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Old 02-13-2010, 12:59 AM   #1
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Socialized Healthcare

Well, we all know that universal healthcare is one of the biggest differences in opinion shared between modern conservatives and liberals. I want to start this thread to attempt to understand the mindset of those who do not see the same way as I do so I want to ask this question.

I agree that in principle there is something wrong if someone else fucks up and expects other people to bail them out (example - I eat McDonalds all my life and then say that the USA is screwed up because tax dollars don't pay for surgery on my clogged arteries).

My question is, even if someone is responsible for their own situation, would you still not want to help them out of it? I am not an expert on Christianity by any stretch, but the impression I get is that a large majority of peopel opposing the anti-universal healthcare proposal are republican christians so I want to bring this up. I ask this this because putting all other things aside, would the Jesus that history writes of really be of the opinion that if someone is in a self-inflicted crisis that we need not feel obliged (or at least compelled) to help them out?
I certainly become annoyed knowing that as a Canadian I am paying for surgeries and medications to cure people of ailments they could have easily avoided, but when I consider the alternative - which is, that if my tax dollars and those of other people had not gone towards their treatment that a portion of those people would have died.

I guess this boils down to being a compassion thing. In order to consider yourself a truly good person, how much do you have to care about other people. At what point is our obligation as caring, loving people, stopped? Given our current situation, would you choose more money for yourself and more people dying (irrespective of whether or not it is your fault), or to give up some of your income (or in my country's case keep it as it is) and know that your are helping some idiot somewhere, even if they don't appreciate it.

I guess I asked more than one question in that but regardless, I would like to see how people feel about these. Please don't respond with a Sarah Palin-esque vague response that sums up all the a-z's of your beliefs, I am only interested in the specific questions and your feelings about them at the moment.
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:51 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YomMamasHouse
I guess I asked more than one question in that but regardless, I would like to see how people feel about these. Please don't respond with a Sarah Palin-esque vague response that sums up all the a-z's of your beliefs, I am only interested in the specific questions and your feelings about them at the moment.
You did ask a lot of things, I'll give you my understanding a few of them.

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Originally Posted by YMH
My question is, even if someone is responsible for their own situation, would you still not want to help them out of it? I am not an expert on Christianity by any stretch, but the impression I get is that a large majority of peopel opposing the anti-universal healthcare proposal are republican christians so I want to bring this up. I ask this this because putting all other things aside, would the Jesus that history writes of really be of the opinion that if someone is in a self-inflicted crisis that we need not feel obliged (or at least compelled) to help them out?
Let's be clear on a few things. Christians are not against healthcare. They are not against everyone having health care. I also believe that the representation that all Christians are the ones up in arms over government run healthcare is completely false, most of the democrats in congress (including the president) are also labeled as Christians. This is not a religious issue. The mainstream media has done a terrific job jamming that falsehood down people's throats, and clearly some have bought it, but it couldn't be farther from the truth. People telling you it's Christians that are trying to let people die are trying to guilt the conservative Christian base into going along with a bad idea by lying about their intentions. That should tell you something about the validity of their argument.

Did Jesus tell people they should help those in need? Clearly yes. Did Jesus advocate taking from others against their will to help someone else, absolutely not.

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Originally Posted by YMH
I guess this boils down to being a compassion thing. In order to consider yourself a truly good person, how much do you have to care about other people. At what point is our obligation as caring, loving people, stopped? Given our current situation, would you choose more money for yourself and more people dying (irrespective of whether or not it is your fault), or to give up some of your income (or in my country's case keep it as it is) and know that your are helping some idiot somewhere, even if they don't appreciate it.
From a legislative perspective there is no obligation to be caring loving people, so it can't "stop", per say. It does not boil down to a "compassion" thing. People not wanting to put the government in charge of their own health care does not mean they are bad people, it doesn't mean they are less compassionate. Telling people they are less compassionate by not accepting this, wording the argument in that way, isn't an argument, it's an attempt to guilt people into doing something. I know you've been bombarded by the media with that argument, and that's probably why you've repeated it here, but step back and look at our position.... I believe that Ann Coulter summed up the conservative position on healthcare extremely well a few weeks ago:

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Originally Posted by Ann Coulter
Obama's plan to nationalize health care was a terrible idea because it would turn over one-sixth of the American economy to Washington bureaucrats, who would run the system as competently as the federal government runs everything else, from airport security to the post office to FEMA.
In many ways government caused this problem. Conservatives have outlined their solutions to fix it, but the media isn't putting those ideas forth because they know they are logical, sound, solutions that do not fit their (or the democrats) agenda of larger government and more control over individuals lives and decisions.

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Old 02-13-2010, 05:22 PM   #3
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Old 02-13-2010, 11:34 PM   #4
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This is a constitutional matter.

That's all there really is to it.

If a State wants to do it, that's fantastic. If the Federal Government wants to do it, that's a different matter.
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Old 02-15-2010, 03:07 PM   #5
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I wrote this for my blog back in September, at the prime of the Health Care debate, so this was written before a lot of the data and statistics came out (Or at least the credible data), so it's not all entirely accurate/valid anymore, but my basic point stands. The problem with Health Care is efficiency, and the reason our system is inefficient is because of regulations that make up the entire industry.

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Both parties have their fair share of dishonesty and demagoguery surrounding the Health Care debate. It seems as if they both plowed right into the discussion having already made their minds up; meanwhile, there's real reform that needs to be addressed that could dramatically lower the cost of insurance, and reduce, or even remove the barriers to entry for poorer Americans. Conventional wisdom suggests that in order to solve a problem, you have to remedy the problems you currently face, otherwise idiomatically known as 'Nipping it at the bud'. But let's not fool ourselves here, we don't need to radicalize our entire health care system when we don't need to.

While the GOP is fiddling in dark disguising their support for a public-option that latches onto medicare, the Democrats are up-front about what they want -- a public option (Single payer down the road). Through all of this bickering, all we have heard from either party is solutions that work for their special interests and not the American people. There's a lot of misinformation and mudslinging, most (If not all) is unsubstantiated.


These are all solutions that would make health care affordable, prevent consumers from being 'dropped' when they become ill, and would provide a net benefit for everyone by increasing the quality of care, increasing the availability, reducing the wait times and barriers to entry, and we wouldn't have the pesky Federal Government managing our care.



Tort Reform
In a 2003 report from the Insurance Information Institute they concluded a number of things about the need for tort reform. The American tort system is the most expensive in the industrialized world. According to the report "data from consulting firm Tillinghast puts the cost of the US tort system at $205 billion in 2001, or 2.0 percent of the nationís gross domestic product, compared with 1.3 percent in 1970, and 0.6 percent in 1950. The ratio of tort costs to GDP dropped in the 1990s but is expected to increase again in the next few years. Tort costs were $721 per US citizen in 2001, compared with a cost of just $12 in 1950." The report cites another report put out by the Department of Health and Human Services stating that "An HHS report suggests that healthcare costs could be reduced by 5 percent to 9 percent if unreasonable awards for non-economic damages were limited. It estimates this would save $60 billion to $108 billion in healthcare costs each year, thus lowering the cost of health insurance and allowing an additional 2.4 to 4.3 million Americans to obtain insurance."

Tort reform is a widely-disputed issue, and the evidence, isn't conclusive if whether or not the reduction of medical liability cases is a net positive out-right. But conventional wisdom shows us that, if the number of medical liability cases were reduced drastically, the saved revenue from cheaper malpractice insurance would still remain pocketed by medical professionals, but the thing that would change is that 'defensive medicine' would cease to exist. Defensive medicine is when a doctor will order multiple tests to eliminate the .01% chance that the test they got back was faulty, so to reduce the chances of getting sued (And going bankrupt, unable to practice medicine any longer) a doctor will 'defensively' order tests and evaluations, costing the insurance companies more money, raising premiums and making health insurance more exclusive.


Term-health Insurance Coverage
Currently, Health Insurance is purchased on a year-to-year basis; if consumers were allowed to purchase based on a term, insurers would be forced to uphold contractual obligations. Another net positive, is that the consumers and insurers would be able to better predict the cost of insurance, and both would have a better frame of reference on how to keep costs down.


If consumers were able to chose a term-health plan, there could be incentives provided by the insurer to allow people to lower their costs by engaging in healthy behavior. For example, an insurance company could provide it's customers with a number of services; such as paid gym memberships, stress management classes/course (Massages/Acupuncture therapy) -- This would keep their customers healthier for longer, reducing the burden of treating them over the long-term by a lot. Incentives like these would hopefully encourage more people to lead a more holistic life style, with a heavy emphasis on preventative medicine.


Deregulate Primary Care
Do you think it's reasonable to have a Medical Doctor diagnose basic illnesses that any trained Nurse practitioner can diagnose and treat? If we removed the need for Nurse practitioners (and other qualified individuals) from needing the oversight of a doctor at a clinic, two major problems would be solved. First, doctor's offices would be less crowded (more people visiting clinics to remedy simple ailments), the result being that they'd be able to treat more patients with more pressing matters than a common cold. Second -- since visiting a clinic is much cheaper than visiting a medical doctor at his practice, the more people went to clinics -- the strain on insurance companies would be greatly reduced.


Tax breaks for Doctors
...who treat the poor. One of the biggest grievances with our current health care system is that there is 47 million uninsured people in the United States. If we gave Doctors a tax deduction off their personal income taxes at the end of the year for the amount of services they rendered to those that couldn't afford it, both parties would benefit. The Doctor won't turn away the patient that can't afford his services, and the patient, who otherwise wouldn't have been able to afford it, would have gotten their treatment for free, or at a drastically reduced price.



Remove Mandates on Coverage
As it stands, the law dictates that insurers must cover patients for treatments they might not even need. If you're a healthy individual, don't have heart or weight problems, why should your insurer be forced to cover you for these treatments when it's likely you'll never need them? Some people, dictated by their lifestyles, are more prone to certain illnesses and injuries. Say you're a rock climber, you obviously wouldn't need coverage for Obesity-related illnesses such as diabetes, heart conditions, blood pressure problems, etc., but you might be more subject to breaking a bone, damaging nerves, etc. The inverse goes for the obese, if you're overweight, there's probably not much of a chance that you will break a bone climbing an artificial rock wall.


Remove regulations preventing competition
Currently, insurance companies are unable to compete across state lines, undeniably making health insurance more expensive for the consumer. If companies were allowed to compete across state lines it would not only be cheaper for the consumer, it would give them more choice. Repealing some legislation (Namely the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and amending the Federal Tax code would be all it takes.


Make Insurance portable
...and remove perverse incentives for consumers to chose a job based on it's health plan, as opposed to finding a job based on your knowledge and experience.

Allow Drug Importations OR...
...allow doctors and hospitals to purchase drugs in mass quantities, at a reduced wholesale price. This is why (some) drugs are so cheap in places like Canada. If we allowed drug importations, drug spending would be reduced by about 1% (Doesn't sound like a lot, but drug spending is in the trillions) or about $60 billion. Either measure would reduce the price of drugs by a fair amount.


Reduce Patent Limits on Prescription Drugs
Currently name-brand drugs can be 'patented' (And Drug companies are now getting around this by repackaging a brand-name with a generic and giving it a new name, thus extending the patent) for 20 years. If we reduced that time span, and allowed generic manufacturers to compete, drug prices would be drastically reduced.
The funny thing is, you can see whose side the politicians are on when you look at their recent voting record on health care. In early to mid December, a bill was voted down to prevent drug importation from countries like Canada (Where the majority of the Democrats voted against it, and killed it). If it isn't blatantly obvious by now that the Health Care plan going through Congress isn't a blatant attempt at rent-seeking, well, maybe you should turn off MSNBC and FOX news, and read some credible news sources. Politics as usual... Real reform is overlooked, and instead we are going to be forced to throw our money at monolithic corporations once again.
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Old 02-15-2010, 03:08 PM   #6
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^That being said, there are definitely some real problems in our health care system, no doubt about that. It just saddens me that real reform is being overlooked.
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:08 AM   #7
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^That being said, there are definitely some real problems in our health care system, no doubt about that. It just saddens me that real reform is being overlooked.
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:27 PM   #8
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This is a constitutional matter.

That's all there really is to it.

If a State wants to do it, that's fantastic. If the Federal Government wants to do it, that's a different matter.
I agree except for the states part. While I believe that authority to do so rests with the states its my hope that they stay out of it. Govt that governs least governs best covers my position pretty well. I don't believe that any govt is capable of staying within it's defined limits.
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Old 02-20-2010, 10:56 PM   #9
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I agree except for the states part. While I believe that authority to do so rests with the states its my hope that they stay out of it. Govt that governs least governs best covers my position pretty well. I don't believe that any govt is capable of staying within it's defined limits.
I'm the same way, however, if a State wants it, they should get it. They should not, however, force everybody in to it.
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Old 03-02-2010, 12:55 PM   #10
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ymh kinda bailed on this...
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:26 PM   #11
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Pardon my absence but I was in South Carolina with Habitat for Humanity over my reading week.
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I also believe that the representation that all Christians are the ones up in arms over government run healthcare is completely false, most of the democrats in congress (including the president) are also labeled as Christians. This is not a religious issue.
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It isn't religious at the core, but religious people tend to make decision according to their beliefs. The fact is that in almost all the developed world healthcare is available and less people slip through the cracks. If there isn't public overage of healthcare, how are people who can't afford it or who are excluded from it due to the terms of the insurance (see Uber's picture) going to get treatment?

I have heard of charity, but I remain highly skeptical that something as disorganized as charity could address medical concerns nationwide without bias or massive inefficiency.

Don't you have any concerns about the fact that private healthcare essentially puts people's health into the world of business? The last thing I would want is to throw health into the same arena as other peoples desire to make and save money.
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:53 PM   #12
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Pardon my absence but I was in South Carolina with Habitat for Humanity over my reading week.


It isn't religious at the core, but religious people tend to make decision according to their beliefs. The fact is that in almost all the developed world healthcare is available and less people slip through the cracks. If there isn't public overage of healthcare, how are people who can't afford it or who are excluded from it due to the terms of the insurance (see Uber's picture) going to get treatment?

I have heard of charity, but I remain highly skeptical that something as disorganized as charity could address medical concerns nationwide without bias or massive inefficiency.

Don't you have any concerns about the fact that private healthcare essentially puts people's health into the world of business? The last thing I would want is to throw health into the same arena as other peoples desire to make and save money.
I think you're going to find it impossible to find any equal examples of private and govt entities doing the same job wherein their efficiencies can be compared. Furthermore, I would submit that you're indirectly making the case for this being done at the smaller/local level as smaller organizations are more agile, controllable and accountable. Regardless you cannot convince me that Healthcare Overlord is something the Fed should be involved in. The Fed answers to and is controlled by the People...or at least that's how I believe it should be. A govt that controls your healthcare holds the power of life and death in one more way. That's not something you'll ever be able to convince me is a good thing.
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Old 03-04-2010, 02:03 AM   #13
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A govt that controls your healthcare holds the power of life and death in one more way. That's not something you'll ever be able to convince me is a good thing.
When you describe it that way it makes it seem like you go before a panel and make a case for healthcare, after which the government overlords decide if you are worthy. We have public healthcare in Canada and the government does not actually hold life and death in their hands. They just put a portion of the government revenue towards paying for people's healthcare needs and paying the staff that do the work (not every in and out of healthcare, only the essential stuff - aka no dentistry or anything stupid like that). If I get sick Stephen Harper or any of his cronies are not allowed to withhold publicly funded treatment from me.

Quote:
Furthermore, I would submit that you're indirectly making the case for this being done at the smaller/local level as smaller organizations are more agile, controllable and accountable.
I think if the funds were allocated at a local level it might work (granted, I have never been shown any evidence that a small government is actually as great as people crack it up to be); however, I would not want funds to be taken only from the region in which the care is being provided. I don't know how the money is spread in the US, but in Canada there are certain areas that do not have enough money to be able to fund local healthcare independently. I still prefer a national budget on which to draw the funds.
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Old 03-05-2010, 10:40 PM   #14
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On top of my already huge list of reasons to oppose this healthcare bill (Posted above), here's another one. This healthcare bill will hurt the people who need it the most;

http://healthcare.nationalreview.com...BhNzgzMmQ5Zjc=

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Yet there's another reason to reject this legislation that should unite NOW and free marketers: It would discourage companies from hiring lower-income workers, particularly those with dependents, which especially would disadvantage single moms.
Section 4980H (under Title 1, Subtitle F, Part II, Section 1513) of the Senate's bill stipulates large employers that fail to provide employees and their dependents access to insurance meeting the government's “minimum essential coverage” definition face penalties if at least one full-time employee obtains insurance using a government subsidy. As the Washington Post's Ezra Klein explains (while calling the provision “the worst policy in the bill, and possibly in the world”), the penalties could be considerable, and will create disincentives for hiring poor parents.
Rather than a simple employer mandate that forces every employer over a certain size to provide health-care insurance or pay a small fee, the free rider approach penalizes employers for hiring low-income workers who are eligible for subsidies. That will create an incentive to do one of two things: Don't hire low-income workers (hire a teenager looking for a job rather than a single mother, or hire a housewife looking for a second job rather than an unemployed breadwinner), or hire illegal immigrants.


And it actually gets worse. The employer pays more if the low-income worker needs subsidies for his family as opposed to just himself. So it not only discriminates against low-income workers, but it particularly discriminates against low-income parents. Single mothers will get the worst deal, as they have lower incomes, and as you might expect, children who need health care.
Surely legislation penalizing the hiring of single moms meets NOW's definition of “anti-woman.” Defenders could argue the intent is not to penalize hiring, but to encourage companies to provide benefits to employees. Yet these are the kinds of unintended consequences inevitable in a bill that tries to micromanage so many aspects of a very complicated system. Mandates are supposed to ensure adequate coverage, but inevitably drive up costs. Cost-cutting measures are supposed to encourage efficiency, but will inevitably reduce the quality and quantity of care that's available. Expanding health-insurance coverage helps the uninsured, but means that as a nation we'll be consuming more health care and paying more for it.


NOW has its own reasons for opposing the health-care bill, and that's fine. A little more digging, though, and it might uncover other ways this legislation would — and big government regularly does — fail the women NOW claims to represent.
In other words, if employers don't meet the Government-mandated 'minimum essential coverage' they face expensive penalties. However, that is only if that employer has a SINGLE employee that uses subsidized health-care (Poor people in general, minorities, single mothers, etc.).

The idea is to force employers to establish a minimum acceptable amount of coverage (Through the same channels Government typically does--through force and coercion). Anyways, by doing so, the Government has effectively created an incentive to NOT hire lower-class workers.

Unintended consequences of Government 101.
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:54 PM   #15
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I found this socialism argument funny, i bet u guys dont even know what socialism means, and sayng that healthcare for all is socialism then all developed country's except USA are communist / socialist lol..
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Old 03-10-2010, 02:56 AM   #16
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That's why they come here for medical care...
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Old 03-10-2010, 06:20 AM   #17
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And that's why socialist-bashing people like Palin go to Canada for their healthcare. A funny irony.
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Old 03-10-2010, 01:16 PM   #18
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At least we don't have to call the cops for a glass of water while in non socialized medical care, must be +s and -s to both sides. LOL

How you liking the change your ordered uBeR?
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Old 03-10-2010, 09:40 PM   #19
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And that's why socialist-bashing people like Palin go to Canada for their healthcare. A funny irony.
Funny, considering they went to Yukon territory, Canada only during two emergencies in the 60's and before Yukon territory had socialized medicine.
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:08 AM   #20
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THAT'S his defense? Something that happened in the 60s? BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA HAHA
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