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  #3097  
Old November 9th, 2008, 07:58 PM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

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And again I say...I will take care of my own.
And I will take care of mine. And if the time comes when you can't take care of your own, I will help, if I can.
As I would happily volunteer to help you as well brother
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  #3098  
Old November 9th, 2008, 08:11 PM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

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I do have one question though.

How many of the experimental procedures which most insurance companies try not to cover would even be an option in G.B. or Canada? Would they say, "Sorry, your cancer is incurable."

I also think it's funny how some people against improving our healthcare system turn that 16-20% GNP figure around and say, "It's 20% of our economy! Do you really want the government in charge of that?"
Most of the experimental therapies that are provided here are funded by the drug companies that are interested in marketing them. The drugs are donated by the companies for the research, while many of the doctors at Universities usually provide the service. They are, much like in some countries, paid on salary. One can debate how much doctors should make, but I assure you that it makes up only a small amount of the total cost. I personally, believe some doctors make less than they should (primary care), while others are reimbursed genorously (surgeons, anethesiologists). There is good reason to question the "eat what you kill" earning model as it does not necessarily reward those who benefit others or society most.

As for the role of drug companies and increasing cost . . . They are definately a significant contributor. The earnings are used for research, marketing, and profit. The right amount of advertising and profit is (reasonably) debatable. Exerimental therapy is definately available in other developed nations (I cannot vouch for how accessible).

As for accidents, alcohol, and tobacco. We are not much different than most developed nations. Alcoholism is everywhere, but we seem to be more willing to point fingers at it (an instructor of mine from Ireland once said someone who drinks five drinks a day was not a heavy drinker). Car accidents generally follow the driving per capita except in South Asia where your chance of dying this way is exponentially higher. We are obviously not alone in the case of smokers either. Remember that the tobacco companies (and medical community) once encouraged smoking for health. I'm sure that most of us have family members (or ourselves) that have fallen victim to the draw of tobacco.

By the way, I think volunteering is an often unappreciated way to help your fellow man out. It is, more often than not, insufficient to address need. Anyone who has volunteered is no doubt aware of this.

Last edited by pinche_guey; November 9th, 2008 at 08:25 PM.
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  #3099  
Old November 9th, 2008, 08:14 PM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

Is anyone else really disturbed by the "eat what you kill" phrase used for doctors? I think I need to count all my organs after my next appointment.
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  #3100  
Old November 9th, 2008, 09:09 PM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

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By the way, I think volunteering is an often unappreciated way to help your fellow man out. It is, more often than not, insufficient to address need. Anyone who has volunteered is no doubt aware of this.
No doubt. When I used to work at the family night shelter, we were always short-staffed. There were always fewer hands than were needed. I don't know how many times I ended up cleaning tables and washing dishes when I was only supposed to be there to work with the kids. I doubt it's different in any other volunteer setting, or for that matter, charities designed to offer help those in medical need.

Volunteering is great. We should all do it. If we did all volunteer, and if we all voluntarily gave to charities, we wouldn't be discussing this, would we? Everyone would be healthy and happy and actively productive. But people don't volunteer, and they don't donate, and so too many people wind up screwed.

The only way you'll get enough 'volunteer' money to help people who need it is to make it a law. Raise our taxes, and use the money to provide salaried positions to doctors so that they can worry about helping people, and not have to worry about whether or not the sick old lady with the huge goiter on her neck can pay for treatment. Then the sick old lady can actually get treatment, and not rejected because her the insurance company can figure out a way to call it a pre-existing condition.

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  #3101  
Old November 9th, 2008, 09:49 PM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

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The only way you'll get enough 'volunteer' money to help people who need it is to make it a law. Raise our taxes, and use the money to provide salaried positions to doctors so that they can worry about helping people, and not have to worry about whether or not the sick old lady with the huge goiter on her neck can pay for treatment. Then the sick old lady can actually get treatment, and not rejected because her the insurance company can figure out a way to call it a pre-existing condition.
The goal should not be for an increased cost to society, but rather an ultimate decrease. Preventative care should decrease costs overall.
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  #3102  
Old November 9th, 2008, 11:19 PM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

Here's my main worry with governmental control of the health system--nothing is free. I don't mean this in the dollars and cents meaning of the word, but rather inasmuch that government is intrusive, largely corrupt, and often incompetent (and not necessarily in that order).

Let me put it this way--with the focus on preventative care that we have been discussing the last two pages, what is to say that a government entity couldn't deny you care, or a higher level of care, based upon your own personal habbits? For example, if you had a broken leg bone that had been broken twice before, due to your motorcycle riding, that wasn't set right the third time. You go back to have the leg rebroken and set correctly, and can't get in for some reason. You go back twice more, and after having wasted the whole day are finally faced by a burocrat in nurse's clothing that informs you that since you've broken the leg three times already they have no plans on actually fixing you back up right, since the behavior is what is resulting in the problem. Plus, you'll likely break it again and it can be properly set.

Silly paranoia, right? Yet a friend of mine from Australia had this exact thing happen to him and he still walks with a limp. So there's your incompetent argument. It is one that I could add to with testimonials from U.K. and Korean friends too, and yeah, you guessed it, those countries all have socialized medicine.

Lets take the intrusiveness misgivings a step beyond this. What is to say that the government couldn't refuse you service due to your behavior? You smoke, haven't taken the advice of your doctor or the help of your health care provider, and are now sick with a smoking-related disease. Contrary to popular belief, not every ill that could be treated is treated with national health care; it is not unreasonable to think that you are put lower on the priority list than someone who has not engaged in your behavior, should you be eligible for treatment at all, despite said behavior being perfectly legal.

The other extreme, to me, is even more worrisome--the lack of personal responsibility such a nanny state engenders. We are gigantic, out of shape fat f**ks in this country, even without the expectation that whatever happens to us through our own mistreatment of our bodies will be taken care of via the government. I shudder to think of the condition we'd find ourselves in, given to excess as we Americans often are, if even less responsibility were to rest upon our shoulders.

The HMO system is crap. I'll admit that, but I simply don't think that turning over control of the health care system from a bunch of greedy guys to a bunch of appointed, greedy guys is a great emprovement. There are a whole lot of cracks in the systems of other countries, but make no mistake, they also do some things very well. Simply saying that other Western nations have it made and ending it at that is a deceptively simple-minded argument that glosses over the very real problems they have and doesn't even address the fundamental question of whether or not it is, in fact, the role of government to provide for your healthcare. Even if you can make the majority of people agree with that idea and convince them that letting the folks who control the post office and the DMV also be in charge of scheduling your bipass, you're still miles away from addressing how little or how much control citizens should have...and you haven't even begun to talk about the costs; after all, couldn't one point to the prescription drug plan legislation that was passed as proof that government run health care in the U.S. is ineffective and much more expensive than promised?

P.S.--Imax, I wanna address some of the stuff you wrote back to me, specifically the idea of health care as an unalienable right, but don't have time right now...I gotta get back to the game.

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  #3103  
Old November 9th, 2008, 11:48 PM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

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Is anyone else really disturbed by the "eat what you kill" phrase used for doctors? I think I need to count all my organs after my next appointment.
Wasn't Hannible Lecter a doctor?

My question to the good doctor: How much does liability insurance cost? I've heard it is costly, but it is essentially a necessity to stay in practice.

Just a simple example to go along with what Fezzik said. When I was living in Utah everyone talked about the low per pupil spending in the public school system. It was always a gripe that it was so low. There was one time when the state raised the education funding. Shortly afterward a news story came up about how the funding raise almost entirely went to buying new office furniture for the school district administration. When bureaucracies get involved and get big they are costly without affecting the quality of the product. They tend to fight hard to maintain their existence. That is a very significant concern I have with national healthcare.

Imax, unisured children in the US is around 10-13% (about 13% in 1988, 10% in 2002 and 11% in 2005). raising SCHIP funding and expanding the amount of children covered has been talked about recently in congress, and will likely move forward if it didn't get passed, so those numbers could be below 11%. There have been studies that found that uninsured children aren't significantly more or less unhealthy than their insured peers. [going out on a limb]I would guess that children with serious medical needs are more likely going to not receive treatment because of not being covered by an insurance plan, or parents that have some irrational fear of modern medicine (I've known too many of these in my life).[/going out on a limb]
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  #3104  
Old November 10th, 2008, 12:23 AM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

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Here's my main worry with governmental control of the health system--nothing is free. I don't mean this in the dollars and cents meaning of the word, but rather inasmuch that government is intrusive, largely corrupt, and often incompetent (and not necessarily in that order).
HMOs are also intrusive, largely corrupt, and incompetent. And under universal health care, the government isn't trying to make a profit. In such a case, I would rather trust the government than people I know are going to try to keep me from seeing a doctor.

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Let me put it this way--with the focus on preventative care that we have been discussing the last two pages, what is to say that a government entity couldn't deny you care, or a higher level of care, based upon your own personal habbits? {examples follow}
In most countries with universal health care, you can still buy medical treatment if you are not satisfied with the treatment you get for free. If you're engaging in high-risk activities and routinely requiring care, you need to be responsible for that activity and be prepared to pay for the additional care you will require thanks to your penchant for dangerous behavior. Same goes for smoking - I'm perfectly OK with denying a certain level of care for non-life-threatening illnesses if they are caused because you refuse to alter your behavior per the doctor's orders.

In other words, if I want to keep enjoying my free meds, I have to quit smoking. That's a good motivator, I think.

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The other extreme, to me, is even more worrisome--the lack of personal responsibility such a nanny state engenders. We are gigantic, out of shape fat f**ks in this country, even without the expectation that whatever happens to us through our own mistreatment of our bodies will be taken care of via the government. I shudder to think of the condition we'd find ourselves in, given to excess as we Americans often are, if even less responsibility were to rest upon our shoulders.
Again I point to the nations that do have universal health care. They're not any fatter than we are. In fact, doctors in England are offered incentives for getting their patients to engage in more healthy activities. They have a much greater incentive to help you lose weight and be more helpful. And since you don't have to pay for repeat visits, they can schedule more time for you to see them, and thus be better able to monitor your progress.

I disagree that universal health care is a nanny state, and that it somehow means nobody is responsible for themselves. Driving home the comparison to other nations, I don't see this lazy attitude coming from the countries that have free doctors. Brits and Canucks still go to work.

Also, I don't believe that the promise of free health care will lead to more fat people. People who don't care about their bodies won't think to themselves, 'hey, I can eat this Twinkie - when I get a coronary in twenty years, Uncle Sam will pay for the bypass surgery.' These same fat people don't use the specter of paying for health care as motivation to adjust their behavior. I think that particular argument is kind of silly - it's like you're saying people will deliberately let themselves get sick just because they get the doctor visit for free. Even if I know the doctor will see me for free, I'm still not going to shoot myself in the leg with a nail gun. I avoid things that would make me visit the doctor because the things that send me to the doctor are generally unpleasant. Free or not, I don't have a particular fetish for feeling like crap.

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There are a whole lot of cracks in the systems of other countries, but make no mistake, they also do some things very well. Simply saying that other Western nations have it made and ending it at that is a deceptively simple-minded argument that glosses over the very real problems they have and doesn't even address the fundamental question of whether or not it is, in fact, the role of government to provide for your healthcare.
Of course, when we do finally come out of the dark ages and decide to adopt universal health care, we need to examine what everyone else has done, see the flaws, see opportunities, and create a system that works for us.

And here's a couple semi-rhetorical questions - if it is not the duty of the government to provide health care, why is it illegal to refuse treatment at the emergency room? If health care is not an unalienable right, why are we not allowed to refuse it?

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Even if you can make the majority of people agree with that idea and convince them that letting the folks who control the post office and the DMV also be in charge of scheduling your bipass, you're still miles away from addressing how little or how much control citizens should have...
The government should not have medical people deciding who gets to see the doctor. The government hires competent doctors and monitors them to make sure they're providing the best care they can. They don't monitor patients. They don't approve or disapprove procedures or treatments. That's up to the patients and the doctors. This way, the government that we don't trust isn't making bureaucratic decisions best left to medical professionals.

(Total aside - if we don't trust the government to handle... well, anything, why do we let them have the military? I mean, if there's one area where screw-ups could be dramatic, wouldn't it be the guys with the nukes you can fire from a submarine?)

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and you haven't even begun to talk about the costs; after all, couldn't one point to the prescription drug plan legislation that was passed as proof that government run health care in the U.S. is ineffective and much more expensive than promised?
The prescription drug plan legislation was sponsored by drug companies, and you can't even pretend to tell me that the higher expense was accidental. We let the fox run the hen-house. As long as our legislators take money from HMO and drug company lobbyists when deciding stuff about our health, we're always going to lose.

As far as cost, yes, this would cost us some money. I'm not going to pretend to believe in some fairy tale land where our health care is free because doctors love to practice their love with women. But as Pinche Guey said, once the system was in place, it would actually save us money, as we would pay only for our care, and not be paying to make sure insurance companies get rich. Right now, we all subsidize profits for companies whose main goals are to get between us and the care we need, and that increases our costs dramatically.

I'll close with one more thing that's been on my mind - motivation. One argument I keep hearing about universal health care is that if you give us too much stuff, we'll quit working to improve our lots in life, because we'll be happy to lounge about in our drawers and enjoy all our free health care. Not only do I call total poppycock on this argument, I'm stealing it for my own use. Knowing you can get health care is not nearly as demoralizing as hopelessness. The best way to get people to give up is to take away hope. People without hope do not tend to be motivated to work harder. So I'm stealing that argument. From now on, I don't want to hear about how free health care makes people lazy. That argument is mine now - free health care would make people work harder, because they would have hope and confidence that one random, uncontrollable event isn't going to ruin their lives. They would not live in fear, and they would know that whatever happens, they're not going to bankrupt their families because they cancer.

Quote:
P.S.--Imax, I wanna address some of the stuff you wrote back to me, specifically the idea of health care as an unalienable right, but don't have time right now...I gotta get back to the game.
I look forward to your responses.

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  #3105  
Old November 10th, 2008, 12:31 AM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

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Just a simple example to go along with what Fezzik said. When I was living in Utah everyone talked about the low per pupil spending in the public school system. It was always a gripe that it was so low. There was one time when the state raised the education funding. Shortly afterward a news story came up about how the funding raise almost entirely went to buying new office furniture for the school district administration. When bureaucracies get involved and get big they are costly without affecting the quality of the product. They tend to fight hard to maintain their existence. That is a very significant concern I have with national healthcare.
I think that's actually a point for my side. Bureaucracies are far more prevalent in our current system than they would be in a universal health care system. Keep the government out of direct control, and simply have them pay and monitor the doctors. Doctors handle everything as far as providing care themselves, and no government douche nozzle gets to say whether or not you can get an MRI.

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Imax, unisured children in the US is around 10-13% (about 13% in 1988, 10% in 2002 and 11% in 2005). raising SCHIP funding and expanding the amount of children covered has been talked about recently in congress, and will likely move forward if it didn't get passed, so those numbers could be below 11%. There have been studies that found that uninsured children aren't significantly more or less unhealthy than their insured peers. [going out on a limb]I would guess that children with serious medical needs are more likely going to not receive treatment because of not being covered by an insurance plan, or parents that have some irrational fear of modern medicine (I've known too many of these in my life).[/going out on a limb]
I admit that I'm not sure what your point is here. Are you saying that 11% of children being unable to get the health care they need is a number with which we should be happy? Because that doesn't make me happy. I would be happy with 0%. Any number higher than that is unacceptable.

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  #3106  
Old November 10th, 2008, 12:33 AM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

This nation really is a bunch of fat bastards, isn't it.... I was just talking to my wife about it and she said that 50% of people we see are OBESE, not just 10-20-30 pounds overweight. Me, I'm like 20 pounds overweight now, and my wife (who JUST had a kid) has already dropped 40 pounds and is 20 away from back to normal.

What's so friggin hard about laying off of the sugar, getting off your large, cratered ass, and living longer? I mean SERIOUSLY, if you are Obese you need to pay 2x the insurance rates as healthy folks...I mean that's just fair. Seems like we pizz and moan about universal healthcare, but what do WE do, collectively, to help the situation? Seems to me there was always Hostess, but now we have Lil Debbie and others trying to fatten us up on High Fructose corn syrup. How about they ban sugar sodas or tax the pizz out of them like they do cigarettes, as a incentive to kick the Coke habit?

There has to be a better way than "Save ME Uncle Sam...I'm sick and tired and FAT"...

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  #3107  
Old November 10th, 2008, 12:00 PM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

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Originally Posted by Agent Minivann View Post
Just a simple example to go along with what Fezzik said. When I was living in Utah everyone talked about the low per pupil spending in the public school system. It was always a gripe that it was so low. There was one time when the state raised the education funding. Shortly afterward a news story came up about how the funding raise almost entirely went to buying new office furniture for the school district administration. When bureaucracies get involved and get big they are costly without affecting the quality of the product. They tend to fight hard to maintain their existence. That is a very significant concern I have with national healthcare.
I think that's actually a point for my side. Bureaucracies are far more prevalent in our current system than they would be in a universal health care system. Keep the government out of direct control, and simply have them pay and monitor the doctors. Doctors handle everything as far as providing care themselves, and no government douche nozzle gets to say whether or not you can get an MRI.
And that, my friend, is wishful thinking. The government WOULD be involved in the decisions. They'd have to be. They pay the bill. They'd be the ones that set up the rules on (as Fezzik elaborated) who gets the bones reset and who has to walk with a limp for the rest of their lives.

Would you be authorized to get second opinions? If so, which opinion would you be allowed to accept or is that decision made elsewhere? A friend of mine had a tumor in his kidney. He went to the preeminent hospital system in our area and the dr. there said "better get your will updated". He got a second opinion and they recommended taking the kidney. He's been cancer free for 3 years now.

To think that the government doesn't or wouldn't care about the cost is naive... the ONLY thing the government cares about is money.

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  #3108  
Old November 10th, 2008, 04:45 PM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

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Quote:
Imax, unisured children in the US is around 10-13% (about 13% in 1988, 10% in 2002 and 11% in 2005). raising SCHIP funding and expanding the amount of children covered has been talked about recently in congress, and will likely move forward if it didn't get passed, so those numbers could be below 11%. There have been studies that found that uninsured children aren't significantly more or less unhealthy than their insured peers. [going out on a limb]I would guess that children with serious medical needs are more likely going to not receive treatment because of not being covered by an insurance plan, or parents that have some irrational fear of modern medicine (I've known too many of these in my life).[/going out on a limb]
I admit that I'm not sure what your point is here. Are you saying that 11% of children being unable to get the health care they need is a number with which we should be happy? Because that doesn't make me happy. I would be happy with 0%. Any number higher than that is unacceptable.
Not really making a point as much as answering your question earlier about how many uninsured children. You asked the question, and I got curious. The going out on a limb was just my thoughts that a fair amount of those uninsured could be insured if it wasn't for crackpot parents, and insured children not getting procedures they need is more about douche nozzles in charge of managed care.
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