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 Universal Health Care 
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Modmin Dude
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Post Universal Health Care
I can't seem to remember if we've discussed this yet, so here goes. What are your thoughts on our current health care situation and on Pres Barry O's plans?

Personally, I think something probably has to be done, but I'm not sure what. We're in a deep recession and just adding more Govt programs without a reasonable way to pay for them just isn't smart or fiscally responsible IMO. It's possible I would feel more comfortable if I heard the current programs they're cutting in order to pay for this, instead all I'm hearing about is tax increases to pay for it.

Toughts?

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July 20th, 2009, 9:45 am
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We need to fix the payment side of the system. We have the best system in the world IMO we just need to get everyone insured and able to get in regularly. I do not like Obama's plan because it will force, through taxes, and end to private insurance companies which means the start of gov't run healthcare. We need reform, not a new system.

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July 20th, 2009, 10:24 am
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I can't say that I know all the details of his health plan, but to my understanding this is supposed to basically give health care to those who don't have it today (for whatever reason) and that those of us who do have it (through work, COBRA or out of our own pocket) won't be affected by the plan (other than being additionally taxed for it, of course). That seems highly unfair.


July 20th, 2009, 12:25 pm
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The problem with health care in the US is the insurance companies and the system that's developed around them.

Health insurance as it exists now, really isn't insurance at all. Insurance is supposed to be a payout for near random events. You get insurance on your car for accidents, you get insurance on your house for fires--but your car insurance doesn't cover oil changes and your house insurance doesn't cover plugged toilets. Yet, health "insurance" covers every little thing, which drives the price up.

To go back to the housing example, let's say you have a blocked toilet. You call up a plumber. He wants to charge you $500. You can't afford that, so you call around until you find a plumber who will charge you a reasonable fee. Now imagine you didn't have to pay that--that your housing insurance would cover it. Then, would you pay the $500? Sure, it doesn't effect your pocket. Extrapolate that out to everyone with housing insurance, and extend it to every little thing like stained carpets and broken light fixtures. Do you know how much home insurance would cost? A lot!

When everyone has health insurance that covers everything, there is no incentive to shop around. There is no incentive for doctors to try to undercut prices or patients to opt for generic drugs over brand names.

Another way to think about it is to see it as a buffet. Buffets, with perhaps the exception being the ones in Vegas, generally suck compared to the price. If you pay $10 at a buffet, you'll get $5 food. If you pay $20, you'll get $10 food and so on. Why is that? Well, it's just the nature of the system. When you go to a buffet, most people generally eat much more than they would at an ala carte restaurant. People also waste entire plates of food--fill up, decide they don't like it, toss it in the trash and get something else--that generally never happens at an ala carte restaurant, and if it did, the person would have pay for the next plate of food. To stay profitable the buffet has to lower the quality of its food.

The insurance companies face the same problems as the buffet restaurants, but rather than reduce the quality of health care, they raise costs.

Health insurance should only cover major, near-random events like cancer, heart attacks, being hit by a bus, etc. Everything else should be payed out of pocket. This would bring free market forces into the doctor's office and reduce prices.

As to how this system developed--it spawned through government intervention in payroll taxes. If you want an explanation of that, read this: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m ... _13834930/


July 20th, 2009, 3:41 pm
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Blueskies, what do you do then when you can't afford a doctors office visit? What if you can't even afford a small surgery to keep you from having a larger expensive one later?

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July 20th, 2009, 3:50 pm
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steensn wrote:
Blueskies, what do you do then when you can't afford a doctors office visit? What if you can't even afford a small surgery to keep you from having a larger expensive one later?


I know this may be hard to comprehend, but if you can't afford it, you don't get it.

There could also be a program similar to the food stamps program, where the government subsidies individual costs for poor people up to a point.

Putting everyone on health insurance is either going to drive up the cost, or lower the quality of the health care. That is a fact.


July 20th, 2009, 4:14 pm
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Then we need to cap things so cost doesn't rise. Health care is a must for every person, good healthcare. We aren't talking about getting some dinner and how good a dinner you eat, we are talking about peoples lives. If I need a small surgery to prevent worse illness then I should get that small surgery ASAP. If I cannot afford it, even if I am no poor, then I still need to receive it no matter what. Basic healthcare is a must.

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July 20th, 2009, 4:25 pm
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steensn wrote:
Then we need to cap things so cost doesn't rise. Health care is a must for every person, good healthcare. We aren't talking about getting some dinner and how good a dinner you eat, we are talking about peoples lives. If I need a small surgery to prevent worse illness then I should get that small surgery ASAP. If I cannot afford it, even if I am no poor, then I still need to receive it no matter what. Basic healthcare is a must.


If you cap prices, there will be a shortage. (See gasoline, 1970s)

Health care is not a must. The government exists to protect people's rights, not to take care of them cradle to grave.

If a system of out-of-pocket expenses were actually implemented, costs would fall significantly. People that could not pay could be covered by charities. I'm sure charitable hospitals would spring up.


July 20th, 2009, 4:35 pm
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In this case, those reasons are not good enough. Healthcare cannot simply be run on free market alone. IMO, it is something that is not acceptable anymore for a society not to provide every citizen. Health is too important and IMO should not be dependent on how much one makes, at least in the basic sense. Shortages would not happen as long as the gov't keep it profitable as well as available for all. IMO the Dem bill won't do that, but there is no reason to believe in cannot be done.

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July 20th, 2009, 4:39 pm
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steensn wrote:
In this case, those reasons are not good enough. Healthcare cannot simply be run on free market alone. IMO, it is something that is not acceptable anymore for a society not to provide every citizen. Health is too important and IMO should not be dependent on how much one makes, at least in the basic sense. Shortages would not happen as long as the gov't keep it profitable as well as available for all. IMO the Dem bill won't do that, but there is no reason to believe in cannot be done.


Everyone does have healthcare, all they have to do is walk into a hospital and they have to be treated - you don't even have to be a citizen. In fact, my wife worked in a border town here in Texas and women wait until they are about to have a baby, cross the border, get free full medical care, their child is automatically a citizen since they were born here and then she is entiled to all sorts of welfare benefits.

The gov't is involved in healthcare already, see medicare and medicad. These programs are run horribly and cost a fortune already. Anyone who thinks the gov't can run a nationalized healthcare program for everyone (and no matter how it looks initially, this is where it will go) needs to first study all the programs that are currently broken that the gov't is in charge of.

The problem isn't quality, we already have the #1 healthcare in the world. As blueskies pointed out, the problem is on the cost side. There is no "shopping for medical care". Have you ever gone into a doctors and seen a menu of how much everything costs? Of course not. The answer, IMO, is that we need a true "free market" healthcare system that would naturally put downward prices on cost. That isn't likely to happen in the current work insurance driven model, however, I prefer the current system 100X more than any gov't run program.

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July 20th, 2009, 4:58 pm
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steensn wrote:
In this case, those reasons are not good enough. Healthcare cannot simply be run on free market alone. IMO, it is something that is not acceptable anymore for a society not to provide every citizen. Health is too important and IMO should not be dependent on how much one makes, at least in the basic sense. Shortages would not happen as long as the gov't keep it profitable as well as available for all. IMO the Dem bill won't do that, but there is no reason to believe in cannot be done.


First, I am all for reforming (FIRST) and expanding medicade and medicare... Secondly, I am all for reforming hospital bills. It is utterly ridiculous that a hospital can charge $25 for ONE tylenol when you can buy a bottle for $5 bux. It is even more ridiculous that the reason they can allegedly charge that amount is because so many people skip out on the tab. It is even more ridiculous yet that medical bills are the #1 cause of bankruptcy. People are getting low quality care in the emergency room, which is also the most expensive type of care, and skipping out on the tab... The problem is, they don't really have an alternative.

I don't know that I agree that the private market can't do it alone. I would more rather the govt. force medical companies to operate as non-profit entities, than see the govt. take something else over. Some estimates indicate that the govt. only receives about $0.20 worth of service for every dollar that they spend. Welfare and medicade are good examples of this.

There is TONS of corruption in medicare, and the "watchdog" group or overseers only prosecute the worst of the worst, and knowlingly let some infractions that most reasonable people would consider gross violations go unpunished. Again, part of the problem here is medicade and medicare do not pay enough for the scheduled services, so the doctors make up for it by over-billing and over-serving their clients (creating unnecessary appointments and giving unnecessary services just to get paid).

I am all for health care reform, but I am 100% against the govt. taking over health care. I don't want the govt. deciding how much heath care ANYONE gets. I don't want the govt. making value decisions about people's lives, deciding how much chemo therapy you should get for a cancer treatment, how much radiation you should get per treatment, or how many treatments they will allot in any given year. Those are all decisions that need to be made by doctors on a case-by-case basis.


July 20th, 2009, 5:00 pm
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wjb, we might be on the same page then. I am all for the reform of the $$ side and providing a way for everyone to go in an get basic healthcare. (If you can't pay they won't let you in for non-emergency situations).

Pablo, yes it is true, we have rules in place that makes sure anyone with a life threatening emergency can get treatment no matter what. Which is great! But what we don't have is prevention of that with good healthCARE for all. I don't think it is acceptable to rely on the emergency room for all your medical needs. If it isn't life threatening then you have to pass a credit check to see if you can pay the bill within 30 days. I don't think that is acceptable and we need to reform to fix that.

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July 20th, 2009, 5:10 pm
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steensn wrote:
In this case, those reasons are not good enough. Healthcare cannot simply be run on free market alone. IMO, it is something that is not acceptable anymore for a society not to provide every citizen. Health is too important and IMO should not be dependent on how much one makes, at least in the basic sense. Shortages would not happen as long as the gov't keep it profitable as well as available for all. IMO the Dem bill won't do that, but there is no reason to believe in cannot be done.


Do you think homelessness is acceptable? Because no one is talking about that. Surely, shelter is as much of a "right" as health care?

Even if you fully disagree with my premise and think that health care is a "right" for every American, it will be incredibly expensive to implement. Either you have shortages of skilled doctors/long lines (see Canada, the UK) or you have rationed health care (want that kidney transplant? Are you over 50? Too bad).


July 20th, 2009, 5:11 pm
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No I don't and I feel like the gov't is keeping the charity orginizations from ending it. Just because not every issue is addressed doesn't mean they aren't issues that need to be addressed. You present a Red Herring argument...

In regards to shortages, it won't happen as long as it isn't a GOV'T run healthcare system. I desire to keep it a private industry, but have orginizations and gov't aid in place to make sure everyone has access to it. You are projecting a gov't run healthcare system onto a gov't aided healthcare system. We already have a gov't aided healthcare system, we just need to reform it.

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July 20th, 2009, 5:16 pm
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Blueskies wrote:
steensn wrote:
In this case, those reasons are not good enough. Healthcare cannot simply be run on free market alone. IMO, it is something that is not acceptable anymore for a society not to provide every citizen. Health is too important and IMO should not be dependent on how much one makes, at least in the basic sense. Shortages would not happen as long as the gov't keep it profitable as well as available for all. IMO the Dem bill won't do that, but there is no reason to believe in cannot be done.


Do you think homelessness is acceptable? Because no one is talking about that. Surely, shelter is as much of a "right" as health care?

Even if you fully disagree with my premise and think that health care is a "right" for every American, it will be incredibly expensive to implement. Either you have shortages of skilled doctors/long lines (see Canada, the UK) or you have rationed health care (want that kidney transplant? Are you over 50? Too bad).


I would like to see more "free clinics" that are truly free to take care of common colds, ailments, infections, and STD's regardless of whether or not the person getting them is homeless or not. The fact of the matter is it would help control the spread of these diseases and infections, and it would be much more cost effective than letting them get out of control to the point where they become "emergencies." The one thing that is tough to deal with are people that are looking for company/a warm place to hang out, but I would tend to think that an educated doctor should be able to handle the matter.

I don't think that everyone is entitled to transpants, cancer treatments, etc., but some basic form of care should be afforded to all, and, IMO it would be cheaper to afford them this basic care than to afford them all emergency care that they are getting now. Where is the line on what to cover/not cover? IMO expenses and finances should dictate that... I would say "as much as possible" without being overly burdensome, and AT LEAST as much as cost savings requires.


July 20th, 2009, 5:43 pm
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