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Health Care Reform

Discussion in 'All-Star Threads' started by bennyl, Dec 1, 2009.

  1. bennyl

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    As a Canadian, I have little to say on the issue that isn't just bashing the USA so we can feel good about ourselves, but I thought this was interesting. It's from an interview with David Sedaris.

     
  2. Denver

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    I generally lean towards libertarian(-esque...) values, but I'm actually for health care reform. While I don't think that health care is a right (as opposed to other rights which prevent someone from doing something to you, health care as a right means forcing someone to give you care, which in my opinion infringes on their rights), I do think it's ridiculous that other countries get better health outcomes yet spend less money, or so I've heard. That being the case, from an economics point of view it just seems to make the most sense to change things. Ultimately, I'm for whatever works. Stripping all the politics out of it, if a single-payer system gets the best health outcomes for the least money, I say let's do that. If doing everything privately with no government intervention worked best, I'd say we should do that (although government is currently so intertwined with health care now it seems hard to imagine what would happen if they were suddenly pulled out).

    (I know, it's completely contradictory to advocate single-payer and try and claim to be libertarian in the slightest, but I've accepted the fact that no one will ever go for taking the government completely out of health care. It will never happen. So, while I may think that making the industry (almost) completely private might actually make it the most efficient, as I believe in the power of free markets, I've resigned myself to the fact that this won't ever happen and thus, I go for whatever will work best while taking the least amount of money.)
     
  3. Crown Royal

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    Welcome to Canada:

    My daughter was born 3 months early a year ago and weighed 2 pounds. She would have died if not for NICU and it would have put me in debt for the rest of my life for the months she stayed in the hospital. Instead, I paid nothing, she recieved astonishing care and concern from the NICU, and she was free after a long-as-fuck 87 day stay.

    Free healthcare works for everyone. THERE IS NO FUCKING ARGUEMENT TO BE HAD, and it's insulting if there is.
     
  4. dewercs

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    There has to be some kind of reform because the system we have does not work.
    My hesitation to support it is that, as with almost every government program there will be a portion of the population who abuses the system and there is not system we can put in place to prevent that.
    My other issue is that with universal healthcare/socialized medicine whatever you want to call it, it is my understanding that we all pay into the system and use it as needed. I don't think it is right that a person who lives a healthy lifestyle be required to pay the same as say an obese person who smokes.

    I do however believe the we as nation do need to help those who need help, the example of the premature baby is a prime example, but on the other hand we should not have to treat and continue to treat a person with a totally preventable illness who does nothing to improve themselves.
     
  5. Porkins

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    In principle, I don't think anyone disagrees. But the problem is how do you pay for it? (I have no idea one way or the other, maybe it's perfectly financially feasible.)

    One of the arguments against a large-scale public health care system in the United States I've heard tossed around is that it would reduce the incentives for pharmaceutical companies to develop new drugs. I'd be interested to hear people's thoughts on this, as I've never really seen it addressed in the debate.
     
  6. Robbie Clark

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    So instead of you being in debt, a lot of other people lost a little bit of their money against their will. I guess some people just don't mind living off of the hard work of others.

    If "free" just means "someone else paid for it" then we should all start robbing everyone else for everything we need and solve all the problems of the world.
     
  7. Nettdata

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    It'll be hard to get any kind of health-care reform while the big HMO's are involved.

    The current focus is on everyone getting paid, as much as they can, and a ton of powerful special interest groups have their hands up the policy-maker's asses. And the FUD being thrown around to keep it that way is insane. That, and a bunch of very stupid people (the public) are trying to make decisions on a very complicated topic without having the experience, understanding, or intelligence required.

    The real focus has to be on everyone getting better, through medical care, while trying to remove the "make as much as we can" factor.


    I remember watching Michael Moore's Sicko, and was floored. I obviously take a lot of his stuff with a grain/bag of salt, but if even a small portion of what he portrayed is realistic, I'd be afraid.

    I believe he quoted that over 60% of the cost of health-care was due to the paperwork and beurocracy... and having done some IT projects in the field, I absolutely believe that.

    Meanwhile, Harvard has their own interesting study: Study: Computers Don't Save Hospitals Money
     
  8. Denver

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    What exactly is the argument there (honestly curious)? It seems to me that if the government completely paid for health care, drug companies would have a huge market (i.e. the whole country) that will have no reason not to use any new drug they come out with, since it would presumably be included in their government health coverage.

    Edit: Or is it that they'd get less money per drug? Seems possible but I would think the fact that everyone who could possibly use the drug would "buy" it in a sense, would counter that problem.
     
  9. Nettdata

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    To be fair, in theory, we don't have "Free" health care, as we're all supposed to pay a monthly fee to be covered by health care.

    So yeah, we all pay a bit, and some get more return on what they pay, some get less.

    But at least if you have never paid, and are sick, you'll get the treatment you need.


    Like any society, you'll have people that will leech what they need and take advantage of others, whether it be through welfare, not paying taxes, not paying health coverage, etc.

    Couple that with the morons that go into the hospital emergency room for sniffles and colds, and you've got a system that is easily crowded and taken advantage of.



    And don't kid yourselves... while we may get the treatment, it's not free, and we have some serious medical system budget issues going on right now.
     
  10. Frebis

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    There has to be some sort of health care reform. No one should suffer/die from a terrible disease/injury just because they don't have the money. I really think there needs to be a public option.

    However, I should also have the option of private health insurance if I want it. And this is the option I would take, because the government fucks up almost everything. The last thing I want is them fucking with my body.

    I've got a question to the Canadians. I've heard horror stories of people having to wait months and months to have surgery and receive other non-emergency treatments. Some people wait so long they come across the boarder, and get the surgery in the states. Have any of you guys heard about this? I think whatever I read was probably blown out of proportion.

    Also to those with socialized medicine- Do you have trouble making an appointment with your own doctor? Do you have to wait months? Or is it like my doctor where if I call in the mroning, she can see me that afternoon.
     
  11. shegirl

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    So, where do you think all insurance claims are paid from? Much like Canada's health care system, everyone pays their premiums into one big pot. When a claim is made, it does not come out of "your" pot, you don't have one. It comes out of the big one. A main determining factor to developing rates is the stats that are based upon these paid claims (age, location, year, make, model*, the peril and so on).

    *Contrary to popular belief the color of the car is not a factor to an insurance carrier. To a cop maybe but not to the carrier.
     
  12. Robbie Clark

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    Come on. I said they lost their money against their will (taxation). They didn't voluntarily contribute their money to a risk pool. You missed the key point I was making.
     
  13. shegirl

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    Sorry, yes I did. And what I was talking about isn't voluntary either. It's the law.
     
  14. bennyl

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    I know that this quote is taken out of context, because the poster was in favour of reform, I still want to address this idea that the free market could just solve things if the government got out of the way.

    In health care, there are two very particular problems that exist in any regime other than universal coverage. The first is the adverse selection problem. Adverse selection is the problem that happens when people can choose to get health care or to opt out of having insurance. The type of people who are most likely to get insurance are those who are sick or have conditions that will cause them to need health care; healthy college students would just as well opt out of paying premiums on the assumption they're not going to get sick. Insurance companies know this and have to raise prices to cover the treatment for all the sick people who signed up, and since its more expensive fewer healthy people opt for insurance and on and on it goes. When everyone is necessarily covered, this problem doesn't exist.

    The second problem is to do with rents. With a public system, all the operating profits that are collected through health insurance can be given back to the population in the form of lower taxes or lower costs of health care (or higher quality health care). In a private system, at least the way it exists in the US, rents go to the shareholders. This isn't as objectionable as the adverse selection problem. Adverse selection is clearly a bad outcome, whereas you might feel that the people who were smart enough to invest in a health insurance company deserve the rents it collects. I don't agree with that, but I guess that's the discussion.

    Also, there was something a smart professor told me once, "Back in the '50s the American economists were writing out the proofs for the first and second welfare theorems [which say markets are efficient], but at the same time the soviet economists were writing out the proofs for the tragedy of the commons [markets are inefficient]." It turns out that the formulation for all those pro-market things you read in Milton Friedman's books are based on mathematical models, which have optimal solutions under certain limit condition where the number of firms approaches infinity. It turns out that the models are often very applicable to real situations, but market failures are perverse, especially in industries with limited competition, like the health insurance industry.
     
  15. Crown Royal

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    So if you don't like it, too bad and DEAL WITH IT. That's what taxes are for. It's the membership fee to live in your country, and if you don't like it get out. 50 million people in America have no health care because they can't afford it. That's 50 million people the health sytem is willing to let die
    because they can't afford the unearthly prices that the system charges for simple medical care.

    Most Americans want what we have because IT FUCKING WORKS. Sure, you'll get Canadians who have animosity towards our health care system, but shit happens. Americans who speak badly about our "free" health care system simply don't know what they fuck they're talking about. I can't think of a single Canadian that loses money because of this system. Doctor check-ups? Free. All vaccinations? Free. Life-saving surgery? FREE.

    The good, hard working people of America deserve what we have. If they switched to the style of medical care places like France, Canada or the U.K. have, they would never even give the old system a second thought.

    I admit it's probably not easy for America to bend towards this becuase of the ultra-rich pharmacutical companies and their Hitler-esque scumbag lobbyists who make it their mission to make sure the sick stay sicker and the rich get richer. Even if you HAVE health insurance, the insurance mudslingers will do everything and anything int heir power to find a loophole that will assure that even though you pay for treatment you will recieve none whatsoever. These are facts.
     
  16. Creelmania

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    (1)There are some people in Canada too wanting a tiered health care system (current health care system, plus private clinic available to those who can afford it). The problem with this though is that there are still going to be just as long of line-ups for those without the extra money to pay for the multi-thousand dollar procedures. The doctors that will be working in the private sector are going to be coming from the public sector, so there is still the same doctor to patient ratio. It's not like doctor's are going to start coming out of the wood ward as soon as you set up private clinics.

    (2)My dad had to wait I think about 6 months (could have even been a year) for knee surgery. He fell while playing hockey and, while he didn't have a significant limp, he was told not to do any running or jogging until after surgery. My friend was on a 2 year wait list for knee surgery himself, but he got in after only 3 months. There was a cancellation, and they just started going down the list of names, and he was the first person who answered the phone who was able to come in for surgery on very little notice.

    (3)Just a week or two ago, when I got stitches***, to get them out, I called my doctor on a Monday morning, looking for an appointment on Tuesday afternoon, and had a fairly decent choice of times I wanted.

    *** Also, getting the stitches was much easier than some of the horror stories I had heard about hospital waiting rooms. On a Thursday night at 11 pm in downtown Vancouver, I waited maybe 20 minutes in total, between the reception area and then for a doctor to come and start giving me the stitches. I went in with no Care Card, only had to give them my name, address, DOB and show some ID, and they got the rest of the paperwork done with that info. Quick, good stitch work (very minimal scar only a few months after) and everyone in the hospital seemed very friendly and helpful.

    I realize that there are major problems with our health care system currently, but I would take ours over a private system any day of the week.
     
  17. Lasersailor

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    Bullshit. This is the crux of liberal hypocrisy.

    That is liberals often demand that society help the poor and unfortunate, but rarely take a single step to help the poor themselves. They demand that WE do something, that WE suffer, yet they aren't taking every single cent that isn't going to a life necessity (food, shelter, and clothes ONLY) to send to the poor and unfortunate.

    It's self-gratifying pat myself on the back bullshit. You think you've accomplished something, without ever having done anything.


    Healthcare isn't a right. It never has been. It never will be. It's up to you to take care of yourself. It's up to you to decide the acceptable level of risks in the activities you partake in. Much to everyone's surprise, Nude White Water Surfing may not be the safest activity on the earth, but you need to deal with the consequences when something happens. If you can't deal with the consequences, then you buy insurance should anything happen. This is how it works for the rest of everything you do. Automobile, House, Life insurance...
     
  18. Nohik

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    How much would a person with type one diabetes be spending in the states on medication (glucose test strips, syringes, insulin, check ups etc.) and how much would their insurance cost for that?
     
  19. Robbie Clark

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    You just made that 50 million number up. And you made up the reason people don't have insurance. I understand you're not in the US so you might not have a good reason to know the facts about it, but that means you should not make shit up.

    Why on earth do you think in the US 50 million people are just going to be allowed to die with no help? What kind of people do you imagine Americans are? Your claim is fucking absurd. But then you go on to say that "shit happens" in the Canadian system too. So what's the benefit?

    Again you said all that shit is free. It's being paid for by someone I promise you. If you don't care that other people pay against their will or that the costs you pay are hidden to you that's fine. But don't pretend it's fucking free. You'll only convince college kids with arguments that stupid.
     
  20. Crown Royal

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    I didn't see "State political opinions here" anywhere on this thread. Let's see how e-tough you are when a drunk driver runs you down and breaks your limbs, and your dependable health insurance company tells you to go fuck yourself because you had the flu in 1997.