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Old 09-12-2014, 02:37 PM   #61
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IMO, health care should be treated as a human right, not as another commodity. We've come to embrace the idea of public safety, safe drinking water and other similar "public" services to be equally accessible to all, regardless of one's ability to pay. I doubt any of us would argue that those are life necesseties and minimum requirements of an advanced society. Why should access to routine, quality healthcare be any different? If I dial 911, no one is first asking me for my "public safety insurance card" prior to dispatching the police or fire dept.

For a nation like the U.S. that declares "life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness" to be its tenents, the fact that a significant percentage of our population must do without access to routine, quality, preventative healthcare solely because they can't afford it is unacceptable. All of us benefit by having a healthier society. It lowers the cost of doing business through improved productivity. As individuals have their chronic health conditions more effectively managed through access to routine, preventative care, costs begin to go down by reducing E.R. visits and inpatient hospital stays.

Expanded, improved Medicare made available to every American - cradle to grave - is the answer. Medicare is actually administered very cost effectively - at less than 5%. An earlier poster mentioned it is going "broke", when in fact it is because the program must insure a relatively narrow band of our population (the elderly & disabled) whose healthcare needs consume significant resources are why Medicare costs rise disproportionately. Expanding "the risk pool" to include everyone, cutting out private health insurance companies (useless middlemen that contribute NOTHING to health care) and permitting Medicare to negotiate drug prices would significantly drive down per capita health care costs in the U.S.

And BTW folks - stating that anyone can go to the E.R. and be treated "free of charge" is not healthcare. It is in fact the most expensive form of treatment and least effective means of keeping people "healthy".

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Old 09-12-2014, 04:40 PM   #62
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Switzerland has about 8,000,000 people, so not a bad system for say NYC, about the same size! Now my guess is if you compare the socio-economic background of the two you will find they are not that close to each other, and the Swiss system would quickly collapse even in a confined space as NYC much less one that spreads from Hawaii to NY, Alaska to Florida.

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Old 09-12-2014, 07:58 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by candrew View Post
IMO, health care should be treated as a human right....
I could not disagree more. Read the Constitution and Bill of Rights - health care isn't in there.

I suppose that in your view food is a human right too so the next thing you will propose is free food for everyone?
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Old 09-12-2014, 09:07 PM   #64
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I could not disagree more. Read the Constitution and Bill of Rights - health care isn't in there.
And where does it say something has to be black-letter in the constitution in order for The People to actuate it? The answer is: Is need not be. Rights are what we want them to be. The Constitution does not proscribe universal med insurance.

I suppose that in your view food is a human right too so the next thing you will propose is free food for everyone?
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Old 09-13-2014, 12:12 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
I could not disagree more. Read the Constitution and Bill of Rights - health care isn't in there.
Fortunately, in their wisdom the Founding Fathers had anticipated your disagreement.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

-- Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution
James Madison commented:
It has been objected also against a Bill of Rights, that, by enumerating particular exceptions to the grant of power, it would disparage those rights which were not placed in that enumeration; and it might follow by implication, that those rights which were not singled out, were intended to be assigned into the hands of the General Government, and were consequently insecure. This is one of the most plausible arguments I have ever heard against the admission of a bill of rights into this system; but, I conceive, that it may be guarded against. I have attempted it, as gentlemen may see by turning to the last clause of the fourth resolution.
So, after the enumeration of specific rights, the great residuum remains the rights of the people. Now, as to whether or not access to healthcare is in fact a right of the people is a matter of debate.

There are those who believe that only true natural rights are those which impose no affirmative obligations on others, but require only that one not act contrary to the rights of others. As a right to healthcare would require an affirmative obligation on the provider of such care to exist, under this interpretation healthcare cannot be a true natural right. (Rand-Rothbard-Cato school; Smith-Heinlein is best summarized as "TANSTAAFL!")

This is countered by those who believe that access to healthcare is a moral right, and promotion of such access is a legitimate function of government, as part of the exercise of "unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

The reader is invited to familiarize himself with the arguments around the topic here:
Right to Health Care

Further debate on the subject of whether access to healthcare is a human right is best done somewhere else. (That's sort of a hint.)
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Old 09-13-2014, 12:14 AM   #66
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People who live outside the US just do not get it.

What they see is the wealthiest country in the world that is inherently unable to provide all of it's citizens access to health care. This is a stunning indictment for those of us who live in different countries and who have experienced other systems/travelled extensively.

It is a system that appears to have been shaped by insurance companies, hospital corporations, and drug companies. Does anyone really think that even one of these organizations place national health and well being ahead of their corporate well being/shareholder return?

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