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National Health Care. 
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Post National Health Care.
Commence the argument!

Health care for americans... GOOD.

Fire BAAAD!


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Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:14 am
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The retina of my wife's sister detatched from her eyeball. She would go blind without immediate medical care.

We skipped out on work and drove her to the nearest hospital which could handle this case, 3 hours away. When we got there they set her up in a hotel room, owned by the hospitol, at 70 bucks a night. Not so bad.

They took a look at her and decided they could fix it by cincning down the eye-ball with a strap so that the two peices of her eyes once more made contact with eachother.

The surgery was $8,000. Sure, i guess i can see that. delicate work, expert training, equipment, sterilization and all of that.

She stayed in an actual hospital room for 18 hours. Cost of hospital stay, $18,000 total.

8 for the surgery, ten thousand for the hospital bed... ?

Some things cannot function through the free market. it works just fine with bread. If you think they are charging too much for this kind of bread, you can buy a different kind. What choice is there when you are faced with blindness, or extreme debt? This is no choice at all. Anyone would choose to have their sight restored, or be cured of cancer over debt. This is not a free market decision, but a compulsory decision.

Marcus Licinius Crassus formed one of the first fire brigades. He and his 500 slaves would arrive at a burning building and begin to deal with the fire, but they would only do so if the property owner sold that property to him at a rediculous price. If the owner refused, Marcus packed up the slaves and left. What is the choice here? Lose everything, or take a raping to eek out what meager scraps you can.

The same thing happens now with health care. Being diagnosed with cancer is almost a certain path to losing everything you have ever worked for. What does it cost to get treated? Everything you own, in most cases, and still more besides, often putting all the people who try to help you in debt as well. The only chance of coming out of this on top is to have health insurance and hope that they do not manage to find some reason to deny your claim, and trust me they are looking for any reason.

What happened to health care costs? I see a lot of television, and i know what old-west doctors did when you broke a bone. They came to your house, fixed you up and then you give them a freaking CHICKEN and they called it even.

I, for one, am quite glad we have fire fighters who do not demand everything you own before they will help you.


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In the absence of God, I found Man.
-Guillermo Del Torro

Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


Last edited by johnson1010 on Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:45 am
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johnson1010 wrote:
What happened to health care costs?


What happened is the health insurance industry has set itself up as a middleman between health care providers and patients. As such, it calls the shots, dictating what kind of treatment and how much to charge. A good question to ask is why does health care cost nearly twice per person in the U.S. than in other industrialized nations? The solution is not to spend more on health care, but to enact real health care reform by dealing with the problem, which is the health insurance industry.


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Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:13 am
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Another good question geo is why the high health care costs in US do not offer much to its citizens.
Take infant mortality, which I think is frequently used as an overall marker of population health. US lag behind Japan, Australia and all EU countries, even those that are much, much poorer than US (see http://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/2008/r081015.htm).

I wholeheartedly agree with you johnson1010, health care is NOT a market issue. I grew up in Greece, where the annual income of an individual is about half of that in US, but no one ever has to find out how much essential, life-saving treatments cost.

There was also an excellent article in New Yorker recently about differences within the US, that shows the same: it's not how much you spent (at least not above a minimum amount) it's what you do with it: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009 ... ct_gawande



Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:36 pm
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All systems we organize in society have an underlying set of beliefs somewhere. The beliefs at the core of capitalism go something like this: Wealth is good. Go out and get as much money as you can, and keep it. During the last decade or so of neo-con ascendancy, they might also add: And don’t give any to government, they will just waste it (give it to us!).

Now, capitalism has been tamed somewhat since it’s high point during the industrial revolution, and the grimy manufacturing cities of Charles Dickens. It has for us westerners anyway; places like China may be another matter. Ironically, capitalism was civilized, and quite likely saved, by government. The 1930’s were a point of economic failure for the prevailing system of the time, and were generating resentment and backlash from those at the bottom end of the stick. Programs like FDR’s “New Deal” probably moderated things enough to avoid the pot boiling over. We may be seeing something similar again today, as government intervention heads off the worst of entrepreneurial greed and excess during the most recent bubble.

In recent years, the neo-con movement has tried to insist that the market is everything. Wealth is what is important, and an unregulated market will magically sort out the economy, and society at large, rewarding the productive, eliminating the wasteful. This has actually never been the case before in human society. Commerce was always only a segment of society, and not seen as all encompassing. There was a civil society outside of the marketplace.

Competition works reasonably well for some aspects of the economy. I would say that often it works best at the smaller end; that is, with small businesses like coffee shops or hairdressers. If you don’t like Starbucks, well, there is probably another shop just down the street. At the top end, it gets a little more problematic. It often doesn’t pay to duplicate massive projects, such as hydro dams, so that they can “compete”. And for some aspects of society, John Adams “invisible guiding hand” doesn’t work at all.

Medical care is a good example. As Johnson has described, applying the free market to individual’s injury and misfortune is ludicrous. People will pay pretty much whatever they are forced to pay, and unless one has some medical training, the fiction that they are making a “choice” in getting treatment is just that. The problem goes beyond the individuals suffering and possible financial ruin. Private medicine creates distortions in the economy, for example, by putting an unfair burden on small private companies struggling to pay medical benefits, and siphoning off huge financial resources and directing them to insurance companies, overpaid administrators, and others who add nothing to actual medical care.

The US is the only major developed country, aside from South Africa I believe, that does not have a comprehensive national medical insurance scheme that covers all it’s people. And even in South Africa, they are now having this same debate. I hope Obama has some success.



Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:51 pm
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Insurance companies have allowed the sky-rocketing of health prices by their existence, in my opinion.

If doctors and hospitols were only dealing with single families or individuals the proceedures would necessarily cost only a small fraction of what they do currently.

Insurance companies give make it appears as though every person who walks through the doors is a source of thousands of dollars in profit. Each head is seen as another access point to the insurance companies, comparatively, bottomless coffers.

In actuality, many hundreds of people, paying their premiums over the course of years, have all that money re-directed to cover the expense of any given major surgery. That one person can not reasonably afford the proceedure themselves. Yet hospitols and doctors charge these rediculous sums every time you go through the doors.

This has the effect of eliminating health care options for anyone who cannot afford the huge price tag of health care.

Republicans are arguing against health care on the grounds that government will be between patients and doctors, or somebody in the government will decide who gets treatment and who doesnt. They are describing precisely what we have NOW.

Insurance companies decide whether or not you will live. THEY stand between us and life-saving medical treatment.

Just recently a friend of mine lost his father to cancer. It was cancer that they could have removed in surgery, and he had a pretty good chance of recovery. His insurance denied him months ago, while he still looked and felt pretty healthy. Months went by and his family had to watch him slowly deteriorate and die.

Imagine living all those days, watching life slip from you, knowing someone said you should die, rather than they lose a fraction of a percent of profit.


_________________
In the absence of God, I found Man.
-Guillermo Del Torro

Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:42 am
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Like the rest of you, I'm a big supporter of universal health care. It's much more humane, and it provides bigger benefits at less cost.

Now I'm discouraged by the political debate. I'm afraid that the Democrats will screw things up yet again and not make it happen.



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Tue Aug 18, 2009 3:48 am
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Marcus Crassus, wasn't he Julius Caesar's uncle? Or was he the old rich guy who supported Caesar during a couple military campaigns?

I'm not sure how, but health care will remain costly until someone reigns in the enterpreneurs who find any way they can to milk every penny from those who need care.



Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:33 am
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Doctors also have tons of loans for schooling to become doctors. There should be some assistance there too, with the agreement that docs provide care at reasonable prices.

This country's obsession with expensive lifestyles also has to stop. Everyone wants to just make more money than they can reasonably spend. We live over our heads and there are those that function very well within that mindset.

New AIG CEO is getting $7,000,000 a year in base salary. No one earns that much money. How about passing some of that to lower level employees...who could be in a much better position with even an extra $100 a week. I am talking clerical people.



Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:45 am
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Post Univeral health care
Johnson1010 wrote:
Quote:
She stayed in an actual hospital room for 18 hours. Cost of hospital stay, $18,000 total.

8 for the surgery, ten thousand for the hospital bed... ?


What a lot of people don't realize is that a surgery requires two doctors. There is the surgeon, then, there is the anesthesiologist. These two doctors are paid seperatly. The extra amount you see may be for the anesthesia, this can quite often be more expensive than the surgery. Anesthesiologists are usually seperate from the hospital, they are like sub contractors. Look at the bill, or ask what was charged for anesthesia, it will knock you off your chair.

I worked as an anesthesia assistant for many years for a very large corporation. And I have to agree, the greed of doctors needs to be addressed. One of my reponsibilities was to schedule epidurals. Many of these pain managment patients were covered under medicare. Medicare only pays what medicare wants. So, an epidural costs, $2,500, Medicare would choose to pay only $900.00. I would have to fight the anesthesiologists to agree to treat patients on Medicare. The payment to the ologist for each of these procedures was $500.00. Now, keep in mind, the ologist performed these epidurals in 15 minutes, and there would be at least seven per day. The money they received from the epidurals, was on top of their salary from the OR. The docs would get very angry when Medicare was involved. Can you imagine, $500.00 for 15 minutes of work?

Another problem with most hospitals, is that they are under the umbrella of "Non Profit". This is absurd! For a hospital to retain it's non profit standing, it needs to treat 4% of it's total care to "charity" care patients. And, they cannot exceed a certain amount of profit or they loss their very lucrative grant. Each year I worked, for V Health, each employee, from around the country would receive a bonus, a weeks pay. This suggests, that these hospital are making so much freeking money, they have to give it away to keep their non profit status. It would make more sense, to lower the price of treatment. Hospitals are being funded by the government on top of the enormous profits they make each year.

Hospitals are like any other corporations. Until the extreme cost of health care, including surgery and anesthesia are under control, I don't think universal health care is going to work. This countries government protects big business, and health care is just that, big business. Insurance companies, again, big business. I can guarantee you, the CEO of V. Heath is making just as much money as any other. It is enough to make a person sick!



Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:54 pm
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http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009 ... rearms.php

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/1 ... 55656.html

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/ ... 26745.aspx

http://www.open.salon.com/blog/rictresa ... l_meetings

Short articles about idiots carrying guns to government meetings.

What in hell are these guys doing showing up at town hall meetings with fire arms? It is a childish attempt to bully people into silence.

The second amendment no longer applies. Fire arms were being confiscated by the english to bolster their waning supplies, long supply lines and to demoralize the occupied colonies. What's more, guns were a primary source of income, or food for colonists. This would be akin to the government coming by and confiscating your car to use the parts to add armor to those paper mache hummers in the gulf. You need come kind of conveyance to get to work.

Gun access should be granted based on competence, like the ability to drive a vehicle. It makes no sense that everyone NEEDS to have access to lethal force with the pull of a trigger. This is not a primary right directly comparable to freedom of speach. Freedom of self defense, yes, but not to carry fire-arms in public where there can be no legitimate use for them.


_________________
In the absence of God, I found Man.
-Guillermo Del Torro

Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:31 pm
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Hi Everyone:

Please allow me to offer another perspective.

1. We here in Barbados have universal health care for every type of ailment, and it is free for all citizen patients. Whether it is a sore throat, a major automobile accident, HIV/HIDS treatment, organ transplant, or open-heart surgery, the patient pays nothing. There are also several private health facilities that do quite well.

2. Social services must be paid for. No Barbadian has a ‘right’ to our free health care, free education (primary to university level), free transportation and school meals for students, free home repair and home help for the aged, etc, etc. These things are currently free because we can afford them.

3. If we were in an unsustainable debt, then we could not afford them and we would not have them.

4. The US is in an unsustainable debt situation. Warren Buffet finally had the courage to explicitly write of the dire financial consequences of the current US economic path. The US is doing exactly what the IMF, World Bank, and OECD nations tell developing nations not to do, print unsecured money.

5. Why is the US health care so expensive? Two principal reasons – R&D (someone has to do it, and others will piggyback on the results), and professional indemnity insurance (PII). PII for professionals can be $100,000 or more annually. Since the US should not drop its R&D work, some sort of Tort reform is necessary to reduce the high PII premiums. I understand that Tort reform is not included in the US health care reform bill

Regards.



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Fri Aug 21, 2009 10:35 pm
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Post Univeral health care
Brotherska wrote:

Quote:
I understand that Tort reform is not included in the US health care reform bill


This brings up another huge problem. Tort is established by auto insurance companies. The purchasher can decide what level of tort coverage they want. However, even without a tort stipulation in your auto insurance, which makes the insurance a great deal cheaper, lawyers get around this.

Tort reform in auto insurance is never going to happen. Injuries from auto accidents keep many lawyers in business. This is why in my state of NJ, auto insurance is the highest in the nation. We live in a sue happy country.

Tort reform would remove an individuals right to sue for damages and injuries. I think you bring up a very good point Brotherska, if the government could control the abundance of law suits against those who have been involved in auto accidents, this may bring down the cost of health insurance. In my opinion, this is why health insurance is so high in this country. However, I don't see it ever happening. This would effect the profits of lawyers and big law firms.

In my state of NJ, there is a buckle up law. Where do you think this came from? I seriously doubt if the government of NJ cares if you die because of not wearing a seat belt. The reason for the law is simple, insurance companies got tired of making payments for injuries because of drivers not wearing them. The same is true for children required to wear helmets while riding their bikes. In NJ all children under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet. Again, the government does not care about the safety of my children, the government cares about the insurance compainies paying out.

I don't see universal health care ever happening. It would require the government to go against the big business of insurance, hospitals, laywers and law firms. People have realized this and have learned how to use the system with bogus claims, and staged auto accidents. People will use any avenue they can to get some free money. There was an incident not long ago where a son was doing some home repairs for his mother, in the mother's home. The story goes like this, the son was using a power saw to cut flooring, the mother called out to him that lunch was ready, this made the son lose focus and he cut off his pinkie finger with the saw. He sued his mother, and her home owners insurance paid out one million dollars. Is a pinkie finger worth a million bucks? Actually, the pinkie was worth $500,000, I am sure, the mother got the other half.

It's scams like this that need to be regulated.



Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:19 am
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johnson1010 wrote:
Republicans are arguing against health care on the grounds that government will be between patients and doctors, or somebody in the government will decide who gets treatment and who doesn't. They are describing precisely what we have NOW.

Insurance companies decide whether or not you will live. THEY stand between us and life-saving medical treatment.


:wall: How can so many people not realize this?
:wall: If you asked them a year ago, most people would opine that insurance companies drive for profits makes them indifferent to peoples actual health.
:wall: A year ago they would tell you that the insurance companies will do anything not to pay a claim.
:wall: :wall: :wall: Now the insurance companies are playing them like puppets.



Sat Aug 29, 2009 11:19 pm
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Our National Health Service has been absolutely superb. I would not be alive today were it not for its wonders.

Even our family's most recent encounters with hospitals and the Health Service have been superb. Childbirth, Terminal Cancer Care etc.....

It is deteriorating only because of privatising certain aspects of the system. Hospital Cleaning is now taken on by private companies out to make a profit. I don't blame them for wanting to make a profit, but it seems to me, self defeating to try to cut corners to save money in hospital cleaning.

Also, the accountants took over the economics, so that we had wards in some hospitals with empty beds....and others with patients dying on trolleys in the corridors for lack of beds. There was an issue, I remember debating with our local Social Services, called bed-blocking. Were old people, who, not really ill and being treated, but were considered too weak to be moved....would be moved to an old peoples home to free the bed....and then get pneumonia and have to be moved back to the hospital.

Having grown up sheltered by the NHS. I still now receive free Statins to keep my blood cholesterol low. Free regular blood tests. Free three-yearly breast screening and other tests of a gaenocological nature.

When one becomes a senior citizen at the age of 60 for women and 64 for men (soon to be changed)....one receives the state Old Age Pension and free medical prescriptions. It is truely great and we pay for this service with insurance contributions from our wages whilst we are working.

Of course, it could not be so easy to implement in a country as large as the USA, as in a small island like ours. But, nothing to be scared of.

I just thought I would describe a little of this social system to you and the peace of mind it bestows on just one ordinary working-class family.

We do have private health care insurance btw. Private Hospitals, which are more luxurious and where, if one is not too ill, one can stay without needing to be on the same ward as the common lower classes.

I, personally, do not believe in private health care, or private education. I think that everyone deserves the best possible health care and the best possible education regardless of wealth or social circumstances.......I do not see it as right that one child should die of kidney failure whilst another lives, just because its parents can afford to pay for dyalisis etc.

I cannot see why this philosophy is seen as wrong.


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