her the health plan will only pay for her to die.


How do you misinterpret the fact that the government will not pay for chemotherapy but will pay for for "physician aid in dying"? There is only one interpretation: the government will not pay to keep her alive!

Why would the government withold medical treatment?

Quote:
"If we invest thousands and thousands of dollars in one person's days to weeks, we are taking away those dollars from someone," Saha said.


By the way, Mrs. Wagner died of her cancer.

My private insurance covers Tarceva for $60.00, and I don't even need prior authorization. I guess that my private insurance values my life more than the government of Oregon values the lives of their citizens.

I for one will keep my private insurance. How about you?

Source: http://www.kval.com/news/26140519.html


mOrpheuS wrote:
edit - link added
deanhills
Sounds pretty horrible. I don't know what I would do if I had cancer. I would imagine if I was at a more advanced age, I probably would like to go for the "final solution", but must say that it is quite astonishing that it is actually offered as a solution. I thought it was illegal in most places of the world?
handfleisch
Voodoocat wrote:
I bet Barbara Wagner would not choose government insurance again if given the choice.

It's horrible, but typical, that corporate shills are using such a case in their propaganda. If anything, Wagner's case supports Obama's health care plan.

from an article on the Wagner case: http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=5517492

Quote:
"Most of my objections are that some second rate guy on the staff of the insurance company is second-guessing one of the foremost authorities and trumping his judgment," said the 57-year-old executive, who didn't want his name used to protect his privacy.

"I am fortunate to have the financial resources and the ability to fight these people who would rather these you die," he told ABCNews.com.
...
"My reaction is pretty typical," he told ABCNews.com. "I am sick and tired of the dollar being the bottom line of everything. We need to put human life above the dollar."


If anything, Wagner's case supports Obama's health plan, since it happens under private insurance as well, but mostly it has little to do with the public vs private insurance. In fact, if she had private insurance, she might be dead by now, since her gov't health insurance paid for tens of thousands of dollars of chemo, etc, but private insurance likes to cancel expensive treatments due to "pre-existing conditions". And by the way, under Obama's health plan, not only will it be impossible to lose your insurance due to pre-existing condition, you can also keep your private insurance if you want. So your post is just more echo chamber nonsense created by some lobbyist somewhere.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
So your post is just more echo chamber nonsense created by some lobbyist somewhere.
Looks as though everyone is lobbying Handfleisch, the President is doing the exact same thing. As far as I know that is perfectly legitimate in the United States. Whether it is nonsense is also debatable, but obviously there has to be validity in using the information, as you have pointed out, the opposition who is keen to get federal health insurance for everyone has been using the same point for their arguments, i.e. that there are many people dying as a result of being unable to get coverage for example essential heart surgery, and I would imagine cancer treatment as well. The contra point of view would be that if the treatment is more expensive than "justified", that it is likely that that person won't be able to get it. I've seen cases like those in Canada. Sort of makes sense that you would not get limitless coverage with federal health insurance and that there would be a large component of bureaucracy involved that would easily lead to findings like the one that you regard as "echo chamber nonsense".
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
So your post is just more echo chamber nonsense created by some lobbyist somewhere.
Looks as though everyone is lobbying Handfleisch, the President is doing the exact same thing. As far as I know that is perfectly legitimate in the United States. Whether it is nonsense is also debatable, but obviously there has to be validity in using the information, as you have pointed out, the opposition who is keen to get federal health insurance for everyone has been using the same point for their arguments, i.e. that there are many people dying as a result of being unable to get coverage for example essential heart surgery, and I would imagine cancer treatment as well. The contra point of view would be that if the treatment is more expensive than "justified", that it is likely that that person won't be able to get it. I've seen cases like those in Canada. Sort of makes sense that you would not get limitless coverage with federal health insurance and that there would be a large component of bureaucracy involved that would easily lead to findings like the one that you regard as "echo chamber nonsense".


you miss the point. this case is not an indictment of public health insurance, since
1. the same thing happens with private insurance also
2. worse things happen with private health insurance, like cancellation due to pre-existing conditions
3. this controversy, if you would read the articles and not the email propaganda, essentially has nothing to do with public health insurance; it has to do with rationed care for the terminally ill, and how some insurance (both public and private) doesn't cover extraordinary measures in extreme cases of advanced stages of cancer, etc. (no comment on that policy)

your charge that using this case for anti-health-plan propaganda is fair doesn't hold up, since it is based on provably false premises. It's also not true that this propaganda is equivalent to the pro-health-plan examples I have provided, since those are very much cases of tragedies that would not happen under state-sponsored health care, like insurance cancellations due to pre-existing conditions, or the tens of thousands of working poor people who have to line up like refugees to get health care here:
Voodoocat
Quote:
If anything, Wagner's case supports Obama's health plan


What!!!!! Only a politician could make such a ludicrous argument.

How can a government based healthcare system denying healthcare to a senior citizen support Obama's plan? It is a clear example of not only what the government is capable of, but what they actually do!

Did you miss the point that my PRIVATE INSURANCE covers the therapy? Just in case you did not get that, I will type a little slower: my PRIVATE INSURANCE covers the therapy.

Obama wants me to drop my private insurance which would cover this treatment for a government plan that does not. No thank you.

Once again, I am sure that Mrs. Wagner would have prefered to get the treatment to dying. What do you think?
handfleisch
Voodoocat wrote:
Quote:
If anything, Wagner's case supports Obama's health plan


What!!!!! Only a politician could make such a ludicrous argument.

How can a government based healthcare system denying healthcare to a senior citizen support Obama's plan? It is a clear example of not only what the government is capable of, but what they actually do!

Did you miss the point that my PRIVATE INSURANCE covers the therapy? Just in case you did not get that, I will type a little slower: my PRIVATE INSURANCE covers the therapy.

Obama wants me to drop my private insurance which would cover this treatment for a government plan that does not. No thank you.

Once again, I am sure that Mrs. Wagner would have prefered to get the treatment to dying. What do you think?


Either you can't read, you can't think or you can't be honest. Which is it?

Did you miss the point in the article that said health insurance companies, whether private or public, are doing this, so it has NOTHING to do with public health insurance?

Did you miss the point that Obama's health plan will let you keep your private insurance if you want to?

Frankly, you sound like a "deather", the name for the nuts and shills (like Sarah Palin) who are running around saying Obama wants to kill old people. They're counting on America being stupid enough to believe provably false propaganda. Let's hope that citizens don't fall for it.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
essentially has nothing to do with public health insurance; it has to do with rationed care for the terminally ill, and how some insurance (both public and private) doesn't cover extraordinary measures in extreme cases of advanced stages of cancer, etc. (no comment on that policy)
OK, so who gets to decide the person is terminally ill? And who gets to define "extraordinary measures"? How do you define "extreme cases of advanced cancer"?

handfleisch wrote:
your charge that using this case for anti-health-plan propaganda is fair doesn't hold up, since it is based on provably false premises. It's also not true that this propaganda is equivalent to the pro-health-plan examples I have provided, since those are very much cases of tragedies that would not happen under state-sponsored health care, like insurance cancellations due to pre-existing conditions, or the tens of thousands of working poor people who have to line up like refugees to get health care here:
Handfleisch, the Remote Area Medical (RAM) system example you provided is million miles away from chronic disease. The treatments that were given, were basic healthcare. I can't imagine any Government allowing more complicated treatment and surgery of chronically ill people in such a system other than referring them to health care centres. To call the system "tragic" is also completely overdramatized. I call it a positive solution for reaching people in remote areas who have difficulty to get to primary health centres. And it is obviously working. It would be great if they could expand on this system.
Voodoocat
handfleisch:
Quote:
Did you miss the point that Obama's health plan will let you keep your private insurance if you want to?



Wrong as usual. Here is the actual wording from the House bill:

Quote:
(2) LIMITATION ON CHANGES IN TERMS OR
22 CONDITIONS.—Subject to paragraph (3) and except
23 as required by law, the issuer does not change any
24 of its terms or conditions, including benefits and
25 cost-sharing, from those in effect as of the day before
the first day of Y1.


Did you get that? If my insurance company adds benefits after this bill is passed, I am disenrolled! The Federal government wants to lock private insurance benefits to those offered in year 1 of the bill. Why? What is the point? If a private insurance company can never change its benefits they will certainly go out of business. Then what happens? I am in the goverment system!

Quote:
(3) RESTRICTIONS ON PREMIUM INCREASES.—
2 The issuer cannot vary the percentage increase in
3 the premium for a risk group of enrollees in specific
4 grandfathered health insurance coverage without
5 changing the premium for all enrollees in the same
6 risk group at the same rate, as specified by the
7 Commissioner.


In other words, if costs ever change during your lifetime you must be enrolled in the government healthcare. How can that happen? Lets see- what if a state increases the mandatory contigency fund (you know, the one that the Feds DON'T have to have) by 5%. The insurance companies increase their rate to accomondate this new law. BINGO! the costs have changed and you are disenrolled.

It also means that insurance companies cannot reward good health behavior, because that would be treating healthy people differently than others. Of course, if each state has different rules governing health insurance, the insurance companies are in trouble. What if Wyoming passes a law the increases the cost of covering a certain group? Either every member of that risk pool NATIONALLY has to pay the same increase or they will be disenrolled.

Will the hypothetical situations I have listed occur? Maybe not. But the actual wording of the bill does open a huge door to force disenrollment.

I am not alone. According to the heritage foundation:
Quote:
Approximately 103 million people would be covered under the new public plan and as a consequence about 83.4 million people would lose their private insurance. This would represent a 48.4 percent reduction in the number of people with private coverage.

About 88.1 million workers would see their current private, employer-sponsored health plan go away and would be shifted to the public plan.

Yearly premiums for the typical American with private coverage could go up by as much as $460 per privately insured person, as a result of increased cost-shifting stemming from a public plan modeled on Medicare.


The source: http://blog.heritage.org/2009/07/20/obamacare-you-will-lose-your-current-insurance-period-end-of-story/

Quote:
Frankly, you sound like a "deather", the name for the nuts and shills (like Sarah Palin) who are running around saying Obama wants to kill old people. They're counting on America being stupid enough to believe provably false propaganda


So reading what is actually in the bill is considered false propaganda? Interesting. What Obama and the Democrats really fear are people who have read the bill.
jmi256
Voodoocat wrote:

So reading what is actually in the bill is considered false propaganda? Interesting. What Obama and the Democrats really fear are people who have read the bill.


That's what I don't understand. If this is as important as Obama and the Democrats claim, why not do it right rather than pushing it through without any reflection and debate. If you have had a chance to watch any of the town halls on CSPAN, you’ll see that the most poignant and detailed criticism and questions have come from people who have taken the time to actually read the bill (or at least one of the versions).

Even liberals are pointing out how much of a complete disaster this whole campaign has been. Here are some excerpts from Camille Paglia's column today. There are parts that delve into things other than Obama’s socialized medicine, but it’s an interesting read overall if you’re interested.

Quote:

But who would have thought that the sober, deliberative Barack Obama would have nothing to propose but vague and slippery promises…


Quote:

There is plenty of blame to go around. Obama's aggressive endorsement of a healthcare plan that does not even exist yet, except in five competing, fluctuating drafts, makes Washington seem like Cloud Cuckoo Land. The president is promoting the most colossal, brazen bait-and-switch operation since the Bush administration snookered the country into invading Iraq with apocalyptic visions of mushroom clouds over American cities.

You can keep your doctor; you can keep your insurance, if you're happy with it, Obama keeps assuring us in soothing, lullaby tones. Oh, really? And what if my doctor is not the one appointed by the new government medical boards for ruling on my access to tests and specialists? And what if my insurance company goes belly up because of undercutting by its government-bankrolled competitor? Face it: Virtually all nationalized health systems, neither nourished nor updated by profit-driven private investment, eventually lead to rationing.


Quote:

I just don't get it. Why the insane rush to pass a bill, any bill, in three weeks? And why such an abject failure by the Obama administration to present the issues to the public in a rational, detailed, informational way? The U.S. is gigantic; many of our states are bigger than whole European nations. The bureaucracy required to institute and manage a nationalized health system here would be Byzantine beyond belief and would vampirically absorb whatever savings Obama thinks could be made. And the transition period would be a nightmare of red tape and mammoth screw-ups, which we can ill afford with a faltering economy.


Quote:

Blaming obstructionist Republicans is nonsensical because Democrats control all three branches of government. It isn't conservative rumors or lies that are stopping healthcare legislation; it's the justifiable alarm of an electorate that has been cut out of the loop and is watching its representatives construct a tangled labyrinth for others but not for themselves. No, the airheads of Congress will keep their own plush healthcare plan -- it's the rest of us guinea pigs who will be thrown to the wolves.



Quote:

And what do Democrats stand for, if they are so ready to defame concerned citizens as the "mob" -- a word betraying a Marie Antoinette delusion of superiority to ordinary mortals. I thought my party was populist, attentive to the needs and wishes of those outside the power structure. And as a product of the 1960s, I thought the Democratic party was passionately committed to freedom of thought and speech.

But somehow liberals have drifted into a strange servility toward big government, which they revere as a godlike foster father-mother who can dispense all bounty and magically heal all ills. The ethical collapse of the left was nowhere more evident than in the near total silence of liberal media and Web sites at the Obama administration's outrageous solicitation to private citizens to report unacceptable "casual conversations" to the White House. If Republicans had done this, there would have been an angry explosion by Democrats from coast to coast. I was stunned at the failure of liberals to see the blatant totalitarianism in this incident, which the president should have immediately denounced. His failure to do so implicates him in it.


Source = http://www.salon.com/opinion/paglia/2009/08/12/town_halls/
deanhills
@jmi and voodoocat. Totally agreed. It boggles the mind that the Democrats wish to follow healthcare systems in Canada and the UK, but are not prepared to follow the method of how they got those systems implemented. In Canada it consisted of a Royal Commission of Enquiry, which had hearings and all kinds of discussions etc on the regional and provincial level, BEFORE a report was presented by the Royal Commission of Enquiry. They worked on the Bill from the bottom up, so that by the time when the Bill was introduced three years later, it was almost unanimously adopted. More important, everyone knew what was in the Bill. EVERYONE was involved.
Bikerman
Earlier in the thread someone pointed out the views of David Hannon - A Tory MEP.
Today his views have 'hit the fan' over here. Apparently he has been interviewed on US TV being very critical of the NHS.
Cameron - the leader of the Tory Party - is now running around desperately trying to distance himself from Hannon. He knows fine well that, in the run up to an election, any notion that the Tory Party is not fully behind the NHS is electoral suicide.
As I said earlier - the debate in the US is a matter for US citizens, but please don't try to pretend that there is such dissatisfaction with the NHS here that people would like to replace it.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/nickrobinson/2009/08/discipline_and.html
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
Earlier in the thread someone pointed out the views of David Hannon - A Tory MEP.
Today his views have 'hit the fan' over here. Apparently he has been interviewed on US TV being very critical of the NHS.
Cameron - the leader of the Tory Party - is now running around desperately trying to distance himself from Hannon. He knows fine well that, in the run up to an election, any notion that the Tory Party is not fully behind the NHS is electoral suicide.
As I said earlier - the debate in the US is a matter for US citizens, but please don't try to pretend that there is such dissatisfaction with the NHS here that people would like to replace it.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/nickrobinson/2009/08/discipline_and.html

Thanks for posting the BBC show Chris. The reception was unbelievably good. Lansley really spoke well too. I enjoyed it very much.

I must say I've never really liked Cameron. He is a bit mealy-mouthed to me, and Brown has to be happy that he has such a weak political opponent to deal with. I am almost certain David Hannan will be able to deal very well with whatever the latest sentiments have been as he seems to have great courage of his own convictions. His track record speaks for itself:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Hannan

I listened to the Fox show again. It was quite clear from what Hannan said that there could never be an end of the NHS in the UK as "it is the largest employer of people in the UK after the Red Army". I thought the criticisms he made were all very valid ones, but I also understood from what he had to say that he believed that things won't change in the UK either, i.e. that the NHS is there to stay. Think his main message had been for the US not to make the blunder of seeking a solution through a Government controlled route. He also indicated that since so little of the US medical services is socialized, that it would take much greater expenditure to get the UK equivalent up and running in the US. I thought that was a very good point too. Another good point was that even if there were Government control that US should try to ensure that people don't loose their right to choose their own specialist medical treatments, i.e. get in a situation where the Government gets to do that for them. He referred to a ruling in the UK where women with advanced breast cancer had been refused specialist medical treatments because they had been at an advanced stage of cancer.

What I like most about him is that he has reasoned things out to the extent that I can understand clearly what he believes in. That is quite a rare trait in any politician. I have this feeling that he may go much further in politics than Cameron would ever dream of getting to. Hannan has a clear vision that is focussed on solutions. Cameron is mostly on the defensive and trying to impress his own electorate.
Bikerman
Quote:
Hannan has a clear vision that is focussed on solutions.
You must have seen something that I missed. Could you please point out what solutions Hannon has suggested?

PS - citing comments like ""it is the largest employer of people in the UK after the Red Army" is rather misleading since I'm not aware that the Red Army (by which I presume you mean the Chinese Military?) is a large employer here in the UK. It is also factually incorrect since the Indian Railway employs more people than the NHS. I'm also not actually sure what your point is. Are you saying that being a large employer is bad?
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
Quote:
Hannan has a clear vision that is focussed on solutions.
You must have seen something that I missed. Could you please point out what solutions Hannon has suggested?

Perhaps his comments on the latest is an example of having a plan in mind:
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100006356/interrupting-my-holiday-with-some-thoughts-on-the-nhs/

Bikerman wrote:
PS - citing comments like ""it is the largest employer of people in the UK after the Red Army" is rather misleading since I'm not aware that the Red Army (by which I presume you mean the Chinese Military?) is a large employer here in the UK. It is also factually incorrect since the Indian Railway employs more people than the NHS.
You are taking my words out of context here Chris. If you listened to the Fox interview you would recall that the words belonged to Hannan, and it was very obvious for even the most unenlightened that he was referring to the Chinese Military. He was trying to get a point across that there are quite a large number of employees in the NHS with a very obvious vested interest to keep the NHS going. No matter the awful state it is in.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Quote:
Hannan has a clear vision that is focussed on solutions.
You must have seen something that I missed. Could you please point out what solutions Hannon has suggested?

Perhaps his comments on the latest is an example of having a plan in mind:
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100006356/interrupting-my-holiday-with-some-thoughts-on-the-nhs/
What? So you expect me to spend £10 buying his book to find out then? I think not - he gets enough money as an MEP without taking mine.
Quote:
You are taking my words out of context here Chris. If you listened to the Fox interview you would recall that the words belonged to Hannan, and it was very obvious for even the most unenlightened that he was referring to the Chinese Military. He was trying to get a point across that there are quite a large number of employees in the NHS with a very obvious vested interest to keep the NHS going. No matter the awful state it is in.
I took nothing out of context and I didn't imply that they were your words. I merely stated that
a) They were incorrect and
b) I don't see a problem with the NHS being a large employer. The NHS employs about 2% of the voting population - a large lobby, to be sure, but hardly an impassible one.
Voodoocat
Bikerman:
Quote:
He knows fine well that, in the run up to an election, any notion that the Tory Party is not fully behind the NHS is electoral suicide.


Great point! This is what concerns me- it appears that the gods have reserved true immortality for government programs, not people Crying or Very sad
jmi256
Bikerman wrote:
Earlier in the thread someone pointed out the views of David Hannon - A Tory MEP.


So? It seems this topic has already been hashed out.

This article sort of talks about your beloved NHS, though:

Quote:

Obama's Senior Moment
Why the elderly are right to worry when the government


Elderly Americans are turning out in droves to fight ObamaCare, and President Obama is arguing back that they have nothing to worry about. Allow us to referee. While claims about euthanasia and "death panels" are over the top, senior fears have exposed a fundamental truth about what Mr. Obama is proposing: Namely, once health care is nationalized, or mostly nationalized, rationing care is inevitable, and those who have lived the longest will find their care the most restricted.

Far from being a scare tactic, this is a logical conclusion based on experience and common-sense. Once health care is a "free good" that government pays for, demand will soar and government costs will soar too. When the public finally reaches its taxing limit, something will have to give on the care and spending side. In a word, care will be rationed by politics.


Mr. Obama's reply is that private insurance companies already ration, by deciding which treatments are covered and which aren't. However, there's an ocean of difference between coverage decisions made under millions of voluntary private contracts and rationing via government. An Atlantic Ocean, in fact. Virtually every European government with "universal" health care restricts access in one way or another to control costs, and it isn't pretty.

The British system is most restrictive, using a black-box actuarial formula known as "quality-adjusted life years," or QALYs, that determines who can receive what care. If a treatment isn't deemed to be cost-effective for specific populations, particularly the elderly, the National Health Service simply doesn't pay for it. Even France—which has a mix of public and private medicine—has fixed reimbursement rates since the 1970s and strictly controls the use of specialists and the introduction of new medical technologies such as CT scans and MRIs.

Yes, the U.S. "rations" by ability to pay (though in the end no one is denied actual care). This is true of every good or service in a free economy and a world of finite resources but infinite wants. Yet no one would say we "ration" houses or gasoline because those goods are allocated by prices. The problem is that governments ration through brute force—either explicitly restricting the use of medicine or lowering payments below market rates. Both methods lead to waiting lines, lower quality, or less innovation—and usually all three.

A lot of talk has centered on what Sarah Palin inelegantly called "death panels." Of course rationing to save the federal fisc will be subtler than a bureaucratic decision to "pull the plug on grandma," as Mr. Obama put it. But Mrs. Palin has also exposed a basic truth. A substantial portion of Medicare spending is incurred in the last six months of life.

From the point of view of politicians with a limited budget, is it worth spending a lot on, say, a patient with late-stage cancer where the odds of remission are long? Or should they spend to improve quality, not length, of life? Or pay for a hip or knee replacement for seniors, when palliative care might cost less? And who decides?

In Britain, the NHS decides, and under its QALYs metric it generally won't pay more than $22,000 for treatments to extend a life six months. "Money for the NHS isn't limitless," as one NHS official recently put it in response to American criticism, "so we need to make sure the money we have goes on things which offer more than the care we'll have to forgo to pay for them."

Before he got defensive, Mr. Obama was open about this political calculation. He often invokes the experience of his own grandmother, musing whether it was wise for her to receive a hip replacement after a terminal cancer diagnosis. In an April interview with the New York Times, he wondered whether this represented a "sustainable model" for society. He seems to believe these medical issues are all justifiably political questions that government or some panel of philosopher kings can and should decide. No wonder so many seniors rebel at such judgments that they know they could do little to influence, much less change.

Mr. Obama has also said many times that the growth of Medicare spending must be restrained, and his budget director Peter Orszag has made it nearly his life's cause. We agree, but then why does Mr. Obama want to add to our fiscal burdens a new Medicare-like program for everyone under 65 too? Medicare already rations care, refusing, for example, to pay for virtual colonsocopies and has payment policies or directives to curtail the use of certain cancer drugs, diagnostic tools, asthma medications and many others. Seniors routinely buy supplemental insurance (Medigap) to patch Medicare's holes—and Medicare is still growing by 11% this year.

The political and fiscal pressure to further ration Medicare would increase exponentially if government is paying for most everyone's care. The better way to slow the growth of Medicare is to give seniors more control over their own health care and the incentives to spend wisely, by offering competitive insurance plans. But this would mean less control for government, not more.

It's striking that even the AARP—which is run by liberals who favor national health care—has been backing away from support for Mr. Obama's version. The AARP leadership's Democratic sympathies will probably prevail in the end, perhaps after some price-control sweeteners are added for prescription drugs. But AARP is out of touch with its own members, who have figured out that their own health and lives are at stake in this debate over ObamaCare. They know that when medical discretion clashes with limited government budgets, medicine loses.


Source = http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203863204574344900152168372.html
Bikerman
It says nothing new or particularly relevant.
As I have said, numerous times, there is nothing stopping a UK citizen going private for their healthcare if they choose. The difference is that they will be treated if they don't.
The arguments about cost have already been dealt with - the US already costs over twice as much, per capita, as other developed countries....
jmi256
Bikerman wrote:
It says nothing new or particularly relevant.
As I have said, numerous times, there is nothing stopping a UK citizen going private for their healthcare if they choose. The difference is that they will be treated if they don't.


I know you've said it numerous times and that has been hashed out. That's why I'm asking "so?" It really doesn't have anything to do with the discussion, but just an attempt to circle the discussion back to previously discussed points that lead nowhere.
Bikerman
jmi256 wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
It says nothing new or particularly relevant.
As I have said, numerous times, there is nothing stopping a UK citizen going private for their healthcare if they choose. The difference is that they will be treated if they don't.


I know you've said it numerous times and that has been hashed out. That's why I'm asking "so?" It really doesn't have anything to do with the discussion, but just an attempt to circle the discussion back to previously discussed points that lead nowhere.

No - that was not my intent. My intent was simply to lay to rest the comparisons with the UK (which are mostly spurious) and the propagandist claims made, largely by the right, about the system here in the UK (which are also mostly spurious).
I completely agree that the debate should move on and to that end I am withdrawing (unless more untrue or biased claims or comparisons are made).
lagoon
Bikerman wrote:
Earlier in the thread someone pointed out the views of David Hannon - A Tory MEP.
Today his views have 'hit the fan' over here. Apparently he has been interviewed on US TV being very critical of the NHS.
Cameron - the leader of the Tory Party - is now running around desperately trying to distance himself from Hannon. He knows fine well that, in the run up to an election, any notion that the Tory Party is not fully behind the NHS is electoral suicide.
As I said earlier - the debate in the US is a matter for US citizens, but please don't try to pretend that there is such dissatisfaction with the NHS here that people would like to replace it.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/nickrobinson/2009/08/discipline_and.html


Aah, that was me. You know, he said almost exactly the same things in May on Hannity's Headlines, the same show, but nobody listened, and its only because Cameron has said something now that it has blown up into something big.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
b) I don't see a problem with the NHS being a large employer. The NHS employs about 2% of the voting population - a large lobby, to be sure, but hardly an impassible one.
I'm sure 2% is significant enough to be a real problem if they were to be unemployed. You're right however, it is not a problem, as that is unlikely to happen.

No need to read his book, I meant for you to read his "blog" in the Telegraph. I won't read his book either Smile

jmi256 wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
It says nothing new or particularly relevant.
As I have said, numerous times, there is nothing stopping a UK citizen going private for their healthcare if they choose. The difference is that they will be treated if they don't.


I know you've said it numerous times and that has been hashed out. That's why I'm asking "so?" It really doesn't have anything to do with the discussion, but just an attempt to circle the discussion back to previously discussed points that lead nowhere.


I've always felt that the comparison with the UK was the equivalent of comparing apples with pears. Since most of the primary health care centres are in the hands of private companies in the US and in the UK most of it has always been in the hands of Government, it will cost the US much more to cover everyone than it would have in the UK. This must also be the reason why health care is so much more expensive in the US. The two societies are also completely different. It is probably even unfair to use the UK health care system for comparison purposes.
Bikerman
Well, there are some comparisons which are valid.
For example, we can use the basic WHO survey to compare statistics which ARE comparable....
......................................UNITED STATES................ENGLAND
healthcare spend (%GDP).......16%.............................8.3%
Life Expectancy......................77.................................78
Average annual.....................3.7%..............................4.2%
spending growth
per capita
Number of acute....................2.8................................3.6
care beds per 1000
people
Average length of...................5.6...............................3.6
stay in acute care
Under 5 mortality....................9..................................6
per 1000 live births
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
Well, there are some comparisons which are valid.
For example, we can use the basic WHO survey to compare statistics which ARE comparable....
......................................UNITED STATES................ENGLAND
healthcare spend (%GDP).......16%.............................8.3%
Life Expectancy......................77.................................78
Average annual.....................3.7%..............................4.2%
spending growth
per capita
Number of acute....................2.8................................3.6
care beds per 1000
people
Average length of...................5.6...............................3.6
stay in acute care
Under 5 mortality....................9..................................6
per 1000 live births

If you study health care in isolation from society, I'm sure the US will lag most other countries in all of the percentages. There are large gaps in the US society between those who have, and those who don't have. Right now those who do not have can't afford medical treatment. If the US wants to get ahead of other countries in those percentages, then it would have to change its economic culture completely first, so that wealth is spread in the exact same way that it is in the UK for example. I'm certain if we did comparisons between the UK and the US with regard to the most wealthy people in the world, US will win by a large percentage. The culture behind having a situation where people are allowed to get as rich as Gates for example, where his wealth is counted in billions, has to be changed first, before you can get a situation where the "per head" population health care will have improved significantly. Maybe Indi did have it right in another thread about people like Gates who is so wealthy being wealthy at the expense of those who are much less wealthy than he is. Obviously his health care costs will be much higher than those who are much less wealthy than he is, and since there are so many wealthy people in the United States, their average healthcare costs would be much higher than in the UK - their lifestyles will be much higher and more demanding. The healthcare system in the US is catering for those "who have", rather than those "who do not have". And that may be a factor why it is more expensive as well, as those who have will ask for more sophisticated treatments with better results.
Bikerman
Well, as I see it you have highlighted ONE important difference. The other important difference is that the US system, if left 'as is', will continue to escalate in cost to the point where more and more people are left without adequate (or any) cover (since costs are currently outstripping any increases in average earnings by a considerable margin).

As I repeatedly point out, I have no axe to grind with regards to what Americans decide to do on this. My own preference is for a national health system - that works pretty well here, despite all the negative comments made. That might or might not be appropriate for the US - that is a decision for Americans...

If you want to know what Brits feel about the debate then we are having a discussion of this (or more accurately the US reporting of our system) on my home site - the Science Forums
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
Well, as I see it you have highlighted ONE important difference. The other important difference is that the US system, if left 'as is', will continue to escalate in cost to the point where more and more people are left without adequate (or any) cover (since costs are currently outstripping any increases in average earnings by a considerable margin).

As I repeatedly point out, I have no axe to grind with regards to what Americans decide to do on this. My own preference is for a national health system - that works pretty well here, despite all the negative comments made. That might or might not be appropriate for the US - that is a decision for Americans...

If you want to know what Brits feel about the debate then we are having a discussion of this (or more accurately the US reporting of our system) on my home site - the Science Forums
Well, at least the spelling of his name was correct :>) Amazing discussion though .... sort of mixing healthcare with religion, racism, the whole shebang ...

Do you know where this information could have been extracted from:
Quote:
Well it just goes to show how tough we Brits are in spite of the terrible life threatening disadvantages of the NHS we still manage to have a life expectancy a year longer than the average American.
I would be interested to have a look at the details of that report.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
Do you know where this information could have been extracted from:
Quote:
Well it just goes to show how tough we Brits are in spite of the terrible life threatening disadvantages of the NHS we still manage to have a life expectancy a year longer than the average American.
I would be interested to have a look at the details of that report.
Yes, it is taken from WHO statistics.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy
You can also find the data in the CIA world factbook
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2102.html
and the UN report
http://www.pdfdownload.org/pdf2html/pdf2html.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.un.org%2Fesa%2Fpopulation%2Fpublications%2Fwpp2006%2FWPP2006_Highlights_rev.pdf&images=yes
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy
You can also find the data in the CIA world factbook
Thanks for the links Chris. Really interesting as well as sad, showing total inequality in the world. I have had a look at the last link. It says the life expectancy on average is the same for the UK and the US, i.e. 79 years. It also says:
Quote:
This list does not directly reflect the quality of healthcare of the countries listed.
I must say I am totally bowled over by the high mortality rate in Sub Saharan Africa, particularly Swaziland. That is beyond tragic.


Bikerman wrote:
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2102.html
A slight variance of a year between the two, also around 79 years.

Bikerman wrote:
http://www.pdfdownload.org/pdf2html/pdf2html.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.un.org%2Fesa%2Fpopulation%2Fpublications%2Fwpp2006%2FWPP2006_Highlights_rev.pdf
Unfortunately could not open the link, I Googled it and maybe there's something wrong with the file on the UN Website ... will try again tomorrow ... Smile
Bikerman
The last link is to a pdf file - have you got a pdf add-on for your browser? (it works for me)...

I'm not sure what you were reading that says the UK and US have the same average life expectancy since none of the links I provided say that....
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
The last link is to a pdf file - have you got a pdf add-on for your browser? (it works for me)...

I'm not sure what you were reading that says the UK and US have the same average life expectancy since none of the links I provided say that....

Thanks Chris. I checked out the UN.org Website and then discovered an updated report. I really enjoyed reading it. There is also a Wallchart on the World Mortality Rate based on 2007 data:

http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/worldmortality/WMR2007_wallchart.pdf
What does "Crude death rate per 1000" mean? As it would appear that the death rate would be higher in the UK than in the US.

Anyway, for me having looked at the sources, the death rate is about the same, and the demographics the same, i.e. the population is one with the majority of people being older. Difference is that the US has more immigrants coming in than the UK, probably because it is a much larger country. These immigrants are generally younger. All this data is available from the UN Population link below:
http://www.un.org/esa/population/unpop.htm

There is also an updated report of the one you referred me to, and that I could not open up:
http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/wpp2008/wpp2008_highlights.pdf
Quote:
26. In terms of annual averages, the major net receivers of international migrants during 2010-2050 are
projected to be the United States (1.1 million annually), Canada (214,000), the United Kingdom
(174,000), Spain (170,000), Italy (159,000), Germany (110,000), Australia (100,000) and France
(100,000). The major countries of net emigration are projected to be Mexico (-334,000), China
(-309,000 annually), India (-253,000), the Philippines (-175,000), Pakistan (-161,000), Indonesia
(-156,000) and Bangladesh (-148,000). Although the current economic crisis may reduce migration
flows in comparison to those registered over the recent past, the major economic and demographic
asymmetries that will persist are likely to remain powerful generators of international migration
over the medium-term future.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
Anyway, for me having looked at the sources, the death rate is about the same, and the demographics the same, i.e. the population is one with the majority of people being older. Difference is that the US has more immigrants coming in than the UK, probably because it is a much larger country. These immigrants are generally younger. All this data is available from the UN Population link below:
http://www.un.org/esa/population/unpop.htm
The problem is - which metric do you apply? Now, life expectancy is one, but not a good one. It depends too much on cultural factors - smoking, alcohol, diet and so on. As a measure of the health care system it isn't a fair one. I say that even though the life expectancy figures favour the UK system over the US system.

A much better indicator is infant mortality. That precludes most of the social factors and is a much fairer reflection of the general care available. On that measure I'm afraid the US is pretty poor* - certainly well below socialised health care systems like the UK.

* Given that the US and the UK both have fairly comparable risk rates for infants in terms of social practice (the general sort of environmental risks that infants are exposed to is, I propose, pretty similar between the two sample populations)
jmi256
Bikerman wrote:
The problem is - which metric do you apply? Now, life expectancy is one, but not a good one. It depends too much on cultural factors - smoking, alcohol, diet and so on. As a measure of the health care system it isn't a fair one. I say that even though the life expectancy figures favour the UK system over the US system.

A much better indicator is infant mortality. That precludes most of the social factors and is a much fairer reflection of the general care available. On that measure I'm afraid the US is pretty poor* - certainly well below socialised health care systems like the UK.

* Given that the US and the UK both have fairly comparable risk rates for infants in terms of social practice (the general sort of environmental risks that infants are exposed to is, I propose, pretty similar between the two sample populations)
Couldn't infant mortality also be correlated to social factors, such as smoking, diet, weight, etc. of the parents? I'm not sure if these are exactly the same in the UK and the US. The US has a very diverse population, each with different cultural practices that could affect overall health.

Regardless of whether system A is "better" (whatever your definition of better is) than system B, the main problem I have is that healthcare is not the proper role of government in the US. I would much rather see the government get out of the way and let private organizations, non-profits, churches, civic organizations, etc. take a larger role in charity. If there are parts of healthcare that need reforming, let's talk about that. But tinkering around and dismantling the entire thing for something that goes against what people want seems idiotic to me.
Bikerman
jmi256 wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
The problem is - which metric do you apply? Now, life expectancy is one, but not a good one. It depends too much on cultural factors - smoking, alcohol, diet and so on. As a measure of the health care system it isn't a fair one. I say that even though the life expectancy figures favour the UK system over the US system.

A much better indicator is infant mortality. That precludes most of the social factors and is a much fairer reflection of the general care available. On that measure I'm afraid the US is pretty poor* - certainly well below socialised health care systems like the UK.

* Given that the US and the UK both have fairly comparable risk rates for infants in terms of social practice (the general sort of environmental risks that infants are exposed to is, I propose, pretty similar between the two sample populations)
Couldn't infant mortality also be correlated to social factors, such as smoking, diet, weight, etc. of the parents? I'm not sure if these are exactly the same in the UK and the US. The US has a very diverse population, each with different cultural practices that could affect overall health.
Unlikely. The UK has a very diverse population as well, you know....we used to have an empire Smile
Infant death due to the mother's habits is a factor, but a small one.

"The infant mortality rate correlates very strongly with and is among the best predictors of state failure."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infant_mortality

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_infant_mortality_rate

I find it highly unlikely that the US has social factors, outside healthcare, that would tend to produce a higher number. There is one possible factor - firearms. I've not done any analysis of what the accidental death of children by gunshot is in the US - I know that here in the UK it would be negligible. I don't think, however, that this would be a decisive difference. Remember that we are talking about a pretty significant difference....

I think that this whole debate is pretty interesting. It really revolves around deep questions - such as 'what is it to be an American and what duty does that citizenship entail?'. This debate has been part of the history of European countries for centuries (and let me be clear that I'm not excluding other continents from anything other than ignorance). The US is having that debate and it is a continuing debate that will last as long as the US lasts. I think that 'historic imperative' requires a more practical and equitable solution than currently exists but, as I frequently and honestly say, I am an observer and I have no particular interest in the specifics of the debate. I hope that the US finds a more equitable system - whether that is based on the NHS or some other model is a discussion to be had by Americans.
jmi256
Bikerman wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
The problem is - which metric do you apply? Now, life expectancy is one, but not a good one. It depends too much on cultural factors - smoking, alcohol, diet and so on. As a measure of the health care system it isn't a fair one. I say that even though the life expectancy figures favour the UK system over the US system.

A much better indicator is infant mortality. That precludes most of the social factors and is a much fairer reflection of the general care available. On that measure I'm afraid the US is pretty poor* - certainly well below socialised health care systems like the UK.

* Given that the US and the UK both have fairly comparable risk rates for infants in terms of social practice (the general sort of environmental risks that infants are exposed to is, I propose, pretty similar between the two sample populations)
Couldn't infant mortality also be correlated to social factors, such as smoking, diet, weight, etc. of the parents? I'm not sure if these are exactly the same in the UK and the US. The US has a very diverse population, each with different cultural practices that could affect overall health.
Unlikely. The UK has a very diverse population as well, you know....we used to have an empire Smile
Infant death due to the mother's habits is a factor, but a small one.

"The infant mortality rate correlates very strongly with and is among the best predictors of state failure."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infant_mortality

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_infant_mortality_rate

I find it highly unlikely that the US has social factors, outside healthcare, that would tend to produce a higher number. There is one possible factor - firearms. I've not done any analysis of what the accidental death of children by gunshot is in the US - I know that here in the UK it would be negligible. I don't think, however, that this would be a decisive difference. Remember that we are talking about a pretty significant difference....




From your same Wikipedia article:

Quote:

While the United States reports every case of infant mortality, it has been suggested that some other developed countries do not. A 2006 article in U.S. News & World Report claims that "First, it's shaky ground to compare U.S. infant mortality with reports from other countries. The United States counts all births as live if they show any sign of life, regardless of prematurity or size. This includes what many other countries report as stillbirths. In Austria and Germany, fetal weight must be at least 500 grams (1 pound) to count as a live birth; in other parts of Europe, such as Switzerland, the fetus must be at least 30 centimeters (12 inches) long. In Belgium and France, births at less than 26 weeks of pregnancy are registered as lifeless. And some countries don't reliably register babies who die within the first 24 hours of birth. Thus, the United States is sure to report higher infant mortality rates. For this very reason, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which collects the European numbers, warns of head-to-head comparisons by country.
Bikerman
Yes. that's why I always try to supply a link to my citations - so you can check for yourself.
I think that in this specific case, however, you will find that I had already done my homework. I specifically compared the UK and US. None of the 'differential factors' you quote above applies, to my knowledge, in this case. The UK reports 'live births' in the same way as far as I know. I'm certainly prepared to accept evidence to the contrary, but I'm not going to settle for unqualified assumptions.

You should also look at the 'live birth (0-5yrs)' mortality stats - not controversial at all in that sense (certainly as far as a comparison with the UK goes).
Alaskacameradude
That's a tough question. I am an American that does NOT have ANY form of health insurance
at all. Do I feel it is the governments role to provide it for me? Nope, I don't. Would I like to
have it? Yup, but not at the prices I'd have to pay to get it, I can't afford it. It'd be nice, to have,
but I really don't know that I feel that it is somehow a 'right' of mine to have it like more and
more people seem to assume. There are people who think they have a 'right' to own a house
too, and want the government to buy it for them too. In a perfect world, sure. In our current
world, with the national debt we are ringing up bailing out the banks and the auto industry,
I just don't see how we can have a national health care system without mortgaging our kids
futures.
Bikerman
Well, we seem to manage it OK without bankrupting the workforce.
Just for information - each UK worker pays a 'National Insurance' contribution which is taken out of their wages directly, and each employer also pays an NI contribution for each person they employ. The actual amount depends on earnings but is normally about 10 percent(ish). The scheme is quite complex (it has to be to cater for all the different types and earnings) but you should bear in mind that even with all this complexity, our healthcare is about half the cost, on average, of yours.

Now, I'm not suggesting you adopt our system (as I repeatedly try to make clear), but the evidence from around the world is that socialised health care can be provided, to a high standard, at a cheaper cost than you currently are paying....
jmi256
Alaskacameradude wrote:
That's a tough question. I am an American that does NOT have ANY form of health insurance
at all. Do I feel it is the governments role to provide it for me? Nope, I don't. Would I like to
have it? Yup, but not at the prices I'd have to pay to get it, I can't afford it. It'd be nice, to have,
but I really don't know that I feel that it is somehow a 'right' of mine to have it like more and
more people seem to assume. There are people who think they have a 'right' to own a house
too, and want the government to buy it for them too. In a perfect world, sure. In our current
world, with the national debt we are ringing up bailing out the banks and the auto industry,
I just don't see how we can have a national health care system without mortgaging our kids
futures.


Agreed. This is the thing that the liberals trying to force their healthcare scheme fail to understand. Most Americans do not want a nanny state. They believe in individualism and not that they are entitled to certain things that others have to pay for.
Bikerman
When you say 'most' Americans, I wonder what the evidence is. Certainly individual plans can and should be criticised. It seems to me, however, that both Clinton and Obama stood on a mandate which clearly included (and included as a very prominent feature) health reform. In both cases they won the popular vote.
The suggestion that you seem to be making also appears to be contradicted by a number of opinion polls cited in this very thread.
I have to say that, as a remote observer, my impression is that 'most' Americans do indeed wish for a change away from a 'market solution', but the 'devil is in the detail'.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
I have to say that, as a remote observer, my impression is that 'most' Americans do indeed wish for a change away from a 'market solution', but the 'devil is in the detail'.
Well said. So if the Republicans during the next election can come up with both a better solution, as well as a very good marketing campaign to sell that solution, maybe they will be voted in? Twisted Evil
handfleisch
A major reason Americans can't get the national health insurance they want is the corporations that make huge profits off the ongoing tragedy, and will do anything to keep it that way. How huge are the profits? Enough that they can and now spend $1.4 million per day on lobbyists, disinformation, politicians' bank accounts and shills. That's right, $1.4 million per day being spent by the same folks who deny cancer patients their insurance due to pre-existing conditions. Profits before people, raking in money off of people being sick.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/05/AR2009070502770.html
Quote:
Familiar Players in Health Bill Lobbying
Firms Are Enlisting Ex-Lawmakers, Aides
Former House majority leader Richard K. Armey, left, is one of several ex-congressmen working on behalf of health-care companies as a Senate committee considers legislation. Armey represents a New Jersey pharmaceutical firm.

The nation's largest insurers, hospitals and medical groups have hired more than 350 former government staff members and retired members of Congress in hopes of influencing their old bosses and colleagues, according to an analysis of lobbying disclosures and other records.

The tactic is so widespread that three of every four major health-care firms have at least one former insider on their lobbying payrolls, according to The Washington Post's analysis.

Nearly half of the insiders previously worked for the key committees and lawmakers, including Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), debating whether to adopt a public insurance option opposed by major industry groups. At least 10 others have been members of Congress, such as former House majority leaders Richard K. Armey (R-Tex.) and Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.), both of whom represent a New Jersey pharmaceutical firm.

The hirings are part of a record-breaking influence campaign by the health-care industry, which is spending more than $1.4 million a day on lobbying in the current fight, according to disclosure records. And even in a city where lobbying is a part of life, the scale of the effort has drawn attention. For example, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) doubled its spending to nearly $7 million in the first quarter of 2009, followed by Pfizer, with more than $6 million.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
Profits before people, raking in money off of people being sick.


And you think Obamacare isn't just a way to give them more money?

Why is insurance being focused on, and not simply cost and availability of care?

Instead of having a government insurance company, couldn't they just make the shenanigans brought up as examples of the insurance companies' evils illegal?
handfleisch
ocalhoun wrote:
Instead of having a government insurance company, couldn't they just make the shenanigans brought up as examples of the insurance companies' evils illegal?


Obama's health care plan does precisely that. It makes denying insurance due to pre-existing conditions illegal.

ocalhoun wrote:
Why is insurance being focused on, and not simply cost and availability of care?


Because expanding insurance is expanding availability (guaranteeing insurance for all is increasing availability.) Cost is also a focus of Obama's plan.
Wall Street Journal: Why Obama's Health Plan Is Better
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122152292213639569.html

So, Obama's plan focuses on precisely the areas you think should be focused on. Welcome aboard. I am sure that intellectual honesty will require you to now describe yourself as, say, a cautious supporter of the health care reforms.

ocalhoun wrote:
And you think Obamacare isn't just a way to give them more money?

Think through the logic of this statement. Why would the private health insurance industry be spending $1.4 million per day to fight a plan that was going to "give them more money"?
handfleisch
If there are good reasons to oppose health care reforms, why do opponents have to tell such giant, crazed lies about it? Death panels for the elderly, death panels for vets. Apparently the next insane charge is that the health care plan is a secret plot for genocide! http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/janet-porter-reveals-coming-american-genocide (How long before Sarah Palin or Fox News mentions this?)

From "The Five Biggest Lies in the Health Care Debate"
http://www.newsweek.com/id/214254

LIE 1: You'll have no choice in what health benefits you receive.
LIE 2: No chemo for older medicare patients.
LIE 3: Illegal immigrants will get free health insurance
LIE 4: Death panels will decide who lives.
LIE 5: The government will set doctors' wages.


It's a shame the American people don't get a more honest debate on this in the media, and instead get lies and nuttiness thrown at them by the bucketful.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
If there are good reasons to oppose health care reforms, why do opponents have to tell such giant, crazed lies about it? Death panels for the elderly, death panels for vets. Apparently the next insane charge is that the health care plan is a secret plot for genocide! http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/janet-porter-reveals-coming-american-genocide (How long before Sarah Palin or Fox News mentions this?)

From "The Five Biggest Lies in the Health Care Debate"
http://www.newsweek.com/id/214254

LIE 1: You'll have no choice in what health benefits you receive.
LIE 2: No chemo for older medicare patients.
LIE 3: Illegal immigrants will get free health insurance
LIE 4: Death panels will decide who lives.
LIE 5: The government will set doctors' wages.


It's a shame the American people don't get a more honest debate on this in the media, and instead get lies and nuttiness thrown at them by the bucketful.
Handfleisch, maybe it is time to give it a rest. If the healthcare bill was as good as it was presented as, then it would have already been legislated. It is obvious that although Americans want health care changes, that the Bill that was introduced by Obama did not work for them. I like Chris's reference to "the devil is in the detail". Obviously the details need to be reworked again. I still wonder why they can't follow the example of the State of Massachusetts, which is for States to come up with their own solutions from the bottom up. Top down Federal may not be the solution. This was the Dems second try, and obviously people are not comfortable with it.
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
Handfleisch, maybe it is time to give it a rest. If the healthcare bill was as good as it was presented as, then it would have already been legislated. It is obvious that although Americans want health care changes, that the Bill that was introduced by Obama did not work for them.


Are you joking? "Give it a rest"? From the most compulsive master-poster of Frihost?

Congress went on break, that's all that happened. The healthcare bill and the debate is as hot as ever. The medical industry that profits off of sickness is spending a million+ dollars per day on propaganda and shills (and bribes?) to protect their scam. But in fact, pro-healthcare people are winning, starting to dominate the townhalls (which were being flooded with shouting teabag-type kooks for a while) and polls show most people want the public option. But the media is still portraying the debate as iffy. That is why I for one are keeping up the fight to get the word out on getting this basic human right established in the USA.

Re the NHS issue, here is a British TV program laughing about the debate in the US and kooky quotes on the issue by Sarah Palin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QfKDkb0-1k
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:

From the most compulsive master-poster of Frihost?

Hey, that's my title. Evil or Very Mad
handfleisch wrote:

Congress went on break, that's all that happened. The healthcare bill and the debate is as hot as ever. The medical industry that profits off of sickness is spending a million+ dollars per day on propaganda and shills (and bribes?) to protect their scam. But in fact, pro-healthcare people are winning, starting to dominate the townhalls (which were being flooded with shouting teabag-type kooks for a while) and polls show most people want the public option. But the media is still portraying the debate as iffy. That is why I for one are keeping up the fight to get the word out on getting this basic human right established in the USA.


So, the people who don't want it are automatically kooks, and the pro-healthcare people (some of whom are openly being paid to go to these meetings) are not?

Oh, really? Let's look at some real numbers instead of just assuming, shall we?
source
Quote:
Public support for the health care reform plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats has fallen to a new low as just 42% of U.S. voters now favor the plan. That's down five points from two weeks ago and down eight points from six weeks ago.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that opposition to the plan has increased to 53%, up nine points since late June.

More significantly, 44% of voters strongly oppose the health care reform effort versus 26% who strongly favor it. Intensity has been stronger among opponents of the plan since the debate began.


A basic human right? Since when? Is access to food going to be a basic right now soon? Housing? Entertainment?
handfleisch
ocalhoun wrote:


So, the people who don't want it are automatically kooks, and the pro-healthcare people (some of whom are openly being paid to go to these meetings) are not?

Uh, no, but I am not surprised you cannot tell the difference between kooks shouting down their elected representative with a chant of "death panels", and a working single mom telling her elected representative that she cannot afford any health insurance and this is a problem that needs to be fixed.

ocalhoun wrote:
Let's look at some real numbers instead of just assuming, shall we?
source
Public support for the health care reform plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats has fallen to a new low as just 42% of U.S. voters now favor the plan. That's down five points from two weeks ago and down eight points from six weeks ago.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows (blah blah blah)

I have posted many polls, and could post more, from a wide range of polling agencies and sources, over a span of years, that consistently show that Americans want a universal health care plan. In citing one recent notoriously Republican-leaning poll about momentary minutiae of the current debate, you are dishonestly cherry picking.

If there is any credence to the results of your poll, it is testimony to the propaganda by Republicans and insurance corporations ($1.4 million per day worth) carried by most major media outlets, consisting of outright hysterical lies (death panels for grandma and vets, Obama using healthcare to become dictator, Obama plans genocide, etc.) has affected a significant percentage of the population. That would be a real shame, wouldn't you agree? (Oh wait, I forgot. You think Obama "might be" a terrorist sympathizer. Does that mean you believe a lot of this other idiocy, too?)

ocalhoun wrote:

[color=blue]A basic human right? Since when? Is access to food going to be a basic right now soon? Housing? Entertainment?


Back to school, kid. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights reads “everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of oneself and one’s family, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care.” You ought to read it sometime http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:


So, the people who don't want it are automatically kooks, and the pro-healthcare people (some of whom are openly being paid to go to these meetings) are not?[/color]

Uh, no, but I am not surprised you cannot tell the difference between kooks shouting down their elected representative with a chant of "death panels", and a working single mom telling her elected representative that she cannot afford any health insurance and this is a problem that needs to be fixed.

And I suppose none of the 'kooks' could have possibly been 'working single moms'...

Unaffordable healthcare is a problem. Obamacare is not a good solution for it
Quote:

ocalhoun wrote:
Let's look at some real numbers instead of just assuming, shall we?[/color]
source
Public support for the health care reform plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats has fallen to a new low as just 42% of U.S. voters now favor the plan. That's down five points from two weeks ago and down eight points from six weeks ago.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows (blah blah blah)

I have posted many polls, and could post more, from a wide range of polling agencies and sources, over a span of years, that consistently show that Americans want a universal health care plan. In citing one recent notoriously Republican-leaning poll about momentary minutiae of the current debate, you are dishonestly cherry picking.

If there is any credence to the results of your poll, it is testimony to the propaganda by Republicans and insurance corporations ($1.4 million per day worth) carried by most major media outlets, consisting of outright hysterical lies (death panels for grandma and vets, Obama using healthcare to become dictator, Obama plans genocide, etc.) has affected a significant percentage of the population. That would be a real shame, wouldn't you agree? (Oh wait, I forgot. You think Obama "might be" a terrorist sympathizer. Does that mean you believe a lot of this other idiocy, too?)

Yes, people support health care reform, it's a good and needed thing. But people do NOT support Obamacare. It is poorly thought out, too expensive, and includes lots of troubling little details in the voluminous and ever changing wording.
Really?
I see how it is now:
Poll says they want Obamacare: Is valid poll.
Poll says they don't want Obamacare: Is only because they are deluded by propaganda. Actually, they want Obamacare.

Give me an actual poll, please. (Linking isn't that hard.)
And make it one about Obama's health care bill, not health care reform in general.
Quote:

ocalhoun wrote:

A basic human right? Since when? Is access to food going to be a basic right now soon? Housing? Entertainment?


Back to school, kid. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights reads “everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of oneself and one’s family, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care.” You ought to read it sometime http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml

I disagree with the UN on this one.
Rights are about what you can and cannot do, not about what you can and cannot have.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
Congress went on break, that's all that happened.

Did you deliberately misread my posting? I'm saying Obama is deliberately delaying the budget as the budget is going to be about more trillions in debt, and of course will make his Healthcare Bill an even further lost cause.

Quote:

White House Delays Budget Review to August
The Office of Management and Budget's annual midsession budget review -- an update of the White House's economic and deficit projections -- won't be released until August.

Typically, the revised figures are issued in July to minimal fanfare. But this year's update is eagerly anticipated given worries about the mushrooming budget gap and the fragile state of the economic recovery.

The White House's latest forecast for the economy -- released in February -- now looks stale. At the time, the administration said it expected the economy to contract 1.2% this year before rebounding and growing 3.2% in 2010 and 4% in 2011. The old forecast also predicted that unemployment would average 8.1% this year. Last month, the jobless rate climbed to 9.5%.

If the administration's economic assumptions are revised downward, as economists expect, the already-record deficit would be stretched even wider.

OMB's current deficit forecast is for $1.841 trillion this fiscal year and $1.258 trillion in fiscal 2010, which begins in October.

Economists say the deficit could top $2 trillion this year, potentially coloring the debate over President Barack Obama's health-care and energy agendas.

The White House said it isn't unusual for the midsession review to be delayed in transition years. But Republicans see other motives. They say the White House is burying bad news – Congress will be in recess for most of August -- to help it push expensive health-care legislation through Congress.

"Try as they might, the White House cannot hide the fact that the policies of this Administration have buried our children and grandchildren under historic debt," House Republican Leader John Boehner said
.

Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124811007290765725.html
handfleisch
3000+ people demonstrated for health care reform in Seattle on Sept 3rd and apparently no media at all covered it, not even the local media. If you can find it somewhere, let me know. (So much for the liberal media, but that's another thread.) Strange how 20 teabaggers shouting like kooks get a ton of coverage, but this large rally doesn't. Maybe because it contradicts the latest media talking point, that the public option is doomed? (No way jose)

http://horsesass.org/?p=20016
Quote:
I’ve no idea where I was yesterday afternoon, but it couldn’t possibly have been at an energetic, 3000-person strong pro-healthcare reform rally in Westlake Park, because I couldn’t find even the tiniest mention of it in this morning’s Seattle Times, so apparently, it never happened. And I have absolutely no idea where all those photos and videos on my camera came from.

It’s like my own personal Twilight Zone.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouYXq5tSXb0
ocalhoun
Well, I see maybe a few hundred... what source says it was 3000?
And who's to be surprised of a protest for a liberal cause in a liberal area?
Was it actually just another town hall type thing?
handfleisch
An Ohio man who joined the army to get health insurance for his wife and kids has been killed in Afghanistan after being there only one month.
HEALTHCARE REFORM NOW.

http://edition.cnn.com/video/?/video/politics/2009/09/07/acosta.soldier.sacrifice.cnn
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
An Ohio man who joined the army to get health insurance for his wife and kids has been killed in Afghanistan after being there only one month.

And a thousand others (including a cousin of mine) did the same and lived, what's your point?
At least they're earning that health care, not expecting it to be given to them for free.
Quote:

HEALTHCARE REFORM NOW.

Okay.
I'm all for health care reform, just against socialized health care, and the government expansion it would cause.
Moonspider
I noticed that in President Obama's speech tonight one thing he intends to emphasize is the need for a government plan to compete with private insurance, a claim I've heard since the beginning of this "reform" effort.

However, to my knowledge none of the plans currently being considered offer to eliminate the state-line restrictions on purchasing health care. If one of the primary desires for reform is to increase competition, why not actually increase it? If I run a business in New York, I can only choose to insure my employees through companies in New York. I can't go across the line to New Jersey even if it's cheaper.

In my opinion, unless this is part of the reform package, arguments for a public option to compete with private insurers are grossly hollow. Does it make sense to increase competition while continuing to stifle it with state-line limitations?

Respectfully,
M
deanhills
Moonspider wrote:
I noticed that in President Obama's speech tonight one thing he intends to emphasize is the need for a government plan to compete with private insurance, a claim I've heard since the beginning of this "reform" effort.


I found the following column by Bob Herbert of the "New York Times" really interesting and well put:
Quote:
This Is Reform?
It’s never a contest when the interests of big business are pitted against the public interest. So if we manage to get health care “reform” this time around it will be the kind of reform that benefits the very people who have given us a failed system, and thus made reform so necessary.

Forget about a crackdown on price-gouging drug companies and predatory insurance firms. That’s not happening. With the public pretty well confused about what is going on, we’re headed — at best — toward changes that will result in a lot more people getting covered, but that will not control exploding health care costs and will leave industry leaders feeling like they’ve hit the jackpot.

The hope of a government-run insurance option is all but gone. So there will be no effective alternative for consumers in the market for health coverage, which means no competitive pressure for private insurers to rein in premiums and other charges. (Forget about the nonprofit cooperatives. That’s like sending peewee footballers up against the Super Bowl champs.)

Insurance companies are delighted with the way “reform” is unfolding. Think of it: The government is planning to require most uninsured Americans to buy health coverage. Millions of young and healthy individuals will be herded into the industry’s welcoming arms. This is the population the insurers drool over.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/18/opinion/18herbert.html?_r=1
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
I found the following column by Bob Herbert of the "New York Times" really interesting and well put:
Quote:
This Is Reform?
It’s never a contest when the interests of big business are pitted against the public interest. So if we manage to get health care “reform” this time around it will be the kind of reform that benefits the very people who have given us a failed system, and thus made reform so necessary.

Forget about a crackdown on price-gouging drug companies and predatory insurance firms. That’s not happening. With the public pretty well confused about what is going on, we’re headed — at best — toward changes that will result in a lot more people getting covered, but that will not control exploding health care costs and will leave industry leaders feeling like they’ve hit the jackpot.

The hope of a government-run insurance option is all but gone. So there will be no effective alternative for consumers in the market for health coverage, which means no competitive pressure for private insurers to rein in premiums and other charges. (Forget about the nonprofit cooperatives. That’s like sending peewee footballers up against the Super Bowl champs.)

Insurance companies are delighted with the way “reform” is unfolding. Think of it: The government is planning to require most uninsured Americans to buy health coverage. Millions of young and healthy individuals will be herded into the industry’s welcoming arms. This is the population the insurers drool over.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/18/opinion/18herbert.html?_r=1


The critics of the plan are a bunch of flip floppers. Here they say it gives away too much to big business; other times they say it threatens the profits of big business. Sometimes they say it is being rushed through too fast, then they say he is delaying it for political reasons. One second they are shrieking in terror about their illusion of a "government takeover", but this article is in favor of "a government-run insurance option." They all sound like a bunch of obstructionists.
handfleisch
Obama UP in polls...
Quote:
CNN Poll: Double-digit post-speech jump for Obama plan
Posted: September 10th, 2009 05:01 AM ET

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Two out of three Americans who watched President Barack Obama's health care reform speech Wednesday night favor his health care plans — a 14-point gain among speech-watchers, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll of people who tuned into Obama's address Wednesday night to a joint session of Congress.

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/
deanhills
Looks as though the President is very good at speeches Handfleisch and I am happy for him for these good moments. But maybe he needs more than speeches and that is where the problem lies. He needs a few trillion dollars that possibly cannot be spared right now, since the economy seems to be not of the healthiest and there are quite a few million people unemployed.

For me however this speech was more than about health care insurance, it was for him to rally his Democratic Party members behind him, as he had been losing some support amongst his own people and is trying to get them back on the Obama track. Nothing wrong with it of course as he is a politician and needs his Party behind him. But we have to be real here. He is trying to get his ratings up again. And he seems to have done well with the speech with that. Mission accomplished!
jmi256
deanhills wrote:
Looks as though the President is very good at speeches Handfleisch and I am happy for him for these good moments. But maybe he needs more than speeches and that is where the problem lies. He needs a few trillion dollars that possibly cannot be spared right now, since the economy seems to be not of the healthiest and there are quite a few million people unemployed.

For me however this speech was more than about health care insurance, it was for him to rally his Democratic Party members behind him, as he had been losing some support amongst his own people and is trying to get them back on the Obama track. Nothing wrong with it of course as he is a politician and needs his Party behind him. But we have to be real here. He is trying to get his ratings up again. And he seems to have done well with the speech with that. Mission accomplished!


I had the same reaction to the speech. Overall, he's good at delivering speeches and I think he did an excellent job at rallying the troops last night. The thing is, the type of people who watch an almost hour-long joint session of Congress are those who are already entrenched in their positions either way. Proponents of a government-run scheme are watching to get energized and reinvigorated, which was sorely needed after the last couple of months of seeing the public come out against the government-run plan. Proponents of a more consumer-based system that maintains the current plans that they are very happy with were looking for indications on how the government-run system would be "better" than what they currently have and how it would affect the quality and availability of the care they currently receive. They were also looking for some information on how the president plans on paying for this massive increase in the size and scope of government. I have a feeling that the “undecideds” and those who were really on the fence weren't going to spend their evening watching another speech by the president. There were indications before his vacation that the public was suffering from Obama fatigue, and I'm not really sure that has subsided. My guess would be that these people would still rely on the same sources of information they have been in the past to get either excepts of the speech or details about the plan, such as their doctors/nurses, news outlets, websites, etc. Other than saying that it was a well-delivered speech, I’m not sure there really was any more “meat” to what Obama said than what has been hashed out in the past, however. I was excited when Obama started to indicate that he was going to get into the details of how he was going to raise the money for his government-run healthcare without running up the deficit even more, but he slipped back into rhetoric, which was disappointing.

Also, I’m sure there will be plenty of griping about the “You Lie!” outburst, so I wanted to make my own position on the issue clear. Yelling out at a president like that during a joint session of Congress was very disrespectful. Whether you agree with Obama or not the office deserves respect, and if the person really wanted to express his opinion, there were more appropriate ways and venues. While Bush was in office there were many instances where people were disrespectful of the office and that always bothered me. Now that we have another president, I was hoping that the elected Republicans could lead by example. In some of the commentary last night there calls for censure and other forms of punishment for that individual, but I don’t think you can really legislate manners. If it’s within the House rules that there is a certain “punishment” for that type of behavior, so be it, but I think letters to that person from his constituents pointing out the disrespect he showed our president and how we don’t condone it would get the point across.
Moonspider
handfleisch wrote:
Obama UP in polls...
Quote:
CNN Poll: Double-digit post-speech jump for Obama plan
Posted: September 10th, 2009 05:01 AM ET

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Two out of three Americans who watched President Barack Obama's health care reform speech Wednesday night favor his health care plans — a 14-point gain among speech-watchers, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll of people who tuned into Obama's address Wednesday night to a joint session of Congress.


Just for purposes of clarification:

CNN Poll: Double-digit post-speech jump for Obama plan wrote:
The audience for the speech appears to be more Democratic than the U.S. population as a whole. Because of this, the results may favor Obama simply because more Democrats than Republicans tune into the speech. The poll surveyed the opinions of people who watched Wednesday night's speech, and does not reflect the views of all Americans.


Respectfully,
M
handfleisch
Doctors overwhelmingly support a public option in health care reform, according to this major new study, which media is mostly ignoring it so far:

Quote:

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation survey shows physicians support reform plan that includes both public and private options.

A RWJF survey summarized in the September 14, 2009 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine shows that 62.9 percent of physicians nationwide support proposals to expand health care coverage that include both public and private insurance options—where people under the age of 65 would have the choice of enrolling in a new public health insurance plan (like Medicare) or in private plans. The survey shows that just 27.3 percent of physicians support a new program that does not include a public option and instead provides subsidies for low-income people to purchase private insurance. Only 9.6 percent of doctors nationwide support a system where a Medicare-like public program is created in lieu of any private insurance. A majority of physicians (58%) also support expanding Medicare eligibility to those between the ages of 55 and 64.

In every region of the country, a majority of physicians supported a combination of public and private options, as did physicians who identified themselves as primary care providers, surgeons, or other medical subspecialists. Among those who identified themselves as members of the American Medical Association, 62.2 percent favored both the public and private options.


http://www.rwjf.org/healthreform/quality/product.jsp?id=48408
deanhills
I thought this was a very good comment that makes sense of the AMA support for the Bill:
Quote:
One can only guess whether the AMA believes the House’s version of the public plan will fail to make it into the final legislation after the Senate has its way. But it seems clear that the organization is gambling that, with Democrats controlling Congress and the White House, it’s better off backing the horse that seems sure to win instead of the alternative—essentially the status quo, which is helping no one, including doctors. And if health reform actually does expand coverage to millions of the uninsured, physicians are bound to benefit.

http://industry.bnet.com/healthcare/1000931/ama-support-of-health-reform-bill-is-a-milestone/

The insurance companies will obviously also score in a big way.
jmi256
deanhills wrote:

The insurance companies will obviously also score in a big way.


I'm sure the big corporations are going to make a killing if Obama's plan gets passed. First of all it they will be adding customers they didn't have before. And secondly, the bureaucratic paperwork, regulatory requirements, etc. will favor large corporations since their larger legal and regulatory staffs will more easily absorb the additional administrative paperwork. Smaller regional businesses with smaller staffs will face a harder time doing so and will most likely be eaten up by the larger corporations within time.
Bikerman
The debate amongst 'interested' parties is very reminiscent of the debate here in the 1940s when the NHS was introduced. Doctors were initially overwhelmingly opposed - they thought it would limit their earnings, basically.
http://www.nhshistory.net/shorthistory.htm
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
deanhills wrote:

The insurance companies will obviously also score in a big way.


I'm sure the big corporations are going to make a killing if Obama's plan gets passed.

Are you two aware that the corporations are officially spending $1.4 million per day lobbying against the Obama health plan? How does that fit into your conspiracy theory?
handfleisch
No answer to the question above, I see.

I started this thread saying that the state of health care in the US was like a Katrina disaster every month. Or think of it like a 9/11 death toll every month. More proof of that has just come in, from Harvard Medical School:
Quote:

Study links 45,000 U.S. deaths to lack of insurance

Nearly 45,000 people die in the United States each year -- one every 12 minutes -- in large part because they lack health insurance and can not get good care, Harvard Medical School researchers found in an analysis released on Thursday.

"We're losing more Americans every day because of inaction ... than drunk driving and homicide combined," Dr. David Himmelstein, a co-author of the study and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard, said in an interview with Reuters.

Overall, researchers said American adults age 64 and younger who lack health insurance have a 40 percent higher risk of death than those who have coverage.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090917/hl_nm/us_usa_healthcare_deaths
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
No answer to the question above, I see.

I started this thread saying that the state of health care in the US was like a Katrina disaster every month. Or think of it like a 9/11 death toll every month. More proof of that has just come in, from Harvard Medical School:
Quote:

Study links 45,000 U.S. deaths to lack of insurance

Nearly 45,000 people die in the United States each year -- one every 12 minutes -- in large part because they lack health insurance and can not get good care, Harvard Medical School researchers found in an analysis released on Thursday.

"We're losing more Americans every day because of inaction ... than drunk driving and homicide combined," Dr. David Himmelstein, a co-author of the study and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard, said in an interview with Reuters.

Overall, researchers said American adults age 64 and younger who lack health insurance have a 40 percent higher risk of death than those who have coverage.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090917/hl_nm/us_usa_healthcare_deaths


If health care wasn't so expensive, insurance wouldn't be so important.
Once we get the goal of getting everyone health insurance, health care providers will be free to charge whatever they want, and they'll still get paid.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
I'm sure the big corporations are going to make a killing if Obama's plan gets passed.
Are you two aware that the corporations are officially spending $1.4 million per day lobbying against the Obama health plan?
Can you back this up with evidence?
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
I'm sure the big corporations are going to make a killing if Obama's plan gets passed.
Are you two aware that the corporations are officially spending $1.4 million per day lobbying against the Obama health plan?
Can you back this up with evidence?


Washington Post article, see my post on page 9 of this thread
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
Washington Post article, see my post on page 9 of this thread
Your quote refers to a campaign by the healthcare industry, not the insurance companies, my posting specifically referred to the insurance companies:
Quote:
The hirings are part of a record-breaking influence campaign by the health-care industry, which is spending more than $1.4 million a day on lobbying in the current fight, according to disclosure records. And even in a city where lobbying is a part of life, the scale of the effort has drawn attention. For example, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) doubled its spending to nearly $7 million in the first quarter of 2009, followed by Pfizer, with more than $6 million.


How I came to that is a "New York Times" column by Bob Herbert, "Is this reform?"
Quote:
Insurance companies are delighted with the way “reform” is unfolding. Think of it: The government is planning to require most uninsured Americans to buy health coverage. Millions of young and healthy individuals will be herded into the industry’s welcoming arms. This is the population the insurers drool over.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/18/opinion/18herbert.html
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
Washington Post article, see my post on page 9 of this thread
Your quote refers to a campaign by the healthcare industry, not the insurance companies, my posting specifically referred to the insurance companies:
Quote:
The hirings are part of a record-breaking influence campaign by the health-care industry, which is spending more than $1.4 million a day on lobbying in the current fight, according to disclosure records. And even in a city where lobbying is a part of life, the scale of the effort has drawn attention. For example, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) doubled its spending to nearly $7 million in the first quarter of 2009, followed by Pfizer, with more than $6 million.


You're wrong, the article I cited specifically mentions insurance companies as part of the 1.4 million being spent to every day fight Obama's health care bill:

Quote:
The aim of the lobbying blitz is simple: to minimize the damage to insurers, hospitals and other major sectors while maximizing the potential of up to 46 million uninsured Americans as new customers. Although many firms have vowed to help cut costs, major players such as PhRMA, America's Health Insurance Plans and others remain opposed to the public-insurance option, a key proposal that President Obama has endorsed.


It's true, of course, that all of the players are also trying to make sure that if reform goes through the financial cut to their profits is minimized, or even that the change could be to their benefit. But this

Quote:
deanhills wrote:
The insurance companies will obviously also score in a big way.


is still incorrect-- alleging that health insurance reform is motivated by health insurance hoping to "score in a big way"; and to make a sweeping statement like this
Quote:
jmi256 wrote:
I'm sure the big corporations are going to make a killing if Obama's plan gets passed.


is to be way off base, especially when it implies that big corporations are a supporter of the plan.

Remember, $1.4 million per day from corporations to fight health insurance reform pays for a lot of BS. Try not to get any on you
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
Remember, $1.4 million per day from corporations to fight health insurance reform pays for a lot of BS. Try not to get any on you
Laughing Laughing Laughing Now this has been good for my health, a good sense of humour does it for me! OK thanks, I stand corrected. Maybe we need to inform Bob Herbert from the New York Times as well. What do you think his response would be?
handfleisch
A young woman in the congressional district of Republican Minority Leader John Boehner, a leader against health insurance reform, has died of Swine Flu. She didn't have insurance and put off going to the doctor because of it.

It's a vivid symbol of what has the lack of this basic, simple human need costs the US on a daily basis. And blood is on the hands of the obstructionists who have made sure the US has no comprehensive insurance.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/dayton-news/reported-swine-flu-victim-remembered-for-her-passion-315472.html

Quote:

Reported swine flu victim remembered for her passion
Kimberly 'Kimi' Young, who graduated in December as a double major, reportedly died of swine flu complications.
...

On Tuesday, Sept. 22, Young’s condition suddenly worsened and her roommate drove her to McCullough Hyde Memorial Hospital in Oxford, where she was flown in critical condition to University Hospital in Cincinnati.

“That’s the most tragic part about it. If she had insurance, she would have gone to the doctor,
” Mowery said.


66% of young people without insurance don't have it because they cannot afford it.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/05/health/policy/05uninsured.html?_r=1
Quote:
Young Adults Swelling Ranks of Uninsured


http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Content/Publications/Fund-Reports/2008/May/Rite-of-Passage--Why-Young-Adults-Become-Uninsured-and-How-New-Policies-Can-Help--2008-Update.aspx

Quote:
Rite of Passage? Why Young Adults Become Uninsured and How New Policies Can Help, 2008 Update
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
A young woman in the congressional district of Republican Minority Leader John Boehner, a leader against health insurance reform, has died of Swine Flu. She didn't have insurance and put off going to the doctor because of it.
Her death is sad, however it would be difficult to understand that in a country where there has been so much publicity about Swine Flu and its symptoms, that she would not have known she had Swine Flu. Was it really Swine Flu? Surely when she was treated the first time round at an emergency centre they would have checked for symptoms of Swine Flu and I can't imagine them sending her home with pain medication, that sounds a bit absurd doesn't it? If the content of the article is really true, then the Emercency Centre in Hamilton would need to be investigated as obviously they had been negligent in their treatment of her condition. She should have been hospitalized. The medical insurance argument is plain silly and her unfortunate passing clearly unfairly exploited.
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
A young woman in the congressional district of Republican Minority Leader John Boehner, a leader against health insurance reform, has died of Swine Flu. She didn't have insurance and put off going to the doctor because of it.
Her death is sad, however it would be difficult to understand that in a country where there has been so much publicity about Swine Flu and its symptoms, that she would not have known she had Swine Flu. Was it really Swine Flu? Surely when she was treated the first time round at an emergency centre they would have checked for symptoms of Swine Flu and I can't imagine them sending her home with pain medication, that sounds a bit absurd doesn't it? If the content of the article is really true, then the Emercency Centre in Hamilton would need to be investigated as obviously they had been negligent in their treatment of her condition. She should have been hospitalized. The medical insurance argument is plain silly and her unfortunate passing clearly unfairly exploited.


It's mindboggling that some people refuse to understand or even care that lack of health insurance is killing thousands per month in the US, and instead cry "exploitation" when people try to help the situation and get the word out on the tragedy. Like we're not supposed to mention the uncomfortable fact that people are needlessly dying, and that politicians and big business have been blocking any change in the system that would save their lives. Sorry, we will not be deterred by such a morally depraved argument.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
It's mindboggling that some people refuse to understand or even care that lack of health insurance is killing thousands per month in the US.
I thought this was a good point in an article that questions your statement:
Quote:
In no instance did lack of health insurance kill anyone. When two of the people did go the hospital, they received care despite not having insurance, thanks in no small part to the decades-old Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act. Last, if 45,000 Americans did indeed die from lack of health insurance last year, how could one explain the other 2,381,264 deaths among, presumably insured, U.S. residents during 2008?

http://www.examiner.com/x-15966-Norfolk-Health-Care-Examiner~y2009m9d19-Do-people-really-die-from-lack-of-insurance
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
A young woman in the congressional district of Republican Minority Leader John Boehner, a leader against health insurance reform, has died of Swine Flu. She didn't have insurance and put off going to the doctor because of it.

Why such a single-minded focus on insurance though?

What about simply making it cheaper overall, for both insured and uninsured?
What about better education? If she knew she had a deadly disease, wouldn't she have sought medical attention, money or no money?

I worry that they'll succeed in forcing every person to have health insurance, and then be left with a 'fixed' system that still has all of the problems it used to have.
jmi256
It looks like support for government-run healthcare continues to disappear. Excerpts from the latest polls:

Quote:

Health Care Reform
Support for Health Care Plan Hits New Low


Just 41% of voters nationwide now favor the health care reform proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. That’s down two points from a week ago and the lowest level of support yet measured.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 56% are opposed to the plan.

-------

Senior citizens are less supportive of the plan than younger voters. In the latest survey, just 33% of seniors favor the plan while 59% are opposed.

-------

If the plan passes, 24% of voters say the quality of care will get better, and 55% say it will get worse.

-------

While many credit or blame the town hall protests for building opposition to the plan, it appears they were simply a reflection of public opinion rather than a creator of it.

-------

One thing that did change during the month of August is that public perception of the protesters improved. Most voters came to believe that the purpose of the town hall meetings was for members of Congress to listen rather than speak. That’s partly because just 22% believe Congress has a good understanding of the legislation.

-------

While some Democrats have charged that opposition to the president’s plan is based upon racism, just 12% of voters agree.



Source = http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/healthcare/september_2009/health_care_reform
handfleisch
The unbiased polls that are not slanted toward Republicans say
Quote:
# CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll: Americans divided on Obama health care plans
# Poll indicates 50 percent support, 45 percent oppose proposals
# Results indicate it's less popular with seniors, more so with young people
# Split on who should make tough calls: insurance companies or government

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/08/05/health.care.poll/
deanhills
jmi256 wrote:
It looks like support for government-run healthcare continues to disappear.
Thanks for posting this. Quite a relief to hear. Would be great if the US could come out of its recession, whip the dollar into good shape and then when its financial engine is chugging healthily again, then make alternative plans from the bottom up (in each State) to Washington DC, instead from Washington DC down to the States.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
The unbiased polls that are not slanted toward Republicans say

I do prefer the Rasmussen report for one thing though, it gives the exact questions asked:
(http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/toplines/pt_survey_toplines/september_2009/toplines_healthcare_september_24_25_2009)


All the CNN poll says is
Quote:
poll was conducted Friday through Monday, with 1,136 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
The unbiased polls that are not slanted toward Republicans say
I do prefer the Rasmussen report for one thing though, it gives the exact questions asked:
This is even better. For me that is a seal of authentication! Smile Although polls change of course as well. One day up and the other day down.
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
The unbiased polls that are not slanted toward Republicans say
I do prefer the Rasmussen report for one thing though, it gives the exact questions asked:
This is even better. For me that is a seal of authentication! :) Although polls change of course as well. One day up and the other day down.

You might want to read a little more carefully. After the 5th sentence of the CNN article you can plainly see
READ FULL TRANSCRIPT OF POLL
http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/04/rel11b.pdf
deanhills
I will let jmi reply to your CNN query. I note however that the poll is now dated as it was done on 5th of August, which is quite a while ago. There has been a more recent CBS News New York Times poll of 19-23 September and it gives a much more detailed breakdown of the participants. The poll shows a gradual decline from 64% in June to 51% in late September. Given that the last poll was after the President's speech, it shows that maybe the speech's positive impact was of limited duration:
http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/28/poll-support-for-government-health-insurance-declines-a-bit/?scp=1&sq=healthcare%20polls&st=cse
Quote:
Public support for universal health insurance is declining, according the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll. About half, 51 percent, say the federal government should guarantee health insurance for all Americans, down slightly from 55 percent in July and 64 percent in June.

Link for poll results:
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/images/nytint/docs/new-york-times-cbs-news-poll-confusion-over-health-care-tepid-support-for-war/original.pdf
jmi256
So now it’s 50%, huh? That’s a wide difference from the original claim: “In Poll, Wide Support for Government-Run Health.” That claim was always fishy and people were rightly skeptical, but it seems even if someone were to believe the questionable “evidence,” support for government-run healthcare is disappearing as people are learning the details of what Obama’s wacky “reform” really means. Even from the transcripts of the CNN poll, you can see that the vast majority of people are satisfied with their healthcare and insurance, and are becoming increasingly so. So the so-called outrage of a scary “Healthcare Crisis” myth is really just the far left’s attempt to fabricate a crisis for political gain.

Quote:

We’d like to know how you feel about different aspects of health care for you and your family. Are you generally satisfied, or dissatisfied with each of the following: (RANDOM ORDER)
July 31-Aug. 3 Mar. 12-15 Nov. 2-4
2009 2009 2007
The quality of health care you receive
Satisfied 83% 82% 79%
Dissatisfied 16% 17% 20%
No opinion 1% 1% 1%

Your health insurance coverage
Satisfied 74% 73% 69%
Dissatisfied 23% 26% 30%
No opinion 3% 1% 2%


jmi256 wrote:
It looks like support for government-run healthcare continues to disappear. Excerpts from the latest polls:

Quote:

Health Care Reform
Support for Health Care Plan Hits New Low


Just 41% of voters nationwide now favor the health care reform proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. That’s down two points from a week ago and the lowest level of support yet measured.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 56% are opposed to the plan.

-------

Senior citizens are less supportive of the plan than younger voters. In the latest survey, just 33% of seniors favor the plan while 59% are opposed.

-------

If the plan passes, 24% of voters say the quality of care will get better, and 55% say it will get worse.

-------

While many credit or blame the town hall protests for building opposition to the plan, it appears they were simply a reflection of public opinion rather than a creator of it.

-------

One thing that did change during the month of August is that public perception of the protesters improved. Most voters came to believe that the purpose of the town hall meetings was for members of Congress to listen rather than speak. That’s partly because just 22% believe Congress has a good understanding of the legislation.

-------

While some Democrats have charged that opposition to the president’s plan is based upon racism, just 12% of voters agree.



Source = http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/healthcare/september_2009/health_care_reform
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
I will let jmi reply to your CNN query. I note however that the poll is now dated as it was done on 5th of August, which is quite a while ago. There has been a more recent CBS News New York Times poll of 19-23 September and it gives a much more detailed breakdown of the participants. The poll shows a gradual decline from 64% in June to 51% in late September. Given that the last poll was after the President's speech, it shows that maybe the speech's positive impact was of limited duration:
http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/28/poll-support-for-government-health-insurance-declines-a-bit/?scp=1&sq=healthcare%20polls&st=cse
Quote:
Public support for universal health insurance is declining, according the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll. About half, 51 percent, say the federal government should guarantee health insurance for all Americans, down slightly from 55 percent in July and 64 percent in June.

Link for poll results:
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/images/nytint/docs/new-york-times-cbs-news-poll-confusion-over-health-care-tepid-support-for-war/original.pdf


Really don't know what you're talking about. You said the poll I cited didn't show the exact questions asked, while the biased pro-Republican did; I showed you that you were wrong, and told you where to find those questions. Again, remember that big business is paying for $1.4 million worth of BS per day to fight health care reform, so be careful you don't get it all over you.

Quote:
Poll: Support rebounding for health overhaul
E-mail|Link|Comments (56) Posted by Foon Rhee, deputy national political editor September 29, 2009 11:45 AM

The latest health care poll is also the most recent to suggest that the battering the Democratic bills took during the protests and shouting that met August congressional town halls has dissipated as the focus returned to Capitol Hill.

According to the sixth tracking poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 57 percent of Americans believe that tackling health care reform is more important than ever, up from 53 percent in August. The proportion of Americans who believe their families would be better off after an overhaul is up six percentage points to 42 percent and the proportion who think that the country would be better off is up eight points to 53 percent.

Also according to the survey, most Americans support the principles at the core of the bills supported by President Obama and congressional Democrats, including a requirement that individuals obtain coverage (68 percent), a mandate that most employers offer coverage (67 percent), and an expansion of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (82 percent).

Majorities also back "having health insurance companies pay a fee based on how much business they have” and “having health insurance companies pay a tax for offering very expensive policies,” according to Kaiser.
http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2009/09/poll_support_re.html

and

Quote:
HOUSTON (KTRK) --It's an epidemic here in Texas and Harris County -- people without health insurance. On Saturday, the uninsured lined up to get their needs met.

More than 2,000 people came to Reliant Center to see doctors for free. Many of the people we talked to can't afford health insurance, especially in the rough economy. Some say it shows the need for health care reform.

Doctors, nurses and volunteers arrived at around 7am to see patients in what is believed to be the largest free clinic ever held in the United States. The National Association of Free Clinics said it decided to hold this event in Houston because this is where it felt the need is the greatest.


http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/local&id=7034143
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
Really don't know what you're talking about. You said the poll I cited didn't show the exact questions asked, while the biased pro-Republican did;
Maybe you confused me with Ocalhoun.
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
The unbiased polls that are not slanted toward Republicans say

I do prefer the Rasmussen report for one thing though, it gives the exact questions asked:
(http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/toplines/pt_survey_toplines/september_2009/toplines_healthcare_september_24_25_2009)
All the CNN poll says is
Quote:
poll was conducted Friday through Monday, with 1,136 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.
ocalhoun
Thank you for pointing out the additional information from the CNN poll. I now regard them both as equally valid, and would estimate the true numbers to be somewhere in between each claim.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
handfleisch wrote:
57 percent of Americans believe that tackling health care reform is more important than ever, up from 53 percent in August.

Rolling Eyes Even I would agree with that.
That doesn't mean I agree at all with how it is being done, or the artificial urgency which it being given.

It is 'more important than ever', but the importance of it has been increasing slowly and incrementally for decades, and I don't see why there would be a sudden crisis coming.
handfleisch
The latest news on how the lobbyists for large corporations are buying influence throughout Congress in their fight against health care reform
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oct/01/lobbyists-millions-obama-healthcare-reform
Quote:
Revealed: millions spent by lobby firms fighting Obama health reforms

Six lobbyists for every member of Congress as healthcare industry heaps cash on politicians to water down legislation

America's healthcare industry has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to block the introduction of public medical insurance and stall other reforms promised by Barack Obama. The campaign against the president has been waged in part through substantial donations to key politicians.

Supporters of radical reform of healthcare say legislation emerging from the US Senate reflects the financial power of vested interests ‑ principally insurance companies, pharmaceutical firms and hospitals ‑ that have worked to stop far-reaching changes threatening their profits.

The industry and interest groups have spent $380m (£238m) in recent months influencing healthcare legislation through lobbying, advertising and in direct political contributions to members of Congress. The largest contribution, totalling close to $1.5m, has gone to the chairman of the senate committee drafting the new law.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
The latest news on how the lobbyists for large corporations are buying influence throughout Congress in their fight against health care reform
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oct/01/lobbyists-millions-obama-healthcare-reform
I wonder how much the White House spent on it? Especially if one calculates the unit of cost of the President's time and cost and that of his strategy and media teams as well? And how many other items on the list of urgent priorities got shifted down the list?
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
Quote:
The largest contribution, totalling close to $1.5m, has gone to the chairman of the senate committee drafting the new law.

That really should be illegal...

It's the #1 problem with the country right now: there's a perfectly legal and commonly used way to bribe any politician.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
Quote:
The largest contribution, totalling close to $1.5m, has gone to the chairman of the senate committee drafting the new law.

That really should be illegal...

It's the #1 problem with the country right now: there's a perfectly legal and commonly used way to bribe any politician.
I wonder if it does not make it and they wait another year and have it redrafted, whether this $1.5 million gets to be repeated. Just imagine the millions, maybe billions of dollars in total that have been spent on drafting and marketing the bill, and how much healthcare it could have purchased for those who really needed it.

I found it interesting that some States are thinking of getting legislation to enforce their sovereignty with regard to the Federal Government legislation that puts limitation on state and personal freedoms. Below is an interview that is about gun legislation vs Federal law, but I'm almost certain if it should pass, that States could opt out of any legislation that makes it compulsory for all its citizens to purchase healthcare insurance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mV_Mlmamy70
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
but I'm almost certain if it should pass, that States could opt out of any legislation that makes it compulsory for all its citizens to purchase healthcare insurance.


Probably some will, but that doesn't mean citizens of that state will be exempt. The states may just opt out of enforcing and administrating it, which would leave the federal government up to that job.

(Compare to the situation where a city (Denver, was it?) Made Marijuana legal- it was still prohibited by state and federal law, but the local cops, courts, and jails were relieved of the burden of enforcing it.)
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
Probably some will, but that doesn't mean citizens of that state will be exempt. The states may just opt out of enforcing and administrating it, which would leave the federal government up to that job.
So if State X should pass a Bill that says that any Federal Bill that is incompatible with the consitutional rights of its citizens cannot be enforced in that State, such as making it compulsory to purchase medical insurance, the Federal Government can still override it? And force citizens of that State to purchase medical insurance? How sovereign are the States then?
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
the Federal Government can still override it? And force citizens of that State to purchase medical insurance? How sovereign are the States then?

Not very.

They haven't been since the civil war.
Despite what the simplified high-school text books tell you, the war wasn't (at the basic level) about slavery. It was about who gets their way when a state and the federal government disagree.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
the Federal Government can still override it? And force citizens of that State to purchase medical insurance? How sovereign are the States then?

Not very.

They haven't been since the civil war.
Despite what the simplified high-school text books tell you, the war wasn't (at the basic level) about slavery. It was about who gets their way when a state and the federal government disagree.
Interesting. Looks as though this may be tested again shortly, it will probably be peacefully though.
handfleisch
deanhills
It is a comic strip isn't it? But I don't see anything to laugh about? Do you? Some of it is also not very accurate to me. I most certainly do not see Obama's marketing of the health care plan as "modest" by any strength of imagination. It would be interesting to calculate the cost of all the marketing, not only in terms of real costs such as media campaigns etc, but also the cost of all the other pressing issues that got pushed down the list while he was fighting for the Bill.
ocalhoun
I fixed your comic strip to better represent reality:


Now, the last little part of it deserves different treatment. Instead of being close enough to what they actually are doing to fix, this one is nothing but lies! So, I'll just have to point them out:

1: Democrats and Republicans behave alike in many ways, as my treatment of the rest of the comic was meant to point out.
2: This health care plan is anything but modest. It is huge and sweeping... possibly the biggest health care system change ever.
3: They'd be happy to scale it back 'even more'? Great! Do it. Right now.
4: They're willing to drop it entirely? Even better! Do that, and let's start over with the goal of providing care, not coverage.
5: They think bipartisan consensus is important? Apparently, yes, but 2 votes from the other party doesn't really count as 'bipartisan'. And how can they hope to get more when they don't take any advice from the other party?
Ophois
ocalhoun wrote:
let's start over with the goal of providing care, not coverage.
Probably the single most intelligent thing said about the health care bill, ever.
deanhills
Ophois wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
let's start over with the goal of providing care, not coverage.
Probably the single most intelligent thing said about the health care bill, ever.
Agreed, it was really a very good posting, and the words very well chosen.

I also liked:
ocalhoun wrote:
3: They'd be happy to scale it back 'even more'? Great! Do it. Right now.
4: They're willing to drop it entirely? Even better! Do that, and let's start over with the goal of providing care, not coverage.
5: They think bipartisan consensus is important? Apparently, yes, but 2 votes from the other party doesn't really count as 'bipartisan'. And how can they hope to get more when they don't take any advice from the other party?
handfleisch
All these people who say "what's the rush" are just obstructionists who want no reform. Health care reform has been in the works since 1964. This bill is now months past when the whiner and Repubs started complaining it's coming too fast. Get a new argument, already (except there isn't one, really. They just don't want reform).

The real death panels are in the insurance companies, denying coverage to people who have insurance in order to protect their profits. Because of this and other forms of inadequate health insurance in the US, more people are dying monthly than were killed in 9/11.
Ophois
I would like to share my views on the topic.
This may be a long post, so I am sorry, in advance.

I work as a Paramedic. Every couple years, due to the stress of the job, I take a few months off to do something a bit less taxing on my psyche, like teaching English and other jobs in foreign countries through NGO's.

I have worked for private EMS companies, but the majority of my Paramedic experience has been through City/County employment. In other words, I am the public option, when it comes to emergency medical care. As a government employee, I am the socialized Paramedic. And it seems to work out fine, better than the private option, I might add.

We have a multitude of socialized programs in the US, and it is absolutely necessary to keep them socialized. From my department in EMS, to Fire Departments, to Police Departments and schools. If there were no public option for education, then there would only be private schools, and only the relatively "well off" would receive an education. It would be the same with Fire Departments. In fact, it has already happened.

From the inception of our first Fire Departments up to around the time of the Civil War, all Fire Departments in the US were privately owned. They would compete with each other to get to the fires first because insurance companies would pay the FD's to save the buildings(the peoples' lives were secondary, as far as the FD and the insurance company were concerned). Needless to say, the poor sections of town received less(if any) attention, as the buildings were of less value to the insurance companies, thereby being of less profit to the Fire Departments. This was catastrophic, in terms of saving lives and actually getting fires put out.

I cringe when I think of what it would be like if my own industry were completely privatized. As is, the private EMS companies are forced to compete with the Government run ones, and they do this by taking 911(our National emergency number) calls as well as doing private work, such as hospital transport for nursing homes, etc.

So the point here, is that the number one priority of any privately owned company is "profit". If it's a publicly traded company, then the obligation is to the share-holders, and their priority is the value of their stocks. Profit. Putting the welfare of citizens solely in the hands of privately owned companies who only care about profit is a disastrous mistake, one that costs lives, and a lesson we should have learned from the pre-Civil War Fire Departments.

The thing is, that's no accident, and it's not even a mistake in the system. It's on purpose, because there is no profit to be had in the medical industry(not for insurance companies or private care facilities who they pay), unless people are sick and dying. The worse off peoples' health is, the more money they make. Every time an insurance company denies a person medical care, they save loads of money. And even when someone does manage to get health care, it's outrageously expensive, many times to the point of putting people in massive debt.

I don't really know much about the details of this new health care Bill. What I do know, is that the schools, Police, Fire, EMS and health care, should not be strictly ""for profit" organizations. I am as much of a capitalist as any other American, but some things should not be so deeply rooted in making a buck. We take for granted the fact that the Police will come to our door to help us, free of charge, no matter what, because it's a socialized industry. We all know that they do this because we pay taxes. As a Paramedic, I do the same. As long as we pay taxes, we should have the option, and the right, of being cared for medically, without having to worry about an insurance company denying us that care, or the cost of that care running us into the ground. These are the same rights we already enjoy with the other industries I mentioned above.

Health care, like those other industries, should be for everyone, not just the highest bidders.
Sadly, this will never happen as long as politicians and pundits keep using the word "socialism" as a scare tactic.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
All these people who say "what's the rush" are just obstructionists who want no reform. Health care reform has been in the works since 1964. This bill is now months past when the whiner and Repubs started complaining it's coming too fast. Get a new argument, already (except there isn't one, really. They just don't want reform).

The real death panels are in the insurance companies, denying coverage to people who have insurance in order to protect their profits. Because of this and other forms of inadequate health insurance in the US, more people are dying monthly than were killed in 9/11.

1. The version that is "being hurried" through is a new version, definitely not close to 1964. The one that Hillary Clinton had worked on while her hubbie was President also was completely different from before. The current legislation is also coming at a time when money is a great problem, i.e. there is a shortage of it.
2. Primary Health Care in the United States is in private hands, not in public hands, so migration from a private to a completely public system, as in Canada and the UK would not be as easy to achieve, and also much more expensive. When Canada and UK changed to complete public, most of their primary health care had been in Government hands already. So even if everyone should get health insurance in the US, the health care cost perhead in the US will still remain high, if not higher as prices would still be determined by private enterprise.
3. Because of the above, possibly Obama would get much more success if changes are chewed through, discussed and deliberated from the State level upwards, rather than from Federal downwards. Federal could possibly coordinate all the deliberations on State level, but for a State such as Massachusetts, which has done stellar work in looking after its own citizens, and being an ideal model for other States to follow, it has to wonder what the Feds are doing.
ocalhoun
Ophois wrote:

I cringe when I think of what it would be like if my own industry were completely privatized.


It could be privatized without causing conflicts of interest.
For example, pay EMS services for each patient delivered to the hospital (paying more for live patients).
Pay a fire department per each call answered, with bonuses for lives/property saved.
The money would still have to come from the government, and perhaps so would a measure of organization (such as assigning sectors to different companies). But, you could do that with smaller, less cumbersome local governments. Privately owned companies could operate more efficiently, and with less overhead.
deanhills
Ophois wrote:
Health care, like those other industries, should be for everyone, not just the highest bidders. Sadly, this will never happen as long as politicians and pundits keep using the word "socialism" as a scare tactic.
I enjoyed this posting thanks Ophois. For really good health care to happen for everyone the whole medical care system will have to be changed radically, not only with health care insurance, but completely re-organizing primary health care so that all of that is in the State Government and Federal hands. As long as primary health care is as privatized as it is, there will always be problems for equal access to health care treatment. I think that is where the first priority needs to be. Is to "nationalize" primary health care. There could still be private hospitals and clinics, but the bulk should be state-owned and regulated. It is only then when serious cost savings could be achieved, and provided of course that the State and Federal Governments manage the state-owned primary health care effectively and efficiently.

If everything is to stay the same where primary health care is privately owned, it would be common sense that even if everyone should be forced to get health care insurance, that the system would be unaffordably expensive. It also won't make any sense.

Your example is a very good example of why primary health care and social health care should be publicly owned and administrated. That won't however be achieved by simply making healthcare insurance compulsory for everyone. It would require fundamental and radical changes of the ownership of primary health care.
Ophois
ocalhoun wrote:
It could be privatized without causing conflicts of interest.
What could be and what would be are two different things.
Quote:
For example, pay EMS services for each patient delivered to the hospital (paying more for live patients).
Pay a fire department per each call answered, with bonuses for lives/property saved.
Except that in a privatized system, these decisions would be made by insurance companies and share-holders, both of which would put the value on something other than human life. This would be bad.
Quote:
The money would still have to come from the government, and perhaps so would a measure of organization (such as assigning sectors to different companies). But, you could do that with smaller, less cumbersome local governments. Privately owned companies could operate more efficiently, and with less overhead.
I am all for private companies operating in these fields. I think it's kind of a must in our society. But without a socialized option, we the people are stuck paying elitist prices for services that should be a given for any citizen that pays taxes.

One of the arguments against socialized health care is the idea that "we have state of the art sh*t because we charge more money for it"(this argument is used to suggest that places with socialized health care use sub-standard equipment, which is not even close to true). Well, that's nice, and it would be even more nice if every one of our citizens were wealthy and lived like the average Congressman. That, however, is not the case. Most Americans are average, and we struggle to find health care. We struggle to find what the rest of the civilized western world already has.

I'm not saying we should "over night" our system into socialism(scary! boogity boogity!). I'm just saying that the system we have kills people on purpose for profit, and that if we continue to place our health care in the hands of people who value money over lives, then nothing will change. We will continue to have crappy health care, no matter what Bill is passed, because the interests will always be that of money-grubbing businessmen. Those businessmen need to compete with a system that is non-profit, in order to actually get people the health care that they, as tax paying American citizens, have earned.
handfleisch
Ophois wrote:
I'm not saying we should "over night" our system into socialism(scary! boogity boogity!). I'm just saying that the system we have kills people on purpose for profit, and that if we continue to place our health care in the hands of people who value money over lives, then nothing will change. We will continue to have crappy health care, no matter what Bill is passed, because the interests will always be that of money-grubbing businessmen. Those businessmen need to compete with a system that is non-profit, in order to actually get people the health care that they, as tax paying American citizens, have earned.


Agreed. Any sane country would set up a very nationalized system -- medicare for everybody, is that so radical? or how about Veteran's Administration-level health care for everyone? -- when it saw the thousands that were dying and thousands more suffering in the present system.

Seems every week there are one or two new private insurance horror stories. This week: The couple who can't get insurance for their healthy baby because it's too big. Seems the top 5% of babies in terms of size automatically get denied.

Also this week, there are the parents whose daughter died because the CIGNA insurance company denied covering treatment for her illness, calling it "experimental", meaning too expensive since she'll probably die anyway.

A sane country would look at more deaths caused by messed up health insurance per month than in 9/11 and say
Stop Everything. Our System is a Disaster.
Let's start a War On Bad Healthcare, a War for Comprehensive Insurance.
Let's Set Up Single-Payer NOW, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
Ophois
Seriously?

Jamestf347, you do realize that I wrote that post, right?
Can you at least use the quote option, so that it doesn't look like such blatant plagiarism?

handfleisch wrote:
Seems every week there are one or two new private insurance horror stories.
Yeah, both of those stories really eat at me. No baby should be denied health care. That's just fu*kin' sick. And to automatically deny the heaviest 5% of babies right off the rip like that... No wonder we have a higher infant mortality rate than Costa Rica.

The long laundry list of "potentially deniable recipients" is not limited to the heaviest 5% either. The opposite end of that spectrum is true as well, with the smallest 5% getting sent that same letter(and the list goes on).
"Dear John and Jane Whoever, sorry, but we can't insure your kid because they are not 'average' enough." Classy, real goddam classy.

I would get fired, and likely jailed, if I denied emergency health care to anyone, for any reason. Nobody seems to have a problem with that.

You know what's messed up? The insurance companies get together with the hospitals, and back-charge people for the ambulance ride. The money from that doesn't even go to my salary, or to better EMS equipment(tax dollars pay for that). It goes to the insurance company and the hospital. How does that make sense? Only in such a twisted system can a company charge someone for a service that they don't even provide, and literally have nothing to do with.

An ambulance ride is probably the most necessary and important taxi ride a person will ever take. Thanks to insurance companies, it is also the most expensive taxi in town. So, thanks to the Mafia Loan Sharks--- er, I mean, insurance companies, my patients not only get nailed with HUGE hospital bills, but adding insult to injury(no pun intended), they also get charged for the County government provided ride to the hospital, quite often to the tune of hundreds of dollars. I'd say some sort of reform is way over due.
handfleisch
Ophois wrote:
Seriously?

Jamestf347, you do realize that I wrote that post, right?
Can you at least use the quote option, so that it doesn't look like such blatant plagiarism?

handfleisch wrote:
Seems every week there are one or two new private insurance horror stories.
Yeah, both of those stories really eat at me. No baby should be denied health care. That's just fu*kin' sick. And to automatically deny the heaviest 5% of babies right off the rip like that... No wonder we have a higher infant mortality rate than Costa Rica.

The long laundry list of "potentially deniable recipients" is not limited to the heaviest 5% either. The opposite end of that spectrum is true as well, with the smallest 5% getting sent that same letter(and the list goes on).
"Dear John and Jane Whoever, sorry, but we can't insure your kid because they are not 'average' enough." Classy, real goddam classy.

I would get fired, and likely jailed, if I denied emergency health care to anyone, for any reason. Nobody seems to have a problem with that.

You know what's messed up? The insurance companies get together with the hospitals, and back-charge people for the ambulance ride. The money from that doesn't even go to my salary, or to better EMS equipment(tax dollars pay for that). It goes to the insurance company and the hospital. How does that make sense? Only in such a twisted system can a company charge someone for a service that they don't even provide, and literally have nothing to do with.

An ambulance ride is probably the most necessary and important taxi ride a person will ever take. Thanks to insurance companies, it is also the most expensive taxi in town. So, thanks to the Mafia Loan Sharks--- er, I mean, insurance companies, my patients not only get nailed with HUGE hospital bills, but adding insult to injury(no pun intended), they also get charged for the County government provided ride to the hospital, quite often to the tune of hundreds of dollars. I'd say some sort of reform is way over due.


Really unbelievable. You guys should get top pay. Not to get off topic but I think there's a segment in M.Moore's new film showing how airline pilots are now so low paid they often take second jobs. The EMS guy and the pilot -- two people a sane system would reward heavily for doing things right, not rip off.

Maybe if we get a strong eight years of reform under Obama, if the neocon backlash is defeated, you'll see something done about that practice. Have you called your senator or representative? I heard they all have a staffer just to talk insurance issues.
Ophois
handfleisch wrote:
Really unbelievable. You guys should get top pay. Not to get off topic but I think there's a segment in M.Moore's new film showing how airline pilots are now so low paid they often take second jobs. The EMS guy and the pilot -- two people a sane system would reward heavily for doing things right, not rip off.

Maybe if we get a strong eight years of reform under Obama, if the neocon backlash is defeated, you'll see something done about that practice. Have you called your senator or representative? I heard they all have a staffer just to talk insurance issues.
Yeah, we have liaisons for just about everything. I, and many others in the county Fire Dep't/EMS, have sent numerous letters to our Senators and Reps. One of the biggest complaints is pay. A basic EMT, just starting out after passing the NREMT test, earns about $8.50 an hour, and they remain in that bracket for about a year or so. I can go install hardwood floors for about double that. Plenty of guys in my station have multiple jobs. I have a friend who is the lead Paramedic at his station, and he has to teach EMT courses and work construction on the side, just to make ends meet with a wife and kid.

Check this out:



Considering the nature of the job, the risks involved, cost of living, etc., this should be MUCH higher. The burn-out rate for a Paramedic is 5-7 years. I think compensation has at least something to do with that.
ocalhoun
Ophois wrote:

Considering the nature of the job, the risks involved, cost of living, etc., this should be MUCH higher. The burn-out rate for a Paramedic is 5-7 years. I think compensation has at least something to do with that.

<.<
I wonder if a private company might improve pay raises in order to keep more experienced employees...

And you mis-interpreted my earlier system; the money 'per-rescue' would still come from the government, not private individuals or insurance companies, both of which would place an emphasis on richer 'clients'. A flat 'per-rescue' rate from the government though, could be applied regardless of the income (or lack thereof) of the patient, but would still encourage maximum efficiency and effectiveness. A per-mile rate might also have to be added, to keep companies from neglecting rural areas where long travel times cut into profits.
Ophois
ocalhoun wrote:
<.<
I wonder if a private company might improve pay raises in order to keep more experienced employees...
I thought so too, until I worked for a couple of them. They are under-funded, lacking in enough good equipment, and can't give nearly as good of benefits or pay as the city or county.
Quote:
And you mis-interpreted my earlier system; the money 'per-rescue' would still come from the government, not private individuals or insurance companies, both of which would place an emphasis on richer 'clients'. A flat 'per-rescue' rate from the government though, could be applied regardless of the income (or lack thereof) of the patient, but would still encourage maximum efficiency and effectiveness. A per-mile rate might also have to be added, to keep companies from neglecting rural areas where long travel times cut into profits.
Ahh, yeah I misunderstood. That's not altogether a bad idea. If government and private industry could work together on something like this, I would be all for it.

Like I said, I am not at all against private industry, and I think we actually need more of it in these industries. A private Fire Dep't, for example, could open up shop way out in a rural area where the county can't afford to put one, and they would get all the business, and could even compete with neighboring counties, which I am not technically allowed to do. If I am on the county line and hear a call come in for the next county, and I am closer than the nearest ambulance from that county, I'm taking the call. A private company could actually 'roam' between counties and provide support in a much better way.
Alaskacameradude
Bikerman wrote:
Well, we seem to manage it OK without bankrupting the workforce.
Just for information - each UK worker pays a 'National Insurance' contribution which is taken out of their wages directly, and each employer also pays an NI contribution for each person they employ. The actual amount depends on earnings but is normally about 10 percent(ish). The scheme is quite complex (it has to be to cater for all the different types and earnings) but you should bear in mind that even with all this complexity, our healthcare is about half the cost, on average, of yours.

Now, I'm not suggesting you adopt our system (as I repeatedly try to make clear), but the evidence from around the world is that socialised health care can be provided, to a high standard, at a cheaper cost than you currently are paying....


Sorry, I was out working on a commercial for of all clients.....the US government.

Anyways, one problem with this approach, is what do you do with self employed people?
Most people I know who have health insurance, get it from their jobs. And most of the people
I know who do NOT get it from their jobs, work for a small business......10 employees or less.
Where I live, most people work for the state, city, or federal government. They ALL have good
health insurance. But if you are self employed as a 'company of one' OR work for a small business,
that is one sticking point. As you say, the devil is in the details. Most people want reform.....
but how exactly to do that without driving up our national deficit?
handfleisch
The private insurance travesty for today involves a company that is canceling fields of coverage in entire states to avoid paying for the health care necessary for people with things like muscular dystrophy.

Quote:

Health Insurer Accused of "Attempted Murder" by Man Stripped of His Coverage


Ian Pearl has fought for his life every day of his 37 years. Confined to a wheelchair and hooked to a breathing tube, the muscular dystrophy victim refuses to give up.

But his insurance company already has.

Legally barred from discriminating against individuals who submit large claims, the New York-based insurer simply canceled lines of coverage altogether in entire states to avoid paying high-cost claims like Mr. Pearl's.

In an e-mail, one Guardian Life Insurance Co. executive called high-cost patients such as Mr. Pearl "dogs" that the company could "get rid of."

A federal court quickly ruled that the company's actions were legal, so on Dec. 1, barring an order by the federal Department of Health and Human Services, Mr. Pearl will lose his benefits.

http://www.alternet.org/healthwellness/143308/health_insurer_accused_of_%22attempted_murder%22_by_man_stripped_of_his_coverage/
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
The private insurance travesty for today involves a company that is canceling fields of coverage in entire states to avoid paying for the health care necessary for people with things like muscular dystrophy.
I'm sorry this happened, however what makes you think once Government is in charge, that Government may also not make similar type decisions? That is very alive and happening in countries with national medical insurance schemes. For example they may rule that people with a certain level of terminal cancer be given more limited treatment, i.e. made comfortable before they die, rather than very costly treatment, instead of getting the same treatment as people with earlier stages of cancer? That is a real possibility.

Bottomline, if everything goes in one pot, the person in charge of the pot will have to make unpopular decisions like these so that everyone as a whole (all 300million out there) get a fair distribution of whatever is available in the pot. Since health care is so expensive in the United States, and is bound to stay expensive even when the Government should take over, since primary health care is very firmly in the hands of private medical practitioners, it is a given that there will be less money available in the "collective insurance pot" than can be made available in a limitless way for treatment for the collective 300 million people.
Ophois
deanhills wrote:
I'm sorry this happened, however what makes you think once Government is in charge, that Government may also not make similar type decisions?
Because Government run health insurance will not be a "for profit" business. That's the only reason people like this are denied their claims; so the company can make more money. The whole point of putting a socialized option into place would be to make the well being of the person the number one priority.
Quote:
That is very alive and happening in countries with national medical insurance schemes. For example they may rule that people with a certain level of terminal cancer be given more limited treatment, i.e. made comfortable before they die, rather than very costly treatment, instead of getting the same treatment as people with earlier stages of cancer? That is a real possibility.
On the whole, nations with national health care provide more and better care for more citizens. That's a fact, and the millions of people who get denied health care in our system attests to that. There would be no(or far less) motivating factors for a Government run system to deny people care, because it would not be wrapped up in profit margins.

Oh yeah, I know people like to say that because of our privatized capitalist health care system, we have better medical equipment and medicine. And it's true, we do. Well, that's all well and good, but it doesn't mean squat if tens of millions of people never get a chance to use it. In Obama's run up to the White House, the term "elitist" was thrown around to describe him quite a bit. I ask you; what is more elitist than a health care system which denies care for almost everyone below the middle class?

Health care is not a product that should be bought and sold like sports cars. Like I said before, there are certain institutions which should be kept as social programs. People would be up in arms if we privatized our Police and Fire Departments. In fact, most people laugh that off as a ridiculous idea. But how and why is it any more ridiculous than medical care being totally privatized? Why should we expect a socialized Police and Fire department, and then compare people to Stalin and Hitler for supporting a nationalized health care system, or even a public health option? The whole argument against providing medical care to our citizens, the same way we provide Police protection, EMS, education, Fire safety, etc., is utter madness.
Alaskacameradude
I know that other countries have a government run system and some of them say it works. What I
WOULD be interested in knowing, is other facts about their government. For example, OUR (USA) government, constantly runs a HUGE deficit. I do NOT have ANY confidence that they could run
a health care system. In other words, just because YOUR government can do it, does NOT mean
that OUR government can do it!!
ocalhoun
Ophois wrote:
deanhills wrote:
I'm sorry this happened, however what makes you think once Government is in charge, that Government may also not make similar type decisions?
Because Government run health insurance will not be a "for profit" business. That's the only reason people like this are denied their claims; so the company can make more money. The whole point of putting a socialized option into place would be to make the well being of the person the number one priority.

Instead, we run the risk of making it a 'for power' business, where instead of making money, controlling lives becomes the goal. (If your opinion of liberals is to rose-tinted to believe they'd do that, then just remember that this system will still be in place after the government changes... will you trust the next batch?)

Really, I don't see why these wrongdoings of the insurance industry simply couldn't be made illegal, without a government takeover of the industry...

Besides that, there are two assertions I would like to see dropped from the arguments for the plan:
1- It won't cost any money, and will make everybody richer.
2- It is extremely urgent to get it done NOW.

Somebody will have to pay for it, and it's going to be expensive. If providing coverage to the poor and unhealthy was cheap, insurance companies would already be doing it.
The situation is worsening, but there is no impending crisis, and no time limit.
Also, I'd like to see people differentiate between health care reform and health insurance reform.
deanhills
Ophois wrote:
Because Government run health insurance will not be a "for profit" business. That's the only reason people like this are denied their claims; so the company can make more money. The whole point of putting a socialized option into place would be to make the well being of the person the number one priority.
The fact that health insurance will not be "for profit" does not mean that the prices of healthcare will be coming down. It will only provide some sort of equality for health insurance. There is a difference between health insurance, and cost of medical care. It is obvious that health insurance "not for profit" will have limited funds available for medical care that is very expensive by world standards. The only way that those medical expenses could come down, is if most of the medical services could be nationalized by the States and Federal Government so that there would be universal medical care, costs of which could be controlled by Government. In countries like Canada , the bulk of medical services were already administrated by State and Federal Government, so prices were"relatively" low, in comparison with where the United States is right now.

I thought this was the real problem right now, cost of health insurance. The reason why it is such a big problem is that healthcare costs are very expensive. The only way one would be able to afford health insurance for all would obviously be to bring down the healthcare costs. There needs to be a total medical care picture fixing, and not only insurance fixing.
handfleisch
ocalhoun wrote:

Besides that, there are two assertions I would like to see dropped from the arguments for the plan:
1- It won't cost any money, and will make everybody richer.
2- It is extremely urgent to get it done NOW.


Would you like a pony, too?

1- the majority of bankruptcies in the USA are caused by the health insurance situation. That is just one way that the capitalist economies like in Europe greatly benefit from comprehensive health insurance -- people have more money to spend on other things or to save.

2- If you would follow the news you would see it's not being rushed at all, in fact it is going slowly through committee after committee, it was slow before that because Obama carefully and methodically invited Republicans to help craft the proposals. Reminds me of a Mort Sahl quote, something like "A conservative is someone in favor of reform -- but not now."
handfleisch
Ophois wrote:
The whole argument against providing medical care to our citizens, the same way we provide Police protection, EMS, education, Fire safety, etc., is utter madness.
Now there is the truth boiled down to its nitty gritty. Really there is nothing to add except to keep on until this madness stops, so...

Today's example of the madness: Women, do you want health insurance? Then get sterilized.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/health/01insure.html?pagewanted=print
Quote:
When the Golden Rule Insurance Company rejected her application for health coverage last year, Peggy Robertson was mystified.

“It made no sense,” said Ms. Robertson, 39, who lives in Centennial, Colo. “I’m in perfect health.”

She was turned down because she had given birth by Caesarean section. Having the operation once increases the odds that it will be performed again, and if she became pregnant and needed another Caesarean, Golden Rule did not want to pay for it. A letter from the company explained that if she had been sterilized after the Caesarean, or if she were over 40 and had given birth two or more years before applying, she might have qualified.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:

Besides that, there are two assertions I would like to see dropped from the arguments for the plan:
1- It won't cost any money, and will make everybody richer.
2- It is extremely urgent to get it done NOW.


Would you like a pony, too?

Oh yes please! I'd like a cute little palomino mare, with more of the hot-blood body type, rather than drafty. Thank you!
Quote:

1- the majority of bankruptcies in the USA are caused by the health insurance situation. That is just one way that the capitalist economies like in Europe greatly benefit from comprehensive health insurance -- people have more money to spend on other things or to save.

The majority of bankruptcies are caused by people buying houses they can barely afford, which become houses they can't afford when any kind of financial hardship (to include medical expenses) comes around. Tell me, how does reducing bankruptcies make the whole thing not cost anybody any money and make everybody richer? The only people I would think would benefit from reduced bankruptcies are A) people declaring bankruptcy, and B) banks.
Quote:

2- If you would follow the news you would see it's not being rushed at all, in fact it is going slowly through committee after committee, it was slow before that because Obama carefully and methodically invited Republicans to help craft the proposals. Reminds me of a Mort Sahl quote, something like "A conservative is someone in favor of reform -- but not now."

It has gotten better, but especially when the issue first came up, a great deal of artificial urgency was added in, and if I remember correctly, there was even talk of creating a deadline for the legislation to be completed.
ponda
Triple_7 wrote:
Let me know when our pathetic excuse for a government actually listens to the people and gives a crap about someone other then the rich. Nothing will ever get done until greedy politicians are out of this picture.

I for one would support higher taxes under the circumstances that free health care is offered to everyone and not just those that "qualify" like it is now, in Indiana if your single with no kids and so much as make $5 a month you can forget getting any kind of help for anything. Hell, I'm single, unemployed, and was refused unemployment because I worked on a farm...I paid my taxes, but fighting it did no good, I have NO income now, yet still can't get any kind of aid for anything. Why pay taxes if you don't see anything for it...oh wait, they did spend over a $250,000 and 6 months over at the local park to pour an 8x8 foot concrete square, slap up a little cheap fence around it, and then called it a skate park....My tax dollars HARD AT WORK Rolling Eyes I could have done the exact same job by myself in 2 days and for under $1,500 labor included...I know this because I priced the material and placed a bid of $2000 for the job, but it went to a contractor somebody on the town counsel knows instead for the price of $250,000...if that's not corruption in politics then I don't know what is. Rolling Eyes The thing is the entire government runs like that, has been for a long time.

So basically a system like what is in the UK and many other countries will probably never happen, the private health care sector will just pay off the government to keep it the way it is so they can keep bringing in billions from people who are forced to use their service as there is no alternative.

Obama talks more of a national health insurance plan, not so much a national free health care plan. But even if it does go into effect despite the private sectors moaning about profit losses...I look for it to be just like the Indiana version is...it sounds so good on paper...but the people who actually need the care still wont be able to get it...so why get hopes up Confused




Damn right
handfleisch
Ophois wrote:
The whole argument against providing medical care to our citizens, the same way we provide Police protection, EMS, education, Fire safety, etc., is utter madness.

And still we keep on fighting to end the madness. Today's double shot of examples [on edit, triple shot] :

1. The woman who was told her post-rape AIDS precaution made her uninsurable:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/21/insurance-companies-rape-_n_328708.html
Quote:
Rape Victim's Choice: Risk AIDS or Health Insurance
Christina Turner feared that she might have been sexually assaulted after two men slipped her a knockout drug. She thought she was taking proper precautions when her doctor prescribed a month's worth of anti-AIDS medicine.

Only later did she learn that she had made herself all but uninsurable.

. . . Even after she explained the assault, the insurers would not sell her a policy because the HIV medication raised too many health questions. They told her they might reconsider in three or more years if she could prove that she was still AIDS-free.


2. The man who had to enlist in the army because his wife has ovarian cancer:
http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/64677772.html
Quote:
He's in the Army now
Wife’s cancer prompts man to enlist

56 days . . . 55 days . . . 54 days . . .

Chelsea Caudle began signing her text messages this summer with a countdown. At 14 years old, she knew no better way to express what was coming. Day Zero was to be Oct. 7, the day Dad left for Army basic training in Fort Jackson, S.C. He was moving 950 miles from their home in Watertown, 950 miles from Mom.

He was leaving, even though Mom was sick with ovarian cancer. Even though he had been at her side through two long, miserable rounds of chemotherapy. Even though she now faced the likelihood of a third.

In fact, Dad was leaving because Mom was sick.

In March, he was laid off from his job as a raw materials coordinator for a plastics company called PolyOne, where he'd worked for 20 years. His severance package had provided several months' salary, but by August the paychecks were winding down. Soon the cost of his family health coverage was going to triple, then a few months after that, nearly triple again. They needed coverage so Mom could fight her cancer.

Dad's solution: a four-year hitch in the Army.

see also http://www.youtube.com/v/GQzxaSAZFBQ

3. And the man who dies of swine flu after being kicked out of ER:
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6658496.html
Quote:
Mother: Swine flu victim asked to leave ER
Irving Range, 58, dies in Corpus Christi of H1N1-related illness

CORPUS CHRISTI — The mother of a man who died of a swine flu-related illness said her son was asked to leave a Texas hospital a day before his death because he was lying on the floor, too ill to sit in a chair.

Irving Neil Range, 58, of Corpus Christi died in the emergency room of Christus Spohn Hospital Memorial on Friday of a swine-flu related illness, confirmed Annette Rodriguez, interim director of Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District.

Opal Range told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times that her son went to the emergency room Oct. 1, but laid on the floor because he felt too sick to sit a chair while waiting to see a doctor. She said a security guard asked him to leave so he went home. Her son returned to the emergency room the next day and died.

Sherry Carr-Deer, a spokeswoman for Christus Spohn Health System, told The Associated Press that she did not know the specifics of Range's case, but that their security guards generally try to work with people and give them a couple of chances.

“Our security guards don't escort anyone out or ask them to leave unless they become belligerent,” she said.
jmi256
handfleisch wrote:

3. And the man who dies of swine flu after being kicked out of ER:
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6658496.html
Quote:
Mother: Swine flu victim asked to leave ER
Irving Range, 58, dies in Corpus Christi of H1N1-related illness

CORPUS CHRISTI — The mother of a man who died of a swine flu-related illness said her son was asked to leave a Texas hospital a day before his death because he was lying on the floor, too ill to sit in a chair.

Irving Neil Range, 58, of Corpus Christi died in the emergency room of Christus Spohn Hospital Memorial on Friday of a swine-flu related illness, confirmed Annette Rodriguez, interim director of Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District.

Opal Range told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times that her son went to the emergency room Oct. 1, but laid on the floor because he felt too sick to sit a chair while waiting to see a doctor. She said a security guard asked him to leave so he went home. Her son returned to the emergency room the next day and died.

Sherry Carr-Deer, a spokeswoman for Christus Spohn Health System, told The Associated Press that she did not know the specifics of Range's case, but that their security guards generally try to work with people and give them a couple of chances.

“Our security guards don't escort anyone out or ask them to leave unless they become belligerent,” she said.


I didn't see anything in the article to suggest that the death was caused by a lack of coverage. It looked like the security guard kicked him out (it's unclear why). He returned the next day and died in the hospital. If he was that sick that he was going to die it would be appropriate for him to go the emergency room.
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:

3. And the man who dies of swine flu after being kicked out of ER:
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6658496.html
Quote:
Mother: Swine flu victim asked to leave ER
Irving Range, 58, dies in Corpus Christi of H1N1-related illness

CORPUS CHRISTI — The mother of a man who died of a swine flu-related illness said her son was asked to leave a Texas hospital a day before his death because he was lying on the floor, too ill to sit in a chair.

Irving Neil Range, 58, of Corpus Christi died in the emergency room of Christus Spohn Hospital Memorial on Friday of a swine-flu related illness, confirmed Annette Rodriguez, interim director of Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District.

Opal Range told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times that her son went to the emergency room Oct. 1, but laid on the floor because he felt too sick to sit a chair while waiting to see a doctor. She said a security guard asked him to leave so he went home. Her son returned to the emergency room the next day and died.

Sherry Carr-Deer, a spokeswoman for Christus Spohn Health System, told The Associated Press that she did not know the specifics of Range's case, but that their security guards generally try to work with people and give them a couple of chances.

“Our security guards don't escort anyone out or ask them to leave unless they become belligerent,” she said.


I didn't see anything in the article to suggest that the death was caused by a lack of coverage. It looked like the security guard kicked him out (it's unclear why). He returned the next day and died in the hospital. If he was that sick that he was going to die it would be appropriate for him to go the emergency room.


I don't understand your point. He did go to the emergency room.
jmi256
handfleisch wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:

3. And the man who dies of swine flu after being kicked out of ER:
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6658496.html
Quote:
Mother: Swine flu victim asked to leave ER
Irving Range, 58, dies in Corpus Christi of H1N1-related illness

CORPUS CHRISTI — The mother of a man who died of a swine flu-related illness said her son was asked to leave a Texas hospital a day before his death because he was lying on the floor, too ill to sit in a chair.

Irving Neil Range, 58, of Corpus Christi died in the emergency room of Christus Spohn Hospital Memorial on Friday of a swine-flu related illness, confirmed Annette Rodriguez, interim director of Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District.

Opal Range told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times that her son went to the emergency room Oct. 1, but laid on the floor because he felt too sick to sit a chair while waiting to see a doctor. She said a security guard asked him to leave so he went home. Her son returned to the emergency room the next day and died.

Sherry Carr-Deer, a spokeswoman for Christus Spohn Health System, told The Associated Press that she did not know the specifics of Range's case, but that their security guards generally try to work with people and give them a couple of chances.

“Our security guards don't escort anyone out or ask them to leave unless they become belligerent,” she said.


I didn't see anything in the article to suggest that the death was caused by a lack of coverage. It looked like the security guard kicked him out (it's unclear why). He returned the next day and died in the hospital. If he was that sick that he was going to die it would be appropriate for him to go the emergency room.


I don't understand your point. He did go to the emergency room.


I know. I'm just trying to see how this is linked to your crusade for a government-run healthcare scheme. There's nothing to suggest coverage was an issue; he didn't go to the emergency room because he didn't have insurance, but because it was an emergency.
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
[
I know. I'm just trying to see how this is linked to your crusade for a government-run healthcare scheme. There's nothing to suggest coverage was an issue; he didn't go to the emergency room because he didn't have insurance, but because it was an emergency.

Oh, I see. Well in many cases, people are forced to go to the emergency room because they do not have health insurance and so they don't go to the doctor when they are sick; they only go when it is an emergency. In fact going to the ER for the flu probably means the poor guy didn't have the option to go to a regular doctor; of course we don't know for sure if this is the case. Also, the article has to do with the status of health care in the USA in general.
jmi256
handfleisch wrote:
jmi256 wrote:

I know. I'm just trying to see how this is linked to your crusade for a government-run healthcare scheme. There's nothing to suggest coverage was an issue; he didn't go to the emergency room because he didn't have insurance, but because it was an emergency.

Oh, I see. Well in many cases, people are forced to go to the emergency room because they do not have health insurance and so they don't go to the doctor when they are sick; they only go when it is an emergency. In fact going to the ER for the flu probably means the poor guy didn't have the option to go to a regular doctor; of course we don't know for sure if this is the case. Also, the article has to do with the status of health care in the USA in general.


If healthcare in the US is so bad, why would you want to force access to everyone? Wouldn't you want to increase quality instead? I don't know if the guy had insurance or not, but if he had the flu, he probably called his doctor to be seen and the doctor told him to go to the emergency room. This is very common for a couple of reasons. First of all, there are more patients than doctors hours, and it's common for those even with insurance to not be seen instantly or even within a few days. This works fine for minor ailments since those usually aren't emergencies. The flu comes on very quickly, so he probably was hit hard rather quickly and didn’t have the option of scheduling an appointment with the doctor. But adding the number of patients will only make the problem of wait times worse. Second of all, if the guy called his doctor saying he thought he had the flu and was as sick as the story makes him out to be, the doctor probably told him to go directly to the emergency room since he was in such bad shape. That’s exactly what emergency rooms are for. Even if he has super-duper, top-of-the-line insurance, he would have been told to go to the emergency room.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:


1. The woman who was told her post-rape AIDS precaution made her uninsurable:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/21/insurance-companies-rape-_n_328708.html

Use regulatory laws and/or financial encouragements to discourage insurance companies from denying patients for pre-existing conditions.

If a government-run system could deny no patients and still be 'deficit-neutral', then insurance companies should be able to cope with doing the same.
Quote:

2. The man who had to enlist in the army because his wife has ovarian cancer:
http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/64677772.html

So, a lack of health care coverage motivated a jobless man to become a productive member of society...
The problem is...?
Quote:

3. And the man who dies of swine flu after being kicked out of ER:
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6658496.html

The connection with health care coverage reform here is tenuous... Couldn't we just make it illegal to evict sick/injured people from emergency rooms, and solve this specific problem much more directly? (With a provision that emergency room staff can call the police if sick/injured people are breaking any law in the emergency room, of course.)
deanhills
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
jmi256 wrote:

I know. I'm just trying to see how this is linked to your crusade for a government-run healthcare scheme. There's nothing to suggest coverage was an issue; he didn't go to the emergency room because he didn't have insurance, but because it was an emergency.

Oh, I see. Well in many cases, people are forced to go to the emergency room because they do not have health insurance and so they don't go to the doctor when they are sick; they only go when it is an emergency. In fact going to the ER for the flu probably means the poor guy didn't have the option to go to a regular doctor; of course we don't know for sure if this is the case. Also, the article has to do with the status of health care in the USA in general.


If healthcare in the US is so bad, why would you want to force access to everyone? Wouldn't you want to increase quality instead? I don't know if the guy had insurance or not, but if he had the flu, he probably called his doctor to be seen and the doctor told him to go to the emergency room. This is very common for a couple of reasons. First of all, there are more patients than doctors hours, and it's common for those even with insurance to not be seen instantly or even within a few days. This works fine for minor ailments since those usually aren't emergencies. The flu comes on very quickly, so he probably was hit hard rather quickly and didn’t have the option of scheduling an appointment with the doctor. But adding the number of patients will only make the problem of wait times worse. Second of all, if the guy called his doctor saying he thought he had the flu and was as sick as the story makes him out to be, the doctor probably told him to go directly to the emergency room since he was in such bad shape. That’s exactly what emergency rooms are for. Even if he has super-duper, top-of-the-line insurance, he would have been told to go to the emergency room.
I believe many times there are reasons for not seeking medical attention that have nothing to do with failing to get to a doctor or seeking help at an emergency centre. One common reason that comes to mind is that it takes effort to set up appointments, and it takes effort to get to the emergency centre, so if you think you have the flu, you think it is OK, you will get over it, and you continue with going to school, or going to work, and infecting others. Even in Canada with its social care system, if you set up and appointment to see a doctor, you inevitably have very long waiting periods, so it is human to postpone it. You may be worried about losing your job, or your job may not have provision for unpaid leave to see a doctor.

If this was really a bad case of flu, especially with the swine flu worries around, obviously the emergency room would be a better place to be. Testing would be easier and the patient can be immediately isolated if necessary.

Where I am, a medical doctor who contracted a flu virus on his travels, upon returning and feeling symptoms did not call on any other doctors, he went straight to the emergency section of the local hospital, which immediately put him under quarantine. He subsequently was tested positive for swineflu, but as a consequence he received immediate medical care, as well as had removed himself successfully from others so that they could not be contaminated.
handfleisch
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:


1. The woman who was told her post-rape AIDS precaution made her uninsurable:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/21/insurance-companies-rape-_n_328708.html

Use regulatory laws and/or financial encouragements to discourage insurance companies from denying patients for pre-existing conditions.

If a government-run system could deny no patients and still be 'deficit-neutral', then insurance companies should be able to cope with doing the same.


These are aspects of the health reform being worked on now, so welcome aboard, contact your congressperson and encourage them to enact this as part of reform

ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:

2. The man who had to enlist in the army because his wife has ovarian cancer:
http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/64677772.html

So, a lack of health care coverage motivated a jobless man to become a productive member of society...
The problem is...?


Speaking of sick, your attitude is... well, hopefully someone more diplomatic and patient will come along to explain it to you.

ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:

3. And the man who dies of swine flu after being kicked out of ER:
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6658496.html

The connection with health care coverage reform here is tenuous... Couldn't we just make it illegal to evict sick/injured people from emergency rooms, and solve this specific problem much more directly? (With a provision that emergency room staff can call the police if sick/injured people are breaking any law in the emergency room, of course.)


Yes we could, and that would be called health care reform. Things like this are all being debated currently. Again, welcome aboard to the health care reform movement.
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
jmi256 wrote:

I know. I'm just trying to see how this is linked to your crusade for a government-run healthcare scheme. There's nothing to suggest coverage was an issue; he didn't go to the emergency room because he didn't have insurance, but because it was an emergency.

Oh, I see. Well in many cases, people are forced to go to the emergency room because they do not have health insurance and so they don't go to the doctor when they are sick; they only go when it is an emergency. In fact going to the ER for the flu probably means the poor guy didn't have the option to go to a regular doctor; of course we don't know for sure if this is the case. Also, the article has to do with the status of health care in the USA in general.


If healthcare in the US is so bad, why would you want to force access to everyone? Wouldn't you want to increase quality instead?


Um, I don't think "force" is the right word for providing health care to people who want it but cannot afford it, the families who cannot afford to insure their children, the person with cancer who gets dropped by their insurance company, the endless other examples already made. The point of this tragic story, besides the insurance connection, is in answer to all those who claim that the US health care system is so great so don't touch it. Obviously health care in the USA can be very good for many people, but it's not for a scandalously large percentage.

Quote:
But adding the number of patients will only make the problem of wait times worse.


Well, first of all, many people who don't have any access to a doctor except the ER would be happy to wait in a waiting room for normal, affordable access. Waiting rooms are maybe as old as the medical profession!

But also, I detect here a lack of the Can-Do attitude that made America great. There is no good reason that the US cannot make a decent health care system available and affordable to all. There are a lot of bad reasons, though -- greed, bought politicians, 1.4 million dollars per day being spent by the sickness profiteers on propaganda and the payments to politicians.
handfleisch
Great news in the fight for health care reform.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/19/AR2009101902451_pf.html
Quote:
Public option gains support
CLEAR MAJORITY NOW BACKS PLAN

Americans still divided on overall packages

By Dan Balz and Jon Cohen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that support for a government-run health-care plan to compete with private insurers has rebounded from its summertime lows and wins clear majority support from the public.

Quote:


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/22/AR2009102202820.html?hpid=topnews
Support for public option grows in House, Senate

Senate majority leader leaning toward version of idea, albeit one that allows states to opt out; Pelosi says House has nearly enough votes.
House Democrats are coalescing around an $871 billion health-care package that would create a government-run insurance plan to help millions of Americans afford coverage, raise taxes on the nation's richest families and impose an array of new regulations on private insurers, in part by stripping the industry of its long-standing exemption from federal antitrust laws.

Senate Democratic leaders, meanwhile, huddled with President Obama on Thursday, and lawmakers said Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) was increasingly leaning toward the idea of including a version of a public insurance option, albeit one that would allow states to opt out of such a system, in the chamber's bill.
deanhills
I still can't get it why people are so taken with polls. Today they are up, tomorrow they are down. Some of them are even biased, i.e. may interview more democrats than republicans for example. I'm beginning to feel a yawn coming on every time when I see "poll" in healthcare. How many polls have been quoted in this thread for example? All of them had a temporary value attached to them.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:


Speaking of sick, your attitude is... well, hopefully someone more diplomatic and patient will come along to explain it to you.

So, thinking that able-minded and able-bodied people should earn what they get is a 'sick attitude' now?
Quote:

Yes we could, and that would be called health care reform. Things like this are all being debated currently. Again, welcome aboard to the health care reform movement.

I thought I had already made it clear that I support health care reform.
However, I want to see it done with a minimum of government growth, and I would prefer to see it done as a series of individual bills (of manageable size and complexity) that each address specific issues, rather than one all-encompassing megabill.
Ophois
ocalhoun wrote:
I thought I had already made it clear that I support health care reform.
However, I want to see it done with a minimum of government growth, and I would prefer to see it done as a series of individual bills (of manageable size and complexity) that each address specific issues, rather than one all-encompassing megabill.
I pretty much agree here. Though I've been thinking about it, and I would rather see health care reform done on a State level, adhering to Federal regulations, much the way my job is, for example. Fire Rescue/EMS is State/City/County operated and funded, but runs by Federal guidelines. The test one takes to become an EMT, for example, is called the NREMT. The National Registry of EMT's. It's a federally mandated test, with smaller differences from State to State, City to City, and so on.

The Federal guidelines for the NREMT(or Police or public education, etc.) are in place for a number of reasons, but one is to ensure that if a person moves from one State to another, there will not be huge, drastic changes in how these things operate. The Police and Fire Rescue will respond and operate basically the same way in Florida as they do in Arizona, and public education, while operated on a State level as well, teaches a Federally instituted curriculum, with moderate differences between States.

I think smaller, more manageable bills to reform health care would be great, but I am not against a huge sweeping bill that completely revamps the entire system, as long as it's done well. The reason I mentioned the stuff above, is because I think a bill that offers a Government option to health care could operate the same way as those other services. A Federally regulated, but locally operated, health care option that is funded and operated just like a Fire Department or a public school, is an idea that would be at least worth exploring.
ocalhoun
Ophois wrote:
but I am not against a huge sweeping bill that completely revamps the entire system, as long as it's done well.

I figure a series of smaller bills will allow debate about more specific, smaller issues, preventing them from being lost in the hustle or dismissed as unimportant, leading to a higher-quality end product.
It would, of course, take longer, but what's the rush? Better a good system arriving late than a bad system arriving early.
Ophois
ocalhoun wrote:
I figure a series of smaller bills will allow debate about more specific, smaller issues, preventing them from being lost in the hustle or dismissed as unimportant, leading to a higher-quality end product.
It would, of course, take longer, but what's the rush? Better a good system arriving late than a bad system arriving early.
That's very true. I think there's a lot of potential for health care reform, even including some kind of State option, but I just see those idiots on the Hill bickering about stupid crap. The citizens are the ones who get lost in the din of shouting over accusations of "socialism" and whatnot.

Those guys need to step back, take a few deep breaths, and rethink this entire thing. It has gotten so far out of whack, that by the time the dust settles, we will be lucky to have any health care at all, much less something better than what we have now. I see small steps of progress, but not nearly enough to justify this huge mess of a bill.
deanhills
Ophois wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
I thought I had already made it clear that I support health care reform.
However, I want to see it done with a minimum of government growth, and I would prefer to see it done as a series of individual bills (of manageable size and complexity) that each address specific issues, rather than one all-encompassing megabill.
I pretty much agree here. Though I've been thinking about it, and I would rather see health care reform done on a State level, adhering to Federal regulations, much the way my job is, for example. Fire Rescue/EMS is State/City/County operated and funded, but runs by Federal guidelines. The test one takes to become an EMT, for example, is called the NREMT. The National Registry of EMT's. It's a federally mandated test, with smaller differences from State to State, City to City, and so on.
I would agree, however for that to happen, the greater percentage of the primary health care industry, i.e. hospitals have to be owned by Government first. So whereas your suggestion is the ideal one, it is impractical because of the Government's limited control of the medical care industry. This is probably one of the reasons why a solution has never been found yet. A huge sweeping bill can only really be meaningful if the medical industry falls under one overall body such as the Government. Doctor's can still have their own practices, and some hospitals can be private, but there would have to be a very large number of hospitals that are publicly and state owned for the sweeping bill to be really meaningful. To make health insurance for all compulsory is not going to address the real problem of availability of medical services for all (i.e. people in remote areas), and make the medical services less costly.

The more practical solution of course is to continue as is and for States to come to their own solutions such as the State of Massachusetts, which has found a model where everyone would be looked after within the current status quo. To redesign the medical industry for the whole of the country will be almost impossible to do, especially given the current financial constraints.
handfleisch
Check out this hypocrisy. Single-payer health care like Medicare is good enough for the Republicans in Congress, but they don't want the average American to have it.
http://thinkprogress.org/2009/10/22/weiner-55-republicans-public-option/
Quote:
Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D-NY) office today released an internal study showing that 151 members of Congress “currently receive government-funded; government-administered single-payer health care — Medicare.” Of those 151 members, 55 are Republicans who also happen to be “steadfastly opposed [to] other Americans getting the public option, like the one they have chosen.” Included on Weiner’s list are anti-public option crusaders Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Orin Hatch (R-UT), Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), and Rep. Peter King (R-NY).
Moonspider
handfleisch wrote:
Check out this hypocrisy. Single-payer health care like Medicare is good enough for the Republicans in Congress, but they don't want the average American to have it.
http://thinkprogress.org/2009/10/22/weiner-55-republicans-public-option/
Quote:
Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D-NY) office today released an internal study showing that 151 members of Congress “currently receive government-funded; government-administered single-payer health care — Medicare.” Of those 151 members, 55 are Republicans who also happen to be “steadfastly opposed [to] other Americans getting the public option, like the one they have chosen.” Included on Weiner’s list are anti-public option crusaders Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Orin Hatch (R-UT), Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), and Rep. Peter King (R-NY).


I don't think that's hypocrisy at all. The Republicans aren't against other, eligible people having Medicare. If they were, that would be hypocrisy. They are against creating a new single-payer system separate from Medicare (and cutting $500 billion out of Medicare to help pay for it).

They may both be fruits (Medicare and a new single-payer system) but one is an apple and the other is an orange.

Respectfully,
M
deanhills
I still marvel at all the benefits that these representatives and senators are receiving, and the tax payers footing the bill. One would at the minimum expect that they would be reading every word of every line in all of the Bills that are passed through Congress for all the benefits they are receiving. But yes, I can't see Handfleisch's point against the Republicans. There are quite a few million of Americans who are receiving benefits like these as part of their pay packages. The issue is supposed to be about those who do not have benefits like these and how these can be funded.
handfleisch
Moonspider wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
Check out this hypocrisy. Single-payer health care like Medicare is good enough for the Republicans in Congress, but they don't want the average American to have it.
http://thinkprogress.org/2009/10/22/weiner-55-republicans-public-option/
Quote:
Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D-NY) office today released an internal study showing that 151 members of Congress “currently receive government-funded; government-administered single-payer health care — Medicare.” Of those 151 members, 55 are Republicans who also happen to be “steadfastly opposed [to] other Americans getting the public option, like the one they have chosen.” Included on Weiner’s list are anti-public option crusaders Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Orin Hatch (R-UT), Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), and Rep. Peter King (R-NY).


I don't think that's hypocrisy at all. The Republicans aren't against other, eligible people having Medicare. If they were, that would be hypocrisy. They are against creating a new single-payer system separate from Medicare (and cutting $500 billion out of Medicare to help pay for it).

They may both be fruits (Medicare and a new single-payer system) but one is an apple and the other is an orange.

Respectfully,
M


That's pure tautology. Repubs are not against you having it, but you are ineligible, and Repubs are against making you eligible!

Single payer national health insurance is something that many of the other wealthy nations in the world are somehow able to afford, if it is something the USA should be able to organize, if it still thinks of itself as one of the greatest nations in the world, too.
Ophois
handfleisch wrote:
Single payer national health insurance is something that many of the other wealthy nations in the world are somehow able to afford, if it is something the USA should be able to organize, if it still thinks of itself as one of the greatest nations in the world, too.
Of course, having mentioned that other nations have it, and are doing fine with it, means that many on the far Right will dismiss it out of hand. You know we can't adopt programs similar to European countries, or even model our own existing programs after theirs in the slightest, lest we turn into Commies, right?

That argument has been used any time the mention of 'health care as a public service' is mentioned. The group of people who use arguments like that remind me of the old cliché about the guy who is driving with his family, they are lost, and he adamantly refuses to stop and ask for directions. He knows, logically, that people in the truck stop will know the way, but he refuses to stop. He really doesn't think he needs help.

The US has kind of become that driver.
We got lost, and our leaders refuse to stop and ask for directions.
deanhills
Ophois wrote:
Of course, having mentioned that other nations have it, and are doing fine with it, means that many on the far Right will dismiss it out of hand. You know we can't adopt programs similar to European countries, or even model our own existing programs after theirs in the slightest, lest we turn into Commies, right?
If the US would like to follow the system of other nations, they would have to become like the other nations first. The whole fabric of society would have to change radically so that it would become completely socialist as opposed to predominantly capitalist. So for me it is completely impractical to keep on harping that the UK this that and the other, and Sweden this that and the other and Canada this that and the other, as models for change in the United States, when the economic and social system of the United States is completely different. Common sense to me says the US has to find its own unique solutions. If it were really that simple to just follow the example of the UK for example, then the health care system of the United States would have been changed decades ago.
jmi256
handfleisch wrote:

Today's example of the madness: Women, do you want health insurance? Then get sterilized.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/health/01insure.html?pagewanted=print
Quote:
When the Golden Rule Insurance Company rejected her application for health coverage last year, Peggy Robertson was mystified.

“It made no sense,” said Ms. Robertson, 39, who lives in Centennial, Colo. “I’m in perfect health.”

She was turned down because she had given birth by Caesarean section. Having the operation once increases the odds that it will be performed again, and if she became pregnant and needed another Caesarean, Golden Rule did not want to pay for it. A letter from the company explained that if she had been sterilized after the Caesarean, or if she were over 40 and had given birth two or more years before applying, she might have qualified.


It looks like she did have healthcare, but was shopping around for more options. I don’t see a problem with that. You shouldn’t be forced to pay for all the bells in whistles if you just want the basics. The plan she applied for would be perfect for someone who wasn’t planning on having more children, and would lead to lower costs for that person since the costs/risks would be lower for the coverage. While our current system gives people choice, Obama's government-run healthcare scheme will reduce choice by increasing regulation, driving up costs and forcing some insurers out of business. From the rest of your article:

Quote:

She already had insurance but was looking for a better rate.




Forcing more people into the system to fight over limited resources will just increase costs for all of us. It's simple supply and demand.
Quote:

Although it is not known how many women are in Ms. Robertson’s situation, the number seems likely to increase, because the pool of people seeking individual health insurance, now about 18 million, has been growing steadily — and so has the Caesarean rate, which is at an all-time high of 31.1 percent. In 2006, more than 1.2 million Caesareans were performed in the United States, and researchers estimate that each year, half a million women giving birth have had previous Caesareans.
deanhills
jmi256 wrote:
Forcing more people into the system to fight over limited resources will just increase costs for all of us. It's simple supply and demand.
Excellent point. Ditto the education system. The more bureaucrats you add, the less funds available for affording good teachers for teaching at schools. There are much too many bureaucrats in the world, quite a large number of them are sitting in Government as well.
jmi256
This just made me laugh. The Democrats are so out of touch that they really think the problem with their government-run healthcare scheme that we Americans are rejecting is the name. Never mind the increased costs, unfair burden on families, lower quality, spending money we don't have, increased bureaucracy, longer waits for treatment, ...... the list could go on. The real problem and the reason Americans have rejected their scheme is the name in their minds. Priceless.

Quote:

Pelosi: Health care 'public option' needs new name
A government-sponsored "public option" for health care lives, though it may be more attractive to skeptics if it goes by a different moniker, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday.

Source = http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9BIUUF02&show_article=1
deanhills
jmi256 wrote:
This just made me laugh. The Democrats are so out of touch that they really think the problem with their government-run healthcare scheme that we Americans are rejecting is the name. Never mind the increased costs, unfair burden on families, lower quality, spending money we don't have, increased bureaucracy, longer waits for treatment, ...... the list could go on. The real problem and the reason Americans have rejected their scheme is the name in their minds. Priceless.

Quote:

Pelosi: Health care 'public option' needs new name
A government-sponsored "public option" for health care lives, though it may be more attractive to skeptics if it goes by a different moniker, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday.

Source = http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9BIUUF02&show_article=1
Can imagine that could not be very good for Obama, but yes, that just about says it all. It is more of a marketing game than being in touch of its serious implications cost wise, fundamentally wise.
handfleisch
On the non-partisan factcheck.org, an interesting short analysis of polls and public support for public option in health care reform. (Maybe they aren't nonpartisan, since facts have a progressive bias...)
http://www.factcheck.org/2009/10/heather-graham-teaches-us-about-polls/
Quote:

As part of its argument, the ad says that "over 70 percent of Americans want the public option."
...
Fifty-eight percent responded that it was "extremely important," while 19 percent said "quite important." So the short answer is that the MoveOn ad is on solid footing.
...
The June NBC/WSJ version found 41 percent said it was "extremely important" and 35 percent said it was "quite important" that a health care proposal include a federal insurance plan. That’s a different split but similar total as the Survey USA poll.
...
So 70 percent of Americans may indeed support a public option. As long as they hear the word "choice" when they’re asked about it.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:

Quote:

...
So 70 percent of Americans may indeed support a public option. As long as they hear the word "choice" when they’re asked about it.

Wait... What was that last part... Are we admitting to manipulating polls now? Rolling Eyes
Ophois
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:

Quote:

...
So 70 percent of Americans may indeed support a public option. As long as they hear the word "choice" when they’re asked about it.

Wait... What was that last part... Are we admitting to manipulating polls now? Rolling Eyes
Pardon me if this sounds stupid.
Aren't "option" and "choice" the same thing? Are people so stupid that they get freaked out over the "public option", but are suddenly comforted at the word "choice"?
deanhills wrote:
If the US would like to follow the system of other nations, they would have to become like the other nations first. The whole fabric of society would have to change radically so that it would become completely socialist as opposed to predominantly capitalist.
I never suggested that the US "follow the system of other nations". Let me put it this way. If you are building a house, and your neighbor is building a house, and you have a great foundation and all the amenities, air conditioning, hot water and cable TV. Then you realize that you have mold that causes sickness because you used cheap drywall, in order to save money.
Now, your neighbor has also built his own house. In fact, he based it on your design. But he spent a few extra bucks on good drywall and some preventative measures to keep mold and rodents out of his house. Sure, it cost him a bit more in the short term, but he doesn't have to replace drywall every couple years to keep from getting black mold.
You don't have to demolish your house and start from scratch, but it would be a smart idea to rip out some walls and replace the drywall with a better product, right?

What I'm saying(for those who don't get my construction reference), is that we don't need to become "completely socialist" in order to borrow some ideas from our neighbors, any more than we would need to completely rebuild our house to our neighbors design. Most European countries have adopted the American ideals of liberty at one point or another, to some extent. It worked for them. Why the hell are we so stubborn that we can't(as per my previous metaphor) stop and ask for some damned directions?
handfleisch
Ophois wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:

Quote:

...
So 70 percent of Americans may indeed support a public option. As long as they hear the word "choice" when they’re asked about it.

Wait... What was that last part... Are we admitting to manipulating polls now? :roll:
Pardon me if this sounds stupid.
Aren't "option" and "choice" the same thing? Are people so stupid that they get freaked out over the "public option", but are suddenly comforted at the word "choice"?


Yes, if they are ill-informed. And since most people are too busy working like crazy to get the facts (and because our media doesn't make it a priority to simply explain what a public option is, clearly and consistently), they are going to react based on word choice. And though I indicated that the column was about this erratic nature of polls in addition to the fact that the 70 percent support of public option health care appears to be a solid estimate, and linked to the report so people could read it, I knew that wingnuts would just play "gotcha" with whatever sentence or sentence fragment they could cherrypick. That's what they do.
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:

Today's example of the madness: Women, do you want health insurance? Then get sterilized.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/health/01insure.html?pagewanted=print
Quote:
When the Golden Rule Insurance Company rejected her application for health coverage last year, Peggy Robertson was mystified.

“It made no sense,” said Ms. Robertson, 39, who lives in Centennial, Colo. “I’m in perfect health.”

She was turned down because she had given birth by Caesarean section. Having the operation once increases the odds that it will be performed again, and if she became pregnant and needed another Caesarean, Golden Rule did not want to pay for it. A letter from the company explained that if she had been sterilized after the Caesarean, or if she were over 40 and had given birth two or more years before applying, she might have qualified.


It looks like she did have healthcare, but was shopping around for more options. I don’t see a problem with that. You shouldn’t be forced to pay for all the bells in whistles if you just want the basics.
...

Quote:

She already had insurance but was looking for a better rate.


The main point is that any woman applying for health insurance at this company and many others will be rejected if they have had a cesarean section, and yet accepted if they have been sterilized after the c-section. This is not a sane choice in a society supposed to be taking care of its most basic needs. It's another yet sign of the system being totally broken.
deanhills
Ophois wrote:
What I'm saying(for those who don't get my construction reference), is that we don't need to become "completely socialist" in order to borrow some ideas from our neighbors, any more than we would need to completely rebuild our house to our neighbors design. Most European countries have adopted the American ideals of liberty at one point or another, to some extent. It worked for them. Why the hell are we so stubborn that we can't(as per my previous metaphor) stop and ask for some damned directions?
In this case I would disagree with you. Primary health care is completely in the hands of privately owned medical care. In the countries that are being referred too, they HAVE the IDEAS that are attractive because their primary health centres are mostly Government owned. You can only successfully consider those ideas if you also have a primary health care system that is mostly Government owned. The fact that primary care in the United States is mostly privately owned is a result of how the United States has organized itself. It has to find its solutions and ideas from other countries that are similarly organized.
Ophois
deanhills wrote:
In this case I would disagree with you. Primary health care is completely in the hands of privately owned medical care.
You are exactly right. Health care is in the hands of people who's most important goal is profit, whether they are the most profitable corporation or not is beside the point. Their main goal is money, because that's what private industry in a capitalist society means. That's been my whole point about running health care the same way we run EMS.
Quote:
In the countries that are being referred too, they HAVE the IDEAS that are attractive because their primary health centres are mostly Government owned. You can only successfully consider those ideas if you also have a primary health care system that is mostly Government owned.
I know... what a scary idea. Everyone being cared for, without regard to their income or 'coverage'. Gives me shivers.
Quote:
The fact that primary care in the United States is mostly privately owned is a result of how the United States has organized itself. It has to find its solutions and ideas from other countries that are similarly organized.
Says who? Plenty of countries were totalitarian, but when they realized that democracy was a better idea, they adopted it. Hell, our own country thinks that democracy is so good, that we have spent the better part of a decade forcing it onto another country. Many countries used to be ruled, explicitly, by Monarchies. Where do you think they got their ideas of democracy from? Why did they change? Because the world was changing, because it was the logical choice, and because the US championed the idea.
Taking care of our people, no matter the cost, is the logical choice, and we can borrow the models from other nations just as they borrowed American democracy from us.

Holy shit people. Is this idea really that confusing?
deanhills
Ophois wrote:
Says who? Plenty of countries were totalitarian, but when they realized that democracy was a better idea, they adopted it. Hell, our own country thinks that democracy is so good, that we have spent the better part of a decade forcing it onto another country. Many countries used to be ruled, explicitly, by Monarchies. Where do you think they got their ideas of democracy from? Why did they change? Because the world was changing, because it was the logical choice, and because the US championed the idea.
Well then you have me confused here. Your argument was that you did not have to be a socialist to adopt socialist ideas. I tried to counter with saying that you have to be a socialist to be able to implement socialist ideas. And now you say that if you like an idea because it comes from socialism, you can adopt socialism in order to make that idea work?
Ophois
deanhills wrote:
Well then you have me confused here. Your argument was that you did not have to be a socialist to adopt socialist ideas. I tried to counter with saying that you have to be a socialist to be able to implement socialist ideas. And now you say that if you like an idea because it comes from socialism, you can adopt socialism in order to make that idea work?
I honestly don't see the problem here. The whole country doesn't need to turn to socialism in order to adopt a few ideas from borderline-socialist countries. That would make no sense. We are phasing out the death penalty, because the world generally is against it. Ok. It's one idea that we are slowly adopting from other countries. We adopted so many different ideas from other nations, and vise versa, without compromising who we are nationally, that I don't see why this is such a touchy issue?

The only reason it is as difficult as it is, is because the term "socialist" has been attached to any semi-European idea for health care reform. I really feel like I am back in 1954 and people are screaming "Commie!" at other people. It's sick. We are talking about 40 million peoples' lives, forget the goddamn money. Forget the politics. Forget everything else. Shouldn't we be completely freaked out that thousands of people will die this year, simply because we place more importance on capitalism than on taking care of those who we call 'our own'?

I think it's sad how my country, for the sake of preserving capitalism, will sacrifice the lives of it's own. And then turn around and choose the high ground on morality when it comes to a global war on terrorism. Apparently, our hypocrisy knows no bounds.
deanhills
Ophois wrote:
I honestly don't see the problem here. The whole country doesn't need to turn to socialism in order to adopt a few ideas from borderline-socialist countries.
Those ideas are based on socialism. You can't adopt them when you are non-socialist. You have to become socialist in order to adopt them. Very simple and common sense point of view. In order to treat everyone equally, you have to have a system where the same pot of money can be more evenly shared. To have that possible you have to have cheaper prices for medical services. To have that possible, you have to get Government to take over the medical services, so that they can run all the hospitals determine doctor's pay, prices of drugs etc. End result socialism in order to get to what the UK and Canada have been successful at. The best of medical professionals in Canada prefer to move to the US to make more money. So do medical professionals from Europe who would like to make more money. That is why the States have some of the best treatment centres in the world. So now you want to borrow an idea from a system that is based on something totally different, because it is different, to make it work in the States, in other words have it both ways. It can't work both ways. If it had been as simple as borrowing an idea without any fundamental changes in society, then those guys in Washington DC would have implemented it ages ago already.
Ophois
deanhills wrote:
Those ideas are based on socialism. You can't adopt them when you are non-socialist. You have to become socialist in order to adopt them. Very simple and common sense point of view.
So, in order to adopt any political idea from another country, you have to completely be like that country, politically? Think very hard before you answer that one...
Quote:
In order to treat everyone equally, you have to have a system where the same pot of money can be more evenly shared.
Not really. You just have to create an environment where people can create their own pot of money.
Quote:
To have that possible you have to have cheaper prices for medical services.
Or it could be run like Fire Departments and EMS. Both of those seem to work fine, and they are free(not counting the taxes we pay for them, which nobody cries about).
Quote:
To have that possible, you have to get Government to take over the medical services, so that they can run all the hospitals determine doctor's pay, prices of drugs etc.
Do you have a problem with the government run Fire Departments too? I seriously want an answer on this one, because the two can be run the exact same way.
Quote:
End result socialism in order to get to what the UK and Canada have been successful at.
Well in that case, we are already socialist. What with the Police, Fire, EMS, Education, etc, all of which are government run programs. Every time I bring this up, I find it funny how nobody(except jimi256, who brought up a few good points) argues against the socialism of these industries.
Quote:
The best of medical professionals in Canada prefer to move to the US to make more money
Key words, "MORE MONEY". And this is by and far NOT the majority of Canadian medical professionals. They feel a sense of duty to help their fellow citizens. Yes, they take a cut in pay in doing so, but they reap the rewards of being able to sleep at night.
Quote:
So do medical professionals from Europe who would like to make more money.
Again, I will tell you that nobody is debating that American medical professionals make more money. They certainly do. When I work as a Paramedic in Gujarat, do you think I make anywhere near as much as I make in West Palm Beach? For the vast majority of people who took the oath of Hyppocrates, the preservation of life is more important than money. Those who sell their abilities like prostitutes are a shame to the profession, and an embarrassment to humanity.
Quote:
That is why the States have some of the best treatment centres in the world.
Actually, we have the best treatment centers in the world because we had some very nice economic booms over the last century or so, and population booms, and a huge country full of natural resources, that we were able to be self-dependent. Our health insurance companies don't actually make all that much, compared to other industries(or so I am told). We spent quite a long time pumping money into medical research for many reasons, capitalism being the least of them.
Quote:
So now you want to borrow an idea from a system that is based on something totally different, because it is different, to make it work in the States, in other words have it both ways.
I don't know how many different ways to say the same thing. I don't want it both ways, and neither do most people. We just want every American to be able to get medical care when they need it, regardless of money.
Quote:
It can't work both ways. If it had been as simple as borrowing an idea without any fundamental changes in society, then those guys in Washington DC would have implemented it ages ago already.
That's the problem. Those guys in Washington are so afraid of doing anything "socialist" that they will let people die in order to assuage peoples' fears of turning into a 'Communist' nation. Taking one idea as an influence to revamp one branch of industry will not make us all start goose stepping, as so many people seem to think will happen. Beware the tangent...

*TANGENT ALERT*

I am very loathe to even bring this up...
A week ago, I buried my nephew(he's actually a cousin, but the age difference puts him in the nephew category. Welcome to the south).
He was 25. He was in college for music. He sang at some major operatic venues. A talented kid.
He had a crappy childhood, for a number of reasons I will not get into.
Nobody expected him to be a choir singer, or to write Arias in Latin.
He was declined health insurance because he had a cleft palette. Which was fixed at birth.
Apparently, due to stress and a bad diet, he had a massive heart attack on his lunch break while at work. His heart problems, from what we are told so far(autopsy comes back in 3 weeks) had developed over time.
So he died from something that was most likely treatable, if he had insurance or if medical care wasn't wrapped up in the almighty dollar. We will never hear him sing again, because some heartless bastard in an office decided that a cleft palette was a good enough reason to deny a kid insurance.

And now, a girl I know has cervical cancer. She found out last Tuesday. She was suddenly dropped from her insurance because she had pneumonia 2 years ago. She put that on her insurance application, and they had no problem with it then, but now she is being denied cancer treatment because of it.

So go ahead, defend this shit system if you want to. But it has killed more of my friends and family than terrorism ever could, and nothing is being done to stop it. But hey, who gives a shit, right? The insurance companies aren't really making all that much by comparison, so that justifies their lack of duty and compassion and their ability to inhibit the medical oath to heal everyone possible.

I guess my dead nephew and my friend just didn't have the right "motivation" to take care of themselves.
deanhills
Ophois wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Those ideas are based on socialism. You can't adopt them when you are non-socialist. You have to become socialist in order to adopt them. Very simple and common sense point of view.
So, in order to adopt any political idea from another country, you have to completely be like that country, politically? Think very hard before you answer that one...
Government control of medical care is not a political idea. Perhaps you need to think about that very carefully too and while you do, study the history of those "ideas" in the UK and Canada. I've tried very hard to put my thoughts across, but seem to have been unable to do that successfully.
handfleisch
Congressman Alan Grayson on the floor of Congress reading stories of Americans who died for lack of health insurance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hcwtM8fD9A
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
Congressman Alan Grayson on the floor of Congress reading stories of Americans who died for lack of health insurance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hcwtM8fD9A

So, make the actions of the insurance companies in these cases illegal, but do so while adhering to the phrase "that government is best which governs the least" as much as possible.

Instead of spawning new, sprawling bureaucracies, they should be figuring out how to fix the problem with a minimum of government involvement.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
Instead of spawning new, sprawling bureaucracies, they should be figuring out how to fix the problem with a minimum of government involvement.
Totally agreed. I seem to recall a very good posting you made about the State of Massuschusetts being used as a model to do so. People are painting a picture of zero services being available, whereas there are good services available and perhaps they could be managed differently. Why create a giant bureacracy that is going to be so expensive, and not necessarily that efficient, when all of the tools to make services available are around?

I still think that the key is to work on solutions from the bottom up and not from the top down. Every State and Region have their own unique dilemmas. Once they have deliberated how to make medical services available to all, it can be taken to the Federal government level for discussion and deliberation.

I'm sure Jefferson would have cringed at how much the Federal Government has involved itself in State Affairs:

Quote:
"Our country is too large to have all its affairs directed by a single government. Public servants at such a distance, and from under the eye of their constituents, must, from the circumstance of distance, be unable to administer and overlook all the details necessary for the good government of the citizens; and the same circumstance, by rendering detection impossible to their constituents, will invite public agents to corruption, plunder and waste." --Thomas Jefferson to Gideon Granger, 1800. ME 10:167
LumberJack
There are problems with Canadian Health Care, I think when you step back and actually look at what we have accomplished it is pretty amazing. Here we have a country with 33 million people, spread out in a country LARGER than the United States. Yet, we are able to provide universal health care for everybody. Our metrics are still better than the US. Sure there are problems, but they are our problems.

American's need to decide whether or not they want to accept current problems and faults with their system, or move to a different system where there will be other problems.

Regardless of the system, people need to realize that our heath care costs always start and end with the Doctor's Pen and the prescriptions and treatments they write. A doctors pen, in its lifetime, spends millions. The system you choose is really irrelevant. The tests your doctor orders, the procedures he recommends, the medications he prescribes, what equipment they need. It is all a derivative of what the doctor writes with that damn pen. We need good Doctors who are knowledgeable and who are not afraid to tell people things they do not want to hear.

It is interesting to note that people expect to be fixed immediately. I hate to say this, but it is absurd and frankly a pipe dream or waste of resources. I seriously do not think it is worth the cost to have a state of the art, health facility standing there just waiting for me to injury myself, for whatever injury it will be. It is unrealistic.

In Canada, depending on what the problem is, you will have to wait. The media is full of people who have had to wait for being treated for whatever minor ailment they have. Some can afford to go to the US and have it done immediately, and if they want too, then they go. If not, they are triaged. Everyone who is injured or sick naturally wants to be fixed right away and think it is abhorrent, inhumane, etc, etc, that they have to wait in pain. Mostly everyone interviewed on TV, eventually received their treatment, survived, kept their homes and financial integrity, and are now on TV bitching about waiting. I really don't understand it. I hate to break it to people, but you will die one day. Could be tomorrow, so make sure you live your life like today is your last Smile
ocalhoun
LumberJack wrote:
Mostly everyone interviewed on TV, eventually received their treatment, survived, kept their homes and financial integrity,...

^.^ They don't interview dead people very often, do they?
I'd be horrified and intrigued at the same time if they were to interview someone who didn't survive.
LumberJack
ocalhoun wrote:
LumberJack wrote:
Mostly everyone interviewed on TV, eventually received their treatment, survived, kept their homes and financial integrity,...

^.^ They don't interview dead people very often, do they?
I'd be horrified and intrigued at the same time if they were to interview someone who didn't survive.


LOL, you caught me... Shocked
Bannik
after some reading i realised there is nothing wrong with the current system America has in place the problem is that they are abusing their power and money ....for example overpayments too doctors, high charges etc...instead of a socialist system what about having more control and restraints too the insurance companies and hospitals who charge stupid amounts.
Bikerman
Bannik wrote:
after some reading i realised there is nothing wrong with the current system America has in place the problem is that they are abusing their power and money ....for example overpayments too doctors, high charges etc...instead of a socialist system what about having more control and restraints too the insurance companies and hospitals who charge stupid amounts.

So you don't think it is a problem that millions of citizens have no health cover?
How do you propose controlling hospital/doctor costs?
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:

How do you propose controlling hospital/doctor costs?

Tort reform
Drug patent reform (including elimination of FDA-granted exclusive marketing right periods)
Allow medicare to negotiate drug prices
Find a way to give people an incentive to choose less expensive options (If people don't have any reason to choose cheaper options, providers have no incentive to lower prices, because lowering prices would only reduce profits, and not draw any additional business.)

There's 4 suggestions for you.

I do agree that insurance companies need to be firmly discouraged from denying coverage based on preexisting conditions and/or dropping coverage when it is needed most. However, it should be possible to fix that problem without a government takeover of the industry.
handfleisch
ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:

How do you propose controlling hospital/doctor costs?

Tort reform
Drug patent reform (including elimination of FDA-granted exclusive marketing right periods)
Allow medicare to negotiate drug prices
Find a way to give people an incentive to choose less expensive options (If people don't have any reason to choose cheaper options, providers have no incentive to lower prices, because lowering prices would only reduce profits, and not draw any additional business.)

There's 4 suggestions for you.

I do agree that insurance companies need to be firmly discouraged from denying coverage based on preexisting conditions and/or dropping coverage when it is needed most. However, it should be possible to fix that problem without a government takeover of the industry.


All those things have been on the table for years/decades. That approach has failed. Americans are now rejecting failure and fighting for the right to affordable health care. The current reform is not a "government takeover", which is yet another buzzword like "death panels" to cover Republican/corporate lies. We are looking for something that works. Whether or not the watered-down reform coming out of Congress will be it, we'll see.
enkyskateboard
in the netherlANds you CANT BE a utch guy if you dont have a lifeinsurence you have to man i am lucky i was born here
Bikerman
Actually I'm surprised that I haven't seen more mentions of the Dutch system by Americans considering alternative systems. The Dutch model seems to be a reasonable compromise, which many Americans, who would not support a full national health system, could probably row-in behind....

The notion of a flat rate insurance premium is attractive to the 'lefties' like me, whilst the system of risk equalisation is an interesting way of ensuring the high risk citizens are insured and that the companies are happy to do it......

Personally I still like our more socialist NHS, but the Dutch model is certainly worth looking at for Americans....
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:

How do you propose controlling hospital/doctor costs?

Tort reform
Drug patent reform (including elimination of FDA-granted exclusive marketing right periods)
Allow medicare to negotiate drug prices
Find a way to give people an incentive to choose less expensive options (If people don't have any reason to choose cheaper options, providers have no incentive to lower prices, because lowering prices would only reduce profits, and not draw any additional business.)


All those things have been on the table for years/decades. That approach has failed.

How can they have been tried and failed if they've only been "on the table"?

Get them off the table and into practice, and then we'll find out if that approach will fail or not.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
Get them off the table and into practice, and then we'll find out if that approach will fail or not.
Agreed. Especially your proposal to enact a Massachusetts-style healthcare plan:
Quote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Voodoocat wrote:

Why don't the Democrats work at improving the current system? Why do we have to have a completely new system?


They want control... They're already gaining control of auto manufacturing and banking... now healthcare... where will it stop?

Why not enact a Massachusetts-style healthcare plan, which gets 98% of people covered, and would only cost around $17.5 billion, instead of the $1 trillion proposed?

http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-107746-7.html
handfleisch
ocalhoun wrote:
Get them off the table and into practice, and then we'll find out if that approach will fail or not.

Our system has failed to do this for decades. That's the point. And Gingrich's whole let-states-lead thing is a crock, too. Texas has 25% of their population without health insurance. The old ways are not working. Now to what is.
handfleisch
History in the making. The first time ever something like this has passed the House. It's not over yet but this is a good sign, a reason to celebrate, and inspiration to keep fighting.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/08/health/policy/08health.html?hp
Quote:
Sweeping Health Care Plan Passes House
Narrow Vote of 220-215 Provides Victory for Obama


Handing President Obama a hard-fought victory, the House voted to approve a $1.1 trillion, 10-year plan that Democrats said could be their defining social policy achievement.
* Interactive Roll Call: Affordable Health Care for America Act
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Get them off the table and into practice, and then we'll find out if that approach will fail or not.

Our system has failed to do this for decades. That's the point. And Gingrich's whole let-states-lead thing is a crock, too. Texas has 25% of their population without health insurance. The old ways are not working. Now to what is.

How can you call things that have never been implemented the 'old ways'!?!

If your health bill fails to pass, can I consider it to have been tried and failed?

(and actually, one of the four things I suggested has already been promised by Obama... I wonder if that changes your opinion about it being the 'old way' and 'already failed'...)
handfleisch
ocalhoun wrote:

(and actually, one of the four things I suggested has already been promised by Obama... I wonder if that changes your opinion about it being the 'old way' and 'already failed'...)


I wonder it that changes your rote negative response to the Obama's health care reform.

But whatever. Forward-looking Americans are ignoring the naysayers and obstructionists, all the people who whined, used scare tactics, played politics or shilled for corporations. But it's not over yet, and the Senate vote will be a battleground

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8349267.stm
Quote:

Obama says health vote 'historic'
US President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
Mr Obama personally urged the Democrats to back the bill

US President Barack Obama has hailed as "historic" the approval of a health bill by the House of Representatives.

He said he was "absolutely confident" the Senate would pass its own version, and that healthcare reforms would become law by the end of the year.

Passed in a narrow 220-215 vote by the House, the bill aims to extend coverage to 36 million more Americans and provide affordable healthcare to 96%.

Mr Obama has made healthcare reform a central plank of his domestic agenda.
ocalhoun
ocalhoun wrote:

No, Obama's plan for health insurance still puts far too much power in the hands of government.
(And I don't think it includes allowing medicare to negotiate for drug prices, despite promises...)



Self-correction: Apparently the current health care bill does allow medicare to negotiate drug prices.
deanhills
@Handfleisch. It is not over yet as you've pointed out, but still want to congratulate you, sounds as though the Democrats are having BIG parties all over Washington DC and if Obama is celebrating, I'm sure you must be happy too.

Only part that I really object to is when you write this:
handfleisch wrote:
Forward-looking Americans are ignoring the naysayers and obstructionists, all the people who whined, used scare tactics, played politics or shilled for corporations.
Why do you regard Americans who have a different point of view "naysayers and obstructionists" and not forward looking? Quite a large percentage of the Americans who have a different point of view to yours have very good reasons that they arrived at with very sound judgment. There are perhaps a tiny percentage of loud idiots that the media seem to like to make into some kind of "majority" noises, but at least you need to respect the points of view of those Americans who are truly concerned about the economic situation.

I just can't believe how a Government is going to get involved in selling of Health Insurance, when it has very very limited power over the health care industry. I still hope it won't happen, but if it does, I'm sure students in law are thinking of a career in medical insurance claims. I still have to figure out for myself how the price per head of medical cost in the United States will come down because of medical insurance. Hopefully if the health insurance bill becomes law, and in a few years or more they re-calculate the per capita medical cost, they will calculate into this the cost of medical insurance, the cost of selling the medical insurance, legislating and arbitrating medical insurance claims. There will be two costs of course. People will have to pay for the health insurance (either directly or subsidized) and through taxes people will have to pay for the administrative, legal and sales force in Government that will be selling and administrating Health Insurance.
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
@Handfleisch. It is not over yet as you've pointed out, but still want to congratulate you, sounds as though the Democrats are having BIG parties all over Washington DC and if Obama is celebrating, I'm sure you must be happy too.

Only part that I really object to is when you write this:
handfleisch wrote:
Forward-looking Americans are ignoring the naysayers and obstructionists, all the people who whined, used scare tactics, played politics or shilled for corporations.
Why do you regard Americans who have a different point of view "naysayers and obstructionists" and not forward looking? Quite a large percentage of the Americans who have a different point of view to yours have very good reasons that they arrived at with very sound judgment. There are perhaps a tiny percentage of loud idiots that the media seem to like to make into some kind of "majority" noises, but at least you need to respect the points of view of those Americans who are truly concerned about the economic situation.


In this case, no, I don't think most of the arguments against health care reform deserve respect. As someone said very well:
Orphois wrote:
Health care is not a product that should be bought and sold like sports cars. Like I said before, there are certain institutions which should be kept as social programs. People would be up in arms if we privatized our Police and Fire Departments. In fact, most people laugh that off as a ridiculous idea. But how and why is it any more ridiculous than medical care being totally privatized? Why should we expect a socialized Police and Fire department, and then compare people to Stalin and Hitler for supporting a nationalized health care system, or even a public health option? The whole argument against providing medical care to our citizens, the same way we provide Police protection, EMS, education, Fire safety, etc., is utter madness.


Utter madness is not sound judgement and does not deserve respect.

The economic argument is just as hollow. When it comes to the military and wars, there is always plenty of money, and no one says we can't afford it due to the economic situation. But when it comes to providing health insurance to the uninsured in some way that so many other countries manage to do just fine, then the economy is said to be too unstable or the coffers too empty. It's baloney.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
I don't think most of the arguments against health care reform deserve respect.

Which is pretty obvious.
<_<

I, however, do respect the arguments of the opposition and even agree with many of them, though I strongly disagree with this approach to fixing the problem.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
When it comes to the military and wars, there is always plenty of money, and no one says we can't afford it due to the economic situation.
Whose money are we talking about here? Where will it be coming from? The way you put it is almost like everyone, including and especially those who do not have money, is entitled to "money", which by the way, does not exist, other than in trillions of debt that has already been spoken for.
handfleisch
Health care bill will LOWER the deficit.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/senate-health-bill-to-cost-849-billion-report-2009-11-18-174200

Quote:
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- A health-care overhaul proposed by Senate Democrats will cost $849 billion over 10 years, Senate leaders said Wednesday, and slash the deficit by $127 billion over the next decade.

The estimates, from the Congressional Budget Office, also showed that the bill would reduce the number of uninsured Americans by 31 million people.
jmi256
handfleisch wrote:
Health care bill will LOWER the deficit.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/senate-health-bill-to-cost-849-billion-report-2009-11-18-174200

Quote:
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- A health-care overhaul proposed by Senate Democrats will cost $849 billion over 10 years, Senate leaders said Wednesday, and slash the deficit by $127 billion over the next decade.

The estimates, from the Congressional Budget Office, also showed that the bill would reduce the number of uninsured Americans by 31 million people.


Yeah, I'm sure that'll happen. If you believe that I have a bridge I'd like to sell you.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
Health care bill will LOWER the deficit.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/senate-health-bill-to-cost-849-billion-report-2009-11-18-174200

Quote:
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- A health-care overhaul proposed by Senate Democrats will cost $849 billion over 10 years, Senate leaders said Wednesday, and slash the deficit by $127 billion over the next decade.

The estimates, from the Congressional Budget Office, also showed that the bill would reduce the number of uninsured Americans by 31 million people.

Oh, it very well might, but only if they raise taxes drastically.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
Health care bill will LOWER the deficit.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/senate-health-bill-to-cost-849-billion-report-2009-11-18-174200

Quote:
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- A health-care overhaul proposed by Senate Democrats will cost $849 billion over 10 years, Senate leaders said Wednesday, and slash the deficit by $127 billion over the next decade.

The estimates, from the Congressional Budget Office, also showed that the bill would reduce the number of uninsured Americans by 31 million people.
Exactly what healthcare "overhaul" are we talking about here? I thought the Bill was to legislate compulsory health care insurance for all. So where does healthcare "overhaul" come into it, and exactly what is it? How on earth would it lower the deficit? The only way I can think off is if Government is now also going to get involved in the business of selling healthcare insurance, in other words make money out of healthcare? However, Governments usually have a proven record of messing up business opportunities, so from a cynical point of view I am almost 100% confident that this would add trillions to the deficit, not lower it. The cost alone in terms of making the healthcare bill a priority over that of the economy for almost a year now on the President's list of priorities at the expense of increasing unemployment numbers, not to mention the cost of marketing the Bill, must be in the millions if not the billions by now. Not to mention the cost of the interest on the enormous loans to countries like China and Japan, that no doubt will have to kick off the Government's healthcare initiatives.

All one has to do is look at how Government has managed the Medicare Programme to date, to prove that Government should stay out of the health care business:
Quote:
According to the 2008 report by the board of trustees for Medicare and Social Security, Medicare will spend more than it brings in from taxes this year (2008). The Medicare hospital insurance trust fund will become insolvent by 2019. Shortly after the release of the report, the Chief Actuary testified that the insolvency of the system could be pushed back by 18 months if Medicare Advantage plans that provide more health care services than traditional Medicare and pass savings onto beneficiaries were paid at the same rate as the traditional fee-for-service program. He also testified that the 10-year cost of Medicare drug benefit is 37% lower than originally projected in 2003, and 17% percent lower than last year's projections. The New York Times wrote in January 2009 that Social Security and Medicare "have proved almost sacrosanct in political terms, even as they threaten to grow so large as to be unsustainable in the long run."


Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicare_(United_States)

From the Graph it would appear that a real problem is a very large percentage aging population that has to be taken care off by everyone else. I can't see how the legislation is going to decrease costs associated with that. Would take a miracle to do that.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:

From the Graph it would appear that a real problem is a very large percentage aging population that has to be taken care off by everyone else. I can't see how the legislation is going to decrease costs associated with that. Would take a miracle to do that.

A miracle... or an influx of legal working-age immigrants from Mexico and elsewhere...
Yet another reason to make legal immigration quick and easy.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:

From the Graph it would appear that a real problem is a very large percentage aging population that has to be taken care off by everyone else. I can't see how the legislation is going to decrease costs associated with that. Would take a miracle to do that.

A miracle... or an influx of legal working-age immigrants from Mexico and elsewhere...
Yet another reason to make legal immigration quick and easy.
I haven't thought about that, but that would make good sense from the point of view of bringing down the average age down in terms of the portion of the total population that is able to produce and pay taxes. Would probably also be a good idea to put real age limitations to people allowed to emigrate to the United States, or up the funds that emigrants need to bring with them in order to be able to support themselves and not be a burden on the social infrastructure.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
Would probably also be a good idea to put real age limitations to people allowed to emigrate to the United States, or up the funds that emigrants need to bring with them in order to be able to support themselves and not be a burden on the social infrastructure.

No!
Have no age restrictions! Most of the immigrants will be people looking for work, so the majority will be of the target age group, no authoritarian immigration laws needed.

Make them bring money with them? No! We don't want them for the money they bring, we want them for the capability-to-make-money they bring. Can anybody call an influx of productive, tax-paying workers a burden on the social infrastructure? The retiring baby-boomers are the strain on the system; immigrants would be what enables the infrastructure to handle the strain.
Voodoocat
Quote:
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- A health-care overhaul proposed by Senate Democrats will cost $849 billion over 10 years, Senate leaders said Wednesday, and slash the deficit by $127 billion over the next decade.


Hold you horses boss! This statement is one of the most disingenuous peices of blatant propaganda vomited from Washington in recent memory. Why the invective? While the headline implies that the costs have been calculated based on a decade of health care, actually it only accounts for six years. What? Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and The Holy One Himself did not make that clear? I wonder why? The true decadal cost will be over TWO TRILLION DOLLARS!!!!!!!! You have been suckered if you believe their lies.

Quote:
Part of the problem with the CBO estimate is that it covers a 10-year period from 2010-2019 -- however, the health care reform plan is not fully implemented until 2014. That means the federal government is raking in billions in taxes and savings for the first four years without spending on the new program. The $2.5 trillion estimate is for the 10-year window starting in 2014, after implementation of the program begins.


Source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/11/19/senate-health-price-tag-rosy-deficit-estimate-assailed-fantasy/

The simple truth is: America cannot afford this bill. End of story.
Bikerman
Quote:
The simple truth is: America cannot afford this bill. End of story.

The US already has the highest health-care spend in the world (apart from East Timor), so I really don't know how you arrive at that conclusion. The number one cause of bankruptcy in the US is medical bills. The US spends about twice as much, per capita, as other 'developed' countries on health care, and I really don't understand why the current proposals should increase this.....
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
Quote:
The simple truth is: America cannot afford this bill. End of story.

The US already has the highest health-care spend in the world (apart from East Timor), so I really don't know how you arrive at that conclusion. The number one cause of bankruptcy in the US is medical bills. The US spends about twice as much, per capita, as other 'developed' countries on health care, and I really don't understand why the current proposals should increase this.....
Someone still has to explain to me exactly how the cost of medical care will be reduced by legislating health insurance for all. Not only will the cost of health care stay the same, but it will increase as there will be added costs for purchasing health insurance, both the actual price of health insurance but also the administration that is involved with health insurance, which I'm sure Government will very carefully keep separate in future when it totals health care cost. The only way that health care spending can be reduced, is if primary health care in the United States is shifted in the direction of public health care, so that Government would have much more control over the cost of primary health care. And when they do, they probably will mess everything up as they have done with the Medicare Program which for all intents and purposes is bankrupt too.

I do believe changes are necessary, but no one has convinced me yet exactly how that will reduce the cost per head of medical services. Looking at the here and now, the Federal Government would need a huge loan to cover the set up of this service, and if one factors that in as well, including the huge interest on the loans that the US would have to get to finance this operation, when the country is basically a bankrupt country, absolutely none of it makes sense, except for politics. If the State of Massuchusetts can provide an equitable arrangement for medical insurance for its people, without Federal Government interference, why can't the other States do the same? That won't bring down the medical health care costs but at least it won't add to it when the Federal Government gets involved by making debts "in trillions".
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
The only way that health care spending can be reduced, is if primary health care in the United States is shifted in the direction of public health care, so that Government would have much more control over the cost of primary health care. And when they do, they probably will mess everything up as they have done with the Medicare Program which for all intents and purposes is bankrupt too.

Well, that's not the only way to reduce costs... And I highlighted the reason I don't like that particular 'way' in red.
Bikerman
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
The only way that health care spending can be reduced, is if primary health care in the United States is shifted in the direction of public health care, so that Government would have much more control over the cost of primary health care. And when they do, they probably will mess everything up as they have done with the Medicare Program which for all intents and purposes is bankrupt too.

Well, that's not the only way to reduce costs... And I highlighted the reason I don't like that particular 'way' in red.

Err...it is plainly, evidently, and bleedin' obviously a false dichotomy. You reduce health costs by stopping the drug companies, insurance companies and the rest of the self-serving parasites from ripping you off. The administrative costs of your current system are ludicrous - 31% of your total health spend goes on admin.

Look, let me say this slowly, once again :-

a) The US pays about twice as much per head as other comparable countries for health care.
b) The US does NOT have a better system than these other comparable countries by any reasonable measure from any reputable body. The most reliable measure is the WHO survey which puts the US first in cost, 37th in overall performance and 72nd in terms of overall level of health in the population. Now, the critics say that this does not take into account satisfaction ratings in the public. Maybe so. I say that satisfaction ratings are a strange way to objectively measure health performance. Convince people for long enough that their brass ring is gold and they will probably be very satisfied - until they come to cash it in. Use any objective measure you like - infant morality, life expectancy, years of potential life lost, and you will find the US either near the bottom of the table, or at best lurking in the middle.
c) Therefore you are ALREADY paying way too much.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:

Err...it is plainly, evidently, and bleedin' obviously a false dichotomy. You reduce health costs by stopping the drug companies, insurance companies and the rest of the self-serving parasites from ripping you off. The administrative costs of your current system are ludicrous - 31% of your total health spend goes on admin.

1. 31% on admin .... are you referring to a specific comparison, is it possible to point us in the direction of the comparison you are referring to?
2. How would the new legislation stop drug companies, insurance companies and other "parasites" from ripping people off? As far as I can see people will be forced to purchase more insurance of the same kind, thereby enriching those who are already ripping people off by a further and larger percentage.

Bikerman wrote:
Look, let me say this slowly, once again :-

a) The US pays about twice as much per head as other comparable countries for health care.
Is it possible for us to have a closer look at those cost comparisons?
Bikerman wrote:
b) The US does NOT have a better system than these other comparable countries by any reasonable measure from any reputable body.
I never said it did. I can't recall anyone else in this discussion saying that either. The argument in general is that change is definitely needed, but what the Government is proposing may not be the change that will bring about efficient and cost effective results. I am saying that Government has already been given an opportunity to show what it can do in other areas of health care, i.e. the Medicare programme and muddled it up. Government, by reputation of being bad with managing money has a good chance of making it much more expensive than it already is. I've argued in earlier discussions that efficient change can only happen at the root of the problem, which is at the State and regional level upwards, not from the Federal Government downwards.

Bikerman wrote:
c) Therefore you are ALREADY paying way too much.
That is true. No one argued with that either. What they do argue with is the current proposal to fix this problem. It will be the equivalent of putting a trillion dollar plus band-aid plaster over a bleeding wound that needs to be fixed from the bottom up, not from the top down. Making it compulsory for everyone to buy health insurance, the people who stand to gain the most as far as I can see are obviously the insurance companies and the Government. The people of course as well, as they will all have health insurance, but I can't see how that will bring the cost of medical care down. People would have to go out and find money to buy the health insurance. Who will be carrying the additional cost?

In your opinion, specifically how do you see the new Health bill bringing the medical costs down?
Bikerman
The figures are all easily available from wiki, the WHO and other sources - google is your friend.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Healthcare_in_the_US
http://www.who.int/countries/usa/en/

As for insurance companies benefiting - they already do. Why do you think they are at the forefront of the 'No' lobby? They have a nice thing going and don't want to give it up.
There are plenty of ways to implement universal health coverage. One way is to force insurance companies to provide cover at a fixed price, but then recompense them for any extra risk through a system of risk compensation from a central pot. This is exactly how the Dutch system currently works, although I still prefer the single-payer system (ie like the NHS here).

I don't really give a hoot what the US decides to do. I just get sick of hearing the lies, distortions, paranoia and downright stupidity which seems to characterise this debate. If Americans really want to believe that any sort of socialised medicine is the work of the devil then fine, let them continue to pay ridiculous money for a second-class system. Let them continue to be the only civilised country in the world which doesn't offer universal health care. I really do NOT care, but I will not put up with the sort of nonsense routinely spouted here.

If it were really true that the US government is incapable of doing what just about every other government in the developed world manages to do, then that speaks very badly for the level of competence of US politicians - and I don't believe it for a minute.
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
The only way that health care spending can be reduced, is if primary health care in the United States is shifted in the direction of public health care, so that Government would have much more control over the cost of primary health care. And when they do, they probably will mess everything up as they have done with the Medicare Program which for all intents and purposes is bankrupt too.

Well, that's not the only way to reduce costs... And I highlighted the reason I don't like that particular 'way' in red.

Err...it is plainly, evidently, and bleedin' obviously a false dichotomy. You reduce health costs by stopping the drug companies, insurance companies and the rest of the self-serving parasites from ripping you off. The administrative costs of your current system are ludicrous - 31% of your total health spend goes on admin.

I don't disagree that we are paying too much. I just want to see cost reduction with a minimum of government growth. Sadly, some plans seem to be designed specifically for maximum government growth while solving the problem.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
I just get sick of hearing the lies, distortions, paranoia and downright stupidity which seems to characterise this debate. If Americans really want to believe that any sort of socialised medicine is the work of the devil then fine, let them continue to pay ridiculous money for a second-class system. Let them continue to be the only civilised country in the world which doesn't offer universal health care. I really do NOT care, but I will not put up with the sort of nonsense routinely spouted here.
I must say you judge very severely and very harshly. Fortunately we are living in a democracy where it is OK to have different opinions. Whether yours is the superior opinion and opinions of other Frihosters "nonsense" is obviously a subject of debate and in the eye of the beholder.

Of the opinions that have been expressed in this thread, the one that I can best identify with is that of Ocalhoun's. Which has to do with the bottomline of cost:
Ocalhoun wrote:
I don't disagree that we are paying too much. I just want to see cost reduction with a minimum of government growth. Sadly, some plans seem to be designed specifically for maximum government growth while solving the problem.
Afaceinthematrix
This may be my first contribution to this topic... I usually do not talk much about politics because I remain extremely ignorant when it comes to politics. However, I have been reading this topic.

What interests me is that there seems to be a consensus here and in other places that I've checked that people from the U.K. tend to be very satisfied with there health care service. Americans, of course, are not because we have a far inferior system to many European (and Canadian) systems.

However, the U.S. spends the most on health care? Why? Well that probably means that people are making a lot of money where they shouldn't be. That definitely needs to be improved because there should be a better system here in the states.

So.... to answer this question: Why can't we have health care? I can give an answer as to why we do not have it yet. Politicians in the U.S. have health care. They also bring home buckets of money. They can afford any health care they want. What happens when you're dealing with a problem that first off, doesn't apply to you, and second off, you cannot relate to? The current systems happens...
handfleisch
Bikerman wrote:
I just get sick of hearing the lies, distortions, paranoia and downright stupidity which seems to characterise this debate. If Americans really want to believe that any sort of socialised medicine is the work of the devil then fine, let them continue to pay ridiculous money for a second-class system. Let them continue to be the only civilised country in the world which doesn't offer universal health care. I really do NOT care, but I will not put up with the sort of nonsense routinely spouted here.

If it were really true that the US government is incapable of doing what just about every other government in the developed world manages to do, then that speaks very badly for the level of competence of US politicians - and I don't believe it for a minute.


amen to that. The paranoia and stupidity we might be stuck with, but the lies and distortions come from the 1.4 million dollars per day being spent by corporations to defeat reform. And that's the worse part because it shows, as you make obvious, that there is little rational or truthful argument against reform, and so lies and scare tactics are being used 24/7.
the fight goes on:
deanhills
On the other hand this could be a simple case of due process, the Constitution requires it:
silverdown
we can't get it because of one mini reason USA IS BROKE!!! ok... now breath... yup still broke.
Bikerman
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
This may be my first contribution to this topic... I usually do not talk much about politics because I remain extremely ignorant when it comes to politics. However, I have been reading this topic.

What interests me is that there seems to be a consensus here and in other places that I've checked that people from the U.K. tend to be very satisfied with there health care service. Americans, of course, are not because we have a far inferior system to many European (and Canadian) systems
Well, I'd add a note of caution here. If you want to look for dissatisfaction with the NHS it is not hard to find. There are plenty of stories about poor treatment or bad outcomes around. The main point, however, is that if the question is ever asked 'should the NHS be privatised' then the answer is overwhelmingly no. Of course some of the charges made by opponents have some basis in fact. The NHS absolutely DOES operate a system of rationing. New treatments have to be approved by NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) and this means that some expensive treatments are not available on the NHS. Mostly these are drugs which offer the chance of more life in terminal diseases, or improve the quality of life for such patients. They can, of course, pay for the drugs themselves if they have either the means or the private insurance. I have no problem with NICE making this type of decision - it is the honest way to deal with the issue. The dishonest way is to pretend that such drugs are available to all in ANY system - they are not. The other point is that the pressure from NICE acts as a constraint on the drugs companies. They know that if they overcharge for a drug then the NHS will not be buying it, and that is a massive potential market lost. That pressure does not exist in the US, because there is no central 'buyer' to exert it. That is, I think, one reason the costs are so much higher in the US.
Moonspider
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
What interests me is that there seems to be a consensus here and in other places that I've checked that people from the U.K. tend to be very satisfied with there health care service. Americans, of course, are not because we have a far inferior system to many European (and Canadian) systems.


Actually, Americans with health coverege are consistently satisfied with their coverage (whether it be private or government).

Reference:Private Insurance Company Poll Data

According to Rasmussen polling data, satisfaction with the current U.S. Health Care system is ironically rising amidst the debate over national health care. Only 27% rate the U.S. health care system as "poor." Only 38% of those polled favor current health care legislation. This seems to be consistent with what I have seen in other recent polls from various news sources.

Reference: Those Who Rate U.S. Health Care Good or Excellent Up to 49%

Respectfully,
M
handfleisch
Moonspider wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
What interests me is that there seems to be a consensus here and in other places that I've checked that people from the U.K. tend to be very satisfied with there health care service. Americans, of course, are not because we have a far inferior system to many European (and Canadian) systems.


Actually, Americans with health coverege are consistently satisfied with their coverage (whether it be private or government).

Reference:Private Insurance Company Poll Data

According to Rasmussen polling data, satisfaction with the current U.S. Health Care system is ironically rising amidst the debate over national health care. Only 27% rate the U.S. health care system as "poor." Only 38% of those polled favor current health care legislation. This seems to be consistent with what I have seen in other recent polls from various news sources.

Reference: Those Who Rate U.S. Health Care Good or Excellent Up to 49%

Respectfully,
M

I wonder what the 18,000 people who die per year due to lack of health insurance in the USA would say. Even the Rasmussen pollsters aren't clever enough to figure out how to poll them, but I suspect that their Republican-biased organization would figure out a way to show they were perfectly satisfied until they got sick and died, even though they would have lived if they were German, Canadian, Israeli, Norwegian, etc.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:

I wonder what the 18,000 people who die per year due to lack of health insurance in the USA would say.

How did you get that figure, hm?

Hopefully not by just tallying the deaths of people who don't have insurance, because a lot of those probably couldn't be saved by insurance.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:

I wonder what the 18,000 people who die per year due to lack of health insurance in the USA would say.

How did you get that figure, hm?

Hopefully not by just tallying the deaths of people who don't have insurance, because a lot of those probably couldn't be saved by insurance.
The figure is on a Government Website, which puts all kinds of questions in my head, such as Government promoting the Healthcare Bill. Who is paying for that kind of marketing, and is it right that tax payers who do not agree with the Bill get to foot the bill for that kind of Government marketing?

When I did searches on the stats I also found a Harvard Medical School poll that says 45,000 deaths. That is an enormous contrast with the Government Website stat of 18,000 deaths. Perhaps both are artificially construed, as Ocalhoun you are right, how does one get to figure that it was lack of health care insurance that caused the deaths. It is the equivalent of putting "heart failure" as the reason for someone's death on their death certificate. There would have to be individual autopsies first to come to a scientific conclusion that death was due to lack of health insurance. What is noteworthy is that this study was funded by a Federal Government Research Grant:
Quote:
The Harvard study, funded by a federal research grant, was published in the online edition of the American Journal of Public Health. It was released by Physicians for a National Health Program, which favors government-backed or "single-payer" health insurance.

I get a strong feeling of a plutocratic instead of a democratic Government.
jmi256
I guess Obama did lie…

Quote:
Health bills fail to block illegals from coverage

Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants could receive health care coverage from their employers under the bills winding their way through Congress, despite President Obama's explicit pledge that illegal immigrants would not benefit.

Source = http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/nov/30/health-bills-fail-to-block-illegals-from-coverage/
Voodoocat
Representative Joe Wilson offered a very public apology for his outburst after hearing Obama promise that illegal immigrants would not be eligable for public funded health care. Not it turns out that Mr. Wilson was correct. When will Obama apologize for his lie?
deanhills
Voodoocat wrote:
Representative Joe Wilson offered a very public apology for his outburst after hearing Obama promise that illegal immigrants would not be eligable for public funded health care. Not it turns out that Mr. Wilson was correct. When will Obama apologize for his lie?
If Wilson had put the question to Obama in an orderly way, at the right time and right place with the appropriate respect, then the question would have been successful, but it was the tone that torpedoed his question. He basically killed his own question.
Anyway, now it seems that his question has become very valid, so hope someone will stand up and ask that question in the right forum.
ocalhoun
jmi256 wrote:
I guess Obama did lie…

Quote:
Health bills fail to block illegals from coverage

Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants could receive health care coverage from their employers under the bills winding their way through Congress, despite President Obama's explicit pledge that illegal immigrants would not benefit.

Source = http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/nov/30/health-bills-fail-to-block-illegals-from-coverage/

It is impossible to completely exclude illegal immigrants from any plan.

The only thing that changes in that regard is the degree to which it happens. (Which would be directly influenced by how thoroughly applicants are checked.)
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
I guess Obama did lie…

Quote:
Health bills fail to block illegals from coverage

Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants could receive health care coverage from their employers under the bills winding their way through Congress, despite President Obama's explicit pledge that illegal immigrants would not benefit.

Source = http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/nov/30/health-bills-fail-to-block-illegals-from-coverage/

It is impossible to completely exclude illegal immigrants from any plan.

The only thing that changes in that regard is the degree to which it happens. (Which would be directly influenced by how thoroughly applicants are checked.)
Perhaps also important would be who gets to foot the bill for it, as is that not why people are upset with this? With regard to this thread, the topic was about Obama lying. So if it is common sense that it would be impossible to exclude illegal immigrants from any plan, then he must have lied by a very great common sense margin. Wilson must have done him a great favour as the way he did het got sympathy for Obama so no one paid attention to the question. If Wilson's question had been asked in the right forum, possibly Obama's statement would then have been shown up as a distortion of the truth.
handfleisch
Thousands of US retirees go to Mexico for health insurance. Remember that next time someone claims that health care in the US is the best.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-08-31-mexico-health-care_N.htm
Quote:
Mexico's health care lures Americans

MEXICO CITY — It sounds almost too good to be true: a health care plan with no limits, no deductibles, free medicines, tests, X-rays, eyeglasses, even dental work — all for a flat fee of $250 or less a year.

To get it, you just have to move to Mexico.

As the United States debates an overhaul of its health care system, thousands of American retirees in Mexico have quietly found a solution of their own, signing up for the health care plan run by the Mexican Social Security Institute.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
Thousands of US retirees go to Mexico for health insurance. Remember that next time someone claims that health care in the US is the best.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-08-31-mexico-health-care_N.htm
Quote:
Mexico's health care lures Americans

MEXICO CITY — It sounds almost too good to be true: a health care plan with no limits, no deductibles, free medicines, tests, X-rays, eyeglasses, even dental work — all for a flat fee of $250 or less a year.

To get it, you just have to move to Mexico.

As the United States debates an overhaul of its health care system, thousands of American retirees in Mexico have quietly found a solution of their own, signing up for the health care plan run by the Mexican Social Security Institute.
First time I've heard about people moving to Mexico for health care insurance, usually it is for retirement at a lower cost of living. There are a number of exclusions that apply so it is probably meant for healthy people, not those who are already sick or suffering from chronic diseases:
http://www.medtogo.com/apply-IMSS-Mexico-social-security.html
Quote:
Exclusion Criteria and Insurance Limitations
As a foreigner applying for IMSS, you may not receive treatment for pre-existing illness for the term of your coverage. These exclusions do not include treatment for any other illness that is acquired during your stay in Mexico. Pre-existing illness is defined as:

Malignant tumors (cancer)
Chronic degenerative disease such as that which is seen with long-standing diabetes, liver disease (cirrhosis, hepatitis, etc.), kidney disease (renal failure or renal insufficiency), heart disease (previous heart attack, arrhythmia, or valvular disease), lung disease (chronic bronchitis, emphysema, etc.), neurologic disease (multiple), cerebrovascular disease (stroke or TIA), peripheral vascular disease, and many others.
Drug or alcohol dependency
Psychiatric illness
HIV positive status or history of AIDS
History of traumatic or muscular injury that continues to require treatment

Further, you can not receive medical care benefits for the following conditions:

Benign breast tumors in the first six months after acceptance
Births in the first ten months after acceptance

In the first year after acceptance you also cannot receive the following surgical procedures:

Lithotripsy for kidney stones
Surgery for gynecologic conditions except for cancer
Surgery for vein disorders
Surgical procedures for the sinuses, nose, hemorrhoids, rectal fistulas, tonsils and adenoids, hernias (except for herniated spinal discs), and other operations that are also considered “elective,” or voluntary, rather than required

In the first two years after acceptance you cannot receive surgery for orthopedic conditions.

In addition, your IMSS insurance will not cover the following:

Aesthetic or plastic surgery, eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing aids, the surgical correction of astigmatism, lasik surgery or the equivalent, treatment of self-inflicted injury, preventive care, treatments for behavioral or psychiatric disturbances, dental care (except for extractions), or infertility treatments.
jmi256
handfleisch wrote:
Thousands of US retirees go to Mexico for health insurance. Remember that next time someone claims that health care in the US is the best.


You should read the entire article. Doesn't sound like a bargin to me. I'll stick to my much-better US system, thank you.

Quote:

The system has flaws, the facilities aren't cutting-edge, and the deal may not last long because the Mexican government said in a recent report that it is "notorious" for losing money.


Quote:

Pre-existing conditions aren't covered for the first two years, and some newer medicines and implants are not free. IMSS hospitals don't have frills such as televisions or in-room phones, and they often require patients to bring family members to help with bathing and other non-medical tasks. Most doctors and nurses speak only Spanish, and Mexico's overloaded court system doesn't provide much recourse if something goes wrong.
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
Thousands of US retirees go to Mexico for health insurance. Remember that next time someone claims that health care in the US is the best.


You should read the entire article. Doesn't sound like a bargin to me. I'll stick to my much-better US system, thank you.

Quote:

The system has flaws, the facilities aren't cutting-edge, and the deal may not last long because the Mexican government said in a recent report that it is "notorious" for losing money.


Quote:

Pre-existing conditions aren't covered for the first two years, and some newer medicines and implants are not free. IMSS hospitals don't have frills such as televisions or in-room phones, and they often require patients to bring family members to help with bathing and other non-medical tasks. Most doctors and nurses speak only Spanish, and Mexico's overloaded court system doesn't provide much recourse if something goes wrong.


Despite your oh-so-important personal view, thousands of people go to Mexico to get better health care than they can get in the USA.
handfleisch
The latest good news...
http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/03/senate-passes-womens-health-amendment/?hp
Quote:

Senate Passes Women’s Health Amendment

Breaking a three-day stalemate, the Senate approved an amendment to its health care legislation that would require insurance companies to offer free mammograms and other preventive services to women.

The vote was 61 to 39, with three Republicans joining 56 Democrats and the two independents in favor.

jmi256
handfleisch wrote:
The latest good news...
http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/03/senate-passes-womens-health-amendment/?hp
Quote:

Senate Passes Women’s Health Amendment

Breaking a three-day stalemate, the Senate approved an amendment to its health care legislation that would require insurance companies to offer free mammograms and other preventive services to women.

The vote was 61 to 39, with three Republicans joining 56 Democrats and the two independents in favor.



Isn’t this the amendment that prevents women from getting yearly mammograms? Doctors advocate for yearly mammograms starting at age 40, but the federal government panels, which will be in charge of everyone's healthcare choices, have decided to ration the mammograms.

From the article above:
Quote:

The debate over amendments related to women’s health care had focused heavily on the question of when it is appropriate to begin annual mammograms to screen for breast cancer.
A panel of experts, appointed by the federal government, recently changed its recommendation and said that such routine mammograms should begin at age 50 rather than at age 40.
The Democrats’ health care bill would generally require insurers to provide preventive treatment recommended by the expert panel, the United States Preventive Services Task Force. But lawmakers in both parties made clear that they wanted doctors to decide when a mammogram is medically necessary and that insurers should be required to cover the cost if the procedure is needed.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
Despite your oh-so-important personal view, thousands of people go to Mexico to get better health care than they can get in the USA.
They can only be healthy people, and if you look at all the exclusions in the Mexican Medical Insurance package, this may only be suitable for people who have no pre-existing medical conditions. It even puts a time limit on certain surgeries in two years time, etc.

As far as I know most people who move to Mexico do it when they no longer wish to work, and want to live in a lower cost environment. Medical Insurance would be part of that package, but I'm almost certain that some of those Americans would maintain a back-up medical plan in the States and return to the States periodically for dental and medical check-ups.
jmi256
Most Americans are still opposed to the Obama's healthcare scheme:

Quote:

Health Care Reform
41% Favor Health Care Plan, 51% Oppose

Monday, December 07, 2009

The Senate worked through the weekend on its version of the national health care bill, with President Obama stopping by for a rare Sunday visit, but for the second week in a row, only 41% of U.S. voters favor the health care plan proposed by the president and congressional Democrats.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 51% oppose the plan. And as has been the case for months, the emotion’s on the sign of the naysayers: 40% Strongly Oppose the plan, while just 23% Strongly favor it.

Support for the president’s health care plan fell to 38%, its lowest ever, just before Thanksgiving. Followed by two weeks at 41%, this marks the lowest extended period of support for the plan yet. With the exception of a few days following nationally televised presidential appeals for the legislation, the number of voters opposed to the plan has always exceeded the number who favor it.

“This suggests that public opinion about the health care plan is hardening,” says Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports. “Despite the fact that most American believe our health care system needs major changes, most are opposed to what Congress is currently doing about it.”

Rasmussen Reports is continuing to track public opinion on the health care plan on a weekly basis, with updated findings released each Monday morning.

The Senate is expected to take up the abortion issue as part of its health care debate this week. Earlier polling shows that 48% nationwide want abortion coverave banned in the health care bill, while just 13% want such coverage mandated in the legislation.

Both the Senate and the House have Democratic majorities, which explains why both keep pushing on health care despite consistent public opposition. Seventy-two percent (72%) of Democrats favor the plan, while 83% of Republicans and 62% of voters not affiliated with either major party are opposed to it.

Democrats consistently have rated health care reform as the most important of the priorities listed by the president early in his term. Republicans and unaffiliated voters say cutting the federal deficit in half by the end of his first term is the president's highest priority.

Fifty-two percent (52%) of all voters now say it is at least somewhat likely that the health care plan will become law this year, while 37% believe that is unlikely to happen. Seventeen percent (17%) think passage is Very Likely, but nine percent (9%) say it’s Not At All Likely.

That’s one reason why 71% of voters nationwide say they’re at least somewhat angry about the current policies of the federal government. That’s up five points from September. The overall figure includes 46% who are Very Angry.

While one of the chief stated goals of the plan proposed by the president and congressional Democrats is to lower the cost of health care, 57% say costs will go up if the plan is passed. Twenty-one percent (21%) say costs will go down, and 17% believe they will stay about the same.

Similarly, only 23% think the quality of health care will get better if the plan is passed, while 54% predict that it will get worse. Sixteen percent (16%) expect quality to stay about the same.

Other polling shows that 47% trust the private sector more than government to keep health care costs down and the quality of care up. Two-thirds (66%) say an increase in free market competition will do more than government regulation to reduce health care costs.

Sixty percent (60%) of voters nationwide believe passage of the health care plan will increase the deficit. Seventy-five percent (75%) also think it is at least somewhat likely that middle class taxes will have to be raised to cover the cost of the plan. Fifty-nine percent (59%) say such a tax increase is Very Likely.

Only 27% favor a single-payer health care system where the federal government provides coverage for everyone.

Although most Americans oppose the health care legislation working its way through Congress, 42% of voters say the federal government should be addressing health care reform. Twenty-three percent (23%) prefer to see reforms at the state government level, while 17% want both the state and federal government to get into the act.

Source = http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/healthcare/september_2009/health_care_reform
jmi256
The Democratic leadership is at it again. First those of us in favor of a commonsense approach to the healthcare debate and are skeptical of a government-run healthcare bureaucracy were labeled ‘nazis.’ Apparently we’re now racists and misogynists too. I’m glad this author decided to give Reid a bit of a history lesson of the Democrats’ role is opposing civil rights.

Quote:
Harry Reid's History Lesson
Harry Reid compares the fight for health-care reform to the emancipation and women's suffrage movements.


Majority Leader Harry Reid tarred opponents of his health care bill yesterday as the equivalent of those who opposed equal rights for women and civil rights for blacks.

In a remarkable statement on the Senate floor, Mr. Reid lambasted Republicans for wanting to "slow down" on health care. "You think you've heard these same excuses before? You're right," he said. "In this country there were those who dug in their heels and said, 'Slow down, it's too early. Let's wait. Things aren't bad enough' -- about slavery. When women wanted to vote, [they said] 'Slow down, there will be a better day to do that -- the day isn't quite right. . . .'"

He wrapped up his remarks as follows: "When this body was on the verge of guaranteeing equal civil rights to everyone regardless of the color of their skin, some senators resorted to the same filibuster threats that we hear today."

Senator Reid's comments were quickly condemned. "Hyperbole. It is over the top. It reminds me of earlier people talking about Nazis," said Juan Williams of NPR and Fox News, author of "Eyes on the Prize," a definitive history of the civil rights movement.

Historians also faulted Mr. Reid's curious reference to the Senate civil rights debates of the 1960s. After all, it was Southern Democrats who mounted an 83-day filibuster of the 1964 Civil Rights Bill. The final vote to cut off debate saw 29 Senators in opposition, 80% of them Democrats. Among those voting to block the civil rights bill was West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd, who personally filibustered the bill for 14 hours. The next year he also opposed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Mr. Byrd still sits in the Senate, and indeed preceded Mr. Reid as his party's majority leader until he stepped down from that role in 1989.

The final reason Mr. Reid's comments were so inapt and offensive is that the battles for women's suffrage and civil rights he referred to were about expanding freedom. That's not what the 2,074-page health care bill being debated in the Senate today does, with its 118 new regulatory boards and commissions. Mr. Reid may reach his needed 60 votes to pass his bill this month, but he is pursuing it using the most tawdry and deplorable of tactics.

Source = http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703558004574583980985617954.html
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
The Democratic leadership is at it again. First those of us in favor of a commonsense approach to the healthcare debate and are skeptical of a government-run healthcare bureaucracy were labeled ‘nazis.’ Apparently we’re now racists and misogynists too. I’m glad this author decided to give Reid a bit of a history lesson of the Democrats’ role is opposing civil rights.

Quote:
Harry Reid's History Lesson
Harry Reid compares the fight for health-care reform to the emancipation and women's suffrage movements.


Majority Leader Harry Reid tarred opponents of his health care bill yesterday as the equivalent of those who opposed equal rights for women and civil rights for blacks.

In a remarkable statement on the Senate floor, Mr. Reid lambasted Republicans for wanting to "slow down" on health care. "You think you've heard these same excuses before? You're right," he said. "In this country there were those who dug in their heels and said, 'Slow down, it's too early. Let's wait. Things aren't bad enough' -- about slavery. When women wanted to vote, [they said] 'Slow down, there will be a better day to do that -- the day isn't quite right. . . .'"

He wrapped up his remarks as follows: "When this body was on the verge of guaranteeing equal civil rights to everyone regardless of the color of their skin, some senators resorted to the same filibuster threats that we hear today."

Senator Reid's comments were quickly condemned. "Hyperbole. It is over the top. It reminds me of earlier people talking about Nazis," said Juan Williams of NPR and Fox News, author of "Eyes on the Prize," a definitive history of the civil rights movement.

Historians also faulted Mr. Reid's curious reference to the Senate civil rights debates of the 1960s. After all, it was Southern Democrats who mounted an 83-day filibuster of the 1964 Civil Rights Bill. The final vote to cut off debate saw 29 Senators in opposition, 80% of them Democrats. Among those voting to block the civil rights bill was West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd, who personally filibustered the bill for 14 hours. The next year he also opposed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Mr. Byrd still sits in the Senate, and indeed preceded Mr. Reid as his party's majority leader until he stepped down from that role in 1989.

The final reason Mr. Reid's comments were so inapt and offensive is that the battles for women's suffrage and civil rights he referred to were about expanding freedom. That's not what the 2,074-page health care bill being debated in the Senate today does, with its 118 new regulatory boards and commissions. Mr. Reid may reach his needed 60 votes to pass his bill this month, but he is pursuing it using the most tawdry and deplorable of tactics.

Source = http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703558004574583980985617954.html


Hilarious that the Republican party and anti-reform shills, the same people that said health care reform means "death panels", tries to accuse others of "tawdry and deplorable tactics". Kudos to Sen. Reid. He's right, health care reform is the civil rights issue of our time. Too bad the oped pages of the WSJ -- which are getting to be as bad as FOX propaganda -- is on the wrong side of this issue, and they are exactly wrong to say it is not about expanding freedom. It surely is. And yes, Reid's argument is sound, because those who said "go slow" (which really means "go back") back then are the same one who say it now. What's that sound? Oh, just the loud whining of Republican losers and their hurt feelings.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
He's right, health care reform is the civil rights issue of our time.


No, privacy vs. security would probably be the 'civil rights issue of our time'...
Or perhaps gay rights...

Free healthcare, however, is not a fundamental human right.

If you want the country to become a semi-socialist welfare state, say so, but don't try to act like you're fighting for human rights.
handfleisch
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
He's right, health care reform is the civil rights issue of our time.


No, privacy vs. security would probably be the 'civil rights issue of our time'...
Or perhaps gay rights...

Free healthcare, however, is not a fundamental human right.

If you want the country to become a semi-socialist welfare state, say so, but don't try to act like you're fighting for human rights.

You are wrong and using the fallacious straw man argument (no one has mentioned "free healthcare"), and since I have shown you wrong on this before, you are now either being totally dishonest or you're in a state of denial. Access to decent health care is universally recognized as fundamental human right.

It's times like these where you seem like a troll, not worth answering.
http://civilliberty.about.com/od/equalrights/f/Health-Care-Human-Right.htm
Quote:
But international human rights law is unambiguous on the matter: Universal health care is a right, and the government must step in and provide it if the private sector fails to do so.
handfleisch
The latest in the tactics used by the insurance companies to stop health care reform.

http://www.businessinsider.com/health-insures-caught-paying-facebook-users-virtual-currency-to-send-letters-to-congress-opposing-reform-bill-2009-12

Quote:
Health Insurers Caught Paying Facebook Gamers Virtual Currency To Oppose Reform Bill

Health insurance industry trade groups opposed to President Obama's health care reform bill are paying Facebook users fake money -- called "virtual currency" -- to send letters to Congress protesting the bill.

Here's how it's happening:

Facebook users play a social game, like "FarmVille" or "Friends For Sale." They get addicted to it. Eager to accelerate their progress inside the game, the gamers buy "virtual goods" such as a machine gun for "Mafia Wars." But these gamers don't buy these virtual goods with real money. They use virtual currency.

The gamers get virtual currency three ways:

* Winning it playing the games
* Paying for it with real money
* By accepting offers from third-parties -- usually companies like online movie rentals service Netflix -- who agree to give the gamer virtual currency so long as that gamer agrees to try a product or service. This is done through an "offers" provider -- a middleman that brings the companies like Netflix, the Facebook gamemakers, and the Facebook gamemaker's users together.

It's this third method that an anti-reform group called "Get Health Reform Right" is using to pay gamers virtual currency for their support.

Instead of asking the gamers to try a product the way Netflix would, "Get Health Reform Right" requires gamers to take a survey, which, upon completion, automatically sends the following email to their Congressional Rep:

"I am concerned a new government plan could cause me to lose the employer coverage I have today. More government bureaucracy will only create more problems, not solve the ones we have."

...

What is this practice called?

Paying people to act like political supporters is called "astroturfing," because its fake grass-roots campaigning. So maybe this should be called Virtual astroturfing. Virtual-turfing? Astroturfing 2.0?
...
Astroturfing, which involves real money, is not illegal, We can't imagine virtual curreny astroturfing would be illegal either. Whether or not it's ethical is a different question.

jmi256
handfleisch wrote:
The latest in the tactics used by the insurance companies to stop health care reform.

http://www.businessinsider.com/health-insures-caught-paying-facebook-users-virtual-currency-to-send-letters-to-congress-opposing-reform-bill-2009-12


Those dastardly insurance companies! Good thing liberals are above ‘astroturfing’? So this is how Obama plans on creating more jobs, huh?



Quote:
Leftist Bloggers Who Get Marching Orders from Obama Attack Protesters as "Astroturf"

Last month, President Obama held a conference call with a small group of liberal bloggers, asking them to keep pressure on Congress in the health care fight. Now those same bloggers are part of an orchestrated effort by the Democratic Party and the White House to portray protests against their health care legislation as, well, orchestrated.

"It is important just to keep the pressure on members of Congress because what happens is there is a default position of inertia here in Washington," Obama instructed the bloggers last month. "And pushing against that, making sure that people feel that the desperation that ordinary families are feeling all across the country, every single day, when they are worrying about whether they can pay their premiums or not... People have to feel that in a visceral way. And you guys can help deliver that better than just about anybody."

Obama later added, "I know the blogs are best at debunking myths that can slip through a lot of the traditional media outlets...And that is why you are going to play such an important role in our success in the weeks to come."

Since then, support for legislation has cratered, and those bloggers who get their marching orders from the White House and DNC have become part of the effort to attack ordinary Americans expressing their beliefs about an issue of great importance.

John Amato of Crooks and Liars was on last month's conference call with Obama. Yesterday, Amato asked, "How long will it take the traditional media to expose the corporations that are running this con and even mention the word 'astrotufing' in a serious way?" In the same post, he praised Robert Gibbs for accusing the protesters of being phony.

David Dayen of the blog D-Day was on the call. Yesterday, he wrote a post titled, "Top-Level Democrats Assault The Extremist Astroturfers." It began, "The White House took the lead on this, publicly calling the teabagger disruptions an example of astroturfing and citing conservative industry-backed groups taking credit for activating the rioters. Now other elements of the Democratic Party are taking up the baton. Dick Durbin and Chuck Schumer blasted the clown show today..."

Joan McCarter of Daily Kos was also on the call. Yesterday, she wrote of the protesters, "It's kind of sad, isn't it? They think they're part of a real populist movement, but the freedom they're fighting for is the freedom of corporations to make even more money off of them. It's that cynicism of this astroturf campaign that's particularly disturbing, because it's not about the rights of citizens to freely express their dissent."

So just to sum up, Obama enlists the aid of a small group of liberal bloggers in the health care fight, and then those same bloggers write posts echoing White House and DNC talking points -- and in the very process of doing that, accuse their political opponents of astroturfing!

Source = http://spectator.org/blog/2009/08/05/leftist-bloggers-who-get-march
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
The latest in the tactics used by the insurance companies to stop health care reform.
OK. I need some explanation on this. I thought that the health care reform was actually going to enrich the insurance companies, if everyone has to get health insurance they will be purchasing this from the insurance companies, and one of their choice? Or will the Government now get into the business of selling health insurance and go into competition with the insurance companies? Shocked
Alaskacameradude
Quote:

OK. I need some explanation on this. I thought that the health care reform was actually going to enrich the insurance companies, if everyone has to get health insurance they will be purchasing this from the insurance companies, and one of their choice? Or will the Government now get into the business of selling health insurance and go into competition with the insurance companies?


O you are absolutely right! That is what is known to the big insurance companies as 'The Great
Trade Off'. And it is how Obama has convinced them to support the bill. He will make it
MANDATORY for relatively young, healthy people to buy health insurance.....and it will
be at greatly INCREASED cost to them. This will in turn, REDUCE the cost for those who are
sick and need to use health care a lot.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091210/ap_on_bi_ge/us_health_care_consumers

Quoted from the article for those who don't want to read through the whole thing

'And get ready for a whole new set of trade-offs. For example, people in their 50s and early 60s, when health problems tend to surface, are likely to pay less than they would now. But those in their 20s and 30s, who get the best deals today, will face higher premiums, A middle-class family of four making $66,000 would still have to pay about 10 percent of its income in premiums, not counting co-payments and deductibles.'

So basically, health care would be cheaper (relatively) for those who use it most, and more
expensive (again relatively) for many who don't use it much at all. Which is kind of the opposite of the current situation.

As for whether the government will get into competing against private insurance companies,
we don't know yet. The more liberal Democrats, including the speaker of the House, support
just that. The more moderate/centrist Democrats do NOT support that, and there is the issue.
See, the Democrats need to have all 58 Democrats in the Senate onboard, as well as the
two Independents (who regularly caucus with the Dems) to have the 60 votes necessary to
overcome a Republican filibuster. And one Independent (Joe Lieberman) has said that he
will join Republicans to block any government option

http://voices.kansascity.com/node/6826

There are also a couple 'Blue Dog' conservative Democrats who aren't happy with the govenment
option. So they are currently trying to work on a 'compromise'. Some sort of 'government
option' that isn't a government option. Or something. Who knows what kind of arm twisting
and deals are being made behind closed doors? We will just have to wait and see what comes
out of this. My bet is it will be something closely resembling a government option, but something
which will give the Democrats and Independents some sort of 'deniability' for the upcoming elections.
handfleisch
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Quote:

OK. I need some explanation on this. I thought that the health care reform was actually going to enrich the insurance companies, if everyone has to get health insurance they will be purchasing this from the insurance companies, and one of their choice? Or will the Government now get into the business of selling health insurance and go into competition with the insurance companies?


O you are absolutely right! That is what is known to the big insurance companies as 'The Great
Trade Off'.


Um, the insurance companies have been spending 1.4 million dollars per day to stop health care reform, because they fear it will cut into their megaprofits. You guys are wandering deep into fantasyland.
Alaskacameradude
Quote:


Um, the insurance companies have been spending 1.4 million dollars per day to stop health care reform, because they fear it will cut into their megaprofits. You guys are wandering deep into fantasyland.


Umm...really?

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/08/12/big_business_goes_big_for_health-care_reform_97859.html

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124891353497192109.html?mod=todays-us-page-one

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/09/health/policy/09lobby.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper
jmi256
handfleisch wrote:
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Quote:

OK. I need some explanation on this. I thought that the health care reform was actually going to enrich the insurance companies, if everyone has to get health insurance they will be purchasing this from the insurance companies, and one of their choice? Or will the Government now get into the business of selling health insurance and go into competition with the insurance companies?


O you are absolutely right! That is what is known to the big insurance companies as 'The Great
Trade Off'.


Um, the insurance companies have been spending 1.4 million dollars per day to stop health care reform, because they fear it will cut into their megaprofits. You guys are wandering deep into fantasyland.



Interestingly, Democrats have been receiving 63% of the contributions from the healthcare lobby, with Harry Reid, the Democrat Majority Leader, as their top recipient. Insurance companies gave Democrats 58% of their money, with Charles Schumer the lead recipient.

Democrats also received 83% of the contributions from the lawyers’ lobby, which may explain their refusal to discuss a measure that will actually bring down costs, tort reform. Reid is also the top recipient of the lawyers’ money.
http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/mems.php?party=A&cycle=2010


And in the 2008 election cycle, Democrats received 60% of the healthcare lobby’s money, with Obama as the top recipient. And insurance companies gave 51% of their money to Democrats, but McCain was the top recipient (I guess they were hedging their bets). The lawyers gave Democrats 78% of their money, with Obama again the top recipient.
http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/mems.php?party=A&cycle=2008
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Quote:

OK. I need some explanation on this. I thought that the health care reform was actually going to enrich the insurance companies, if everyone has to get health insurance they will be purchasing this from the insurance companies, and one of their choice? Or will the Government now get into the business of selling health insurance and go into competition with the insurance companies?


O you are absolutely right! That is what is known to the big insurance companies as 'The Great
Trade Off'.


Um, the insurance companies have been spending 1.4 million dollars per day to stop health care reform, because they fear it will cut into their megaprofits. You guys are wandering deep into fantasyland.



Interestingly, Democrats have been receiving 63% of the contributions from the healthcare lobby, with Harry Reid, the Democrat Majority Leader, as their top recipient. Insurance companies gave Democrats 58% of their money, with Charles Schumer the lead recipient.

Democrats also received 83% of the contributions from the lawyers’ lobby, which may explain their refusal to discuss a measure that will actually bring down costs, tort reform. Reid is also the top recipient of the lawyers’ money.
http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/mems.php?party=A&cycle=2010


And in the 2008 election cycle, Democrats received 60% of the healthcare lobby’s money, with Obama as the top recipient. And insurance companies gave 51% of their money to Democrats, but McCain was the top recipient (I guess they were hedging their bets). The lawyers gave Democrats 78% of their money, with Obama again the top recipient.
http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/mems.php?party=A&cycle=2008

The lobbyists and insurance companies are paying the Dems more because the Repubs are already firmly in their pockets, and the Dems only sometimes (usually?) are. They would have spent more on the Dems in the presidential race for the same reason, and also because the Dems were favored to win.
jmi256
handfleisch wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Quote:

OK. I need some explanation on this. I thought that the health care reform was actually going to enrich the insurance companies, if everyone has to get health insurance they will be purchasing this from the insurance companies, and one of their choice? Or will the Government now get into the business of selling health insurance and go into competition with the insurance companies?


O you are absolutely right! That is what is known to the big insurance companies as 'The Great
Trade Off'.


Um, the insurance companies have been spending 1.4 million dollars per day to stop health care reform, because they fear it will cut into their megaprofits. You guys are wandering deep into fantasyland.



Interestingly, Democrats have been receiving 63% of the contributions from the healthcare lobby, with Harry Reid, the Democrat Majority Leader, as their top recipient. Insurance companies gave Democrats 58% of their money, with Charles Schumer the lead recipient.

Democrats also received 83% of the contributions from the lawyers’ lobby, which may explain their refusal to discuss a measure that will actually bring down costs, tort reform. Reid is also the top recipient of the lawyers’ money.
http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/mems.php?party=A&cycle=2010


And in the 2008 election cycle, Democrats received 60% of the healthcare lobby’s money, with Obama as the top recipient. And insurance companies gave 51% of their money to Democrats, but McCain was the top recipient (I guess they were hedging their bets). The lawyers gave Democrats 78% of their money, with Obama again the top recipient.
http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/mems.php?party=A&cycle=2008

The lobbyists and insurance companies are paying the Dems more because the Repubs are already firmly in their pockets, and the Dems only sometimes (usually?) are. They would have spent more on the Dems in the presidential race for the same reason, and also because the Dems were favored to win.


Not sure I follow the logic. Are you saying that despite the fact that insurance companies stand to make a mint from the legislation the Democrats are looking to pass, they are actually against it? Why would that be? And as evidence for that, you cite that the insurance companies are spending massive amounts of money. But the fact that the money is going to support the Democrats, who are pushing for the very legislation that will enrich the insurance companies, is somehow an indictment against the Republicans? It just doesn’t make sense to me. Care to explain? Also, what do you mean that the Republicans are "already firmly in their pockets"? How so if the money is going to the Democrats?
deanhills
Alaskacameradude wrote:
O you are absolutely right! That is what is known to the big insurance companies as 'The Great
Trade Off'. And it is how Obama has convinced them to support the bill. He will make it
MANDATORY for relatively young, healthy people to buy health insurance.....and it will
be at greatly INCREASED cost to them. This will in turn, REDUCE the cost for those who are
sick and need to use health care a lot.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091210/ap_on_bi_ge/us_health_care_consumers

Quoted from the article for those who don't want to read through the whole thing

'And get ready for a whole new set of trade-offs. For example, people in their 50s and early 60s, when health problems tend to surface, are likely to pay less than they would now. But those in their 20s and 30s, who get the best deals today, will face higher premiums, A middle-class family of four making $66,000 would still have to pay about 10 percent of its income in premiums, not counting co-payments and deductibles.'

So basically, health care would be cheaper (relatively) for those who use it most, and more
expensive (again relatively) for many who don't use it much at all. Which is kind of the opposite of the current situation.

As for whether the government will get into competing against private insurance companies,
we don't know yet. The more liberal Democrats, including the speaker of the House, support
just that. The more moderate/centrist Democrats do NOT support that, and there is the issue.
See, the Democrats need to have all 58 Democrats in the Senate onboard, as well as the
two Independents (who regularly caucus with the Dems) to have the 60 votes necessary to
overcome a Republican filibuster. And one Independent (Joe Lieberman) has said that he
will join Republicans to block any government option

http://voices.kansascity.com/node/6826

There are also a couple 'Blue Dog' conservative Democrats who aren't happy with the govenment
option. So they are currently trying to work on a 'compromise'. Some sort of 'government
option' that isn't a government option. Or something. Who knows what kind of arm twisting
and deals are being made behind closed doors? We will just have to wait and see what comes
out of this. My bet is it will be something closely resembling a government option, but something
which will give the Democrats and Independents some sort of 'deniability' for the upcoming elections.
An excellent posting thanks Alaska. You've put everything in a nutshell and easy to understand. Will be interesting to see what the outcome will be, particularly who will benefit the most by it. No doubt about it, there are plenty of people who are going to benefit, just imagine the money that will have to be forked out for healthcare insurance and where it will end up. I can imagine some of it will be heading to the stock exchange as well, indirectly?
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:

The lobbyists and insurance companies are paying the Dems more because the Repubs are already firmly in their pockets, and the Dems only sometimes (usually?) are. They would have spent more on the Dems in the presidential race for the same reason, and also because the Dems were favored to win.

^.^
And I suppose oil companies donate more to Republicans because they already own the Democrats?

Sorry, it just doesn't work that way.
richiweb
I don't think it's such a bad idea. Lot's of people could atleast afford a health care now like in the U.K., although they have been having a lot of financial probs lately. But Canada's doing fine.
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
\
Not sure I follow the logic. Are you saying that despite the fact that insurance companies stand to make a mint from the legislation the Democrats are looking to pass, they are actually against it? Why would that be? And as evidence for that, you cite that the insurance companies are spending massive amounts of money. But the fact that the money is going to support the Democrats, who are pushing for the very legislation that will enrich the insurance companies, is somehow an indictment against the Republicans? It just doesn’t make sense to me. Care to explain? Also, what do you mean that the Republicans are "already firmly in their pockets"? How so if the money is going to the Democrats?


It's established fact that the insurance companies are spending over a million dollars per day to fight health care reform on the basis that it will disrupt their extremely profitable business as it is today. Scroll up on this thread for links to that. They would also work to make sure that any reform that does pass (since it is just about inevitable) would at least hurt them as little as possible, or maybe even benefit them in a way (they would lose in some ways and gain in others under the latest, highly compromised versions being discussed).

When I talk about the Republicans being already in their pockets, I am referring to the well known and long term stance of Republicans in favor of big business and against any health insurance reform (and against expansion of any government program that is not military or security/surveillance related.)

So, once the reform movement is underway, it makes sense for the insurance companies to spend as much money as possible on conservative Democrats who might be more likely to be on their side, even while spending money on advertisement against reform in general. And the Opensecrets data above pertains to just the "2009-2010 election cycle", and since the Dems have a big majority in Congress and are in the White House, will be the ones deciding on how the reform will go, and are the ones that need convincing, then of course they will get most of the money.

Still, The AMA, an umbrella organization which lobbies on behalf of medical insurance and pharmaceutical companies, gave a lot more money to Repubs than Dems in the last three national elections.

If money did not take precedence over just about everything in our system of government, we would simply enact a single-payer national health insurance plan like Japan and many European countries have (like Medicare or VA for everyone, basically).
watersoul
It took a while but I've read this thread through, and I still can't understand why the hostility to providing healthcare "free" at point of need to all people, regardless of wealth?

OK, the NHS here in the UK isn't perfect, and you may have to wait for your operation if someone needs one more urgently than you do. But we are all free in this country to top-up the state system with our own private insurance plans if we want to. I don't because I can't see the need, the NHS has saved my life twice and I don't even notice the tax taken at source by my employer.

Carry on with your fear's I say to the people who criticise our system...at least everyone here has access to treatment if they need it, without worrying about how much money is in their account.
Any country that has millions of its people left without any healthcare at all has to take a good look in the mirror and consider that before saying "state healthcare is never the answer"
Our state healthcare at least answers the needs of most of us...if you're poor here you don't have to choose between food and medical bills, and I actually like paying my taxes for that.
deanhills
watersoul wrote:
Carry on with your fear's I say to the people who criticise our system...at least everyone here has access to treatment if they need it, without worrying about how much money is in their account.
Any country that has millions of its people left without any healthcare at all has to take a good look in the mirror and consider that before saying "state healthcare is never the answer"
Our state healthcare at least answers the needs of most of us...if you're poor here you don't have to choose between food and medical bills, and I actually like paying my taxes for that.
As far as I can see most people in the United States would like major health care reform. It is just the way of doing it that is the challenge. People are concerned about the economic consequences of Obama's healthcare plan. Where you are you are lucky, as most of your primary health care, the hospitals, etc. are owned by the State. In the US most of the primary health care, the hospitals etc. are owned by private enterprise. The healthcare plan that is proposed will not be the same as the NHS. It will just force all American citizens to purchase healthcare insurance. It will be interesting to see where the funds from the healthcare insurance premiums will be flowing, and the layers and layers of administration that will be needed to process it. I can't help feeling that this has a chance of being another mortgage type bubble in the making.
watersoul
deanhills wrote:
watersoul wrote:
Carry on with your fear's I say to the people who criticise our system...at least everyone here has access to treatment if they need it, without worrying about how much money is in their account.
Any country that has millions of its people left without any healthcare at all has to take a good look in the mirror and consider that before saying "state healthcare is never the answer"
Our state healthcare at least answers the needs of most of us...if you're poor here you don't have to choose between food and medical bills, and I actually like paying my taxes for that.
As far as I can see most people in the United States would like major health care reform. It is just the way of doing it that is the challenge. People are concerned about the economic consequences of Obama's healthcare plan. Where you are you are lucky, as most of your primary health care, the hospitals, etc. are owned by the State. In the US most of the primary health care, the hospitals etc. are owned by private enterprise. The healthcare plan that is proposed will not be the same as the NHS. It will just force all American citizens to purchase healthcare insurance. It will be interesting to see where the funds from the healthcare insurance premiums will be flowing, and the layers and layers of administration that will be needed to process it. I can't help feeling that this has a chance of being another mortgage type bubble in the making.


Fair one, totally understand it's different for you guy's, just wish all of you had the same basic cover I do, it really does make me sad when I think of the people in the world that don't have any healthcare at all. Like I said, nothings perfect...but some things are less imperfect than others.
deanhills
watersoul wrote:
Fair one, totally understand it's different for you guy's, just wish all of you had the same basic cover I do, it really does make me sad when I think of the people in the world that don't have any healthcare at all. Like I said, nothings perfect...but some things are less imperfect than others.
True, and the good side, the US has some of the most advanced medical treatments in the world. And they are available to anyone who can afford it, both inside and outside the United States. There must be billions of income from people who go to the United States from all over the world for medical treatments or equipment they can't get or find in their own countries.
jmi256
handfleisch wrote:

It's established fact that the insurance companies are spending over a million dollars per day to fight health care reform on the basis that it will disrupt their extremely profitable business as it is today. Scroll up on this thread for links to that. They would also work to make sure that any reform that does pass (since it is just about inevitable) would at least hurt them as little as possible, or maybe even benefit them in a way (they would lose in some ways and gain in others under the latest, highly compromised versions being discussed).

When I talk about the Republicans being already in their pockets, I am referring to the well known and long term stance of Republicans in favor of big business and against any health insurance reform (and against expansion of any government program that is not military or security/surveillance related.)

So, once the reform movement is underway, it makes sense for the insurance companies to spend as much money as possible on conservative Democrats who might be more likely to be on their side, even while spending money on advertisement against reform in general. And the Opensecrets data above pertains to just the "2009-2010 election cycle", and since the Dems have a big majority in Congress and are in the White House, will be the ones deciding on how the reform will go, and are the ones that need convincing, then of course they will get most of the money.

Still, The AMA, an umbrella organization which lobbies on behalf of medical insurance and pharmaceutical companies, gave a lot more money to Repubs than Dems in the last three national elections.

If money did not take precedence over just about everything in our system of government, we would simply enact a single-payer national health insurance plan like Japan and many European countries have (like Medicare or VA for everyone, basically).


Data is available for both the 2008 election cycle, as well as the 2010 election cycle. The insurance corporations have donated their money to Democrats in order to get them elected, and the Democrats have in turn offered up a bill that will put tons of money in their pockets. It’s simple ‘Chicago-style’ graft and corruption that makes people sick of politics.

If you spread out how much the insurance companies are spending over a certain time, I'm sure you can come to the conclusion that "insurance companies are spending over a million dollars per day." The fact remains, however, that this money is going to Democrats who are serving up a bill that will lead to greater profits to the insurance companies.

Democrats are finally starting to realize that they have been duped by their 'glorious leader' and the rest of the party's leadership for the sake of campaign contributions. Howard Dean has come out and said that the bill the Democrats have put together (with no contribution or involvement by the Republicans I might add, before you attempt to charge that it is somehow their 'fault'), represents a huge boon for insurance companies. I've linked to the news story on the liberal site, Democratic Underground, which also has a link to the full story, so you can see the outrage from some liberals in the comments for being misled and double crossed by their leadership. While I disagree with these liberals in their views and stances, I do feel sorry for them because if you read enough of their posts some (I say “some, because others are just twisted) at least have what they think are ‘good’ intentions and thought their leaders shared their intentions. You can almost feel their bewilderment and anger at being duped by those they thought they could trust. (Emphasis mine.)


Quote:

Howard Dean: Health Care Bill 'Bigger Bailout for the Insurance Industry Than AIG'

President Obama said he likes the Senate health care compromise and wants it passed by Christmas, but he faces a revolt from some liberals who say the health care bill has been gutted to appease insurance companies.


"This is a bigger bailout for the insurance industry than AIG," former Democratic National Committee chairman and medical doctor Howard Dean told "Good Morning America's" George Stephanopoulos today. "A very small number of people are going to get any insurance at all, until 2014, if the bill works.

"This is an insurance company's dream, this bill," Dean continued. "This is the Washington scramble, and I think it's ill-advised."

Dean sent shockwaves when he said Tuesday in an interview with Vermont Public Radio that the removal of the Medicare buy-in means Democrats should just kill the health care bill and start over.

Source = http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=102x4186675
handfleisch
Yes, Repubs and conservative Dems, and the power of private health care companies, the lobbyist, have really compromised this bill. To the glee of reactionaries, Repubs and conservadems, who sabotaged it for exactly this reason.
jmi256
handfleisch wrote:
Yes, Repubs and conservative Dems, and the power of private health care companies, the lobbyist, have really compromised this bill. To the glee of reactionaries, Repubs and conservadems, who sabotaged it for exactly this reason.


I wouldn't classify Obama and Reid, the largest recipients of money, as "conservative Dems". It was the Democrats who solely created the huge payoff to insurance companies. Republicans have been shut out of the process, so I don't understand how you can claim that they have somehow "compromised this bill". The American people are just as against the bill as it stands now since it still represents more government intrusion and will lead to increased costs, bureaucracy, inefficiency and mismanagement, as well as lower quality and less access to services for patients. The huge amounts of increased profits the insurance companies stand to make thanks to the Democrats will have to be borne on the backs of taxpayers for generations to come.
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
Yes, Repubs and conservative Dems, and the power of private health care companies, the lobbyist, have really compromised this bill. To the glee of reactionaries, Repubs and conservadems, who sabotaged it for exactly this reason.


I wouldn't classify Obama and Reid, the largest recipients of money, as "conservative Dems". It was the Democrats who solely created the huge payoff to insurance companies. Republicans have been shut out of the process, so I don't understand how you can claim that they have somehow "compromised this bill". The American people are just as against the bill as it stands now since it still represents more government intrusion and will lead to increased costs, bureaucracy, inefficiency and mismanagement, as well as lower quality and less access to services for patients. The huge amounts of increased profits the insurance companies stand to make thanks to the Democrats will have to be borne on the backs of taxpayers for generations to come.


Sorry, I forgot, I wasn't going to do that anymore. I meant to say

Hurray! The USA is failing to join the civilized world in getting basic health insurance to all its citizens! In your face, Canada.
Cool! We were right, the money spent on the Iraq War could've payed for a government health insurance system no problem, but that money's gone, suckas!
Get stoked! The majority of US citizens want universal health insurance, and it looks like they won't get it! Take that, libruls! woohoo
Bikerman wrote:
I just get sick of hearing the lies, distortions, paranoia and downright stupidity which seems to characterise this debate. If Americans really want to believe that any sort of socialised medicine is the work of the devil then fine, let them continue to pay ridiculous money for a second-class system. Let them continue to be the only civilised country in the world which doesn't offer universal health care. I really do NOT care, but I will not put up with the sort of nonsense routinely spouted here.

If it were really true that the US government is incapable of doing what just about every other government in the developed world manages to do, then that speaks very badly for the level of competence of US politicians - and I don't believe it for a minute.


Ha! Who's looking stupid now, Mr UK? We split from England over 200 years ago and we don't need your bloody advice. USA! USA!

Orphois wrote:
Health care is not a product that should be bought and sold like sports cars. Like I said before, there are certain institutions which should be kept as social programs. People would be up in arms if we privatized our Police and Fire Departments. In fact, most people laugh that off as a ridiculous idea. But how and why is it any more ridiculous than medical care being totally privatized? Why should we expect a socialized Police and Fire department, and then compare people to Stalin and Hitler for supporting a nationalized health care system, or even a public health option? The whole argument against providing medical care to our citizens, the same way we provide Police protection, EMS, education, Fire safety, etc., is utter madness.


"Utter madness", what a joke. Sanity is prevailing, we don't need no socialism, so sorry commie, looks like another Berlin Wall is falling down. And by the way, privatizing the police and fire departments sounds like a pretty good idea too. Why should taxpayers have to pay to fight someone else's fire? Why should I pay for a police call to your house?

[on edit, because it's the internet I have to make it clear that the messages to Orphois and Bikerman are just a joking parody. They don't need the explanation but some people will. Reminds me how last time I was in California, I met a Republican who likes the Colbert Report, not realizing the whole show is a joke on reactionary, FOXnews-style politics]
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
Yes, Repubs and conservative Dems, and the power of private health care companies, the lobbyist, have really compromised this bill. To the glee of reactionaries, Repubs and conservadems, who sabotaged it for exactly this reason.


^.^ So, if we take away your chance to blame the Republicans, then 'conservative-Democrats' get the blame?
You really are entertaining sometimes.

But, of course, the true hard-core liberals couldn't possibly be influenced by money from anyone! ... Right?
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
Yes, Repubs and conservative Dems, and the power of private health care companies, the lobbyist, have really compromised this bill. To the glee of reactionaries, Repubs and conservadems, who sabotaged it for exactly this reason.


I wouldn't classify Obama and Reid, the largest recipients of money, as "conservative Dems". It was the Democrats who solely created the huge payoff to insurance companies. Republicans have been shut out of the process, so I don't understand how you can claim that they have somehow "compromised this bill". The American people are just as against the bill as it stands now since it still represents more government intrusion and will lead to increased costs, bureaucracy, inefficiency and mismanagement, as well as lower quality and less access to services for patients. The huge amounts of increased profits the insurance companies stand to make thanks to the Democrats will have to be borne on the backs of taxpayers for generations to come.


Sorry, I forgot, I wasn't going to do that anymore. I meant to say

Hurray! The USA is failing to join the civilized world in getting basic health insurance to all its citizens! In your face, Canada.
Cool! We were right, the money spent on the Iraq War could've payed for a government health insurance system no problem, but that money's gone, suckas!
Get stoked! The majority of US citizens want universal health insurance, and it looks like they won't get it! Take that, libruls! woohoo
Bikerman wrote:
I just get sick of hearing the lies, distortions, paranoia and downright stupidity which seems to characterise this debate. If Americans really want to believe that any sort of socialised medicine is the work of the devil then fine, let them continue to pay ridiculous money for a second-class system. Let them continue to be the only civilised country in the world which doesn't offer universal health care. I really do NOT care, but I will not put up with the sort of nonsense routinely spouted here.

If it were really true that the US government is incapable of doing what just about every other government in the developed world manages to do, then that speaks very badly for the level of competence of US politicians - and I don't believe it for a minute.


Ha! Who's looking stupid now, Mr UK? We split from England over 200 years ago and we don't need your bloody advice. USA! USA!

Orphois wrote:
Health care is not a product that should be bought and sold like sports cars. Like I said before, there are certain institutions which should be kept as social programs. People would be up in arms if we privatized our Police and Fire Departments. In fact, most people laugh that off as a ridiculous idea. But how and why is it any more ridiculous than medical care being totally privatized? Why should we expect a socialized Police and Fire department, and then compare people to Stalin and Hitler for supporting a nationalized health care system, or even a public health option? The whole argument against providing medical care to our citizens, the same way we provide Police protection, EMS, education, Fire safety, etc., is utter madness.


"Utter madness", what a joke. Sanity is prevailing, we don't need no socialism, so sorry commie, looks like another Berlin Wall is falling down. And by the way, privatizing the police and fire departments sounds like a pretty good idea too. Why should taxpayers have to pay to fight someone else's fire? Why should I pay for a police call to your house?

[on edit, because it's the internet I have to make it clear that the messages to Orphois and Bikerman are just a joking parody. They don't need the explanation but some people will. Reminds me how last time I was in California, I met a Republican who likes the Colbert Report, not realizing the whole show is a joke on reactionary, FOXnews-style politics]
I went to the trouble of trying to read through your posting twice but couldn't make head or tail out of it. As a courtesy to everyone, can you please write it in plain language so that we can understand how the sarcasm fits in with the quotes? The part I could not understand was your remarks about Canada and I'm not sure I get your remarks about the UK. Perhaps you could clarify those and explain how the quotes fit in with the remarks?
Voodoocat
I was looking at the British NHS national health tax rate, and it looks like I spend much less for health insurance in the U.S. I currently spend about $2,400 and my employer contributes an additional $2,000 as a tax free benefit a year for family coverage with a $30 copay. Looking at the NHS chart, I would be paying $7150. Do British employers pay for part of the NHS tax, or is the entire burden on the employee?

Am I missing something?

Tax table:
Quote:
Employees’ primary Class 1 rate between primary threshold and upper earnings limit 11% 11% 11%


source: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/rates/nic.htm
Alaskacameradude
One thing I think some people are missing, is that yes, polls show that the majority of people in
the US want healthcare reform. However, the most recent polls also show that almost
60% of people OPPOSE the current healthcare reform crafted by the Democrats. As usual, the
devil is in the details.

One thing i constantly saw while covering politics, is people who wanted government programs,
but did NOT want to contribute towards paying for them. People trying to get something for
nothing were at the root of many 'great' proposals such as a seasonal sales tax (so as to get
money from all the tourists who visit Alaska, and the locals can just put off any big ticket
purchases until the sales tax 'leaves' with the tourists for the winter) or renters who proposed
raising the property taxes (many not realizing that would have the indirect result of raising
their rents) or pretty much any way people could think of to raise the taxes on
pretty much anyone other than themselves.

I think you see some of that come out in the healthcare reform debate. It sounded good
when we were going to tax the 'rich' to pay for it....most people don't think that would
include them. When the info came out indicating that a family of 4 which made 66 thousand
a year would pay TEN PERCENT of their yearly income under the current plan four healthcare,
I think a LOT of people started deciding that this plan was NOT what they wanted.
deanhills
Quote:
Senate OK's health care bill in victory for Obama
What does this really mean? Is it a victory yet? I thought it had to go back to the Congress first before the legislation would become final, or is it final now?
Quote:
Literally hundreds of issues remain to be settled in the two bills, a House measure that ran to 1,990 pages and a Senate version of 2,074, not counting 383 pages of revisions that Reid unveiled over the weekend.
I thought this remark by Senator McConnell was very true for how it went and what the current public sentiment is:
Quote:
"This debate was supposed to produce a bill that reformed health care in America. Instead, we're left with party-line votes in the middle of the night, a couple of sweetheart deals to get it over the finish line, and a public that's outraged," said the Republican leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Starrfoxx
From what I've been reading, the Health Care Reform has been voted on and passed. It's going to happen.

I've heard that in the Reform, there is a clause that states the Reform can never be removed from the law. Not sure if that's true or not, but the Reform is apparently 1000 pages long. So much stuff is in this Reform that the Dems wanted to rush this through before elections in Congress.

I am all for Universal Health Care. My family doesn't have health insurance, because we can't afford it. We need something, but what little I've read about the Reform doesn't sound like the solution we really need. I think matters are going to get a lot worse in the years to come, and I hope I'm wrong.
deanhills
Starrfoxx wrote:
From what I've been reading, the Health Care Reform has been voted on and passed. It's going to happen.

I've heard that in the Reform, there is a clause that states the Reform can never be removed from the law. Not sure if that's true or not, but the Reform is apparently 1000 pages long. So much stuff is in this Reform that the Dems wanted to rush this through before elections in Congress.

I am all for Universal Health Care. My family doesn't have health insurance, because we can't afford it. We need something, but what little I've read about the Reform doesn't sound like the solution we really need. I think matters are going to get a lot worse in the years to come, and I hope I'm wrong.
I still can't understand how it can be law yet when so many issues have not been resolved yet. Something in this equation does not compute at all.
ocalhoun
Starrfoxx wrote:
From what I've been reading, the Health Care Reform has been voted on and passed. It's going to happen.

It hasn't passed yet, it just passed the biggest hurdle it has. The most likely place for it to be defeated is the first Republican filibuster at the senate... Through numerous deals (the 'Nebraska compromise' is one example), it was made to get the 60 votes it needed to pass through that obstacle.

It will have to do that several more times in order to actually become law, but there are no more obstacles in its path that are any more likely to stop it than the previous one.
Moonspider
ocalhoun wrote:
Starrfoxx wrote:
From what I've been reading, the Health Care Reform has been voted on and passed. It's going to happen.

It hasn't passed yet, it just passed the biggest hurdle it has. The most likely place for it to be defeated is the first Republican filibuster at the senate... Through numerous deals (the 'Nebraska compromise' is one example), it was made to get the 60 votes it needed to pass through that obstacle.

It will have to do that several more times in order to actually become law, but there are no more obstacles in its path that are any more likely to stop it than the previous one.


For many, including President Obama I strongly believe, this has nothing to do with reform. This is a stepping stone toward eliminating all insurance companies and the installation of a singled-payer nationalized health care system. I'd be willing to bet that many of those in this forum who support the current reform effort would like to eliminate health insurance companies as well.

"Reform" is a lie. There is no reform in here. Tort reform? No. Allowing competition across state lines? No. There's no real reform because the goal line for the people backing it isn't reform, it's elimination.

The real problem, which to my knowledge no one is attempting to correct, is the shortage of doctors in this country. I argue that the reform bills passed by the senate and house will actually exacerbate the problem, with no incentive for more people to pursue medical careers as MDs.

Most people here know that I do not support national health care for philosophical reasons regarding the role of national government. I believe a national government should act in the interest of the collective, while limiting the impact upon individual freedoms and liberties. When a government starts acting on behalf of individuals, it runs a huge risk of reducing the benefits to the collective and entering into economic and national decline.

The United States cannot afford national health care. We're already dependent upon the good graces of countries like China and Japan to prop up our economy by continuing to buy our debt. The argument is that the bills currently being considered will lower the deficit over the next 10 years. Of course it will! The benefits don't start until 2013 or 2014, but the government starts collecting the taxes in 2010. So of course it will reduce the deficit. This is a common tactic to make bills look fiscally better, so it's nothing new. Just "business as usual" in Washington.

The very thing President Obama promised to eliminate.

Respectfully,
M
deanhills
Moonspider wrote:
The United States cannot afford national health care. We're already dependent upon the good graces of countries like China and Japan to prop up our economy by continuing to buy our debt. The argument is that the bills currently being considered will lower the deficit over the next 10 years. Of course it will! The benefits don't start until 2013 or 2014, but the government starts collecting the taxes in 2010. So of course it will reduce the deficit. This is a common tactic to make bills look fiscally better, so it's nothing new. Just "business as usual" in Washington.

The very thing President Obama promised to eliminate.
Didn't he also promise to make things more transparent, as nothing about the healthcare legislation looks transparent to me, especially given the volumes of paper running into thousands of pages. It looks more like a smokescreen for political and Government power. I never thought that Obama intended to eliminate the Insurance companies though, I thought the Insurance companies were going to gain big time and Government's interference would be limited to legislating the cost of the health insurance so that it can be affordable for all. Is there something we are missing here? I see a flood of money moving towards the insurance companies and then ultimately probably Wall Street again. I agree that there is no real medical reform, it is only health insurance reform. Medical costs will stay the same, the Government is bankrupt and so is its Medicare system. The fact that the Medicare system is bankrupt should be a reason in its own right that the current health reforms should be much more carefully dealt with and preferably on the regional and State level bottom up, rather than Federally down. Additional regulation from Federal Government does not only erode freedom of the States, but it also doubles up on huge expenditure that it cannot afford.
Moonspider
deanhills wrote:
Didn't he also promise to make things more transparent


Yes. Maybe he really is trying. Here I'll give his intentions the benefit of a doubt. But with bills that size, they're just monstrosities that no one will be able to read through. So then we all end up dependent upon people from both sides spinning what they read (or more likely what their respective staffs split up, read in sections, and reported out, with no one person reading the entire bill) based upon their own agendas.

Cynical, I know.

deanhills wrote:
I never thought that Obama intended to eliminate the Insurance companies though, I thought the Insurance companies were going to gain big time and Government's interference would be limited to legislating the cost of the health insurance so that it can be affordable for all.


From what I've heard, the Senate bill (if not the House bill as well) places a cap on health insurance companies' profit margins. Both place limits on what they can charge and mandate coverage. So I think the bills, whether intended or not, are setting the companies up for failure.

As for the President's perspective, I think he honestly believes that a government-run health care system is the way to go.

Senator Obama in 2007 wrote:
As I indicated before, I think that we're going to have to have some system where people can buy into a larger pool. Right now their pool typically is the employer, but there are other ways of doing it. I would like to -- I would hope that we could set up a system that allows those who can go through their employer to access a federal system or a state pool of some sort. But I don't think we're going to be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately. There's going to be potentially some transition process. I can envision a decade out or 15 years out or 20 years out where we've got a much more portable system. Employers still have the option of providing coverage, but many people may find that they get better coverage, or at least coverage that gives them more for health care dollars than they spend outside of their employer. And I think we've got to facilitate that and let individuals make that choice to transition out of employer coverage.


Source: New Leadership on Health Care: A Presidential Forum

Respectfully,
M
Bikerman
Moonspider wrote:
For many, including President Obama I strongly believe, this has nothing to do with reform. This is a stepping stone toward eliminating all insurance companies and the installation of a singled-payer nationalized health care system. I'd be willing to bet that many of those in this forum who support the current reform effort would like to eliminate health insurance companies as well.

No, this cannot be correct. Even if Obama DOES want a nationalised health service (and that is, I think, rather a stretch from what I have seen and read), then that will not necessarily eliminate insurance. The UK is frequently used by opponents of reform as an example of 'ultra socialised' health care - a warning of where Obama really wants to go. The UK has a pretty substantial private health-care industry, including large medical insurance companies. National health systems do not preclude private health provision.
taytay
I want to smack you in the face. "American's are willing to pay the taxes for it." That is such a load of bull quote. The bill will never be supported by 100% of American's I for one hate it. I can afford health care on my own, and I'm spending a lot less on it than I now will be with tax raise. i am actually loosing money because of the bill. Not only that, my father is going to loose some money as well. He's a doctor, who services nursing homes across Texas, It will take a while for his billing system to get up to par with the new system, as medicare and medicaid also change their policies to cope, or close entirely. Some people say they'll stay, some say they'll close, but the fact is we wont know for sure until a couple years have gone by. And who knows if he'll even still earn a triple digit salary anymore. Medicare and medicaid changed their policies a few years ago that nearly dropped his 150K a year to 50K. I don't get why insurance has to be such a difficult thing. Perhaps it's human stupidity and weakness. America is slowly and steadily falling down a crap shoot. Freedom of religion is being tarnished. It's becoming harder to say "Merry Christmas" to people without them becoming offended, even if they Are christian.

I just want to scream at the government!! GAH!!!
Moonspider
Bikerman wrote:
Moonspider wrote:
For many, including President Obama I strongly believe, this has nothing to do with reform. This is a stepping stone toward eliminating all insurance companies and the installation of a singled-payer nationalized health care system. I'd be willing to bet that many of those in this forum who support the current reform effort would like to eliminate health insurance companies as well.

No, this cannot be correct. Even if Obama DOES want a nationalised health service (and that is, I think, rather a stretch from what I have seen and read), then that will not necessarily eliminate insurance. The UK is frequently used by opponents of reform as an example of 'ultra socialised' health care - a warning of where Obama really wants to go. The UK has a pretty substantial private health-care industry, including large medical insurance companies. National health systems do not preclude private health provision.


I didn't know that. Why would someone or a company choose to pay for medical insurance when every citizen has access to free health care?

Respectfully,
M
Bikerman
Moonspider wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Moonspider wrote:
For many, including President Obama I strongly believe, this has nothing to do with reform. This is a stepping stone toward eliminating all insurance companies and the installation of a singled-payer nationalized health care system. I'd be willing to bet that many of those in this forum who support the current reform effort would like to eliminate health insurance companies as well.

No, this cannot be correct. Even if Obama DOES want a nationalised health service (and that is, I think, rather a stretch from what I have seen and read), then that will not necessarily eliminate insurance. The UK is frequently used by opponents of reform as an example of 'ultra socialised' health care - a warning of where Obama really wants to go. The UK has a pretty substantial private health-care industry, including large medical insurance companies. National health systems do not preclude private health provision.


I didn't know that. Why would someone or a company choose to pay for medical insurance when every citizen has access to free health care?

Respectfully,
M
Lot's of reasons:
a) Social status indicator (snobbery)
b) Private health can provide minor (non elective) surgery much quicker than the NHS
c) Nicer hospital rooms and better meals
Moonspider
Bikerman wrote:
Moonspider wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Moonspider wrote:
For many, including President Obama I strongly believe, this has nothing to do with reform. This is a stepping stone toward eliminating all insurance companies and the installation of a singled-payer nationalized health care system. I'd be willing to bet that many of those in this forum who support the current reform effort would like to eliminate health insurance companies as well.

No, this cannot be correct. Even if Obama DOES want a nationalised health service (and that is, I think, rather a stretch from what I have seen and read), then that will not necessarily eliminate insurance. The UK is frequently used by opponents of reform as an example of 'ultra socialised' health care - a warning of where Obama really wants to go. The UK has a pretty substantial private health-care industry, including large medical insurance companies. National health systems do not preclude private health provision.


I didn't know that. Why would someone or a company choose to pay for medical insurance when every citizen has access to free health care?

Respectfully,
M
Lot's of reasons:
a) Social status indicator (snobbery)
b) Private health can provide minor (non elective) surgery much quicker than the NHS
c) Nicer hospital rooms and better meals


Thank you. I can see that, especially from the perspective of wealthy individuals. However, I can't imagine a business choosing to provide coverage. There's no moral obligation since every citizen has health care. The only insurance I could see them carrying would be enough to cover injuries or illness incurred in the work place.

It's sort of a moot argument in the U.S. reform questions since employers are required to provide health insurance to employees. Nevertheless, if, as then Senator Obama talked about in the 2007 forum, the U.S. government provides an alternative to employer plans, more and more people might actually choose the government over the private insurance. Many companies pay employees the amount they would spend on health insurance if they opt out of the company's health plan. Mine does. If the government plan is cheaper and offers similar service, people certainly will. This would increase the non-discretionary financial burden upon the federal government.

Respectfully,
M
deanhills
Moonspider wrote:
If the government plan is cheaper and offers similar service, people certainly will.
I can't see that happening though. The services that are provided through lower cost plans will always be of a lesser value than higher cost plans. In this way Chris's example of people in the UK choosing private plans so as to avoid long waits for surgery, and other reasons is a very good example of what to expect in the United States. I would be very interested to see whether members of Congress and Senate would be getting the standard government insurance, or whether the government plan would be supplemented with add-on insurance, or a different medical insurance plan for members of Congress and the Senate all together.
Bikerman
Moonspider wrote:
Thank you. I can see that, especially from the perspective of wealthy individuals. However, I can't imagine a business choosing to provide coverage. There's no moral obligation since every citizen has health care. The only insurance I could see them carrying would be enough to cover injuries or illness incurred in the work place.
No, it doesn't work like that at all.
Most jobs of middle-management level or above will carry a 'health package'. It's nothing much to do with 'moral' obligation - just the market in operation.
At the more senior levels then the normal argument is deployed (time is money, we have to attract the best, we can't afford our CEO to be off work waiting for an op, health insurance is therefore GOOD for the shareholders and vital to the company). As you come down the ladder the argument gives way (as always) to 'supply and demand'.
Private health is a pretty big operation here - Bupa alone have about 3 million UK citizens on their books. It is used for all the non-urgent stuff where there is likely to be a waiting list with the NHS. If you have a painful, but not dangerous, problem then rather than wait a few weeks for a free operation many people choose to go private and wait only a few days - and who can nay-say that? We even get NHS hospitals buying in private health care if they can't offer the service within a set time without doing so.
The plus, of course, is that the NHS acts as a market regulator. If the private companies hike the costs then people are more likely to wait for the op on the NHS.
Likewise, if the drug companies try to hike their prices then the NHS committee (NICE) will take the drug off the approved NHS list, and that is something the drug companies cannot afford to happen, because it costs them millions in lost sales to the NHS.
deanhills
On a lighter note, I really appreciate the humour of Cartoonist Rob Rogers. He has come up with another funny cartoon about the healthcare legislation:

jmi256
Bikerman wrote:
No, it doesn't work like that at all.
Most jobs of middle-management level or above will carry a 'health package'. It's nothing much to do with 'moral' obligation - just the market in operation.
At the more senior levels then the normal argument is deployed (time is money, we have to attract the best, we can't afford our CEO to be off work waiting for an op, health insurance is therefore GOOD for the shareholders and vital to the company). As you come down the ladder the argument gives way (as always) to 'supply and demand'.


I do agree with you that healthcare is not offered due to any “moral obligation.” In fact, I think publicly traded companies have no business at all in pushing morality.

I'm not sure how it works where you are, but I can't agree with your argument that the main reason companies provide health insurance is because they are trying to minimize the amount of time employees would be out in the event of an illness or injury. The reason they do it here in the US is simple enough: They do so because other reputable, well-run and profitable companies do. They know that quality prospective employees have come to expect employer-paid health insurance as part of any compensation package from these company for certain jobs. If a company was unable to operate efficiently enough stay competitive and offered no 'benefits' while their competitors did, that company would be unable to attract quality employees. In a properly functioning system, the poorly run companies would then eventually go bankrupt. But in reality, a government-run, ‘universal’ system helps poorly run companies who would previously be unable to offer healthcare as part of compensation stay afloat for a little longer at the expense of the taxpayers. In such a system, since healthcare will be provided by taxpayers, it puts the poorly run companies on an uneven playing field. I say uneven, because reputable, well-run, profitable company will be subsidizing the healthcare of the poorly run company’s employees through higher taxes, while the poorly run company that is making little to no profit would be enjoying the fruits of the well-run company’s effort while paying less in taxes. (Thanks to a ‘progressive’ tax structure the more successful a company is, the more it is burdened with a higher tax rate.)
deanhills
I found an excellent article by Ezra Klein in the Washington Post of 9 June 2009 , explaining the differences in meaning between Socialized Medicine, Single-Payer Health Care, and what American citizens will be getting with the new healthcare reform legislation. He also showed how people who have been polled about the healthcare reforms did not have an understanding what socialized medicine was (even when they voted in favour of it), how the proposed healthcare reforms would be completely different from the NHS and what single-payer health care will mean in the United States, i.e. what the people will be getting, which may differ completely from the expectations of those who have been polled and who said they were in favour of socialized medicine.

Quote:
Health Reform for Beginners: The Difference Between Socialized Medicine, Single-Payer Health Care, and What We'll Be Getting
By Ezra Klein | June 9, 2009; 11:09 AM ET - Washington Post


I've been meaning to write this post for some time. The words "socialized medicine" and"single-payer health care" get thrown around with such gleeful abandon that they've both become a bit unmoored from their actual meanings. In the American health-care debate, they tend to refer to "whatever the Democrats are proposing." But that's not what they mean.

Socialized medicine is a system in which the government owns the means of providing medicine. Britain is an example of socialized system, as, in America, is the Veterans Health Administration. In a socialized system, the government employs the doctors and nurses, builds and owns the hospitals, and bargains for and purchases the technology. I have literally never heard a proposal for converting America to a socialized system of medicine. And I know a lot of liberals.

Single-payer health care is not socialized medicine. It's a system in which one institution purchases all, or in reality, most, of the care. But the payer does not own the doctors or the hospitals or the nurses or the MRI scanners. Medicare is an example of a mostly single-payer system, as is France. Both of these systems have private insurers to choose from, but the government is the dominant purchaser. (As an aside here, unlike in socialized medicine, "single-payer health care" has nothing in particular to do with the government. The state might be the single payer. But if Aetna managed to wrest 100 percent of the health insurance market, then it would be the single payer. The term refers to market share, not federal control.)

Socialized medicine is far outside any discussion we're having. Single-payer medicine has a genuine constituency but is also a vanishingly unlikely outcome. But the promiscuous use of the terms has created a rather confused population. "Socialized medicine" is the thing we don't have. In some case, it's the thing we don't like. The graph atop this post comes from a poll conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health. They found that Americans actually preferred socialized medicine to our system. Or take this question, about our current system:


You're reading that right. About 30 percent of Americans think HMOs are socialized medicine. Which implies a couple things. First, the term "socialized medicine" has been diluted beyond all meaning. Second, it's no longer considered a terrifying outcome. And third, nothing that's this amorphous -- and actually preferred by a plurality of the population -- is likely to prove a terribly effective attack against health reform. Socialized medicine has become such a stand-in for "not this system of medicine" that it's begun to look good in comparison.

Meanwhile, what we're actually going to get is not socialized medicine or single-payer health care. It's a hybrid system. Private insurers, hopefully competing with a public option. Private doctors and private hospitals. Government regulation and subsidies. It's going to be complicated and messy and inefficient and hopeful and the product of a strange mix of corporate preferences and public compassion and latent populism. It will, in other words, be a uniquely American system, and hard to describe with a single epithet
.
Bikerman
jmi256 wrote:
If a company was unable to operate efficiently enough stay competitive and offered no 'benefits' while their competitors did, that company would be unable to attract quality employees. In a properly functioning system, the poorly run companies would then eventually go bankrupt.

That is far too simplistic, as a glance at the current global financial system quickly reveals.
a) Offering health-care doesn't equate to being well-run so the whole basis of this argument is faulty.
b) One of the major weaknesses of the current system is that some companies are too big to fail. They may offer excellent health-packages and yet be run very badly indeed and yet the whole system depends on them NOT going bankrupt. This is one very powerful argument for splitting the large banks into smaller units that can be allowed to fail. One economist recently suggested about 80 billion would be reasonable.
Quote:
But in reality, a government-run, ‘universal’ system helps poorly run companies who would previously be unable to offer healthcare as part of compensation stay afloat for a little longer at the expense of the taxpayers.
I don't follow this argument at all. Firstly it relies, as I said above, on the premise that well-run companies are those which offer the best health-care plan. I don't think that can be sustained. Secondly a universal system, such as the NHS, will never be able to provide the speed and convenience of service offered by the private sector (that is their selling point). Thirdly companies in the UK offer various health-packages which, no-doubt, attract the 'best' people just as in the US. The difference is that for those not fortunate enough to be 'the best', they can rely on being treated if they fall ill. The argument that the additional financial burden imposed by inefficient health insurance is a good thing because it forces some companies out of business seems perverse. What about the well run company that, without the burden of massive health insurance benefit packages, would be making a nice little profit and employing many more people?
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:

b) One of the major weaknesses of the current system is that some companies are too big to fail. They may offer excellent health-packages and yet be run very badly indeed and yet the whole system depends on them NOT going bankrupt. This is one very powerful argument for splitting the large banks into smaller units that can be allowed to fail. One economist recently suggested about 80 billion would be reasonable.

Wow... it looks like we agree on something political... ^.^
Bikerman
ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:

b) One of the major weaknesses of the current system is that some companies are too big to fail. They may offer excellent health-packages and yet be run very badly indeed and yet the whole system depends on them NOT going bankrupt. This is one very powerful argument for splitting the large banks into smaller units that can be allowed to fail. One economist recently suggested about 80 billion would be reasonable.

Wow... it looks like we agree on something political... ^.^
More pragmatic than political. As a 'leftie' then I don't support unfettered capitalism as my preferred option. Given the real-world in which I live, however, it seems to me that if we are to have capitalism then it is logical to make it work as it is supposed to. Moral-hazard (another term for 'too big to fail') is clearly a weakness in the current system. The result has been that the banks are largely owned by the tax-payer here in the UK. Now I'd be quite happy for that to continue and for government to get more involved in controlling the banks (not running them, but imposing the public will in such matters as bonus payments, amount of capital available for business loans etc).
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:

b) One of the major weaknesses of the current system is that some companies are too big to fail. They may offer excellent health-packages and yet be run very badly indeed and yet the whole system depends on them NOT going bankrupt. This is one very powerful argument for splitting the large banks into smaller units that can be allowed to fail. One economist recently suggested about 80 billion would be reasonable.

Wow... it looks like we agree on something political... ^.^
Totally agreed. Especially regarding splitting the large banks up into smaller units. I always thought that the Big Banks who were failing at the end of 2008, should have been allowed to fail and that the bail-out money should have been applied to create smaller banks of the Building Society variety where the people are. The fact that the Banks had been in trouble was a sign that they were not working, like having a disease, and Government applying money to keep the disease alive. I also agree with Chris that this is not necessarily a party particular line of thinking, but pragmatic and common sense. It could well fit into a socialist point of view as well.
azoundria
All you guys who want health care, just migrate to Canada. That will teach the American government...
deanhills
azoundria wrote:
All you guys who want health care, just migrate to Canada. That will teach the American government...
Once you have lived in Canada you may just want to do it the other way round. It always looks greener on the other side of the mountain.
Voodoocat
Quote:
All you guys who want health care, just migrate to Canada. That will teach the American government...


You are right- Canada's "FREE" health care is so good that even Canadians don't trust it!

Quote:
Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams will undergo heart surgery later this week in the United States.


http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=2510700#ixzz0eP3qXgpG

Yet another stunning example of the efficacy of State run healthcare.
deanhills
Looks as though Obama is conceding defeat. He sees a likelihood that the Health Care Reform Bill won't be approved by Congress:
Quote:
"I think it's very important for us to have a methodical, open process over the next several weeks, and then let's go ahead and make a decision," Obama said at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser.

"And it may be that ... if Congress decides we're not going to do it, even after all the facts are laid out, all the options are clear, then the American people can make a judgment as to whether this Congress has done the right thing for them or not," the president said. "And that's how democracy works. There will be elections coming up, and they'll be able to make a determination and register their concerns."
Source

Quite a change in tune from aggressively marketing the Bill along "Yes we can" lines right up to Xmas eve. Can't imagine that is going to make the Democrats in his Party happy.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:

Quite a change in tune from aggressively marketing the Bill along "Yes we can" lines right up to Xmas eve. Can't imagine that is going to make the Democrats in his Party happy.

Publicly, they will be unhappy, but privately, I bet some of them will be thinking 'thank God I don't have to fight to pass that monster anymore'.
Surely some of them were along for the ride only because of party loyalty or because of the 'if we fail, we'll look week and ineffectual' thought.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
Publicly, they will be unhappy, but privately, I bet some of them will be thinking 'thank God I don't have to fight to pass that monster anymore'.
Good point, and now that you mention it, has to be true. It's like playing the same record over and over and over again, must have been driving some of the Dems nuts, maybe even literally Wink
handfleisch
Here is part of an email from a relative, who has cancer.

Quote:
(The doctor's) explanation was spare and well-reasoned, and she asked simply "Shall we go ahead with it?" "Yes," was my answer. ... Thanks to Medicare and the provision of healthcare to Chabot-Las Positas employees hired before 1987, I don't have to ask whether I can afford this. We should all be so lucky--and with Obama's help, we may become so.


Recent US experiences: On the plane, the Canadian woman sitting next to me said her husband has a liver transplant, a $200,000 dollar operation, and they were not charged a penny. A dentist here said a root canal would cost me $1000. I called my dentist in the Czech Republic, a very professional, modern dentist, and she said $60. A month's worth of a certain asthma medicine costs about $80 in the Czech Republic without insurance, here it costs $250.

I really think if the plans for health care reform in the USA fail due to the obstruction of Congress members of both parties on behalf of those who make megaprofits off of people's illnesses, it will be a historic tragedy for this country. I am really grateful that my relative above has worry-free health care due to the strong teacher union and the arbitrary factor of having been hired before 1987. The fact that so many US citizens cannot have what all people have in every other civilized, industrialized nation in the world, the simple human right of affordable health care, is a colossal shame and embarrassment to this country.
jmi256
handfleisch wrote:
Here is part of an email from a relative, who has cancer.

Quote:
(The doctor's) explanation was spare and well-reasoned, and she asked simply "Shall we go ahead with it?" "Yes," was my answer. ... Thanks to Medicare and the provision of healthcare to Chabot-Las Positas employees hired before 1987, I don't have to ask whether I can afford this. We should all be so lucky--and with Obama's help, we may become so.


Recent US experiences: On the plane, the Canadian woman sitting next to me said her husband has a liver transplant, a $200,000 dollar operation, and they were not charged a penny. A dentist here said a root canal would cost me $1000. I called my dentist in the Czech Republic, a very professional, modern dentist, and she said $60. A month's worth of a certain asthma medicine costs about $80 in the Czech Republic without insurance, here it costs $250.

I really think if the plans for health care reform in the USA fail due to the obstruction of Congress members of both parties on behalf of those who make megaprofits off of people's illnesses, it will be a historic tragedy for this country. I am really grateful that my relative above has worry-free health care due to the strong teacher union and the arbitrary factor of having been hired before 1987. The fact that so many US citizens cannot have what all people have in every other civilized, industrialized nation in the world, the simple human right of affordable health care, is a colossal shame and embarrassment to this country.

I'm sorry to hear about your relative with cancer. Hopefully he/she gets better soon.


But to address the 'political' part of your post: Now that all the other arguments have failed, it seems all liberals have left is to try to ‘shame’ the US into doing something it doesn't want to do, with their refrain that “every other civilized, industrialized nation in the world” does/has _________________. Other countries may do a lot of things, but that’s why the US is different by definition. If you really think things are so much better in the Czech Republic, good for you. I’m sure you want to keep it that way. Those of us who disagree and think things are better here in the US just want the same opportunity to preserve our uniqueness and what makes America special.

As a recap, the arguments for turning our healthcare system upside down and the general response seem to be limited to the below.
1. Americans 'want' government-run healthcare: Polls have shown the opposite.
2. Government-run healthcare will magically reduce overall costs: On what planet? Overall costs will increase but you’ll just be spreading those costs around to more people.
3. It will not increase taxes: Again, shown to be the opposite.
4. It's the responsibility of the government to provide it: Show me where it says that in the US Constitution.
5. Republicans are being obstructionists: How? Democrats have enjoyed a super majority where they could have passed anything they wanted for almost a year and failed to sort things out among themselves. They refused to include Republicans and have shut them out of the process, but somehow the Republicans are being obstructionists? Again, another liberal twist of logic.
6. Insurance companies are lobbying against it, so it must be good: Fail again. It has been show that insurance companies have the Democrats firmly in their pockets and are working to fatten their wallets even more if they are able to get the bills they want Congress and Obama to pass through.
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
But to address the 'political' part of your post: Now that all the other arguments have failed, it seems all liberals have left is to try to ‘shame’ the US into doing something it doesn't want to do, with their refrain that “every other civilized, industrialized nation in the world” does/has _________________. Other countries may do a lot of things, but that’s why the US is different by definition. If you really think things are so much better in the Czech Republic, good for you. I’m sure you want to keep it that way. Those of us who disagree and think things are better here in the US just want the same opportunity to preserve our uniqueness and what makes America special.

As a recap, the arguments for turning our healthcare system upside down and the general response seem to be limited to the below.
1. Americans 'want' government-run healthcare: Polls have shown the opposite.
2. Government-run healthcare will magically reduce overall costs: On what planet? Overall costs will increase but you’ll just be spreading those costs around to more people.
3. It will not increase taxes: Again, shown to be the opposite.
4. It's the responsibility of the government to provide it: Show me where it says that in the US Constitution.
5. Republicans are being obstructionists: How? Democrats have enjoyed a super majority where they could have passed anything they wanted for almost a year and failed to sort things out among themselves. They refused to include Republicans and have shut them out of the process, but somehow the Republicans are being obstructionists? Again, another liberal twist of logic.
6. Insurance companies are lobbying against it, so it must be good: Fail again. It has been show that insurance companies have the Democrats firmly in their pockets and are working to fatten their wallets even more if they are able to get the bills they want Congress and Obama to pass through.


The logic and methods of your post is so whacked that they don't bear debate. It's not "liberals" who want reform and affordable health care, it is all the millions of people going through bankruptcy, who have family members dying, because they don't have it. Your post is an insult to them. You then make a list of straw men of your own creation and pretend to knock each one down with your own factoids/BS, which is fine, since you really are just playing with yourself anyway.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
A dentist here said a root canal would cost me $1000. I called my dentist in the Czech Republic, a very professional, modern dentist, and she said $60. A month's worth of a certain asthma medicine costs about $80 in the Czech Republic without insurance, here it costs $250.

The moral of the story:
Costs need to be reduced.

How will me paying for your $1000 root canal make it cost less though?
handfleisch
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
A dentist here said a root canal would cost me $1000. I called my dentist in the Czech Republic, a very professional, modern dentist, and she said $60. A month's worth of a certain asthma medicine costs about $80 in the Czech Republic without insurance, here it costs $250.

The moral of the story:
Costs need to be reduced.

How will me paying for your $1000 root canal make it cost less though?

In enlightened republics of industrialized lands, we all contribute to things like fire departments and health insurance, because we understand it is in our mutual benefit. If we had had no public fire departments, it would probably cost $1000 to get their private firetruck to show up for a 5 minute service, also. Privatization of such essentials is what causes runaway costs, and is a big mistake for any country. Grade school stuff, really.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
If we had had no public fire departments, it would probably cost $1000 to get their private firetruck to show up for a 5 minute service, also.

It does cost $1000 for a 5 minute fire truck service.
Only, you don't notice because you're not paying for it. (directly)

Distributing the cost to the entire population DOES NOT make the cost go away!
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
Recent US experiences: On the plane, the Canadian woman sitting next to me said her husband has a liver transplant, a $200,000 dollar operation, and they were not charged a penny. A dentist here said a root canal would cost me $1000. I called my dentist in the Czech Republic, a very professional, modern dentist, and she said $60. A month's worth of a certain asthma medicine costs about $80 in the Czech Republic without insurance, here it costs $250. [/b]
Why the Czech Republic and not Canada? By your reasoning you could get the lowest prices by studying all the prices world wide and select the ones that suit you. For example, the Czech Republic has of the lowest salaries in the world. $80 relative to disposable income is quite a hefty sum. Canada does not cover dental care. You can take out private insurance (that is quite expensive), but on average people pay out of pocket for their dental care. People who cannot afford regular dental prices usually go to the Dental Faculty Surgeries of the Universities in Canada and get their dental work done for free.
handfleisch
The lack of universal health insurance in the US is a major drag on its economy and business.

Quote:
Health insurance hikes stun small businesses

While Anthem Blue Cross has been taking the heat for proposing rate increases of up to 39 percent on individual consumers, other health insurers have stunned some small businesses with hikes that in some cases exceed 75 percent. Tom Simmons, president of an Oakland design and consulting firm with four employees, said he had just read about the Anthem increases when he opened a letter from his insurer, Blue Shield of California, informing him his monthly family premium would go up to $1,596 a month


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/02/25/MNLV1C78RH.DTL
jmi256
handfleisch wrote:
The lack of universal health insurance in the US is a major drag on its economy and business.

Quote:
Health insurance hikes stun small businesses

While Anthem Blue Cross has been taking the heat for proposing rate increases of up to 39 percent on individual consumers, other health insurers have stunned some small businesses with hikes that in some cases exceed 75 percent. Tom Simmons, president of an Oakland design and consulting firm with four employees, said he had just read about the Anthem increases when he opened a letter from his insurer, Blue Shield of California, informing him his monthly family premium would go up to $1,596 a month


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/02/25/MNLV1C78RH.DTL


The high cost of healthcare is definitely a problem for businesses, but the solution is lowering costs, not spreading costs to more people. I haven't seen anything in the Democrats' plan that reduces actual costs, but just makes those not receiving benefits pay for those who are. Things like tort reform, which would give doctors the ability to stop order unnecessary tests and medications to avoid the frivolous lawsuits, or giving individuals the ability to purchase better-priced plans anywhere in the country instead of the current restrictions on not crossing state lines are just a couple of ideas that will actually reduce costs. But for some reason the Democrats have refused to incorporate any of these commonsense ideas into a plan. Yes it would mean less money in the pockets of trial lawyers, and insurance companies would be forced to compete and see lower profits, but if the Democrats really wanted to help Americans, they should be willing to go against the bidding of their biggest campaign contributors.

Also from the article you cite:
Quote:
"We were paying out more in claims than we were collecting in premiums," said Aron Ezra, spokesman for Blue Shield, which is a nonprofit insurer based in San Francisco. Ezra said he didn't know how large the increases were or how many customers were affected.

Ezra said Blue Shield regrets having to raise rates.

"We lose membership because fewer people can afford to get it," he said. "It does not help us. We only do it to be able to collect enough money to pay out."
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
The high cost of healthcare is definitely a problem for businesses, but the solution is lowering costs, not spreading costs to more people. I haven't seen anything in the Democrats' plan that reduces actual costs, but just makes those not receiving benefits pay for those who are. Things like tort reform, which would give doctors the ability to stop order unnecessary tests and medications to avoid the frivolous lawsuits, or giving individuals the ability to purchase better-priced plans anywhere in the country instead of the current restrictions on not crossing state lines are just a couple of ideas that will actually reduce costs. But for some reason the Democrats have refused to incorporate any of these commonsense ideas into a plan. Yes it would mean less money in the pockets of trial lawyers, and insurance companies would be forced to compete and see lower profits, but if the Democrats really wanted to help Americans, they should be willing to go against the bidding of their biggest campaign contributors.

Also from the article you cite:
Quote:
"We were paying out more in claims than we were collecting in premiums," said Aron Ezra, spokesman for Blue Shield, which is a nonprofit insurer based in San Francisco. Ezra said he didn't know how large the increases were or how many customers were affected.

Ezra said Blue Shield regrets having to raise rates.

"We lose membership because fewer people can afford to get it," he said. "It does not help us. We only do it to be able to collect enough money to pay out."

Tort reform and loosening restrictions would make a tiny fraction of a difference in the health care crisis. These are waved around by the Republicans and others to distract attention from their obstruction of any reform whatsoever, basically. The CBO has estimated the current reform will help small businesses and larger businesses, too, as America increasingly loses competitive edge against the 100% of industrialized countries that have universal health insurance.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
The lack of universal health insurance in the US is a major drag on its economy and business.

Quote:
Health insurance hikes stun small businesses

While Anthem Blue Cross has been taking the heat for proposing rate increases of up to 39 percent on individual consumers, other health insurers have stunned some small businesses with hikes that in some cases exceed 75 percent. Tom Simmons, president of an Oakland design and consulting firm with four employees, said he had just read about the Anthem increases when he opened a letter from his insurer, Blue Shield of California, informing him his monthly family premium would go up to $1,596 a month


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/02/25/MNLV1C78RH.DTL


You think maybe they're raising their rates now in case congress freezes the rates later on?
handfleisch
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
The lack of universal health insurance in the US is a major drag on its economy and business.

Quote:
Health insurance hikes stun small businesses

While Anthem Blue Cross has been taking the heat for proposing rate increases of up to 39 percent on individual consumers, other health insurers have stunned some small businesses with hikes that in some cases exceed 75 percent. Tom Simmons, president of an Oakland design and consulting firm with four employees, said he had just read about the Anthem increases when he opened a letter from his insurer, Blue Shield of California, informing him his monthly family premium would go up to $1,596 a month


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/02/25/MNLV1C78RH.DTL


You think maybe they're raising their rates now in case congress freezes the rates later on?


Interesting notion. Maybe. It would be criminal (ethically if not literally) if so, but maybe.
jmi256
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
The lack of universal health insurance in the US is a major drag on its economy and business.

Quote:
Health insurance hikes stun small businesses

While Anthem Blue Cross has been taking the heat for proposing rate increases of up to 39 percent on individual consumers, other health insurers have stunned some small businesses with hikes that in some cases exceed 75 percent. Tom Simmons, president of an Oakland design and consulting firm with four employees, said he had just read about the Anthem increases when he opened a letter from his insurer, Blue Shield of California, informing him his monthly family premium would go up to $1,596 a month


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/02/25/MNLV1C78RH.DTL


You think maybe they're raising their rates now in case congress freezes the rates later on?


I doubt it. I think they are raising rates because the cost of providing services are going up. Even the CBO estimates provide for the same profit margin after the bill as before the bill, so the insurance companies have a guaranteed rate of return thanks to the bill endorsed by the Democrats. And if the margin remains constant and the amount of revenue increases, they will make loads of more $$. It's a sweet deal the Dems have set up for the insurance companies.
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
The lack of universal health insurance in the US is a major drag on its economy and business.

Quote:
Health insurance hikes stun small businesses

While Anthem Blue Cross has been taking the heat for proposing rate increases of up to 39 percent on individual consumers, other health insurers have stunned some small businesses with hikes that in some cases exceed 75 percent. Tom Simmons, president of an Oakland design and consulting firm with four employees, said he had just read about the Anthem increases when he opened a letter from his insurer, Blue Shield of California, informing him his monthly family premium would go up to $1,596 a month


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/02/25/MNLV1C78RH.DTL


You think maybe they're raising their rates now in case congress freezes the rates later on?


I doubt it. I think they are raising rates because the cost of providing services are going up. Even the CBO estimates provide for the same profit margin after the bill as before the bill, so the insurance companies have a guaranteed rate of return thanks to the bill endorsed by the Democrats. And if the margin remains constant and the amount of revenue increases, they will make loads of more $$. It's a sweet deal the Dems have set up for the insurance companies.


Last part laughable. Otherwise, given the fact that the insurance companies now are raising rates despite massive profits, and their history of canceling people's insurance when people get expensively sick, it's hard to ascribe any motive beside blind greed.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
it's hard to ascribe any motive beside blind greed.

Of course. All large corporations operate on blind greed.

The question is, do we take this responsibility away from the greedy, and give it to the power-hungry?

From a personal freedom standpoint, it's better that it should be in the hands of the greedy- they're easier to deal with.
handfleisch
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
it's hard to ascribe any motive beside blind greed.

Of course. All large corporations operate on blind greed.

The question is, do we take this responsibility away from the greedy, and give it to the power-hungry?

From a personal freedom standpoint, it's better that it should be in the hands of the greedy- they're easier to deal with.

Worrying about the power-hungry when government increases it police powers, its war-making powers, it surveillance powers, and the influence of money and corporations in politics is very appropriate. Worrying about the power-hungry when the government is just trying to fix one of the most glaring inadequacies in the country, that is killing tens of thousands per year, is the number one cause of bankruptcies, and involves the lack of a universally-accepted basic human right, by just reforming the insurance industry, is pretty irrational and paranoid, bordering on phobic.

Quote:
Would National Health Insurance
Be "Socialized Medicine"?
Stephen Barrett, M.D.
Peter S. Vig, D.D.S., Ph.D., J.D.

Socialized medicine is a system in which doctors and hospitals work for and draw salaries from the government. Doctors in the U.S. Veterans Administration and our Armed Services are paid this way. The health systems in Great Britain and Spain are other examples. But Canada, Australia, Japan, and most European countries that offer universal health care would be more accurately described as socialized health insurance, not socialized medicine. These governments pay for care that is delivered in the private (mostly not-for-profit) sector, which is similar to how Medicare works in this country. Doctors are in private practice and are paid on a fee-for-service basis from government funds. The government does not own or manage medical practices or hospitals.

The term "socialized medicine" is often used to conjure up images of government bureaucratic interference in medical care. However, in countries with national health insurance, doctors and patients often have more clinical freedom than now exists in the United States. Moreover, socialization does not mean that private options cannot exist. In Britain, everyone in country must pay the relevant tax and is eligible for care under the National Health Service (NHS). However, there is also a parallel private health system. Patients can elect to get private care for any item of treatment they choose. Those who want to self-refer to a specialist, wait less have some elective procedure, or stay in a hospital that they believe would be more comfortable can do so. Private care can be financed out-of-pocket or through private insurance, which is not paid by the government and is managed by large insurance companies such as the British United Provident Association (BUPA). To prevent favoritism within the NHS, doctors are not permitted to co-mingle NHS and private patients and must maintain separate offices and hospital privileges for their private patients. (In other words, all patients seen in an NHS office must be NHS patients.)

http://www.insurancereformwatch.org/faq/socialized.shtml
edit, fixed link
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
Worrying about the power-hungry when government increases it police powers, its war-making powers, it surveillance powers, and the influence of money and corporations in politics is very appropriate.
So I imagine the current Government is not power-hungry, is not increasing its war-making machinery, is not engaging in any surveillance of any kind and it is not trying to increase its influence with corporations?
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:

Worrying about the power-hungry when government increases it police powers, its war-making powers, it surveillance powers, and the influence of money and corporations in politics is very appropriate. Worrying about the power-hungry when the government is just trying to fix one of the most glaring inadequacies in the country, that is killing tens of thousands per year, is the number one cause of bankruptcies, and involves the lack of a universally-accepted basic human right, by just reforming the insurance industry, is pretty irrational and paranoid, bordering on phobic.

It's all one government, silly. Any government involvement, even involvement supposedly for your benefit, increases government power. And it's only a matter of time until that power is abused.

The ideal government would be one that stays out of people's business so much that many people go through their whole lives without having any dealings with it.
downntheholler
The trouble with Government run anything is they fail at it.
jmi256
It looks like a reporter at ABC has finally decided to look at who the winners are in the bill Obama and the Democrats are proposing. And of course the losers are the American taxpayers. Still think it’s a coincidence that Obama and others in the DNC leadership are the insurance companies’ top political contribution recipients?

Quote:
A Complicated Enemy: Obama Seeks to Vilify Health Insurers, Give Them $336 Billion Check

ABC’s Z. Byron Wolf reports: President Obama and Democrats launched a campaign to vilify insurance companies in the final stretch of their health reform effort.

Republicans, meanwhile, pointed out that those very same insurance companies would get huge checks from the government if health reform is enacted.

“(Health Insurers) will keep on doing this for as long as they can get away with it. This is no secret,” the president said. “They're telling their investors this – ‘We are in the money. We are going to keep on making big profits even though a lot of folks are going to be put under hardship,’” the President told supporters at a stop in Pennsylvania today.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, meanwhile, wrote to insurance company executives demanding that they justify premium hikes.

Neither mentioned that the Senate health reform bill, which is the basis for Democrats' last best chance at comprehensive reform, would give the insurance companies millions of new customers required by law to buy health insurance. It would also require insurers to cover everyone, regardless of age, gender or pre-existing condition.

To help pay for the new insurance requirements the government would give to people money to buy insurance - $336 billion over the next ten years. That money, ultimately, would have to go to... drum roll... insurance companies.

People without employer-sponsored insurance who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid and less than about $88,000 for a family of four, would get tax credits to help them buy insurance on the open market. But the payment of the tax credits would be made, point out Republican researchers, directly to insurance companies. See page 37 here of the Senate Finance Committee's exhaustive explanation of the plan:

During the 2008 Presidential campaign, then-Senator Obama criticized a proposal by Sen. John McCain because it would send government help for people to buy insurance directly to insurance companies.

“But The New Tax Credit [For Health Insurance] He’s Proposing? That Wouldn’t Go To You. It Would Go Directly To Your Insurance Company – Not Your Bank Account," said Obama in October on the Campaign trail.

And yet that’s exactly what Democrats' proposal would do and why so many would prefer public insurance option to compete with the private market. Supporting the Senate bill will be tough for many liberal Democrats in the House.

To the Republicans’ (and Obama’s on the campaign trail) point about the payments going directly to insurance companies, remember that people with employer-sponsored insurance or current federal medical benefits do not usually get a separate check to buy insurance either. They pay premiums directly to the insurance company and so does their employer. The Senate proposal would create a similar relationship between people who don't have employer-based insurance and the government.

So why do Insurance companies, if they're set to receive more than $330 billion in government subsidies to insure people without insurance now oppose the Senate bill?

"Health plans proposed more than a year ago robust insurance market reforms and new consumer protections to guarantee coverage for pre-existing conditions. Much more needs to be done in the current legislation to address the skyrocketing cost of medical care, which is making health care coverage unaffordable for working families and small businesses," said Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman from America's Health Insurance Plans, in a statement today.

He argued that health insurers should not be targeted by the President and their profits are lower by margin than other sectors in the health industry.

"For every dollar spent on health care in America, less than one penny goes towards health plan profits. The focus needs to be on the other 99 cents," he said.

Source = http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2010/03/a-complicated-enemy-obama-seeks-to-vilify-health-insurers-give-them-336-billion-check.html
Insanity
There hasn't been the political will to do so. Also, I blame the Republicans.
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
It looks like a reporter at ABC has finally decided to look at who the winners are in the bill Obama and the Democrats are proposing. And of course the losers are the American taxpayers. Still think it’s a coincidence that Obama and others in the DNC leadership are the insurance companies’ top political contribution recipients?

Quote:
A Complicated Enemy: Obama Seeks to Vilify Health Insurers, Give Them $336 Billion Check


Insurance corporations are also spending a million dollars per day fighting Obama's health insurance reform. So as the piece says, it's complicated, much more so than your simplistic summary. Here is a little more of that complicated reality:


Also, the taxpayer isn't the loser if that taxpayer gets health insurance for his family, if health care reform saves her life and hundreds of thousands of others. That's not complicated at all.

The taxpayer was a massive loser in Bush's Iraq Invasion, which would have paid for the best national health insurance in the world. So look at it this way: If the arm chair warrior politicians paid off by military corporation just cancel their next "adventure" (aka war-crime invasion that murders hundreds of thousands), health care reform is automatically paid for! Hooray!

http://www.northjersey.com/news/86702492_Group_warns_of_uninsured_deaths_in_N_J_.html
Quote:

Group warns of uninsured deaths in N.J.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Lack of health coverage will indirectly lead to the deaths of 6,500 New Jersey residents over the next decade, according to a group pushing for passage of comprehensive national health care reform.

Without insurance, people are less likely to undergo screenings for cancer and other diseases that can be treated more successfully if caught earlier. They lack a regular source of care, other than a hospital emergency room. And they tend to put off or skip treatment, until a health problem worsens.

"Uninsured Americans are sicker and die earlier than insured Americans," said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, which extrapolated state-by-state projections from a retrospective 2002 study by the Institute of Medicine.


New Jersey ranked 11th among the 50 states in the number of deaths due to lack of coverage over the 15 years since President Bill Clinton failed at health care reform. The state