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Old 08-21-2009, 04:10 PM   #61
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B) Give the Federal Government unlimited power to dictate how we will be taken care of. In fact actually giving the feds control over our physical selves.
This is the only statement I have a hard time accepting. What we are doing is trading who gets the power. It currently is the insurance companies, and they are not doing so good with it. I don't know why you think the government could not possibly be an improvement

Having to choose who I would trust with my life decisions, I would pick the government over the insurance companies. I think we would all like those decisions be left up to our doctors and ourselves, but that's not on the table, and obviously their must be some limits set.

We would be so much better off if we could get rid of the middle man (insurance company) who really does not contribute to our health care. They only skim profits from it, at the expense of many. That money could be used so much more effectively. This would help with the financial burden.
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Old 08-21-2009, 05:40 PM   #62
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Having to choose who I would trust with my life decisions, I would pick the government over the insurance companies. I think we would all like those decisions be left up to our doctors and ourselves, but that's not on the table, and obviously their must be some limits set.
Imagine, if you will, that your mother has just been admitted to hospital after a severe stroke. You go to your mother's bed, and there is already a woman there in business attire. She is trying to place your mother's hand around a pen and place a clipboard underneath.

The clipboard holds a Consent For Do Not Resuscitate form. The woman is from the HMO business office.

As I said to the nice lady while urging her to depart, "I don't trust advice from anyone with a profit motive."
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:58 PM   #63
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We would be so much better off if we could get rid of the middle man (insurance company) who really does not contribute to our health care. They only skim profits from it, at the expense of many. That money could be used so much more effectively. This would help with the financial burden.
Would we also be better off if we could get rid of auto insurance companies and life insurance companies? They also make profits (which, BTW, you can enjoy if you'd like by simply buying stock in a public one. The government doesn't give us that option when they take over a function). These insurance companies perform a service by allowing people to cover unlikely but devastating risks that they are unable to cover on their own. That's a valuable service, and health insurance ( to cover unusual expenses) would be similarly valuable.
One big problem is that "health insurance" in the US isn't really "insurance" in the traditional sense, since people don't buy it to cover unusual risks--they buy it (or rather, their employer buys it) to cover a part of all their health care expenditures. It shouldn't surprise us that the premiums are high, and that costs spiral up. If car insurance covered every oil change and shopping cart ding, I'd expect that it would be expensive and that people would be getting a lot more dents filled.
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Old 08-22-2009, 11:26 AM   #64
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Would we also be better off if we could get rid of auto insurance companies and life insurance companies? .
One big problem is that "health insurance" in the US isn't really "insurance" in the traditional sense, since people don't buy it to cover unusual risks--they buy it (or rather, their employer buys it) to cover a part of all their health care expenditures. It shouldn't surprise us that the premiums are high, and that costs spiral up. If car insurance covered every oil change and shopping cart ding, I'd expect that it would be expensive and that people would be getting a lot more dents filled.

I feeled compelled to point out the difference here. Auto insurance and life insurance, and in fact most other types of insurance is highly profitable for the insurance compaies and affordable for individuals. The two (in certain states) insurances that are not affordable for individuals now is health care and home insurance for some.

Here in Florida (and I assume some other states) monthly premiums rose so high after we had a three hurricanes that peoples premiums were jacked up three and four times (and I'm not talking people living on the water) I lived inland and saw my premium go from $1,300 to $4,200. Many people were forced to drop their home insurance or the insurance company dropped them. The state had to intervene and offer insurance for those who could not get insurance. The hurricane deductable got larger and the exclusions got bigger as well. They are still to this day the predominant insurance available here in Florida. (government interfernce)

The second insurance (health insurance), and the most important and vital insurance to have is not available for all, because it is either too expensive for lower income families, or because of a pre-existing condition for someone who lost their insurance when they lost their job or tried to change their job or because they were purged because they were too sick.

We are not talking about things here. We are talking about peoples lives and human suffering, and I don't know about you, but this makes this type of insurance very different to me. It also tells me that the current system being offered to us by the middleman (insurance companies) is not working and they are either not willing or unable to change it.

Since the government is able to do it cheaper, and has no need for profit, doesn't it make sense for someone to take it over? For those of you who have the means, I am sure you could buy a supplimental policy to improve on the basic plan, and thus sleep better knowing everyone has some coverage. Wouldn't you too be willing to pay slightly higher taxes to insure this?

I can't help feel sometimes listening to people talk that there are too many people who are of the mind set that "I have mine and I'm covered, so I don't want to do anything to rock the boat." I have insurance too. I have medicare, so I'm grandma who you can pull the plug on. Though I do not adhere to this propaganda, I am willing to take the chance if it will help the masses.

The only problem with offering lower income families a "catistrophic insurance" and not include doctor visits, is that these people will not go to the doctor when they should, cause a doctor's visit and medicine can be their weeks salary. So these people go undiognosed until they become very ill, and then their illness and treatment becomes catastrophic.
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Old 08-22-2009, 12:09 PM   #65
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Since the government is able to do it cheaper, and has no need for profit, doesn't it make sense for someone to take it over? For those of you who have the means, I am sure you could buy a supplimental policy to improve on the basic plan, and thus sleep better knowing everyone has some coverage. Wouldn't you too be willing to pay slightly higher taxes to insure this?

I can't help feel sometimes listening to people talk that there are too many people who are of the mind set that "I have mine and I'm covered, so I don't want to do anything to rock the boat." I have insurance too. I have medicare, so I'm grandma who you can pull the plug on. Though I do not adhere to this propaganda, I am willing to take the chance if it will help the masses.
The government hasn't shown where they will do anything cheaper. So the assumption that they can, is a rather big assumption (not to mention a primary argument for socialism). They haven't in the past and they aren't in the bill being discussed. The two principle statements I've seen as far as affability goes is, "we'll see cost improvement from implementing best practices", or "we'll deal with the cost later". The latter is a very bad argument to make. Every time the government has made it they have failed to deal with the costs later. The former doesn't address the numbers it is just a blanket statement. Even the CBO pointed out that the bill being discussed does not do anything to contain costs.

After reading the bill (I know it is changing. The final one probably won't be released for review by the public) it stipulates a minimum standard. The best policy will have a minimum standard of paying 95% of the health care costs. Any money collected by an insurer above a certain medical expense ratio is to be returned to the consumers. The term "medical expense ratio" has not been defined and the method of figuring the ratio has not be determined. It would be in the companies' best interest to maximize medical expenses. Talk about a messed up system. The health care providers would be encouraged to increase the prices (which would be good for them because they get to increase their standard of living) by the insurance companies. The insurance companies would be increasing their profits by encouraging the doctors to increase their prices. That does not sound like a very good way of encouraging reasonable costs in health care.
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Old 08-22-2009, 06:16 PM   #66
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Lets-Retire. I can not argue that point with you, as I have not read that in the bill. If you can point me to the pages, I would gladly read it.

So, if that is your interpretation of the bill, and you are opposed to it. May I ask what you would propose?
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Old 08-22-2009, 07:22 PM   #67
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Used the incorrect term, it is medical loss ratio. I also had the way it works backward. If the insurance provider does not spend enough toward the medical loss ratio they must refund receipts back to the consumer up to the loss ratio. So if the loss ratio is 50% the insurer is guaranteed to spend half of it's receipts either on health care or in refunds. The insurance companies might spend more, but they cannot spend any less. This still leads to the same result. They can encourage providers to increase their wages, because as long as they meet the 50% loss they are good to go and can charge more for their product. The higher the ratio the worse it is for the health insurance companies. On page 25 it appears the law wants the medical expense ratio to be as high as possible to ensure as much money is used for health care and not for the operation of the insurance company.

http://energycommerce.house.gov/Pres...0714/aahca.pdf Pages 24-25

My position is to hit the biggest inefficiencies and make them more efficient with the co-operation of the health insurance provider, health care providers and the rest of the health care industry. Make them sit down and come up with a system that works, if they don't get it done, then they don't get to play in the game. I gave an example in a thread about how to go about getting the admin more efficient, it might even be in this thread.
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Old 08-22-2009, 07:58 PM   #68
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What is the agreed-upon definition for socialized medicine? Maybe I'll like it?
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Old 08-22-2009, 09:50 PM   #69
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What is the agreed-upon definition for socialized medicine? Maybe I'll like it?
Just for amusement:
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Originally Posted by MedicineNet Medical Dictionary
Socialized medicine: A system of health care in which all health personnel and health facilities, including doctors and hospitals, work for the government and draw salaries from the government. Doctors in the US Veterans Administration and the Armed Services are paid this way. And the Veterans and US military hospitals are also supported this way. Examples also exist in Great Britain and Spain.
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Originally Posted by Merriam-Webster
socialized medicine
Function: noun
Date: 1937
: medical and hospital services for the members of a class or population administered by an organized group (as a state agency) and paid for from funds obtained usually by assessments, philanthropy, or taxation.
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Originally Posted by MSN Encarta
so·cial·ized med·i·cine

noun
Definition:

U.S. health care subsidized by government: a system of national health care that provides medical care to all and is regulated and subsidized by the government.
The Harvard School of Public Health conducted a poll on the subject of 'socialized medicine.' I'll just note that trying to paint current proposals for health care as socialized medicine might just backfire.

These graphs illustrate the statistics gathered by the poll.



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Old 08-22-2009, 10:26 PM   #70
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The Harvard School of Public Health conducted a poll on the subject of 'socialized medicine.'
Just for completeness: The poll was conducted in Jan and Feb 2008. I think most people will admit that a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then.

Here's what a more recent poll found regarding American desires for a "single payer" system (which is not necessarily the same as "socialized medicine"--but neither is Medicare):
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Thirty-two percent (32%) of voters nationwide favor a single-payer health care system where the federal government provides coverage for everyone. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 57% are opposed to a single-payer plan.
As one would expect, Republicans and Democrats come down on opposite sides of the issue. Surprisingly, independents (the folks who decide most elections) appear to be fairly unified in their thinking. I think the smart politicians are looking at these numbers and thinking of their next election as they work on the current legislation.
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There's wide political disagreement over the single-payer issue. Sixty-two percent (62%) of Democrats favor a single-payer system, but 87% of Republicans are opposed to one. As for those not affiliated with either major party, 22% favor a single-payer approach while 63% are opposed.
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Old 08-23-2009, 06:53 AM   #71
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Is single-payer system the application of socialized medicine?
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Old 08-23-2009, 09:06 AM   #72
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A "socialized" system would be a single payer that administers the health care facilities and determines rates of compensation.

Controlling cost requires some things that aren't really being talked about. A much more prominent role for the primary care physician, a remake of reimbursement practices focusing on primary care and a reduction in administrative burden.

Family doctors will do a much better job of improving the efficiency of the health care system than employees of any agency or business.
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Old 08-23-2009, 10:15 AM   #73
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A "socialized" system would be a single payer that administers the health care facilities and determines rates of compensation.

Controlling cost requires some things that aren't really being talked about. A much more prominent role for the primary care physician, a remake of reimbursement practices focusing on primary care and a reduction in administrative burden.

Family doctors will do a much better job of improving the efficiency of the health care system than employees of any agency or business.
So, there is only one way to socialize the system, and that is by having a single payer? And this single payer would be the only entity administering the facilities? Do I have that correct?
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Old 08-23-2009, 08:10 PM   #74
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So, there is only one way to socialize the system, and that is by having a single payer? And this single payer would be the only entity administering the facilities? Do I have that correct?
Among the widely differing definitions of "socialized medicine" posted by MPaquette, the "MedicineNet Medical Dictionary" definition looks closest to what I associate with socialized medicine. And, in that case, the government administers the facilities and is a single payer. All socialized medicine systems are single payer, but not all single payer systems would need to be socialized (the single payer could make payments to private medical care providers).
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:09 AM   #75
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Among the widely differing definitions of "socialized medicine" posted by MPaquette, the "MedicineNet Medical Dictionary" definition looks closest to what I associate with socialized medicine. And, in that case, the government administers the facilities and is a single payer. All socialized medicine systems are single payer, but not all single payer systems would need to be socialized (the single payer could make payments to private medical care providers).
What does "administer the facilities" include?

Our high school has an administrator. I see what she does, and know she is paid by the school board. She lives in a nearby town. If she gets out of line, the school board gets involved.

Does single payer mean that our hospital administrator will become a federal employee?
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:49 AM   #76
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Socialized means who owns the means of production, not who pays. In this case it would mean the government owning all the health care goods and services - hospitals, labs, clinics, etc., and no private providers of health products and services.

Within this public health care discussion, "socialized medicine" is a term used to sidetrack the discussion because it is conceptually not part of any proposal or intention.

Single payer means that all payment for health care comes from one single source. Another way to phrase it would be "one single giant insurance company".
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:01 AM   #77
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Within this public health care discussion, "socialized medicine" is a term used to sidetrack the discussion because it is conceptually not part of any proposal or intention.
Agreed. While there are a few people here who want something like the British National Health Service, that's not in any of the present proposals.

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Single payer means that all payment for health care comes from one single source. Another way to phrase it would be "one single giant insurance company".
Except that "company" implies it is a private entity, while most single-payer proposals put a government agency in that role.
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Old 08-24-2009, 03:33 PM   #78
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I heard a bit of a talk on the radio while driving, the speaker said that the term "socialized medicine" as pejorative term started in the Truman era with the AMA. They claimed that Lenin said that the first thing to do to bring socialism to a country is give them health care. Turned out Lenin never said that but it did a good job of scaring people away from national health care at that time.

Can't vouch for what I heard, I don't even know who was talking, but if true it is an interesting tidbit.
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Old 08-24-2009, 04:15 PM   #79
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Can't vouch for what I heard, I don't even know who was talking, but if true it is an interesting tidbit.
Even if not true it is an interesting tidbit. Very much like the Harold and Louise crap of the Clinton attempt, and today's "Death Panels".

I am likely personally better off with the status quo, as are many of us. But the transparency of these attacks is amazing. I guess P.T. Barnum was right.

Ha
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:04 PM   #80
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But the transparency of these attacks is amazing. I guess P.T. Barnum was right.

Ha
And to that end...

Lexington: Still crazy after all these years | The Economist


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Hofstadter, writing at the time of Barry Goldwater’s insurgency, argued that political paranoia—a mix of anger, heated exaggeration, suspiciousness and conspiratorial fantasy—was most evident on the extreme right. And there are plenty of examples of right-wingers peddling nutty tales. Isolationists in the 1940s accused Franklin Roosevelt of deliberately letting the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbour to provide an excuse for war. Talk-radio crackpots in the 1990s accused the Clintons of having Vince Foster, a depressive friend of theirs who killed himself, murdered.
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But the left is hardly immune to such fantasies. Some people, including Mr Obama’s own former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, believe that AIDS was cooked up by the government to kill blacks. A staggering 18% of Americans think that the government of George Bush probably knew in advance about the attacks of September 11th 2001 but allowed them to proceed anyway. Some even contend that Mr Bush orchestrated the attacks himself, to create an excuse for invading Iraq. To believe this, you have to believe that the Bushies were both wicked enough to murder thousands of Americans and brilliant enough to execute such a mind-bogglingly sophisticated plot without a single leak—in a culture where Richard Nixon could not even hush up a burglary.
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