Right to Healthcare?

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teflor the ranger
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Right to Healthcare?

Postby teflor the ranger » Sun Aug 23, 2009 4:44 pm

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 65070.html

"At Whole Foods we allow our team members to vote on what benefits they most want the company to fund. Our Canadian and British employees express their benefit preferences very clearly—they want supplemental health-care dollars that they can control and spend themselves without permission from their governments. Why would they want such additional health-care benefit dollars if they already have an "intrinsic right to health care"? The answer is clear—no such right truly exists in either Canada or the U.K.—or in any other country."

"Although Canada has a population smaller than California, 830,000 Canadians are currently waiting to be admitted to a hospital or to get treatment, according to a report last month in Investor's Business Daily. In England, the waiting list is 1.8 million."

"Even in countries like Canada and the U.K., there is no intrinsic right to health care. Rather, citizens in these countries are told by government bureaucrats what health-care treatments they are eligible to receive and when they can receive them. All countries with socialized medicine ration health care by forcing their citizens to wait in lines to receive scarce treatments."
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby Todrael » Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:12 pm

What was the reason given by the employees when asking for these additional benefits?

How is it "clear" that a right to health care doesn't exist?

How many people are on waiting lists or were entirely denied coverage in the U.S. over the same time frame?

How is a government bureaucrat different from a health insurance company bureaucrat in this context?

Does the rationing of health care in these countries reduce their quality of care when compared to the U.S. employment- and income-based rationing?

Is the American public actually as stupid as it appears or do they just let their emotions take over when it comes to politics?
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby amena wolfsnarl » Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:57 pm

I'm assuming that the extended health care coverage that the canadian employees are getting are the things like dental and perscription coverage, plus things like massage therapy, chiropractic care and other services that we normally have to pay out of pocket for rather than relie on public health care for. I pay $64 a month to recieve on top of my public healthcare $2500 a year in dental, $500 a year in massage therapy, chiropractic care or phsiotherapy. plus i also get 90% of all my perscriptions paid for. How much does $64 a month cover for health insurance in the United states?

And the waiting lists her in canada are mostly due to lack of doctors in an immediate area. Our population is so spread out that getting doctors to where they need to be is an issue. At the moment canada is attempting to recruit doctors from other countries like south africa, translation isnt always good but from a personal point of view they seem pretty compotent.

Oh and i believe those treatments are optional things or non critical procedures like knee replacements and stuff like that.
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby kiryan » Sun Aug 23, 2009 10:05 pm

The difference is the government is deciding for you and taking my wealth giving it to people who didn't make good choices.

The healthcare debate is about big governemnt vs small government. I don't think there are many rational people who would say that healthcare is 100% fine the way it is.... but supposedly 80% of people are happy with their healthcare today.

One thing I think we need to be looking at and studying is whether or not there is a plateau in healthcare spending coming. Will it continuously go up 10% a year or will we reach some level where people don't consume any additional healthcare on an annual basis. Wages are the #1 expense in healthcare... as long as wages can keep going up, I think healthcare will continue to go up at least 5% a year even if people reach a consumption plateau.

Also, we need to change our culture and thinking regarding healthcare. We want the absolute best quality care. We want every test every procedure to make sure we are the healthiest we can possibly be and reduce our risk of illness to near zero. This attitude exists within us as consumers and more so within the medical establishment. The medical establishment is constantly looking at outcomes based on factors, if 1 more tests reduces the risk of xyz by 10%, it becomes a new standard (and your costs just went up). If embedding RFID tags in sponges reduces the rate of accidentally leaving them in a patient by 50%, then we will spend $60 more for sponges. If we decide that 30% of the population suffers from sleep apnea, we make sleep studies routine and diagnose a hundred million new cases of sleep apnea.

It costs too much to maintain our bodies at the level we and the medical establishment have made a standard.
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby Todrael » Sun Aug 23, 2009 10:15 pm

I have no idea what you just said, Kiryan, but I'm sure it makes sense in your own mind.
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby kiryan » Sun Aug 23, 2009 10:23 pm

what didn't you understand?
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby Todrael » Sun Aug 23, 2009 10:40 pm

It didn't seem to have any information in it other than "Kiryan likes the phrase 'small government'" and "Kiryan thinks we should reduce the cost of medical care by accepting more patient risk". Is that all you wanted me to know?
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby Desirsar » Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:17 am

Seems like someone touched on it, so I'll jump in and point it out with a different example...

The national health insurance in Japan isn't quite as restrictive as Canada or UK's health care systems. However, because all minor visits are completely covered by the plan you're already paying for anyway, everyone goes to the doctor for even the smallest issue. Short of having an actual emergency, you're looking at waiting an entire day in a hospital just to be checked out for a cold or flu, because every person near you with the same problem all went to the hospital as well, rather than to the drugstore. On top of this, if you don't live in an area with large or multiple hospitals, you'd better not break an arm on the wrong day or, well... I can't think of any other complex procedure you'd need done in a hurry that needs specific equipment, because the hospitals only set up for these produces and have the specialist in on a given day of the week.

Capitalist and consumerist health care *systems* work the best. If you want to put a "socialist" government program in to supplement this, do it in the form of stipends. (Paid after the fact, upon submitting a doctor or hospital bill to an agency.) Furthermore, federal legislation needs to be passed such that hospitals that have no competition within a certain distance, or receive any form of government money, may not ask for insurance, proof of income, or eligibility for government programs before admitting and treating a patient. Coupled with this, the legislation that protects patients from hospitals using standard collection measures (including selling the debt to a collection agency) should be repealed. Suddenly, the hospitals change prices to cover their losses, it eventually stabilizes at an equilibrium price, the government program and insurance companies adjust their policies to the new, stable prices, and health care is now accessible to everyone, and generally affordable for everyone as well.
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby Disoputlip » Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:53 am

There is free healthcare in Denmark.

A good example of how it works is if a person gets a child with a chronical disease, then you get all treatments free. You still have to pay a fraction yourself of the medicine price (symbolic payment).

You also get free wheelchairs, and some even special cars with a heavy discount.

I am a little unsure if this is true, but I think the US army has something similar (government run).

Dental service is for some reason not free.

I guess, for us healthy people, the whole system doesn't really matter. But it makes an big difference for those that use it a lot because of a chronical disease, of if they get a big disease later in life (diabetis, HIV/AIDS etc).

I gladly pay my tax, and don't think much bad of others using what I pay. It is socialism, and in Denmark socialism is not a negative word like it is in the US.

Some people in Denmark also opt for a private hospital. For some operations a private hospital can be faster, and there is not the same waiting time there. But I assume even those that choose the private hospitals don't mind paying tax.

Earlier Kiryan wrote something about a childbirth where he had decided what extras to get and pay for at that birth. That article totally shocked me. In Denmark doctors decide that, and then it's free, ofcourse, if the doctor deems it beneficial.
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby Ashiwi » Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:38 pm

In order to get these statistics into perspective, can we please get a comparative breakdown between numbers waiting on upcoming healthcare in these other countries and numbers who don't bother trying to get healthcare because they can't afford it here in the US?

Didn't think so, but in order to reasonably weigh these numbers against the US situation, you'd have to take this into account.
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby Sarvis » Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:43 pm

It's funny, Teflor claimed socialized medicine was rationing healthcare without ever realizing that a capitalist system rations healthcare as well. Mostly by keeping poor people from getting it.
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby kiryan » Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:23 pm

Hmm, yea not sure why I felt like that was on topic.
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby Corth » Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:47 pm

Sarvis wrote:It's funny, Teflor claimed socialized medicine was rationing healthcare without ever realizing that a capitalist system rations healthcare as well. Mostly by keeping poor people from getting it.


Well, if you postulate that some sort of rationing of health care is required, rationing it on the basis of being able to pay for it seems about as fair, if not more so, than any other way...
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth

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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby Sarvis » Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:56 pm

Corth wrote:
Sarvis wrote:It's funny, Teflor claimed socialized medicine was rationing healthcare without ever realizing that a capitalist system rations healthcare as well. Mostly by keeping poor people from getting it.


Well, if you postulate that some sort of rationing of health care is required, rationing it on the basis of being able to pay for it seems about as fair, if not more so, than any other way...


Yes, the poor can always just eat cake after all.
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby kiryan » Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:10 pm

Is healthcare a right.

If its not, rationing via market principles is appropriate.

If it is, rationing through government policies / socialism is probably more appropriate.
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby Todrael » Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:44 am

Define "right"?
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby Corth » Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:01 am

Sarvis wrote:
Corth wrote:
Sarvis wrote:It's funny, Teflor claimed socialized medicine was rationing healthcare without ever realizing that a capitalist system rations healthcare as well. Mostly by keeping poor people from getting it.


Well, if you postulate that some sort of rationing of health care is required, rationing it on the basis of being able to pay for it seems about as fair, if not more so, than any other way...


Yes, the poor can always just eat cake after all.


I thought I would get a serious answer out of you. You made a good point about how capitalism rations health care. I suggested its fair. I figured you would at least make some sort of suggestion on how healthcare should otherwise be rationed. Do the young get priority? The old? IQ? Whats the correct basis for rationing this scarce resource?
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby Ashiwi » Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:55 am

Thank you Corth, for touching on what people seem to miss time and time again. In our system, healthcare is a "scarce resource." It's going to have a limit no matter where you go, because it's always going to be based on the level of the population that decides to go into a healthcare profession, the educational levels of the general population, the economy, and a ton of other factors.

Healthcare is, however, less "scarce" here in the US than just about anywhere else in the world, simply BECAUSE of the free market system, and because of the nature of healthcare and its high susceptibility to be skewed toward the wealth of the nation. The scarcity of this particular marketable good is heavily driven by profit, which makes it scarce only to those of little wealth.

I find it a sad state that in one of the wealthiest nations on the planet, we find ourselves in a position where we're debating whether or not healthcare is a right. Is it right or wrong to NOT offer healthcare to all? The question is too deep without having to fall back on the old morality debates, and then it all boils down to the same one or two points which nobody can agree on.

Healthcare is not a right. The question should be, however, what would be the state of our nation in the absence of free quality healthcare for the general population? Do we allow the bodies of the poor to stack up on the curb? Do we encourage environments that harbor and feed disease? Do those of us who can afford healthcare allow those who cannot to become the carriers of our downfall? Do we allow ourselves to become the people who turn their heads when somebody else is suffering because we're so lassaiz faire about anything but our own material goods?

We can't do everything, no, but to do nothing is to set ourselves up for the consequences. When you deny healthcare to the masses, unrest builds. There is a point at which anger and helplessness spill over into potentially violent action. There are a host of ills that can be bred from denying the necessities to those who are incapable of attaining it for themselves.
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby Todrael » Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:00 pm

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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby kiryan » Tue Aug 25, 2009 5:35 pm

I've heard of groups like that before Tod. It makes absolute logical sense. Less people, less problems LOL.
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby Sarvis » Tue Aug 25, 2009 5:40 pm

kiryan wrote:I've heard of groups like that before Tod. It makes absolute logical sense. Less people, less problems LOL.



Too bad you never got the memo. :P
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby Sarvis » Tue Aug 25, 2009 5:46 pm

Corth wrote:
Sarvis wrote:
Corth wrote:
Sarvis wrote:It's funny, Teflor claimed socialized medicine was rationing healthcare without ever realizing that a capitalist system rations healthcare as well. Mostly by keeping poor people from getting it.


Well, if you postulate that some sort of rationing of health care is required, rationing it on the basis of being able to pay for it seems about as fair, if not more so, than any other way...


Yes, the poor can always just eat cake after all.


I thought I would get a serious answer out of you. You made a good point about how capitalism rations health care. I suggested its fair. I figured you would at least make some sort of suggestion on how healthcare should otherwise be rationed. Do the young get priority? The old? IQ? Whats the correct basis for rationing this scarce resource?


I started with a serious answer, then figured it would be wasted effort.

I would guess, however, that in an ER the size of your wallet doesn't determine the order you are seen in. The severity of your injuries does. That, somehow, seems fair to me. Why, in a non-emergency situation, should a CEOs daughter get better treatment than the children of his factory workers? Shouldn't whoever is more sick go first?

Instead of going without?
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby kiryan » Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:27 pm

valid points ashiwi, i'm glad you agree healthcare is not a right.

I agree with your concerns about letting people go by the wayside, letting the piles of bodies stack up, the social unrest that would eventually produce revolution. However, I would debate at great length the contribution of free healthcare in the pro and con.

Free healthcare isn't a solution to callous indifference its a contributor. You don't have to do anything anymore because its not your responsibility, its the governments... supported by your taxes. And what about revolt amongst the rich... lets call them business owners... What was the statistic 3% pay 55% of taxes? When that 3% revolts, and business investment ceases, then what?

I am appalled almost on a daily basis by the lack of personal responsibility exhibited throughout our society. Free healthcare for all just doesn't seem to like a good plan to increase responsibility. It seems like a good plan to increase the already substantial insulation poor people have from the consequences of their bad choices...

It feels like people from other countries like most of Europe and Japan are more interdependent, more socially responsible. I'll even say that I think in general especially kids, Europeans are Japanese are more mature and responsible than Americans. Their healthcare system is a reflection of that as is their support of their system.

Americans are very independent, We believe that an individual is capable of almost anything if they work for it in our system. Therefore if you don't have healthcare, its because you aren't working hard enough or making good decisions. I'll go so far as to say I'd be happy to provide free healthcare for responsible, mature people (even if it means I have less money). But, I absolutely hate paying to feed and educate, let alone provide healthcare, for lazy stupid people and illegal immigrants.
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby Sarvis » Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:44 pm

kiryan wrote: When that 3% revolts, and business investment ceases, then what?



Then all their revenue streams dry up, and they become poor. They don't invest for our sakes, they invest for their own.

Frankly, as they stopped pumping money into their businesses others would probably be able to get into the markets easier and make their own decent living. Then maybe 3% of people wouldn't control 90% of the wealth in this country, and I wouldn't have to laugh when they bitch about paying 55% of the taxes.

90% of the wealth should pay 90% of the taxes, period.
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby Ashiwi » Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:56 pm

I don't think fully comprehensive healthcare is what I was driving toward. Basic medical necessity is something that should be offered to all in the US, whether they can afford it or not. Immunizations, semi-permanent to permanent birth control, disease control and emergency services are what I'm referring to, and that's basically what's already available. People go to the emergency room for "emergency services" all the time, after all.

You have a trade-off when it comes to a lot of people. You have to be able to give them enough healthcare to keep them working, otherwise you end up with a lot of sick indigents on your hands. Without some free healthcare, you're looking at a problem that's much larger than just a few people crying about being sick and not getting to see a doctor.

As long as employers are making a profit, they'll stay in business. When they start to lose money from the problem, they'll start to go out of business or reorganize. As long as there are people able to pay the going rate for a service, there will be services available to be bought. When the bronchitis becomes pneumonia, or undiagnosed tuberculosis wanders the streets because they can't afford a check-up, we have a growing problem that would have been cheaper for us to afford if we'd offered something more preventative to begin with.

I'm not sure what type of healthcare system Japan has, but I know a lot of Europe utilizes a socialized healthcare system. A lot of the nations with reduced violent crime rates and increased production offer socialized healthcare and free education through university.

And if doing away with free healthcare isn't bad enough, go ahead and ship out every single illegal immigrant in the states and watch the economy and business world as you know it tank. Yes. TANK. Unfortunately, the US lifestyle has made it almost impossible for us to do without underpaid illegal immigrant labor. We're pricing ourselves out of our own legality. Think that's not the case? Imagine the impact on the food industry, alone. That industry impacts every other industry in our nation.
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby kiryan » Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:15 pm

Last time I checked, unemployment was almost 10%. I just found out it does not include people on the unemployment extensions, and we all know it doesn't count people who have been unemployed for a long time.

There are plenty of US citizens available to pick food and cotton, but they won't. Why? Because they don't get paid enough? When you make nothing, how can making something be not enough to bother working? It would be enough if you and your family were starving to death. The answer is free healthcare, welfare, food stamps, HUD ect... Oh and lets not forget why farmers can't hire american workers... minimum wage.

I do agree with what you said earlier about the rich getting so off the backs of workers, but I completely disagree with the approach of letting them get rich off of illegal immigrants then giving the illegal immigrants some of those wages back through free healthcare. If minimum wage is the minimum wage, thats what we nee dto pay, not hire illegal immigrants at illegal wages then tax the shit out of everyone to pay for taking care of them.
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby Ashiwi » Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:15 pm

And I completely agree with you on that, but until we become the perfect Communist state, what's the fix for it?

Much of what's causing our problems today stemmed from the fixes that went in to bring us out of the Great Depression. We've had great abundance since that point, so something about it obviously worked. The problem now is that it's been a snowball, and as it's been rolling along it's been getting exponentially bigger, and now it's hitting a point where we can no longer support it as we once did. Too many intervening years and added pork have bloated our system into something that is simply no longer feasible.

Getting rid of it isn't a viable answer, because we've seen what happens in our form of economy without it, and the damage not having it does to the country as a whole isn't worth what not having it would do for the individually wealthy. My suggestion would be open books with public audits and a more public form of fiscal accounting, working toward the intent of paring the system back down to the basics and necessities. But all venues of government office need that.
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby Todrael » Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:23 am

Ashiwi wrote:And I completely agree with you on that, but until we become the perfect Communist state, what's the fix for it?

I would suggest getting a secure job, living in a safe neighborhood, having good local hospitals and schools, saving 3+ months worth of income in an emergency fund, carefully choosing your health care plan for you and your family, living below your means, avoiding alcohol and tobacco, avoiding excessive sugar and fat in your diet, exercising at least 30 minutes a day, visiting your doctor whenever necessary, reducing the amount of time you spend in cars as much as possible, and readily investing for retirement.

Everything else is up to the few hundred people in Washingon D.C. whose opinions actually matter.
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby Delmair Aamoren » Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:50 am

Unfortunately i live in a state where the government subsidizes healthcare. We have something here called the "oregon health plan" also called OHP. OHP began as something for youth (newborn to toddler) as well as pregnant women to help promote healthy pregnancies and infants. This further branched into covering children of impoverished parents until their 18th birthday, and a multitude of impoverished people with chronic health problems including mental health issues. It is also a supplemental insurance to medicare/medicaid which provides MOST of the recipients a 0 deductible/0 copay insurance. In a perfect world, this is an amazing program. We don't live in a perfect world.

As a paramedic in oregon, i regulary see these people. Due to a number of socioeconomic factors a LARGE number of our patients are OHP recipients. Oddly enough, these are also the same uneducated people that regularly make TERRIBLE deicisons. For example: during a snowstorm this last winter, i transported an OHP client with a sore throat to the hospital in an ambulance. This sore throat had been going on for almost 9 months. Additionally, general illness, nausea/vomiting, abdominal pain, headaches, etc. are all common complaints from these clients. They not only expect, but practically demand transport in an ambulance. Quite frequently when asked why they chose to go by ambulance to the hospital for their care, they replied "because a cab would cost money, this way is free". With that mentality, we can NEVER have socialized health care, nor can we have an "entitlement" to insurance. It would be abused so thoroughly that our current national debt would look like a small childs piggy bank.


Education is the solution. In addition, a complete reform of the EMS and hospital system to provide a legal, and enforceable set of steps to obtain care. As it stands now, everyone is so afraid of litigation, that they refuse to tell these people "no".
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby Corth » Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:07 pm

Sarvis wrote:
Corth wrote:
Sarvis wrote:
Corth wrote:
Sarvis wrote:It's funny, Teflor claimed socialized medicine was rationing healthcare without ever realizing that a capitalist system rations healthcare as well. Mostly by keeping poor people from getting it.


Well, if you postulate that some sort of rationing of health care is required, rationing it on the basis of being able to pay for it seems about as fair, if not more so, than any other way...


Yes, the poor can always just eat cake after all.


I thought I would get a serious answer out of you. You made a good point about how capitalism rations health care. I suggested its fair. I figured you would at least make some sort of suggestion on how healthcare should otherwise be rationed. Do the young get priority? The old? IQ? Whats the correct basis for rationing this scarce resource?


in an ER the size of your wallet doesn't determine the order you are seen in. The severity of your injuries does. That, somehow, seems fair to me.


Fair enough. Thats what any good Marxist would respond. "From each according to his ability to each according to his need". You have suggested a need based rationing system.

My question here though is how do you determine who has the greatest need? Some government beaurocrat, undoubtedly. One could imagine a formula that is created which estimates the amount of extended lifespan for any particular use of healthcare resources. A heart bypass on a 50 year old male might be of greater value than one on a 70 year old male. They will consult their tables and determine the 50 year old is likely to live 22 more years afterwards and the 70 year old only 3 more years. Etc. Etc. Of course the infant with the cleft lip might not have much of a priority at all since his condition is not life threatening. We can let that one slide while we focus our resources on more important conditions. Until we change the tables and formulas later on to take into account the psychological impact of living with a cleft lip. Then of course we will have the inevitable scandals where people who are close friends or associates of politicians get preferrential treatment. They're 'needs' are determined to be more important.
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby Sarvis » Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:51 pm

Delmair Aamoren wrote:Quite frequently when asked why they chose to go by ambulance to the hospital for their care, they replied "because a cab would cost money, this way is free". With that mentality, we can NEVER have socialized health care, nor can we have an "entitlement" to insurance. It would be abused so thoroughly that our current national debt would look like a small childs piggy bank.



So he can't even afford a cab ride, and you want him to pay hundreds or thousands just to stay alive?

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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby Ambar » Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:15 pm

Sarvis,

The chip on your shoulder for anyone with any kind of money and any kind of sense of self worth (aka taking care of your own family and self (not YOUR self worth but anyone who feeds off the government un-necessarily, just because they can or find some loophole that allows it)) is HUGE, it is a wonder you can walk!

The guy who had a sore throat for 9 friggin months and called a wambulance? I hope no person suffering a heart attack or some other EMERGENCY didn't die because of tis sore throat! He gets FREE friggin health care! What about the rest of the time! In all that time he couldn't have gotten a ride?

Here is prime example of abuse of a system and you champion the players .. you are SAD Sarvis, SAD!
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby Sarvis » Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:34 pm

Ambar wrote:Sarvis,

The chip on your shoulder for anyone with any kind of money and any kind of sense of self worth (aka taking care of your own family and self (not YOUR self worth but anyone who feeds off the government un-necessarily, just because they can or find some loophole that allows it)) is HUGE, it is a wonder you can walk!

The guy who had a sore throat for 9 friggin months and called a wambulance? I hope no person suffering a heart attack or some other EMERGENCY didn't die because of tis sore throat! He gets FREE friggin health care! What about the rest of the time! In all that time he couldn't have gotten a ride?

Here is prime example of abuse of a system and you champion the players .. you are SAD Sarvis, SAD!


Yes, I have sympathy for people so it means I have a chip on my shoulder. Right.

Sorry, but I'm betting that if, after 9 months of trying to deal with it so he wouldn't be a burden on the system, something changed so that he felt it was an emergency then he couldn't get a ride at that moment.

If he just wanted to game the system, why did he wait 9 months to do so, exactly?

EDIT: And look, we're both guessing. The difference here is that you expect the worst from people, whereas I just keep getting the worst from them.
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby Delmair Aamoren » Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:43 pm

Perhaps i should clarify my point with that example. It is a VERY extreme example of how people use FREE emergency trips for NON EMERGENT care. He lived approximately 2 miles from an urgent care. It is the middle of a metropolitain area. There are busses in this area. Neither of his legs were broken, nor was he in any respiratory distress. Past medical history would not have prevented a 2 mile walk, other than perhaps the extreme cold or 18" of fluffy white crap on the ground. Perhaps it was a poor example because of the incliment weather. Similar calls are made every day in 75 degree overcast days with clear, dry pavement.

Its system abuse, plain and simple. A LOT of the people i transport on OHP have a sense of entitlement to their healthcare. They have habits including a pack a day smoking (200 dollar/month habit that impacts the health of yourself and all 3 welfare babies you have running around your home), and a lot of them have bigger, nicer TV's than I do!
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby Ambar » Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:48 pm

Naw I am just not a moron :) Ambulances are NOT for a sore throat! Especially not 9 months later in a Oregon snowstorm!

Free healthcare : it is all about keeping the poor man down!


Come ON! What is there NOT to understand?
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby Ambar » Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:12 pm

Sarvis wrote:EDIT: And look, we're both guessing. The difference here is that you expect the worst from people, whereas I just keep getting the worst from them.


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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby amena wolfsnarl » Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:16 pm

The thing about any government program is that there will always be someone abusing the system, its a fact of life. You can come up with hundreds of examples of people doing it. But what about those people who it actually helps, what about that single mom of one that lost her job and needed a hand for a month or 6 trying to find a new job? what about the millions of people free health care will help, the lives saved? Should those people suffer cause some people abuse a system?

I hear talk about people making stupid decisions, or about people who are inherently lazy. Yup there will always be those people. Thing is those people are a minority. Most people try to make good decisions, they try thier best to raise thier families the best they can. Unfortunatly some people just cant seem to get a head in life. Sure you can chalk it up to lack of a good job, but fact of the matter is not everyone can make 100k a year. Our society needs the cleaning ladies, the janitors and the fry cooks to operate. And most of those people who do those jobs are the ones who need free health care.

So far all i have seen is everyone concentrating on those that will abuse a system, maybe i just dont have the same perspective on the amount of abuse the american system recieves cause im from canada. We still have our welfare moms, our natives that live stricly off thier government cheques, and people abusing EI. For every person that abuses the system, there are so many more that use the system the way it is intended, and it makes a vast difference in thier day to day lives.
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby Ambar » Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:30 pm

I have no problems with the programs at all, I think they were started with every best effort. My problem lies with how easy it is to get into the programs and find the loopholes to make the system work for you. In essence my problem lies with the administrators of said programs.

Citing what happens when you have free healthcare accompanied by poor education is also not an issue for me, it is very indicative of the measures needed to make sure these programs WORK. I think it is more the people who DESERVE the programs to be mad at those who abuse them .. I'd wager that 90% or higher of the people who post here would make intelligent decisions on when to call an ambulance, free or not!

I don't think it takes a college education (I do not have one) to say calling an ambulance for a sore throat is a good decision. I think it sucks that the poor guys who had to go out to get that idiot had no choice but to take him to the hospital. I Think that is what this topic is about. When is it ok and who makes that decision that makes it ok .. Then again, common sense always SHOULD apply but most people do not have that common sense. Obviously.

I got off on a Sarvis side track, sorry about that, hehe
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby amena wolfsnarl » Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:33 pm

Unfortunatly common sense isnt so common.
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby Delmair Aamoren » Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:52 pm

Im not at all attacking the people that could benefit from these services. I do believe in supporting those in need. I just support doing it appropriately, with the proper resources. I do notice a trend. at least 90% of the clients with this particular OHP coverage are the ones calling for chronic medical complaints that would best be addressed by their PCP (primary care provider), or by an urgent care facility if their PCP is unable to see them that day. The burden of even this small group of people (compared to the rest of the population) is tremendous on the 911 system. We do have stopgaps in place to help prevent emergent dispatch of ambulances to these types of calls, but a fair number have figured out the few key words to use to upgrade their response to emergent.

Bottom line is, without a COMPLETE overhaul of our current 911/ER system, as well as strict education with penalties for not using the appropriate level of response/care for your ailment(s), the socialist medicine system would be so inefficent and so costly that it would come to a screeching hault.

Here's a good example. I can relate to it very well, i'm not sure how many others will be able to...

There was a meeting in a local county here. It was a general meeting which discussed a multitude of problems in the county, none of which were health or social service specific. One of the topics on the docket was to increase the county contract with the ambulance service, to allow the ambulance to bill more money per transport. A very irate citizen stood up, and commented that he recently had recieved a bill for services from said ambulance company. It was a pretty hefty bill, somewhere around 1200 us dollars. He was irate that the ambulance service could possibly need more money than that per transport. The gentleman allowed a response from an ambulance representative. Who asked very plainly, and calmly. "sir, do you pay taxes?". He did. He was also asked "have you ever used the fire department, or ambulance services in the past?" He had lived at his home in that county for 20 years and never used either service. The ambulance representative explained to him that annually in his taxes he has spent well over 10,000 dollars in his personal tax money on the fire department, who had never directly served him. Furthermore, he asked if the man was insured. He was insured, fairly well. He had a 100 dollar co-pay for ambulance transport. So here he is, agitated at a service he rarely used, and has paid 100 dollars for in 20 years. But he's A.O.K. with spending 10k on the fire department, who has given him the same level of service. Perhaps socialized medicine is the way to go. He can spend 10k on his ambulance ride instead of 100 bucks. And he can still represent the 90% of the population who use less than 10% of the services. Sounds like a great investment to me! /sarcasm
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby kiryan » Wed Aug 26, 2009 3:56 pm

Alot of these last comments come back around to a basic distrust of government to do anything efficiently. One great argument against letting government take over healthcare. I again refer you to the VA healthcare system and the Indian Reservations.

What you don't understand about the "sense of entitlement" is that you are entitled. It is your right to exercise at your sole discretion. Its not even wrong because its the system we created and we agreed upon. Our culture refuses personal responsibility and we just keep taking more away from individuals and making government responsible for it.

So next, I suppose we will enact reform that allows hospitals to pay cab bills to "save money" from ambulance trips. So transportation to hospitals will become a right as well.
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby amena wolfsnarl » Wed Aug 26, 2009 3:59 pm

kiryan wrote:So next, I suppose we will enact reform that allows hospitals to pay cab bills to "save money" from ambulance trips. So transportation to hospitals will become a right as well.


They do it in Britain, and other places in europe.

Watch Sicko some time.

Kiryan you are so afraid of BIG governement that you fail to see the good that free health care will do. You are so concerned with dollars and cents that you fail to understand that there are human lives that are effected by those. I know that the idea of paying taxes sucks, hell i pay about 30 to 40% of every cheque i get to the government, but at the same time i also use the playgrounds that they build, the roads that they build and maintain.

I know government is inefficient, but at the same time it is neccessary (and if you think some free market capitilist idea could do a better job of running our society your nuts). No government system will ever be ideal, you know why? Cause of the people running it. Politicians arent there for the betterment of thier country, most are there for the betterment of thier pocket books. There are sometimes when i think politicians dont ask "whats better for my constituants" but instead ask "whats better for my campaign contributors and my retirement package". The problem isnt so much with government but instead with the people who are running it.

I wonder what the crime rate would be without all the social assistance programs out there. If i had a choice of letting my kid starve or robbing a grocery store....well theres no decision there, family first every time. Instead people have alternatives like social assistance and foodbanks that allow them to deal with the hard times. Before you go blasting these programs you have to look at the other effects that they have.

I know your big into personal responsibility and i agree with you it should be something that we all take pride in. But the way our society is set up we need the people who get low wages, who do the shitty jobs. People say that communism is built on the backs of the poor, well so is capitalism, we just give them oppurtunity to try to make thier lifes better. These people with the low paying jobs, which our society needs, don't you think that they should have the same right to health care that you do? Don't you think that those people work hard and do what they can to provide for thier families just as much as you?
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby avak » Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:36 pm

kiryan wrote:So transportation to hospitals will become a right as well.

It already is.
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby avak » Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:38 pm

Corth wrote:My question here though is how do you determine who has the greatest need? Some government beaurocrat, undoubtedly. One could imagine a formula that is created which estimates the amount of extended lifespan for any particular use of healthcare resources. A heart bypass on a 50 year old male might be of greater value than one on a 70 year old male. They will consult their tables and determine the 50 year old is likely to live 22 more years afterwards and the 70 year old only 3 more years. Etc. Etc. Of course the infant with the cleft lip might not have much of a priority at all since his condition is not life threatening. We can let that one slide while we focus our resources on more important conditions. Until we change the tables and formulas later on to take into account the psychological impact of living with a cleft lip. Then of course we will have the inevitable scandals where people who are close friends or associates of politicians get preferrential treatment. They're 'needs' are determined to be more important.

This is already done by insurance company actuaries, except that they ration according to profit only.
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby kiryan » Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:12 pm

Good point on the trips to the hospital already being a right lol.

I understand the whole social stability argument. I frequently cite the Army's effect on social stability... what would all these listless young men do if they didn't have the military to go into?

Yet, society is currently stable, so are we predicting a downward spiral into lawlessness if we don't enact health care reform? I don't see the poor protesting for free healthcare. I see a bunch of bleeding heart liberals and middle class unions campaigning for it while carving out exclusions for themselves.

You know what else I see, a lot of Americans who believe in freedom... protesting... regularly. The poor are too lazy to do anything, you need to worry about people who believe big government is taking away their freedom and engaged in excessive taxation.

---

I've been thinking very seriously about changing my position on free healthcare because of all the positive... however I just don't see how I can get over 1) government inefficiency which will inevitably make it outrageously expensive. 2) further reducing the need for personal responsibility. As much as I bitch about taxes, its really about how government spends and the control they get for having it than it is about not having enough. If I made half as much as I do now, I'd be just as happy...
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby Ashiwi » Thu Aug 27, 2009 6:23 pm

My personal belief is that the whole "government run healthcare" issue is part fake-out. Watch and see. We'll end up with another option that may actually stand a chance of working, and it'll get passed in record time because people are so afraid of what's already been put in front of them.
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby avak » Thu Aug 27, 2009 9:58 pm

kiryan wrote:I've been thinking very seriously about changing my position on free healthcare because of all the positive... however I just don't see how I can get over 1) government inefficiency which will inevitably make it outrageously expensive. 2) further reducing the need for personal responsibility.

I don't see the direct link between 'gov't run' and inefficiency. There are many examples of well run government programs. The Postal Service doesn't preclude the ability for UPS or FedEx to make a profit, do they? The IRS is the most efficient collection agency in the country. Etc

The thing about personal responsibility is misleading, imo. Not that you are being misleading...I think the argument is framed wrong. The private insurers -don't care- what you do! They are driven solely by profit and really probably prefer this gluttonous, unhealthy society we have. The government, on the other hand, will be driven to -cut costs- across the board to maintain overall efficiency. They also have an intrinsic mandate to serve the public good. That means that they 'care' about the health and well-being of the populace. I would expect some 'stick' laws (fat tax), but many more 'carrots' (education, subsidies).
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby kiryan » Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:16 pm

I think with 30 seconds of google, I could cite a hundred cases of egregious undebatable examples of govenrment waste and inefficiency.

Your example of the IRS is unfair, the IRS can put you in jail. No other debt collection organization can do that. Furthermore, the IRS does not have the same profit motive, they will collect from you whether its cost efficient or not because its the law. Additionally, your debt to the IRS can only be discharged through payment. Delinquent credit accounts can be discharged a # of ways and I believe in many states debts older than a certain period of time can not be collected period.

USPS is another terrible example. The USPS is insolvent, it may allow other business to be profitable, but it is in itself unprofitable. The USPS really doesn't innovate either and is realtively unflexible... These are qualities that are necessary for a business to adapt and remain profitable. If they don't you get GM and Chrysler... behemoths that imploded because they had too many obligations and are too expensive.

USPS is also a good example of how not to do things. Don't create a system that takes all the most unprofitable cases and leaves the private sector to cherry pick the profits. What would it cost to make the USPS compete with Fedex and UPS? Not much... they already visit every single address in the USA on a daily basis... No additional cost, but if they were allowed to expand and innovate, they would put UPS and Fedex out of business tomorrow.

This is what medicare/medicaid do, take the most unprofitable cases (poor and elderely) leaving the private insurers to make profits on the relatively healthy people... and get them to age 65 with the minimum amount of care necessary. They literally don't care what happens after 65 because they aren't responsible.

There are lots of good arguments for single payer, but government is flat out not efficient in general and always creates a bureacracy. They have known social security, medicare/medicaid are all bankrupting within the next 10 years? and they have known this for at least the past 20... and you want them running healthcare?

One of the prime arguments for the single payer is the standardization of billing and paperwork. Why can't this be done without a single payer? I'd cheer the democrats on if they reformed healthcare by standardizing paperwork. I manage 2 people who deal only with technical billing issues, we have an additional 6 people who actually do the billing. This is for about 600 patients and about probably 15-20 payers. if the govenrment stepped in and mandated a standard electronic claims and paying system with requirements on how fast you must bill, and how fast they must review / reject your claim, we could eliminate what some people think accounts for 30% of healthcare costs.

Another thing they could do is make it literally impossible for an insurer to drop you for any reason. Or if they required you to provide health insurance to an individual from birth to death (rather than pass them off to medicare/medicaid at 65). Or if they overruled state laws that prevent out of state insurers from doing business in their state. These are all reforms I would support to reduce the cost of healthcare. NONE of these require a single payer, but a single payer would address them as well. If our health is the issue, Democrats should focus on it.

Single payer is not the only answer, and I argue its not even the best answer. It gives you all the risk of having govenrment do anything and I highly question whether they could actually fund or achieve their healthcare goals.
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby Kifle » Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:20 pm

Ambar wrote:The guy who had a sore throat for 9 friggin months and called a wambulance? I hope no person suffering a heart attack or some other EMERGENCY didn't die because of tis sore throat! He gets FREE friggin health care! What about the rest of the time! In all that time he couldn't have gotten a ride?

Here is prime example of abuse of a system and you champion the players .. you are SAD Sarvis, SAD!


So lets say the guy with the sore throat is rich and the one with the heart attack is poor. You flip the reasoning of his healthcare and you get the same retarded situation. I don't see how this pertains to Sarvis' desire to have healthcare provided. In Sarvis' world, the guy with the sore throat would be waiting in the ER lobby while the guy with the heart attack would be getting treatment almost immediately (read his post earlier in the page re: rationing).

You also don't factor in that the government would probably have stipulations determining whether or not you CAN get an ambulance ride, who is lined up earlier in the queue, etc. I'm almost positive that any rational person would conclude that the heart attack victim would be given preferential treatment in this case. You argue a point with an invalid hypothetical. It would be the same as saying "well, what if we were attacked by aliens when we were on our way to the hospital, WHAT THEN?!" It just wouldn't happen in a rational world, and I don't think Sarvis is arguing for irrational social medicine or an illogical rationing system.

And, because I think it bears repeating, if we want healthcare rationing determined by market forces, the idiot with the sore throat (if rich) would still get the treatment over the heart attack victim (if poor). So I have to ask, why do you have such a chip on your shoulder towards Sarvis?
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Re: Right to Healthcare?

Postby Sarvis » Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:22 pm

USPS is also a good example of how not to do things. Don't create a system that takes all the most unprofitable cases and leaves the private sector to cherry pick the profits. What would it cost to make the USPS compete with Fedex and UPS? Not much... they already visit every single address in the USA on a daily basis... No additional cost, but if they were allowed to expand and innovate, they would put UPS and Fedex out of business tomorrow.


You really don't see where you went wrong here?

1) No additional cost for having to handle thousands more packages each day?
2) The USPS _does_ compete with FedEx. You can ship a box through either. The post office is cheaper, but not as fast.
3) Mail has only recently started to become "unprofitable" (which is a bad term because the USPS never sought more than to break even) because advances in technology are invalidating their product. There was never anything at all wrong with the USPS, this is a case of new technology invalidating an old concept.

I'm sure that Corth wants to jump on 3, but the problem is there is still a need for snail mail. That may not hold true much longer, but right now it is. Just like in 10 years there will probably no longer be any landline telephones, but right now there are still a lot of people using them.
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