More on Healthcare Debate

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More on Healthcare Debate

Postby Bart Stewart » Sun Aug 16, 2009 6:54 am

Some points that should be addressed more often in this healthcare debate, or non-debate, are as follows.

The screaming that is done about the dreaded horror of "Socialized Medicine" ignores a couple of facts. One, we have had socialized medicine in this country for generations. It is called The Emergency Room. When poor people go there for free health care (usually after putting off treatment until they are extremely sick) the tax payer picks up the tab. Some charities chip in, sometimes, but mainly it's you and me. How is this any different from the terrifying spectre of Socialized Medicine, except that relying on the Emergency Room is far and away more expensive than any system of clinics the government would ever establish, and clogs up the Emergency Rooms? This "Emergency Room Shuffle" we have now is hugely more expensive than anything the Democrats are proposing. Yet so many of us think absolutely nothing about continuing on like this.

My guess is it's a psychological thing. Since the Cold War we have been so conditioned to view anything approaching socialism as being such satanic evil that we would rather pay through the jugular for something like the Emergency Room Shuffle just so we can say we're not socialists.

Then there is the issue, or buzz word, of "Rationing." Healthcare will be rationed if there is a public option in the new health care system. This entirely ignores the realities of what we have now. If your illness gets too expensive, guess what? Your beloved private health care provider will drop you. Despite all the heart-warming (and expensive) advertising they do, with all those smiling models, your insurance company will cut you loose like a dead fish if you start costing them too much money. And THEY decide how much is too much. The amount might be stated somewhere in the miles of small print disclaimer copy you get from them on a regular basis, but chances are it will be something you will find out about only after you start filing a few claims. They can and will drop you. You can sue them if you'd like, and best of luck with that. How is this situation any different from what health care opponents are claiming with their charge of rationing, except that it is more likely to happen with the private system?

Another conundrum is the charge that the public option will not remain merely an option, but will be the first step toward a gobbling-up of the entire private insurance system by an inept, inferior government system. Under Obama's plan, the public option will indeed be just that, an option you can take or leave. So, how will it evolve in the future? Well, if this government-run health care system is going to be so Stalinist and inefficient and terrible, why will the private insurance companies have any trouble at all competing with it? Poor people will use it, instead of the Emergency Room. But why would anyone else? Maybe the insurance companies are scared that the government plan would appeal to too many people. These companies are spending millions of dollars PER DAY to oppose health care reform.

The sheer tonnage of baloney that is being thrown at health care reform is pretty sickening. We have had the "death panel" scare stories of Sarah Palin. (It has since been revealed that she had exactly this kind of thing under her own state health care plan in Alaska, that is, mandated end of life counselling for the elderly.) End of life counselling has been dropped from the bill now, and it was never to be required of anyone.

No need to review the full litany of hooey here. About the only charge that I am hearing that resonates with me at all is that an increase in government involvement in our health care may result in a decrease in research and development, although it seems the government has traditionally bankrolled a lot of that effort. What is definitely not a myth is that Americans spend far more for health care than citizens in other industrialized countries and have a shorter average life span.

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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby Aztexan » Sun Aug 16, 2009 7:25 am

Great post!

One more thing: I see the right-wing Republicans and the gullible, puppet protesters and those pissed-off, mislead old folks as the feared and hated "death panels" because they say to leave the healthcare system alone as it is, thus leaving the 45 million or so Americans to remain uncovered. They are giving them the "thumbs down" and deciding that they either find a way to afford coverage or die trying.
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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby Tom Palven » Sun Aug 16, 2009 11:58 am

My theoretical concerns about socialized medicine are two-fold:

Number one is the type of concern expressed by Friedrich Hayek (1899-1992) The Road to Serfdom, and Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1776, that further government bureaucratization of medicine will drain so much wealth from the country that there will be little surplus left in the hands of the average person for foreign travel and other luxuries.

Number 2 is the ethics of coercing individuals to abide by the dictates of philosopher kings.

I say that these are theoretical concerns because I'm personally not concerned. The upside of US bankrupcy is that this empire, like the Roman, British, Russian, and other empires before it, will no longer have hundreds of billions of excess dollars with which to invade foreign countries. And, secondly, no matter what the Republicans and Democrats do this week or six months from now, the handwriting is on the wall, and medicine, among other things will be socialized. The Empire is FUBAR. Neither Ron Paul nor Tea Parties, nor anything else, is going to reverse this direction. I would advise young US residents to learn Chinese so that they can get top jobs when the Chinese start unloading their dollars to buy up US corporations. The less educated will just have to muddle along as wards of the state with the expanded health care, food programs, government housing subsidies, and other noble programs, perhaps cash for clunker refrigerators, which they will vote for.
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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby Bart Stewart » Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:59 pm

But Tom you don't really address any of the points I made in the original post. We have socialized medicine now; it's the Emergency Room. Anything is going to be more efficient than that. And private insurance companies can and do dump patients who they decide are too expensive. And much of the case put forward against the new health care plan(s) are dishonest or specious as hell.

What Obama is calling for is a public option. People can say, oh, it's going to morph into this or that, and it's a slippery slope, etc. But then again it may well be just what he says it's going to be, an option, which you can take or leave.

Why does it always seem to come down to a choice between extreme positions in so many people's minds? We constantly see political issues being framed as a choice between laissez-faire plutocracy and marxist leninism.

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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby Tom Palven » Sun Aug 16, 2009 1:17 pm

Yes, we have bureaucratization of health care now-- the licensing of physicians and other medical personnel, "Certificates of Need" in order to build new hospitals, subsidies to some in the medical industry, laws against buying certain drugs without a doctor's authorization, which some other countries don't have, and so on, but I'm convinced that we ain't seen nothin' yet. Doesn't anyone else here spot a certain trend? And as I said, that's fine by me.
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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby brauneyz » Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:33 pm

Tom-Palven wrote:Yes, we have bureaucratization of health care now-- the licensing of physicians and other medical personnel, "Certificates of Need" in order to build new hospitals, subsidies to some in the medical industry, laws against buying certain drugs without a doctor's authorization, which some other countries don't have, and so on, but I'm convinced that we ain't seen nothin' yet. Doesn't anyone else here spot a certain trend? And as I said, that's fine by me.

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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby Gord » Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:37 pm

Tom-Palven wrote:Doesn't anyone else here spot a certain trend?

The one where The Rich Get Richer and The Poor Die? Yup. Medical expenses increase and life is given a monetary value.

I've heard that American emergency rooms charge the uninsured for their medical care, which bankrupts many people. Is that true, or just another one of those extremist stories put about by one side or the other?
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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby brauneyz » Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:52 pm

Since I'm known for getting a little snarky about this whole healthcare deal, I will say this, then back out, cuz it's starting to feel like religion here. :banghead:

The trouble with this discussion is that it quickly falls into binary thinking - either you're with us or agin us! There are infinite possibilities between what we have now and what is proposed by Obamacare. Actually, that right there is a misnomer in that there are three bills between the House & Senate. What finally passes, and I agree with Tom that something will, will be an amalgam of them.

Lastly, I love all my dear Canadian and Aussie friends, but frankly, y'all don't know what the {!#%@} you're talking about with re: to our system. Hell, most of us don't. It's that complicated. I've repeated often that I believe our system is broken, but the constant refrain or 'this or that only', and 'dammit, we're in a crisis so we have to do something right now even if it's wrong' is making this old girl really cranky.

Love you guys, but you're really pissing me off! :x and :lips:
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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby Gord » Sun Aug 16, 2009 3:10 pm

brauneyz wrote:Lastly, I love all my dear Canadian and Aussie friends, but frankly, y'all don't know what the {!#%@} you're talking about with re: to our system. Hell, most of us don't. It's that complicated.

:lol: Haha! I know it's The American Way to be ignorant of the ways of other countries, but in other countries, we constantly hear about American politics. I'm watching Mr. Scaryface* talking about Obama's healthcare on CNN as I write this.

"Oh noes, death panels!"

Bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha!!

Your people are really nuts, ya know that? :lol:


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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby Chachacha » Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:13 pm

Gord wrote:
Tom-Palven wrote:Doesn't anyone else here spot a certain trend?

The one where The Rich Get Richer and The Poor Die? Yup. Medical expenses increase and life is given a monetary value.

I've heard that American emergency rooms charge the uninsured for their medical care, which bankrupts many people. Is that true, or just another one of those extremist stories put about by one side or the other?



it is true. It is also true that private insurance and Medicare pay a fraction of the amounts charged, but those who have no insurance have to pay full price - "full price" being the grossly exaggerated amount billed to insurance companies and Medicare to receive a fraction of that amount in payment.

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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby Tom Palven » Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:02 am

In a reply above I mentioned "other noble programs, perhaps cash for clunker refrigerators." Discussing our air conditioner at dinner my wife told me that she heard last week on the local NPR station that the Florida legislature is discussing cash for clunker appliances, and is debating whether to include air conditioners, which might benefit landlords more than the poor. What's next, electric razors, or old energy-guzzling dildoes? Could be a battle of the sexes in the legislature.
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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby Bart Stewart » Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:24 am

I just read in the news that Obama is giving up on the public option, so I guess you're wrong, Tom, about us going into socialism in a handbasket, or even into sanity. Actually I am going to reserve judgement on what seems to be the fallback position - nonprofit coops that will receive government funding to start up, but will then be independent of government. Supposedly these entities will compete with big insurance companies. I don't know, it doesn't sound like a solution to me. I will give it a fair evaluation before I pass judgement. Who knows, maybe it will turn out to be what we need.

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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby Aztexan » Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:01 am

This is an article that echoes what Bart Stewart posted:
http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2009/082009/08172009/485898

And this is the entire Montana Townhall meeting transcribed. I highlighted the part where the President was asked how and where the money will come from to pay for this much needed reform:
Q Okay. My name is Randy, I'm from Ekalaka, Montana. And as you can see, I'm a proud NRA member. (Applause.) I believe in our Constitution, and it's a very important thing. I also get my news from the cable networks because I don't like the spin that comes from them other places.

THE PRESIDENT: Oh, you got to be -- you got to be careful about them cable networks, though. (Laughter.) But that's okay, go ahead, go on with your question.

Q Max Baucus, our senator, has been locked up in a dark room there for months now trying to come up with some money to pay for these programs. And we keep getting the bull. That's all we get, is bull. You can't tell us how you're going to pay for this.

You're saving here, you're saving over there, you're going to take a little money here, you're going to take a little money there. But you have no money. The only way you're going to get that money is to raise our taxes. You said you wouldn't. (Applause.) Max Baucus says he doesn't want to put a bill out that will. But that's the only way you can do that.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, let -- I'm happy to answer the question.

Q Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Look, you are absolutely right that I can't cover another 46 million people for free. You're right. I can't do that. So we're going to have to find some resources. If people who don't have health insurance are going to get some help, then we're going to have to find money from somewhere.

Now, what I've identified, and most of the committees have identified and agreed to, including Max Baucus's committee, is that there -- overall this bill will cost -- let's say it costs $800 billion to $900 billion. That's a lot of money. That's a lot of money. That's over 10 years, though, all right? So that's about $90 billion -- $80 billion to $90 billion a year.

About two-thirds of it -- two-thirds -- can be obtained by doing some of the things I already mentioned, like eliminating subsidies to insurance companies. So you're right, that's real money. I just think I would rather be giving that money to the young lady here who doesn't have health insurance and giving her some help, than giving it to insurance companies that are making record profits. (Applause.) Now, you may disagree. I just think that's a good way to spend our money.


Here's the entire article:
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2009/08/barack-obama-montana-healthcare-town-hall-text.html
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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby Tom Palven » Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:16 am

Remember how calls, letters, and e-mails halted the passage of the $700 billion (or whatever) Wall Street bailout, and the Republican mainstream (Not the Wall St Fat Cat Republicans) were dancing in the streets, alas, a little prematurely? About a week later later the bailout passed. Full health care bureaucratization is inevitable despite some staged handwringing by the Republican team playing to their audiences.. It may take weeks, or months, or heaven forfend, years, but I say "Bring it on!" When this country goes bankrupt the world will be a safer, more rational place, and American Revolution II will be just that much closer. Vive la revolution!
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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby brauneyz » Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:23 pm

Bart Stewart wrote:I just read in the news that Obama is giving up on the public option, so I guess you're wrong, Tom, about us going into socialism in a handbasket, or even into sanity. .


And I just read the WH is covering their ass by feeding Sebelius to the wolves. Friggin' incompetence all around. Couldn't they all get together for breakfast and decide on which lies to push? :scratch:

An administration official said tonight that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius "misspoke" when she told CNN this morning that a government run health insurance option "is not an essential part" of reform. This official asked not to be identified in exchange for providing clarity about the intentions of the President. The official said that the White House did not intend to change its messaging and that Sebelius simply meant to echo the president, who has acknowledged that the public option is a tough sell in the Senate and is, at the same time, a must-pass for House Democrats, and is not, in the president's view, the most important element of the reform package.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/1 ... 60733.html

Hmmm, maybe she just 'misremembered'....
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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby Bart Stewart » Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:10 pm

I don't think there's going to be a public option in the final bill. If they were going to do it they would have done it by now. No, too much McCarthyite mentality across the landscape for that to happen. I am still waiting for somebody to address what I said in the original post about The Emergency Room being our socialized medicine, and the fact that private insurance companies can ration health care by dropping you.

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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby Tom Palven » Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:15 pm

The licensing of nurses and physicians was the authoritarian camel's nose under the tent; and mandated emergency room treatment was, yes, another step toward authoritarianism, but when the Federales mandate prices for everything from a stitched lip to a knee replacement, we'll know we're getting close to Claire Wolfe time, because by then the country will be ethically and financially bankrupt.
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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby Bart Stewart » Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:34 pm

Do you see any authoritarian potential in a laissez-faire plutocracy? Or is that all just pure freedom and justice? It is certainly freedom for the rich, I have no doubts on that. It was the other 90% of the population I was thinking of.

Obama says that insurance costs will just keep rising unless they are held in check by the presence of a lower cost alternative. Do you disagree with that? How about my point that private insurance can drop you like a hot coal if they decide your case is costing them too much? And if that's not rationing what is it?

You deplore the licensing of doctors. Remarkable. Personally I would just as soon live under the tyrannical condition wherein not just anybody is able to call themselves a doctor, but we'll agree to disagree on that. How do you feel about the FDA not allowing patent medicine sales? Back in the laissez-faire days, Lydia Pinkham did a booming business with her Syrup of Figs, which was a positive and conclusive specific for eliminating all untoward symptoms of the feminine systems. The marketplace endorsed her wholeheartedly, before those damned Bolsheviks shut her down.

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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby Tom Palven » Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:27 pm

I'd prefer not to live under any "ocracy", but if I had to choose I'd take a plutocracy over a kleptocracy. As for patent drugs, hard drugs, prescriptiion drugs, or over-the-counter drugs, I'm all for caveat emptor. "Ask your doctor if LSD is right for you", or ask another medical professional, a neighbor, your psychic, Jesus, or maybe look it up on Wikipedia. I'd probably ask a doctor or nurse who had medical experience about a specific drug, and might get more than one opinion, but that's just me.
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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby Gord » Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:35 pm

lolskies! :mrgreen: This thread brings back memories from other boards, I tell ya what!

Mongoloid: "Our left-wing president [used to be Clinton, back then] is a communist infiltrator who is trying to sell us all to Russia! Traffic lights were the first step! End over-regulation now!"

Murgatroid: "Big businesses are consuming our souls! Reagan was Teh Devil! Eat the rich!"

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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby rrichar911 » Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:01 pm

Reguarding the death panel:

First off it never was in there, so the Senate removed it.


If the person or entity making the decisions, is also the person paying the bills, then that person should be the individual as it is a conflict of interest.

If there are no guidlines for what the gov will and will not pay for, then the door is wide open for abuse and corruption, and cost will sky rocket.

If the gov does make decisions concerning what it will and will not approve, it has a death panel.

There is no good choice here, precicely because one entity in charge is a conflict of interest.

One of the principles under which our country came to exist, was balance of power as the flaws of having the power concentrated, are obvious to most people.
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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby brauneyz » Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:24 pm

rrichar911 wrote:{snipped}There is no good choice here, precicely because one entity in charge is a conflict of interest.

So, because the consensus seems to be that there is no one good choice, nothing should be done? :scratch:
I think it is helpful here to remember that all polls (for whatever they're worth = not much), reflect that the majority of Americans desire some form of healthcare reform, which is vastly different from saying they support socialized (substitute any euphemism here) medicine.

Just as an aside, I find it ironic that here you resist the idea of one "entity in charge", when all of your other science/religion threads depends on that. Hmmm... :?
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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby Bart Stewart » Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:49 pm

Reguarding the death panel:
First off it never was in there, so the Senate removed it.

There was never a "death panel" in the bill, like what Sarah Palin had in her Alaska health care plan, in which seniors were truly required to talk to a state government official about their end of life. The national bill had a provision where Medicaid would pay for a living will if the patient requested it. Nobody ever would have forced the issue on anybody. That is what has been removed from the national bill, to "avoid confusion" and appease these mobs, and it's a real shame because a lot of poor people could have benefitted from it. There is no euthenasia provision of any kind in the bill. That is pure unfounded hysteria, stoked by right wing demagogues.

If the person or entity making the decisions, is also the person paying the bills, then that person should be the individual as it is a conflict of interest.

Not sure what you mean here.

If there are no guidlines for what the gov will and will not pay for, then the door is wide open for abuse and corruption, and cost will sky rocket. If the gov does make decisions concerning what it will and will not approve, it has a death panel.

There are many, many guidelines in the legislation. As for the government making decisions on what it will or will not approve, why does it not bother you that the private insurance companies do exactly that same thing every day? Reference my numerous statements above about insurance companies dropping you.

There is no good choice here, precicely because one entity in charge is a conflict of interest. One of the principles under which our country came to exist, was balance of power as the flaws of having the power concentrated, are obvious to most people.

But the principle you speak of is apparently to be waived if the one entity in charge is a private insurance company. The public option plan is actually a benefit to the principle you mention, as there would be both the private sector and the public sector to choose from, and not just the one monolithic insurance industry, which can and does ration care and gouge prices. But apparently the government is the only entity that is capable of evil, in some people's minds. If we're talking about the workings of a private corporation, then it must be all unblemished righteousness. As I said in the first post above, too many people think this way, and it is a hold-over from Cold War era indoctrination. All the problems you cite with having a public option are present right now in the private insurance monopoly. We could have had competition between the two, which would have been a boon to the consumer. Instead we are going to get some watered down deal that is no better than what we have now, and health care costs will continue upward, with no end in sight.

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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby brauneyz » Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:40 am

Bart, I am working on a reply to your query about ER's, with the help of my friend, the doc. It's complicated, I'm not all that swift, I've had a long day and a couple glasses of :redwine: already , but I will get back to you. Suffice it to say, for tonight, that there is a huge difference between private hospitals and city/county hospitals with re: to reimbursement for services.

Are you willing to admit that there might be a solution between what has been proposed and what we currently enjoy, er, um, are tortured under? Can you conceive of any plan that is better than the one we have that does not include a public option? Anything?

Cousin Tom, I am not scrapping our libertarian ideals in principle, both we both concede we are freaks here, so I am trying to minimize the stoning. I always did receive high marks for 'working and playing well with others.' :D
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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby brauneyz » Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:42 am

Hey Bart, I just noticed you borrowed Matthew's lavender ink. And all this time I thought it was trademarked. ;)
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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby Matthew Ellard » Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:47 am

brauneyz wrote:Hey Bart, I just noticed you borrowed Matthew's lavender ink. And all this time I thought it was trademarked. ;)


Thank you brauneyz. My lawyers, Highflyertoo and David Ben Arial are contacting Bart as we speak. ( I haven't got a clue why I started to reply in lavender. I think it was another forum where original "posts and replies" where messy. Upon reflection it is a bit "wanky" but I like doing it)

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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby OlegTheBatty » Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:09 am

The biggest difference in costs between the American system and the Canadian is in administrative costs. The American system spends roughly 4 times per capita on administration than ours does. It would seem to me that enormous cost savings would be available in that arena, but no one seems to be looking there.
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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby brauneyz » Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:18 am

OlegTheBatty wrote:The biggest difference in costs between the American system and the Canadian is in administrative costs. The American system spends roughly 4 times per capita on administration than ours does. It would seem to me that enormous cost savings would be available in that arena, but no one seems to be looking there.

Ya see? Right there, another myth. You just don't hear about it because it's not sexy enough for cable news. We have all kinds of intelligent suggestions being made by folks who just don't have the power to hit the airwaves (well, there are little tiny airwaves, but you really have to search for 'em!)

But thank you for helping to make my point that there are innumerable solutions besides the two proposed by the loudmouth factions - Grandma-killing fascists and bloody capitalists. :shock:
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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby OlegTheBatty » Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:30 am

brauneyz wrote:[

But thank you for helping to make my point that there are innumerable solutions besides the two proposed by the loudmouth factions - Grandma-killing fascists and bloody capitalists. :shock:


I actually meant "none of the loudmouth factions.. ". I'm sure there are many learned, intelligent people who understand why the discrepancy exists and what can be done about it that are drowned out by the yammerheads

We have the same problem here whenever reforms are needed, (like right now). Yammerheads 24
Rationals 3

But the yammerheads have the ball and the wind at their backs (after all, they create it)
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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby brauneyz » Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:52 am

What are your troubles, dear? I thought you Canucks all lived in bliss. You know we lazy fat ignorant Americans don't read about your troubles. ;)
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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby Tom Palven » Tue Aug 18, 2009 8:19 am

You say, Oleg, that health care administrative costs in the US are 4 times higher in the US than in Canada, which I don't doubt. Trygve.com states the following about the US income tax code:

"By the way, if you go to the US Government Printing Office ( http://www.gpo.gov ), you can order a complete set of Title 26 of the US Code of Federal Regulations (that's the part written by the IRS), all twenty volumes of it, at the bargain price of $974, shipping included.
According to the US Government Printing Office, it's 13,458 pages in total. The full text of Title 26 of the United States Code (the part written by Congress--available for an additional $179) is a mere 3,387 printed pages, bringing the adjusted gross page count to 16,845."

I don't know how many FDA regulations there are, but yes, the bureaucratic administrative costs are high. Also, the US has the largest number of lawyers per capita in the world, not just to interpret this horse manure, but to pursue malpractice suits against doctors, driving up insurance costs. As per Will Rogers, yes, stupidity may have gotten us into this mess, but the politcal system and mindset that created it is still in place, and is not likely to get us out of it with more legislation. It's high time to chuck authoritarianism and try freedom again, but it ain't gonna happen as long as there is bread on the store shelves. Please, please, don't tell me about "streamlining" the tax code or the health care bureaucracy. Every day congressmen talk about "streamlining" as they pass new regulations adding to the length and complexity of the IRS Code and codes of the other alphabet agencies.

So: Unlimited Health Care for All, Paid for and Performed by Magic! A Chicken in Every Pot! A New Car in Every Garage! Cash for Clunker Lawn Mowers! Bring on Totalitarianism! Vive la Revolution!

"Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."--Frederic Bastiat ...
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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby OlegTheBatty » Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:23 pm

Tom-Palven wrote:You say, Oleg, that health care administrative costs in the US are 4 times higher in the US than in Canada, which I don't doubt. Trygve.com states the following about the US income tax code:

"By the way, if you go to the US Government Printing Office ( http://www.gpo.gov ), you can order a complete set of Title 26 of the US Code of Federal Regulations (that's the part written by the IRS), all twenty volumes of it, at the bargain price of $974, shipping included.
According to the US Government Printing Office, it's 13,458 pages in total. The full text of Title 26 of the United States Code (the part written by Congress--available for an additional $179) is a mere 3,387 printed pages, bringing the adjusted gross page count to 16,845."

I don't know how many FDA regulations there are, but yes, the bureaucratic administrative costs are high. Also, the US has the largest number of lawyers per capita in the world, not just to interpret this horse manure, but to pursue malpractice suits against doctors, driving up insurance costs. As per Will Rogers, yes, stupidity may have gotten us into this mess, but the politcal system and mindset that created it is still in place, and is not likely to get us out of it with more legislation. It's high time to chuck authoritarianism and try freedom again, but it ain't gonna happen as long as there is bread on the store shelves. Please, please, don't tell me about "streamlining" the tax code or the health care bureaucracy. Every day congressmen talk about "streamlining" as they pass new regulations adding to the length and complexity of the IRS Code and codes of the other alphabet agencies.

So: Unlimited Health Care for All, Paid for and Performed by Magic! A Chicken in Every Pot! A New Car in Every Garage! Cash for Clunker Lawn Mowers! Bring on Totalitarianism! Vive la Revolution!

"Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."--Frederic Bastiat ...


You would think that in these states, beaurocracy would be less of a problem. Apparently not.
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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby Gord » Tue Aug 18, 2009 3:00 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:You would think that in these states, beaurocracy would be less of a problem. Apparently not.

I'm so glad I don't live there. :lol: The US is getting more and more like the Middle East every day!
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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby Tom Palven » Tue Aug 18, 2009 3:02 pm

You might think so, but some of these states love their military bases and are all for more bureaucracy when it comes to the Pentagon and entangling industry with the military, so it might balance out.
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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby bigtim » Tue Aug 18, 2009 3:24 pm

Honestly people. A shiet ton of money is made in the medical industry and insurance industry. This socialism crap is all a red herring and designed to distract from the real issue. If medical insurance is socialized companies lose money, rich people that make tons of cash don't anymore. So, what do you do when you have money and want to make sure you don’t lose it? You buy politicians and get them to argue it until it goes away. Guess what is happening...

As I get older I think the crap I thought was important and the extreme philosophical/political nonsense that many believe is just that... nonsense.

What do folks want? To just live their lives and not be indebted or beholden more than they can handle. The system we have now, both legal and medical, are designed to take care of the middle to upper class. The poor are left out. It is, in fact, designed to keep you out and sick unless you meet a certain bar.

The Emergency Room is not "socialized medicine" in that sense of the term (neither is a national health insurance for that matter). The hospital will charge the patient full charge (a giant huge amount they never get from any insurance carrier) for the visit. Once debt collection methods fail they can write it off for a tax break...which is where the tax payer foots the bill. But, before they can do that they have to by law (if memory serves) send it to a 3rd party collection company. Many "sell" the debt and the 3rd party company has to recoup their investment. Then, the poor soul who can't afford to make their rent let alone their $20,000 ER bill now has some hard-ass debt collector harassing the crap out of them for their commission. The person's credit is ruined, the debt gets written off by the hospital, the collection company nickels and dimes the poor soul for as long as it takes. The debt never really goes away for the patient.
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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby Tom Palven » Tue Aug 18, 2009 3:47 pm

When you advocate "government insurance" for medical procedures, isn't that just another way of saying that the government will pay for medical procedures? With what? The Federales are several trillion dollars in debt to China, Japan, and other countries, and have an underfunded social security system on the road to bankrupcy, and a massive budget deficit. I'm amazed that the dollar is still strong, but I asked before the real estate bubble burst, How is this possible? How long can this last?, and the answer was, Not very long. I think the same will be true for the dollar, but if anyone can tell me why it is strong and if it can remain strong, please tell me. The only explanation I can think of relates to the old saying "If you are in big debt to the bank, the bank owns you. If you owe a huge debt to the bank, you own the bank." But even that can't last indefinitely.
Last edited by Tom Palven on Tue Aug 18, 2009 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby bigtim » Tue Aug 18, 2009 3:53 pm

Tom-Palven wrote:When you advocate "government insurance" for medical procedures, isn't that just another way of saying that the government will pay for medical procedures? With what? The Federales are several trillion dollars in debt to China, Japan, and other countries, and have an underfunded social security system on the road to bankrupcy, and a massive budget deficit. I'm amazed that the dollar is still strong, but I asked before the real estate bubble burst, How is this possible? How long can this last?, and the answer was, Not very long. I think the same will be true for the dollar, but if anyone can tell me why it is strong and if it can remain strong, please tell me.


You referring this to me? You seem to be doom-saying... and historically all doom-saying ends up being wrong...

things always change and will be different, economic cycles swing up and they swing down, the end is not near... never has been

but, when the comet hits us in 2012 then zombies will walk the earth....

:-)
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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby Tom Palven » Tue Aug 18, 2009 5:20 pm

Glad you cleared that up for me. :D
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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby Bart Stewart » Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:42 pm

Something that I thought was funny the other day was this financial expert on a business TV show was talking about the future, and he's ticking off all the gloomy statistics about the deficit and the debt, and this and that, and he concludes by saying,"But you know, with this new technology that's coming down the pipeline, I don't see how the standard of living can go anywhere but up!"

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Re: More on Healthcare Debate

Postby Tom Palven » Tue Aug 18, 2009 8:50 pm

There's certainly truth in that. Things like bar codes that make keeping inventories so much more efficient, advances in power equipment, and so on. The downside is the expanding bureaucracy. Not just that it drains manpower from productivity-- from producing things that people need for survival like food, shelter, and clothing-- but the roadblocks that bureaucracy puts in the way of the producers. The US still has a powerful economy, despite some of the statistics consisting of smoke and mirrors, such as the hundreds of billions of dollars to destroy Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan being counted as positive GDP, but just how much bureaucracy can the economy take? The extreme example is the Soviet Union where the authoritarian bureaucracy was so all-emcompassing that when Gorby finally began a change in direction, there was literally no bread in the stores, little cement in the concrete, and little or no active ingredients in their drugs. Maybe I'm a doomsayer, but that is the direction the US seems to be going.
Things may never get as bad as they were in the Soviet Union. There may just be a shift in the wealth of the US compared to other areas. For instance, Italians may not be the wealthiest people in the world, as they were in the Roman Empire, but they are still much wealthier than they were at that time, and probably as wealthy as the French and Germans, per capita, if not the Swiss, today.

But I hope that the US doesn't just muddle along forever in a downhill slide under the yoke of arrogant authoritarian bureaucrats. Guaranteed unlimited health care for all should probably help bankrupt the US sooner rather than later, at least relative to other nations, and possibly bring on American Revolution II. At least one can hope. So, bring it on!
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