Questions for Americans: Socialised Health Care


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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....

Dark Archive

******WARNING SARCASTIC HUMOR AHEAD*********

If conservatives get to call universal healthcare "socialized medicine," I get to call private, for-profit healthcare "soulless, vampire bastards making money off human pain."


Jeremy Mcgillan wrote:

******WARNING SARCASTIC HUMOR AHEAD*********

If conservatives get to call universal healthcare "socialized medicine," I get to call private, for-profit healthcare "soulless, vampire bastards making money off human pain."

Both statements are probably true. Heh heh

The Exchange

I think it's a case of people fearing what they don't understand. That, and a TREMENDOUS amount of misinformation that's going around. It's hard to get correct info with all the bias in the media.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Speaking for myself; I think there is nothing wrong with Socialized Healthcare, except that the US have been behind the curve on it for way too long. It's time that we get this thing going. It's shameful that millions of American's don't have health insurance and that the insurance companies are getting rich by DENYING claims. The US is what, 47th, in healthcare compared to the rest of the world? Like I said: it's shameful.


Lord Stewpndous wrote:
I think it's a case of people fearing what they don't understand. That, and a TREMENDOUS amount of misinformation that's going around. It's hard to get correct info with all the bias in the media.

The for-profit healthcare, medical, and pharmaceutical corporations have excellent lobbyests. Those lobbyests are not limited to working only the US government. With this much money on the line and so few government employees willing to put their necks out, most citizens of the US aren't getting enough facts to begin to properly puzzle this mess out.

For starters, see the Bill Moyers episodes for July 10th, 17th, and 31st: http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/archives/archives.php


I mean, i was watching the news, and I couldn't understand why ANYONE would object to universal health-care

I know that, if i were ill, i could expect treatment on the NHS, without my means being taken into account "from cradle to the grave" as it were!


Lord Stewpndous wrote:
I think it's a case of people fearing what they don't understand. That, and a TREMENDOUS amount of misinformation that's going around. It's hard to get correct info with all the bias in the media.

I don't think that's the case. Most of the people who are outraged are the ones who read the damn thing, which is more than I can say for the politicians who are trying to push this down our throat. The best thing to do is try the plan in a state(or a few states) for a few years and see how well it works and then go from there.

Sovereign Court

I know that I'm totally for universal health care. I pay taxed and get almost no use out of the services that should provide. I think being able to visit a doctor or something should be part of just being a citizen and not something I have to pay a few thousand dollars a year to do even if I don't get sick.

A very large part of America has been co-opted to vote against their interests by certain groups using scare tactics and fake research to get their own agendas passed.

It's honestly incredibly disgusting to me how these people are being taken in by issues that they're not going to get anything out of with the stance their taking.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

The misinformation is weird, and nasty. One editorial said that in the UK with it's socialized health care, the genius scientist Stephen Hawking would never have become a top scientist since his poor wasted body would have been considered too expensive to waste money on.
Huh? The English scientist Stephen Hawking, living in the UK, currently in a UK hospital? No health care for him there? Who believes this stuff? People who can't find England on a map and say it's the capital of London?


There is a very organized campaign here in the US aimed at spreading misinformation on this topic ("Seniors won't be covered! Chronic illness won't be covered!"). It is, quite simply, fear-mongering. As usual, those being taken advantage of are those who can least afford it.

Dark Archive

Closes the door and backs away slowly.


David Fryer wrote:
Closes the door and backs away slowly.

Heretic!

Readies action to grab David if he comes back in
;-)


David Fryer wrote:
Closes the door and backs away slowly.

Runs right after David

Sovereign Court

Loztastic wrote:

What's WRONG with socialised health-care.

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

Genuine confusion....

It all boils down to the question of cash. Washington is full of lobbyists (as Ambrosia pointed out). The insurance industry has a ton of them on their payroll, as do the pharmacy industry, medical industry (not the neighborhood doctor here, it's the corporate medical conglomerates) and other groups who are terrified they will lose out financially if health care becomes a benefit of being a US citizen that is paid out of the taxes the Fed collects instead of the pockets of those who purchase their products. The lobbying opposition come from multiple fronts, not just the insurance sector.

I am a supporter of the universal health care concept, but I'm not sure I agree with limiting it to "universal health insurance". I will not, however, delve into that here.

Silver Crusade

It sounds good. Now who is going to come up with the money to pay for it? Yes it's health care for all. All your doing if you have insurence now you keap it if you dont you get it for free. That means if your paying now you will pay more becous you have to cover every one in the country. Not saying it to be mean just telling it like it is.
!!!!NHS is not free health care you have to pay for it in taxes!!!!

Sovereign Court

Most UHC nations spend far less on health care then the US does. And they cover everyone.

As an aside, the Stephen Hawking thing made me laugh hysterically. That's some epic fail on the part of whoever wrote it.


calagnar wrote:

It sounds good. Now who is going to come up with the money to pay for it? Yes it's health care for all. All your doing if you have insurence now you keap it if you dont you get it for free. That means if your paying now you will pay more becous you have to cover every one in the country. Not saying it to be mean just telling it like it is.

!!!!NHS is not free health care you have to pay for it in taxes!!!!

That position is penny-wise, pound-foolish. Lack of proper care costs society at least as much, if not more, albeit over a slightly longer timeframe.


Uzzy wrote:

Most UHC nations spend far less on health care then the US does. And they cover everyone.

This.

Uzzy wrote:


As an aside, the Stephen Hawking thing made me laugh hysterically. That's some epic fail on the part of whoever wrote it.

Indeed.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

David Fryer wrote:
Closes the door and backs away slowly.

Maybe we could nail some boards over it and put up a big warning sign too...


Passes through the thread, moaning piteously.


Personally, I think Americans as a general populace aren't willing (or able?) to do the research themselves and find out what's actually best for their own individual situation. Of course, that's why we're a republic, and not a democracy...

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2013 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

calagnar wrote:

It sounds good. Now who is going to come up with the money to pay for it? Yes it's health care for all. All your doing if you have insurence now you keap it if you dont you get it for free. That means if your paying now you will pay more becous you have to cover every one in the country. Not saying it to be mean just telling it like it is.

!!!!NHS is not free health care you have to pay for it in taxes!!!!

Thank you capt. obvious. It's far easier for a few hundred million people to pay a small amount to cover everyone than ONE person paying a freaking unbelievable amount to cover themselves.

Even people with health insurnace in the US probably don't have enough in case of a serious illness or condition like cancer or heart attack that keeps them from working, especially with the level of unemployment we have (which is 15% in Michigan BTW). Now I have free health insurance through my company but it is the worst insurance in the world. I would much rather get something for the taxes I pay. I had appendicitis 2 years ago and after the surgery to remove it (unburst mind you) I developed a nasty infection that kept me in the hospital for another week. So that was 2 weeks off work (with no sick days paid or otherwise) with substandard insurance. I am so far in debt because of that I'll likely have to file bankruptcy. It's not fun shouldering the load by yourself.

The US has to put it's collective foot on the throat of the Health Care industry and tell it we're sick of being sick. I would love to have the system the UK does. But the wealthy and powerful conglomerates (and their stockholders) won't let it happen without a fight.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

primemover003 wrote:


Thank you capt. obvious. It's far easier for a few hundred million people to pay a small amount to cover everyone than ONE person paying a freaking unbelievable amount to cover themselves.

I think you're mistaken. Captain Obvious dresses in blue and posts exclusively at the gaming den. You were responding to calagnar, a friendly Paizo poster who is just voicing an opinion and is likely not a superhero of any stripe.

Flags make Paizo staff sad. Particularly when they're already dealing with angry comments about shipping, working on getting that shipping out the door, and traveling to Indiana for GenCon.

Maybe we can table this discussion until moderator resources can stomach it.

Just sayin'.


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.

Liberty's Edge

Sebastian wrote:


Flags make Paizo staff sad. .

Ban hammer, ban hammer, ban hammer....

Scarab Sages

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.

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 an added bonus, I think that any serious discussion of health reform must include tort reform. Sadly, I have yet to see that this time around. It seems the insurance companies aren't the only ones with great lobbyists.....


Cultist of Jack wrote:
Sebastian wrote:


Flags make Paizo staff sad. .

Ban hammer, ban hammer, ban hammer....

I'd hate to see a certain staff member, wading through this thread like Conan, bashing skulls left and right...


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).

Sovereign Court

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

Sovereign Court

Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
I'd hate to see a certain staff member, wading through this thread like Conan, bashing skulls left and right...

Really? I'd love to see that! ;)

Scarab Sages

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?

Dark Archive

******Lurk*****
******Lurk*****


Nameless wrote:
Really? I'd love to see that! ;)

Just call me Brer Rabbit. Brer Rabbit for the de-capitalization of health care, that is!

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Bill Lumberg wrote:
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 ...

and health care. Excellent argument for socialized medicine ^^


Exactly, Wormysqueue. The principle is, government takes care of the Res Publica, the common good. We'll take care of the private stuff ourselves.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Nivek wrote:
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.

I wish that's how the ER worked. Coming from experience; "We need only offer minimal care to any patient without money or insurance. As long as we can be sure the patient can make it out the doors and off our property, should anything happen to the patient after that point the hospital is no longer liable".

I've checked into the ER numerous times due to the pain and distention in my side (being nice and leaving out the ickiness of everything really involved).

The only thing the doctors have done is poke me in the side, and afterwards say "Oh well you're going to need a CT-Scan to find out what's wrong. Of course this wouldn't count as minimal care by the hospital. But you're in luck Clovis has one of the cheapeast scans in the ares. Only $10,000! Of course this has to be paid upfront unless you have insurance."

I've been listening to this now for 5 years. If hospitals can get out of treating a patient they will. Doctors could care less if you're dismembered, bleeding or dying as long as they make a dollar off it.

Dark Archive

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!!!

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.

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!!!

Sovereign Court

Aberzombie wrote:
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?

I don't want to get too deep in the debate that is sure to sprout up here (primarily because I'm not too aware of how the US is proposing to implement their Health-Care system), but I can talk about our system.

Like every health-care system in the world, Canada's has problems. We have difficulty holding onto our doctors since even though their salaries are considerable (and their tuition fees less than elsewhere), we still can't offer them the kind of money that is paid out in the private-sector system in the States. Thus, we have a doctor shortage. Most cities are fine, but when you go out into the rural communities (like where I'm from), it gets harder and harder to find good service.

The hospital that serves my hometown has two doctors working there. Admittedly, they serve a population of only about 3,000, but it's still a severe problem. If there's ever an emergency and the two doctors are both on-call (which is quite often), it could be more dangerous than necessary. In the same vein, the hospitals don't have the required resources available, you're going to get shipped off via helicopter to the next closest hospital, which can often be a 1-2 hour flight via helicopter.

That said, when you get service, it's often quite good. I've only had two surgeries in my life, but both went well and the process didn't seem to be particularly onerous (though I have no way to compare, really). The amazing thing about our system is that (almost) everyone qualifies. If you've been unemployed for a while and are having trouble paying the bills and you break your leg, or you need surgery for some reason, you don't have to worry about a big hospital bill. It's taken care of, as long as you have a health card.

Personally, I think universal health care is a good idea; everyone should have access to health-care, regardless of socio-economic status, and I'm glad that there are movements to socialize health care in America, if only so that it reduces cries to privatize health care over here.

There is my rant. Take it as you will. :)


Anyone can take any of the existing health care systems and find anecdotal cases on either side of the question. I'm not interesting in perpetuating our broken system, or simply copying another imperfect system, but on coming up with a better system. Will it be imperfect? Sure, but we can do better and we must do better before our system utterly fails. To discern how to further the "social good", I think we need to get beyond these kneejerk reactions to "socialism" and "big government" that stifle all attempts at systemic reform. It simply isn't coherent: if we're really against big government, then let's get rid of the national military and rely on only local militias...


I have a long list of things I don't like about our current health care system, mostly in how companies offer insurance to their employees (at least in Oregon), the percentages in how much the company pays versus how much the employee pays and the coverage offered.

For the coverage I was getting, it was $83 per paycheck for fairly craptacular coverage - not including dental or vision. I never ever met my deductible ($3000) in the eight years that I had insurance, except once for my appendectomy. My appendectomy was not fully covered because my medical plan only covered 50% of the anesthesiologist's considerable bill. All the various pokes, prods and lab work were not fully covered while they "explored" what was wrong - ultrasounds, CT scans, bloodwork. Needless to say, this all adds up. My regular prescription is not covered by any prescription plan I've ever been on, and only rarely has useful things like chiropractors and physical therapy been covered. (Of course, when this useful stuff was covered, the company promptly switched insurers at the end of the year to save money.)

Grr and stuff. Of course, now I don't have any insurance at all, so it's a case of praying I don't get really sick.

Silver Crusade

You can say any thing you want to about me. Ansore the question how will you pay for the health care if it becomes universal health care. On avrage over 10% GMP in canada gose to health care. It is higher in the US at 15% GMP but that hase to do with insurence making most of that 5% defrence in cost. In Canada the avrage cost if $5700 per person. 10% of Canadens can not get proper health care. In the US its around the same at $6200 per person. In the US around 40% of people are uninsured or underinsured. However that is not necerly the number of people that can not get health care curenty. I have a freind that started on medacare at age 28 from health condetions. Feal free to look up the numbers your self and corect me. http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/hl856.cfm
But Look at what UHS is all about.


Loztastic wrote:
asked a question, and expressed an interest in hearing a non-partisan explanation of the issue.

No doubt I'll be hated for what I am about to write, but so be it.

Why is government controlled health care wrong?

1) Our Constitution expressly limits the power of our Federal Government, and explicitly says if the power isn't listed, it belongs to the states/people. Some people believe that, despite government's best intentions, it does not have the power, as our Constitution is written, to control our health care.

2) Our government is currently $11,000,000,000,000 in debt. Unfunded liabilities (stuff that the government promised but has yet to pay on) reach over $75,000,000,000,000 over the next two generations. There is no money to pay for this plan, which means that care will have to be rationed somehow. Maybe that's eliminating pain medicine, or allowing those deemed too infirm to starve. Or . . . maybe this will be enforced by law?

3) Our government is trying to pass legislation to control a $2,000,000,000,000 sector of our economy in less time than our President took to choose a puppy for his daughters.

Unfortunately, our President and Congress haven't helped matters much by saying those exercising the freedom to speak their minds are "un-American." That tends to tick Americans off. Our government appears to be shoving legislation through, without appropriate debate, and the citizens are told, in effect, to suck it up, shut up, and be grateful we live in such a wonderful country.

I hope I've kept my reply nonpartisan. Hopefully, I've also enlightened you. I'll be at GenCon this weekend, so I fear I won't be able to reply to any comments. Nonetheless, thank you for asking an honest question in an honest manner.

Sovereign Court

There are horror stories in any health system. It's the very nature of the beast, really. Some people will always fall through the gaps, and generally those are the ones that people will focus on when making an argument. But with UHC, the key thing is that everyone gets treated, and everyone pays into it. Under the current American system, 50 million people will not get any treatment, except by going into the emergency room when any illness is serious enough, and then not paying after.

There are, quite obviously, a number of issues with this. Aside from the idea of having empathy with 50 million Americans who get to suffer in silence, there is quite a clear multipronged economic argument in getting those people insured. Firstly, they do contribute to the health pot, meaning that they don't 'leech' and raise everyone else's premiums. Secondly, by being able to have illnesses checked out before they become critical enough to need emergency treatment, you can save money, and make sure that the patient can contribute more to society.

I do have a question for those opposing public healthcare though. Would you want the Republicans to get rid of Medicare, Veteran Health Care and the Indian Health Service if they come back to power? Don't they constitute an intolerable intrusion of government into private affairs?


Doug's Workshop wrote:
Loztastic wrote:
asked a question, and expressed an interest in hearing a non-partisan explanation of the issue.

No doubt I'll be hated for what I am about to write, but so be it.

Why is government controlled health care wrong?

1) Our Constitution expressly limits the power of our Federal Government, and explicitly says if the power isn't listed, it belongs to the states/people. Some people believe that, despite government's best intentions, it does not have the power, as our Constitution is written, to control our health care.

2) Our government is currently $11,000,000,000,000 in debt. Unfunded liabilities (stuff that the government promised but has yet to pay on) reach over $75,000,000,000,000 over the next two generations. There is no money to pay for this plan, which means that care will have to be rationed somehow. Maybe that's eliminating pain medicine, or allowing those deemed too infirm to starve. Or . . . maybe this will be enforced by law?

3) Our government is trying to pass legislation to control a $2,000,000,000,000 sector of our economy in less time than our President took to choose a puppy for his daughters.

Unfortunately, our President and Congress haven't helped matters much by saying those exercising the freedom to speak their minds are "un-American." That tends to tick Americans off. Our government appears to be shoving legislation through, without appropriate debate, and the citizens are told, in effect, to suck it up, shut up, and be grateful we live in such a wonderful country.

I hope I've kept my reply nonpartisan. Hopefully, I've also enlightened you. I'll be at GenCon this weekend, so I fear I won't be able to reply to any comments. Nonetheless, thank you for asking an honest question in an honest manner.

This is my position as well. I decided not to refer to the US Constitution or that of any US state because it does not seem to matter to many people any more. The federal govermnent has been assuming powers not granted to it since it came into existence. But as long as people can get something from the government and not pay for it directly they are happy for it.


Uzzy wrote:
I do have a question for those opposing public healthcare though. Would you want the Republicans to get rid of Medicare, Veteran Health Care and the Indian Health Service if they come back to power? Don't they constitute an intolerable intrusion of government into private affairs?

I'm more of a Libertarian, however, I think I can answer this.

It is impossible to "get rid of Medicare," because we have made people dependent on that system. I would, however, like to see a phase-out of Medicare. Veteran Health Care is a benefit of serving our country and being in harm's way, and so (I believe) is an earned benefit. I am unfamiliar with the Indian Health Service.

If I had an option to "opt out" of Medicare/Medicaid, with no money paid in by me and in return be completely responsible for my own health care, I would do so in a heartbeat.

Edit: While I am libertarian in my beliefs, that's not to say there are not other libertarians who would answer differently. Libertarianism has many flavors, like any political group. Except the Christian Falangist Party of America. Those guys are completely bonkers.


Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
Exactly, Wormysqueue. The principle is, government takes care of the Res Publica, the common good. We'll take care of the private stuff ourselves.

Medical insurance is not something that is beyond the reach of oridinary people. It might cost more than they want to pay but it does not measure up to roads etc... There is no power granted to the government to be a provider of all things. For it to do so takes it too much into the private sphere.


Medical care, as a whole, is something that is beyond the person's acquisition. My appeal is to a natural rights philosophy: everyone has a right to life and health, therefore it is part of the common good, and no one's activity should infringe on someone's property of life/health, as a natural right. Profiteering is infringing on that right.


Uzzy wrote:

There are horror stories in any health system. It's the very nature of the beast, really. Some people will always fall through the gaps, and generally those are the ones that people will focus on when making an argument. But with UHC, the key thing is that everyone gets treated, and everyone pays into it. Under the current American system, 50 million people will not get any treatment, except by going into the emergency room when any illness is serious enough, and then not paying after.

There are, quite obviously, a number of issues with this. Aside from the idea of having empathy with 50 million Americans who get to suffer in silence, there is quite a clear multipronged economic argument in getting those people insured. Firstly, they do contribute to the health pot, meaning that they don't 'leech' and raise everyone else's premiums. Secondly, by being able to have illnesses checked out before they become critical enough to need emergency treatment, you can save money, and make sure that the patient can contribute more to society.

I do have a question for those opposing public healthcare though. Would you want the Republicans to get rid of Medicare, Veteran Health Care and the Indian Health Service if they come back to power? Don't they constitute an intolerable intrusion of government into private affairs?

Those programs could not be disolved in one go. Even if they were done away with they would be gradually phased out. I look at Medicare as a mistake that is entrenched now and for all practical purposes cannot be disbanded; it would involve too much sacrifice for the public and too much risk for politicians. The Veteran's Administration exists to serve a specific class of person who entered into public service and was guaranteed certain benefits in return so I see it as a justifiable program.I am not familiar with the Indian Health Service so I cannot comment on it now.

Hopefully, I can get back to this thread before it falls beneath the hammer of the mods.


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).

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