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22.7.14 0622
The W - Current Events & Politics - The National Healthcare question...
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Lexus
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Stafford, VA

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.83
I was talking with a friend of mine whose political ideals differ from mine on many levels. The notion of free national healthcare came up, to which she said she disapproved. I had no counterargument, as nationalized healthcare would mean a huge rise in taxes, etc.

However, given the recent situations with Balco and investigations in sports in regards to Steroids, including the recent actions of Chris Benoit, could you make an argument for nationalized healthcare to prevent 'dirty doctors' from giving away these kind of substances?



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TheOldMan
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Since: 13.2.03
From: Chicago

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.87
I don't believe there's a good argument there, no. If there's money in it, you're always going to be able to 'doctor shop'. The doctors are in the lead making the case against nationalized health care, mostly because they believe it would eventually mean less money for them. And if there was less money for doctors, the temptation to earn extra on the side would be greater, not reduced.

Personally, I feel the US needs to make universal health care happen, if only because there are so many millions without coverage. And with HMO/PPO premiums continually rising beyond the rate of inflation, the lower economic classes that have coverage are only getting squeezed out, or forced to choose plans that provide deductibles so high that they effectively would only use it in a catastrophic situation.

You might look to the 'clinics' popping up in department stores, WALmarts, and drug store chains as evidence that people are desperate for some sort of affordable care. Naturally the AMA is up in arms over nurse practitioners cutting into their business, but for many it's becoming the only realistic option.

As seen in other countries with national health care, the wealthier people will still seek out private plans. But (imo) the long-term effects of not providing a large number of Americans at least a basic level of ongoing/routine care is unconscionable. But I'm fairly confident that this issue will continue to grow, so we'll see action of some sort.
DrDirt
Banger








Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.74
Lexus, IMO there isn't an easy answer. The current system sucks but I doubt a national (read Federal government) system would be any better. However, whatever we do should do two things.

1. Everyone needs access to healthcare and not just by going to an emergency room.

2. Whatever we do needs to stress preventative medicine and regular exams, especially for children. If we get people off on the right foot, it saves a ton of money later.



Perception is reality
samoflange
Lap cheong








Since: 22.2.04
From: Cambridge, MA

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.30
Not exactly on topic with the first post, but here is my thought process on the topic in general:
My main concern with national healthcare is that there had better be some sort of sliding scale for people of different health risks. I don't eat good food, exercise every day, and otherwise live a very healthy life to be paying higher taxes that will take care of Billybob the Fatass's triple bypass surgery after he eats his sixth Big Mac of the day. A physical with some sort of health risk assessment should be done and essentially those who are at low risk should not have to pay as much.
Obviously this would not be a simple system and it would end up being very convoluted and full of all kinds of bullshit in order to make sure that nobody is getting screwed. It would be such a complex and unwieldy system that, in and of itself, it's probably not a good idea.
The idea of healthcare for everyone is still one I agree with, but this health rish assessment is one that I can only see ending up bad, and I would not want one without the other. A sticky situation and I still have no idea where I really stand.



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Since: 9.12.01
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
    Originally posted by samoflange
    Not exactly on topic with the first post, but here is my thought process on the topic in general:
    My main concern with national healthcare is that there had better be some sort of sliding scale for people of different health risks. I don't eat good food, exercise every day, and otherwise live a very healthy life to be paying higher taxes that will take care of Billybob the Fatass's triple bypass surgery after he eats his sixth Big Mac of the day. A physical with some sort of health risk assessment should be done and essentially those who are at low risk should not have to pay as much.
    Obviously this would not be a simple system and it would end up being very convoluted and full of all kinds of bullshit in order to make sure that nobody is getting screwed. It would be such a complex and unwieldy system that, in and of itself, it's probably not a good idea.
    The idea of healthcare for everyone is still one I agree with, but this health rish assessment is one that I can only see ending up bad, and I would not want one without the other. A sticky situation and I still have no idea where I really stand.


Except for the 2% bodyfat rock-climbers, base-jumpers, and other high risk "in shape" people who use a lot of health care $ too when they need a medi-flight off of a mountain, etc.

It's not black and white.




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samoflange
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Since: 22.2.04
From: Cambridge, MA

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.30
I totally agree. My point was that such a system could never be 'black and white' and thus would be a nightmare to implement. Risky behavior, be it cliff diving, driving over the speed limit, or snorting coke, should be included in any health risk assessment right along side other unhealthy habits. It would be a very messy affair overall.



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Leroy
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Since: 7.2.02
From: Huntington, NY

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.15
    Originally posted by samoflange
    I totally agree. My point was that such a system could never be 'black and white' and thus would be a nightmare to implement. Risky behavior, be it cliff diving, driving over the speed limit, or snorting coke, should be included in any health risk assessment right along side other unhealthy habits. It would be a very messy affair overall.


I disagree with the risk assessment. I understand that you don't want your tax dollars to go to someone who is unhealthy while you go to great lengths to secure your health (although nothing is certain in that regard), but I think a national health care system, if implemented properly, could go a long way to educating people on the benefits of good health.

There are plenty of things my tax dollars go towards that I abhor - covering someone's triple bi-pass because of a McDonald's fetish easily seems like the lesser of the evils.

My biggest fear is our politicians ability to create a system that would actually work, and not just a huge bureaucracy that would benefit the pharmaceuticals and HMO's even more while still providing inadequate coverage.

(edited by Leroy on 29.6.07 1419)

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samoflange
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Since: 22.2.04
From: Cambridge, MA

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.30
    Originally posted by Leroy
    I think a national health care system, if implemented properly, could go a long way to educating people on the benefits of good health.


That's a good point that I hadn't thought of. My brother just finished up at medical school and I remember one time having a conversation with him during one of his clinical rotations in Brooklyn. He was shocked at the amount of people who just had no clue what they were doing to themselves by living a high-fat, low-activity lifestyle. I will not go into any of the details because he probably shouldn't have been telling me about it, but it was just ridiculous. If national health care does come about and it ends up helping to educate people in this regard, then that'd be a big positive.



Lloyd: When I met Mary, I got that old fashioned romantic feeling, where I'd do anything to bone her.
Harry: That's a special feeling.
Pool-Boy
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Since: 1.8.02
From: Huntington Beach, CA

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.48
Universal Health Care scares me a little to be honest. When you look at the nations that do have it, you see overburdened systems that are funded by some pretty serious tax rates.

Articles like this one talk about some of the problems facing the Canadian health care system to a small extent. How there are longer waits for treatment, physician shortages, and fewer beds per patient than in the United States.

I also think of government waste when people bring up programs like this one. How often have you heard the horror stories of the $50,000 toilet seat or the $10,000 hammer? Government is wasteful - and once you get a social program in place, there is almost no way to fix it when problems develop. Look at Social Security - that system is in real trouble, but the minute anyone proposes even the most logical fix, the solution is shot down because people won't get as much from the government as they did before. Creating a social program of this magnitude is asking for massive wasteful spending that we won't be able to root out...

I don't deny that Health Care is way overpriced, and the Insurance industry is needlessly complicated and difficult to work with. Fixing the problem by nationalizing Health Care the way it is in Canada, though, is a lazy and ineffective fix. I think it is far better to look at reforming the Insurance industry and finding ways to streamline the system so it is easier and more cost effective for people to get health care.

In the grand scheme of things, I feel better about helping to provide health care with someone with unhealthy habits in a low income tax bracket than someone who can't afford health care but can afford to buy their kids cell phones and 3 or 4 XBox games a month. If ANYONE is going to get government provided health care, I would prefer see them demonstrate that they are really doing all they can to provide their family with the necessities and not the luxuries, and truly needs the help. There are hard working people who do everything they can to support their family and spend wisely, who could use some help. I think they should get it. But a blanket Universal Health Care system is going to reduce the overall quality and availability of care, create another enormous and inefficient federal government program that is going to become more and more overburdened as the Baby Boomers get older and older, and really just replace one set of problems with a totally new set of problems.

I'd like to see some real solutions presented that don't involve the government providing for the people. If the system is broken - let's fix it, but we don't need to become a nanny state to do that.

(edited by Pool-Boy on 29.6.07 1445)

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OlFuzzyBastard
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Since: 28.4.02
From: Pittsburgh, PA

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.15
Pool-Boy? Where the hell did you come from?
Pool-Boy
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Since: 1.8.02
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.17
Been around - I've stuck to the occasional lurking for some time though. Biting my tongue seemed the best way to avoid foot-in-mouth syndrome. I probably just blew that though...


(edited by Pool-Boy on 29.6.07 1509)


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Leroy
Andouille








Since: 7.2.02
From: Huntington, NY

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.15
    Originally posted by samoflange
    That's a good point that I hadn't thought of. My brother just finished up at medical school and I remember one time having a conversation with him during one of his clinical rotations in Brooklyn. He was shocked at the amount of people who just had no clue what they were doing to themselves by living a high-fat, low-activity lifestyle. I will not go into any of the details because he probably shouldn't have been telling me about it, but it was just ridiculous. If national health care does come about and it ends up helping to educate people in this regard, then that'd be a big positive.


The only way national health care works is if it focuses on preventative medicine, keeping the majority of the resources available for people with more serious illnesses.

    Originally posted by Pool-Boy

    Been around - I've stuck to the occasional lurking for some time though.


Welcome back - if Grimis is to follow, I am SO outta' here.

:-)



"Oh my God! They have a shit-load of Cockapoo stuff!"
-Jennifer's greatest quote... ever.
Lexus
Bierwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: Stafford, VA

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.83
Well, the way I currently see it is as such. Commit fraud and you'll get all the healthcare you'll need.

Here's what I mean. They don't card you when you go to the hospital or a doctor's office, so make up a name that's passibly realistic (Biff McNasty is right out). Then, when they ask for the money (in most cases we're talking a co-pay, and NOBODY asks for it up front), just leave. Granted, you probably won't want to go walking back into that office/hospital any time soon, but what the fuck. There are more than enough practitioners, both actual bonafide doctors and nurse practitioners in any general area that you can go for years getting yearly checkups, and when you consider that new doctors will arrive in your area constantly (especially in a society that's so suburbanized that I can drive 10 minutes on the freeway to another town and rinse and repeat), I'll never have to pay for another single visit ever again.

Furthermore, with the anonymity I'll be engaged in, if I get shot, or have some rare communicable disease that warrants a FEMA injunction (and at the rate they work, pshh), nobody will ever have to know.

Getting drugs, on the other hand, is a wee bit tougher.

So in essence, with a little savvy, free health-care exists, it just jacks the price of health-care up for the stiffs willing to pay for it.

EDIT: Note, I just paid $875 for a root canal, and still have to come up with $1060 for the crown, so I'm not doing this.

(edited by Lexus on 30.6.07 0151)

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Downtown Bookie
Morcilla








Since: 7.4.02
From: The Inner City, Now Living In The Country

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.15
If the proposal on the table is a universal health care system run by the government, count me out. Practical experience has taught me that government run anything is rarely a good idea, unless you happen to be a fan of waste, mis-management, inefficiency and fraud. Those who feel otherwise should be forced to spend a month dealing with the various DMVs throughout the nation. Or, perhaps even more telling, consider the government run OTB in New York City:
    Originally posted by Funding Universe Company Histories, New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation
    OTB received mounting criticism over the years: its parlors were shabby, technology antiquated, management inept, and work force inefficient. Like so many city institutions, it had become a source for political patronage, providing high-paying, high-sounding, do-little jobs to supporters.

    By cutting the number of OTB shops from 157 to 90, it came as no surprise that OTB's annual handle slipped from $959.2 million in 1990 to $742 million in fiscal 1994, and despite cost-savings measures, the corporation actually lost over $7.4 million that year. During Rudolph Guiliani's run for mayor in 1993, the state of OTB became a salient campaign issue when he questioned how a bookie operation could possibly lose money. In addition, Guiliani's opponent, David Dinkins, the city's first minority mayor, was troubled by his appointment to head OTB, Hazel Dukes. According to a 1994 Forbes profile of OTB, "She might have cost the mayor the election, as OTB became a symbol of ineptitude. She clearly regarded OTB as a candy jar: She fired older white managers and replaced them with nonwhites, saddling OTB with big lawsuits from the fired whites and thus adding to OTB's deficit."

    Originally posted by The Office of Congressman Anthony D. Weiner
    In 2003, OTB’s handle was $1.025 billion, of which $784 million was given back in winning bets, and $32 million was reserved for surcharge payments. This left a total “take out” of $209 million. Of this, $104 million was used to pay race tracks, New York State and the racing industry. The additional $118 million was entirely used to pay operating costs. The result was a net loss for OTB, and no profit for New York City....Since 2001, despite a clientele that has actually risen, profits have plummeted, and OTB is on the brink of going broke....It isn’t easy to lose money in a gambling operation. Especially when you are the house. But bad decisions by the city and the state have made the stream of OTB dollars to New York City run dry.
For those who may be interested, Funding Universe's full web page on the company history of New York City's OTB can be found here (fundinguniverse.com) , while the Executive Summary of Congressman Anthony D. Weiner's report "OTB: OUT OF THE BLACK; The Failure of Off-Track Betting Under Bloomberg" can be found here (house.gov) .

So does that mean that I'm in favor of keeping the status quo? Not at all; in fact, I agree one-hundred percent with this statement made by another New York politician:
    Originally posted by Senator Hillary Clinton
    We have the best health-care in the world and the worst way of paying for it.
There seems to be general agreement that this is is the real problem with the health-care system in the United States; not the service that is provided, but how that service is paid for by the average American.

So how how do we improve the system by which Americans pay for health-care? Well, consider this: the average American obtains his health-care insurance through his place of employment. Therefore his options are limited to those given to him by his employer. In other words, the average American can only purchase health-care insurance from those providers pre-approved by his employer.

Why? No, seriously, why do we have this system for health-care insurance? We don't have it for automobile insurance; we don't have it for home-owners or property insurance. So why do we have this horrible system for health-care insurance?

I remember some fifteen years ago when I accepted a lump-sum package to leave my then place of employment: I was out of work, but I still had my car insurance; I still had my home-owners insurance; I even still had life insurance; but because I had chosen to leave my job, I suddenly found myself without health insurance. Oh sure, I could have purchased an individual health insurance policy, but because there's no value to providers under our current system to market health insurance that way, the cost to me would have been the approximate equivalent of two-day hospital stay each month.

And so it is for too many American citizens: if you're out of work, if you're between jobs, if you're a new hire, if you're a part-time worker, you're pretty much SOL when it comes to health-care insurance. Even if you're a full-time, forty-hour-or-more-a-week worker, you may find yourself uninsured, or under insured with a policy that doesn't really fit your needs, simply because you have no other options, except for those given you by your place of employment.

Now, I'm not saying opening up health-care insurance to the same free-market conditions that other insurance industries operate under is the cure-all that's going to solve all that's wrong with health-care in the United States. But I am saying, as a fan of the free-market system, that making the health-care providers directly accountable to their customers (rather than to their customers' employers) would go a long way towards the U.S. no longer having the worst way of paying for the best health-care in the world.




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tricia
Bauerwurst








Since: 5.11.05

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.71
One of the larger expenses in the Medical practice is "Malpractice Insurance". I am curious how the government would handle that issue and still persuade doctors to keep practicing medicine....



tricia @@@:)
StaggerLee
Scrapple








Since: 3.10.02
From: Right side of the tracks

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.41
The federal government already runs ONE health care system. Stop by your local VA Hospital and see how well it looks compared to where you go get seen. Then ask yourself, "Is this the type of care I want for myself and my family"
Lexus
Bierwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: Stafford, VA

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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.83
The VA Hospital is depressing, I know. I've gone with a coworker one time (I drove him down on Saturday) and it was almost like something from a horror story.

As a military brat, I know all about the differences between Military hospitals and doctors and Civilian. The only exception is Bethesda, which itself is far less a hospital and more a giant clinic by design, but that may or may not be on account of Johns Hopkins being right up the road.



Hold nothing sacred and you'll never be dissapointed. Especially not this statement.
TheOldMan
Landjager








Since: 13.2.03
From: Chicago

Since last post: 21 days
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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.81
I'm guessing that the difference between Bethesda and other Military care facilities is related to being the place where POTUS and Congresspersons go when they need a doctor while in DC?
StaggerLee
Scrapple








Since: 3.10.02
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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.41
    Originally posted by TheOldMan
    I'm guessing that the difference between Bethesda and other Military care facilities is related to being the place where POTUS and Congresspersons go when they need a doctor while in DC?


Well, Bethesda is the "big" hospital in the Navy. It's where all the power broker doctors, administrators, etc go when they get up in rank, to have it on their resume. If you really think about it, why is the Navy's largest hospital in the one place where there are hardly any Navy people stationed?

And, since Clinton, most of the time Presidents and Congress wont even use Bethesda. Not sure why, but that's always sorta been what's happened.
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