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ChibiHorsewoman

National Health Care

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[color=#9933ff][font=monotype corsiva][size=4] Look I'm back after almost a month, and I have a thread of my own!

Okay so I don't know how many of us here are American and who are from other places like the UK, Canada, Asia Ect ect. But recently President Obama has been talking about revamping health care and from the sounds of things he wants to try and get Americans National or socialized healthcare which in my opinion is a good thing. I've been uninsured more times than I care to remember because DSS (department of social services) said I made too much to be on which ever health care is geared towards the poor people or I was waiting for coverage. I just found out that the new company I work for has sneaky ways of getting around insuring their employees when they should.

Now I know that National isn't a cure all and that recently Americans have been hearing a lot about the problems Canadians have with their health care or been told horror stories of people dying on waiting lists (ok yes that's sad but true. But from what I've heard that's because they don't have the specialists that they have in the states) And the best part is definately the out of control town hall meetings that have been extremely off the chain as of late.

So I'm trying to get opinions and maybe experiances of those who have national or socialized health care. And those who have private insurance. And of course those of us who are uninsured for whatever reason. Please let's just be civil here. Thanks.[/color][/font][/size]

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[COLOR="DarkOrchid"][FONT="Times New Roman"]I believe the town hall meetings are democracy in action and the feelings that people have over this are well within their rights.

I don't support nationlized health care, nor believe that it is the solution to our current crisis. This may be because the government can't run cash for clunkers, Medicare, Medicaid, or the post office. Or the DMV. Are you sensing a theme here?

I go to a university, so I have health care payments built into my tuition. I don't buy that there are 45 million uninsured people in the country. Some people choose to not be insured because they can't afford it, or don't feel they need it. Some get catastrophic health care for when they break a limb in a household misshap. And then there are the 15 million or so illegal immigrants in my own state who use the hospital ER like it's their own private practitioner. I have trouble believing that a national program will not try to choke out private health care.

What's Washingtonese for 'Monopoly'?[/FONT][/COLOR]

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[color=#9933ff][font=monotype corsiva][size=4]Those town hall meetings are a bunch of loons . Seriously can't we Americans behaive better than that? It's appalling. All that screaming. You're not at a basketball game. :animesigh

I'm one of those uninsured Americans, I've had insurance on and off since '05 and it's not fun not being able to get even your birth control pills let alone the medications I need to actually function and keep my job- of course I feel at times I'd be better off being like my ex's mom who sits on her butt with her cats all day smoking cigarettes and getting her government check.

What I do now is function from day to day and deal with my bi-polar and my ADD without my medications because the stratera is 110$ even with inusrance and I don't even have generic paxil. I have to forget about my check ups because DSS says I make too much to be covered and I have to hope my employer won't start their loop hole crap that they've done with some of my co workers.

I like the idea of national health care. You pay for it with your taxes like you do for the rest of the state. I think I need to force SpyLR back on here so he can talk about it at length. But I think this could be a fun debate.[/color][/font][/size]

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[COLOR="DarkOrchid"][FONT="Times New Roman"]I don't believe that the town hall meetings are any crazier than the protests and marches people have every day for causes they believe in. The media's treatment of the town hall meetings shows the ignorance on both sides.

I believe nationalized healthcare needs to be a choice for people. Making it built into taxes is bad for people who want other options and don't want the government's version of health 'care.' I don't know if you've heard what Obama's said about end of life care but I do know that that few thousand page behemoth of a bill doesn't do much good for old people. It's easier to take pain pills than arrange and pay for a pacemaker.[/FONT][/COLOR]

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Being a Canadian I can see this from a different side than some one with your style of health.

The style that we have is payed for by Taxes, just like the Police and Fire Departments, they are a service to the public etc.

the current system that you americnas have i see it like having to pay a cop to even think about catching a guy that just robbed your place or some thing, or that you would have to pay the fire department to run into the burning building to save your wife and kids that are trapped inside.

im sure that many of you would see that as some thing STUPID, so why do it for your health?

Granted that our system is not perfect, we dont have enough specialist Drs and what not to treat every one EXACTLY when they need it, but every one gets treated.

and when its life and death and its known about in time and every thing, people are SENT down to the states by our system so that what ever specilist Dr can see and treat them.

but some people may say that they can afford to pay for them self, well thats good for you, but what about the joe blow that works for you or what ever, the guy that works at walmart stocking shelves or the guy that pumps your gas, can they? i would be VERY surprised if they could, so why should they suffer because your loaded with moeny?

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[quote name='spy46'] i would be VERY surprised if they could, so why should they suffer because your loaded with moeny?[/QUOTE]

[COLOR="DarkOrchid"][FONT="Times New Roman"]Why should I pay for Joe's health care with my taxes? Or his welfare for that matter. We already have a nationalized form of health care for low income people in my state. And guess what, it's paid for by our taxes. And here's another surprise. The system has no money left. It's borrowing from other branches of the state budget.[/FONT][/COLOR]

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[quote name='Raiha'][COLOR="DarkOrchid"][FONT="Times New Roman"]Why should I pay for Joe's health care with my taxes? Or his welfare for that matter. We already have a nationalized form of health care for low income people in my state. And guess what, it's paid for by our taxes. And here's another surprise. The system has no money left. It's borrowing from other branches of the state budget.[/FONT][/COLOR][/QUOTE]

[font=franklin gothic medium]So, why pay for Joe's roads? Why pay for his postal service? Why pay taxes for [i]any[/i] public services? It's a facetious argument - it's very much akin to the slogan "no war for oil"; it sounds nice, but totally misunderstands the complex reality.

I don't have a great understanding of the mindfield that represents the current U.S. health system, but I have yet to see a reasonable argument in favor of a completely private system.

Unfortunately, Americans spend a great deal of time talking about the inefficiencies of healthcare systems in other countries, even though they are the [i]least[/i] qualified to discuss a functioning healthcare model. The hypocrisy of this situation is glaring to most - it should be more glaring to those who refuse to entertain alternatives to the status quo in America.

While I don't think that an "all public" system is necessarily a good idea (and I don't even know if it's being proposed), I am tired of hearing the same simplistic "reds under the bed" arguments, which tend to come from people who have an irrational fear of anything involving the word "public".

I often think that the symbolism - and utter ignorance about the reality - outweighs any desire to actually reform healthcare and bring America into the first world where it really belongs.

(Note: I don't even necessarily think that the Obama plan - which I know little about - is the right plan. My overall point, though, is that America will need to consider hybrid alternative models if it is ever going to drag itself out of its currently under-performing, high-cost "health" system).[/font]

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[quote name='James'][font=franklin gothic medium]

While I don't think that an "all public" system is necessarily a good idea (and I don't even know if it's being proposed),[B] I am tired of hearing the same simplistic "reds under the bed" [/B]arguments, which tend to come from people who have an irrational fear of anything involving the word "public". [/font][/QUOTE]

[color=#9933ff][font=monotype corsiva][size=4]That comment just made me chuckle because I got into a bit of a debate last night on Facebook about national (or as these people were calling it socialized) health care. Anyone who didn't agree with them was called a commie or a red. I was actually told to 'get the hell out' of my own country if I wanted to 'support a communist regime like this Stalin wannabe is trying to establish' sad really.

I think that the point Lee (Spy46) was making is that if you've a problem paying for someone's health care, why not have the same problem paying for someone else's police response or someone else's home fire being put out? Do you have an issue paying for toll roads because everyone else uses them and why should I pay for something everyone uses? Same with school taxes. My grandparents pay school taxes in the town they live in and they're youngest daughter graduated in '73. But they still pay them every year. It'd just be one more thing, and you'd actually get something for being taxed.

I don't believe that national health care would be a cure all- I never have. No system's perfect which would be the reason Fox News can get so many disaffected Canadian citizens to come on their show and complain about having health care that's taken out of their paycheck and the quality of care. Hmm, why not complain about your hospital instead? That would make more sense to me. Besides, if they hate the system so much, why not come down here to the States? It's sure as hell cheaper than Canada.

What I don't get is why so many people who are insured are so opposed to it. You're allowed to keep your private insurance- my friend in Alberta works for Walmart and gets her company insurance, plus her provincial health care plus the health care for all Canadians. And you can still keep your doctor. You're not told what proceedures you can and can't have and you don't have to worry what's going to happen to you between that 3 month probation period your new company has.

I hope no one takes offense to my next comment, but I was talking to my boyfriend's father last night and started my conversation with: 'Oh man, Americans have got to be some of the dumbest people. They're all like Oh no! Someone's offering health care for everyone! Whatever shall we do?' Ok so you really can't get the sarcasm here, but you can imagine it. We've a president who is finally acting in the interest of the citizens of his country and all the oppents to this idea can find to do is scream like toddlers in a grocery store at town hall meetings and send death threats to their senators. It makes me emberassed to be an American.If you're going to complain at least know what you're complaining about and please keep your death threats to yourself.[/color][/font][/size]

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[COLOR="DarkOrchid"][FONT="Times New Roman"]Because it turns out to be the same thing as a parent who has the funds or the voucher to send their child to a private school. They're still paying taxes to the public school system, even when they're not using it.

Before you ridicule people who have a problem with nationalized health care, perhaps you would do well to read Obama's plan before assuming that everyone opposed to it is completely insane, a die hard Republican, or more or less just being stubborn.[/FONT][/COLOR]

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Americans die on waiting lists too. Look hard enough and you'll find horror stories from every health care system on the planet - they attempt to cater for an entire population, nothing that huge can ever run perfectly.

We in the UK have the National Health Service. It's ridiculously far from perfect, especially at the moment thanks to government meddling, but on the whole it works. Yes, sometimes the wait can be ridiculous, but let's be realistic here: people don't turn up at A&E suffering from a heart attack and get told to take a seat. If your condition requires urgent attention you will get it - if you don't...well, see what I mentioned about horror stories.

As I see it the problem with the US system is profit; people want to make too much in an environment where it is difficult unless you begin to do things that are questionable, ethically. Patenting treatments rather than the technology involved. Drug or other private medical companies directly funding medical education and sponsoring studies which wholeheartedly recommend x, which turns out to be something developed by the sponsor company. Insurers being able to declare things like cancer pre-existing conditions. That's just for starters.

I think at the very least a compromise between nationalised health care and insurance needs to be reached for everyone to receive fair and timely treatment for whatever ailment they may have (isn't that why health care exists in the first place?). I think the Aussies have a half-and-half system that works pretty well, as do some European countries. Some more restrictions on the way private medical companies operate couldn't hurt either.

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I'm not really interested in this paticular debate, mainly because it's been hashed to death among the people I know so I'm kind of sick of talking about it, however, in answer to this:[quote name='James][font=franklin gothic medium]Note: I don't even necessarily think that the Obama plan - [B]which I know little about[/B'] - is the right plan.[/font][/quote]This document isn't as specific as I'd like but it will at least give you an overview of what they want to accomplish with the health reform. [URL="http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/issues/HealthCareFullPlan.pdf"][U]Health Care Plan[/U][/URL]

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[quote name='Raiha'][COLOR="DarkOrchid"][FONT="Times New Roman"]
Before you ridicule people who have a problem with nationalized health care, perhaps you would do well to read Obama's plan before assuming that everyone opposed to it is completely insane, a die hard Republican, or more or less just being stubborn.[/FONT][/COLOR][/QUOTE]

[font=franklin gothic medium]In my case, I've heard a little bit about Obama's plan but because I don't know the detail, I don't think it's right for me to comment one way or the other (thank you for the link Rach).

This is especially because America's healthcare system is already so complex and broken that fundamental reform is obviously required. Unfortunately, fundamentally reforming [i]anything[/i] is extremely difficult to do - both practically and politically. Most people will refuse radical change in favor of the status quo, even if the status quo is less than functional.

In terms of my overall criticisms - I know they are strong - but it needs to be said. There are many people who simply oppose [i]any[/i] public involvement, no matter what the form (i.e. whether mandated or optional). The justifications for this opposition are usually centered around the same bankrupt arguments, backed by a combination of ignorance and paranoia.

I think that America has given the world many great things, but it doesn't hurt to actually look at what other people are doing around the world and cherrypick the very best ideas out there.

After all, it should always be about people's health and not about politics or who has what idea, etc...[/font]

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[quote name='Raiha'][COLOR="DarkOrchid"][FONT="Times New Roman"]Because it turns out to be the same thing as a parent who has the funds or the voucher to send their child to a private school. They're still paying taxes to the public school system, even when they're not using it.[/FONT][/COLOR][/QUOTE]

[FONT="Franklin Gothic Medium"][SIZE=1][COLOR="Navy"] I live in a home that people's tax dollars payed for. I have free health care that other people pay the taxes for. So.....am I a wasteful American for not paying for my own insurance or property taxes? Do I have to just suck it up and pay for all of those things that taxpayers pay for because the average American doesn't have those benefits? Just because you aren't directly benefiting from the services that taxes provide, does not exclude you from paying to help fund public services.

I'm a firm supporter of the government trying to change or tweak our current health care system. Too many people can't afford to see a doctor and have the proper care they need. Regardless of one's financial situation, getting basic care for free by paying for it in taxes is a good thing. You want SSA to hand you a check every month when you retire,but getting health care that's across the board for everyone is out of the question?

Several European nations have public health care systems and the quality of their health care systems is top-notch in some cases.

I just fail to comprehend how something that would benefit all Americans can be a bad thing... [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]

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[COLOR="DarkOrchid"][FONT="Times New Roman"]Why do people want the government to do things for them? Where does personal responsibility begin and end? Why do we want a nanny state? When did human beings become so helpless and shiftless and pointless?

Everyone here appears to believe that the welfare of an individual is dependent on the actions of the state. Why? And what makes you believe that the government can spend money that isn't actually in the bank to benefit everyone? Will it truly benefit everyone? Or just the people who have access? What incentive will doctors have to stay here?[/FONT][/COLOR]

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so by the sounds of it, you want to have to pay a cop DIRECTLY to say ... investagate the murder of a loved one?

you want a bill from the firedepartmen to put out the fire and save your loved ones are in it, right?

by that logic, your saying that you should be able to police and provide fire support for your self, by your self.

does that really sound right?

like i said before, not every one CAN afford to go to a Dr, at least in the states, like my girlfriend said, and we talked about it a number of times just for kicks, but she JUST makes over the limit for what the support system allows for them to give her medical, but its not enough for HER to get medical, its like she makes 1$ too much for them to help her.

but if you had a government supported system, people like her and people that are worse off, CAN get the medical treatment that they need with out having to check if they can afford it or what ever, and if its payed for by taxes, you probably wont see a bill.

of course that depends on what ever way that your government sets it all up.

as for the comment aobut why would a Dr stay, well here in Canada we have it set so that the MORE people that a Dr will see, the MORE $$$$$$ he will get from the government.

and again, no system is PERFECT, but if you lost an arm right now, but you couldnt afford to have it put back on, even thou it could be saved with a 90% recovery but what ever insurance you have wont cover it and you dont have the money for it etc, what do you do? say good bye to one of your long time friends?

that system might not matter to you or any thing, but look at it over all, think about the sol parents that have to work 2 - 3 jobs just to fee the kids, but because they make that 1$ more, cant be under the health system, the kids are taken care of, but if they get sick, or die because of it, then what?

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[quote name='Raiha'][COLOR="DarkOrchid"][FONT="Times New Roman"]Why do people want the government to do things for them? Where does personal responsibility begin and end? Why do we want a nanny state? When did human beings become so helpless and shiftless and pointless?

Everyone here appears to believe that the welfare of an individual is dependent on the actions of the state. Why? And what makes you believe that the government can spend money that isn't actually in the bank to benefit everyone? Will it truly benefit everyone? Or just the people who have access? What incentive will doctors have to stay here?[/FONT][/COLOR][/QUOTE]


[color=#9933ff][font=monotype corsiva][size=4]Okay so this is where I get aggrivated. Before my ex divorced me I had been diagnosed with sever hyper active thyroid (I'd thrown up pretty much every day when he was here in April '05 sometimes up to 7 times a day) when he left me I was left with no job, a 4 month old and no health insurance so I had to go on medi (one of the two- whatever's offered by welfare) so I could get my medications- and also a psychiatrist because getting dumped that way scars you a bit.

I don't know how many of you on here have ever tried to apply for foodstamps or medicaid (care whatever) but it's a total pain in the *** They give you short notice to get all this damn paper work (like two three days tops) and it doesn't matter that you do have a job. When I had to go reaply the first time I was working from 4:30pm to 2am Monday through Friday and then after I'd been there they claimed I hadn't and I had to go back AGAIN. The second time they had me running all over the place to get paperwork between my home aide assignments then again told me I hadn't been to my appointment! And this time I knew they were messed up because a lady had been killed in a hit and run out on the road and all the people waiting in line including myself had seen it. So I decided I'd had enough of social services and went without health care.

That system is messed up and I'd hope that the government changes it soon. I hope we get national because with national the health care companies can't deny you for a pre-existing condition like the one I have. Here in the States doctors have incentives to turn people down because of pre-existing medical conditions that means that if your mom finds out she has cancer while she's in the 90 day waiting period to get on her company's health care policy can be denied health care because she has cancer and is therefore a larger risk. In Canada and in Europe their insurance can't do that because their citizens pay taxes to get their health care.

As for the doctor's incentive, as Lee (Spy) said doctors in Canada and Europe get money for each patient they treat.

Also I believe that we'd have a healthier nation if we had National health care because we'd have a nation of people who could afford to see a doctor when they wanted to instead of when it got to be too much to bear.

Besides Riaha, right now your tax dollars are already paying for me since I'm uninsured at the moment. About 700$ from every person in the states is going towards people like myself who are uninsured every year (I could be fudging a bit on the amount of money- I only heard it last night at work). So really when you look at it that way, why wouldn't you want to have national health care so at least when you have your tax dollars going to everyone who doesn't have health care through their employer you're getting something back as well?[/color][/font][/size]

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[quote name='Raiha'][COLOR="DarkOrchid"][FONT="Times New Roman"]Why do people want the government to do things for them? Where does personal responsibility begin and end? Why do we want a nanny state? When did human beings become so helpless and shiftless and pointless?[/COLOR][/FONT][/quote]
[FONT="Franklin Gothic Medium"][SIZE="1"][COLOR="navy"]
I don't know about you, but I thought it was the government's [B]job[/B] to make sure that people live in a nation where people are taken care of, regardless of their financial standing. I've heard that some nations rebel against their governments when people aren't getting the basic things they need because of cost. But I could be speculating, of course.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]

[Quote][COLOR="DarkOrchid"][FONT="Times New Roman"]Everyone here appears to believe that the welfare of an individual is dependent on the actions of the state. Why? And what makes you believe that the government can spend money that isn't actually in the bank to benefit everyone? Will it truly benefit everyone? Or just the people who have access? What incentive will doctors have to stay here?[/FONT][/COLOR][/QUOTE]

[FONT="Franklin Gothic Medium"][SIZE="1"][COLOR="Navy"]Well I guess that the same thing can be said about spending on the department of defense. Where is the government getting the money to finance all of the escapades we had and all the weapons development, deployment costs and general upkeep of the Armed Forces?

I believe that a universal health care system only threatens the buisnesses that have caused medical costs to be almost unaffordable for some Americans. This system gives everyone coverage, no matter what their financial placement may be. I'd rather live with that sentiment than continue to trudge along with our current system, where so many have applied for Medi-Care or Medic-aid that the funds are running dry for those who actually NEED the help more than others (I heard of a few cases where people used Medi-care to get prescription pain killers for something that simple dose of OTC Tylenol would have fixed. Migraines? Please.)[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]

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[font=franklin gothic medium]I know this has been responded to by just about everyone, but I did want to reply myself:[/font]

[quote]Why do people want the government to do things for them? Where does personal responsibility begin and end? Why do we want a nanny state? When did human beings become so helpless and shiftless and pointless?[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]So, to answer your questions...

[b]"Why do people want the government to do things for them?"[/b]

Isn't there an immediate contradiction in this question? Government's [i]entire purpose[/i] is to serve its citizenry by providing a number of critical services.

As I've already said before, government is already responsible for countless public services. You may throw up the argument that those services suck or whatever, but that isn't purely [i]because[/i] government is involved - there isn't necessarily a causality there. Some public organizations work well, others function terribly. This is also true of private business.

I'd really wonder what it'd be like to have a mail system or a defense system entirely operated and funded by private insurance companies - what a nightmare! The alternative may still not be ideal, but at least these systems are answerable to voters rather than shareholders.

[b]"Where does personal responsibility begin and end?"[/b]

Well what do you mean by that? Public health care doesn't in any way negate personal responsibility. I just don't see how you are linking the two.

If your argument is that we are all responsible for purchasing our own health care, then I'd agree in principle, but I think you are taking that to the extreme if you think that there can't be any room for a public alternative.

There is this illusion that because the current system is largely "private", people are automatically getting a better deal somehow. The logic is that private industry is more competitive, can keep costs lower and can provide more choice.

But to some degree this is a fallacy and a blatant one. The medical insurance industry doesn't operate on a truly competitive basis - it operates as an oligopoly. As a result, any competition that exists has little to do with providing better customer service and more to do with how high each company can push its respective margins. Pushing up margins equates to less provision of care. So it is in the interests of shareholders and insurers to provide as little coverage as possible.

In many ways an oligopoly is worse than a public entity, because there are few regulating forces that demand a benchmark of quality or service delivery. At least in a public system, the driving force is not profit, it is the provision of adequate service. And government-owned systems don't answer to shareholders - they answer to voters. Big difference.

In reality I think there is room for both public and private options. But there needs to be a counterweight to the private system, especially for people who are paying an utter fortune but who receive little bang for their buck. Those people don't deserve to be ripped off simply because they're dealing with private enterprise.

[b]"Why do we want a nanny state?"[/b]

But who is advocating a nanny state? I'm not and I'm sure many others aren't either.

Nanny state implies government control rather than simply a publicly funded option.

In Australia, where we have a public option, there are no real restrictions or controls on your choices as a patient - certainly no more than in the private system. You can still choose your own doctor, clinic, etc etc...

"Nanny state" is an extreme. I think most people want a middle ground.

[b]"When did human beings become so helpless and shiftless and pointless?"[/b]

Helpless how? Because not everyone wants to be gouged by medical insurance oligarchs?

Far from being helpless, the desire for health reform shows a willingness to participate and to address long term problems with the system. [/font]

[quote]Everyone here appears to believe that the welfare of an individual is dependent on the actions of the state. Why? And what makes you believe that the government can spend money that isn't actually in the bank to benefit everyone? Will it truly benefit everyone? Or just the people who have access? What incentive will doctors have to stay here?[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]But again, you're extrapolating to the extreme. I don't think anybody said that an individual's welfare is dependent on the actions of the state. Rather, people are pointing out that a large element of government's role is to provide and support critical services. This doesn't in any way seek to take choice away from the individual, at least in terms of what most people here seem to be advocating.

In terms of spending money, that's another issue. But either way, people will be paying for health care - whether it's via the tax system or via private insurance. Arguably it's possible to pay less for a public system due to the oligopoly situation with the private insurance industry. If you really didn't want to have a public alternative though, it would be necessary to at least radically reform the private system - and I doubt that will happen anytime soon.

As for incentive for doctors, I'm not sure what you mean. What is the disincentive for them?

As long as the doctor is getting paid for doing consultations or whatever, then I don't really see the difference. If anything, the doctor may find less resistance if he's claiming from, say, a "medicare" system as opposed to a combative private insurer.

Again, in Australia, doctors can decide whether or not patients pay privately or whether they "bulk bill" (i.e. claim via Medicare). Doctors and their offices have this choice - nobody dictates which way they must go. Some even do a combination of both.[/font]

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I realize my response here will only cover a few items, but I see no reason ro repeat what has been covered already. Instead, I'll briefly touch a few reasons why I'm not opposed to the reform.[quote name='James][font=franklin gothic medium]So it is in the interests of shareholders and insurers to provide as little coverage as possible.[/font][/QUOTE]This, a thousand times over. I've lost count of the times that friends, family and even myself have had to FIGHT the insurance companies to get coverage on procedures. Sooner or later, you get exasperated, and give up on fighting it. You still have to pay the bill anyway, regardless of whether or not your insurance will finally pay like they should. Hell, even when my father passed away recently, his insurance attempted to bail on covering nearly $100,000 worth of procedures that were done while he was in the hospital during his final week.[QUOTE=James][font=franklin gothic medium']If you really didn't want to have a public alternative though, it would be necessary to at least radically reform the private system - and I doubt that will happen anytime soon.[/font][/quote]I don't see this happening anytime soon either. It takes massive effort and actually suing the insurance companies over not providing coverage to get it changed. No matter how people spin it, denying coverage over preexisting conditions, among other things, needs to end. In my opinion, reform is long overdue.

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[quote name='Aaryanna_Mom']This, a thousand times over. I've lost count of the times that friends, family and even myself have had to FIGHT the insurance companies to get coverage on procedures. Sooner or later, you get exasperated, and give up on fighting it. You still have to pay the bill anyway, regardless of whether or not your insurance will finally pay like they should. Hell, even when my father passed away recently, his insurance attempted to bail on covering nearly $100,000 worth of procedures that were done while he was in the hospital during his final week.[/QUOTE]

[font=franklin gothic medium]Right. In other words, the existing system is utterly ridiculous. What you've said here underscores my point that a system controlled by insurance companies will [i]never[/i] err on the side of the patient. Ever.

There is clear evidence that people working for insurance firms actually receive financial bonuses based on the number of patients they [i]reject[/i] - that alone should raise alarm bells. Surely the performance goal should be to increase the number of satisfactory outcomes where patients are given appropriate care and/or advice.

You know what really bothers me about the current debate in America, though? It's the lies - particularly those pushed by the conservative side of politics.

Anyone who has followed anything I've said on OB over the years knows that I regularly try to counterbalance situations where conservatives are (in my view) unfairly attacked for all manner of things (particularly foreign policy). So I am certainly not someone who simply criticizes conservatives for no apparent reason.

But what I've seen in the healthcare debate is actually quite shocking, in terms of the desperation of the Republican party when it comes to attacking foreign healthcare systems.

I've seen a number of things thrown up about the UK's NHS...all of which were outright lies. And I mean [b]all[/b], not just a few. Some are so extreme that I actually wonder if they were spoken by a member of Congress!

So it seems that this paranoia about perceived socialism continues to overtake sane, logical discussion. It's bizarrely unique to America and it's something I don't think the rest of the world quite understands.

In this, I feel very sorry for those people who are pushing for any kind of healthcare reform - especially those who have had terrible experience with insurance companies. It really must feel like you're fighting a constant uphill battle.[/font]

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What you've said here underscores my point that a system controlled by insurance companies will never err on the side of the patient. Ever.


Isn't that because, as I understand it, insurance is a business now instead of an actual coverage system?

Refusing claims saves the company money. The less money the company spends, the more it makes. The more it makes, the more it can pay certain employees.

Same thing happened with the loan "industry"รข??it shouldn't have been an "industry" in the first place.
Edited by Allamorph

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[quote name='Allamorph'][FONT=Arial]Isn't that because, as I understand it, insurance is a business now instead of an actual coverage system?

Refusing claims saves the company money. The less money the company spends, the more it makes. The more it makes, the more it can pay certain employees.

Same thing happened with the loan "industry"?it shouldn't have been an "industry" in the first place.[/FONT][/QUOTE]

[font=franklin gothic medium]Yes, you're 100% correct.

I mean, you can compare this situation to home insurance. If you think about what home insurance entails, there are usually a number of things that won't be covered (say, for example, flood damage is covered but earthquake damage isn't).

But what happens is, if you ever do make a claim, the insurance company is shareholder-bound to increase the chance that a claim will be rejected. So if there's an earthquake that causes a flood, you might say that your house was destroyed by the flood. But the insurer will come back and say "Sorry, no, the earthquake caused the flood, so we won't pay". Usually this stuff is hidden in small print.

In principle I have no problem with private health insurance, though. We have a form of it in Australia. I can pay privately for a specific health insurance plan that gives me certain benefits (for instance I can get reimbursed for certain extra things that the public system won't cover - like buying new glasses or cosmetic surgery or whatever). That's fine and that's a great option to have if you can afford it.

[i]But[/i], the entire system shouldn't be dominated by insurance agencies. Insurance and health just don't go together - the goals of both are mutually exclusive.

I think private insurance should be the option, rather than the default. Even a basic public system with a private "premium" option would be better.

And this is essentially how it works here in Australia. There is a basic public system designed so that every citizen has access to healthcare, including necessary operations (i.e. it wouldn't cover cosmetic surgery for instance). But on [i]top[/i] of that, you can choose to shop around for private insurance options.[/font]

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Okay, I realize I'm just the ignorant teenager here, but I do not like the idea of nationalized health care.

I understand that there are many people that can't afford insurance, but I am sick and tired of this idealistic "take from the rich and give to the poor" crap. It doesn't work that way. Why should wealthier people have to suffer simply because they have more money than the average person? The good majority of wealthy people EARNED that money. And I'm not saying that people with less money are lazy and don't deserve better, but people can't just ask for the government to come into their lives and fix things every time something unfortunate happens.

Can the government even AFFORD to give everybody health care? Aren't we as a country in enough debt as it is? What does health care have to do with the government anyway? As far as I'm concerned, there should be lines seperating my personal life from politics that the government just should not cross.

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[quote name='chibi-master']I understand that there are many people that can't afford insurance, but I am sick and tired of this idealistic "take from the rich and give to the poor" crap. It doesn't work that way. Why should wealthier people have to suffer simply because they have more money than the average person? The good majority of wealthy people EARNED that money. And I'm not saying that people with less money are lazy and don't deserve better, but people can't just ask for the government to come into their lives and fix things every time something unfortunate happens. [/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]But we're not talking about welfare here like unemployment benefits or something - we're talking about healthcare. Are you saying it's right to deny someone a critical life-saving operation simply because they can't afford to pay for it privately?

And nobody is talking about taking from the rich and giving to the poor. I think you fundamentally misunderstand the idea of public healthcare. [i]Every[/i] public system involves contribution from all working citizens - this is true of most infrastructure and many critical public services as well.

You will find that successful capitalist democracies around the world are able to both encourage private endeavour while also maintaining a strong safety net for all of society (whether rich or poor). This is the difficult balance that must be struck.[/font]
[quote]
Can the government even AFFORD to give everybody health care? Aren't we as a country in enough debt as it is? What does health care have to do with the government anyway? As far as I'm concerned, there should be lines seperating my personal life from politics that the government just should not cross.[/QUOTE]

[font=franklin gothic medium]In terms of affording healthcare, I think it doesn't matter whether it's public or private - designing an affordable and sustainable system is important. That's why a mixture of public and private is likely necessary.

The current system in America is largely private, but I don't think anyone would suggest that it's affordable or sustainable in its current form.

As far as government involvement goes, I think that question has already been answered. There are numerous services that you rely on as a citizen, which are already funded and/or administered by government. This doesn't mean that government is somehow interfering with your personal life.

I would personally be a lot more worried if my [i]healthcare[/i] - the most fundamentally important thing I have to be concerned about - is in the hands of an insurance firm, whose interest lies solely in decreasing my chances of making a claim...rather than actually having a genuine interest in health outcomes.[/font]

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[quote name='chibi-master']

Can the government even AFFORD to give everybody health care? Aren't we as a country in enough debt as it is? What does health care have to do with the government anyway? As far as I'm concerned, there should be lines seperating my personal life from politics that the government just should not cross.[/QUOTE]

[color=#9933ff][font=monotype corsiva][size=4]Chibi 2 you're anything but an ignorant teenagers- I've yet to see you jumping a skateboard off the Wegman's loading dock


It's interesting that you brought up this question- two years ago when I was still working as a home health aide one of the CHNs (community health nurses) and I were talking about national health care because just like now, I didn't have health care and he'd said how America is one of the few countries that can reasonably afford to insure all its citizens but doesn't. Which really makes me wonder why don't we? Then I have to remember how dicey are political system is. Unlike Canada our government has for the most part been more self serving than anything else.

I don't see the government getting involved in saying what you can and can't do with your body on national health care. You're still allowed to choose your medical options and make your own choices. The government has no say over which hospital you go to, what care you receive or anything like that. They just give you the health care so you'll use it.

The only problem I will point out with National Health Care is that you HAVE to have it. Of course you have it because you pay taxes to have it, but there is no getting out of having health care. But hey, this means that as long as you pay your state taxes you have health care and can't suddenly be dropped for pre-existing conditions.

[/color][/font][/size]

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