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Old 01-10-2008, 09:45 AM   #81
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This can't be replicated on a national scale (where would everyone go?)

How about Canada! On a national scale this won't work because there is no political will to make it work, not because there is no place to go.

The US will have a viable Health Care system when a majority of the people want it. It is called democracy and for several hundred years it has worked.

Currently roughly 260M of the nations 300M have some form of health insurance, therefore, it is hard to get 51% of the population to demand a change.

In the meantime, IMHO, it does little good to have foreign nationals whom apparently choose to live here criticize us in a holier than thou attitude! The United States is not like the rest of the free world. Yes, we can afford anything we choose. However, watch the world cringe if we cut them off from their public doal. You want to do away with defense? Stop payments for research and development? Rally you troops and march on. Just remember the Government has no money. It is your money and my money and, when you vote for a new federal bureaucracy, we will pay for it. Especially the folks that post on this board. You are the rich that will pay, not the guy across the street making 40k a year.
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Old 01-10-2008, 09:46 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post
As someone who comes from a country that has a national health system (Australia) I have to say that it is only because of it's existence that we will be in a position to RE in our 40s.

As to those who believe it would be cost prohibitive to introduce a similar system in the US I have to say I believe it could be done if the will was there. I vaguely remember back in the 70s when the national health system was not in existence in Australia. My parents were low income and struggled to pay their health insurance. However, I am sure someone is better at researching these things than I am, but I am certain that our personal income tax rates have fallen dramatically since the introduction of the national health system. As someone who has always been reasonably healthy and a non-user of the system, I have to say that I am happy to pay the extra 1.45% that is required to cover Medicare, knowing that everyone is able to see a Dr if required.

I believe the key in the US would be to cease the litigation and cut out the BS that the insurers are allowed to play. If I see a Dr privately in Australia I pay his bill on the spot and I take the bill to the insurer who is required to pay me then and there. None of the silly games that are allowed here in the US.

The standard of medical care is higher in the US than Australia, however that is probably due to the fact that we don't have enough people to get the top people to stay or develop their careers.
I read this last night. My wife and I debated national health care.

Google "universal health care" The third or fourth hit had a web site which suggested

a) states managing this is better than federal goverment
b) medicare program pays 3% to adminstration fees, private insurance through employers pays 20-30% to administative fees (and profit to insurance companies). It is cheaper to centralize the administration. This savings alone would keep costs under control.
c) the US has the most advanced health care system in the world, yet has higher infant mortality than other industrialized countries, and spends more per person than these countries, yet the average person gets less coverage for the dollars spent.

Only one candidate (a democrat, not one of top 3) is in favor of a national (universal) health care program. Most of the other candidates want regionalized or state led programs with tax credits and tax incentives for employers and individuals not contributing to system right now.
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Old 01-10-2008, 10:10 AM   #83
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Yep, its tested all over the world, where superior health care at a lower cost is the norm vs the US system.

As far as the non-covered people or "undesirables", is it cheaper to diagnose high blood pressure and prescribe a $4/mo drug, or to handle a heart attack in the emergency room?
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Old 01-10-2008, 10:32 AM   #84
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Minnesota has the least number of uninsured of any state (depending on the year, ranging from 7 to 8%). Its risk pool was the first in the nation, is probably the least expensive, and yet has good coverage. It has Minnesota care, subsidized insurance for low income residents. Yet I doubt there has been a huge influx of people to Minnesota to get insurance. Sure, people like me might stay here for the benefits, but move here? Texas has something like 43% of its population uninsured. Are they moving here? I don't think so.

Generally, I am pleased with the Minnesota model. However, Minnesota Care is vulnerable to budget cuts and when we have certain people in power there are moves to cut the life out of it. Just like how Medicaid benefits and coverage get reduced. When it come time to save money in government, programs for the poor are vulnerable--no strong lobby. I am happy, however, that the last move to cut Minnesota Care to limit benefits to $5000 a year (worthless!), the doctors in the state pushed hard and strong to keep the coverage unchanged. I had the pleasure of working with them in stopping the cuts and we were successful. But there are still holes in the system and the number of uninsured in the state is still too high.


One thing I don't like about state solutions is that you end up stuck in a state, it really inhibits people's ability to be mobile. Plus, why should each state have to invent its own wheel? What about poor states like Mississippi? What about states with special problems, like Texas with its 43% uninsured? Why is a disjointed state by state system a good solution? It sure isn't now and it is what we have. A national solution would simplify things tremendously.
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Old 01-10-2008, 11:08 AM   #85
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Martha,
It is called 'The United States of America'

You cut right to the heart of the conflict that has been in place since the adoption of the Constitution. States Rights vs Federal Government. You could make your argument about any of the hot button subjects today. Education, Health Care, Abortion, Drug policy, Death Penalty. You practice or did practice law in Minnesota, why should the people of Minnesota have to obey laws that don't exist in say Oregon or Texas.

No intention to hijack the thread. Just trying to point out that this country was set up for States to provide solutions and it goes to the crux of the Conservative vs Liberal arguments. I for one would say 'I'll work on Texas's problems, just don't force Minnesota's solution on me. I may have different problems than Minnesota.'

Based on the latest Census Bureau data, the report said Texas has one of the fastest-growing immigrant populations of any state. Half of the nearly 3.5 million immigrants living in Texas are in the country illegally. On the other side Minnesota's 2006 population 5,167,101. Texas illegally population is equal to 25% of Minnesota's total population.

My purpose in pointing this out is that a Minnesota solution may work in Texas, but then again it may not. Likewise a National system that works for one state may or may not work for all. And, for those 'every other country has national health care' folks, most other countries have far more homogeneous populations than the U.S. (and no I don't have prove of this, just an observation) The great melting pot has some spots where things just have not softened. By the way, does Minnesota celebrate Cinco De Mayo day?
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Old 01-10-2008, 11:31 AM   #86
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Martha's point really has nothing to do with states' rights. Rather, she is pointing out that our current system of health insurance, with different underwriting rules in different states, makes it very difficult to move from one state to another if you have developed a "pre-existing condition" while on a policy in your original state. This lack of portability can effectively prevent a person from moving. Imagine if a life insurance policy which you had carried for many years became null and void if you moved to a different state. This is exactly the way it often is with health insurance.
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Old 01-10-2008, 11:41 AM   #87
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Don't move! OK, I know I would hear a ration of S&*t over that statement, but life is not fare, there are no guarantees. Is portability the only problem you are trying to solve? No! If you use pot in California for Medical reasons well you can't move to Texas. The law here is not the same. So we should have a national law making them the same.

It is a states rights issue. The folks in Texas should be allowed to have what ever type of health care system they want. If you can't move here because they won't cover you, then you don't move here. Some folks would consider that a benefit. That may be harsh and not PC but it is the way the country was set up.

Taken one step further, lets make Mexico and Canada have the same laws the US have, or say England or France. After all why should I not be able to move there if I want to. My health care should be the same, I paid for it for so long.
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Old 01-10-2008, 11:47 AM   #88
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You made my day Rustic23.... Great post....Thanks... I think the following puts it the best...


"The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life." - Theodore Roosevelt
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Old 01-10-2008, 06:49 PM   #89
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c) the US has the most advanced health care system in the world, yet has higher infant mortality than other industrialized countries
With all due respect, this misinformation needs to be put to bed. Much of this is due to how infant mortality is calculated, the amount of effort put into trying to save a lost cause and the difference in how 'stillborn' is defined in many nations.

There are many legitimate criticisms of the U.S. health care system. This fallacy isn't one of them. This statistic doesn't compare apples to apples in terms of the effort made to save hopelessly lost infants or normalize the definition of 'infant mortality' versus 'stillborn'.

Quote:
Only one candidate (a democrat, not one of top 3) is in favor of a national (universal) health care program.
Kucinich, yes? His "Medicare for all" bill and proposal would be the best thing that ever happened to someone who wants to retire early. A system where everyone is covered, paid almost completely by WORKERS through PAYROLL TAXES? As good as this would be for someone who is FIREd, I think it would be devastating to the U.S. economy to convince a lot of high income taxpayers to stop generating earned income and become tax consumers.
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Nothing Wrong With Regional administration
Old 01-10-2008, 09:29 PM   #90
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Nothing Wrong With Regional administration

Quote:
Originally Posted by jIMOh View Post
I read this last night. My wife and I debated national health care.

Google "universal health care" The third or fourth hit had a web site which suggested

a) states managing this is better than federal goverment
b) medicare program pays 3% to adminstration fees, private insurance through employers pays 20-30% to administative fees (and profit to insurance companies). It is cheaper to centralize the administration. This savings alone would keep costs under control.
c) the US has the most advanced health care system in the world, yet has higher infant mortality than other industrialized countries, and spends more per person than these countries, yet the average person gets less coverage for the dollars spent.

Only one candidate (a democrat, not one of top 3) is in favor of a national (universal) health care program. Most of the other candidates want regionalized or state led programs with tax credits and tax incentives for employers and individuals not contributing to system right now.
Ok, this is my first time quoting; hope I did it right.

I think you're likely right about the administrative costs. In Canada, although Federally funded, provinces manage their local healh plans, and reciprocity ensures that a citizen of any province is insured anywhere in the country. I recall a Canadian health care system employee saying that a few dozen people handled the health care bureaucracy for the whole nation. The magnitude of the U.S. insurance bureaucracy is ovewhelming in comparison.

The other day I read where a Federal employee opposed national health care, though he had "free health for life". Actually, to borrow from the conservative mantra, it's not free, it's just that someon else pays for it.

It's ironic to hear someone getting "free" health care on the taxpayer's nickel wanting to deny the same benefit to the very people paying for it. Strange to hear a lecture on Capitalism from someone receiving a Socialist benefit.

Of course it has to be voted on. This isn't a question of anyone forcing a decision on anyone else. Rather it's a case of pointing out how other nations have handled an issue that currently confronts another nation.

There was opposition to National health care when it was first implemented in Canada as well, around 1969. But, after almost 40 years, there is no serious political opposition to it. In my travels in Canada, I've met hundreds of people who are glad they have it, and one who thought it was an undue intrusion of Federal authority into the economy.

Upon visiting Australia, some curious people asked how Americans paid for health care if they weren't insured. I replied that they paid out of pocket as with anything else. They could hardly believe it; and looked at me as though I was describing something out of the middle ages. I suppose people just get used to what they are raised with.

Here's a link on life expectancy. Not too bad. We're only slightly behind Cuba, and decidedly ahead of Albania! Hooray!

List of countries by life expectancy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 01-10-2008, 09:50 PM   #91
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A federal employee that receives health care as a part of his employment is not receiving a Socialist benefit any more that a member of the military is receiving a Socialist benefit when he or his family visits a doctor. It is a condition of employment. You could make a case that SS and Medicare are Socialist programs, however, these are paid for by the worker. Medicaid, on the other hand, is a pure Socialist program.

Some of your post make since, but when you revert to such moronic drivel it is diminished. Once more, I don't know who you work for or if your even work, but if you do or did, you likely accepted your employers health plan, so therefore do you consider yourself as one that receives the benefits of 'Socialist system'?

Also as pointed out elsewhere in this thread, it is hard to compare statistics from different countries without knowing the way the statistics are gathered and measured. Example: Athletes have a higher mortality rate than non athletes. That was reviewed several years ago and had many concerned. However, it only looked at were you and athlete and when did you die. Then there was an attempt to say there must be something medical about it. Turns out they forgot that many are risk takers and this was not entered in to the survey. So for me you can quote all sorts of misleading stats, but without the complete studies from bona fied sources, they are useless.

On a side note anyone can post to Wikipedia, and sometimes the data is good and sometimes it is not.
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