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Author Topic: Anyone who thinks socialized medicine is a good idea...
Sxeptomaniac

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Icon 1 posted August 06, 2009 15:39      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Interesting, someone is claiming that the Birthers' latest "proof," a supposed Kenyan birth certificate, was actually created just to mess with them. Even if the blogger's claim isn't true, it does go to show just how easy the forgery would be to create.

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Let's pray that the human race never escapes from Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere. - C. S. Lewis

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted August 06, 2009 17:16      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ Callipygous

____ Any one with half a brain should be able to see through the propaganda and find the truth, however very few of of the electors will even look for the truth. Elections have become popularity contests, not, may the best person win.

____ I do believe that, if Mr. Obama does or delivers on half of the issues he will have done a lot. He has an awful full plate.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted August 06, 2009 21:28      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sxetpo, I've seen lots of Kenyan birth certificates for Obama. They all look different. My favorite so far was the one my brother sent me, handwritten on a Starbucks pastry bag. I scared my labmates, I was laughing so hard.

quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
Obama's evil plan to kill your grandma. WTF??? [Eek!] [ohwell]

My grandmas are dead. My step-grandmother is dead. Hell, both my grandmas-in-law are dead. Since I therefore have no grandmas to lose, I just won't be afraid. [crazy] [Razz]

That said, weird shit can happen in a system that has real, honest-to-god socialized healthcare (not like anything on the table in the US). Many years ago, when my husband was living in Serbia, he got mugged and was left with a broken nose. That was it. Just a broken nose and they hospitalized him over it! I was flabbergasted when I heard about that but figured okay, maybe breaking your nose is worse than it sounds. But then I broke my nose and discovered that no, it is not worse than it sounds. It's not fun, but it's not worth more than an ER visit and day surgery. But he spent four days in the hospital. And this was while Serbia was under UN sanctions and in deep economic shit.

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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BooBooKitty

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Icon 1 posted August 07, 2009 11:07      Profile for BooBooKitty     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This is an interesting discussion, so I'll throw in my 2 cents worth here.

Like Snaggy, I live in the great white north. The medicare system will vary slightly from province to province, but the system is there for people to use. So far, my experience has been that if you need to go see a doctor, you can go to just about any clinic that takes walk-ins. Here in Quebec, we have CLSCs which are like community health centers. You go in, give them your medicare card to swipe and then wait your turn. Now, the system here is by no means perfect. You could easily be waiting a few hours to see a doctor, but you WILL see a doctor!

I am just now getting over flu virus (don't ask if it was H1N1 because they didn't test for it). During the course of my illness, I ended up going to a walk-in clinic twice. The first time was to find out what I had and what I could do about it. The second time was because of pain the my sinuses. On both occasions I ended up waiting just an hour. For both these visits, I did not have to pay a dime to see the doctor as it was covered by the medicare system. Would I have gone to a doctor if I was not covered by some form of insurance? Hard to say really. I suppose it depends on how much it costs to see a doctor these days!

And that brings me to this next little tale. Prior to getting sick, I was in San Diego (Comic Con!). I had forgotten to pack my blood pressure meds. I stopped by a pharmacy to ask about getting the meds. I was told I needed a doctor's prescripting. The pharmacist was helpful in telling me where the nearest walk-in clinic was. I went to the clinic. I found that I would need to pay $120USD to see the doctor! I figure my group insurance could pay for part if not all of it when I got back. Anyway, the clinic did not seem terribly busy but I had to wait a little bit. When I did see the doctor, I told the doctor the situation and what medication I needed. He hadn't heard of the medication but wrote me a prescription for a similar type of med. And, as I was walking out the exam room, he stopped me so he can check my heart and lungs as he had forgotten to do that in the beginning. Let's just say that after that visit, I wonder about the competence of that doctor.

BTW, when I went back to the pharmacy, the pharmacist was able to call the doctor to get the prescription changed to the med I was on.

So, could someone tell me if $120US is pretty much the norm for seeing a doctor if you're not ensured? That's pretty steep and would explain why some people are not willing to fork out that kind of money to see a doc if they're uninsured.

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted August 07, 2009 12:42      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by BooBooKitty:

So, could someone tell me if $120US is pretty much the norm for seeing a doctor if you're not ensured? That's pretty steep and would explain why some people are not willing to fork out that kind of money to see a doc if they're uninsured.

Hey bbk!

Hope you had a great time in Sandy Ego. But 120 is actually on the low side of the spectrum for an Urgent Care visit. I have been tagged for nigh 200 in a single visit. Needless to say, I go very little.

Now I work for a company that does the HSA type insurance. It has pluses and minuses.

For those that are not familiar with the HSA, it is basically a fund that is created that will cover your medical expenses, think of medical spending accounts.

The good points to this plan is that the money my company gives me is tax free. It goes into a special account that I use to cover oddball costs, my insurance, etc. What I don't spend rolls over and continues to accrue. This means that if I get old and gray, I can then pull from the account at retirement age.

The bad stuff, HSA plans consist of high deductible plans. If you wish to cut the deductible down, you pay more monthly. And most insurance companies want nothing to do with anyone that has a pre-existing condition. This is a major concern for me since me an T are talking about getting all hitched and she has a couple that have caused her problems getting insurance coverage.


TBH, medical coverage in the US sucks ass. Don't care what people want to say. IF you are lucky enough to work for a decent sized company, make enough money on your own to foot the bill for a good plan, or are retired or truly disabled, you may have decent options. If you don't have those things going for you, it is a mishmash of differing laws in multiple states, with rates and rules that will drive you crazy.

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Does he know our big secret?
Has one of us confessed?
'Bout the wires circuits and motors
Buried in our chest

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Grummash

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Icon 1 posted August 07, 2009 14:12      Profile for Grummash     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
originally posted by BooBooKitty:
So, could someone tell me if $120US is pretty much the norm for seeing a doctor if you're not ensured?

Healthcare is best viewed as an all-round package - the answer to your question depends on the rest of the package.

Here's the deal for me in the UK: All employed people have a mandatory salary deduction of National Insurance, which is set according to a sliding scale. I currently lose about $200USD per month to National Insurance.

Visits to the doctor are free, and any prescriptions are charged at about $12USD per item.

Dental treatment under a National Health Service dentist has a ceiling of $330USD for a specific treatment - which might need to be completed over several visits. There is no ceiling on charges at private dentists.

Eye-tests, spectacles and contact lenses are not subsidised and are obtained through commercial companies.

However, if you are thinking that my $200USD per month isn't buying me much, then let me add a little more:

I may have to pay $33USD for an eye-test, but an eye operation (perhaps a cataract removal) would be free. As are heart transplants, brain-tumour removal, fixing broken bones, a whole series of skin-grafts necessitated by being caught up in a house fire, re-attachment of limbs after a chainsaw accident, blood transfusions, emergency treatment and rehabilitation following a stroke, hernia repair surgery, psychiatric care, flu vaccines, etc etc.

I won't labour the point any further but hey - not bad for $200USD per month. Who says nationalised healthcare can't work?

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...and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this earth with envious eyes...

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted August 07, 2009 15:34      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Funny you mention the bit of money taken out of your salary every month.

Every month, money is taken out of my paycheck as a 'medicare tax' - I'm paying towards /other people's/ health care. Then, more money is taken out towards my own health care plan, with my employer paying the rest.

I think it would be incredibly rotten of me to consider that 'unfair,' even though I never get to directly benefit from it, but it is an interesting part of the equation. I really fail to understand why people object to making good healthcare available to people who don't otherwise have it. As I see it, it would a lot more 'fair' for everyone to be able to have access to systems like medicare than a select few.

My sinuses have shown me more love of late, and I went to my doctor today to tend to that. One [relatively decent] copay for the visit and one $7 pharmacy copay (yay for generics!) later, and I should be on the road to recovery. I'll even get that money back from my Flexible Spending Plan, as per Shroom's post. (Also taken out of paycheck, but pretax.) If I didn't have a plan like this, I shudder to think what comparable care would have cost. These days, I don't get paperwork (only if something goes wrong), but I'd hazard a guess that I would've paid $150-250 to see my doc...a very sharp ENT, though I could probably get the antibiotics for very little, courtesy of Stop & Shop or ugh...WalMart. (The former has been advertising 'free 14 day supply of antibiotics, if obtained w/your S&S card.' The latter is said to have very cheap generics, even though that comes at the expense of shorting their own employees of benefits...)

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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Grummash

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Icon 3 posted August 07, 2009 16:23      Profile for Grummash     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
Funny you mention the bit of money taken out of your salary every month.

Every month, money is taken out of my paycheck as a 'medicare tax' - I'm paying towards /other people's/ health care.

I didn't think it was funny at all,and then I re-read my post and I re-read your post, and I think I have unwittingly given the wrong impression.

My salary deductions (indeed, everybody's salary deductions) are not simply to pay for healthcare for me (or for each individual who makes contributions)...the same benefits are available to all those people who have not paid a regular monthly contribution. Women who have chosen to stay at home and raise the next generation, people who are unable (for whatever reason) to be employed, their healthcare is paid for by my $200USD per month and also by whatever contributions the rest of the UK employed population are making.

I am happy to pay my share towards a system that cares for people who cannot pay anything.

"From each according to his means, to each according to his needs."

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...and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this earth with envious eyes...

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted August 07, 2009 17:47      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Grum a slightly pedantic point. Though the National Insurance part of our income tax was initially instituted to pay for the measures introduced by the Atlee government after WW2 known collectively as the Welfare State, AFAIK the money is not ring fenced, and actually bears little relation to the costs now.

Your last statement is of course exactly what the Republicans fear, that the healthcare reforms will usher in the socialism embodied in that famous quotation. They believe, I think rightly that the unforgiving, brutal, socially Darwinian nature of American society, is also one of the sources of its dynamism, enterprise, and greatness. I believe their fears are completely misplaced. This measure is about efficiency and what works. It's about trying to end a situation where Americans pay a much higher percentage of their income on healthcare than people from any other advanced economy for outcomes that are no better. It will not alter the basic nature of American society, the rich will still prosper, while the weak go to the wall, and you could indeed argue that a healthy individual will probably be a more enterprising energetic and productive member of that society than one who is sick and cannot afford proper treatment.

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"Knowledge is Power. France is Bacon" - Milton

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garlicguy

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Icon 1 posted August 07, 2009 19:06      Profile for garlicguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It seems to me that I read on these forums somewhere recently a comment to the effect that:

When it comes to healthcare, healthcare plans and health in general, You are all full of shit.

That's still true, but it is fun to watch it get rehashed endlessly by folks who have NO actual input in the process. About like removing one's eye with a dull spoon. Do suppose that'll be covered BTW?

Xanth (You sneakily married thang, you): Have you seen the Obama COB with the crayon drawn borders? Can't wait til that one turns out to be the authentic article! [Razz]

 -

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I don't know what I was thinking... it seemed like a good idea at the time.

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted August 07, 2009 21:08      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Grum: I have no real problem with it...except that it would be impossible for me to draw on any State benefits w/o being poor or over-65. It seems a lot more fair for the system to be available to All Who Need It, which is ostensibly what the Obama plan is all about. If I lost my job today, I'd be completely SOL for healthcare. Something isn't quite right about that.

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted August 07, 2009 22:21      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by garlicguy:

Xanth (You sneakily married thang, you): Have you seen the Obama COB with the crayon drawn borders? Can't wait til that one turns out to be the authentic article! [Razz]

ROTFSMPL!!

Can't say I have. Where is it?

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted August 08, 2009 00:31      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by garlicguy:
When it comes to healthcare, healthcare plans and health in general, You are all full of shit.

Feeling a little constipated there GG?

Try prunes.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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garlicguy

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Icon 1 posted August 08, 2009 08:15      Profile for garlicguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
quote:
Originally posted by garlicguy:
When it comes to healthcare, healthcare plans and health in general, You are all full of shit.

Feeling a little constipated there GG?

Try prunes.

Thanks for the suggestion, Druid, however I find that
SpoonGuard is still working for me in that regard...

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garlicguy

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Icon 1 posted August 08, 2009 08:16      Profile for garlicguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
quote:
Originally posted by garlicguy:

Xanth (You sneakily married thang, you): Have you seen the Obama COB with the crayon drawn borders? Can't wait til that one turns out to be the authentic article! [Razz]

ROTFSMPL!!

Can't say I have. Where is it?

I'm not quite done with it yet.
[Frown]

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I don't know what I was thinking... it seemed like a good idea at the time.

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted August 08, 2009 11:10      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well hurry up. Taitz et al need good evidence. [Wink]

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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DoctorWho

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Icon 1 posted August 09, 2009 09:39      Profile for DoctorWho     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
While I do believe we need some kind of health care reform in America, I am not in favor of changing the system so radically. I think we could do two things that would fix the problems nicely.

1: Give doctors an incentive to provide free health care to those who cannot afford it. I think a 60% tax deduction on the patients bill should suffice. Basically if a doctor or medical establishment would get $100.00 for their service they would get to deduct $60.00 off their adjusted gross income for tax purposes for seeing that patient for free.

2: Lower the cost of malpractice insurance that doctors have to pay by imposing reasonable limits on dollar amounts for which a person can sue a doctor. And throw out frivolous suits like this one.

Those two things alone I think would pretty much fix the problem without putting in place a whole lot of bureaucracy that we do not need.

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garlicguy

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Icon 1 posted August 09, 2009 13:06      Profile for garlicguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by DoctorWho:
While I do believe we need some kind of health care reform in America, I am not in favor of changing the system so radically. I think we could do two things that would fix the problems nicely.

1: Give doctors an incentive to provide free health care to those who cannot afford it. I think a 60% tax deduction on the patients bill should suffice. Basically if a doctor or medical establishment would get $100.00 for their service they would get to deduct $60.00 off their adjusted gross income for tax purposes for seeing that patient for free.

2: Lower the cost of malpractice insurance that doctors have to pay by imposing reasonable limits on dollar amounts for which a person can sue a doctor. And throw out frivolous suits like this one.

Those two things alone I think would pretty much fix the problem without putting in place a whole lot of bureaucracy that we do not need.

Excellent points! Insurance is a problem more than a solution and Government-run anything, including insurance is fraught with wasteful spending. (Which would make things worse...)

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I don't know what I was thinking... it seemed like a good idea at the time.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted August 09, 2009 14:40      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by garlicguy:
Government-run anything, including insurance is fraught with wasteful spending. (Which would make things worse...)

Not true.

quote:
from the New England Journal of Medicine:
administration accounted for 31.0 percent of health care expenditures in the United States and 16.7 percent of health care expenditures in Canada. Canada's national health insurance program had overhead of 1.3 percent; the overhead among Canada's private insurers was higher than that in the United States (13.2 percent vs. 11.7 percent). Providers' administrative costs were far lower in Canada.

America's 'efficient' private system burns 1/3 of total spending in administration, twice as much as the 'inefficient' Canadian scheme.

I can't find the link atm, but a few days ago I was reading an article that calculated if you made the US system as efficient as the Canadian one, the savings would pay for health cover for all those currently uninsured.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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garlicguy

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Icon 1 posted August 09, 2009 15:56      Profile for garlicguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ah yes...

The NEJM.

There are many sources that we could each draw upon to corroborate our individual conclusions. Trouble is that, like us, they each have their favorite arguments and agendas to uphold for whatever reasons and do a pretty good job of convincing themselves.

I believe that the real problem with the US "Health Care System" is merely a matter of greed and unrealistic expectation, wherein none of the parties involved in the delivery, receipt nor administration of the transaction bears their own true responsibility for it without assigning lots of blame to the other parties for any shortcomings, misunderstandings,etc.

Governments have no business intervening in such arrangements; insurance (where I spent the bulk of my professional career) and lawyers only contribute to the grossly out-of-balance finances of the entire arrangement by jabbing their own greedy mitts into the process.

This is not unique to health care, but exists whenever and where ever people's personal greed outweighs good judgement, reason or plain common sense.

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted August 09, 2009 16:36      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by garlicguy:
It seems to me that I read on these forums somewhere recently a comment to the effect that:

When it comes to healthcare, healthcare plans and health in general, You are all full of shit.

That's still true, but it is fun to watch it get rehashed endlessly by folks who have NO actual input in the process.

First you are an extremely cheeky garlicguy, and I am not altogether surprised you remembered that comment about faecal matter, because, as I recall, you made it! [Big Grin]

Secondly, though I can see your point that there is something silly about us from the rest of the world poking our noses into business that does not concern us, I and I imagine the others are interested for two reasons. The less important reason is that this is a live issue in the UK and most other countries, and I am interested in what we can learn from the successes and failures of others. Secondly and more importantly, I am interested because the political stakes are just so high, this will probably be the defining issue of Obama's first term and maybe his presidency, and how well or badly it is handled may well decide whether the Democratic Party's recent resurgence continues, or, as many Republican's hope, that last election will merely be a blip in their long term decline. And we have an interest who governs the country that is still the leader of the free world, and how.

Lastly although government spending can often be wasteful, private enterprise is only more efficient when in a free market, and I don't believe a free market exists in healthcare, and there is also the not inconsiderable structural problem that any payment for medical treatment represents a loss of profit for the insurance companies.

I don't know enough to comment on this line by the opponents of reform, that the main problems in your system lie with the providers, the doctors rather than the insurance companies, but because it has only come up in the last few weeks, it does rather smell to me like diversionary tactics, rather than a serious analysis, and proposal for reform.

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"Knowledge is Power. France is Bacon" - Milton

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted August 09, 2009 16:44      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by garlicguy:
Ah yes...

The NEJM.

There are many sources that we could each draw upon to corroborate our individual conclusions. Trouble is that, like us, they each have their favorite arguments and agendas to uphold for whatever reasons and do a pretty good job of convincing themselves.

Except the New England Journal of Medecine is a peer-reviewed, internationally recognized medical journal that typically presents case studies (or series) and research papers. It and Lancet are the Science and Nature of the medical community. So when they print something, it is foolish in the extreme to dismiss it out of hand.

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted August 09, 2009 17:59      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sorry GG, but that looked remarkably like a statement of conservative political faith (all government activity is automatically stupid and inefficient), followed by a blanket rejection of any attempt to introduce facts into the discussion.

You can do better than that.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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garlicguy

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Icon 1 posted August 09, 2009 19:10      Profile for garlicguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I protest!

Those are merely your speculative assessments.

I have no desire to continue to discuss the topic here. I've too often seen how that goes at GC, and the terms "discussion" or "debate" do not accurately describe the process. In particular the "discussions" or "debates" involving the topics of Global Warming, Left vs. Right, Conservative vs. Liberal, come to mind... Egads!

Therefore I yield the field with a hearty, "No thank you." I should not have allowed myself to wander into the "Politics (aka Flame Wars) Forum" and then to have actually started posting.

My fault and I offer my apology.

I'll see you elsewhere at GC or not at all.

[shake head]

What was I thinking?

[Big Grin] gg

--------------------
I don't know what I was thinking... it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Posts: 3752 | From: Pluto, no matter what you call it, is still my home. | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Callipygous
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
Member # 2071

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Icon 1 posted August 09, 2009 19:29      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
That is a shame gg as you are one of the most articulate and thoughtful contributors with conservative leanings, and I had not thought this discussion was degenerating into a flame war.

I hope you know that we all respect you greatly here, and that the Druid's remark was not an insult, but a challenge to your argument.

Indeed overall I am surprised how much we have in common. We all agree that the not very attractive choice seems to be between waste from either corporate greed or government bureaucracy, and the main areas of disagreement seem only to be which is preferable, and the rather larger difference over whether healthcare is something government should concern itself with in the first place.

Anyway as you wish gg. I hope we will see you around.

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"Knowledge is Power. France is Bacon" - Milton

Posts: 2922 | From: Brighton - UK | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged


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