Questions for Americans: Socialised Health Care


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Uzzy wrote:

The source, as I mentioned above, is here. The numbers of Illegals in the US seems to be closer to 12 Million, by the way.

The two articles are about three years apart. I would be willing to bet that the decline in the number of illegal immigrants has seen a decline in the amount of money they are putting into social security.


I think if we're going to have an intelligent conversation about healthcare, it would be a good idea to have some idea about what's actually being discussed in Washington. Right now, it seems like everyone has an opinion, but nobody really understands what's being discussed.

Below are some links that I've found helpful. Feel free to take a look.

This is a website dedicated to the current healthcare debate. In the middle of the website, is a map of the United States. By clicking on your state, you can see how healthcare reform will affect you. There are also several helpful links that give you a more in depth look at what is actually being proposed in Washington.

This is an email sent out by David Axelrod, senior Advisor to President Obama. It contains a lot of information, including links to various informative websites. My favorite section is the "Top 8 myths about health insurance reform," which addresses many of the concerns that Americans have about health insurance reform.

This is a Tele-Town Hall on Healthcare Reform, where President Obama answers questions regarding healthcare reform.


Regarding the "fair tax initiative" as a great thing:
Currently, over 55% of cigarettes sold in NY state are bootleg, due to the high tax on legal cigarettes. Fair Tax would do nothing but create a black market economy, eliminating most tax revenue completely.

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DoveArrow wrote:

I think if we're going to have an intelligent conversation about healthcare, it would be a good idea to have some idea about what's actually being discussed in Washington. Right now, it seems like everyone has an opinion, but nobody really understands what's being discussed.

I agree, but it appears tha you have forgotten some links. One is the link to the actual bill, H.R. 3200. The second is any link to any opposition to the plan. Without allowing for any opposition voices, it becomes a very onesided debate, wouldn't you agree?

Furthermore, some of what the White House is saying is just plain wrong. For example Mr. Axelrod said:

David Axelrod wrote:
It’s myth that reform will force you out of your current insurance plan or force you to change doctors. To the contrary, reform will expand your choices, not eliminate them.
However, in section 102 of the bill, it says
H.R.3200 Section 102 wrote:

(a) Grandfathered Health Insurance Coverage Defined- Subject to the succeeding provisions of this section, for purposes of establishing acceptable coverage under this division, the term `grandfathered health insurance coverage' means individual health insurance coverage that is offered and in force and effect before the first day of Y1 if the following conditions are met:

(1) LIMITATION ON NEW ENROLLMENT-

(A) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day of Y1.

(B) DEPENDENT COVERAGE PERMITTED- Subparagraph (A) shall not affect the subsequent enrollment of a dependent of an individual who is covered as of such first day

So according to the bill, you can only stay with the plan you currently have, if you change jobs or circumstances change, you must go on the public option. So, while Mr. Axelrod's statement is true on the face of it, it is not the truth, because it implies a scenario that is not true, the fact that you can choose what plan you have. The reality is that, under the bill, you have two options, the health care plan you have at the time the bill takes effect, or the public option. Anothr point where Mr. Axelrod gets it wrong is he says there will be no Medicaid cuts, yet section 1704 is specficially titled Reductions in Medicaid DSH. Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments provide financial assistance to hospitals that serve a large number of low-income patients, such as people with Medicaid and the uninsured. Medicaid DSH payments are the largest source of federal funding for uncompensated hospital care. So, while the people on Medicaid may not se cuts directed at them, there are cuts in Medicaid payments to the hospitals that deal with large numbers of Medicaid patients, which will likely lead to hospitals reducing services because they are not being compensated for them. So yes, lets have an intelligent,educated debate, but lets actaully know what is in the bill and not have a one sidd debate.


David Fryer wrote:


So according to the bill, you can only stay with the plan you currently have, if you change jobs or circumstances change, you must go on the public option. So, while Mr. Axelrod's statement is true on the face of it, it is not the truth, because it implies a scenario that is not true, the fact that you can choose what plan you have. The reality is that, under the bill, you have two options, the health care plan you have at the time the bill takes effect, or the public option. Anothr point where Mr. Axelrod gets it wrong is he says there will be no Medicaid cuts, yet section 1704 is specficially titled Reductions in Medicaid DSH. Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments provide financial assistance to hospitals that serve a large number of low-income patients, such as people with Medicaid and the uninsured. Medicaid DSH payments are the largest source of federal funding for uncompensated hospital care. So, while the people on Medicaid may not se cuts directed at them, there are cuts in Medicaid payments to the hospitals that deal with large numbers of Medicaid patients, which will likely lead to hospitals reducing services because they are not being compensated for them. So yes, lets have an intelligent,educated debate, but lets actaully know what is in the bill and not have a one sidd debate.

David, you've badly misread the meaning of the portion you've quoted, and of the bill in general. It is a misstatement to claim that there are only two options available within the bill, a public option and grandfathered health insurance coverage. The entire premise of the health care exchanges is that private health insurance plans will compete for those within them. Let's go back to the bill, shall we?

Title II, Section 201 wrote:


(a) Establishment- There is established within the Health Choices Administration and under the direction of the Commissioner a Health Insurance Exchange in order to facilitate access of individuals and employers, through a transparent process, to a variety of choices of affordable, quality health insurance coverage, including a public health insurance option.

Emphasis placed by me. Including, not exclusive to. The majority of health insurance delivered through this bill is expected to be through private options; current projects peg the public option as only catching 12% of the market.

As for your comments regarding section 1704, it seems you simply read the title of the section without actually perusing its contents. It calls for a study in the effect of expanding health care coverage on reducing the need for Medicaid DSH payments, with a goal of, yes, reducing them. As for how the reductions are to be made they are to impose the largest percentage reductions on States that:

Title VII, Section 1704 wrote:


(A) have the lowest percentages of uninsured individuals (determined on the basis of audited hospital cost reports) during the most recent year for which such data are available; or

(B) do not target their DSH payments on--

(i) hospitals with high volumes of Medicaid inpatients (as defined in section 1923(b)(1)(A) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396r-4(b)(1)(A)); and

(ii) hospitals that have high levels of uncompensated care (excluding bad debt).

As you can see, your concerns are unfounded.


Bill Lumberg wrote:

I object to socialized medicine because I do not believe that it is appropriate exercise of government power. In my opinion the function of government is to provide for those needs that citizens cannot provide for themselves like military forces, police departments, fire departments, roads, a court system etc. The simple fact that many people do not have medical insurance is not sufficient cause for the government to assume the responsibility to provide it to them.

This thread is sure to get long and many will object to what I wrote and probably expect responses. So I will have want to say that tomorrow I will be going on vacation until Monday and will not be posting while I am away.

While I comprehend your position from a philosophical angle your examples would seem to work at opposition to this philosophical angle.

The fire department, in particular, could be paid for using an insurance system not unlike the one currently used for health care. Roads could be covered with more economically accurate tolling systems. The courts are already halfway into the private model and could be moved further into it. Even the police could be dealt with via insurance but that is generally considered such an extreme case that its liable to be seen as basically a straw man.

Essentially the rest of the western world sees healthcare in much the same light as they see the fire department and there are good economic reasons for that. Essentially healthcare is one of those things that does not play very well with the modern version of capitalism. Its value is so high that it gets distorted.

Fundamentally the value of your daughters health approaches infinite - what you'll pay for her health is everything you have, can borrow, beg or steal. Hence the supply and demand model begins to break down as the value of what is demanded is to high. In theory supply side competition should mitigate this. The problem seems to be that the supply side is a semi-monopoly. The number of people available that can perform many of these tasks and the kind of institutions they need to support their work are so expensive and so limited that this supply and demand model should probably equalize with the bottom half of the population just not being serviced and the top half should be bankrupted when they need any significant services.

Now chances are if we let pure capitalism work on the above model for a couple of generations we'd eventually work our way out of this problem because we'd eventually flood the system with competent doctors but thats never been possible - true capitalism has never been allowed to work on the system and it never will - no society would put up with the two generations of agony required to allow the system to find equilibrium and its doubtful any society would put up with the vagaries of the system constantly having to adjust the equilibrium - think half a generation with too many doctors so their pay drops below that of janitors despite all the training followed by half a generation when there are too few doctors and suddenly the value of services skyrockets into the stratosphere. The vagaries of the price are due to the extremely high value of the product coupled with its volatile nature - during a shortage many doctors start to train. 10 years later the first wave of these doctors enter the profession but further waves enter every year for the next 10 years - now there is an oversupply of a massively valuable product and its value drops dramatically eventually leading to a shortage that grows ever more accute until some time passes while more doctors are trained.

Hence the value and volatility of the product makes it one which, like fire fighting, makes a great deal of economic sense if its controlled by the government which can smooth out the edges – especially if the government can step in and control costs associated with it. In the best case by capping wages (but cap them high or you'll never get any doctors) and by distributing costs over the entire population. Further – sense the government acts as a not-for-profit organization there is no need for any of the profit motive behind the system and the distortions that brings to the system - Doctors incentivized to overcharge insurance companies who are incentivized to find ways to cut insurance holders by any means once an expensive diagnoses becomes apparent. The population in general (see the rest of the western world) and even other businesses also very quickly come to see the system as being one that should be controlled by the government (a significant number of large international corporations that want access to the valuable American market set up shop in places like Toronto or Vancouver in part because Canada's socialized medicine means very significantly reduced costs compared to setting up shop in the American Market). Obviously most businesses don't want to have to pay the high premiums required by insurance companies that want to insure that they make significant profits even if they get a little unlucky and have unusually high or expensive claims. Hence socialized medicine is probably good not just for the population but even for the liberal capitalist system we currently use.


Nameless wrote:
Personally, I hope America switches to socialized health care soon so that we Canadians will be able to hold onto our own doctors.

Actually we lose if America switches. The American system encourages some interesting elements of health care and one of the ways the Canadian government keeps costs down is knowing when its cheaper to simply send the patient to America, often this is portrayed as some kind of a failing by the media - "We had to send them to America!" - but the vast majority of the time its simply a cost saving measure.


Aberzombie wrote:
Nameless wrote:
Personally, I hope America switches to socialized health care soon so that we Canadians will be able to hold onto our own doctors.
My younger brother has a good friend who is originally from Canada and still has family there. He's always telling horror stories about the system there. Are they true?

As individual cases - yes I'm sure many of them are true. If you guys manage to develop a healthcare system that never has any horror stories I'm sure we (and the rest of the world) will be very, very, interested.

Individual, anecdotal, stories are an extremely powerful medium. Its how we, as humans, like to communicate - not a particularly accurate method of imparting information however.

Statistically speaking, however, Canada has a very comparable system to America, delivered to all, cradle to grave, at about 60% of what Americans pay for theirs. This with a population that lives a pretty comparable lifestyle - and while there may be things about America that would increase the cost there are aspects in America that should reduce it to - economy of scale being one which, by rights, should mean that America can deliver healthcare to its citizens for significantly less then what Canada could reasonably manage.


David Fryer wrote:
So according to the bill, you can only stay with the plan you currently have, if you change jobs or circumstances change, you must go on the public option.

Actually, what that section is saying is that your current plan does not need to comply immediately with the policies laid out in Sections 111-116 of the bill. It's basically a way of phasing out old insurance policies without forcing everyone in the nation to switch insurance plans immediately.

The truth is, if you switch jobs, you can still choose a private healthcare insurance provider over the public option. However, your new insurance policy won't be able to do things like terminate your coverage based on a pre-existing medical condition.

By the way, here's the link to the bill, if anyone's interested.


tezcatlipoca wrote:

The problem is that it won't be for the social good. It will benefit the special interests. It will preserve and calcify the ridiculous compensation that doctors and healthcare administrators receive and then limit the amount of healthcare that an individual can receive. No thank you!!!

There are already lots of special interests in the American system. At worst your trading some for others. In a not-for-profit system usually the special interests are more benign then one where the goal is to maximize profits.

tezcatlipoca wrote:


In St Louis, Missouri a group of socialized healthcare goons allegedly from the Service Employees International Union beat an African American man who was protesting at a rally. They used racial slurs and continued to beat him while he was on the ground. I don't want people like that making the decision about when and if I get to see a doctor.

Sounds like a police issue to me. While socialized medicine won't eliminate things like racism there is no reason to think that it will increase its prevalence either.

tezcatlipoca wrote:


Here is another thought about British style socialized healthcare. I had glaucoma. Because of the nature of my glaucoma, some of the treatments like eye drops did not work for me. I had surgery on that eye and I can see today because of it. In the UK, I would need to go blind in one eye before I would be eligible for surgery because the surgery is too expensive for their generous healthcare system. How does that sound people? No thank you!!!

This I seriously doubt. I can't really speak to the British system but I can tell you for sure this does not happen in the Canadian System - no one is denied treatment. You go and get a doctor and they try and fix your problem - thats what they do all day everyday. The doctor might be incompetent (in which case go and see another doctor) and you might face long wait times to see a specialist but, if you say you have a problem, then the healthcare professionals try and fix it. In fact the healthcare system prioritizes preventive approaches as a general rule simply because saving money is one of the major concerns.


Bill Lumberg wrote:

I object to socialized medicine because I do not believe that it is appropriate exercise of government power. In my opinion the function of government is to provide for those needs that citizens cannot provide for themselves like military forces, police departments, fire departments, roads, a court system etc. The simple fact that many people do not have medical insurance is not sufficient cause for the government to assume the responsibility to provide it to them.

This thread is sure to get long and many will object to what I wrote and probably expect responses. So I will have want to say that tomorrow I will be going on vacation until Monday and will not be posting while I am away.

There is actually an interesting point in here I wanted to address when I first read it, but never got around to ...

A perhaps unknown fact is that Fire Departments were not, in fact, a function of the government at the founding of our country. It wasn't until roughly the time of the Civil War that Fire Departments truly became public socialized ventures. Before then you would often have several private Fire Departments competing to extinguish fires in order to claim payments from insurance companies.

So why is it so obvious now fire departments should be an area of government control? Because it is one of the areas where standard market pressures do not function correctly, much like healthcare, or the building of roads, or the policing of streets. Jeremy gets to the heart of this matter, but I thought that fact needed stating.

Dove, your quote is borked. Not only did I not say what you have me saying, but I actually posted a rebuttal to that point. FYI.


David Fryer wrote:
Anothr point where Mr. Axelrod gets it wrong is he says there will be no Medicaid cuts, yet section 1704 is specficially titled Reductions in Medicaid DSH. Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments provide financial assistance to hospitals that serve a large number of low-income patients, such as people with Medicaid and the uninsured. Medicaid DSH payments are the largest source of federal funding for uncompensated hospital care. So, while the people on Medicaid may not se cuts directed at them, there are cuts in Medicaid payments to the hospitals that deal with large numbers of Medicaid patients, which will likely lead to hospitals reducing services because they are not being compensated for them. So yes, lets have an intelligent,educated debate, but lets actaully know what is in the bill and not have a one sidd debate.

The section you are referring to is not talking about cutting Medicaid benefits. It's talking about evaluating the Medicaid DSH Program to see if we need to keep funding it at its current level based on anticipated cost savings.

To give you an example, one of the things that the Healthcare Reform Act is trying to do is eliminate the number of unnecessary medical procedures currently administered by doctors. Fewer unnecessary medical procedures means lower medical costs. Lower medical costs means less money is needed to cover them. Since less money is needed to cover them, programs like the Medicaid DSH program, don't need to be funded at their current levels.

To put it another way, it's like if the price of a gallon of gas went from $3 to $2. You don't keep spending $3 a gallon on gas. You adjust your spending habits to meet the current, economic conditions. That's all we're talking about here.


Edit: Thanks for the quote fixes Dove!

Edit: What was happening is when you click Reply it pastes something like this quote="David Marks" quote="David Fryer blah blah stuff DFryer wrote /quote /quote

If you try to cut out a small bit without watching, you can easily trim out the inner set of quote tags just leaving the top-most level (which was me). No sweat though, I've seen plenty of people do it here. It can be confusing.


It sure would be nice if one of the moderators would end this thread!!!

You really have to wonder about the psychological profile of people who argue RL politics on the message boards of a gaming site.


Wu Chi wrote:

It sure would be nice if one of the moderators would end this thread!!!

You really have to wonder about the psychological profile of people who argue RL politics on the message boards of a gaming site.

I don't know what you're talking about. I'm perfectly... I EAT THE DRYER LINT!!!


David Fryer wrote:
I agree, but it appears tha you have forgotten some links. One is the link... to any opposition to the plan. Without allowing for any opposition voices, it becomes a very onesided debate, wouldn't you agree?

Well, I don't consider any of the links I provided to be particularly biased. They provide information about our current healthcare system, they provide a brief synopsis of what is currently being debated by the House and Senate, and they attempt to dispel some of the myths that are currently out there about healthcare reform.

As far as opposition, if you have links you think are valid, I have no problem looking at them.

Scarab Sages

DoveArrow wrote:
I don't know what you're talking about. I'm perfectly... I EAT THE DRYER LINT!!!

Mmmm....dryer lint.

Liberty's Edge

Wu Chi wrote:

It sure would be nice if one of the moderators would end this thread!!!

You really have to wonder about the psychological profile of people who argue RL politics on the message boards of a gaming site.

This isn't just a gaming site, it's so much more than that... It's a community. A community made up from gamers and fans of Paizo from many diverse backgrounds, countries, religions, ethnicities, political views, etc. Eventually, as we (the members of the community) become more familiar with each other we desire to talk to each other about things other than gaming or the latest Paizo product. That's human nature and, I think, a good thing. Our ability to communicate our thoughts and feelings--even when we disagree with each other--greatly benefits each of us as it allows us to see beyond ourselves.

So, RW politics, religion, etc... It's on the hot plate for discussion here in our little community. :)

----------

On topic, here's a nice little piece. that tries to clear up some of the more rampant misinformation from both sides of the fence.

The Exchange

Azzy wrote:
So, RW politics, religion, etc... It's on the hot plate for discussion here in our little community. :)

Yeah, but Wu Chi, here's some advice. Don't you dare talking about our plans regarding Andoran and Cheliax as soon as we're made an end to those decadent Taldorans. The enemy is listening.


Wu Chi wrote:

It sure would be nice if one of the moderators would end this thread!!!

You really have to wonder about the psychological profile of people who argue RL politics on the message boards of a gaming site.

First off, welcome to the Paizo boards Wu Chi. I'm sure Lilith will be along at some point to dispense cookies. Although I am sure she is busy baking with all the new arrivals!

We here on these boards have had many contentious threads. We have weathered the cancellation of the print magazines, the announcement of 4th Edition, the announcement of Pathfinder, the massive Beta playtesting, the recent presidential election and the current healthcare debates.

One thing I admire about this site, and one reason I mostly post here as opposed to anywhere else, is the relative maturity of the posters and the fact that we don't have dedicated babysitters 'modding' us. You can look at other sites to see how effective modding is in fostering civility.

We may not agree with each other on game style, politics, or religious affiliation but we can all agree to disagree in a rational manner. I like discussing the news of the day with my virtual friends, and I consider most who post here regularly my friends, whether or not I agree with their views. You never learn anything if you only listen to those who agree with you.

If you do not like non-gaming debates I suggest you close up the OTD forum on your screen, and you won't have to worry about it. I have done this for the 4th Edition forum myself, as I don't need to weigh in on a system I don't use. Once the thread isn't popping up, it is easy to ignore it.


Thank you for the advice, Mr. Curtin. I will be closing this section of the message boards permanently! And below is a little quote for Azzy:

"I'd never join any club that would have me as a member."

Groucho Marx


Set wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:
I agree Bill. Furthermore, seeing what a wonderful job the government does running such things as the USPS and the IRS makes me cringe with the thought of them running the health industry.

As a former postal worker, stuff like this annoys me to no end.

The cheapest, fastest and most reliable postal system on the planet (*half* the cost of many other industialized nations, and having to deal with a much larger nation than many of them!), and it constantly gets crapped on. In my years working there, the worst part of the USPS was the nasty union people, who *got paid* to snitch on each other and file grievances against each other. What a collection of miserable people, cheerlessly and relentless maintaining a climate of distrust and oppression. I learned to avoid the union workers, who seemed uniformly negative, angry and surprisingly conservative (since it's 'common knowledge' that all union members are liberal hippie commie queers or something) and it was actually a decent place to work. Better pay than the work warranted, IMO, and pretty easy stuff.

My time at the post office was the only time in my life I had health insurance, so that was nice, too. If I lived in a country more strongly dominated by those of us that give a crap about human life or more committed to living their lives according to the teachings and examples of Jesus Christ (instead of being full of people who invade peoples homes and kill them because they have brown skin, shoot doctors, bomb clinics and federal buildings, tie people to fences and beat them to death with baseball bats, go on shooting rampages in Holocaust museums and VoTechs, cheer the death penalty, justify torture and the abandonment of the rule of law, celebrate the terrifying and irresponsible expansion of the federal governments powers to spy on, detain and abuse it's citizens, rejoice in 9/11 and Katrina as 'God's punishment on the liberals, feminists, environmentalists and gays,' etc.), I'd probably be able to have my heart...

Actually, Alaska gets $1.90 back for every federal dollar sent. Also Sarah Palin is not a separatist, but let's not have senseless Palin bashing get in the way of facts, ok? Instead of blaming the "evil" conservatives for your medical woes, why don't you get off your posterior and do something about it? I would bet that I have spent more money on my medical problems than you have. Technically, I could get disability, but I won't. I would probably benefit from nationalized healthcare but you know what, my medical problems are my OWN to care of, not society's.


Garydee wrote:
It's a lot more than an "irrational" fear. Socialized medicine has never been the great success that's been preached by the left. If it is so great we wouldn't have Europeans and Canadians coming to the U.S.by the droves to get medical care. I'm afraid we're replacing a broken system that needs fixing with a system that is even worse.

The catch here is generally one about figuring out what kind of system is wanted. There are actually a number of options on the table even if one is talking just about socialized medicine and more can open up if one is talking about some kind of a hybrid.

So, for example, the best socialized health care systems in the world are the Swiss and the Japanese systems. They have extraordinary ratings, statistically, in almost every area where health is compared from one system to another. However, not to surprisingly, they have extremely expensive systems. Around the same, per capita, as what Americans spend on health care. Canada has a system thats results, statistically speaking, are not nearly as good as the Swiss or Japanese systems (though the results are comparable to America's) but is, instead, a whole lot cheaper (about 60% per capita compared to what Americans spend).

Hence, even with socialized medicine one can choose to spend more for better results or spend less and save in taxes.

Finally one can create a system, usually in the for-profit area who's results are just phenomenal. If money s no object at all then one can hire the worlds best doctors and supply them with the newest most expensive technology. Obviously you need a really rich clientèle to pay for this but if you have that clientèle then your good to go. Hence Europeans and Canadians don't flock to America in general - very rich Europeans and Canadians flock to certain U.S. hospitals that are considered world leaders in their fields.

So what your getting is a situation where a certain American hospital has a 5% better chance of saving your life if you have lung cancer. It'll cost a million dollars extra to get that bonus 5% chance at life but if your really rich then a million dollars for an extra 5% is a no brainer. Thing is the existence of these hospitals are pretty iffy in terms of any kind of normal healthcare system for the general population. If your paying huge premiums to your insurance company then maybe they provide such care but otherwise you know that the insurance company will fight tooth and nail not to send their clients to such institutions. Socialized medicine faces the same issue - everyone can't have this or taxes will have to go through the roof.


The level of hostility in town hall discussions about the health care reform has been well documented in the news. I am glad to see there have been no outbreaks of violence.

Well, I guess this doesn't surprise me, now that I think about it, no one can afford to go see a doctor if they get hurt!

:rim-shot:


Americans. Go figure. All of them almost up in arms, screaming about what they think will be the consequences of this, all the while missing the obvious thing: Check how it works in other countries.

I am from Sweden. We are usually pointed out as having a happy candyland fluffy health care system. Let me tell you about it.

Every swede is covered. Heck, every person living in Sweden is covered, including "illegal immigrants".

Everything but a "patient's fee" of, ummm... 10-40 dollars depending on what kind of health care you go to, is paid for by our taxes.

We don't have the american litigation system, so the medical system doesn't have to pay for junk lawsuits.

Sounds good? In some ways, it is.

However. We also have not expanded our health care significantly since 1974, due to costs and the massive tax raises we would have to deal with. This means that yes, while it is somewhat cheap, about 9% of GDP, it's dimensioned for perhaps 60% of our population.

Meaning that when we swedes want health care, we have to wait.

Going to the emergency ward is okay, usually, but they are always chock full, and you might have to wait for as much as 24 hours before the doctor takes a look at you.

And God help you if you have a condition that requires a specialist. With few exceptions, the waiting time to see a specialist, even in relatively sharp cases, is 3-5 months. Within psychiatry, the most heavily overloaded specialty, it's 6-9 months at times, subject to variations throughout the country.

Now you say: What about private insurance then? Well, note that we all pay for public health care through our taxes. You're not getting out of that, so while you CAN buy more insurance, it will cost you twice.

Besides, our politicians have slammed down on every chance to get private insurance that they could find. They say "why should some rich people get an extra way in???" Lately, it has become possible, but such an insurance only helps you get certain cases dealt with more quickly, usually routine things like knee surgery and the like. Chronic or nonstandard cases are not improved.

As I said: Those 9% of GDP give us medical attention if we are ready to wait for ages. Expand it to the EU average 12%, and we'll get a better situation, but it's not a politically easy thing to do.

Instead the politicians have just now started making lists for things the public health insurance does NOT cover. Expect this to balloon in the next few years.

I hope this gives you some inkling of the problems in our system. And of course, I am not saying it's not better than your situation. You should just know the systems your talking about.


Nasty Pajamas wrote:


The level of hostility in town hall discussions about the health care reform has been well documented in the news. I am glad to see there have been no outbreaks of violence.

Well, I guess this doesn't surprise me, now that I think about it, no one can afford to go see a doctor if they get hurt!

:rim-shot:

Except of course for that guy beaten up by union thugs for opposing health care reform. But that doesn't really count.


Sissyl wrote:
Americans. Go figure. All of them almost up in arms, screaming about what they think will be the consequences of this, all the while missing the ....

I'm sorry, I am an American. I only got this far in your post before I got bored.


pres man wrote:
Nasty Pajamas wrote:


The level of hostility in town hall discussions about the health care reform has been well documented in the news. I am glad to see there have been no outbreaks of violence.

Well, I guess this doesn't surprise me, now that I think about it, no one can afford to go see a doctor if they get hurt!

:rim-shot:

Except of course for that guy beaten up by union thugs for opposing health care reform. But that doesn't really count.

Really?? Where?


Nasty Pajamas wrote:

Really?? Where?

Pres Man is referencing >THIS< incident, where an African-American conservative was attacked by SEIU members because he was passing out "Don't Tread on Me" flags. It has been reported that racial epithets were hurled at him, but the video doesn't support that statement. There is a funny reaction by one of the attackers on the video when someone accuses him of attacking the man. He shouts out "He attacked America!". Just goes to show there's plenty of goonism on both sides of this issue.


Sissyl wrote:

...

We don't have the american litigation system, so the medical system doesn't have to pay for junk lawsuits.

This is one of the key things here in the debate. If we adopt a health care system in America like Sweeden (and BTW, excellent discussions of the pros and cons of said system Sissyl) WITH the American system of ambulance-chasing lawyers intact, we are going to have a problem.

The goverment will dictate what the pay of doctors will be for proceedures they do. Doctors will not be able to regulate this, as it will be government mandated. Lawyers will continue to seek outrageous damages for malpractice suits of every kind. Doctors will still be on the hook for malpractice insurance. Thus, while the costs of BEING a doctor go up inexorably, the INCENTIVES for being a doctor flatline and begin to go down.

Being a doctor isn't easy. I had a friend who was in school and residency until he was 37(!!) getting his practice readied. That's straight 18-37 in university or as a resident. He makes good cash now, but he worked REAL hard to get there, and made many sacrifices. I just don't see how reforming the system as the Dems propose will give bright people the incentive to want to be the next generation of doctors.

Now, we can all argue that private insurance will still be around, but I don't think it will last the decade if this particular legislation passes. I know I will be cast into the public domain by my employer as fast as they can sign the paperwork. Health insurance is an expensive perk to maintain for small businesses.

Also, as Sissyl related, even with private health care, you are still paying for public health care if you don't use it. Then you get a situation like we have with our public school systems. If you send your kid to a private school you still pay for the public system, and you can't get any credit on that towards paying for private school (look at the endless acrimony on the school voucher system for that particular political donnybrook). Politicians will not allow an insurance voucher system, so only the richest will be able to afford private insurance, just as only the richest and a few lucky scholarship winners get to go to private schools today.

I understand the need for healthcare reform, but without addressing tort reform, there will be no positive change in the system, only government bloat.


Thank you. If something WERE to be done about the junk lawsuit system, my guess is that would be a huge benefit to all of the US. However, if this system is changed, what would you get instead? How else would you keep private enterprise touchable?

It's not an easy question, is it?

Some kind of voucher system is the reasonable way to go, I'd say, regarding paying for public/private things. It isn't easy to get there, however, neither here nor there.

Oh, and one more thing. Doctors are well educated people, with lots of employability outside their specific profession. Lower the incentives of being a doctor, and you won't have doctors. They'll go work for big pharma and a thousand different other jobs instead. You also won't recruit any new ones who intend to work as doctors. At that point it gets a bit silly talking about how a reform will improve for the common man...

The Exchange

Nasty Pajamas wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Americans. Go figure. All of them almost up in arms, screaming about what they think will be the consequences of this, all the while missing the ....
I'm sorry, I am an American. I only got this far in your post before I got bored.

Kinda proved his point, really, didn't you?

Sovereign Court

Patrick Curtin wrote:
Nasty Pajamas wrote:

Really?? Where?

Pres Man is referencing >THIS< incident, where an African-American conservative was attacked by SEIU members because he was passing out "Don't Tread on Me" flags. It has been reported that racial epithets were hurled at him, but the video doesn't support that statement. There is a funny reaction by one of the attackers on the video when someone accuses him of attacking the man. He shouts out "He attacked America!". Just goes to show there's plenty of goonism on both sides of this issue.

You do realise that the man on the ground at the start of that video is a Union man, right? And while it's possible I'm getting right wingers mixed up, but I think I heard that one of them who was alleged 'attacked' had to ask for donations to help with his health care as he didn't have insurance.


Well, basically our health care is screwed being that there are more middlemen administrators than there are doctors and nurses and whatnot; its all about money and greed and not about curing patients. It seems to me that everybody is mad about it; doctors and patients. Niether patients or doctors like it; patients cant see the specialists or get the care they think they need; doctors cant give the care they want to give; neither patients or doctors have any relationship. Take me for example; I go to the doctor twice a year every year minimum just for my blood pressure check and meds and blood samples and whatnot and have been going to the same guy for 12 years and he has no clue who I am; has to read my chart; I see him like 5 minutes a visit; I tell him about other issues and he ignores it.

now; thats managed health care; and it sucks; the managers dont want to pay for anything which is why hardly anyone can get their health care to pay for any services in the mental health feild; so what do we have; bunch of pissed off Americans who cant talk to any mental health providers covered by their insurance because all the mental health doctors only get a couple covered visits and the managers want to pay them less than what a ditch digger makes. I been to a bit of counseling and know a bit about it from family members. It sucks unless you have some really primo plan. Another problem, is the networks; who is in network and who isnt; it is like a monopoly; they dont let people in the network even if they are qualified; takes massive red tape and years of applications and reapplications and calls and all kinds of trouble; why is that; follow the money. health care providers only want to put everyone on as many meds as they can because that is what really seems to be funding america; do you have any idea the amount of money involved; check out how much American spend on pharmacuticals; you will be amazed; far more than any other country.

now; socialized medicine; well, they are looking at following the military model; not some real world working model. I was in the military; you know what happens there. You go in; they give you an asprin; doesnt matter why you came in; you get one anyway. Then you talk to a med tech; you tell him your issue; he looks on a chart; by god a chart and tries to match up as many of your symptoms as he can; then looks at the solution and says; you have this or this or this; which do you want to try? ACK! if it doesnt say see a doctor; then you dont get to. Now that is pretty scary.

So it gets down to this; how much is socialized medicine going to cost; who is going to run it; and what type of services will be provided. That is what everyone is arguing about and will the drug companies on the hook to loose billions; well, lot of money is being pushed around as well as by those managers of health care who have been screwing us all for years; lot of lobbiests and lots of money and not much being said anymore with any real convictions that I can tell about what end user product is going to be available. I am thinking the drug companies and their cronies are going to tie this up on the legislature for as long as they can, why; their making billions on overmedicating us all and providing very little care. I have no complaints about the doctors or the nurses or so on; but the rules are outrageous.

Socialized medicine might do some positive things. One I can think of is that doctors may be able to prescribe the health regemine for their patients that they desire; if they cant do that; the whole thing seems pointless.

One other point against socialized medicine. It will be horribly inefficient if it is run by the government. Privately owned buisness always runs more efficiently than government; what we need is some good legislation to put checks on the medical companies greed while still letting the doctors care for their patients; nothing would make me happier than being able to call my doctor or doctors nurse without haveing to call 3 other people first and waiting for a callback that might take a day or two; or three.

Most people I know are moderately to very angry about healthcare; so when you start from a point of pissed off and dont hear anything about better care for the patient; well, you get more pissed off.

last thing; lifetime care maximums; that is a killer; companies over here tell you what your maximum is for lifetime for dental; vision; hospital care; and so on; it doest take much to reach those and then what are you supposed to do?

I get the feeling that most people think that socialized medicine will just be more of it; meaning a worse case scenario.

now; I have heard several legislatures tout the Canadian model of health care as making it the example to follow; but that seems to be on the back burner.

Last thing having nothing to do with medicine; after our governement has spent trillions in the last 5 decades against the red threat and the anti communist and anti socialist agenda; it is going to be very hard for anyone on the right or even most moderates to accept such a huge turn around. I hear a lot of breakroom talk asking "are we still capitalists? did we win or not, are we all communists now; all we see are more and more and more costly social programs; now social medicine. Just looking at our history in the last 50 years; well, that is pretty big social change.

Loztastic wrote:

I've just been watching the news here in the UK, and there was a long piece about Americans protesting against socialised health-care on the grounds it's "un-american"

Now, the question the piece didn't answer is one that i can't shake

What's WRONG with socialised health-care. Now, I admit i've grown up with the NHS and an almost totally socialised health-system, but if a British political party ever suggested a cut in the NHS, or de-socialising health-care, there would be a rebellion!

this is a genuine question, and i'm hoping that someone can provide me with a non-partisan explanation of the issue

Genuine confusion....


I hope that gives you a little background you can understand. Add to that that doctors dont get grades in school, after all, who would want to go to the doctor who got a C when you could find the guy who got an A.

I was just thinking of advertisment money; a huge thing in America; how do you advertise socialized medicine when you cant be the best; eveyone is the same; paid the same; trained the same; no care better than another; everyone paid the same rate for the same care. That is going to really hurt the advertising companies; their probably pissed too.

I dont know how much you know about american commercials; but the vast majority are drugs, cars, insurance, and some healthcare provider being better than some other health care provider; I see about 5 big ones competing where I am.


Nivek wrote:

I'm one on the strongly opposed camp, for a variety of reasons.

It's called "universal health care", but we already have that. Anyone that goes into an ER must be treated regardless of their ability to pay. That's already part of the law for life threatening injuries/illness.

So what we are really talking about here is RISK MANAGEMENT via insurance.

Thus the government, in its "infinite" "wisdom" decides that I don't know how to best care for myself or my family. Instead of allowing me the Freedom of use of my own property (earned income), some bureaucrat will decide for me. I see very little to garner trust in the current administration's spending restraint (same for the last one, for that matter), so when the plan ends up with costs 5x,10x,50x what they currently project they'll just pillage more of my property!

I prefer a Free Market solution. Remove the regulation that prevents healthcare service providers from advertising their prices. Force insurance companies to reimburse patients, not pay doctors directly.

These two steps would allow consumers to shop for treatment, driving down costs just like competition does for every other product/service. Having patients pay their doctors directly prevents insurance fraud (one of the listed causes of cost inflation) and helps reduce usage of services for unnecessary issues (common colds can't be treated, so stop wasting money going to the doc for sniffles).

Your welcome to your position.

Given the choice between insurance and taxation to provide my healthcare, i personally choose to pay the government.

Here is why.

At current exchange rates the average US citizen pays £2850 a year for personal medical care, plus a proportion of their taxation to provide medicare, medicaid and VA care.

The average cost of the NHS to a UK citizen, assuming only UK tax payer could be put at around £1477. That £1476, covers their personal contribution for themselve, but also the UK equivilants of Medicare, medicaid and VA care.

Which is the better choice for me as a free individual.


Uzzy wrote:
... but I think I heard that one of them who was alleged 'attacked' had to ask for donations to help with his health care as he didn't have insurance.

So he deserved to be attacked? Because if that is not the point you are trying to make, then this bit is a meaningless red herring.

Sovereign Court

pres man wrote:
Uzzy wrote:
... but I think I heard that one of them who was alleged 'attacked' had to ask for donations to help with his health care as he didn't have insurance.
So he deserved to be attacked? Because if that is not the point you are trying to make, then this bit is a meaningless red herring.

Yes Pres. Anyone without Health Insurance deserves to be attacked!

....

No, of course not. My point was that in that particular example, the person protesting against changes to Health Insurance that would significantly improve the situation for themselves, didn't have Health Insurance in the first place. Why not? Because he was unemployed.

This makes me wonder exactly they are protesting, and what they think Obama's plan is. They've probably been influenced by the scaremongering of Palin, Beck and Limbaugh.

I also noticed you didn't respond to my point about Payroll Taxes, Pres Man.


Uzzy wrote:
Patrick Curtin wrote:
Nasty Pajamas wrote:

Really?? Where?

Pres Man is referencing >THIS< incident, where an African-American conservative was attacked by SEIU members because he was passing out "Don't Tread on Me" flags. It has been reported that racial epithets were hurled at him, but the video doesn't support that statement. There is a funny reaction by one of the attackers on the video when someone accuses him of attacking the man. He shouts out "He attacked America!". Just goes to show there's plenty of goonism on both sides of this issue.
You do realise that the man on the ground at the start of that video is a Union man, right? And while it's possible I'm getting right wingers mixed up, but I think I heard that one of them who was alleged 'attacked' had to ask for donations to help with his health care as he didn't have insurance.

Didn't mean to get your hackles up Uzzy, I was just putting a link up for Nasty Pajamas who asked what pres man was referencing. I don't know who is at fault, it is a badly-shot video. I even mentioned that there is no evidence of the racial epithets that many are claiming were hurled at him. I do know that Mr. Moustache in the SEIU shirt who was arrested at the end of the video IS a goon. Just because he is a goon, doesn't make every SEIU member a goon, any more than a person who is legitamately worried about health care is a plant of Big Insurance, a Republican drone, a "birther", a "troglodyte" or any of the other lovely labels the Obama supporters are using to smear people asking questions.

What I do find fascinating about this whole thing is how quick the supporters of Obama's policies have become a bizzaro-mirror reflection of the worst Republican Bush-Iraq-War-Patriot-Act supporters from five years ago. Calling protesters unamerican insurance shills, Nazis, and idiots. What happened to 'dissent is the highest form of patriotism?' I guess that's only dissent that fits the right agenda...


I may have already said this (it's Monday morning, so please, be kind) but this talk of socialized medicine is very misleading.

In a socialized medicine system (like the NHS, frex, or America's VA system) the government directly employs the doctors and the citizen's taxes pay for their healthcare.

A single-payer system (like Canada, or America's Medicare system) the government simply pays a doctor's fees through the taxes paid by citizens. The doctors are still self or otherwise employed.

In our fully private system the doctors are self or otherwise employed, and it's pretty much up to each person to pay for their own healthcare.

Now, not a single person I've seen has suggested we should adopt a socialized medicine system here in America. The VA system we have is exceedingly excellent, but this is just something that no one is championing.

Many people (me included) think single-payer would be a good way for our country to go. But again, no one is suggesting this. Before healthcare reform even began it was made blindingly clear that creating a single-payer system was simply not going to be an option. And so it isn't.

So again, what is being debated/heatedly protested? A set of healthcare insurance reforms that makes it harder for individuals to be denied coverage or dropped from their plans. A system to ease the burden of individuals forced to buy their own healthcare because it isn't provided through their job. And (probably the most contentious part, I think) a public insurance plan open to the poor who cannot get insurance through their job.

Looking at what is actually being protested vs what the protesters are saying, it doesn't seem like they really know what they are against. I'd be more sympathetic if they were actually against provisions in the bills being considered, but they're just against baseless fear and shadows. That is part of the distaste towards the protesters, I think. The other is that while the left certainly had numerous protests outside of town halls, I don't recall any town halls ever being disrupted (except perhaps by a few lone individuals who would then be promptly removed). Nor do I remember any left wing protesters proudly carrying weapons to heated town hall meetings. Nor do I remember Congress members receiving death threats. Are my perceptions so one-sided that I missed all of that the past eight years?

As far as tort reform, the problem is how do you reform it? Sure some of the lawsuits are baseless but what about the times when the malpractice is genuine? Surely the patients are entitled to some level of recompense? Some legal systems require the loser of a lawsuit to pay the legal fees of both participants, but that itself has problems.


David Marks wrote:
Now, not a single person I've seen has suggested we should adopt a socialized medicine system here in America. The VA system we have is exceedingly excellent, but this is just something that no one is championing.

I could name a few veterans who might disagree with this view of VA, David. 'Exceedingly excellent' seems a little hyperbolic, especially how many scandals there have been vis-a-vis VA and the current crop of war veterans. I was under the Army's heatlhcare for 5 years, I did not find it excellent in any way.

David Marks wrote:

As far as tort reform, the problem is how do you reform it? Sure some of the lawsuits are baseless but what about the times when the malpractice is genuine? Surely the patients are entitled to some level of recompense? Some legal systems require the loser of a lawsuit to pay the legal fees of both participants, but that itself has problems.

Well, we should at least be debating how to go about tort reform. It isn't an easy question, and doctors do need to be accountable for their actions. But at this moment, tort reform isn't part of the debate, according to Obama. Why?

The Exchange

What David said. The US system(s) being proposed are not actually socialised, with the state as the provider of healthcare. It is intended to extend insurance cover to those that don't have it, but with private healthcare firms providing the actual healthcare. It is also worth pointing out that the government already interferes heavily in the provision of healthcare in the US, with Medicare, Medicaid and the veteran healthcare programme. The US system is better than the system we have here in the UK in that you can get some very good care - the best that money can buy - and gives a degree of patient choice. However, there is very limited access for those with no insurance and it is hideously expensive (the US spends a greater proportion of GDP on healthcare than the UK but actually doesn't differ much in life expectancy - even if it isn't taxation, that's still money coming out of the pockets of consumers so the effect is basically the same). As such, the "market-based solution" in the US (which isn't actually very market based, as the picture is distorted by tax incentives, localised monopolies and the above-mentioned government schemes) would appear to be less efficient and more wasteful than the socialised bureaucracy of the UK NHS. Now, I can understand that some people may, as an issue of political philosophy, consider than healthcare should not be provided by the state (an idea on the right-wing lunatic fringe here in Europe but quite reasonable in the US - a cultural, rather than moral observation) - that is up to them, and i can't really comment on that. But it seems to me that the US system is really quite wasteful and as such, as an economic issue, a problem that arguably needs fixing. Whether the proposals on the table in the US are the answer, of course, is another matter - it maybe wasn't a great idea to let Congress fill it with pork and "soak-the-rich" popularism if they wanted to avoid controversy.


Patrick Curtin wrote:


I could name a few veterans who might disagree with this view of VA, David. 'Exceedingly excellent' seems a little hyperbolic, especially how many scandals there have been vis-a-vis VA and the current crop of war veterans. I was under the Army's heatlhcare for 5 years, I did not find it excellent in any way.

I'm not so sure I'm being hyperbolic here. First, any health care system is going to have scandal/horror stories. This goes down to the fact that every health care system involves people, and people simply aren't perfect. While easy to relate to (I've certainly shared a few private insurance horror stories) they don't really tell us much. You really need to look at a statistical view to get an idea on how well/poorly a health care system functions. I'll get to those statistics. The second thing is that the VA system, from what I understand, is NOT the same as the Army's health care system. For example, Walter Reed. Army hospital, not VA hospital. Different systems, different outcomes.

Anyway, statistics.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2005/0501.longman.html wrote:

... An answer came in 2003, when the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine published a study that compared veterans health facilities on 11 measures of quality with fee-for-service Medicare. On all 11 measures, the quality of care in veterans facilities proved to be ’significantly better. ...

... The Annals of Internal Medicine recently published a study that compared veterans health facilities with commercial managed-care systems in their treatment of diabetes patients. In seven out of seven measures of quality, the VA provided better care. ...

... Winning NCQA’s seal of approval is the gold standard in the health-care industry. And who do you suppose this year’s winner is: Johns Hopkins? Mayo Clinic? Massachusetts General? Nope. In every single category, the VHA system outperforms the highest rated non-VHA hospitals. ..."

Heck, even Bill Kristol (very right wing) admitted the VA system is one of the best in the world.

Patrick Curtin wrote:


Well, we should at least be debating how to go about tort reform. It isn't an easy question, and doctors do need to be accountable for their actions. But at this moment, tort reform isn't part of the debate, according to Obama. Why?

Hmm, honestly hard to say. Has he definitively declared it off the table? Obviously this seems to be less of a concern for the left, so I don't really follow news on it. All links appreciated. I'll do some digging if I get a chance today and see if I can get some left PoV's on the matter.

My top of the head thoughts would be that the fear is that this would be pushed too far in the other direction, and leave wronged patients with no recourse to recompense. So fear of going too far in that direction leaves us stuck (arguably) too far in the other. Cue the quote.

Winston Churchill wrote:
Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried


David Marks wrote:
VA quotes

Well, I have only anecdotal evidence, so I'll conceed that you have some good quoted material to back your assertion up. I will say that the Army medical system was tied very closely to the VA system, and that in both, there was a sense of delays, especially in getting any type of proceedure done. As I did not directly experience VA healthcare, I will not say any more on this subject.

David Marks wrote:
Hmm, honestly hard to say. Has he definitively declared it off the table? Obviously this seems to be less of a concern for the left, so I don't really follow news on it. All links appreciated. I'll do some digging if I get a chance today and see if I can get some left PoV's on the matter.

>Link provided<

I personally do believe that healthcare needs reform, I don't think the current system serves us well. However, I do not think the various proposals on the table attend to many of the problems inherent in the system we have. In fact, I believe that they will actually worsen the system. Of course, YOMV.

David Marks wrote:

My top of the head thoughts would be that the fear is that this would be pushed too far in the other direction, and leave wronged patients with no recourse to recompense. So fear of going too far in that direction leaves us stuck (arguably) too far in the other. Cue the quote.

Winston Churchill wrote:
Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried

And one of greatest democracy's strengths, which many on BOTH sides of the ideological divide seem to forget, is that we argue, discuss and compromise, taking in information from ALL sides, not just the one we agree with. Pushing legislation through Congress like it has to be done yesterday doesn't help, and name calling, whether it is troglodyte or moonbat doesn't help either. We all have to live with the descisions being made about our healthcare, so let's take our time and discuss it rationally.

Contributor

Only speaking from personal experience as a guy from America, living in England - Socialized Health Care is awesome. America needs to get its act together and stop gouging the sick. Just my two cents from having health care experiences in both countries as well as talking to doctors in both countries (I come from a family of doctors).

Nick


Nicolas Logue wrote:

Only speaking from personal experience as a guy from America, living in England - Socialized Health Care is awesome. America needs to get its act together and stop gouging the sick. Just my two cents from having health care experiences in both countries as well as talking to doctors in both countries (I come from a family of doctors).

Nick

Amen, brother.

P.S. Thanks for the Diet Coke this morning. :)


The authoritarian followers have been told that health care reforms is Socialist(tm).* So when they aren't busy administering ostensibly lethal shocks in sociology experiments, they're shouting down dissent and shutting down debate. Then, they get removed, they cry "help! help! I'm being repressed!"

Fortunately, "repression" aside, freedom of speech doesn't extend to the "right" to drown out everyone else. That is the behavior that has to be stopped; That is "Unamerican."

* No, they can't define it. But it's SCARY and BAD.


Patrick Curtin wrote:
...And one of greatest democracy's strengths, which many on BOTH sides of the ideological divide seem to forget, is that we argue, discuss and compromise, taking in information from ALL sides, not just the one we agree with. ...

Agreed. But disrupting the the process by yelling doesn't help anyone. Right now, that seems to be the M.O. if you don't get your way...


bugleyman wrote:

The authoritarian followers have been told that health care reforms is Socialist(tm).* So when they aren't busy administering ostensibly lethal shocks in sociology experiments, they're shouting down dissent and shutting down debate. Then, they get removed, they cry "help! help! I'm being repressed!"

Fortunately, "repression" aside, freedom of speech doesn't extend to the "right" to drown out everyone else. That is the behavior that has to be stopped; That is "Unamerican."

* No, they can't define it. But it's SCARY and BAD.

Then, of course, there are those that oppose the agenda of those who talk down to them.


Brian E. Harris wrote:
Then, of course, there are those that oppose the agenda of those who talk down to them.

Because that's an excellent basis for opposition...

Edit: Has anyone else noticed that agenda is the "evil" word for "goals," much like "cult" is the evil word for "religion," and "regime" is for "government?" Good guys have plans. Bad guys (that talk down to salt-of-the-earth Americans(tm)) have agendas.

If you'll excuse me, I'm off to implement my agenda of seducing Middle America's innocent, god-fearing children into a life of drugs, atheism, and homosexual depravity. Muahahahaha!

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