Questions for Americans: Socialised Health Care


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pres man wrote:
bugleyman wrote:

Disagreement is good. Disagreement is healthy. Disagreement that involves shutting the other guy up at any cost isn't.

True, but we have to remember, these aren't debates. Where each side gets an equal say. A citizen can ask a question of a politician and the politician can go off on some totally unrelated issue, totally ignoring the person's question. The citizen then often doesn't get a chance to challenge the politician because they are often limited to one question. In effect the politician is shutting the other guy up at any cost.

Many of these town hall meetings are situations where the politicians feel they have to "educate" the citizens, instead of listening to what the citizens actually want. The politicians should be going in with an open mind as well, and expect that their ideas might be changed. Sadly, this often not the case on either side (the politician's or the citizen's).

Thats a really nice ideal but the very first thing you learn as a politician is never answer the question that was asked - answer the question you wish they had asked.


Bill Dunn wrote:


When the Labour government created NHS, it had a massive majority and had swept into power in a wartime election, turfing out a wartime icon of a Prime Minister. There was no way the Conservatives could claim, with any real credibility, that Labour did not have a mandate. That's pretty much a perfect storm for getting BIG things done, even over vested interests.

By comparison, though Obama did win handily and the Democrats widened their majorities including setting up a potentially filibuster free supermajority in the Senate, the American system is designed to gridlock. Bicameral legislature, executive branch involved in approving legislation, huge regional disparities in political views within the same party, weak central party authority and discipline. The status quo is hard to dislodge.

Which is, of course, why the Dems are rushing. For the first time in a generation - maybe longer, they have a mandate. They won so big that they can actually take a shot at doing some of the big projects that they dream about. That'll of course fade as time wears on. By next congressional election it will likely be back to business as usual.


David Marks wrote:


Agree 100%. Perhaps 1000%. America's government was designed to be inefficient and very prone to maintaining the status quo, due to the needs of the Founding Fathers at the time.

Things were different then, and the way we solved the problems of the time (creating this inertia driven system of government) are preventing us from solving our problems now. To say it is insanely frustrating doesn't even begin to describe it.

Well its worth pointing out that a system without enough checks and balances is generally even worse. The last thing one needs for stability is a country that goes from the extreme right to the extreme left every 4 years.

For all its flaws America does have a pretty good political system. Checks and balances are insanely frustrating but, at the end of the day, the American political parties absolutely need to figure out where the exact center of the political spectrum is and then array themselves on that centre and then over to whichever side (right or left) they represent. Winner grabs the centre and either party that fails to do that starts loosing elections.

That said I think one of the reasons things seem particularly contentious in America these days is that the centre has shrunk. I suspect in Britain and Canada you have a centre thats roughly 40% of the population with the right and left each taking up around 30% of the population while America's centre is more like 20% of the population with the right and left being closer to 40% each. Hence you have two powerful blocks trying to sway a small group in the middle and very much opposed to the other side. In other states you have this massive group in the middle and smaller groups on each side trying to sway the middle group to see things more like they do.


Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
Garydee wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:


Especially if you need to get to work, rather than faf about getting it road worthy. At the momment, the system seems to be utterly f&&#ed, i understand i speak as an outsider, but from what i can see it is the case.

Not really. Our system has a lot of problems and faults but it's not nearly as bad as it shows on propaganda films. There have been conservatives that have made propaganda films that makes nationalized healthcare look like a total disaster as well.

Sure...but you can bypass the propaganda and go to material thats basically fair and balanced like OECD country comparisons. I feel its here that the issues with the American system are most pronounced. When its clear that Americans, per capita, pay more then almost all other rich western countries and yet they receive health care thats statistically only comparable to countries that pay significantly less. You know that there is something wrong and that the system needs an overhaul.

With what you guys pay American Healthcare should be pretty much the best in the world but its not even close to the Japanese or Swiss system in terms of results just in terms of cost. For the results your seeing you should be paying something more akin to what Canada or Britain pay which is close to half of what Americans spend on health care.

One thing that you forget is that a lot of the problems are more associated with American culture than our health system. Obesity and infant mortality due to babies born on drugs and/or HIV are making our stats look really bad. National healthcare isn't going to fix that. If you look at stats from a few decades ago on average lifespan(before American culture deteriorated), look how high the U.S. is compared to other countries.


David Marks wrote:

The problem with the "Blue Dog" complaints is that while complaining about the need to control spending, they consistently vote against all proposals to control spending! It's hard to control spending to their desire while fighting them over spending control. It's one of those democracy sucks except for all those other options things.

TL;DR - "Blue Dogs" are incredibly frustrating because they don't seem to be arguing in good faith. Sure I'll support you if you do X. But I won't support your attempts to do X. Sigh.

I must have missed something. What spending controls did they vote against?

I remember them lying down and playing dead with the Stimulus and the Omnibus bills which massively added to our debt. They rolled over for the Cap and Trade bill. It looks like they finally became active recently with healthcare and the federal reserve's refusal to open their books because they are afraid of getting voted out of office next year. Until then, I didn't know they existed.


Aberzombie wrote:

Link to an interesting piece from The American Prospect:

THE HISTORY OF THE PUBLIC OPTION.

Supports the idea that Dems are not being totally truthful. This lack of honesty is part of the reason so many distrust what is being pushed through. If you have to lie about it, there must be something wrong, is what alot of people think.


pres man wrote:


I would be interested in seeing the median spent on health care as opposed to the average.

Thats a request that is impossible to fulfill. I mean how would you even go about collecting the raw data? Send an expert to visit every single person in America and ask them? How do you verify that what they tell you is correct? Even if they are telling you what they believe is the correct amount how do you track how much that individual costs in terms of all the hidden expenses which the the common joe has absolutely no idea about?

The median, for all countries, exists only in a theoretical context. Its data that is simply impossible to collect, hence it'll never be known.

Beyond that I'm really unsure what we'd do with the Median even if we had it. Most of the population does not see a doctor very often. Usually we are not sick or pregnant etc. or at least not sick enough (or pregnant enough?) to bother with doctors. I suspect that the number of people not seeing a doctor in any meaningful amount (you see your doctor once a year for a checkup - if that) is more then 50% of the population for every country in the western world.

Hence the median is likely to be $0 or very close to $0 (whee - fun with statistics!).


Garydee wrote:


One thing that you forget is that a lot of the problems are more associated with American culture than our health system. Obesity and infant mortality due to babies born on drugs and/or HIV are making our stats look really bad. National healthcare isn't going to fix that. If you look at stats from a few decades ago on average lifespan(before American culture deteriorated), look how high the U.S. is compared to other countries.

Obesity and drugs are pretty much standard fare in the entire western world. We are all pretty much facing an obesity epidemic and we all tend to have serous and significant issues with the influx of illegal drugs. Canada's culture, in particular, is really not that different from what you see in northern states that border Canada. By and large we eat the same stuff (too much junk food from McDonalds) have serous exercise issues (too much time in front of computers) and generally partake of too many drugs. Probably all at levels comparable to our southern cousins. Every country in the western world is facing a healthcare crisis - its just that America is facing one thats far more dramatic (because its far more expensive) then other western states.

Even beyond this its not clear that America should not be getting better stats for their hefty contribution to the healthcare system. Japan has these phenomenal stats partly because they spend their large health care expenditures on convincing their population to engage in healthy practices and providing the means to do so. Its a good system if thats what you want - or, if having the government telling you to stop wolfing down cheeseburgers and go to the park is too invasive then you can adopt something closer to the Canadian system - crap stats but a whole lot cheaper.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Garydee wrote:


One thing that you forget is that a lot of the problems are more associated with American culture than our health system. Obesity and infant mortality due to babies born on drugs and/or HIV are making our stats look really bad. National healthcare isn't going to fix that. If you look at stats from a few decades ago on average lifespan(before American culture deteriorated), look how high the U.S. is compared to other countries.

Obesity, drugs and HIV.

The CDC thinks differently, or at least they did in 2002 when the infant mortality rate went up for the first time since 1958. One factor they believed was involved is the rising age of motherhood. Older mothers = older eggs = more complications. Another study of theirs during the 1990s looked at particulate air pollution and the effect on infant mortality. While more of a problem in Europe earlier in the 20th century, their air quality has been significantly improving since the 1950s, which could help account for a rise in stats relative to ours.

But because infant mortality is higher among underinsured and indigent groups, whether the mortality is caused by drugs, HIV, obesity, pollution, or whatever, extending health care to at-risk mothers so that they have appropriate pre-natal and neonatal care as well as adequate health care before they're even pregnant is likely to improve the mortality rate.


Garydee wrote:
If you look at stats from a few decades ago on average lifespan (before American culture deteriorated)...

WTF??? Do you REMEMBER the '70's? American culture seems vastly more wholesome now than it was then. I agree there's room for improvement, but however bad Brtiney Spears videos are, they're a lot better than the seedy porno theatres that used to be open all over the place. And while methamphetimine is terrible scourge today, I'm not sure it's any worse than all the PCP that everyone was dropping back in my day, before the culture "deteriorated." Yes, Tom Cruise belongs to a wacko cult...but Charles Manson and his people are in prison now, not on the streets.


Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:


Obesity and drugs are pretty much standard fare in the entire western world. We are all pretty much facing an obesity epidemic and we all tend to have serous and significant issues with the influx of illegal drugs. Canada's culture, in particular, is really not that different from what you see in northern states that border Canada. By and large we eat the same stuff (too much junk food from McDonalds) have serous exercise issues (too much time in front of computers) and generally partake of too many drugs. Probably all at levels comparable to our southern cousins. Every country in the western world is facing a healthcare crisis - its just that America is facing one thats far more dramatic (because its far more expensive) then other western states.
Even beyond this its not clear that America could not get better stats for the hefty contribution. Japan has these phenominal stats partly because they spend their large health care expenditures on convincing their population to engage in healthy practices. Its a good system if thats what you want - or, if having the government telling you to stop wolfing down cheeseburgers is too invasive then you can adopt something closer to the Canadian system - crap stats but a whole lot cheaper.

Actually you guys are 35th in the world when you come to obesity. Look where America is.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Garydee wrote:
If you look at stats from a few decades ago on average lifespan (before American culture deteriorated)...
WTF??? Do you REMEMBER the '70's? American culture seems vastly more wholesome now than it was then. I agree there's room for improvement, but however bad Brtiney Spears videos are, they're a lot better than the seedy porno theatres that used to be open all over the place. And while methamphetimine is terrible scourge today, I'm not sure it's any worse than all the PCP that everyone was dropping back in my day, before the culture "deteriorated." Yes, Tom Cruise belongs to a wacko cult...but Charles Manson and his people are in prison now, not on the streets.

Yes, I remember the 70's. I am older than you after all. :) Although it wasn't "Leave it to Beaver", it isn't the cesspool it is now.


Garydee wrote:
Yes, I remember the 70's. I am older than you after all. :) Although it wasn't "Leave it to Beaver", it isn't the cesspool it is now.

Maybe for you guys out in the sticks, but in NYC, for example, you can walk the streets now without needing nuclear weapons to do it safely. Places I'm from are infinitely nicer, cleaner, safer, and friendlier now... as compared to the '70's, which consisted of a decade of crime, drugs, graffitti, illicit unsafe sex, serial killings, murderous cults, and lots of chest hair... when you could see any of that through the impenetrable fog of cigarette smoke from 100% of the U.S. population sucking down like chimneys.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Garydee wrote:
Yes, I remember the 70's. I am older than you after all. :) Although it wasn't "Leave it to Beaver", it isn't the cesspool it is now.
Maybe for you guys out in the sticks, but in NYC, for example, you can walk the streets now without needing nuclear weapons to do it safely. Places I'm from are infinitely nicer, cleaner, safer, and friendlier now... as compared to the '70's, which consisted of a decade of crime, drugs, graffitti, illicit unsafe sex, serial killings, murderous cults, and lots of chest hair... when you could see any of that through the impenetrable fog of cigarette smoke from 100% of the U.S. population sucking down like chimneys.

True, but that was only because of Rudy Giuliani. Most American cities have actually gotten worse(Detroit,Memphis etc.). Yeah, you're right. The "sticks" as you call them were better back then than now.


Garydee wrote:
Most American cities have actually gotten worse(Detroit,Memphis etc.). Yeah, you're right. The "sticks" as you call them were better back then than now.

I'm not sure Detroit qualifies as an American city... it's more like an industrial graveyard that some residents weren't smart enough to leave when it died. Its corpse is rotting now.

Overall, it seems like things have evened out a bit since my youth. The countryside is no longer the place where people leave their doors unlocked -- now there are too many meth-heads roving about, stealing anything not bolted down. The big cities that are still alive are generally a lot more vibrant and less oppressive than they were (Pittsburgh is rated one of the best places in the U.S. to live). Philadelphia still sucks, though. You win some, you lose some.

P.S. I'm not making fun of you, Gary. Compared with the sprawling monstrosity of Houston, Waco sort of is "the sticks." In some ways, that's a blessing. ;)


The myth of decline rears its ugly head. seriously, doesn't this tool of right wing fear mungering ever get old? How come people who are for the largest part bright, fall for this?


Zombieneighbours wrote:
The myth of decline rears its ugly head. seriously, doesn't this tool of right wing fear mungering ever get old? How come people who are for the largest part bright, fall for this?

Well, some places have actually gotten worse (e.g., Kiev). For those specific places, it's not a myth. But other places have gotten better, and still others have no change, or are better in some respects, worse in others. It's all a matter of individual perspective, based on the changes you're seeing where you are.

So, "Everything is so much worse these days," is a myth with no basis in reality. But "My street is less safe now, with the meth lab next door, than it was when I was a kid and the Smiths lived there" might be a valid factual statement.


Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
pres man wrote:


I would be interested in seeing the median spent on health care as opposed to the average.

Thats a request that is impossible to fulfill. I mean how would you even go about collecting the raw data? Send an expert to visit every single person in America and ask them? How do you verify that what they tell you is correct? Even if they are telling you what they believe is the correct amount how do you track how much that individual costs in terms of all the hidden expenses which the the common joe has absolutely no idea about?

The median, for all countries, exists only in a theoretical context. Its data that is simply impossible to collect, hence it'll never be known.

Beyond that I'm really unsure what we'd do with the Median even if we had it. Most of the population does not see a doctor very often. Usually we are not sick or pregnant etc. or at least not sick enough (or pregnant enough?) to bother with doctors. I suspect that the number of people not seeing a doctor in any meaningful amount (you see your doctor once a year for a checkup - if that) is more then 50% of the population for every country in the western world.

Hence the median is likely to be $0 or very close to $0 (whee - fun with statistics!).

I imagine you take the data that you are using to calculate the average, put it in numeric order and figure out the middle value, and there is the median. How is that so much harder than taking all the values, adding them together and then dividing by the population?


Garydee wrote:
...If you look at stats from a few decades ago on average lifespan (before American culture deteriorated)...

Wow, I thought you had a point until you busted that gem out. I can hardly think of anything more thoroughly debunked than the "good old days, before the moral rot" trope. Seriously, it doesn't take much historical perspective to know better than that.


Zombieneighbours wrote:
The myth of decline rears its ugly head. seriously, doesn't this tool of right wing fear mungering ever get old? How come people who are for the largest part bright, fall for this?

I suspect it is rooted in religious dogma, but I can't be sure.


Garydee wrote:


...True, but that was only because of Rudy Giuliani...

Is that a joke?


bugleyman wrote:
Garydee wrote:


...True, but that was only because of Rudy Giuliani...
Is that a joke?

Not at all. Anyone who's seen the difference in NYC knows that (a) Giuliani was a hot-headed megalomaniac, and (b) he cleaned the hell out of that city; the before vs. after difference is more glaring than the doctored photos they put on those diet and cosmetics ads.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

GET OFF MY LAWN!!!

Damn kids these days, no respect. Ruining the world with their internet and sexting. Back when I was a kid, we satisfied our bestial urges by smashing our dicks in a bible. And we liked it.*

*But not in a sick S&M way. In a holy way.

*mutter* *mutter*

HEY! I SAW THAT YOU PUNK!!! MY LAWN!!! OFF OF IT!!!

Edit: When did "dick" stop being a four-letter word. Wait...it still has four letters... Ok, when did it become okay to say "dick". It seems like I only ever heard the word "dick" in movies when I was a kid, but now I hear it on television. If that's not evidence of the decline of Western civilization, I don't know what is.


bugleyman wrote:
Garydee wrote:
...If you look at stats from a few decades ago on average lifespan (before American culture deteriorated)...
Wow, I thought you had a point until you busted that gem out. I can hardly think of anything more thoroughly debunked than the "good old days, before the moral rot" trope. Seriously, it doesn't take much historical perspective to know better than that.

Boy, you Libs really are oversensitive to that comment aren't you? There is nothing that I have said that can be "debunked" because as Kirth said it's more of a person's perspective. People with different backgrounds see things differently.


bugleyman wrote:
Garydee wrote:


...True, but that was only because of Rudy Giuliani...
Is that a joke?

Why don't you go find someone else to annoy?


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:
The myth of decline rears its ugly head. seriously, doesn't this tool of right wing fear mungering ever get old? How come people who are for the largest part bright, fall for this?

Well, some places have actually gotten worse (e.g., Kiev). For those specific places, it's not a myth. But other places have gotten better, and still others have no change, or are better in some respects, worse in others. It's all a matter of individual perspective, based on the changes you're seeing where you are.

So, "Everything is so much worse these days," is a myth with no basis in reality. But "My street is less safe now, with the meth lab next door, than it was when I was a kid and the Smiths lived there" might be a valid factual statement.

'The myth of decline' refers specifically to the idea that the entire culture has gotten worse, which was something that Garydee was certainly implying. some places get better, some get worse. There is always a reason for both.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Zombieneighbours wrote:


'The myth of decline' refers specifically to the idea that the entire culture has gotten worse, which was something that Garydee was certainly implying. some places get better, some get worse. There is always a reason for both.

Reasons:

KIDS THESE DAYS!!!!

AND SEXTING!!!

AND THE WORD "DICK"!!!


Garydee wrote:


Why don't you go find someone else to annoy?

But why, when you make yourself such an easy target? :)

Seriously though, Gary, you don't get to boot inconvenient people out of conversations because they annoy you. Isn't that just the sort of thing you were ostensibly protesting in another thread recently?


Sebastian wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:


'The myth of decline' refers specifically to the idea that the entire culture has gotten worse, which was something that Garydee was certainly implying. some places get better, some get worse. There is always a reason for both.

Reasons:

KIDS THESE DAYS!!!!

AND SEXTING!!!

AND THE WORD "DICK"!!!

How RUDE!!!!


Kirth Gersen wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
Garydee wrote:


...True, but that was only because of Rudy Giuliani...
Is that a joke?
Not at all. Anyone who's seen the difference in NYC knows that (a) Giuliani was a hot-headed megalomaniac, and (b) he cleaned the hell out of that city; the before vs. after difference is more glaring than the doctored photos they put on those diet and cosmetics ads.

I doubt he did much of anything by himself, but assume I'm willing to concede the point. Gary's bit about the decline of American culture is laughable.


Zombieneighbours wrote:
'The myth of decline' refers specifically to the idea that the entire culture has gotten worse, which was something that Garydee was certainly implying.

Whether he meant to imply it or not, after my first reply he immediately conceded that he was talking about his particular neck of the woods ("the sticks" as I called it), not about "the entire culture" (whatever that is). So continuing to attack him for it as if none of that ever happened is a bit rude -- either for ignoring what he said, or for not bothering to read it, whichever might be the case.

P.S. I also disagree with the statement "There is always a reason for both," because there most often are a large number of reasons and chains of reasons -- so that our natural urge to simplify things to "a" reason, while emotionally satisfying, is factually incorrect.


Garydee wrote:


Boy, you Libs really are oversensitive to that comment aren't you? There is nothing that I have said that can be "debunked" because as Kirth said it's more of a person's perspective. People with different backgrounds see things differently.

Not everything is a matter of perspective. I could provide dozens of quotations from throughout American history decrying the "decline of modern culture," and saying how things were so much better "twenty years ago." Which is, not coincidentally, about the length of a generation. But I digress. I could also cite a metric ton of data showing crime has actually declined over the past twenty years.

But rather than examine what I have to say, you've decided I'm a "lib" and an "annoyance," and so you discount what I have to say. What would be the point? You've shown your true colors in this thread, and in so doing done far more damage to your credibility than I ever could have.


bugleyman wrote:
Gary's bit about the decline of American culture is laughable.

See above. Gary long ago conceded that he was talking about his own situation, not the world as a whole. So continuing to attack him for an earlier misstatement on his part isn't cool, IMHO.


bugleyman wrote:
Garydee wrote:


Why don't you go find someone else to annoy?

Sorry Gary, you don't get to boot inconvenient people out of conversations because they annoy you. Isn't that just the sort of thing you were ostensibly protesting in another thread recently? :)

I'm just not going waste my time with someone who doesn't know how to behave live a civil adult. You see, when you start off with "I disagree.." we can have a discussion. When you say things like "is this a joke" or your best line, "fatality" when you think you've gotten the better of someone, I'm not going to waste my time with you.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
Gary's bit about the decline of American culture is laughable.
See above. Gary conceded he was talking about his own situation, not the world as a whole. So continuing to attack him for an earlier misstatement on his part isn't cool, IMHO.

Yes, but "his own situation" isn't relevant to his argument about the reasons for increasing health care costs. I'm continuing to attack him about this misstatement because the Giliani bit is an attempt to defend it!

In any event, his tone is becoming increasingly hostile. In order to avoid further escalation, I'm going to go do the dishes. Maybe attend a peace-rally with my "lib" friends.


bugleyman wrote:
I could also cite a metric ton of data showing crime has actually declined over the past twenty years.

Unfortunately, its usefulness would be limited because "crime" is too vague to quantify. If you mean per capita homicide rates in the greater Houston area, that's one thing. But black market TV sales in East Lansing might show something else entirely. Even in NYC, one could easily (and correctly) make a claim that "crime" has skyrocketed in the last 20 years, by counting the sale of bootleg cigarettes. But that claim would ignore the fact that if you count per capita murders, you get a different story.


Garydee wrote:


I'm just not going waste my time with someone who doesn't know how to behave live a civil adult. You see, when you start off with "I disagree.." we can have a discussion. When you say things like "is this a joke" or your best line, "fatality" when you think you've gotten the better of someone, I'm not going to waste my time with you.

Ok, Gary. I think I now understand why you're being hostile beyond what this thread warrants. Have a nice evening.

Edit: In fairness, the second quotation ("fatality") was:

1. Not in this thread.
2. Several months old.
3. Not made in reference to something I said, but rather to someone else's comment.

That being said, I apologize for what amounted to taunting. You're right: It was out of line, unnecessary, and unproductive.


bugleyman wrote:
Garydee wrote:


I'm just not going waste my time with someone who doesn't know how to behave live a civil adult. You see, when you start off with "I disagree.." we can have a discussion. When you say things like "is this a joke" or your best line, "fatality" when you think you've gotten the better of someone, I'm not going to waste my time with you.
Ok, Gary. I think I now understand why you're being hostile beyond what this thread warrants. Have a nice evening.

You too.

edit- FWIW, I appreciate the apology. I also apologize for anything that I said that might have escalated the problem.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:
'The myth of decline' refers specifically to the idea that the entire culture has gotten worse, which was something that Garydee was certainly implying.

Whether he meant to imply it or not, after my first reply he immediately conceded that he was talking about his particular neck of the woods ("the sticks" as I called it), not about "the entire culture" (whatever that is). So continuing to attack him for it as if none of that ever happened is a bit rude -- either for ignoring what he said, or for not bothering to read it, whichever might be the case.

P.S. I also disagree with the statement "There is always a reason for both," because there most often are a large number of reasons and chains of reasons -- so that our natural urge to simplify things to "a" reason, while emotionally satisfying, is factually incorrect.

At the point which I commented, he was still at least some what fighting the corner. While I could have been a little more sensitive in my phrasing, I think it was a fair point when I made it.

With regards to the P.S., let me rephrase it. The is always a cause for any change in a society, which may consist of multiple factors. It is better to explore these factors, than to accept idea's such as the myth of decline.

Also, i would suggest the Garydee's retreat from the idea that everywhere is getting worse due to moral decline, has far more to do with the logic of your argument and indefensibly of his position than anything else.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Back on topic, let me just add my voice to the pro-UHC crowd. I'm currently a student and covered by my parents' health care (provided by the State, they work in education), but once I graduate, it will be impossible for me to afford health care. I mean IMPOSSIBLE. I will be completely unable to pay for the insurance I need for my medication, my regular psychiatric visits, or any illnesses I may need to see a doctor for.

I also disagree with private health care on a moral basis. When helping people survive becomes a matter of profit, something is wrong. The government may not be perfect, but at least it's purpose is explicitly to make the lives of citizens better. The purpose of business is to line the pockets of its owners, employees and shareholders. That isn't a cynical view, its the fact of the matter. I trust government bureaucracy much more than I do business bureaucracy, which is almost indistinguishable, save that the only reason it exists is to make as much money off of my poor health as possible. Instead, government bureaucracy is about making me better so they can forget about me more quickly.

I understand that people are wary about a government bureaucracy controlling something as important as health care, but I'll take them over business interests any day of the week.

Also, universal health care takes out the middle man. Instead of huge quantities of money being siphoned off by an insurance company, taxes would pay directly for the health care utilized by citizens. Government bureaucracy does not care about a profit.


Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:

Sure...but you can bypass the propaganda and go to material thats basically fair and balanced like OECD country comparisons. I feel its here that the issues with the American system are most pronounced. When its clear that Americans, per capita, pay more then almost all other rich western countries and yet they receive health care thats statistically only comparable to countries that pay significantly less. You know that there is something wrong and that the system needs an overhaul.

With what you guys pay American Healthcare should be pretty much the best in the world but its not even close to the Japanese or Swiss system in terms of results just in terms of cost. For the results your seeing you should be paying something more akin to what Canada or Britain pay which is close to half of what Americans spend on health care.

Keep in mind diet and other lifestyle differences like violent crime also affect longevity and health and skew the statistical differences between countries. It cannot all be chalked up to medical insurance systems.

Dark Archive

I believe this was meant to be posted here.

yellowdingo wrote:

THE CONSEQUENCE OF NOT HAVING UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE

{i]"In December of 1927, Hickman, nineteen years old, showed up at a Los Angeles public school and managed to get custody of a twelve-year-old girl, Marian (sometimes Marion) Parker. He was able to convince Marian's teacher that the girl's father, a well-known banker, had been seriously injured in a car accident and that the girl had to go to the hospital immediately. The story was a lie. Hickman disappeared with Marian, and over the next few days Mr. and Mrs. Parker received a series of ransom notes. The notes were cruel and taunting and were sometimes signed "Death" or "Fate." The sum of $1,500 was demanded for the child's safe release. (Hickman needed this sum, he later claimed, because he wanted to go to Bible college!) The father raised the payment in gold certificates and delivered it to Hickman."

"At the rendezvous, Mr. Parker handed over the money to a young man who was waiting for him in a parked car. When Mr. Parker paid the ransom, he could see his daughter, Marion, sitting in the passenger seat next to the suspect. As soon as the money was exchanged, the suspect drove off with the victim still in the car. At the end of the street, Marion's corpse was dumped onto the pavement. She was dead. Her legs had been chopped off and her eyes had been wired open to appear as if she was still alive. Her internal organs had been cut out and pieces of her body were later found strewn all over the Los Angeles area."[/i]
-"Fate, Death and the Fox", crimelibrary.com

What role does Universal Healthcare play in a society? Beyond the treatment of such a sociopath at an early age when the symptoms began to manifest and protecting the victim Hickman from exposure to to the very thing that created his mental illness, it provides a psychological sea wall to the whole of society that tells them that life has value and that self is not a trait of civilization.

Dark Archive

Bill Lumberg wrote:
Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:

Sure...but you can bypass the propaganda and go to material thats basically fair and balanced like OECD country comparisons. I feel its here that the issues with the American system are most pronounced. When its clear that Americans, per capita, pay more then almost all other rich western countries and yet they receive health care thats statistically only comparable to countries that pay significantly less. You know that there is something wrong and that the system needs an overhaul.

With what you guys pay American Healthcare should be pretty much the best in the world but its not even close to the Japanese or Swiss system in terms of results just in terms of cost. For the results your seeing you should be paying something more akin to what Canada or Britain pay which is close to half of what Americans spend on health care.

Keep in mind diet and other lifestyle differences like violent crime also affect longevity and health and skew the statistical differences between countries. It cannot all be chalked up to medical insurance systems.

Not to mention that the majority of countries that are usually listed in these examples have small and relatively homogenous populations. Neither Japan, or Switzerland has anywhere near the size of population or cultural and genetic diversity found in the United States. It's like comparing apples to watermelons.

The Exchange

QXL99 wrote:
Americans already have a healthcare system that is managed by bureaucrats--the bureaucrats in question work for insurance companies and HMOs. And yes, they can be heartless (resulting in lawyers getting richer).

With Universal Healthcare, the Bureaucrats would no longer be from insurance companies and HMO's. There would be no need for Medical Insurance and HMO's. Therefor they would not in anyway be comprimised in the nature of their decision making processes.


yellowdingo wrote:
QXL99 wrote:
Americans already have a healthcare system that is managed by bureaucrats--the bureaucrats in question work for insurance companies and HMOs. And yes, they can be heartless (resulting in lawyers getting richer).
With Universal Healthcare, the Bureaucrats would no longer be from insurance companies and HMO's. There would be no need for Medical Insurance and HMO's. Therefor they would not in anyway be comprimised in the nature of their decision making processes.

I wonder if we shut the insurance companies down, what effect the loss of that many jobs would have on the economy. I wonder how does the number of employees at insurance companies compare to those at the automotive companies? Would we end up having to bail out the companies we were trying to put out of business?


thefishcometh wrote:

That isn't a cynical view, its the fact of the matter. I trust government bureaucracy much more than I do business bureaucracy, which is almost indistinguishable, save that the only reason it exists is to make as much money off of my poor health as possible. Instead, government bureaucracy is about making me better so they can forget about me more quickly.

I understand that people are wary about a government bureaucracy controlling something as important as health care, but I'll take them over business interests any day of the week

I think this distills down the issue I have with government taking over health care system. I personally would rather have a business in control than a government bureaucracy. I don't think the government will be trying to get rid of me by curing me, I think they will be making as much paperwork as they can to justify their existance. They will want patients in the system, as this will make them look busy. Insurance companies have a large bureaucracy, but it is profit driven. Underperforming employees at least can be fired, unlike government bureaucrats. Government bureaucrats are almost immune to firing, and they manage to accrue more and more benefits as they go.

I think we can reform the insurance model without constructing yet another massive government bureaucracy that siphons tax money into their pockets via pay and benefits. There are better ways to reform what's wrong than tossing it into the government sector. making non-profit co-ops like the Group Health Cooperative in Seattle that handles 600K members might be an option. I'd rather give a one-time start up disbursement of cash to establish some national cooperatives than have to pay for more bureaucrats.


How does it work over there for "social health" issues?

Say I was a heroin addict (which i'm not). Over here, I could walk into a clinic and ask to be put on a programme - there is currently a wait (a couple of weeks), but after that time i'd see the nurse (who would take bloods for BBV's and LFT's) and do an analysis of what I'm taking. once the results came back (again, about a week) I'd be in to see the doctor - who would perscribe a programme of Methadone, Subutex (if i was strong enough) or Naltraxone (if i was brave enough and strong enough). I could tghen apply for funding to do either a residential detox or a residential rehab - however the money IS very limited, only a few people a year in each city get to go

many prisons also have a rehab wing - run more like a rehab unit than a prison. more or less isolated from the rest of the prison, volutary transfers only to the unit, and for people serving long sentences for drug/alcohol related crime

The Exchange

Garydee wrote:
One thing that you forget is that a lot of the problems are more associated with American culture than our health system. Obesity and infant mortality due to babies born on drugs and/or HIV are making our stats look really bad. National healthcare isn't going to fix that. If you look at stats from a few decades ago on average lifespan(before American culture deteriorated), look how high the U.S. is compared to other countries.

Well, the UK has basically the same problems - we aren't all slim and svelte here either. In any case the causes of these things are also linked to income and education as well as simply how much you pay for health cover. And the NHS has a role in lifestyle issues, albeit they aren't very good at it.

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