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Old 07-11-2007, 04:18 PM   #61
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I can tell you who would be a afraid - all those companies that treat their employees like dirt because those employees would wake up and realize they don't have to stay with them just for the health insurance. It would be a boon to the average man/woman. I can't wait.
I hadn't thought of it quite that way before, but BRING IT ON! Can't wait for the tide to turn (at least a little) in favor of employees. The workplace has become horribly Darwinian in recent years.
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Old 07-11-2007, 06:34 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by neeps View Post
There is a big difference between healthcare for everyone and good healthcare for everyone. If anyone expects that they will receive the same level of care under a government system IMO it is frankly naive.
Well, comparing the systems overall is hard. It would appear that the US system works well for very bad problems, like cancer, or cases where the treatment is still very new. But the preventative care in a nationalized system is noticeably better. Trying to get into a doctor for a fever in the States takes a few days. In Canada, it takes under an hour. And before you ask, no I've never personally used their healthcare. But I've gone WITH someone to their clinics and seen the response time. I was impressed.

The real reason this movie got to me is that people WITH insurance are getting turned down for valid health issues. Apparently, our system is somewhat of a crap shoot. You get cancer? No problem - the insurance company rolls a die and if it comes up with a 7, you get 300k in medical treatment for a copay of $1k as long as you are in network. Comes up a 3? You're SOL and will probably die.

This is a side of the system I've never seen or heard about. I was shocked to see just how dirty the insurance companies were. I always assumed all the horror stories of US medicine were by the uninsured. Mr Moore has shown me something I never knew existed. And no, I'm not a supporter of his. His documentaries [sic] are anything but. In this case however, he's exposed some things I think a lot of Americans didn't know existed.
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Old 07-11-2007, 06:40 PM   #63
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I hadn't thought of it quite that way before, but BRING IT ON! Can't wait for the tide to turn (at least a little) in favor of employees. The workplace has become horribly Darwinian in recent years.
Heh, that's so true. Amazes me that we as a nation have somehow come to the conclusion that it's okay to work over 40h every week because it's our "responsibility". I always think of it like this - if my boss says "yah, I'm gonna need you to come in on Saturday and Sunday this week", why isn't it okay for me to say, "yah, I'm gonna need you to pay me an extra grand this week".

Or, if you don't like that comparison, try this one. Why is it okay for you to have to come in early or stay late for an emergency, but if you need to see a dentist, you have to use vacation time?

That scene in the movie where Bush says to the woman that working jobs is a "uniquely American" thing, and he says it with pride... yah, that's nothing to be proud of. That's something to be ashamed of. I'd like to believe he's too much a politician to let his true feelings show, but deep down, I think he honestly just doesn't care.
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Old 07-11-2007, 06:49 PM   #64
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My biggest concern is health care insurance, and it isnt even paying for it. Its keeping insured so I dont see my stash get wiped out by an emergency.

I can imagine what its like for people who cant even get past the part of affording it.

My experience with 'regular' system:

Doctor tries to get me in to see him as often as possible, even though its unnecessary because he's trying to amp up his earnings. Then he charges extra to the insurance company so that after they do their 'feel good' discount negotiations he's getting a fair price. Then the insurance company pays all but six dollars of the amount. The doctors office bills me for the six bucks. I pay by check or credit card, which is again handled by the doctors office, then a bank. Then I take my prescription to a pharmacy thats also trying to make a profit by selling drugs that a pharmaceutical company is trying to make a profit from, the latter which spends billions trying to convince me that a drug will fix problems that I dont even have, while shoving samples into my doctors pockets to convince him to get me to try it.

I think I'd rather we have a simple system where everyone gets the care, preventative management and treatments they need, with all these profit dollars staying either in my pocket or in the pocket of whoever is treating me.

And I'd sit in a 1960's non air conditioned ward to get it.
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Old 07-11-2007, 06:56 PM   #65
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I think I'd rather we have a simple system where everyone gets the care, preventative management and treatments they need, with all these profit dollars staying either in my pocket or in the pocket of whoever is treating me.

And I'd sit in a 1960's non air conditioned ward to get it.
I agree very much with your post. I'm curious what you thought the answer might be though?
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Old 07-11-2007, 07:11 PM   #66
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My new HMO seems to have figured out at least part of it. They offer better levels of care than BC for half the price.

So either the insurance companies need to own the doctors and pharmacies, or someone other than the insurance companies needs to pay them.

Since I believe that health care is like education, everyone should get at least the basics and if they want to pay out of pocket for more, do so.

Given the current costs of the system, it should be possible to do with current funding. Massachusetts seems to think they can get away with it. I'm not QUITE so stupid as to think that inserting a bureaucracy into the system solves it, but it does seem that at least some socialization can produce good results at a reasonable cost.

My HMO doctor doesnt want to see me, and I dont need to see him. I just wanted a refill. No negotiation, no billing, no paperwork, no pharmacy profits, no insurance company profits, no doctor overhead to cover.

I know the HMO's have their problems too, but I have no issues with pushing to get all the care I want from them. I'd be more worried if they didnt whomp the PPO plans by a good margin in every objective survey I've seen...
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Old 07-11-2007, 09:43 PM   #67
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People, do you really think with the current federal deficit at figures so mind bogling it is uncomprehensible, and medicare alone unsustainable, and the Iraq war sucking the financial life from us, that we can afford universal health insurance for EVERYONE?

Get real. Our medical costs here are out of sight. Do you know what the average doctor makes today. They don't just have a practice, they run a detroit factory. Do you know the cost associated with medical supplies today, that should cost 1/10th of what they bill. The whole system is out of control. In the movie when they interviewed the young doctor in England, as to how well he gets paid by the government, and he said he thought he got paid very well with all the incentives in place for him he could make in excess of $150,000 a year.

That's chump change for our doctors here. And do you know that in almost every country their governments impose limits on Pharmaceutacal companies as to what they can charge for their medications. All that is but the US. Our government (Bush) promised the big giants that it would not impose such restrictions, cause someone has to pay the cost of all the R&D.

Of course, any doctors here are going to jump in a bring up the out of control mal practice insurance they have to pay. And I totally agree. Another American out of control blood sucking industry. The law suit industry. There's a real healthy american devised industry. Open your yellow pages, and see how many Personal Injury Lawyers you see. Hard to find one who just does the simple stuff anymore.

Don't get me wrong. I think the fact that at this late date we still do not provide universal or AT LEAST affordable health insurance for it's citizens is a travesty. But the enormaty of the problem would take the best of the best to fix, and we don't have such people in power. Just think about trying to fix it all. Where would you begin? How do you undue all that has been done that got us where we are today.
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Old 07-12-2007, 07:58 AM   #68
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But the enormaty of the problem would take the best of the best to fix, and we don't have such people in power.

Just think about trying to fix it all. Where would you begin? How do you undue all that has been done that got us where we are today.
Is there any hope for the Massachusetts plan? I have not followed the details, but weren't they trying to take a step-wise approach to the problem. It seemed reasonable to me on the surface, but as always, the Devil is in the details.

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Old 07-12-2007, 09:36 AM   #69
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Seems easy to me. Put everyone in a not-for-profit HMO like i'm in, and collect all the funds the government, employers and everyone else are throwing into the current set of systems. Since my HMO is charging half as much, you can now extend coverage to everyone and still have money left over.

Then its time to corral the drug companies. Do we really need 8 companies working on different hair, boner and cholesterol pills or perhaps we make one or two of each type of drug, maybe beat those cancer and aids critters and make the drugs available to the socialized system at a reasonable cost?

Just imagine running the military, road building or education in this manner.

Ridiculous.
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Old 07-13-2007, 11:14 PM   #70
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There is no question among constitutional scholars that the broad power to levy taxes and expend funds to provide for the general welfare gives the legislature power to do things like establish social security programs, medicare, and it it chose, national health care.
There's no doubt that this is the common present interpretation of the role of the federal government. But I think it's reasonable to assume James Madison and Thomas Jefferson had some understanding of what the framers meant.
(The section below is from a column by George Mason Unv professor Walter Williams, at the link http://tinyurl.com/334m6k)

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In 1794, Congress appropriated $15,000 for relief of French refugees. James Madison stood on the floor of the House to object saying, "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." . . . Here's what Madison had to say about [the general welfare clause] : "With respect to the two words "general welfare," I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators." Thomas Jefferson echoed similar sentiments saying, "Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated."
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Old 07-14-2007, 09:40 AM   #71
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We're also not supposed to have a standing army.
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Old 07-14-2007, 01:11 PM   #72
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I updated a piece I put together on health care a couple of years ago:
US Health Care

It seems that not much has changed.
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